I cut cucumbers from the garden. I saved seeds from my cucumber to plant in next years’ garden.

We picked pears from the garden. I picked a few tomatoes from the garden.

I cut oregano from the garden.


Autumn Piano detail The Prudent Homemaker

I cut lavender branches from the garden to enjoy in the house.

Reading in the Window The Prudent Homemaker

I used Ebates when shopping clearance online from Old Navy for my teenaged son to get cash back from my purchase. I also used a 40% off code to save another $18 on my order. Old Navy has a ton of exclusions about what their coupon codes don’t apply to, but it still applied to part of my order. We’ve been checking the thrift store and garage sales; there are not many things out there in the style he wants in a men’s small and 28-inch waist. Once he hits a medium I’ll be able to find more at garage sales and the thrift stores (I have not found much at either of those places this year). I bought some things he can use now (shorts and short-sleeved shirts) as well as some clothes that will be gifts for Christmas. Prices were about double what I pay at the thrift store.  I also qualified for free shipping on my order.

Cyrus Scout The Prudent Homemaker

Cyrus just joined the Order of the Arrow. He also passed off his last required merit badge that he needed to finish before working on his Eagle Scout project.

Octavius Cowboy The Prudent Homemaker

I bought a pair of needed shoes for myself from Zulily. I thought I would look to see what else they had while I was on their site (and paying shipping), and I found the exact tie that my son had asked for for Christmas for $12 less than I had seen it previously (he loves ties and enjoys having lots of options to wear to church each Sunday). 

We did some organizing, which always makes the house feel nicer. Seven drawers in the kitchen were reorganized, and I added a few items that I’m not using to the donation pile. My husband spent some time organizing in the garage, and I’ll be giving away an item we no longer need tomorrow to someone who can use it.

Pretzel Owlettes The Prudent Homemaker

I spent more time organizing the pantry, and I cooked several items from the pantry to use them up. 

Elsa and Abe The Prudent Homemaker

We enjoyed a Civil War reenactment on Saturday.

 Children with Abraham Lincoln The Prudent Homemaker

Southern Troops The Prudent Homemaker


Civil War Camp The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. Oh my gosh, looks like a fun and accomplishment-filled week! Love seeing the baby all dressed up!

    My accomplishments for the week:
    – Made croutons and bread crumbs from a bag of crusts that my mom sent home with me on Thanksgiving. Made enough croutons for a week’s worth of salads for the DH and I, and enough bread crumbs to top at least 5 casseroles. Or to use in Brandy’s Italian tomato bread soup!
    – Made homemade salad dressing, using yoghurt, mayo, lemon juice, and ground dill seed. I usually use dill weed, but I had run out of the that and the DH had mistakenly bought dill seed. Eh, good enough!
    – Diligently brought slow cooker loaded baked potato soup to work for my lunches, sometimes supplementing with a salad (my IBS means that I need to eat a salad a day). The giant batch of soup is almost gone!
    – Made multiple pitchers of iced tea for the DH, using loose-leaf tea gifted to me.
    – Set aside some loose leaf tea to give to a friend
    – Made a batch of bakery-style chocolate chip muffins to freeze to snack on. Cheaper than keeping boxes of crackers etc, in the house (and healthier than chips!) for when I have carb cravings.
    – Made a batch of lentil sprinkles to use as a topping on my lunchtime salads or my bowls of potato soup. High in protein, iron, and fibre, they keep well, plus they’re super-frugal!
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card
    – My colleague gave me half a loaf of bread from a work event. With some cheese and fruit, this became dinner. Luckily, the DH is easy-going regarding meals – if I make and plate it, he eats it!
    – A colleague gave me an iced coffee. Someone had given it to her but she doesn’t drink them, so…I did! Was much appreciated because I was especially tired that day.
    – Used the last of the bread crusts that my mom gave me at Thanksgiving, to make a dish of stuffing. I only had to add butter, stock, celery, and onion, plus some poultry spice (I didn’t have any, being vegetarian, so I made my own). Pretty frugal, and super-delicious!
    – Made an apple crumble using apples that were on sale for 97 cents/lb. I used my own (award-winning!) recipe, and I don’t expect it to last long around here! 
    – Made my weekly batch of yoghurt
    – One of my previous batches of jelly didn’t turn out, so…pancake syrup! (Delicious with a batch of blender pancakes.)
    – Went shopping at IKEA with the DH and took the free shuttle bus there and back. Plus, we walked to the shuttle pickup point.
    – We had a frugal dinner out while at IKEA. The total for both of our dinners was $4.50 before taxes.
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for another $5 Starbucks gift card.
    – Received a pumpkin as a bonbonniere after a friend’s party. Left it with my mom as I was travelling by transit to her end of the city. If she drives out to my end of the city before Halloween, she’ll bring it with her, otherwise she’ll enjoy it herself. Currently, it’s gracing her stoop.
    – I had bought a tortilla press using an Amazon gift card from Swagbucks, but wasn’t happy with it. I returned it and bought several other items that I had been wanting for a while. Yay!
    – Made cream of celery soup, using up a head of celery that I had in the fridge. Tossed in some wilted carrots to use them up. Didn’t have any cream, so used 1 % milk. Turned out great! I’ll serve it for dinner tomorrow, possibly with some fresh buttermilk biscuits.
    – I’ve been going through my cupboards and fridge, making a list of items that I want to use up, and trying to meal plan around those. So far, it’s going well! Things I still need to find uses for: LOTS of preserved lemons and a container of guava paste.
    – I did some research on forcing bulbs in the winter months, so that I can have fresh flowers indoors in winter. Currently, my tulip and crocus bulbs are chilling in my (former) veggie drawer in the fridge.

    And am looking forward to reading everyone else’s!

  2. Found a brand new Kenwood food processor with liquidiser attachment for £10 in a charity shop. Never have I parted with £10 so swiftly! Found enough yarn in my stash to make a big lacy shawl for my grand cub due in march. I have been crocheting like something possessed. I really need a lot of new clothes and having had a good sort out of my fabric and yarn stash that problem can be easily sorted out with a bit of diligence. I just love it when I can solve problems without spending a penny.

  3. Oh my gosh, that guy makes an excellent Abraham Lincoln! I’m so envious! I’d love to see a reannactment someday. They look so neat (the Civil War was one of my big history obsessions for a long time) :).

    It’s been busy around here trying to fight a bill, taking care of a friend’s chickens and now looking over my son who has an infection in eczema sores on his hands :(. It’s going to be a long week.

    The rest of my list can be found here…


  4. Hi Brandy,

    I harvested my first ever home grown beetroot (beets?) last week. I set out some new garden beds and mulched them ready for planting out after summer. I planted a young elderberry tree that had been given to me as a cutting to strike. Added vegetable scraps to our compost.

  5. Wow! Love all of your photos!

    -Last week I seed saved. I have enough seeds for the next 10 summers.

    -I baked a chicken Monday night. We ate from it for 2 days and on the 3rd day I made bone broth and turned it into a soup that we ate from another 2 days. Talk about stretching a meal!

    -We ran out of toothpaste so I made more for my husband and I. Doing this saves us $8 a month.

    -The weather has been cooler which means the A.C. is off, saving us $5-$7 each day.

    -We started running our inground pool at night instead of the day. The pump doesn’t have to work so hard in cooler weather. That’ll save a lot of hours on that pump, saving us a bundle in the end. They’re $500 to replace.

    -I had a lot of errands to run last week so I filled my car twice. I used my gas rewards card which saves me .10 per gallon. Last year I saved over $200 by using that card.

    – This week I am planning our meals ahead one week so I know what I need to buy at the grocery store.

    -I’m also working on a Christmas budget. We have many to provide for during the holidays. Holidays can be a financial drain if not planned out. This includes meals.

    That sums up my savings from last week.

    Thank you for sharing your frugal accomplishments. It helps me think of areas I could save us a little more.



  6. Hi Brandy and it looks like you and the family had so much fun at the re-enactment. So glad you were able to buy yourself a new pair of shorts and the children some clothing as well 🙂 .

    Hello everyone and I hope you have all found ways to be more frugal and save money last week 🙂 .

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Major financial accomplishments –

    – So far this month we have been able to save 60.49% of our after tax income to save for our home with cash and we still have one more pay tomorrow to go. We are trying to up our savings to saving 65% of our after tax income, it is a work in progress as we have begun making most things from scratch being meals, jams and cleaning products too.

    – We are changing banks for our house savings at the end of the month as we have found a bank with a higher interest rate than ours. After approaching the bank they refused to match the higher savings interest rate, so we are voting with our savings and wallets and moving banks.

    They appeared to tell us, in not such a subtle way, that they would only do something for us if we had $100 000 or more in their bank, well we matter too. Just imagine if everyone voted with their wallets small and large savers too when they are dissatisfied at their shoddy treatment 🙂 .

    Grocery savings whilst shopping out of our small country town whilst attending a function in the city –

    – Before travelling we checked the fuel prices in the town we were travelling to an found the fuel was much cheaper there so we put our empty jerry cans in the car and filled 5 empty ones and purchased fuel at 14 – 15c per litre cheaper than here at home. We purchased 137.7 lts and saved a huge $19.70. We are now fully stocked up on fuel.

    – Purchased .5 kg of strawberries for making strawberry jam on special saving $4.60 on the prices here.

    – Bought 12 tins of mangoes to stock up the pantry saving $3.70

    – Purchased 6 tins of lychees saving $2.70 on our local prices.

    In the kitchen –

    – Made 60% fruit strawberry jam in our bread maker from store purchased and some strawberries picked from our gardens. It made two jars weighing 840g and cost us $5.11 to make, saving $6.73 on purchasing equivalent fruit content spreads in our supermarkets.

    – Made our first ever loaf of fruit bread in the bread maker for far less than you can purchase in the shops, and it was delicious.

    Power saving –

    – Turned off all unused electrical appliances when out of the house gardening or on errands.

    – Did all loads of washing in the washing machine at cheaper electricity times at either after 8pm at night or after 9am in the mornings.

    – Turned on our lights in the home later in the evenings now that summer is here and there is more natural light later in the evenings.

    Water preservation –

    – Saved 469.9 lts of town water by missing a scheduled garden watering due to rain.

    – Hand watered the newly sprouting grass seed planted in the back lawns with saved grey water from our washing machine and showers.

  7. My grandson just joined cub scouts. I’ll have to show him Cyrus’s picture and badges. He will be impressed!
    I love all the pictures! The civil war reenactment must have been really neat to see.

    Our garden is just about done here except for the mustard and turnip greens. We pick those for dinner here and there.
    You can find my list of my frugal accomplishments here:

    Have a great day!

  8. Wow, that Lincoln reenactor is amazing! How fun for all of you!

    Congratulations to Cyrus on his Arrow of Light! My boys are Tiger scouts and my husband is their den leader. This translates into my administrative job as planner and organizer of 17 Tiger Scouts. Thank goodness for Pinterest!! We just earned our bobcat badge and it was so fun to see their faces at the awards ceremony. We are making recycled soda bottle bird feeders at tonight’s meeting. We saved a lot of empty bottle (my husband works on a college campus where the students were more than happy to give up their empties) and had dowels in his workshop. All we had to do is buy seed.

    I accepted a 150 lb pumpkin from my friend at the Farmstand! She gave it to us because they had more extra large pumpkins than they could sell. It’s massive. My oldest is in charge of decorations for it (he loves graphic design). We also received 6 butternut squash, 4 cauliflower and some apples. what we won’t eat will go to our chickens. The farmstand also donates buckets of apple mash 9left over from the cider press) for the chickens which they love. Are those chocolate covered pretzels in your photo with the mini pumpkins? Very cute!

    I am also working on my garden for next year. I love cutting flowers. This year I had the most success with zinnias. I am open to ideas. We are zone 6. Our local rose garden allows for the community to come pick the last of the season’s roses, so I harvested a dozen blooms and have cut and (hopefully) re-rooted the stems to make new bushes. I’m hoping my rooting powder will work.

    We finished our basement organization project. The last part after the shelving was the creation of 2 laundry dressers that fit 3 baskets each. It is so much better!

    The fall leaves are at there peak at Pennsylvania so this week I did a blog post about our town’s Moravian roots with photos showing off the foliage. You can see it: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2016/10/moravian-bethlehem-pennsylvania-religious-and-colonial-beginnings/

    Have a great week!

  9. What a productive week! The Civil War reenactment looks like lots of fun 🙂 I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I have been working A LOT. We haven’t done much other than the usual due to my schedule but we mostly ate at home. I did purchase one meal in a drive through because I was so tired and in so much pain after work (housekeeping and my body are not agreeing, STILL). My husband bought a meal for half price from where he works ($5) and we ate two meals from that.

    I cooked a chicken in the crock pot the other day and will make another two meals from that this week.

    When I wasn’t working I mostly stayed home. My mother had knee replacement surgery two weeks ago so I have had to take her to a couple of her appointments. It was nice spending time with her just us two. Our truck broke down. It needs the top half of the engine repaired. She is letting me use her car for awhile since she can’t drive. We are saving money up to have it repaired.

    We have not turned our furnace on yet but I have turned our space heaters on a few times when it got cold in the house.

    Have a great week everyone!

  10. – Our first frugal item was by default as our dog sitter was already booked when suddenly we had a funeral to attend across the country. Since it is my husband’s uncle who died (at 93) he is going by himself which will give him some good time alone with his Dad too. Saves quite a bit in airfare, parking, meals out and dog boarding costs but I am sorry I won’t be there. He also took his lunch on the plane and is able to use the subway to get to the airport as I could drop him off and pick him up.
    – Since I am home alone for 5 days I made of list of food in the house and will not shop until the end of the week. I’m going to make sure I use up what we have. I’m usually able to plan ahead to leave the frig pretty bare but this was last minute so I couldn’t do that.
    – Tried a new recipe for lentil soup which also includes rice and barley as well as carrots and tomatoes. Made veg broth from peelings and end pieces stored in freezer to use for the soup.
    – Made pumpkin raisin muffins and made them smaller to cut calories and last longer LOL.
    – We were able to pay our 6 month car insurance bill in full thus saving the $100 in installment fees. Also continue to get a discount for having completed an online safe driving course a while ago.
    – As usual I will be raking leaves for the next 3 months instead of hiring someone to do it. Starting today.

  11. .I made pancakes for dinner one night instead of going out and grabbing something..
    .made a jug of ice tea.
    .cleaned out the medicine/vitamin shelf.
    .we refinanced our van, and happy to do so. with the lower payment we will actually be able to pay off a couple small debts and still be able to pay it off in our original loan end date!
    .made thanksgiving hotel reservations, both night will be free thanks to hubby’s points he earns while at work. and it comes with free breakfast.
    .Indiana BMV owes people refunds. Ours came to only 6.50, but the check came and is now in our savings.
    .Paid off a cc. – I cannot wait to be able to be debt free! we are diligently working hard on this goal!
    .Prepurposed leftovers into new meanls including quesidillas and salad.
    .picked the last of my garden- basil to dry, hot peppers to slice and freeze, and a few grape tomatoes for salad this week.
    .Went apple picking to a local orchard, we picked a bushgel- made applesauce, pies filling, and apple crumbling, and yet still lots to eat fresh!
    .dropped off 2 bags at salvation army, and filling up my 3rd this week.
    .saved $55 off Kroger groceries using sales and coupons they sent me.
    .cleaned bathroom grout with baking soda, peroxide, and a toothbrush. it looks so white now!!
    .cashed in $15 for amazon, and ended up using it for a new phone charger.
    . downloaded some receipt savings app on my phone but the last two weeks I did not qualify for anything… I may end up deleting.
    .started an apron for myself and my oldest daughter. My first time doing so!
    .bought maternity clothes (I’ve made it to 6 months this time without buying more! (baby #4)) .. saved $65 by buying clearance and using coupon code, would have saved another $7 by no rush shipping, but I really need them this week ! ha.
    .used a box of cardboard as a paint tray while the kids painted.

    This site still continues to excite me and inspire me, even more now as we get out of debt – on track to be so by 30!!

  12. I enjoyed seeing some new pictures of your children, Brandy. It’s been a while since you’ve posted some. They are getting so big! I also loved the picture of your mantel. The lavender looks so lovely against the backdrop of that framed print! Hope you all enjoyed the civil re-enactment. Those are always so much fun, interactive and engaging for all ages!

    I found your comment interesting that you can find clothing for less at your thrift store than at Old Navy. We must have some pretty hefty prices at our thrift stores. I can often find clothing for around the same price or less at Old Navy, it’s new and I can find the size I need a lot easier! Just goes to show how different areas have different prices. I do shop thrift stores, but I never rule out buying new if it is cheaper.

    I’ve had a pretty busy week. This weeks frugal accomplishments are:
    *Using up the bushel of apples we bought a couple weeks ago:
    > I made and canned 5 pints of raspberry applesauce (using up some rapsberries that had been in the freezer for quite some time) and 11 pints of strawberry applesauce, plus some of each in the fridge for taste testing. My daughter thought they tasted like jam and enthusiastically ate it on bread and crackers!
    >My mom and I made 5 unbaked apple pies for the freezer. We will pull them and bake as needed for holidays or special occasions throughout the year.
    >Boiled and strained the liquid of all the apple peelings and cores to use for making jelly or syrup (see below). Wow, a bushel of apple peelings makes a lot of juice!
    >Canned 4 half pints (jelly jars) of apple syrup, plus some for the fridge. I was trying to make jelly. It didn’t quite reach jelling stage (it was so close), but ended up making the most delicious syrup…perfect for pancakes! Serious win from a failed attempt on this one. I still have more to process into jelly or syrup. It feels so great to use what I would have thrown out to make even more “almost free” food for the pantry!
    *Meals made at home include homemade cream of potato, carrot, corn & bacon soup topped with cheese and sour cream (optional), sloppy joes with salad, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, green/wax beans and rice, meat balls in Diana’s sauce with mashed potatoes and carrots, hot chicken sandwiches with corn and coleslaw, chocolate chip pancakes with sausage and choice of pancake or apple syrup, and breaded stuffed chicken breasts with potato wedges and green/waxed beans.
    *Went for 3 walk around the block for some free exercise. Would have went for more but heavy rain several days this week detered me from going.
    *Performed in another show of the play I participated in last month at our pioneer village. This time it was performed as a special request for a group of reeves visiting from various counties across Southern Ontario. It was raining hard all day, so we had to modify it to a “stage performance” last minute, which made it a bit more interesting. I will get paid for doing the show and I love performing my role…win, win!
    *Stocked up on some canned soup while it was on sale for $0.50/can. I like keeping them in my pantry for quick meals, to use in recipes and as an easy prep meal if we were in an emergency situation.
    *I was running out of pint sized canning jars, so I decided to invest in the purchase of 2 dozen more. While I was picking them up at Walmart, the store was in the process of marking down some of their leftover canning items (unfortunately not the jars). I picked up 10 boxes of no sugar needed pectin and 4 boxes of wide mouth canning jar lids for $2.50/box (both normally $4/box). The pectin has an expiration date of Feb/2019, so I packed them in a washed out ziplock bag to use next year. The canning lids can sit with my canning supplied until they are needed.

    Thanks for all the inspiration everyone! Hope you all have a great week!!!

  13. Lots of fun photos this post! Octavius sure is a cutie pie! The reenactment looks very interesting. Last summer on vacation in Virginia, we visited a Civil War camp. There were people dressed up and a few craftsmen there, but no fighting, at least while we were there. Though Saturday night got down into the 30’s, we’ve not had a frost yet, so are still picking from the garden. I’m joining in here & looking forward to reading everyone’s comments: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/10/fall-harvests-frugal-accomplishments.html

  14. * Joyfully used natural remedies I had at home rather than going to the doctor
    * Gladly prepared all my husband’s meals for work in the thermal cooker
    * Efficiently went to the grocery store only once. ☺
    * Thankfully ate all our meals at home except for one meal with relatives
    * Gratefully houses sat where there was WiFi, washer, and dryer

  15. Thrift store shirts are $5-$6. Old Navy had some for $12. I was on their website getting the clearance; in some styles they only had one size left.

    There are other thrift stores in town, but this is the closest one. I do like the way it is organized, though–it’s not just by size, but also by what it is (short-sleeved button down shirts, short sleeved t-shirts, skirts, dresses, and more divisions) and then past that it is by color within that. It makes it much easier to find what you need, rather than just all women’s items of one size (skirts, shirts, blouses, dresses, belts, etc.) all put together.

    My first goal is always to look at garage slaes, where most shirts are $1. Sometimes people want $2, and sometimes $0.50. If they want more than that for shirts I won’t buy. I haven’t been able to find any button-down short-sleeved plaid shirts in a mens’ small for him used (at any price), but I’ve looked! I’ve been looking for over a year (I always buy the next size up ahead of time) and hadn’t found anything, and though there is a huge mens’ section at the thrift store, but very little in a small, and most pants start at a 30 inch waist.

  16. I love to smash up a preserved lemon or two and use them to flavor rice or quinoa, especially when I throw in some shredded basil at the end.

  17. Gabrielle,

    The Arrow of Light is a Cub Scout award. Order of the Arrow is Boy Scouts. Here is some info on it: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/OrderoftheArrow.aspx

    He now has a large white sash with a red arrow embroidered on it to wear as part of his uniform as well.

    Yes, those are mini-pretzels.

    Zinnias are great cutting flowers. Larkspur are one of my other favorites for cutting as they are also inexpensive to grow. They are flowering and done quickly in our heat, but should last much longer for you in a zone 6.

    I hope your roses take! None of mine did that I tried earlier this year 🙁 I am trying to add more roses to my landscape, and am wanting more floribunda type, as they repeat bloom every 6 -8 weeks for 9 months of the year here.

    Last week I did find a few places online last week that have potted roses for fall planting: Jackson and Perkins has a big sale right now and 2-quart pots are around $15, plus they had a free shipping deal. Chamblee roses has 1 quart pots (with tiny bushes) for around $12, but some different types than Jackson and Perkins. I prefer to shop at my local nursery, but for floribundas, they are limited to 2 choices: iceberg (which I have in my white garden and are wonderful, and the reason I am not besotted with floribundas), and iceberg pink, which is a speckled hot pink, and not the shade I wanted.

    If you want bulbs for cutting, I believe Van Engelen is having a sale on what they still have in stock; you can try their site for large numbers, and their sister site, John Scheeper’s, for smaller amounts.

    Good luck with your cutting garden!

  18. Hi Lorna,

    The shorts were for Cyrus. I’ve worn shorts before but they’re not really me; I like dresses better. Shorts are useful almost year-round here, and he was so delighted with them!

    I had seen some on clearance on another site a couple of weeks ago for much less, and I added them to my cart, but then went to bed with the plan to buy them in the morning. By morning they were gone! This time I purchased them right away!

    We have switched banks more than once because of fees that the banks decided to start charging (free checking was no longer free). I’m glad you found a place that will be better for you!

  19. Man, that stuff looks awesome! Oh my gosh, your little owls are almost too cute to eat!

    Almost. 🙂

    This week:

    1. I revived a set of green onions that I bought from the grocery store. I put them in a glass of water for a week and they’re shooting up like crazy! I’ll put them in our garden once I’m confident they won’t die.

    2. We moved into our house over the weekend (yay!) and we hired movers to help out. We paid for a 2-man crew but the company mistakenly sent a 3-man crew. They didn’t charge us for the difference (rightfully so), so we got more work done in less time for the same amount of money. 🙂

    3. We got our deep freezer hooked up. This means I can *finally* start doing more large batch cooking and storing. I am so excited!!!

    4. I used a coupon for doughnuts over the weekend to feed myself, Mr. Picky Pincher, and his dad for two days for $12. It would have been cheaper to do homemade, but we didn’t have a usable kitchen, so that was our best option. Not too shabby!

    5. I listed a bunch of stuff on Freecycle. The response has been a little overwhelming! I wish I had just listed one item at a time instead of everything at once. Oof. Well, that does mean that our house will be a little less cluttered and we’re avoiding landfill waste. That’s a win. 🙂

  20. Cyrus is getting tall, isn’t he?
    Kristin over at TheFrugalGirl.com has said she has had success finding clothes for her tall, slender son at American Eagle online, so you might check there also.
    We ate lettuce from our greenhouse.
    I cashed in some survey points for $50 in Safeway gift cards and used these to buy groceries.
    I had to go to an out of town meeting and carpooled with a friend. She refused to take money from me to help pay for gas because my husband helped hers install a new furnace last month.
    I packed a lunch and took it to the meeting rather than buy it. I did pay $1 for a drink when my friend stopped for lunch.
    I hope you all have a wonderful week.

  21. I like best the picture of your daughter absorbed in the book she is reading.

    Picked the 18 walnuts from our small English walnut tree, & also picked some ripe red raspberries.

    Put up more apples as slices. I finished putting up the CandyCrisp apples, but still had some of the Golden Delicious to go. I have started looking for a cider press. We have 6 apples trees, plus a crabapple tree, on our lot. This year two of the trees bore well & another two began to bear & had a handful of apples each. Two are not old enough to bear & the crabapple tree was loaded. I gave our oldest daughter 2 of the half bushel boxes, but that still left us with quite a few apples. I am thinking that in future years, when all the trees are mature & bearing, a cider press might be a really good thing to have for the “heavy” bearing years.

    Cut & stewed tomatoes, then put up more tomato sauce for the pantry. Picked the remaining tomatoes, green or otherwise, from the vines since we have a hard frost warning this week. They were covered with aphids (our county has a late infestation), so I washed & dried all the tomatoes & sorted them into green, some color, red/ripe into my ripening bowls on the buffet, where they will continue to ripen gradually. The vines went into the garbage can, to go in the pickup the next morning. We did have a frost, that killed some of the aphids.

    Filled at least one tree tub (usually 2-3) per day as I pulled weeds, thistles & grass from the strawberry bed, red raspberry bed & back perimeter.

    Filled the dehydrator with comfrey that I had chiffonaded to make it dry faster.

    Mowed the lawn & used the grass clippings as mulch on the garden beds. As I pulled out grass clumps from the berry beds, I cut off the roots & threw the “tops” on the lawn to dry out, then ran over them with the mower to make more mulch for the garden. After I had filled the dehydrator, I cut the rest of the comfrey & added it to the same area as the grass tops, so it would also be shredded with the mower, since it makes excellent compost.

    Pruned back part of the mature grapevine & made 3 more grapevine wreaths as I did so.

    Started moving the wall blocks from a raised bed that we are dismantling over to the back perimeter wall. There should be enough blocks from that bed to finish out the back perimeter. We are planning to move the fence forward to the same level as our neighbor’s fence, which will give us a little more space in the back yard, as opposed to the front yard. It will also move an established peach tree into the back yard.

    Stocked up on kidney beans, hominy, cream of mushroom soup & thin spaghetti at the case lot sale at Fresh Market. The thin spaghetti was American Beauty & was 49 cents a package if your bought 10 minimum.

    Mended the 2nd side of my purse handle.

    Received & cashed a pine cone check, then took another pine cone survey.

    Began to wrap the Christmas presents. They are far easier to store “in plain sight” when they are wrapped. I opened the box to make sure the oil lamp my youngest daughter had asked for was not damaged before wrapping it. One of the little metal brackets that hold the chimney onto the burner was defective, so I called the store. They are sending out a new burner for the lamp, which means she will have some nice “spare parts” for her lamp. I am glad that I checked it before wrapping it.

  22. Your children are lovely and are growing up! I cleaned and reorganized my mother’s things in my house, and that took several days, after work. I pulled out her china and crystal to use. Since it is approaching the two yr. anniversary of her death, and this was a lovely weekend, I drove up to her grave and put beautiful fall flowers on it. It is a 2 and a half hour drive with no traffic, three hours drive with traffic, so it was a rather long trip for me. I am glad I did it, although I am tired from spending so much time in the car, there and back, in one day. I am using what I have this week, rather than going grocery shopping. I visited with my youngest child, he is in college, this week.

  23. Brandy, around here, rummage sale prices are not firm. Everybody bargains; it’s expected. Like, you pick out 5 items and it comes to 6.50, for example, you ask would you take 5? They say how about 6? Etc. You settle at 5.50. For example. It’s even more expected on larger priced items, like furniture or appliances. Are rummage prices there firm?

  24. Brandy, try a 16 or 18 in boys might have to go relax fit for him to get in them. I did this for years as most of my kids and grandkids are on the thin side.

    Its time for us to do the benefits at Hubby’s work,but before we do anything I redo the budget to make sure we are staying in line to where we want to be. We are wanting to be out of debt completely and have cash to buy land and build our retirement home in 4 yrs. Not an ease feat when we lost everything 5 yrs ago when Hubby’s work went down for 2 yrs.

    this weeks frugal is here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2016/10/frugal-week-10232016.html

    Blessed be (OH FYI I shared your site with my granddaughter and grandson that just moved out on their own. She loves it)

  25. Congratulations to Cyrus! What an accomplishment! Will you be doing a post on his Eagle Scout Project when he’s finished with it?

    I’ve found that Land’s End has some good things for my son – he’s currently a men’s small with a 27inch waist. I order his pants unhemmed, which saves a couple of dollars and allows me to hem them the correct length. They have some killer sales and if you spend $50, shipping is free. I rarely buy things from them without a sale, which usually occurs in July or January for the things I buy.

    Thanks for sharing all your photos of your beautiful family and the reenactment!

  26. Gorgeous photos – as always.

    I spent my first day off studying for an exam and the second day writing the exam. The course I was taking was an online course. I was able to write my exam at our local library for a small fee. After writing my exam at our local library, I found a book and a DVD to borrow. I am reading my book on my lunch breaks while eating homemade chicken noodle soup and brownies made from pantry supplies. I am watching the DVD while finishing the hand stitching on a Christmas gift.

    I took a break from my studying to make some lip balm in preparation for winter using oil I infused this summer using herbs I picked on our property and beeswax from last year’s hive.

    On my way to work I stopped by a large garage sale. And bought nothing. I did however, find a salad spinner at an “everything free” yard sale down the road.

    I hope everyone has a great week.

  27. These look great! I’m going to try them. I love lentils and have all the spices except the garlic powder.

    The question is, Will they make it onto a salad or just be eaten as a snack?!

  28. Marivene, when I was looking over the Pleasant Hill Grain site for grain mills that Brandy recommended they had cider presses there. From simple to expensive. We do cider every year with extended family so is a pretty big production. At the last one over 100 folks were there so plenty of help. For the fresh cider taste I would suggest you freeze it– once you can it, it more like apple juice.

  29. Oh, you can do that, and I do. It depends on the seller. But if I just want one shirt I would go ahead and pay them the dollar. If I’m buying a bunch of stuff then I ask about a lower price. Those amounts I mentioned are about the standard rates for clothing here at sales. Dresses and coats would be more. I bought a dress for $8 once–more than I would normally pay, but it is now my favorite dress, so I’m glad I did buy it. The seller was very firm on the price, but dresses can be over $100 new, so I expect that dresses will be more. Sellers who have a bunch of stuff listed higher are usually firm in their prices, and when we see that, we walk away without buying anything.

  30. Lorna,
    Your savings goal is very inspiring. WOW! … we have a cc with one of our banks, and after it is paid off (hoping next month!) we will be canceling the card and also taking my other accounts elsewhere… over the last 5 years they have NEVER beat any other bank’s interest rates ( we bought a house 2 years ago, we just refinanced our van, and looked into other types of accounts as well! ) its frustrating, but yet we realized we are only help the BANK. they aren’t helping us at all!

  31. Goodness, your kids are all growing up so fast! I remember seeing pictures of when little Ivory was still a baby. As always, your photos look lovely and the “owl” pretzels seem like great fun.

  32. * started the fall job of raking up the leaves and putting them in the compost bin. I don’t have a leaf blower so it is a long process.
    * Put away more raspberries in the freezer – I cannot believe how many berries the bushes produced considering I just planted them this Spring! I also have been throwing the overipe or half eaten berries into the next planter box so hopefully they will “self seed” new plants and I won’t need to buy anything more.
    * Used an on line special to purchase our daughter’s birthday pizza meal. My in-laws brought over a cake which the rest of us enjoyed but she is more of an ice-cream kid so I purchased 2 pints on sale of her favorite Ben and Jerry’s. She has had a very tough week dealing with the aftermath of a toenail removal procedure that did not go well – it took 2 syringes (big ones) to numb her toes and w/in 5 minutes of the doc being done, she was in pain and by the time I got her home she was in tears. It appears now that it may be infected so she has a call in to the doc about that too. They had to call in Tramadol for the pain, she missed several days of college and her weekend work shifts – We did finally find a place that had Crocs in the size she needed lined with fur for her to try on (they were only available in camo…..not exactly work type shoes LOL) so she could order them online and know they were going to fit. She works in a lab so needs them w/o the holes in them and the lining helps to cushion her toes.
    * Managed to keep the heat off again this week – we did make a couple fires in the woodstove to take the chill off the room where we watch TV
    * Made 3 small loaves and one large loaf of banana bread + 12 muffins with the bananas I had frozen in the freezer in order to make more freezer space. The muffins and 2 small loves are already gone.
    * Purchased snack size cookies and the go-go fruit pouches the daughter likes for her lunches at the discount grocers for 1/2 the price that they are at the regular grocery store. We also found Nutter Butters which are one of the few things that taste “right” to him after chemo (the dietitian told us to not be so concerned with his sugar because he needs the calories) – the other thing is canned chicken breast from Costco so my sister is getting me more of that since I don’t have a membership.
    * Used a gift card to the cheap movie theater to see “The Accountant” – it was good but I would have liked to have seen more on how he became who he was – they didn’t touch on that enough. If we go in the middle of the week at an early showing there are very, very few people and no kid’s around so hubby is less likely to “pick” something up.
    * We winterized the boat and got it covered for the winter – it is still up for sale but it would be a rare thing to sell a boat at this time of year in Michigan. We also drained the water lines in “The Bus” in preparation of storing that one too. I still have to pull all of the bedding and towels out.
    * Started more lemon peels for citrus vinegar and am going to try making wine vinegar with what is left after the bottling of my son’s last batch of wine (at least he can finally legally drink it – he’s been making it for 3 years now). I am also going to start some mint extract to see if that will turn out for Christmas gifts – I already have a cheap bottle of vodka I can use for it.
    * All meals were made at home except our daughter’s pizza and our movie date. Chicken soup. chili, hotdogs, chicken fried steak with the last of the potatoes damaged when I dug them up (I only lost 2 to rot!), spaghetti with garlic bread.
    I think that’s about it – I have decided to quite beating myself up if something isn’t always frugal – things are hard enough right now w/o me creating more stress for myself. It is what it is and I will continue to just try to do the best I can with this “season” we are in.

  33. I have been busy setting up my new apartment but I did one big money-saving thing: I got set up with Comcast’s Internet Essentials. Because my children are enrolled in the School Lunch Program, we are able to receive home wifi service for $9.95 per month. It’s not as fast as we had before, but it’s enough to watch streaming video and do what I need to do online.

    I also picked up many things that I needed for my new apartment at a large thrift store that I visited for the first time. I found a stock pot for $13, a set of twin bed flannel sheets for $8, snow pants for $5, and some other odds and ends on my list.

  34. I have to share the most frugal and amazing date night we had yesterday! My husband and I volunteered with the San Diego symphony for the first time. After handing out programs, we got to watch the 1925 Phantom of the Opera accompanied by live organ music! Absolutely phenomenal!! We now have a twice monthly free date night together! Highly recommend for anyone looking for “outside of the box” ideas!

  35. I have looked at the ones for sale at Pleasant Hill. I would prefer one with the basket made of hardwood, like maple or oak, if I can find it. My father made cider when we were growing up, since we had quite a few apple trees. I have made cider since I can remember. We never froze it, due to the germs that can be in the apples that are windfalls. This was in northeastern Ohio, & I remember that my mother had fits if we drank any of it before she pasteurized it. I don’t remember the names of the disease agents, but we grew up on canned cider. To me, it does not taste like the apple juice in the stores, because it is unsweetened, & there is a blend of apples. My dad always threw in a few crab apples for “depth”.

  36. Hi Mandy – I had my second TKR five weeks ago. Cold feels so good for bringing down swelling and numbing the pain. My PT recently said that not all ice packs are created equal and suggested making my own using a ratio of 2/3 tap water mixed with 1/3 70% rubbing alcohol. The packs take 24 hours to freeze the first time. They last a good 2 hours on my knee and have helped me sleep better/longer at night. The homemade packs will last “forever” as long as they don’t develop a hole. This is 1,000 times better than what I had purchased at CVS. Good luck to your mom!

  37. I was looking through some older posts and you were modeling a dress you had just bought at a rummage sale…it was cream with a swirly pattern on it, a set in waist and ties on the cap sleeves. Is that the dress? You said it was your favorite of the ones you bought.

  38. I can’t believe how big your baby is already! Wow, he is growing fast and so cute. The Civil War picture came out great, too. Such a sweet family you have.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales, using coupons, and rebates like Checkout 51. Last week I found whole chicken for $0.49/Lb, drumsticks for $0.39/Lb, and sirloin for $3.62. At Target, I got free Venus shave gel, cheap breakfast bars, and free chili beans. All of my transaction with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-102216/

  39. Love, love the little cowboy. And congratulations to Cyrus. That’s a big accomplishment.
    1. My husband and I spent part of the weekend doing a farm tour in our local area, going Saturday morning and early afternoon, and Sunday after church. We ate lunch at the farms both days but only spent $13 in all for both days for two adults, and it was all organic, pastured, free-range, and all that good stuff. Plus, we had fun. It was cheap entertainment.
    2. I’ve washed and hung out about six or seven loads of laundry in the last three days. The weather is (finally!) perfect for standing outside and hanging laundry. This is so much better than when I have to hang it in stifling heat or the damp cold.
    3. I made chili after pressure cooking a big pot of beans. I froze two bags of cooked beans and used the rest in a large pot of chili. We’ll eat chili another time or two and then I’ll freeze the rest, for ready-made meals.
    4. Since we finally got some cool nights, even a night or two in the low 40’s, I pulled out my old blanket for the bed. We won’t turn on the heat until it stays too cool during the day, which is a few weeks away, most likely. This blanket is older than I am — and I’m a grandmother — but I wash it on delicate and hang dry it carefully and keep using it. It came from my late parents’ house, and brings back all kinds of neat childhood memories. Taking care of our things means we have to replace them less often.
    5. I’m wearing a nice Lands’ End corduroy blazer that was gifted to me. I have let it be known that I will definitely accept used items, and people are nice enough to sometimes just give them to me.

  40. My frugal ways have been somewhat disorganized but have managed to achieve some andhow. Dried three trays of parsley and one of sage from the garden. It filled a quart jar of parsley quite densely packed–hope to transfer to smaller jars to add to Christmas gifts. There was tons more parsley still in the garden but it’s been cool and rainy so I didn’t get back out for more. I still could if we get a good day to pick it. I still have about a pint dried from two years ago.

    I did some clever meal planning last week and worked pumpkin bread into a couple meals–one of which was the first homemade soup in a while. It was potato and corn chowder with bacon and it was delicious. I’m trying again to cook smaller because our appetites are getting smaller, but we do eat the leftovers quite efficiently so it works out. The pumpkin bread loaves are quite large for two people and I love it, so I had to get it all used up, while at the same time using up a large amount of birthday cake gifted to us as well. It was a huge bakery cake but we did use it all up. Once again we ate a double batch of your granola per week. We think it is a terrific recipe and I keep making a double batch every week. I finally had to admit my Vera Bradley purse was “used up” and got out a new one I bought on sale a year ago when I bought each of my sisters one. My husband immediately laid claim to the old one to use in the car to carry tools. He always snaps up old purses for that use–we have 4 cars! (Two are his hobby cars and one each for daily driving. He won a couple more first place awards this summer for car shows.) I also baked the ham I bought on sale–we ate it two nights and the rest is in the freezer–even the ham bone–to use later on for meals. All in all, a frugal week! Love the picture of Octavius in his cowboy hat as well as all of the children together!!

  41. Well, my savings aren’t as spectacular as many of you, but we are in an odd stage of life right now so keeping life as stress free as possible, and we are ok with some splurges right now. My dh has brain cancer and is recovering from major brain surgery getting ready for oncology appointments next. So as you can imagine, looking for bargains is not a high priority.

    Savings – bought 2 bras on clearance plus got 15% off at the register. One was under $5 (it was $40 originally). Helped dd and her husband move into their new house and found rosemary, lemon thyme? and mint growing in the flower beds. We plan to harvest it before winter hits and dehydrate it all. Went to an Amish store and got some bulk items. Used a free entree coupon for a dinner out with dh. Found 2 Christmas gift ideas to make for family, then found a site to order cheap yarn/thread from (will order this week).

  42. I am going to do my post right away for once so I can’t forget anything. We have had lovely Fall weather, lots of raking leaves. Most we mulch up and add to the fields and compost piles. We also save some to dry to add to the compost pile we keep going over winter as the browns. Most of the gardens are all cleaned out except for Brussels sprouts, carrots, rutabaga and kale. We put hoops over the cucumbers and zucchini so we could keep those going awhile longer. We could still pick more apples. Cleaning out the beds did find some missed peppers and eggplants.

    It has been a quiet week. Ate all meals at home except once over at oldest son and his wife’s house and once at sister in law and her husband’s house. I made my Aunt Dorina’s recipe for apple bars to take to the first and Aunt Nadia’s sour cream apple pie to the second. I had never made the sour cream pie before but it was in a booklet of apple pie recipes that she made up for a church fun day…we had a number of different classes going on offered by members and one of them was how to bake pies. I helped with that one and donated apples. Then all the classes joined at the end and had warm pie and ice cream.

    We harvested apples, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, cucumbers, cabbage, squash and pumpkins. Plus random missed vegetables as we cleaned up various beds. Picked lettuces from the hoop house.

    Family had a work day (Fri afternoon until Sat night) on the property of the 5 farms. Cousins regraded all the gravel roads so they are relatively smooth when it comes time for plowing. Finished putting up the reflectors for plowing. Cleaned out ditches and the tunnels that run under the roads and driveways over them so when spring snow melt comes the water is not blocked. They did some work on a wooden silo that had started to tip, no longer in use, but turns 100 next year. They painted it’s barn earlier this month but did some finishing and hung up a barn quilt. We had potluck dishes plus plenty of desserts, hot and cold beverages, plus bread and meats and cheese for sandwiches. An aunt always brings hot soup. They trimmed branches and undergrowth around the pond, took in the piers and swimming platform and the boats. Well they did a lot more things but it’d be pretty boring if I listed them all.

    We did all the usual of taking lunches to work and school, using up leftovers, recycled, made no purchases other than a few groceries. Have switched over all sheets to the flannel and put out the heavier (warmer) down quilts. Continued to use the wood stove and have not needed the furnace yet.

  43. Since every family brings bushels of apples we have all different kinds. Our count this year was 14 different varieties. They have a log book where they keep track of apple poundage, variety, output and family members there. I don’t know about the taste of store apple juice since I don’t buy it so I can’t really say. Also, we’re not using windfalls…windfalls are deer apples around here. Who has your father’s cider press? A sibling?

  44. I fixed my dryer myself. $60 in parts and tools compared to at least $80 for someone to just come out and take a look. Hooray for YouTube!

    I bought my running shoes online and got last years model at a deeply discounted price.

  45. Every time I was busy this week and considering just picking up take out for the 3 of us, I’d remember how much we had at home in the freezer and on pantry shelves and how quickly dinner could be ready to eat that way and I just used what we had! Saved tons of money and time this way! I made chicken pot pie in a big disposable foil pan when we had company for dinner and brought up spiced apple rings from the basement pantry that I canned over 10 years ago! I figured I would open them and, if they were no longer good, I’d toss them and have another pint jar available! Imagine my delight when I discovered that they were tasty and still keeping their shape and texture!
    I am commited to using up and rotating our food storage so that we don’t have things that sit on the shelves looking nice but never eaten! We had some commercially canned Chunky soups this week for dinner from our pantry along with sourdough bread too!
    I finished a product test and was given a $175 Visa card and today was called by another research company here in our city who want me to do a 1 hour survey next Monday at their facility about banking and I will be given $100!! That makes a nice side job! I received $6 in pine cone surveys this week too!
    Canned 7 more pints of teriyaki sauce. Froze another 12 pounds of bananas and 6 pounds of hot peppers.
    Made a baby quilt for new grandson and another one for our new granddaughter ( born a week apart) and Friday I started a twin size quilt as a Christmas gift for one of my granddaughters. I will finish quilting and binding it tonight! The quilts were all made from materials in my sewing stash- fabrics, batting, backing, thread!! No OOP cost at all!!
    We’ve combined trips and planned routes to save on gas for the cars!
    I returned an impulse purchase to Sam’s Club and was surprised at how nice they were and how easy it was! My budget was happier too!!
    Hubby bought and installed both side mirrors on a car we just got, which saved about $200!!
    Grateful for his skills and talents and willingness to work!
    We have been truly blessed this week!!!

  46. Hi Brandy and glad that Cyrus got the shorts he was after and you didn’t miss out on them this time, even if they were a little bit dearer. With yourselves being in such a hot climate, no doubt he will be thrilled.

    Sadly the old days of the banks looking out for their customers is long gone and I am glad you did as we did and changed banks a few times to ones that didn’t have as many fees. That is rather rough when you work with cheques mostly in the States that they would then start charging for it. Like with us all these fees or lower interest rates make a huge difference to our budgets, glad to hear I am not the only one who will find a better deal to suit us 🙂 .

  47. What a fun family outing!

    Our frugal accomplishments this week include:

    I *finally* got around to submitting a form to my city to get $75 off a composting system that we earned by taking a composting class a couple of months ago. We used to have a worm composting system and we loved it. Can’t wait to get another!

    We elected to take COBRA benefits for my former employer’s FSA. We fully utilised the funds, saving us several hundred dollars in income tax.

    I used a store credit from a previous return to buy a magazine rack that we will use as a mail-sorting station.

    We paid my husband’s life insurance premium in full for the year (as we do with all of our insurance) using money we set aside each month in our “Tax & Insurance Fund.” Most insurance companies charge extra to make monthly payments, so we figure we save at least $180/year doing it this way, and we earn a little interest, to boot!

    I started the day today by making a pot of black bean soup in the slow-cooker, using dried beans and homemade broth from last year’s Thanksgiving smoked turkey. It finally got *down* to 80* here in Texas, and we’ve decided to call it Fall. Ha!

  48. Hi Faith and thank you for your encouragement 🙂 . We are saving to buy our home with cash without borrowing from the banks at all and are a middle aged couple, so starting a little later than most. Our high savings target will get us into our home with cash around 20 yrs earlier debt free, than if we borrowed from the banks on their current interest rates and before we retire.

    At the moment we are paying really low rent and we made a decision that if we had to borrow at all the repayment would have to be under what we are currently paying in rent. By that time we may as well just save it all, as it would only be 3 years of saving anyway 🙂 .

    You are completely right the banks are in it for what fees and things they can get out of you. On our toe to toe with them over raising the interest rates on our savings the employee told us weren’t we being “a tad over ambitious to save for our house with cash” and we told them “no as we know we can do it” . They wanted to give us a home loan no problem at all, or put our money in a fixed term savings account at the same interest rate we saw which we wouldn’t be able to add extra savings to so we didn’t change banks but simply would not match the higher interest rates on an everyday high interest rate account as we were happy with and wanted, so we could have access to our money.

    Really quite a useless and frustrating exercise to try and negotiate with them at all. Oh well their loss and our gain of 0.40% extra interest to us on our savings 🙂 .

    Great to hear Faith that you too are standing up for yourself and going elsewhere when things are paid off too. We all matter in the scheme of things both big and small savers, as if you look at it by us having money in their banks we are partly paying all of their wages !.

  49. Athanasia, the cider press my father built, along with the grinder, went to my brother. He has since passed away & no one knows what happened to it, so it was likely sold at a yard sale by his widow when she moved. My father used windfalls that had been sorted, along with the apples we picked from the orchard. There were at least a dozen varieties, plus the crabapples.

  50. Thank you Libby! She got this ice pack wrap machine thing. It’s like a cooler and you put ice cubes in it, put the top down into the ice that has a tube going from the top to a wrap that goes around her knee. It’s really neat! her PT suggested ice on top and heat on the bottom so I lent her my heating pad but she said it doesn’t make a difference. I will let her know that suggestion though. It would be good to bring some along when she goes out of the house for longer periods of time. I think I’ll just make some myself 🙂 Thanks again!

  51. I will keep you in my prayers – we too are doing the cancer “thing” right now (non-hodkins lymphoma) You do what you need to to make it thru each day and new challenge.

  52. That’s a great deal with the symphony! My friend has a gig as a seat filler for the award shows in Los Angeles. She loves all that stuff. She tried to get me to go when she first started- years ago. I could not have been less interested lol, but I would’ve loved a deal like yours at the Hollywood Bowl!

  53. I recognize Edmund B Leighton’s The Accolade. I have Godspeed on my living room wall. 🙂 Found a Christmas dress for my daughter for $2. (Half off at a thrift store.) Found a couple gift ideas online for my family. Most I have all supplies at home already. (I got fabric on sale to make a sun hat for my sil. Looks like I should have enough fabric to make a small matching purse/clutch. This will be for Christmas. I can never figure out what to get her. I used a coupon to buy the flower for the brim. I ) I haven’t turned on the heat yet. My small apt has stayed cool all day also. It doesn’t get too hot, but up to 70s w sun can add some warmth. I’ve collected a total of 2 small baskets (aprox 10qt bucket sized) of walnuts. Grandma gave me the last of her purple ball peppers. Downloaded free books on my kindle app. Used a freebie RedBox code. Made meals out of my pantry and ate at grandma’s twice this week.

  54. Great photos! And like someone else said earlier in a post, I remember Ivory when she was tiny! Thank you for posting the pictures, it is great to see everyone growing up so well. And Octavius is a cutie;)

    We got back from vacation mid-week. We had eaten all the cooked frozen meals before we left and the fridge was empty of perishables, so I did buy milk, fruit and some veggies. I also updated our freezer inventory and made a list of 15 meals I can make for dinner this upcoming month. Otherwise we didn’t do any shopping and I plan to go two weeks before I grocery shop again. I learned from my neighbor that I can freeze milk (I am sure most everyone here on this blog knows that, but I finally learned it at age 60;), so I thawed out a half gallon when we returned. How funny the things we don’t know. We have eaten all our meals at home and since there are only two of us, most dinners I cook enough to freeze another meals worth. So the freezer shelf is fillng up again. I made two loaves banana bread to give away as thank you gifts, and made a loaf of bread for us to use. Now I have one more thank you gift to figure out and I am done with that task.

    Hope everyone has a nice week coming up, it is not quite fall here in Arizona, 90 degrees still….I am hoping for cooler weather to turn the AC off.

  55. We got a little more done around our new house–the lawn is mowed for the first time since we moved here.

    We were able to have company for dinner. By using things I had in my freezer and cupboards, I was able to serve 14 (including us) for a very small amount. I served 2 kinds of soup, veggies, The rest was from our storage and some veggies and corn chips I bought last week. I added ice cream at the last minute when I realized I wasn’t going to get that dessert made after all:) It was fun to enjoy company without breaking the bank and we loved seeing them. I think we appreciate every friend we have even more since we have moved a little distance away from most of them.

    My husband is still working. They keep changing things around at his new work, but so far have managed to keep him on. Each week is different, and this week he is working with 2 little boys and riding the little school bus with one of them. So, that’s more hours than he was originally hired for, once you add the bus rides in.

    The rest is on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

  56. The weather has been a huge blessing. Windows open 24/7 so nothing is running! We had our sprinklers blown out on Friday so higher water usage is done. This year was probably one of our wettest in KS so we did pretty good there anyway.

    Except for our big 😉 monthly Sam’s date of hot dogs and soda, we ate at home. Meals were Chinese chicken salad, chef salad, turkey kielbasa and noodles, pinto beans, pizza, & scrambled eggs with fried potatoes. And a veggie variety with them.
    * I managed to cut my Target bill from $27.98 down to $17.08 with a couple of good coupons and a $5 GC.
    * Found some great deals at Dillon’s (Kroger co) and bought several multiples/cases. Pork loins were $1.49#. Butter was $1.99# with a limit of 5, which I got. Peanut butter was $1 jar. I bought 15. Canned veggies and tomatoes were 40¢ ea. So bought several cases of those. The pantry and the under-the-guest bed pantry are both full. 🙂
    * All the regular stuff like catching water, hanging laundry, etc.
    * I’ve been using Brandy’s advice to save even an extra nickel here and there by matching my activities to the incoming natural light, in order to save even more. Instead of doing my bible study first thing, I now do what I can at first light, like making the bed, vacuuming, etc. Then, when the sun is high enough, I don’t need to use the lamp to read. It’s also a nice break between chores!

    My beautifying has been in reorganization. I’m trying some new places to put things so we’ll see how that goes.

  57. Oh Brandy, I forgot to comment on how much I enjoyed your pictures of the children. And Mr. Lincoln, of course. I have a picture that my mom and I took with Presidents Washington and Jefferson at the Reagan Library some years ago. Betsy Ross had a huge crowd so we missed her!

  58. -bought a pressure canner that will work on my range. Canned 23 quarts of tomato sauce ( got the tomatoes for free,I had to pick) and 13 quarts of applesauce. I also have a large bowl of walnuts from a tree on the property line. My neighbor told me to take the nuts.
    – repaired a pair of my husbands dress pants
    – went to Target, found khaki shorts on clearance. I paid $5-6 for each pair.
    -ordered parts for my suburban online. The cost was half compared to the parts stores and dealership. My husband will oversee the boys in replacing them
    – replaced two upstairs Windows. The Windows in our house are original ( 38 years old). We have been replacing them ourselves.

  59. I must have missed the post about your husband getting a new job; good for him! I know how stressful that can be; my husband didn’t work for two years. I’m so happy for you both!

  60. Ice is good for bringing down the swelling, but heat brings blood flow to the area to help with healing. It may not feel like it’s helping, but the heat might be doing more than you realize. If the Dr. suggested it, it’s probably best she continue doing it.

  61. Melissa V, I think your decision to not beat yourself up about not always being frugal right now is a good one. You have a lot to contend with right now! Embrace any frugal efforts you are able to do and be happy…they are true accomplishments. As you settle into the new norm, you will find more ways to keep the budget in tact that work for your situation. After all, frugality is a process of discovery and learning that never really ends. From what you wrote, it sounds like your doing a great job doing what you can already! Hope your situation continues to improve!!!;)

  62. WHAT!!! Why couldn’t I have been born to someone living in California! I would have LOVED a gig like that. Instead, I’m born to someone living is Canada…seriously…I hate winter and hockey! Life is just not fair!!!:p

  63. As we approach the holiday season, would you be so kind as to post a blog entry for men’s gifts? When I search I see many lovely things for women and girls, but not a lot for frugal men’s gifts and this is where I struggle every year. I would be most grateful!

  64. I have the same difficulty with frugal gifts for men and teenaged boys. A lot of homemade gifts for men are travel-related, such as homemade gift tags and toiletry bags. If your husband doesn’t travel, or already has those things, those are not helpful.

    There are some food gifts, and homemade food is always a great thing (such as a batch of his favorite cookies or homemade candies just for him).

    My husband and I don’t usually exchange gifts; gifts are not very important to him. He would rather just have a nice meal for the holiday or birthday, and play a fun game together.

    My 13- year-old son wants a tie and some clothes. He cannot think of anything else he wants. I can make pajamas (but if you get a great sale, you can buy them inexpensively). I’ve found used ties and clothing before (but this time bought clearance for my son as I couldn’t find any used).

    To some extent, it depends on their hobbies and interests. If they like to barbeque, I always see grilling rubs out there under homemade mens’ gifts, but if you’re living on beans and meat isn’t in the budget, this isn’t a useful gift!

    I do see a lot of service coupons, such as washing a car, detailing a car, and doing a chore for someone that he normally does.

    I have 5 daughters and 3 sons, plus one daughter has a birthday close to Christmas, so I always have lots of girls gifts to make.

    This is a challenge for me as well. If I can come up with any fantastic ideas, I’ll be sure to post them!

  65. I am so there with you on the teen boy pants! One currently needs a 28×32 and the other is at a 29×34 which doesn’t seem to exist. I thought it would get better once they were older teens (they are 16 and 17) but they just kept growing without gaining inches in the waist (well, the older boy did move to a 29). These sizes seem to not exist at thrift stores; I could get them when the boys were shorter, but not now. For dress pants they have suits, and for dress casual they borrow from DH and use belts, but for jeans one has to hike his up all the time (I think a recent serious bout with a stomach virus may have dropped him to a 27″ waist) and the other has to wear his a little too short.

  66. That is a very good likeness of Abe Lincoln!

    I took a CVS survey and got $5 in ExtraCare Bucks, the used it to get women’s razors. We got a free Domino’s pizza using Domino’s points, and a free Finding Dory movie through Top Cashback. It’s my first time trying it, but I have heard it works well from other people.

  67. Wonderful, Wonderful! So many inspiring ways to save money!

    Here are a few we did this week:

    * We (Hubs and I) work from a monthly budget that assumes 2 pays a month. BUT twice a year we have a month with a triple pay. We use those two “extra” pays to pay down debt or for home renos or a vacation.

    * Hubs and I complete all home renos ourselves. And Hubs has made friends with the local lumber store owner. He trades his abilities for a sizable discount on home reno products. “It’s not what you know, but who you know” definitely applies here. Be sure to ask family/friends/co-workers what skills/abilities/items they have that you need and could trade for.

    * My husband also has great benefits through his job that cover the cost of anything “health” related. This includes running shoes for our kids! A major savings. Be sure you know all the perks of your/your spouse’s job and take advantage!

    * We save on bank fees by doing all transactions through our visa (including bill payments). This earns us visa points (which we use to travel for free) and we pay off the entire visa once a month. This creates only one bank transaction (the visa payment). Using a visa in this way does take discipline and strictly adhering to a budget. We keep all receipts and record all spending (including that 25 cents donation at the grocery store!) on a sheet of paper tacked to the fridge. Once the budget is spent for the month, the spending stops until next month.

    * We ate at home and make everything from scratch. Just like Brandy! We do it to save money and avoid food intolerances/allergies. Over time we’ve found we prefer how our food tastes over restaurant food. Isn’t that funny? I can’t count the number of times I’ve said to Hubs, “You could make this better. And much cheaper!”

    * Last week I accepted the gift of free clothing. Several shirts for my son and some nice cardigans for me. I love second hand clothing. Anything of good quality still has lots of life left and it will all be pre-shrunk. Nothing worse than buying new clothing, washing it once, and finding it’s shrunk or misshapen to a size that no long fits.

    * Hubs built me a cold storage in our basement close to our pantry. I’ve filled it with potatoes, onions and carrots. Last week I purchased 50 lbs of apples for 75 cents/lb. The total was less than $40. I plan to go back again this week to buy more (the sale ends this Thursday).

    * I have started turning on our home computer just before I’m going to use it and turning it off when I’m done. And my son is doing the same. This is saving us alot in electricity. Even leaving it in “sleep mode” was drawing alot of power.

    * As I’m in zone 3, I’m not able to garden outside in the winter. So I’ve started an indoor garden with lettuce seeds (they’re already sprouting!), tomato seeds and transplanted swiss chard (started outside as seeds). I’m very excited to see what we’ll be able to harvest and how successful it will be. Hubs is building me a narrow table (that we’ll use as a bench outdoors in the summer) to hold all my plant pots up off the floor in front of our big South-facing windows.

    Thank you for giving us all hope and inspiration with your posts Brandy!

  68. Congratulations to Cyrus for being inducted into OA and for being so close to Eagle! It’s a lot of work!

    Our 12-year-old should earn Life in January (he just has to complete the time requirement as patrol leader, Scoutmaster Conference, and Board of Review). He has a few more Eagle merit badges to earn, but we think he’s in pretty good shape. So many of the boys in our troop have been cutting it pretty close in terms of being finished by their 18th birthdays (not always their fault; just delays that have been out of their control). Our son has seen this and has decided he would like to complete his Eagle by the time he starts high school. He just may do it, too. But if not, he will still have a good cushion of time. I never realized how much work the boys had to do to reach Eagle; now I know why colleges and employers look favorably on young men who do reach this rank.

    I loved seeing the pictures of your children and the reenactment. What fun memories you are building!

    Our frugal efforts last week were mostly routine:

    * Ate mostly vegetarian meals at home.

    * Harvested eggplant, chives, butternut squash, and pumpkins from the garden.

    * Paid bills online.

    * Hubs planted the winter garden. We’re blessed to be able to garden nearly year-round. (Jan. and Feb. can be a bit sparse.)

    * Saved school flyers to use as scratch paper. (It doesn’t really save much money, but it does support the frugal mindset.)

    * Collected more things for the next yard sale.

    Hope everyone has a good week!

  69. Oh, I forgot to ask. Can you explain more about Ebates? (I’m a bit late to the party . . . .)


  70. My congratulations to Cyrus for all his Scouting accomplishments, you must be so proud of all those badges on your Sash Cyrus!
    best of luck as an Eagle Scout. loved the photo of Octavius and the one of all the children with Abe Lincoln, they are growing up so fast!
    Ann Lee S in B.C. Canada

  71. Dawn,
    Congratulations on the new house and especially the accomplishment of it being nearly debt free! What a wonderful sense of security this must bring.
    Susan in So Cal

  72. Lorna,
    Very curious on how you make strawberry jam in the bread maker, if it’s as easy as it sounds I would love to try it!

  73. You go, girl! I love it when a woman fixes something. I’m always dependent on someone but i’m getting better!

  74. Greetings!
    Fall has arrived; the leaves are past peak and most have been blown into my yard! My Summer job ended this afternoon. I’m so happy! I love the Summer job, but i’m ready for the break come Oct.
    I love the pictures! You always amaze me. I especially love the baby toes! What a beautiful family!
    *I’ve kept up with coke rewards and ebay sales.
    *My SIL was here for a few days. We ate all meals from home except my husband. He needed a Wendy’s fix when he went to the big city. My SIL put the bucket in the shower with her and saved the water for me.
    *I got two hummingbird feeders, a scented candle, yogurt raisins, two candy bars and a light coat for my husband from my boss at the Summer job. She’s 85 and still going; a gem!
    *I bought sale chicken for $.89 a lb. and eggs for $.69 lb.
    *I rendered some pork fat to use in soap making. I happened to look at the beef suet in the local grocery store today and it was $2.99 lb!! I was shocked! I didn’t buy any.
    *I made sourdough pancakes from the sourdough feeding. I also made bread and it’s close to perfect! I will keep trying!
    *I’m still exercising at home and walking with two friends most days. If they can’t walk, i go alone.
    *I bought two pork loins for $1.79 lb. Usually, i get them sliced at the store. They wouldn’t do it for such a low price. (What??) So, i cut them myself and they’re perfectly fine.
    *The apple peelings from all my apple cooking went into three jars to try my hand at making vinegar. I’ve strained the liquid; it smells like it’s on its way.
    *I printed off some free labels for the pantry. (What pantry?). My SIL showed me how to do the command P thing. Before she left, she bought me some colored pencils to color in the black and white labels. So fun! She also gifted me a magazine i love and haven’t bought in quite awhile. (It’s changed titles..)
    *I made two blueberry (coffee) cakes and two mixed fruit crisps from ingredients i had at home.
    *I TRIED to make my own marshmallows with no gelatin. The taste was fabulous but it was more soupy than anything. I went to the health food co-op and bought some. It seemed the prudent thing to do instead of wasting more time, energy and money. I may revisit this in the future.
    *Paid off the c.c. bill with two car repairs on it. The car fund is just about empty but i’m so happy we had it!
    *I stock up on food and toiletries all Summer long with monies from the Summer job. This helps get us through the long Winter when i’m working a whole lot less. I can honestly say that both freezers are full and we will not starve! We can shop sales only and only if the price is right. What a great ‘problem’ to have. We are blessed!
    I love reading what everyone does; i learn something new every week! Have a fabulous week!

  75. I also collected walnuts these last couple weeks. I have a tree. A bit of work, but worth it. Are they black walnuts? Mine are. They tend to be a bit stronger in flavor, so you can use less in a recipe.

  76. Men’s gifts are definitely tough. Some homemade gifts I have done for the men in my life:
    Monogrammed white cotton handkerchiefs. My husband and FIL both like these. I make them from muslin I buy on sale, hemmed, with their initials embroidered.
    Pajama pants — lot of fun prints out there and they are easy to make.
    Shirts — My husband likes flannel shirts with snaps instead of buttons and over the years I have made several of these.
    Fleece blankets — both my husband and FIL are getting these this year. They like to use them while watching TV or reading on cold winter evenings.
    Knit caps — only works if you live somewhere cool. Teenage boys like these, too.
    One year we made my FIL a clock. He was a mechanic, so my husband glued gears and small parts to a wooden plaque, with a clock mechanism in it. You could do this for different professions or hobbies.
    Food gifts. A couple of times I have made my FIL a basket of goodies — spiced nuts and things like that that he really enjoys.
    I have seen recipes online for homemade shaving soap and lotions. That with maybe some homemade lip balm would be good for some men.
    One year I gave my dad an album of family photos. He had a big box he had inherited from his mother and never gone through and I organized them chronologically, starting with the house he grew up in, his baby pictures, holidays with his family, etc. Some of these he hadn’t seen in years — this was a huge hit.
    If he wears glasses, sunglasses or reading glasses, I have made monogrammed glasses cases — I sewed them from old denim cut from old jeans, lined with flannel. My husband still uses one he has had at least 10 years.
    If they like to play board games, there are a lot of Print and Play games out there — google Print and Play game. You print off the various components and glue them to heavy cardboard. My husband is getting one of these this year. I did splurge on color printing and some plastic tokens.
    That is all I can think of right now. Maybe others will have other ideas.

  77. Lol Rhonda!!! My friend is a New Jersey transplant and was always giving me grief about my total disinterest in all things celebrity. That’s because I was born and raised in L.A. There were always kids in my class that acted, one of my closest friends had a dad that acted so we went to shoots, dinners, and such. It just wasn’t a thing for me! I’m glad my friend is having so much fun! I love seeing her glam dresses.

  78. Yes it really does change your perspective. We have been very blessed with people giving us everything from a meal to gift cards to cash. We never really asked for anything, people just started helping, my school family and our church family have been AMAZING. Melissa – prayers for your family as well! We are in survival mode – doing what needs done, everything else gets put to the side and adding as little stress as possible to our life right now.

  79. Beautiful pictures Brandy!

    My frugal accomplishments –
    Free in the mail – Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens.

    Our gas grill was on it’s last legs. We were going to keep using it only it finally fell totally apart, but decided to replace it now since we are counting on the grill as part of our emergency preparedness if we lose power. We used money from our home repair budget to buy a new one. We found a nice (but smaller) stainless grill and were given $20 off since it had been on display for a while and was quite dusty (but still in perfect condition).

    I did some major decluttering. Goal is to declutter the house and go through our storage unit so we can (finally) get rid of the storage unit.

    I went through our holiday decorations and was able to get rid of a jumbo sized tote of items. I listed most on Ebay as they were collectibles and donated a small tote that wouldn’t be worth it to sell. I also donated an artificial tree we no longer use and a few rolls of wrapping paper I know I won’t use. I will put some of the money towards buying a new wreath and the rest will go into the gift fund.

    I cashed in a jar of change at Coinstar and got an Amazon gift card (so I didn’t pay any fees). I ended up with $96 and put that on my Amazon account for gifts.

    I also listed on ebay some totes and purses I never used.

    I ran out of time and energy but have more items in mind I can declutter and sell or donate.

    I went to Aldi and made a stock up trip, since there wasn’t much I needed to buy for the week.

    We started putting up the fence to fence in our side yard. Paid cash and did the work ourselves.

    I rooted 4 black raspberry plants which will eventually be planted along the side of the house we just fenced.

    I planted lettuce seeds in a pot I picked up when I went to the storage unit. Someone had put it out by the dumpster. I already had the potting soil and seeds.

    Have a great week everyone!!

  80. That would be a smart move, but I don’t have any mini-pans so it would be a new purchase. Unless I request them as a holiday gift……….now I think we have the answer!!

  81. This is all so helpful, I appreciate the thorough and thoughtful response from both of you! I have men in my life who don’t ask for much, and who do so much for me, so it always feels like a struggle to really give them where my heart is. Thank you!!!

  82. I buy tools at yard sales and thrift shops for our boys and my Dad as he actually has worn tools out. I even done this for our girls. Bought a sturdy but inexpensive tool box(fishing tackle box on clearance once) and called it their HOME CHEST instead of hope chest. They got a couple tools in it and then each yr I stuck another tool in their stocking. When they moved out at 18 they had a full set of hand tools to take care of their own homes. I also did small sewing kits for both girls and boys.My one son found he like to crochet and knit so he got different size needles when he helped his sister learn a new design and some yarn a couple times.Coin holders to carry their change in their pockets is another one.We made duck tape wallets a couple years ago. The boys..okay the men as they are grown still have theirs and use them for their emergency cash wallet so they don’t spend it LOL I buy Dad Vaseline spray and go, he loves it but can’t afford it. I get them on sale with coupons to keep the cost down to what I can afford to spend on him.Hubby gets prime rib roast…that’s all he ever wants. We do gag gifts now with the grandkids (and kids when we can afford it) They only get $10 in ones but get 10 gifts…they look forward to it as this is the 5th year and they still bring it up and brag to others about it. We try to spend less than $20 each with the $10 in ones included in that.

  83. My husband is booking our trip to L.A. and San Fransisco today. It was supposed to just be L.A. but my husband wants to see Alcatraz. I’ve been to several of places in the U.S., but never to California. So excited to finally see it! We’ll be going the last week in January and first week in February. My husbands birthday is February 1st. He picked the dates we’re going…I’m pretty sure it was well thought out! 😀

    One of the reasons for the trip is to hopefully inspire my daughter on a career choice. She is on the Autism spectrum, but is extremely creative. All of her interests points towards potential careers in the TV, movie or theater industry (prop design, set design, special effects, cinematography, etc.). She’s a bit of a comedian too, but not sure if she would ever end up in front of the camera. She starts high school next year. Having an idea of what career direction she might want to go will help her decide what courses to take.

  84. Hi Terry and it is really simple to make jam in your bread making machine.

    This recipe below makes around 840g of jam. This is the maximum load you can make otherwise it will boil over in the bread maker.

    We used 500g of strawberries chopped and hulled. (you can use frozen fruit too instead of fresh)
    1 2/3 cup of sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons of jamsetta or pectin

    Put it in your bread maker and set it to go on a jam setting, it takes around 1 hour and 5 minutes in ours anyway.

    Then you just pour it in preserving jars or saved glass jars you have from home with screw on lids from other products you have used as we have, put the lids on and wait to cool until warmish and then pop it in the fridge it is delicious.

    You can fairly much make up your own recipe by putting in any –
    500g of fruit or berries.
    1 2/3 cup of sugar
    1 1/2 tablepoons of pectin or Jamsetta.

    I hope this helps.

  85. I forgot about the tools! I did this for the boys at yard sales several years ago, buying used tools in good condition for them, as well as a tool box. My husbad repainted one of the tool boxes with a hammered metal paint, so it looked brand-new when we gave it to my son. Both of my (older) boys have a good number of tools now.

  86. He’s already outgrown size 16 and can only fit in a couple of 18s (the Scout pants we got for him are an 18).

    The shorts I ordered for him came and they fit just right (size 28 waist). He is delighted with them.

    Now I just have to find him some slacks. He likes men’s dress slacks. Most come in a 30-inch waist. I just have to find some in the style he likes (and a light color, which he prefers for our heat here) with a 28-inch waist.

  87. That dress has actually been donated back to the thrift store 🙂 It was a bit big on me to start (it was a size bigger, but tied in the back and so I wore it anyway), but now it is much too large on me as I have lost some weight.

    The dress I am loving is a navy blue wrap around dress. It was actually a size [i]smaller[/i] when I bought it at a garage sale, but it fits just right now!

  88. One year my grandmother made every grandchild a pillowcase. She used brightly colored fabrics from her ‘stash.’ This was a huge hit! We all loved having our own personal pillow case. A small thing, but we loved them.

  89. Wow! Love the photos of the family. I posted my weekly frugal happenings on my blog.

    Much of life has a pleasant ordinariness around here and it has been quiet. I think the biggest excitement was lowering the electric bill by $60 and traveling to see my son and his family.

  90. Brandy, a couple of years ago I found a free men’s tie pattern online and made ties for my husband and my son-in-law. I’m not the seamstress you are, so I’m sure you could do it. If you can get the fabric cheaply enough, they aren’t that hard to make.

  91. A tie is not difficult, but it uses a lot more fabric than you might think, since it is all cut on the bias. I did a tie for my son 4 years ago when he really wanted a purple tie, and I happened to have purple fabric given to me that year that was just perfect. He still wears it. There is a link to the free pattern I used on the post here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/blog?view=entry&id=288 If you have a unique fabric or need to make a gift using what you have on hand, this is a great gift idea for someone who wears ties.

    I’ve also found ties at garage sales for $1-$2 on occasion. The thrift store has some too for a bit more. We have bought some there as well.

  92. Brandy, have you checked some of the discount stores or clearance sections in the stores you shop in for that size? I know you may be struggling to find them at thrift stores because it’s not a common size used by men. However, those smaller sizes tend to not sell out and therefore are often easier to find brand new on the clearance racks. Sometimes they sit long enough the store seriously cuts the price to just get rid of them. You may have already looked there too, but worth suggesting as another cheap option just in case.

  93. I have saved quite alot of money shopping for used clothes on swap.com they also have free returns if something doesn’t fit. Also you can search easily by brand name and size. It seems to be a little higher than some thrift stores, but with a sale or coupon code it has always been less than retail! I recently purchased 5 pairs of brand name (lands end, llbean, levi) pants for my size 10 son for around $20.

  94. I told her the same thing, Rhonda, but I don’t think she is. She is healing very well, though. I go with her to go appointments and he said she is way ahead of schedule 🙂

  95. The ice on top is to bring down the swelling, which will help reduce the pain and permit greater bending while the heat underneath is to help relax the muscles/ligaments/tendons so the leg can flatten to negative range of motion.

    The continuous ice machines are good 🙂 They can be purchased for $150 or in my area rented for $125 if insurance covers it. Unfortunately my plan didn’t cover this combined with the machine needs a three-prong plug and I only have one of those outlets in my BR. I decided to use the outlet for a CPM machine instead as I found that to be super helpful in bending. At five weeks, I’m bending 124 degrees!!

    It is so great that you are going to the MD appointments. I had someone come with me also. Between being tired and the medications, I needed another set of ears to hear all the directions.

    So glad for you, your mother, and your family that healing is going well!

  96. Hello from the Deep South. I’ve not posted in a few months. We had a busy Summer moving my mom in next door to us. Also got a great new neighbor on the other side where it had been foreclosed for over a year. I am wondering about the clothes some of you mentioned from Old Navy. I used to shop there somewhat. A few years ago, I bought several things and all of it tore up after a few wash/wears. So I’ve not returned since. All of us here are frugal and wouldn’t waste our money so I’m assuming the quality is better now at Old Navy??
    All of us but my son, have October birthdays. It is always a lot of fun, but a little tiring too!
    On the frugal front, I got a free Thermos insulated water bottle from Publix. Their policy is if an item scans incorrectly on price, you get the item free. Also, my husband’s company sent a box of filet mignons to us as a thank you.

  97. Hello everyone far away, here some frugal accomplishments from the netherlands.
    I made myself a new sweater for the winter. I knitted a pair of socks for a friend and I mended a pair of socks for her also. I cut of the toe till the hole that was in the sock, picked up al the stitches again and knitted a new toe part on the sock. An olderly lady told me that they did this in the old days to safe yarn, and it worked wunderfully. Cooked al the meals from scratch (as I almost always do). And also cooked some extra for my husband to take to work. He workes at Aldi and if they have to work evenings they get a compensation for buying dinner, but he rather takes food from home, he doesnt like the readymade meals from the store (any store, by the way).
    I withheld pocket money from my oldest son (which is not really a frugal accomplishment…) as he did not go looking for a parttime job.
    In our household it is normal that the kids ( 15 years )go work a few hours a week to provide them with a little extra money, this money is for themselfs and they can use it to do something with friends or buy hairgel or make-up or an icecream or whatever. Plus it teaches them to work! My youngest son(13) wanted to buy a new X-box, and mowed the garden of people in our village for the summer every week. He could buy his X-box and a new soccer game for the X-box. I think that makes them appreciate there stuff more.

  98. Diane,
    Great job on finding free date night! What about parking did you find a less costly lot. I would love to do this. I am just not that familiar
    with down town parking.:)
    Thank you,
    Patti from San Diego

  99. When my husband and I were in Hawaii this summer we had some really yummy guava pancakes (with whipped butter and maple syrup) at our resort……if you need an idea for the guava paste. =)

  100. Brandy, I would like to see photos of the baby shower, if you decide to share your decorations and menu, etc. Showers are so much fun! We have a baby shower and a wedding shower to attend next week.

    I too, am glad you are enjoying date nights now that you have “in house” babysitters.

    I never finished my post…Cooked and baked from scratch. Baked 2 loaves white bread, garlic bread from day old bakery French bread and put 2 extra loaves in freezer, 24 zucchini chocolate chip muffins, lemon bars, iced apple bars, apple sour cream pie, 2 loaves pumpkin-nut bread (I use smaller pans so instead of one big loaf I always get 2 smaller ones). Freezer wrapped some of the muffins and a nut bread for oldest girl and gave her one of the loaves of garlic bread. Made meatball sandwiches using meatballs from freezer, leftover spaghetti sauce, lots of mozzarella and more of the day old French bread. Baked them in the oven. Had no vegetarian meatballs on hand so made a quick batch by thawing one boca burger, one veggie breakfast sausage, Italian seasonings, an egg, sauteed onion and pepper and some bread crumbs. Mixed all up, rolled in balls, rolled in flour and pan fried in olive oil. They held together nicely, better than my normal recipe. Made vegetable curry and naan. Cooked up one pie pumpkin and pureed it. Made 9×13 pan and 9×9 pan of macaroni and cheese and gave smaller pan to oldest daughter for a freezer meal. Roasted root vegetables (rutabaga, potatoes, carrots, onions) with some squash and served with chicken stuffing casserole. Baked squash with apples and maple syrup. Made broiled tofu for the vegetarians to go with meal of broiled fish, double baked potatoes and vegetable shish kabob. Made 20 extra double baked potatoes (from storage russets) for the freezer. Added my dried chives to a large container of cottage cheese. Made a blueberry coffeecake, coleslaw, oatmeal raisin cookies and hot apple cider for the family work day potlucks. (Blueberry plants arrived and are all planted, too). Made potato soup using our carrots and onions and rosemary and the storage russets we bought.

    Had a $5 off $25 purchase for the Shopko so used it to pick up items for Samaritan’s shoeboxes along with mfgr coupons. Bought bar soap w coupons, combs and soap containers, also 2 bags of suckers from the sale candy when there to pick up new tshirts for the men for Christmas. There was a bonus shirt in each pack and they were on sale. At the grocer bought 3 gallons of milk, pomegranates 2/4.00 (bought 10 they were large and very fresh), 3 pack of romaine lettuce, celery, bottle of lemon juice, the clearance French bread, mozzarella, hand lotions for Christmas presents using mfgr coupon and sale and double coupon day combined. Bought 3 tubes of toothpaste, a single and a double pack using double coupons and store sale.

  101. I have been working on getting gifts marked off my Christmas list. I had two teenage girls on my list….what to do for them with my limited budget. I went to Joann Fabrics and got some nicer knitted gloves for $1 a pair. I then used supplies I already had to crochet a snowflake on each glove. This really dressed them up and made them look special. While at Joann Fabrics I found some of the nice homemade candy canes for $1 each. I put a pair of gloves, a candy cane and a nice hand lotion I had bought earlier in the year for pennies in a very nice gift bag. I think nice packaging makes all the difference- a nice gift bag and nice gift tag are very important for presentation purposes and can be found for pennies or made yourself out of scraps. So for a little over $2 each I got two more gifts taken care of. Brandy has taught me to think outside the box and get creative in my gift giving and it has really helped the budget and taking care of reducing stress. This also frees me up to be able to assist others with their needs- such as helping my elderly mom prepare for the holidays.

  102. I don’t think I saw anyone mention aprons…men can like to wear aprons also, out of sturdy fabric. Maybe red checks with black trim for a nice barbecue apron. Or just a plain white butcher apron with his name or initial on it.

  103. It’s nice to have two teenagers! Plus, my third child is now the age I was when I started babysitting!

    We usually put on a movie for them and they can watch part of it while we are gone; we’re home before it is done and they just keep watching it. If we go for lunch, we go when they’re having lunch, so it’s a quick date, but having uninterrupted conversation is so nice!

  104. I like to think so. Dad made the press himself, from hardwoods, & made his own grinder by setting screws at various depths into an old hardwood rolling pin. He could hook it up to the lawnmower engine & grind a large number of apples into mash very quickly. He used a scoop to load the mash into the pressing bucket, lined with an old pillowcase, & even before he began to press, the cider just flowed. I hope some is getting use out of it. It would please my dad, too.

  105. Hi EBK and another suggestion is to make fabric refillable notebook covers or diary covers, I make these in my two online shops and they are really well received by both men and women.

    You can buy a plain cheaper diary and make a fabric cover for them in a fabric you think they would like too.

  106. My son wore a 28X32! I found them at Kohl’s.com, I think American Eagle also. I wish I still had my son’s old ones I’d send them to you. But he ‘graduated’ to a 30X32! 🙂

  107. We try to make as many of our gifts as possible and yes men and teenager boys are difficult. Last year for my husband, the kiddos made him a chess and checker set. We found the wooden game board at a garage sale.. Without any pieces so it was given to us. Off to the hardware store they went. Using Pinterest for inspiration they found pieces to screw and superglue for the chess pieces and washers for the checkers. We painted one set of pieces and left the other set silver. He loves it. They all play it and when company comes and remarks on how cool that industrial chess set is. The kids always say we made it. Now to be honest it can get expensive..I suggest only making the pawns one month..the bishops and knights another..etc.or just make the checkers. I also used a coupon from shutterfly and made personalized playing cards for him from the kids. Everything except for the board went in an vintage wooden cigar box. This year I purchased ice chests marked down and are personalizing them. If money allows I will put their favorite drinks inside..IBC root beer. In the past we have made polar tubes to keep coolers cold without ice, we still use those. This year I think we are also making fishing pole holders for some as well.

  108. Don’t forget to plant some radish..you can use the greens in salads and thinly slice then with a veg peeler to brighten up salads, sandwiches or stir fry, but our favorite way to enjoy them is roasted. My kids pick through the pan of roasted veggies to find them. If I was to just offer them plain they would just turn up their noses..lol

  109. I took a break from working hard this week and just worked a bit. Spent a lot of time transferring notes to a genealogy notebook I’ve been working on for years now. I had hoped to make a big savings goal but it sin’t going to happen. I made it about 1/3 of the way…I’ll try harder to front load annual fees so that I can knock out that montly payment. Getting house squared away, and being able to get into pantry to get it organized once more were the bigger savings this week!
    I think Octavious as Cowboy is too cute, lol but agree that my favorite is your daughter reading. Lovely photos as alawys Brandy!

  110. What about foil mini pans? They are very inexpensive and if your careful you can reuse them over and over. I let mine soak in hot soapy water and then wash them gently and the baking residue comes right off.
    Also I have been baking my pumpkin bread etc in muffin tins. Portion control is so much easier that way

  111. I am blessed to have just found your lovely site. What a gorgeous family! I am so glad to meet someone else who not only strives to be frugal, but to make sure that our frugal ways still can be blessings to other people. I was dancing in my chair when I read that you also have a donation pile. So many people are so worried about selling off their old items instead of just passing them on to someone else who would truly appreciate them. I am definitely bookmarking your site now.
    Have a wonderful week!

  112. Brandy, that sounds like a good arrangement. Our maternal grandparents lived with us while I was growing up so live in babysitters. My parents lived with us, now my mother is living with my oldest girl, so live in great grandma.

  113. gardenpat, congratulations on the two new grandchildren. I hope they are close by so you can enjoy them often!

  114. Andrea, it is better to store your onions away from your potatoes. We hang our onions just from the basement rafters, not in the root cellar which is damper and cooler.

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