Yellow Rose Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated a daughter’s birthday at home with a simple party at home and a homemade cake. I have pictures that I hope to share soon in a birthday post.

I used the leftover icing to decorate cupcakes as a snack one afternoon. I had some rather old quarts of canned pears that, while still fine to eat, weren’t as tasty had they been newer. I blended them and used those in the cupcakes in place of the liquid and oil. I think this is how I will be using the rest of those canned pears in the next little while (in baked goods, but not necessarily cupcakes with icing).

I harvested two Armenian cucumbers, some Swiss chard, a few cherry tomatoes, and basil from the garden.

September Arrrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I spent some time tidying the garden to get it ready for fall. I had a large dusty miller plant die. It was so large, that I have decided that in its place I can plant 2 artichoke plants, 2 Swiss chard plants, and a zucchini plant (all of which I have seeds for already). This is a plant in the front yard in my white garden. After removing the plant, I fertilized the apricot tree it was growing under with fertilizer I had received for free with a coupon earlier this year.

I took every opportunity to open the windows in the mornings to cool the house. It is still rather warm here (we had days above 100º) but in the mornings it was 79ºF and even a little lower a few days. We kept the windows open as many hours as possible each morning before closing up the house and turning the air conditioning units back on.

My eldest started her first online college class this week. Her first class is one that has the book available to download online for free, which made for a less expensive start to school. 

She will take 24 credits of BYU Independent Study online classes (which we researched to make sure that they all transfer to her school of choice for her major) before going off to school. We’ll save money by having her stay at home for the next 16 months while she takes online classes.

I started a list of everything she’ll need for her first apartment. The apartments are furnished (and generally have 6-8 women in each), but she’ll need kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom supplies, laundry supplies, warmer clothing, and food. We started researching prices and I will look for some items at garage sales over the next 16 months (Garage sale season is beginning again in earnest now here). We’ll also purchase many items new, looking for sales and coupons to keep costs low. I noted that Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond have the same costs for several of the basic supplies on our kitchen list, but Bed, Bath, and Beyond regularly has 20% off coupons (you can use their expired coupons and use one per item with as many per transaction as you have items). I have a stack of these coupons that have come in different things, including with the free magazines that I get; one even came this week with one of my free magazine subscriptions–and I will put them aside to purchase some items for my daughter’s apartment. I also researched prices at Target and Ikea; at some point, we’ll definitely be making the drive to Ikea in town when we’re ready to purchase a large number of items. I’ll also look at Sam’s and Costco for their holiday sales for pots and pans. Basically, we’ll compare prices to make our money go as far as possible while getting her some good quality items to fulfill her needs.

We learned that there are two grocery shopping options in the city where she hopes to attend school: a grocery store and a Walmart. She has cousins that attend the same school and they all said that the grocery store is pricey and that Walmart is where everyone shops. We found that there is even a free shuttle that goes to Walmart! So, I took her to Walmart near us, and we talked about shopping and prices. We talked about her favorite meals, and I also typed up a basic pantry list of items as well as fresh items she’ll need to start cooking once she is on her own. 

We noted that there is a stop near the thrift store in town near one of the free shuttle stops, too!

Dishes and Napkins The Prudent Homemaker

After we made this list, I bought Winter’s choice of 4 plates, 4 bowls, 2 mugs, and 4 glasses at Walmart. The plates, bowls, and mugs were all $0.88 each, and the glasses were on clearance for $0.75 each. Winter will take silverware from our old set. She sewed herself 6 matching napkins from an old pinafore that used to belong to her grandmother.

We went to the thrift store, where I dropped off our donations (and received a receipt for taxes). We compared prices there on kitchen items, and noted that the thrift store prices were high on most kitchen items (plates were $1 each), though I did pick up a tiny whisk for Winter for $0.50.

I found 2 pairs of jeans for myself there ($4 each) and a sweater ($5), plus $1 for a shirt for another child. 

My eldest son attended a free ACT prep class again, and practiced taking the English section of the test this past week.

I picked up two pamphlets on Federal Student Financial Aid that were free at the local library.

Thanks to a reader letting me know that the city of Henderson has free symphony performances, we were able to attend an outdoor symphony performance with our children for free about 40 minutes from home.


What did you do to save money last week?





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  1. Last week I asked for help finding a cheaper substitute than using expensive walnuts in zucchini bread. I can purchase walnuts for $6.29 for 16 oz (4 cups) at Aldi anytime and this is the price I am trying to improve upon. The ideas and suggestions were fantastic. Below is a summary and follow up to all I have tried:

    * Purchasing from Sam’s Club – The closest location from my home is 38 miles and I do pass by the area occasionally during the year. I am thinking about stopping and asking for a tour. I don’t know if I would buy enough to cover the membership fee.

    *Wal-mart – $9.98 for 32 oz ($9.98 divided by 2) which is $4.99 for one pound. They offer free in store pick up but I went to my Wal-mart and they carry them! I bought two bags since this appears to be a sale price; however, I will once again start checking their grocery prices. In my small town, Wal-mart is the most expensive store, next is Kroger, followed by Dollar General Market then the best prices are at Aldi’s which is in another town.

    * Harvesting from the wild sounded like a crazy suggestion but in reality I have 5 walnut trees on my property. It is a good idea except I can’t get to them without wading through shoulder high, tick infested weeds. No way. Even free walnuts are not worth that. Come winter I will see if there are any left on the ground but not before then. Two weeks ago I dealt with the horrors of ticks on Scooter; not again if I can help it.

    *I also have one pecan tree but the squirrels beat me to them every year. They know when they are ripe and within a few days, they are all gone. I checked yesterday and saw a few still left up high. Tomorrow I will try to get them, it won’t be easy but it will be free.

    *Another idea was to use less in the recipe, simple but effective.

    * Buy them on sale and freeze them.

    *Other suggestions were to use substitutions such as:
    Grape Nuts cereal, Cranberries, Raisins, Peanuts, Sunflower seeds, Pecans, Pumpkin seeds, Leftover crumbs from a cereal box, and add a struesel topping

    * I am growing Tahitian Butternut squash. The seeds can be toasted like pumpkin seeds and have a better flavor. This will be FREE.

    *Sunflower seeds I learned are cheaper at Tractor Supply because they are sold for bird food. I went by and checked their prices. The salesman said you can order different varieties online and have them delivered to the store and avoid the delivery charge: 5 pounds are $6.49, 20 pounds are $26.99

    I purchased the 5 pound bag and sorted through it and found about one tablespoon of stems, and dried leaves. Nothing that would break a tooth or be noticeable. I also found one soybean and two unidentifiable seeds. The package stated it was manufactured in a facility that processed all types of major allergens. The bag is sold for animals, not human consumption, so it is a lower quality product which does not bother me. Purchasing animal feed is not foreign to me since I have raised livestock and am accustomed to dealing with problems which I shared in this post.

    Normally I freeze the bag of feed first then winnow (pour grain from one bowl to another outside on a windy day) to get rid of any bugs or debris. If you are squeamish about this, try sifting some of the foods you buy from the grocery and see what you find. I did not freeze the bag of sunflower seeds first because I wanted to see the quality and if it had bugs or worms. Usually they crawl to the bottom and I did find my bag was infested with weevils. Not surprising since this bag might have been stored since last year. It is probably too early for this year’s crop to be harvested, shelled, bagged and shipped to the store. What I did not find was rat droppings and that is what matters. One rat dropping and the whole bag will be tossed.

    I will purchase them once again later in the year but will look for unbroken seeds, freeze, winnow, and then check for bugs.

    We also discussed looking for walnut substitutes for pesto and these are some of the ideas.
    *bread crumbs – this I will be trying as soon when I have more basil ready in the garden.
    *different greens added along with basil – I will also try this too.

    I am thrilled at all the ideas and suggestions. It is good to know a seasoned tightwad fanatic can learn new tricks. Thanks to everybody for the help. Tomorrow I will go climb a pecan tree, hopefully without breaking my neck. If I never post again, you will know I was not successful.

    Jeannie @

  2. We were the recipients of a large pan of leftover pasta from a work related buffet. I took the pasta and divided it for three casseroles. With some cubed beef from the freezer I made stroganoff. There was enough for two of the casseroles. Lastly I made a lasagna style casserole. Two went in the freezer and I left one out to eat on Tuesday when I have an appointment.

    I am still drying grapes and fresh herbs. Our garden is still producing and we eat fresh produce everyday. The snow peas that I replanted have started to produce and I expect to eat peas until we get a hard frost. Lettuce and spinach that were replanted are starting to come up now and I hope to enjoy them for a couple more months. They also can take cold temperatures.

    By the way, Brandy, I found a very good applesauce chocolate cake recipe on the internet. I use some pureed apricots from last year in place of the applesauce. The recipe makes a 9 x 13 cake and is topped with 1 cup of chocolate chips and a half cup of chopped walnuts. It is very moist and keeps well. I think it would work well with your pureed pears.

  3. Hi Brandy! Hearing about Winter made me all nostalgic about when our first son went to college. I used to have a blog and I wrote a post about how little he took to college with him here:

    I know Winter will need to bring more than my eldest son did, but compared to most parents, I bought him very little. Later, when he moved into an apartment, I gave him our old set of dishes and silverware from early marriage and some extra pots and pans. I bought him a new bed and then some furniture from a thrift store. His church donated a sofa to him that he has since passed down to other students. We also found a used microwave that another student was tossing out and I scrubbed it and it worked perfectly! For son number two (he is across the country, just starting his final year of college), the apartment was furnished virtually for free when some students were moving out across the street as he was moving in (again, except for a new bed). When seniors leave, often they do not want to deal with moving, selling, or transporting their items to donation centers and will often leave them out for free.

    This week I harvested a few more avocados. I have jalapeno peppers plants flowering right now! Also, I realized that the fig bush we inherited with the house is producing (I was told that the figs would not be okay, that they would be “dry” inside….however, that is not the case). I decided to fertilize it several months ago and maybe this helped. Do I pick them when they are beginning to turn purple? I am not familiar at all with this plant. I cut one open and it was a green-yellow inside but fairly sweet tasting. 🙂 Thanks!

  4. I love this post! It’s so smart to start *well in advance* with all the things she will need in college. And I just want to say: I love that you’re sending her to college and that you value that. Also, based on what I’ve seen her make, I think her choice of major is quite appropriate. 😉

    You’re an inspiration!!

  5. I live in a city with two very large universities. One of the best tips I can give is to watch Craigslist and such at the end of each semester/quarter, when kids move/graduate. Many leave the city to return to their parent’s homes while they look for work and/or resettle, and literally give away (or sell for very cheap), a lot of the items that Winter will probably need. In my old neighborhood, which was full of college kids in apartments, many even left items on the curb at the end of the month (move out day), which industrious resellers would drive around early to collect. Best wishes to Winter as she starts college and prepares for her new home.

  6. That’s so wonderful for Winter! It will be so exciting to have her own place.

    I love the cupcakes! Beautiful job! Which icing tip did you use?

    I am finally winding down from parties…I was in a wedding last weekend and then chaired our back to school brunch at church last Sunday. It included not only brunch but games, a moon bounce, etc… Saturday night, I chaired my high school reunion and so spent all last week shopping for the reunion and all yesterday decorating…I’m beat.

    This week, I will make honey cake for Rosh Hashanah for family ( my Dad is Jewish). Here’s the recipe:

    My sewing group has been talking about period panties or flowz as an alternative to pads for women and girls, both here and in third world countries. They are a DIY version of the very pricy thinx underwear. We have been experimenting with different types of fabric options and finally have a winner. I wrote a blog post about them: Maybe some of your readers may wish to try them.

    Have a very good week!

  7. My friend and I are on a trip to Salt Lake City to go to the Family History Library with an organized group of our Facebook friends. We left California yesterday, deciding to drive instead of purchasing airline tickets from California. We are splitting the cost of the gas, which my parents gifted money to me for my half. We are also sharing & splitting the cost of the hotel room. To save money on meals out, we brought groceries with us to make breakfast to eat before we go & lunch to take with us to eat at the library.

  8. When my husband attended there ( he graduated 3 years ago) he did most of his shopping at Walmart. Food prices on many things were cheaper than where we lived in Washington.
    There is an Ikea in Utah. I do see license plates from Idaho when I have gone 🙂
    I took instant oatmeal and put it in my licker for breakfast, I froze 3 zucchinis I was gives, and froze some tomatoes from my garden. My husband and I bought some windows on clearance ( they were returns), he and our sons installed them. This should significantly help our energy bill. The original windows were 40 years old, they were not framed in correctly.

  9. That is so smart to have Winter stay at home in the beginning to cut costs – she can focus on her studies instead of learning to manage on her own all at once. I do have a question: You two seem really industrious in terms of making preparations for an event that is still 16 months away. I just went through this experience with my son and I probably got everything done in 10-15 hours. Am I correct in thinking that you are starting so very early for two reasons – 1) to get the best prices and 2) because it’s really exciting and fun to start prepping for a new independent college life? (PS thank you again for all the info in BYU; my son decided to go to Ohio State, where he is rooming with a young man who has similiar conservative values.)

  10. My college daughter has found a crock pot pretty useful, and she lives by herself. In fact she texted me a crock pot recipe she was making for dinner tonight. :). The crock pot I got free via a deal site offering I saw (months ago), so you have lots of time to look for that. After she had lived there a while, the one thing she decided she wanted that we hadn’t initially bought was a cast iron skillet. We got a lot of her things at IKEA. I got skillets for her at Costco on sale. One item we bought too cheaply was her can opener. She eventually replaced it with one that was a bit nicer. This is my daughter’s third year in college and second in an apartment- she actually loves living in a studio apartment by herself. She has several fairly close friends in the same complex, but loves having her own space. I’ve been so glad she actually cooks! It is much cheaper and healthier! I bought it was so exciting and fun to help her prepare for her own apartment. I hope you guys enjoy it also.

  11. We received some leftovers from my parents, so I will be using those up first, and with the one piece of chicken make chicken fajitas for my husband and myself. Picked more tomatoes to set in the window sill to ripen. The tomatoes that were ripe were diced and thrown in the freezer. We continue to do as much by days light and not turn on lights unless absolutely needed. We combined scrapbooks together today so that we have 3 new albums for the grandchildren’s scrapbooks. I continue to help sort through clothing and household items for the community site which enables me to get free clothing for my husband, myself, and our 2 grandchildren. Continued to make all meals at home, especially casseroles for my husband to carry for his work lunch. We combine our trips to town whenever possible.

  12. A programmable crockpot is on the list! Last year I saw them at Costco for $30. Right now at Target they are $99! She will most likely use it every day. She plans on cooking beans in it, as well as soups and “baked” potatoes so that she can have food ready when she comes home from classes.

  13. Hi Brandy- I love the prep that you’re doing and the savings of online courses! My nieces were able to graduate from college a year early because they completed their first year while still in high school. They also both did blended majors and graduated with a Master’s degree in 4 years. I’m so proud of them! Things are as crazy here as ever. Joining in for the past 2 weeks here-

  14. Hi Brandy~ Everything you touch is beautiful! The center piece and cupcakes~ so petty. I used to do cake decorating many many years ago when I was a new mom and had sold some of my cakes for extra income at that time. This inspires me to make pretty cupcakes for my husband like you! If they turn out nice like yours, then I will give some to a couple of our neighbors and their families.
    So happy for Winter as she is preparing to start college. This is such a big step into studies and adulthood. What will be her major? Wonderful that she will later live near her cousins as well. I am sure with your help, she will be richly prepared for this exciting new journey.
    This last week I was able to get a new Fall blouse for free from Kohl’s with a $20.00 store coupon. I also had another $5.00 coupon for a local Bible store in our area so I was able to have new bible marking pens for free for my new study class. So excited to start this Fall with a women’s group again.
    I harvested from our tiny garden several yellow summer squash~ these I will grate and freeze to use for your zucchini potato pancakes and muffins , lots of cherry tomatoes, basil, thyme, chamomile flowers, 2 bell peppers and tiny grapes from our 3 y/o vine. Hopefully next year they will be bigger. I’ll have to research to see if I should cut them back for winter or if they need fertilizer next season. And, I need to learn how to make tea from the chamomile flowers. So excited! Our 2y/o apple tree yielded 5 lbs of apples. It is a grafted self pollinating tree. I was surprised that I had so many this year. I will make pie filling tomorrow and will can these for wintertime. I harvested enough green beans to free 3 quart bags and had planted 8 more bush bean seeds which have come up and look great! The Farmer’s Almanac sends me a monthly reminder of what I can sow and this was one of type. I think in our area however, it will be too late to start more lettuce seeds. My kale is doing well and I plan to harvest this week and make soups to freeze. This year has been a very good year with my 3 y/0 garden. I am learning more each year.
    We had our first measurable rain today~ out of about 90 days here in the Puget Sound. We sure needed it since there has been so many terrible fires, here in Wa, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Just terrible this year and a couple of weeks ago we had ash covering everywhere, so I stayed indoors. It’s been a very unusually warm Summer for us. Thankful for the coolness and rain now. Glad to hear it has cooled a bit for you as well, even though you have much higher temps than we do. You can still harvest quite a bit which is a blessing.
    My husband , puppy dog and I will be going on our last camping trip for the season. It is an inexpensive 3 day weekend get away for us and I love to camp. We love to hike a bit and enjoy God’s beauty~ his artistry.
    Have a wonderful week~
    Blessings, Patty from the NW

  15. Those are part of it, but also, by spreading it out over time, I don’t have to come up with a bunch of money all at once. I also primarily hit garage sales only two weekends a year (one in October and once in April) when the big weekend neighborhood sales are (they are always the same weekends because of HOA rules here). In addition, when it is time for her to leave, we’ll have lots of other expenses, including housing (which is paid by semester), transportation to get her to school, tuition (a big chunk at once rather than how we are doing it now), books, etc.

    Having an apartment and cooking for herself means she needs a lot more than she would if she was living in a dorm and eating cafeteria food (but at $6.50 a meal on the meal plan, she will definitely be cooking for herself!) I want to make sure that whatever we get, it’s also something that she really likes. Living with 5-7 other people has its stresses, as does going to college in and of itself, and I always think it’s nice that even though the objects you use every day are really utilitarian, it also gives you a bit of joy to have something both useful [i]and[/i] pretty. So while your roommates are getting on your nerves, you can make yourself a nice meal in the same room and have a bit of peace because you like the small, everyday objects that you are using. It might take a bit more time to find what she likes and keep the budget down. I’m sure if I had lots of money to spend, I could do it much more quickly, but on a limited budget, it will be good for us to be able to watch the holiday sales and such. I’m really hoping we come across some great estate sales at the garage sales with rock-bottom prices (like one I went to before that was $0.25 for a handful of kitchen items).

    And yes, it’s definitely fun!

  16. How exciting for Winter!
    This week was quiet and I had many opportunities to get some household tasks done.
    -I spent several afternoons reading a book in an armchair next to my living room window. I had plenty of light from outside so I had the house lights off. I managed many hours of entertainment without needing to go anywhere or spend any money.
    -I made a huge pot of hamburger soup and froze four meals worth as well as kept enough in the fridge to give us two suppers and several lunches for me. I love this cheap, easy soup that allows me to use up a bunch of odds and ends
    -I unclogged the drain in the bathtub
    – I started two more online classes this week (bringing me up to three classes that I’m carrying right now), they’re both interesting and I’m excited to learn new things. I’ve been so busy with school I don’t have time to go out and spend money lol!
    -I returned items to the store that we bought but didn’t need for a refund.
    -I have been having trouble getting the cartwheel app to give the appropriate discounts at the registers and have had to go to customer service for a correction almost every trip I’ve made to Target in the last month or so. The other day I wasn’t discounted $4 in coupons that I had activated on my app so I went to the service desk on my way out for a refund. When the lanes are quiet I’ll ask them to correct it directly at the register if they are able to but the other night there was a line 10 people long behind me and I felt bad holding them up.
    Have a good week everyone!

  17. Well she won’t have a car at school (and has decided to forgo getting her license, at least for now, which is also nice as we don’t have to pay for her insurance). I didn’t have one at college either and I remember carrying home groceries. It is much colder where she is going so I am delighted that there is a shuttle for her to take to the store (and campus is surrounded by apartments, so whereever she ends up living will be close enough to walk to school). She’s also going to sew 4 heavy-duty shopping bags (she’s already started thinking about fabrics and will probably start these very soon) for her own resuable shopping bags.

    There is a Winco a 30 minute drive away (in Idaho Falls) but unless she gets a ride with someone, Walmart is going to be her choice for things. Once she’s up at school, I don’t think she’ll be buying much besides foods and supplies for classes (she ‘ll need fabric for class). Any apartment type things she has will likely be only what she takes with her.

  18. So many good things in this post! I love the cupcake decorations, and the flowers, and it is very exciting news about Winter. I’m very impressed that you’re planning this far in advance. Regarding IKEA, there’s always an ‘As Is’ section in IKEA that has discounted items. If you’re able to go often enough (or have someone close by who can), you can find almost anything there.

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – My husband and I went to spend some time with my dad while my mum was out of town. We took over take-out food (cheaper than a restaurant), and my dad sent us home with the leftovers, so I made croutons out of the leftover falafel. I was pleased with finding a way to use stale food. (
    – Using my local trading app, I traded a batch of cupcakes and an unbaked pear galette, for a $50 gift certificate to a super fancy restaurant in downtown T.O. I kept some of the batter back, and traded four cupcakes (iced with leftover coconut buttercream and leftover ganache, and with sprinkles given to me from a colleague) for 2 containers of sour cream, two lemons and two limes, an organic green pepper, and a head of organic celery. The sour cream was just expired, but I’ll just use it up quickly in my baking and in meals. I also traded some tea that was gifted to me, for a 2 kg package of split peas. Anyone have a good split pea recipe?
    – I asked my manager at my workplace if I could buy some cupcake boxes leftover from a fundraiser several years ago, and she told me just to take them. Made my day!
    – Using the recipe suggested by J (thanks, J!) I made Tomato Basil Roasted Garlic Simmer Sauce, using all the herbs from my balcony garden (parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and lots of basil), and canned it for the winter. It’s SO delicious! Am very proud that I grew all the herbs myself on my little balcony.
    – I made some vegan spice cake cupcakes for a friend of mine going through a rough time, and packed them up nicely in the cupcake boxes I got free from my workplace. I placed the boxes in a pumpkin themed bag that I got in a trade, and added in some dog treats I received as a promotional item, as well as a bottle of cherry vanilla coke I received in a trade. I added in a note on a postcard that I’d had for years, and dropped it off at her place. The package turned out rather nicely, and I was pleased that I was able to make a useful gift, and so inexpensively too!
    – I bought pears on sale and canned 5 pints of pears and 3 pints of pear sauce. For the pear sauce, I added in all the peels and simmered them down too. The only bits of the pears that I threw out were the stems and the seeds.
    – I used the leftover syrup from canning pears to sweeten a pitcher of iced tea.
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card
    – I bought red peppers for under $1/lb, sliced them, and froze them for stir fries over the next few months. To keep things compact and fresher, I sucked the air out of the package using a straw.
    – I zested the lemons and limes I had traded for, and froze the zest. I set aside the juice to use to make lemon poppyseed muffins at a future date.
    – I made a vegetable pasta salad using the green pepper and celery that I had traded for, some herbs and baby swiss chard from my balcony garden, and some random leftover veggies in my fridge.
    – I made sour cream ice cream using some leftover cream from several weeks ago, as well as the sour cream that I had traded for. Yum!
    – I made ranch dressing using my homemade ranch dressing mix, and some of the sour cream that I had traded for.
    – I used a time-sensitive credit on my loyalty card at Chapters/Indigo and was able to buy a fancy lip balm for 59 cents OOP. I’ve set it aside as a stocking stuffer.
    – I bought 10 lbs of carrots for $2, and plan to blanch and freeze at least 5 lbs. I had also wanted to buy onions and beets for the same price, but the store was sold out and they don’t do rain checks.
    – There was a special on at a store that I don’t usually go to, where if you bought a bag of specialty mini cheeses, you would get a 2 litre carton of milk free. I bought two bags of mini cheeses and got two cartons of milk free. I used $10 in Air Miles rewards, so I only ended up paying about $2 and change out of pocket.
    – I was able to buy some more canning lids, on sale for half price.
    – My husband switched our anti-virus software from Norton to Sophos, saving us about $100/year. He said that the free version of Sophos is still superior to the paid Norton version, so hopefully this tip will save others some money too!

    And that was my week. Looking forward to learning from everyone else this week, as usual!

  19. I’ve heard a lot of people in college towns say this. I never did see it at BYU (in Provo) when I attended there, nor did my husband (he graduated 12 years before me). We did learn that BYU-Idaho apartments have a place for those who are planning to return to store their items for the semester when they are gone. My husband and I both went straight through school (no going home for the summer) and people always seemed to keep their stuff. Perhaps it depends on the school and income levels of those attending. I do know that 60% of the students attending her school receive scholarships.

  20. How exciting for your daughter and college. Just a heads up, she will be coming to one of the coldest areas in our state. Flannel sheets will be a great investment, as well as a warm coat. Walmart has inexpensive but decent coats.
    There is a COSTCO in Pocatello, which is on your way to her school, and a Sams Club in Idaho Falls, just in case you want to stop in on your way through.

  21. We spent a lot of time getting ready for fall this week, as well. We have not had a good soaking rain for a long time now, and they were predicting one for tonight into tomorrow. It is here, as promised, so I’m glad we hustled around.

    We got the rest of our wood hauled down to our house from where it was stored at my sister’s house. Rob had to cut and split the last of it, so it took him and 2 of the girls all morning yesterday to finish up that job. Then, we all stacked it in the shed, which involves getting it out of the van, putting it into various containers with wheels and wheeling it to the back of our lot where the shed is. (Lovana was ingenious. She got an old garbage can and put it on a handtruck and could take a lot that way.) We do not have any more wood than that, though, so Rob will start scouting around to see if he can find a place to cut some and start re-building our supply. This is enough to get a long ways through the winter. It remains to be seen if it is enough.

    While they were fetching the wood, I worked on the garden quite a bit with Patsy’s help. We tied up the Marion (black) berries. We picked raspberries, dug potatoes, pulled carrots, picked tomatoes, cucumbers, and what ever else we could find.

    Earlier in the week, I picked the beets. The ones I had planted in the spring were WAY too big, but I wanted to use them anyway. So, I boiled them for a long, long time, and when they got soft, cut them into chunks, and made pickled beets. There were a couple that I needed to cut out the very center core because it was too woody/stringy, but there was a lot of good on those beets and I got about 14 jars (mostly pints, but a few 1/2 pints).

    My husband took our old, broken refrigerator to the dump yesterday afternoon. He had to pay $25 to get rid of it. That seemed reasonable to us. He took a lot of cardboard and an old metal shop light (broken) and recycled them during the same trip. He cleaned up the outside area where all of that was stacked and it looks great now.

    I am buying as many groceries as I can this month for 2 reasons. 1) We have a great paycheck coming in a couple of days from all of the hours Rob and I worked in August. We worked as much as we could, sometimes 8 hours per day, each–so 16 total between the 2 of us. Now, although he is back to work at his job at the school, he did not start until Sept. 6, so his check will be smaller than usual, we think. I will get a much, much smaller paycheck in October due to the fact that my nephew is back in school himself so I will take care of him a fraction of the time that I did in August. So, I anticipate needing to eat from storage a lot in October. I will spend part of this check for bills and extra groceries and save the rest for October. 2)I did such a good job of “using it up” in August that every single day something is empty, used up, all gone, etc. This includes shampoo, razors, gf flour, cheese, milk, you name it!! So, I’m filling in all the empty spaces in the pantry, both food and non-food items. I’ve worked pretty hard this week and found a lot of what I need on good sales and was able to use coupons, both uploaded and paper. Some of the things I enjoyed getting were medium eggs for $2.99/5-dozen, Tillamook cheese for $4.99 per 2-lb loaf (I got 2 cheddar and 2 pepper-jack), boxes of cereal for $1, and so on. We did a Costco run and got t.p., a huge bag of corn chips, shredded cheese (before I knew it was going to be on sale at Fred Meyers, but I bought that, too, since it was 99c per small bag of shredded), Vitamin D–stuff like that. I got a lot of bread off the day-old rack and froze it. Many loaves were 59c each, 99c for bagels, 59c for English muffins, etc.

    Thanks for all the advice about figs last week. I have decided that I need to wait until my figs turn a bit darker than I was doing, they taste better to me. So, I was probably picking them a bit on the green side. Still, they continue to ripen slowly–mostly the ones in the center of a cluster get ripe, one at a time. There are never very many ripe at once, and the squirrels and birds seem to be stealing/pecking them. So, I’ve taken advice from here and picked and frozen them as they ripen and hope to make fig sauce or jam soon. I took more advice, and have checked out Pinterest. WAY too many choices. I found recipes for plum sauce as well.

    Hopefully, I can decide which one to start with, soon, as my sister sent a small pail full of Italian prunes home yesterday. Last week’s 1/4 box yielded 17 pints of canned prunes. I can’t remember if I mentioned I got salsa made last week, too. So, things are filling the cupboard nicely.

  22. I was thinking that those extra-long sheets she needs to have should probably be flannel. Thanks for confirming that for me.

    We bought her a warm coat in her current size a few years back on clearance from Lands’ End at the end of the season, so she’s good there. She still wants to be able to wear dresses, so we talked a lot about washable woolens this week and making over warm clothing to fit her from the thrift store. More wool socks are also on our list. I’ll be looking for wool sweaters at garage sales (and at D.I., if we can’t find her any at garage sales; most people move here and realize they don’t need clothing that warm and let it go rather inexpensively).

    My husband went there for school in 1981 😀 He told her how cold it is. I just told him what you said about the sheets and he agreed!

  23. My parents bought me a little bit of food (a bare minimum) when they first dropped me off at college, but after that I got a job and my food was up to me. I expect that she’ll work and buy her own food, but I’ll try to set her up with a bit more food to start with (a larger variety, at least).

  24. We might end up buying a ton of stuff at Ikea! Or go to some closeout store like HomeGoods or Ross for a few items (maybe pots and pans) and then buy most things at Ikea. They opened up the store here last year and I still haven’t been; it’s a bit of a drive and I understand you can’t easily leave without spending at least a few hours there! So I don’t want to head over there until we have a bit mroe to spend, and until after we are able to see what we can find at garage sales first. I’m really impressed with the prices we’ve seen in their catalog, though. Several items are MUCH cheaper than what we’ve seen anywhere else.

  25. Thankfully the apartments are furnished (beds, desks, tables, chairs, couches) and have microwaves; some even have washers and dryers!

    She will need her own kitchen items, and that is the bulk of my list, plus really warm clothing, as it is bitterly cold there. I also realized she doesn’t even own a blow dryer (she rarely needs one here and just borrows mine; she does it so little and has her own curling iron that I forgot she doesn’t have a dryer) and after talking to someone at church who attended there who told her the story of a roommate who went to class with a hat over her wet hair who found that it was so cold that all of her hair past the hat froze and broke off, she knows she is going to need to always have dry hair!

    Several years ago, we donated our old dishes after most of them broke, as well as our old pots and pans, so I don’t have any of those for her (our house has neither a basement nor an attic, and I hadn’t thought to keep these around for her). I did keep the small amount of old silverware we have to use for camping, so I actually have that.

    I mentioned to another reader that my husband and I never did see people getting rid of items at our college as you and others have mentioned. Perhaps it’s because a number of students get married and end up using their items! We never did see anything out on the curb, ever, and we went year-round.

    The only reason figs would be dry inside is if they were left too long without picking. Otherwise, they should not be dry. What color they are when ripe depends on the kind of fig you have. No matter the color, a ripe fig should pull easily from the tree and be soft.

  26. Our week started with a very sick cat, a lot of worrying and a horrendous vet bill but she is on the mend now! While pets are not frugal, I couldn’t go without them.

    My coworker and I carpooled to work once. Work also paid me for attending an extra shift, a meeting and a training session.
    We went four days without turning the heater on and turned it on late the other days!
    I cooked breakfast, snacks and dinner all at once utilising the whole oven. This provided us with work lunches and some freezer meals. We did not eat out all week.

    This week we were happy to just keep up with our day to day frugal practises on top of working a lot and looking after our cat.

  27. Great tip about the BB & B coupons not expiring!

    I’ve had my hair freeze many times and it never broke off! If Winter doesn’t have time to dry her hair on a cold day, she can braid and coil it or put it in a bun to keep it all under a hat.

    Many box stores stock dorm necessities in August and then put them all on clearance the first week of September. We’ve purchased several twin-sized blankets for 75 percent off over the years.

    It’s great that you can plan ahead with certainty for housing! Some colleges don’t give out room assignments until the month before classes start, so you don’t know what type of living situation you’ll get for sure until it’s too late to save much money.

  28. I went to the community harvest fair but I did not buy anything because everyone had given me so many veggies previously. A friend was selling some things at the fair and she tried to sell some of the framed photos of bluebirds and pelicans I had taken but no-one bought any of the photos so I am out the frame money. Interestingly, though, an architect took my card so maybe she will contact me. A gift store at an historic site has taken some on consignment so maybe it won’t be a total lost. I got the frames on sale but it added up. A friend bought me 30 cans of tinned fruit on sale (I’m paying her back). This is for my emergency pantry. I am making applesauce for the freezer from some apple crabs I was given. I went to a rock garden club last-minute plant sale. Someone had grown red penstemons that I’ve been looking for forever but could never find. They grow in hot dry sunny places so will be perfect for my boulevard scree garden. I bought all he had (the prices at this sale are always less than at nurseries) and then he gave me some other plants. I have almost all of the gardens upgraded, expanded, mulched. There is only one major task left and then it is just maintenance in years to come. Then there are some things to do inside. I have found some new kitchen tiles for $1 per sq foot so that will be next.

    Brandy, it is great you are acquiring things for your daughter. It will make it much easier than at the last minute. Her courses sound great! Does she knit? A couple of scarves and gloves would come in handy! I am glad to see she has applied for some scholarships. I had a few suggestions, too.

  29. Such great thinking ahead. I love your thought of having something nice to cook with and eat from. I completely agree it does bring joy. I love how you find and live the simple pleasures and beauty of life and carry a positive attitude. I’m sure your daughter is a lot like you and will find these simple things comforting. I’m sure she will be an example as you are of a simple yet elegant life.

  30. Beautiful cupcakes!
    My frugal accomplishments:
    We’re changing how we give so we can get a tax receipt.
    We found out that we’ll get a discount on our kids’ school bill since we have 2 kids attending.
    I found another frugal blog to follow. Reading blogs is my frugal hobby, but yours is probably my very favorite!
    I’m resisting the urge to buy myself a new notebook as we have plenty of partially used ones I’m using up instead.
    I used cocoa powder as dry shampoo once this week. Helps my hair look less greasy if I haven’t washed it, I know the ingredient in it, smells nice, and while I’ve never done a price comparison I’m pretty sure its cheaper.

  31. I used to cut off sweat pants and larger sized leggings just above the knee, or skirt’s length for an extra layer over wool or fleece lined tights. Tuck a tank top or camisole into the tights.

  32. This week we sold $305 worth of wood pumpkins and a wooden soap cutter that my husband designed for a soap maker friend! We also sold a dozen eggs since we are now getting 7 eggs/day!
    When our paycheck direct deposit came in on Thursday, we still had about $235 unallocated $$ so I used that to make an additional payment on my surgery bill with the other half going into our savings account! I used our HSA deposit for this payday to pay off another medical bill!
    I made more cookie mix, more lunch wraps, hard boiled another dozen eggs in my instant pot for snacks.
    A friend brought over 2 bushels of fresh apples that I am going to can in the morning! My supply on the shelf is getting low so this will be perfect!
    I bought a new steaming canner that has a gauge to accurately show when to start processing time! I’m excited because it only uses 2-1/2 quarts of water to process up to 7 quarts so the time to get it up to boiling is way less and I don’t need to feel badly about canning small batches of just a couple of jars at a time when that’s all I have coming from my garden on a particular day!!
    Donated 10 bags of clothes to SA after we had a clothing swap at church. I’ve lost 40 pounds since last fall so I donated winter clothes that are now too big and was able to find several sweaters and tops that will be great for this winter!
    We’ve been eating down our freezers in anticipation of getting 40 pounds of Zaycon chicken breasts in October. When we ordered it, there was a promotion where it cost us $1.26/pound!! The price has gone up in the couple months since then, but we paid for ours at that price and so it’s locked in!!
    We have been abundantly blessed and are trying to be good stewards over what we’ve been given!
    Hope everyone else has felt blessings showered over them this week!

  33. Brandy, can you tell us how you budget, plan, and shop for household linens – kitchen linens, towels, sheets etc? I am sure that you have a well thought through plan which the rest of us could benefit from!

  34. Terrific option to ease into college that way. It’s such a different pace than what students are used to! Plus the savings from room and board!
    My strange savings is drinking water. I have a terrible diet coke addiction. I recently decided to drink 3 glasses of water – no matter how tired i am – before I drink soda in the am.
    My son worked on scout popcorn sale this weekend. He made considerable progress towards earning his way to camp. Very proud of his work ethic. He had earned his way to camp every year since 1st grade.
    Hit the farmers market for fresh veggies.
    Got a prescription for often used over counter med so I can use my health saving account.
    Waiting to find out if I am going to a conference next week given hurricane Maria. Please pray for everyone in its path.

  35. Oh how I look forward to turning on the heater and not the air conditioner! I love that first blast of heat for the winter season!


  36. It must be an exciting time for Winter, preparing for her next adventure. How wise to figure out what is needed now, and have all this time to compare prices and gather it. You’ve really got the cake decorating down. Beautiful cupcakes! That must have been quite a dusty miller plant. I’ve tried growing them the past couple of years, but they always end up spindly. If it was in your white garden, I expect mine need more than the somewhat shady area they’ve been in. Though the garden is slowing down, I’m still picking lima beans, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, kale and an occasional cucumber and squash. Joining in here:

  37. What an exciting time for Winter right now! Her choice of plate pattern is lovely and the napkins she made are a perfect match. I have a suggestion for Winter as well. Last Christmas, I used a binder to create a cookbook for a niece who would be leaving for college within the year. I printed off all my favourite family recipes, with personalized tips/suggestions. My idea was that she could then add to the cookbook with her own family favourites, as well as add new recipes she will discover as she goes out into the world. Perhaps this would be a great project for Winter to work on before she goes off to college, or maybe even a great gift you could make her for Christmas. It’s a pretty inexpensive gift to compile, with special notes from mom on how to cook/shop frugally.

    Well I’ve had a very busy week. This was my first week off from work since last May. Got a lot done but still more to do! My busy week of frugal accomplishments at home this week included:
    *Meals made at home included tacos, homemade creamy chicken noodle soup (prepared with 1/2 a cooked chicken breast leftover in the fridge, frozen homemade poultry stock, frozen veggies and egg noodles from pantry), stuffed chicken breasts with choice of french fries or sweet potato fries and peas, “cracked out” chicken tatertot casserole (see below) with broccoli, BBQ steaks with baked potatoes and corn, meat balls in BBQ sauce with homemade macaroni & cheese and mixed veggies.
    *Tried a new recipe this week called “cracked out” chicken tatertot casserole (recipe link: I substituted the chicken with cooked turkey from our freezer, cheddar cheese soup instead of cream of chicken as my family likes the taste better, and left out the bacon bits as we are currently out. DD loved this one! Added it to our list of meal ideas.
    *Made coconut banana crunch muffins for DD’s school lunch treat this week (recipe link: I had 2 bananas that were extremely ripe and coconut in my pantry that I bought on sale for $0.77/bag this summer. FYI: This recipe does not call for any milk. Also, the amount of coconut could be decrease slightly without significantly effecting taste.
    *Made a double batch of peanut butter cookies for this coming weeks school lunch treat and for the family to enjoy at home since these are everyones favourite cookie!
    *Bought 20lb of carrots for $1.97/10lb bag, 20lb bag of potatoes for $3.33, and bag of red onions on 50% discount for $2.50 (about 3lbs), 5 large blocks of cheese for $5.99/700g plus received $1 off, 2 bags of sugar for $1.13/2kg bag after coupon, and got a package of DD’s favourite chocolate pudding for free with coupon.
    *Bought 2 dozen corn cobs for $7/dozen and 2 big butternut squash for $2 each at the farmers market. Squash is typically priced per lb at the grocery store making it more expensive.
    *Canned 5 pints of strawberry jam, 5 pints of strawberry rhubarb jam, 6 pints plus 4 half pints of bumbleberry jam (strawberry, raspberry and blueberry mix – 1 half pint had a failed seal, so went directly into fridge), and 2 pints plus 1 half pint of strawberry/raspberry/rhubarb jam from fruit frozen earlier this summer.
    *Blanched and froze 4 heads of cauliflower that I bought last week on sale for $1/head. Normal price in winter is over $2/head! This will add some variety to our meals in the middle of winter.
    *Dried another $0.77 celery bunch, filling my jar in the pantry. Saved the scraps/celery base to veggie stock bag in freezer and put aside the leafy bits for our Guinea pig.
    *Dried most of the bag of red onions (minus 3 for fresh use), to add to pantry. Added scraps/skins to veggie stock bag in freezer. I placed the dehydrator outside to avoid stinking up the house.
    *I noticed a tree loaded with lovely red crabapples hanging over a very deep drainage ditch near DD’s bus stop (nobody’s property, so fair game!). I took a plasic bag down one day and collected a bunch of the crabapples. I’m going to try mixing the crabapple juice (which has lots of natural pectin) with the peach juice (made from pits and peelings) to make a low sugar syrup. I’m hoping the pectin will help the syrup thicken. Since I don’t need it to set like jelly I can use less sugar, and it’s safe for canning. This will be an experiment, but worth a try.
    *Ordered tattler lids on Amazon ($60 for 36 lids). They’re expensive, but an investment since they are reusable. Every year my canning seems to increase, as I learn and experiment with new things to preserve. I’d like to slowly buy more of these, so I don’t have to keep buying so many “one use only” lids.
    *I asked my husband to inquire about ordering a big bag of bread flour through the restaurant he works at. Someone here mentioned that the cost of flour may go up. Since I was running low on bread flour, I thought I should stock up. I cannot find large bags anywhere in our area and the small bags can be costly. He bought the 44lb bag of bread flour for $20 total, which will last us at least a year or more.
    *My husband came home from work this week and informed me he would be receiving a $1/hour raise. It was totally unexpected, but very appreciated!
    *Our bank allows us to have a set amount of money transferred over to a savings account with every interact transaction we make(you can also set a capped amount per day). Since we are trying to save for a vacation to Europe in 2019, my husband decided to increase the amount from $1 to $2. We don’t use interact a lot (I prefer to use cash to control my spending), but it’s a great way to put money aside without any particular effort on our part.
    *Not frugal: My husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary on Monday. We went out for dinner. My chicken was undercooked, so they made me a new sandwich and an extra plate of sweet potato fries while I waited for the sandwich to cook. I made sure to bring home the abundance of leftovers which was eaten for lunch the next day. Afterwards, we watched the movie “the Glass Castle”. I had previously read the book (an extremely compelling memoir) and was not disappointed by the film. Hubby sometimes has to be forced into drama type movies, but I think he really did enjoy this one. Might have even seen a lip quiver over a couple scenes, but it was dark in the theatre.

    Hope you all have a wonderful, inspirational, and frugal week!

  38. I am so excited for Winter! She is so lucky to have a mother who has forethought 🙂 I believe a college education is an experience everyone young adult should get.
    Last week:
    * I stayed home when it wasn’t necessary to leave the house.
    * I made all meals from scratch using food we already had
    * I made more solution for my reusable cleaning wipes (water, vinegar, eo’s)
    * I cleaned out, decluttered, and reorganized my pot and pan cupboard
    * Used grey water to water the garden, flush the toilet, or add to the washing machine
    * hung laundry out to dry on my clotheslines
    * I made homemade cheesy “hamburger helper” (picky eater hubby loved it), breaded chicken breasts (the chicken breasts were so big that I sliced them in half, stretching the meat even further), spaghetti, pizza. My husband made baked chicken leg quarters with potatoes and carrots one night. I saved the bones and skin in my broth bag in the freezer. I also saved the fatty trimmings from the chicken breasts to put into the broth bag.
    *I watched my 2 year old grandson (I have a 23 yr old son from my first marriage and my daughter with my now husband is almost 7 🙂 ). We all did lots of playing outside. My daughter loves helping watch him and playing with him. I am going to clean out my spare room, hopefully this week, and make room for his pack and play to go in there for him to sleep in when he’s here to make it easier on me.
    * We took the ac units out of the windows a week ago because we hadn’t used them in several weeks. Now we are predicted to get 90 degree weather again (which is hot for here) and will probably put them back in.
    Have a great week everyone!

  39. Our school district staggers the starting and ending times for the schools so it’s much easier on the parents with more than one child. Maybe you could suggest that to your school district? I hope you find a routine soon and it gets easier! 🙂

  40. Sandra, could you share the recipe link to the applesauce chocolate cake, please? I love recipes that have been tried and worked well.

  41. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    How wonderful that Winter is doing some online classes to go towards credits to attending her chosen University she wants to attend. My husband and I are also doing a personal finance course which we will get a certificate from BYU on completion. That is wonderful that your son wanted to try cake decorating too.

    Our frugal accomplishments for last week included –

    Purchases –
    – Bought 3 new knitted cotton jumpers on winter clearance special for $15 saving $30 on original costs.
    – Purchased 9 tins of tinned meat and vegetables with a 5 year expiration date on 50% off sale saving $18 on usual prices.
    – Bought 2 x 1.5mt lengths of 25mm galvanised pipe to make 2 garden hoes out of from a metal manufacturer saving $25.50 over buying it in the local hardware store. The base plates will be made from a piece of galvanised steel a friend gave to us.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made a quadruple batch of Brandy’s wonderful granola saving $21.36 over purchasing it in the local supermarkets.
    – Cooked a roast chicken which we purchased for $3kg had tea one night and separated off meat from the bone for 3 more meals for the 2 of us for the freezer.
    – Made all our meals and bread from scratch.

    In the garden –
    – Picked 2 large turnips, 2 lge carrots and 2 capsicums from the gardens saving $7.72 over purchasing them.

    Water preservation –
    – Hand watered the house lawns all week with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.
    – Used rinsing water from the kitchen to water some vegetable plants in the gardens.

    Electricity savings –
    – Only turned on the electric hot water system for 13hrs this week and used our solar lanterns for lighting our home with all week instead of turning on mains powered lights saving $9.95 in electricity costs.

    Fuel savings –
    – Combined multiple errands each time we went out in the car to save on fuel costs.

  42. The city I live in has both a college and university (Canada, obviously), plus I work with a number of college/university students every summer. I can attest that many student do not want to move everything they accumulate over their school stays, because it is too expensive to rent large moving trucks to load it all in. If you know for sure that Winter will be attending in that area, and you still need any larger items, have her cousins watch for them or ask around for her around exam time in April/May. Could score some free things!

    It sounds like Winter is looking at attending a college where there is snow. Considering that she is used to living in a desert, I would highly suggest she look at buying some really warm socks, like these: They are expensive, but well worth the cost…trust me I’ve lived my entire life in Canada! You might be able to find them cheaper. I can buy knock off versions up here around 2 for $10 i think (Giant Tiger has them if anyone in Canada is wondering). The socks are lined with a fuzzy wool type lining which keeps your feet warm and cozy, but breath well so your feet don’t get too sweaty.

  43. Like many others here, I am so excited for your family and for Winter. It sounds like you have planned this transition out very well.

    Our household saved money this week by incorporating our garden produce into our meals and preserving the plums, apples, and peppers given to me by my neighbours as our fruit trees didn’t really produce anything this year. I am so grateful from my neighbours.

    Have a great week everyone.

  44. She has some wool socks (including tall ones!) but we will be getting her more for certain. There’s also a Cal Ranch store in the same town and they have very reasonably priced wool socks. Snow boots are going to need to be purchased ahead of time; the school has 3 semesters but different tracks and it is likely that she will start in January, so she’ll need to be prepared with warm clothing immediately.

  45. What a great major for your daughter, Brandy! I am wondering – if she contacts her professors now, could she perhaps get a list of fabrics and supplies in advance, so that she and you can look for sales? It would also allow her to become acquainted with them before she gets there.

    I am curious if she could take some of her electives in history. Things like teaching history, textile conservation, museum work and historical reenactments would also fit her well.

  46. Rhonda, all of the recipes she makes are on my website, except for one that she tried from Pinterest and has memorized. She’s likely to add a recipe to Pinterest if she wants something new. There is a recipe I make that she likes that isn’t on my site; she asked me to add it and I noted those ingredients on the basic pantry list that I started for her, because it meant that she would need a couple more ingredients in her pantry. I’m sure she’ll learn new recipes from roommates as well. She loves Pinterest and that will most likely be her organization method.

    I did note that I haven’t taught her how to roast a whole chicken, as I usually do that part of the meal, so I’ll be remedying that. I’ll also teach her how to cook beans in the crockpot so she can start them in the morning and have them ready for lunch or dinner.

  47. We won’t know which professors she’ll have for upper-level classes and there is a materials fee for those classes, so we don’t know if they provide fabric options or if she’ll end up ordering online or what yet.

    The school only started this major a year ago! It is perfect for her and we are delighted as tuition is $2009 a semester.

    The electives actually have some specific requirements that she has to choose from. I love your ideas and I don’t remember seeing any of those as a choice, but they would be excellent. She and my husband sat down and figured out her classes all the way through but I will mention those to them and see if they are available and possible. She would like those.

    An internship is also required and study abroad is also recommended. What she would love is a study abroad in England (which would be a great place to take the classes you just mentioned) with an internship there in historical costuming. So if any of my readers in the U.K. have any suggestions for that, please share!

  48. Good morning Brandy, I would like to comment again and share my experiences with sending my three home-schooled boys to college. Maybe something will help you. Our rules were as follows:

    1. I required each to go to college or a trade school for one semester and see if they liked it. They could drop out after that but they would be required to get a full-time job and move out on their own. Each one chose to continue their education.

    2. They would pay for their education, not us. We helped them avoid school loans by “lending” them money ourselves. My husband told them it would be unfair to help the first one, then if he lost his job he could not help the younger ones. Car loans have been added to their debt loads. They would have to pay back sooner and the money would have gone to help the younger ones. Dustin is in his last semester now. When he finishes Bill will reevaluate the loans. My hope is that he will forgive some of the money for each one. That is his choice and I leave the decision to him.

    3. When Joshua decided to continue on in school and get a Master’s degree, we congratulated him but said, no money from us. He got a student loan and YES I nagged him until he paid it off early. He is my one non-thrifty child who wants to make so much money he does not have to economize. He will do it I believe.

    3. I insisted each one attend a local 2 year college and live at home saving a fortune. The other, more important advantage, was how they were able to mature mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Two years makes a big difference when you are young. Each one thanked me for this after one semester in the four year college. They saw freshmen arriving and burning by boatload. The world is wicked and there are wolves waiting to devour the young. Yes, I am waxing eloquent, but my goal was for them to be able to see through scams. Did they make it through unharmed? No. But that is for another post someday.

    4. We would help them all we could with other things such as health insurance, apartment furnishings and food. I agreed to send food and fix their lunches. Which I shared the savings in this post.

    5. What ended up is that our house has become “Grand Central Station” with them moving in, moving out, moving back then moving back out. They have gone from dorm rooms, to apartments, to a group share apartment (8 in a two bedroom, I was horrified by the dirty bathroom), to renting a room from a family, and staying with Mom in Nashville. What has worked is the “community dishware” box in the attic and furniture stuffed in the basement. Boxes of pots, pans, silverware, lamps, a small refrigerator, mattresses, sheets, blankets, anything you can imagine. When they return, they would leave things and then the next one would take what they needed. Everything is swapped back and forth. If there was not enough, I would shop at thrift stores. I offered them anything in the house but Scooter or my favorite red pot that I use to cook everything in. I do have boundaries. Here I shared a post when we visited Dustin’s new apartment and you can see some of the furniture.

    I am not sure if being boys made a difference, but none of them cared if their dishes, linens, furniture matching. Joshua and Reese want to travel as light as possible with just the bare minimum. Dustin wants to pack everything including the kitchen sink. Reese laughed this summer when he bought a watermelon and realized he did not have a knife long enough to cut it so he used his pocked knife (YUCK) which has been used to cut everything disgusting. Reese is in Agriculture and has cut some really horrible things. I didn’t ask if he sanitized but for fear he might say he just wiped his knife on his jeans. Moms learn to not ask.

    As of today: Joshua is living with Mom but will probably move out with friends soon. Dustin is in college and will move back home at the end of the semester then move to a full-time job somewhere. Reese is at an apprenticeship for another month or two and then might move back home or move somewhere else. Grand Central Station continues to be open and operational. What does matter, is that each son has thanked us for the help we have given. I live to hear “thanks Mom.”

    Jeannie @

  49. My husband and I are VERY blessed to both have strong incomes. We are empty nesters but will soon have the need to take care of both sets of our parents who are aging. We are working on becoming debt free. Our frugal accomplishments over the last few weeks:
    – Cut both cable and internet
    – pack lunches daily
    – eat from the pantry and freezer
    – crocheted a baby shower gift from yarn I already had
    – enjoyed a church pot luck. I brought a dish made from my pantry.
    – Hubs accepted an online class teaching assignment for extra income
    – paid off my car
    – open windows and turned off the air conditioner
    – I’m losing weight so bought 3 pairs of work pants at thrift store
    – enjoyed a work lunch cookout
    – Asked for a senior discount. (I’m only 50 but they gave it to me anyway!)
    – Rereading some favorite books instead of buying new.
    – Put together a puzzle with my husband
    – Invited my kids/spouses over for popcorn and games instead of going out for dinner/movie

  50. She wears her hair up in a fancy bun just about every day right now (it’s rare for her to wear it down) but here it can stay wet all day. She usually washes her hair at night though. I think she will be glad to have her own blow-dryer though.

    I went looking for college clearance but I went a couple weeks too late, so I will look next year.

    She isn’t going to be living in dorms, but rather a shared apartment situation like my husband and I each did. The nice thing is that unlike when I was in college, she can now look at every apartment in town online and see photos and prices. We can see the name of every apartment complex from Google maps and then look up each one. There is a recommended list of items to bring, and one of the complexes (which is also owned by the school) not only has a list of items, but says you can store 5 plastic totes of items at the complex if you plan on returning during whichever semester you have off (semester tracks are chosen by the school). So, I want to get her what she needs as well as plastic totes, and make sure to keep everything to a minimum so that it fits in that amount of space. For example, she’ll take her wool blanket with her (warmer than a comforter and takes up less space) as well as her quilt. I’ll need to purchase extra-long flannel sheets. She has a fleece blanket already and a couple of decorative pillows that I bought her at a garage sale for $5.
    (The wool blanket is our emergency one that she uses when she goes camping; she doesn’t need it on her bed in our climate but will appreciate it there. I remember being cold at school with a comforter and I wasn’t nearly as far north.)

  51. I never saw stuff to give away either at BYU Provo. I attended year around from 1977-1981. I think I left my pots and pans with my roommates, sold my car, packed up all my clothes, sheets etc. and brought them back on the plane with me when I left. That was back in the day when you could take more luggage on planes….lol.

  52. The apartments all have cleaning checks. Some places are monthly and some are weekly! They have required items that have to be cleaned each time. I remember having to clean the seal on the fridge door at school. Even though my mom had a spotless house, I had never cleaned the seal on the fridge before! Winter will have to supply her own cleaning supplies; she already knows how to clean with rags, vinegar, and baking soda, so that’s a frugal plus!

    We will help our children financially as we are able, but we won’t be paying for expensive schools. Tuition at this school is $2009 per semester. The local university is over $5000. Schools that cost more than that we won’t be able to support. We expect them to apply for scholarships, Pell grants, and to work. We don’t want them to take out loans for their undergrad degrees. My husband and I both received our undergrad degrees without incurring debt and we want to same for our children (I actually have a planned post on this that I am finishing soon).

    My eldest will not have a car at school. I did fine without one and I feel it is an unnecessary expense. We are already a one-car family.

    Our house has neither an attic nor a basement, so I don’t have room to store things we’re not using. What we purchase for school will go in a single plastic box and will have to go in a closet somehow.

    It sounds like you have a great plan worked out for your family!

  53. It is nice until you receive your bill. 😉 We received ours today and I nearly fell off my chair! We live in South Australia which has some of the highest utility costs in the world…

  54. I learned just how unprepared my family is for emergencies. (not just hurricanes). My stockpiles have dwindled away since we moved to Florida. I have 1 rubbermade container left with things like canned chillis, white vinegar, black olives, etc…nothing you can make a meal out of. I had been planning on purchasing some canned or ready to eat items in case of a hurricane. I had several cases of water and was never able to get the rest. We wound up at the childrens hospital for 2 weeks. I sent my husband home to work after the holiday weekend, and then we got hit with the hurricane and power outages, and then gas shortages. My parents are in a manufactured home, they had a mandatory evacuation, so they came here and brought food……..keeping my husband fed helped a lot. We cant afford to let him loose in a grocery store any more than I can at the food court in the hospital. I had some friends send me some money and that helped tremendously. Options at the hospital were wendy’s, subway, chickfilet…nothing cheap, I dont know how the hospital staff can afford it. We have to go back 3 more times. My 13 year old was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, had surgery and 1 round of chemo. When I complained of no money before, its even worse now! I plan to stock the car with things that I can microwave and eat I am also stocking the freezer with things that dh can eat at home and when he comes to visit, he can bring a meal. I wouldnt let him visit after he left because of the lack of gas in central Florida and the amount of gas his truck uses. The keurig has been packed and put away. I just don’t have the money to buy a box of k cups, no matter how cheap I can get them. I was using my staples & office depot rewards for them, but the rewards would be better off spent on toilet paper and paper towels. I bought a 4 cup mr coffee maker from someone on facebook for $8. She also gave me a pack of filters with it. I bought a large bag of flour and sugar at walmart and am now baking my own bread. Not much else to report.

  55. Kohls and runs sales several times a year where you can get rebates on appliances. A few years back I picked up some crockpots and then was able to get rebates on them.

  56. Do you belong to your local Freecycle group? You can post on there what you are looking for. ISO in search of. Also there are lots of Savers in your area that have coupons and buy by the pound options.

  57. I had leftover turnip greens, so I made a turnip green casserole. I made a pot of meatless spaghetti and will be eating that this week also. I went to Aldi, and bought bread for 88 cents, peanut butter for $1.38, tomatoes for 99 cents, eggs for 49 cents, sour cream for 99 cents, bologna for 99 cents, chicken legs for 79 cents lb as chicken prices have increased here recently and I seldom see chicken for 39 cents a lb anymore, and potatoes 10 lbs for $3.99, which is not a great price, but I have low potassium and potatoes have a lot of that in them, as well as bananas. I like potatoes better…lol. I did my own nails. I bought duct tape, spices, and laxatives at the Dollar Tree, as well as the $1 steak I have heard about. It was perfect to go with eggs and toast, and I considered that a special meal, since I never eat steak. I went to visit my 91 year old uncle who lives about an hour and a half away. I spent on gas only and ate when I got back home. I seem to do the same things day in and day out, although I did buy a new rug for $10 from Dollar General. My old kitchen rug had been duct taped one time too many, and I retired it to the dog’s room…lol. I moved the very stained rug in the living room into the kitchen, and put the new rug in the living room.

  58. Hi Heath! I’m local to Toronto, and it’s called Bunz. I don’t think it’s spread out too much from there yet, but I think there are fb trade groups around. I like the app as I can get rid of things that I don’t want without tossing them out, but I do know that for some people, kijiji or such works better. Hope you’re able to find something that works for you!

  59. Hi Rhonda! I found them on a clearance shelf at Metro, so I think it was just that particular store. I was excited to find them though, as I had decided just the other day that I needed more lids, so it was very serendipitous!

  60. I live in Texas where I gladly accept my heating bills to my air conditioning bills! My air is usually more than $100 more than any of my heat bills. Plus, air is on longer during the year. I do understand you though , that’s for sure!

  61. I am so happy Winter has a major that seems perfect for her! I agree about setting her up with some food. I am from a warm weather place and I had difficulty walking on the ice at BYU Provo to get to the grocery store (or anywhere…I never got used to the ice…lol)….

  62. Kim,
    So sorry to hear about your daughter. Don’t know which hospital you have been working with, however I am at MCV.. and the food court options you listed sound like it. If that’s where you are, please check out The Doorways. It is designed for families of ill patients. It has lodging, and meals for the the families. Sending prayers for you all. – Jenifer

  63. Brandy, the only thing I am confused about is gathering all those kitchen pots and dining utensils while she is sharing an apartment with 6 to 8 people. Won’t all the girls be bringing those things? How did that work when you were doing it?

  64. Brandy, if your daughter is going to a cold climate and you are going to go to Ikea, I recommend getting an Ikea duvet. And then get one of those bags that squeeze all the air out to store it in at the end of the season. My youngest DS went to England to do his Masters degree and we had to provide his bedding. We packed so many items in those squeezable bags and he took all he needed for a full year. I would also suggest going to Bed, Bath etc. and getting some kitchen organizers for the refrig. With people sharing spaces, it helps to really define who owns what. We learned this when sending our 3 thru university.
    We paid full expenses for their first years. After that, we paid tuition and they had to find ways to pay their living expenses. One was difficult but learned the hard way. We were tough and he later thanked us saying it was the best lesson he ever learned. One worked as a resident advisor which meant she had her own apartment paid for. And the last one lived in residences for 3 of his 4 years.
    We like a certain expensive brand of plum tomatoes for making sauce etc. This week I bought a bushel and processed them into pints. It made 47 pints and then I looked at the peels and other bits and thought I could squeeze a bit more out of them. I made another 4 pints of actual sauce and could probably have squeezed a bit more. But I was tired by that point. I won’t have to buy tomatoes for at least 2 years and that’s with sharing the harvest with my DD. She will pay be for what she uses.
    I’ve also taken a look at our fridge and every day make something to use it up rather than throw it out.

  65. Hi Anne!

    This could be a difference between men and women (in fact my husband and I just discussed this last week). He lived in a place where there were 12 men and everyone shared dishes, but the phone bill led them to get calling cards to keep it straight.

    I never had trouble with the phone bill, but not one of my roommates ever wanted anyone to touch her cooking things. I had one roommate who didn’t bring her own pots and pans only one semester; she would use everyone elses’ without asking, use metal utensils in nonstick pans and ruin them, and leave all of our stuff dirty. No one was happy with her about any of that. Other than that, everyone had their own stuff and was responsible for washing their own items. It went much more smoothly that way.

    We took turns buying toilet paper; as soon as one package was out someone else had to buy one. That was definitely shared!

    I had one roommate who brought a stand mixer. She did let another roommate use it a few times, but the other woman always asked first.

    Even with the nicest roommates I had, we still always used our own stuff. I think it helped us keep from aguing, too! The housing list says everyone will need to bring certain things. There were a few items that I can’t see everyone needing to bring: shower curtains and bathroom trashcans. The apartments either have one or two showers, so someone will need to bring something, but I’m not planning on buying much of that ahead of time. If she really ends up needing a shower curtain, the Dollar Tree sells them, and there is one in town. I MIGHT send her with one from there (in the package) ahead of time, just in case, but probably not the trash can.

    They have a 3-semester track there and you don’t choose which two you get, so there is a good chance that she will have a change in at least a few roommates every semester. She won’t know who shes rooms with ahead of time unless she makes friends and makes plans to live with them. I did that one year but we already each had our own stuff.

  66. Beautiful cupcakes, Brandy!

    We are in the process of looking for a house and getting out of this rental. I am feeling frustrated that we can’t plant our garden and decorate for Fall. But we are being very specific in what we want and don’t need or want to compromise. Patience, patience… 🙂

    The weather here is finally starting to cool off a bit, but not enough to open the windows yet. Still in the upper 90s during the day.

    My frugal accomplishments this week:
    • Used free toiletries, coffee, tea and jelly.
    • Hubby fixed our shower handle for $30. Since we are in a rental, if we call for service, it would cost $50. This saved us $20.
    • Hubby noticed a leak under my car. He figured out the problem and will fix it for $40. He is so handy!
    • Ate in all but two nights, one of which is our Trivia League. We had a $20 gift card we had won a previous night, so we used that. Meals we had were steak with baked potato and corn on the cob, Hamburger Helper lasagna with green beans and cottage cheese, ham steaks with corn on the cob and au gratin potatoes, chicken cacciatore with rotini pasta and pork tenderloin with spicy rice and corn on the cob (I had a lot of corn to eat!) All of the meat was either bought on clearance or seasonal specials and frozen.
    • Used a different trivia gift card to go out to lunch with a friend. Total cost was $0.
    • Was careful with my clearance purchases this week at the grocery store. Athlete’s foot cream and vegetable oil were both on my list and they were both on the clearance rack, so that was great. I also picked up a couple of candles to use as Christmas gifts. Hubby likes to drink seltzer water during the week and there was a 12-pack of that. Other than that, I only bought fresh fruits and veggies and dairy. I got potatoes for 75c/5-lb. bag (2 bags), strawberries for 97c/lb (4 lbs), raspberries for 97c/container (2containers), celery for 88c, and broccoli and cauliflower for 88c/lb.
    • Used Ibotta whenever possible.
    • Kept A/C at highest we can stand.
    • Went to dinner at my brother and his wife’s new place. Hubby was helping them hang their TV, so they were providing dinner. I brought a bottle of prosecco that I had gotten a couple of weeks ago for $2.24 as a housewarming gift and a jar of homemade strawberry jam for a hostess gift. Also brought a bottle of Pinot Grigio that I also got for $2.24.
    • Sent a birthday card that I had gotten for free from one of the charities I support.
    • Hung 4 loads of clothes out to dry.
    • Continued to use up items out of my deep freezer. I counted it out and I added 2 items to the freezer (1 gal. bag of strawberries and 1 qt. bag of raspberries) and removed 11. Also used up 5 items off of my pantry shelves. Since we will be moving, I am trying to reduce what we need to move.
    • Put together daily smoothie bags for Hubby and myself. I have to do our smoothies separately as Hubby can’t have grapefruit and I am trying to use up juice that I got from the grapefruits on the tree we have here. I don’t care for grapefruit juice alone, but a couple of ice cubes worth of it in my daily smoothie is a great way to hide the taste and use them up. By putting together the smoothie bags ahead of time, I can take out a bag the night before and it blends up beautifully the first time. I just add a spoonful of jelly, a tablespoon of flax meal and some milk and blend.
    • Hubby brought his lunch to work 3 times. I pack them the night before.
    • Took my Dad to brunch instead of lunch. This was cheaper as he usually orders a beer or a margarita when we go out to lunch. I’m always happy to pay for his meal, as he is on a very fixed income, but if I can save a couple of bucks, that is good.
    • Ate leftovers for lunch.

    Have a wonderful, frugal week everyone!

  67. Another way to keep feet warm is to cut insoles for footwear, especially boots, from wool items. Felted wool sweaters work great. Felt breathes where acrylic does not and will make feet sweaty and wet. You also can not beat alpaca socks for warmth. Proud winter lover from Minnesota.

  68. Your cupcakes are beautiful, Brandy! That photo makes me want to dig out my decorating tips and instruction video again. I’m much more into decorating cookies than cakes right now, but boy, those cupcakes are pretty!

    Congratulations to Winter on starting her college courses! That’s exciting. As for leftover college items, maybe check our UNLV or another local school after graduation in May. Some schools even have an organized system where students come through first to claim unwanted items and then town residents – it might be something to check into. Her program looks very interesting and sounds like a wonderful choice.

    For cold weather, I’ve found an inexpensive down jacket (Land’s End, LL Bean, etc. on end-of-season clearance) is very helpful especially if walking. A wool hat, scarf and mittens (NOT gloves) is also essential as are Thinsulite or similar boots with a high-traction sole. If she’s walking to/from the store and to/from class all day, these will be invaluable! A lined wool coat works too but is much heavier than down and can be harder to clean. I purchased a down jacket several years ago for around $40 and it can be machine washed and line dried. I prefer the LL Bean slip on waterproof boots too – they’re more expensive but last for many years (9 and running with daily wear between November and March for me). I usually wear a pair of lightweight cotton gloves inside my mittens for when I need to use my fingers.

    Have fun with all the planning and preparations! And best wishes to your son as he studies for the ACT.

    Have a great week,

  69. Need to focus on more frugal doings here. Last week:
    * made homemade salsa from garden tomatoes
    * made and froze tomato sauce from garden tomatoes
    * I bought some plastic bento style boxes for my middle school to use for lunches. I love the reduced waste plus I can pack for a few days at a time and it’s easy to grab and go in the morning
    * sold a bunch of items at a consignment sale
    * found some sheets on clearance which were needed
    * found some good deals at grocery store ~ .88/pound for peaches, cheese, apples
    * won 2 tickets for a pro soccer team which my husband and son were able to enjoy

  70. So terribly sorry to hear about your daughter’s illness, never mind having to prepare for a hurricane! Just wondering if there is a Ronald MacDonald house near your daughter’s hospital as they provide housing for parents who have a sick child and have to be away from home. Does the hospital possibly have a Social Services Dept. who could perhaps put you in touch with nearby churches etc. that might be able to offer some help? You’ve probably thought of all these things – but just in case.

  71. Lea, for the cupcakes, it’s a Wilton 2D tip (it’s huge) and you go from the inside out in a circle. That’s it! Super easy!

    I know mittens are warmer in cold weather, but out of curiosity, have you ever had wool gloves? Or has anyone else? I saw some very cute vintage-styled ones on Amazon (we actually saw these in person at the reenactment we went to, but on Amazon they were 1/3 the price!) that I was thinking would be a fun birthday gift for her. She can use them here too. She has other gloves now (lined) but not wool ones.

  72. I don’t have time right now to post my frugal wins but wanted to pass on something we did for both our children when they moved out: I made a recipe book out of a binder and clear page protectors. My daughters was decorated like a Creative Memories type photo album but my son’s was just plain. I included things like how to cut up a whole chicken and then examples of meals that could be made from it as well as family favorites and a copy of my updated buy it price points for both household supplies (like TP) and food. It also included sample menus. My son wasn’t as appreciative as my daughter (I think he lived off of Ramen and canned Ravioli). We also made a small binder into an cash envelope budget book so she could keep better track of her finances as well. She can be quite the spender and not pay attention to what it’s doing to her finances when she uses her debit card whereas cash in set envelopes shows her visibly where she’s at and when the cash is gone, it’s gone. This was a part of my daughter’s Christmas gift last year. We also gave her a basic pantry – we used $ store containers and to save money split some of my long term storage type foods (flour, sugars, oatmeal, rice, pasta) and added in basic spices picked up at Aldi’s, the $ store and from my bulk spices. I also gave her some laundry supplies and a pkg of TP + a big pill bottle filled with quarters for the machines. Her small appliances were found at the thrift stores and they all included their manuals and looked brand new.

  73. It’s so nice to get new clothes in a smaller size! I am glad you were able to get them at a swap! I have been slowly building up a new wardrobe (hence the thrift store purchases this week) and I didn’t have enough for winter. I’m not sure that I have enough for late fall/spring (i.e. 3/4 length blouses) but I have several sweaters and 3 pairs of jeans for winter now. I wouldn’t mind a pair or two of pants and some winter dresses, but I can certainly make do with what I have until I find a great deal on those.

  74. How would your daughter be with the Mint app? (Some people need cash; I like to track everything because I will spend cash, but with the debit card I put everything in Quicken and I know exactly what was spent where). We went over how to budget and my daughter wil use Mint to keep track of her spending. She’s very frugal about her spending and this will help her see where every penny goes. We already checked and our bank is there, so setting up her student account here will be just fine. She can use the app to know where each penny goes. We’ll set her up with a basic pantry and probably some fresh things as well (plus some first aid supplies) but after that, food and toiletries will be up to her with whatever job she gets. I worked and paid for those and housing; she may pay for housing as well.

    We talked about bulk items like oats, beans, rice, etc. We’re still researching storage containers for those and spices, but when I took her to Walmart, we talked about how she can buy those items to make the most of her money. I told her that even if we can’t buy her glass storage containers, she can always buy the huge jars of pickles for under $4, eat the pickles, and use those jars for storing bulk items.

  75. Congrats Winter on your new adventure! We had another hit and miss week. List of the freebies: gifted a gallon of milk and several bags of veggies from where I cook at on Thursdays- okra, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, green peppers, garlic, baby eggplants- in which I am turning them around and made 4 qts of roasted tomatoes, garlic, peppers and onions to put in freezer as a sauce starter, canned almost 7 pts of salsa, roasted the eggplants and pureed them, put in freezer to add to other dishes when needed. from work- 2 ham biscuits . From the mail I received a full box of Estrogen which helps with my hot flashes at night, gum, 3 personal towels, 1 pouch of Slimfast, mini Old Spice anti-perspirant and a mini bag of dog food. From a friend, a $60 outfit for winning a contest on her website. My MIL came and cleaned my curtains for me while I was at work. I sold some items on Ebay then turned around and used the funds to buy tickets for tours while we are on vacation in San Fran the first week of October. Collected more points on Swagbucks and refund sites. One of our local store is having a promo for a month in which you buy 40 of their name brand items, you get a quarter refund back for each- so you buy 40 cans ( little can is 47 cents each) of tomato sauce, you will get a $10.00 voucher printed out. This is really helping with stocking the pantry for items holiday cooking/baking plus cutting down on the meat bill. Closed the pool and that will help with the water and electricity bills. Son got re-evaluated for getting more services (he is autistic) hopefully before the year’s end and insurance paid for it. Picked a few cherry tomatoes, green peppers and green onions out of garden.
    Now for the misses- main car busted a casket and is in shop and bill might be over $2,000 due to there might be other things wrong. It’s a 2006 Mustang Santa gave me for Christmas 2005. Thank goodness we have other cars to drive. Might have to have a hard conversation with hubby about transportation around here while looking and pricing auto shops. Have a great week!

  76. I second the alpaca socks. When I know I’m going to be in a very cold environment for a length of time, I always wear alpaca socks. For every day winter warmth, I love cashmere/blend socks, as they’re warm but much lighter weight than wool. Of course, the higher percentage of cashmere, the warmer the socks. I’ve found deals on ebay, and in Marshalls & TJ Maxx in years past, though not lately. I usually buy the alpaca socks from another vendor at a holiday show I do every year, so I really have not researched if there are good deals out there.

  77. I rarely buy them 🙂

    For the children, I buy 100% cotton white sheets. Everyone gets white, so that they can be interechanged without a problem. I don’t have duplicates; I have one extra set in case a child is ill. If a bottom sheet wears out I will buy just a bottom sheet. I bought a few new sheets this year when several wore through.

    For my bed, a set of sheets has been a gift from my mom for several years. We usually only have one set at a time. I have a California King bed, which is harder to find sheets for. I did buy sheets earlier this year with a 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond on top of a sale.

    My kitchen washcloths and cleaning rags from from Sam’s Club; they last a long time and I’ve only replaced them once.

    For kitchen towels I use flour sack towels from Sam’s Club that I cut in half and hem to be two. I was given some new towels from our exchange student in France that I am also using, so I don’t expect to need towels for quite some time.

    Bathroom towels; I think I replace them around every 5 or 6 years, when they’re totally worn out. I will mend them before that time. Last year I replaced towels. For handtowels and washcloths in my bathroom, I bought them at a garage sale. The bath towels for everyone came from Sam’s Club.

  78. Brandy, have you thought of having Winter grow and preserve some food herself to take with her to college? I’m sure some home canned goods will be a welcome reminder of home during the long winter season. Having her grow and preserve the food herself would be a great teachable moment and exciting for her since it will be for her own use.

  79. Glad you were able to attend the symphony concert for the Henderson Symphony! Check their website for the next upcoming concerts coming up in October. This was a great concert where we really connected with the audience. I loved the visual aspect with the dancers but I couldn’t watch much or I would forget to play! Thank you for attending. Love to have you and all your friends there again.

  80. Nancy, what instrument do you play?

    I told several people here about it at church on Sunday. No one had heard of it, and this included people who grew up here in town! We just don’t hear about Henderson happenings at the other end of town.

    I really liked the pieces and loved that so many were new to me.

    I was also really liked your conductor! I have never seen a female conductor at any performance, and she was fabulous!

    We thought the seats would be packed, so we were there 40 minutes early.

    We already are planning on coming to the other performances.

  81. I thought I saw you at the Henderson Symphony concert! I couldn’t be sure, having never met you in person, so I had to come here to see if you’d write about it. 😀 I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years, and I admire so much of what you do! Thanks for inspiring me to be more frugal, and for giving us a little “celebrity sighting” on Saturday! 😉

  82. Brandy, I am so excited to hear about Winter ‘s new journey. My daughter finished 4 years at a major university. The first year she lived in a dorm room with one girl and it was like a teeny apartment. They shared everything. I found that as various girls moved off the campus, their parents assisted with the moveouts. Nothing seemed to get tossed out. She has shared apartments with several girls those next 3 years. I found it interesting that each month when people moved out that the trash/recycling center looked like a yard sale. Boxes of everything imaginable. Perhaps the wasteful indulgence is because parents are not supervising at this point. I do believe that when college boy moves out to go to his apartment in January, I know where to shop. I am at college girls apartment about 3 times a month. I am going to start checking the goods two days before the next rents are due. I picked up 4 new in boxes shoes 3 months ago. Nikes, 2 Keds, and a pair of Saucony running shoes. Someone was incredibly wasteful.

  83. I wish this were the case at the University of Colorado in Boulder — but students there, who often come from higher-income families, are notorious for tossing everything in the dumpster and walking out the door.
    On the other hand, people regularly ‘shop’ in the dumpsters at semester’s end, for just this reason!

    P.S. I’ve had my hair freeze too, especially while running…never had any problem with it breaking. Sounds like the girl’s hair was fragile, in the first place. Winter has such beautiful hair, I doubt she’d have a problem.

  84. I’m looking forward to seeing the new recipe when you add it! Would love the link to the Pinterest recipe if you have it handy too. Always looking for new recipe ideas to try. Family is picky, but sometimes these recipes spark an idea that I can then search other ideas on Pinterest.

  85. Having her own blow dryer will be great, but I just didn’t want her to worry that the cold would destroy her hair! If she’s running late and doesn’t have time to dry it, a warm hat will do the trick. Fashion sometimes falls by the wayside when it’s 10 F outside (or colder!).

    Based on your descriptions, the apartments must have a lot of cupboards in the kitchen to store all those cooking items?

  86. As a native of extremely cold weather, I can’t reccomend CuddleDuds thermals enough. They are less bulky than regular thermals, and the womens are cute enough to wear under blouses without making you look like Paul Bunyans sister. You can often find these and walmart and target on clearance in Jan. and Feb. And a fleece hat/face mask combo, along with warm gloves and warm water proof boots ( cold wet feet are miserable).

    Meanwhile, I was yearning over this littel gadget from madam Sew:

    And then realized a fridge magnet with a straight edge would accomplish the same thing!

  87. Hello all!
    College planning… glad you are able to plan ahead, as that is helpful and cheaper. I found the best places for items for college are, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Amazon. My daughter, rents her textbooks thru Amazon. Also, small appliances are great from Kohl’s My daughter is in a dorm and planning on living in an apt next year. I will tell her about the Mint app

    Last weeks frugal attempts –
    I stayed home most of the week – only out for grocery shopping and Mass. I had planned shopping in one day but my second stop did not go as well so I did my other shopping another day.
    I got a lot of fruits & veggies from Food City.
    I pick up free yogurts, free ice cream & 5 bags of 50 % off cheese from Frys. I had a $20 CVS oft card that I bought thru Groupon for $10 so I used that on Toliet paper, vitamins and deodorant.
    Made a stop at Walmart for my husband on food he wanted – I’m hoping it lasts awhile.

    My daughters puppy chewed up one of my sandals and another pair got ripped apart when I tripped. So I hope to find another pair soon.

    We have been waiting a long time for Electric Company to hook up Solar. They came on Sat. Now we have to wait for Solar and the County to come back. Hopefully this week. So we can save on electric bill still warm here 97 today…

    I hope all has a frugal week.

  88. I think, in part, that times have changed. We now live in a throwaway, disposable society where over-consumption is the norm. It also depends on the socioeconomics of the school. Some students leave behind nearly everything and others leave nothing because they can’t afford to do so.

  89. Dear friends, I want to thank everyone for all your kind words and support. I spoke with my attorney about my struggles and received immediate help. He actually overnighted me a check ! The worry of paying my taxes on my home has weighed heavy on my mind. My injuries have kept me out of work for two years now. Sugar cookies 250 thousand dollars of unexpected medical bills just leaves me stunned. I applied for her to have Medicaid to go with her Medicare to try and cover her issues. I was amazed. They gave it to all three of us. I was shocked to receive a letter saying they had given us 450.00 worth of foodstamps. I hadn’t applied for them but the case worker said we qualified for them. I felt uneasy about it, but my surgeon told me today I am at the end of the road. He is going to do one more surgery. ( covered by the person’s car insurance). He doesnt think it will help, but he will try so I can take care of sugar cookie. I used every trick in every post ever made on this site. I used my EBT and bought 150 lbs of meat and staples. Nothing wasted on junk.I still have 200.00 left and will stock loss leaders until it is gone. With what I had and what I bought, we easily have enough to live off of for two years. I will have surgery soon and immediately collect my settlement. It should be in by January. I don’t see any need to collect any further benefits than sugar cookies medicaid. I am grateful for all you kind folks.

  90. I have a former co-worker that I used to work with at the pioneer village. He now does costuming for movie and T.V. productions in Toronto. One of the ways he got his start was working at a local theatre. If Winter cannot find an internship for historic costuming, perhaps she could look at an internship in a theatre house in England. I’m betting they do a lot of Shakespeare productions, which would involve creating historic costumes for the actors!

  91. Thanks Brandy! I’m going to have to pull out my tips and give it a whirl. I’m thinking my

    I have had wool gloves but my preferred is lined fleece or wool mittens with a cotton glove inside. Wool gloves may be fine except for the coldest days – she’ll probably want to experiment once the cold weather hits. I usually use my wool coat and gloves down to about 10F actual temp or any wind chill down to 10F and then the down jacket and mittens below that. But then again, I’ve lived in the upper mid-west my entire life and I’m used to having a few weeks of temperatures well below 0F each year. It may feel colder to your daughter than it does to me!

    Now, I’m going to go look at my schedule this week and see when I can play with frosting a bit….

  92. Somehow that last sentence at the top got cut off:

    I’m thinking my daughter might enjoy trying it too!


  93. DH and I were both given decent quality bath towels in college (from Macy’s and JCPenney). Those lasted 18 years (and are still in use as rags). I bought the best ones that I could afford (on sale), hoping that they’ll last 15+ years again.

  94. So sorry to hear of your daughter’s illness. Many hospitals can put you in touch with programs that can help, but you would probably have to find the right person to ask. You might find help through the following:

    Tom Coughlin Jay Fund
    About Tom Coughlin Jay Fund: The fund’s mission is to help families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional and practical support.

    Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation
    About Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation: Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation was created to help patients who need financial assistance while undergoing treatment. Thru its AVAIL Fund, the Foundation allows those fighting their battle with cancer to concentrate on recovery rather than their overdue rent, mortgage, electric, or water bill.

  95. This actually has tears streaming down my cheeks. I just got my daughter out of ICU a few weeks ago. This hits so close to home. My prayers are with you. We went in for pneumonia and they found Lymphoma. That In Itself was a blessing. Otherwise we would not have known.

  96. Ovarian cancer at 13years old…that’s got to be tough on everyone. Add a hurricane and that’s down right miserable. So sorry you are dealing with such financial and emotional hardships right now, Kim. I hope you are able to find some help with the expenses. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  97. You’ve probably thought of this, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales might yield some of what’s on the list. While I’m sure most people use those sales to buy holiday gifts, we use them to get things that have been on our wishlist for a long time, but are just to expensive otherwise.

  98. I’ve lived in the cold most of my life and have never found a pair of gloves that works as well as mittens, but my husband swears by microfleece lined gloves for snowblowing and shoveling. The outer shell is thick nylon treated with water repellent. Not fashionable at all!

    There are times when it isn’t super cold that stylish winter gloves will be perfect, and other times when nothing keeps you warm while walking across a windy campus.

  99. She might want an extra wool blanket to put under her sheet as well. It was surprising to me how much warmth was added by doing this. I put mine between the mattress and mattress cover.

  100. True story – I rented a room in a house where everyone actually took their own TP into the bathroom.

  101. Lands End has great flannel sheets and they make them in TwinXL. They are made really well and last.
    Once you’ve purchased from them, they send 40% off one item e-coupons regularly.

  102. Oh my !! How exciting for Winter. She will do so well I am sure. When my daughter went to college we purchase one of the moon lights at the Dollar Tree for her. Sometimes they are round and folks use them in closets or sometimes shaped like stars but you turn them on by just pressing on them and when they had their first power outage many had brought flashlights that they couldn’t locate but we had hung her light right beside her bed.

  103. Brandy,
    I like your idea of taking Winter grocery shopping now so she can later be very comfortable with it while on her own.

    When my son was in his last year of high school, I thought I should teach him a little about grocery shopping. I clipped some coupons and gave him some cash and asked him to go to the grocery store and get the items on the coupons. I gave clear instructions about checking to make sure the product was exactly the same item as listed on the coupon. I gave him a $50 bill and expected there should be about $10-15 coming back.

    What I got was quite the shock. He said the store was out of two of the items so he decided to use all the money on the chocolate chip sale-he thought that was a great idea. I got almost $50 worth of chocolate chips and not much else!! I will never forget that learning experience. Those chocolate chips lasted me forever but in the meantime, we didn’t have much food to eat that week. Oh well, everyone has to start the learning process somewhere right? I am happy to report that these many years later he is a great frugal shopper.

    I went garage sale shopping this weekend. I was able to purchase a pair of Osh Kosh winter boots for my grandson for 50 cents! They looked brand new and were exactly like the pair I bought him last winter (I paid much more for those). I found two brand new very nice hard back children’s books for $1 each that will be a Christmas gift for my niece. I purchased 3 other books for .25 cents each for my daughter’s classroom (she teaches kindergarten and first grade). I bought myself a new pair of canvas tennis shoes for 50 cents. I was so happy to get those as the expensive Sketchers that I bought hurt my feet and give me blisters. The canvas shoes fit so much better. I also purchased a large lidded, glass container for food storage for 50 cents.

    This is the only city-wide garage sale I attend each year so I was very happy to be blessed with these things. Oh, I almost forgot I also picked up a Book 1 Beginning Piano book for free. It was in brand new condition. My daughter was very happy to get this as she teaches piano lessons and sometimes parents cannot afford the books or a student shows up for a lesson without the book so this will be great for her to have on hand.

    We were able to deliver a load and a half of fire wood to the young widow with the special needs son. This should help them stay warm this winter. With all the trees we had taken down I have much more wood to split and stack but so good to have a large supply of firewood so we don’t have to worry about that for a couple winters. We got our new wood stove installed and are just waiting for the cold weather to try it out.

    Wishing everyone a good week.

  104. When our daughter was moving into an apartment, we got some things she needed on Black Friday at Kohl’s that we ordered online. She’s gluten-free, dairy-free, coconut-free. She wanted to take my KitchenAid which I kaboshed. I did end up getting a great one on Black Friday through Kohl’s.

    Our son went to BYU-I. His Freshman housing situation would have been very miserable if his cousin hadn’t been attending at the same time. He hung out with her and her roommates.

    The thing that I learned from that situation was this. He lived in an apartment (not the dorms for the same reason–the cost of the meal plan.) The apartment put him in a room with a 28 year old Brazillan who was known for being difficult. So they put him in with an 18-year old freshman. The other room in his apartment had two guys who were probably Juniors and they were best friends. It was a painful learning experience. His second semester he paid to move down the hall. It wasn’t great because it was with a set of twins and their best friend. They went home every weekend. Because his cousin and roommates were there it made an otherwise painful experience bearable.

    Our daughter is in an apartment now where she and one roommate are both seniors and the other two roommates are both freshman. It’s working okay. But I wonder if you can do some inquiries and try to get with other Freshman (or sophomore) girls.

  105. Hello all, this past week we have had highs and lows. Saturday and Sunday last week our 13 year old dog was very sick, I just knew she had eaten a sock, as she has been known to do. Unfortunately the tests revealed stomach cancer that had worked its way to her intestines and even displaced one of her kidneys. We brought her home to allow the family to say goodbye then we had her euthanized. My oldest son insisted on a funeral and spoke. He did a wonderful job and I believe God revealed a glimpse of the man he will become.

    On the frugal front I was able to purchase #15 of red potatoes for $3, I cooked a batch of black beans in the crockpot and a Boston butt. I also found mark down milk which I froze.
    I made more baby legs from dollar tree socks for Christmas gifts. They are simple and always welcome, especially when it turns cool. We have been in the middle of a baby boom!! My youngest ripped a large hole in a pair of his new school pants. I made a patch using the inside pocket of my husbands jeans that were past mending. I made the patch decorative with black zig zag stitching around it and black and white embroidery thread. The jeans I am using to make two ukele bags for Christmas gifts.

    My father in law has a fig tree that produces green when ripe figs. He shared some with us.yummy.
    He also is a bee keeper and shared honey and beeswax with us. The beeswax I will use to made solid lotion bars at Christmas.

    My washing machine is going crazy. My husband has narrowed it down to two culprits. One fix will cost $50 the other $150. Praying the $50 fix works.

    Brandy I have two questions for you.
    First, have you ever tried the dollar tree oxy clean? I use the L.A.’s awesome oxygen orange and base cleaner it is 32 oz for $1 and for me works just as well as the name brand.
    Secondly, have you ever considered growing cushaw melons? They cook up just like a winter squash and should do well in your climate. They are huge and feed a crowd.

    Have a blessed week everyone.

  106. How exciting to hear about Winter’s plans for college. Interesting, too, to hear about the living arrangements. My first year, I lived in the dorms. Then two years in shared housing. Two or three bedroom apartments with 3-4 other roommates. We all shared meals though.
    The best year was the apartment when there were five of us. Each person would cook dinner one night (Sunday through Thursday). For those meals, we shared expenses for the food. We used a lot of masking tape with our names on it to identify ‘our’ own food in the refrigerator.
    You’ve never mentioned having your children take Advanced Placement courses. Any thoughts about them?
    I ask because I was able to enter college with 20 college units because of AP scores. One advantage that I was unaware of until enrolled was that those 20 units put me at an advantage when enrolling for courses. I was more ‘senior’ in the rankings then other true freshman and so had my course schedule filled first. Or at least that’s how it worked at my college in California.

  107. That’s very interesting. I never had more than one roommate at a time and since it was centuries and centuries ago I can not remember who supplied pots or plates.

    But I am loving the story of your husband living with 12 other guys. 😮 I can’t even imagine that.

  108. What pretty cupcakes, and I’ll bet they were moist and delicious with the addition of the pears.

    How nice that Winter is able to get started on her college units via an online program. Her choice of a major sounds perfect for her. I also think it’s great that you are gathering the things she will need well in advance and teaching her how to wisely use her resources. Those are lessons that will serve her well throughout her life.

    We have had a pretty uneventful week. I actually like it that way. 😀

    Frugal Efforts:

    All of our usual things, plus–

    * Made yogurt, bread, and most of our meals. (We did go to In N Out for burgers once, and Hubs and I went out to lunch once to celebrate a good report from my oncologist.)

    * I rolled a bunch of the coins we had collected in a large mug and ended up having over $65 in nickels and dimes alone. We’ve decided to use this “found money” towards our son’s Eagle expenses (project if he needs it; court of honor otherwise).

    * Hubs fixed a sprinkler head.

    * The weather has been cooler, so we’ve not had to use the AC. Yay!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  109. I don’t usually comment because I spend so much time reading everyone’s accomplishments that I run out of time to list my own! Things we’ve done recently:

    We subscribed to a CSA at a local farm/orchard. The pricing is typical for this area. The weekly basket isn’t incredible, but the subscriber perks make it a good value. I purchased 1/2 peck of “utility” apples sooner than they were available to the general public. In this case, utility turned out to be first quality. I canned applesauce with most those and then used the cores to make apple jelly without adding pectin. I purchased squash at half the farm’s retail price. One week, I asked if they had an extra cut flowers (I was prepared to pay for them as a treat) and they gave me a lovely bunch for free. Apparently they had been cut the day before so they weren’t considered fresh enough to sell.

    Friends have given us four bags of cucumbers, summer squash, peppers and tomatoes. Their garden is still producing and their freezer is already full. We’ve eaten a lot fresh, but I also made refrigerator pickle salad and froze some roasted tomato sauce. I’ve given them some perennials in return.

    It’s been a cool, wet summer. My garden hasn’t produced as much as I had hoped, but I have been able to water only with collected rain water. Many weeks, I have not had to water at all. My garlic was smaller than I expected, but will last a few months. I was able to can a batch of salsa only having to purchase a couple of onions and some hot peppers. I have enough green tomatoes from my garden to can another batch of salsa this week.

    Last December, I started menu planning, packing my husband’s lunch and being more diligent about packing snacks/picnics for outings with the kids. This has resulted in significant savings each month and allowed us to absorb some additional expenses in our budget without worry. The best thing about meal planning though is the reduced stress! I absolutely love not having to think about dinner every afternoon and my kids are using the menu to plan ahead, too. (They make sandwiches and other easy meals if they don’t like what I’m cooking.) I love the independence they are gaining, which was completely unintended.

  110. Kim,
    The Children’s Hospital in San Diego has a Ronald Mc Donald House where family can stay for free and eat for free while a child is undergoing a catastrophic illness. There is also a shuttle that picks up families that can’t afford gas or don’t have transportation. If you haven’t ask the Hospital social worker how they can help. Also look online for children’s cancer support groups they have many resources that can help. So sorry your going through this.

  111. And you have a great plan worked out for your family! All three of mine went to state schools because we got a 25% discount due to my husband being a state worker. Since they were responsible for the tuition, each one has kept their grades high to qualify for scholarships. All three incurred no debt (to us) for the first two years at the junior college.

    I love the idea of the cleaning checks at the apartments. Right now Dustin is renting his own apartment from the money earned working during the summer and refuses to get a roommate even though he could save money. He is very clean and needs quiet for studying. Those are priorities for him. Each child is so different.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job sharing your life on this blog. You have helped so many especially me! I have learned so many new ideas.
    Thanks, Jeannie

  112. Kim, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I am a cancer survivor and my prayers this evening will be for her. So sorry.
    Jeannie @

  113. I’ve never heard of the Mint app but then, I don’t use any apps or even have data on my cell phone (my son gave me his old phone and my husband found a free plan for it). I will let her know about it and she can check it out and see if it would work for her.
    We were so short on $ (and still are with hubby still not working) that $ store containers were all I could do – I would have preferred to give her something that was more bug proof but we worked with what we had. Putting plastic wrap over the top and then screwing the cap on made a better seal. I did give her some Tupperware that I had found at the thrift stores but it wasn’t as much as what she needed so $ store it was. Having 16 months would have made it much easier on everyone but she just [i]had[/i] to move out because she didn’t like our rules……she seems to have gotten a double dose of stubbornness from her 1st born parents and has to learn things the hard way.

  114. I cook a whole chicken in the crockpot. I set the chicken, breast down, in the crockpot and put it on low. No need for liquid to be added, the drippings will fill the crock about 1/4 – 1/2. She could put potatoes and carrots in there too.

  115. What a fun and exciting time for you and for Winter! Is she a current high school senior, taking online college courses simultaneously? Or is she delaying leaving for college by year? Our local schools have a dual enrollment program for high school seniors; The local university offers free tuition to participants! I will encourage my children to take advantage of this as much as possible. However, I think it would be more difficult to convince them to stay home very long after graduation, even for wise financial reasons. I would love to hear if/how parents encourage their children to make the smartest financial decision, even if it is not their first choice.

  116. Something that we have really liked is YNAB (You Need a Budget). It is free for students. You just need to supply proof of being a student. I suspect she could get it now. We like it because it’s so easy to put money in categories and see that if you need something in another category, you have to move money from one place to another.

    We used to use Quicken. We like this so much better.

    Our daughter is in college. I asked that she use it so that she’s really paying attention. It’s been so good for her.

  117. One thing Winter will want to know about Rexbug is that the wind is constant there. My husband went to Ricks College before he went to BYU.

    This week I finished up dehydrating the plums & the last of the elderberries. I am still working on dehydrating apple slices, but they keep longer & will not spoil if I am gone for several weeks when our daughter has her baby. Picked & froze the rest of the beets from the garden. Bottled more green beans. Picked more red raspberries from the fall crop, & we ate those fresh. Continued to harvest both Early Girl & Yellow Pear tomatoes.

    Picked the heirloom corn that I planted to rejuvenate the seed. Two of the three areas where I planted it did well, but the last did not. Since corn is a heavy feeder, that tells me the soil in that portion of the back perimeter bed needs more compost/ coffee grounds/ manure. I do not have enough space to grow all the corn we could use, but I can grow enough to be able to throw a handful of corn in a pot of chili, or another bean dish, to make it a more complete protein.

    I had the tires on the car rotated & balanced for free at Discount Tire, since that is where I bought them. They also checked the pressure for me. The car is now ready for the trip to WA, since my husband changed the oil and the air filter earlier this week.

    Had my flu shot at ShopKo, since I wanted it before the baby comes, & they had the vaccine already. It is covered thru our insurance, but because I do not usually get it at ShopKo, they had to add me to their system, as a “new customer”, and as a result, I received a $25 gift card that is good for one month for getting my flu shot there. Since my husband needs some new shoes & pants, we will likely use the coupon for that.

    I used a free photo book coupon from Shutterfly to make a photo book for one of my granddaughters, for the cost of shipping & taxes. This will be her Christmas present. I also used a coupon for 2 free gifts from shutterfly to make a puzzle, using a religious picture, and a matching game, using people from the Scriptures, to go in our middle daughter’s Sunday box. Again, these cost only the shipping, but the code was only good for one day. I have learned to work on a “project” at Shutterfly, save it, then wait for a code for a free product, or free shipping, etc – then I buy it. It is so difficult to find religious toys, even in Christian bookstores, and until now, I had not thought of creating some of our own.

    I have wrapped the Christmas presents for Little Stuff & her family, & will take those with me when I drive up to help with Baby Brother. Ordered a couple of Christmas presents for our youngest daughter. She wanted some vintage Tupperware containers of a specific type, & I found them on Ebay & Etsy for a reasonable price.

    Mowed the lawn & began some of the fall pruning, trying to get the yard in shape before Baby Brother arrives.

  118. I’m so glad the recipe turned out. We love that sauce and use it on homemade pizza too ! I never got around to using my extra loyalty points at Chapters this weekend. I hope they offer that again sometime soon 🙂

  119. Hi Brandy,

    I keep my house at 58 at night during the winter and it gets to -15 in New England for a few weeks during the overnight. Layers on the bed help keep it warm – a cotton blanket with a loose weave with the wool blanket on top will be much warmer than just the wool blanket, then maybe a comforter on top of that.

    I highly recommend flannel sheets also.

  120. The hair will not fall out, but it will freeze if exposed. As other readers have already suggested, an updo with a hat will help prevent frozen head 🙂

    Living in a climate where it gets down to -30. And -35 with the windchill in the winter, I also second the recommendation for down filled apparel. New or second hand. It costs a bit more but is worth it. I have a down filled winter jacket (currently in its 10th year of use) and a down filled vest. I use them all the time. I am never cold. And mittens keep the fingers warm.

    Brandy the most valuable things you send with Winter will be the knowledge you have passed along to her regarding meal prep and food shopping. She will be years ahead of many of her peers.

    This week I started buying things off my back to work list. The list is not long, but there a re a few musts. I went to an outlet malls to get a few items and while checking out at a store I remembered that a few years ago this store offered a discount to members of my profession. On a whim, I asked if they still did this. Yes! I showed my work ID and $35.00 came off my bill. Hurray!

    I made beet salad with beets from our garden. It is my favourite: roasted or boiled beets sliced, pecans, blueberries if on hand, goat’s cheese and a maple syrup/olive oil/balsamic drizzle. Delicious!

    I also bought a lot of beets, potatoes, carrots, onions at rock bottom prices. I will be cooking and freezing these.

    We booked a vacation for next week using loyalty points.

    My DIY Christmas workshop continues. I made personal journals.
    This week I am starting some other gifts.

    We finally replaced the two sets of curtains I accidentally melted awhile ago. I was able to get the new ones from Costco, far cheaper than anywhere else. They only came in one size so I got one set altered at our dry cleaner’s for a very reasonable fee. I’m pleased with how the new curtains look

    I’ve started making ahead and freezing food for a birthday bash we will be hosting in October.

    Have a great week everyone !

  121. It’s so exciting to read about the preparations for the next step in Winter’s life. And it’s great that you know people who are already at the school she is attending, who can provide guidance as to what she will need.
    17 years ago we moved from Texas, where we had lived all our lives, to the mountains in Colorado. My best purchases for that first winter were wool sock, snow boots, long underwear, and a wool hat, gloves and scarf. Oh, and flannel sheets!
    This week I dehydrated a pound of carrots, and pickled another batch of nasturtium seeds. I canned 9 pints of picante sauce. My husband harvested and dried a bunch of hops to use in making beer. We harvested tomatoes, lettuce, collards, chard, onions and strawberries from the garden. I picked flowers from the yard.
    The voles ate all the cabbage and broccoli seedlings I set out last week – nipped them off at soil level. I think I have a couple of plants left, but don’t know that I’ll get much. We covered the raised bed with plastic sheeting stretched over hoops and mulched in everything. This should keep the chard and greens already growing there until December. (For some reason, the voles don’t bother the big plants.)
    We cleaned out some cabinets and donated a car load of items to the local humane society thrift. We came home with a winter coat for my husband for $1. I have no idea why it was on the $1 rack – it is a fleece-lined coat with a black watch plaid flannel exterior, with a hood and big pockets. No tears or stains and the zipper works great. It will be a great casual coat for him on days when he doesn’t need his really heavy coat.
    I mended the quilt we use for camping, and two of my husband’s shirts.

  122. If Winter will be in “the ‘burg” YES, it is bitterly cold. I bought my daughter a Lands’ End down filled long coat. I was fortunate enough to work for them at the time, so I got a huge discount. We are from south TX and she told me that she was never cold while wearing that coat. If you sign up for their emails (so obnoxious!) they will notify you of a sale. They also have the “on the counter” sale where prices go down every couple of days…you have to be quick though!

    Again, assuming she’s in the ‘burg, that “other” grocery store is super expensive! I also found that it’s a good idea to compare with the other roommates and see who is bringing what. No apartment needs 5 crockpots! Storage is fairly good, but again, it’s 6 girls in an apartment!

    Good luck with school for your older ones! It’s an exciting time and can also be stressful! Also, it’s not a bad idea, if you can, to have your son take as many AP courses as he can or online BYU classes. My oldest headed off to his “freshman” year at BYU with 27 credits already! His best friends school only accepted 3 credits. We were really blessed.

  123. This is so wise, Brandy. I think too many people have been brain=washed to believe that they must accept debt to get an education, yet I know two families — middle-income, average Americans — who are sending two children each to college without debt. It takes work and sometimes sacrifice on everyone’s part, but doing so means the young people will graduate without that burden of debt.

  124. I buy my alpaca socks from alpaca farmers. The couple has full time jobs, but have this small side venture which is more than a hobby to them. He does the animal care and takes the animals to schools, nursing homes, petting zoos and fairs. She gathers the fiber, spins it into yarn and then has several women who knit for her. Each pair cost me about $12. But I’ve had pairs that with proper care have lasted for five years or more.

  125. Brandy,
    You might check places like daycares or nursing homes to see if they go through and latge glass jars ( like pickles ) that they would let you have.

  126. We were around the eighth row in the middle and I knew it was going to be casual, so I ended up wearing really light blue jeans (a mistake; I was way too hot; I should have worn a dress) and I had on a blue and white pinstripe blouse. I still felt underdressed even though I knew it would be casual, so I’ll definitely wear a dress next time, even if my husband plans on going in shorts again 😀

  127. My children are homeschooled, so they don’t have AP courses as an option. They will have to take the GED. All states are different with regards to homeschooling laws, but here in Nevada, the GED will be neccessary (it’s also required for them to apply for Pell grants).

    (I took AP courses in high school, but my parents didn’t understand the importance of taking the tests, so they didn’t pay for me to take the exams. It’s too bad; I would have had a number of credits, but not 20! Good for you!)

    One semester we got together with another apartment (one of my roommates’ brothers and his roommates) and we signed up for the whole semester to take turns cooking for the group of 12. We did not share expenses but rather paid for the meals we made (we each cooked twice a month for dinner). That was fun and we got to eat different things.

    But that wasn’t the norm; everyone pretty much cooked for themselves. Sometimes we would learn a new recipe by sharing a bite with someone else and then teach them how to make it, but meals were not usually a shared experience.

  128. What a great deal at your local school!

    She is neither; we started homeschooling her early because she has a December birthday, and she has done through 10th grade. She will take the GED once she is 16 (she can’t take it before that) and she is taking her college classes now. She already took the ACT (when she was 14). It’s an unusual way to do it, but it should work. She can start BYU Idaho once she is 17, but BYU independant study classes can be started at age 13.

    I know that the community college here offers a progam: at 16, you start taking college classes and no longer attend high school. At age 18, you get both your high school diploma and your associate’s degree. Not everyone chooses it of course, but it’s another option that will help students save money (especially if they decide to attend a state school, as everything transfers).

  129. What a great savings just for asking!

    Gald you were able to replace the curtains. That will be nice for winter.

    How do you prepare your beets? They grow well here during the winter and I really would like to find more ways to eat them that the family will actually enjoy.

  130. I wonder if the memory of hair braking off is not a bit enhanced by time. I lived in villages in Alaska where the temperature in the winters went to 60 below zero, plus a wind chill bringing it to 90 or 100 below zero. I now live in North Pole, Alaska, right next to Fairbanks, and our temperatures regularly get to 35 and 40 below zero in the winter. I have never seen nor heard of anyone’s hair breaking off and, teens being who they are, I know kids who have gone out without hats no matter how cold it gets. And when I lived in one of the villages the house was very poorly insulated and I often woke up to find my long hair frozen to the wall; it never broke off. She will certainly need warm clothing but need not panic if she goes out in the extreme cold without a hat, in terms of her hair, anyway. Her ears getting frostbitten are a different story.

  131. Some of the kitchens are really big! The school used to be a 2-year junior college until it became an accredited 4-year university several years back. They built some nice apartments since then and we noticed that several of the newer ones were larger and nicer than what we had when we were in college. The place with 8 girls has 2 fridges, which is so nice! A few had smaller kitchens but most had incredible cabinet space. Since you can see them all online, you can tell ahead of time what the cabinet space is like, which is so helpful. I want to keep her items to a minimum as I know once can cook without a lot of things, but still try to make sure everything is useful for her. Because she is used to cooking from scratch, there are some things she wants that I know I didn’t have as a student, but that will serve her well in keeping her meal costs down (and eating even healthier and less expensive than I did). Having the right tools will help so much.
    She only spends about 5 minutes doing her hair in the morning, and she does all kinds of fancy wedding-style updos. NO ONE who sees her believes that she can do her hair so fast. She’s even shown other girls and they still don’t believe her! Pinterest has taught her well; she is teaching me styles to try on her sisters that she has learned. I was really surprised with one she taught me Sunday; it looked SO fancy and it was SO easy! And it really was fast!

  132. Chocolate Fruit Cake
    2 c. Flour 2 T. cocoa powder 1 1/2 t. baking soda 1/2 t. salt 1/2 c. butter 1 1/2 c. sugar 2 eggs 2 t. vanilla 2 c. fruit puree 1 c. chocolate chips 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
    In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter, then add the eggs and vanilla. Alternately add the pureed fruit and the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan then sprinkle the chocolate chips and chopped nuts over the top. Bake for 35 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean then remove from oven and cool on a rack. This cake stays moist right to the end, but with chocolate lovers around the end won’t be very long.

  133. I’m not J, obviously, but I just had two share two of my favourite beet recipes: the first is a recipe from my mother’s neighbour many years ago, who got it from a Mennonite community somewhere or other ( and the second is a recipe that I found last year that is so unexpectedly delicious (I think this was the recipe,, but I believe I added in some balsamic vinegar as well. There are many variations of beet hummus out there). Personally, the pickled beets are my favourite, as they can be canned, added to food storage, and eaten year round. Mmm…I totally want to eat some beets right now. 🙂

  134. I dehydrate my tomato peels and then grind them up to add to soups and so on. On the other hand, I have never canned 47 jars of anything at one go!

  135. Libby, you answered a question I have asked myself any times. I see these photos of beds on blogs with a comforter, flannel sheets, a wool throw, and a quilt, and I haven’t figured out how cold people must have it inside to want all of those layers! We keep our house at 65º in the winter and a thin cotton quilt plus regular cotton sheets is all my husband needs. I will sleep in flannels with a pair of wool socks and add a cotton quilt throw on top and that is plenty for me.

    She currently has a fleece blanket (twin-sized), a cotton quilt, and a wook blanket, all of which she will take with her. The apartment rent includes utilities, so I don’t think anyone will keep it that cold (in fact, she’s worrried she’ll have roommates who want to set it to 78º like we know some people do here with their heat). Your description of the bed clothes and what will likely bie a bit higher than 58º temperature in the apartment makes me think she should be okay with what she had. We’ll just need to get the extra-long sheets, and I think I’ll buy flannel ones.

  136. Her cousins told her the grocery store in town is super expensive and that everyone shops at Walmart. They also said that because of that, someties they are out of things (I guess so!)

    We bought her a Land’s End coat a few years back on clearance as part of our emergency prep. It’s not down, but she will have it, and she will likely make a vintage-styled wool coat for herself too. She also plans to make some washable wool dresses.

    We homeschool, so AP courses aren’t an option unless we were to stop homeschooling.

    If Winter has 24 creidts from BYU Independant Study, she can apply to BYU-I as a transfer student. We have spent a lot of time making sure everything transfers and applies to her major so that we don’t waste money on classes that won’t count. I love that this major has so many practical classes!

    I don’t know how she would know who her roommates would be ahead of time. Mine changed almost every semester at BYU and I went year-round. Everyone used their own cooking stuff.

  137. Mable, I don’t know, but the story was too funny not to share! I know that I don’t like wet hair in the winter here (most of the year I let it dry naturally, but in winter, if I don’t dry it right away, I get a headache from my head being cold, and that’s in the house!) Perhaps the girl had brittle hair from dying it often? I don’t know! But I will make sure she has a blowdryer before she goes; going out in the cold with damp hair, even under a hat, is not pleasant.

  138. Haha! Paul Bunyon’s sister! So funny!

    Our Target had one brand of thermals (I bought her a pair last year for cold mornings on her bike) and I have heard of that brand, but I haven’t seen it here. I will look. Thank you for the recommendation!

  139. We talked about her taking some homemade strawberry jam but then about what brands to purchase when she runs out. Jam is one of those things where I don’t think it’s worth buying the least expensive choice, as you get more sugar and less fruit. We will send her with some though. Strawberry is her favorite but I don’t have much success with growing them here. The plants always seem to burn in the sun.

  140. Good for you for drinking water! Water will give you a HUGE boost in energy (better than soda).

    Also, make sure you are getting enough iron and vitamin b-12. If you are lacking in those you will be very tired. I had quit taking my vitamins the last couple of months and was finding I was too tired to make it through the day. The garden isn’t producing many greens this time of year. I increased my vitamin intake and my energy came back within 2 days! I’ll keep taking them even as I get more greens from the garden again. They make a huge difference!

  141. That’s how I cook mine in the solar oven. I will have her do the same in the crockpot. I like your potatoes and carrots idea; I should cook mine like that more often. If I use the oval pan in the solar oven at an angle, I can fit more produce in around the chicken.

  142. We’re not middle-income (this year below poverty-level) but we still want them to get an education without debt. Hopefully, we can make it work on the timeline we would like, but it will depend on our income and what Pell grants and scholarships she gets. Interestingly enough, the university itself gives non-academic scholarships and wants students to show self-reliance in applying for them!

  143. What an exciting, busy time of life for your family Miss Brandy! We are essentially empty nesters so life is pretty quiet these days. I love it though and see it as well deserved after years of raising children.
    My little frugal list is here:
    As always, thanks to all of you that share such wonderful ways of conserving money!
    To the ladies dealing with the hardship of illness in your family, you and your loved ones are in my prayers. Please keep my father in your prayers a well as he fights his lymphoma diagnosis on the way back to perfect health.

  144. Oooh, I so wish I liked beets! There are very few things I don’t like to eat (oink oink, lol) but beets are one of them. Black eyed peas are another. I haven’t tried beets in many different varieties of ways so I may not be giving them a fair chance but, aghhhh! I’ll check out those recipes of yours Margaret…maybe they can change my mind…:D

  145. I moved from AZ to UT three years ago and this is what this desert girl has learned. i have found the each Costco that I go to is different in what they offer, so I try to look for clothes online. Costco will do free shipping on certain items as well.
    Also another tip is to layer your clothing. Leggings under skirts, wool socks and dress boots even for church, and undershirts and sweaters have saved me and my children. Buying a good weather coat can be expensive but can also be resold later if taken care of. KSL in UT and Craigslist can be valuable in shopping for winter clothes. (I know you live in Vegas but ALOT of times we have found items posted from Vegas residents.)
    We buy Darn Tough merino wool socks on Amazon. They are around $20 a pair but if you get a hole on the sock, you send the pair of socks to Darn Tough and they will replace your sock for free. It’s been great to work with this sock company. AND the socks hold up better than the Costco socks and they have cute socks.
    So happy for Winter! College is so much fun.

  146. Brandy,
    I don’t know if you’ve mentioned this before, but your local library most likely has access to free ACT practice tests through their databases. You need to check with the librarians the next time you are there. I’m a librarian (not in Nevada), and our state carries test prep resources online – you can access them with your library card. A lot of people aren’t aware of this resource.

  147. I love beets!!
    OK – I have three main ways to cook them – roast, boil, or Crock-Pot (

    I also love pickled beets. And shredded beets as a side (pickled or not).

    We like to serve beets: as mentioned in my original comment, diced in a tuna salad, as a side, with goat’s cheese in any form, diced or sliced in Couscous (plain or Israeli/pearl couscous) sprinkled with Feta or Goat’s Cheese and possibly with any kind of chopped nut (pecan, almond) or no nuts at all. Beets are really great in hummus (Margaret posted a related recipe link below). I have had beet chips which I really enjoyed but have never tried to make them myself.
    There are lots of great beet smoothie and beet juice recipes. I feel like you may have mentioned a long time ago that your kids do not like smoothies (but maybe I am thinking of another commenter?).

    One of the things I want to try this year is more beet recipes – there are loads especially on Eastern European and Jewish recipe forums. If you search Joy of Kosher Beet Recipes, you will get loads of beet use options – although I can’t personally vouch for any of these recipes.

    I don’t know if any of this helps. It can be hard to get kids to eat beets – my infant will – my 4 year old will lick the beets but then just go straight for the goat cheese (which has an equally strong flavour but…..who understands the mind of a child?) 🙂

  148. I don’t use an exact recipe, I just kind of throw what I have on hand in a pot and season it until it tastes good but I’ll post what I did last week.
    -a pound or so of ground beef browned and drained (I actually used a blend of ground beef and pork because thats what was in the freezer that needed using up)
    -a large onion diced
    -A few potatoes cubed to about bite size or slightly larger (I used yukon golds and I left the skins on. Peel if you like)
    -four carrots dices
    -four celery stalks diced
    -a can of diced tomatoes not drained (I used italian seasoned because that’s what was in the pantry)
    -I did 14 cups of water seasoned with beef bullion
    -season to taste (I used rosemary, thyme, garlic, pepper, and a couple bay leaves) I didn’t add any salt because it tasted plenty salty with the bullion
    -a can of tomato paste
    Simmer on the stove until ready
    A few notes: I’ve seen a lot of people also throw in a bag of frozen mixed veggies but I don’t because I think the soup is plenty hearty as is and it keeps the cost down. I don’t know exactly how many potatoes or carrots I used because I added a few more after getting everything in the pot because it looked a little thin. I think rice could be subbed out for the potatoes really well and was considering doing that instead next time. Rice is usually cheaper, and IMO stretches further, when thrown into a soup. Potatoes are hardly ever on sale around here. If I had worstesheir sauce I would have added that too but I was out so we did without.

  149. I LOVE how well you’re preparing for Winter’s college! I’m excited to see all the wonderful savings! The key is to plan ahead, so with 16 months I think you’re ahead of the game. 🙂

    This week:

    1. Instead of throwing out some nasty wrinkled grapes, I put them in our dehydrator to make raisins.

    2. I purged some of my wardrobe today, which I’ll sell to a clothing consignment store.

    3. I pre-cooked a lot of our dinners over the weekend, and I am so happy I did that! I have more time in the evenings to work on projects and write.

    4. I taught my husband how to find coupons for Groupon, so he got an extra discount for a float tank service that he’s been wanting to try.

    5. I made frozen yogurt bark and chocolate-covered sea salt almonds as healthy snacks for the week. I packaged them in snack bags so they would be convenient to nibble on the go.

  150. I was thinking of home canned peaches, pears, apricots and applesauce, as they are perfect to take in bagged lunches. Dried herbs, home canned pickles and other veggies or fruit (dried or canned) from you garden would also be a blessing to start her out with as well. The selection of fruits and veggies in the winter is either not very good or very expensive. That’s one of the reasons I started to preserve food in the summer/fall. It adds a healthy variety to our diet without the added expense. If Winter took the time to preserve some of your garden harvest for her to take, it will help her keep food costs down and provide healthier options until she gets the job to afford those foods. This also would not be an extra cost to you, as you already have it growing in your garden. But having her do the work to prepare it is just one more step in Winter taking on these new “adult” responsibilities.

  151. Hi Brandy,

    You have taken so many lovely photos of your flowers, fruit, and arrangements…….I really love them. I have captured them to use as I alternate screen savers on my computer at work. I appreciate the fact that you have identified yourself on the photos as well. I consider you one of the best blogger photographers.


  152. Thanks for responding. I knew you homeschooled but didn’t realize you couldn’t take AP courses as a homeschooler. Always learning something here…smile.

    Yes, the first apartment with the five of us roommates all cooking together made for some great memories. All of us were learning how to cook!! I credit those girls with teaching me how to budget and grocery shop within a budget. We also knew some guys from church who also cooked together as a household. We’d often have potlucks on the spur of the moment. They’d bring over what they were cooking and we’d share what we had cooked. Great memories.

  153. I had a mixed 2 weeks here.
    I had to out a beloved dog down. Due to his size and infirmary, I chose to have the vet come to me. The home visit and cremation were pricey, but what we as a family needed to do.
    Then we had a hurricane and were without power, water, or sewer water for 5 days. While this will reduce my bill next month, it wasn’t great fun. Thankfully I had supplies, and ate down my fridge in the week leading up to. I lost everything in left in the fridge (not much). I froze a dozen gallons of water prior and between those and not opening the big deep freeze the entire time, I didn’t lose anything in there! Not even the ice cream pops my mother bought when she visited!

    This week, we are eating the few things in the small freezer that partially defrosted and will probably continue that next week too. The quality may not be perfect, but it isn’t spoiled, so I refuse to waste it.
    I refilled the water jugs I used so I will have them for the next storm.
    I used candles rather than flashlights (batteries are expensive) and went to bed at dark to minimize even the use of the candles. I saved the leftover wax to cast new candles.
    I repaired the damage to the roof and portico and with materials on hand. I recaulked a window that let water in during the storm with caulk I picked up at a yard sale a few months ago. A friend came and cut up the downed limbs with her chainsaw. I, in turn, supplied them with a hot meal. I took lots of walks, read, and raked the yard during the forced down time.

  154. Thanks for posting! I will have to experiment, I have just found out I should not eating certain things. So I’ll have to use some different spices but everything else looks ok.
    Thanks again.

  155. I wanted to share my two recent purchases for winter weather that you might find helpful. The first, insulated drapes. They cut down the draft and reduce my heating costs. Since I’m in an apartment now, I used hooks made by CommandStrip to hang the rods. The second idea is to buy an electric lap blanket. My apartment is on the ground floor so the floor is always cold no matter what temperature I set the thermostat at.

    Also, in one apartment, I used a kit to insulate the windows from the inside.The kit was a bit pricey but worked really well and cleaned up well. The kit comes with plastic sheeting that is ‘shrink wrapped’ to the window with a hair dryer. I found the kit at homedepot.

    Don’t forget slippers. I never wore slippers when I lived in California. Now I wear them all winter, and usually with wool socks on.

  156. I also love shredded cooked beets mixed with apple sauce, served warm, as a sweetish but healthy side dish. Yum! Or there’s obviously the classic borsht. Beets chips are also yummy, as J said! I’ve never made them myself, but I wonder if they could be baked instead of deep fried. If so, they’d definitely be healthier, as well as cheaper. Hmm. So many delicious beet recipes! I think I’m going to try J’s beet salad recipe next! Mmm…beets, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar — yum!

  157. Once you qualify for food stamps, they should give them to you every month. You could go and buy cases of things like tomato sauce, etc. if they do continue the benefits. You should not feel bad about taking them. Every one of us, including you, I’m sure, has paid in taxes for years. Now, you need to use some of that tax money. It’s as simple as that, and if there is extra left over, you could buy some foods that would be easier for you to use when you have the next surgery, or for days when you just need to feed your daughter something quick and you have no energy, due to your illness or just life. Look at it as temporary help during a difficult situation. That’s what it’s there for. Just because some abuse it, doesn’t mean you are. It sounds like you have quite enough to worry about with your daughter’s illness. What a blessing to get some tangible help. Hang in there!

  158. She’ll have basil and oregano from the garden to take with her for certain.

    I normally only can 12 quarts of peaches a year. The rest of our peaches we eat fresh. This year my peach tree (that gives us fruit to can) was sickly and didn’t produce but a handful of sad peaches, and then it died.

    My apricot (that I normally get plenty of fruit from and can jam with the fruit) didn’t even flower this year.

    We usually only get a small number of pears from the garden that are usually eaten fresh.

    In other words, I don’t expect to count on the garden. Also, I don’t think she will have room for a ton of canning jars, nor am I canning a ton from the garden recently.

    We’ll start her out with as much as we can, including buying some things for her up at school (including frozen vegetables, fresh onions, squash, potatoes, and carrots, dried beans, and canned tomatoes). A thermos with a lid and a spoon in the lid will be one of the things she takes. We have one now (my husband took it today with him for jury duty so he doesn’t have to buy a lunch there) but she’ll need her own. She can use it to take soup and lefotvers with her to campus.

  159. Our frugal activity this week is just to be nice and patient. We hired a local attorney recommended to us to update our wills (since our children aren’t minors anymore and one of them can be our executor.) It took him months to get things together to produce the wills. He was embarrassed about how long it took, because he had some trials go to court and other work that kept him from finishing the wills. He usually charges $150 per will (includes advance directive and living will), but he only charged us $150 for 2 wills because he said we were very patient and understanding about the time it took him. I thought it was going to be about $500 so I was happy with the much lower price.

    My second frugal “thing” is that I noticed that I was wearing tights that are very old – 18 years old – to work one day. I bought about 10 pairs of tights at an outlet store long ago and I am still wearing them today. I always wait to buy tights and pantyhose till they are really marked down – no more than $1 per pair. (I can’t say that I can keep wearing pantyhose for 18 years, though.) I think tights are frugal because they last for years.

  160. We visited the genealogy library while on our honeymoon trip in the late 80’s. It was very impressive. Salt Lake City is certainly in a beautiful area with all those mountains. Probably more snow than I would want to deal with in winter, though. Also, being a librarian, we pretty much stop at every library we see while traveling, as my husband learned quickly.

    I am not much of a genealogy researcher myself, but fortunately others in the family take care of that. We dutifully notify them of any additions and changes to our family logistics, or else. Our church historian keeps up to date our genealogy section. It’s housed all in a cabinet in the Library and has every record and log book going back to the founding. Plus correspondence, newspaper clippings, photo albums. Several times a year someone or some group wants to go through it. They always seem to find something of interest.

  161. Hubby said that is why you both can handle sharing your home with so many kids LOL. I grew up with a brother 10 yrs older than me, sharing isn’t something we learned growing us. LOL

  162. Kathy L. He graduated in 2005 and said it was well worth it. My cousin graduated 2015 and said it was worth it, she started at a branch and then transferred to main campus and worked her way through school and thought it was worth also.

  163. Sarah, I was not sure what Mandy was asking so I did click on your link. Is pre-school mandatory? It seems easier on all to maybe just let her be at home? She is 3? 4? It is very interesting that you have to cross a covered bridge to get to your house!!

  164. That’s so sad you lost your peach tree. That is one fruit tree that I wish we had in our yard. I’ve always loved peaches.

    Hope your apricot tree produces next year. Sometimes fruit trees go in an every other year cycle. The apple trees at the pioneer village were loaded with apples last year, but barely have any this year. Same with the crabapple trees in our neighbourhood. Last year was a bumper crop, but most of them look sickly this year and no crabapples to be had!

  165. I hate gloves in the winter, too. They just don’t keep your hands warm like a good pair of mittens. Style goes out the window when the extreme cold hits. I assure you, nobody is looking anyways. Their too busy trying to keep warm, themselves!

  166. I was very fortunate with my assigned roommate in the dorms at BYU Provo way back in 1977. I was coming from Alabama, and literally knew no one, members of my ward were not coming to BYU Provo for another year. I was barely 17 years old, and have remained friends with my Californian freshman roommate, and her whole family, including her younger sister, throughout the years. I agree roommates can help make a good or bad college experience. My roommate had several friends from her home stake and introduced me to them, as well as we had a good time with the other girls on our floor at Helaman Hall (Merrill). We, eventually, moved into an apartment along with her younger sister, and one of their brothers actually married one of our other roommates…lol. I am still friends with all of them! I hope and pray Winter has an equally awesome experience. College is a life changing experience.

  167. I don’t know. It would be worth a try. Right now I am waiting for my basil plants to recover from me stripping the leaves off to make pesto to freeze for the winter. I plan on doing quite a bit of experimenting.

  168. I looked at the College Board website this morning which said that AP courses are available on-line for US and Canadian students. That’s as far as I got looking into it.
    Thanks for the compliment about earning 20 units. I earned credits in US History and Biology. I didn’t score high enough to earn units for English. I took all the AP classes offered at my school at the time. In looking at the web site this morning, it amazes me how many more courses are offered now.

  169. I agree that tights are very frugal. I don’t know how old mine are, but told my husband on Sunday morning as I pulled them on that I couldn’t even remember how long ago I bought the ones I was wearing. But, several years!

    One time, I slid down a steep gravel driveway, landed on my knee, actually drew blood, but the tights were fine!! I was not hurt badly, and it became a funny story of how tough tights are. That’s why I don’t mind paying a bit more–like $10-12/per pair, when I do buy some.

  170. My daughters and I all have the long down coats from Lands End. They wear well and are nice and warm. We also wear dresses all the time and use tights over long underwear in the winter, plus boots, of course. For me, I especially like the lightness of a down coat as it adds no extra weight to my shoulders as a cloth coat would.

  171. Kim prayers for you and yours. A really good friend went through this with his youngest when she was 12. He made refried beans and carried it with him to the hospital. Single father of 6. His wife had died in car accident.

  172. I’ve had wool gloves, bad if they get wet…and can sometimes make you itch if they aren’t lined. I used them over my white cotton gloves and they did fine as long as I didn’t get them wet.

  173. I don’t remember the brand of my long underwear, tops and bottoms, but they are silky which makes putting clothes on over them easier. That box will be unpacked soon and put out on the line to air.

  174. My granddaughter did this and graduated with her A.A. with her high school diploma . My grandson had 1 yr of college under his belt when he graduated. I have a granddaughter that is a sophomore that has already received a 3 yr scholarship from a local college and a grandson in 8th grade that has a promise of a 2 yr scholarship if he stays on task for the next 2 yrs as they will start him in college in 10th grade.

  175. Flannel sheets are great to have in the winter. Buy better quality though, as cheap ones can pill up. It sounds like it may be warm enough in the apartment if the heat is included and they’ll probably be doing a lot of cooking and baking. I would think the place would be well insulated.

  176. Another great option for furnishing rooms/apartments would be estate auctions– either onsite or online. We’ve found great prices for quality things. And not the greatest (but functional) things.

  177. Becky, I use the recipe for plum sauce that Brandy has here in the recipe section of the blog. I’ve used at least 3 years in a row, including this year. We use it for egg rolls, add to stirfrys as seasoning, add to fried rice etc. I make double batch as give out as presents also. My daughter likes it for her broiled tofu strips.

  178. Jo, I am glad to hear that your cat is on the mend. We don’t have indoor cats, just farm cats, but they are all friendly and get good health care. I do enjoy sitting every night on the sofa with our littler dog Lulu (the shepherd is too big for the sofa). We call it “sofa time” and I just rub and scratch her all around and she loves it and it is very relaxing for me.

  179. Hi Brandy I have wool gloves and I live in Central Idaho. They keep my hands warm although I am a naturally warm person who has lived in extreme cold all my life. My favorite wool gloves have a mitten flap that folds over the gloves

  180. I own some kitchen items from there and have been very impressed with the quality overall. I especially love my chef Santuko knife and bamboo cutting board. When you consider the value, it’s even better. It’s just another option to keep in mind while you are looking for pots, pans, etc. I’ve seen very good deals on stainless steel pots and pans. The other kitchen items are routinely on sale as well. They have an Ikea Family discount card. You can sign up for that online. There are exclusive offers each month in addition to sale prices with one. It will also get you on the email list for deals. Generally our Ikea has a sale once every month or two where your café meal is deducted from your merchandise purchase as long as you spend a certain amount (generally $75-$100). It makes the meal free, a nice added bonus for the trip. I think free coffee and tea in the café is another Ikea Family perk. They also have great deals on home décor items for that personal touch.

  181. Mandy, we had an 88 F day last weekend and they are predicting a 90 F day coming up. Those are hotter than we had all the rest of the summer! It will be perfect for last rushes of harvesting, getting a few more things to grow and the tourist industry up here.

  182. If everyone eats separately, one chicken will last her most of the week. That will save a lot of time. A crockpot full of beans or chili will last several days, too.

  183. I was a college recruiter for many years and most students would come in with either AP or college credit. With that being said, you can take the CLEP exams which I believe here in South Dakota are around 70-80 dollars a piece but they are mainly for the gen ed requirements. I always told students to check with the college you would like to attend first to see how it works.

  184. I can only imagine your reaction to the $6.50-a-meal meal plan! That sound ridiculously high, especially since I’ll bet that young women are charged the same price as young men, but eat 1/2 as much at most. Winter will be able to keep her food budget quite low and still eat well; she has her mama for advice and inspiration

  185. Having utilities included in the rent is awesome! I agree with you that the heat won’t be turned down so low. Winter should be fine with flannel sheets, fleece blanket, wool blanket, and cotton quilt.

    So glad I could answer your question about how low the temp goes to have all the layers on the bed 🙂

    I went to college in Maine for three semesters and remember how cold the walks were from dorm to classes to dining hall. Flannel lined blue jeans are heavenly.

  186. There is a recipe I follow on the ” our best bites ” blog. It is for fauxtisserie chicken cooked on 3 foil balls in crockpot, breast side up. I have made the bone in chicken breast several times and recently the whole chicken! ( my first whole chicken cooked ever) . Hubby likes it quite well. I have been a vegetarian since 15 ( and am now 49) so cooking meat is always an adventure, even though I grew up with it, but thanks to Pinterest and blogs I try new meat recipes most every week for hubby.

  187. Brandy, I’ve lived in the upper Midwest my whole life, except for 3 years in California. The first year back in Wisconsin, I was cold the whole winter. My body got acclimated to the warm CA weather. I assume your daughter will be colder since she has lived in Nevada, so definitely warm clothes!

  188. Wool coats are warm but the wind goes right through them.

    Is it windy at BYU-I? If Winter is going to sew her coat, could she sew in a “windproof” liner?

  189. Thanks for the tip about Darn Tough socks. I’ve bought Smartwool over the years, but I always end up wearing holes in the heels. And I like the Costco ragg wool socks, but sometimes they’re too thick.

  190. Brandy, one of our favorites is chocolate cake made with beets. I don’t have a specific recipe, but there are several online. Adds depth and sweetness.

  191. Collected 30 eggs. Traded 2 dozen eggs for 11 lbs of ground pork. We got the better deal, but her husband wouldn’t eat the pork and she needed to get it out of her freezer. I’ve already made 2 meatloaves (one for dinner and one for the freezer) from the pork mixed with ground beef. I also turned a pound of it into country-style sausage and added it to homemade mac and cheese that had pureed butternut squash in it. Yum!
    Harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, figs, tomatillos, apples, oregano, thyme, zucchini, and butternut squash.
    Canned 3 pints pinto beans, 3 pints black beans, 6 pints bread-and-butter pickles, and 10 – 4 oz jars and 1 – 1/2 pt jar fig jam. Dehydrated shredded zucchini.
    Roasted 2 chickens at the same time and used the shredded meat for several meals, including 14 chicken and bean burritos. My sister and I each had a burrito the night they were made; the rest were frozen.
    Baked fig cookies.
    My parents attended an out-of-town funeral and stopped by my aunt’s house on the way home. She sent some apples from her tree home with them. Before they got back home, they were hungry. So they stopped at In ‘N Out and were able to eat for $8 for the two of them.
    It cooled off enough that the A/C didn’t go on 2 days.

  192. I wear Cuddle Duds myself and highly recommend them. The pants are so thin that you can easily wear them under dress pants and no one is the wiser. The tops come in short and long sleeves, so you can be comfy and they are nice looking so if the edge peeks out under a sweater or something, you’re still entirely decent. My 70-ish year old friends and I find ourselves rather chilly in some restaurants at all seasons of the year in the Buffalo NY area, what with some air conditioning temperatures. I buy mine in January or February as well at 50% off, sometimes with coupons as well. The Bon Ton is THE department store we have in my town, and they are online as well. We have Kohl’s but it is a distance for me to drive.

  193. * Well, the markers have gone up for the addition to the 55+ trailer park behind us. What was supposed to be permanent “green space” was not permanent since the township “can’t find” any paperwork on it – yeah sure…..So, between the construction of more residential homes on the golf course on both sides of the road a mile down from us AND the construction behind us, I have been concerned that the predators would be moving. I was right 🙁 I am routinely hearing coyotes now on OUR side of the road whereas they used to stay down by the river across the road (probably a mile or so away). Wednesday night last week, hubby and I were up later than usual and heard quite the ruckus from the chicken pen – sure enough, a possum decided to grab a hen off the roost and broke her leg at the “knee” joint. The possum was “relocated” under a dirt pile :/ The hen is still with us, for now. I splinted her leg as best I could and that girl is hopping all over including on and off the perch! So, for now, I am letting her be but I still may have to put her down at some point. Luckily, it didn’t touch my ducks or find my quail (they are in a rabbit hutch in the shed but the door is open because it’s been so warm). It won’t be cheap, but I am going to have to get wire to cover their pen with since right now it is just flight netting which any coon could rip right thru. I’m hoping Craigslist will have some for free soon as people are tearing down their gardens. I am also going to need to build a “screen” (hardware cloth) door for my shed since that is where the quail will be staying – I think I have all the stuff I need for that project.
    * I picked at least 3 quarts of cherry tomatoes and 6 red peppers, 2 spaghetti squash and another summer squash. Unfortunately, my Excalibur dehydrator (which I use for peppers, herbs and summer squash in particular and was trying tomatoes in) is no longer heating but the fan still works. I got it for free off Craigslist 3 years ago and it is an old model but I am hoping we can figure out what’s wrong and fix it ourselves.
    * Hubby found a very, very cheap ($25) but almost new free motion waterbed mattress. I swore I would never again mess with one but he hasn’t slept well on any bed we’ve tried since our old one sprung a leak. I, on the other hand LOVE my sleep number – soooooo we now have a king size waterbed next to a king size sleep number in our master bedroom LOL The Danes are thrilled with the new sleeping arrangements – their crate area no longer fit, so they get to sleep on the bed – the beagle on the other hand, can’t be trusted to not pee on the carpet so I made a “crate” for her in the front of my closet space. Everybody seems happy.
    * I took on yet another small sewing job to help pay bills.
    * I managed to alter a pair of capri pants and a pair of shorts to fit my new size.
    * I finally finished tearing out the floor of the old play set in the back yard. The railings are now around our cement patio sides and plants and shrubs were moved around to landscape it. The old decking boards are now getting put under the shelves in my greenhouse for extra growing space.
    * We sold several more things on Craigslist and banked the money.
    * We were offered a free ticket to the Renn Faire but we declined due to the cost of gas to get there (and they will NOT let you bring your own food in so that is another expense) as well as finding someone to care for the old beagle who showed us last year that she was not up to a day out in a crowd anymore. It would also cost us extra to get the Danes in to the festival (another $10 EACH).
    * My hubby prepped 3 meals while I was at work so we didn’t have to mess with that during the week. And we ate all meals except for one icecream “date” at home.
    * I’ve started prepping gluten free pancakes for myself which is much cheaper and easier than making or buying gluten free bread. They work well for an open face sandwich as well as with p,b&j sandwiches.
    And I think that’s it – it doesn’t seem like much but I am pushing myself hard to get outside projects done before the snow flies although those projects (other than wire over the poultry pen) aren’t costing us anything
    Thankyou to whoever of you mentioned trading garden produce for other things you need – it never crossed my mind and I could use a few more drought resistant perennials to fill in some bare spots so I will see if someone would trade one or two for some of our extra produce or eggs!
    For all of you facing cancer diagnosis’ in family members, you are being remembered in prayer – it is a hard road.

  194. My granddaughter is an only child and her one experience with a roommate was over after a 6 month trial. The girl was not compatible. My granddaughter much prefers being alone as she has been used to having her own quiet time all her life. She worked the first two years but cut back during her upper level courses–she was doing a double major and needed the study time. She is something of a procrastinator and only gets moving when deadlines loom. Her sophomore year she was a resident advisor in the dorm–mostly because she did not go out drinking and partying every weekend–they asked her to take the job, she had not thought of it. The third year she had a small apartment of her own with three of her male friends, including another resident advisor she had worked with, in an apartment across the hall. Some protection of sorts in a neighborhood I would not have chosen myself. They looked out for her welfare, although they were a bit LOUD at times. She graduated cum laude so we were glad we gave her the no working option as she got nearer graduation. She did graduate at the end of four years also–another way to save money!! So many just keep changing majors and don’t finish in 4 years. She also chose a school which is known for good financial aid packages–her final debt load was about half the “average”–no loans was not possible as both her parents are disabled and have limited income. She did have two scholarships. At 3 years past graduation, her loans are past halfway paid–if things continue to go well, I see them being fully repaid in 5 years total.

  195. As our family was planning to send each of our children off to school, I purchased gift cards throughout our planning time to help get them started with some staples. By doing this, we did not have to come up with a larger start up fund all at once.

    Another helpful thing we did was set aside a period of time, say one week, and have the student write down everything they used at home. This helped us to narrow down the list and also reminded us of some of the smaller things such as stamps, bandaids, medicines, etc. The difference between boy and girl lists was also different!

  196. This week I began cleaning out barns and sheds in preparation for moving. This farm has been a terribly expensive place to live and with my husband’s settlement we will finally be able to buy our own fixer upper ranch. I agreed to purchase my neighbors nurse cow for the bargain price of 350 dollars. She broke her leg as a calf and it was never properly set so it healed crookedly. However she raises very large calves and is a kind cow. She will go in with my other two jerseys and replace a heifer some neighbor dogs killed last month. Had all her legs been straight she would have been a 1000 dollars. Figuring out a humane way to somewhat fix her leg is on my priority list. I went to the mountains to harvest chokecherries for syrup and other medicinal plants. Much of my syrup will be sold at the farmers market for extra income I set back enough for gifts and us for the year. My daughter developed hives that developed into looking like vasculitis over the weekend. I took her to the hospitals walk in clinic rather than the ER saving several hundred dollars. The doctor confirmed my animal doc diagnosis of vasculitis that is likely caused by a genetic autoimmune disease that runs in my family. Her prescription was $10 and is working for which I’m thankful. I am praying that she does not experience this again and that we can determine the trigger. I am canning peaches, freezing applesauce and making jam. Deciding what staples we should stock before prices really rise after all these storms. Praying for everyone affected by storms, fires and violence. A huge congratulations to Winter I have read your website and than your blog since you started andam amazed at how fast she has grown up. I live 2.5 hours from Winters college and have warm memories of FFA regionals there.

  197. This is the beet cake recipe I use. No flour in it. Beetific Chocolate-Nut Torte (Makes a 9-inch torte, serves 10) Beetific is not a misspelling—this is the real name of the cake; a play on words, as in beatific.

    1 16 ounce can whole or sliced beets
    4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
    5 large eggs, separated
    ¾ cup sugar
    1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
    grated rind of one lemon
    1 ½ cups finely ground unblanched almonds

    Grind the nuts very fine but short of becoming a paste; almonds are preferred but you can substitute pecans, walnuts or cashews. A nut grinder is best for this purpose, or use a completely dry food processor or blender and pulse, stopping and scraping the sides down often.


    2 ounces semisweet chocolate
    2 tablespoons rum or strong coffee
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Drain the beets and puree them in a food processor. Transfer the puree to a fine sieve and set aside to drain again. You should have slightly more than 1 ¼ cups.

    Butter a 9 inch spring-form pan and line the bottom with a round of wax paper or parchment cut to fit. Butter the paper and dust lightly with four. Set aside.

    Melt four ounces of chocolate over very low heat and, when partially melted, stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

    Place the egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer and beat at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the yolks are a pale lemon color and creamy. Set the mixer on low speed and add the chocolate , mixing just to combine. Still on low speed, add the ground nuts, bread crumbs, pureed beets, and lemon rind and mix until well blended. Set aside.

    In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed with a dash of salt until they hold soft peaks; do not overbeat. Still on high speed, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and beat until the whites hold a shape but are not stiff and dry.

    With a spatula, gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture in several additions, mixing only to incorporate, without over-folding. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until the cake begins to shrink away from the sides of the pan.

    Cool completely in the pan. When cooled, run a thin spatula or sharp knife between the cake and the sides of the pan to release it. Remove the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a rack. Remove the pan bottom and the wax paper. Cover with a serving plate and invert cake again, leaving it right side up.

    To make the glaze, melt 2 ounces chocolate with the rum or coffee in a small saucepan over very low heat. Remove from heat and beat in the butter with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended. Place the pan in a bowl of cold water and continue beating until the mixture is completely cooled. Spread the glaze over top and sides of the cake with a metal spatula. It can be served immediately or chilled.

    (Recipe from The Essential Root Vegetable Cookbook, by Sally and Martin Stone

  198. Brandy,
    I meant to mention that Land’s End is a great place to buy snow boots from. I bought about 4 pairs at once several years ago (on sale for $30 each pair) and I am still making my way through them. The reason I bought so many is the wide part of my calf, although not bigger than its size measure, sits at a different point on my leg than most people’s so I always had problems getting boots to fit in the calf. My boots were Chalet boots, (mid-height) pull ons (sort of a slouchy style that fit my calves!) and suede (maybe artificial suede) (should use a moisture repellent spray on them although I never had any problem. I love them. Land’s end had a 30% sale on regular priced items. They often have such sales. Today Land’s End has a dark brown all weather boot for $26 US from $69.00. There are limited sizes. They are not like my boots but might be even better. They also have some of their flannel sheets on sale but i haven’t priced them. Land’s End always has specials.

  199. Land’s End has a one day sale today at 30% off regular prices. Some of their flannel sheets are on sale. Also a pair of brown winter all weather boots for $26.00 from $69.00. Limited sizes. Some are wide, some regular.
    This is my second post of this as I think the first might not have been received. If you order $50 or more, shipping is free!

  200. Love how you are helping your daughter to be resourceful both with the scholarships, online university to start with and her items that will be needed when she does attend university. Your cupcakes looks vintage and beautiful. Can’t wait to see your daughter’s birthday post! This week has been great:

    -received 20 individual serve tubs of ice-cream, in vanilla and chocolate flavours. They were being handed out for free by the high end company that makes them. We don’t buy ice-cream so this will be an extra special treat for my family;
    -received lunch at a party we attended and gave gifts totalling $4.70 (including wrapping paper and card). I got the gifts ôn clearance. The original total was near $40;
    -went to the thrift shop and got some classic books for the children, 1 toy for my son and 2 for my daughter (one of which was a brand new art and craft pack that also has 3 puzzles in it..for $2. This will be a Christmas present for her). I never buy for them outside of birthday and Xmas, so this was very well received;
    -house mortgage payoff is on track. We are scheduled to pay it off by December 31 next year;
    – got lots of fresh fruit & vegetables at the farmers markets today and it was incredibly cheap;
    -my husband did 2 overtime shifts
    -I got a free cup of tea from the cafe near my work
    -harvesting tomatoes in abundance. Hello salads, lasagne and spaghetti hehe;
    -no grocery shopping except for bread
    -my parents bought my husband and I a fast food dinner (my children had my home made soup prior & were in bed by the time the fast food was eaten);
    -re-used my stash of birthday decorations for an impromptu birthday celebration and made a brownie cake from scratch;
    -feeling mindful, grateful and content.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog and sharing with us x

  201. Hello Brandy
    I live in England and have had a quick look at internships / work experience for costume design/ making etc. I know you can easily find these on the internet but just thought I’d mention a few options as an encouragement to Winter. The BBC offers apprenticeships( school leavers), traineeships (graduates) and 2 weeks work experience placements. Obviously demand is high. The National Theatre also offers internships and so do The Royal Shakespeare Company – the National is in London, The RSC based in Stratford but touring sometimes also. The BBC has bases around the country but I don’t know if costume bases are only London.
    As you will know we have a vast number of museums and stately homes with many collections. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London specialises in design and the visual arts and has wonderful costume collections. They regularly stage exhibitions of costume and fashion such as footwear through the ages and work by Alexander McQueen. The Royal Palaces would be worth an application too – Kensington Palace holds costume collections and curates exhibitions of clothing belonging to Princess Diana etc. Chatsworth House in Derbyshire also exhibits costumes and all these venues need conservators. The National Trust would be another option.
    There are costumiers in London who hire costumes to production companies/ theatres/ opera companies etc. I can’t remember their name off the top of my head but you will find it if you Google.
    There is such a huge creative industry here not just in performance arts but also fashion and cultural/ historical opportunities.I could go on and on but will stop now!
    You may have thought of these already so I apologise if I’m teaching grandma to suck eggs.
    One last thought – the Christian Dior Museum in Granville, Normandy, France has superb collections and exhibitions.
    I have so enjoyed looking at the outfits Winter has created for herself.
    Kind regards

  202. let’s see if I can get this posted before my computer does something to make it disappear again. 😉
    Brandy I thought the cupcakes WERE roses, it took a second look to see they were cupcakes.
    We did the normal every day routine of keeping frugal. I used “leftover” candle wax to make tea candles. Updated the yard sale list (need 8 sets of winter curtains) for the community yard sale that is at the end of the month. The rest is here

    For Winter…. I chatted with family that lives there that lived in your area right before moving to the same college area that Winter is going to so this is from both of us as I live in northwest OH.
    Heavy material for dresses or line the dresses no longer than mid-calf or they might drag in snow. I wear a flannel slip for those that are not lined or heavy.Cardigan plus a shawl…bridal or shoulder shawl, only comes down to elbows.
    Fleece tights UNDER thermal underwear (I cut the thermal off at knee and hem them …kind of like bloomers) Thermal underwear is cuddl Dudd from Target. I have worn fingerless gloves in class.
    Snow boots, ankle boots (not smooth soled or she could slip, gripper shoe sole pads work decent to help in that area) western boots.
    Wool type socks…mens or hunting/hiking socks …she can use these if she doesn’t have fleece lined slippers but hard sole slippers are best…some call them driving shoes.
    Trench coat that is lined works better for those that wear skirts of dresses plus it can be worn year around. Fleece vest under any coat.Cap that has ear flaps to cover the ears (was told ear aches are common and to makes sure she had meds for that to save the medical trip) Family uses leather lined gloves. I use thin cotton gloves under mittens that the fingers fold back so I can use my fingers). Neck scarf as she will need to keep her neck and chest areas covered well to help not get sick.
    Flannel night clothes ( or sleep in thermals) with knit cap for head, I wear knit gloves (the ones that cost $1) to bed.
    Umbrella, not only for rain but to block wind. Amish do this when they are in their buggys.
    Mylar blanket according to my family, I use a fleece blanket(daughters use beach towels for their kids) folded in between my flannel sheets at the end of the bed and heat it with a rice bag that I warmed in the microwave. My brother used a heating pad that he turned on while he got ready for bed and then turned off and removed when he got in.
    YES hair can freeze and break off EVEN if she didn’t just wash it, if it’s raining or snowing and below freezing the bottom of the hair can break if bent. around her head won’t due to her body heat. I went out a lot with my hair wet. I don’t use hair dryers . My hair is at my waist and thick. And yes the ends have broke off frozen …simply tuck her hair INSIDE the coat if she wears it down. I usually wear my hair up but it still needs covered as you lose body heat through the top of your head.

    If you are cold at home, cover your head, it helps.

    I made mock checking/savings accts for all my kids and had them practice running a home the last 2 yrs of school(home school and public) They got bills (including emergency car repairs/ER etc). Dealt with grocery stores, menus, cooking and cleaning up afterwards, juggling class, work and home. Each was required to cook the family dinner once a week. I figured if they could cook for 10 as that was what was at the tables with friend then they could handle cooking for their own family.
    Blessed be
    Gee the post didn’t disappear LOL

  203. Angels, the theatrical costumier in London offers internships.
    The V&A (Victoria and Albert) museum, which holds a lots of historical fabrics and fashions, also offers internships and work placements.
    It would probably be easiest to do an unpaid internship on a visitor’s visa; a paid internship would probably require a work visa. During the Summer many of the London universities offer their student accommodation for rent, this is good value for central London, but is still quite expensive. Imperial College, which is next to the V&A, runs a Summer accommodation scheme. May be worth looking for a place as a part-time “mother’s helper” or nanny in return for accommodation. The classified section of The Lady is the place to look for these arrangements.

  204. I’m so sorry about the peach tree. My sister and brother-in-law lost many cherry and some peach trees last winter in their orchard. (They are farmers.) Their loss was due to too much standing water last winter–the trees in the swale drowned. Fruit trees are very picky and they like what they like. Peaches are pretty hard to grow. It’s amazing that you have done as well as you have with yours for so long. If you try another one, I hope it grows like crazy for you. I know how nice it is to have all that fresh and canned fruit, and your area does not have an u-pick orchard on every corner the way it is up here.

  205. Brandy, I read every week but don’t think I’ve ever commented. Winter can order from Walmart online and have so many things come right to her door. Of course not perishables but many things can come to the door and the shipping is free over a certain amount.

  206. Hi Brandy…I wished you lived closer. My husband works for Lehigh University (in PA) which a rather affluent private school. Every year they have a giant sale with the proceeds going to the local area ministries and elementary for field trip funds. Everything is gathered from students by student volunteers and it is 2 city blocks. My husband is required to wear a Lehigh shirt most days and I buy them for $.25 to $.50 each (I work the sale so I get a good view of what is going up). You would not believe the things that are sold at very low prices; microwaves, bikes, winter coats, etc…I’d be glad to shop for Winter. I shop for other college age kids.

  207. Another thing we did before son finished high school. We installed a second phone line and put the account in son’s name. We paid for the installation but he was responsible for paying the monthly bill. When he moved out of our house, he had over a year’s worth of account activity. So, when he moved into his own apartment, the utility company did not charge him for a deposit or run a credit check. He just ‘moved’ his account to his new residence.

  208. My sympathies on the loss of your dog. We lost our dear beagle several years ago in the exact same circumstances. It is never easy.

  209. I’m sorry about the loss of your dog. Having someone come to the house for the euthanasia is a comfort, and easier with a big dog.

  210. Kim, I am sorry to hear of your daughter’s diagnosis. We’ll pray for her and your family and her doctors and nurses.

  211. I agree, wool can be nice and warm, but growing up with wool coats, hats, mittens, scarves, socks…they get wet from the snow. I don’t know if she’ll have wet snow or dry snow there, but if it is wet and she is out in it a lot, everything gets wet. The smell of wet wool clothes drying on the radiators is a smell you never forget.

    My children and husband all use ski gloves, the waterproof nylon ones with fiberfill in them. They are very warm but still have flexible fingers to use. I like the little 1.00 pairs of knit gloves as they are easier for me to deal with, like handling keys, door handles etc. If it is really cold I have fleece mittens I slip over them that I keep in the car. I do not spend a lot of time outside in the winter.

  212. I’m late to the game, but the biggest thing we did to save money was to look up how to fix a leaking condensation pipe to an A/C unit on YouTube. We suspected it was clogged. Who knew the answer was to use a shop-vac on the drip end outside? Well, actually, a lot of people knew, because there were many videos on how to clear it. The pipe is working fine now, and no $90 call for a repairman.
    We ate some sale (but tasty) jarred spaghetti sauce and still had half a jar left, since we eat small amounts of spaghetti with sauce, just the two of us. I seasoned the leftover sauce with dried Italian seasoning that I get in bulk, added cheese and chopped veggies to a homemade crust, and made a pizza for our dinner. Plus, I had a ball of dough leftover for another crust, so I wrapped and froze it for later.
    I had an appointment yesterday with an hour’s drive each way, and I ran out of water before I drove home. I resisted stopping somewhere to buy a drink of any kind, and just drove home feeling somewhat thirsty. We are on a well, so a big cup of water when I got home was all but free for me.

  213. I agree. You qualify for the benefits because based off of income, it is determined that you need them. For you to have such a quick turn around on food stamps, they have determined that you are at risk for food insecurity. Please consider keeping your benefits for the next couple of months while you wait for your benefit settlement to start. Then you can notify the FSSA about your change in situation. At that time they will adjust them as needed. While you have stocked up, the benefits can be used to further stock up. It might also give you the money to buy things that are easier to prepare while you recover from surgery. You can also use food benefits to buy baking soda and vinegar if you use those items for cleaning.

    Be sure to ask the Dr’s offices to run everything through Medicaid. Sometimes they back date the coverage. You’d have to check your award letter to see when they are set to begin. Any and all medical bills from that date forward can be ran through and covered, even those that have passed. Many hospitals also have a sliding fee based off of income. It is well worth it to talk to your network provider and see if there is something you can apply for.

    The food stamps are meant to be a blessing for your family. Sending hugs.

  214. We grow beets, we like beets. But I would say 90% of our beet consumption is in the pickled form. I have had beet hummus. 2 of my aunts (Ukrainian) by marriage make a borscht supper every year…it has beets, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions in beef broth and top with sour cream and dill. We eat them fresh just simmer, slip the peel, slice or dice and add butter and mint. I also will dice the cooked beets and freeze in pint bags…when we have corned beef hash I cook this along with the hash.

  215. I am sorry about your dog. That is so sad.

    I am amazed at the fortitude of those of you having to deal with these hurricanes and flooding. My washer overflowed last week and I could barely handle it…and that was clean water, we got it shut off and the place mopped up in an hour. I cannot fathom 2 or more feet of dirty water everywhere for days! Well, we have tornadoes, but that is a big wind, a lot of smashing and really loud noise and over in a short time and you pick up and rebuild and gather yourself within hours to assess the future, not in limbo for weeks or days. Our Church is having a day of prayer tomorrow and I know there will be many prayers for the world, the earth, all those in the way of these disasters. (Our missionary went home and shortly after, 2 earthquakes)

  216. My other family members like down booties. I can’t wear them as they are not stable enough in the sole for me…I wear an extra pair of socks with my indoor shoes.

  217. Just got a new to me thermos at Goodwill today. $3.19. Have one already but figured if both kids want soup for lunch on the same day, now I’m set. Look at your Goodwill or thrift stores.

  218. It is a very dry snow. My husband went to school there for a year (it was a 2-year school in 1981 when he attended) and said that the snow is so dry you cannot pack it into snowballs.

    She has a good warm squall coat from Land’s End already. Most of the time it is too warm for here in the winter; we bought it for her years ago as part of our emergency preparations. She wants to make a wool vintage styled coat for herself (lined, of course). I don’t know if she will or not for certain. She is definitely planning to make some washable woolen dresses.

    She has some warm gloves and scarves already. She uses them in winter when riding her bike somewhere. I always laugh when other parents here say, “But it’s too cold for her to ride her bike!” The coldest I have ever seen it here is 22º (and that’s rare); normal winter temperatures hover close to freezing and go below it occasionally (like 28ºF) for a few hours-days (usually in December and again in January, warming up a bit in between). Most of the high schoolers here don’t even own a coat; they will just wear a hoodie in the winter (or, oddly, they wear a blanket to school). When she wears a coat the other students think it’s a bit strange. But then when they see she rode her bike they start to understand.

  219. MODERN FARMER had an article in it this week on medicinal tinctures and how to make them and various herbs and berries to use with recipes. I notice other people here mention making syrups and medicinal concoctions so this may be of interest. I read it on line, not in paper.

  220. Penny,

    I didn’t know that some of these places offered internships, though I have heard of all of them. Thank you for letting me know!

    Just a fun aside–I had a college roommate named Penny. Most of the girls in that house (I lived in a house for a short time) had graduated and were working full-time but still living in student-approved housing together, as it was less expensive. Penny was 34 and super awesome–one of the best roommates I had; she was tall with naturally red, curly hair. She had a twin sister named Peggy (who was married with children). I was just thinking about her this morning after reading all of the comments about roommates.

  221. It has been very busy the past few weeks with school starting back up. I will try to remember as much as possible.
    –My sister came over for a BBQ and insisted on bringing the meat. There was 5 of us and she brought enough for 20 I think. We cooked half of it and I froze the rest for future meals. We ate 3 more dinners with it changing it up some. I also brought lunch from it 2 days. Total of 19 servings from just half.
    -My son got a new job at Panera and during training your meals are free. He took advantage of that. He will get a discount after that. He will always get free drinks. Explained that the discount is nice but food from home for him is free. He has only bought 1 meal since training finished but drinks their drinks. He is learning.
    -Sent my daughter’s boyfriend a birthday card from my stash at home. Had my daughter pick up something he would like so that I wouldn’t have to ship it to him. They both live out of state about 5 blocks apart. I just put the money in her bank account.
    -My husband has been bringing home lots of goodies from work that would otherwise get thrown away: bagels, rolls, bananas, and apples.
    -My garden has finally gone crazy with produce. Better late then never. We have been harvesting countless tomatoes(San Marzanno, Cherry and Big Boy), bush beans, Foot long Italian beans, cucumbers, lettuce, corn, banana peppers and lots of herbs.
    -My squash did not do well this year so my Dad gave me some.
    -Cleaned out my daughter’s room. Donated stuff to my church’s Outreach. Got receipt for our taxes.
    – Sold several things on EBay
    -Got $10 in Kohl’s cash. Got my son and I new pillows and only spent $3.
    -Used coupons on groceries that we were going to buy anyway.
    -Cashed out Ibotta for $34.50
    -Canned lots of red sauce from our tomatoes. Froze beans, corn and peppers. Dried the herbs.
    -Was asked to help run my work BBQ. Got an extra 8 hour shift and got free lunch and dinner there. Also got to bring home lots of leftovers. 20 ears of corn, tons of desserts, and a bag of charcoal. I gave my dad the charcoal because we have a gas grill.
    -Used up all of our leftovers. Made chicken orzo soup twice, made fajitas with leftover steak, made omelets with leftover veggies, pizza.
    -Baked blueberry muffins, pancakes and waffles for easy grab and go breakfasts.
    -Went to 2 free movies with a friend at my job. Got my free popcorn and we shared. She drove. Cost $0
    -Borrowed lots of movies and books from the library.
    -Brought all of my lunches to work except for the BBQ
    -My daughter went to a birthday party. She gave a gift card that she had received as a present. It was for a different movie theatre then the one I work at. We go for free at mine so we would never use it.
    -Went to my family reunion. We do it at a state park so we have to pay for parking. Was able to do some swaps with my Mom and Sister that live out of state. When the ice cream man showed up and all of the kids started running over, my youngest came up and asked if she could have one of the brownies I had brought. Mu sister gave me her leftovers to take home( she doesn’t like leftovers).
    -Hung lots of laundry on the line.
    -The weather has been nice so we haven’t had the AC or heat on.

    Have a wonderful week!

  222. My son just started college and we set his budget up on Everydollar. You can download the app for free. My older daughter has been using it for over a year and loves it.

  223. when my daughter was a freshman in college she said that there was a girl in her dorm who took in mending and hemming. She said she was always busy. Just a thought as an income idea. I live on the Canadian border so it can easily get to be -35 plus whatever the wind chill is. I agree that hats, mittens and neckwarmers are necessary. A good pair of boots with a flexible tread are important. I bought a “cheap” pair at walmart last year and they were fine. Nothing with a hard sole because you wont have any traction and will slip. Snow is not difficult to walk in unless it is deep. What is dangerous is ice on the sidewalks. If its windy and it blows the snow on the sidewalks you will get black ice. I walk all the time doing errands for work and I use what we locally call “ice picks”. They are made of rubber and go over the bottom of the boots and have some pieces of metal on the bottom that grip into the ice. You can get an idea of what they are from LL Bean but they should be available in the local hardware or sporting shops at the school. I believe I spent between $15 and $20 dollars. It sure beats a broken arm or worse.

  224. A wool coat sounds nice for dress. Squall is a very popular style at Lands End. But dry snow that can’t be packed? That means no snowmen! Making snowmen, snowwomen, snow zombies etc is a popular winter pastime in the university neighborhood. They can get pretty large and elaborate.

  225. Each time we have moved from property with outbuildings, it took us months to clean them all out. The first time was the accumulation of almost 100 years of family’s gatherings, but it was do-able, and we were fortunate enough to have sold the property and could rent back the house from the new buyer from May to December. We still looked like the Beverly Hillbillies on the last load–we had a dog kennel and a chicken in a cage on the top of the load in the back of a pickup:) With the last move, we started pre-cleaning outbuildings before we put the house on the market, but then it sold in 21 days. So, we had to really work hard and had many, many friends help us so that we could make it out in time.

    You have my sympathy, but I’m glad you have a really exciting place to go. When you say fixer-up ranch, you must mean a real ranch–not a ranch-style house, because you are taking cows. That sounds very exciting to me! Good luck.

  226. Athanasia Ill have to check that out. I come from an old “herbal” family. I am the only one of my generation in my family interested in this particular branch of medicine so I am the keeper of all the knowledge lol. The area of Idaho I live in has big problem with poverty and lack of health insurance so many, many people come to me for help and medicine they can make themselves. I anticipate a nasty flu season so am gathering herbs for that and respiratory issues. Before it freezes all my pastures I will gather plantain and some other greens for salves most of whom will be given away. I am always interested to see new recipe from other people as a way to further help my “patients.”

  227. Sam’s club has tights that are nice and warm- about $8 for a two pack of grey and black pairs! I lost 100 pounds last year so I can actually get into tights without them rolling down!! Lol! Plus, I don’t have as much weight “insulating” me so I get colder in the winter!

  228. Lilli, Bless your heart, always looking out for others! As the others mentioned, the food stamps are there for those who need them based on income. If we needed them, we would certainly use them. We’re all rooting for you!

  229. What a good mom you are! I love that you are teaching Winter these things. I cannot believe she’s taking college classes! Kudos to you! That’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing and being such a wonderful example. I always know I can be uplifted and find inspiration here. Lots of love❤

  230. Becky haha I’ve been there on the Beverly hillbilly look! I am trying to buy a 500 acre very neglected ranch. When we moved here we moved from a 2 story with a finished basement farmhouse that was about 3500 sq. Feet this house is aboUt a 1000. So much of my beautiful furniture and instruments wouldn’t fit. So the barn AND outbuildings are rather packed. My kids and the neighbor kids turned the biggest she’d upside down finding put away toys so it’s a big project lol. I am excited for better things. Thank you for the well wishes.

  231. Cocoa powder as a dry shampoo. Tell me more! I have seen dry shampoos at the super market but I was wondering how effective they were. Can you use any kind of powder as a dry shampoo?

  232. I think I will try that cupcake frosting design with shades of fall flower colors to take to my older son’s house for dinner Friday night and the rest to my younger son’s work day at his house on Saturday. I am pretty sure I read you said Wilton 2D and I have that tip.

    I have really enjoyed reading all the college, dorm, apartment reminiscing of everyone. I’ve never lived in a dorm or an apartment so I missed out on a lot I guess, though some good some bad. We have a state university right here in town so that is where I went for undergraduate, 3 of my brothers for their teaching degrees. My other 2 siblings did not attend college. We all lived at home, same as did my mother and her siblings that did further education. 3 of our 5 children lived at home, the other 2 as I mentioned previously had to go to a different university so my middle girl could be in nursing school and we sent her brother with her. His major transferred there and they lived with friends of my parents. When I left for library school I lived with an aunt and uncle in the same city. Jeannie alluded to it a bit in her post…there are a lot of unhealthy situations out there and in our belief, heart, mind…however you want to put it…we are not ready to send a child off at “so young” an age (I know most people see 18 as adult, but …). Our children also get through college in a shorter time as there are less expenses, less money to earn.

    All our children were started college savings accounts at birth and we did use that money to pay their bills as the time came. Our state gives a scholarship to those students who maintain a 4.0 average during their prior school years and 3 of my 5 (both boys and the youngest girl) children did achieve that. They paid tuition, books, fees, meal plan. We did not use the room portion of the benefit. The other 2 girls both had multiple scholarships that added up. The two boys both worked through the school when they did their graduate degrees as TAs and other positions and often their tuition was paid as a benefit. When the older son left to go to graduate school by then my daughter’s husband was in veterinary school in the same town and they had bought a house so he lived with them.

    My youngest will graduate in December with a double major after 3 1/2 years. They all took AP classes…English, History x 2, foreign language, science. Then when you get to the university you test into classes also and if you test into a 300+ or higher class you earn the retroactive credits from the classes in that track that you did not need to take. None of them worked jobs like restaurants etc during the school year other than my middle girl who worked at a Starbucks. They all did tutoring jobs for various areas of study. They all worked summer jobs full time and usually more than one, things like landscaping, farming, babysitting, camp counselor, construction, road crew, church secretary etc. The children have always also helped in my husband’s business as needed. They have taken out no loans.

  233. Athanasia that is a high compliment I haven’t read all the foxfire books but the ones I have I thoroughly enjoyed. I am hopeful that at least one of my daughters will be intersted in carrying on our families heritage.

  234. Do any of the school buildings have microwaves the students can use for lunch? When I worked at a local college, they had a couple of microwaves in the common room the students used to study in.

  235. I am guessing she plans on attending BYU-Idaho, and yes, it does get cold there! Be on the lookout for long underwear!

    I pass through Rexburg a couple of times a year on my way to see my son in Wyoming. I was just there this past Monday. The Wal-Mart has closed down, but I am guessing that they have moved to a bigger facility somewhere else in town. There are two grocery stores: Broulim’s, which is pricey but a wonderful store, and Albertsons, which is not quite as pricey but lacking the charm. There is a big Deseret Industries thrift store in Rexburg. I haven’t been in it, but it gets high reviews. (Good place to look for those long johns).

    Before you buy new pots and pans, keep your eyes open at thrift stores and yard sales. Occasionally I see nearly new pots, though never in a set. Two or (at most) 3 pans, plus a frying pan, should be enough. Don’t buy any new ones until she is ready to go to school, because you might find something else first.

    Also, make it a point to drive through UNLV housing complexes at the end of each semester. You will be amazed by what gets left beside the dumpsters.

  236. Aren’t the programmable Crock Pots all BIG? I’d get a smaller one…thrift stores are loaded with 3-1/2 quart pots, usually for about $4. It’s not like she is going to be gone from the apartment 8-10 hours a day. I’m sure she can start and stop it without a timer.

    PS When she gets to Idaho Falls, there is a Sam’s Club as well as a Winco. No Costco. Lots of thrift stores–Deseret Industries, St. Vincent de Paul, Idaho Youth Ranch, etc.

  237. I am a Native Wisconsinite and wear cuddle duds in the winter. I’ve always found them on clearance at Walmart. They hold up and wash well!

  238. Brandy, I am thinking of you tonight. I was looking at recycle bank to see if they had some competitor’s coupons that I had utilized in the past. They do and I am excited. I saw that they have a lovely Bed Bath and Beyond coupon . After your post about stacking, I got two for me and have two from a magazine to stack with them . With the Black Friday and holiday sales, I wanted to mention them to you if you had not seen them. One from Kohls too.

  239. Lisa, this is such a wonderful idea for her for making money! A few readers who have children who have attended there have told me there are not as many job opportunities for students at BYU-I, unlike BYU in Provo, Utah, where there were plenty of on-campus jobs. She has a couple of other ideas as well and these would make a great addition.

  240. I haven’t read all the comments, so please ignore if this is a duplicate. Bed, Bath and Beyond has an AMAZING return policy. If you keep the original box and receipt, they will accept returns on the product if there are any issues. My SIL’s towels frayed after a year and she got an all new towel set. I’ve returned multiple appliances after they stopped working and got an all new replacement for free. I would consider that policy when shopping for anything appliance-related. I’m sure she could mend the towels just fine 😉 I’m not sure if they have a price match policy but it’s worth the research. I’ve price matched at several stores just comparing their own online price to in store price. Sometimes there’s a real difference and most will honor the lower of the two.

  241. Thank you Jenny. I was a mess for days over Rocky, but it was time, and he’s waiting for me over the Rainbow Bridge.

  242. My prayers are added to the others for your daughter’s recovery and your family. Is there a Ronald McDonald house near by?

    My son is a PA at the hospital at Fort Hood TX. He says the staff get reduced prices in the lunch rooms…most bring food from home too.

  243. Yep, I definitely saw you then! You were headed up the stairs like a woman on a mission, or I probably would have gotten up the courage to say hi. 😉

    It was hotter than I thought it would be, too. But next time the weather will be cooler, so I’m not sure if we will need to adjust our clothing choices or not!

    I, too loved the conductor, though I didn’t care for most of the music selections. Not enough Latin blood in me, I guess! 😀

  244. All the wonderful comments for beet recipes/uses! I’m ALL ABOUT chocolate cake! Well…chocolate anything really.

    Now does anyone have any suggestions for overcoming my aversion to BLACK EYED PEAS? It’s the texture more than anything (I’m a texture person, if I don’t like the texture of a food…game over. And as weird and sad as it may sound, texture trumps taste when it comes to food for me. BEP are just mealy feeling in my mouth. ack!

    Brandy, I forgot to ask about the large purple leafed plant in your arrangement as it catches my eye every time I see it. Is it sweet potato vine? TIA!

  245. I am interested in canning black beans. I have canned for years but don’t seem to find any recipes or instructions for canning dried beans. I would prefer not to add salt. I have a pressure canner and a water bath canner–I assume pressure is needed. Could you give me a 2 sentence lesson, please? Thanks for your time.

  246. This week no meals were eaten outside of home. I am also sticking to make it myself desserts. My store often has deals on bakery items, but it’s still cheaper to make them at home–and I have heart disease so like to know exactly what goes into the recipes. I use canola oil rather than butter in many of mine. The week’s featured dessert was brownies the way my MIL made them–plain with icing. They are so good–my icings are not always great but this time I did it. I made them so my husband would enjoy them more, but he couldn’t have enjoyed them any more than I have!

    Meals were simple this week but things we like–crack slaw ( ground beef and cabbage basically, sauced up a little with soy sauce and Tabasco among other ingredients), spaghetti and Italian sausages, Rice-A-Roni (low sodium) with chicken breast chunks cooked separately and mixed in.) Cheeseburgers tonight with a quinoa concoction featuring leftover corn, onion, and green peppers to jazz it up. Leftovers another night–we love leftovers and call it “smorgasbord night” when there are just bits of several different things. We did a trip to Sam’s Club today–it’s about 30 miles each way and we only go every couple or three months–whenever the bread flour is low. We spent just over $100 for us and picked up another $55 worth of items my DD needed, so made the trip count. Saved money by not walking down the aisles where nothing is needed–especially clothes, books, etc. in Sam’s Club. I did notice the clothing shelves were piled high with prospective holiday gifts! I needed flour and ground beef especially–90% lean ground beef was $2.99 a lb there and is $5.00+ at my regular store in town. Beef prices are generally outrageous. Would have liked pork spare ribs but at $2.69 a lb, compared to boneless pork loin at $1.68 a lb twice recently, just couldn’t do it. The loin is much leaner and better for us with less waste. Some one mentioned paying $2.75 a lb for butter at their Sam’s–ours was $3.19 a lb and up so I didn’t buy that either. As I have 8 or so pounds in the freezer I will stick to the limit one specials for under $3 a lb. at my regular store. We have been trying to clean up the yard in preparation for cold weather but it’s suddenly gotten to over 80 degree temperatures all week. Some weeding got done but not enough–I’d just as soon clean house as pull weeds when it’s that hot. I did some extra cleaning in the kitchen, and mended a couple items as well. My granddaughter gave me a dress to mend and a package of tea for my troubles! A small job for me. Couldn’t bear to toss one of my favorite tees, so I mended it once again and wore it already around the house. Wishing well for all those who are ill, whether cancer or something else. One of my best friends from childhood has cancer, and I visited this week, just a couple days after the latest treatment. Finding relief after finally admitting to the doctor that side effects need treating between infusions.

  247. Hi Brandy,

    I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and all of your responses. It made me remember my own preparations for college 50 years ago. Each Friday my mother would come home from work — the carpool always shopped on Friday after work, with a toiletry item or something else. I was so grateful and would take them to my room and put them away in my suitcase. By the time I left for college, I had most of what I needed.

    I’ve also lived in Idaho and Northern Utah. I would highly recommend two coats — the long one she has and a short jacket for outside activities. I loved my long, down coat, but there were times when I needed a short, warm jacket. I’d also like to suggest Winter consider a drying rack. With all of the wool socks, etc., she’s going to need something to dry the things that won’t do well in the dryer.

    One last comment … in my experience (I still work at a university), there are microwaves all over campus. I take soup, etc. in a mason jar and just warm it up in that. The only thing I keep promising myself is to make an all cotton jar holder so that I can retrieve it from the microwave without burning my hand!

    Best wishes to both of you as you enter into another stage of your lives.

  248. Greetings! wow! There were a lot of interesting conversations going on! Winter has a lot of people looking out for her. She’ll do just fine with mom and company.
    I want to add my thoughts and prayers to everyone fighting cancer. It’s been on both sides of our family so I know it’s one tough battle.
    My frugal ways were a bit thin this week. We ate out a few times and I ran the dryer. I loathe running the dryer. I may revisit the prospect of getting some clothes horses. I need to run it by my husband again.
    I made fabric softener with garage sale conditioner.
    I made four mixed berry crips from mangy apples and freezer fruit that needed to be used. I also used my pre-made crisp topping.Three went into the freezer.
    I filled the hummingbird feeder with the homemade nectar I made a few weeks ago. I haven’t seen the hummingbirds in awhile. They may have flown off for the year. I’ll leave the feeder for this week just in case.
    I washed the shower curtain and liner. It’s been too long for that job!
    I sold a few things on eBay and transferred some money into my personal account.
    I dropped several bags off at Goodwill and got a receipt for taxes.
    My daughter, my sister-in-law, and a separate niece and nephew, all made it through hurricane Irma. My daughters friend wasn’t so lucky. Her house was flooded. But, everyone is safe! Prayers were answered!
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week ahead!

  249. Hi All:
    Everyone has such interesting stories about the change of seasons, etc. I would love it if you would just mention what state you live in, I’m always wondering. Maybe??

    Thanks all for all your helpful hints and news: Lisa in Northern CA

  250. It’s a joy to hear about getting Winter ready for college. I lived on the Arctic Circle and also love dresses but didn’t want you freeze, so I wore tights (not warm enough on their own) or long underwear with a thin pair of loose pants over the tights. The trapped air warms and helps to contain the warmth. That is the purpose of layering. I also recommend lining the edge of the hood of her winter coat with fur. Fur doesn’t freeze and is really cozy. An old fur coat from the thrift store is where I get mine. I have also made Mink Muffs from the sleeves. I’m guessing that there are not a lot of fur coats on Nevada, so Winter might want to wait till she gets to school. Using the fur side of a fur coat to line the inside of a dress coat will make it super warm. Fur is naturally warm and the coats are being donated to the thrift stores more so recently.

    In winter cotton long underwear can be dangerous to wear for outdoor recreation activities. It gets wet and doesn’t dry increasing the possibility of hypothermia. Just a thought for those winter activities in cold weather.

    There were three weeks where the temperature never rose above -50, and the coldest temp was -72. Extreme temperatures I know; however Wyoming (where we live) is pretty cold and I must thankful for all that I learned in Alaska.

    Frugally, I has another good week. Today I tried a free cup of flavored coffee at the bank. It was OK, but not great. I wash out any paper coffee cups and lids and store them for reuse. Added this cup to the stack. I always try to be cognizant that the lids are not going to always fit well on the second use.

    I received 2 baggies of yellow cherry tomatoes that were delicious, picked up another free red tomato for sandwiches. I was given an apple at a meeting which I ate with a mixture of very dry from-the-bottom-of-the-jar almond butter mixed in with some runny peanut butter. Felt great to use both of them up!

    Still snacking on my super discounted cereal. I eat it as a snack at work without milk. I bring some in a small jar. Helps with my busy job that I just love!

    Now that my son has come to his senses and is taking the fuel efficient car to college, I am driving his jeep to work and use a quarter tank of gas or less each week. i stayed home this week. I’m a homebody, so staying home is less because it is frugal and more that I really would ratherwould go out in the first place. Does save on gas and time and shoping.

    We did have to drive to Walmart 45 minutes away Friday because he has to have a new pair of laces for his dress shoes tgat are a part of his Air Force ROTC unifor. There were not any of the correct color and style available in our rural, small town. Since we were going, we did some shopping on the list as money would alsmall found an even less expensive brand of dry dog food that is healthier.

    So very thankful that we are abundantly blessed! be safe and God Bless.

  251. A drying rack is a planned purcahse. She’ll need it for sweaters as well as socks.

    Her exisiting coat is a Squall coat from Land’s End that comes down around mid-thigh. She wants to make a knee-length vintage-style wool coat as well, but we’ll see if she does; it’s not an easy project!

    There are microwaves on campus. But the thermos is nice too.

  252. I just completed outfitting my two sons off-campus apartments without once stepping into Ikea, Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond. Mostly I shopped at the the pay-by-the pound Goodwill Outlet. I’d estimate that I spent $200 total for everything for both apartments.

    There is a glut of already manufactured goods available. You just need to know where to look.

  253. I have a stainless steel skillet and a pot set from IKEA and they were so affordable. The pot set was like $10 and it included three pots with glass lids. IKEA is great for utilizing a small space well. They have basic furniture for very little money. A lot of it is not my style but if I was just starting out I would consider it.

  254. None of my college credits were able to trans fer from Ricks to the University of Montana . This was years ago but I was among the first 6 students to graduate with a software engineering degree, and before I graduated I was able to hack in and get all the credits accepted. Don’t even try to keep this woman down. I did not allow my three girls do go to church school s as I did not want them married young. I wanted them to have advanced degrees in case they had to support a family. I have always had to work and it is a trial to be a working woman when you are LDS. I also dd not allow them to live in dorms but rented an apartment in my name so they could live with just one room mate. Too many room mates are hard when you need to study and have quiet. So after 17 years of college tuition they are finally all done. The baby is studying for the MCATS and working at a laboratory. So we may be back into helping with expenses soon. I just want to be done! Love your blog.

  255. Kim,

    I was 24 when I was married. I don’t think going to a church school means you have to marry young. It depends on when you meet your spouse!

    Most of the women in my ward work outside the home. I know very few who are home. I always wanted to be home, so I am grateful for that, but I know it’s not for everyone.

    We made sure that her credits from BYU Independent Study will transfer to BYU-I. We don’t want credits wasted as that would be a waste of time and money.

    When I attended community college before transferring to a university, I also made sure my classes would transfer. I didn’t take any classes that wouldn’t transfer, and I had to take double P.E. classes as the university only gave a half credit in transfer credits for P.E. class.

    An education for our children is important to us. It may not be college for all of them; trade school might be right for some. But either way, we want them to have an education. (And as a fun side note, my husband wanted to marry a woman who had a degree! We didn’t meet until after I had graduated).

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