Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I picked the first lemon from our trees. 

We harvested tomatoes, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, and Swiss chard from the garden.

I planted nasturtium seeds (collected from my garden) in pots on the patio under my fruit trees.

I saved shower warm up water and the water from washing potatoes for Thanksgiving to water my potted fruit trees. 

Thanksgiving Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut roses, Thai basil, and Genovese basil from the garden to make arrangements for Thanksgiving.

I decided to do a little Black Friday shopping. I bought some flannel at 70% off for $2.06 a yard (a yard is .9144 meters). I also picked up some iron-on interfacing for $2.99 for 8 yards (I bought 3 packages; it comes by the 8-yard bolt). I picked up a few other small bits of fabric for some small projects on sale, plus used an additional 25% off coupon on top of that; I have fabric to make a blouse for myself for $4.38, fabric to line the sleeves for a $1 garage sale dress ($2.44, and there’s enough left to use for some other small projects) and fabric for the front of a couple of bibs (which will be gifts) for $2.25.

I also picked up candy melts (on sale 3 bags for $5) to use for making Christmas candies, candies for the baby shower I’m hosting in December, and some Valentine’s treats.

I bought some beads to make a few bracelets for gifts for my daughters, on sale for 70% off.

I used a coupon code to order a free 8 x 10 print that I will give as a gift.

We were offered a pair of shoes for my girls. A friend had ordered them and they did not fit any of her children. The shoes were marked “Girls 7” on both the shoes and the box. They were very large and I thought perhaps they would fit me (I wear a women’s 7). They were even too big for me! I had Winter try them on (she wears a size 10) and they fit her perfectly! 

I refrained from buying several items and decided to make do with what we have.

Thanksgiving table The Prudent Homemaker

 

What did you do last week to save money?

 

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110 Comments

  1. Moved the frozen turkey from the freezer to the fridge on Sunday, so it would thaw in time to cook for Thanksgiving. One daughter was here for Thanksgiving, & another daughter came with her family on Friday evening, so our Thanksgiving meals were spread over a few days.

    Baked butternut squash from our garden & used it in squash yeast rolls & squash pies for Thanksgiving. All of our pie fillings this year came from apples, cherries, peaches, pears or squash grown on our own land, which was quite satisfying for me. My largest butternut squash made 2 pies & 3 batches of rolls.

    Made both yellow & orange gelatin, in cut glass low sherbets. We always have 2 colors of gelatin on the table for holiday meals (yellow/orange for Thanksgiving, red/green for Christmas, & yellow/green for Easter). We started this when we were poor married students with one toddler, because it made the meal look more bounteous. We have continued it thru the years because 1) little kids like gelatin, 2) gelatin is very inexpensive on sale & keeps well in storage, and 3) traditions help normalize crisis situations. The year that my husband was out of work, the gelatin made the meals look more bounteous again, plus they were “traditional”. Sometimes we add mandarin oranges to the yellow or orange, or applesauce to the red, (both of which also store well), but mostly it is just plain.

    Made a cream of vegetable soup one night from some leftover tomato soup, pureed with mixed summer squash & zucchini, a bit of butternut squash, & some sour cream. It was quite delicious with a few of the squash rolls.

    Found a few more gluten-free items on clearance at the grocery store & picked those up for our daughter & granddaughter to use.

    Wrapped the family Christmas gifts that had not yet been delivered. Our oldest daughter came to visit the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we sent their presents home with them, as well as some from her sisters that were for her family. Our youngest daughter came home Thanksgiving Day, & brought some things for her oldest sister.

    Pruned back the overgrown forsythia on the south side of the driveway before the big storm that rolled through, so the weight of the prunings would keep the garbage can from blowing over/away. The city went to new trash cans that are lighter weight, & blow over more easily. Along with not being willing to pay for 2 cans, that means I have to plan the pruning of some things to be able to work into the pickup schedule. It took me 3 “sessions” to finish pruning this overgrown bush, to be able to put it all in the can, but only paying for 1 can saves my money for more important things.

  2. I’m thinking you went to JOANNE fabrics–at least the ads sounded familiar. I stayed out of the stores, except for running to a small grocery near home. I usually go to the next town, but needed exactly 5 items this week, so decided not to drive that far. (20-25 minutes away). I do not need fabric or notions either as I have plenty on hand. I did order a couple things on line this weekend and realized I don’t have too far to go with my shopping list. The 52 year old daughter doesn’t seem to need or want much this year and I may give her gift cards for a couple restaurant meals to fill out her list. Their budget doesn’t have a lot of stretch to it and she is very good at stretching. I also saved a page of BOGO coupons from Tim Horton’s for her to use. Tim Hortons’ is a doughnut and coffee and sandwich shop if you’re not familiar with it–we have a LOT of them here. With the coupons they can stop for coffee and a treat, two for the price of one–they won’t go under the tree but will be handed to her when she comes to collect the ads and coupons I’m not using from this week’s paper.

    For myself, savings this week included Thanksgiving dinner for 5 and leftovers for all to take home for next to nothing. The turkey was 58 cents per lb, around $8. Cranberries I got BOGO a couple weeks back. (Apple/cranberry pie is the intended use for the “free” bag.) Everything else was in the house already except for one large broccoli–and there was enough left from our dinner that I made broccoli-cheddar soup for dinner last night with sandwiches. Pies were pumpkin and chocolate cream–both homemade from old recipes in the family. Pie crust home made also. Really doesn’t cost nearly as much when everything is made from scratch. Dinner rolls also homemade. I did fudge and make a faster recipe as I gave up one whole day to attend a wake–granddaughter graciously said she liked them, although she is the leading eater of the ones that take longer to make–I will go back to them next year. (Crescents from scratch are the preferred ones.)

    Christmas shopping has been less than extravagant so far–my daughter alerts me to coupon codes and free shipping codes so that I save as much as possible. We do spend on Christmas, but very practical gifts. I don’t spend a whole lot on birthdays, but we do spend at Christmas time and the money is saved up in advance. 24 year old granddaughter is getting two skillets of good quality to replace her Goodwill originals, and a pair of shoes for work–low heel, comfortable shoes that she already has in another color. She will not be getting the $150 bottle of perfume–not from me, at least!

  3. At Joann’s sale I got some patters. They were 5 for $5.00. I was able to get some new patters for me and a doll dress. I did some Black Friday shopping for a wedding gift. My sister’s oldest son is getting married in May. I got a wedding gift and a gift for the shower. I got some very good deals and made out the paper work to get the rebate too. Also spent $20.00 to get two back up coffee pots. We have very hard water in our area. Even though we clean our coffee maker every other week it still ‘burns’ out quickly. Our local grocery store had Mr. Coffee programmable pots for $10.00 each. I am set now for when this one breaks down again. A girl has got to have her coffee…you don’t want to be around me till I have had my coffee…
    I took the meat from the bones of the bird. Cut the ham up into meal size bags. Made scalloped potatoes and ham for dinner before putting the rest of the ham into the freezer.

  4. I went through ebates for some online purchases. The only store I went to on Black Friday was the discount grocery, & found large bags of black oil sunflower seeds for $5, among other things. I do love feeding the birds, & this fall put up a feeder that was my Mom’s. It’s one of those that attaches to the window with suction cups, & I get to enjoy their comings and goings while at my kitchen sink. We still have quite a few of the Long Keeper tomatoes we grew this year. Though they’re not fresh picked, they are much better than anything you can get in the store. I look forward to reading everyone’s comments. Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-handmade-holiday-frugal.html

  5. We had a quiet Thanksgiving here at home, which is just how we liked it. On Friday I, too, hit Joanne’s. I purchased flannel to remake the collar and cuffs on three of my husband’s shirts. Each shirt would take 1/2 yard — so 90 cents to greatly extend the life of each shirt. I also picked up enough fabric to finish a queen-sized quilt for our bed — a project I will work on after the holidays, and a few odds and end for other projects. I took advantage of sales at another store to purchase a new coat for myself for $25. I was thrilled with this purchase. For the past two years I’ve been making do with one I found at a thrift store for $15 — a nice enough coat, but the sleeves were too short and my wrists were always cold. I washed that coat and donated it back to the thrift store.

    We ate the last of the chard and bok choy from the garden — I believe the snow we got the past two days has finished it off. We also ate lettuce from the greenhouse. I knitted mitts for a Christmas gift from some yarn a friend had given me. I made gift bags for wrapping gifts from some paper I have on hand. I also printed out a 2017 planner from templates offered for free online. We visited a nearby town on Small business Saturday to support a neighbor and friend who was having a showing at an art gallery. I purchased a small piece by her. We toured a few shops, but bought nothing else — nothing else even tempted us — we are not real ‘shoppers’.

    I’ve been listening to free audiobooks from the library while I sew and knit.

  6. Found some baby formula free through FB garage sale.
    Used a $10 off coupon when ordering for a Walmart grocery pick up order.
    I didn’t go out Black Friday shopping but got a couple of things on sale through amazon including three books for my son that I used a $10 off code to purchase. He will be so glad to get them for Christmas as they don’t have these three in the set he is reading at our library or the school library.
    I have looked over everything we have bought for our four children for Christmas. I was on the fence about whether I should buy a couple more things for each. Then I watched a video by Stacy Myers over at Humorous Homemaking about the three gift Christmas they do for their children. I thought long and hard about it and decided my children had plenty. Thankfully, mine and hubs siblings have agreed we would not buy for each other’s families and have convinced grandparents to only give each child one thing.
    Last year I bought Christmas fabrics on sale after Christmas and am using it to see up reusable cloth gift bags. I can use these every year and they make my wrapping so fast! As a bonus they are cute under the tree!
    We also put a sale sign on my husband’s truck and have had several bites already. He inherited his dad’s lower mileage truck a few months back and the sale of his older one will help pay down our minivan.

  7. CVS had a buy a $50 Kohls gift card get $15 ECBs back. Will use the gift card to shop tomorrow – Cyber Monday and get some gifts. Will go through EBATES for all my online shopping I will be doing. Will use the ECBs to roll over on different deals at CVS in the next few weeks. Got a smokin’ deal on welding equipment (helmet etc) DS wanted for Christmas. Candles and lotion on a great deal too for other gifts. Finished a scarf and almost finished with a crocheted wrap for gifts as well. Got 2 free jars of veggies on a store promotion. Made 2 crockpots of beef broth with bones I’ve been getting at the commissary. Saved a chicken carcass that will be broth eventually. Planned our menu for the week around items we have in the freezer. DH was able to do an online training for work – the pay from that time will cover our insurance since he is on short/long term disability and his pay is cut to about 50%.

  8. We were blessed by my family with some help to go visit them for Thanksgiving. We couldn’t go last year because of MAJOR health issues, and we had no income for six months of this year for the same reason. We were, and are, so, so, so, so grateful for the vacation!! While there, I made sausage/apple stuffing and roasted asparagus for Thanksgiving dinner. My daughter received three hand-me-down jackets from my sister-in-law. Woo hoo!! I also received a hand-me-down purse from my mom. Mom also gave me Xmas $$ to go to Walmart on Thanksgiving Day and pick up some very much needed sheets and towels. While there, we picked up a few Xmas gifts for our children, including two fleece tops, four pairs of p.j.’s, a pair of jeans, two undergarments, and a pair of men’s pajama bottoms (for hubby). The prices were very reasonable.

    We drove there and back, so I packed a cooler each way. My brother also gave us some venison to bring home with us, so we have that to look forward to. Our Xmas shopping is almost done – picking up a small layaway at Walmart tomorrow night, and then we just have to wrap. I’m so grateful for all the abundance in our lives!

  9. I found sensitivity toothpaste at the Dollar Tree this week. I Compared the ingredients to my name brand one and the active ingredients are the same and the same percentage!

    My husband had to get a new phone. I called Verizon and asked if they would waive the activation fee and they did! $40 saved!

  10. If you do Ibotta, there was a $5 Ibotta for a $15 Joann’s purchase on Black Friday. I got some flannel and a 18 mini loaf pan for $9.99, the latter which I did not need but love. :). I made chocolate banana bread mini loaves today, using up all the over ripe bananas I had frozen. I sent a few with my daughter back to college and froze a few. I did a better job of meal planning, which helps my grocery budget a lot. I also am working on some freezer meals to have ready after a surgery I have scheduled next month, which means we will eat better and healthier, while also saving money. I worked out my complete (I think!) Christmas budget and plan. I bought a gift card for a restaurant we like and regularly eat at to use myself, because you got a buy one get one free coupon for purchasing the gift card. I spent some time and thought on keeping my mental perspective healthy, because I struggle with depression when it’s dark so much of the day, and that can make me want to spend money to make myself feel better. I will have to continue working on that. It snowed today, which always sours my spirit, too. Snow this early is kind of worrisome – I hope it doesn’t mean we will have a snowy winter. (I know that many people love snow, and that’s awesome if you do. I hate it, period, 🙂 and we didn’t realize when we moved here that it snows as much as it does, so it’s a bummer.)

    For those who have to run water to heat it up, have you considered an instant hot circulation system? Our house came with one, so I have no idea how much they cost to install, so it may be crazy, but I love never wasting water, especially living in Arizona. I didn’t know these things existed until we bought this house.

  11. I walked into Michael’s to purchase an item for my daughters’ birthday and was surprised that they were giving away $10 gift cards to their first 50 customers of the day! I used it to purchase what I need and have a $4 balance for another day. I cashed in a coupon for a free bagel at another store and split it over coffee (at home) with my hubby. We have eaten all meals at home and did our usual–washing out ziplock bags to reuse, etc.

  12. Instead of putting my ten year old in camp for the week, we worked from home half days and at work half days. (Savings about $130).

    Made carrot soup, bean chili, and your rosemary olive oil bread. Found mushrooms on the discount rack at the store. Should have bought more. Made a big batch of coleslaw. Made a batch of fried rice to use up leftovers.

    Took a few Navy showers.

    Finished a few projects and gifts. An Afghan, two quilts (from 5-8 years ago). Several crocheted snowflakes and decorations. A lined pocketed tote bag.

    Parked on the street for today’s running group, instead of paying for parking in the lot. Went for a run on Thanksgiving in my neighborhood, instead of paying $30 for a race.

    When putting up the holiday tree, found a bin of my long missing pre pregnancy clothing (from 2012). Half of it is too small (shoulders and ribs got broader), but other half fits. Two items still with tags. It’s like going shopping but not! Rest will get donated.

  13. I have to admit that I am glad it’s going to be a normal week! I’m Mrs. Habitual and all this changed activity is upsetting my world! I didn’t even keep my normal list of frugalities. I’ll see what I remember…
    * Our Black Friday stop was Menards, as we combined it with some regular things needed. I managed to find some cold weather stuff for my brother for cheap. Ear warmer bands, gloves, thermal socks. He’s disabled and uses the bus so warm gear is a necessary.
    * We also found a cheap DVD player at Menard’s for $17 to replace ours that went kaput recently.
    * I desperately needed a few things at JoAnn’s, but I gave up. It was a zoo.
    * I found my MIL’s favorite treats on sale at Walgreen.
    * Aldi had butter for $1.89 lb. So I bought the limit of 6.
    * Aldi had good sales on several things we needed like sugar, eggs, brown sugar, & other baking items. I’ll tell you, our Aldi had loads of empty shelves. The employee I spoke with said they could hardly keep them stocked.
    * We had rain today so we drained about 10 gals. from the rain barrels.

    That’s all I can think of. Hurray for a normal week coming up!

  14. We looked into one when we had to replace our hot water heater, but it was a lot more money. In the summer it doesn’t take long to get hot (since the pipes go through the rafters) but in the winter it takes longer. Either way, I am collecting that water and using it in the garden, so it isn’t wasted at my house. 🙂

  15. I’m glad you were able to get some Black Friday deals on fabric, craft and baking supplies to use for gifts and throughout the year, Brandy. I’ve learned to plan ahead with my purchases from you. I’m very grateful for that lesson!

    This week has been quite busy for me. Between working, appointments and life in general, it just seems like I didn’t get much down time. I survived, though, so everything’s good. Here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Pulled more of the frozen summer fruits and made the last batches of jam I’m doing for this year. I canned 3 pints each of cherry jam, strawberry jam and strawberry rhubarb jam, plus some for sampling in the fridge. All my canning supplies are now packed away for the winter.
    *Meals made at home included chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, rice and carrots, beef stew with dumplings, chicken baked smothered in cheese soup with rice and broccoli, homemade cream of potato & bacon soup with homemade bread, leftovers night, and pasta with sausage and choice of red or white sauce.
    *Worked 2 days this week, which means a paycheck for me is in the works.
    *I took leftover sloppy joes from the previous week in my lunches both days I worked. It was quick and minimized food waste. I always take an insulated cup with ice water to drink.
    *This Sunday, I prepared a package of chocolate mousse pudding from the pantry and divided it into 5 reusable containers. These will be used this up-coming week in my daughter’s lunches.
    *Bought a combo box of 5 different crackers on sale at Costco for $6.99. Each of the different crackers would have been a minimum of $2/box on sale at a regular grocery store. Buying them this way saved me a minimum of $3 total.
    *Had a recheck appointment for my gastic bypass surgery in Toronto on friday. We used this opportunity to shop at Ikea, since we don’t have one in our area. My mother bought some inexpensive cutting boards and small bowls to replace ones that were worn or broken. They had great Black Friday buys on their stuffed animals, but my daughter is just too old for those now.
    *Only walked once around the neighbourhood for free exercise this week. Snow/cold weather, busy days and, well, outright exhaustion kept me from getting out more. Hope to do better this week.
    *We took advantage of some black Friday deals and bought some Christmas gifts. However, some of the gifts may be considered a frugal fail as we ended up buying ourselves and my daughter smart phones. Our current prepaid cellphones are about to become obsolete and my daughter is asking (begging actually) for a cellphone, so we took the plunge. As an added Black Friday bonus, we received $450 in Visa gift cards, which we plan on using to pay our monthly cellphone bill for the next few months. The idea of paying monthly contract fees for the next 2 years does bother me (until now, we were only buying $100 in minutes maybe once or twice a year for 2 pay per use phones), but I know we can budget for this. I’m just racking this up to the joys and costs of having a teenager. I hope these phones last a long time!
    *My mother, daughter and I went to see the movie “Fastastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for free at the movie theatre on Sunday morning. We signed up to see this special viewing through Autism Ontario (lights are left on low and volume is reduced). My daughter LOVED the movie, especially the different magical critters! My husband was disappointed he could not go, as he was working. So he watched it (or at least 1/2 of it as he fell asleep on the couch during viewing) at home through free streaming on Kodi Genesis.

    I have to say that every year I laugh when we watch the news on Black Friday. These sales are relatively new for Canada and have only been happening for about 2-3 years now. So every year there are news reports about Canada Black Friday shopping, showing large but calm crowds of shoppers taking advantage of these deals. Then they always follow with news reports of Black Friday in various places in the U.S. where people are rioting, breaking out in fist fights and other such violence. Every year I turn to my husband and say “Some day I want to go Black Friday shopping in the states, just so we can watch the chaos…it looks so entertaining!”. Anyways, I do get why many of you avoid shopping on this day. Hope you all have a great week!

  16. I grew Long Keepers years ago. 2 years ago, we saved some Romas (not sure what kind exactly) and they lasted well. I hope to be able to try it again this coming gardening season.

  17. We also have had a wild week around here. The children (my nieces and nephew and my kids) did not have school, so the week was filled with many activities, along with the Thanksgiving holiday. As an extended family, we continued the fun by going on an outing all day on Black Friday.

    In the midst of it all, we did manage to save some money along the way. For instance, we enjoyed turkey-rice soup, along with the rest of the nation:) I got 5 doz. eggs for $4.05–amazing! I put more on my blog. https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

  18. Love your centrepiece!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week!

    – Ate samosas for dinner that a colleague brought into work
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card
    – bought a bagel for lunch, and used cream cheese leftover from a work event to make my lunch
    – used my Starbucks card from Swagbucks for a treat
    – applied my gift card from Swagbucks to my Amazon account
    – made strawberry jam using strawberries from my freezer. I’ll use this as a mix-in for my homemade yoghurt
    – made my Christmas fruitcake. Now I’ll let it sit, and baste it periodically with rum, until Christmas is closer
    – made a Sherry Bundt cake, using some Almond Cream Sherry that was gifted to me a while ago and which the DH and I never drink. The cake did NOT turn out, but I managed to rescue it, by turning the ‘rind’ into cookie crumbs, and topping an apple crumble with it (saved me buying speculaas just for that). Cakewreck to recipe win! I also froze two bags of cake/cookie crumbs to turn into gingersnap-style cheesecake/pie crusts down the road
    – got two regular-sized containers of laundry detergent in the mail, as part of a product testing survey. I was pleased!
    -bought the remainder of my Christmas baking supplies on double sale at Bulk Barn. The ingredients were all on sale, plus I used a $3 off $10 coupon.
    – took a friend out for coffee using my Swagbucks Starbucks card
    – did some Christmas non-baking: made polar bears on sticks for kids (using leftover marshmallows from months ago for ears), chocolate-dipped oreos, candy cane bark, and peanut butter Ritz cracker sandwiches dipped in chocolate (way more delicious than the sum of its parts).
    – I baked macaroons for my dad’s birthday celebration. I ended up with half a can of condensed milk leftover, so I turned that into fudge, studded with cranberries and walnuts. One more item for my Christmas cookie tins done!
    – bought 20 lbs of beets and potatoes for 25 cents/lb
    – gave a telescope to my dad for his birthday. The cost to us? $0! It was actually a wedding gift from three years ago, but was never opened (the DH got a telescope, I got a crockpot which I use to make yoghurt. Or apple butter). And my dad loves astronomy, so win-win!

    Looking forward to hearing about everyone else’s accomplishments!

  19. After pulling all the useable meat from the turkey carcass, made a batch of stock. Was able to pull off even more bits of turkey after the boiling and added those to the stock. Then added potatoes, carrots, onions and green beans, all from items we grew and froze this past summer. It makes me feel so good to have all of those things come from our backyard. Weird, I know.

    Used the library instead of buying three books I wanted.

    Refreshed some holiday decorations, resisting t he urge to buy new ones.

    Someone offered me a 10% off groceries coupon to Safeway, so used it to buy all my Thanksgiving supplies plus some cupboard supplies. I had received $200 Safeway gift card for a birthday gift so used that to buy the groceries, and put the money I had budgeted for groceries into our emergency fund.

    Convinced my husband not to buy me anything for Christmas but to continue to give me the same gift he has for the last three years: He sets aside 12 hours of one day and during that time does only the chores I want him to do. It is not that he doesn’t normally work around the house, but he tends to focus on things he thinks are important so doesn’t quite get to things that are driving me nuts. Like last year he finally finished painting the ceiling of the kitchen and replacing a faucet and building a shelf…I look forward to January, when I cash in his gift and hand him a list of things he is to do that day. He cannot believe it gives me that much pleasure but it really makes me feel good to have little niggling things done and there is no nagging involved. Plus it is frugal! My birthday gift is similar—he spends 12 hours doing garden chores I need done. He does not like to garden but on the selected day he works without complaint on turning compost, rototilling and whatever else I want done.

    Took the 31 pumpkins in our garage and had a several day marathon of cooking and then freezing the pulp for future cooking and baking, making salted pumpkin seeds, and making pumpkin guts bread. The only thing I could not figure out a productive use for was the stems, so they went into the compost.

    Went to a potluck and was not too proud to accept a tray of leftover cheese and crackers—it was barely touched and it was a huge tray. Froze most of the cheese and ground the crackers up to use in meatloaf (they were not a variety either of us like). I was sort of amazed at how many people sniffed that they would not consider taking home “used” food. I politely waited to see if anyone else wanted it but in the end only I did. Free food? Yes, please.

    My sister, who travels for her job, gave me a bag of shampoos she collected over the last year while at various hotels. I put them all into a squeeze container, since I don’t care if they are mixed, and ended up filling a 32 ounce bottle!

    Had a peaceful Thanksgiving with friends, all of whom agreed in advance that we were not going to discuss politics or the recent election. Now, on to making a frugal Christmas!

  20. Thanks, Cindi. The low cut glass sherbets were inherited from my mother’s side of the family. They are not valuable, but the are precious to me, & they are very pretty with the gelatin in them. We think they add a lovely touch to the table for pennies.

  21. We didn’t eat Thanksgiving dinner this year. I’m American but don’t live in America and we don’t have many options. There are a few restaurants and hotels that serve a turkey dinner but it is expensive. We decided to skip it and just do a bigger Christmas.

    We put up the tree. Last year we found it on sale for $10 on Christmas day. I’ve been lucky enough to be gifted all the decorations. So a frugal win for us.

    I attended a free swap this month. I found a pair of sandals in my size. They are silver and will work for my formal dresses that I wear to weddings. My son found a big truck, some small toys, and a couple books. I also got 2 new sticks of deodorant.

    In my cabinet I found some gelatin a friend had given me. I love LUSH jelly soaps but I don’t like the price. I used ingredients on hand and an online recipe to make jelly soap.

    I used ingredients on hand to make body scrub.

    I bought some much needed winter boots online at a discount.

    Instead of buying more food I’ve decided to eat up what we have. I’ve made turkey soup from a frozen turkey neck. Turkey and Dumplings from turkey broth. Plus cooking the various frozen veggies I’ve got on hand.

    I made yogurt out of milk that was about to expire.

    I traded a character toy my son no longer interested in for some shower gel and lotion. I also traded some hotel shampoos and samples for some baby shampoo, baby lotion, and baby soap.

    I recently reconnected with an old friend and use a free texting app to text and talk instead of using spending money.

  22. I found a new-in-box All-American pressure cooker (21 1/2 quart model) at Goodwill today for $30. It had been sent to Sur la Table in Seattle. I assume it was an unwanted gift, but it seems like I just saved about $170 on a similar model. Excited to try crazy stuff like canning beans!

  23. Hi, Rosie. Have you ever made coffee in a French press? It is very easy, and results in absolutely delicious coffee. It is a little extra work to clean, but only requires hot water. I was thinking that might help solve your problem.
    Lisa

  24. I think you are talking about a tankless hot water system. We have one and love it. It does save money on our energy bill. It almost instantly warms up in our master bathroom. However it has a long way to go from the system in our basement to our kitchen so it takes a while for the hot water to reach us. So I put the water in pots while it warms up and use that water for different purposes during the day. How much they cost depends on what you buy. I have seen them on sale for $600. and up to $1000.+. Ours was and upgrade that cost us $963. when our house was built.

  25. Hello Brandy and everyone and hope you have all found lots of ways to save last week.

    Fabulous Brandy that you were able to pick up fabric and accessories for such good prices too !.

    Our frugal accomplishments are –
    – Haggled down the price of 2 new laptops and accessories saving $200.
    – Stood my ground with an Ebay seller on an $11.02 refund on 2 faulty solar lanterns I purchased.
    – Cleaned all interior and exterior house windows, TV and glass front photo fronts with saved flannelette rags from old sheets rather than using any paper towels.
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Used saved grey water & vegetable washing and steaming water to water the lawns and herb pot plants with.
    – Missed one scheduled garden watering due to rain.
    – Picked broccoli and strawberries from the gardens.

  26. Hello everyone! Last week for Thanksgiving we stayed home and my son, grandson, and mother came to visit. My mother, uncle, his girlfriend, and my aunt went out to a buffet for Thanksgiving but we did not go. A repair man came Tuesday to fix our oven ( hasn’t worked for months). We had waited 2 weeks for the part to come in 2 days before Thanksgiving only to be told “Oops, they sent the wrong part”. He is reordering the part but will take another 2 weeks. He dropped the $60 service/labor fee so now we just pay for the part. I borrowed my mom’s large electric meat roaster to cook the turkey in and made homemade bread in my bread machine since I couldn’t bake rolls. My mother in law had given us the turkey her and her boyfriend had gotten free for buying so many $$ of groceries. They went to Florida for 3 weeks to visit his family and gave us the turkey!

    Aldi had peanut butter for $1.49 for the “natural” type so I bought 4 jars to restock my pantry. I also bought milk for $1.08 per gallon for whole milk.

    I made the typical Thanksgiving meal, made a casserole the next day, made breakfast for dinner twice, made cheesy scalloped potatoes and ham (with sliced ham that was given to us), goulash, spaghetti, spaghetti noodles with stir fry veggies . We ate leftovers for lunch to use them up and I took leftovers with me to work for my lunch when I did work. My daughter was off from school most of the week so I didn’t have to pack her lunch bag. When I cooked pasta for the casserole I boiled the water, put in the pasta, covered the pot with a lid then turned the burner off and the heat cooked the pasta with no energy.

    I used my drying racks to hang dry all our clothing and linens. I did put the black clothing and towels on air fluff for 10 minutes after they were dry to remove animal hair and soften the towels (hubby hates stiff towels).

    I did not go out on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving night) to shop but my husband did to purchase our daughter’s Christmas gifts cheaply. I went through ebates and purchased 2 gifts from Amazon for my husband and daughter and received 7% back.

    I only filled the sink halfway when washing dishes, I used my dish pan to rinse. When I need to turn on the water I do not turn the handle all the way, I only turn it on just enough for my needs so water isn’t wasted down the drain.

    I washed and reused baggies and jars. I saved a couple twisty ties and a bag that I had gotten in the mail with a sample.

    I agreed to do two surveys using an actual product last week. So this week I received two bottles of laundry soap (marked “Use 1st” and “Use 2nd”) and will be required to fill out a survey about it and a full sized stick of women’s deodorant that I will also be required to complete a survey.

    The laundry soap box came lined with several sheets of bubble wrap (with the large bubbles). We have a door in the house that goes to the breezeway that connects to the garage. There is a large gap in the corner of that door. For the last two winters I have tried to put towel rolls or rolled up and taped to the spot plastic bags to keep the air out but our cat pees on anything over there. His litter box is right there. SO I took the bubble wrap, folded it in half and taped it to the other side ( the breezeway side) of the door! Works fantastic, I can tell a HUGE difference in less cold air coming in, and the cat CANNOT pee on it! 🙂 I also have a window in the kitchen with a very slight gap between the moveable glass pane and the frame. I stuffed a thick plastic bag in the gap and no cold air coming in. This spot is hidden so even on the rare occasion we have company no one can see it anyways. We also have thick quilts and blankets over the bedroom windows to keep out cold air.

    I started making a Christmas present with fabric I had on hand.

    I was able to pay $42 extra dollars on my car payment.

    I used plastic bins I already had, that I my husband had found on a curb awhile ago, to organize my stockpile better.

    I ordered the free 8 x 10 from Walgreens for a present for my hubby.

    That’s all I can think of. I hope everyone has a great week!

  27. I didn’t have any pants left that were in good enough shape to wear to my part-time job. I re-hemmed one pair that had frayed from wearing with flat shoes instead of heels, replaced a missing button, and sewed up a side-seam that had split (a thread problem rather than a size problem!). I also ordered another pair on Black Friday at 40% off.

    I paid off a small loan a month earlier than planned. This will save me interest and leave me with one less bill each month.

    I bought a large bottle of Advil at 20% off, to keep arthritis pain under control. This is half the price of what I spent when I bought small bottles as needed. Stocking up on basics on sale is leaving me more cash to take advantage of these bulk purchases.

    I bought two kinds of lettuce and radishes and pre-made a bag of salad. I roasted two whole chicken breasts in the bone and diced the meat, half into the freezer, half in the fridge. This is to add protein to the salad. Healthy lunches are super-easy for a few days, anyway.

    I had to drive to the next town over and to the city to do errands. The next town over is the same distance from the city as where I live. I combined both trips on the same day (my town, the other town, the city, back to my town), which saved me gas and half an hour of driving. It was a long day, though.

  28. My son needed a new battery and a reconditioned alternator and an oil change so I paid $200 for all of that. He had just spent $500 on fixing other parts of his car, was broke after paying for car and his monthly expenses, and his car would not start. He has to work, I had the cash, and that is the reason I try to be frugal, to help family. The good thing is that it is a reconditioned alternator so he saved a good bit of cash on that. He also noticed I had a bad tire, so I bought a refurbished tire for $35. I travel on bad back country roads, with little cell phone service, to work, so I am grateful to have the tire replaced. That was my Black Friday “shopping”….lol. I did the usual making the holiday meal (turkey was 59 cents a lb at Publix), have made turkey salad for leftovers for lunch at work, etc., enjoyed a walk in the park by the river (our fall colors are just now starting to show, and I enjoyed the golds, and the reds of the trees). I enjoyed bluegrass music on public radio Saturday night, and old timey gospel music on the car radio on the way to church on Sunday. The Stake counsel member assigned to our little branch church gave an excellent talk. I also enjoyed a nap….lol

  29. Instead of the usual $120+ I spend on Thanksgiving food, I spent less than $30 by using a turkey I already had in my freezer, buying a boneless ham on sale and used OYNO cash, used my home canned cherry and apple pie fillings to make pies and my home canned pineapples and bulk cashews from our pantry to make our cream cheese salad.

    I baked two loaves of our 9 grain flax whole wheat bread for sandwiches. It only takes an hour from the time I start grinding the wheat until the 2 loaves come out of the oven and it’s so light and delicious!

    I made a crockpot full of white chicken chili using some beans I had canned and pre cooked chicken chunks from freezer and fresh hot peppers from my garden. We fed 8 of us and still have leftovers for lunch/dinner! It was delicious!

    We cleaned out and reorganized our freezers! All freezer meals and “convenience” foods (pre cooked meats,etc) are now in totes in the upstairs chest freezer for easier access. This has really streamlined meal prep time!!

    I saved money over the holiday by not going out shopping on Black Friday! I did pick up 3 presents from Amazon on Friday that were over 70% off for three of my daughters. Have just finished the next lap quilt for one of my teenage granddaughters for Christmas! Just 2 more of those to go!!

    Bought a dozen pineapples for 99 cents each and will cut those into chunks and can them to replenish my stock of pineapple chunks in the pantry!
    Ran out of brown sugar as I was making and canning teriyaki sauce, so I made up 5 more pounds of it with my mixer! So easy and so tasty!!
    Got another $12 in pine one surveys and deposited it into the bank to pay down medical bills!

    Did all the usual- reusing ziplocs, making brown bag lunches and snacks, using up leftovers, etc!

    All n all, another good week!!

  30. Great score on those Black Friday deals! I wasn’t brave enough to venture into a store, but I did manage to take advantage of a few sales.

    This week:

    1. We got free couches from my dad. We needed more seating in our living room but didn’t have the budget for new couches. My dad let us take his sofa and love seat–for free!

    2. We adopted a kitten this weekend. His adoption fee was paid for by a corporate sponsor, but we did donate $40 to the shelter for taking such good care of him. They also gave us a free bag of cat food and tons of coupons for his little kitty accessories. He’s my new little buddy and I am so happy!

    3. I purchased a KitchenAid mixer on sale. I got the total cost down to $220 after a mail-in rebate, which I’ll be sending off today. I’ve always wanted one of these and I was thrilled to get it a little cheaper than usual.

    4. We ate Thanksgiving leftovers at my sister’s house instead of going out to eat.

  31. We were invited to a friend’s home for thanksgiving, so I cooked a turkey the day before, and we sliced it up and froze most, including the carcass. The carcass is now thawing out and will be out into the crock pot today to make soup for the week. I love thanksgiving! Otherwise, we mostly ate at home. I have never gone shopping on Black Friday, this year I got a sale email from apple and it turned into me researching all the sales and buying a new iPad for myself that day. My old iPad was no longer supported by apple and kept crashing, so the past six months I had been nursing it along. I just didn’t want to buy a new one when my old one still worked…plus the new one isn’t much of an improvement over the old one….I am giving my old iPad to a friend with grandkids that can use it. In the old days of foolishness, I would have bought an iPad Pro because it was the fastest and best, now I realize that I don’t need it and the pro will be obsolete just as quickly as the regular iPad, so I didn’t spend $600, I spent $275. Better to learn that lesson at age 60 than not at all 😉

    I have made a list of December things to do, including lots of things to sell or give away. While we might not get it all done, it looks impressive and will add a nice bit of cash to our emergency fund. Once I put dollars next to the tasks, it was a lot more inspiring 😉

  32. Spent some time this past weekend decorating for Christmas. To keep things frugal, I changed up my decorations by using what I had instead of buying new.

    I had problems with two strings of led lights. Managed to get one string working but finally had to buy one set. I’d like to have a small green wreath for the kitchen but I will try to “create” one instead of buying.

    The job I thought I had has not come through yet so I’m trying to be very cautious about unnecessary spending.

  33. My husband and I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with my mother (1400 miles away) because she lost my dad in July. By flying out of Denver (450 miles away), our airfares were about $800 less than flying from a closer airport (100 miles away). We drove to the Denver area and visited DD and her family, spending the night. I packed my lunch for the drive and used the microwave at the gas station, where we bought gas at the half way point, to heat sweet potatoes and chai latte. I made gluten free cookies – no bake chocolate with oatmeal and peanut butter, and crushed peppermint candy – for DSIL. I also brought transparent apples from a co-worker’s backyard. Inspired by this blog, I made caramel dip – cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla – for the apples.

    We flew Frontier, so we each managed to pack our clothes and toiletries for 4 days in a “personal item” bag, rather than pay to bring a carry-on bag or a checked bag. I packed a lunch for the airport too – fruit and a sandwich -, a water bottle, and peanuts for a snack. I bought one chai latte (one of my few indulgences) from Starbucks with a gift card from E-Rewards (online survey site). There is an Aldi near my mom’s apartment. I enjoyed buying cranberries – 12 oz. for 79 cents – for a Bar Harbor Cranberry Pie- I contributed to the Thanksgiving dinner at my brother’s house. I also bought pecans and a few very inexpensive spices to take home where there is – sigh!- no Aldi. I also packed a sandwich for the return trip through the airport. We stopped on the drive back for a leg stretcher at a mall in a smaller town. It wasn’t too crazy, though I did spend $10 at JCPenney for a parka (regular $72) since I had a coupon for $10 and it was on sale as a door buster.

  34. What a beautiful table setting. There’s something so special about sitting down to a holiday meal with decorations that makes it pure magic! The mini pumpkins are my favorite.

    Black Friday is my biggest shopping week of the entire year. I actually went out on Thursday morning and came home with so much stuff, it was unreal. I focused only on CVS and Rite Aid. At CVS, I got 18 items for less than $5.00. I rolled transactions and used store bucks, which made it super cheap. At Rite Aid, it cost more because you can’t roll, but I did get 17 items, also freebies after points. For all of the above, which included expensive items like razors, makeup, light bulbs, snacks, drinks, batteries, candy, and much more, I paid less than $20.00 total! All of the details can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-black-friday-edition/

  35. No, American Dreamer, I’m talking about something different. We have a regular hot water heater and another gadget that recirculates the hot water through the pipes so the water is hot almost as soon as you turn the tap on. There is some talk about the loss of heat, but the way our house is set up, we don’t seem to. I turned if off for a while, to see if my electricity usage went down, but it seems to have minimal effect here at our house on that. So at least at our house, it seems to be a win/win, but I don’t know enough about it to say what it would be like for others.

    Brandy, I just had shoulder surgery, so I know I couldn’t capture and move water if I needed to, yet :). I had no idea how much it cost, but I wonder about it every time I see people talk about collecting the water.

  36. I’m happy for you…and a little jealous! I have been waiting to find a pressure canner at a thrift store for 2 years but never have. Just yesterday I bought the All American model 921 thru Amazon. Including the extended warranty, I spent over $200.00. I felt like I had waited long enough.

    So, very happy someone was blessed by one. I guess people in my area keep their canners forever! I’m glad we finally purchased one. It will give me a piece of mind as the garden I see coming in next summer. Congrats on the awesome find!!

  37. I so loved CVS at our other home. We only have Walgreens and that’s an hour in two different directions. I swear, if we ever move again, i’m looking for a house that’s close to great shopping; who cares about yard size and water bills?? 😀

  38. I actually didn’t do any black Friday shopping this year. I did go online for cyber Monday shopping. Watched how my little guy played with his Legos and what was “missing.” He is getting some windows and doors for his buildings and vehicles. With free shipping is far cheaper than another kit that will be dismantled!
    I did “splurge” and buy swimwear online for my little guy for birthday/christmas week. Even that was with discount/free shipping.
    Stocked up on some baking supplies. We’ll bake with kids once we are back to healthy.

  39. This year, everyone contributed to Thanksgiving. First time we ever did a pot luck – it worked out well. I contributed the vegetables – and was able to find enough fresh/frozen to serve 10 with leftovers for about $6 shopping at the scratch and dent.

    The mister and I wanted to stop over at his family’s gathering later that day. I always try to bring a hostess gift – usually cut flowers from my garden. I knew the host loves cranberry/orange bread so I looked up a bread machine recipe. The closest I could find that had ingredients I had on hand (this was the 11th hour) I still was short – recipe called for a 1/4 cup of orange juice. I had 2 sad oranges in the fridge that generated about an 1/8 of a cup, so I grated orange rind (they both looked good on the outside) and hoped for the best. It turned out delicious. I wrote down what I did for the future.

    I mended some cashmere and wool sweaters and was paid for it. I wish I could put Sweater Mender on my resume.

    Have a wonderful week!

  40. Greetings!
    My lemon tree is still doing well, even while shedding the occasional leaves. I have 5 lemons in some stage of growth but nothing is turning yellow yet. I can’t wait to pull the first one!
    *Our Thanksgiving was quiet, just the two of us. We heard from all three of our children.
    *I made kefir out of milk that was reduced. It’s from a local dairy that leaves the cream and bottles in glass.
    *Made sourdough bread. It took three days but it turned out fabulously!!! I’ve made this recipe before and it was okay, but this time was much better. I like my sourdough as sour as i can get it. I hope to replicate this success every time i make it, from now on…
    *Made pumpkin scones; so good! Just like candy!
    *Worked two extra days this week so little spending. I did go shopping for a few little things on Sat. My Christmas gift list is done except for one gift card. And i need to get two/three gifts for birthdays.
    *Sold two items on ebay. I love selling old, previously loved stuff there.
    *Saved more water from the shower; turned the heat down after my husband left for work; ate most meals at home, unless my husband paid:D, etc….
    Wishing you a wonderful week! I’m off to click through everyones links.

  41. My husband is an electrician and does side jobs. He just installed a hot water booster thingy in a lady’s house, he was so impressed he wants to install one in the next house we purchase(our is under contract right now). It mounts on the sink right next to the sprayer and you have hot water on demand. It does seem like a nifty gadget to have without having to do any major replumbing or rewriting

  42. Cindi, how do you find flannel that matches the shirts your husband already has? Unless you do like I do. I just take the good portions of otherwise worn our shirts (plaid flannel) to mend the worn portions on otherwise still wearable shirts. He doesn’t care if the plaids don’t match.

  43. When we moved here where we now live, we were surprised about the fact how much water affects the coffee. Water is very hard here and after trial and error, we have landed on the habit of using only instant coffee. I get thermos full of hot water in the morning, and it usually lasts the whole day. Nothing gets wasted.

  44. We had cooperative Thanksgiving again this year, for about the 4th year. I made two pies from cooked squash that had been leftover and frozen, plus 2 side dishes, all from scratch and using mostly what I had on hand. My grown kids contributed the rest from their homes.
    I went Black Friday shopping to get the last presents I needed to purchase for Christmas. It seems the crazy shopping is now in the middle of the night around here, so I go early Friday morning and simply sail right through the shopping, easy-peasy. I saved half price on several items, and yes, I went to JoAnn’s too and picked up some fabric for a final present.
    We are using the leftovers that were sent home with us. I wrapped and gave Christmas gifts to relatives who were visiting, to save on postage. Several of them were homemade, like jellies, so that saved money too.
    We didn’t buy any Thanksgiving decorations, table wares, candies, or specialty foods. I love Brandy’s table, and it’s what we do at our home — use the things we have, enhanced with what we can find from the yard.

  45. I got an idea what to do with left-over gf crepes. Gf crepes get hard once they cool, and on the next day they looked really sad. I happened to have left-over milk gravy, too. So I used the crepes as pasta sheets to make lasagna and gravy instead of bechamel sauce. I threw in couple slices of cheese and some tomato paste I seasoned with dried herbs. It turned out very well!

  46. I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving!

    My husband received an award from work last week. His company gives them out every year but this is the first time in the 5 years he has worked there that he received one. The award is a 2-night, 3-day stay in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, one free show, and $400. After being off work for nearly 7 weeks, this was certainly a pleasant surprise. We haven’t had any kind of real vacation together in years so this will be such a wonderful getaway for us next year. And, it is so appreciated that his company recognizes the hard work he has put into his job. He is a supervisor of a small crew of people and has a very labor-intensive job.

    My daughter gave me a haircut.

    I washed my zip-top baggies, large and small, and a couple of small jars for reuse.

    We cooked all our meals at home. On Friday night we babysat for our two granddaughters. They helped Papa and me put up the Christmas tree and decorations. They were a big help (they are 6 and 7 years old).

    I made turkey broth and soup from the bones of our turkey. Since I had a 4-day weekend I also got some bulk cooking done for the freezer. I made several baggies full of fruit and veggies for our morning smoothies and lentil soup. I also made baked potato soup for dinner on Sunday. Since we eat salad almost everyday for lunch I washed all the lettuce to make it easier.

  47. Pixie Faire has a free pattern each Fri. I found about it here. Signup for the emails. You have to add to cart and “purchase” each Fri, but they are nice doll patterns. There are some simple freebies in their pattern section. You download a pdf file to your PC.

  48. I have never heard of pumpkin guts bread. I tried once yrs ago to make puree. It didn’t workout well. Must try again. I’ll have to check YouTube videos.

  49. Your story about Black Friday is funny. We live along the Canadian border in Maine so we have a few Canadian TV stations on our cable system. My daughter was just commenting this weekend about the difference between the 2 countries on Black Friday. She could not beleive how nice and calm everyone was on your side.

  50. another way to use your frozen cheese is to use it in homemade macaroni & cheese. It does not matter if the cheese is different varieties.

  51. I love your husbands gift to you!! My adult son also gave me the gift of “hard labor” several years in a row for Christmas and Mother’s Day – digging a drainage ditch, turning over the sod for a new garden bed, detailing my car several times….

  52. Athanasia, a French press is not the same as pour over. French press is usually a cylindrical pot w/ a pour spout and a plunger that you push to keep the grounds down and out of the water. Pour over is where you have a cone-shaped holder for the filter and slowly pour the coffee over the grounds as it drips into a carafe/coffee pot. There are devotees of both. After years of using a cheap pour over Melitta filter, we broke down (Cyber Monday 2015) and bought a Chemex pot. Rather than use paper filters, we waited until we could get a great deal on a reusable filter. (Unless things have changed, the only one designed for the Chemex is the Kone by Able Brewing.) Personally, I like the pour over best and think it makes delicious full-bodied coffee. Though not the least expensive to purchase, it’s a lot less expensive than most good coffee makers. Also the only energy used is to boil the water (same as for French press). Both are about as low-tech as you can get, which is just as I like it!

  53. Mable, I like your and your husband’s presents to each other. The gift of service to others is wonderful, for the giver and the receiver. We do a lot of home made coupons in our family. I give everyone a coupon for a pie of their choice…family, friends and co-workers. I do the same thing every year but Levi and the kids like to mix it up.

  54. Sounds like a recirculating pump that attaches to the water heater. We replaced ours earlier this year for around $250. The best thing ever!

  55. Cathy, thanks for the explanation of the coffee systems. We’ve always used a percolater. We have an 8 cup electric that we received as a wedding present and its starting to wear out. We as also have a 4 cup stove top percolater that we use for camping or on the woodstove. When we have get-togethers I have a 20 cup percolater that was my parents. My husband has a keurig we were given that he uses in the shop . It uses a reusable filter. So would there be a pour over one that could replace our wearing out 8cup? Thanks.

  56. Wow, I am impressed by everyone’s accomplishments!
    – I suppose it wasn’t the most frugal thing, but I got most of my Christmas shopping done during the Black Friday deals. This included splitting a TV with my BIL and SIL for our in laws, kitchen things for my parents and brother, and maternity clothes for my SIL. I also bought my secret santa gift for work on sale with a coupon. Most of the purchases were at Kohls and when I redeemed my Kohls cash, I also bought a few outfits for my niece or nephew who will be arriving in the spring (tried to buy gender neutral).
    – stayed with my in laws Thurs-Sun and out the heat really low at home while we were gone
    – had to work on Friday and one of my bosses bought lunch, so I ate the lu ch I had brought yesterday instead
    – used and washed cloth diapers
    – worked out at home to stay healthy
    – tried to remember to run swagbucks in the background on my iPad at work
    – politely dropped out of the gift swap at both big family get together this year…my son won’t remember and honestly, my aunts blow the suggested limit out of the water making my smaller gifts kind of embarrassing. Last year, I bought my littlest cousin a beautiful art kit and sketchpad like he wanted…my aunt bought his twin a gameboy and felt bad for him so bought him one too. There went the appreciation for the art kit!
    – went grocery shopping yesterday and used ibotta and coupons to try to save a bit.
    – packed lunches for my husband, son, and I
    – continuing to brainstorm for a good gift for my husband….
    – can’t even believe it- I got a refund check from the delivery of my son….19 months ago! Say whaaaat?!

  57. I stayed home on Black Friday so that definitely saved me money. I have two more paychecks until Christmas. My son wants a new video game for his XBox One…and he has taken a liking to my Tempurpedic pillow so I think I’ll use a 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath and Beyond to get him one of his very own.

    I got several magazines in the mail free from RecycleBank and the Verizon Smart Rewards program! I love magazines. Love to read. I get all my favorites and then some! I’ve even used the Recyclebank rewards to gift magazine Subscriptions to my relatives.

  58. This week we saved by way of getting sick! It was not funny in the moment when both my husband and I had the stomach bug (while caring for baby and our three year old), but we’re grateful to have the pantry stash that we do and for wonderful friends and family who helped out. We also saved by not traveling, which was kind of sad not to see family, but certainly made things easier as we recuperated.

    I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! Please stop by my blog and check out our other weekly accomplishments.

    http://liveandsave.blogspot.com/2016/11/frugal-accomplishments_29.html?_sm_au_=isVHp2v5P2k4rMtL

  59. My biggest frugal accomplishment this month is qualifying for 401k plan earlier than I expected. This will enable me to save up more and pay less in taxes this year 🙂

  60. My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    *We went to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. My mom likes to prepare the turkey, but I was able to give her one from our freezer. We bought it after Thanksgiving last year and were a little nervous about how it would turn it out being a year old; however, it was moist and tasty! I’m sure my mom’s cooking skills helped with that too. 🙂 I made two pies with ingredients I had at home except for sweet potatoes. Many of the side dishes also included ingredients from our gardens this year.
    *In October, for Pastor Appreciation Month, our congregation blessed us with a monetary gift. We decided to use it for gifts and a few household needs. The items I will be listing below that we shopped for this week during Black Friday and weekend sales all came out of this money:
    *I was able to get 25 free Christmas photo cards through Amazon Prime. This included free shipping. I also found a code through Shutterfly for 10 free photo cards and ordered some through that website. This did not include free shipping. I used a family photo (professional quality) taken by a friend this fall. In total, I spent $6.35 for 35 Christmas photo cards!
    *I ordered the free 8×10 photo through Walgreens.
    *I used the $10 off $25 in books coupon code at Amazon to buy two books for the family that were on my wishlist for a while as well as a book for my son to give as a Christmas gift.
    *I used a $10 promotional gift as well as a $30 gift card from Kohls to buy 4 pairs of pants for my sons.
    *We bought new towels, hand towels, and washcloths at Meijer for a very good price. We have family coming to stay with us and new we needed more towels and sheets. We planned on looking during this past weekend knowing that there would be sales on these items. We did not find any sheets that we liked for the price we wanted to pay. I will have to do some more looking at sales or take a trip to the thrift store.

    *We bought some Christmas gifts for our sons and nieces utilizing the sales.
    *My father-in-law likes to go “junking” and find useful and like new items. He found for me a tomato strainer that looks like it was never used, many pretty necklaces, and a couple pairs of sunglasses.
    *We enjoyed a family night playing a new card game a friend taught us. $0 cost but lots of fun!
    *As a thank you for helping him move, a friend filled up our gas tank. We also used $.30 off from a store loyalty card to fill up the other car and a gas can. My brother-in-law uses our card number to help us get enough points to get cents off our gas.
    *I selected a dish to keep out of some items a friend was getting rid of. I plan to repurpose it by painting it and adding to my living room decor.
    *We put up our new pre-lit Christmas tree that we bought last year after Christmas for $20.

  61. Becky, it sounds like you all had a wonderful time over Thanksgiving. A train ride would be on my list too! I love riding on the train. I even enjoy waiting at the crossing and watching the cars as they go by. It sounds like your life is all back to normal for you…husband at work, schooling, a cozy home. I am happy for you all.

  62. What a lovely table setting! Your floral arrangements and decor always look so luxurious.

    Things have been hectic around here the last couple of weeks (it’s the holiday season!), so I’ve not been good at writing things down. Still, here are a few things we’ve done over the past two weeks.

    * Canned over 30 half-pints of apple butter (some will be used for Christmas gifts; some we’ll use as a family).

    * Made four quarts of yogurt and several loaves of bread.

    * Combined sales and coupons for some needed items, including a couple of pairs of jeans for me. I don’t have the shopping acumen to get the deals that Brandy does, but some savings is better than none.

    * Combined errands to save on gasoline.

    * Made veggie soup with ingredients (including homemade veggie stock) from the freezer and pantry.

    * Remembered to take reusable bags to stores, saving 10-15 cents per bag. (It doesn’t seem like much, but that can add up quickly at the grocery store.)

    * Took advantage of sales to stock up on chicken broth and olives. The Thanksgiving sales at the stores were cheaper per ounce than the prices at Sam’s Club.

    * Made homemade gingerbread to take to our neighbors’ Thanksgiving celebration.

    * Signed up for Ebates. Hopefully we’re using the site correctly. 🙂

    * Listened to Christmas music via CDs we’ve collected over the past 30 years.

    * Took advantage of the “Shop Small” sales to purchase some flowers for the front yard re-do.

    * Hubs trimmed one of our trees and then mulched up the trimmings for the front yard as well. It’s starting to look better.

    That’s all I can remember for now.

    Have a great week everyone!

  63. I am glad your frugality was able to help your son when he needed it.

    We too enjoy listening to a bluegrass show on our public radio. I don’t think I know of a gospel one. We also like listening to the old time radio shows and to Unshackled.

  64. My daughter and I have been working together to make sure we both have a frugal Christmas. Our tradition is to do some Black Friday shopping. We always start with a stop at Starbucks for coffee. She saved her coupons/gift certificates so we both got our coffees for free! We needed one expensive gift and luckily found it at Pier I Imports where I had a gift certificate which paid for the expensive item and also paid for a generic gift my daughter needed to take to her husband’s family Christmas gathering. Another of our traditions is our town’s Christmas tree lighting. We always attend that and then the family goes out to dinner. My daughter was awarded a dinner certificate for being teacher of the year and she saved it to use for this tradition. She also bought all our gift wrapping supplies at the after Christmas sales last year so that was very little cost. We went to Rite Aid on Black Friday and got some good deals. We purchased a couple toys/games of good quality for $5 each and some nice quality tins of cookies for less than $2. At Lowe’s we got poinsettia plants for .99 cents each. They were very nice quality as well. I bought 3 for myself and put them in a wire container I already had and they sit in a corner of my kitchen and look very impressive and expensive but only cost me $3. They are the only Christmas decoration I will purchase this year. I also made many of my gifts this year. I made a pillow with black fabric and then stenciled a design with white on the front. It turned out very classic looking and will go well with my daughter and son in law’s bedroom décor. I then made a girly pillow out of pink and green very soft cotton flannel fabric. I added a double ruffle on the ends. This took more time but looks awesome. It is for a young woman with Down’s Syndrome and she likes soft textures so I hope it pleases her. I have enough fabric left to make her a lap blanket to match. I found the most inexpensive way for me to purchase fabric is Goodwill. The fabric for the pillow and blanket was $5. The black fabric I already had. I also found a pillow form brand new still in the package for $3 at Goodwill- this is the large square size which goes for $15-20 at Hobby Lobby. I am so grateful to have an adult daughter that shares my passion for making things nice while staying on a tight budget. It is fun working together.

  65. Mrs. PP, congratulations on your new kitty. And on the KitchenAid…that is a wonderful mixer. Mine has been going great for 29 years, never a problem. I use it to mix bread 1-2 times every week plus all the assorted other things like cookies and cakes. The only attachment I have is the cheese grater.

  66. Yes, you did well!. That caramel apple dip is the best, isn’t it and no preservatives or other stuff like the store bought container.

  67. TJL, I never can figure out how you do all the deals. I know you say for free but somewhere you must have spent money to earn the points or bucks or whatever.

  68. Hi Everyone!

    We’ve been recovering from colds here and many holiday projects. We ended up replacing our back door on black Friday as the glass cracked in the 60 some year old door. Luckily, my husband was able to salvage the hardware from the old door and replace it in the new door saving a bunch of money.

    I received a free turkey from my aunt as she received it as a reward for store points. She keeps a kosher home and was unable to use it, so we were happy to have it! I cooked all our meals at home, made homemade laundry detergent ad did some mending. We also received three cream legbar chickens (they lay bright blue eggs) as a replacement for the girls we lost. I’m so excited to see the eggs when they start laying.

    i’ve also started an embroidery project using some linen. I downloaded a free tulip letter on the web, enlarged it and transferred it to some linen in my stash. I’m only doing an outline. however, i had to buy a magnifying lense (the kind you use around your neck) to keep my stitches neat. My 47 year old eyes are not so good for fine work. But i was able to use an Amazon rebate to get it for free 😀

    It is the beginning of Advent here and so I’ve enjoyed driving around to see the lights. Our hometown has some special Christmas traditions. You can read about it here: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2016/11/exploring-moravian-christmas-traditions/

  69. Thank you. My autistic niece LOVES trains of all sorts–so this outing was chosen with her in mind. I will say, we ALL enjoyed it very much.

    I am feeling much more settled, but there are still some areas that need to calm down in my life:) There is still a large stack of bins that I must either empty and find a place for the items in an already full house, or donate them. I’m trying to do a few each week. I’m adjusting to the difference between our summer of living in a camper (very small space, very little to clean, very free feeling) to having a cozy home (larger space, more to clean, and tons of responsibilities). So, I’m very happy to be settling down, but will always have a nostalgic feeling for the freedom of the summer. I’m especially thankful for the cozy house in the rainy weather we have had–way over the average for the month! Homeschool is going so much better this year. Last year was pretty hard. I’m so glad things are settling.

  70. Rhonda,

    It’s funny how the news stories always seek out the trouble to tell us.

    I found the roads, stores and parking lots to be much emptier than usual and the lines shorter. People at the fabric store were buying much less than in past years; I only saw 2 people with full carts waiting for the cutting table; other years every cart is packed with bolts of fabric waiting to be cut.

    I wondered if people were doing more online shopping, or if they were just not doing as much shopping at all. I wonder how retailers will report earnings for the fourth quarter, but if what I saw is any indication, sales will be down.

    Of course, this could just be here; the public schools decided to do something different this year and give the whole week of Thanksgiving off for the first time, and people could have used that opportunity to go out of town.

    I’ve seen long lines before, but never fighting. In general, everyone was happy to be out shopping despite their lack of sleep at starting so early. In the past, I’ve heard people talk about how much fun they were having while in line; they went to one store at midnight and another at 2 a.m., and another that opened at 3, and they were delighted to get all the deals they wanted.

    I think the fighting comes when retailers send out hundreds of ads showing great deals–and then they only have 6 items at that price. People are disappointed. The retailers could certainly choose to have more items available to consumers if they wanted to. Even if “while supplies last” meant the huge retailers had 100 of an item, it would be a more reasonable situation.

  71. I bought a sewing machine on a Black Friday sale, and I am hoping to really learn how to use it this year. My first goal, after figuring out how to set it up, will be sewing on some Daisy Girl Scout patches for my daughter. My aunt is donating some fabric scraps so I can practice first.

  72. Jamie, what great ideas for inexpensive gifts that aren’t the usual body wash, candles,…. I have pinned that for future reference not only for holidays but birthdays too!

  73. I think the news covers the extremes. To be candid, I do not shop on Thanksgiving. I believe everyone should be able to celebrate with their families for what we have already to be thankful for. Spoke with a clerk on Friday a.m. (no crowds at Walmart or Target, as they were open on Thanksgiving) who said it seems like some retailers are backing off the Thanksgiving Day sales. Let’s hope.

    Anyway, back to the extremes. I have done Black Friday shopping for 10 years and only once have I seen an altercation (it was over a VCR…yes it has been awhile). Mostly it is groups of women or families waiting patiently in lines, talking, perhaps drinking coffee and often wearing Santa hats and holiday sweaters. There is a comradery at that time of the morning! I’d love to visit Canada on Black Friday to see how you handle Black Friday. 🙂

  74. Just out of curiosity, why do you fill up the gas can? Is it a kind of prepping or a price thing or something else? Wondering if we should tweak our routine!

  75. To be honest, Canadians usually don’t see the “huge savings” that Americans get in their retail stores. We often get screwed over, to be honest. However, since your money is worth more now, you might find the sale prices really good. I didn’t hit the stores when they first opened, but I here some had long lineups for some of the advertised items. No fights usually…Canadians are to busy apologizing for everything, their fault or not (which is totally the truth…if someone bumped into me, I would apologize for being in their way all while they were apologizing to me for bumping into me)…but lots of comradery like you said. Our stores don’t open as early as yours do either. I’ve never heard of a store opening at midnight, unless it is normally open 24 hrs which mostly only exist in bigger cities like Toronto. Really, it’s just new for us, so everyone is excited about the possibility of good buys.

  76. I do realize that these stories are more the exception than the rule. I just really have a hard time imagining something like that happening here at all, though. If it did, it would probably make national news and everyone would be seriously shocked and appalled at such behaviour.

  77. It is the Gaiter Homecoming show that is broadcast on our local radio on Sunday mornings from 6 until 9 a.m. I think it is prerecorded. I am not sure what station it would be on for the internet but there is probably one. There are also other local religious radio stations around here that play old timey gospel on Sunday morning.

  78. We also fill our gas can when we fill up our vehicle, for several reasons. We have a lot of hilly property and my husband is older than I am and needs a riding gas mower; we have a back-up generator in case the furnace breaks down (which is really a necessity if you live in northern Alaska or any area with unpredictable weather); since we use supermarket points to lower our gas price we have a limit of 25 gallons so if we have any leftover gallons we fill a gas can so we get the most for our money. Just this morning we filled our tank and had a dollar off a gallon. Usually it is more like 50 cents, so if we fill the gas if we get low but still have not accumulated a lot of points we use up the gas can contents—that way we use our one dollar off gas reward to the max before we have to buy gas that is more expensive because we’ve only earned enough points to pay 50 or 60 cents a gallon less. Every penny helps. (And we have two gas cans so really do make the best use of cheaper gas.)

  79. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, large or small, near or far. Brandy, your table looks lovely. Your new chairs look very nice and comfortable too.

    We have been busy with lots of company due to baby Dora. She was born at home with no problems, delivered by the midwife. My daughter joked that her husband could always deliver her if needed (he’s a large animal vet) though knowing my daughter she wasn’t kidding. They have had enough meals and miscellaneous food dropped off that they are set probably until Christmas.

    Did all the usual of recycling, reusing, composting, used up left overs, cooked at home. Been still mild weather here, only less than an inch of snow. But we have had many rainstorms so is always a damp cold. We picked basil, rosemary, and parsley from the pots in the kitchen window. We picked lettuce from the greenhouse and kale from the hoop house. Also the rest of the Brussels sprouts. I wish I had lemons on my potted tree in the sunroom but nothing yet.

    The last 2 weeks have been constant company to see the baby. My husband’s family visited the weekend before last and over Thanksgiving we had my son in law’s family. That had been planned as they figured Eliana would not want to travel with a newborn to Ohio. Theo’s parents are in the area as they moved here when the children were young but his siblings are spread out in the Midwest. They all came together, bringing his grandparents from Ohio (which is where they usually go for Thanksgiving). Olivia went over to stay at the big house so her room was free and then we had company in her room and the guest room. More stayed at Theo’s parents. For the holiday we roasted 2 turkeys, a 21 lb I bought from relatives that raise turkeys and a 15 lb from the grocer with points. We also did a large ham. Theo’s mother did many of the sides ahead of time at her house and brought them along. I did 9 pies…3 pumpkin, 2 pecan and 1 each of butterscotch pudding, mince, apple and cherry and I made the stuffing, 8 breadpans worth and cranberry sauce. Olivia and my mother made pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Theo is the youngest in his family. It was good to see his relatives from out of town, many we had not seen since their wedding. Altogether we had 42
    at the big house for dinner.

    Did the necessary shopping for the holiday with the sales and coupons and double coupon day. Bought 3 celerys. Received a fruit basket from husband’s client so did not need to buy oranges. Bought powder sugarx 2, coffee creamer x2, eggs at the gas station for 69 cents a doz x4, neufchatel cheese 4/5.00 (they used to be cheaper but that is the lowest they went this year…maybe go down for Christmas), molasses, whole allspice. Radishes, peapods and cauliflower to add to the vegetable tray, soda crackers.

    That’s all I can remember. I am late and behind as usual. I did get my Christmas cards sorted out. Will not have to buy any as have enough miscellaneous leftovers. Have enough Christmas stamps. Started addressing the envelopes for cards we will mail. Levi is writing up the letter and the girls will insert digital pictures into it. They will print it off in color. Cards for friends and relatives at church can just be put into their church mailbox, saving postage.

  80. Athanasia, I’m sorry it took me so long to answer you — so I hope you see this.
    I use solid-color flannel that contrasts with the plaid. My husband really liked the way it looks. So, if the plaid is navy blue and red, I use navy blue flannel to replace the collars and cuffs .

  81. We have these too — in our kitchen and master bath. The first one we purchased at a garage sale for $15. The second one was about $150 wholesale (my husband was an HVAC tech, so could buy wholesale.) It does make a huge difference.

  82. I begged my husband to swap our electric stove (perfectly good one too) for a very simple gas stove so that I’d never again have to go through a freeze or tornado power outage without my coffee…and yep, I got a gas stove cause he knows I don’t not have coffee, lol!

  83. For the many of the same reasons Mable just said. We are not allowed to fill up two vehicles but they do allow us to fill up another gas can. We either use it in the summer to mow the lawn (we live on 2 acres), put it in our second vehicle, or keep it for when money is tight and we need the gas. We only keep one 5 gallon can full. We rarely get any more than $.10 off because we have a limited budget and I shop at different stores according to sales. So, $.30 off was a treat!!

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