Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

October Bicycle and Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for arrangements in the house.

I mended a hole in a shirt.

I studied French online using free sources.

We had a free video call with our former exchange student from France to wish him a Happy Birthday.

Blue and White Vase with Iceberg Roses The Prudent Homemaker

I have had blue and white vases on my garage sale list. I didn’t find any the last couple of Saturdays, but I was on a local Facebook garage sale page and I noticed someone had posted photos of her garage sale from last Saturday. I saw a blue and white vase in her photo and asked if she had sold it, and if not, how much. She said she was selling it with two blue vases for $20. I only wanted the blue and white one, so I sent her a message telling her so. Then, instead of asking how much for just that one vase, I tried the question my mom and I often have success with at actual garage sales. I asked, “Would you take $5?” Most of the sales we go to don’t have prices, and when we ask that question, we often get a yes, and end up paying what we consider a reasonable amount for the item.  She said yes, and I picked up a great vase!

I planted seeds in the garden for arugula and alpine strawberries.

I harvested Swiss chard from the garden.

My husband and I attended the free Henderson Symphony concert together as a date (thanks to a reader in Henderson who told me about this!).

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to a restaurant, which I will use for a lunch date for my husband and me.

I used 7 of my remaining free 100 prints at Sam’s Club to print photos for the refugee family to whom I am teaching English. I gave them the two brand-new frames I had picked up at garage sales the previous week for $1 each, filled with free pictures. They were delighted with them!  (I shared a picture of the frames with the photos in them over on Instagram).

My mom found a few more neighborhoods having community garage sales this past Saturday using the yardsales.net website (October and April are the most abundant garage sale months here, as the weather is perfect, so most homeowner’s associations allow their residents to hold sales on two weekends a year in October and April). I found a few more items to give to my family for Christmas gifts, including Legos ($20, and I will divide them between 4 daughters), 3 origami books and origami paper ($2), and blank Harry Potter journals ($2 for 2); a game ($2) that my children have been wanting, a pad of watercolor paper ($0.25), and a few books for $0.25 each. I found a king-sized bedskirt ($1) that looks like it could be a little girl’s skirt (it’s white eyelet and is rather long). I’m going to cut it up and make some skirts and/or slips with it for my younger girls. I found a warm pink scarf at the same sale that I liked but noticed a hole in it. The seller said I could have it for free. I’ll mend the hole.

October Chair The Prudent Homemaker

The best find of the day was a chair. I have been wanting a chair for the above spot in the house, and there was a chair that would fit in this narrow spot for $30. I said, “Would you take $20?” expecting her to come up to $25 or possibly insist on the $30, but to my surprise, she said yes! 

I still hadn’t found any clothes for myself in my new size in three Saturdays of shopping garage sales, so I headed to the thrift store. I was able to find one long-sleeved t-shirt ($3) that fits that will work for the in-between cooler days of fall. I still need to find some more things for the current temperature, so I’ll need to do more shopping at the thrift stores than I had anticipated. I plan to return to the same store later as well as try another thrift store nearby. I don’t want to spend much, and the thrift store charges $3 to $5 for shirts (versus $1 to $2 each at garage sales) so I will try to find just 4 to 5 shirts for our shorter period of nice weather where it’s too hot for a light sweater but a little chilly for short-sleeves.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

This Post Has 184 Comments

  1. What a beautiful chair! I can’t believe you got it for $20! And I LOVED the pictures that you put together for the family!

    I had another quiet week:
    – Picked cherry tomatoes, green onions, and swiss chard from my balcony garden
    – I took it easy this week, dug around in my freezer, and pulled out some of my broccoli cheddar soup (http://approachingfood.com/low-fat-broccoli-cheddar-soup/) that I made last week (and which used milk instead of cream, and doubled-up on the veggies by adding in dehydrated broccoli). So yummy for a quick dinner, especially with some toast points!
    – Used the checkout51 app to claim some money back from my shopping receipts
    – Redeemed a coupon from a cereal box for a movie ticket
    – I got a $10 gift card free as a promotion when I bought some books (for birthday gifts for several people) at a book store.
    – My mum bought me a loaf of bread, as I had been craving a particular type of bread and she was at that particular store.
    – I invited my sister over for a dinner and board games, and made veggie pot pie (including carrots that I had traded for previously), and served it with a salad (partially made with baby Swiss chard and herbs from my balcony garden). Dessert was light — lemon poppyseed muffins that I pulled from my freezer.
    – I didn’t bring my lunch to work one day, but was able to scrounge up a lunch from items that my coworkers brought to share (samosas and such).
    – I redeemed some codes from candy wrappers for two movie tickets, which we will use at a later date.

    As always, looking forward to learning from everyone here!

  2. Christina

    That was very thoughtful to give pictures to the refugees.

    Again, you always find the best things at yard sales! Will you do a gift guide this year on what each child is getting? I’d definitely be interested in reading. That is a nice-looking chair! I’m curious what the book is? The cover is beautiful.

    Last week I got a free cabinet from a local Facebook page. My preschooler helped me clean it, and now it holds all his art and learning supplies. He’s very excited. I’m happy to have all that stuff contained. The company I work for took us all out to lunch one afternoon then to a pumpkin patch for some pumpkin slinging and a corn maze.

    My dryer is still broken. I’m hanging clothes to dry until we save enough cash to buy a new one.

    I’m trying to keep the new thermostat at 66 degrees much to my husband’s dismay. He’s used to 72 degrees.

    I had another “planning party” with my son. You can read about it here:
    http://www.2minimize.com/2017/10/last-weeks-frugal-efforts_23.html

  3. Holly

    Our wimpy microwave oven died Wednesday. I found one that night online at Walmart for less than $30 and it was available for same day pickup. But I did not place the order. The next morning, mom said that she wanted to see it before placing an order. Okay. After a doctor’s appointment, we went to the store and found an empty shelf where the inexpensive microwaves had been. Mom asked the clerk to check if the one I had hoped for was still in the back. No. The ones in stock were considerably more expensive. Sigh. We went home and placed our order. We are supposed to receive it tomorrow.

    When mom first got a microwave oven, she was scared of it and kept it in the basement, near the washing machine. Eventually, she moved it upstairs. Now, after “roughing it” without a microwave oven for a few days, she views it as indispensable and misses it very much. It is funny how new things turn into necessities after a few decades.

    My lemon tree moved back into the house yesterday. A strawberry jar filled with a $1six-pack of begonias in the spring accompanied it. Right now, the begonias are gorgeous and sitting on the dining room table. Our two cherry tomato plants have been under performers (to put it kindly). But since they look healthy, they are going to turn into houseplants tomorrow, one upstairs and one down. The geraniums are also moving indoors. One came in with the asparagus fern. Three more sit in a regular round pot, and the last three will be transplanted from a flower box into a regular pot before they move. In the past, I have kept geraniums alive for several years. I hope they will be survivors too. A few flakes of snow are in the forecast by the weekend so the plants had to move indoors.

    What a beautiful few weeks of weather we have had this fall. It was interesting see summer flowers and colorful autumn leaves at the same time.

    I am glad you have had success finding things on your list at garage sales this month. I had been worried that an emergency caused the delay in your blog posting. I was glad to see you were able to post it this evening.

    I wonder if anybody has suggestions on how to save on the expense of printer ink. I had a lot of pages I wanted/needed to print this week, and most of them were in color. Ouch! I teased mom that I spent my vacation fund on ink after going through two multi-packs and purchasing three more to finish the project (I hope!). I gave up on an Epson photo printer a couple of years ago because of its expensive cartridges. My Canon also seems to have an insatiable appetite for ink.

  4. Lorna

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . Brandy I just love that chair it is so beautiful and has a lovely elegant vintage look to it.

    We had a good week where we saved a lot on varying items mostly while we were attending a church function.

    Fuel savings –
    – went to a church function out of town and prior to going we looked up the price of fuel through our roadside assist club and found it was so much cheaper so we took our 3 empty fuel jerry cans down with us. We filled them up saving 14.60c per litre on what we can get here and coupled that with a further 5% off by using our roadside assist grocery fuel gift cards saving in total $15.08 over what we can get in our small country town.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased a pair of cat nail clippers on eBay for $1 saving $13.15 over buying them in our local supermarket.
    – I rang ahead before going to our church function to order some tinned fruit and also found it was on special saving $6.60 on usual prices and also purchased a small bag of jelly beans for our trip on 50% off sale saving $1.40.

    In the garden –
    – Harvested silverbeet and a 10 lt bucket of turnips.
    – Planted 2 x 5mt rows of pumpkins, 2 x 5mt rows of watermelon, a 3mt row of carrots and a 4.5mt row of climbing bean seeds in the vegetable garden beds.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Blanched and froze 14 more bags of turnips to top up our vegetable freezer.

    Groceries –
    – Increased our food storage by 9kg of raw sugar, 8kg of flour, 1 x 750g of almonds,1 x 400g of macadamia nuts, 3.6kg of beef sausages, 1kg of sultanas, 24 tins of wet cat food and 3 packets of dried cat biscuits.

    Trading –
    – Got our second 15kg of honey from helping our neighbour move saving $129 over buying it in the local supermarkets.

    Electricity savings –
    – Only turned on our electric hot water system for 10.5hrs and used our solar lanterns to light our home at night saving another $10.37 in electricity.
    – Put 2 loads of whites on a one rinse cycle saving another 22mins of electricity.

    Water preservation –
    – Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water our house paddock lawns all week.
    – Used vegetable steaming, washing, blanching and cooling water to water the lawns and some new vegetable seedlings in the gardens.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  5. Susan

    What a beautiful vase and chair. We traveled to see our new grandson and got 4 nights at Marriott hotels for free by using rewards points. I packed a cooler and we had dinner, lunch and breakfast from packed food. One breakfast for free included with our room. Shopped at Aldi’s and paid less than $100 for a weeks worth of meals for 5. Took home fruit, lunch meat, cheese and veggies leftover from a party at church and had lunch and dinner.

  6. Jo

    Good luck finding some nice new clothes, it can be such a hassle sometimes.

    [list]
    I worked an extra six hours.
    [/list]
    [list]
    I made yoghurt in the slow cooker and picked up free fruit from our local produce carts. All meals were made at home and lunches taken to work. One day, we skipped lunch due to a late breakfast.
    [/list]
    [list]
    We didn’t turn the heater on all week!
    [/list]
    [list]
    I requested a $20 grocery gift card which I had earned by accumulating points doing surveys.
    [/list]
    [list]
    We watered the garden from our rainwater tank several times. I spent a whole day pressure-cleaning the house, patios, cars and driveway.
    [/list]
    [list]
    Our local fruit & veg shop sells day-old flowers quite cheaply. I bought some as a thankyou gift for someone and because it was the end of the day, they only charged me half price.
    [/list]
    [list]
    I picked my husband up from his work one day when I was in the area, saving a bus ticket.
    [/list]
    [list]
    My coworker and I carpooled to work once.
    [/list]
    [list]
    Two of my work uniforms have been tight for a while but I have been refusing to pay for new shirts. It finally occured to me to undo the seams and now they fit. $76 savings for half an hour of work. 🙂
    [/list]
    [list]
    I picked up an item from the pharmacy and received a loyalty discount of a few dollars.
    [/list]
    [list]
    My husband and I took our recycling bottles and scrap metal to the depot and received a nice amount of cash. We usually use this money for date nights.
    [/list]
    [list]
    We have only had private health insurance for a few months and most waiting periods are finally over. I went to the optometrist and am now eagerly awaiting a new pair of glasses and a new pair of sunglasses for no cost out of pocket.
    [/list]
    [list]
    There were two small frugal fails this week. One day, I ran out of water while out and had to buy a drink. Another day, I printed out some photos in a size too big for the frames they were supposed to go into. Luckily, we were able to cut them back without ruining them but I could have paid less for smaller prints…
    [/list]
    [list]
    We did all of our “usual” money-saving habits and felt very accomplished at the end of the week. 🙂
    [/list]

  7. Mandy

    The past month has been very busy. My new work schedule has me working 45 hours per week plus Saturdays. The paycheck is very good, however I struggle with my frugal activities due to no time.
    With my first paycheck I got caught up on a few bills and paid the current bills online so I could schedule the payments and not worry about them. I also paid off a small medical bill of my husbands. I haven’t written out a budget yet but I do have a plan.

    I have brought my lunches to work from home all day but one. I also drank free coffee or water. I also packed my daughters lunch box for school.

    We went to the library and exchanged books and movies.

    My daughter’s birthday was early this month so we had a bowling party at the local bowling alley. It was mostly family. She got some new pants, a shirt, dress boots, Shopkins, and craft supplies. She also got a couple of items she most likely won’t play with. If she doesn’t I will donate them to a local toy drive for Christmas.

    I was able to take advantage of some VERY good clearance sales at a local grocery store that is normally to pricey for me to shop at. I will be checking this store more often. I got organic food items, like milk, juice, margarine,for 90% off! I purchased marked down packages of hamburger, about one pound for around $1.50.

    Have a great week everyone!

  8. Juls Owings

    I admire your effort that I know you put in to getting Swagbucks… I still haven’t made it to that amount yet. Maybe better after this week and the canning is done. I try to at least do 10 points a day. I have a “narrow” chair that sits by our mantle at the bathroom door for Hubby to put his stuff (launch pad HA HA) for work on , he also sits on it to take his boots off and put his slippers on. I wear a cloth shawl during those times it’s too cool for short sleeves and too warm for light weight sweaters. I use a pin to keep it on ( I hang it so the ends are on my side not in front so the pin is at my shoulder) and sometimes a belt to hold it to me when I am in the gardens. I am used to shawls as I wear one pretty much year around. A friend made me one that goes only to my elbow which is nice and used daily. We are looking to have our first frost this week. So we are focused on getting the house ready more than normal for winter which has been forecasted to by a bit on the nasty side. I hung the curtains I got from yard sales. found no clothes for Hubby or myself, checking thrift shops and checking sales. I can wear girls or boys jeans so I try to catch them on clearance, my son offered to pay for them since I take care of his cats when he is gone due to work and active duty. We used gas buddy and Kroger points for gas this week. Hubby divides my total points so he can use them a couple times a month instead of all at once. We didn’t go visit my dad so I sent him flowers using my pine cone research pay. I mended the dog’s toy…again. Hubby darned his socks (he doesn’t like how I darn) . I fixed Brandy’s pasta d fagioli using my own onions garlic and herbs and the potatoes we have in the pantry and Swiss chard soup( using the last of the Swiss chard) and a chicken that got wasted (sigh ..that’s here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/10/third-week-octfrugal-good-and-bad.html ).Today we see our finance guy to finalize the paperwork needed for Hubby’s retirement. While there we will get some things notarized instead of making a special trip to town to have that done. A friend that is using the same guy told us to take them also as I wouldn’t have since it’s not financial. He lives in the boonies also.Have a blessed week

  9. Susan Menzmer

    I FaceTimed my son in another state every day for free!

  10. Mary Ellen

    What a deal on that beautiful chair! And the vase! I too like blue and white items. Yard sales are over in PA and I’ve never found quality, beautiful items like you do.

  11. Gardenpat

    This has been a terrific week here!! Two weeks ago, I went to a wholesale produce market that has a cash and carry to the general public! At that time, I was able to get 10 pound bags of Russet potatoes for $1 and free discard greens for my chickens! The following Sat, because I was in class, my husband went and got salad mix for his lunches at work that were $1 for the same amount that were $5.99 in the regular stores! He also got free greens for chickens!
    I went for just my second time there on Saturday and the worker greeted me like a long lost friend (maybe because I had taken time to chat with her the first time using some of my 40+ year old Spanish!) She pulled out a big box of mixed salad greens for my chickens!! Free!!! Then I saw the flats of huge beefsteak tomatoes that had been bruised slightly. I asked how much for a flat and was told $5!!! I bought 2 flats and canned 21 quarts of diced tomatoes for my pantry!!! They also had a box of gala apples- around 40 pounds- cosmetically not beautiful, a slight bruise in a few of them. $5 for the whole box!!! A partial box of bananas- around 25-30 pounds- yellow skins with a few brown spots- $3!!! Someone else (who had been mixing tomatoes into boxes to get the very best ones rather than buying the flat “as-is” which is the way it was meant to be!) asked about bananas and my new friend told her that they were 55 cents/pound! The customer got mad and said that this was NOT a good price and the employee stood her ground and said that at the other markets that are in the same location charge 59 cents/pound! The lady was mad and tossed the bananas down! It reminded me how important it is to be kind and treat everyone as an equal!
    I got 10 pounds of onions for $1.99 and boxes and bags of various greens (probably 50 pounds) for free! I showed them photos of my chickens and made sure I thanked them sincerely!!! My grand total for just over almost 200 pounds of produce was $21!!!! Over the moon thrilled and grateful!!!! We were able to share bananas and apples with 3 of our children who have young children, helping their grocery budgets too!

    I have been cutting up my 60 lbs ( I bought a 40lb box and split another 40 lb box with a daughter) of Zaycon chicken ($1.27/lb) and freezing it! So glad we had been rotating things in our freezers so we had room for it!! The savings to our food budget for this is enormous!!

    I canned another 7 pints of fresh pineapple that were under 99 cents each! I love the fresher taste it has compared to pineapple in cans, plus I use water only to add into the jar rather than sugar/water or pineapple juice! Brings my cost/jar down to about 30 cents/jar ( and I pack at least as much pineapple into my pints as the 20 oz cans in the store!!!

    2 more display cases finished for a friend’s homemade soaps so that brought in another $70 (using our free pallet wood)!

    I took sliced bread that was not going to be used quickly enough and cubed it and dehydrated it. Vacuum sealed it into canisters and labeled it with the directions to make Stove top stuffing! Made up seasoning and have it in a nearby jar with directions for use! I used my final box of Stove Top stuffing to measure amounts of seasoning and dried bread cubes so that I could add that to my labels of my DIY canisters and jars! One more store bought convenience food that I will no longer need to buy!! Plus, I’m using up bread that might have gone to waste!!

    I was running low on brown sugar so I made up another 8 pounds to refill my canister! I haven’t bought brown sugar in over 2-1/2 years!! And even in our humidity, it never gets hard!! Love it!!

    My husband’s sister passed away suddenly this week so he just flew out this morning for the funeral – not frugal to fly cross country at the last minute! But I was able to go online to Priceline and get his flights for about $450, rather than the average last minute fares of about $1200 round trip! Same with rental car. Saved some money but still a blip in our budget!! He will stay with some old friends so at least we won’t have hotel bill! Sometimes life events happen that you need to participate in even though there will be an unexpected and high cost! I guess the best we can do is have a reserve saved for those occasions and find the most economical way to get through them!

    So, overall, a good, frugal week!

  12. Mary Ellen

    An after thought on finding bargains at yard sales–I have a friend who’s an expert on yard sales. She was at one at a nearby town and saw some china with shamrocks on them and bought them for me knowing I’m Irish. She got a beautiful Belleek cake plate and 6 tea cups (unfortunately no saucers) for the unbelievable price of $3.00 for all! The cake plate alone retails for $70.00!

  13. Kim M in Florida

    Sams had the 25lb bag of flour for $7.98 so I bought a bag. I made your french bread several times last week. I had 2 coupons for 45% off coffee or condiments at office depot, so I used the flipp app, and then price matched the large container of folgers. Wound up paying a little over $3 each. 1 canister will last a month or so. I used the walmart app to find the store with eggs on sale. We have 4 walmarts in the city and they all have different prices, and they all arent that far away, it just depends on which direction you are headed. I went to the one walmart and got 2 packs of 3 dozen eggs. $1.30 a pack. I boiled some for snacks & salads and gave my mom 18. Since we travel weekly back to the childrens hospital for bloodwork, we stop and get a treat from McDonald’s for my daughter. Even if I had to dig money out of under the seats and carpets, I would do that because I feel so guilty! Last week she asked for Burger King. For $1 I purchased a card with 3 coupons for free onion rings or fries and 3 coupons for a free icee. Well, where we live there is a burger king at almost every exit off the throughway. I can go to the grocery store and stop at 3 burger kings without going out of my way, so I did that on several days and she had a snack. Cant think of anything else I did to save money other than not going anywhere to spend it!!! Hope everyone else has a great week too!

  14. linda de montreal

    chere dame jadore votre blog si sa ne vous derangevous que jecrit en francais je pourrais vous ecrire de nouveau merci

  15. What a fabulous chair you found! Definitely a treasure. The bicycle and zinnia photo is such a cheerful one. We’re having a later than average first frost, so I’m planning on cutting flowers for the house for our family hayride here on Saturday. There’s quite a bit blooming for late October, including zinnias. I hope you find what you’re looking for at the thrift stores. My sister and I have a thrift store day once or twice a year, and we’re having one tomorrow. Even if I don’t find a thing, the time spent with my sister is a treasure in itself. Joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/10/late-bloomers-frugal-accomplishments.html

  16. Jeannie

    Brandy, you did great at the yard sales!

    I am only checking in to let everyone know I am not ignoring anyone. I have been so busy I haven’t had time to breathe. Our first hard frost will be tonight. I have been rushing to get everything harvested and then realized Thursday is my turn to host my local garden club!!!!!!!! I must stop everything and clean the bathroom!!!!!!! I have peanuts piled up on the porch drying, beans sitting in bowls waiting to be shelled, herbs sitting on the kitchen table waiting to go into the dehydrator and leaves all over the floor!!!!!!! Does anyone else mess up like this? They are great ladies who don’t care if you feed them on silver or plastic but shouldn’t I at least have room so they can walk through the house?

    This week all I have to share is my argument that water in the creeks in my neighborhood are running uphill. I am not imagining this and I am not cracking up from the stress. Honest.

    http://getmetothecountry.blogspot.com/2017/10/water-runs-uphill-in-my-neighborhood.html

    Sorry to be ignoring everyone but that is all I have time to say this week.

    Frazzled Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  17. Gabrielle

    Good morning Brandy! I think your chair is beautiful!

    Our life has been busy lately but I was in the right place/time to score a free full size piano on Facebook. I have a classmate from high school who is giving hers away as her child is no longer taking lessons. My son is taking piano and has a full size keyboard but has been asking for a full piano. My daughters have also expressed an interest in learning (we are waiting until they are five to start lessons) so it is a win for us. I will probably hire a piano mover to move it unless we can come up with a better solution. It’s in very good shape and will work well in our home.

    We are all excited for Halloween here so I’ve been busy making costumes for the youngest four kids. We’ve repurposed a few things.

    My cub scouts (wolf den) had an awesome behind the scenes tour of our local police department (free). One of our parents is a mounted patrol (horse) officer and last year we visited the horse stables. Yesterday we took all 14 boys and their families to the police department. They went everywhere including the call center, holding cells, briefing room, etc… They sat in the SWAT vehicles and the armored emergency response vehicles. We capped the evening off with the k9 demonstration with one of the canine handlers and his Dutch Shepard.

    We’ve had some recent personal challenges. One of my older twins was diagnosed with dyslexia after we had him independently tested. It has changed our schedule upside down and consumed a lot of our energy. More about that here: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/10/what-to-do-when-your-child-has-a-learning-difference/

    Hope you have a great week!

  18. Rhonda A.

    Brandy, I absolutely love all three photographs that you shared this week. The bike with the flowers is just beautiful! I especially love the blue and white dragons on your new-to-you vase. Finally, the back of that chair is stunning in design! You have such a wonderful sense of design and beauty. Also, your gift to the refugee family and their reaction makes me so happy. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Well, DD was home all week this past week. I have had a couple meeting and several phone conversations, but I am finally somewhat confident that there is a plan of re-entry in place. She started back yesterday (Monday), but didn’t make it through the day. Not a surprise, since her severe anxiety has now lead to depression. DD also started on Prozac last Friday, which we hope will help her emotions to level off and she can function better. My heart is pretty much broken watching her go through this…lots of tears.

    Despite all this, life has gone on and frugal accomplishments have been made. Here are our frugal efforts this week:
    *Meals made at home included taco bake with salad, chicken burgers/fingers with parmesan roasted potato chunks and parmesan roasted butternut squash, baked chicken smothered in a broccoli cheese soup mixture with rice and corn, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with pasta salad, carrots & spinach dip and potato chips, and shepherd’s pie (made with leftover roast beef).
    *I saved a bit of taco meat and nacho cheese as requested by hubby, so he could make burritos for himself. The decreased amount of meat & cheese are not even missed and it makes a second meal, which I like.
    *On Sunday, I made homemade Kind bars (recipe link: https://beamingbaker.com/5-ingredient-homemade-kind-nut-bars-vegan-gluten-free-dairy-free-refined-sugar-free/) to use in DD’s lunched this up coming week. I didn’t have any plain peanuts, so I substituted 1/4 cup each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I also used normal rice crispies cereal because that’s what we had in the pantry. They are very good, though I think I would bake them a bit longer in our oven next time (I find our current oven needs a longer cook time, where our previous oven took the shortest time…differences in ovens are amazing).
    *I have been stocking up on more deals for our pantry, including non-food related items. Here in Canada, we are being warned that if the NAFTA agreement falls apart, we will see increases in prices of items that come from the states. That’s a good portion of our products. Having a well stocked pantry will help us through navigating our changing economy, if this should happen.
    *DD was complaining that we didn’t have bananas, despite having other fruit available. Since my life has been crazy with everything (meeting, appointments, dealing with DD at home, etc.), I haven’t had time to go grocery shopping. My mom ran out to pick up some needed supplies to hold us over and found a bag of clearance bananas for $1! We ate 3 of them within an hour of them arriving.
    *DD remained at home all week, as we sorted out the mess at the school. We made lunch meals from the pantry or had leftovers most days. I stayed at home more, to ensure she worked on her school work each day (a huge battle), which saved money. DD also didn’t shower every day. Although we had to put up with her BO, we did save on soap and shampoo. I would have prefered the soap costs, personally.
    *Hubby and I had a date night this week. We went to an auction, but there was nothing of interest to us. So we went out for a nice dinner together. The one on one time with my husband was a welcome break, and worth every penny!
    *I enjoyed going to the monthy handweavers and spinners guild meeting this week. We crafted handmade ornaments for a charity Christmas event. I got a basic lesson on how to needle felt for free, which is something I’ve wanted to learn. I was even given a free felting needle so I could practice at home! It felt good to get out and do something fun for an evening.
    *I graciously was given a tabletop, 4-shaft loom with accessories this week, for free, through my weaving guild connections. It previously belonged to a former member who was older and just couldn’t use it anymore with her health issues. The loom and accessories are worth well over $150 used, which is the biggest reason I had not invested in one. I am so excited to have my own loom now, so I can further work on developing my skills and knowledge of weaving!
    *I won a $5 Hudson Bay gift card. I can use this at the Home Outfitters store here (similar to Home Sense). I’m thinking I can find a cool kitchen gadget or something useful with this free money!
    *My mom and I attended a free parent conference through DD’s school board. We listend to a great keynote speaker, snacked on free refreshments and attended 2 workshops we previously signed up for. Both workshops were geared towards understanding anxiety, which were tremendously helpful with all the issues DD is currently experiencing. Glad we went!
    *One of DD’s support teachers stopped by on Saturday for a brief visit, to help rebuild the relationship before DD started back to school on Monday. She kindly brought her 1/2 dozen donuts, which DD enjoyed (we made her stretch them out and daddy did get one).

    I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments. They serve as a wonderful distraction from my life right now. Hope you all have a wonderful fall week.

  19. I went through and organized most of the clothing in our basement. We have three boys and have been blessed with lots of hand-me-downs. We had a lot of extra things that we did not need, and I went through the clothes by size to see what our needs would be this year. I have a little money for clothing needs and will shop sales for pants at the thrift store or seasonal sales.

    I purchased quite a bit of meat this week on sale – bone-in pork shoulder roasts for 99 cents/lb, chicken thighs for 79 cents/lb, and Tyson frozen chicken breast for $1.66/lb.

    We are closing in on finishing the bench to go with our farmhouse table that we built this summer. It’s 9 feet long and seats 12 (or more if you really squeezed people in). The best thing is, we get to host Thanksgiving this year so we get to break it in!

  20. Melonie K.

    Jeannie,
    I think if I were in your garden club, I’d be over the moon to be meeting there amongst your harvest! It sounds absolutely wonderful. Maybe they will even chip in and help you harvest what’s left while visiting. 😀

  21. Sarah

    Good morning! Brandy that chair is wonderful! I haven’t had great yardsale finds in the past, but your posts are pushing me to try again. Ours are pretty much finished here in the north east, but I’m excited for next year. We’ve been knocking things off our to do list and it feels great! Joining here: https://frugalfive.com/2017/10/23/frugal-five-102017/

  22. It takes time to find what one wants, but I’d rather spend money on what I’m really looking for than spend money on something that isn’t what I really want. Also, if we are willing to wait, we can often find what we want for less.

    I had been looking at chairs for that spot and hadn’t found anything less than $150, and most were closer to $350. I waited a few years and found this one for $20. I originally wanted a chair with arms; a stuffed armchair would be nice, but too large for the space. This one is the right color to go with what I have (even the upholstery is the right color to go with other things in the room) and just the right skinny width. You can see this chair when you first open the front door, so I wanted something nice looking. I’m very happy to have something to go there and so glad I waited.

  23. Melonie K.

    Rhonda,
    It sounds like your DD had a rough week but you handled it beautifully for her. Sounds like you have created a wonderful support system, and I’m sure she appreciates it.

    What a gift of the loom! I have a Cricket loom that I have yet to warp – on my “to learn” list for after the holidays. Enjoy!:)

  24. K

    Excellent finds once again, Brandy! 😀 Here’s what we did to save money in the last week:

    * My SO packed lunches for the week for both of us, which consist of sandwiches, peaches (they were on sale at Aldi), and carrots+hummus (which I made).

    * I got a free lunch and dinner last Thursday because the colloquium speaker for last week does research in my field, and the department will pay for “hosting” visiting speakers.

    * My SO and I went grocery shopping on Saturday. We picked up a bunch of on-sale mushrooms, celery, and ground beef from Aldi, that I ran through the dehydrator/packed for the freezer. We also went to the Dollar Tree and got some more lasagna noodles and kidney beans. I was surprised to see the kidney beans were full 1lb packages- usually they’re 12oz for $1, and getting the full pound made them the cheapest source of kidney beans that I’ve found so far.

    * Instead of meal prepping this weekend, I pulled out the collection of soups from our freezer for us to eat this week. It gave me enough room to put the celery and ground beef away, plus I don’t have to cook this week!

    * I made a half batch of your french bread recipe- we ate one loaf already, though I’ll probably use part of the second one to make breadcrumbs.

    * I ordered a few things from Amazon using giftcards from various reward sites. I redeemed as much as I could from each site, and still have over $100 banked in my Amazon gift card balance. This I can use to buy gifts for Christmas, and should help lower the financial buden of the holidays.

    I think that’s all for us this week! Have a good one, everyone!

  25. I won’t be sharing what each child is getting, but I will share items I’m making as I am able; the girls want some items that take longer to make and I delayed my jury duty till November, so I don’t know when I will be called to go in and how that will affect my gift a day series.

    The book is Les Misérables; you can get it here: http://amzn.to/2gGFoiT

    Penguin did a whole series of republished classics in hardcover many years back and this was one of them. They’re doing them again now with different covers, but these are still available; each book is different and sold separately, but all of them have exquisite cover artwork.

  26. Melonie K.

    We got hit with a good sized repair bill on my truck, but were blessed with a discount by the service advisor. I spent some time researching money-saving ideas to see where else I can trim things. Our budget has lightened up over the past 10 years, which has me thinking I am probably missing/forgetting things from years ago when we were down to pennies in the bank at the end of each pay cycle. I am trying to get back into couponing, making better lists as you do, Brandy, and inspired by Jamie’s #YearOfNo ideas. AND we got to make a big, exciting (to me) purchase that should help with future savings.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

    http://meloniek.com/2017/10/frugal-accomplishments-week-ending-22-oct-2017/

  27. Bethany

    I often use my lunch break at work to help me stay on top of being frugal. I use the work computers ( you could use your phone/laptop/ipad also; but our phone plan has a limited data package, so I use the work computers) to check the coupon match ups, clip digital coupons in my accounts, check out the upcoming sales, and such. I make a list of deals, and any online printable coupons to print when I get home. I’ve also found there are some printable coupons, such as Joanns, that dont require a download, so I am able to print an extra set of these at work! I also jot down some menu ideas for the week based on the sales and what I know I have on hand; and make shopping lists. Once I have all my coupons, lists, etc, I stop for groceries on my way home- usually Friday or Sat morning – I work nights. The stores are much less busy at 8:00 on a Saturday! Also, our Meijers here often has 2 day sale specials those days, which overlap the regular. They often have B1G! sales those days, but these items so quick, I’m much more liable to finds tham earlier in the morning.

    It may not sound like much, but once I have my lists made, and know what coupons I’m after when I get home, it makes organizing it take much less time. Also, the crockpot and pre cooked and frozen meat and beans are a budget saver, it reduces the temptation of either ordering out or using pre packaged meals.

  28. Tara from Massachusetts

    Brandy- your photography this week is absolutely stunning. That chair looks perfect for that location in your home.

    Does anyone have a good recipe for low fat and low sugar muffins? I have tried at least 8 recipes in the last few months and none taste right. I might be baking them incorrectly; I’m not sure. The center of each muffin has not baked completely each time I try a new recipe. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could send a recipe.

    My youngest daughter, Madeline, is going to be the book character Madeline for Halloween this year. My birth mother sewed a dress for her which looks exactly like what little Madeline has on in her books! Just need to find a hat to go with the dress. Will search the thrift shops for one. White ankle socks and Madeline’s Mary Jane shoes, and her costume is complete! Madeline won “Funniest Costume” last year at her school Halloween Dance. She dressed up as a little old lady and stayed in character the entire night. She used a croquet mallet that she found in our cellar as a cane. She was hilarious!

    I also would love any slow cooker recipes if anyone has any they would like to share. Thank you in advance! Have a great week everyone!

  29. Elizabeth M.

    Both the chair and the vase are beautiful, and you’ve done very well finding some gifts your children will really enjoy. I know some of my nicest things were found at garage sales, though sadly the season is over here.

    I worked at a remote poll in a rural county election this week. There were two of us there for twelve hours, plus an hour of driving each way. My co-worker does some catering and brought some items left from a catering function a couple of days before and I had made rice and beans with stir-fried vegetables, and blueberry tea biscuits, so we were well-supplied between us. I had leftover rice and beans for lunch the following day. The manager of the seniors center where the poll was located brought us coffee in the morning, and had left us pumpkin pie, and the people voting were very nice, so we were treated very well!

    I had two days of touring campuses for the college as part of my board orientation. It was very interesting to see these locations in northern communities. A bonus was the tours included three hot meals. Leftovers from the third meal at a restaurant meant I had supper to bring home with me on Friday.

    I had a lot of driving all week long, and had just enough money come in to pay for exactly as much gas as I needed it. The checks coming in this week will make the tight spending well worth it, though.’

    A board member at the library I work at one day a week gave me a supply of spaghetti squash, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes from her garden last week, and I bought some eggs and canola oil, all of which has really helped my food stretch. My pantry needs re-stocking now. I’ve worked enough this month that I’ll be able to do start doing that. Stocking up has made a huge difference in getting through the last few months, though. Definitely a frugal success.

    Someone in the city was kind enough to go into the office to pay my home insurance to a tight deadline, which saved me $30 in gas for the trip, as well as making sure the insurance wasn’t canceled. I’m very grateful to him for his help.

    After a long few weeks working non-stop, I’ve taken the weekend off to catch up on some sleep and do some cleaning. I’m feeling more rested and able to plan for the coming month.

  30. Katy in Africa

    This week I…
    Supplemented water for the plants with laundry rinse water and leftover rinse water from the kitchen.
    I went shopping for a belt with a local friend, which saved me money as I didn’t know a good price and the first price he gave me was 5 times what I ended up paying.
    The above belt is for my son’s school uniform, but for my daughter, I’m giving her my belt I never wear.
    I’m not buying candy or costumes for Halloween as I live in a country that doesn’t celebrate it.

  31. Melonie K.

    Thank you for mentioning this – I use a Lexmark printer/copier/scanner and I suspect it won’t hold out much longer as it’s started making odd noises ever since I got a faulty cartridge. I’ve been considering switching to a laser printer as the ink costs really are frustrating. I’m planning to write to Lexmark and see if I can get the faulty cartridge replaced at least, and hopefully it will hold out a bit longer. I’m pretty sure homeschool families keep printer companies in business. 😉

  32. Cindy in the South

    Love the chair and the vase! I continued my house decluttering saga of my mother’s belongings and my uncle’s belongings. I have lost count of the number of bags I have donated (if they were in good condition), or thrown away. I also rearranged my house some more. I hurt all over and I will do another once over, for a final decluttering, later, but at the moment I am too tired. I also bought ground beef (which I seldom do) for $1.99 a lb., and ate 7 or 8 meatloaf sandwiches that I made from it. I also bought chicken at 79 cents a lb. (I am so disappointed in our chicken prices recently, as I never see chicken at 39 cents a lb. anymore) and made lunch sandwiches from that.

  33. Melonie K.

    My condolences regarding your husband’s sister. We had a similar expense this summer with my mother-in-law’s passing. Grateful my husband was able to make it out to his dad and sister though, as some years we’ve lived too far to get back to the USA. I hope he travels safely.

    WONDERFUL deals on the produce – and you are so right, how important it is to treat others well. I bet the staff there loved seeing the chickens’ pictures. Surely a bright spot in their day of dealing with some crabby customers!

  34. Diana in Indiana

    I traveled for business last week. The vendors there had a prize drawing in every booth. I made sure to drop my card in each booth and was a winner several times! Lots of freebies like pens, highlighters, travel mugs, etc. I will save those to share with my co-workers. I won a $50 Amazon card which I will use for Christmas gifts, a $10 Starbucks card which I will use for a date with my husband, and a $50 American Express card which I regifted to my grown son who had a need for it. I feel so blessed!

  35. Patsy in Canada

    sorry to hear about the SIL passing away. Most airlines will give a discount for families attending funerals if they are immediate family members. Might be worth checking to see if you got the best price.

  36. Cindi

    I only have a black and white printer, also. Amazon often has good sales on the cartridges. When I need something in color, I am often able to print the item in grayscale and hand-color it with colored pencils. I do this for homemade greeting cards, art work, labels and other items. The results is usually very good — and looks hand-drawn.

  37. Cindi

    I love the photo of the flowers and the bicycle — and the chair is a great find.
    My husband continues to heal and is doing well! Thank you all for your good wishes and prayers for him.
    I shopped sales at the grocery store and bought 20 lbs of potatoes for 20 cents a pound. This is the best price I have seen this year – though I am still hoping for 10 cents a pound around Thanksgiving. I dried enough potatoes to fill a quart jar. (That was about 8 medium-sized potatoes) and canned 9 pints. The rest we will eat fresh.
    I baked bread and made almost all meals at home, using ingredients from my pantry and freezer. I did meet a friend for breakfast one morning and spent $8. We had a lovely visit. We traded herbs from our gardens and she offered me some fabric, which I need to pick up next week some time.
    I harvested lettuce, chard and collards from the garden, and still have a few tomatoes.
    I made a couple of Christmas gifts with materials I had around the house.
    I checked out books and audiobooks from the library, downloaded more audiobooks to my phone, using the library’s free app, and checked out the DVD of Ken Burns’ Vietnam series, which we have been watching. We used a lot more gas this week, driving to doctor’s appointments and meetings. Next week will be more of the same – husband has 2 doctor’s appointments and I have one – and mine is 100 miles away. But I was able to use a 30 cent a gallon discount to fill my tank.

  38. Brandy, your blue and white vases are so beautiful!

    Here is what we did to save money last week:
    – Cooked all our meals while we were visiting family instead of going out to eat
    – Baked our breakfasts (buckwheat bars) ahead of time to save time in the kitchen while we were out of town
    – Climbed a mountain and took lots of beautiful walks instead of spending money on entertainment
    – Kept ourselves healthy to avoid doctor’s visits
    – Purchased organic grapes for $.99 a pound at our local co-op
    – Walked to the store twice (it was just a mile) instead of taking the car. It was great exercise too!

  39. Holly

    Congradulations on the free piano! I once helped move a piano with a single mother, her teenaged son, and a friend with a pickup truck. We would not have succeeded if we had had to lift it up into the truck’s bed. But the piano was on the first floor and her front porch was just an inch or two lower than the truck’s tailgate when the truck was backed up close to the porch and the tailgate opened. If you have a couple of healthy friends, including one with a truck, you might be able to save the expense of the piano movers…. (But that was a few years ago. Now, I would like mom’s piano moved just over an inch to completely clear an outlet. I can’t get it to budge on the carpet.)

  40. Athanasia

    Margaret, I hope you can use your movie tickets. My youngest daughter and I did a similar typr offer to that and then when they came they were limited to certain movies by certain movie company and none that were available were acceptable to us. But you live in a larger town (city?) so you may have more choices. We ended up giving them away on freecycle.

  41. Maxine

    Good job on the yard sales! That chair was a real score for $20!

    1.After much thought, and considering our ages (early 70s) I decide to use gym-type duffel bags for our 72-hour bug-out kits. I found an almost new Adidas bag at a thrift store for $6. Two more to go.

    2. Resewed the binding on one of my beloved wool blankets on all 4 sides. I used my fav 3-step zigzag stitch, but honestly…it was overkill. A regular zag would have worked as well.

    3. Finally got around to sewing up the one-leg Levi apron I’m making for a Christmas gift. Fast and easy and just adorable!

    4. Mended several small holes in DD’s favorite knit top. I did it by hand, but in the future will machine darn holes with a piece of dryer sheet as a backing. I have had good luck with this.

    5. A friend came over and did some things to make my new computer work better. No charge.

    6. DH hauled and sold a non-working clothes washer to a scrap metal dealer. Got $3 and they unloaded it for him!

    7. We are still eating our frozen meat, but there’s no beef left. I got 85% lean ground beef for $1.99 lb., limit two packages. I bought 9 lbs. and will make it last. I also bought 15 lbs. of #2 red potatoes for $1.99 and gave half of them to a friend.

    8. We have a seasonal fruit stand in our area that sells produce direct from the grower. The produce isn’t cleaned up, sorted for size, etc. They have several varieties of apples for .29 lb. (you read that right). I bought Galas because I learned here that they keep well. I filled one of the produce bins in my fridge.

    9. A friend was decluttering and gave me a rustic picture frame and a wire “in” box, which I needed.

    10. Same friend found the platter in my DS and DDIL’s dishes and bought it for me for $3.99. They are getting it for Christmas. Hope to find a few more dinner plates.

    11. I finished digging up and transplanting perennial flowers I will be taking with me to our next home. It had rained, so I was able to get the Siberian irises out of the ground without dynamite! I estimate I am taking about $450 worth of perennials and shrubs with me, at no loss to the new owners since they all needed dividing, anyway.

    12. This isn’t exactly a frugal accomplishment, but it’s good news. I believe I mentioned that the offer on our house had a contingency on it (wasn’t supposed to, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). Well, last week the buyers got serious and reduced the price of their house by A LOT and sold it Sunday! The Sold sign on my For Sale sign sure looks good! Now I have to get serious about packing and selling stuff since our house will close on Dec. 10. (Our new house won’t be finished until June).

    Have a good week, Brandy and everyone!

  42. Kandace

    What a great score on all of that produce! I’m sure the clerks at that market will be delighted to help you again in the future.

  43. Jen G

    How wonderful that you get to enjoy outdoor concerts this time of year! Definitely a perk to living in the Las Vegas area! We are well past outdoor concert season in Seattle.

    Trying to live frugally in urban Seattle:

    – Some thrift store wins for some needed items: An almost brand new popular brand winter coat for my oldest, black dress shirt and dress pants for my youngest (needed for upcoming jazz band concerts), and a couple of long sleeve shirts for me. All for $30 (good for Seattle!!! I say that a lot) and infinitely less expensive than buying new. I’m not having much luck finding some books and other holiday gifts yet, but I’ll keep looking.

    – An unopened huge box of tampons from my Buy Nothing neighborhood group. I gave away five items this week to neighbors as well.

    – Rode bikes again for all errands and events except church (running late that morning and it was raining).

    – I was printing some photos of my kids for my in-laws (they don’t have social media) at our neighborhood drug store and noticed bags of marshmallows for $ .10 each. I bought three and then came back yesterday for 7 more. The clerk said they were swimming in marshmallows in the stock room. Too of good of deal to pass up! Thinking of making lots of rice krispie treats for holiday treats, to use with hot chocolate, and making pvc pipe marshmallow blow guns for nephews for Christmas. Anyone have any other suggestions? They likely won’t last for next summer’s s’mores and we’re not really a marshmallow-jello type of family.

    – Our most frugal decision this week was to accept a new job for my husband. He will take a small pay cut, but he can work remotely. We are planning to move to down to Portland, where housing is 30-40% less expensive. If we are careful and if the market is still in our favor next summer when we move, we should be able to purchase for cash. We will also be able to afford a single family house with a yard (something my kids have never experienced as we have always lived in expensive big cities in apartments or rowhouses). We will live near family and good friends, which will be a big bonus. Meanwhile, we will need to be very careful, as Seattle continues to be very expensive and we will be living on less each month.

  44. kim

    I am amazed that you can accrue that much on swag bucks. I get bumped off every time. Hours and hours of my time for nothing. So I have given that rat race up.

  45. Kandace

    Brandy, beautiful items found at the garage sales!

    Some lovely and frugal things happened this week:
    – We had a work meeting, which meant I got a lovely shrimp salad lunch paid for.
    -Got some free rosemary from a friend who was pruning her herb garden
    -I called to pay a couple of medical bills rather than using stamps to mail the payment
    -I finished restocking my pantry with sale items at the grocery store. I got sugar for .39 a pound, pasta, canned pumpkin, and a discount on chocolate chips. The total bill was 33 percent off the regular prices.
    -I got my flu shot for free
    -I used up a gift card for lunch during the weekend
    -After a work event, I was able to take home some cheese, french bread, olives, spinach dip, and part of an apple, and some grapes.
    -While buying the food for the above work event, the machine at the store crunched the check I was paying with. The transaction had to be cancelled and rerung three different times. The clerk gave me a small three pack of dark chocolate bars for my patience.
    -I bought a couple of Italian sausages to make crock pot lasagne. They were on sale and the butcher offered to let me have three other varieties for free to try. I selected a bratwurst, kielbasa, and chicken and feta sausage to try. I don’t need them this week, but will freeze them for future meals.
    -Also finished a decluttering of my hall closet, which has been on my to do list for two months.

  46. Jo

    I love the furnishing style that Brandy has, so of course I love the chair. It would fit right in at my house, and so would the vase — I use blue and yellow in my living room.
    1. My daughter and I attended an estate yard sale. There was gorgeous genuine Mid-Century Modern designer furniture there at a wonderful price, but we didn’t need furniture and neither of us has that style in our house. However, I spotted two Christmas tree stands that I recognized — they were exactly like the one I have at home, a super sturdy one that cost over $50 and will hold almost any size tree, from small up to quite large. They were $2 each at the sale and in excellent shape, so my daughter bought one to replace her failing stand, and she and I split the big $2 cost of the other one, for my other daughter who wasn’t with us.
    2. At the same sale was a tarnished sterling lemon fork. I have wanted a small fork to use with my good dishes for appetizers, olives, etc. I got this one for $1, polished it and it’s looks great.
    3. I am concentrating on eating much more veggies, less meat and very low starches, so my grocery bill has been less these last couple of weeks. I spent $32.88 this past week for two of us.
    4. I used a Swagbucks Amazon card to buy a small gift for Christmas. I still have about $1.50 left on it.
    5. We paid off our car — the interest rate was very, very low and we decided to finance it and pay it off early — so now I’m making the car payments to myself. I just made the first one this past week. Barring an accident or major mechanical failure, this car should last us a while longer and we’ll have a lot saved up for the next one.

  47. Rhonda A.

    It’s pretty easy to do basic needle felting. You might even be able to learn some basics from watching YouTube videos. However, I can see how taking lessons could teach you some very helpful tips and tricks. I have watched someone do wet felting before, which also looks rather easy to learn. You do need to buy special felting needles, but I don’t think they are extremely expensive. The wool is probably the most expensive part.

    I’m really looking forward to when life settles down and I can try my hand at creating a woven project from start to finish. The learning curve will be amazing as I will be doing everything myself, with some direction from an experienced weaver to help guild me!

  48. kim

    I’ve cooked from scratch and convinced hubby we didn’t need to eat out.
    I found 97% cotton quilts from Better Home a d Garden on extreme clearance at Walmart for $10 each! Two were twin and one was queen and I love the pattern. They also came with a free year subscription but said you could get a rebate for $6 if u didn’t want it. I already got one free so I mailed it in. It would be awesome if I got $18 back but I don’t know if there is a limit so it might be only $6.
    I read in “complete tightwad gazette” that pumpkins can be stored until midwinter before they get soft. Since I don’t have room in freezer this is awesome as I was giving up processing more.
    I’m going to Amish this weekend d and have a strict list for dented cans at their stores.

  49. Rhonda A.

    Not sure DD appreciates it…she’d rather not go to school at all! I appreciate they are finally recognizing the battle she is going through mentally and are trying to support those needs. Maybe in time DD will change her mind about school…maybe.

    As for weaving, in the 1800s one would apprentice for 5-7 yrs before becoming a master weaver. I have a lot to learn, but I’m taking it one step at a time. It certainly makes one appreciate the work that goes into creating beautiful fabric, that’s for sure!

  50. Susan

    I have a friend whose son with Down syndrome doesn’t like to shower. He loves pizza so the deal is for every shower he takes he gets a piece of pizza. He must earn 4 slices, 4 showers, to get the pizza. It works like a charm. Perhaps you could use some kind of incentive for your daughter. Good luck.

  51. Jeannie

    Oh thank you, Melonie. They are wonderful ladies and would not mind the mess at all. I am the one who freaks out when I have “real” company. Once one of the ladies said about hosting the meeting, “All you need is a clean toilet and a clean kitchen sink.” I knew the rule about the toilet but had never heard it said about the kitchen sink.

    The hostess also presents a program so I have decided to haul all my herb drying, processing, pill making mess out in the middle of the kitchen and show them how it is done. I will pretend as if I had organized the disaster as a special training session just for them.

    Yep. That’s my plan.
    Jeannie

  52. Terry calkins

    My morning to go to the doc. Needed a prescription. I had the doc call it in to Albertsons as they have a coupon for 25.00 gift card for a new prescription. The medicine was 16.60 so I actually made money on the deal.
    Making lots of meals using green tomatoes that are slowly ripening in the garage. I will be canning salsa using lots of them this week.
    Watching food waste closely and feeding everything we don’t use to the chickens. We’re getting more eggs than we need so I’ve been able to gift a few dozen lately.
    Using my instapot almost daily to turn freezer foods and bits and dabs into yummy soups.
    Used the last of a box of Ritz crackers plus some butter, brown sugar and almond bark to make Christmas crack for my hubby.
    I found some beautiful vases at the thrift store I plan to use in making Christmas gifts.

  53. Annaliese

    I really like the style of the chair! Not much going on here to report. At the store I picked up free cans of beans using a coupon, 2 black beans (might try your black bean patties recipe) and 2 black eyed peas (getting ready for the holidays). Also got these items free with using coupons and rebate apps- 2 boxes of butter, 2 small containers of chicken and dumplings (going to local food bank), a small bag of M&M’s, 3 lbs of cheddar cheese. I also saved money by using coupons and apps to make son’s bday lunch at Reality on Thursday- a mac and cheese bar with pumpkin cookies plus my favorite candy bars to hide.
    We went to the bank to get a loan for fixing the car and got a great rate of 5% on a car loan than 8% on personal loan. Plus the car dealership is giving us another 3 year warranty on the engine and clutch.
    Frost will be moving in this weekend so I need to go out and pick the green onions. I was thinking of making my own onion powder with the dehydrator.
    Hubby went to a concert Saturday night and his cousin picked up the tab for dinner and his friends bought him stuff at the venue. Way to save, honey!!
    Going thru closets to see if I can sell stuff or just donate for the tax write off.
    Bought baby shower gifts using coupons and gave baby wipes, 3 onesies and 2 sleep/play sets for under $18.00. Used Tissue paper and ribbon from last Christmas to wrap and found a card from a free stash we got from cleaning out late step-father in-law’s house.
    Starting my list for holiday cooking/baking/gifts and searching/collecting coupons and rebate info. Still adding to Swagbucks and other apps to get those gift certificates to help out.
    Have a great rest of the week!!

  54. Gardenpat

    Patsy in Canada- I thought the same thing about “bereavement” fares until I did some checking. They were a percentage off the full fare price which would have been far more than going with Priceline or one of the other discount ticket places online!

  55. Gardenpat

    I’m thinking that this Saturday morning when I go, I may bring a little baked treat for them as a thank you! I’m bringing a friend with me whose husband was laid off 20 months ago. They have been living on their food storage but these prices are such that she would love to get some to rebuild her pantry!

  56. Jennifer O

    Love the chair!
    Quiet week here. Ate most meals at home from the pantry and freezer, except for a $5 pizza one night that fed me for 3 meals.
    Spent $14 in groceries this week. Took my lunch to work all but 1 day. Attended free Zumba classes. Attended a $4 movie at the base and took my own snack and water to the movie. Attended Happy Hour at the VFW and friends bought my drinks. I will reciprocate on another day.
    Attended an animal shelter fundraiser dinner with a friend. She drove. We stopped for a drink and watched the sunset over the marsh while listening to the band.
    Temperatures have dropped so the newly repaired AC is off. Picked up a new dress at the NEX (navy exchange) on sale and no sales tax.
    Someone broke into my husband’s car last week (he is working away from home this semester). They took his lab coat and his medical bag (including his stethoscope, BP cuff, pen light etc.). Not bothering to file with insurance since the cost of the replacements will be less than our deductible, but the cost to replace them was not in the budget right now, so he is making due with his old ones from school. Santa will be replacing them with the better quality ones he is used to. Husband now knows to take his bag into the house every night.
    2 of our chickens died. No apparent reason. Keeping a close eye on the others.
    New cat (an Irma failed foster) is settling in with the dogs great, but he and our previous cat still aren’t getting along so we’re still keeping them separate.

  57. Wyoming Gal

    I moved $2500 to savings for the Transition Fund – getting ready for retirement. Trying to get it to $25,000 before I retire, since I won’t take Social Security for several years.

    I bought a nice Eddie Bauer 100% wool blazer for $1 at the thrift store. I started thinking about other clothes that I bought for $1 or less this year – from the thrift store – a London Fog balmacaan coat with/zip out lining (50 cents in a bag sale), clothes for my grandson such as a Chaps sweater vest (50 cents), a Ralph Lauren button down oxford cloth shirt (50 cents), a Chaps button down shirt (50 cents), Levi’s cargo pants (50 cents), and a wool blend sweater for my son (50 cents). I bought the following items new either with coupons (JC Penney) or at the very end-of-season clearance: a St. Johnsbay cotton cable turtleneck sweater, a St. Johnsbay cotton cable V-neck sweater, an a.n.a. knit tunic, a Liz Claiborne pair of dress pants, a pair of French terry shorts for exercising, a pair of Maidenform shaping tights, a Danskin Now tank top, and a pair of Faded Glory jeggings.

  58. Becky

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    It is amazing how much produce you got at that store. I’m sure you are delighted that you know how to preserve food!

  59. Becky

    I agree that you have the BEST kind of mess for a garden club:) They will be so interested, and probably have similar piles at their house. So, happy bathroom cleaning!

  60. Becky

    Rhonda,
    You hang in there! That Prozac takes a little time to get into the system, so it should start working after a while–don’t espair if it isn’t immediate. I’m so glad you got a solution worked out for her.

    The felting lesson sounds really fun, and I know you will love your new loom.

  61. Stacy

    Some fudge recipes take marshamallows

  62. That’s so nice that you gave them away! I’m sure the beneficiary appreciated them. I very carefully checked the fine print, and indeed there are a lot of options in Toronto, so I think things will work out. Plus my DH loves movies so now I can send him off to the movies by himself as a treat without impacting our budget.

  63. J

    This weekend we had a joint birthday party for my sons. We kept it simple. I made gourmet (or plain) grilled cheese to order for all guests (we had different cheeses, brie, caramelized onions, apples, condiments, etc.). We had vegetables and dip, pickles and olives as well. For dessert, my son and I made a Rainbow Bits cake the morning of, as well as Ginger Molasses cookies. I also made individual cheesecakes (in mason jars) in advance and froze them. They were thawed for the party and people could put on the topping of their choice. It worked out really well. My MIL brought coffee and her coffee maker.

    I was able to get some great finds at the Salvation Army this week. I spent $21.95 and got 12 books (all new or in like new condition – including a Joy of Cooking cookbook and some kids boardbooks brand new with price tag – which is very hard to find) and a beautiful basket that I used to make a gift basket for someone. I was thrilled with this as it has allowed me to finish off multiple gifts, including a wedding gift and a baby birthday gift. I posted some of what I got here:
    http://www.lifefreedomfamily.com/2017/10/10-ways-to-save-money-this-holiday.html

    We went to several outdoor farm areas (free) and hikes in the woods this week.

    My sister in law sent some gift cards for my boys to Toys r Us. I was able to get the Fisher Price Nativity for them which I have wanted to get for a few years but never wanted to spend the money on. My oldest got to pick something for himself which was very exciting for him.

    I tried a new muffin recipe and I really like it.

    I want towrite more but my baby isliterally trying to kick the keyboard so…….time to go,……

  64. Becky

    I love the zinnias and bike photo, Brandy! It is so pretty.
    We have had a lot of rain this past week, so everything is greened up. I think we will have to mow the lawn again, and I thought we were done with that! It did frost lightly a couple of times, but most things did not die.

    I was able to find one garage sale on Saturday, and a tiny farmer’s market in the blowing, storming, windy, rainy morning. I bought a butternut squash and a few items at the garage sale. Prices were low–they wanted their things gone, and didn’t really want to be having the sale in the rain, but were moving soon:)

    My husband did several home repairs, saving us a bundle, and I cooked quite a few items. My favorite thing he did was replace the caulking behind the kitchen sink. It was getting moldier and moldier, and now it is so nice and white and fresh!

    I actually spent a little more than I wanted to on groceries–the kids ate SO much last week. I was amazed, but was fine with that–I guess they were hungry:)

    We had a quilt that was made for me when I was a child. It was a polyester cover over a silky blanket (as batting). I loved that blanket, but it was literally disintegrating. The outer fabric was rotten, due to hard use by many of my children as well, plus time. So, I ripped/tore off the outer covering and threw it away. Now, I just need to figure out a simple covering, which I will sew onto the silky blanket after I wash it. I don’t have time to make a real, nice quilt, but have plenty of materials for something simple. I will probably tie it, as it was tied when I was a child. I just wanted to keep part of it, since I well remember the day my mother and grandmother worked on tying it….there was a lot of love tied into that blanket!

    The rest, and pictures, are on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/saving-money-and-weekly-update-october-21-2017/

  65. Marybeth

    My library allows 10 pages printed free per card holder per day. I have used this so many times bringing the kids so that I can print 20 or 30 pages of things. This has helped many times with school projects over the years.

  66. Heidi Louise

    So frustrating on the theft! Even if you didn’t file insurance, did you notify the police? Sometimes stolen items show up within a few blocks of where they were taken. If the thieves were looking for medications, they might have just discarded what they didn’t want.

  67. Marybeth

    I’m sorry about your sister in law. I think we are frugal everyday so that when things happen we have the money to do what needs to be done.

  68. SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

    My best frugal win this week was finding out that I did not have to replace my dryer.
    The apartment complex does the annual vent cleaning for the dryers. It turns out, though, that my apartment has two ducts for the dryer venting. However, only one of the vents has been cleaned over the years.
    Once the maintenance guy cleaned the second duct/vent, my dryer worked great. I don’t have to replace it!

  69. Jeannie

    The bathroom is almost ready, I am waiting for the wax on the floor to dry while resting my feet. Yes, I waxed the bathroom floor. Not because I am an obsessive housekeeper but because it is a cheap linoleum.
    So how do you make bathroom cleaning “happy”?
    Jeannie

  70. Marcia R.

    The major US airlines do give a discount for funeral travel, although I think you did as well or better on Priceline. You have to have a copy of an obituary or some other proof, but most airlines do offer it.

  71. Marybeth

    -Take chocolate chips and line a shallow pan. Cover with marshmallows, bake for 20 minutes. Dip with graham crackers. We call them winter s’mores.
    -When the kids were little we used to make lots of snow families out of marshmallows.

  72. Libby

    Linda – il y en d’autres ici qui aiment aussi pratiquer notre français! S’il vous plaît poster vos réalisations frugal en français pour nous 🙂

  73. Darcy

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I dried mint and basil, put them in the food processor separately, and now they are ready to be used all winter long. I also froze some basil. I had lots and lots of basil!

    My daughter gave me a haircut.

    I gave my husband a haircut.

    My husband’s co-worker gave hime some venison that we used for a stew. It was delicious!

    I packed my lunch every day this week. I had salad and lentil soup. This week I made a pot of brown rice and took out of the freezer a baggie of pinto beans for my lunches. I have taken inspiration from Brandy’s recipes. Next week I will be making taco soup.

    It finally got cool enough for my spinach to start coming up. I am looking forward to harvesting it and eating it.

    We were able to get Michigan apples for 39 cents per pound from our local produce store. They aren’t beautiful but they are very tasty. We have been taking them in our lunches. Since we liked them so much I will be going back for more.

  74. Tara from Massachusetts

    Hi Rhonda- Thank you very much for this recipe. It sounds delicious. I will bake some this week. Much appreciated! Tara

  75. Jessica S.

    We have a black & white toner printer too; lasts a lot longer!

    Check your local library for printing. Ours offers 80 black & white pages/week per card (so if you and your spouse both have cards you can print 160, same with kids). We use this too. 🙂

  76. Terry calkins

    Becky. You might just make a douvet cover for it out of some sheets till you have time to make a nice quilt out of it.

  77. J

    Congratulations on selling your house!

  78. Julie T

    Busy week, but that seems the norm this time of year.
    Monday-worked, had leftover beef roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans for supper. Cleaned kitchen and ran a load of dishes. Set out a gallon jug of sun tea before I headed to work. After work added some honey to make sweet tea. Straightened out the fridge and washed it out.
    Tuesday-worked, had popcorn for supper!! Too tired to cook. Did place an order on Amazon. Ordered some new lids (plastic)for my Rubbermaid glass containers. Lids are splitting and this way I can continue to use the containers.
    Wednesday-worked, came home and made a double batch of pheasant wild rice soup. That is what we had for supper and then the rest put in 2 crockpots and hubby took to work Thursday and Friday. It was the archery deer hunt at Camp Ripley. It is a 16 hour day each day for him and they do a potluck. Cleaned the kitchen and ran the dishwasher. Washed a couple loads of clothes and hung on drying racks.
    Thursday-day off!! Dropped off a meal for friends, her husband has been ill and they are running a lot for appointments. All food made from my stock-hamburger sauerkraut hotdish, loaf of bread, and some brownies. Since hubby working I opened a jar of squash apple soup, made ½ grilled cheese sandwich, and had some applesauce for both lunch and supper. Still have a serving of soup to take to work tomorrow. 76 degrees here-finished the outdoor work. Only left is to cover strawberries with straw but it has been too warm to do this yet. Straightened and inventoried the upstairs freezer on the fridge. Cleaned the closet in the guest room (this is my sewing area). I have my table in there with my serger and sewing machine. Have a couple boxes of things for GoodWill. This is the spot things get put when not sure where to keep them. Will start sewing for Christmas this next week.
    Friday-work, met my daughter and 3 grandkids after work down at a local park for a Fall Harvest/Halloween Festival for kids. They wore costumes and did some trick or treating booth to booth for goodies. I liked that it wasn’t all candy-also got some food, toys, and games. They painted pumpkins, went through a haunted house, did a hay ride, and decorated sugar cookies. They had a great time and it was all FREE!! Did go out to dinner afterward to Red Lobster. I had a $50 gift card that I received for my birthday, we spent that so no OOP.
    Saturday-Spent part of the day at a craft day at a friend’s church. It was cloudy and rainy, perfect day for this. I worked on downloading, organizing, and backing up pictures. Plus I took advantage of the large tables and cut out clothes for grandkids. I sew all 5 grandkids matching outfits to wear for Christmas. Plus I make them an outfit for a Christmas present. I will cut out their matching outfits next week. When I left home I put this material and material to make my hubby some flannel pants in the washer. I did cut out 2 vests from Green Bay Packer fleece for my 2 grandkids in Wisconsin. I had a 3 yard piece of a plaid flannel. I cut out a jumper for the oldest granddaughter and some pants for her brother. Out of a scrap of clearance fabric (Winnie the pooh) I cut the bottom of a skirt. I will gather it and attach to a pair of jeans cut off above the crotch. This acts as the top of the skirt with the gathered fabric as the skirt. I bought the jeans (name brand-OshKosk) at a garage sale for fifty cents. For supper we had meatloaf and scalloped potatoes.
    Sunday-Church, after church since we were in town, picked up a few things at the grocery store so an extra trip not made. Needed bananas and milk. Also got the loss leaders. Milk $2.77 gallon-limit 2; ice cream-Kemps family size bucket-$4.77-limit 2 (got a vanilla and a chocolate); Hormel bacon-$2.77-limit 2; Dole shredded lettuce-$0.92-limit 2; Ortega products-$0.92 each-limit 4. I hot an 18 count package hard tortillas (this is the only kind my hubby will eat), 2 cans refried beans, and a large can of green chilies; Food Club cheese (8oz)- 4 for $3-limit 4-got two packages shredded cheddar, a package chunk cheddar and a chunk of swiss cheese. Also found a couple of deals in the bargain meat area. A 3 lb rolled beef roast with a mushroom stuffing for $6.99 (so $2.33/lb); Original price was $15.00. I have that in the oven for supper. Will put potatoes, onions and carrots(all from the garden) in with it for supper. Also got two chipotle chicken breasts for $1.50. Have those in the oven as well, will chop and use on salad for lunches this week. Plus I see a meal of tacos and probably nachos or taco salad. Made a loaf of sourdough bread. Mostly just relaxed and watched football.
    Hope everyone has a frugal and productive week. Thank you Brandy!! This blog keeps me on track and I lve reading about what you are all doing to save. So many ideas!!

  79. Mable

    My husband is severely dyslexic and I think it helped make him into the compassionate, kind and patient man he is today. He went to school at a time when teachers still called kids stupid or humiliated poor readers by making them read in front of the class…he went on to get his PhD and has had a very successful career. The biggest thing I had to learn as his wife (besides reading things to him so he didn’t have to read them—when Books on Tape came out, they were a Godsend) was that by late afternoon he has a much harder time reading or recalling and dialing sequences like phone numbers. Your son may someday see his dyslexia as a hidden gift, as my husband does.

  80. Lori

    I just happened upon this sight several weeks ago and I love it! I am learning sooo much from all of you! I wanted to comment on your Canon printer, and ink! I’ve had my Canon printer for about 10 years and several years ago I bought a bottle of black ink on Amazon as well as a pkg of syringes… and I fill my own cartridges! I don’t buy color ink… couldn’t pay the price… and I mostly print coupons, and this bottle of ink is going to last me forever!! A year or so ago I did finally buy a new black ink cartridge but it has really reduced my printing costs!

  81. Becky

    You ask your daughter to do it:) Believe it or not, cleaning bathrooms is Patsy’s favorite chore and she usually chooses it when given a list to choose from!

  82. Athanasia

    Twice on the Great British Bake off I saw a participant use marshmallows to mame fondant frosting. The made it look very easy.

  83. Lilli

    My sweet daughter made it home after spending 8 weeks out of state with her grandmother. I filled my car up with gas before I went to the airport to pick her up. Gas is still high after the hurricanes and is usually 50 cents higher in the city. I bought 75 more pounds of meat for my freezer and by buying a combination of higher price and lower prices items it averaged out to 1.80 a pound. I took 65.00 of my SNAP and turned it into 165.00 worth of groceries using a combination of sales and coupons. I am secure in knowing we can eat off of our stockpile for 2 years. I have swagpoints to redeem but am waiting to redeem them when the cards are On sale for a lower amount. I will save them to add to my Amazon account for Christmas. We are not using heat or A.C. here. I am hoping for two more low electric bills. I purged my closet of 90% of my clothing. I will never live my former life and someone else can use these items. I may have two carloads of items to donate. I actually hope to donate a bunch more of items that are packed away. I moved in my current house 3.5 yrs ago and we still have stuff packed in the family room. If we haven’t dug it out by now, I figure we can do without it. I love the items Brandy found at the sales. I have two large yearly bills do so I am trying to not spend any money. I did pick up some clinical strength deodorant for 2.00 and some lotions for my son’s eczema. Those are higher dollar items and I usually can pick them up for 2 or 3 at the salvage store. I hope everyone has a great week.

  84. Athanasia

    Jo, if you need extra small utensils I have used the little fork-knife-spoon sets used by the children.

  85. Lilli

    I bought a Kodak to replace my HP. I had seen where other coupons mentioned the Kodak was much cheaper to use. Honestly I do not see a difference. I use multiple ways to reduce my ink costs. Often, Staples and Office Depot/Max have deals where you make a purchase and get the amount back in rewards. I have bought paper or batteries and when the rewards came in, I got ink. I use Swagbucks for gift cards to purchase it. I have gotten good deals on Ebay. I also used a big discount on a Swagbucks offer to purchase ink from a discount company. My last offer was using a 20.00 Visa checkout code at HSN to get half off the total. I am sometimes surprised at where ink is sold. I know that a major drugstore here does refills but have never tried that.

  86. Glenda Rainbolt

    Our Kodak printer was inexpensive, as were the ink cartridges. BUT it went thru ink like pouring water through a sieve??? Could not keep ink… not a good deal in the long run in my opinion.

  87. Shirley

    Brandy…Seeing that elegant chair reminded me of a fairly long ago post of the worn out easy chair before you had it
    reupholstered; I did see the handsome finished product but I thought you were going to share more pictures of your redecorating. If there was an additional post could you please give a link? I see in tags that living room has zero links. You really have a way of adding elegance to all you do that is absolutely inspiring.

  88. Athanasia

    Kim I keep pumpkins through the winter. Make sure they’re cured, no blemishes, and keep them cold as you can without freezing. We prefer the pie pumpkins for this.

  89. Becky

    I’ve been going through things that have been stacked in the shop from our move-in 1 year ago. I really want it either used or gone!!

    Way to go on stretching those grocery benefits! I’m sure you will go through a bit more food now that your daughter is back, so it’s great you are all stocked up.

  90. Tammy

    Husband has six weeks left then his job is going to be terminated. Just when we thought everything was alright it changed. I have a part-time job taking care of my disabled son. We have been building a house and living in an apartment. We put in our notice at the apartment even though the house is not done yet. We have a month to do what we can then we are going to move in the house that we have been building with our own hands. Property Taxes are due in Dec. I have health issues and hospital bills coming due. My husband had been at his job almost 20 years. Anyway this is a woe is me story. I do believe that when God closes one door, he opens another. We have been praying.
    Unfortunately we bought a car, thinking that his job was stable.
    Trying not to worry. Cooking all meals at home anyway, because I was worried about bills coming due.
    Split pea soup, Red beans and rice with andouille sausage, Sausage pasties, omelettes, Salmon patties, tuna salad, chicken soup and eating all leftovers.
    This month will be spent working on house and packing apartment. Move in by end of November. I may need to find a job besides taking care of son. I wish I was healthier. Insurance will be up and I had follow-up appointments that I may have to cancel because we can’t pay.
    For entertainment we have been doing free things, like reading and picnicking. Now we will spend all our time building and packing.
    Silly me, I’m also worried about going grey because I can’t go get my hair done. My husband said he would help me dye my hair. Sweet man. i told him thank-you. I hope my hair turns out.
    Now if I can just remain calm and realize that God has another plan for us.
    I have been writing and sending out articles. Pay for that is sporadic. Husband has been writing music in off time. Maybe something will come of that. His songs really are very good. We have the potential of doing something with our little farm, 6 acres. We can look for other jobs. Wish my health was better. i’m tired but I am cooking this morning. Makes me more calm at 3 in the morning. Husband will be up soon to go to work.

  91. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Brandy, the chair is exquisite! And so is the blue and white!
    It was a quiet week here. I had a doctor’s appointment, then went to the lab today. A friend was picking me up so we could go to a meeting together (so I saved 2 cab fares by riding with her). I waited for her at the bookstore. Just as I went in, I saw a bin of 3 books for $10.00. As I sat at the back of the store, I saw each of the 3 books on different reduced shelf for $6 each so saved $8.00. I asked about another book. It was only $2. I used $5 of my points to reduce my bill.I got 6 books for $18.00. In fact each book was about $30 reg. so I saved $162. Some will be Christmas presents. Just reading the grocery store flyer and it has cans of stewed tomatoes with green peppers, onions, and celery for $1 each so I’ll buy ten or more to stock up my larder. I don’t usually eat canned food but will stock up on it. We are having a ladies’ luncheon for a group that raises money for scholarships, grants and loans. There is a fundraising sale so we priced the items today. One of the ladies is baking cookies so I will buy some for my freezer. Due to allergies
    I won’t be able to eat them but will take some to a friend in his 90s who has cancer. He loves cookies and since I’m allergic to almost everything in cookies I rarely bake them. I asked a friend if she could shop at her favourite store near my 92 year old friend’s senior
    complex instead of the store closer to us and she said yes so I got a free ride there and back. (It is a long way from my house and very expensive by cab). So what started last week as a miserable week turned around…

  92. ellie's friend from Canada

    Thank you so much for giving the link to the free French novels. I am going to brush up on my French this way over the winter. great site! now to find an Italian site like this!

  93. ellie's friend from Canada

    Oh, I forgot to say that a mountain lodge has indicated it will carry my wildlife photos. I’m thinking of making postcards for them if they will pay upfront for them. (as opposed to framed photos on consignment). I could personalize them with the lodge’s logo. I think that it would be more practical for tourists to buy them, either for mailing to friends or to take home and get framed. I think it is hard to make money from selling framed prints. I do have a lot of frames that were given to me but when I run out of them, the cost will go up.

  94. Karina

    I am truly not trying to be rude or nasty. Am just curious. Do your kids every get to go out to eat? It seems like you and your husband get take out or go out but the kids are never included. Do they ever get treats like that or is eating out only reserved for you and your husband? Again, I am not being mean I am honestly just curious how you work that out.

  95. Janet

    I am on taking care of the kiddos this past week as DIL had surgery. I did get a refund of one night from our trip at the start of the month. I had ordered a plant through FTD and they have a seven day guarantee so I am pushing on that because they delivered the plant nine days late when no one was home and it died on the porch step. A friend died and it was supposed to be for the day of the services.
    Running down your money when companies do wrong is a full time job these days. So as I said taking care of the kids so not really much else going on with the twins that is keeping me quite busy. I returned a shirt that did not wash up well at all and another that I did not wear to get a refund on both. I used as many coupons as I could find at the grocery and stretched the food supply.We had two date days since I last wrote , one we drove to the mountains shared a hamburger plate and sat by the mountainside it was magical! Hubby made me a memories video of it it was so beautiful. Second date we drove to the bay and sat by the water with a snack and a nice cold drink again hubby took photos and video and made me a memories video of the entire date ! These videos are outstanding!
    I love these few weeks of fall where you can get out and it is not too cold or not too hot and just hike a bit and sit a bit.
    I made baked apples from the apple orchard apples and making all meals at home.
    We bought grandsons school supplies in bulk and it is a good thing he has destroyed two binders already, I’m not sure how~
    We also seemed to have lost a very nice jacket (hoping that one turns up yet!)

    Have a Outstanding and blessed week everyone and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses along the way!

  96. Athanasia

    The promotion was on soda cases. We seldom buy soda but had bought some on sale for a family gathering and Olivia saw the information on the box so she thought , oh let’s try this, we did, but did not work out for us. A man picked up the voucher for the tickets and he said he and his teenage son would use them for some new action movie that was out.

  97. Athanasia

    Lorna, I would love to know what you named your kitty.

  98. Cindy in the South

    Congrats on new job and it sounds like the move will be great for the kids!

  99. Janet

    Dear Jen G,

    When we moved to big cities and I was on a tight budget I would save the gas for the must do’s and if the kids wanted to go somewhere we would drive almost all the way there and walk like the last mile or so. In this way even in 2008 I could spend only $20 for gas.
    They did not miss out on invites and they got some exercise.

    I did zero waste food plan.

    I bought gifts from thrift and we did free entertainment.

    Groceries I kept at bare minimum and watched the electric bill like a hawk!

    I hope that helps. Also , when the schools sent home notes asking for cash for things I would either drag my heels and the school would come up with “scholarship” monies or a budget to help “needy kids”

  100. Jennifer O

    He notified the police and he also alerted the hospital as his lab coat had his hospital’s name on it. He has been checking the pawn shops in the area to see if his medical bag or parts of it show up.

  101. Janet

    I have heard keep them dark too. You can try brown paper bags.

  102. Juls Owings

    I use an Epson workforce wf 3640 that takes ink 252 . I click if I want color or black and white. I use a lot of color ink with what I do. The ink colors are each separate and I always get the black as 252x .That way I don’t have to replace all the colors if I only need blue. I float between Walmart/Sam’s club and Amazon on ink. I quit buying at inkjet because the last 2 times the ink was dried out. Good luck.

  103. Athanasia

    Rhonda, I read a novel years ago called THE LADY AND THE UNICORN by Tracy Chevalier. She is an interesting author, blending facts with fiction. It is about the weaving and the story behind a famous set of tapestries from the 1500’s and the apprenticeship system is shown. Life was not at all easy then and worse for women.

  104. Roberta in So. Cal.

    That vase is beautiful! I like the chair too. 🙂

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Vons had a sale on pasta (50 cents/lb), so I bought six pounds (the limit). This will last the three of us several months.

    * Harvested green onions, Roma tomatoes, Swiss chard, lettuce, bell peppers, mild Chinese peppers, yellow crookneck squash, cucumbers, and an eggplant.

    * Made bread, ratatouille, sausage pepper pasta, and pecan sandies.

    * Paid bills online.

    * Electricity usage was down 12% compared to the same time last year. (Of course this week we’ve had unusually HOT–100F+–weather, so next month’s usage may be higher than last year. Boo. Hiss.)

    * Passed on some of son’s clothes and some books to a friend. Took what she couldn’t use to Goodwill and our local library. Decluttering continues.

    * Redid our mantle/seasonal decor using items we already own.

    * Shredded up junk mail, etc., to use for nesting material in the chicken coop.

    * Mended a shirt.

    * Picked up books and a DVD from the library.

    * We made our annual trek to our friends’ apple orchard. We bought several types of apples that are not available in local stores, a gallon of cider, pumpkin butter, apricot preserves, and some honey sticks, and they also [u]gave[/u] us a bushel box of seconds (which make delicious apple sauce and apple butter) and a bottle of hard cider which Hubs will enjoy.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  105. Juls Owings

    plus they probably don’t have the clean bathroom or clean kitchen sink…

  106. Juls Owings

    My daughter went through this with her oldest while working a 12 hr shift 6 days a week.Her advice for you is ask for someone he is comfortable with to help every other night. Dad, sibling, family or friend. Her school connected her child up with an older student that has the same issues… worked wonders.

  107. Dawn in the Deep South

    Gabrielle; My youngest daughter was independently diagnosed with dyslexia when she was in kindergarten. She was also very gifted which meant she was/is twice-exceptional. She has both a very high IQ and a learning disability. When I was a child development major in college, I learned that a learning disability is the difference between achievement and potential. I knew she was bright but she could not read her simple sight words. She was tutored for 6 years in an Orton Gillingham reading program (local tutoring services such as Sylvan, etc. are not helpful for dyslexia). Reading was exhausting for her–we started with me reading the paragraph and her reading the sentence and moved to her reading the paragraph and me reading the page. We learned to immediately respond when she asked how to spell something (she will never be a good speller) and never said to go look it up or sound it out (frustrating to her beyond words). We never asked her to read aloud in a group and told her teachers not to either unless she agreed beforehand. Slowly, she learned to read and later mastered grammar issues. It was a long, exhausting journey for all of us but she is now in nursing school making wonderful grades. The Barton Reading System has a great website which can give you a lot of information on what dyslexia is and is not. I wish you the best with your child.

  108. Stephanie

    We have frequent medical appointments too. For the ones at the major medical center my husband and I go out to lunch afterwards. After two hours of rush hour traffic, specialists, blood work, xrays, etc…we are almost able to make it a date on the way home.

  109. Rhonda A.

    I wrote up a nice response, but I must not have clicked the submit button. Here are some ideas I have on ways to use marshmallows:
    *I like to use different types of cereal to make “rice crispie treats” to change it up a bit. Try cheerios, fruit loops, corn flakes, corn pops, or any other cereal you have on hand or can buy super cheap on sale.
    *One of my favourite squares are Chocolate Confetti (https://www.simplystacie.net/2017/07/chocolate-confetti-bars/) or Butterscotch/Peanut Butter Confetti (https://www.justsotasty.com/confetti-squares-peanut-butter-marshmallow-squares/). Melt in your mouth goodness!
    *You can make “indoor s’mores” by dipping large marshmallows in melted chocolate, sandwich between graham crackers and allow chocolate to cool. Packaged up, these would make great stocking stuffers. You can eat them as is or pop them in the microwave on a plate for a few second to soften/melt the marshmallow.
    *Make your favourite fudge recipe into rocky road fudge! Here’s an easy recipe to try if you don’t have one to follow: https://apumpkinandaprincess.com/rocky-road-fudge/
    *Dehydrate some of the marshmallows for a longer storage solution. They can be used in hot chocolate.

    Although most of these ideas are loaded with sugar, they make for an excellent treat tray for the holidays or a nice treat bag for Christmas gift giving. Also note, the squares and fudge can be made any time and frozen. They will be good for months and pulled out as needed for various functions or even a special school/work lunch treat. Hope this list helps!

  110. Normally I would consider doing that, but we have been given almost all of these clothes save for a few that I purchased, and a number of them have made it through three boys. It is much less stress on me to donate them than to sell them online and have to deal with photos/shipping/etc., and I feel good about supporting local thrift stores and giving others a chance to get name brand items for thrift store prices (or free at a shelter).

    The funny thing is also that with three boys, there have only been a few items each year we have had to purchase. We have generous relatives who will ask what our kids need in terms of clothing and we keep their needs to the basics (coats/shoes/pants/etc.) Everything else has been given to us. My mom was going through some clothes that her boyfriend’s now college-aged son no longer needed. He had told her to throw them away, but when she started looking she realized there were some really nice things in there and two large boxes of clothing (think LL Bean, Nordstrom, Abercrombie, and more) to me. Some still had tags on them! My cousin and sister are also very generous – both with boys who have given us a number of clothes as well as shoes and jackets.

    It doesn’t happen like this all the time, but I’ve noticed that our biggest problem is usually having too many clothes and not too little – I just cleaned out 5 garbage bags of clothes this week! :). I feel like God takes really good care of us!

  111. Lorna

    Hi Athanasia and we named her Tabatha 😀 .

    We are not sure whether the cat or she is a boy or a girl yet though as when she was operated on to be spayed they found no internal bits. They think she may have been born underdeveloped as she has not developed all her teeth either but does have female external indications 🙂 and is very small for her 2 year old age as the vet told us. They are doing a DNA and reproductive tissue sample test on her to find out what sex she is as there are a couple of possibilities that she may be a hermaphrodite, was simply born without bits, had been spayed previously but the de-sexing tattoo didn’t take in her ear although we and the vet didn’t see any scars of any previous operations. Once they confirm this they will tattoo her ear as de-sexed and we do hope she does not have to have another operation to remove any remaining tissue.

    She is indeed a mystery cat but we will reveal what sex she is when we get the tests back but either way her name will remain the same and she is adorably friendly.

  112. Hi Karina,

    In the past, my husband and I went out once a year for either our birthdays (which are the same month) or for our anniversary, but not both. We only could go out because my parents would give us a little bit to go as a gift (usually as a gift card to somewhere). That would be the extent our eating out for the year. Going out to eat is not an item in our budget.

    Around the last year and a half to two years, we have been given more gift cards from people. My parents gave us gift cards for dates for the two of us for the last two Christmases. One of my husband’s agents (whom my husband spends an enormous amount of extra time training and retraining) gave us a couple of gift cards (once for our anniversary and once for Christmas). My brother surprised me with a gift card for my birthday (he and I don’t usually exchange gifts). A few months ago, I also received some other gift cards from someone, and we decided to use those all recently rather than stretching them out.

    We don’t get takeout.

    The gift cards were for sit-down restaurants. Most were $25 gift cards. If we go to lunch (usually 1/ to 1/2 the cost of the dinner menu), order water, and keep our menu ordering down to lower cost meals, we can make the card cover our two entrées plus a tip. Sometimes we can make that work better by using a coupon. A couple of times we stretched a $25 gift card into two lunches because we had a buy one meal get one free coupon. We used the gift card from my brother a few times (it was $50!) for our birthdays as the place the card was for offers a free meal within your birthday month. We used the Christmas ones from my parents ($100 at a more expensive place) work for three meals by again ordering water, choosing lower cost meals, and by splitting an entrée the second and third time.

    Without a gift card, we’re not going to go out; we don’t have the money for it. I think dates are really important to a marriage. We have date nights at home too, but if there is a way that we can have a date out once in a while that won’t cost us anything out of pocket (other than gas) then that is a huge blessing to us. This past week that was the free symphony performance.

    My parents started taking our children out to lunch for their birthdays a few years back (and buying fewer gifts). This has been a fun treat and my children prefer the time one on one with their grandparents over more gifts.

    We did budget in a special meal out earlier this year for my eldest son (not using gift cards). My husband and I took him to lunch after he earned his Eagle Scout award.

    This is the first time I’ve used Swagbucks to get a gift card for the two of us (the others have all been gifts we received).

    I know that going out to eat has become more common in recent years for many people than it was when I was younger (where it was a special treat). I like it to be a special treat; it is for us. I am grateful that my husband and I have been able to go more lately thanks to the gift cards we received. It is so nice to have a quiet conversation for just the two of us. Happier parents make for a happier family, and I think that benefits everyone in the family.

  113. Shirley, we did have our living room couches and chairs recovered last year in the spring. I thought I had shared something, but I know I don’t share many photos of the house. I have been trying to get some photos taken for a fall home tour for the last few weeks to no avail! Someone always needs something during prime photo-taking time, or there are dishes to be done (with an open floor plan, I have most of the house visible from any other main room). I really want to get some photos of the house shared!

  114. Anne

    I am so inspired. I am gleaning nuts. Black walnuts and hickory nuts. Also, I am getting 2 partially empty propane tanks. And a few weeks ago I was given a laser printer. My husband was easily able to connect it to my computer and we now have a second printer. He had to find find the drivers online and we have to go online for toner cartridges, but they cost much less and last longer then ink toners. One last item is an upright paper towel holder for $2. We need it at the office.

    What would you do with black walnuts and hickory nuts?

    Brandy, you put beauty into saving money!! I love your blog and the information that you graciously share with everyone. Thank you.

  115. Karina

    Makes total sense especially with many kids. Thanks for answering. I know your kids are very well fed and taken care of. As a matter of fact I would rather eat dinner at your house than eat out when I see your meals. I also think your kids will be very well prepared when they are on their own and will be able to make wise financial decisions. You have a beautiful family.

  116. Jo

    Gardenpat, I am sorry for your loss.

    Your regular comments are some of my favourites as your positive attitude is infectious! I’m also very happy for you that your woodworking business turned into such a success. 🙂

  117. Jo

    That’s such a relief, I’m happy for you!

  118. Libby

    Congrats Susan on your new grandson! Not sure if you know that with the Marriott rewards program if you use points to stay for four nights, the fifth night is free. Maybe for the next trip 🙂

  119. mable

    Tammy, my heart hurts, reading about the cascade of troubles you are experiencing. I have nothing witty or profound to say, only that I will keep you in my thoughts and pray that God opens that next door quickly!

  120. PJGT

    Your chair is beautiful! Congratulations!

    The bicycle photo is reminiscent of the Philadelphia Flower show this year. It was a Dutch theme with many hanging bicycles with baskets filed with flowers. Just beautiful.

    I continue to practice gratitude amidst struggles. My dear husband is here through Thanksgiving and is working like a man on a mission with our cabin. Looks like we will be warm this winter. I’ve collected some snacks for him as well as work boots and pants from the thrift store.

    For some odd and frustrating reason, his employer isn’t paying him on time recently. We are working diligently to catch up and get ahead even with the delay.

    We had a small potluck lunch on the conference day and I so enjoyed the company of those who chose to participate. In addition, I spoke up and asked if anyone had skirt hangers and have been offered some. I just have to remind those who offered them about their offer. I also asked about leftovers and came home with lots. A real blessing. It was difficult to ask.

    We have been so fortunate to have warm weather that is not too hot, and our electric bill is 30.00 less!

    Being exhausted and sick has taken its toll, but I was able to buy an entire pizza pie (large) for 5.00! A true gift.

    Also did the same old same old and and am keeping the faith. Have a blessed week!

  121. Maxine

    Tammy, thinking of you. I live in an area of 5 acre properties. My neighbor down the street is storing other people’s RVs and boats in his backyard–many “city” subdivisions do not allow them. I know of at least 3 other properties where this is being done.

    I, too, have a disabled child (age 41) at home. She lives two days a week in a certified family home, which is like adult foster care. We are trying to prepare her for the time when we will no longer be here.

  122. S. CO Mary

    Brandy- your response really struck a chord with me. My SO and I were talking about how little we ate out as children and how momentous those few occassions were! My paternal grandparents would treat to A&W when we would stay with them and go into town. Town was 40 miles from where they lived so it was a big deal! Until age 8 we lived in a small western town and truthfully there weren’t a lot of options for dining out. A few cafes, the A&W and one restaurant. Most family celebrations were in someone’s home and the food was home cooked. I’m oldest of five and I knew when a new baby was coming in that my mom would be gone and dad would buy us hamburgers! It was a huge deal when my dad accepted a job in Washington D.C. and our parents took all five kids out to eat at a ‘fancy’ restaurant. I was 16 and the rest were 11, 9, 8 and 7. I remember that my parents were complimented on how well behaved we were – guess my parents managed to teach good manners without frequent dining out! It is a big cultural shift in the US to go from primarily home cooked food to a lot of fast food and eating out. It is fascinating to read culinary historians who cite the changes brought about by women in the work place, appliances in the home that reduced home cooking, pervasive fast food, invention of t.v. dinners and all the advertising. When I was in Switzerland and Spain it was interesting to find that while there were ‘take away’ places there weren’t a lot of fast food places! Also the many in the medical community identify fast food as part of one of the reasons for the rise in obesity, including in children. Portion sizes are 2-3 times bigger than they used to be.

  123. Andrea Q

    I have found that referrals are the key to earning on Swagbucks, because you earn a percentage from all the people who sign up using your link.

  124. Jenny

    SAME!

  125. Jenny

    Hi all,

    Trying to live frugally this month I have:-
    – Trialed grocery shopping once a fortnight from the clearance store. It means less petrol spent getting there. And I have to think carefully about what I buy make sure all future needs are covered. I can also visit Aldi during my work lunch break for fresh goods.
    – Harvesting kale, asparagus, and rocket like mad from the garden. Plus I’m hoping my tomato plant will start fruiting shortly. It already has blooms.
    – At work the company arranges for a fruit box delivery, so I don’t usually buy fruit, until apricots ripen.
    – Used washing machine water for the flower garden.
    – My nephew is turning 4 shortly so I will take him to an Op shop (thrift shop) and tell him he can have any toy there. The maximum prices are usually $5.00.
    – home alone one night and instead of turning the heater on (because it was 14 celsius) I just turned on the electric blanket and jumped into bed for the evening.
    Have a good week.

  126. Lorna

    We found out the cat is a girl after the DNA/hormone tests came back so the poor thing doesn’t need yet another operation. The vet suspects that it may have been an older vet who spayed her the first time and operated from the side which is why we didn’t see any scars on her belly.

  127. Linda M

    Anne…the black walnuts and hickory nuts are very versatile! The walnuts are great in oatmeal or cookies. A hickory nut cake is exceptional….just search online. I would also use the hickory nuts in fudge…..I have and it tastes so good. Mostly, if you like those nut tastes, just use them where you would other nuts.

  128. Cindi

    My mother used to make cookies with black walnuts and hickory nuts. They are very hard to pick out! But the flavor is delicious. They would also be good in pancakes.

  129. Janet

    To the lady who wanted to do the photos with the open floor plan. Shove the dirty dishes in the oven for ten minutes and take your photos, or put them in the bathtub behind a shower curtain.

    Live for today!

  130. Athanasia

    Lorna, I wish you and Tabatha many happy cuddly years together.

  131. Cindy Brick

    Dip those marshmallows in dark chocolate — we bought boxes of these in Mexico, and they’re fantastic. I liked them better than chocolates. You can also then dip them partly in chopped nuts and other 3-D candy embellishments, if you want to be more fancypants about it. Hint: Christmas edible gifts! (Please send a box my way…I’m drooling, just thinking about it. 🙂

    Brandy, I love reading about your frugal accomplishments every week. Would you consider the following:
    *Do at least one more post weekly? Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t.
    *Arrange it so we don’t have to go back through your post, in order to flip through each page of reader comments? I’d love to be able to read them all in one swoop.

  132. Marybeth

    The weather has been crazy. One day its 80 the next day its 55. I haven’t had the AC or heat on.
    -Went apple picking for the last time of the season. Brought lunch and drinks. Stopped at several farm stands. Got 55 ears of corn for $18. Shared with family and friends. Processed all of the corn for the freezer and made 2 batches of corn cob jelly. Used canning water for my plants.
    -Was given 2 cucumbers, several pieces of fruit, and multiple rolls that would have been thrown away.
    -Sold several items on EBay. Used recycled materials to ship in. Dropped packages off on the way to work.
    -My son’s job is very generous with leftovers at the end of the night. He brought home more bread and pastries. I haven’t made bread all week because we have so much and I don’t want waste.
    -Mended a pair of pants, some socks and undergarments and sewed a button back on. I wait until there is a pile.
    -Our neighbor was cleaning out his office and offered us 18 DVDs. Some are brand new so I will put them in raffle baskets that I make for different charities. They others we didn’t own so new things to watch.
    -Helped out at the high school blood drive. Can’t donate but can at least give some time. Got to catch up with a friend that was also volunteering and got to chat with 2 of my daughter’s teachers.
    -Went to a friends house for a craft night. We take turns doing them during the cooler months. Much cheaper then going out.
    -Got Chicken cutlets for $1.49 a pound. Only allowed 2 packages so I took the 2 biggest ones I could find. 12 lbs total. MY husband sliced them nice and thin and I froze them in meal size servings.
    -Pasta was on sale 88 cents for a pound. Ibotta had a 50 cent rebate up to 3. Got 3. A couple of days later the rebate reappeared so I went and got 3 more. 6 lbs. of pastas for $2.28. Woo hoo
    – Our biggest blessing this week was one of my sisters. She is selling her beach house. Her tenants moved out and she is not enjoying being a land lord. The house has beautiful furniture. She offered us almost everything in the house. It is in another state, so my husband and I left early one morning and went to see what we could use. We came home with a flat screen TV, a desk and chair, 3 mirrors, and nightstand, a trunk, Pyrex bowls and lids, cookie sheets, utensils, 2 large decorative bowls, books, and misc. utensils. We helped her take a few things she wanted to keep as well. She gave the king bed to her neighbor. Her father stays with them so he doesn’t have to sleep on a twin bed anymore. She was offering the rest to a recently single mom that she knows. Otherwise she will be donating the rest. We treated her out to lunch as a thank you.

    Have a wonderful week!

  133. That was me 🙂 Because I cook from scratch there seems to be around 20 pots and pans here every day . . . Plus dishes for 10 people for three meals a day plus a snack. It’s a LOT of dishes.

  134. Cindy, I have been trying to get out one more post a week, but the last few months have been so busy that I have struggled to get just this one done! That’s why this one was late this week, too! I would really like to post more; I have pages of post ideas. My family needs have to come first, though, so I do my best. Come November I actually endeavor to do two posts a day, but we will see how that goes this year, considering these past few months. Life has been so busy that last week on Thursday I still hadn’t washed the pots and pans from Sunday’s dinner . . . . I normally wash 4 loads of laundry a day, but lately have struggled to get just two a day done. That gives you an idea of the insanity that has been going on! And my youngest has been waking at 4 a.m. for these past few months, which has completely derailed my ability to get up at 4:45 to do laundry, shower, and write on the site.

    As for the comments, I will definitely check into it. I am not sure how to change it, but I will definitely try! I don’t have a paid person who can change it so I will see what I can figure out on my own.

  135. Kim

    I am starting to work on Christmas gifts. I was given some small cardboard boxes from my workplace. One I covered in a red and grey plaid remnant fabric and the other I glued a beautiful nature photo on top. The photo came out of a book I bought last summer for .25 cents at a garage sale. The boxes turned out really well. I will place 3 jars of my homemade jam in each box and tie with a beautiful ribbon from the thrift store. They look like they came from a very high-end gift store. One will be for my single nephew and one will be for my niece that has two little boys whom I am sure eat a lot of pbj sandwiches. Yesterday, I picked up two very nice packages of milk chocolate sea salt chocolates. They were only $1.49 each which is a bargain price for my area. I am thinking I might decorate up two more of the boxes (I have several left) and put in the package of chocolates and maybe a couple of other small things for my two co-workers for Christmas. I enjoy putting these type of gifts together. They are easy to personalize and easy on my limited holiday budget. Brandy, you and the others have inspired me to get creative in my gift giving. After all, it is the thought that counts.

  136. Holly

    Grandma would make a black walnut frosting from some of the many walnuts that she harvested from her trees. Walnuts are messy but delicious. Enjoy!

  137. ellie's friend from Canada

    Oh, I wish I could have got some of those! what a great deal!

  138. Terri W.

    If you spend any time on your laptop, you can watch videos on a separate tab. Those points can add up pretty fast!

  139. ellie's friend from Canada

    Tammy,

    I am sure God will help you be resilient during these trying times. If you have insurance now, perhaps you could move up the
    follow up appointments? I did this myself. Also, if you have any dental insurance now, if you need it, now’s the time to get
    dental work done while you have coverage. If you can’t afford the part not covered, talk to your dentist and see if he would waive that portion or take it over time or deferred. He might be glad to do that. I was pretty shocked about 3 years ago to learn that although I had no cavities on the surface of my teeth, that underneath those that had silver amalgam fillings had cracks that would get cavities and that would then need root canals. Fortunately I had enough time to get them all with onlays (porcelain instead of the silver amalgam fillings). I had $10,000 work done and paid $3,000 (over 3 years. Now I still owe $600. My dentist is being kind about it). I wonder if Habitat for Humanity would have a work bee at your house to speed up completion. Does your husband have any vested pensions for having worked there for 20 years? Is he being retired? If laid off will he get severance? Is he entitled to severance? If they are not offering severance, see if there is a pro bono lawyer who could advise you about his rights, if any. He may be entitled to a certain amount of severance per every year he worked. (for example, one week of pay for each year worked –– it varies by jurisdiction). on’t get your hopes up about severance but it might be worthwhile to ask someone who knows what the law in your state is.He sounds like a wonderful person with music in his soul. Try to stock up on your prescription drugs now and just before you lose his plan. Look at what is covered now and try to take advantage of anything. Talk to your creditors (like the hospital) and explain they will get their money but could you make an arrangement of some kind with them, Creditors are much happier with you if you take the initiative, explain the circumstances, and say you’d like to make some arrangement (for example lower payments, deferred payments for a couple of months until you get back on your feet). Your little 6 acre farm will be a Godsend. You can grow your own veggies, harvest nuts from trees if there are any, have your own chickens. I do not know about American severance law but I would suggest you go to the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labour website. For example, it says “Dislocated workers may have rights to certain retirement protections and health benefits under ERISA even if they lose their job. If a company provided a group health plan, the dislocated worker may be entitled to continued health benefits for a period of time if they cannot find a job immediately. When they find a new job, they may have fewer barriers to health care coverage”. And it states: “And with a change of employment , dislocated workers should understand how retirement benefits are affected. Knowing their rights can help a dislocated worker protect their family until they are working full time again”. Look up COBRA under FAQS on this website. It talks about “provisions to require group health plans to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated”. You probably know all about these items but I thought I’d mention them to you. It looks like the website has phone numbers people can call for advice. Before you enroll in COBRA, check your state’s medicaid or if there is a state’s children’s health insurance program. You probably know all of this but I looked it up for you and hope it gives you food for thought and maybe some ideas. Blessings.

  140. ellie's friend from Canada

    great idea Maxine about renting space for people’s RVs and boats but make sure your house insurance will cover loss for
    other people’s property; otherwise you might get a waiver of liability from the owners and require them to have insurance policy storing their property on your land. A good pro bono lawyer might give some basic advice on this and draw up a simple agreement to protect the farm owner. You don’t want to have something happen to an RV or a boat and then be responsible to the owner for the value that has been lost. Otherwise, a good idea.

  141. ellie's friend from Canada

    I mean the quilts!

  142. Pauline in Upstate NY

    Juls, I just want to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. I followed you from here, and I ended up going all the way back to the beginning and reading every word (yes, it took a few weeks!). What an amazing story… You are one seriously “can-do” woman, and your energy level puts me to shame — between you and Brandy I always have something to aspire to. Best of luck to you & your sweetie as you head into his retirement!

  143. Melissa V

    I am sitting here with 3 sweatshirts and long johns under my sweatpants because we are trying to make it to November 1st before we turn the heat on. We haven’t even fired up the wood stove although, there is snow in the forecast for the weekend so we are probably going to have to cave.
    **We had an unexpected vet bill for our poor old Beagle – Kaylee. She and our youngest Dane (Freya) have never been buddies (in fact, the Freya at 6 weeks old got into a fight with Kaylee). The arguments have been escalating and last week, it resulted in Kaylee needing stitches and antibiotics. It was over who got into the bedroom first and I was only 10 steps behind them and wasn’t fast enough 🙁 Luckily, she was not bleeding heavily and we could bind it to keep pressure on it overnight so we could avoid the emergency vets office (who have astronomical prices and very poor care) and bring her in to our vets first thing in the morning. Poor Kaylee has 14 stiches in her side behind a front leg and a smaller bite wound between her shoulder blades and is back on antibiotics. She was also recovering from a UTI (which was another vet bill). Needless to say, I was furious with Freya and she was ignored by me for 3 days…..she’s still trying to kiss up. It put a dent in the money for bills but luckily I was able to pick up a few more hours at work and hopefully it will be enough.
    **I bought 2nds apples at the farm market with our “Double up Bucks” we get with our SNAP benefits and I am planning on turning them into applesauce next week.
    **I discovered that my quail LOVE treats from work – the ends of the deli meats we slice and veggie scraps as well as bread ends. They are little eating/pooping machines so this will help with the feed bill.
    **My ducks are FINALLY laying and I am swamped in eggs again 🙂 I am so happy I don’t have to pay $3.50 for a half dozen anymore!
    **I have decided that for right now, I need to cut back on how many sewing jobs I am taking on. My house, pets and especially hubby have been neglected due to how much time I am sewing or working at the deli + I also help him with his drone photography. And I am so exhausted I don’t ever feel like cooking or even planning which does nothing for keeping the food budget under control.
    **We were in the “neighborhood” of a very remote butcher shop while we were out doing a drone job and found hamburg for $1.69 a pound, chicken breasts for $1.49 a pound, New York steaks for 3.99 a pound (our anniversary dinner), and 50 pounds of red potatoes for $8.99 (18 cents a pound!!!). They also had 8 oz packages of cheese blocks and slices for $1.50 each. Everything is in the freezer (other than the steaks and potatoes). We also took advantage of a mobile food pantry and I was able to restock our oatmeal supply, get 2 packages of chicken breast, a very small beef roast and an 18 pack of eggs (hubby doesn’t eat duck eggs except in baked goods)
    **A coworker gave me a pair of almost new tennis shoes that didn’t work out for her.
    **We received our free bag of cat food (buy 12 and 13th is free) and also just received a $10 reward certificate which will go towards the dogs food this week.
    **The garden has been put to bed although there is still a bit of leaf raking that needs to be done. My chicken coop is almost completely dismantled – unless someone could come with a fork lift – that coop wasn’t going to move so I have been slowly dismantling it. It is still for sale but if it doesn’t go soon, I will just put the shingles and windows away and build a better hutch for my quail and a better A-frame coop for my ducks> I will probably use the floor framework as a deck around the pond I want to build for the ducks. We’ll have to see what the winter and spring decides to throw our way.
    ** At the moment, we are waiting to hear the test results of the 5 wells from the trailer park behind us. Rockford, MI is now the focus of the area after it was discovered that Wolverine World Wide dumped their leather scraps as well as the sludge left from waterproofing the leather (shoes) all over the area – many were not legal dumps and even the legal ones are contaminating the wells. We live less than a mile from one of the dump sites. The chemicals are PFAS and it is a nasty, nasty chemical that doesn’t degrade over time. They are also doing cancer studies around the sites and Kidney, thyroid and a whole host of other health issues are associated with the chemical (hubby has had cancer and now has kidney and gall stones, my pancreas stopped working, I have had thyroid problems as well as multiple digestive issues, my daughter has a torsion in her lower left leg (skeletal deformities in fetuses are one of the issues) and we’ve had multiple cats with kidney and thyroid issues). Unfortunately, that means we are probably stuck with this home and it’s high taxes til this all gets taken care of, which could be years. We will just have to be patient and see how this all plays out :/
    **Other than work or getting groceries – we have stayed home and only had one lunch date. I made sure we always have drinks with us – hubby always gets thirsty due to the diabetes and will want to stop for a high priced something.
    ** Hubby’s health has leveled out – sorta – for now. He is currently waiting for a couple small kidney stones to pass and still has a lot of shoulder and back pain as well as nueropathy pain in his feet (especially the one that had the ulcer last summer) but he is managing it with just Advil and avoiding the heavier pain killers. I just wish he could sleep – he is still really struggling with getting any sleep which I think would help with his pain but the pain keeps him awake. We see his cancer doc at the end of November which is always stressful. Hopefully, it will be good news that he is still in remission and that he’s good for another 3 months.
    I know there was more but I have to get ready for work. Have a great week everyone!

  144. Jennifer O

    We got the lab coat and the bag back (but not the contents). Someone tried to bluff their way into the hospital pharmacy wearing his lab coat!

  145. I believe gratitude for things helps bring more good our way, and you are surely a great example of that! And as you say, respect and kindness go a long way. It’s lovely you are bringing a friend to share in the great produce deals. I’m sorry for your loss. It does sound as though you made the best of the unexpected costs. Your posts are always a bright spot to read!

  146. J

    I just had to comment because – YES – cooking from scratch makes soooo many dishes. When we had our house pictures done a month ago I actually had to just order pizza and eat it over a few meals to stop the insanity of the dishes. With 10 people Brandy, it must be insane! It never,ever ends. Really enjoying all the comments this week – especially all the thoughts on dining out and all the time it takes to keep a house functioning. I just love all you ladies on this blog 🙂 so much to learn and share

  147. Cindy in the South

    I had four kids, worked full time outside the home, and seldom took the kids out to eat in a restaurant (once a year when traveling for the holidays.)….. It was just too expensive.

  148. Athanasia

    We are wondering whether we will get the snow predicted. The odd thing is that we have not had any substantial frosts so many things are still growing past their normal date. Not fantastically, and we still have blooming flowers.

    Cleaning out the gardens we still find the occasional non hardy vegetable like pepper or zucchini. Tomatoes we picked every last one, green and red. My daughter brought in about 20 pounds of broccoli from that late summer planting. We moved all the rest of the squash, potatoes and pumpkins into the garage to finish curing. The lemon tree has been back in the sunroom about 3 weeks, the geraniums are in the breezeway for now. We picked all the melons, all the apples, 3 quarts or so of the last of the late raspberries. Carrots, rutabaga and Brussels sprouts are still out there. All the last of the corn was picked. Friday is my day off…I am looking at much of this sitting in my kitchen right now.

    I seriously intend to finish this post today. I’m getting food ready now as my husband has a work day tomorrow to finish the addition to his workshop. One of my cousin’s, an electrician and his dad, a retired electrician, are over there with them now finishing the wiring. Tomorrow we will have my nephew (husband’s business partner), one of my brothers, and 3 brother in laws, our tenant and our older son there. We ladies are going to make applesauce. Right now I am making 2 kinds of soup…chili macaroni and potato. I have a plum kuchen and pumpkin nut bread in the oven. I will bake Brandy’s French bread shortly. My daughter mixed up the dough for ginger snaps and chocolate crinkle cookies last night. My mother is over here with baby Dora and they are putting the dough balls on cookie sheets for me. (If you ever have the option of putting in a double oven, I highly recommend it.)

    I will try my dress on tomorrow for the wedding. It is being sewn by Katieanna, my nephew’s wife. She is a seamstress. She ordered the material, darkish green with a lighter green small fern pattern and she used my regular dress pattern so that I can use it for other colder weather weddings etc. It is rayon and feels and drapes nicely. I did something new…I had my daughter cut about 18″ off my hair. I still need help putting my hair up everyday but it is not so heavy anymore.

  149. L. Caryn Wise

    Melissa V.
    I am so sorry to read about your husband’s pain, especially in his feet. i am a diabetic as well, and the pain in my feet at night is particularly difficult at night. My endocrinologist recently prescribed Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel 1%- it’s a cream you apply, let dry for five minutes; it works surprisingly well, enough that I can fall asleep. Perhaps one of his doctors will prescribe it -probably would help his back and shoulders as well. Something to consider.
    Best wishes.

  150. Marcia R.

    We are having trouble with our cat pronouns. Our most recent acquisition is a neutered male, but we have had two female cats for the last 17 years or so, and even a couple months after getting SMOKEY, we still refer to him as “SHE” and “HER” at least half the time. We’re really trying hard but we still slip up! He doesn’t seem to notice, however—as long as we feed him promptly and give in to his obsession of cuddling–but only with my husband–he’s fine! Our females both got cancer and died about 6 or 7 months apart.

  151. Marcia R.

    I can read it still, and understand the gist of it, if not every word, but I’m afraid I could no longer put a sentence together. I studied it in high school and college but never was truly fluent. I did get to where I could understand without having to translate into English.

  152. Marcia R.

    We try to keep eating out confined to one meal a week, and the main reason is that the cook likes a break once in a while. My husband cooks Sunday breakfast but the rest is up to me. Luckily, I like cooking. I am also on a low sodium, low fat regimen due to heart disease/high blood pressure, and other medical issues. I read recently that 70% of our sodium intake is from eating out and/or convenience foods. I do most of my cooking from scratch but I do have a fondness for boxed rice mixes when on sale and I have coupons. Rice-A-Roni and one brand of yellow rice have low sodium versions. Mostly I use plain brown rice but I splurge when I see a deal!
    Our eating out meals are usually neighborhood type places, not fine dining. And we “order small” as we do not have big appetites to start with, and we try not to order more than we will actually eat. Most things don’t reheat that well even if you try! This isn’t easy the first time you eat at a place but gets easier — we live in a small town and don’t have a ton of choices without driving 45 minutes or so. In good weather we do that, but not so much in winter.
    I also attempt not to buy breads or bakery items due to not knowing what’s in them. Even chocolate cake made at home is healthier than what you buy in a bakery because you can control what goes into it. I use canola oil and skim milk and such substitutes. If I want it badly enough, I can just get up off my butt and make it!! On that note–hoping to make some pumpkin mini-breads tomorrow.

  153. Melissa V

    Thank you!! We see his primary in a week so I will write this down to ask her about it. His shoulder pain is in the rotater cuff due to an old injury and it has also developed arthritis. His back is arthritis according to the docs because his bulging disk couldn’t be causing as much pain as he is in. He has a whole pharmacy of drugs now between the diabetes and the nueropathy and all the related complications. The chemo made his nueropathy much worse and it has now traveled up parts of his lower leg as well. He also lost feeling in his finger tips due to the chemo as well. It might or might not subside…..only time will tell. Thank you again and I have added it to my list of questions!

  154. Tanja Brattinga

    Hello everybody from far away,
    Here are some frugal accomplishments from the Netherlands.
    While the kids had autumn vacation and my husband having lots of time of (compensating hours he worked extra) it was busy in the house al the time.
    My husband went to the city with our daughter and 3 of her friends to go clothes shopping (at pri-mark, very cheap, not so good quality) our kids get clothing money every 3 months so can learn to handle their own money, and what you need and what you want. Husband went to see an aunt and uncle who live there. (Those girls don’t need the opinion of an “old” man about their clothes…smile)
    Another day we went shopping with youngest son and some of his friends. But they want brand stuff, so we went to a special shopping mall with all outled brand stuff. Which shows you, that the kids make different chooses with their money. A lot and cheap or a few and more expensive. The boys went their way and we went the other way, I bought nothing. My husband bought some very nice quality shirts at 70% off. We met up with the boys at the snackbar and eat french fries with no drinks because we take them from home and they could drink that in the car.
    We eat a lot of freezer food and pantry stuff the last few weeks. Now I had free space in my freezers to buy new meat at the butcher (don’t like supermarket meat, rather eat less and pay a little bit more). Yesterday we went to the fishing tackle (? is that the right word in english, you buy fish staight from the boats). We bought about 7 kg and had to clean them up ourselves. Gurnard, whiting, schol filets and sole. I bought 10 kg of patatoes last week at aldi’s for 1,00 euro per kg, and there are a lot of vegetables in the freezer from the garden so we will be okay for the coming weeks.
    Coming Tuesday I’ll be doing an quilt course to make an christmas table runner.
    So far some news from the Netherlands, I’ll go wake up son to get ready for soccer game.
    Greetings Tanja

  155. I’m not diabetic, but have intermittent neuropathy from another issue. What has helped me the most is geranium essential oil applied lightly to the painful areas. This has to be the true essential oil from the plant, not a manmade fragrance oil. Just something that might be worth researching. Essential oils are not inexpensive, but may be worth it if it can help your husband sleep.

  156. Jo

    Great idea, thanks!

  157. LL

    This week I was able to do the following:
    -Cut my husbands hair.
    -Returned purchased items for a home improvement project that we did not use to a total of $67.
    -Made dinner at home every night.
    -Found 3.75 yards of fabric at a rummage sale for .75. It’s perfect for making a lap quilt.
    -Moved all the green plants from our back porch indoors before it freezes. Found containers to put plants in so I could place them on the carpet in our basement. I search the house and reused round waste baskets, crocks, etc. -no money spent.
    -Put extra comforter on the bed and turned heat down to 63.
    -Baked bread for dinner.
    -Made bread croutons from old bread for stuffing.
    -Took a book to a book exchange, and got a slightly used book to read.
    -No more flavored coffee brewed at home, switched back to regular and enjoying it.
    -Cut out a $1 off coupon for gas in local shopper, no gallon minimum to fill, bought 3 gallons and saved .33 per gallon.
    -Decorated for Fall, using things that I had and simply arranged them in different locations in the house.
    -Rented a movie, using a .75 coupon,-only cost .78 .
    -Reviewed our prescription costs and will continue with our current vendor, using mail order puts our savings at 50% rather than using a brick/mortar store.
    -Saving all envelopes from correspondence mail-will add address label, and use to mail rebates etc.
    -Recycling all garbage/containers for recycling center. Saved $4 on a bag of garbage-holding it for another week.
    -Brought in my parsley, in a small pot, to keep in the house over winter.
    -Took inventory of wardrobe-jean, sweat shirts, shoes and outer gear for winter.
    -Made a set of paper pieced pot holders for my mom for her upcoming birthday.
    -Did the sudoko puzzle, printed in the free shopper we get in the mail.
    -Used frozen zucchini, shredded when we had extra earlier this summer, for a chocolate zucchini bread I took to a monthly ladies social for our neighborhood. These are so great, there is no cost, only bring something to eat or drink.
    -Bought an “almost” new mattress from a family member for $50, they used it at the most 20 nights and had to get rid of it due to a move. SO thankful for their wonderful generosity.
    -Found a confirmation card at a resale shop for .25 that I mailed to my nephew, who is getting confirmed this weekend.
    -Downloaded ebooks from the library to my kindle.
    Good Week.

  158. Tanja Brattinga

    The patatoes where 1,00 for 5 kg!!!!!! So, 2,00 euro’s for 10 kg of patatoes.

  159. Lisa

    Jenni – I wondered why your name sounded familiar and then I realized I read your entry on Stephanie’s blog, Six Figures Under! It’s wonderful to see you also read Brandy’s blog! I’m adding your blog to my repertoire of frugal blogs to help our family through some major debt payoff!!

  160. Lisa

    I ran the numbers and we’ve been able to pay off over $15,000 in student loan debt since June because of tips and recipes from your blog and major lifestyle changes. We won’t be able to pay quite a large amount going forward as we are moving out of the basement of our very generous family and found a small apartment and will be adding rent, utilities, and internet to our monthly payments. But, I am very happy with what we’ve been able to do!

    I went to a community swap meet and was able to find pants and shirts for my oldest son. My other boys will wear his smaller clothes. Thank goodness for hand-me-downs! I was able to find books and puzzles for Christmas. I was also able to find baskets, a water pitcher, and a baby booster seat! So many blessings!

  161. Anne

    Thank you. I will try those.

  162. Anne

    Thank You.

  163. Ruth

    Brandy, I very much appreciate all the effort you put into your website! I’m impressed that a homeschooling mother of eight children can keep up with weekly posts! Your site is full of beauty, inspiration, encouragement, and practical ideas. Thank you!

  164. Lorna

    Marcia R that is lovely that you have a new male cat and yes they definitely do have favourite humans for certain activities but you never know Smokey may after a while like you to give him cuddles too eventually 😀 .

    Our new cat doesn’t like lap cuddles at all from either of us instead preferring cuddles on the floor where she can roll around.

  165. Lorna

    Thanks Athanasia we will and she is already spoilt 🙂 .

  166. Juls Owings

    Son uses them for topping sweet potato casserole. Grandsons stick them on a fork and roast over the burner of the stove.I stuck them together with frosting and made snowmen out of different sizes for Christmas last year. My granddaughter rolls them in frosting and then sprinkles for gifts for birthdays and holidays.

  167. Juls Owings

    I don’t have a little one but my dishes have sat for more than a few days as I got derailed with doctor appts and Hubby who usually steps in and does that has worked over time almost every day for the last week.

  168. Juls Owings

    wipe them down with bleach water… I use 1/4 th cup to a quart of water. Cool dark place is best .Don’t break off “handle” if it does use it up because it will start rotting faster.

  169. Juls Owings

    I moved all of our appts up to be covered with ins. I also asked about their cash payment plans for when we aren’t covered since ALL of my medical doctors will be out of network and I can’t afford $25000 for medical which is the amount I would need if I run it through the ins out of network is 60/40 and no catastrophic ins. And the last 5 yrs I have hit the limit to be classified as catastrophic. Prayers and Blessing…remember God’s will, God’s way, God’s time and in his hands.

  170. Juls Owings

    I had to laugh…My late Husband and I had 7 and NO kitchen sink, no water in the kitchen. We had to go all the way through the downstairs (40 ft) up the curving staircase and then another 25 ft to the bathroom and cart water back down to the enclosed back porch to wash dishes in old metal dish pans. After he died at the age of 39, the first thing I did was finish the plumbing for the kitchen. When I remarried, Hubby gave me a dishwasher for our wedding present,and still couldn’t believe we ran it 4 times a day and did the pots and pans by hand. LOL

  171. Juls Owings

    Laurie in central NC …thank you for the info of geranium essential oil. I have neuropathy and am having issues with my injections not working in the one area of my shoulder. I will give this a try. Thanks and Blessed Be

  172. I hope it will work for you, Juls. I lean towards natural remedies when possible, and this one has worked well for me.

  173. Tammy

    Thank-you Mable.

  174. Tammy

    Maxine,
    Thank-you. I do worry about my son. I know I need to plan for when we are gone. You are smart to plan ahead. My son is 28. Not sure what I am going to do yet for planning. But I know it is important. Thank-you for thinking of me.
    Tammy

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