Thai Basil Seedlings The Prudent Homemaker 

I pulled the Thai basil plants (above) from the grass that had grown on their own. I’ll replant them in the garden this week.

I harvested colander of tiny tomatoes, 4 1/2 butternut squash (2 decent-sized ones, 2 tiny ones, and half a tiny one; the other half was bug eaten), green onions, garlic chives, basil, and Swiss chard from the garden.

My eldest daughter applied for four scholarships.

My eldest son took a free ACT prep class.

I mended a sandal.

I added water to my lotion bottle to get out the remaining lotion. It yielded me a week’s worth of lotion.

We had a surprisingly humid week. I was able to collect several gallons of water each day from the air conditioner drip, which I used to water potted plants in the garden.  On Thursday night we got a few minutes of rain, during which I went out and moved buckets to catch the rain. It rained a bit on Friday morning as well, so I was able to collect more rainwater in buckets and turn off the sprinklers and drip irrigation for the day (it’s always nice when it rains on my assigned watering day!)

My husband and I enjoyed a date out using a gift card that we were given.


What did you do to save money last week? Did you try something new?



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  1. I got several books from the library. I also checked out a few e-books. I won a giveaway on Goodreads so have the latest Flavia De Luce book to read.

    I pulled a lot of vines out of the garden but gathered all the green tomatoes first. I am harvesting my 2nd crop of raspberries although I eat most of them right away. I took a batch of basil and blanched and froze it. I have been gathering a bit at a time and will make pesto later in the year. I planted carrots so will hopefully harvest them before winter hits.

    I am going on a trip later this week plus have a Gospel Meeting at church so made big pots of food (stirfry for me, chili for my husband) so we don’t have to worry about food this week. It is nice to not have to prepare food after working.

    I’m waiting for now Tropical Storm Irma to hit Georgia. It looks like we will get some rain and heavy wind but not a lot of damage. I’m more concerned about Jacksonville as they are dealing with a lot of flooding. My grandma lost power and will probably be without it for awhile but everyone is safe. Hope everyone else stays safe this week.

  2. This,week was a very frugal week for me even though I spent money. My husband needs a 12 valve cummins motor for one of our ranch pickups they normally cost about 2000 dollars for one that’s rebuilt or and at least 600 dollars for one needing to be rebuilt. On Saturday I attended an auction because they advertised cummins motors. I was able to get an engine for a hundred dollars, a sand blaster cabinet for 1 dollar, an entire gas welder set up including tanks for 200 with lots of accessories and a laundry sink my sweet friend needed for 3 dollars. I feel very blessed by God. Other frugal things were making all our meals from scratch. Bringing h ok me a frinds cracked heirloom watermelons to make watermelon mollassis, finding ways to reuse existing items. We finally settled my husband’s accident case for less than we hoped and I am taking the auction as a sign that God will stretch our funds and multiply them as,needed.

  3. Your basil looks happy. I’ve been gathering what I can of ours, which is rapidly turning brown and dropping leaves. Ours does that every year, and I’ve never been sure if it’s the heat & dry or dwindling daylight. As pretty as yours is, I’m leaning towards the daylight theory. I just gathered jars for canning; just have to decide if eggplant or squash are first up. We’re waiting on the effects of Irma, and have done all our needed prep. So far, just some sprinkles. We don’t expect it to be too bad here. Possibly 40 mph winds, and rain. I’m happy to be joining in:

  4. I was wondering if your area was experiencing any weather connected to the hurricanes south of you. Do you think the humidity and rain were because of that, Brandy? Or was it just coincidence. Good luck to both your eldest children!

    Life has been pretty hectic around our house, but we’re surviving so far. It could be worse! At least we are not being evacuated from our home or panicking over the safety of loved ones. I sincerely hope all those who regularly comment here and their families are all safe. Frugal accomplishment for this week included:
    *Meals made at home included bacon & cheese savoury bread pudding (new recipe, see below)with corn-on-the-cob, chicken fingers with white rice and corn, stuffed chicken breast with baked potato and green beans/spaghetti with meat sauce, make-your-own pizzas, and BBQ’s chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and carrots.
    *I decided to try a new meal idea this week by making a savoury bread pudding. I used some leftover bacon, Havarti with jalapeno cheese from the freezer, bread crust ends I collected in the freezer (that would otherwise get thrown out), inexpensive eggs, powdered milk from my pantry and a few other simple pantry ingredients to create the inexpensive dish (modified from this recipe: DD refused to give it a chance, just because it was a new food (nothing in it she won’t eat), husband seemed to like it and my mom was fine with it. I really enjoyed it, as it tasted a lot like cheesy garlic bread. It made a lot, however. I’ve been eating it for breakfast most mornings and there’s still quite a bit left. If I make it again, I will cut the recipe size in half!
    *School started back this week. As in previous years, I will not be buying “lunch box” snacks like granola bars, cookies, etc. Instead I will be baking a batch of lunch treats each week. DD requested choco-scotch clusters this time as her school lunch treat. These have peanut butter in them and very sugary. Since high school is not a “nut free” environment, like the elementary schools are here in Ontario, we indulged her request for the first week. We had all the ingredients on hand in the pantry.
    *Cut up and dehydrated another celery bunch (bought for $0.77) to add to the jar I processed a few weeks ago. I tried it in a soup recently and was very pleased with how well it worked. Celery prices are relatively low right now as the harvest is coming in for the season, but it does skyrocket to around $2/bunch in winter. Good time to add this to my pantry staples. I also cut the stalk end to in 4 and added it to my frozen veggie scraps bag for making soup stock later.
    *Somehow the freezer door was left slightly open one night and not discovered until the next morning. Most of the freezer was still frozen, but a bunch of packaged of breakfast sausages were thawed enough to be a concern for refreezing, but still cold enough that they were not spoiled. So, I pulled all of them out, cooked up about 6 packages of sausage, left some out to use for breakfast this week, then repackaged the rest of the cooked sausage to freeze again. Saved the meat…I feel like a hero!
    *We took DD to the psychiatrist this week. As I’ve said before, she is on the autism spectrum, so she doesn’t always understand social rules. As a teenager, she also feels rules are stupid. So, while in the appointment, DD kept playing on her cell phone, despite us repeatedly telling her to put it away. The Dr, in an attempt to find her something else to do, looked around for a fidget toy as a replacement for the phone. When one wasn’t handy, she turned to DD and asked her “Is there anything on my desk that you’d like to play with?”. Without missing a beat, DD gave her a teenager type look and said “The computer?”. Yeah, she gets her quick wit from her father. Still laughing 3 days later. I’ve been saying for years that I need to write a book about my daughter…proceeds from sales could very well support my retirement fund!
    *DD did survive the first week of high school, with only minor issues to deal with (no meltdowns..whoohooo!!!!). She even hooked up with a couple kids and ended up going to the movies with them on the weekend. They wanted to see Stephen King’s “IT”. My husband also wanted to see the movie. We have a card which allows a “support person” to get in for free, since my daughter is on the Autism spectrum. So he volunteered to the chauffeur. Both kids lived very close by, which thankfully saved on gas costs. They all seemed to enjoy the movie. I will happily watch the movie here at home later, where my screams can be muffled by my protective blanket barrier.
    *Worked the “Applefest” special event at the pioneer village this weekend. NEVER seen line ups like that before at our village. I think every employee and volunteer who worked the event went home exhausted and/or shell shocked. I am now done work until mid-November, with the exception of 1 more day event on September 24th (our Canada 150th celebration and the museums 50th anniversary). Thankful for the break as I have a lot of things I need to do at home now!

    This week I will be starting to work on my long list of things that need to be done at home. Lots of jam making in my future. At least the temperatures are nice and cool! Have a great week, everyone.:D

  5. It has been a busy week. Still dehydrating elderberries, apples & plums. Picked green beans, tomatoes & red raspberries. There were enough green beans to bottle some. The grapes, peaches & pears are all done.

    My youngest daughter came home early on Saturday & went with me her oldest sister’s house. We put up quite a lot of green beans, stemmed & juiced grapes, stemmed elderberries to dehydrate, picked peppers & a hefty half bushel of tomatoes. Washed a bunch of jars, too, all while we had a nice visit.

    Youngest daughter took some workbooks to help her nieces & nephews learn cursive writing, since it is no longer taught in school. As a result, my grandchildren are unable to easily read the founding documents of their nation, which are all written in cursive. Their aunt also found a recipe box with all the recipes written in cursive, & they all were interested in that.

    The Eagle Creek fire is still burning, so I-84 is still closed. My middle daughter is within a few weeks of delivery, so when she goes into labor, Grandma will arrive via WA 14 to take care of Little Stuff. Several of the boxes of sliced peaches will go with, since Little Stuff loves them, & her momma cannot can this year because she cannot lift. If the call comes during the day, I will pick all the green beans before I go & take them with me, since Little Stuff loves fresh green beans, too. If the call comes at night, then whatever is still on our Kentucky Wonder vines will just dry into the seed for next year.

  6. I called to pay a bill instead of using a stamp to send thru the mail. I inquired about a discount item and got it for 70% off. It was something my husband wanted so it was really awesome to ask and then get rewarded for asking.
    I bought 18 notebooks marked down to .20 a piece. I found and bought two of my favorite chopsticks that were marked 0% off. I found sour cream on sale so bought a few of those.

    I told my husband I was going to start writing down each thing we do to save money. I am very hard on myself when I waste money but rarely remember to praise myself when I find ways to save.

  7. I actually did try something new – I tried several new recipes. If anyone is looking for recipes to use Butternut Squash I posted a round up of the ones I tried:

    I was sick with Mastitis and feeling really run down, so I did not get as much done as I was hoping too but I am starting to feel better now. Very thankful for antibiotics when you have a bacterial infection!

    I saved money by filling up at Costco when I realized gas prices everywhere else was starting to spike. I was almost completely out of gas so this saved about $12.00.

    I started making Christmas gifts (after several trial runs and material testing) and I am really excited (like REALLY excited) about how my DIY gifts are turning out. On a related note – I revisited one of Brandy’s old posts about making bookmarks – in case anyone doesn’t know this Brandy has some great free printables for bookmarks. Here is the link:

    Everything else was just the usual – trying to use electricity in off peak hours, cooking from scratch, etc.

    We took a few more boxes of stuff to the salvation Army – we went through all of my husband’s clothes which we have not done in ….ever?? Probably about 7 years.

    We have been enjoying lots of time outside and at local parks.

    I started wrapping Christmas gifts. I find the sooner I organize and wrap them the less temptation (or forgetfulness) there is to pick up additional items. 🙂

    Have a great week everyone! As always I learn every week in this forum.

  8. We are still busy with the garden. Even though it is nearing the end of the gardening season, there is still much to be done. I am alternating drying grapes and herbs. We are busy mulching, weeding, and pruning. Lots of cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes everyday. I am saving all of the large tomatoes for canning and we are eating the cherries fresh two or three times a day. Still lots of green beans, too. We love fresh green beans and eat them almost everyday as well. The zucchini have slowed down, but I am still picking a few every week.

    On Saturday night we were invited out for dinner. Our hostess prepared a delicious baked chicken breast. It was so moist and tender, but it was also very large and I couldn’t finish mine. I asked to take the leftover piece home and the next day I made a chicken salad with it. It was enough for two sandwiches.

    I cooked a bone in pork loin roast this past week and we had enough left to make two more dinners. First I boiled the bone, saving the stock, and with the meat from the bone I made barbeque pork sandwiches. There was enough barbeque meat left for two or three more sandwiches. The rest of the pork will be used up for a pot pie with the stock being used to make more gravy along with the leftover root vegetables that were cooked with the roast. All other meals and snacks this week were cooked at home. Usually I cook extra so we often eat leftovers for lunch.

  9. I made a pot of pinto beans and turnip greens. I made pimento cheese with items I already had in my pantry/frig. I had a huge unexpected bill, but that is life. Other than going to church, laundry mat (and walking in the river park near the laundry mat), visiting my kids, work, I stayed at home. I did no grocery shopping.

  10. Hi Friends: I spent last week out of town helping my mother after a fall in which she broke her shoulder/arm. Trying to get organized back at home now. We harvested about 8 avocados from our tree and some herbs. I purchased two articles of clothing used (one at Thred Up and one on ebay). Before leaving, I made my husband a double batch of homemade granola and chili plus rice which lasted him the whole time I was gone. I am currently making yogurt and will make all the usual staples like salsa and hummus tomorrow when I have more time in the kitchen. Recently, I have been experimenting with DIY lotion, mouthwash, and facial moisturizer. The lotions require coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oil….the cost may seem high at first for the ingredients, but the product is amazing, less expensive than store-bought, and there are no artificial ingredients going on your skin….so far I am very happy with the results!

  11. NEED ADVICE: I grocery shopped at Aldi and purchased walnuts to make zucchini bread for the first time. The walnuts were $6.29 for 16 oz which is 4 cups and I think that is EXPENSIVE! I like this recipe the best from Margaret @ [i]Approaching Food[/i] which only calls for ½ cup but I am sure I will need to double the recipe for my hungry crew when they are home.

    I will make the bread exactly by the recipe the first time but does anyone have any suggestions for a cheap substitute for walnuts?

    Money savings has gone well this week since I have realized I can’t buy less items when I shop. All my sons have left home this year and adjusting down from five to two adults has been hard. Buying in bulk to save money is in my DNA. My solution has been to shop less often. Yesterday I used coupons at Dollar General and saved 47%.

    The harvesting in my garden has shifted from vegetables to herbs. The vegetables are put on hold so I can focus on other things. This is something I have neglected in the past and ended up losing much. It becomes a juggling game; herbs just sit there not causing me to panic then suddenly there is a frost and all is lost.

    More things did not get done because of two days of lost time due to drama in the household. My energy was focused on Scooter, who caused a bit, no, a large amount of work this week. He was in BIG trouble. However, at least now my house is spotlessly clean.

    Jeannie @

  12. 1. Husband trimmed my hair.
    2. Did a mystery shop that included buying a fancy coffee on the company’s dime in order to evaluate service. I never buy fancy coffees, so this was a treat.
    3. Had three gifts to give this week, two of them unexpected. I recycled three baskets that I have received and made a loaf of artisan bread for each basket. Surrounded each with three jars of home canned jams made from the fruits in my garden and two jars of savory tomato spreads that’s I made. They ended up looking quite nice and saved me quite a bit of money, too.
    4. Started knitting my Christmas project that I am giving as a gift.
    5. Sold three items on Craigs List, bringing in $231. These were items I had scavenged from the platform at our local dump, where people put useable things that others are free to take. I found a solid oak filing cabinet that I easily cleaned up, that alone brought $180. Also two kid size wicker chairs that just needed cleaning up, and those went for $50 total. The $1 was for a yo-yo.
    6. Harvested literally hundreds of green cherry tomatoes. Canned pickled green tomatoes for future gifts.
    7. Put myself on the list for a book I want and was tempted to buy instead of exercising some patience by getting in the library hold line for this book. I am not good with delayed gratification.
    8. Found a generic mayo that my husband is willing to eat, which is about a 50 cents a jar savings. Not huge but I remind myself that every penny counts.

  13. Hello all! My week did not start out frugal… I drove my daughter back to school and our planned dinner did not work out, so we had an expensive dinner out but was enjoyed.
    The rest of the week I stayed in – out to walk the dogs – enjoying sunrises each morning. We had planned to go to a high school football game but it was lightening so we stayed home.
    Happy frugal safe week all!

  14. -I refilled the kitchen dish soap dispenser and thinned it with water to make it stretch.
    -I only spent $6 on groceries last week
    -The floor mat I have in the kitchen in front of the sink was beginning to look dingy and worn out. I thought I was going to have to buy a new one because the tag said to spot clean only. I took a chance and threw it into the washer thinking there was no harm if it fell apart because it was likely going to need replacing anyway but it washed beautifully and now looks great.
    -My son asked me to buy honey chicken from the local Chinese restaurant the other night for dinner. Instead I found a recipe online and discovered I had everything in the pantry to prepare it myself. It turned out great and the kids said it tasted better than takeout!
    -This week I accepted a second job. It’s an on call nursing position that won’t require me to do too much more than be available to help someone in a last minute crises and pays me a flat rate for my being available. It was a struggle to resign myself to the need for an extra position since I already work full time and go to school full time but we have a lot of expenses that we have been struggling with lately and this will allow us to pay down debt while also preparing for retirement.
    -My youngest broke his glasses (that he had for less than a month!). I took them back to the optometrist and discovered that they will replace them under the warranty. I’m extremely grateful since our insurance would not have covered a new pair and the idea of purchasing a new set out of pocket gave me anxiety. My son and I have also had a long discussion on acting responsibly with glasses.

  15. I made a nice pot of lentil soup this past week and mom enjoyed it too. I was glad because when I lived alone I would make a pot of lentil soup every so often and then it would be my dinner for the week, maybe every six to eight weeks. Prior to this, mom had not been a fan of lentils.

    My greatnieces just transferred to a different charter school and it is already school fundraising time. The school has a Yankee Candle-related fundraiser, and the prices for non-candles started at $2 for a canning book and $5 for some art supplies and toys. I thought I would have to place two orders, one from each girl, and pay for shipping twice. To kill two birds with one stone, I asked their mother to have the girls select what they wanted. They both selected a candle fragrance and wanted a candle. Okay, I started looking at the candles. My only option in their preferred scents was $20 each, plus shipping. I had to call my niece, explain I was shocked at the prices since my candles either come from Dollar Tree or are the inexpensive bulk tealights from a craft store, and explain that her grandma and I had a budget more like $20-$30 total, including shipping. It was a hard call for me to make but my niece was cool. She suggested getting one candle in the scent she knew both girls like and assured me that she would even out the orders the girls get. She also offered to order it herself so I would save on shipping. We ended the call, with me planning to sed a check. Then remembering the Bing points I had not yet turned into gift cards, I called her again and asked if she would be happy with $25 in Amazon gift cards instead. That way, I am covering the sales tax in her state and either a bit towards shipping or a mini-treat for the girls. All five of us are happy and it had no impact on my checkbook. Whew!

    My sister in the Mohave Desert has also been commenting on the rain. You two, Brandy, are in a rain shadow EXCEPT when the storms are coming up from the Sea of Cortez.

    I am relieved the storm surges were not as bad as forecast on the West Coast of Florida. I hope any of you in that area are more careful than usual while you take care of storm damage and endure power failures.

    Our neighbor gave us more zucchini and summer squash. They are good gardeners, but this year has been especially good for squash. I grated one yellow squash into some Ragu tomato sauce and simmered it for quite a while. The squash vanished into the sauce, just adding a bit of sweetness. I am going to grate and freeze the rest of their generous gift.

  16. I spent the last week getting things in order around here, and adjusting to our new fall schedule. My husband is back to work after the summer off (school district), and I am on less hours, but at more inconvenient times, since my kiddos are back to school too. So, good time management and menu planning is my goal. I am also getting homeschool going for the 2 I teach. We are off to a great start, but it’s always a process to get back into the routine. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get some more items canned, and got crab and a batch of salsa canned. Today, I did prunes, and crushed tomatoes.

    Yesterday, Rob and I filled the Crock Pot before church with a nice roast beef, lots of carrots and potatoes from the garden and turned it on for family Sunday dinner. When we got home……hard as a rock! I think we overloaded it with cold things and it took longer, or I usually use the other Crock Pot. Who knows. But anyway, we hustled around like crazy, and managed to get a taco dinner on the table in nothing flat, using garden tomatoes, part of a head of lettuce we had, cheese from the freezer, the remaining taco shells, soft shells, etc. leftover from Saturday night’s dinner (some kids did not get their preferred shell, but that’s life sometimes), and garden beans and corn from my sister’s garden. Rob also grabbed some leftover white rice and doctored it up with a shriveled pepper, tomato sauce, taco seasoning, cilantro, etc. and made Spanish rice, something we rarely eat. It was great. The roast finished up mid-afternoon, and we had it last night, sent it in Rob’s lunch today, have lots and lots left…….so dinner tonight/tomorrow/Tuesday/ ??? Easy dinners. Even with several being sick or staying after church for meetings/lunch, we still had 11 people, as the ones who came brought friends. I love cooking for a crowd. It’s a familiar feeling, since we have such a large family. I often overcook when it’s just us. I’m still working on that!

    We hauled wood from my sister’s farm, where we dumped it when we were moving, down here and stacked it in the shed. We saved a lot of money by using our van with the seats removed, and a tarp laid down, and going twice on Saturday. We looked into renting another vehicle/truck/trailer, and this was the most economical way.

    While we were there, she loaded us up with corn, Italian prunes, tomatoes, and a few peaches. I’ve gotten most of it in the jars now, or we are eating it fresh.

    I tried a couple of new recipes, focusing on garden items I had. Basil Chicken was my favorite of the new ones I tried. I restocked my sugar for 25c/lb. I got 32 lbs for around $8. It came in 4 lb. bags, which are nice to handle. I put them in big tin cans I’ve had for years, to keep them nice.

    I picked 4 figs from my tree at my new house. They are soft. HELP!! I have never used a fig before. I did take a couple of bites last year, but had no time to figure figs out as we moved in. Do you peel them, cook them, dry them, what? I took a bite. It is soft, and slightly brown and kind of tasted like fig cookies. They look different from the hard green ones I left on the tree. I love fig Newton-type cookies. I’m guessing you cook them for that, or dry them. I just wasn’t sure if I should be eating the peeling–it seems a bit tough. Anyway, I”m open to suggestions. There are SO many on that tree, I will never use them all, but I’d love to use some of them.

  17. This week I made a set of reversible holiday blocks ( for Thanksgiving and Christmas) using leftover 2×4 scraps! Turned out adorable! Made 6 hand warmers filled with flaxseed- 2 large and 4 small pocket ones using scrap materials. These will end up being “extra/last minute” gifts at Christmas time. I found a pattern online and made a wooden Joy wreath using scraps of oak molding I had from the tv stand we built for a client. It turned out quite nice and it may go into my gift cabinet drawer!

    We were asked to work at the polling place on our street for the Nov. election. All 3 of us agreed to and so we will get $168 for the work on Election Day. Most of it is sitting and they have switched over to iPads so we don’t even have to search through the signature books any more! We enjoy visiting with our neighbors as they come to vote and we can find lots of uses for the extra money!!

    We were given 3 more hens last Monday night bringing our total to 8 which is the number we are permitted for here in the City and we are now gathering 6 eggs every day! 2 of our hens are just reaching the age to start laying soon too! Several of our friends have asked to buy eggs from us so this week I’ll check with them. 6 eggs/day works out to 3-1/2 dozen/week and when we start getting 8 eggs, that will be 4-1/2 dozen/week which is more than the 3 of us at home really need!! Lol!
    My tomato harvest is winding down- i picked some today and from them canned 2 quarts of diced tomatoes. 2 quarts isn’t much, but we will put it to use over the winter and adding it to the rest that I’ve canned this summer will see us through nicely!
    I will be making hit pepper jelly tonight with the peppers I harvested.
    Washed out our ziploc bags, made meals from scratch using only pantry and freezer foods on hand! Have combined our trips in the car for maximum gas efficiency and have stayed home more as a result!
    We got the very simple plans from a friend (for free) to make a sturdy removeable cooking rack in our fire pit! We are excited to get it built and cook a big pot of chili over the fire. One more source for cooking with no power. We trimmed and mowed and weeded and planted in the yard and it’s looking really good!
    We recycled more of our free wood into home decor items that people have ordered from us! It’s a side business that we really enjoy and that we work together doing so many of our date nights are in the shop making money rather than spending it! Another friend is ordering Zaycon meat and used my referral code so I will get another $5 off a future order! So far, I have $20 off in referral $ so I’m excited to be able to use this!
    I learned some more tips and resources this week that will help me build my pantry AND save me time and money!! Those are my kind of tips!!

  18. This week was not very frugal for us. I’ve been trying to avoid eating out but my husband and I both caught sick and I was not able to go grocery shopping so we did delivery most meals. Additionally, someone at our church is leaving for the military and he wanted to go out to eat, which meant we spent a lot more on food than we wanted to. Hopefully this week proves better for us.

  19. We celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday with a birthday tea attended by 100 guests. I flew to her home a few days in advance using frequent flyer miles to pay for my ticket. On the way out I had a 3 hour layover in Denver so I used one of my guest passes for the United Club. (The guest passes come with a United Explorer credit card and usually cost $50 each. I would never pay $50 to go to the United Club for 2 and a half hours, but I am happy to go for free.) There I ate a late lunch – crab bisque, spinach salad, and tropical trail mix (maybe I should call it “gorp”). I also got an apple, a cookie and some cheese and crackers, but ended up taking them on the plane for “dinner”.

    Once at my mother’s, I made 11 centerpieces for the tea with pastel and white roses and filler (baby’s breath) for about $75. I checked all the likely sources and found the best prices and roses at Krogers and Aldi. We served tea, punch, tea sandwiches, fancy decorated sugar cookies (tea cups, teapots and flowers) and a large cake from Giant Eagle. We used the church fellowship hall, with no charge since she is a member. She was delighted with the tea and the guests.

  20. Our biggest frugal win was that my husband replaced an oh-so-stubborn shower valve!! We had a minor drip start. We used a bucket to collect the water so nothing went to waste. However, the valve was so stuck by sediment from our hard water, it was like glue! Our friend is Mr. DIY and told us to spray vinegar on it and tap gently around it several times a day and that it would eventually loosen. It took about 10 days, but it finally worked! The valve replacement probably took only 10 minutes!! So, all we spent was on the cost of the new valve. What a relief!!

    I made 2 batches of laundry soap.
    I got a free container of yogurt and a coupon for a free container of cottage cheese.
    Hung all my laundry.

    I actually did try something new to me, but I’m almost embarrassed to admit it!! I cooked some cube steaks in the crockpot with some beef broth. They turn out very tender that way. Instead of baked potatoes, I made mashed potatoes so I wanted gravy. I normally avoid mashed potatoes because I don’t know how to make gravy. I decided to use the beef broth and try. It worked!! And it was really tasty! I thought my husband was going to lick his plate lol!!!

  21. My husband and I took a trip to visit family. It was a long drive, but accomplished in one day. We took our own food to eat, and stayed away from extra expenses. I bought post cards to send to grandchildren. I remember getting post cards as a child and loved it! So… our only expense was the gasoline. Well, we also helped with food at our destination, but that was me cooking from scratch – 12 loaves of bread, homemade pizza (each built their own) and beans and cornbread. 🙂

  22. This was not the most frugal of weeks for me. My car was hit by someone from out of state with no insurance. The damage is not too bad and we were not hurt so for that, I am very thankful.

    My neighbors gifted us 2 zucchini that will be made into bread and we forged some wild apples that will be turned into an apple pie.

    We had to replace our bedroom window as the seal had broken and it was no longer providing much in the way of energy efficiency. We didn’t want the time and expense of taking it to the garbage dump(a one hour drive for us) and it was not reusable-it was in very bad condition. We were able to break up the frame into small pieces and fit into our garbage can. I am very happy to have a new, energy efficient window in our bedroom before the cold weather comes.

    Sending my thoughts and prayers to all those suffering the effects of the hurricanes and storms.
    Our forest fires here in the Pacific Northwest are still an issue but thankful our air is clearing of the smoke and the sun is coming through.

  23. One of my dentists (I have a specialist for gum disease) has a big bowl of chapsticks for patients to take one on the way out. I do so. They are a nice flavor. I was also gifted a round, lemon lip balm on my last birthday. So I am set for a while at no cost to me. I use them quite a lot.

  24. Trying to live frugally from urban Seattle:

    – checked out books and DVDs from the library. One of my “tricks” to avoid spending money is putting books on hold in the library. It has the same happy effect of Internet shopping, but it’s free! We enjoyed watching the movies as a family last weekend. I’ll need to do that more often!

    – took advantage of some sales at my local Fred Meyers to stock up on school lunch foods for my kids. I also made muffins and zuchini bread for breakfast and lunches this week.

    – finished (finally….after 2 years, yikes!) a quilt for one of my sons. It is Seahawks-themed and I got all of the material from my scraps and from some generous neighbors in my Buy Nothing group. I also finished a cross stitch to go on my “I love the Pacific NW” wall.

    -Two of my nephews had birthdays so I had my 12 year old son, who is a great artist, make them birthday cards themed with things they love (Minecraft and Pokeyman).

    – made blackberry jam and blackberry crisp from blackberry bushes near our house. I’m afraid the blackberries are about done for the year.

    -We did another week of vegetarian meals to lower grocery expenses.

    -I did not drive my car except to church (and that is because we were running late, darn it!)

    -We have some extra income for the next two months as we are renting out an extra room to a guy from Germany doing a fellowship at my husband’s work. I put stashed some away for the holidays and piano lessons for the next few months and the rest is going to help pay off our home (something we are working hard to do in the next 3-4 years).

  25. Well, yes, I did try something new! Was at a tea party at my cousin Roberta’s house and beside herbal teas she had made she also had a choice of kombucha that she made, too. It was a little scary at first, because I had seen those big gallon jars she had with those things living in them. But it was sparkly and good.

    We have been busy. This is for 3 weeks, maybe 4 even. We did all the usual of using up leftovers, cooking at home, packing lunches, recycling, composting, carpooling as needed, hanging up laundry to dry. Sewed on buttons, tightened loose buttons, darned socks, sorted the winter clothes to make sure all mittens and gloves match and no missed holes or broken zippers etc anywhere. Made up the Christmas card list. More later…

  26. I made lots of Baby Shower gifts this week. I shopped for vintage sheets at thrift stores and cut them apart to make custom crib sheets & portable crib sheets for three special families. I used the scraps to make half a dozen coordinating burp cloths. I used fabric from the clearance section at the store to make reusable drawstring gift bags.

  27. I find the best price per pound on nuts by buying in bulk at Sam’s Club. I just looked online and our current prices at Sam’s are the following:

    walnuts: 3 pounds for $12.78 ($4.26 a pound)
    almonds: 48 ounces (aka 3 pounds) for $12.98 ($4.33 a pound)
    pecans: 2 pounds for $14.78 ($7.39 a pound)

  28. If he breaks them again and you aren’t covered, check out Zenni Optical. I have bought glasses for as little as $6.95 a pair with $4.95 shipping (shipping is the same no matter how many pairs you order). That is frames AND lenses. I go through Ebates first and get 1% cash back. It’s just a tiny bit, but it helps too!

  29. Hi all…the week did not start frugally but surprisingly less money was spent than expected so that’s good, right? One of our college commuter cars needed work and it came in at $1k less than expected! It has almost 300k miles on it so we’re really milking it for all it’s worth. No grocery shopping has been done yet, week two, and I’m trying to be super diligent in remembering to bake enough bread, make granola, muffins and toaster pastries for breakfast and before half the tribe leaves the house for college/work each morning. Eating out is not an option. Hens are laying like crazy so I’m using eggy recipes and am planning to pickle a few dozen for snacking.
    I canned pickles and pepper jelly this weekend and am waiting for the apples to be completely ripe so we can pick them for eating and sauce. The garden is full of bounty and we eat from it daily. Feeling very blessed. 🙂 Have a super week everyone.
    PS…watermelon molasses??!! Please tell!!

  30. Great frugal week everyone! I too will add water to my lotion bottle to get the last bit out, but lately just use my large, sharp scissors and cut the bottle in half yielding several more days worth of lotion… I do the same thing with the toothpaste tube… Cut it in half and then swirl my toothbrush around inside.

  31. Last week was mostly catching up on housework and cooking after the holiday weekend. We went to a car show on Sunday and got rained upon quite thoroughly. Husband won second place in his class, so he didn’t care about the rain. I had all the laundry to do and had to make salad dressing, bread, granola, and various staples that I put together myself. I went to two yoga classes also. We ate homemade pizza, goulash, chicken fingers with potato salad, and pork roast with potatoes and fresh green beans. I went to the Amish store for 10# of oatmeal for granola. Went out to eat one night with my husband’s two best friends from grade school–who are now 75 years old. We try to get together often, but this summer seemed to be hard to get us together at the same time. It was good to see them.

  32. Hello everyone. I have been away for a couple of weeks. We took a road trip to visit a favorite cousin in Nebraska and good friends in Wisconsin. We were gone 9 days and spent about $600 on gas, 3 nights hotel, and a few meals. The trip would have been three times that much flying from our remote area. The cousin gave us two gallon bags of sweet peppers from her garden. We ate some, but most I chopped and put in the freezer. We had house sitters stay in our place and watch the dogs while we were gone, at no cost to us. I’m picking tomatoes, lettuce, chard, collard greens, strawberries, a few zucchini and a little okra from the garden. This was a good week to stock up at the grocery store. So far I have purchased 40 lbs. of sugar at 25 cents a pound and plan to get another 20 pounds when I am in town tomorrow. I have a rain check for Tillamook cheddar at $4.88 for a 2-lb loaf (I will buy 2), and 2 cases of canned green beans at $5.88 a case. I also purchased pork loin chops. They were buy 1/get 1 pkg free, and marked down 30%, so I was able to get 16 good-sized chops for $13. I planted more lettuce seeds and transplanted brocolli and cabbage seedlings into the garden. My raspberry bushes are loaded down with green berries — I am praying we won’t get a frost before they ripen — no indication that we will.

  33. Just so thankful! Am still working on figuring out how to make life work here as we build and move along. Celebrated my son’s 21st birthday with an extended dinner out (a gift from his grandparents) and cake at our cabin. Thankful the weather held and he was able to have a wonderful birthday. We were able to buy him some clothing earlier, but on his birthday I surprised him with a full wetsuit. I am delighted to report that I found it earlier in the year for $10! An amazing price for a perfect present.

    Last week was exhausting and I am so very, very glad I made it through! We didn’t have any extra money so were very frugal. I had hooked up the dryer to vent inside and now we only have to wash our clothing at the laundromat. The water is not strong enough yet to hook the washer up and my MIL’S washing help is over…she was such a blessing.

    Praying for those who have less and will have to rebuild. Just cannot complain. God has been good to us.

    Finding ways to save and stretch the dollar. I put my elbows through my winter nightgown and will patch it. Was given 2 tomatoes by the neighbor and ate one for dinner and will have one another day. Received a cucumber from a friend and am going to have it tomorrow.

  34. Just so thankful! Am still working on figuring out how to make life work here as we build and move along. Celebrated my son’s 21st birthday with an extended dinner out (a gift from his grandparents) and cake at our cabin. Thankful the weather held and he was able to have a wonderful birthday. We were able to buy him some clothing earlier, but on his birthday I surprised him with a full wetsuit. I am delighted to report that I found it earlier in the year for $10! An amazing price for a perfect present.

    Last week was exhausting and I am so very, very glad I made it through! We didn’t have any extra money so were very frugal. I had hooked up the dryer to vent inside and now we only have to wash our clothing at the laundromat. The water is not strong enough yet to hook the washer up and my MIL’S washing help is over…she was such a blessing.

    Praying for those who have less and will have to rebuild. Just cannot complain. God has been good to us.

    Finding ways to save and stretch the dollar. I put my elbows through my winter nightgown and will patch it. Was given 2 tomatoes by the neighbor and ate one for dinner and will have one another day. Received a cucumber from a friend and am going to have it tomorrow.

  35. Dear Brandy, I found your original post about how you survived when your income dropped so drastically. I followed the link to the original post and ended up on a LDS (?) page. I would like to say I found great inspiration from many of the articles and have so much more insight. I have had a profound thought that I need to change many things. My injuries from 3 car wrecks in 11 months is having serious consequences on our life. I will never work again. We are secure at the moment but things are catching up quick. A financial settlement will eventually arrive but not soon. Couponing has always fed us , but food prices are horrible. At some point, I see the potential to crash. I am completely revamping our budget. I cancelled insurance on a vehicle we are selling. I cancelled my medical insurance. It is cheaper to pay out of pocket by 75%. Overall , I am making decisions based on financial stability and not emotions. My home is paid for and keeping it secure is paramount. I appreciate the great enlightenment you have given me. Thanks to you and your readers, I have found so much more to improve. They say I have moderate brain damage. I am swallowing my pride and am filing my disability so my special needs daughter will be secure. That makes me sad.

  36. You don’t need to peel figs; you can just eat them. If there is a small stem on them you will need to cut it off. The ripe ones are soft. I don’t know what kind you have so color (when ripe) will depend on type (some are green when ripe). A ripe fig will come off fairly easily.

    There are a TON of great fig ideas on Pinterest. I saw so many but couldn’t get through them all; I hope to try more next year when they are ripe. I did freeze a bunch and I like to use them in several things. They are wonderful in tarts (just make a fruit pie recipe and use figs in the recipe). I have a fig sauce recipe on my site and I love making that with fresh, dried, or frozen figs. I also like making jam with them.

  37. Good afternoon, Brandy and Everyone.

    I got a part time job in addition to my full time. I love that I can work on my own time via my computer and phone. That extra money will go to savings.

    I learned of an event at my local library: a free class about how to make your online business successful. I signed up.

    My son and I picked wild blackberries from the yard for my mother in law. She was pleasantly surprised.

    My mom brought over a lot of bananas that she couldn’t use up in time so I made a double batch of banana bread. My son was so excited because I made some “baby” loaves for him.

    Here are some other things I did recently to save money:

  38. * Hubby took me to Salvation Army to look for a pair of shoes and a couple pairs of jeans. It was sooo thrilling to me to be able to grab a bunch of jeans and actually find some that fit and don’t need any altering. And I also found some hardly worn leather tennis shoes (I didn’t realize that I’d lose weight in my FEET! My shoes don’t fit right anymore either) And while he waited for me to finish trying the jeans on, he found us another “popcorn bowl” (aka Tupperware’s Thatsa Bowl) WITH it’s lid for only $2.99! We have needed another big bowl with a lid for icing blanched veggies as well as marinating large amounts of meat. Patience pays off!
    * I have decided to sell our chicken coop. It is not an easy decision for me as my Dad built it with me(& I really like my hens) but after last nights possum visit, we are down to only one chicken hen. The coop easily holds 15 birds and is too far off the ground really for ducks to use it (I have 2 other A-frame coops for them). That money will go towards next months bills (If it sells) I am now on the look-out for some free fencing to put over the top of the chain link pens to prevent another visitor from getting into the pen (the possum went out in a body bag so no worries about it returning – it made a run on my garden first!)
    * Finished another sewing project and used that money for the Salvation Army visit.
    * Made all meals at home – even when we didn’t feel like it (which for me is every night…..sad to say but I HATE to cook – I’d rather be outside building something or inside crafting/sewing something….anything but coming up with a meal)
    * Used a $5 rewards certificate to purchase the duck and quails feed. Only spent $5 oop on the food which should last a month since I just opened up the almost done garden for the ducks to forage in.
    * Rounded up all of the old pots I have had kicking around in the shed to use for lettuce and possibly cabbage in the greenhouse.
    * We seem to have switched from summer to fall over night here in Michigan so I switched out my clothing and discovered that many of my long sleeve shirts are too big. I am going to try to take in the side seams on the biggest ones so I can avoid purchasing anything more.
    * We sold our fishtank – I can’t keep up on that on top of all the other animals, hubby and work. That money also is set aside for bills and toiletries we are low on. I also have other things listed on Craigslist, one I really don’t want to sell but the item is just cluttering up the place and if we downsize, there really won’t be a place for it (antique sideboard)
    * I brought in all of the cut down branches that I had stashed in our shed. I can’t start the chipper and no one would help, so I just cut them all down with the loppers and pruners and stored them in buckets in the shed. With the turn towards colder weather, I thought I should get them in where we will use them and it’s less gas or wood we will have to pay for this fall/winter.

    I think that’s it 🙂

  39. Wow! That is a much better price; however, I do not have a Sam’s club anywhere close. I was a member years ago when I lived in Nashville and Sams was only a few miles from home. I loved shopping there. I also use walnuts when making basil pesto which I do once a year and freeze. Sometimes there is an alternative, sometimes there isn’t.
    Jeannie @

  40. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . Brandy I was glad you got some rain and were able to turn off your watering system one day too, it has been incredibly dry here so we are wanting rain desperately shortly.

    It has been a good week in that we have been able to increase our food storage and baking items we needed for the home and also in a round about way in trying to give service which our neighbour insisted on paying us traded our labour for honey too.

    Education –
    – DH and I attended another free class for self reliance personal finance run by the church. We will get a certificate on completion by the BYU university.

    Household needs purchases –
    – Purchased 2 large biscuit trays, 4 lge cake cooling racks, an additional spring form pan and a set of measuring spoons and cups on special at Aldi saving $35.96 over purchasing them in our local supermarket.

    Groceries –
    – Increased our food storage by 8kg of flour, 9kg of raw sugar, 1kg of icing sugar, 4lts of vegetable oil and 5 x 500g of butter.
    – Increased our honey supplies by 30kg by helping our apiarist neighbour do an exit rental clean of his home as he didn’t have time to do it. We offered to help him without payment but he insisted on paying us in some way which is a true blessing since honey is running out at $12kg here in the local supermarkets.
    – More blessings we were gifted 25 lemons from our other neighbour on the other side too saving us $16 over purchasing them in the shops.
    – Said yes to using a $10 off voucher we earned from our supermarket rewards points to reduce our grocery bill and purchased 4lts of vegetable oil needed for the pantry too and still came in under our 6 weekly grocery budget.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made another batch of tomato soup using tinned diced tomatoes that needed using in the pantry along with rehydrated garlic, frozen onions in the freezer picked from the gardens and dried basil.
    – Blanched and froze the remaining 20kg of sweet potatoes we had curing in the garage picked from the gardens saving us $240 over buying the equivalent organic ones in the local supermarket.
    – Made a litre of lemon cordial for $1 from our gifted lemons saving $4.31 over purchasing it in the supermarkets.

    Electricity savings –
    – Only turned on our electric hot water system for 8.23 hrs this week and used our solar lanterns to light our home saving $10.48 in electricity costs.
    – Used our firewood sourced and cut free by us in the slow combustion fireplace to warm our home rather than using heaters.
    – Used water heated on the slow combustion stove to make our cuppas and steamed our vegetables for dinner for 2 nights on the fireplace.

    Water savings –
    – Used all vegetable washing, blanching and steaming water all week to water in newly sprouted vegetable seeds in the gardens.

  41. In my experience, you can leave them out completely like you can with banana bread. If I leave out the nuts, I do a cheap struesel topping for texture (or a swirl of cheesecake mixture).

  42. Right off the bat, I learnt something new, to add water to a lotion container. I usually add water to a shampoo bottle, and just cut off the top of a lotion container, but adding water would stretch it out even further. Thanks, Brandy!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I traded some Alice in Wonderland themed baking ( for some items, using my local trading app. I’ve set aside the items for Christmas gifts, as well as to use myself. I received a large Teavana iced tea set (I plan to use some of it, and give some to some colleagues as a thank you for covering my work when I was recovering from an operation), a holiday-themed Body Shop bathset in an apple tin (which I will give to a teacher friend at Christmas), a EOS lip set (a Christmas gift for a friend), and a chocolate-flavoured lip balm (my husband was reminiscing recently about how I used to wear flavoured lip balms when we were dating, so I thought I’d surprise him one day by wearing this). Since I’ve also set aside some other BNIB items from other trades, I think I’m pretty much set for Christmas gifts for my friends, as we don’t do a lot of gifting. Any other gifts I will likely be baking, like last year’s tins full of a selection of fancy homemade candies.
    – I turned some leftover cilantro, a cube of bouillon, some beans, and some water leftover from boiling carrots, into soup. Was yummy!
    – Bought several lbs of pasta for under 50 cents/lb
    – Made several batches of iced tea using tea that was either gifted to me or that I traded for. I used the light syrup from a can of fruit that I opened last week, to sweeten the tea.
    – Using my local trading app, I traded an electronic scale that we no longer needed, for a grow-a-rosebush box kit. I will gift it either to my sister or to a friend having a rough week. I also traded some homemade cupcakes (batter leftover from when I sent some cupcakes into work with the DH) for some pop (I put it away for guests) and for some chocolate bars and other chocolate that I will use in my baking. I also traded some nanaimo bars leftover from my Alice-in-Wonderland baking, for a razor for my husband, and traded a coverlet & pillow that I no longer wanted, for some canned goods. And, I traded some tea that I didn’t like, for two packages of paper towels. I think I’ve traded away most of the items that I no longer want, and my house is mostly uncluttered. There are still a few small things that I would like to trade away, but the larger items (chairs, bedding, etc.) are gone. Result: a much more streamlined home and a fuller pantry! I’m very glad I’ve been able to declutter, keep items out of the landfill, and save money while doing it!
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card, twice.
    – Went out for coffee with a friend, using my Starbucks gift card. I love subsidizing my social life with Swagbucks! 🙂
    – When I made yoghurt, I set it in the fridge in glass jars. As it sits there for a few days, the whey rises to the top. I poured off the whey and used it when making buttermilk biscuits. This leaves me with thicker yoghurt with no effort, plus my biscuits are yummy!
    – I planted more swiss chard, lettuce (I will keep trying to grow it!), and radishes.
    – The local nursery had a 70% off selected pots sale, plus I had a $20 gift certificate, so I bought two 4 gallon ceramic planters and two 2 gallon ceramic planters, and I paid less than $30 OOP! We saved over $100! I was so pleased. This year was my trial garden year, to see if I could garden despite the problems associated with my balcony (torrential downpours from condo rooftops, etc.) so I had used planters from the dollar store. Now next year I will have beautiful planters as I apply what I’ve learnt this year!
    – The DH and I went to a local street festival. Since we went at the end of the festival, there were food deals. For $4 we got two roast corn and 4 lemonades. Now that’s affordable carnival food!
    – I was talking with my husband about food costs, and we realized that he redeems points (No Frills supermarket in Canada) for about $30 worth of groceries free every month, as he has a credit card that gives him 3x the point value. We buy groceries on that card, and of course pay it off each month. $30 in free groceries is nice, I have to say, especially since we eat a LOT of fresh fruit and vegetables (one of the reasons I keep trying to grow stuff on my balcony).

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning more from everyone else!

  43. It is great that the kids are learning cursive. More and more research is showing the benefits of actual handwriting versus typing for development and thought process. Being able to read documents in cursive is also a plus!

  44. Can ask where you found the ACT prep class .? We homeschool , and I have a freshman would love to have her get a jump start on studying . Thank you !

  45. Lilllanna – I am impressed by the way you are so courageously making changes to your life and budget to adjust to your unexpected circumstances! It can be hard to make those decisions, especially as you cope with the emotional part of your serious health concerns. Please know that disability benefits are there for a reason, and they will help your family to be more secure. I hope your insurance settlement arrives sooner than expected, and I’m sending you good wishes that everything will work out for you! – Beth

  46. You are doing what you have to do in a difficult situation. Taking care of yourself and your daughter comes first and their is no shame in filing for disability. We have 3 children with special needs that are able to use Medicaid and Medicare for their insurance. We never abuse it and are so thankful to have it since my husband and myself are both over 65 and only have Medicare coverage and no private insurance that would cover them.

  47. • Made swag goal x 3, hung laundry out, brought lunch every day, cooked from scratch, rinse and repeat ; )
    • Worked late on Tuesday and really wanted take out but came home and made an omelet with toast.
    • I bought a plane ticket to go back to France for a week in November. I waited until the first day of the new Capital One travel website, which was offering a 5% discount on any airfare booked the first week. Verified the airfare before discount was the same price that I had found through other websites.
    • Went to a PYO and picked 5.05 lbs of raspberries. I’ve been freezing a single layer of raspberries on the baking sheet that came with my toaster oven. Once frozen, I move the berries into a ziplock. These will be yummy on winter oatmeal
    • Made six bottles of homemade balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing using bulk purchased vinegar from the local natural food store.

  48. I only went to the grocery store once last week. I was sorely tempted to go again because of the sales, but I resisted. We ate mostly what we had on hand, but did go out to eat twice which Rob paid for. He thinks I need a break from cooking once in a while and I don’t complain too much.

    I am trying to cut back on the convenience store runs, but it is hard when one is next door. I am trying to get better and take my snacks and drinks with me to work. The convenience store runs for snacks are such a budget sucker!

    We froze sweet corn and canned tomatoes last week. I need to get some old nylons and put up the onions that I pulled and cured. The carrots were also pulled and put into ziplock bags to be stored in the crisper drawer. I got 2.5 gallon size bags full. This is the first year I have been successful growing carrots!

    I gave a bag of jasmine rice, some green beans from the garden, a zucchini, and some jam to my oldest daughter. We can’t have rice anymore due to Rob’s diabetes so I have been slowly giving it away. She can’t have a garden yet so she loves the garden goodies!

    Overall, I just worked on selling some more things and not trying to spend money! I made $40 last week which I was proud of!

  49. Hang in there. Three years ago our 20 year old daughter suffered a severe head injury. Against all odds she will graduate from college this May and move on to live a different, but full life. The body and the brain are amazing! I have watched her struggle, but have been so amazed and blessed by her resolve and determined good humor.

    I’ve been reading your posts for some time now and I see those same amazing characteristics in you. You have my prayers.

  50. Thanks for the information and I am checking. It will take some research but I think it is worth the effort because there may be more things I might find. My shopping choices are VERY limited because I live in a small town, Kroger, Dollar General Market, Walgreens, Walmart and that is it. Everything else is 45 minutes away. It is also one of the reasons I stockpile, buy in bulk and grow a garden. It is just a different way of shopping.
    Jeannie @

  51. We saw another financial guy today and I can happy say this is the one we have chosen. The guy asked why we were looking for someone when I had a pretty good handle on what we needed…if I go down or die (I have heart failure and Crohn’s) Hubby is clueless and Hubby felt it would be less stress on me might be but it will definitely be less worry for Hubby. It’s nice as he is working with us on fees and making sure my medical is covered as he felt that should be a priority over some of the other stuff we had listed. Best part of when he asked what I would invest in, it matched his OWN investments LOL He is in the area our kids are so we can tie our meetings in with him to seeing the kids.

    New frugal thing… opening the curtain in the bathroom in the morning to let morning sunshine in to warm bathroom… privacy is usually what I focus on in that room since the bathroom window faces the driveway and the back door sidewalk. But Hubby said you can’t see anything unless you actually walk in front of the window which is about the height of my shoulders.

    Mended a couple tops and pants for myself, Hubby darned 3 prs of socks.

    I’ve worked on stocking the pantry and the personal goods stuff. “Stocking” the savings accounts for retirement that starts Dec 1st

    Canning as the gardens are overflowing with blessings .

    I’m struggling to think of others, between the canning and everything I am just that tired. Doesn’t help I started my day with running into the trunk that has sat at the end of my bed since 1985 in the dark, fell and caught myself with the arm that just was operated on instead of smacking my face on a the metal trunk corner…went to put ice on it and knocked my cup of coffee to the kitchen floor…then after I cleaned that up and put the ice on Rascal wanted to go out to play 10 (ball) and I threw the ball and it hit the ceiling of the porch and hit me in the head…I’m glad the rest of the day went well.

    My childhood friend in Hollywood Florida has let me know she is safe, lost the garage and most likely both cars but they are safe and still in their 2nd floor apt.

    Hubby’s best friend was getting hit with the storm as he drove from Atlanta GA where he works (actually about 30 miles east of Atlanta) to his home Huntsville AL and he got home safe… weary but safe.

    My family out west with the fires said their area is pretty safe now and it’s starting to clear the smoke away.

  52. 1. Found a number of items at the grocery store that we use regularly were on sale but weren’t on my list. Bought them anyway – ground turkey, laundry and dishwasher soap, etc. Nice surprise and they will get used eventually.
    2. We have to replace some plantation shutters and have now received 3 bids with each one being less than the last. So we went from $3400 to $1890 for 3 windows. Still a lot but glad we kept going. We are having to buy new ones for one room in our new to us home because one window had been dry walled over by some previous owner. We had it opened up and of course there is not shutter. The other 2 have old ones that are falling apart. Part of the cost of moving.
    3. Between borrowing magazines from the rec center library in my community and DIL dropping some off, I have no desire to have any subscriptions. Also getting all books and ebooks from libraries.
    4. Exercise program right now is free walking and a stretching DVD. Need to add weights or stretch band work and swimming as we now have community pool. May still pay $5 for community yoga class periodically so I can continue to meet people in our new home, but no more expensive options.
    5. I went to the drugstore to get my flu shot (at no cost to me) and shop using a 25% off coupon. They gave me a $5 off coupon for getting the shot. I stocked up on toothpaste, face cleaner, kleenex, and first aid supplies as I am building up my emergency kit.
    6. DH vetoed going out for dinner tonight as I am feeling tired from my flu shot and said he would cook everything. We usually do it together. I took him up on the offer.
    My heart goes out to everyone affected by the hurricanes these last few weeks and the one on the way.

  53. My husband and I drove the I 84 through the gorge on the Friday before the fire. The Columbia River Gorge is one of my favorite places on earth. The fire is heartbreaking!

  54. I wish I could grow basil better. It’s one of those plants where my brown thumb really shines on.

    I really focused staying home this past week, which is great since there is plenty to do and I feel better mentally when stuff gets done and my wallet had a nice long siesta. With being a homemaker/self employed I am getting asked to go out more,when I say no I get odd looks as if they are rescuing me from my house. Ha!

    When I took my tea break, I revisited some Cooking Light cookbooks I have and found new to me vegetarian recipes. All where staple/pantry items and so far very tasty.

    My compost area grew an acorn squash vine. So far I have one squash happily growing. Yay!

    There was an unexpected minor emergency hospital stay (they are fine) for a family member. Last time this happened we scrambled to get there and had vending machine food and 11 p.m McDonalds. We didn’t feel well from what we ate on top of the stress. This time, I packed numerous PB&J sandwiches for us and any other family member who might need one. I opted for PB&J because it could stay room temp for hours without frigeration. I was so thankful to have done that since this visit was longer and more stressful than the previous.

    Have a great week!

  55. *My daughter accidentally opened a can of cream corn instead of regular corn. I typically keep the cream corn for casserole only as no one like the taste. I decided it might make a good soup and sauteed some chopped red pepper and onion and added in the soup with a little chicken stock. Yummy save!
    *I found t-shirts for school in many different colors for another daughter. They were less than $3 each! They are just plain, solid-colored tshirts and just the style for my girl who doesn’t like anything “too fancy” or with glitter or writing on it. Does anyone have a tip about other places to find shirts that are cut for a girl but just plain and simple?
    *My mom gifted me with a small chicken pot pie…supper one night for my crew! And left BBQ and buns from another
    Sunday dinner.
    *My mom also gifted me with some ham, grits, granola bars, bread
    *I found fresh raspberries for $1 at Sam’s!
    *I put fruit that was getting too ripe into the freezer to use for smoothies; also mashed bananas and froze to use for banana bread later.
    *I used the crock to make two batches of bean for the freezer…one red beans and one black beans
    *My DH loves Smuckers Simply Caramel Sauce (I think that is the name). However, it is expensive at $2.50 on sale for a small jar. He thinks it is ok to purchase this as a treat…but we just can’t do that right now. I don’t want to deny him so I found a recipe online and made double the amount of that sauce for less than 80 cents! It hardens up more than the store-bought kind but my kids think it twice as tasty. I’ll keep experimenting! I also made some chocolate sauce for some ice cream we had on hand.
    *I pulled together “mixes” to store in the pantry to make meal prep easier: scones, brownies, Greek dressing, your balsamic vinagrette dressing and rice-a-roni, muffins, and pancake mix, and hamburger helper. It makes it so much easier to just pull down these mixes, add a few other simple ingredients, and throw a meal together.
    *My girls are part of a soccer team thanks to a scholarship. They had an out of town game and I packed a picnic rather than eat out.

  56. I wait until the holidays when walnuts are on sale and buy enough for the year. I chop them all in my food processor and keep them in a Tupperware container in the freezer. No need to thaw when baking because they don’t freeze in a clump.

  57. Thanks Brandy for letting me post about Hurricane Irma last week. It has moved up into Georgia as a tropical storm, and looks like she did a lot of damage. But as far as I know not a large loss of life. We only had tropical storm winds and rain where I live.
    I used our grocery money mostly for non perishable food and water, but when we saw it was not going to be bad here, I went to Winn Dixie yesterday for milk, eggs, and fruit for my husband’s lunch. The shelves were about empty. I already had meat in the freezer for meals this week.
    We went to an afternoon movie with some friends. I have a rewards card for the theater and since this is my birthday month, I had a free small popcorn and coke. We upgraded to larges for only $3.24. So an affordable outing.
    Made sure I returned library books and movies on time to avoid fines.
    Hit some yard sales last weekend. Got some paperback books, a crochet book for my niece who just started a business crocheting for people, some dress shirts for one of my grandsons, and some votive candle holders.
    It has been cool despite the weather, and today I made vegetable soup in the crock pot with veggies in the fridge and some hamburger I had cooked already.

  58. Jeannie – maybe sunflower seeds (unsalted) or pumpkin seeds (sometimes also called pepitas, again unsalted) could be substitutes for the walnuts at a lower price per pound?

  59. We mostly continue with our regular frugal activities. However, there were a couple of new things I tried this past week. They weren’t huge money-savers, but every little bit helps.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate home-prepared meals all but two times.

    * Made bread, honey-mustard salad dressing, ranch dip, and black beans (froze the prepped beans). This was the first time I made black beans; previously I would buy them canned. I’ve made pintos/refried beans often. I don’t know why it took me so long to make black beans.

    * Both of the guys are fighting a cold. I was able to combine a 30% off coupon and CVS Extra Bucks to buy cold medicine at a 74% savings.

    * Ate mostly vegetarian meals.

    * Harvested cucumbers, tomatoes, and lemons. Collected eggs.

    * Another new thing I tried was buying items from the bulk bins at Sprouts. I was able to get dried thyme for 16 cents (99 cents per ounce) and dried brown rice for 75 cents (95 cents per lb.). We do grow thyme in the garden, but I use it quite frequently so I was running low on dried. Also, I’m trying to get more whole grains into our diet so buying smaller quantities of brown rice works for us. I still buy white rice in the huge bags from Sam’s, but we can’t get through brown rice fast enough to buy it in large quantities.

    * Accepted scraps for the hens and also gave them the scraps from making salad. Composted whatever they couldn’t have.

    * Kept the AC set at 80F and opened up when it was cooler than that. We actually had one day when we didn’t need to turn it on at all. That was a nice change from the previous week.

    * Continue to save warm-up/rinse water for the potted plants and roses when the weather is extra hot.

    * Checked out a DVD from the library.

  60. Jeannie, Grape Nuts cereal make a good substitute for nuts in in dense batters like muffins and quick breads. Just measure equivalent amount and stir in at end of mixing.

  61. You can freeze them whole until you are able to process them. This year we had a bumper crop so in addition to making fig preserves and strawberry fig preserves I made honey fig butter. Ya just throw fig in the crockpot with some honey a generous pinch of salt and a little water or apple juice. Cook down and add vanilla at the end and purée with a stick blender. If it is too runny for fruit butter leave the lid off and the crock pot on high to reduce. Then can and water bath for 10 min. You can also make fig cake and freeze them for holiday time or last minute coffee visits or make dried figs. We also eat them fresh with a little whipped cream cheese and honey or dollar tree feta. Enjoy

  62. Because she has had complications with this pregnancy, & cannot pick up Little Stuff, anytime her husband has had to travel for work, I have gone up to be the other pair of hands, & usually that has been driving the Columbia Gorge. If I cross the Columbia River at the I-82 junction, and go down WA 14, the view will just be of the other side of the Gorge, & I won’t have to backtrack from the bridge on 205. The speed limits are both 60 mph, so the time should be close to the same – about 12 hours.

  63. A friend was offered free veggies because the subscriber was going on holidays and couldn’t pick it up so my friend split the free veggies with me. Free corn, beets, potatoes, strawberries, kale. I made kale chips but don’t know if they were supposed to turn out the way they actually did.

    My single mom gardener offered to take downtown some photos I am consigning to a gift store. That saves me a ton of money for sure. I bought picture frames for half price so spent $100 on 22 frames and saved $100.00. Hopefully the photos will sell and I’ll make a little money. My gardener is going to try selling them at the community harvest fair this coming weekend. I collapsed at a store (more like a sudden old-fashioned faint) and the paramedics came. They were so kind to me. I had revived by the time they got there. They said a lot of people are having problems with the smoke. My gardener gave me a lift to the photo shop and I said I’d treat her to a pizza but she liked the pizza so much that she insisted on paying for me. Due to allergies I almost never can eat out but I found this pizza place that doesn’t cook fish or shrimp in the oven and doesn’t use Worcestershire sauce in the pizza sauce. So I can eat it and it made me feel human to sit and be able to eat out.

    Brandy, I wonder if you can email me without my giving out my email online? I’d like to talk to you about your eldest daughter’s scholarship quest as I belong to a group that raises money for scholarships, loans and grants. Ann

  64. I had gotten a gallon Ziploc of figs from a friend a couple of months ago. Since I didn’t have time to process them into jam, I just stuck them in the freezer. I then put them in my smoothies with an assortment of other fruits and veggies like cooked butternut squash and spinach.

  65. I don’t comment often but I do read every post and comment every week . I feel as if many of you are old friends and neighbors . Thank you so much for this blog and the information that not only you but others are able to share . It is definitely a blessing . My suggestion on getting the last bit of lotion or any kind of facial product etc. out of the bottle or tube is to use a pair of heavy duty scissors and cut the container in half so that you can use a small spatula or your fingers to get the remainder out . It is amazing how much is left in pump bottles and tubes sometimes .

  66. They are just from a local class; if you live in Las Vegas, I can tell you where they are being held. What we did with my eldest was to search for free online classes and past tests for her to take. She did all of the ones we could find. We did a free trial on a site that offered it to help her raise her score and offered more test questions and cancelled it before the trial period ended. I also bought this book: on the recommendation of the teacher for the free classes (which my eldest attended last year). There is a newer edition out for this year.

  67. I know you asked for a walnut substitute but I can not think of one that is much cheaper but maybe cut the amount down from 1/2 cup to say 1/3 cup? Also, wanted to throw it out here that I prefer zucchini bread, or any quick bread for that matter without nuts added. I have made a few recipes that say to butter the pan then use a sugar/cinnamon mix as you would if you were flouring the pan. It makes it really yummy! Then I will sprinkle a bit on top too. You could use raisins or chocolate chips as an add in for variety? Not sure of the price difference…….

  68. Rhonda, Miami Florida is 2562 miles southeast (mostly east) of here.

    The Jet Stream goes from west to east, and our weather and storms come from the west (and southwest) of us.

    Storms in the Atlantic do not reach here. The winds blow from the west and south west, and the storms come from the Pacific.

    We have seen more rain this year here than normal, and I’m so grateful for it! I was able to see that rain was predicted, but I couldn’t see much more about it, as is just full of hurricane stories. They’re not even talking about the fires burning across the northwest; I have to read about that elsewhere. So there wasn’t anything that I could see about this storm coming. It was so nice, though!

  69. Brandy, the basil looks wonderful!

    We took a 10 day vacation to the Pacific NW which was not frugal, but one of the reasons we are frugal most of the year is so that we can vacation without worrying too much about the cost when we travel. But since we got back on Labor Day, we are back into frugal mode.

    My accomplishments last week:

    * Got some free toiletries and tea from the hotels we stayed at.
    * Used free toiletries, coffee and tea.
    * Got steak on clearance to put in the freezer.
    * Got sour cream and cottage cheese for $1 per container. Stocked up on both.
    * Made Hubby’s lunch and breakfasts 2 times. Also, we have a few single serve snack type items (pretzels, nuts, etc.) that we never seem to eat. I have been putting them into my Hubby’s lunch bag.
    * Ate free oatmeal and jelly that I had gotten from work.
    * Reused ziplocks and saved some other plastic bags such as the brown sugar bag.
    * Got 3 books from my brother and gave him 2.
    * Got 2 people to sign up for Ibotta and made $10 plus got a few rebates myself.
    * Hung 2 loads of laundry to dry. Only used 1/2 a dryer sheet on the loads that I needed to dry in the dryer.
    * Got a great deal for wine on clearance. Paid $2.24 per bottle for 18 bottles of Pinot Grigio and 6 bottles of Prosecco. I will drink it on the weekends and also give some out as hostess gifts, etc., especially with the holidays coming.
    * Instead of eating out on my Trivia League night, I had tuna fish and crackers with a tomato. Hubby had dinner at his Mom’s that night. Just drank club soda with lime at Trivia, which they didn’t charge me for.
    * I need to eat up my stockpile, so I was proud that I resisted the urge to purchase more food from the clearance rack.
    * I watch my grandson 2 times a week for free. My daughter asked if I could do 3 times a week through the end of October. She will be paying me $50/week for that. The money will come in handy!
    * Put carrot tops and peelings in my bag I keep in the freezer for when I make stock.
    * Continued to eat food from the freezer. Have been keeping my freezer inventory list up to date so that I use the oldest stuff first.
    * I used the last of some lotion by turning the bottle upside down. It was a pump bottle, but I have an assortment of lids in different sizes that I have saved up so I can replace the pump and turn the bottle upside down.
    * Used fruit and milk leftover from my grandson’s lunch and put them in my morning smoothie.
    * Pre-made smoothie bags for the week for my husband and myself. In the morning we just need to dump it in the blender and add some milk.
    * Wasn’t able to drive out to my Dad’s last week, so I saved on gas money.
    * Paid bills online.
    * Realized that I was only using about 1/2 of the cotton pads to take off my makeup and use toner. Decided to cut them in half. They work fine at that size and now will last twice as long.

    Happy saving everyone!

  70. Good work saving the 1/2 of a squash! I’m fighting slugs for the few remaining lettuce seedlings in my garden that are left after the moose destroyed it all and it’s been getting so cold at night I definitely need to figure out a garden cover if my seeds for over wintering have any shot of getting well established by snowfall.

    It’s super busy around here just trying to keep on top of appointments and things let alone get everything ready for winter, so I’m frazzled to say the least :).

    My list for the week can be found here…

  71. Hi Melissa V no not the same as an extract unfortunately. It is fresh fruit juices with sugar and citric acid made into a syrup by cooking that we dilute with cold water to drink on a hot summers day. After looking up how many sulphite preservatives that are in most cordials, which I am not supposed to have due to asthma, we started making our own a couple of years ago.

    Making extracts is something I have been looking lately at such as making our own vanilla extract since it is really expensive to buy here and quite easy to make. If you google it you will come up with a lot of good recipes for making extracts too with directions.

  72. Becky, I have a prolific Brown Turkey Fig tree — these do quite well in Oregon. They turn a purple color when ripe. I’m wondering if you have a different variety, though as mine aren’t ripe yet. I make fig butter, which is divine. I also make a lot of fig chutney. I get the extra ingredients at Winco, which helps with the cost. I’ve also made a mock raspberry jam using figs and raspberry jello. I make a fig crisp, which is one of my favorites and use the fig butter to make crumbly oat bar cookies. Then there are the smoothies and I put it in oatmeal (cut up). Plus, we eat them fresh! Finally, I give them away 🙂 Good luck. They don’t last long. I get them in the refrigerator as soon as I pick them. Lay them out in a layer — don’t pile too many on top of each other or they’ll really smoosh. One other treat is to take a really ripe one and squish it into a turkey sandwich. Oh, my! Chris

  73. I agree Laurie. I grew up in Hood River and playing/hiking in the Gorge. It it’s beautiful and the fires are devastating. The air quality this year in Oregon has been awful. About a week or so ago more than half our state was on fire.

  74. Wow! Way to be ahead for Christmas! You’ll have to share what you’re making. I take it one of your projects is bookmarks!

  75. [list]
    I worked four hours overtime.
    We organised a Father’s Day dinner at our house instead of buying a present. I cooked the main course from mostly ingredients on hand, my sister-in-law brought dessert, we split the cost for alcohol and I decorated with greenery from our garden. We all had a great time. 🙂
    I took the bus to attend an appointment in the city, saving parking fees. The fare was reduced as it was not during peak hour.
    The free produce carts in our town are overflowing with citrus fruit at the moment so we have a nice supply.
    Our friend invited us for dinner and gave us some fruit she was not going to eat. Accidental frugality: We forgot the bottle of wine that we wanted to bring…
    My workmate and I carpooled whenever we worked the same shifts. We only recently discovered how close we lived to each other and are enjoying the company while driving.
    My husband and I booked our flight tickets for next year during an early bird special and received an extra 10% off our travel insurance. We did not pay it the same day and by the next day the price had dropped another $100. Nice!
    A garden centre voucher that we had received as a wedding gift was used to purchase needed items to tackle our front yard renovation ourselves. I was a bit sad about not buying pretty plants but there is no use for them just yet.
    We went out for dinner once using a 25% off voucher. All other meals were prepared at home.
    My sister-in-law gave us free oranges and dishwasher tabs.
    Slight frugal fail: Instead of looking through the shed properly, I bought a bike pump. Needless to say, my husband found the old one the next day… Luckily it cost only $8 but I’m still a bit annoyed.

  76. Hubby uses a small hand saw to cut bottoms off stuff for me… figured I would cut my hand off it I tried it with a knife . Dad said to take the lid off and turn upside down into a cup that the opening didn’t touch the bottom of cup where it would drain out and leave it alone for awhile.

  77. My grandson’s father is 31 and is on disability, hard for him to file but did it to provide for my grandson. My niece is 38 on disability with 3 as a single mother , she struggled even with emotional support because they denied her 3 times so she just felt more like a failure every time. I talked her in to getting a lawyer and it was approved…so if you get denied DO NOT feel like a failure. Get a lawyer (there are those that deal with this and work with you). SS tends to deny 2-3 times before they approve. My cousin has been on disability since he was 18..he has seizures so he can’t work. He used his money to support his mother when she couldn’t work due to surgery. He does help several neighbors including my dad without pay. Said that the govt paid him to help them. Let’s him keep his pride.

    You are not alone, you are not a failure, you are doing what is RIGHT.

  78. I don’t know about Australia where Lorna is but cordial is a type of drink here state side that can be turned into alcohol drink. I don’t always let mine go to that stage …but here is the recipe that our neighbors use. Just FYI… cream of tartar is neutralized tartaric acid but will not work in this recipe.

  79. Hi Brandy,
    To save money this week I,
    Watered the garden from our tanks, they will be getting low soon if we don’t have rain
    Made another jar of nut butter
    Stretched a kilo of chicken thighs to two dinners for 4 people using heaps of veggies
    Line dried all the washing
    Made another batch of muesli
    Took lunch to work every day
    Saved the warm up water from the showers to water the potted figs out the front
    Mulched the garden and pots heavily to reduce evaporation
    Cut Asian greens from the veggie pot to go with one dinner
    Used the car as little as possible, it is magpie season at the moment so hubby is dropping me to work and then I walk home (with a huge umbrella) I won’t ride my bike again to work until the end of October when the magpies stop swooping. At least i get some exercise by walking
    Had a stocktake of the fridge to make sure anything near its expiry date was used up
    Cleaned the house using homemade cleaners

    And that’s all I can think of at the mo,
    Have a lovely day,

  80. The cloud cover that we had yesterday in southern Ontario were the outer edges of hurricane Irma. We are no where near Florida, but it is pretty much straight south of us. I was wondering if the hurricane from Texas stretched up your direction, but I guess not. Regardless, I’m glad you had rain!;)

  81. My garden is dying but I continue to harvest tomatoes, basil, green onions, parsley, oregano. My carrots are probably ready and I will harvest them today along with a few more turnips. I harvested Mullein from my yard (we don’t use chemicals or spray) and made a quick mullein oil for sore muscles, dehydrated several trays for tea in the winter, and soaked mullein and garlic cloves in olive oil for an oil for ear aches. I will be dehydrating more for tea for as long as I can harvest it. My daughter (6 yrs old) and I planted some lettuce and basil in pots for the house and replanted a house plant that grew out of it’s small pot. I used supplies I already had on hand.

    My mother has given me several pairs of jeans, pajamas, and a shirt that she can no longer fit into (she lost some weight 🙂 ).

    I GOT A BETTER JOB, and it’s work I enjoy and am good at (data entry)!! It’s a lot more money, full company paid benefits AND 401K!!! I am SO excited! 😀 I start on the 25th. My mom also found a part time job that’s decent money, only a mile from my house, doing work she enjoys. Good things are finally happening! Whew! lol

    We washed our car at home using mild dish soap in a bucket of water, rags and towels we already had.

    My water bill went down $15!

    I made my daughter’s school lunches for this week on Sunday and packaged them up so they are ready to go. I use these: because they are leak proof and seem to be fairly durable. I also got all her outfits ready for the week so I/she/we just grab one and get ready. Less stressful mornings are wonderful. When I work a steady schedule at my new job I will do the same thing for myself.

    I had to break down and go grocery shopping as we were out of almost everything and it was becoming difficult to be creative. I shopped at Aldi, though, and got lots of food for the money I spent. I took my mom to a produce give a way that a local food pantry has every Saturday (it’s free for anyone and they give away their community garden produce plus donations of produce that will go bad soon). I got zucchini, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, 2 bell peppers, grapes and 2 limes. This was so helpful and there was so much they were giving away, I’m glad it was given away and not ended up in the landfill.

    I made more solution for my homemade wipes (Clorox wipes alternative wipes – I use vinegar, water, and eo’s).

    I have been cleaning out, decluttering, and reorganizing cupboards as I have time in my schedule. My donation pile is growing lol and my home is finally feeling less cluttered. I reorganized a cupboard with shelves to hold all my canning jars. I thought I was low on jars but nope… just needed to put them all in one place. And I found I have LOTS of lids, which I almost bought a couple weeks ago but didn’t due to no money. My husband and I also cleaned out the garage and breezeway (attaches house to garage and where we keep our gardening supplies). We recycled and donated what we could but most of the stuff was junk. My hubby has a hoarding problem, but he’s trying to get better.

    We made tacos and burritos, meatloaf with boiled new potatoes and veggies, spaghetti, breakfast for dinner. We continue to eat the muffins and pumpkin bread we have in the freezer that we made last week. We’ve eaten all but one meal at home that we prepared ourselves.

    I have also done the usual things: saving water wherever I can, turning off lights and appliances when not in use, unplugging cords as soon as the device is charged, using saved shower water to flush the toilet or add the soapy water clothes are soaking in (for stains) into the laundry wash water, use homemade cleaning supplies, stayed home when not working.

    I also went to the library and exchanged books and movies. I will be going again today as well.
    Have a great week! I look forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments 🙂

  82. Ohhh, I never thought to add water to the last little bit of lotion. In the past I’ve actually cut the lotion bottle open, scooped out all the lotion, and put it into a mason jar. 🙂

    This week:

    1. I salvaged a tire from a neighbor’s bulk pickup pile. I’m in the process of turning it into a heavy-duty tuffet that we can use for meditation.

    2. I made my Halloween costume using only items bought from the thrift store, for a total of $20. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I’ll wear this costume for years, so it’s all good.

    3. Instead of buying canned beans from the store we bought dried beans and cooked them ourselves. This gives us a lot more flavor in our meals since we cook with more seasoning (and pork fat!).

    4. This morning I exercised for free thanks to YouTube tutorials. Mr. Picky Pincher went on a wallet-friendly run for his morning workout.

    5. I wanted a treat yesterday. Instead of going to the store and buying Oreos, I made King Arthur’s espresso cream cookies. They’re heavenly and give me a little jolt of caffeine, so it’s a win-win. 🙂

  83. Is Patsy your daughter as well ? What time does Rob get on the school bus? I don’t know how you both do it! I am having great difficulty with the early mornings but our late meal is not until 7:30 PM and I can’t bump it any earlier and the little ones are up at 6:30 AM I never seem to get to bed before 11:45 PM at the earliest and it is getting almost impossible to get up out of bed any suggestions>?

  84. I will let you know how it turns out after I have tried the recipe. I am going to do like you suggested and shred the squash, freeze it and use it during the winter.

  85. GRAPE NUTS! Something I have never thought about or tried. It would be way cheaper, add a crunch and maybe soak up the flavor of the batter. This I will be trying. Good idea.
    Jeannie @

  86. Thank you for all three suggestions. I had thought about using raisins but didn’t think about cranberries. I will also try cooking without anything. My problem is that I can’t eat sugar, not at all, not even the tiniest bit so tasting a recipe is something I can’t do. I must rely on others’ opinion.
    Jeannie @

  87. I love pecans and would eat the whole bag in two seconds, no self control; they would never make it into any recipe. They are more expensive than walnuts but, oh how good they are. But peanuts and sunflower seeds will be added to the list of things to try.
    Jeannie @

  88. Walnuts freeze? Well, why not. I have never thought about it because they don’t last long around here. I buy them for a recipe, then they quickly disappear out of the cabinet. Maybe I should keep them in the freezer in the basement. No one but me would know they are there. Very good idea.
    Jeannie @

  89. Wow! Nuts are expensive! I usually harvest pecans off the side of the road, or where they fall on sidewalks here. Other than that, I have used sunflower seeds purchased at Tractor supply (which is actually for birds for but I figure sunflower seeds are sunflower seeds)……I also will leave nuts out and use raisins, or prunes slices very small, instead.

  90. I sent my husband to the dollar tree for pads. He came back with two boxes of pads that were about 1/4 the size of the regular ones. Very nice!

  91. Fiona, I found a number of different savoury bread pudding recipes on Pinterest (searched savoury bread pudding). There were lots of variations with different meat, cheese, and/or veggies mixed in with the egg and bread mixture. You can easily create a delicious dish using what you have on hand, including veggies grown in your own garden. After making it, I’m now realizing this dish is kind of like making soup. Once you know the basics, you can easily mix and match whatever you want!

  92. I hadn’t thought about a topping. I do have a favorite one they all love and will give it a try on one loaf.
    Jeannie @

  93. I can get sunflower seeds very cheap compared to walnuts. They even come in different flavors so I might try the honey roasted flavor.
    Jeannie @

  94. I have seen pumpkin seeds but have never priced them. Brainstorm idea – I toast the big squash seeds and they are really “pumpkin seeds”. Figuring out how to use them would be FREE! These ideas are getting better and better.

  95. Shopping for food at Tractor Supply! I have a Tractor Supply store in town, very close by. I don’t care if they are for birds. The next time I am out I will stop by there and see what they have. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Jeannie @

  96. I will probably cut back on the recipe some after I try it the first time. We will have a taste testing event. I love taste testing contests and they can vote on which way they like it the best. Usually though, everyone likes it a different way. They will all probably vote on all chocolate chips, sugar coating topping and leave out the zucchini.
    Jeannie @

  97. For plain & simple t-shirts I don’t think you can beat LL Bean for a mix of quality & price. They would be considerably more than $3 but perhaps you could pass them on or sell them once she outgrows them. I find that they hold their shape and wash well and they have a good selection of styles as well.

  98. Laurie in AZ

    May I ask how old the grandson is that you watch ?
    Also may I be bold and ask about how old you are?

    We are having a discussion about days and pay and how much one can do at certain ages around here.

  99. It must be a thing…our farm store also carries nuts cheaper than the grocer. All kinds, not just the “bird” sunflower seeds.

  100. I’ve heard of watermelon rind pickles and watermelon jelly. The syrup is new to me. I might have to give this a go as well. Watermelons are on sale for a crazy low price here at the moment.

  101. I completely forgot to post about the lotion bottles! I’m a bottle cutter. I use a box cutter, always away from my hands. A couple of my friends think it’s crazy to cut them open, but I keep telling them that I can get another few days of lotion out of there and that adds up!! I also use the flat end of an orange stick (for manicures) to scrape out the last of my chapstick!!

    Glad to see that I’m in good company! 🙂

  102. Jessica,

    October is our big planting time for cool-season vegetables. Star Nursery will have flowers, herbs, fruit trees and vegetables that you can plant when it starts to cool down.

    Most important things: bring in good dirt; don’t try to grow in the dirt that is here, and 2: Install drip irrigation on a timer!

    Check out my garden calendar and all that I grow under the garden tab at the top of my page.

  103. Our week was great, albeit busy, and it’s getting very hot.

    -dinner provided for us at a friends house last night
    -going to the farmers markets today for fresh and inexpensive fruit and vegetables
    -burgers provided at work for lunch today so I am only taking my breakfast and afternoon snack
    -husband has completed 2 overtime shifts this week
    -pasta dinner was provided for us on the weekend at my cousin’s house
    -date night with the husband tomorrow. We are getting dinner then seeing a movie
    -no purchases other than groceries & 1 happy hour cup of tea from the cafe near my work
    -enrolled my children into a French playgroup that commences next month
    -lots of salads and eggs eaten this week
    -looking forward to attending a party this weekend where lunch will be providedj

  104. Michaels has plain, solid color t-shirts. They sometimes go on sale 3 for $10. Or you could get them regular price with their coupons. I used to buy matching colors for when we would go on vacation to Disney so I knew what to look for. The brighter the better.

  105. to continue…I am back at school so my free time is very little, but the garden is still very busy. We do some canning every night. Our tomatoes which I worried about earlier because they seemed delayed are especially prolific this year. We grew a large portion of Mountain Fresh and so far no cracks and no blossom end rot. They are large, on top of that. Sweet corn is still coming in, the pole beans, also delayed are doing very well now. The bush green and wax are done. We finished canning blackberries (new thing I learned from here last year) , picked cabbages and melons and zucchini and decorative gourds and squash and carrots. Still getting hot peppers and bell peppers. Picked herbs and mint. I will bring in my basil and rosemary to use through the winter. I have dried plenty of all the herbs and mint and made many jars of basil pesto. Our greens are still producing. My daughter will put the hoop houses back up soon. It is in the 40’s now overnight, but still nice and warm during the day. We may even be up to 80 by Friday they say! Though this morning’s TV weather did mention the remnants of Irma reaching up, so maybe rain by Sunday, as Rhonda mentioned.

    The leaves are turning colors. Another sure sign of Fall here is my uncles have decorated the farm stand, our front porch and my husbands shop with Fall items. The stand is in front of our house and shares the drive with the workshop and my daughters’s house (the original farm house) and we are the busier of the roads so he likes to catch as much drive by traffic as he can plus the regulars. Once the pumpkin rush is over they shut down for the winter. We put up some lights to to brighten the early darkening nights. My husband did finish our deck in time for my birthday as he said and we have loved sitting out on it. We have watched a pair of bald eagles circle occasionally. My children bought some rattan furniture for the deck made out of recycled plastic. It is very comfortable.

    Did not do much grocery shopping again. Bought toothpaste using double coupons and sales, 5 tubes, rubbing alcohol one bottle, Vit D at the BOGO vitamin sale. Did buy lids at the 25% off sale for the jars and another bag of canning salt. Did buy another of the largest size bottle of lemon juice. Went to Sams Club with my sister in law and bought pecans, chocolate chips, tortilla chips, six pack of romaine lettuce, vanilla and toilet paper. Also parmesan cheese. Bought items for the Samaritan’s Purse boxes at the back to school sales…note books, crayons, pencils, sharpeners, erasers all for .25 or less. Last month the church collection was school supplies…this month it is hygiene items. Have been buying sale/double coupon toothbrushes, soap etc. Used my birthday reward coupon at the Shopko and bought washcloths, soap holders, combs and toothbrush holders.

    Cooked and baked all at home. Some of the things I can remember over the last 3-4 weeks are coleslaw, cucumber salad, fresh vegetables and dip, lettuce salads, Mexican haystacks (nachos), spaghetti sauce, lentil sausage patties (recipe from someone here, Deb in Florida, I think), stuffed peppers (extra for freezer), jalapeno poppers (more for freezer), sweet and sour cabbage rolls (extra for freezer), zucchini quiche x 2, zucchini pancakes with applesauce and yogurt, deviled eggs, peach ice cream and peach pie using our first peaches off our trees planted 3 yr ago. Mixed up 10 piecrusts for the freezer, homemade pizza. A couple times we women (myself, daughters Eliana and Olivia, husband’s sister Susie, and our tenant and my mother) that the men ( Eliana’s husband, my husband, our tenant, Susie’s husband Bernie) handled dinner so everything was grilled and skewered over the fire and then ice cream and smores for dessert.

  106. Struesel topping for banana bread? Do you have anything particular to share? I would love to find a little cheaper option than nuts. My children love banana bread but I don’t love the cost of all the nuts theyneant to put on!

  107. Yes, it is similar and can easily be seasoned that way. However, bread pudding is made with an egg and milk mixture, instead of poultry stock or drippings. Add in a bit of meat, cheese and/or veggies and it becomes more like a quiche or casserole. Since I didn’t add veggies to mine, I paired it with a veggie side dish. Furthermore, the ingredients I did add made the leftovers perfect for breakfast!

  108. It took me forever to learn to make good gravy — good for you getting it right on the first try! When we first married my husband always made the gravy, but over the years I have gotten the hang of it.

  109. Congratulations Mandy on the new job! Sounds like it’s going to be perfect for you. So happy for you and your family.

  110. The tree that I have has green figs on it. When they get soft, they turn a bit brown, but not as brown as most of what I saw on Pinterest, when I looked there after it was suggested. The inside is very soft, with a rosy-colored/light brown colored center.

    Thank you, everyone, for all the advice. It seems that a fig in the center of a cluster gets large, than ripens. I will start picking them and freezing, probably, since there aren’t very many ripe at once. They are just starting. It’s good to know that they are delicate for others, as well. The 4 I picked went bad quickly on the counter, so I will refrigerate them right away next time. I need Rob—I’m too short to get too many. He’s much taller. Maybe this weekend.

  111. There are a number of pesto recipes that suggest substituting bread crumbs for the nuts. I tried it and have not used nuts since. MUCH cheaper and one more thing to do with stale bread.

  112. Anne,
    Patsy is a bit complicated to explain. She is our adopted daughter, who has been living with us for about 4 years now. She is also our grand-daughter. Rob and I adopted all 8 of our children, and Patsy is the daughter of #2. Things were not working out, so she was taken into foster care. After an entire summer of visitation so she could get to know us, since she had only had contact with us when she was little and did not remember, she moved in with us. Everything was tried to reconcile her with her mother, but it did not work out, so we adopted her.

    Here’s our fall schedule, subject to revision if needed, since it’s only 1-1/2 week old:)
    I get up anywhere between 4 and 6:30, depending on how well I sleep.Our house is very tiny, so I don’t make noise until around 6 or later or it wakes everyone up. I do quiet things like blog, read, etc. Sometimes I change laundry loads, and Rob often does it during the night, as he is a light sleeper, as well.

    Rob and I shower in the morning, as we only have 1 bathroom for 5 people. The others can do it later in the day, or in the evening. Each person gets their own breakfast (except me–Rob usually makes mine), and Rob and Patsy both make their own lunches. He also often gets out all the meds and puts them in little custard cups, to help the morning go smoothly. I do it if he doesn’t.

    Patsy gets up between 6:30 and 7, and starts walking to school at 7:30. Her school starts at 8:05.
    Ja’Ana is to be up and ready to go by 7:30, since we start homeschool at 8. Alissa joins us then, and if it is a math day, her dad comes, and does math then.
    Lovana runs her own schedule. College has not started yet. She is also searching for a job, so does that a lot.
    Rob gets on the bus at 8:30.
    We do homeschool together until about 1:30. I do occasionally give them assignments to do on their own, but both are the kind who need me to be involved. If I do any work, it is right there in the same room as they are in, or I leave for a couple of minutes. Mostly, I read aloud, do discussions, keep them on task, etc., and it makes us get a lot done in a short time. Sometimes, like today, I gave them little notecards with things I want them to do after 1:30, on their own. I am doing school M-Th this year, and giving them extra assignments on Fridays, and/or do field trips. I am also not working Friday afternoons this year, nor are the girls doing any dance classes on Fridays. I’m hoping to have an easier year than I did last year, so have adjusted my schedule. I also want them to become a little more independent each year.
    1:30–I leave for work–to get my niece, then my nephew off the bus, etc., 3 days per week. The other days, I do home tasks, appointments, and errands.
    I don’t know when Rob gets off the bus, yet. Somewhere near 4:15 or 4:30, I think. I get done at 6, so am home by 6:30. Patsy is home around 3, unless she takes afterschool classes, which are a few days a week when they start. Then 4:30. She is to do homework, a chore, and clean her room before playing.
    Evenings: Most evenings, I do a little something. Tonight, I mowed the lawn with Rob’s help and pulled a few weeds, then am sitting on the couch watching tv. I rarely go to bed before 11, but occasionally crash and burn and go much earlier. I have to have a little space each night. J will take tap on Thursdays, starting soon, and Wednesdays are reserved for church/youth group. I usually cook a lot on the weekends and warm up food on work nights, or use the Crock Pot.

    Canning is done early in the morning or late at night. On weekends, during the day. Gardening, during the evenings, or weekends. Rob and I work together well. It’s the only way we’ve survived so many kids with so many special needs. Every weekend, chores are handed out to the kids, and they do dishes each night after dinner.

    So, planning, working together, and a schedule. That’s how we do it when things are going smoothly. We have rough days, too, but it’s usually when we did not follow the plan, or someone is having a hard day.

    I never, ever get everything done that I would like to, but I feel that if I have a plan/list/goals and get some of them done, it is far better than to have no plan or purpose at all. My schedule was different when I had younger kids at home, but I still had lots of lists, and did have a schedule. I would just encourage you to try a schedule and/or a list of things you’d like to get done, and if it doesn’t work, try another one until you find one that does work. One thing I actively work on it not to let the “list” rule me and to remember to make the people top of my list. I sometimes get too focused on the project:)

    Can you get a little rest at some other time during the day, at least 1-2 days per week? When Ja’Ana was 2-3, I would stretch out on the couch, put her on my stomach, turn on the Food Channel for everyone else (because it was safe to watch if I fell asleep and the show changed), and rest (sometimes doze or nap) for at least an hour until my son with Aspergers would get home from his school. It was the only way I could have enough energy to deal with him, and she was no longer napping. I would know where she was, was up like a shot if she climbed down, and she often rested a bit, too. So, be creative! Whatever works, and it’s different for everyone:) I also take a nap all afternoon about once every 2 months, when I get super tired. I also get into bed at 6pm and stay there all evening, resting, about once every 3-6 months. My body seems to know when I can’t make it anymore, and sends me signals. Then, I rest, or I get sick.

  113. Brandy, you are a true inspiration with your purposeful approach to life. I really admire your ‘attitude of gratitude’ and determination to praise God and choose to be happy regardless of your financial circumstances. I have learned a lot from your blog and am very grateful for the time you put into it.

  114. Thanks for the tip, Sandra! Unfortunately, we had already used the new pump before we found the old one. But I guess it taught me a lesson…

  115. Thanks for the tip! My vision coverage only pays for a pair of glasses every two years and I can see this coming in handy!

  116. We have a wood-stove that we use to keep the furnace from kicking on as much during the day. There are 14 cat litter buckets and 8 feed bags full of the dry branches. They will burn fast but hot and won’t last long but it will help with the gas bill a bit. I still have to cut down more of the branches that were too big for the loppers but I need to borrow my Dad’s electric chain saw for those.

  117. How wonderful for your husband to win second place for his car. I love the part about you both being 75 and getting together with grade school friends. It’s the little things….

  118. LSM, I pulled out my recipe but after looking at it, I am not sure it would be much cheaper since it calls for one stick of butter. I only use it as a special treat because of the extra sugar it adds. I have cut it in half and spread it thinner over the top of the pie. The recipe came from an aunt who would make a year’s worth of apple pies in the Fall during harvest time and freeze them ready to bake. She put it on top of the pie instead of a pie crust. It was one of my uncles favorite desserts.

    [u]Apple pie topping[/u]
    1 stick of butter, melted
    1/2 cup sugar
    3/4 cup flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Mix all together and spread over apple pie. It will bake into a crispy topping. Very decadent.

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry

  119. Mable, REALLY! Using bread crumbs! I will definitely give this a try. I am not sure the walnuts give much of a flavor to pesto anyway because the fresh basil is strong. The walnuts might just be a filler to make the pesto thicker. I always have stale bread!

  120. Hello, frugal friends. Last week I bought shelf stable supplies for the impending hurricane that was headed our way. Thankfully for us, it missed us minus some rain and strong winds. I feel for those in the areas that were impacted though. We just went through a hurricane last October, and devastating flooding in October 2015, so I know how they feel. So, I had to spend money on supplies, but it’s stuff we can use anyway, so not really money wasted.

    I’ve had another 6 days of being able to keep the a/c off completely. I cannot believe these unseasonably cool temps here in eastern SC. And by cool, I mean low 80s. lol Not as cool as I’d like, but I’ll take it over 100° weather any day.

    Lowe’s extended their Labor Day sales event, so I was able to buy bags of mulch on sale for $2/bag, down from the usual $3.33/bag. I bought 10 bags to redo the little flower bed beside the side/back door. I had ripped out rose bushes earlier this year and put weed fabric down and mulch, but neither worked well, so this weekend we ripped up the fabric and thin mulch layer, laid down cardboard, put fabric back down, then a thick layer of mulch. I still need mulch for the new flower beds I am putting in the front yard, but I need to get a truckload of it — it would probably take 150 bags to fill the area.

    We grilled dinner Saturday night, and went to a grocery store I don’t often go to, and surprisingly found racks of ribs on sale for $6.50. We bought 2 racks, grilled both, and that was dinner for us for 2 nights. A rack of ribs at a restaurant is usually $18 or more, so this was a nice treat.

    Continued to cook meals at home, sell on eBay and Etsy, stayed home mostly and combined errands when possible. Looking forward to reading everyone’s frugal ideas. Have a great week.

  121. Hi, Wall Mart .com has walnuts 32 oz for 9.98 I
    Think free shipping on 35 dollars they have some other good prices.☺ Blessings. Patti

  122. Love the lotion tip, I’d never heard of it before. Will try.

    I’ve been harvesting tomatoes and basil from the garden. Clipped a handful of dahlias for a bouquet. Other than that I have not been terribly frugal.

    Also, we’ve not been affected by the hurricanes but they have been making me realize how unprepared I am for any significant emergency. I’m making basic preparations a fall goal.

  123. Jeanne. I substitute sun flower seeds for nuts in my cookie and bread recipes as well as pesto. I can buy them in bulk areas for 1.99 a pound

  124. Hi! I recently found your amazing blog via Janet at The Gardener’s Cottage. I am fascinated by your combination of frugality and love of beauty. It is something I aspire to.
    My frugal accomplishments this week
    -I cooked at home, from scratch for every meal, except one invite to a friends for supper. (I contributed a salad).
    -I stocked my pantry with staples that will make cooking at home more practical and more delicious!
    -I started taking shorter showers.
    -I stayed at home and had several no shopping days! This is hard for me lol
    -I started keeping track of every purchase. This awareness of what I’m spending has helped me avoid unnecessary purchases!
    -I made several jars of applesauce from gleaned apples.
    -I made pesto from nasturtiums in my garden, with walnuts that were given to me and garlic that needed to be used up. I froze several bags for future meals.
    -I cleaned my garage and found a few items I didn’t know I had lol. This will also save unnecessary purchases!
    -I hung several items to dry, instead of using the dryer.
    -I made a point of using up all the leftovers in my fridge; no waste this week!
    -I substituted daily tea for my daily hot chocolate, saving money and calories 🙂
    -I borrowed some books to read from friends, instead of purchasing them! (I have spent a LOT of money on books over the years!) I am trying to exchange or attend the library more!
    -I used grey water to water my houseplants and planters.
    -I turned down the temperature on my hot water heater.
    -I cleaned out and organized my chest freezer so I can maximize storage for bulk items without waste.
    -I have been more aware of turning off lights and minimizing electricity use.
    -I saved some camping supplies from mildew by cleaning with a water/bleach mix and drying in the sun. My SO had suggested we just toss and replace but I knew they were salvageable with a little effort. And they were!
    -I harvested chives and dried them for my pantry.
    Thanks for the inspiration I find here every day!!

  125. Hey all! Wow, it’s been much longer than I planned since my last visit on the 8/28 post here! I didn’t realize the emotions I would be sorting through (and still am honestly) from the storm would take so much focus off of ordinary things (not that I consider your blog ordinary Miss Brandy ;~D ) so I have a lot of catching up to do!

    Here’s my little list of frugal things:

    Now, off to read the posts and all your lovely comments that I have missed recently…

  126. I’ve added water to hand soap bottles, but never to lotion; I thought it would water it down too much to be effective. Now I know and I’ll try it. Sometimes the bottles are shaped so that it feels like you’re wasting half the lotion.
    Last week’s frugal activities:
    Gathered 30 eggs. Didn’t sell any because the ladies who usually buy were not at church, but I made a big omelet for dinner to use some of them up for a very inexpensive dinner.
    Harvested green beans, cucumbers, chili peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, pumpkins, butternut squash, figs, apples, and peaches.
    We had a birthday potluck for one of my coworkers and one of the ladies made cupcakes for us to take home for our family members. A neighbor brought use some tomatoes and lemon cucumbers from her garden.
    It was our grocery shopping week (we go every 2 weeks); at Grocery Outlet we got good deals on shampoo, ground turkey, salmon, and bottled juices (my dad LOVES fruit juice, so we try to get the best prices on it).
    When we were putting away groceries, I suggested to my mom that we count how many meals worth of meat we have. I had a feeling that we were well stocked and could probably suspend meat purchases for a while, since we had bought extra beef from our beef club and had purchased big items (ham, corned beef, whole chickens) when they were at a good prices. Lately, we have also been trying to stretch the meat a little bit more in casseroles and such. My guess was that we had about fifty meals (dinner) worth of meat; Mom guessed about thirty, but I knew she was too low because of all the ground beef. We actually had 93 dinnersworth of meat (plus some that could be used for lunches). We are suspending meat purchases until at least the beginning of November, the only exception being any GREAT sales that come up between now and then, so that we don’t deplete all of our stores. We thought we would also have to pick up some sausage here and there because it’s something we enjoy and we had only one small package. (Next week I’ll share how we took care of that without spending a dime!)
    I haven’t told about an ongoing project that’s a real savings. For about a month, my dad has been rebuilding the carports. Soon after we moved here, my dad bought carports for my sister and me to park our cars in. They were the canvas type with a tubular frame. In about 2 years they had succumbed to sun-rot and wind; my dad recovered them with thin plywood and they lasted another 10+ years. It’s always breezy/windy here, but early this spring we had an unusually windy day and the carports blew apart. My mom started pricing metal carport kits; they ran in the $2000 – $3000 range. Since the original frames were still in great shape, we decided to get corrugated metal and cover them ourselves (meaning Dad, but he wanted to do it himself). Going this route, it will only cost $500 – $600. Quite a savings. He’ll probably be done in a week or two.

  127. This hasn’t been the week to save money. My son is being married Saturday in Jackson Hole, WY. It’s not a destination wedding for THEM–they are getting married in their backyard. Informal wedding for about 35 relatives and close friends.

    We are staying in a condo. Although we went out to dinner last night, I went to the grocery store afterward so we can eat most of our meals in. I borrowed my son’s Smith’s (Kroger) loyalty card so he would get free gas points with our purchase. I am cooking dinner for them here tonight.

    I’ve been working on our 72 hour kit. I put together a good first aid kit with stuff we already had. I had a red zip case I had gotten free from Walgreens a few years ago. I emptied the contents of a freebie travel kit into the case for sample sizes of meds and got gauze and tape from my first aid stash (my husband has recurring problems with wounds that do not heal normally and we have a ton of this stuff). I also found a pair of those curved scissors that doctors use, and added them to the kit. All I have to do now is tear a 40″ square of muslin from my stash for a bandage/sling.

  128. to continue…I didn’t state that very clearly…the women were busy so the men cooked is what I was saying.

    We went over one more day to do work on my son’s house getting ready for when they are married. He owns the house now but it belonged to friends of my parents and it is where Markus and Johanna lived while at college, along with the older couple. We don’t do dorms. They have finished remodeling so that they have their own 3 room handicap accessible suite on the first floor and then Markus and Christy have the upstairs bedrooms and a family type room. They left a common area dining room and kitchen and living room down stairs. It is a big old house (1904) and they are getting lots of help from Christy’s father and 2 brothers and grandpa with painting, re-doing woodwork, replacing windows. Christy’s mom and 2 aunts made curtains for the upstairs rooms. We’ll go over again one more time this month and once in early October. We’re mainly working in the kitchen and dining room with the woodwork and cabinets. Once those are done they will do a new piece of linoleum for the kitchen. The piece there now has to be from the 50’s.

    For dress for wedding I am supposed to wear a dark green color, but it should be long, they said. I will have my niece in law, Katieanna, sew it for me. I’ll have to go look at fabrics. I like green and we’ll just use my normal dress pattern but make it longer and with a collar. Later, I can shorten it and I will have a nice winter dress, maybe in a wool blend. My normal dress length is mid calf so I wouldn’t have to cut that much off and I’ll just add it to fabric storage. Youngest and oldest girls are taking care of own dresses, middle is in the wedding…I think the attendants dresses are also green. My husband has a good suit that he saves just for dress, not church, and I have ordered him a new white shirt. He says he is going to look for a new pair of shoes though. It is a late afternoon wedding with dinner after but no dance etc. We are only hour and half away so won’t have to stay over and get a hotel. I am looking forward to the wedding shower.

    Have watched HULU and DVDs on my laptop in the kitchen while canning. Have managed to read some books, though mostly children’s and teen interest that I have been getting ready for the library.

  129. I think savory bread pudding is an apt name for the recipe, but I’ve been making it for years and my recipe (basic) calls it a strata. It is so versatile. I have often used it when we have overnight company and if there are any leftovers, they reheat beautifully in the microwave.

  130. Greetings! We’ve had beautiful weather for our area. We’re calling it Summer for the week we enjoy it. Our daughter and other family made it through Irma’s wrath. We’re so thankful! And, today was my last day at the hardware job. All in all, a fabulous week!
    I canned some farmer’s market corn. Afterward, I realized that no-one cooks corn for over an hour before it’s eaten so why was I? The next lot of corn was frozen. Easier, cheaper, and tastier.
    I gratefully received two cucumbers and one zucchini from a walking buddy who was going out of time for awhile.
    I washed ziploc bags and brownie bags for use like waxed paper.
    I gratefully accepted wine bottles. I haven’t decided if I’ll make wine this year but I needed the bottles in case I do.
    I saved the boiled egg water and rinse water in a large stock pot. I heated it on the gas stove for washing dishes.
    Since I work in a tourist town, we sell a lot of bottled water. It’s also free for the employees. Everyone knows that I bring the half-Used or forgotten bottles of water home. These water plants or go in the dog dish. This is one of those things I’ve been doing for a couple of years but never think of as ‘saving money’. Actually, I think of it as saving water from being thrown away. At one point, there were 18 bottles of water lined up around the dog dish.
    I’ve been getting better at reading the weather so I can hang clothes out. It was so hit and miss in the Spring. At our last home, I was able to hang clothes out at least once in every month one year. I don’t see that ever happening here!
    I managed to take three bags to the thrift store. I already have three more ready to go. I’m keeping detailed records for taxes.
    My husband and I watched a documentary on Netflix for free. (We have access through our son’s account.)
    That’s it for me. Have a wonderful week ahead!

  131. Hello All,
    Thanks for the inspiration this week!
    Here’s what I’ve been doing…
    – Started giving my kids fresh citrus fruits as cold season is upon us (or rather others). Years ago I noticed when my children daily ate citrus fruits, they did not catch colds or flu. If we missed several days in a row, they would often catch something.
    – Went to several yard sales where I purchased a few things we needed as well as Christmas gifts and a pearl necklace for fifty cents (didn’t realize it was genuine pearl till I got home)!
    – New for me: I dropped by the grocery store on a different day and time of day than usual for me. There was a large selection of produce and meat on the clearance racks (that is not normally there). I was able to get everything on my list at greatly reduced prices!
    – Food Lion grocery store started their quarter back sale today. With each store brand item purchased, you get a quarter back to spend on future purchases. I bought canned beans for 58 cents each, tomato paste, flour, and a few other items. A coupon for $3.75 printed off with my receipt that I can use on future purchases. I’ll be going again later this week.
    – My husband received a paid for dinner date with me as a thank you for a job well done.
    – Was able to use a gift bought at a yard sale for an unexpected birthday gift.
    – Combined trips for errands
    – Turned off AC
    – Only washed clothes on sunny days and used the clothesline
    – Composted scraps
    – Sent a few notes of encouragement to friends. I am always surprised at the nice selection of cards to be found at yard sales and thrift stores. I purchase them often for less than ten cents each and keep them on hand to send to loved ones.
    – Went through fall clothing for the family and made lists of what each person needs. I’ll use these lists when at yard sales and thrift stores.
    I’m finding that sometimes all I need is to think outside the box and be creative and before I know it, money has been saved. An added benefit is the sense of accomplishment that comes.
    Enjoy your week living wisely!

  132. I used to save the crumbs from the bottom of cereal boxes when I still had kids at home. (Husband eats mostly shredded wheat)–so when I got about 3/4 of a cup, I would add them to bread. It doesn’t substitute for walnuts, but it does make the bread sort of like cracked wheat bread. And it uses up those crumbs. I crushed them a bit if they were large crumbs.

  133. I have also found that you can substitute other nuts for pine nuts in pesto, but have never tried bread crumbs. I do mix other greens with the basil. I have found that a 50/50 mixture of basil and other greens works well. I’ve used both parsley and kale with basil and still get a good flavored pesto.

  134. It’s not been a frugal week for us. My Mom evacuated the hurricane area and will stay with us for 10 days total. I had other family members here in town as well. We spent more on groceries than I planned (anticipating that the weather would be bad) and went out to eat more. Fortunately, the temperatures have been milder so our a/c is running an average of 3 hours or less per day as compared to the 9-12 hours it was running last week.

    I plan to eat the rest of September mostly from our freezer and pantry. I may even stretch this into October as well.

    We have a big bill due tomorrow but I held out a paycheck to cover it so we won’t feel as much of a pinch.

  135. I do this with apple and cherry pies… with apple I will also squirt a bit of caramel ice cream topping and with cherry I do chocolate ice cream topping. I’ve tried the “drink” mix type and Hubby saves it’s too thin.

  136. J, I have also started wrapping Christmas presents. I shop all during the year for Christmas, to spread out the cost, & have found that wrapping the gifts also helps me hide them in plain sight. I am usually done shopping by the end of the back to school sales, but this year I still have a couple of presents to get. Having the shopping done lets us focus more on the joy & less on the stress of the season. I want to have the ones for our middle daughter ready to go, so when I drive up to help with the baby, I can take them with me in the car, & save the shipping.

  137. Yes, congratulations! It is such a great feeling when things finally fall into place, isn’t it? Just proves that faith works!

  138. We did the same things here with the bike pumps I just sold the new one old one was a better pump sold the new one for $5.00 I have a sale everyday now for something for $5.00 sometimes two or three. We will move likely at the end of the year so clearing out to lighten our load for military.

  139. When I lived in South Carolina when I was very very young there I went to church where they had in the back of the Church tables and anything you were looking to get out of your home could be put on the tables each week ladies would out do themselves everyone brought something it was a big swap!

    IT worked great !

  140. Made $87 dollars last week so far this week up to $39 hoping it starts to grow this week. Would like to earn $40 per day to put up for retirement but I’m trying. $17 .00 each day would be a miracle come true.

  141. Congratulations on the job Mandy! When I did school lunches on Sunday I slowly incorporated the help of the child until the child was doing the full lunches themselves (saves you time while working a full schedule and running a home.) I did catch up housework related things and preps for all week on Sunday afternoons as we take Friday and Saturday for worship. The weeks went smooth often until about Thursday each week and then things start to fall apart again for the next week coming up , but the preps really , really saved me !

  142. I will sometimes buy one restaurant meal on the way home from work take it apart and use lots of leftovers to get my family to eat leftovers.

  143. One really great thing about getting jeans at a thrift store is that they don’t shrink when you wash them. If they fit, they will always fit.

  144. Margaret, that sounds like very good deals on the ceramic pots. I was wandering the greenhouse store and I saw a ceramic pot with a price tag of $330.00 on it!! It was very nice, but that is a lot of money!

  145. Thank you for the idea of adding other greens to pesto. Sometimes the basil flavor is overwhelming depending on when I pick it. I don’t know why it is different, or if I am doing something different, or the weather makes it change, but adding other greens would work. I am new at making pesto. Last year was the first time I had ever made it or even tasted it. Since I can’t eat sugar, and all store brands and restaurants used sugar, I could not try it. Now, I LOVE IT and grew extra basil plants to make more for this winter.

  146. Thank you Marcia. My husband is the only cereal eater in this house now and I am willing to bet he throws the crumbs away when he finishes a box. I will start checking. He won’t trust me if I ask him to save them. He knows I am planning on trying something different and will panic. He is not good with change or trying new recipes.

  147. My grandson is 22 months old. I am 55. I have been watching him 2 days a week since he was born. But 3 days a week is more than I want to do on a regular basis, as I also spend a day with my Dad once a week.

  148. Any one else notice that Zenni glasses have gone up . I stated with a 13.00 pair of glasses and they are almost $80.00 just due to my script. Wow almost the same as everywhere else.

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