Fall Zinnia Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

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I cut and dried lots of basil from the garden.

I printed free school worksheets from Education.com (they have a limit of 10 free worksheets each month).

I planted seeds in the garden for artichokes, Swiss chard, and parsley.

I covered my artichoke seedlings from a previous week that had come up with small canning jars, to keep the bugs from eating them and to create a mini-greenhouse, allowing them to grow faster larger.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I experimented making a few loaves of pear bread, using quarts of home-canned pears that have been on the shelves for a few years. I ground whole wheat into flour in our grinder and used that in the recipes. The first two loaves were fine, but lacked excitement (we ate them anyway). I’ll keep trying some variations until we find something we really enjoy, as we have a number of older jars of home-canned pears that need to be used up.

My brother-in-law was offered a number of free tickets to a show downtown on Tuesday. My husband and I were able to attend. We were even told to park in a certain lot downtown. We saw a parking garage on the way, but our vehicle was too tall to park there. We found the lot that we had been told to park in; it was a small lot and the entrance wasn’t even clear. To our surprise, the lot stated that it was free to Nevada residents for 24 hours, provided the driver had a valid id! We did have to walk a distance, but the weather was pleasant and gave us a chance to talk. (For those who live in Las Vegas, this lot is east of Planet Hollywood, and you enter it from Harmon Ave. There is no noticeable entrance; just a fence with a small entrance and a drive behind it. As you drive to the lot, you will see Bally’s employee parking lot is connected to this lot.) We ended our evening by going out to eat using a gift card that we had.

(I know some of you are wondering about the shooting in Las Vegas. We don’t live close to downtown and are very rarely there, though as I mentioned we were earlier this past week. You can read about the shooting here–warning about the photos.) 

My husband used barge cement to repair two pairs of children’s shoes.

I gave our youngest a haircut. He thinks the trimmers tickle, which makes it a bit tricky, but he was very good about having his hair cut!

My son brought home leftover cookies from a Scout Court of Honor that no one else wanted to take home.

My mom went to a garage sale and blessed us with several items she found: 3 pint jars, brand-new girls’ hair elastics (I was just about to go buy some at the dollar store, where they sell them 100 for $1, but this saved me a dollar!), sidewalk chalk, and sewing machine oil.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. Ahhh, I can’t wait for fall gardening! We’re growing seedlings that are already shooting up. Hopefully it’ll be a fall of squash, greens, and pumpkins. 🙂

    This week:

    1. I came down with bronchitis over the weekend and had a lot of trouble breathing. I was about to shell out $75 to see a clinic doctor until husband dearest reminded me that we can see a teledoctor for free. I waited for 20 minutes to do a video chat with a doctor (on a Sunday morning, no less) who prescribed the right steroids and a refill on my inhaler. My only cost was for medication, which was great.

    2. We had leftover fruit in our pantry that was going to spoil. I roasted pears and topped them with a strawberry, cranberry, orange, and pecan topping. It turned out pretty tasty!

    3. I turned some leftover strawberries, ginger, and molasses into an old-timey drink called switchel. It was sweet and vinegary and a great way to use up food that would have otherwise spoiled.

    4. I blended some leftover roasted cubed pumpkin to make pumpkin puree. With the puree I made pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cinnamon rolls, which I froze for later.

    5. This morning I made some quick crepes and filled them with Nutella and bananas. The bananas were about to go bad, so this was a good way to use up a few of them.

  2. Still cooking from the pantry as much as possible also using some elderly packages from the freezer to add to animals food.
    Used a cake mix to make cookies then filled a cookie jar I recently bought. Used an orange tablecloth to wrap it making it look like a pumpkin and gave it to an adult grandson for a birthday gift.
    Used fresh garden veggies in meals. Used leftover sausage to make a yummy chowder for lunches. Hemmed some jeans I bought for pennies at the thrift store.hung the laundry outside. Put flannel sheets and an extra quilt on the bed but still haven’t turned the furnace on.
    Used up all leftovers and fed veggie scraps to our chickens. Overall it was a pretty frugal week

  3. Brandy, I’m so glad to hear that you and your family are safe. Our hearts are with those who are in the midst of experiencing this awful tragedy.

    We had a fairly quiet week around here. My favorite frugal thing was making a giant turkey and having my parents over for a full turkey dinner. We were able to center the rest of the weeks meals around it, so for about $30 we fed 4 adults and 3 children and then for an additional $20 had our meals for the week which included turkey soup, fried rice, left overs, and enchiladas.

    I’ve posted our monthly wrap up here: https://frugalfive.com/2017/10/02/october-1st-state-of-the-frugal-union/

  4. We had friends over for dinner a few nights ago. I made a pear custard pie with pears from our tree. All of our dinner was using food from our freezer, pantry, and garden. We had some leftovers and those were incorporated into last nights dinner.
    This morning we are saddened to read and hear about another mass shooting. Such tragedy leaves me with a very sad heart. We are going on a short trip and this news casts a pall over everything.
    There is more to share, but my heart is just not into it right now. I’ll try to write more later. How do we heal?

  5. I am now shopping from loss leaders at a variety of stores here in AZ… Food City had a great deal on gala apples 3lbs for .99 I ended up with 9 apples. Onions the same price.. I bought 6 for the 3lbs. came to 2.03 for both. Sprouts had giant red bell peppers for .49!! only one per purchase but well worth the stop on the way home. Albertsons had a Friday only deal on their sausages. Buy 10 for $5. It was a variety of sausages, brats, beer brats, andouille, mild, medium and hot italian sausage and the list goes on. I brought home 80 and froze them all. came to .50 each and they are normally 1.00 each, plus they had a $5 off a $50 purchase. Same offer on hamburger patties 10 for $5 and I bought 40. All to the freezer they went! 24pks of water 1.67 I could go on… Its my new way of shopping and so far I am saving a lot.

  6. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    Harvested and roasted tomatoes. I added some of them to fresh green beans from the garden. Yummy!

    Harvested and froze basil. I also made pesto and shared some with my daughter. She used some of it in the stuffed shells that she served at our grandson’s birthday party.

    I made yogurt and chicken stock in my crock pot.

    Frugal meals were chicken a la king over pasta, roast chicken with mashed potatoes, frozen brussel sprouts, and homemade rolls, cauliflower soup and hot dogs, salads, yogurt, and fruit for lunches. Oatmeal, toast, and eggs for breakfasts.

    I cut my husband’s hair.

    I was given Swiss chard by a co-worker.

    I made laundry soap.

    My husband’s birthday is today and on Friday his best friend took him fishing on his boat. He brought home blue gill which we will enjoy for dinner a couple of nights.

  7. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments. Always encouraging and helpful. Here are a few frugal accomplishments these past weeks.
    . Purchased 80lbs of potatoes. $2 for 20lbs. For winter
    . Purchased butter 2.50 lb.
    . Made meals from scratch. Tried homemade sloppy joe
    Pioneer woman recipe. Very tasty and made alot.
    . Took my list *Brandy idea…..to local large rummage sale. Found needed items. Kept to list so not to bring home excess junk.
    . Was gifted a new candle…some special bread to share..
    . Made pie crust..french bread..cinnamon rolls..
    One gluten free with a small pkg of GF Mix found for. 99 at clearance section at store. First time. Those were given as a gift.
    . Gifted a large bag of flour from Costco. Happy
    . Cleaned n mopped my floor using viniger and abut of
    Hot soapy water. Made my own diy swiffer.
    . Cleaned n ridded out garage.
    . Used our rug machine..cleaned 2 carpets.
    . Cleaned fridge inside n out. Used olive oil to clean black outside surface. Made a great difference n shine.
    . Cleaned front porch thoroughly. Pulled chairs..swept
    Windows . Decorated for Fall using our own pumpkins from the garden. Things i had.
    . Cut more lavender…herbs to dry. Picked more end of season tomatoes from garden.
    * I’m so sorry for the folks from last Vegas shooting.

  8. I think we have that tele-doctor option on our insurance, too, but I’ve never used it. I will have to check into it.

  9. This past week wasn’t a frugal week. But I did save some money by paying with cash instead of check. The company that I dealt with prefers cash over anything. I guess there are companies out there that I sick of checks because of all the fraud. it doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount if you are paying with cash.

  10. I am making big progress eating the frozen single serving entrees that I cooked a month or so ago and froze – such as soup and casseroles.

    I have been reading The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes (partly for a Wellness talk I need to give at work). I have been reducing my added sugar consumption to the American Heart Assoc.’s recommended 6 t. or 25 grams per day. You can eat very little processed food and have very few items made with sugar to meet this. I have been experimenting with different whole wheat breads that have low sugar. I baked low sugar banana muffins, low sugar whole wheat and oatmeal bread, altar bread (low sugar made with whole wheat and olive oil) and a pumpkin bread recipe with low sugar and whole wheat, plain pumpkin puree, and traditional spices. I have been learning to try new snacks – dates (when I really want something sweet), hummus (one of the few purchased processed foods without any sugar) and whole wheat pita chips (also no added sugar). I have done well on staying within this amount for 4 weeks. It takes about 6 weeks to make a habit stick. I am losing about a pound a week, focusing on low sugar and frugal, mostly plant based food with some eggs, cheese and skim milk thrown in.

    Kudos to those of you who have lost major amounts of weight – such as 20, 30 or even 100 pounds!!!

    I do miss baking sweets – cookies, coffee cake, fruit crisps – more than I miss eating them. It means that when I volunteer something for an event or for some type of charity activity – I need to bake sweets for other people to eat, not me.

  11. Brandy, that flower arrangement is gorgeous. We are at the season where there are very few flowers, but at church yesterday a gentleman brought in a simple arrangement for the altar of turning aspen leaves — it was so lovely, and reminded me that I don’t have to use only flowers for arrangements.
    Your evening out sounds lovely — it’s extra special when you don’t do it often.
    We went camping three nights in the national forest. The site was free and we brought all our food from home. Before we left, we filled up the truck with gas, using a 30 cent a gallon discount from City Market. It was a very relaxing four days, our last camping trip of the season.
    On the way home we stopped at an orchard stand and bought apples and tomatoes. I worked all weekend canning. I ended up with 14 pints of applesauce, 10 half pints and one pint of apple butter, 9 pints of canned tomatoes, 7 pints of ketchup, 4 pints of spaghetti sauce and 1 ½ pints of plain tomato sauce. We also have two boxes of apples in the garage refrigerator, which should keep us in apples until January. From the garden, I harvested cabbage, chard, lettuce, and onions. I planted garlic, using bulbs I saved from this year’s harvest. My husband repaired a neighbor’s furnace and she paid him for his efforts. It’s been pretty chilly here and we are enjoying wood fires in the wood stove to keep the house nice and warm.

  12. Hello Brandy!
    I’m glad you and your family are a safe distance from the dowtown area.
    Last week I did most of my usual stuff. I limited my driving to conserve gas. I was extra dilligent about keeping lights off in unused rooms. I had to buy new shoes last week for work and for working out. Being a nurse, shoes don’t last me as long as others. I managed to find a pair of Reeboks on clearance at DSW for $30. While there I resisted the temptation to purchase other shoes that I wanted but didn’t need.
    The last week has seen much cooler temps in my area, making outdoor walks much more pleasant.

  13. Doing a health check-up via the teledoctor has been so convinenent for me! I’m glad they were able to help you.

  14. I went to Aldi and purchased sour cream for 99 cents, eggs for 69 cents (up from 49 cents last time I was there), and canned green beans for 44 cents. I went to Dollar General and using the $5 off $25 coupon, I purchased cat food, dog food, tomato paste (it ended up being 42 cents a can), paper towels, roach motels, canned beans for 42 cents ( I have lots of dried beans but keep some cans of beans as a backup in case of power failure, or a busy night where I have failed to prepare adequately for my meals for the week), and parm. cheese (this was a failure as it was $2.25 at Aldi, and I thought it was too high. I ended up, with the discount purchasing it for $2.50 at Dollar General…sigh)….I still consider the dog and cat as a good investment, and I do love them as family. I know different folks have different opinions as to the frugality of a dog, when the budget is tight, but I would be scared to live where I live without my dog. The cat keeps mice out of the house, and the dog is very protective of me. We all just do what we need to do regarding our own circumstances. I dyed my hair at home for $3.00. I made soup with leftover chicken, rice, tomato paste, spices, carrots, and potatoes. I will eat the soup for supper all week. I made fig cobbler with free figs. I made chicken enchiladas (using your recipe) with leftover chicken for lunch at work. I kept the air off as it has cooled down to the 80’s here. I paid my electric bill which was $46.44. I was pleased. I paid my water and garbage bill of $57.00. I was NOT pleased, since it went up three dollars. I dried my clothes inside (I cannot dry my clothes outside because of the hundreds of starlings we have this time of the year) by hanging it all over my furniture…lol. I basically just stayed at home as much as possible. I prefer to be there anyway. I am so, so sorry for what happened in Las Vegas, Brandy, and I am very glad you and your family are safe.

  15. I have some home canned pears that I am trying to use up as well. Here is a recipe that worked well last week.:
    Buttermilk Pear Ginger Cake
    * I substituted drained canned pears for the fresh.
    * I also baked it in two 8 inch cake pans since we have a small family (I froze one).
    * Sprinkle with powdered sugar and I also topped it with Sugared Almonds that I quickly made on the stove top.

  16. Praying for the people killed and injured in the Las Vegas shootings, and for their families.

    Happy October, everybody! My favorite month of the year. Last week’s frugal accomplishments–

    1. I listed 3 items on craigslist and sold $370 worth of tools in 3 days. Less stuff to store and move.

    2. Used a $4 off $20 purchase coupon at Rite-Aid.

    3. DH, DD and I got flu shots, paid for by our insurance. DH also got a Prevenar 13 pneumonia shot. He had pneumonia last spring.

    4. I returned two items to Amazon for a refund.

    5. Got several alcohol wipes free from the plebotomist and several more from the pharmacist for my first aid kit. I just asked! (They both told me not to buy a box because they would dry out).

    6. Sold an old clothes dryer for scrap metal for $2.50. Best part: they unloaded it.

    7. Cut up an old pair of Levis to make an apron for a Christmas gift. I also made the binding from fabric in my stash. Now I just have to sew it together.

    8. Transplanted an 18 in. tall smoke tree/bush to the nursery bed–things I am taking with me when I move.

    Brandy, while reading your past posts, I read about and admired the costume Winter made for the re-enactment. I am absolutely blown away by her skill and attention to detail…and this was her first project! My first project was hemming a tablecloth and napkins!

  17. Ladies, Walmart.com has Ball 12 count wide mouth quart jars on rollback for $10.26. I ordered four cases with free shipping over $35. (Walmart is an hour from me) And then it asked me if I wanted to wait til Saturday to receive them and it would take $8.26 off so with tax I paid $35.17 for 48 wide mouth quart jars!

  18. This last week we celebrated a friend’s birthday over an ice cream social. We played games at their home, and we took homemade pumpkin spice ice cream and other toppings from our food storage that needed to get rotated out.

    We also celebrated a niece’s 2nd birthday and purchased a reasonable gift through rewards points online. I walked around Target trying to find another small gift to go with her main present and decided that she’d be receiving plenty of gifts and decided to save the money instead. She indeed had more gifts than what she knew what to do with!

    I cooked nearly all of our meals at home, and worked on rotating food and eating from the freezer. It’s been raining all week so at least I won’t have to water the garden! We also saved $30 from our utility bill last month by changing our heating and cooling schedule and unplugging unused appliances. It was a welcome savings!

  19. I cleaned out clutter and took a car load to the local thrift store.

    I ate from my freezer and pantry.

    I used the library and spent $1(suggested donation) to inter library loan a book rather than purchase it new for over $20.

    I walked my dog twice a day. I gave the dog a bath and got a shower myself in the process :/.

    I repaired several things around the house that weren’t major but definitely annoying and inconvenient to have to deal with on a regular basis.

    I am working on a meal plan. Going through my pantry there were several items that had not expired that I will never eat. They were sent to the local food pantry for someone else to enjoy.

    I organized my small appliances and got rid of the ones no longer used or that were redundant.

    I switched over from my summer wardrobe to my winter wardrobe and donated clothing I never wore, did mending, stain treatment and altered a few things on the clothing that I will be keeping an wearing. I also aired out my winter coats and did mending and alterations on them.

    I donated some socks that I never wore that I was gifted. I am slowly trying to teach myself not to hold on to something just because it was a gift. Sometimes those gifts are clutter that become cumber. I can stop many things from coming into my home, but some people don’t get that I don’t need anything and a few people like my parents I choose not to have that battle, I just accept the gift and pass it on.

    I have enjoyed the cooler temperatures and I am spending as much time outside as I can. I did clean up outside around the house and did some fall garden maintenance.

    As part of my meal planning and some long term prepping, I’m looking at some freeze dried and dehydrated foods. If anyone has any websites or books or other sources that they have found worth while I would be interested in what you have found helpful or beneficial – even if it was a failure and you learned from it.

  20. It’s so sad about what is happening in Las Vegas. Sending good thoughts their way.

    I attended a free business class at the local library. I learned so much valuable information! I encourage everyone to check out what free classes and resources your library has.

    My Keurig broke that a coworker gave me last year. I will not buy another one. I’m experimenting with pour over. So far it’s pretty weak.

    Here are some other frugal things from this past week:

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

  21. Last week’s money saving efforts were directed toward cleaning out, throwing away, and selling junk. My husband posted (free) in the local paper a slightly used electric hedge clipper which we needed at our suburbia house before we moved to the country 13 years ago. It was destined for the dump since we don’t own miles of electric extension cords and have never used it at this house. It sold for $10. Hubby shoved the cash in his pocket, began looking around, and then asked: “What else can we sell?” He is having fun and I am encouraging him.

    This week will be a time of transition from a summer to a winter garden. The summer garden is winding down and it is time to begin harvesting everything before the first frost which is usually around October 15. Most of the seeds for the winter garden have been planted but that is all that has been done.

    This week I kept a list of all I have harvested:
    Zipper peas, White rice beans, green beans, Lima beans
    Carrots, squash, chili peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, okra
    Swiss chard, collard greens, French sorrel, kale, lettuce
    Strawberries (just beginning to bear again)
    Pears (from the wild Chinese tree)
    Peanuts (dug one plant to see if they are ready, they are)
    Herbs: basil, chives, mint, stevia, lemon balm
    Medicinal herbs: feverfew, ashwaghanda, gynura

    I have posted a detailed garden update

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  22. So sad to wake up to the news from Las Vegas, after just discussing with a friend in Alberta whether her family was safe from the Edmonton attack. Very glad to hear that your home is far from the area and that your night out was much earlier in the week!

    We did a lot of our usual things, but I did get a few things in that saved us extra. My most “exciting” accomplishment was a good grooming of the dog at home. Saved close to $100 between fees and diesel, as I have her nails clipped at the vet and the rest done at a pet store.

    Wishing everyone a good week!


  23. Such sad news about the mass shooting. I’m glad you and your husband were able to enjoy a show without being involved in such a tragedy. I wish those involved had been as fortunate.

    This week, my frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home this week included shepherds pie (used frozen leftover beef, leftover veggies, plus a few frozen veggies that needed using up), “cracked out” chicken tater tot casserole with green/waxed beans, pasta with choice of topping, stuffed chicken breasts with choice of french fries or sweet potato fries and corn, and taco bake with salad.
    *This week, when we had a medical appointment for DD to attend right before dinner, I made a plan. I decided to buy a rotisserie chicken dinner at a grocery store as our “take out dinner”, which is reasonably priced and healthier. Next day DD took the leftover potatoes in her lunch, and I used the leftover chicken to make the “cracked out” chicken tater tot casserole (which DD has been begging me to make again) that night. Take that family!!!:o
    *Made veggie fried rice from leftover white rice for lunch one day. It stretched over 2 lunches.
    *Baked a delicious raspberry cobbler from scratch to use up some crushed raspberry leftover from last weeks jam making session. It stretched over 2 meals.
    *Baked a pan of Chocolate Banana Applesauce Cake to use in DD’s lunches this coming week. After packaging up 5 squares, left over cake was up for grabs for the rest of the family.
    *Cooked 2 dozen cobs of corn, cut off the kernels and froze for use in winter.
    *Defrosted and reorganized both freezers. Found a few things we didn’t know we had. Pulled a few items to get them used up.
    *Pulled out all the saved poultry bones (turkey and chicken carcasses plus giblets/chicken scraps) and veggie scraps from the freezer (broccoli stems, celery trimmings, carrot peelings, bean scraps, onion skins, etc.) and cooked up a huge stockpot of poultry stock. I love when I can take scraps that would normally be thrown away and make a delicious and highly nutritious food item basically for free!
    *After refrigerating the poultry stock, I skimmed off the fat layer on top. Then I used my brand new pressure canner for the 1st time and canned up 7 quarts of stock! I even used my new tattler lids, which are reusable. Learned a new skill and saved money with my new investments.:D
    *Took advantage of a 40% off sale to buy DD a new 3-in-1 winter jacket, 2 long sleeved t-shirts and 1 sweater in preparation for the fast approaching winter. It was expensive, but necessary.
    *Completed a survey which paid each family member $2, for a total of $8.

    Wishing everyone a safe week.

  24. I wanted to add something that I think you all would find as funny as I did: the night before last I had a dream that I went into the kitchen to begin dinner and when I opened the pantry it was empty except for a bag of cat food. Then I went into the freezer and there wasn’t anything there but ice packs! I actually woke up with my heart racing over the thought of it lol. My worst nightmare probably is a total loss of my food storage. I wouldn’t know what to do.

  25. So glad you are safe and I have heard from my many friends in LV too and they are safe too. (Which we are planning to visit next summer for our 30th wedding anniversary since that’s where we met.) Not much went on this past week. We sold a house that belonged to our MIL’s husband-who passed last November. That will help in the decision if we get the car fixed or just get a new one. Still am putting up green tomatoes and I find a recipe for a soup. Making it today with the leftovers to freeze for later use. Plus roasting the last of the tomatoes from my garden with bits and pieces of green peppers, onions and herbs from the garden. I am leaving for a trip to San Francisco in the morning so I am going thru the kitchen and gathering up everything to cook and/or freeze to save money when we get back. Hubby is already there working the Oracle Convention and his company is paying for him. We just have to pay for me and I went online and got some really good vouchers to do things thru Groupon to do while he is at work. We will be getting free babysitting for our grown autistic son by his grandparents while we are gone. They are angels!!! They will also keep an eye on our dog too. So we are saving money there. One major thing that we saved money on this week was our swimming pool. We had to get another one for this past season and noticed that the railing and anything steel has started rusting. Hubby got in touch with the company and they are sending out a brand new one when the 2018’s rollout and we don’t have to send the one outside here back. (I guess there has been a lot of complaints about this year’s model.) Freebies this week: milk, eggs, a tea drink and onions from using coupons from the store. Used the eggs to make French toast with 10cent loaf of bread. Happy Fall everyone!!

  26. This has been a great frugal week for us!! I had a lot of hot peppers that I turned into sweet chili sauce and hot pepper jelly. Then I wanted to make more hot pepper mustard but didn’t have the hot banana peppers needed as one of the main ingredients! Until I remembered that last summer I had too many hit banana peppers and so I pickled 6 quarts! I used those in place of the fresh banana peppers and then was able to make the rest of the mustard and can it, using ingredients from my garden and pantry!!
    To get ready for all the canning I’ve done in the past two weeks, I rearranged and reorganized my basement pantry shelves! It was great to see what I needed to use up and rotate and several if our meals have reflected that!
    I was able to share my mix and DIY canned sauces and their recipes with a friend whose husband has been out of work for 18 months! They are living on their food storage and some of my mixes and canned sauces were things she hadn’t tried before! I sent her home with recipes but also a jar of each of the finished products so they cold sample them to see if they liked them enough to make up batches of them. It was also a way to give them something without any awkwardness!
    Our side business continues to thrive and ideas and orders keep coming in! This week we brought in an extra $500 from sales! We feel extremely blessed!
    Our chickens continue to produce 6-7 eggs a day so as we rotate through them we are happy to know that we can safely store them in our basement fridge for 7 months without having them go bad so that will mean that as their laying slows down in he winter, we will still have fresh eggs!! I am pleased about this!
    We were given 4 baguettes the other day and I found and pinned some easy ideas for “stuffed” French baguettes!
    One was a chicken/ranch/cheese spread, the their a ground beef/cream of mushroom/cheese spread that you use on them and then toast in the oven until cheese is bubbly. We now have two different quick dinners plus several lunch servings! These used only pantry and freezer ingredients that I already had at home!!!
    I saw an ad on Craigslist for free bricks and so we picked those up (over 200 whole bricks and another hundred half bricks)!!
    A friend’s sister has a beautiful round dining room table and chairs that are sturdy and well cared for that she is giving us today! I am so excited!!
    We were able to give out homemade chocolate chip cookies to families that we visited on Sunday, using homemade cookie mix and ingredients on my shelves! What a blessing my pantries are! How much time and money they save me!!!
    Autumn has finally started and we love the cooler temperatures!
    All in all, a very good week!!!

  27. The keys to good, dark, full-bodied pour over coffee are: having a cone-shaped filter, dark roast coffee, making sure your coffee isn’t ground too course (if it’s ground for a drip coffee maker, it’ll be too course), and pouring slowly. I started with a plain Melitta filter over 30 years ago; now we use a Chemex because we make 8 cups at a time. We use a little bit of the boiling water to wet the grounds. Then give it a minute or two for the grounds to absorb the water and “bloom.” Then slowly pour water so it fills up the filter and then wait for it to drip through the grounds. If you need more water, then just as it’s about to run out of the filter, add a bit more. We’ve found that this way it drips slower, which makes the coffee richer. Apologies if I’m telling you something you already know!

  28. My frugal accomplishments this past week include going around and shutting storm windows and doing a temporary fix with foam tape, caulking, and plastic on a window that needs replacing. I had all items on hand. I also rolled newspaper logs from free leftover newspaper a friend gives me. Also, I salvaged wood from a construction trash receptacle, for my woodstove. I reviewed my September spending and did some organizing in the pantry. On the pears… what about pear crisp or crepes with pears?

  29. This has not been a great frugal week. I was at Goodwill and spent $3.25 on birthday cards. I bought a few more groceries and didn’t cook with my expiring food that sits on my counter. My husband wanted greasy bar food and Dairy Queen ice cream over the weekend, so the chili I made last week just sat in the fridge. We are eating it now though. I have completely blown my diet these last few days. We also ate at Subway after a suggestion from my sister but we used coupons so got 2 foot longs for $12 to feed 4 adults. This isn’t bad but I’m over $30 on my budget.
    I also bought garlic chive seeds online to plant around my fruit trees. My husband won’t have to trim around d them. I bought wild tomato seeds that originate in South America. I’m hoping they are easy to grow since they used to grow in the wild there.
    I’m just in a horrible mood today and am glad this article was posted to give me inspiration. I let our girls play in mud puddles this morning for fun. I’m doing laundry now with our he washer that is only supposed to cost 4¢ on average to run a load. We just got it when our last one broke. I’m hoping there will be a difference on our bills. We have a well so our water cost isn’t extremely high. We are in Iowa.
    I got out chicken to help use up some sauces that are expiring. I think my husband is getting tired of the lack of meat in our meals which is why he ordered a double bacon cheeseburger at the restaurant this weekend.
    I keep trying to be frugal though! I will hang our laundry to dry.

  30. I thought of you, Brandy, as soon as I heard about the shooting, when my husband said it was a music concert, and I knew you’d been to the outdoor symphony some. I’m so thankful you are safe. The world feels downright crazy at times. Even here, on our peaceful homestead, a snake fell out of the sky and hit my back while I was talking to my husband yesterday! Well, it had to have fallen from a tree, but gosh. I’m hoping for a peaceful week, and sending thoughts of peace to all the places it’s needed in the world.

    Eggplant is still coming in abundance. I tried something new this morning, and roasted it in cubes for pizzas. I may roast a round of slices for dishes like eggplant parmesan. I plan to freeze all of it, and am thinking it will be lovely to pull out and use on winter days. I hung laundry on the clothesline and harvested a basket of kale this morning. I’m deciding if I want to try a new dish tonight, or use it in a yummy salad like I usually do. Wishing everyone a good week. Joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/10/a-road-trip-frugal-accomplishments.html

  31. Julie, I canned these pears in 2014. They are okay if you can’t taste them 🙂 So I have to hide them in something. I have fresh pears from our tree that would be okay in the other two ways but the canned ones need to be baked into something where you can’t taste them as distinctly.

    Your storm preparation sounds like a good way to save money on heating this winter!

  32. I am so horrified and sad today about the state of our world with all that has happened. Prayers said for all the victims and families.
    This past month has been very hard to get through financially. Thank God for family that helps. October will be better because of an extra payday (I get paid on Tuesdays).
    My husband trimmed a tree and several rose bushes in our backyard and cut the grass with a riding lawn mower that we received for free (all it needed was a new belt). We were short on food so my mother generously bought some groceries for us from Sam’s Club and my sister gave me enough tomatoes that I will be able to can them. I also was given some apples from my aunt’s trees. We will eat some and bake with some. We cooked and ate all meals from home. I take homemade iced tea and lunches to work with me. I mended two of my husbands shirts, paid all bills online, gave my oldest son a haircut, let my newspaper subscription expire, and decorated for Fall/Halloween with decorations that we already had. My boss gave me some clothes from her grandson for my youngest son. He received 8 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of sleep/lounge pants, and several hoodies and jackets. This was helpful as he was in need of some Fall/Winter clothing. His birthday is in two weeks and we will just be having a family party with homemade cake and potluck style food. I hope everyone has a blessed week.

  33. Brandy, what if you blended the pears into a sauce and used it in place of applesauce in some recipes? I’ve made muffins, sweet loaves, cakes and brownies with applesauce. There are plenty of recipes to try on Pinterest.

  34. That’s what I did, but the recipe was kind of bland. I think I need to have something with nuts or something else in it. I’ve tried them in a couple of different recipes that way so far and while they were okay, they weren’t spectacular. I’m hoping for a home run to get them used up. I think the idea someone else mentioned of putting jam on the bread might be the easiest solution! I just don’t want to waste them and by putting them in place of oil in something they can add nutrition as well as (hopefully) be fewer calories than the oil would have been.

  35. Kim, I LOVE having an HE washer. Not only does it use less water (which is a huge deal here as our water is tiered and I do a lot of laundry) but it also spins my clothes [i]really[/i] dry, so I can dry them in about the same time it takes to wash a load.

    WIth the diet–pick up and continue with where you are at now. I’ve had a few steps backward and then forward again myself, and I just have to be more diligent the next day. You can just do one day at a time. Keep going! You can do this!

  36. Living Frugally from Urban Seattle:

    -picked herbs from our neighborhood u-pick herb garden since I’ve used up all of the herbs I planted this summer in my own small yard.
    – I used $6 of store coupons on my last grocery run – no junk food!
    – Weather continues to be nice here so no driving this week once again! One bus ride downtown plus lots of bike rides for errands and to go to events.
    – we achieved a big financial goal! To celebrate – we slept in on Saturday morning…haha! Very boring but frugal (and definitely a treat!)
    – rented DVDs from library for a fun Friday family movie night! I need to do that more – it just takes some advanced planning.
    – we went for a beautiful fall hike at neighborhood park that has some forested areas and looks over the Puget Sound. Completely free!

  37. As is everyone else, I am horrified by the shooting. Such a senseless tragedy.
    I’m glad that you and your husband had a chance for an evening out, though, and that there was even free parking!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I sold a dozen Succulent/Cactus Cupcakes for $30! Someone had advertised for a baker on my local trading blog, and I looked at the photo of the cupcakes that he wanted and thought to myself, I can do that. So I did! (http://approachingfood.com/easy-cacti-cupcakes/) I packaged them in cupcake boxes that I received free, and used icing bags that I had traded for previously.
    – I made one of my favourite frugal yet tasty meals – carrot ginger stew over quinoa. (http://approachingfood.com/carrot-ginger-stew-served-with-quinoa-and-arugula/) Except that I served it over some couscous that I had in my pantry and was trying to finish up. This meal freezes well and tastes delicious. I buy fresh ginger when it’s on sale and freeze it, and then zest it straight from the freezer whenever I need some. No waste, and the zesting makes the ginger almost melt away in the dish. You could serve this as a side dish or over rice, but I generally like to serve it as a main dish, over quinoa (for the protein). With carrots and onions going on sale around now, it’s a great way to add some fall flavour to the dinner table! (You could also just skip the quinoa/couscous, blend it, and serve it as a soup, with a squiggle of cream/evaporated milk or dollop of sour cream on top. So versatile!)
    – I traded a can of my homemade reduced-fat White Wine Alfredo Sauce, for a pair of brand-new earrings made by a local craftsperson, and I traded two jars of tea gifted to me (that I put in nice jars and labeled prettily) for a bag of dried rosemary, as well as some fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley. This is perfect, as I had just run out of rosemary (both fresh from my balcony garden and dried from my pantry) so now I’m stocked for many months. I also traded some hairdryer attachments (they came with my hairdryer years ago and I’ve never used them) for a brand-new stuffed teddy bear that I will gift to some little girls that I know.
    – My cherry pitter broke when I was using it to pit olives, but I managed to put it back together.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gift card to Old Navy.
    – I redeemed $10 from Pinecone Research to my Paypal account.
    – I used up the last of some bread chunks and buns in my freezer (from loaves that hadn’t risen due to old yeast a few months ago), some onions (purchased at the cheapest price of the year last week), some bouillon, some of my frozen celery (traded for previously). some of the herbs that I traded for, as well as some dried sage from my pantry, plus some butter and hot water, to make a pan of delicious stuffing as a side dish. Cost to me? Maybe 25 cents for the dish. Even cheaper than a mix, and obviously healthier too!
    – I made up some strawberry-peach jam using fruit from my freezer, to use as a mix-in with my homemade yoghurt for the next few weeks.
    – I made a large pot of Broccoli Cheddar Soup, but used 2% milk instead of the half and half the recipe called for. I also used half the whole broccoli called for (from my stash of frozen broccoli bought on sale and blanched), and used half dehydrated instead. Plus, I added in some fresh herbs that I had traded for. It was SO delicious! I ate it for lunch and packed away the rest for weekday lunches.
    – I went to Nuit Blanche with the DH (a city-wide all-night arts festival full of installation type pieces). Free entertainment! We came across a truck handing out samples during the event, so we got free snack packs of hummus & crackers, and quinoa salad.
    – Butter was on sale this week ($2.99/lb, which is the lowest yearly price), so we bought 12 lbs, which I froze. This should last be enough to last me until the next time butter goes on sale for this price. I’m very happy to have a freezer filled with butter!
    – I bought a medium-sized pumpkin for 98 cents. I plan to use it as a centerpiece for several weeks, and then process it for baking pumpkin pie, pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin bread, etc.
    – I used some used wax that had lost its scent, along with some dollar store cotton facial pads, to make firestarters to add to my camping supplies. Better than tossing the wax, and all it cost me was the super-cheap cotton pads.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

  38. Wow, that’s awesome it dries so fast! It takes over 24 hours to dry our clothes indoors on a rack, so I’m not really great at doing it. We live on a gravel road and with the lack of rain here it is sooo dusty when cars drive by. When walking on our grass, we kick up gravel dust and I’ve rinsed of our fruit trees because they were covered in dust and didn’t want them to not get sunlight on their leaves. I just planted them so they need to store as much energy for winter as possible!

  39. Glad to hear you are safe!! So very sad.

    I love reading but seldom comment. I stocked up at Aldi this week, after eating through some pantry items that had been around for a while. I experimented successfully with making gluten free bread using the book “Gluten Free Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” My family can go through those expensive loaves so quickly, this has been a great find, even though it’s still not as cheap as ordinary bread. Plus, we were able to have better pizza than we can buy, fresh at home, and also caramel pecan rolls, which I haven’t had in years. Highly recommended! I also worked in the garden and ate many tomatoes, some chard, and some herbs from our vegetable garden. I also swapped kids clothes with a friend – she is having her fourth girl and has one boy, and I am having my fourth boy and have one girl.

    Hope you have a good week! I so appreciate the inspiration you provide here!

  40. What a tragedy in Las Vegas. My heart goes out to all those injured and the loved ones of those killed.

    We are nearing the end of our necessary spending related to moving across country and into an older home. Also getting to know our new area.
    1. I have been searching websites to find free/low cost entertainment that we would both enjoy and this week we went to a guitar orchestra concert (classical music) at the library and an aviation museum open house. Both were very enjoyable. We also utilized the free community gold course and took lots of walks.
    2. With our house we acquired a small patio that wasn’t very useful due to 9 mature bougainvilleas planted around the perimeter. My newly retired Hubby cut them down and will put down gravel and add some large pots and plants. No labor cost.
    3. Very low level of food waste as usual as we eat leftovers or create meals to use up bits and pieces.
    4. I agreed to be a test subject for an online friend getting an aromatherapy certificate and for the “price” of providing feedback I received a lovely essential oil mix to use on aching neck and shoulders.

  41. Heidi-
    You gave me two great ideas:
    Using canned instead of fresh pears in the recipe and making two pans of it and freezing one. The recipe sound really good, too!

  42. I’m OK around spiders in general, but a black widow surely scares me. I hope you’ve fully recovered from that. After the week we had, the snake barely phased me. After I felt the thwack on my back, I looked around and told Joseph, “that was a snake”. He said “I see that”, and we laughed about it for good long while. It was a rat snake, only around 18″, though falling from a height, it packed a good wallop. I always say we live in interesting times!

  43. Prayers for Las Vegas…

    • Made muffins for breakfast. Used zucchini I had in the freezer as well as some nuts and dried fruit I had gotten free from work and frozen. Used the liquid from the zucchini to make the milk with powdered milk. Before they went into the oven, I topped them with a couple of sugar packets I had gotten for free from a hotel stay. Hubby took them to work for breakfast.
    • Got some bubbles from the clearance rack. Spent some fun time with my grandson playing with those.
    • Cut open facial moisturizer bottle to get the remainder out. This was after I have had it turned upside down for 2 weeks and using it up that way. I’m amazed at how much there still is in there. I have been able to use it for 10 days now. I think I have 3 more days worth left in there.
    • Used free toiletries, coffee, tea and jellies.
    • Had hamburger steaks for dinner one night. Hubby wanted A-1 sauce. I had a small bottle that I had gotten on a room service tray but didn’t use when I was at a conference for work. Made us laugh that I had saved it but it was just what he wanted!
    • Items from freezer: 8, items to freezer: 1. Items from pantry: 5. Did really well not buying any clearance items and keeping the groceries to a minimum. Except for some more wine I got on clearance. The store had bottles of one of our favorite Cabernet Sauvignons. It is usually $20/bottle, but I got 5 bottles for only $7 each. We will save those for special occasions.
    • Hubby went out to lunch with our daughter to Olive Garden for her birthday. They were having a buy 1 entrée, take 1 home deal, so he brought home a spaghetti with meat sauce meal for me, which I ate for 2 lunches.
    • Your cake decorating inspired me! I got a cake decorating kit at Jo-Ann’s. They tried to charge me $41.99, but the display said $39.99 (good thing I paid attention!) I signed up for their app so I got 50% off of that. I also bought a cookie scoop that I had been wanting. After both purchases it came to $28.06. I then used the Ibotta app, which will give me 10% back, so a $2.59 rebate.
    • Combined errands to save gas.
    • Used as few disposable paper products as possible.
    • Hung out 2 loads of laundry.
    • Was able to put a good amount of money into savings this month.
    • Kept electric bill to under $220, which is what I had budgeted. This month’s came to $217.67. All the little things like keeping lights off, keep the AC set on a higher temperature and turning off the printer, etc. really do add up.
    • Had an $8.00 Staples rewards to use, so I bought 2 containers of dish detergent, which I was low on, and paid $2.78 OOP.
    • Got a free coffee drink and a free Hormel Complete meal from Krogers.
    • Had a Dr. appointment on the day I usually take Dad to lunch, so I missed this week. Saved on lunch money and on gas.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful frugal week!

  44. What a deal on potatoes! I bought a five pound bag of potatoes yesterday (I was out) – $4.99! Yikes!

    Amazing how prices vary so much.

  45. From the mother of two small children, thank you so much for not buying an additional gift! We are often overwhelmed with gifts from well-meaning relatives to the point where our children can’t enjoy what they do receive for being so distracted with their presents. Then we have to store/take care of it all Less is definitely more!

  46. I couple of years ago I read about making corn broth out of corn cobs. After I cut off the corn for freezing, I put the cobs in a pot, cover with water and add salt, pepper, and a bay leaf and boil for 30-45 minutes, then strain it and freeze it. It makes a nice base for corn chowder or soup. Another way to use up all the parts of food!

  47. I join everyone else in sadness over the terrible tragedy in Las Vegas. It is truly horrifying.

    Our week was on schedule to be frugal, but we took the car in to be serviced for a leak, and they replaced a transmission pan that has a deep mark in it where we ran over something (we remember doing it, but didn’t know the pan was damaged). However, that wasn’t the leak, as we found out when we got home and found a small puddle under our car again! The leak turned out to be a faulty oil plug. So we just paid $450 to replace a pan that wasn’t leaking. We are going to contact them with our complaint, but I doubt we’ll get our money back.
    In light of that, I basically skipped grocery shopping this week. We have enough to get by.
    I downloaded $100 from Swagbucks to Paypal, then to my bank. It helps the sting of the car repair a little.
    I’m making plans for an afternoon to cook a lot of beans and put them up. I’ll use beans more often if they are ready to go, either in the freezer or home-canned. I bought several varieties at a bulk sale.
    I spent one afternoon making beef broth to put up.
    We are making a day-long trip tomorrow for a funeral this week. I plan to pack as much as I can for us to eat along the way, and we won’t get a hotel, even though we’ll get home fairly late.
    I’m glad I have soup and chili put by in the freezer for busy nights ahead. I need to keep up with freezer meals.
    If only we could get some cool weather and turn off the air conditioning for a while. Even though we keep the thermostat at 79, having a/c run 24/7 eats electricity. I know cool weather is finally here to stay for a while when my coconut oil finally stays solid. It’s liquid about 8 months out of the year. I love finally turning off the a/c and opening some windows.

  48. Brandy, I am glad to hear that your family is safe.

    We just returned late last night from 6 days in the Laurentians (a region in Québec). We used loyalty points to cover the cost of our hotel during the trip. Right now I am trying to get reorganized and am working on totaling up my grocery receipts from September and a few blog posts (about our grocery spend, the trip, and our house).

    The day before we left we had pictures done of our house to put away for future use if we are able to move ahead with a relocation in the new year. That was chaotic. Nonetheless, it worked out well. I did not want to pay someone to stage our house so I used a few tricks I have learned over the years, and the day before the photos I went to a grocery store and picked up loads of flowers which I used to make about 5 fresh arrangements used in various places around our house. This was far cheaper than purchasing from a florist.

    I wanted to thank everyone (Mable, Cathy, perhaps a few others) who suggested using beets to make chocolate cake a few weeks ago. I never would have thought of this! I researched and found a great recipe:
    I liked this recipe because I had all ingredients on hand and it did not require anything special that I would not normally buy. Also – I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour. I had to add a bit to the cooking time, but it still turned out really well. The cake was very rich and delicious – I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did not use the suggested icing, but used another cream cheese icing recipe I love.

    Another beet recipe I tried was Beet and Cranberry Chutney:
    This recipe is translated from the French version of this website – some of the ingredients are listed a bit differently in English. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries (I used frozen), and you can use your own roasted or boiled beets (I used roasted beets). Also – this recipe can be frozen. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or you can freeze it. It pairs really well with cheese (goat, brie, cream) or white meat (poultry, pork).

    Before we left on vacation I also stocked up on carrots and potatoes.

    I did a few other things to save money – but right now I need to focus on getting unpacked and ready to start the new month. I missed reading all the comments last week, but I will try to get caught up.

  49. Last year around Thanksgiving one local store had potatoes at that price — I am hoping for the same this year.

  50. Maybe a spiced bread — like gingerbread or carrot or zucchini bread, seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves?

  51. Such sad news on the TV and radio today. Violence in Las Vegas and I heard of violence in Spain with elections and regional/cultural conflicts. The news from Puerto Rico does not sound good either with no speedy resolution of hurricane’s damage.

    We did all the usual this past week of canning, freezing, drying, packing lunches, using up leftovers, hanging (portion of) laundry to dry, composting, recycling. We have been cleaning out the garden beds, areas one after another, putting up hoop houses and cold frames. We’re looking for a new spot for the greenhouse. It’s attached to one side of my husband’s workshop but he and my nephew want to expand out and that is the only direction they can go. So right now they have disassembled it. It was made out of all scrap doors and windows gleaned from remodeling sites by my grandfather back in the 60’s and it was nice as it received passive heat from the workshop even at the coldest.

    Received a 7.00 rebate. Every other week or so I receive a free pen in the mail from a company trying to get me to order pens for my business. There is always some gimmick it seems. This week it was a light up pen. I save them all and use as prizes for the summer reading program. This last one was a Santa themed one and the card that came with it had to small black buttons for the eyes. I saved the buttons to add to button jar. Picked up the free grocery item (gum). Read 3 library books…2 I would recommend…KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI and a children’s book, THIMBLE SUMMER, which was a story of a 9 year old girl growing up during the Depression. Picked up one of those big popcorn tins off the take-it-or-leave-it table at church. They are good for storing bird seed in.

  52. I am so glad you and your loved ones are safe and sound. My prayers go out to all those affected and heartbroken by this awful tragedy. I will never understand what goes on in peoples’ minds that deliberately hurt others. 🙁
    I was able to spend $30 at the grocery store last week so I purchased some lunch items for my daughter’s school lunches (the school lunches here are disgusting) and some basics we were out of or low on. All our meals were cooked at home. We mainly used items from the pantry and freezers. I took my lunches and snacks to work with me (leftovers and homemade snacks), I drank free coffee and water. I worked 3 hours of overtime on Saturday and my department is scheduled to work 10 hour days this week which is 10 more hours of overtime, plus my normal 40 hour work weeks on my first check 🙂 I also earned 3 hours of paid time off on Saturday (the only paid time off I will have this year).
    My daughter has been playing with her art supplies more here at home and playing on her swing set here at home.
    I harvested more tomatoes, green onions, and mullein before the plants died.
    If I didn’t have a good reason to leave the house I stayed home, which means I didn’t spend money 🙂
    Have a great week everyone!

  53. Is anyone else (besides Brandy) using Education.com for the free worksheets? The most I have ever been able to print is eight; some months the limit is six. I cannot find any info on the site about the actual hard limit. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the age of your account?

  54. Are you using a sugar substitute or just recipes with lower sugar content?

    If you use naturally sweeter varieties of apples, fruit crisps can be made with hardly any sugar in the crumb topping. Same for apple pies.

  55. We recently replaced our older HE washer with a regular top-loading model. Because the technology has changed and because the new machine is smaller, it uses about the same amount of water and much less electricity than the older HE one. The only thing I miss about the HE model is the spinning power. To compensate, I run it through a second spin cycle.

  56. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    So glad Brandy you were able to get tickets to a concert and get free parking too.

    Our joy of the week was that we got lots of rain that filled up our rain water tanks and watered the parched ground and vegetable garden beds. We also took in a homeless kitten who turned up on our doorstep.

    Our frugal accomplishments and savings included –

    Education –
    – Attended another weekly class of our free church run personal finance course.

    Financial –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home with cash bank account bringing us to around 44% of the way there to building our home price.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Washed out used clip seal freezer bags and orange juice bottles to reuse.
    – Blanched and froze 6kg of turnips and 2.2kg of broad beans picked from the gardens making 15 more meals of turnips and 4 more meals of broad beans for the two of us.
    – Made a large pot of pumpkin soup to last 3 days for the 2 of us from a pumpkin and onions we had in storage from the gardens.

    In the garden –
    – Picked 2.2kg of broad beans and 6kg of turnips saving $48.27 over purchasing them in the shops.
    – Planted 5 x 2mt rows of sweet corn, 3 x 2mt rows of onions, 2 x 2mt rows of carrots, 1 x 3mt row of basil, 1 x 3mt row of lettuce, 4 x 2mt rows of cucumbers, 2 x 2mt rows of spring onion and 1 x 5mt row of lavender seeds in the gardens.

    Water preservation –
    – Saved vegetable steaming and cooling water, water from blanching vegetables and rinsing water from freezer bags and orange juice bottles to water new vegetable seeds and seedlings in the gardens.

    Electricity savings –
    – Only turned on our hot water system for 10.5hrs and used our solar lanterns all week to light our home saving approx. $10.37 in electricity costs.

    Have a fantastic week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  57. Pear butter? Like apple butter only using pears. I make my pear butter with ginger as the main seasoning. With my apple butter, I use cinnamon. So, I end up with two different spreads.

    When I had kids at home, I’d make bran-applesauce-molasses-chocolate chip muffins and flavor it with banana flavoring. You could substitute pear sauce.

  58. So sorry to hear of the tragedy in Las Vegas last night…

    Thought I’d join in earlier this week. I had a decent week. I just pulled up the little tomato plants Mama gave me. They were from seed she’d tossed into a pot and they made 8 plants. She gave me three. I guess all told, I got about a pint of tomatoes off them. Considering most days were over 95F I think they did pretty well. I held back a half dozen to plant and make new tomato plants.


  59. Brandy I am glad you and yours is safe. I have family and friends in that area and was worried as I didn’t hear from them immediately, they are okay, a couple were helping with the victims . Prayers for all that have been touched by this and prayers for our country.

    I had a doctor appt with my back doctor (pain mgt doctor actually)at lunch time 2 hrs away one way so ate at McD’s using a gift card someone gave Hubby at work because they don’t eat McD’s. I had to pay 64¢. The good news is he thinks he can help with the pain and inflammation I am having that will allow me to start using my arm correctly sooner rather than 6-12 mos. If insurance won’t pay for all of it he is willing to let me make payments on the difference at the price the ins would pay plus 10% discount for paying cash. Not only would it save me the time but also from having to go to 3 different doctors.

    Coming home I was within about 10 miles of a Goodwill that I used to go to all the time so I went out of the way to see if they had any curtains since I didn’t get any at the community yard sale. SCORE… Total of 10 pairs 84 inches long for $4.40 each. A couple sets are not lined but would easily go over another set of curtains or be lined. Better yet, they actually go with our furniture and bed comforter. 😉 I did buy a couple smaller serving bowls as Mom O suggested and a couple sweaters… I didn’t realize the one was cashmere blend that I got for $1.99 until I Googled what it was to see the care instructions.

    Have a blessed and safe week everyone
    Blessed Be

  60. It’s very sad to watch and her about the shootings. I’m glad you are safe and were away from all of it. You just never know what may happen to you anywhere.

    We are still harvesting the garden here. It has cooled off but we have had an abundance of sunshine to help ripen the tomatoes.
    Here is the list of the rest of my accomplishments

  61. If you are looking for another book featuring a young girl, you might try The War That Saved My Life, by Kate Saunders. Set in WWII England, it is the story of a handicapped, abused girl who has spent her whole like inside until the children are evacuated to the country. There she is very suspicious of how lovingly she is treated, due to her mother’s abuse of her, and it takes a long time for her to trust in love. Very impactful, beautifully written books. The abuse is not presented in a gory fashion. Also good for teaching kids a bit about WWII. I am always recommending this book to young adults, especially girls. I read it aloud to my husband, who found it very compelling, too.

  62. Our 6 year old has some beloved red cowboy boots that are separating at the sole. I may just try that barge cement to fix them!

    I took advantage of some freebies this week, including a few free items from Kroger, a couple free magazines, and free babysitting thanks to my mom.

  63. What one does for love is not always frugal: my husband is older than I am (not that I am a spring chicken, by any means). The other day he said he wanted to talk about winter frugality and told me last winter he really suffered because I kept the temperature of the house so low that he was always cold even though he wore sweaters and so on. He said he is turning 70, has worked his entire life and now would like to use some of that money to be comfortable in his older age. I was horrified and ashamed that I had not noticed his discomfort last year. We have a well insulated house but in the depths of winter, at 30 below zero, the corners and window areas are especially chilly. I told him I don’t care if he jacks the heat up to 100 degrees and I have to wear a bathing suit indoors, I am happy for him to be as warm as he likes.

    Frugal things:
    Helped with a potluck and brought home several pounds of hamburger that were not used. When asked, no one else wanted to take home leftover food, except for the chips and soda.

    Won a $50 gift card to Subway by entering a newspaper contest.

    Babysat a friend’s Great Dane for 10 days. I refused to take any money and a few days later I got a card with a grocery store gift certificate for $100 and a note thanking me and saying it would have cost her $45 a day to board her big boy.

    Milk was about to spoil, which seldom happens in our house. Made pudding and yogurt to extend its life.

    Made more applesauce, adding rhubarb to extend it. Apples are expensive here and the rhubarb was frozen from this pat summer’s garden.

    A friend admire a glass bowl I had. I liked it okay, but she really liked it. For her birthday I filled it with her favorite homemade cookies and gave it to her as her gift. I won’t miss it at all.

    Traded canned goods from this summer’s garden for five dozen eggs.

  64. Great price on potatoes. I got 100lbs for $30 and was super happy. For where I live this is super cheap. Your prices are unheard of.

  65. This week was not the most frugal due to sickness but we still managed to save a bit.

    I went to to doctor several times but all appointments were bulk-billed and didn’t cost me anything except for prescriptions. I used a lot of home remedies and my sore throat was a good excuse for ice cream. 😉 My husband cooked dinners at home or ate a sandwich instead of ordering fast food.
    We turned the heater on almost every night but only for a short time to take the chill off the air before going to bed.
    I dried home-grown herbs and baked breakfast and dinner at the same time to utilise the whole oven. Another day, I cooked kidney beans in the slow cooker and froze them in meal-sized portions for future use.
    We keep plugging along with our garden renovations and removing a lot of plants. We will dispose of them in stages in our green bin to save fees for a second bin. We had to buy a few supplies and feel like we struck a good balance between quality and price.
    I did our monthly grocery and meat shop. It still amazes me how much money we save this way. This week I sent my husband a couple of times for a few items each due to my illness. He always managed to sneak something extra in. Cutting out the temptation works best for us.
    Our cats received their last vaccinations for the year at 50% off. I had made sure to book them in a day before the discount offer ended.
    My SIL’s family and us treated my MIL to a birthday dinner. We split the cost and redeemed a 25% off voucher. Our only other meal out were two sausages at a sausage sizzle.

  66. Just read the headlines in Australia, also glad you are safe. And I wish everyone else had been safe as well.

  67. Hello Brandy,

    My condolences to the people of your country for the horrible massacre of innocents in Las Vegas. It is shocking and evil.

  68. I understand the thankfulness of family and their blessings. I just asked my MIL if she would buy us some items from the big box store she stops at and had to humbly admit to not having enough to pay her for them if she does. We need to keep our focus straight ahead! This too shall pass.

  69. Totally can relate with the family crashing the budget with fast food and take out. My husband really likes his meat, too. Plus I have a daughter on the Autism spectrum weight issues and issues with food textures. She has developed an aversion to a lot of meat dishes over the past couple years that she used to love because they are “chewy”. Has decided she doesn’t like my homemade soup, or pasta any more either. Trying to find an affordable meal that everyone will eat is almost impossible some days! Keep trying, Kim, and know you are not alone with this battle!!!!

  70. We use either a 22 long rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun or a crossbow, depending on the critter and only if it is open season. I also have a humane trap which we have used to relocate rabbits far away. In the winter I use hoop houses and keep the vegetables covered. I have a piece of chicken wire fence which is bent in a low arch and sits on the ground. I use it on top of seedlings. I also use black plastic netting, which I HATE, but it will work. Right now something has moved in under my shed, I see the tunnel, but it has avoided the humane trap. It is driving Scooter crazy because he can’t stop sniffing the tunnel entrance. I think it is rabbits because of the droppings in the garden.

    It is not easy. Every time I walk into the garden I look for tracks. Being proactive, knowing what is doing the damage, then immediately doing something, is the only answer. A kind and gentle heart won’t work, gardening is war!

    This is something horrible that happened to us last year.
    Then it returned.
    Finally, we won.

    And if all else fails, write a story and have a good laugh.

    Mandy, do you know what is getting everything?

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  71. This week, I bought 20 packages of pasta for $0.49 each and my friend has picked up 20 more for me.
    Usually, the packages would cost $2 each as opposed to 49 cents. It is a delicious pasta that cooks in 6 minutes. I am stocking a larder and just need to get an emergency supply of water, some candles, some protein sources (most likely packages of beans). I have extra flour, sugar. Walmart is having young turkeys for $10 each and I hope to get one still. My friend’s son picked 2 huge buckets of pears, a gift for me, from their tree. I urged them to pick them as we were supposed to get snow today (it was, in fact, a mini blizzard) so they picked them yesterday. Lucky thing as we got 3 inches of snow, at least! I am not sure how I’m going to use them. They are delicious but are small and really crisp. I may make jam as I am running out of room in my small freezer above the fridge. I painted the back panels of my house, while the temperature was warm enough, to cover the bare wood that appeared when an old downspout was taken down. Another coat of paint can be put on next summer but this will protect the bare wood. I am not supposed to be on a ladder so there is a bit beyond my reach but it’s hard to notice as the old and new paints match. My single mother who helps me occasionally transplanted and moved a decorative tree to anther spot and planted a prairie zone 3 hardy apricot tree where the first tree was. She did it yesterday before the storm. I picked the remaining tomatoes that will just have to ripen inside. I covered the petunias and fuschias so hopefully they will last longer. So almost everything that needed doing before winter really sets in has been done. The snow is supposed to melt, temperatures go up and
    then the leaves will be raked!

    Again, our hearts go out to all of the people of Las Vegas, visitors, victims and survivors alike.


  72. Yesterday at church, someone brought in four dozen bakery cupcakes left over from a birthday party on Saturday. My son’s birthday is on the 4th, so I was given two dozen to use for his birthday cake. I put them into the laundry room fridge, and will set them out as a surprise on the actual day.

  73. Praying for all those involved in the horrible shooting today. So sad!

    I got my homeowner’s and 2 vehicle’s insurance changed to a different company. I actually got better coverage and saved $900 a year in premium costs! Since I had to go to the local insurance agent’s office to sign papers, I batched other errands while in town.

    A pair of fuzzy socks had lost its elastic at the top, so I delegated it to the rag bag. Then I thought better about that, and pulled one over my Swiffer and dusted my wood floors. It did an amazing cleaning job and then I tossed it into the laundry basket! No more Swiffer refill purchases!

    I picked the last of the tomatoes and canned 7 quarts of green tomato slices to fry this winter and made 6 pints of salsa from the ripe ones.

    Cooked all meals but 1 from scratch this week. The one restaurant meal was from a favorite local Mexican place and my chicken fajita leftovers made 2 more meals!

  74. So sorry to hear about the tragedy in your city, but I was blessed to hear about the outpouring of help (civilians helping transport victims to hospitals and standing in lines for hours to donate blood, as well as the valiant efforts of the first responders and medical community). Praying for your community.

    I think I’ll wait and post our frugal efforts later.

  75. I ended up doing a bit more late-night canning. I want you, Brandy, to know how much I enjoyed making the plum sauce. I used purple Italian prunes to make it, so it’s a nice, deep color. I was also encouraged by Athanesia to try it, and so, with that much encouragement, I made it. When my husband took a bite, he was surprised that it is much like a barbeque sauce, more than a jam. He plans to use it for that. He had me leave it a bit chunky, as he feels it will stay on the meat better. Even with putting 3 small Serrano peppers in it from my garden, it didn’t have much zip. I added 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and you can still just barely feel the heat. I like the taste, though, and am eager to use some.

    I am also grateful for all the “fig advice” from a few weeks ago. The first batch of fig jam had so much lemon juice in it that it tastes like lemonade jam. I think I will try it as a sauce to cook chicken in. That was a low-sugar recipe, and it’s not my favorite to eat straight, such as on bread, because I was expecting fig flavor, and I got lemon-fig flavor. It still tastes good, though.

    The second batch was much more fig flavored and also has a lot of sugar. So, it will probably be eaten as jam.

    The tree is now ripening lots and lots more figs, and more are ripening daily. How many of them I use is going to depend on how much time I find between working, homeschool, and other life chores. I’d love to try the rosemary fig sauce from this site, if I can. Since Rob loves to barbeque, he might use some of that in his bbq. He thought it sounded great.

    I also may dry some. Again, it’s a time factor.

    I have been restocking the pantry, canning cupboards and freezers for the past few weeks. I’m now done, except for butter (I want to pay $2/pound and can’t find it for that, but will keep looking), and coffee pods (I want to pay 25c/pod, and have not found that yet, either). I will keep looking for those. I shouldn’t have to buy much this month. It was almost comical how everything ran out last month–one thing after another after another–sometimes you’ve just got to laugh….So, this month, I will try to target older items and keep that stockpile organized so things don’t get lost.

    My husband had a paycheck from his job at the school for the first time since school let out last spring. Always love that! Since the little yellow bus is coming directly to our door to pick him up this year, we have noticed a difference in our gas bill. He used to drive to a nearby parking lot to be picked up to ride with a boy who needs a little extra help on the bus, but even that short distance clearly used more gas than we thought.

    I picked a few flowers from the yard/garden, and some more vegetables. I cooked a lot of meals from scratch. I mixed up some gluten-free flour from a recipe in a magazine and used it instead of my favorite (Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One). I have some various flours on hand that need to be used, so this was a way to get some of those on the plate. I made some raspberry bars, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin custard.

    My husband bought some slightly dented, unlabeled cans of food from a local cannery. They were around 10-20c/can, depending on the size. So: $2.50 for a case of 24 small cans of corn and $2.50/case for 12 large cans of pumpkin.

    I worked a few extra hours Saturday to bring my paycheck up a little for October.

  76. I went to Aldi’s and bought milk and eggs. 1.29 and 32 cents respectively. I signed up for Ibotta to add a little to my savings. I claimed a 25.00 gift card to Walmart from Swagbucks. I will use it to purchase cat food and cat litter. I will be claiming another one to get the puppy her food. Charlotte is an expensive puppy. Her vet bills for ear infections are about the same as a small childs. I have inherited her from my college daughter who couldn’t take her to her new apartment. She is very well behaved and quite a joy in my life. After having two bad wrecks in 8 days, I find she calms my nerves. The trauma physically and emotionally has been difficult. She is probably a lot cheaper than a therapist. I will not be returning her. I am micro managing my house. I am purging anything and everything I don’t need or want. I have stacks of items to recycle, regift, sell and donate. My great adventure for the week is diagnosing my beeping refrigerator. I hope to have the problem resolved without calling a repairman. Hopefully I can narrow it down to two issues and order the parts. The actual repairs are simple. One part or the other should fix it and any part not needed can be returned. Sweet Sugar Cookie should be home in two weeks. I have missed her and will be happy to have her home. Prayers for all the people in the Las Vegas incident. I am without words.

  77. This week we have had lots of rain which has been great for our garden. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments, ours this past week were:

    -I received a $15 gift card for completing a 10 minute online survey. It is redeemable at the big box grocery or department stores;
    -we had breakfast (home made crepes) & lunch (creamy spinach and ricotta ravioli with bacon) provided to us at a family members house;
    -I had pizza, garlic bread and drinks provided to me for dinner (hubby was at work and the children were in bed). No one wanted to take the leftover pizza so I got a full sized pizza;
    -we went for a swim at a family members house;
    -I made spaghetti and salads using tomatoes I harvested from our garden. I gave some tomatoes to some family members;
    -groceries for the week cost $77, higher than my average spend of $30-$50, but I got a large quantity of needed items;
    -I did not need to fill up the car. It is now on it’s 3rd week;
    -trying to optimise our menu for our upcoming camping trip;
    -made muffins from scratch to take to a friends house; and
    -line dried all clothes and kept electricity usage to a minimum, as per usual.

  78. Hi Mitzie,
    There is a FB group called Safe Canning Recipes and there is a link to a FB group for dehydrating on their page. The canning group follows safe canning practices and the admins are very helpful.

  79. Wyoming Gal, you have made a wise and difficult decision. Years ago, I realized I could not eat sugar without becoming VERY sick. Less than 1/8 teaspoon gives me a migraine headache for about 12 – 20 hours. At that time the only sweet alternative was sugar-free jello (yuk) and saccharine (cancer-causing). Today the sugar-free options are better. What isn’t better is the increase in sugar-laden processed foods which has created a minefield for me. However, I know I am healthier because of my better food choices and it will be worth it for you too.
    Good job.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  80. maybe toss with cranberries as a filling for a pie? One of our favorite uses for canned pears is a pear and cranberry pie. Use a nut crust or add a streusel topping for more interest.

  81. Brandy, this recipe came from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook site. I made it and it turned out well. It’s a sweet, quick bread.
    [u]Pear Bread[/u]
    1/2c butter, softened
    3/4c sugar
    2 eggs
    2c flour
    1tsp baking soda
    1/2tsp salt
    1tsp ground cinnamon
    1tsp vanilla
    1c pear sauce (same as apple sauce, but use pears)

    Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In other bowl, mix dry ingredients, then stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in pear sauce. Pour into greased 8×4 loaf pan. Bake 1hr at 350, or until toothpick comes out clean when testing center. Cool for 10mns before removing from pan.

  82. I am trying to avoid added sugar and sugar substitutes. I have been researching what are the least bad sugar substitutes and there is considerable difference of opinion.

    What apple varieties are best for baking with little sugar?

  83. When my second HE front loader fritzed, I bought a top loader machine. Good idea to run the spin cycle twice. Thanks

  84. I’ve previously used a paper clip, which has was effective but laborious, so I bought this one online using Swag bucks. If it repeatedly falls apart, I’ll try to get a refund, but I think it’s easy enough to reassemble if it happens again. I don’t pit things enough to invest in a better quality one at this point. Thanks for the tip, though! Now I have a backup plan to my backup plan!

  85. So sad about Las Vegas. It is one of our favorite cities and on our short list for retirement.

    Since it was windy this weekend, I opened the windows and the house got a good airing.
    I used some sad looking bananas and pecans from our tree for baked banana pecan steel cut oatmeal. I will use this as breakfasts/ work snacks all week. I had a friend over for dinner and fed her completely out of the freezer/pantry/ garden. She supplied the wine. Ate most meals at home from the freezer/pantry.
    I attended free Zumba classes at the navy base and a $5 wine tasting. I went to a free movie at the navy base and took home a free bucket of popcorn for my chickens. Resisted buying Halloween Lularoe. Cleaned out my car and wiped out the interior rather than going to the full service wash – saved $30 plus a tip.
    Spent $40 on groceries, but most of it was stock items. Better than bullion was $1 off, sale potatoes, ginger, butter was half price…
    Changed the ac air filters, cleaned the dryer vent, ran a cleaning cycle on the washer and dishwasher. These should make these appliances last longer. Saving water, as I have less laundry to do now that the elderly dog has passed and I’ve been showering at the gym after class rather than at home.
    We are working toward living on last month’s income, so I prepaid 1 month on my electric, water, cable/internet, and natural gas. I am prepaying the chiropractor today as you get a standing appointment time, a discount, and, if the month has a 5th week, your appointment that day is free if prepaid monthly. I am only paid once a month, and in case the military forgets to pay my husband, (which happens surprisingly regularly) prepaying and living on last month’s income will insulate us from any interruption.

  86. There is a sequel coming out soon for The War that Saved My Life. I can’t recall the date but it should be in the next few months.

  87. Hello all!
    My frugal week
    – stayed home most of the week saving on gas $ from spending money.
    – one day made Apple crisp for dessert
    – did errands one day I usually go to 3 different grocery stores that are not far and buy mainly fruits/veggies on sale, bread and milk and any other great deals.
    – when calling to stop a free trial of movies, I was told I have another free month plus have an extra movie package for free until Dec 24th.
    – ate all meals at home
    That is all I can think of for now.
    Have a safe & frugal week all!

  88. Ann, if by “crisp” you mean the pears are still green and hard, let them sit in a cool place for a couple of days to a week, and they will be ripe enough to eat or can. Just be careful not to let them turn all the way yellow, because then they will be too ripe to use for anything except fresh eating. Good for you for getting your tomatoes picked before it snowed!

  89. Hi Brandy:

    I’m so glad you are safe.

    I have been bowled over by a respiratory infection that hit every member of my family. That’s the bad thing about a husband who works in college health, he brings home all kinds of illnesses. Typically we don’t get them but when Mom is sick…it’s a hard recovery.

    We’ve finally started to cool down here..it was 85 last week. We had a last gasp of zinnias in the garden and a few peppers left. I need to so lettuce soon although my Fall crops are coming up ( peas and carrots). I have some overly ambitious plans for Fall sewing..I hope to get done three dresses and a tunic before Halloween!

    Some of your readers might remember my wedding tartan squares project. You can see the finished product in use: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/10/celebrating-our-dear-friends-wedding/
    Have a great week!

  90. Thanks Mable. I recommended that one here awhile ago. I’m glad you liked it and are recommending it! I have the sequel on reserve at the public library. Another children’s series I enjoyed recently was the MOUSENET books by Prudence Breitrose…there are 3 in the series.

  91. Megan, it is out. Depending on your library they may have it already. Our library system has 4 copies so far between 17 libraries, and most are still in process but if you can, get a reserve on it now so you don’t have to wait as long. There are only 4 reserves ahead of me.

  92. Your husband sounds like a sweet man and handled the discussion perfectly to just tell you how he felt instead of attacking your frugal ways. Communication is key in so many areas of life!

  93. Hi Maxine,

    Thanks for the tips. The pears are actually ripe, delicious but crisp. There is a pear called Summercrisp and I suspect that’s what these are. I think we will halve them or slice them on a mandolin, then coat them in sugar, then bake them as chips. Also, I think I’ll spice them like Spiced crabapples. And pear butter seems like a possibility. I still have a lot of small apples to process too.

  94. Most of last week’s frugal accomplishments centered around using up the last little bits of leftovers in ways that my kids will want to eat them.

    I used a recipe from Budget Bytes to use up the last 1/2 C black beans, the last three fajita size tortillas that were getting hard on the edges and a single size cream cheese container that came from a free bagel breakfast at my husband’s work and made 3 black bean taquitos that made a nice lunch for my working/ college age daughter with a little cup of salsa, so she didn’t buy anything at school/ work. I used the last of a gifted jar of spicy mustard to make honey mustard salad dressing right in the jar using homemade greek yogurt for 1/2 the mayo. I also used homemade greek yogurt to make ranch-style dressing that my kids love. An open jar of orange marmalade that wasn’t particularly to my children’s liking was spread over the cinnamon roll dough for orange rolls.

    We brined & smoked our last turkey out of the freezer from the 2016 Thanksgiving sales. It was a smallish one and we have had sandwiches for a couple of days so today I am making smoked turkey & bean enchiladas (one pan for dinner & one pan for the freezer.) While I was digging in the freezer for the turkey I found a forgotten pkg of tortellini that was given to me as a gift. The last of the turkey will go into tortellini soup.

    I got a great deal on Zaycon Foods boneless, skinless chicken breasts. By combining a sale, a coupon and referral credits I was able to get a 40# box of chicken for $34. When it gets here in a few weeks, I will package it into family size packs and make some into freezer meals & take all the trimmings and put them in a separate freezer bag for broth for when I have cooked a whole chicken. For now I am keeping an eye out for sales that will make freezer bags cheaper than Costco and for the ingredients for the freezer meals.

    Our frugal fails recently have all had to do with transportation. Our cars are 15 & 25 years old. Our daughter drives the 25 year old car and so far there has been a crazy electrical problem that stranded her on the side of the road, the timing belt broke at 2am on her way home from work, the oil pump died and started leaking all over while she was at the library and then the alternator died when she was picking up her little sister from a church activity while my husband & I were in another state! Each of these problem required a tow (hooray for AAA) and happened about a week apart so my poor husband has been working on the car every spare moment. We are just not ready to buy another car and while there is public transportation here, I wouldn’t let her use it when she gets out late from work. She also works crazy shifts (some that start at 4am & some that end at 2am) so it is impractical for my husband to drop her off at work before he goes to work himself.

    My adult daughter is getting a Medical Assistant certificate from our local community college. One of the requirements is a specific type of CPR certification. The class takes several full days, has to be renewed annually & can cost up to $200. She asked one of her instructors for recommendations on where to get certified and the instructor said that if my daughter could get enough people in the Health Care Tech classes interested then she (the instructor) would offer the class herself for $50/ person. My daughter used the birthday money she received from her grandparents and has been working hard at finding people to join the class. Keep your fingers crossed that enough people will sign up 🙂

    We were out of town visiting my Mother-in-law who lives in a residence home in another state. I requested several audiobooks from the library, we kept our cooler full of healthy snacks and did our best to be as frugal as possible. My family loves to play card games so for several years now when we go somewhere interesting, locally or not, instead of buying a souvenir for each person we try to find a deck of cards from the place. Then when we have family game night we talk about where the cards came from & how much fun we had. A souvenir deck of cards usually costs between $5-$8, but sometimes can be as low as $3.

    I hope everyone has a great week.


  95. I’m always amazed that people don’t want leftover food. We always take whatever is offered because I can always change it into something else or find someone who will eat it. I hate to see food go in the garbage.

  96. I’m with Andrea Q — it’s entirely possible to make a fruit crisp with hardly any sugar in the topping. I make apple crisp with 1/4 c. white sugar and 1 tbsp. molasses, but you could make it with only 1/4 c. brown sugar, in the WHOLE crisp! (http://approachingfood.com/harvest-apple-crumble/) That’s about as low as it gets, in terms of sugar! And if you wanted, you could probably even replace that with a slurry of dates and hot water. Best of luck in reducing your sugar consumption!

  97. Brandy, so glad that you and you family are safe.
    -Went to a free preserve with my sister and daughter. We drove around the neighbor to look at beautiful homes. My sister then treated us out to lunch. Brought home leftovers and ate them all.
    -My husband had to work very late one night(2am) so his boss treated him to dinner. It turned into lunch the next day also. Another day he brought home 2 slices of sausage pizza and 12 pepperoni rolls.It became some lunches. He also came home with bagels another day. His office is always suppling meals for meetings but then the food is left to be thrown away. He always checks to see whats left before he leaves the office.
    -Stopped at a free pile on the side of the road and took 4 Christmas plates.I always am making goodies to give out. Now I have extra plates
    -We were having a large party at work and I was asked if I could oversee the party. The pizzas were wrong so we had them redone. I put out the incorrect pizzas for my coworkers. When it was time for me to leave there was still 3 pies left. I took one home. I also received a nice tip from the party mom. She was very happy with how everything went(she didn’t know about the incorrect pizzas).
    -My son has been closing a few nights a week at his job and has brought home some bread and pastries from his job.
    -My garden is still doing great. I brought a bunch of tomatoes into my job and my husband brought some to his. Neighbors were also given some.
    -Went apple picking and brought our lunches. Bought 100lbs of potatoes for $30. Got corn 8 for $2. Bought some other farmers veggies too.
    -Was at Aldi and they had any pumpkin for $2.99, even the huge ones. I got a 35lb and a 32lb. They era good for decorations ad then I will cook them up.
    -My college son had off of school one day because of meetings. The college rented out an amusement park near by for them. The first 300 got in free. He got there early to make sure he got in free. He brought lunch and drinks and left them in the car. He went out to the car when he got hungry.
    -Went to my sisters for a small birthday party. Was sent home with most of the leftovers.
    -Canned more sauce, froze more beans and peppers.
    -Thanks to whoever suggested making jam in the bread machine. It was so easy and came out great.
    -My manager is good friends with a beekeeper. She brought me more honey. Its so good!
    -Earned a $5 gift card from Kelloggs. Gave it to my oldest for a treat.
    – Got several free samples in the mail.
    -Sold 2 items on Ebay . Reused used packing materials.
    -Did the usual, packed lunch, hung laundry,used up leftovers, batched errands,washed ziplocks,

  98. It’s spring in Aus, which means people are clearing up gardens before bushfire season. A property nearby has removed a lot of dead wood from their garden, and put it in a pile out the front for anyone who wants it. Most of it’s small diameter stuff, but we’ve got an old style cookstove that is ideal for that kind of wood, so we’ve now got a decent contribution to next winter’s firewood neatly stacked.
    Restocked on fruit and vegs that were running low from reduced price sections. Got very cheap mandarins, potatoes and carrots. I need to pick broccoli, cabbage, fennel and parsley from the garden because they’re all trying to run up to seed.

    Re. pears- this recipe works well and you can sub in your choice of stewed/canned and dried fruit. http://smchrecipes.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/shearers-cake.html

  99. I got this same message from Hubby and we talked about him sitting in the coldest part of the front room out of habit, there is just the two of us so it’s not like there is no where else to sit that he can’t see the tv and since he opened that door I brought up him turning the electric heater on in the bedroom and NOT getting under the ALL the covers. I also bought him so heavier socks and told him to pick out a new pair of winter slippers. If My feet is cold I am cold all over. I am thinking of finding a couple quilts or blankets to hang on the walls in the corner where he prefers to sit to see if that will help .

  100. I understand perfectly…except it is the other way around for us in the summer…my dear husband wonders about the ac…he loves us, so we compromise.

    In the winter he wears a short sleeved tees while the rest of us are in sweaters, cozy pants and warm socks. We adjust the heat if he is still cold after adding layers.

    Where one sits is important as well…I have lap blankets all over!

    25 years and we are still figuring if out!

  101. i dehydrate the apples into rings http://frugalmeasures.blogspot.com/2017/10/monday-message.html you have to scroll down toward the end of the post the apples were so small and required close inspection but you see the pic of the empty bushel with the bucket next to it the dried apple rings are in the bucket equaling the bushel did three bushels this year which means three of those buckets i had two friends who called wanting to know if i wanted to pick i have fibromyalgia and it was hard but i pushed thru as we are in tight times. Thankful i was able to do it. I choose to do the dry rings as they are the most versatile for us we make apple crisp with them you would never know they were dried and is so easy to make. I break them up on oatmeal there is so much one can do with them. I have been using sock yarn that was gifted me over the yrs i have been making socks for gifts trying to perfect a skill and get faster. I also have been sewing gifts as well. Brandy i am interested in what you do with your garlic chives do you dehydrate them? i have alot i could work up but curious how you do them and if dried how to use them i swear we could be nuked and they would take over the world.

    here in Iowa and Minnesota we have a help line thru the extension for homemaking that give us the proper canning and drying info even recipes 1-800-262-3804 but you have to live in those two states to use believe me Iowa isn’t flat so they ask where you live to get your altitude ours is different then seventeen miles to our south I know this line doesn’t work in other states i tried. So if you check to see if you have a county extension they keep info for canning if you need the info it helps to be safe.

    Brandy your family was the first i thought of when i heard abt the shootings we are praying for all.

  102. MICE THE SIZE OF YOUR HUBBY’S SHOE! That is scary! Mice also carry diseases which makes them dangerous. I haven’t had a problem with them because my neighbor loves cats. I see them in the field stalking mice and welcome them (the cats are stalking the mice, not my neighbor). Scooter, hates them and barks and whines while watching them through the fence (It is my neighbor’s cat that Scooter is barking at not my neighbor. No, wrong again. Scooter also barks at my neighbor. Forget I said anything).

    Wait, did I misread your comment? Was it the sweet potatoes or the mice that were the size of your hubby’s shoe?

    Just ignore me.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  103. Make sure there are no holes in the corn cobs first before you boil them. Once I bought infested cobs and worms boiled out and floated to the top of the water. I GAGGED! I had cut the kernels off of the cobs and had fed them too the family. I was saving the cobs to make jelly. I never told them what happened, probably never will.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  104. H’mm. We are in our 70s and frugal because that’s what we’ve always been…we enjoy the lifestyle. However, we do not like being cold, and since we can well afford it, we are turning the temperature up at night a few degrees over what it has always been. This is mostly to satisfy my DH…but he worked for over 40 years so we could afford it. I agree, if my feet are cold, I’m cold all over. But my coldness seems to come from within; throwing another blanket on the bed doesn’t cut it.

  105. I WISH I felt sick from sugar. It would be so much easier to not eat it! Still, I’m sorry you have to get sick from so little. It must be hard to eat anything anywhere. I have a friend who is allergic to sugar cane–breaks out in a rash if she eats cane sugar. So, she uses alternate sweeteners.

  106. Have you tried making smoothies with the canned pears? I like to use up older fruit that way. Pour the fruit and liquid into the blender, add a big dollop of plain (or vanilla) yogurt and blend until smooth. Very yummy with muffins for breakfast, or a cool afternoon treat.

  107. I recently read that book, based on the recommendation here. I, also, highly recommend it. I wish I had discovered it last year when I was doing WWII with the girls I homeschool. It was so good. Does anyone know the title of the sequel?

    Right now, I am reading Kisses From Katie to the girls. It is about a young woman who went to Uganda and ended up starting a ministry that feeds and educates impoverished children. She herself, ended up adopting many (14, I think). It’s a few years old, but we just discovered it, and am delighted to see that a sequel has just come out.

  108. What brand was your pool? Dimensions? We also bought one this year and putting it away, I noticed a bit of rust…

  109. I thought you were the kindest in how you wrote about your husband being cold and you will increase temp
    And the gift to your friend of the admired bowl with cookies was outstanding example of friendship
    Really awesome to read
    Thank you

  110. Hi Lillianna,

    We learned that allergies, often to food, can cause ear infections in dogs. After some trial and error, we eliminated grains from my dog’s diet and her ear health improved tremendously.

  111. Thank you Becky, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. Restaurants are impossible, church socials are difficult and the worst is dinner at friends’ homes because I fear insulting their hospitality. This is what happens. Menu:
    Barb-b-cue ham – sugar
    Baked beans- sugar
    Potato salad and cole slaw – sugar in mayonnaise
    Green beans cooked in bacon – sugar-cured bacon
    Potato chips – sugar in spices
    Salad with dressing – sugar in dressing
    Bread, cornbread – sugar
    Sweet tea…
    People try hard to cook for me yet I must decline. Sugar is hidden in so many things. I always take my own food and I am sick of my cooking!
    I am whining.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  112. Becky after Christmas Bed Bath and Beyond has coffee pods down to .05 per pod For butter I buy land of lakes they do $1.00 coupons and I wait until my store doubles and that was this week making one pound .42 per container if you buy the one pound container with seven people in the family I can do this 28 times.

    Watch after holidays for discounted coffee pods. All stores discount after the holidays even found some last year discounted at my grocery store after Halloween .02 per pod after coupons.

  113. That is a shame. We have always used a chicken wire fence around our garden, but we’ve seen only raccoons and rabbits and smaller rodents. Especially important when just planted and a tender size. Less successful since our next door neighbors have adopted a feral cat colony–but the town has a capture, vaccinate, neuter and release program so at least they have stopped having kittens. I love cats but I wonder who gets these (5 or 6) when those neighbors move out, which they do intend to do. These cats can easily jump the chicken wire fence, which we have now removed. The cats sleep in the garden often, so nothing comes up in those spots. I work around them, and I’m down sizing the garden anyhow as I get older and more arthritic.

  114. That was going to be my suggestion–cinnamon or maybe allspice, which I think is delicious and grossly underused in recipes! One of the Betty Crocker cookbooks has a recipe for bananas baked in a sauce of brown sugar and allspice–can’t remember what else is in it, but you cut the bananas once lengthwise and once crosswise. It’s delicious over plain cake or pound cake and makes a simple, inexpensive dessert that is new to almost everyone I’ve ever served it to. You might want to cut the bananas crosswise into smaller chunks for your younger children.

  115. My golden retriever also has food allergies. He used to get lots of ear infections before I found the food he’s on now. It’s a prescription diet from the vet’s office made by Hill’s Science Diet. It’s called Z/D. I think you can also get it online in the US with a prescription from your vet.

  116. I, too, am just devastated at the shootings in Las Vegas. My prayers and thoughts continue to be with those who have suffered.

    We are very thankful to be nearing the time when we can change our tires out on the car. A couple winters ago, I was talked into buying non -studded winter tires. They didn’t do the job and this summer we have been using them. The tread is good and they are safe, but they have dry rot starting to build up and some cubbing…I’ll be glad when we are done with them. They work fine on the car, but sound louder and are a bit of a rough ride. We will have to plan for new tires next April and put the studs on this winter.

    I stopped at the thrift store to look for some skirt hangers and found that linens were on sale. It was rather picked over; however, I found a beautiful sleeping bag to replace some of ours that have worn out or ripped for 4$, and 4 spring green cloth napkins for .25$. I found a free adult bicycle helmet, two skirts for 1$ each, and a much needed shirt for my son. Sewing supplies were also on sale, so I bought a bag of miscellaneous threads and denim patches for .50$. In addition to the skirt for my daughter, I found her a blouse for 2$. She graduates this May and will need a work wardrobe. My mother bought me a suit for interviewing, but I struggled to get a professional wardrobe on my salary. Although I will admit that teachers dressed more businesslike when I started teaching than they do now. Not sure what wardrobe DD will need, but I’m sure some basic skirts and blouses will help. Pleased with my 3$ expenditure on her behalf.

    At work, for free in the faculty room, I found 3 music CDs of my favorite singers, homemade chocolate chip cookies for my son’s lunches and donuts. I ate the donuts! Not so good on that front!

    The weather has been rather nice thus saving on heating and laundry as I can still wear my summer items that are lighter. Thankful to have reduced the laundry expenses to 6.00 for washing costs and am drying at home. We continue to heat and humidify the room with the dryer.

    Used up the final amount of frozen food needed so that I was able to move all the frozen food into the new -to -us fridge’s freezer. Unplugged the freezer

  117. Christina, years ago we lived “up north” here in Canada, the folks in that small town made their coffee (and I copied them)
    by boiling water in a pot, when at a boil they would toss in a handful of coffee grounds, a tiny bit of salt, and set the pot aside for 10 minutes before pouring. it was delicious. ann they called it cowboy coffee.

  118. I’ve made pear bread before. I used an apple bread recipe. I like to add cinnamon, maybe nutmeg, even pumpkin pie spice works.

  119. Apple varieties vary regionally. The ones I would use for low sugar/no sugar pies and crisp (or unsweetened applesauce) are cortlands and paula reds. But ambrosia, cameo and honeycrsip are naturally sweeter than many others. Perhaps jonagold. If you live near an orchard, you could ask what their sweetest varieties are.

    I always typically don’t even look at “no sugar added” or “low sugar” recipes, because they so often use chemical sweeteners instead. Thanks for answering my question! Now I’ve got a date with Google!

  120. The cats will catch young raccoons and rabbits which is why you may not have had problems with other pests. Raccoons can become a nightmare because they have hands, not paws and can do all types of mischief. My sister once had one move into her neighborhood. She watched while it unlocked the trash can lid and crawled in. They put a heavy rock on top then it decided to peel the shingles from their roof and move into their attic.

    As I said, I welcome my neighbor’s cats. They pay the vet bills, feed them and I get the benefits.

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry@Blogspot.com

  121. Brandy. I made yummy bread this week using two cups of leftover applesauce in my white bread recipe then added a teaspoon of cinnamon. Mixed it up and baked it as I would for regular white bread. It is delicious for french toast. Your pears should work that way as well. Syrup for the french toast was leftover spiced plum jelly
    I also used frozen leftover ham stock and ham scraps to make a big pot of ham and bean soup. I baked cornbread to go with it.

  122. Juls, I slice the tomatoes thickly and place them in a wide mouth quart jar. Cover them with boiling water, add 1 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. vinegar into each jar. Leave 1/2 inch headspace and process 40 minutes in a water bath canner. When you open a jar, just drain well, place on paper towels, then roll in seasoned flour and fry or however you like to make your fried green tomatoes!

  123. Yes Lorna, congratulations on adding a kitten to your property. Get her (or him) neutered and vaccinated and it will be worth it all. Our cats keep down the mice, chipmunk, vole and ground squirrel population and thus protect out gardens and crops.

  124. Jeannie, I do love your sense of humor and enjoy your blog! I have a multitude of food insensitivities to the point that I have said, “I’m not allergic to sugar but there not much I can mix with it!” The good news is you know what your trigger is! But, I agree, and you have my heartfelt empathy (*this is not whining!*) when it comes to trying to eat out or go places. I often bring my own food as well. Cheers!

  125. As a personal chef I have cooked for several diabetics.It’s always been the hardest to get their family and friends to understand the restrictions. Our best friend, diabetic since 2001 “whines” about his wife whining when he won’t eat the creamed corn with she makes at Thanksgiving with heavy cream. BOTH of their daughters are nurses and they always bring stuff they know he can’t eat. So he eats the turkey he cooks and drinks water. Great Thanksgiving for him. He will eat a bit from a vegetable tray but no dip. That’s what he takes to dinners and his bottled water.

  126. well both.. the mice that ate the sweet potato the size of Hubby’s shoe was smaller but the guys kills some rats in the buildings around the house that were the size of a possum which is bigger than Hubby’s shoe. A wild cat was hanging around awhile is now gone so I would say so are the rats and mice. Soybeans and corn is coming out of the fields now, I will have to put poison in certain places in the house to keep them out of my pantry.

  127. My husband has a thyroid disorder and often stays quite chilled in winter. I keep the house at about 70f which is still a bit cold to him. I try to make sure he keeps warmer clothing on hand for the winter, add extra blankets to his side of the bed, etc. I’ve just finished making him some little night caps to go on his poor old head. I told him that in winter he’d likely be warmer if he had on a night cap. But I agree Mable, that if he wants to jack up the heat we can do that, too. Life is too short to remember being miserably cold all winter long. I can cut many areas that bother him far less than being cold.

  128. Albertsons is offering a 20.00 discount and free delivery if you try their delivery service and spend at least 49.00. My groceries will be delivered today between 1 and 3. I love saving money while staying home, and having someone else load and deliver my groceries for free. Golden

  129. My frugal list..
    We used a gift card we bought at discount for a gift for someone’s birthday. I love gift cards but i’m Never so sure about others.
    I dried more calendula, violet leaves and basil. I took three cuttings from rosemary to see if they would root. One has survived, to this point.
    My husband trimmed my hair. This is the third time. He’s done an awesome job!
    I continue to walk with friends, walk the dog and do yoga stretches at home. When I told my Dr. that I wanted to be Jane Fonda, he said, “You already are!”
    I made a double batch of chocolate chip banana muffins, or should that be banana chocolate chip muffins? They all went into the freezer for when I don’t feel the love for making boxed brownies. I’m thinking I may suggest that my husband start making his own brownies. This week it was three days, yes, three days, between batches. After 36 years, me thinks I need a brownie break!
    I cooked some red lentils and added them to the taco (vegetarian) meat to make it stretch. It was fabulous!
    I got two dozen eggs for .69 doz. with coupon and one dozen for .27 after coupon and store card.
    I bought some organic mushrooms at half price and dried them for later. I looked for meat specials while there. (Meijer) All I could find was the free-range beef at 20% off. Still too rich for my budget. Do they throw that away if no-one buys it?
    I watched a short documentary on yoootuuube.
    I was able to hang some laundry outside a few times. The weather is becoming more unpredictable so no telling how long I can do this. I’d really like to get some indoor racks. That may be a battle for another day.
    I took a hunk of beef, put it in the crockpot and started chucking in bits of leftovers from the fridge. I added some shredded zucchini, the dregs of a bottle of sweet and sour sauce, an old onion and a generous gulp of liquid smoke. When it was done, I added some bbq sauce and called it pulled beef. My husband loved it! I froze the leftovers for another day.
    I saved egg water for dishes and bottled water from work for the dog.
    We ordered pizza and used a coupon. I ate the two leftover slices for my lunch one day.
    That’s enough from me. Wishing everyone a fabulous week!

  130. Juls, people can be insensitive and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it hurt. Like the time a chocolate birthday cake covered with fudge icing and blazing candles was placed in front of me. It smelled heavenly!!! In amazement, I asked if it was sugar-free since everyone at the table knew I could not eat sugar. I was told, “No. But we can eat sugar and so we will eat it for you.” Tears streamed down my face while they sang Happy Birthday. I left the room while they ate the cake.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  131. Thank you Chris for laughing with me and my sympathies for your food allergies. I know how you suffer!!! Oh, how I know.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  132. I had this problem with the rose hips. I finally got to washing them up to prepare them late this week. While pulling the stems off, I discovered several had small white worms in them. It grossed me out so much that I started to wonder if there were worms in all the rose hips. So I opted to throw them all out and try again next year. At least it was free, so no money wasted!

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