Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Hamish 4 months The Prudent Homemaker

Hamish sat up a couple of weeks ago at 4 1/2 months old. Now he wants to sit up all the time.

 

I sewed 5 toddler bibs that I cut out from an old fitted sheet of my mom’s.

I turned a pair of my son’s pants with a torn knee into shorts.

I turned a pair of my daughter’s jeans with a torn knee into shorts, and I turned a pair of boot cut jeans into shorts. Since I buy the girls’ jeans for $0.50 to $2 a pair at garage sales, I’m not out a lot to start when they quickly wear out the knees in their jeans. Shorts are more practical here for most of the year, so they wear the shorts until the fabric wears out.

I opened the windows in the early mornings when it was below 79 to air out the house and keep from running the air conditioner for a couple of hours each morning. We need air conditioning here during the day through October, so it was nice to be able to open the windows just for a short while before we reached triple digits this past week.

Some of my agapanthus plants died over the summer (they burnt in the heat, a common problem here for many plants). The local nursery was having a sale on them, so I purchased some new ones while they were on sale. 

My husband gave our eldest son a haircut.

My husband and his brother fixed our back door, which has not been closing properly for some time.

I read several e-books from the library. I paid $62.32 a year in taxes for the library this year, and I have gotten more than my money’s worth (One likes to think of the library as being “free,” but it isn’t really free.) The library recently purchased several e-books that I requested, so I’ve been able to read books that I really wanted without having to purchase them.

I enjoyed two magazines that I have a free subscription to, thanks to Recyclebank.

I cut red noodle beans and Armenian cucumbers from the garden. We used the beans in a dinner of fried rice (along with eggs, onions, and carrots) and the cucumbers with white bean dip (along with purchased carrots, cut into sticks) for a lunch. I also cut chives from the garden.

I cooked a large batch of pinto beans in the solar oven, which I used to make bean burritos.

I saved some old raisins that were becoming rather dry by using them to make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. The recipe calls for soaking and slightly cooking the raisins with water to make them plumper, so even if your raisins are super old, they will still work well in this recipe.

I made a bottle of anti-static spray using store-brand witch hazel and water in a $1 travel spray bottle. A reader suggested this in the comments a couple of months ago and my eldest said it works great. She used about 60% witch hazel to 40% water (the original comment said 50/50, I believe).

I repurposed a beautiful blue and white gravy boat that a reader sent to me to hold flashcards that we are using every day.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Post Has 170 Comments

  1. Susan M.

    I found some dress pants for me at a thrift store, and my teen daughter bought them for me so they were free for me! She had a gift certificate she had received for volunteering, so they were free for her as well! We also found her a winter scarf at the same store.

    Tried a new clothing store, and my hubby found dress pants for work for just $10.

    I waited for a sale, and it saved me $44.19 when I ordered some new tops for me from a new to me company. I recently lost weight, which is why there is a lot of clothing purchases needed for me!

    I checked a DVD out from the library, instead of purchasing it. Free for me, and I don’t have to add to things that have to be stored.

    More in my blog at: http://tnquiltbug.blogspot.com/2018/09/frugal-friday-week-of-september-16-22.html

  2. Sitting up at 4 1/2 months? You have a go getter!! 🙂 Love the tip about the anti static spray. And it’s really true that the library isn’t as “free” as we think it is (although the taxes don’t give us much choice on that spending).

    I’m now expecting baby #6, and spent most of the past couple of months sleeping. 🙂 But I finally wrote up another post about how we saved money last week! https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-this-week-130/

  3. Leigh Ann

    It was a great week!
    I enjoyed free snacks at an informational session I attended with my students.
    I found several things at Goodwill: boxes of unopened diapers, plus several clothing items to keep for my kids or resell. I found a $7 first communion dress for my daughter, half price. She likes it, so this $3.50 dress and veil will be wonderful.
    Our Randall’s (Safeway affiliate) has canned beans, veggies, and tomato products for .25/can with the in-ad coupon. It says limit 12, but the cashiers never seem to mind my multiple transactions. I may have overbought, but these cans say they’re good until 2021.
    My dad fixed a part on my van, saving us a lot of money, hopefully.
    I cut open the toothpaste tube to get the last bit out.
    Bought mark downs and loss leaders.
    I am using some dried-up baby wipes in place of paper towels, which I don’t use often but am currently out of.
    I am using up some small hotel soaps and shampoo.
    I picked up some marked down peanut butter for a friend. I had quite a bit already, but bought her 20 jars.
    I sold another baby formula coupon that came in the mail on eBay. I made $5 and save a lot by nursing.
    I bought gas at a cheaper gas station.
    I treated a stain with baking sofa, hydrogen peroxide, and blue Dawn.
    I downloaded the Wendy’s app, which gets me a free half salad with any purchase (.50 frosties) each day until 10/7.

  4. Another week full of accomplishments for you, on top of all of your usual chores and plans! I never fail to be impressed by you, Brandy!

    As for me, I find that as I’m just entering my last month of pregnancy, I don’t have a lot of energy. Working full-time seems to take all my energy during the weekdays, and on the weekends I try to catch up on errands/housework and baby prep. But, I still managed to find some time to do a few things!
    – I wrote thank you notes using note cards leftover from my wedding thank you notes from years ago, and stamps that I had traded for previously.
    – Did the usual of packing all my lunches and snacks. Besides saving money, this also saves me energy: I have no desire to leave my workplace during my lunch hour and expend precious energy! Would much rather eat my packed lunch and sit with my feet elevated.
    – Froze some bananas that were getting overripe, for ‘nice’ cream and for smoothies.
    – Prepped some bags of smoothie ingredients for the freezer, so that I can just toss them into the blender with some yoghurt and milk and have a green smoothie ready for dinners after work. This is my favourite smoothie base: http://approachingfood.com/foodie-trends-hemp-seed-antioxidant-smoothie-bowl/
    – Bought ice cream on sale and made more ice cream sandwiches.
    – Made a batch of homemade yoghurt.
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gc to Indigo books. I like to buys books as Christmas gifts for the children of two of my closest friends to encourage literacy etc., so this will buy almost two books for the oldest two kids. I already have a gift (traded for) set aside for the mother/family of those kids, so I’m almost done with Christmas gifts for that family. Then only one more family (friend/family and two kids) and I’m done with gifts for my friends!
    – I’m craving mostly fresh fruits and veggies plus yoghurt (and ice cream) at the moment, but I do have some potatoes that I want to use up, so I’m hoping to have enough energy this coming week to make some potato croquettes! (http://approachingfood.com/tasty-tapas-veggie-croquetas/) I’ll add in whatever leftover veggies I have in the fridge, and freeze any remainders for easy future side dishes.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  5. Tammy

    What a beautiful picture of Hamish! He has a sweet smile.

    Made all meals at home. Took grandkids to library and park for free entertainment. Packed a picnic for all of us. Every time we go to town for any reason we pack some food and pour water in a mason jar to drink. Eating what we have except for a few items from the grocery store. My Mom gave us 4 lbs of hamburger. Running all errands on the same trip if possible to save on gas. Using internet to look up recipes, typing what I have on hand to make something we can eat. Turning off lights when not in room. Opening windows when cool. Cooking more beans and lentils than usual. Using a bit of meat to flavor meals. Eggs are cheap here so we are eating more eggs. Paying only minimum on everything hoping to get us through until my husband has a job or unemployment funds come in. Working when I can get hours.

  6. Terry

    Spent this past week at my brothers lake house. Before we left I canned pickles and tomatoes. I hauled all the extra veggies to the mission. Fishing was poor, but we enjoyed a relaxing week anyway. I packed food from home. We only bought a pound of burger and a loaf of bread while we were gone. What fish we caught hubby will smoke.
    Brother has cable so we watched a lot of fixer upper programs giving us some good ideas for projects at home.
    When we got home I picked veggies from the garden. Used some peaches off our tree and some rhubarb from the garden to make a delicious upside down cake. I’ve cooked all the ripe tomatoes along with other garden veggies to make a batch of v8.
    Tomorrow I will take extra squash to the mission again. I’ll run all my errands in one trip. Ill stop at the thrift store to check their Monday specials since I have to go right past.
    Fall is here and the garden is slowing. My freezers are full as well as almost all my jars. We have apples and lots of squash to store for winter. Now comes the months that we eat mostly out of our pantry

  7. Marybeth

    Hamish is so gorgeous. That picture just made my night. Thank you for sharing your family with us. I miss having little ones around. My baby is a senior in high school. I hope you are doing well Brandy and are getting more sleep. Sending you lots of prayers. I wish I could do more.

    I love, love, love my library. I know that I pay tax money for it but I would have to pay for it even if I didn’t use the library. Libraries today are not the “be quiet” kind of library I remember when I was a kid. If you haven’t been to your local library recently, go check it out. You might be surprised at all they have to offer.

    School is going full speed ahead. Open school was this week as was several nights of float build. There was a football game and Senior breakfast. They really don’t ease you back into it.

    My garden is still going strong. I made another batch of sauce with my tomatoes. I canned 4 quarts, made pasta with meat sauce and
    a pizza with it. We have been eating as much of the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and pole beans as possible. Everything else is been canned or frozen.

    We had car troubles with 2 of our cars this week. Hubby’s car stalled. AAA had it towed for free to our mechanic. It cost us $60 to have fixed and nothing for the tow. You get a free tow every year. YD’s car was dead when she came out of school. Hubby jumped it and it has been fine since.

    Hubby and I went on a date to a free home show. It is held at a local college. We even got some freebies from it.

    This seemed to be a week of accepting leftovers. My son brought some home from work. Hubby also brought some home from work. YD brought home 1/2 a pizza from float build and a bunch of food from the senior breakfast. We are happy to eat it and not see it go in the garbage. The rest of my frugal week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/09/my-frugal-list-week-of-september-17-2018.html

  8. Maxine

    What a sweetie!

    Also, hope your surgery went well. I hope you let your crew wait on you for the rest of the day.

    This was my week–
    We celebrated my daughter’s birthday with lunch at Red Lobster. (Frugal fail: forgot to take the coupon from the newspaper). Homemade cake at home. Her gift was a large Mickey Mouse Christmas inflatable that we will have in the front yard from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I bought this on clearance last year for $30. A friend also did her nails with purple glitter gel polish that turns pink if her hands get cold. My daughter is 42 and developmentally disabled.

    Another week of cooking and eating at home. We went to our vacation home for the weekend and I managed to cook all of our meals with food that was already there.

    At the lake, I stained the fascia boards on the deck and the risers of the front steps with mis-tint Cabot deck stain that I bought at Lowe’s for $9 (regularly $45, and a great color).

    I used my debit card for small purchases 4 days this past week. My credit union will pay me $1 per day that I use the debit card in September.

    I was able to stack a $5 Ace Bucks coupon with $5 in Ace Rewards to get a couple of duplicate keys made for next-to-nothing. I returned an item to Lowe’s for a $7.35 refund. I bought a couple of curtain rods at Big Lots–their curtain rods cost way less than at other stores. The biggest one was $19 and comparable to rods costing $40-$60 at other stores. (60 bucks for a curtain rod???!).

    I watched a You Tube and used double-sided tape to put down leftover vinyl flooring in the shed. I put up a rack and hung up all of the tools. I moved an old plastic shelf unit to the shed and used it for all of the miscellaneous junk.

    Most weeks, I mention that I “did all of the usual frugal stuff,” and last week, I mentioned that I don’t buy stuff for the purpose of throwing it away (disposables). I don’t wash Zip-Locs if they are messy, but I use very, very few bags that I actually have to buy. I freeze most of my meat in bread bags or produce bags and line my waste baskets with plastic grocery sacks. I am an ace recycler, but I always try to reuse first.

    Hope everyone here had a great week!

  9. Tina S.

    What a great picture! Your son is adorable.

    My week went well. I was able to spend several hours during the week working on a sewing project: I am making myself a pair of jeans. I already had the pattern, and I found a “sew along” online where they take you through all the different steps. While it is cheaper to buy jeans at the thrift store, I am counting this project as reasonably frugal entertainment. I like building my skills and I haven’t made anything like this in a very long time.

    Frugal accomplishments from last week:
    – A patient brought in tomatoes from her garden to my work. The staff shared them, and I got several large heirloom ones. I made a batch of tomato soup and froze it. My freezer is now full of individually packaged containers of soup to take for my work lunches.
    – I prepped meat for future dinners and froze it.
    – I went to the dentist to get two crowns (not frugal, but necessary). One of them is a redo, because I needed a root canal last year after the dentist did the first crown. He gave me a large discount on the new crown (my insurance won’t pay for it).
    – I bought fabric to make a Christmas present for my husband. I am making him a shirt. I also bought a discounted puzzle for part of his present. The plan is to make him a puzzle wrap too. I saw one in the store and it was made of felt. I figure it can’t be hard to make.
    – We were plagued by fruit flies, so I made a fruit fly trap. I put a little vinegar in a jar, secured plastic wrap over the top with a rubber band, and poked a few holes in it with a skewer. Worked like a charm.
    – I fry food mainly in stainless steel pans, and stuff gets baked on. So I clean them by adding water and a bit of baking soda, and then bringing it to a boil. This works great and the mess cleans up easily.
    – I shortened a pair of thrift store pants to make capris.
    – I cut hydrangea and dusty miller from my patio to enjoy inside.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  10. Laura

    Brandy, how did your surgery go?
    I also borrowed ebooks from the library.
    Went to the local beauty school for a cut and color. Even leaving a generous tip it was less then half the cost of what a salon would have been.
    Paid a bill online.
    Bought honey crisp and gala apples for 99 cents a pound. Here it is rare to see any apples for 99 cents a pound, let alone honey crisp so I was pretty happy about that. Also found good deals on mushrooms (69 cents for 8 ounces) and pork chops ($1.79 a pound).
    Watered a relative’s garden and picked up their mail while they were out of town, and got to pick and take home some bell peppers and basil for my time.

  11. Elizabeth M.

    I took bottles and milk cartons to the bottle depot for deposit refunds, and used the cash to help buy a few groceries.

    I bought this food at a grocery store when I was at the next town over at a meeting. I picked up a card for my membership in the store’s frequent shopper program. I usually only buy occasional things on special there, but also plan to buy some things for the house this fall, when I visit a larger store in the city, so the card may be worth having.

    When I went to the meeting, I returned the iPad that belongs to the college whose board I sit on, and had my new laptop set up so I could use that instead. I can claim a monthly stipend on my expenses for the use of the personal computer. I am finding it much easier to move back and forth through different materials, especially during a meeting.

    A partial refund on sales tax went astray during the summer, when it was sent to an bank account that was closed. I have followed up with the Canada Revenue Agency, which has had the check back for some time, though they didn’t post it on my account. It is on hold for some reason, and they will be “looking at it” in October, but told me not to expect it until November or December. The office is usually very efficient, but they are short-staffed and may be slowing things down to make a point. It is not a huge amount of money, fortunately.

    I was very sad about the tornadoes in the Ottawa area. One of the worst hit areas was a village my parents lived a couple of miles away from for 35 years. My dad and my sister got to know many people there, and it is a place I connect with “home”, though I don’t have anyone there anymore.

  12. Kara

    I made homemade kombucha. For the second ferment, I added homemade lemonade (made with free lemons) and organic blackberries (picked at a local farm for free-a friend owns it).

    I ate cheese and crackers and fruit purchased at grocery store when I visited the beach.

    I opened all windows in the house each morning and closed up before the heat.

    I used rain checks to get 2lb blocks of cheese for $4 less than the current marked price.

    I returned a dress that didn’t fit and received a refund.

    I had enough grocery store points (mostly from using 3x points and other special offers, since I don’t use that grocery store much) to get a Starbucks gift card, which I’ll give to a niece or nephew for Christmas.

    Hamish looks so sweet.
    Happy frugal week!

  13. Laura

    I will be praying all goes well.
    Forgot one frugal thing – went to a meeting at my child’s school and got to take home novelty pencils and several free children’s books

  14. Heidi Louise

    I need to look for some new authors at my library and looked for the “What I’ve Been Reading” post you did, with the many comments. It sure doesn’t feel like that was last January; how time flies!

    I am watching pre-Halloween sales for some treats for at home. For trick-or-treaters, we give out pencils and stickers I buy on clearance the year before, (checking the stickers to make sure they didn’t go dry in storage).

    My Japanese Toad Lily just started blooming. I bought it for the name several years ago, and it has proved to be a dependable fall perennial.

    Hamish looks like quite pleased with himself! The photo also reminded me of what I’ve read about how to sit properly, so I adjusted my spine from the bottom up to match him.

  15. Maxine

    Thanks for letting us know. Remember to let them wait on you for at least a day!:)

  16. Gardenpat

    Hamishis growingsoquivkly and so adorable! What a great feeling it is to do some quick mending/hemming projects! I usually am reluctant to do them and when I finally do, I am shocked that I had put it off so long! Great feeling of accomplishment!

    We having been living on our food storage the last couple weeks in order to use up and rotate some of our freezers and other food storage!,

    When I started making my Scrappy Bags ( https://pin.it/feddcmppzizen2) as a way to use up some of my overflowing fabric stash, I had no idea that within two weeks, I would have made 36 of them and sold 28 of those already! That has given us an unexpected income of over $350 to put towards paying off hubs’ ablation surgery this year! We redid our website HandmadeinOldeTowne.com to make it more user friendly. So glad hubs and our son J are right here to help with tech issues!!!

    I started up a blog because some friends had asked for a copy of the 20 Steps approach to Food Storage- The Ants Approach. I realized it would be cheaper to just send her all of steps/notebook online rather than to print it out and ship it to her. So anyone’s interested, the blog is : theantorthegrasshopper.blogspot.com

    Did the usual things- packaged up leftovers to take for work lunches and labeled them, so they will be seen and eaten, made all meals at home!

    I read a post somewhere online about a wat to take cuttings from a blackberry bush and root them to make more blackberry bushes! Can anyone help with instructions??

    All in all, a very good week! Thanks for all the inspiration, Brandi and friends! And I’m confident your surgery will go well! Hubs (my AZ guy who grew up before sunscreen) has had it before and sees his dermatologist every 6 months just to freeze off pre-C spots. Highly treatable and good reminder to wear a hat in the scorching sun as well as long sleeves (light cotton shirt) and plenty of sunscreen! Take care and know that our prayers are with you! (Btw- have your Husband give you a blessing beforehand just to put your mind and heart at ease. Jmo)

    Have a good week!

  17. Lorna

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    You did really well Brandy and think of wonderful cost saving measures to get the most out of the children’s clothing you purchase at really good prices :). Hamish is gorgeous and such a lovely smile he has.

    I have some exciting news to share is that we are also now in the market to buy a property :), having checked out local prices around town and out of town (much lower than we thought in certain areas), with the deposit we have we can well buy a lower priced established property and do some minor renovations to make it suit us.

    This week we have seen 2 properties one acreage that didn’t suit and was quite mountainous with not a lot of usable land and a residential property with a 3 bedroom house on a half an acre just on the outskirts of town. The second has promise so we are strongly considering that one and maybe putting in an offer after a second look next week. We are also waiting on a real estate agent to show us a property out of town on 2.4 acres of land which we are very interested in looking at. We will keep you updated 🙂 .

    Needless to say not a lot got done this week apart from a steep learning curve on how to buy a property, expenses involved, ringing a solicitor for conveyancing/legal costs,comparing what other houses sold for recently in the areas we are interested in, quotes from garage companies and inquiring about the first home buyers grant.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $172.22 in savings last week :).

    Finances & internet listings –
    – Saved more money into our saving for our house deposit bringing us to 28.57% of the way there (in reality our house deposit for a ready built home in our area could well be closer to 50 – 60% yay ).
    – Listed 10 more items in my eBay store on a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual costs.

    Hair cuts –
    – DH cut my long hair short saving about $60 on the price of having it professionally done.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made a 1.171 kg batch of chocolate walnut brownies (thank you Gardenpat for the recipe you gave the link to earlier) with buttercream icing for $12.28 saving $95.72 over buying it in local shops here. Didn’t realise what a horrendous price they charge in the shops for 1 slice of this 😮 .

    Usual frugal things –
    – Hung washing on the line to dry, saved grey water to water the lawns with, used dish rinsing water to water seedlings and fruit pot plants on the veranda, only turned on our electric hot water system when water needed heating and heated our home with free firewood we cut from a friends farm.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15.

  18. Suzan

    I think your son is a darling baby. I find babyhood such a delight and so precious.

    I try to be frugal but my main frugal fail occurs with food. So this week I have made a menu plan and do not have to buy meat at all. I will need to top up milk, bread and fresh fruit and vegetables. I have been working on my charity knitting and managed one trip to the craft shop without spending anything. I have been out in my garden doing a post winter clean up. I am not looking forward to our southern summer. For now I am happy that I am comfortable and do not need the air conditioning or the fans.

  19. Becky

    The baby is just so cute! It’s great you are able to record his baby days on the blog to look at easily when he’s older.

    This week was a week of projects around the house. We were not working at our paid job with the kids as they were on vacation, so we took the opportunity to do as much as we could around the place. As usual, there are pictures on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-september-23-2018/

    We cut boards that we had scavenged into kindling. We finished stacking the wood friends gave us and my husband trimmed off the ends of the ones that were too long.

    My husband replaced the plastic on the greenhouse roof. He took back bottles and cans and got $16 more onto our Bottle Drop card. The best part is that most of those bottles and cans were a gift from someone who doesn’t like to go to the recycle center.

    I am still in the midst of my pantry re-stocking project. After several weeks of buying the bare minimum and eating garden produce instead, there were some pretty noticeable bare spots on my shelves. I got several items again this week for free, and shopped the sales. We cashed out a bunch of money from Ibotta and paid for an order from Azure Standard. I was glad the money could be used for basic things I needed. I got bulk spices, oatmeal, cleaning supplies, salt, pepper–things like that.

    I worked on a few canning projects, continuing to focus on tomato products and finishing up odds and ends like the last few pears, etc.

    I was given a large box of apples.

    I spent quite a bit of time organizing myself to homeschool my niece, who will start school tomorrow. She’s been on vacation with the rest of her family, and the entire trip focused on American History. They went to New York, Boston and Virginia and focused on historical sites. She will be given 1/2 credit of history for all they did on the trip, which was the plan. I will fill in the parts they didn’t cover and do the rest of the subjects she needs. She only needs 3 credits to graduate, so it should be quite a fun year. I am using the library for most of my books, which saved quite a bit since I remembered to sign up for the email service that informs me when books are in onto the “hold’ shelf. It also tells me when they are going to be overdue. It saves me quite a bit in overdue fines.

  20. Mari at the Jersey Shore

    Hi Brandy. Love the b & w photo of precious Hamish. He looks such a happy baby. Hope your surgery goes well this week. Praying for you and your family. And thank you for this wonderful blog. I’m way behind in reading the posts but hope to catch up soon.

    Haven’t posted in a while since summer at the Jersey Shore is a whirlwind for us. Too many activities & guests. It was a very hot & rainy summer. Not a frugal summer. Looked at our last credit card statement – we spent over $1,000 in August for just food (at home & out) and treats for the 2 of us and guests! Time to get “frugal” again. The past 2 weeks it has turned cooler and the central air has been off. Love our low 70s during the day and 60s at night. I was able to grow bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and herbs. Still picking cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano. Enjoying bouquets from my roses, stonecrop sedum (autumn joy), hydrangeas, Montauk daisies, gaura (beeblossom), butterfly bush (buddleia) rose balsam and the last of the crepe myrtle and coneflowers (echinacea purpurea). Goldfinches love the dried cones of the coneflowers on the plants so I hardly ever cut any to enjoy indoors. I grow many of these plants to help the monarch butterflies as they travel South but this year have seen only a few. I have saved seeds for next yr for the rose balsam and coneflowers. They also self seed. Have made many cuttings from the stonecrop sedum for additional plants for my garden and to gift to friends & neighbors. Went blueberry & blackberry picking at local organic farms. It was fun for our young grandkids – their first time- and made preserves.

    Last week our local grocery store had fresh scallops for 2 lbs for $12.98. Was able to purchase 4 lbs. We enjoyed some & froze the rest. It may not look frugal but this was a great price for fresh scallops. Had to make several trips (combined with other errands to save gas) as the store ran out of their daily supply of 100 lbs by late morning. Fresh shrimp will be on sale for the same price this week. Have started to stock up on non-perishables as according to some forecasters it may be a snowier, stormier winter than last and since our street does not get ploughed out right away & our closest grocery store is 20 min in each direction away, want to have a plentiful supply on hand.

    I hope all your posters/readers – a special prayer for poster Lynn from the Outer Banks whose posts I have enjoyed reading – who live in the Carolinas made it thru ok with Hurricane Florence. As a survivor of Superstorm Sandy that hit us so hard here at the Jersey Shore and my family in NY, I have been offering up prayers for all your safety.

  21. Char

    Habitual lurker here. Thank you for mentioning the library isn’t free, so we should doubly use it! In the UK our libraries offer an app where we have free online access to lots of magazines and audio books too; I wonder if yours are the same?
    Really I popped in today to see how you’re doing. You’re in the prayers of many, including me. X

  22. Fiona Chain

    Hi Brandy,
    Love the photo of Hamish, oh my goodness such a beautiful boy, I love his plump little feet❤️. This week to save money we- dried the washing on the line, packed my lunch for work everyday, bought loose leaf herb tea from the market,I find it cheaper and much better quality than supermarket brands, cleaned the house with homemade cleaners, checked out the supermarket a couple of times a week for marked down produce, sewed some cutlery wraps as gifts for coworkers from fabric in my stash, made scones to take to work as a treat for morning tea, from frozen cream I didn’t want to waste, kept to the 2 light rule at night, potted out some perennial coriander to give away, used the warm up water from the showers to water potted plants, menu planned and shopped only to that, claimed our phone and health insurance through salary sacrifice, finally did my tax return. And that all I can think of for the mo. Have a lovely day,
    Fi

  23. Shelley

    Dear Brandy,
    Hope your surgery went well. My husband’s birthday was this week and I made him at cake for around $3 which is much less than a bakery bought one.
    I was able to use $16 less in gas this week. Also I got 2 free tubes of toothpaste and M&M’s plus $5 off coupon I was able to get $68 of groceries for $17! I was excited.
    My husband and I plus another couple went out of town for one night to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We split the cost of the hotel.
    Take care

  24. Darcy

    Hamish is such a sweet little guy!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    My husband made a large pot of spaghetti sauce. I froze a large bag for a future meal and two smaller ones for pizzas. He loves making our spaghetti sauce and it always saves us money.

    I made chicken broth from bones I have been collecting in the freezer. I will be making some chicken soup this week.

    I harvested basil and cherry tomatoes.

    I mended a pair of pants.

    Last weekend we had a birthday party for two family members. I used coupons for three of the gifts. We had a taco bar and used our home-grown tomatoes, ground beef we had gotten for 99 cents per pound about a month ago, homemade refried beans, cheese that we had gotten at a deep discount, and other items from our pantry.

    This weekend we did very little grocery shopping. We bought pork chops for 99 cents per pound, bananas for 19 cents per pound, peanut butter for $1.59, canned tuna for 59 cents, butternut and spaghetti squash for 59 cents per pound, all of which are fantastic prices in our area.

    My company provided lunch for me one day. All other lunches were brought from home.

    We washed baggies, used homemade laundry soap and fabric softener, and kept the lights off when not using the room.

    I am learning to ask for discounts. I am scheduled for some extensive dental work next month. I asked if there was a discount for paying cash and they are giving me 15% off the total.

  25. AndreaG

    Hamish is so adorable, Brandy! With eight older siblings he has lots to keep up with! We had another quiet week here. All meals were made at home and my husband took his lunch to work every day. I am really trying to make sure our pantry and freezer are full these days as there is a chance my husband will be laid off if the faculty at the university where he works go on strike. We’re hoping not but best to be prepared. We are extensive library users here as well and know that we get more than our money’s worth every year. I will be thinking and praying for you this week, Brandy as you prepare for your surgery.

  26. Kim in Florida

    Wow…..4 hard to believe the baby is almost 5 months old already. He’s a cutie!! Sorry to hear about the skin cancer, Brandy. I hope its all taken care of now and behind you. Last week, even though it we spent a lot of money, in the long run it was could be considered frugal. My biggest announcement is we evicted the tenants and closed on the house the next day. We were losing money each month untill they stopped paying and then we were losing a lot more. Lesson learned, wont be doing that again. We left for PA and took a more inland, longer route to avoid hurricane Florence. I had packed a cooler for the way up, so we saved money on that and had enough left for sandwiches on a few days. I didnt take any grocery money out for the week, so when we returned, I actually had money leftover from the week before that I used. We stayed at the cheaper hotel in town for 4 nights and they had continental breakfast. They also had coffee brewing all the time, so when I wanted coffee, I just went back to the hotel instead of dunkin donuts. We did take my vehicle this time so gas was a lot cheaper than when we took dh’s truck in August. In PA, when a tenant is evicted, you have to store it for 10 days and then if they say they want it, you have to store it for 30 days, and if they havent gotten it, then you can throw it out. Saturday night we realized just how expensive it was going to be for us to do that. For one we’d have to go back to get rid of it and it wasnt worth bringing it all back to Florida. We came up with a plan that the rental agent facilitated and it was a winwin for everyone. We still werent realizing how much expense or work involved. The tenants rented a room in the back of an old store to store their stuff. My husband and I were to remove all of their belongings from the house and bring it to the facility. This happened before they were evicted so it wasnt abandoned yet. We also have their written permission to do this. My original plan was to rent a truck, but Sunday morning, my brother in law borrowed a 26foot ryder truck from work and brought it up. The three of us worked all day and filled it up. We gave him $100 for the gas. The second day we rented a 10 foot uhaul truck. DH and I continued working on the basement all day. Had we not had that big truck and help the first day, or had we waited till after they were evicted,, we would have still been working on emptying the house as I write this. We were able to get them all out and the house cleaned, and sold the house the next day. That nightmare is over. We are so relieved. No more saving money to spend on someone else!!! Everything I can save goes into our new home fund.

  27. Oh, what a dear sweet Hamish is! The cookies sound like a great use for old raisins. I’ll have to try the recipe. Though Florence did a number on our garden, I was still able to harvest okra, a few tomatoes, pawpaws, basil, oregano and a few pears. I borrowed two books from the library. Now you’ve got me curious as to the portion of our property tax that goes to the library. I’ll have to see if I can find that out. As taxes go, that’s one I’m happy to support. You remain in my prayers for the best possible outcome on your upcoming surgery. Joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/09/welcome-fall-frugal-accomplishments.html

  28. Megan Z.

    I love my library. I use it almost every week. Recently I saw a sign that my local branch will be closed for a month. Thankfully there is another branch that they’ll be operating from during this time. It is roughly the same distance but more lights so takes longer.

    I was fairly frugal while on vacation. I spent very little until the last day when I splurged in some food items. I also bought a sweatshirt that was on sale. I was able to fit in kids which was half the price of the adult sizes.

    Since returning I’ve tried to use items from the pantry and garden. I’m still producing eggplant and green beans. I’ve been using a recipe where you cut the eggplant in half, score and sprinkle salt on it and let sit for 30 minutes. Then wipe off moisture, add garlic, oil and thyme and bake for 30 minutes. So good and easy. I found a bag of frozen seafood so made a seafood pot pie this weekend. It was delicious and a bit fancier than our normal meals.

    I went to a few shops looking to purchase some fall decorations. I didn’t like anything and decided to save money instead. We’re finally cooling off from our abnormal 90s temps so I’m ready for fall. Once the leaves start changing I may see if can use some for my decorating.

  29. Jennifer O.

    I wish I could use the local library, but the hours for ours are terrible for people who work days.
    I stayed home most nights. Ate leftovers from fridge and freezer. Took my breakfast and lunch to school each day. Continued using powdered milk (I only use about a cup a week at home, unless I’m making a casserole, so powdered is perfect). Read my kindle every day since I’m on the free trial. Attended a dinner party and brought requested baked beans (from the pantry) and a bottle of wine from our cellar. Attended free Zumba classes on base and a free musical at the highs school (faculty privilege). Groceries cost less than $30 for the week and that included some stocking up.

    Volunteered at the VFW one night making dinner, so they fed me for free. Tutored a VFW member’s granddaughter. I refused money, but he insisted on paying my bar bill. Paid a local man $60 (and a meal) to dig out and to fix part of the foundation of my house. He will come back next week to fix another section, spray for mold, and survey what we think might be a cracked beam. A professional company would have cost me hundreds just to do the job so far and I would have had to take off work.

    Finished the laundry marathon and bleach wiped all of the upstairs closets (there was mold due to the broken AC).
    I am currently reading and editing for 4 PhD students at my school. Usually I only have 1, maybe 2 a semester. My brain is swimming with all of the close reading. Plus I have an article of my own I am preparing for publication.

    Fails – My husband came home for the weekend and we went out for a dinner on Friday lunch on Sunday. Used my Open Table app for both to get points. They were expensive, but lovely date time that we don’t get enough of. Had to buy another round of pantry moth traps. Anyone know a homemade way until I manage to completely purge them?

  30. Stephanie

    What a sweet little guy, and I love his name!!!

    I bought a cast iron skillet at Aldi this week for $12.99. I’m pretty excited about this, as I’ve never owned anything cast iron before, but I’ve heard plenty of people rave about it. They also had canning jars on sale for $5.99, which I didn’t realize until I got home. I’m hoping they’re still that price when I go back. I also bought pink beans, which I’ve never had before, for 80 cents a pound, and I bought what will be several years’ worth of garam masala for $4.39. I also used a coupon to buy a pretty shade of lipstick for 58 cents. Since it’s getting cooler, I’ll keep this one in my purse.

    I used up all the applesauce I had accidentally pulled out of the freezer a few weeks ago (instead of pasta sauce, which really confused my husband when he opened the container to dump it over spaghetti!). I picked up several books from interlibrary loan at my library (such a fantastic service!!! The library is worth every cent we pay in tax dollars. I read hundreds of books from there every year, I check out a HUGE stack of books for my daughter every week, we watch DVDs from there, they 3D print things for my husband for work, we attend story time and other programs…), and I bought a small stack of books for my daughter at a thrift store for $3. Some of them have been put away for Christmas, and the others will be read when she gets around to it. She’s learning to read, and they’re easy readers. Some days she’s more amenable to reading herself than others, so we’ll see when she feels like reading to me! 🙂

    Have a great week, everyone!

  31. Pantry moth traps are very expensive. I used fly paper instead and it worked really well. I have a walk-in pantry, though, so if you just have a cupboard, that might not work well. I noticed this past week that our local Walmart had the pantry moth traps on clearance, so that could be another option. Of course, if they are in your kitchen, flying about, try some fly paper. If the infestation is really bad, you will need several rolls, as mine filled up quickly with moths.

    I agree about the hours at the library. Ours does have a couple of evenings. We are able to request books online and then go in to pick them up when they come in (from whatever branch has them ready; they send the books I want to my local branch). I can then pop in and pick up the books I want from the hold shelf, check them out, and leave right away.

    I am using the library a lot without going in at all. I am checking out e-books online and reading them on my phone. My daughter just downloaded the Hoopla ap; going through the library, she can watch 10 movies a month for free with it. The library has several other video-watching app choices as well, which we were busy checking out and downloading last week. We are going to try each of them out to see what they have to offer. One has more magazines that our library’s reading app, so it might have the magazine I was looking for the other day that our library’s regular app didn’t. I saw an interesting cover article on a magazine at the checkout the other day, so I am looking to see if I can get a digital copy of that magazine.

  32. Tanja Brattinga

    Wauw looking good that little boy of yours.
    My frugal accomplishments last 2 weeks:
    -Got some free items through an app.
    -harvested the last cucumbers.
    -harvested new zealandspinach.
    -had to work at a funeral in the village house. I coocked soup as they ordered and buns with ham and cheese. There was a lot of soup left so I took that home as I live nearby the villagehouse. The other women who worked, took home the left over buns as they had to cicle a few km.
    -my husband repared an old (boys)bike for my daughter. She now goes to school in a nearby city, she goes there by bus but still has to walk 20 minutes, so now she has a bike there. She stalls(?) the bike at my husbands work (aldi supermarket), the busstop is opposite the shop. Now the bike is behind a fence when the shop is closed. At the station (one stop further is the bus/train station) a lot of bikes get stolen and it is always very busy at the bicycle storage, so this is a good idea.
    -I phoned an onlinestore, as my daughter bought two sportinglegging there and made herself an special account (whitout her realising it). She made me look at her bankaccount as there was debited 49,95 euro’s every month and she did not buy anything. So I called and said that she was underage, the lady on the phone said she would make it in order to close the account and put the money back at my daughters bankaccount. the money was not gone but it was a credit for further puchases. Well she does not need 50,- of sportswear to buy every month ofcourse. I find these things very diffecult for childeren now a days, they need to deal with it, al this interned buying and temptations from shops. We did not have to deal with al of this when we where young, if you had no money you could not buy anything….simple as that. And you had to withdraw real money from the bank, now a days they have no idea about money it’s al virtual. My 19 year old son applied for a creditcard last summer as he had no money for his planned holiday!!!!!!!!! NO WAY I said you can borrow money from me for free, borrowing money with a creditcard is very expensive. But how can the banks approve …..he had no income…..just a student grands. I know in the USA a lot of people have a creditcard or multiple, and also the debt that goes with it. If you have no money you can not buy anything, how simple can it be……thats how I see it!
    Have a nice week everyone.
    Greetings Tanja (Netherlands)

  33. Bethany

    Heidi- If you like mysteries, I highly recommend Tony Hillerman; The Hangmans Daughter series by Oliver Potzsch, and the “Prey” series by John Sanford. Hillermans books are set in the SW, and he incorporates a lot of Navejo traditions in them ( without sounding like an anthropology lecture). Hangmans Daughter is set in Bavaria in the middle ages, and the info is period correct. Also, some fun and interesting reading is Steve Berry- he takes a real life “history mystery” and creates a modern day solution for it complete with lots of action, a host of bad guys, and twists and turns you never see coming.

  34. Kim in Florida

    Jennifer,
    The easiest way to get rid of pantry moths is to just get rid of all your grains & rice items. I had an infestation about 15 years ago and tried tape and traps…..finally got rid of them when I got rid of the food.

  35. Jo

    I love that photo, too. All of your children seem so photogenic!

    I shopped a yard sale and finally found some drawer organizers. I was about to go ahead and buy some new, as I’d been searching for so long.

    I bought a fresh chicken from a local organic farm. They are more expensive than stores, so I don’t waste anything. I cut off a breast portion to make chicken tenders (the chickens are a large breed), spatchcocked the rest (cut out the backbone and flatten it before roasting, which cuts a lot of time off the roasting time and gives lots of crispy skin) to have one night and a few lunches just as roast chicken, I’ll make chicken pot pie of the roast leftovers, and lastly, will make bone broth from the bones, tail, backbone, and neck. If there is too much leftover meat to make pot pie, I’ll make a small batch of chicken salad. There’s just two of us here, so I can stretch a chicken pretty far.

    While roasting the chicken, I slid in two pans of cut up sweet potatoes and winter squash. They are now in the refrigerator, waiting to be added to meals later this week.

    I picked wild beauty berries in our yard. I use them to make jelly, or I might try wine this year.

    We had bananas getting a little too ripe, so I peeled, sliced and froze them. My husband likes to add them to his protein shake (he’s low on protein) and I like to use them with fresh cream to make “ice cream” in the blender.

    I put more Swagbucks on an Amazon card.

    Medical bills are still coming in, but I’m using savings to help us pay them. We had two unexpected medical emergencies this year, and insurance deductibles and co-pays are high, plus we have the usual expenses since my husband and I both have chronic health conditions. It’s good to have the savings there, but I hate watching the balance go down, knowing how long it took me to build it up. That’s when I have to have faith!

  36. Margie from Toronto

    I’ve checked out your recipe and will definitely use that over the winter – I’m trying to keep costs down and use up all leftovers and even though I eat a much lower carb diet than I used to sometimes you just need some mashed potatoes in your life!
    Aren’t you glad that our weather has finally cooled down – this must have been a very tough Summer for you with being pregnant and still working full-time. The subway station temperatures were brutal some days. Hope you aren’t going to work right to the end (unless you feel up to it). I know that I’ve worked with a couple of super women who finished up their last day at the office, drove themselves to the hospital and delivered their babies within hours of arrival – but Holy Cow! Rest up as much as you can now and take advantage of our generous pregnancy leave – you have earned it.

  37. Margie from Toronto

    Good luck with the house hunting – you have been very determined in saving all that you can and seem to be very realistic as to what is available so I’m sure you will do well when it comes to making a final decision. Keep us posted!

  38. Margie from Toronto

    What a beautiful baby Hamish is – and how upright he sits too – great posture!
    The weather has finally cooled off here – in fact it was quite a drastic change from one day to the next with a huge windstorm here in Toronto – but thankfully not a tornado like the ones that hit Ottawa and Gatineau – what a mess!
    Life is returning to frugal ways after the company left for home and various other things have settled down. Since I now have a bit more energy I have been cooking – roasted a chicken and then made broth and soup from the carcass. I had not intended to buy any meat but found such a good deal on beef strips that I had to buy a couple of packs. One is in the freezer and with the other I made a beef and broccoli stir fry. Some of the stir fry and a couple of containers of soup will go to my elderly neighbour and I’m going to ask a friend to come for a light lunch tomorrow featuring the soup with some good bread and pate. It will be a frugal way to entertain.
    I also became a senior citizen last week – YIKES – how did that happen! But at least I can now take advantage of a few offers. The main one was to have my transit pass switched over which saves me over a dollar per fare. Combining that with the 2 hour travel time available per fare and I have already saved a good bit on transit alone.
    I have almost reached the $20 level on my grocery store loyalty points – I have a few sale items to buy this afternoon and that should push me over. I also emptied a lot of loose change from various sources into my coin jar so between these two sources I’m hoping to really limit grocery shopping over the next few weeks – there simply isn’t much room in the freezer!
    I attended a friend’s 60th birthday party and in lieu of gifts she asked us to donate to a charity for ALS in her name which I was happy to do. The party was at a large hotel with all food and drinks provided so it was a lovely evening with a chance to catch up with a lot of old friends.
    I helped to organize our annual Church BBQ yesterday and even though it was hard work everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and there was lots of food. I had a hamburger and a hotdog for lunch! But I did stay away from the potato chips and desserts. I also came away with a bag of parsley which I will add to a few things this week.
    I continue to make good use of my library – in fact I have a number of books to take back this afternoon as I’ve been reading almost a book a day! The run computer classes, book clubs, movie screenings, authors talks, tutoring for teens and all sorts of programs for kids and for moms & tots. We certainly get our money’s worth out of it so I am happy to put my share of tax monies towards it.
    I hope that everything goes well with your surgery this week Brandy – please at least try to rest up beforehand.

  39. Roberta in So. Cal.

    Oh, my! Hamish is growing so fast! (And I love your toile pillows. So classy.)

    Our Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate mostly home-prepared meals, including chicken fajitas, grilled chicken w/ Italian pasta salad, grilled chicken quesadillas, and ratatouille. On Sunday I bought some sliced deli turkey, Swiss cheese, and sourdough bread to make sandwiches instead of eating out after church. It was more expensive than if I had made something from scratch, but it was still much less expensive than eating out. Plus we had bread and cheese left over to use later in the week.

    * Made peanut butter, a large batch of garbanzo beans (used some in the pasta salad and froze the rest in 2 C portions), three loaves of bread (we go through a lot of bread), and sun tea.

    * Harvested turnips, bell peppers, Anaheim peppers, acorn squash, yellow honeydew, and basil.

    * Took my own tote bags when I went shopping to avoid having to pay for bags. I found champagne vinegar at a closeout price (50% off), so I bought a bottle. I have a recipe that I’d like to try that specifically calls for this type of vinegar. Normally it would be out of my price range (and I’d probably just substitute white wine vinegar), but at the closeout price it was ok. I also found salsa for 50 cents per jar by combining coupons and a BOGO sale.

    * Hubs washed our vehicles.

    * Hubs rode his bike to work one day and worked from home one day.

    * Hubs repaired our chicken coop.

    * We used the AC only when absolutely needed, and our electricity usage was down by 23% compared to the same time period last year. (We’re very thankful for cooler weather.)

    * Hubs and I walked the dog for exercise (and used produce and bulk-bin plastic bags for doggy duty).

    * Used old socks, white vinegar, and castille soap for cleaning.

    * Watched a DVD from the library and am reading books from the library. (Thanks for the Hamish Macbeth and Darling Dahlias recommendations! :D)

    * Am very thankful for good medical and vision insurance. Hubs and I both had our eyes checked (no changes in our prescriptions), and I had a biopsy (which came back benign, praise God!).

    I’m continuing to keep you in my prayers, Brandy.

    Have a great week, everyone.

  40. Patricia Koernig

    Lorna: I am so excited for you, as you hunt for a home to purchase. Have followed with interest how you add to your home deposit account for months. Many blessings in the months ahead.
    Patricia/Fl USA

  41. Rhonda A.

    My brother lives in Ottawa. I had my mom call and check on him, but he was OK (though he lost hydro). Later he sent me a picture by text of a road with a very large hydro pole snapped in half lying across it. It was 2 minutes from where he lives and he had just drove through there about 10 minutes before the picture was taken. Really lucky!

  42. Cindy in the South

    Such a cute baby! Prayers for you with your surgery.

  43. kim

    That baby is so cute, but then all of yours are so cute. I love how you re purpose things. I also love to do that. It saves mney and makes me feel creative.

  44. Jerri

    I had a pantry moth invasion 3 years ago. I went through every cupboard and threw out a lot of food. Going forward, everything is in glass or plastic containers. If I happen to get a bug in new food it’s limited to the container it’s in. That was a costly and time-consuming project, but I’m happy to say it worked.

  45. Mary

    Hello to all from AZ –

    We had several non frugal things last week. We were so grateful to receive money to pain for daughters car repairs. The rest of money will go to our mortgage. We had several large grocery bills and our sprinkler system is still giving us problems, after three weeks of working on it ourselves and spent lots of money, we are having our landscaper come this week to help us out.

    Our frugal things –
    Husband took lunch every day.
    Cooked from scratch all week except for Friday night
    Washed baggies and re used
    stayed in most of the week

    Brandy – good luck with your surgery.

    Have a good week everyone!

  46. Heidi Louise

    Thank you! I will add those to my list. I just enjoyed the Baby Ganesh Agency books by Vaseem Khan, lively and good characters. Set in present-day Mumbai, a retired police detective opens his own agency, with his baby elephant as assistant. They are a good classic mystery in structure, in a context and culture I know little about.

  47. Rhonda A.

    You’ve been a busy lady, Brandy! Sounds like you are working out some of the kinks with the new schedule. Thank you for sharing some of the meals and snacks you had this week. I always find it interesting and inspiring when people share what they’ve made. Sometimes I get some really good ideas of meals to try with my family! Good luck with your surgery this week!

    As for me, well it’s been a busy week. Thankful the cool weather is slowly moving in, even though the heat and humidity keeps insisting on coming back. This week, our frugal accomplishments for our family included:
    *Meals made at home included homemade cream of potato carrot & corn soup (used homemade/home canned turkey broth), breaded chicken burgers/strips with potato wedges and mixed veggies, lasagna, ham steaks with sidekicks noodle side dish and green beans, French beef dip sandwiches, and chicken low mien stir-fry.
    *Grocery shopping was done at a modge podge of stores this week, to get the best deals. Last week I was able to buy a 1kg package of cooked, seasoned roast beef luncheon meat ends for $6. This week, the same packages were $4. The family is currently loving French dip sandwiches (recipe link: https://cincyshopper.com/easy-french-dip-sandwiches/) and 1kg of this meat divides up perfectly for 4 family sized meals. Definitely a score for restocking the freezer! We also bought 2 Butterball turkeys this week, on sale for $1.44/lb, in preparation for our upcoming Canadian Thanksgiving and, of course, Christmas. My mom insisted on the Butterball, otherwise I might have found an even better price per pound. As for other items, I am noticing prices increasing a bit. For example, I need to stock up on pasta sauce, which normally I can easily find for $1 or less/can, but currently the best sale price is $1.25. Not sure if this is going to be the new normal or just high at the moment. Will watch this closely.
    *DD’s friend was again given $20 for the week and told to make it stretch for buying lunches in the cafeteria. Her friend has commented that she will just have to go hungry some days. We used this opportunity to have a discussion with DD about how that $20 could be better spent on healthy options at the grocery store. I listed off prices for eggs ($2/dozen), bread ($2 x2, but may be able to get for less), mayo ($3), yogurt ($3 for 12 pk), apples ($5 for 3lb bag), and cucumber ($1 each), which was enough to make healthy and filling lunches for 12 days (almost 2 weeks). My mom and I used our fingers to show how it added up. We had about $2 left over that she could have bought 2 bags of potato chips to divide up for her lunches as well, for a treat. I reinforced that this is why I send her lunches to school and why I am trying to teach her how to cook, so she will know how to use her money wisely. Thankfully, she seemed to really understand. I continued sending lunches for her friend, when she is at school (her friend missed 3 days this week).
    *Made a box cake mix into 24 cupcakes on Sunday. Half were used as dessert that night (DD had 2 friends over for dinner), and the other half will be used as treats in school lunches this week. I needed to use up the cake mix anyways.
    *Harvested a really small watermelon from the garden (1st one to survive the wildlife). DD and her visiting friends enjoyed it as part of their afternoon snack.
    *Last Easter we bought 2 Butterball boneless turkey breast rolls to try instead of getting a full sized turkey. It was a bit cheaper to buy and had less leftover. We cooked 1 for Easter dinner, but DD and I were not fans, as it had a “processed” flavour to the meat. This left us with the second turkey roll left in the freezer. Instead of letting it go to waste, we decided to roast it up on Sunday (we had cool temps that day) and today (Monday)I slice it into luncheon meat (which typically has a bit of processed taste anyways). It turned out to be the most AMAZING shaved turkey luncheon meat I’ve ever tasted!!! I think I will be watching for more of these to buy on cheap sale from now on. If you’d like to try this yourself (since turkey sales are starting or will be soon), here is the link that I found helpful: http://www.myecoventure.com/2011/09/08/homemade-deli-meat-tutorial/. Note: I used my electric meat slicer, but you can use a sharp knife to do this, too. Brandy states on her blog that she also does this, which is where I got the idea. Thank-you, Brandy!!!
    *Attended our 1st Weavers & Spinners Guild meeting this week. I’m helping with programming this year, along with another member. Our guest speaker cancel last minute, so we developed a Jeopardy game using spinning, weaving and fibre terms. I bought a bunch of inexpensive, but nice prizes for the winning team to choose from and Halloween chocolates for everyone else (all of which I was reimbursed for), because everyone was a winner! Those who stayed had a blast playing and we enjoyed watching them struggle on the really hard “questions” (everyone learned some new terms). A fun night out for sure.
    *Attended 2 meetings at my work as a volunteer this week. One was for our Jacquard loom team, where I learned more about how the punch cards are produced (so interesting!). My mom and I also helped make a massive amount of apple crisp one day, which will be sold at our upcoming Applefest event (one of our most heavily attended events). Both were enjoyable outings for only the cost of gas.
    *Hubby has lost weight and his size 36 pants were hanging off of him. I made him go pants shopping at Old Navy. He found 3 pairs of size 32 jeans that fit perfectly and I found a pretty blouse for myself, all from the clearance section. For 4 items of clothing, it came to just under $69! We will tuck away his larger sized pants, just in case he gains back the weight.
    *Took DD and friend to a ComiCon convention here in our city. It cost $5 each to get in and the girls both spent some money on stuff. I picked up a Christmas gift for DD while I was there. Although not very frugal, this was much cheaper than attending the big convention in Toronto and they really enjoyed going.
    *My husband and I have been watching a “reality” show called Castaways. The participants were basically dumped in the ocean near a cluster of tropical islands and have to survive until rescued or they choose to quit. It is not a “game” like reality show, just a bunch of diverse people trying to survive until being rescued. They show back stories as well, so you get a real sense of why each individual is reacting to situations the way they are. I found it a very interesting view of the human spirit! If anyone is interested in watching, it can be viewed on-line for free at this link: https://abc.go.com/shows/castaways/episode-guide. We watched the last show this week, which provided info on what happened to the remaining survivors once they go home…very touching!

    Although I am not working at the moment, I’m still finding it hard to read through all the comments and often it takes the whole week to do it. Regardless, I do eventually get through them, because I love reading everything posted here. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

  48. Lisa from Maine

    Sending many prayers your way Brandy. Hope everything goes well. Hamish is just adorable. He seems to be growing up too fast. I have not been commenting much lately but this is what’s happening at my house:
    Continuing to organize/declutter/fall clean.
    kids off school since Friday thru Columbus Day for potato harvest break. Being optimistic about fall cleaning the 3 bedrooms of the older kids with their help (?) in addition to my kitchen.
    cut husband’s hair
    continue to eat down the last of my chest freezer so I can defrost & clean it–hopefully this week.
    Did a bulk purchase of sliced canned peaches ($.99/can), tuna fish ($.63/can), peanut butter, honey, nutella-type product (family treat!), spaghetti sauce ($.99/jar), blue bonnet stick margerine ($.88/box compared to $1.60 locally) and bacon ($2.99).
    read everyone’s blogs that were linked to their comments last week. Wonderful reads! Also started watching some you tube videos on once a month shopping & cooking. Mostly interested in implementing a 1X/month shopping (from my current weekly shop) but taking hints on bulk cooking to freezer prep some meals to make my life easier–especially useful for when my beef delivery arrives.
    getting back on track with meal planning, budgeting, shopping etc. Got a bit off track this summer.
    Starting to plan for Christmas. Not sure of my budget yet so brainstorming inexpensive gift options taking into consideration what the kids interests are. Also listing various stocking stuffer options. I keep all info in a small notebook which resides in my purse so no one peeks. First thought is a mending/sewing basket for my oldest. I would like to acquire a lot of the items to include from my local thrift store (buttons etc).
    Have a good week everyone and thanks for sharing. I glean many wonderful ideas!!

  49. Cindy in the South

    I did that with my third child….lol. I worked all day and I was soooo hot. I started having labor pains about 6 p.m., told my then husband to stay with the two kids we already had and to call my mom. I then drove myself to the hospital. I was wearing a summer maternity dress. When I came out of the hospital with the new baby, the next day, it was freezing and windy!

  50. Margie from Toronto

    My niece and her family live in Ottawa – they lost power and it won’t be back for a few more days. Since she is 7 months pregnant and has a 4 year old they decided to pack up and drive down to mom and dad in Kingston for a few days. It must have been very frightening for those who had to live through it!

  51. Ellie's friendfrom Canada

    Good news your brother is ok. Terrible devastation.

  52. Marcia R.

    Honeycrisp are $2.79 a lb here and we grow lots of apples in this area!! I simply don’t buy them. The bagged apples are usually cheaper than by the pound, although sometimes they are kid-sized apples. My husband doesn’t care if they are small, although I try not to get the very small ones! 99 cents a lb is a good sale price here but the Honeycrisp are never included.

  53. Mia

    Hi Roberta,
    I’m just curious. Where is So Cal are you? I live in the Inland Empire.
    Thanks.

  54. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Happy belated birthday, Margie! There are some advantages to becoming a senior. I went to the dentist today and the total bill was $480. Yikes!!!! Between my seniors dental benefit and my private insurance, I did not have to pay anything. Whew!
    A friend brought me pesticide free B.C. apples from the farmers market and 6 or 7 small delicata squash. I am giving away about 7 boxes of books to charity.

  55. Juls Owings

    Brandy prayers for you and yours as you go through this time with your health.
    I have read this blog daily, even reading older posts over and over for anything that might help us lower the expenses or change how we live to save money.
    I have looked up of where the library is along with thrift shops here.
    My shopping for stocking up is here along with update of 209 and old house .
    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/09/sams-club-209-and-old-house-frugal.html

  56. Marcia R.

    Almost everyone who has been keeping house for a while has had this problem at one time or another. We had it several years ago and VERY badly. I used a product from DO IT YOURSELF PEST CONTROL (see Google) that was a spray. You spray it into every small crack and crevice after you do the big clean out and scrub up of the cupboard. I have a 110 year old house, with old wooden cupboards. I did the whole process at LEAST twice. It was expensive, time consuming, and exhausting. The spray worked very well and I still have it handy if it’s ever needed again. It wasn’t terribly expensive either. I scrubbed those cupboards to within an inch of their lives!! I now use mostly canning jars for storing dry goods. If I see a moth in the house, I hunt it down before it has time to lay eggs! That doesn’t happen much now. I send my sympathy–it’s a disgusting and expensive problem to have.

  57. Lorna

    Thank you Margie for your encouragement it is really appreciated 🙂 and we are really excited too .

    We will just plod along and approach things sensibly in purchasing our property. A lot of the sellers have unrealistic prices on their properties which is usual but we have access to a property data base of what they were purchased for so will go in armed with information and we are not afraid to put in a much lower offer. Being a buyers market and the property prices going down we can bide our time until we find something suitable at the right price.

    Upon looking at the property database we notice in some areas the owners are listing their properties for less than they originally paid for them and purchased them in the property boom era. It is sad that they paid so much for them in the first place 🙁 .

    The property market and valuations are relative and buyers will only pay what a property is worth regardless of what price the sellers put on it.

  58. Lorna

    Thank you Patricia for your encouragement 🙂 . Buying a property is certainly one of the biggest decisions any couple can make.

    We are certain we will find something that will suit us at the right price and we just have to bide our time. In the meantime we will just save more until that happens which will lower the amount we have to borrow and subsequent bank interest we will have to pay.

  59. Marcia R.

    Hamish is very cute and sitting up so soon. Mine never were as interested in sitting as in crawling! I especially enjoyed the video of Octavius on your Instagram–especially the beep….beep….beep when backing up his truck! So adorable.

  60. Mary Ellen

    That little cutie is going to keep you on your toes! At this rate he’ll be walking soon!

    Prayers for you surgery this week.

  61. Athanasia

    Susan, congratulations on your weight loss.

  62. Anne

    Hi Mia. I live in Menifee.

  63. What a great use of a old sheet- I love reusing things. Hamish is so cute!
    I’ve been harvesting still in the garden-this past weekend we picked a bushel full of mustard greens. That really isn’t a lot after you can them but we will love the 7 quarts that I’ve made so far, when the snow flies this winter. You can see the rest of my frugal accomplishments here: http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/09/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-92318.html

  64. Athanasia

    Congratulations Lorna and husband. That is good news indeed to hear.

  65. Karen

    Life has been so ridiculously hectic that I can’t even remember what I did in general last week, let alone my frugal accomplishments! But…I do have one thing. My husband won a $25 Red Robin gift card at work, so we went out Friday night. It didn’t quite cover the cost of our meal, and I forgot to give the server our number for the rewards program. Flagged down a different server and she was able to put it in for us, and discovered that I had a coupon on my account that I didn’t know about, so the whole meal (including tip) was covered by the gift card. Yay for free dinner!

    Brandy, I will be praying for you this week.

  66. Kitty B(Calgary)

    A few frugal accomplishments this week:

    Worked 10 hours at my occasional office job;
    Made swag goal x 7 days
    Listed and sold items on local FB buy/sell earning $104.25 this week;
    Purchased 2 tops from local FB buy sell for $11.
    Rec’d 2 items from Amazon that I had previously cashed my swagbucks in for, the 2 items will be Christmas gifts for family;
    Used $20 in grocery store points towards food this week;
    Changed out of my good clothes/jeans to keep my clothes looking new longer.
    Added blankets to beds, wearing layers to keep warm in our unseasonably cold temperatures.
    Planned my outdoor/garage activities on the warmest days; cars need to go back into the garage to avoid window scraping and too much fuel on warming up.

  67. I know a lower-carb diet is healthier for some people, but I do love my carbs, especially potatoes! I agree — sometimes you just need some mashed potatoes in your life!

    Am super-glad the weather has cooled down. I no longer arrive at home after work out of breath, sweating, and red-faced. I plan to work up until about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks before I’m due. My work is actually pretty active, so I didn’t want to work up until my due date for fear of starting labour early, plus I’m just exhausted these days. Assuming baby arrives on time, I should have had almost two weeks to sleep and rest as much as possible. Am looking forward to it!

  68. Roberta in So. Cal.

    Congratulations, Lorna! It’s been fun to watch your savings percentage steadily grow.

  69. Roberta in So. Cal.

    We’re in the San Gabriel Valley.

  70. Lorna

    Thank you Athanasia for kind thoughts and encouragement 🙂 .

  71. Liz

    Hello Frugal Friends,

    What a cute baby!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments:
    – I received zucchini from a friend and made 3 loaves of zucchini bread with it. My mother in law has been wanting some so, I gave them to her.
    – I had bananas that were turning brown so I made a double batch of muffins with them. The kids always need quick breakfasts to go out the door on school days.
    – I bought some Snickers Bars at Walgreens for .25 cents each with a coupon and sale.
    – A friend also gave me several plant cuttings that I can propagate. We put them in water and are trying to get them started.
    – I have also been working on propagating a basil plant. I have 3 parts of it sitting in water. It has grown roots so I am going to transplant it into dirt next.
    – We went to a friend’s birthday party on Saturday and the husband shared a recipe that works in the bread machine at high altitude. I am so excited that it worked! He had worked on this recipe for a while. I am so excited to have a functional high altitude white bread recipe! The recipes that I had tried in the past all sink at our 6,000 feet altitude.
    – We saved the money to replace our broken screen back door. I miss having the breeze through the house. They are coming tomorrow.
    – I had a stove handle replaced under our utilities service program. So, this was “free” but we do pay monthly extra.
    – I have been letting my chickens graze in the yard and giving more scraps to save on chicken food.
    – I signed up for more freebies which are on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/09/24/11-freebies-today-9-24-18/
    – That’s all I can think of for now.
    Have a blessed week!!
    Liz

  72. Brandy,

    I’ll be praying for a successful surgery for you and for a quick and complete recovery.

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for last week:
    * I creatively baked three different foods in the oven at the same time to save time, money, and electricity.
    * I thoughtfully combined several errands at once to save time and money.
    * I used what food I had on hand to make food for a weekly potluck.
    * I diligently unplugged the computer each evening and when it was not in use to save on electricity.
    * Each morning, my husband lovingly took his homemade lunches (made by me) to work with him.
    * I’ve been purchasing and cooking whole chickens to save money. They taste so good baked in the oven in stoneware (covered).
    * For a pamper party I hosted for some ladies, I made a salad with vegetables we had on hand; I purchased ingredients for apple
    “cookies” for under $3.
    * Today I met with some amazing business owners and bloggers who want to collaborate in business. This is super exciting!

  73. Rhonda,

    I actually own a meat slicer; I have had one for years. There’s a link to the one I have on the right-hand column of the blog. I wrote a post about how we cut meat for our sandwiches in 2013. It’s so nice to have cut meat at home that is so much less per pound (often 1/10th of the price per pound as meat at the deli counter).

  74. S. CO Mary

    We’ve used oops paint for so many projects. I agree with you about Big Lots – I compare my local BG and WalMart to see how they compare. For curtain rods BG is much cheaper. Mary

  75. Mia

    I live in Ontario, CA now. Grew up in Rosemead, and graduated from Rosemead High, then lived in Covina for 15 years before moving to Ontario.

  76. PJGT

    Continuing to not spend much as my most frugal accomplishment. I’d rather choose to be frugal now than be forced to not spend anything ever again. Even though it was through no fault of mine, it has been a harrowing experience financially. Happily, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. A lifetime of thrift has paid handsomely.

    A coworker brought in tomatoes and I am gladly eating them for lunch instead of buying lettuce. Was able to use up some pasta and parm cheese for dinner. I thought the pasta tasted “old” but my son did not mention anything. I ate it anyway. Food wise, we have been sticking to the continued diet and are avoiding waste!

    I needed presents for 2 elderly relatives and my niece which I found in my stash and cupboard. Win! In cleaning out the garage, I discovered an older, handwoven basket. Using a found evergreen colored can of spray paint, I painted it green to use as a basket for a Christmas present. Found a couple more Christmas presents at the thrift store. Yeah! I need to have some of them early if I wish to avoid shipping costs. I also have a red basket set aside to be part of a gift. Baking basket? Tea basket?

    Found some change, met a friend on the spur of the moment and she treated for my only icecream cone of the summer, found a book I’ve wanted to read in my garage and set it aside, took another batch of unwanted items to the thrift shop ( I did give a single mom coworker a long handled never used outdoor popcorn popper for her sons), found a penny, dehydrated some on sale hotdogs for the dogs, cut wood and kindling, used the wood stove instead of turning on the heater, and gathered seeds from the bag of lupin seadheads I was given to plant this fall for spring.

    I resisted the urge to dry the towels in the dryer (easier and quicker) even though it took 2 days to get them dry on the line.

    Finally, we have used engineering and sailing skills to solve a problem. Our cabin is small and I have a ladder to get to my sleeping loft. Works well, but the ladder is in the way. Using what we had on hand and less than 5.00 in hardware, we now have a pully system that raises the ladder out of the way and ties off on a cleat on the wall. It works well!! So happy.

    Happy frugal-ing

  77. Lynn from NC Outer Banks

    What WONDERFUL news Lorna! So happy for you and your husband. Your resolve, creativity and discipline have been amazing over these many months (year?) and we have all cheered as your percentage saved has continued to move upwards. Thrilled that your goal is now in sight, with even more of a down payment available. Enjoy your house hunting. I’m sure just the right property will come along. 🙂 🙂 Lynn

  78. Lynn from NC Outer Banks

    Oh Mari, thank you so much for the prayers for me and others here in the Carolinas. Because of the turn Hurricane Florence made, we were minimally affected here in the OBX. But in other areas of the state, including where I grew up (Wilmington) and nearby counties, the damage is overwhelming. Having gone through Sandy, you know how devastating the combination of wind and flood waters can be. With such high flood waters many areas have been completely inaccessible. The rivers have finally crested (some for the second time) and the waters are starting to recede. The highways that were inundated with water are beginning to re-open so that aid can begin to make it to the hard hit areas. It will definitely be a long term recovery for the area. I shudder to think of the damage and additional loss of life had it come ashore as a category 4 hurricane.

  79. Becky

    I’m very happy for you. I’m sure you will get the undesirable properties weeded out, but it sure does take time. A mountainous site seems like it would be hard to grow things on!

    Anyway, good luck in finding just what you want for a good price.

  80. Margie from Toronto

    I’ve also been giving away a lot of books – each Sunday I take a couple into church – we do a huge 3 day sale each May which is very popular so they collect books all year. I also take a few in each month for the book exchange table at my Probus club meeting. I have so many books that it doesn’t look like much of a dent but it’s progress.
    I am enjoying the new apples finally reaching the stores – my Fall favourite is a tart, crisp MacIntosh!

  81. Margie from Toronto

    Rhonda – a friend here in Toronto is an expert on the Jacquard Loom. We went to see her once at the Science Museum where the giant loom was encased in a glass “room” and she sat there doing the weaving with the punch cards going through. We got to walk around and see it from all angles. I then understood why it is often referred to as an early computer as the punch cards looked exactly like the ones we had to use in very early computers. They had samples (both old and new) of all the patterns that the loom could produce. She also used to work at our Pioneer Village as a weaver at one point. She is actually a school teacher but still weaves and teaches that as well – another friend did a course with her last year using a small table loom and produced a beautiful plaid scarf.

  82. Lorna

    Thanks Roberta for your encouragement and well wishes 🙂 , now all we have to do is find that suitable property at the right price for us.

  83. Tami Lewis

    A few things I did this week to save money…
    I used some smartphone apps and saved $10 on my groceries.
    I used my Mcdonalds smartphone app and got a free coffee.
    I used a gift card I earned to buy a comforter and chose ship to store to save shipping fees. I picked it up on the day I took my daughter to the orthodontist so I saved gas.
    I filled my dishwashing liquid half way with water…still suds just fine and doubles it.
    I started some green onions with scraps.
    I used a website that I complete surveys on to “buy” some free magazine subscriptions.
    I downloaded several free kindle books.
    I sold eggs for extra cash.

  84. Jenny

    Woo Hoo on the property front. Very excited for you.

  85. Reader

    Please suggest a gift for baby shower! we dont have these where i live and ive never been to any. Its their 1st baby and i am sure they are well stocked up already with all the baby stuff. Thanks!
    I spent money a bit less carefully than usual and am in creative mode again. I like running out of money occasionally, then i put some stuff on sale i usually would not bother to and by that declutter. Also do other stuff i do not when i am in spend mode like planting stuff ive bought, organizing etc.

  86. Rhonda A.

    That was one of the best and most frugal thing your blog has taught me, Brandy! It was like a lightbulb switch was flipped when I read that. It never occured to me I could buy hams and slice them myself for super cheap luncheon meat. You also mentioned doing this with turkey, but this was the first time for me trying this. Should have done it sooner! The sandwich meat is so delicious this way!!! So, thank you again for teaching me this idea.

    I wanted to mention that a knife could be used, as I didn’t have a meat slicer when I first started reading your blog. It was a great investment piece I bought later, and I love having it. But for those struggling to make ends meet, buying a meat slicer might not be in the budget at the moment. For those people, please know it is still possible to do this without one.

  87. Margie from Toronto

    Well if they have a lot of baby “stuff” already – what about giving a few “Gift Certificates” – i.e. A promise to provide dinner once a week for the first month after baby arrives? Perhaps baby sitting – no just for na evening out but perhaps for an afternoon so that mom can nap and have some time to herself? If they have a dog you could be the dog walker for a few weeks? Just some practical things that might really come in handy when exhaustion hits.

  88. LynnDinKY

    We are having another grandbaby soon. The mother’s shower is this weekend. I made a quilt, burpcloths and washcloths. Can you sew? If so, you could also make baby bibs, diaper covers, tag blankets/snuggles, and clothes. If you knit, little bitty booties, hats and blankets are so cute. Wooden blocks would be a smash when they are a little older. Can you scrapbook? Make a baby album with pages already done and ready for the pictures.

  89. Precious

    I will be praying for you while you have surgery on Friday. My 18 year old niece is having a large mass removed from her left lung the same day. So i will be praying for both of you and for a speedy recovery too.

  90. Nancy in Eastern Washington

    Brandy – good luck with the surgery this week. You will be in my prayers.

    We are expecting our first frost soon. We harvested our onions, potatoes, dry beans (pinto this year) and carrots over the weekend. Each year we grow dry beans. We alternate between 3 varieties, pinto, black, and calico (an Italian heirloom bean that my DH’s grandmother brought back from Italy years ago). The potatoes and carrots are in their appropriate places. The beans still need to be shelled, but they are on a tarp in our shop to avoid getting any moisture, and the onions are ready to put up for the winter. It was a great year for onions.

    We also harvested the balance of our peppers and many tomatoes and made another batch of salsa. We use a lot of salsa during the year, and make enough every summer so we don’t have to buy any. We freeze our salsa rather than can it. Picked cucumbers both for eating, and also made two more jars of dill pickles. That is 15 quarts for the year. Used our garlic, dill and hot peppers in the pickles, as well as our cucumbers, of course.

    Shredded a large zucchini and made 8 loaves of zucchini bread. It is also in the freezer.

    Made 8 sausage and cheese biscuits for breakfasts for the week.

    Fred Meyer had 80/20 ground beef in the 3 pound chubs for $1.88 a pound – limit 5. got 5 and used one for BBQ’d hamburgers. The other four are in the freezer.

    Using rewards from both Safeway, and a coupon for $10 off a minimum $10 purchase from Staples, was able to get 30 rolls of TP for only $2.17.

    Picked lettuce and corn and gave some to my former neighbors, who have moved, along with some garlic, onions and carrots. Her DH came over the next day with 3 dozen eggs from their chickens. It was great timing, since I was down to 6 eggs after all my baking.

    I know there was more, but that is enough for now. Hope everyone has a great week.

  91. Patricia from Canada

    Rhonda, right now Food Basics is selling Primo brand pasta sauce for 88¢ a can as well as 900g bags of Primo brand pasta. When they go on sale for such a price as this, I stock up! Although I make my pasta/spaghetti sauce from scratch using home-canned tomatoes, I find that adding a can or two of the canned sauce gives an extra flavour boost – sometimes my home-canned tomatoes can be acidic-tasting instead of being on the sweet side.

    I also tried purchasing a stuffed turkey breast so there wouldn’t be lots of leftovers at Thanksgiving, and found the flavour to have a “processed” taste to it as well. So I began purchasing 3-4 not-frozen, young turkey’s on sale and then butchering them (usually from Farmboy, if you have a store near you). When they’re on sale, an entire bird is the same price as buying just the breast meat! Then I make my own stuffed turkey breast for Thanksgiving. There is no comparison in flavour to homemade versus store-bought. With the remainder of the turkey – the legs, thighs, wings, I’ll roast them as separate meals, in place of chicken, throughout the year. And this way, we don’t have a ton of leftovers at Thanksgiving. Of course, the carcass gets turned into turkey broth for soup.

  92. April

    We just aren’t having much luck with vehicles…mine went out 3 weeks ago (we’ve been saving to replace it anyways), the teens transmission went out on his truck over a week ago, and then the clutch went out on hubby’s truck this weekend. We’ll have to dip into my down payment fund to fix hubby’s truck first, the teen will pay us back for repairs on his eventually (it just got to the shop today). We thankfully borrowed a vehicle and being down to one is awful and stressing.(3 of us work, then one in middle school).

    Hubby’s boss sent over a ton of eggs…84 with in a few days.

    Banked some more Ibotta rebates. I now have $68 to use towards Christmas

    Used $5 ace rewards to buy batteries

    Temps finally cooled off so the ac has been off and doors open

    Listed some items on a local free site. Pick up was on my porch so I wasn’t out gas or time

    Eating leftovers for lunch

    My mom sent over some frozen chicken nuggets. We don’t eat a lot of processed food so they taste funny to us. I’ll use them as treats for the dogs.

    I found a bunch of gift cards from decluttering and I’ve been using them up, even if there is just a few pennies on them

  93. Heidi Louise

    Reader: My go-to present for babies, new houses, and even hostess presents, is Trash Stickers. I know different communities sell these differently. My town uses stickers on each trash can to pay for pick-up. Others have specially required trash bags.
    It always gets a laugh, and they will certainly get used. They can be combined with a smaller baby- or family- specific present, or with some household products you know they use, especially if the new parents don’t have a lot of time for shopping. I gave my boss a package of the expensive soft Charmin toilet paper when she announced her first upcoming baby, and she loved it.
    You can even decorate the stickers with holiday stickers, wrap them or put them in a card, etc.
    Otherwise, books are ALWAYS appropriate for children and they can be room decorations until the child can enjoy them.

  94. Athanasia

    Reader, many folks register for baby shower presents just as they do weddings at the local Target, for example, or on line like at Amazon. That could give you some ideas even if you don’t choose off the list. I personally like to give a little item or two off list and then diapers and wipes. Babies sometimes get more clothes than they need so that is why I go with the diaper and wipes. I usually go in on present with my mother.

  95. Laurie in AZ

    What an adorable baby!

    It is still hot here in Phoenix, but it still feels like Fall emotionally! Fall is my favorite season!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate dinner in 7 times, including pintos & jalapenos; chicken shish kebabs with baked beans; Hamburger Helper with cottage cheese and green beans (twice); dutch oven chicken with carrots, onions and potatoes; hamburgers, salad and ranch beans; and steak, baked potato and zucchini. Continued to eat items from the freezer and pantry.
    • Worked 10 contract hours. Only had to go into the office one of the days. The rest of the hours I worked from home.
    • Got a couple of Ibotta rebates.
    • Read a book my sister loaned to me and 2 library books.
    • Hubby changed the oil in my car. There was a promotion to receive an NBA sports bag with the purchase of the oil. Sent away for that.
    • Went camping this weekend. All it cost us was the gas to get up to the cool country and that took less than a tank to get there and back. Hubby even caught 2 fish that he fried up and had for lunch.
    • My daughter’s birthday was this week. We go on a mother-daughter trip every year and I pay for the hotel. I already paid for it and our trip is in October. Not frugal but easy! I did make her cupcakes with ingredients I already had on hand.
    • We came in 1st at trivia this week and I won the $30 gift certificate. Our team does a tie breaker question and whoever gets it, gets the certificate and the $1 each of us puts in. So I also got $5 in cash.
    • Had lunch out one day with Hubby at Chick-Fil-A, but his entrée was free as I had a gift card for free chicken strips.

    Have a great week everyone!

  96. Debby in Kansas, USA

    Heidi, someone here also recommended The Darling Dahlia series, which I am really enjoying.
    I also really love Tony Hillerman’s books. There’s also a great series set in England around the 1940’s with a Tween named Flavia, who fancies herself quite the detective…..gahhhhh, the name & author isn’t coming to mind…..I’ll post back in a second.

  97. Debby in Kansas, USA

    Okay, better prepared now!
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (1st book in Flavia de Luce series)

    The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander Mc Call Smith is another good series, but better known so you might have already read them. It never hurts to suggest because it might appeal to someone else….like the Darling Dahlia series that I didn’t know existed a month ago!! Now, I’m a fan!

  98. Athanasia

    Raisin oatmeal cookies are my favorite so I make those often.

    Brandy, we’re praying for a good outcome to your surgery and hopefully some peaceful days to rest up and heal.

    Fall is fully here. The color reports are showing up on the local news reports now. We’ve cleaned out a good portion of the gardens. Looks like we’ll be having thunderstorms shortly. My oldest daughter and her husband put up the hoop houses over the crops she wants to extend. We have been in low 40’s at night so no frost yet. I like Fall and all the pumpkins and mums. My uncles and their wives decorate our house and shop for fall with cornstalks and gourds and all the things they sell at the family farm stand which is in front of our house. They think it is good advertising and they sell more when people see what they have done and get ideas.

    We finished picking the last of the peaches. We have 2 dwarf trees, both self pollinating. One was ready to pick end of July, this last one started mid August. Apples are ready now. We have 5 old trees and 3 young trees. We cleaned out bell peppers and came up with about 7 last gallons worth. Hot peppers about one last pound. Still picking sweet corn daily. Brought in last of eggplant, 14. Pulled out all the cucumber vines and found many hiding of all sizes. Brought them all in.

    To be continued.

  99. Lorna

    Thank you Lynn for your encouragement and we will enjoy our house hunting 🙂 .

    We have been saving for 4 years for our home deposit so far but moved into rental 5 years ago. The first year most of our savings went into buying machinery to cater for acreage country living such as a ride on lawn mower, chainsaws and a trailer for carting firewood and manures for the gardens.

  100. Lillianna

    My invasion was an extremely expensive mistake. I didn’t know what they were and they destroyed the majority of my food supply. I actually was forced to clean the worm sacs out of every crevice in my kitchen. I used a fondue fork and several gallons of Apple cider vinegar. Literally pulled each drawer out and scraped all books and cranies.

  101. Lorna

    Hi Becky and thank you for your encouragement 🙂 and I agree with you that it will take some time to find the right property at the right price for us and we will take our time. Yes mountains are not conducive to growing vegetable gardens on :p .

  102. Lorna

    Thank you Jenny we are excited too 🙂 .

  103. Heidi Louise

    Thanks, Debby! I have followed the Dahlias almost from their beginning.
    I’ve read two stand-alones by Alexander McCall Smith, and I feel better about the world every time I read a new No. 1 Ladies. He has some other series I haven’t read.
    Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spencer Quinn are set in the modern time, not the cozy-world of the others mentioned here. They are fascinating and charming because Chet the dog narrates them about his PI owner, Bernie.

  104. dawnelle

    He is so cute, I love his little smile!

  105. Lillianna

    Being persistent seems to be my greatest frugal achievement this week. Our internet bill went up by 20 dollars. That wasn’t acceptable to me. First agent refused to do anything. Second agent refused to sell me anything unless I purchased everything at 200 a month .Absolutely refused to provide me with any other options. Poor child, I terminated our call. Third agent quickly provided me a 2 yr contract for 40.00 a month. I am happy and sugar cookie will be happy to stream tv again. I have collected 200.00 in swagbucks for our upcoming trip to son’s army graduation. Sugar cookie requested new speakers to connect to her tablet. After grocery shopping, I took her to the thrift store. She searched and located a pair for two dollars. She checked that they had all the wires and that the light turned on, when she plugged them in. She did this all by herself with no help from me. I was busy looking at books! Her purchase works and sounds great. We are still spending very little money. I imagine 5.00 a week covers our one little outing each week. We are having lots of rain this week. I have taught sugar cookie how to check the weather forecast and find pockets of warm temperature s where she can hang out laundry. I think she understands. The worse thing that will happen is that the clothes get rained on. While the internet is waiting to be reconnected, I have downloaded several books and movies to the kindle. I am determined to not get off budget .

  106. Cindi

    What a beautiful boy!
    We’re home from a two-week camping trip in Utah. We try to keep these trips as frugal as possible – we bring all our food from home (or buy it at grocery stores along the way) and do most of our camping in free forest service or BLM sites. We did pay for camping for three nights, but were able to take advantage of a senior discount for two of those nights. We hiked, fished, visited free or low-cost museums, and read and relaxed a lot. I hand-washed clothes and hung them to dry at our campsites. Most of the trip expenses were for gas.

  107. Ellie's friend from Canada

    They are now saying there 6 separate tornadoes that touched down. Incredible. Lucky not more injuries…

  108. Ellie's friend from Canada

    I gave away a book today on Salish weaving which is really easy to do. I regretted parting with the book but doubt I’ll ever have time to do any. There was great happiness here because i thought that I had lost a beautiful handwoven cape made by the Heritage weavers group that I had bought in wealthier days and given to my mother. I found it today and am so happy! My mother loved it and I loved her expression of pleasure and sparkling eyes when I gave it to her.

    I regretted not having the money to go hear Renée Fleming singing live but just got a notice that I can livestream it tomorrow night. Yay!!! That is smart on the part of the philharmonic since there are few tickets left!

    I am baking some of the squash (delicata) that my friend bought for me at the farmers’ market. Lovely treat on a cool evening.

  109. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Liz, Would you please share your high altitude white bread recipe? Ann

  110. Ellie's friend from Canada

    “Reader”,
    It is on the expensive side but I love the “Scottish Lace” blankets handwoven in Scotland from Land’s End and that can be monographed with baby’s name. They were not so expensive previously and over the years, I’ve given several of them. If you can go in with someone else and get a 40% discount, then it wouldn’t be so bad. Also, perhaps a gift for later because they may not know baby’s name before the shower. But I love Margie’s suggestion about making dinner for them, or other things you can do for low cost but which would really help. Even weeding their garden, if they have one.

  111. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Brandy, I wish I lived close to you. I have fallen in love! HAMISH! I would come over and babysit him or cook or do dishes for you but we are separated by thousands of miles. Hamish is stealing
    all of our hearts! Ann

  112. mrs.p

    Our local salvation army had all there clothes for 69 cents and after you check out they gave you a flyer that stated to comeback the next day and clothes will be 50 cent and everything else 50 percent off. Clean out the cupboard and need to use some can goods. Was able to open the windows and let the fresh air in. Made homemade bread instead of buying it. My daughter has a dance using the shoes from last year prom.

  113. Elizabeth

    1. My daughter started using a free class run by ASL university to learn sign language for one of her foreign language credits (she has been taking sign language classes for three years at our co op, but this one is more in depth and will bring her quickly up to an intermediate level)
    2. Found great deals on walmarts clearance aisle: two 24-count granola bars for $2 (slightly squished) and sushi rice for $1.50….**making sushi is not as hard as I imagined it to be, but making the perfect rice is very challenging!
    3. Saved $90 on new tires and an oil change by stacking coupons
    4. Picked up library books for school and “just for fun” reading
    5. Found the second season of Victoria at the library for my daughter…she was very pleased:)

  114. Jennifer O.

    I think that’s where I am. I cleared out the offending food (anything in a bag or box). Placed moth traps all over the house. Removed everything and wiped the whole space down with bleach and then with vinegar and a 3rd time with Dr Bonner’s peppermint oil soap and 2 weeks later I saw moths again. Sigh.

  115. Rhonda A.

    One of those Tornados was confirmed to have hit the neighbourhood a block or two north of where my brother lives…very close call! He finally got his power back on at 12am Tuesday morning (the unexpected Tornados hit late Friday afternoon, as many were heading home from work). He said it’s just a mess everywhere there. Again, so very lucky!

  116. Jennifer O.

    I usually get some clothes and diapers that are 6 months. People get lots of newborn and 3 – 6 months, but few 6 – 9. I keep a stash( particularly of ” holiday” items) if I can find them on clearance or I think they are cute.

  117. Kiki

    Cute little guy! Well, of course, our taxes pay for the public libraries! And they also pay for the roads we all drive on, our public schools, police and fire depts. etc. The taxes in my large city also pay for the many, many beautiful public parks and beaches that we enjoy. It has to be paid somehow. It’s not “free.” We all know that!

  118. Rhonda A.

    Funny, I like the smaller apples because I get more apples/servings per pound with them. If I get 3lbs of large apples, I may only get 7 apples, but if I get the small apples, 3lbs may last for 2-3 weeks!

  119. Ava

    [i]Daily habits I continue to try to cultivate[/i]: Caught water from shower warm-up and rinsing produce, etc, and used it to water the herb garden and potted plants, added produce scrapings to the composter, and used herbs from the garden in cooking as well as bouquets. I used the clothesline as often as possible, took advantage of cooler temperatures to shut down the air conditioner (hoping to leave it off now that fall has arrived), washed and reused zip-lock and sandwich bags. My husband and I “refreshed” several rooms by switching pictures around. He sold a few items on eBay, and we added the money to our vehicle repair fund. I’ve begun unpacking autumn decorations so I can decorate with what we already own, which always serves to lift my spirits.

    I inadvertently snipped a beautiful squash vine that has greeted me with gorgeous gold blossoms all summer long – I was so upset. I hastily put it in a pitcher of water, where it began putting out new roots almost overnight. I’m hoping to replant it? The sweet potato I sprouted and planted has practically taken over the garden – I can’t believe how hardy it is. It, too, has been putting out pretty blossoms (delicate lavender) for weeks. I don’t think either the squash (which was a volunteer that popped up next to the sweet potato) or the potato will produce gourds or tubers, but the leaves make beautiful and abundant greenery in bouquets, and also, I’m enjoying them both very much and that counts for something (or so I tell myself).

    [i]Unexpected[/i]: We were asked to make a very long drive (nearly 700 miles) at the very last minute. It was not an emergency or catastrophe, but we decided the situation warranted the effort. I tried to economize where possible, including putting together a last-minute snack cooler using what we had on hand (there was quite literally no time to shop anyway) – hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, sliced cheese, applesauce, fresh berries, bread, peanut butter. I had brewed sun tea a day or two before so poured that into reusable bottles, and froze half a dozen water bottles which, along with zip-lock bags of ice, served to keep the cooler cold and tasted good during the warm parts of the drive. I sliced a lemon for the water and the tea.

    We had enough loyalty points for a free stay at our hotel, but we booked less than 24 hours in advance and weren’t able to use them. I was unhappy about that, but the price was at least reasonable, and we collected points for future use. And at 11:30 p.m., after a 13-hour drive with “rest stops” that included wrangling two extremely large, unruly/untrained dogs (they were the reason for the sudden trip), we were just grateful for a clean bathroom, hot showers, and clean comfortable beds to fall into. A full breakfast was included and we took advantage of it, including adding yogurt, fruit, and cookies to the cooler for the return drive. I refilled the zip-lock bags with ice from the hotel as I re-packed the cooler. I filled out the satisfaction surveys emailed to me after checkout, which added more points to our account.

    [i]Gratitude[/i]: 1.) We felt very thankful that our situation allowed us to make this unexpected trip. 2.) We were so grateful to my mother, who insisted we take her SUV to save wear and tear on our vehicles. (It was my late father’s, and Mom keeps and maintains it so the family can use it as needed.) 3.) The trip involved driving through some areas that were new to us both, so in spite of the suddenness and tension involved, we agreed to appreciate seeing new and beautiful places.

    [i]Notes (and more gratitude)[/i]: My husband and I have not always been in accord regarding what it means to be frugal. Some years ago, we went through a rough time, which included a great deal of criticism directed at my attempts to be conscientious. We have both worked hard to change things (many things) for the better. Last night at dinner, my husband laughed and said, “I love it when you go to the ‘fridge, say, ‘What can I do with what’s here?’, and pretty soon there’s this delicious meal. It’s so cool – it’s really a gift.” His words meant a lot to me and I wanted to pass on my gratitude to this community, where I’ve found ideas, encouragement, and good humor to help me “keep on keeping on”.

  120. Rhonda A.

    Then it is very possible that I have met your friend. Our team has been to the Science Centre on more than 1 occasion to learn from their set up. Ours is very similar to theirs. We currently have members of the team that have joined since the last time we went to the Science Centre, who are asking to go. So that road trip may be in the works in the next little while. We also have Hans Baer (one of the volunteers at the Science Centre and a retired Engineer) coming to do a talk on October 3rd about how he was able to figure out how to make a punch card using the pattern of an existing historic textile. Can’t wait to learn more about this…it’s fascinating stuff!

    Our loom is set up differently that the Science Centre. We do carpeting, not the coverlets like they do. We have a stair case viewing area around our loom, so you can watch the mechanism working, at eye level, as the weavers demo on it. Much easier to see than walking around the glassed in “room” that their loom is encased in while trying to look up at the Jacquard head. There is also a camera and video feed to a T.V. screen available, for those with accessibility issues.

    Just to give you an idea of how special these Jaquard looms are…there are only 7 that we know of in existance in all of North America (that’s Canada & the U.S.A.). Of those seven, our museum has 2 of those heads (1 is restored and works, the other is all original parts and used for display only), the Science Centre has 1 and the other 4 are in different parts of the States (I know 1 is in New York State, but don’t recall off hand where the other ones are). We’re really lucky to have them at our museum!

  121. Heidi

    Hello everyone!
    We’ve had one of *those* falls! Last week I think I shard that a car broke down, the water softener died and my kindle stopped working. This week our downstairs bathroom upflush pump died and poured freezing cold tank water into the finished basement which is carpeted and the toilet tank is also cracked and needs to be replaced, one of the other commuter vehicles is acting up and we discovered that a cat had been peeing in one spot on an area rug which is on top of a wooden floor with beautiful cherry trim which is now…yup…black. Of ALL the things I was most frustrated by the floor part made me cry. Have I mentioned that these cats have destroyed every single piece of fabric furniture in our house? Every single one.
    HOWEVER. 🙂 I have a job interview for a part time position this week which, if I get it, will help to alleviate some pressure. Our youngest homeschooler is in highschool and pretty much independent in terms of schooling and the position is very part time and VERY early (5am start) so I’ll still be able to manage homeschooling situation.
    My husband can fix both the toilet and install the new pump which we’re trying to locate on the cheapcheap.
    The car that’s in the shop is fixable and not dead as feared so we’ll get that back for less than we anticipated spending.
    I’ve harvested rosemary, basil, parsley, squash, chard and kale from the garden.
    I redid our budget and think that I might actually have a handle on it and made it so that I can manage it with fewer steps. Simple is best for me. 🙂
    We’ve been taking advantage of the warm weather by not using the woodstove but when the basement was wet from the bathroom leak we also had a few chilly days and I ran the woodstove all the time to dry out the basement and the carpeting. The woodstove is in the basement, which is actually open to the backyard and only partially underground but we still call it the basement. This and spraying a bleach mixture has hopefully acted as a preventive against any mold growth. That would be all we would need right now…
    My husband is shaving his own head so no more haircuts. My son is growing his hair out so no more haircuts. (Let’s not go there…) and my daughter’s are continuing to grow their hair out as well. I’m just sticking mine up on my head all the time so I don’t have to think about haircuts. 🙂
    I’ve been cooking many more vegetarian meals which is saving us money since it’s mostly some form of bean. We’re at meat once a week, maybe twice.
    I canceled my PayPal account and when I did I saw that there were SEVERAL charges which were just automatically renewing! I also moved all of our cell phone plans to one account so that I could assess which plan might work best for us at this point.
    My husband bought an inexpensive new router and installed it and canceled the router rental. Installing and owning our own should pay for itself in one month.
    Since we installed the solar panels last year our electric bill has been cut down to less than one third of what it used to be. I’m so grateful that we were able to do that when we did.
    I line dried several loads of laundry.
    I cooked everything from scratch.
    My husband made bread.
    We’re doing without eggs because the hens are on hiatus and I’ve decided not to just go buy a dozen or two.
    Have a great week!

  122. Heidi

    Wow…sorry about all the typos. I was typing too fast!

  123. Heidi

    I just saw that your surgery is later this week Brandy. Good luck to you! I’ll say a prayer for a speedy recovery.

  124. Cindi

    What an exciting time for you, Lorna. I, too, have followed along watching your savings grow — best of luck to you. I can’t wait to hear the next chapter in this journey.

  125. Cindi

    How smart to ask for that discount!

  126. Athanasia

    to continue, we are basically getting ready for winter here. The days seem so much shorter already. Still doing some canning over the last few weeks. Made corn relish and more pickle relish. Made another jar of refrigerator pickles, made peach jam, pre made 5 peach pies unbaked and put in freezer, canned 7 quarts of peaches for cobbler use. Sadly no grapes this year. Our 150 year old arbor was starting to look bad last year and the county extension agent recommended removing and destroying and moving to a whole new location. We have done that removal but not started over. So no jelly or juice this year. We will increase the amount of apple jelly and juice to make up. Also my daughter wants to try making cranberry juice this year. We go to a cranberry festival in about 2 weeks so we will get berries in the area, very cheap.

    My husband and son in law took Theo’s pick up that he uses for farm visits and came back with 800 pounds of russet potatoes. Sounds like a lot buy son Markus wanted 200 pounds for his family and Eliana and Theo want 300 so we get the last 300. We bought 100 pounds of red potatoes earlier. It is best to buy unwashed if you can. Lay them out and let them dry, brush off excess dirt. They will last much longer. We buy the seconds from the road side stands around here. Lots of potatoes. We are going to visit the 2 other girls and will probably take them each 50 lbs and I would like another 100 lbs for us. Son Andreas and family do not use as much potatoes as a lot of their cooking is rice based.

    Some of the things cooked and baked over the last few weeks…white bread, Brandy’s French bread, rye bread, banana nut bread, zucchini bread, banana chocolate chip muffins, plum kuchen, peach kuchen, apple crisp, butterscotch pudding. Made multiple batches of spaghetti sauce, cooked up mix of onions, peppers, eggplant and zucchini and froze in 2 cup containers. I like this to add to lasagna filling or to chili. Also cooked up containers of just onions and spicy peppers for putting into Spanish rice or curry into 1 cup containers. Took about 45 of the bell peppers and stuffed them all some with an Italian style mix of ground beef, onions, seasoned tomato sauce and cheese. Others stuffed with Mexican style filling of corn, beans, rice and seasoned tomato sauce and pepper cheese. Some of the peppers pretty small so maybe 2 or 3 to a serving. Froze them in batches enough for the 2 of us. Made salmon puff, macaroni and cheese, blueberry waffles, maple baked squash, kale soup, vegetable soup, cauliflower corn chowder. Grilled out things like fish, hamburgers and shish kabab. That’s all I can remember.

    I am so unused to having just 2 of us at home. Well we did for a few months last year, but now this will be the whole school year. So we let church know that we can house any over night speakers or missionaries that they would like. Send them our way. The dogs miss the constant attention they had from youngest so they go next door and hang around oldest girls 3 dogs.

    Did all the usual of using up leftovers…I have to cook in smaller batches! Packed lunch for my work and for husband to eat at home at noon. Washed out and reused ziplocs. Hung some laundry to dry inside on racks. Mended. Got out the winter clothes and hung them up to air out. Husband hung all the winter blankets out on the line to air out. Washed windows inside and out to get rid of bugs and summer dirt. Husband did fall pruning that needed done. Mulching fallen leaves when mowing and adding to compost piles. Cleaned out some of the fading annuals and added in some 1.00 mums from the farm store for a little fall color.

    to be continued…

  127. Laurie in AZ

    I need to get some expensive dental work done soon. I’m going to try to ask for a cash discount! Thanks for the idea!

  128. S. CO Mary

    Woot woot! Happy frabjous news Lorna. So proud of you and your hubby and all your hard work and focus. Can’t wait to hear more!

  129. Rebecca

    Hugs – you have a lot on your plate lately. I will be sending prayers for your surgery.

  130. Maxine

    Which is all the more reason to use our libraries, parks, etc.–we’re paying for them. I went to a Master Gardener presentation at my library last night and checked out a book I’d reserved through interlibrary loan. The book would have cost me $30 to buy (well, not really, because you all know that I’d buy it used), but it doesn’t take too many of those to more than make up for the taxes.

  131. Gail C.

    I’ve said prayers that the medical staff uses their God given talents and skills for Brandy’s surgery as well as your niece’s.
    I hope that everyone affected, family & friends as well as patients, can find a vent for the inevitable stress.

  132. Rhonda A.

    We don’t have a Food Basics in our city (everything else but that). We have a Farmboy but it mainly has discounted shortdated meats as well as other products.

    I did see pasta sauce on sale at Fresco for $0.99/can so I will be stocking up this week! I don’t have a problem with leftovers as I freeze them. It’s my mom being difficult. We bough her beloved Butterball this time (full sized turkeys) so hopefully we will be happy with them.

  133. Patricia from Canada

    Heidi, I stretch my meat by using less in meals such as stirfrys – ton of vegetables, rice or noodles and a bit of meat. It, at least makes my family feel they aren’t vegetarian 🙂 Also, in any of my casseroles that call for ground beef, I always stretch it with beans. For example, a cabbage roll casserole dish, I add lentils along with the beef and rice which cuts down on the amount of ground beef I use. Chicken quesadillas – more beans than chicken and even then, the chicken is diced fairly small. When I make homemade soup using chicken meat, I always repurpose the meat into a “pulled pork” concept on buns, or in pot pies with lots of vegetables. It’s a great use for meat that I otherwise would toss because I simmer the stock for a few hours and the meat basically falls apart into shreds. But in both of the aforementioned dishes, the texture of the chicken works okay.
    Just a few ideas to stretch that meat!

  134. Heidi

    Ava – I know what you mean about your husband saying, “I love it when you go to the fridge and say ‘what can I do with what’s here’…” My husband once bragged to the kids that I could make a three course meal with a tomato and some moldy cheese. We laugh about that a lot, but I really do love the challenge of cooking meals with whatever is laying around.

  135. Jeannie

    Margaret, I labeled a frozen jar “yoghurt” and was told by my son Dustin I had misspelled the word. I told him it was a Canadian spelling. He would not be convinced. I just showed him your post, pointed out your spelling and he said, “Are you showing this to me to prove you are right and I am wrong? The word is not pronounced ‘yaag….hurt’, it is not yoe-gert.” He is not very apologetic.

    Margaret, I will go with your spelling, just to win the argument.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  136. Maxine

    Ava, I love your post.

  137. Lorna

    Thank you Cindi for you kind thoughts 🙂 . We will keep everyone updated.

  138. Lorna

    Thank you Mary for your encouragement 🙂 .

  139. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Heidi and Patricia,

    I too have been stretching ground beef by using a can of lentils ($1.10) along with oatmeal and breadcrumbs in it. I made meatloaf this way. I need to improve the flavour a bit but I think some ketchup and perhaps a dash of soy sauce would do it. I am also planning on using textured soy protein to stretch the meat out a little bit. I think some of Brandy’s meatless recipes sound really delicious –– the chicken fried chicken and the black bean burger sound good!

    Sorry to read about all of the things that have gone wrong, Heidi. I love that your husband makes bread!

  140. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Glad to read the doc got it all even if it took 3 tries! I was squeamish to read that you were bitten by a black widow spider –– were you sick from that? I once found one in a box of grapes from California in the store. The associate immediately removed the box and despatched the spider to its maker. I was told the store often finds black widows in grapes and strawberries from California.

    As to fiscally prudent activities, I was really happy to find that our Philharmonic Orchestra live-streamed its concert last night with opera/jazz singer Renée Fleming. I had hoped to go hear her singing in person but the ticket price was more than I could afford. I watched the entire concert live online. I note that some of the previous live-streamed programs are archived on the Calgary Philharmonic site, including Yo Yo Ma’s playing of Dvorak’s cello concerto. Last year I went to this but as I had pneumonia at the concert, I had to change seats from the loft and felt ill. Now I can watch almost the whole concert time. For those who love classical music, this would be no-cost enjoyment.

  141. Mable

    Did you blanch the peppers before stuffing and freezing them? I have thought of doing that but could not seem to find instructions that explained the blanch/not blanch step. Thanks for any help.

  142. Marybeth

    I keep getting the staples coupons. I have been stocking up on cleaning products

  143. Marybeth

    My son has grown his hair out many times. Other family members have made comments about it. My opinion, it is hair. Jesus had long hair so why can’t my son. It is not a piercing or tattoo. I will take the long hair over many other things.

  144. Ava

    Heidi – you’re right, it’s a challenge but a fun one, and it definitely helps to get the “props” from the husband. “…a tomato and some moldy cheese”…love it. 😉

    Maxine – thank you for your kind words. That means a lot to me.

  145. Athanasia

    Mable, I do not blanch them first.

  146. Margie from Toronto

    Glad to read that the surgery is over with although it does sound like a bit of a rough go – hopefully that will be it and a hat and more sunscreen will prevent any reoccurrence. I hope that you get a good rest over the weekend.

  147. Ellie's friend from Canada

    I, too, hope you get some rest over the weekend and perhaps life may calm down just a bit for you and not be as stressful.

    I was able to pay off a few debts but still have some. I bought a fair sized ham which I will bake at Canadian Thanksgiving and then will freeze individual packages. I should get about 30 meals from it and be able to make split pea soup, too.
    I bought a lot of meat such as fresh roasted beef, fresh roasted turkey and put it all in my freezer in packets. The store had beef brisket (deli sliced) for $1.69 per 100 grams on sale which is difficult to beat. (made in the mountain town of Canmore, i.e., locally). I am trying to get the best nutrition for meals to help my arm heal. I went to Indigo and bought late birthday gifts for my great nieces. If you bought 3 of anything, you got the fourth free. So I bought 3 books, 2 for birthday gifts (including Rosie Revere, the Engineer) and 2 for Christmas. I also bought 2 Andrea Bocelli cds (his latest Sì) online for Christmas gifts –– really reasonably priced. I hope to find some other gifts shortly and save them for Christmas. I went into the eyeglasses store and found they have a sale in November. Seems like a long wait.
    As I cannot have a flu vaccine due to a previous bad allergic reaction, I will shortly start avoiding crowds and stores. I hope to have most of my Christmas shopping done soon. There are good sales at the moment.

  148. Betsy

    Spray your pans with spray oil like Pam then use butter or olive oil in your cooking and the meats will not stick so bad. Learn this from my hubby who makes me the best fish

  149. Jeannie, you always make me laugh! You should consider a career as a humour writer, a la Erma Bombeck. I actually had to look up the different spellings of yoghurt to see why my spelling was considered unusual. Apparently it’s more British, which makes sense, given that Canada often uses British spellings of words (ex. grey, neighbourhood, etc.) I did not even realize that yogurt was a possible spelling; live and learn! 🙂

  150. Patricia from Canada

    Brandy, I’m sure it’s a relief to have the surgery done and over with! Praying that you’re able to get some needed rest and healing this weekend – today was quite a day for you and your family.

    Pat

  151. Rhonda A.

    Perhaps try adding some Worcestershire sauce to your meatloaf for some added flavour as well. I find it really adds a nice flavour to many beef based dishes.

  152. Margaret (near Sydney Australia)

    Hi all,
    It’s sping and warming up here in Australia.
    I’ve found a local lady on acreage who has free range chickens. I’m buying eggs from her and she drops them off when she drives through my town. I return the egg cartons to her for reuse. Fresh eggs and absolutely free range and organic. And she gets a few dollars in exchange got the eggs so she’s happy

    I’m hanging out the washing on the line and only using the dryer if absolutely necessary.
    I’m using up my stockpile of laundry liquid (I have way too much in the cupboard and I gave some to a friend who is struggling financially).
    I gave another struggling friend a packet of dishwasher tablets from my cupboard stockpile and I’ll give her another packet when I see her next.
    I got my kids to go through their wardrobes for outgrown clothes and when my 17 year old went for a drive to get his hours up for his learners logbook, we dropped them at the op shop in the town we drove to (so that accomplished 2 jobs at once).
    I went through my basket of socks and paired them, and threw out any worn out ones or ones that were too small.
    I picked up an additional shift at work this week.
    The next electricity bill is due to arrive in a week or so and I have to pay some more on my daughter’s school fees so the extra will be handy on payday

  153. Thank you so much for your prayers, Mari. We were blessed to be minimally affected by the storm. I think the worst part is a huge amount of a new to us mosquitoes now, very large and aggressive, from all the wetness. First frost can’t come soon enough this year.

  154. Darcy

    McIntosh apples are our favorite too!

  155. Susan

    I have been on a mission to use up random ingredients before we move and trying to preserve fresh produce before it gets too cold. I made fish tacos with a single piece of tilapia and leftover corn made into salsa, made dessert with pudding mix, stale graham crackers, bananas and 1/2 tub of cool whip. We took my employees out on a boat ride and had a BBQ afterwards instead of taking everyone out to eat for dinner, which easily saved several hundred dollars. Made cornbread and zucchini muffins. Ordered my son an animal type snowsuit to double as a Halloween costume off eBay. My son had terrible sleep regression from 4-6 months, so I’m finally feeling rested enough to start back running. I find change almost every run. It’s getting chilly in the mornings but I’m resisting turning the heat on.

  156. Ellie's friend from Canada

    In Canada, I’ve seen “yoghurt” (less frequently now) but also yogourt and yogurt.
    In parts of Britain, it is pronounced yaghurt (so yes yaaghurt) and they will think it odd
    if you say yogurt (with a Yo). In Canada, I’ve only heard “yoe”. (a hard “o”). So Jeannie,
    I think you are right each way. And Margaret@ApproachingFood, just as correct for the spelling “yoghurt”.
    I just wish I had some.

  157. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Tammy,

    I’m keeping you in my heart, thoughts and prayers! Ann

  158. Ellie's friend from Canada

    A friend just returned from Ottawa where he was visiting. He and his family drove the route of one of the tornadoes (Dunrobin) twenty minutes before that tornado touched down. Lucky! Ann

  159. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Hi Char,

    In Canada, some city libraries offer free online access to a great variety of magazines, books (and audio books), language courses, films and music. I have been discovering what my library offers online and am overwhelmed by how wonderful it is!
    We have a new state of the art central library being built and i can hardly wait for a tour! No charge for library card either.
    I think it varies widely between city and town as to what is available.

  160. Ellie's friend from Canada

    Hi Rhonda A. Thanks for your suggestion! Unfortunately, I am severely allergic to fish and real
    Worcestershire has anchovies in it. I am smiling because Worcestershire sauce is the bane of my existence because here it is added to the tomato sauce on pizzas and in lasagne and barbecue sauces….

    I thought about using Maggi but some of it may have been in contact with seafood/shellfish and it adds salt. I am going back to my salt free ways.(right after the Thanksgiving maple flavoured birch smoked ham!) Good for blood pressure control! thanks for the thought!!!!!

  161. S. CO Mary

    Hello Rhonda! A couple of comments. First of all it sounds like your daughter has found a nice group of girls to socialize with. That is so important as you’ve said she had really been wanting friends. Your instruction about how to make $20.00 go further than just taking school lunches is spot on. I really think that they should bring back home-ec and shop here in the U.S. I live in a more rural area and our local high school still has FFA (Future Farmer’s of America) and 4H is still really big here. I had great resources at home for both home-ec and shop as my mother was an excellent seamstress, cook, homemaker, my maternal grandmother always included her grands in canning when we visited during the summer and my father was a carpenter who taught Construction skills at a Jr. College and carpentry apprenticeship. But for so many those skills are lost.

    There was a show many years ago that I watched on BBC America about a diverse group of people who were put on an island off the coast of Scotland and had to come together to make it work – using their skills, learning from others, create a ‘government’ for making community decisions, etc. I LOVED it. It also had the before and after info.

    About the turkeys… As there are just two of us I have been buying the butterball turkey breasts when they are 2.5 lbs. for $6.99 US. That is so much cheaper than the deli meats. What I didn’t care for was the chemical taste when it was sliced turkey, gravy, etc. It was interesting that when I sliced it up (using a very old electric knife that does an amazing job) it was better! I don’t know if it was the addition of mayo, fresh veggies (usually cucumber, tomato, lettuce and green chile strips) or that it was a smaller amount but it has become my go to. I stock up on them when they are at that price (normally $12.99 US!). I am also going to try your french dip recipe. It is my all time favorite sandwich and there is one local place that I like but it would be great to have them at home.

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  162. Joan

    Congratulations on your weight loss.

  163. Terry

    The garden seems to drive my days. Tomatoes have been canned several times. Many batches of green tomatoes made into salsa Verde only having to purchase cilantro and jalapenos. Meals are planned to incorporate as many veggies as possible.
    I bought red peppers discounted to 3/1$. Used them to make stuffed peppers with homemade sausage and leftover rice. There’s enough leftover filling to make a couple burritos for the freezer for a free meal. I had two oranges left from vacation. Used them to make orange marmalade.
    Apples are picked. All the red delicious are refrigerated. The pie apples will keep in the garage.
    All laundry hung on the line, then tumbled for a few minutes in the dryer to soften
    I sorted all the drawers in the kitchen and found a large box of things to donate. Also set aside several items of clothing that are nearly new and a bit too small. I like to donate at least one box of items when I shop at the thrift stores.

  164. Athanasia

    Ellie’s friend, Annie’s Organics brand makes vegan Worchestershire sauce. No anchovies.

  165. Mari at the Jersey Shore

    So glad Lynn and Laurie that you made it safely thru the storm. Saw on the news the devastation in New Bern & Wilmington and brought back horrible memories of Sandy’s destruction here at the Jersey Shore. Laurie I’ve clicked on your link for your blog – really nice. My grandmother made elderberry extract also as a cold remedy.

  166. PJGT

    Having lived in Hawaii and see too much skin cancer, I am also glad you have taken care of the skin cancer.

    For the past week I have been sorting bags and bags of clothing for the thrift store. I pulled some items for us and friends, but have donated about 50 large black trash bags full. They ended up in my garage and sat for 18 months before I decided to not wait for help, but take care of them myself. What a task! I do hope that our local people will have some nice clothing choices now!

  167. Lee

    Just a note – our library has magazine subscriptions that you can check out online, so depending on which apps your library uses, you may be able to do that as well. 🙂

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