The paperwhites are up in the white garden! The vincas in front of them will die with the frost and are turning yellow with the cold.

I cut the last of the good white zinnias from the front garden, and Winter arranged them for the table.

We can have a frost anytime between now and a month from now, though it’s usually closer to mid-December. I had planned to leave the zinnias in the front until then, but I noticed that they had powdery mildew on them, so I went ahead and pulled them all.

I cut some flower heads that were brown and dried so that I can pull the seeds from them and save them to plant next year.

I harvested five large zucchini from the garden: three from the front and two from the back. Considering that last year I got three zucchini from five plants, I’m very happy with this fall harvest. I will be planting mid-summer for a fall harvest next year. The plants in the front yard had powdery mildew, so I pulled them out to make way for the ranunculus that are coming up from under them. The plants in the backyard are fine, but they don’t have any female flowers on them. I hope to get some more zucchini before we get a frost.

I also cut Swiss chard and chives from the garden.

Winter wanted the piano music to “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, so I checked to see if I could get a copy of it for free on I checked and they had it!

I watched a couple of shows with my husband on Hulu for free.

I made pumpkin pie, granola, turkey curryspaghetti, rosemary olive oil bread, peach pie, Swiss chard soup, and fried chicken.

I cooked a big pot of beans and served it with rice for dinner one night. The next day we ate more of those beans with more rice in burritos.

I paid a bill online.

The weather turned colder this week, and we had three straight days of rain where it rained all day. I know for some of you, that is nothing unusual, but in all the years I’ve lived here, rain is a fleeting thing that comes for 20 seconds and evaporates when it hits the ground. I can count two days a year when we normally get more rain than that; one is in late January and the other is in mid-July. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen rain in November here in the thirteen years I’ve lived here.

So, I turned off the drip systems to outside, and since everything is so soaked, I won’t be turning it on for many more days.

Because it was colder, I rolled up some towels and put them by the front door, in three bedroom window and in a bathroom window. It really keeps the drafts down and makes the house warmer. We are not yet running the heater.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I have been feeling very frugal lately and then I come here and read eveyone’s posts and I realize I have done some things.I used a carcass froma chicken to make two batches of broth for my freezerPurchased 10 pounds of ground bef for $19.98. I will turn 6 pounds into spaghetti sauce, some into taco meat and the rest as hamburgers.I downloaded free kindle booksI printed a lot of new coupons and sorted my coupon organizer. I have been able to get some cheap chocolate to give as gifts and for my children as stocking stuffers. I price matched at Walmart to save on gas.I made homemade pizza and cookies.I purchased some ingredients for thanksgiving dinner but my family and in laws also chip in, so we get an excellent meal for pretty cheap!Found snow pants that still fit two of my children from last year. I purchased a pair for myself on a 30% off sale. I have been looking for a couple of years.Purchased a turkey to have in the freezer as we eat with my family on Thanksgiving.Purchased Nestle chocolate chips for $1 a bag to use for peanut butter balls that we will give as Christmas presents. I also bought the butter for this for $2 a pound and then saw that another store had them for 1.50. I also purchased powdered sugar and brown sugar for .99 each for 2# packages.I will use these in Christmas presents as well.Found that Kellogg’s family rewards will have double points on the 29th so I will wait to enter the stack I have collected until then.I entered a few coke rewards as you have to do this every so often to keep your account activated. I have a gallon bag of them to enter…I do them very gradually or if I notice a good deal. I was out of town at a conference and the hotel paid my cab fee from the airport as their shuttle had stopped running and I was delayed due to the weather. I took the lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower caps, soap and coffee from the room. I left the mouth wash as I do not use it.I asked at the restaurant if there was discount for staying and there was! A friend and I split the two meals and appetizer for dinner at another restaurant. It was fun to be out for the night and not have to think what to make, buy groceries or clean up, but I missed my family.Purchased a piece of heavy duty decorating fabric at Hobby Lobby…2 yards for $9.94 total to refinish my dining room chairs. Found a clearance table cloth as well…80% off as it was supposed to be Halloween but it looks more like Christmas to me. I will use this for Christmas dinner.Am receiving a free massage tonight from a friend’s wife who is attending school for certification.Found a gift certificate for snapfish…will make some cute Christmas gifts with the money.Having a leftover night tonight to clean out the fridge before Thanksgiving :)I am thankful for this blog and for the encouragement to be more frugal! I am also thankful my family agrees and is willing to sacrifice now to have more later!

  2. Now that I know how to read their forms and updated how I keep track of bills it won’t happen again. Thank you Merivene for the suggestion. We might try to do that next year.

  3. Ordered 25 Christmas cards from Shutterfly absolute $0 out of pocket (thanks to Pampers GTG). Also ordered an 8×8 book as a gift for Grandma, only paid for shipping, so about $8. Received a free dog food sample, fed our pup for a day.Today I received a free cereal sample, magazine, and chips in the mail. Also received a check for $11 from instaGC. Wrote out a pantry inventory. Using up all those free samples of tea, cocoa, etc…instead of buying more. I made chicken stock (and soup) out of freezer leftovers. Trying to eat up all the older stuff before we move in a couple of weeks.Cleaned out behind the refrigerator which allegedly saves money if you dust it. Searched and destroyed split ends. Pulled out the last of our carrots. Nothing left in my garden! *tear*Had free cake & ice cream at church.It snowed here on Friday so my kiddo got lots of time to play outside. It was a great day for us! =)Got a good deal on flour so I bought 10# each of whole wheat and unbleached white. Got a good deal on a stainless cookware set. My teflon pots and pans are about 7 years old and I should have chucked them a couple of years ago. Hoping this new set lasts me much longer. We did eat out twice this week for a total of almost $30 and it always makes me feel guilty to have these unplanned eating out excursions. We had plenty of food at home but I get lazy and don’t want to cook. :/

  4. Ordered some photos for free with a coupon codereused some snowflake wrapping paper from last Christmas to wrap a birthday giftused up a gift card with just a few $ on it, bought some jamgot some free-after-ECB deals at CVSgot some free tea samples in the mailused up some sweet potatoes that had been in the fridge for a while

  5. I bought 4 frozen turkeys for 49 cents/lb, which was the best deal I could find here. I made eggnog from my mother’s recipe, from scratch, using marked down milk, marked down half and half, sale priced eggs and homemade vanilla extract. Total cost for a quart was 89 cents, compared to $2.99 at the local grocery store. I cooked pumpkins from our garden and froze the puree.I bought 80 lbs of potatoes for 9.7 cents/lbI made 6 Christmas gifts, each for under $5, a couple of them free, with materials I had here.I used gift cards to buy 2 special gifts for 2 special people in my life.I baked my son’s birthday cake from scratch, and iced with 7-minute frosting (1/4 the price of butter cream icing)I harvested kale on 2 days (it’s the last thing left in our garden)

  6. We have been spending money left and right it feels like 🙁 Our truck has been worked on several times in the past two weeks, and seems to run worse each time. Its probably the compression in the engine, which isn’t worth fixing due to the trucks age and condition. We will use it just for hauling until it goes completely, and then we plan on parting it out and selling as much as we can and scrapping the rest. The money we make back we will put towards our new car.Our “new” car should be ready for pick up this week. It is a small, economy car — perfect for our little family and should be very reliable and good on gas. Its used, but newer than anything we have ever had. We had to finance part of it — but will pay it off quickly with any extra we receive from side jobs/parting the old truck/babysitting.Our other vehicle is in the shop needing a transmission. Found one used for much, much cheaper than a refurbished one. We will be able to pay cash for the transmission and the labor — thank God! Also, we have been blessed to have been able to borrow vehicles — a loaner from the shop (free) and a friends extra car. Bought food for a church food drive for 30% to 50% off using in-store sales on the store brand items. Hung clothes to dry, made dinners at home, bought a bushel of local apples for an end-of-season price and froze slices for applesauce, some thinly sliced for pies, and made a pie and applesauce all in one Saturday :)Made some hankerchiefs out of extra fabric we had lying around. Watched shows on hulu for free.Searched with swagbucks — almost have another 5 dollar amazon gc!Keeping our heat as low as we can. Bills are still under 100 so far this season. Crossing our fingers that it continues!Stocked up on flour and yeast on sale — finally succeeded in making my own bread. Without a kitchen aid mixer even — my husband was sure I would need one to succeed in bread making, but I proved him wrong!

  7. We took the kids to IKEA where kids eat free on Tuesdays. They got to play, then enjoy a free meal. I picked at their leftovers (bad habit!) and we all left full and tired.As usual, cloth diapered and hung outside to dry, and inside on drying rack when it was too wet/humid.Made croutons and cheese toast from new bread recipe that didn’t turn out. Learned I should stick with what I know works and what my family likes.Accepted some maternity clothes from my sister and her friend, some of which I can pass along to a pregnant friend, some of which I will keep in hopes of having another baby.Won a door prize at a holiday market at church.At a garage sale, bought a Bumbo seat, which I then resold on Craigslist for more.Sold our stroller/car seat travel system on Craigslist for $10 more than we paid for it 3 years ago, after 2 children got to use it.Price-matched and used coupons at Walmart, including some good produce deals from the Mexican grocery stores.Returned a stray cart at Aldi for $.25.Resisted the urge to stop and get a soft drink after lots of errands.Homemade food: bread, enchiladas, brownies, chili, cornbread.Bought dented canned food items from the clearance section at Kroger, where the kids got a free cookie. I typically make refried beans, but for $.29/can, this is a pretty good price for our area. By the time I factor in the cost of the ziploc bag I store them in, the time in the crockpot, etc., this is a cheap convenience food I don’t mind spending money on. Maybe they’re not as flavorful as homemade, but we typically eat them with other things and season further with salsa, cumin, etc., so I bought several cans.Researched do-it-yourself electric driveway gates, which would be a major purchase that we would buy. I feel like a driveway gate would make our home more secure. We have started keeping the porch lights on all night since our next door neighbor had a prowler a couple of weeks ago, scared away by another neighbor.

  8. Last week, I bought almost $50 worth of items on clearance at Walmart. They had an additional 75% off of their clearance. It was a huge stash. Several of the items are Christmas gifts and many were for Operation Christmas Child. I got toothbrushes for 24 cent and teacher gifts for around 80 cents each. You can view it here. I made beaded necklace and bracelet sets for my daughter for Christmas.I used coupons on my grocery items.We bring snacks in the car to keep from stopping at stores.I made a daughter a turkey shirt using materials I already had.We had a buffet night where we ate all the leftovers from the fridge.I washed my hair with a vinegar and water mix.I turned the lamp off in the living room and lit my candles instead.I used Vaseline as lip balm.My blog is slowly turning into a money blog. I love your idea of the homemade Christmas and have started making some homemade gifts myself. I’m not a seamstress by any means but I found some simple ideas that I could put a spin on.

  9. Here are some of the frugal things I accomplished during the past two weeks:I ordered a 20-page photo book from Walgreens and only paid for shipping ($3.26). Attended an organizer’s meeting for my Mom’s group at a local restaurant and ordered a small appetizer as a entree instead of a full meal. Attended a family game night at my daughter’s school and came home with two free (and fun) homemade games (Power Tower and Bang! for learning sight words). We attended a fun Saturday moonlight bowling family event through hubby’s work for nominal fee and it included a free soft drink for each of us. We ate lunch at home before we went so we would not be tempted to eat at the bowling alley. I took a rubbermaid bin of my daughter’s fall and winter clothing to our local consignment shop. I still had over $20.00 in credit that we could spend. I have resisted buying new snow boots for daughter because they are so expensive for the small amount of time she will wear them before outgrowing them. But they had a pair in her size at the consignment shop!!! We also picked up a black velvet pair of dress flats and two tops that she can wear to school. That felt awesome and showed me that waiting for the price to be right is sooooo worth it. I did meal planning and only shopped for what I needed. I need to start building a stockpile, but I will get that planned shortly. I have really started to see how all the little things can add up and I am feeling great about being more frugal!

  10. You might consider contacting your local police before you spend on the gate. Our HOA considered installing one and the police said that they don’t statistically help with crime…and they can even slow down police response. They only have a big impact when they come with an armed guard. They said investing in bright lights was a better use of money for safety. You should of course do whatever is best for your family, but perhaps the money will be better spent on some motion-sensor lights?

  11. Found turkey on sale for .49/pound. Limit was 5 so I bought 5. Didn’t really have the money in the budget for them, but hope to be able to scale back on other groceries somehow.Bought 2 more pounds of butter at .88/#. Found one more coupon so hope to get one more at that price before they go off sale today.Found milk on clearance for $1.50/gallon so I bought 6 to (hopefully) get us through most of the two weeks until hubby gets paid again.Will be getting the last of the ingredients together for Thanksgiving today. Sweet potatoes on sale for 50 cents/pound, 10 pound bag of russet potatoes on sale for under $1 (can only get 2 at a time, but hope to make a couple of trips into the store to stock up, if possible), and red grapes were on sale for 88 cents/pound one day. Made an average of one loaf of bread per day with the buttermilk I got on sale for 28 cents/qt. last week. I’m so glad the kids like it, but I can’t keep it in the bread box! Making more today and will make dough on Thursday for rolls (it makes really good rolls, too!).Still monitoring the water usage. Recent water bill was quite high, but I don’t think I started cutting back in time to see any significant results yet. Hopefully next month will be better. We have also had a LOT of rain over the course of about three days or so (very unusual for here and for this time of year) which will help with the bill. Didn’t turn on the heat even though it got a little chilly after all the rain and clouds. Ran out of dishwasher tabs so hope to get some ingredients together to make my own, but it forces me to wash by hand exclusively now.Turned over my coupon binder to my friend who lost hers. I know she will make better use of it than I have. Well-stocked on various household items that I mainly obtained through couponing and canceled newspaper subscription as it didn’t seem like it was paying for itself with the coupons anyway, but it does feel a little strange going into the store “unarmed” so to speak.Thankful for blessings of family and friends, good health and freedoms that many can’t celebrate, and this blog which is always encouraging and uplifting! Praying for all of you, especially those with health problems or family with health issues. Even those of us that are healthy, as the caregivers to those that are not, many things can weigh on our hearts. All we can do is continue to be faithful and know that God has a plan.God Bless you and your family this Thanksgiving!

  12. Wow Mandy that was a tough one. You should be really proud of yourself though that you HAD the emergency money and didn’t have to put the payment on credit or something. That almost happened to me (got a bonus at work) and I was so freaked out at the thought. Sadly I think a lot of people would have had to do it that way so count a partial victory; lesson learned and no debt for it.

  13. Last week was a tough week as my son and I were both hit by a stomach bug in addition to a bout of my migraines. I find that keeping a list of accomplishments as I was inspired to do from this blog, really helps me to look back and, even if it didn’t feel like it, realize that I did accomplish many little things. I posted them on my blog:

  14. Pretty flowers. We have a “white garden” now too. It has snowed 3 times since Friday (just started again as I was writing this).Cooked almost all from scratch as youngest and I did stop at Little Cesar and pick up an order of crazy bread for 1.50 w/ coupon to go with soup for dinner. There were enough for the 3 of us. Baked 4 loaves of white bread so had two to cut up and dry for stuffing. Mixed up 10 piecrusts and put 8 in the freezer for TGiving. Made a mincemeat-apple pie. Made piecrust cookies from scraps. Made baked mostaciolli, farfalle with Alfredo sauce and peas, curried corn souffle, onion fried potatoes, banana pancakes, mash potatoes au gratin, grape-nuts and butterscotch pudding. Did not need many groceries. Bought 2 gallons of milk for 5.00, 2 pomegranates for 3.00 after using doubled coupon, 3 dozen farm eggs, large size canister FF onions for 1.38 after double coupon and sale, 3 pack of romaine for 1.99. Bought a 2nd batch of gift cards and received another $10 grocer gift card as bonus.Gas is 3.19 here , bought 10 gallons. Bought a few pounds of bananas at the station for 0.35/lb. Unexpected car repair due to driver turning into path of our VW bus while husband driving. Despite being the other persons fault their insurance refused to pay more than 50% of the estimate claiming it was our fault for “being there”. We ordered the parts on line and the body shop did the work (installation) for not too much over what their insurance paid. Am not getting the embroidered pillows done, so they will be birthday presents instead of Christmas, except for the one set I have to have done by Dec 2nd for youngest (she will get at least one with IOU for the other) . Then I have until April and May to finish the rest. The aprons x4 are all cut out, marked and ready to sew. Daughter wants to know if I can make new bed skirt to go with her new curtains, duvet etc. I used up all the sheets though, but I did make a sham for one of her pillows she does not know about. Will have to watch out for a coordinating sheet. Took daughter to Old Navy outlet. She had a $25 gift card from last year to use still. She found a dress, pajama pants and a “Christmas present” all for $19.00. I think the present is for me as she was very sneaky about it…probably socks. I like colorful socks. Ordered 4 long sleeve shirts of assorted patterns off the Lands End for 14.99 ea with a free shipping coupon, for the men…husband, 2 sons and son in law. It is tradition they get a new shirt to use for winter into spring use every year.

  15. Well, nothing much exciting to report for this past week as I’m up in Canada which means no great Thanksgiving sales. We are getting more and more sales to co-ordinate with the US “Black Friday” but not a lot of food ones so not too much I’m interested in. I did manage to score some great sale and coupon combo deals. The best was for a total of $8.50 off cat food. That’s on top of the savings I get having found a store that stocks the big bags which are great for a house with 3 cats. I did pick up some supplies to make some movie t-shirts for my daughters for Christmas. I already had the transfer paper (it’s over 5 years old but worked for a Halloween costume), the t-shirts were on sale and the art work is free. That’s so much cheaper than buying a fandom t-shirt! I made soup with leftover chicken, mashed potatoes and corn and used the home made broth I made a while ago and froze. The soup was dinner one night and lunch for a few days after that. We ate at home except for 1 night that was budgeted for and did the usual frugal basics; making bread, line drying laundry, menu planning etc. I received some past due date eggs from a friend, just in case I could use them. I tested them all and then we used them with some border-line stale bread to have french toast for dinner. Kept the bread and the eggs out of the compost/garbage and we got a great dinner out of the deal. Yum The one thing I do think that I need to work on is remember what’s in my freezer. The darn thing is full and yet I still buy stuff on grocery day. That seems wrong somehow. Something for the future.

  16. Bright lights or a big dog. Our 2 Boxers keep people away. I have had grown men refuse to get out of their vehicles and that is with them behind a fence!

  17. I feel like I didn’t have a very frugal week. My normal goal is to only buy lunch at work once a week (I bought twice). It is deeply discounted because I work at a restaurant, but it still feels like I threw money away. My food processor broke in the middle of me prepping (early) Thanksgiving dinner on Friday night at 10:30pm so I went out and bought one full price without price checking. I had the money to do it, but it wasn’t a good idea. My-few- successes: I bought the hubs a Christmas present on sale with a coupon that ended up cheaper than the cost for me to make it myself!!! We ate leftovers every night from Monday-Friday so that the fridge would be barren for the feast I cooked. So, my only food waste was a little bit of cabbage that I was too tired to deal with (aka blanch and freeze).This week will be better with my Wisdom teeth extraction coming. Yes that will cost money, but I wont feel like going anywhere and I will have time to do things around the house

  18. We are rural so no street lights so we all have yard lights and motion sensitive lights. Also everyone has at least one large dog. Even if your dog is not an outside dog it helps to have a visible dog house and suitably large sized water dish next to it.

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