Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Cyrus bird drawings The Prudent Homemaker

 

I harvested three larges bunches of basil from the garden and hung it to dry.

I cut chives and 2 small cucumbers from the garden.

I planted more seeds in the garden, and covered several seedlings that did come up with jars, to keep the bugs off and to help them grow faster, since it is warmer under the jars.

I turned a pair of bell-bottomed jeans, that I bought for $1 at a garage sale last month, into skinny jeans. These are just Winter’s size and she is delighted with the change.

 Onions in bag

I started stocking up on the holiday sales. My mom was in the area near a store that is not close to me and was stopping in. She called me to see if I wanted some things there, and she picked up some potatoes for me (30 pounds at .25 a pound) and 50 pounds of onions, which were only .16 a pound! She picked up the entire 50 pound bag for me for $8. (I paid her back for these).

I also bought canned corn on sale for .49 a can, and pasta for .49 a pound (I bought 70 pounds, and will be headed to another store this week that I know carries more shapes, in hope of finding rotini), apples for .99, evaporated milk (.49 a can plus I had a few .55 off 2 cans coupons), 2 contianers of spicy brown mustard (on sale plus I had 2 coupons, making them .75 each), and a few other items, including apples for .99 a pound. Winco has a spend $25, get a turkey for .59 a pound deal right now; my $25 was more apples (.99 a pound), 10 pounds of carrots ($3.99 for the 10 pound bag), 2 gallons of milk, 4 3-pound containers of margarine ($2.26 each), a bunch of celery (.99), and 2 gallons of milk. The turkey I bought was 19.53 pounds.

I made a few gifts for my children this week using items I had on hand. I also used items I had on hand to make a headband for a little girl whose birthday party Liberty attended. I cut several hair ribbons from my ribbon stash as well as part of the gift.

The birds at the top of the post were drawn by Cyrus, who is 11. Rather than paying for art lessons, I have bought several great drawing books. The birds are from the book Draw 50 Birds: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Chickadees, Peacocks, Toucans, Mallards, and Many More of Our Feathered Friends. The entire Draw 50 series is fantastic.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

This post contains an affiliate link. Y0u can read my disclosure policy here.

 

This Post Has 83 Comments

  1. Carissa

    We helped process an elk and were given half of the meat for helping out, so we have about 100 lbs of yummy meat in the freezer all for 8 hrs of work. We also went and picked all the apples that my parents neighbors didn’t want and canned, juiced, and put a whole bunch up in the freezer. So if all else fails we have apples and elk this winter. I also started making a few of my kiddos Xmas gifts with scrap fabric, including my girl’s Xmas dresses. Thank you Brandi for being such an inspiration!

  2. Heather Irvine

    Can you tell us which store has the pasta so cheap? I would love to stock up!
    Thanks!

  3. MamaHen

    We stayed home as much as possible.

    I turned the heat down and the air conditioning up when applicable. I live in Alabama and the temps have been going up, down, up, down…

    I was able to make three complete meals out of leftovers from other meals. I was very proud of this as I am terrible about just giving the leftovers to the chickens.

    I am trying to eat out of my pantry and freezer as much as possible this week. Some very creative meals will be coming up 🙂

  4. Jenn in Indiana

    I am excited to be able to comment on here again. One thing I have been doing for a few weeks is taking any leftover water from cups and saving it in a pitcher to either rinse out recyclables or fill up the dogs bowl or soak dishes in before loading into dishwasher. I’m sure this isn’t saving much since we are on a well but hopefully it will save on water softener salt and the electric from running our well pump and also wear and tear. I am also trying to stay home as much as possible this week, but is hard because I am helping to take my grandfather to nursing home to visit grandma. Also, have been loving the great sales at the store. I have been wanting to work on stockpiles for winter, etc, I have had to take a lot of groceries down to our basement but that is OK. Now I am hoping to find some great deals on shampoo and conditioner, Kleenex and other HBA items and may start doing some CVS again. Also, my husband and I are pretty sure we are going to give away our remaining 3 hens. They stopped laying over a month ago already and with feed being $15.00 per bag I just can’t keep them. We would also have to buy some more bedding. We have tried to feed them scraps but not always feasible. I like having them but last year they didn’t lay for 5 months, which I’m sure was due to the historic winter we had. That is all I can think of and God Bless you all, this is my favorite to read every week!

  5. Jenny

    Cooked from scratch, packed lunches, baked bread. Did a huge amount of grocery shopping as there were many good sales this week, including a lot of freebies. Got home to find that my bag of $0.20/lb potatoes was full of rotten spuds (ew!). It’s too far to the grocery store to bother going back for such a small amount, so I emailed customer service – they’re sending a voucher for the value.

    Our houseguest has left, so our grocery bill will be back to normal. I suspect our utilities will be up slightly for the past month, but nothing dreadful. We’ll miss her, but it’s nice to have home to ourselves again.

    Had lunch at a work meeting. Borrowed books from the library, as always. I needed a new charging cable for my Kindle – used an Amazon gift card I earned from Swagbucks to bring the cost down to $0.39. Used a free Redbox code to get a movie for Friday night after the kids were in bed.

    Looking forward to the holidays!

  6. It’s at Smith’s, which is a Kroger affiliate. They only have this sale 2 to 3 times a year. The strange thing is that it wasn’t in the ad they sent out, but it WAS in their ad online. Their online ad had 4 more pages of sales! The sale ends Tuesday here.

  7. Janell

    I hear you. I live in Georgia. Get ready, the cold will be back in a few days. Crazy weather for sure.

  8. Becky Pratt

    Lyric, my daughter, works where they put on “events” and sometimes is given food that is left over. She called and asked if I wanted some boiled eggs. These eggs are already peeled and packaged. Their eat by date is Jan. 2015. I have 144 hard boiled eggs in my fridge along with 24 pkg. of yogurt and a large bowl of sliced tomatoes. All of this free to all of us.
    A friend brought a very large bag of M&Ms for the grandbabies.
    She also brought a gift of a decorative iron teapot with a pumpkin spice candle and sea shells around the candle.
    We are bringing in all of the pumpkins as we are expecting a freeze (not a frost) tomorrow and I want to cook them. These were used as Halloween decorations. They will be used as decoration for Thanksgiving also…then cooked.
    We have eaten at home all week.
    Oh Lyric lives by a Winco store. They have a special on turkeys until Thanksgiving. Spend $50. and get your turkey for 29 cents a pound. This is so inexpensive. We are going to buy a few as we will be shopping with 3 adults.
    I haven’t used my car in months now. Think of all the gas I’m saving.
    I’ve gone through all of my summer clothes. I’ve gotten rid of a box full of clothes that I will use to make items I sell. This is a win-win situation for me. I get rid of unneeded items and I will get money in my pocket.
    Your son is learning to draw very well.
    My grandson watches YouTube for drawing lessons. Of course his is drawing tractors, semis and cars. *laughing* Anything with wheels.
    Have a lovely week everyone. I’m sure there is more (isn’t there always), but this is all I remember at this time. *smile*

  9. Jacki

    This week I restocked the large upright freezer we have with bargain meats. I decided to try the large box of meats that the grocery store has been having a sale on and they are the same thing that they repackage into smaller sizes for a much larger price. Chicken poppers were $6.99/2.5 lbs. In the case size they were only $1.00/lb. They are really good restaurant quality meats. Another buy was the 10lbs of thick cut bacon. It was a little over $2.00/lb.

    I also found pasta sauce for $.48/can. It is cheaper than the basic ingredients that I usually buy to make it homemade plus it is already spiced up. I bought 3 cases of it. Pasta wasn’t as cheap here as it was there but since I cannot eat it, I only cook 1/2lb at a time for the rest of the family. Canned goods were .39/can again this week. The only thing that hasn’t gone on sale yet is basics like baking items. They will go on sale as we get closer to Thanksgiving.

    The girls and I have decided to volunteer at our local “everybody eats” Thanksgiving dinner in our city. We get to help out those in need and we also get to eat with them! There are a large number of people and families that come and it is fun to actually see so many people eating together for Thanksgiving. They also offer a program of bagged food to cook at home.

    It is time to clean out the garden area. We are going to make grape vine wreaths with our cuttings.

    Happy savings this week!

  10. Janell

    Made my husband a small neck pillow from a dress my daughter had purchased me from goodwill that did not fit. I’m still waiting to find some bias tape (free or very cheap) to go around the edges of the front of it to turn it into an apron. Cooked a turkey breast for sandwiches in lunches this week instead of buying sandwich meat. Only had the a/c on twice in the late afternoon while I was cooking. Crazy Georgia weather. The rest of the time the door has been open.

  11. Roxie

    I have not had the air conditioner on in over a week. That is HUGE here because we normally have a high humidity that makes it feel very gummy when it is over 80. We were blessed with 2 inches of rain last week too. That means my rain barrels are full again. I use the rain barrel water for our trees. Got a free turkey when we brought a ham for Thanksgiving. I will get another turkey or two while there is a good sale going on too. Got some free sample shampoo in the mail. Made our meals at home. My husband takes his lunch to work. I eat left overs most days too. Got to hang all the laundry out side this weekend. Washed and dried the blankets too. Tomorrow we are supposed to be down into the 40’s at night.
    Used my Amazon points (free gift cards) and got a huge sale of 6 sets of sheets for our beds for FREE with points. Did not even have to pay postage. We are busy putting our garden to ‘bed’ for the winter. Lots of mulch. We did plant some tomatoes in containers that we can move if we have a freeze. I got the peppers off the plants all chopped and frozen ready for use. Have collected enough bread heals and old buns etc to make our dressing for Thanksgiving. Have the menu planned. I have already got the good dishes out and washed and ready to use. Trying to stay ahead of the game so I am not frazzled.
    I have made several Christmas gifts for family and friends. I have made covered hangers from old pillow cases, (with beautiful hand stitched flowers, some from quilt blocks that never made it into a quilt. I have made many doll clothes for little girls. I have made so many doll diapers I swear I could make them in my sleep. There is a Christmas drive at our church. I am making 3 dolls, doll clothes, and a dolly diaper bag for the drive to give away. So my machine and I are very busy each night.
    Thanks for the blog Brandy. I really like the new look. Your sons drawings are amazing. You must be very proud.

  12. Laurie

    Thanks so much for the inspiration you foster here! I’m curious if you’ll be dehydrating some of the onions, or if they will keep just fine in your garage. No need to answer here… if I see you’ve dehydrated onions in a future post, I’ll have my answer. Thank you also for allowing us to join in. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-view.html I look forward to making one of the headbands for a young miss I know, so thanks for the Gift a Day posts as well!

  13. Elaine

    I made a major grocery shopping trip in order to combine the 10% senior discount with a $5 off $25 digital coupon, some other coupons and good sales. The items included some of the pasta and canned milk Brandy mentioned. There were some coupons available for the pasta making 4 boxes free. Boneless, skinless chicken was $1.77 a pound. I like the bone in for making broth, but thought this was a good price. They had black rice for a good price with coupons. I have never tried it, but got some to see if it will substitute for the much more expensive wild rice in a favorite soup recipe. I got quite a few other good deals. I believe this mega item sale is going on at Kroger affiliates through the 18th., so I may go back for a few more items.

    My basil has done well this year. I have dried a couple bunches and hope to make and freeze pesto. If anyone has a good, simple recipe, I would love to see it. I found one online that I may try. I have harvested quite a few jalapeño peppers and have some bell peppers about ready. Harvested a few more sweet potatoes. I was going to pull out the cherry tomato plants, but a couple are loaded with green tomatoes, so I will wait until they ripen. Several flowers are coming up from self-seeding in flower pots. We found ground cover roses we were looking for reduced from $15 to $3. They look healthy, and we have had pretty good luck with reduced plants before. Got a bag of potting soil for half price because the bag had a tear in it. My beets appear to be growing well. I hope to have the strength to get some more fall planting done soon.

    I made a crockpot full of ham and corn chowder with ingredients from pantry and freezer. I made chicken fingers with some of the sale chicken and accompanied with roasted sweet potatoes from my garden.

    All year, I watch for items for gifts, stockings and when I am able, shoebox items for Samaritan’s Purse Ministries. My neighbor didn’t want the temptation of leftover Halloween candy, so gave it to me. There was enough non-chocolate for the shoeboxes I’m working on, as well as chocolates for stockings and holiday baking.

    The weather has been nice enough to have the doors and windows open to enjoy the fresh, cool air without needing AC or heat most mornings and evenings. Then, we shut the house up to keep the cool in.

    I wish everyone a good week and look forward to reading the other comments for ideas and encouragement.

  14. Celia

    I packed our snacks for a car trip, used retailmenot to get extra discounts to make my forty dollar gift card buy 120 of clothes. I made pie and cookies. I went to a meat sale and we had a lovely roast. I tried a new recipe for potato pancakes in the waffle iron. I turned empty boxes into tunnels for my children to play with.

  15. Pam B

    We kept our windows open this past week, to save money by not running the a/c or heat. Fortunately our weather has been very nice lately! We are supposed to get quite cold later this week, though, so I’m sure we will have to turn the heat on.

    I shelled 2 lbs. of pecans that were given to us free, so now I will not have to purchase any for my Thanksgiving recipes.

    We bought 2 turkeys while Kroger has them on sale (.59 cents/lb. when you spend $20). Put 1 in stock for Thanksgiving, and we smoked one on Saturday, for the week’s meals. Also found some ground beef marked down to $1.48/lb. so bought several packages of that & froze them. Also pre-purchased our Christmas ham on sale and put it in the freezer.

  16. Megan

    Printed free worksheets online via education.com & this great site that I just found math-aids.com !!! It will generate custom worksheets for all sorts of different math equations!

    Free books/toy for daycare from the family of one of my kiddos. She has ruined a handful of my board books so they brought me some of their extras!

    $35 in ebay sales.

    Filled my recently opened daycare slot and only had one day of no-pay. Was able to take 2 children for free (the family brings my son home for me three days a week for free) due to the opening though and that was great! We’re planning on doing a dinner g/c and babysitting for the parents as a thank you at the end of the school year, but I love being able to help out with days the school is closed as well!

    Old Navy screwed up an order, they claim they’re going to send me a $25 voucher for the hassle. Haven’t gotten the email yet but hopefully it will come soon. I’ll order a Christmas gift with it.

    Stoppwd at Safeway to purchase a couple of fill-in items off my grocery list. While we were there we found the white fudge covered Oreos (holiday special and hard to find) and bought some as a Christmas gift for my father-in-law. This resulted in my total being over $25, so I was able to buy a turkey for $.69 per lb.

    Continuing to utilize library, have only spent $3 on books in the last couple of months (used to buy 3-4 a week at retail prices).

    Questioned insurance bill total prior to paying, saved $7.

    Paid bills with cc to earn miles, paid off cc immediately.

    Our utility bill has been higher in this house than our last house (and I barely use anything during the summer). Most of our appliances/heater are gas, so we couldn’t figure out why the electric portion was so high. Spoke with an appliance repair man who told me to NOT use the “energy saver” setting on my dishwasher (we pre-rinse all dishes, so the machine doesn’t register that IT cleaned them… And then it runs for the full 4+ HOUR cycle that it didn’t need). My bill is down $30 this month just because of that one appliance being used differently now (we bought it new in January, and I just assumed the energy saver was the best way to use it… Can’t believe how much the “energy efficient” cycle has cost me)!

    I’m thrilled to see my list compared to recent weeks, definitely heading back in the right direction! Hope everyone has a great week! – Megan

  17. Debbie in Florida

    The bird drawings are terrific! Very talented!

    My frugal accomplisments:

    I got a bonus code in an email from Kelloggs Family rewards.

    I’m still trying to keeping grocery shopping to the bare minimum. I went to Aldi and got 4 butternut squash ($1.19 each, 2 are for Thanksgiving), 5 pounds of potatoes for 99cents, 3 frozen pizzas for SO, brie (for Thanksgiving), sea shell pasta (also for Thanksgiving), and half and half for my son when he visits.

    SO stopped in at Harbor Freight and got a free utility knife.

    I went on a mystery shop to a restaurant. SO went with me. The reimbursement covered my meal and about half of his, so cheap date night 🙂

    I signed up for another mystery shop later in November.

    I have some PTO days to use up before the end of year so I took a day off last week. I spent the day in the yard and garden.

    I cashed in Swagbucks for two $5 Amazon gift cards.

    I used some of my Amazon credits to order my daughters holiday gifts and got free shipping.

    I talked to my sister about Christmas this year. We are both on super tight budgets right now, so we decided to not exchange gifts and to just get together and I’ll bake some cookies for them.

    I did 3 mystery shops in a row one night after work while SO was still at work. They were about 10 miles from my house, but worth it because I could do 3 while I was there. One was a restaurant so I got to have dinner! Another was a retail store. The third was a grocery store, so I got some salmon for Thanksgiving and a couple of things they don’t sell at Aldi. I won’t get reimbursed for the whole amount I spent at the grocery store, but it will pay for a chunk of it.

    I started thinking about holiday baking and what recipes I can make with what I already have or are cheaper.

    Free in the mail – 2 magazines (Self and Family Circle), samples of Fancy Feast cat food and Dove body wash.

    Plus all the usual – using the rain barrels, composting, washing out baggies, making foaming hand soap, using up my travel soap and lotions, eating from the pantry and freezer, trying for zero food waste.

    Have a great week ladies! I can’t wait to read what everyone has done

  18. Marivene

    The silver inkwell in the header is just lovely, Brandy.

    Dehydrated some browning bananas. Put up more tomato sauce from the tomatoes in the ripening bowls.

    Requested the cash option for a completed pine cone survey.

    Hung laundry to air dry instead of using the dryer.

    Used the TunTuri exercise bike we have to augment my physical therapy for my knee. It’s ancient, but I can place it in front of the loveseat & “cycle from behind” to help the range of motion in my knees. It’s free, & it works.

  19. christine

    Could you tell us more about your potato pancake recipe. I’ve never thought of using the waffle iron. Sounds easy!

  20. I ordered new glasses on Zenni. I also went through ebates so I will earn money back on the order. If you know your prescription, Zenni Optical is by far the best deal out there. Huge money savings!

    I colored my hair at home.

    I saved $0.98/gal on 20 gal of gas. Combined with the new low gas prices, I paid only $2.13/gal! I about fell over from excitement!

    I did really well at the grocery store. Used sales, coupons, competitor coupons to save big.

    I bought a turkey. It was $0.99/lb after the store coupon, which is about twice what I paid last year. However, I had a $3/off coupon plus got $3 from Saving Star. I’m crossing my fingers a deal similar to last year’s $0.49/lb turkey comes back though. I’d love one or two more turkeys in my freezer. Until then though, I will be grateful for the one I do have!

    I did a TON of work in the garden. I’m in pain to prove it- ha. I cleaned out the new, larger garden plot. Then tilled it, added my compost materials (food, coffee, etc that I hoard in the fridge and freezer for two months leading up to this), thick layers of newspaper, and finally a thick layer of straw. It is 100% ready for winter now! I also transplanted all of my strawberries from the current/soon to be old plot into the new one. I planted 39! Even if some don’t survive the move, that’s triple what I had this year. Yum! I also transplanted a few baby leeks and part of my sage plant. And planted a few Egyptian Walking Onions.

    My dad moved my fence to the new garden for me, which was a HUGE help! I just have to remove the tomato stakes, clean up up a bit, wait for my Brussels to get big enough to harvest and a few more little things and I can call it done in the old garden too.

    In the new garden, I inherited French Sorrel. Does anyone know what to do with it? I tasted it and it has a nice, zippy, fresh flavor. When I looked it up, it was described as lemony. Not sure I would use the same description but I did like the flavor. But it’s new to me. Any ideas would be appreciated!

    KK @ http://www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

  21. Kristine Douglas

    Frugal accomplishments this week-

    1. We still have not turned our heat on. It only got chilly 1 night and we used a space heater in our bedroom. We are on bill pay and after this month we will be $175 ahead. I’m guessing our leveled-pay will go down when it is re-assessed.

    2. Ate what we had, made things from scratch, and only spent $40 our of our $75-a-week grocery budget.

    3. We smoked a chicken on Friday night for that night at Saturday dinner. Yesterday I used the bones, vegetables I had in the fridge, and made stock. I also made homemade egg noodles to put in for chicken noodle soup. We will have that for dinner, tonight, as well.

    4. Stayed home and relaxed.

    5. Found an item we had purchased a month ago for $90 less. Returned it and got the difference.

    6. Used some gift cards to purchase some frames for pictures I took of where we were married. I love decorating with personal pictures.

    7. Got a $500 credit from our carpet installation for our finished basement. They had done some damage to our walls and we said we would do the repairs ourself. We will do a much better job anyways!

    Have a happy and frugal week!

  22. Anna

    What talented children!

    I managed to pay all my bills including the “little” medical bills that have come in. The big bills have not come in as yet.
    I harvested basil, mint, sage, chili peppers, and green peppers. This is probably the last of my produce since the weather is to turn cold.
    I walked outside each day.
    I only spent $30 for groceries. I made lunch supplies enough until 11/21 (the last weekday before fall break).
    I made 3 curly scarves and 4 red felt flower pins (for Christmas). (I have to make another curly scarf and 1 regular scarf to catch up this week.
    I made 3 dz chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and 120 energy balls (small and 2/baggie)–both for breakfast and lunches.
    I found two big bags of fabric at the thrift store for $1/bag. I washed the materials in soap, vinegar, and baking soda twice. There is some nice fabric.
    I got some free items at Wags, CVS, and Walmart.

    Blessings to all this Thanksgiving season.

    Anna

  23. Vicky

    Hello to all! This is my first time commenting, but have lurked around here for a long time. Everyone is so inspiring and Brandy is amazing. My efforts to lower the electric has paid off and I am seeing the results from that with a low bill this month. My biggest frugal accomplishment was at Target I got 2- 12# turkey breasts, the kind that are in the deli to be sliced for lunch meat, I got them for $2.06 each! They don’t have a deli at this Target and got them in a wrong shipment so they marked them cheap to get them out of the store! I have a meat slicer so win win! And I just had to share on here I was so excited! I also got a 5 gallon bucket of carrots from my garden that I will be processing this week. The turkey I will slice and freeze. Thank all of you wonderful ladies so much for all of your sharing and inspiration every week I look forward to reading every week. And thank you to Brandy for hosting such a wonderful site!

  24. Susan McClellan

    What is the best way to store a large quantity of potatoes? Sometimes I come across a great sale like you found, but am hesitant to buy a large amount in case they go bad before they can be eaten.

  25. Tina

    Frugal doings:

    * made banana bread with *very* ripe bananas
    * My 11 year old has been requesting egg salad so I made some hardboiled eggs for him and included the egg salad sandwich in his lunch today 🙂
    * had some soft apples (not our favorite for eating) so I combined those with some blackberries I had frozen from our yard in the summer and made a crisp (very good!)
    * bought 50# of apples and 25# of carrots (plan to dehydrate some of the apples as well)
    * sold an item on ebay
    * organizing our garage ~ planning to make more room for pantry storage
    * was able to stock up on hefty freezer bags (.99 per box), sugar (I was out!), and brown sugar
    * weather is getting cold here and we are bundling up!

  26. Mary Ann

    You have all inspired me to finally sit down and make out my Xmas list. I know I am late in the game. But better late than never. I have pretty much decided to roast pecans for everyone. We have five acres of pecans we don’t commercially harvest. I have a quick roasting method that is to die for. I will put them in mason jars and hand them out with a cute homemade card.

    I am also making a commitment to go down to the ranch and pick the pomegranates. I usually ignore them because it is such a messy business. Now I see them 2 for $5.00 at the store. I will suck it up and get my hands dirty.

    First question: We have a ton of hachiya persimmons – not the fuyu I love. Will the hachiya ripen after picked? I know you can’t use them until they are completely ripe.

    Second question: Where is everyone getting the .49 condensed milk? I am waiting on pins and needles for the price to come to California.

  27. Frugal Paragon

    Do you have a tutorial on turning other jeans into skinny? I like skinny myself but I’ve never found any second hand.

    Around here, I:
    –made a batch of laundry soap
    –have chickpeas cooking right now to make hummus
    –made a beautiful batch of hamburger buns to go with black bean burgers
    –learned to make yogurt by heating the milk in the microwave, which should save electricity
    –found a recipe for vegetable polenta as a main dish that my husband really likes–super cheap! (It’s from Budget Bytes.)

  28. Rosemary in WA

    I bought apples for $0.39/lb.! My mother-in-law told me about the best place to buy them. A combination of buying seconds, in a box, from a fruit stand at an orchard, at the end of the season. They look perfect and are a combination of granny smith, winesap, jazz, and jonagold. I will store them, make applesauce, dried apples, and fruit leather.

  29. Diana in Indiana

    – We changed our eating habits so donated some quick freezer foods we no longer will eat to our son who likes those things to take to work. Not frugal for us, but it won’t go to waste and is frugal for him.
    – Ate at home or packed food to take all week.
    – Finished a Christmas gift of some OLD family photos put into frames we already had for my father. Spray painted the frames all black to coordinate.
    – Taco party at our house on Sunday. Everyone brought parts of the dinner. We got to keep most of the leftovers.
    – Losing weight so I didn’t have to buy new “fat pants”. If I go down another size I will have even more available. 😀
    – Found out a lady I work with lives just a block from me. So we can commute together when our schedules coordinate.
    – Found some old hand lotion I forgot about while cleaning out some cupboards. I took to work to keep in my desk.
    – Free lunch and snacks at work tomorrow since we have an all day training meeting.

  30. Janell

    Yes, please tell us about the potato pancakes.

  31. Mae

    It doesn’t always work, but sometimes you can get hens to lay again by sticking a dummy egg in with them. Of course it’s also just normal for hens to stop laying over the winter. But if they’ve stopped laying earlier than usual, it may be worth giving them a bit of encouragement.

  32. I got it for .79 at Smith’s, and then used a few $0.55 off 2 cans coupons. I printed two and I had two from Smart Source. Smith’s is a Kroger affiliate now, and Ralph’s is, too; I would check out their online ad.

  33. Mae

    We spent the week in Melbourne, which was lots of fun. We got free tickets to the T20 cricket and watched the women’s match, but left before the men’s match as the kids were ready to call it a day. Of the two, the women’s match was probably the better game anyway. It’s been ages since I was at the MCG and I didn’t even realise how much I’d missed it. We brought our own food, which saved money over MCG prices. On the way out the Renegades, one of Melbourne’s T20 teams, was handing out magazines and cricket balls, so the kids got some nice freebies there, too. We spent the night in a fairly ordinary hotel, then went to Scienceworks the next day (free for the kids and for one adult thanks to the Carer’s card, so a very cheap day out). It’s election season here, and a local candidate was handing out green bags near Scienceworks; I was about to take one when my husband said, “No thanks, we’re not in your electorate.” Darn him for his honesty!

  34. Susan

    You can use a golf ball for this as well.

  35. Mari

    You won’t regret helping out your grandparents, even if it means you can’t stay home. In the long run, helping others, especially older people and family, is much more important.

  36. celia

    I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, they are called latke waffles.

  37. judy

    Me too-Janell and Mama Hen… I live in Ms.. Hot one day and need a jacket the next.ha They are predicting us to have some pretty cold temps the next week..

  38. judy

    Hi Jean, Not sure what kind of feed you feed your chickens.. Hubby feeds his Chicken layer when they stop laying.. This feed makes them lay.. They do slow down some in the winter months, but we still get plenty of eggs in the winter months.. God bless you too.Hope this helps..

  39. judy

    Cyrus did a beautiful job with his drawings.. Such talented children.

    Frugal accomplishments this week:
    1- got 2 turkeys [comp ad at walmart] -Todds Grocery [about an hour from me] had turkeys for 49 cents a pound, with a purchase.
    So I bought some stuff and got one turkey.. Checked out, then purchased the other turkey with more purchases..

    2- Bought –
    potatoes- 1.99 for10 lbs
    yellow onions -99 cents for 3 lbs- bought 2
    milk -3.79
    real butter-2.99 lb-bought 3
    blue bonnet margarine-69 cents lb- bought 4
    evaporated milk-49 cents can- bought 8
    ground beef-2.69 lb- bought 2 [4.5lb packages]
    can vegetables-[corn/greenbeans/English peas]-3/1.00- bought 18 cans
    veg oil-99 cents with $25 purchase- got one
    Crisco grease- 3.79- bought 2
    Chocolate chips- 1.49 [16 oz package]- bought 3 [for Christmas cooking, and for stockpile.. I have 6 bags in freezer]
    Sugar-1.49 -4lb bag- bought 2
    Flour/Meal -1.99 -5 lb bag- bought 2 each
    Pinto beans- 69 cents lb- bought 4
    Red Barron pizza-$3 [I had several coupons -$1.50 – so each pizza was 1.50]- bought 3
    Apples- 69 cents lb- Bought 10 lbs

    I divided this into 2 transactions, to allow me to buy the 2 turkeys. One for Thanksgiving and the other to put up for
    every day eating.. Hope to add 2-3 more to the freezer.

    I am also making Christmas gifts for family.
    Hope you all have a blessed and frugal week.

  40. Laurie

    I found black rice at the discount grocery store last week, and had never tried it. And red rice, which I also got. I look forward to trying them both.

  41. The Jewish Lady

    I really enjoy reading everyone’s frugal tips weekly. It is so informative and very inspiring! My biggest deal of the week was a Huggies sale at CVS. By stacking coupons and rolling gift cards, I ended up with 6 packs of diapers and All detergent for $18.00 oop, with a $10 GC to use in the future. I also got 6 bags of free candy, free water, free bananas, and much more. Full details and pics here, including the tower of diapers: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-118-2/

  42. Marivene

    Jenn, some breeds of chickens do not lay in the winter, like the Easter eggers, but other breeds lay all year round, even without light or special feeds. You may want to google different chicken breeds, so next time you can be sure to get those that lay year round.

  43. Jennifer Brown

    Mary Ann,
    Those will be Great Christmas Gifts! If you have any left over you could offer the pick your own option on craigslist or some such and make a little profit to help offset the cost of your mason jars. I’ve seen ads (local to me) as high as $5 a lb. unshelled(but in bags) but pick your own price is typically around $2 a pound.

  44. Jenn in Indiana

    We feed laying feed already, and last winter when we had 7 hens we had no eggs from November to the beginning of April. It is too costly to go that long without any eggs. It reached a high of 61 today so we will see if we get any eggs but I really doubt it!
    Mari- I do not regret helping out my grandparents, but it is taking our entire family to provide care for them since last April. It is starting to take a toll emotionally and otherwise on all of us. Through this I have learned more compassion for the elderly, it is hard to see my grandparents break down and cry and to be dealing with depression and a huge sense of loss for what they “used to be”, if that makes any sense? I keep telling myself that this is a season and actually feel very thankful that I am able to be around so much, to take grandpa to church, etc. But it is taking a toll on gas budget, they live 20 min away. Hope it didn’t sound like I was being a complainer?

  45. Jenn in Indiana

    KK, just today I was looking at Zenni. I just can’t afford to order new glasses from my eye dr. Let me know how you like them. I must admit it sounds a little scary to order glasses from the internet.

  46. teresa meunier

    When I was growing up in Poland, we made a cream of sorrel soup. It was really tasty.

  47. Teresa Meunier

    Love all the inspiration I get from this blog:):)
    This weeks frugalities:
    Made a batch of Brandy’s granola, love it with greek yogurt and fruit
    Made a pot of Brandy’s swiss chard soup using chard frozen from our garden as well as homemade broth from our last roasted turkey
    Cooked all meals and packed meals to work
    Tried a new recipe for meatloaf , tasted good but wouldn’t hold together to slice. Leftovers were crumbled into spaghetti sauce.
    Got 2 jugs of Purex Laundry detergent for .49 each using coupons
    Shovelled my sidewalks and driveways for free exercise lol
    Redeemed store rewards points for 3 dozen eggs
    Have a good and frugal week:)

  48. I have ordered for myself, my husband and my mother from Zenni and have never had any problems. You will need to know your pupillary distance when ordering. This is often not included on the prescription. But you can ask them to provide it for you at your eye exam, only takes one minute of their time. If you’re not comfortable with that, I believe there are still directions on their site as to how to find your pd.

  49. Holley

    Janell, it’s pretty easy to make your own bias tape. I taught myself by watching You Tube videos! Believe me, if I can do it, you can too! Good luck!

  50. Sakura

    Last week I cooked all week, we just returned from our family vacation and it was a nice change to eat at home.
    I received 1/2 an elk last week from a client of mine. Most of it is ground, but he left the backstraps for steaks. I’ve never had elk so it will be an interesting adventure in cooking.
    I picked 40 or so radishes from my garden that I planted about 6 weeks ago, also picked some concord grapes from a neighbor to make grape juice with.
    I crocheted a winter hat for my 10 yo son, he’ll be needing it soon since our weather is finally starting to change. I’m crocheting a new scarf for myself , all out of yarn I already had.
    We continue to declutter our stuff. I’ve been donating to various places and putting items on free cycle.
    Canned 8 quarts of apple pie filling from apples the neighbor gave me 2 or 3 weeks ago.

  51. Gabrielle

    I discovered Aldi and purchased 6 dozen eggs at .$79 per dozen; milk for $1.49 a gallon (bought 6); butter for $1.45 per pound among other things. Made bagels, brownies, from scratch. Cooked all meals but 2 at home. Made a lb of vegetarian refried beans for the freezer. Hubby fixed a lamp by combining two to replace one. Hand me downed oshgosh overalls from my sons to my daughters. Donated clothing and magazines to charity and made laundry detergent. Love the drawing!

  52. Jenn in Indiana

    Hi Marivene- We have silver laced wyandottes and isa brown, both great egg layers and cold hardy. Chickens naturally take breaks in cold weather. My grandpa grew up on an egg farm, they always had between 1000-1200 chickens at any one time. He has assured me that this is normal and actually better for the bird to take a break. I just don’t want to keep feeding them and not giving anything back for several months.

  53. Darlene Douglas

    I cleaned out underneath the lawnmower and scraped off the paint that was peeling off and put a fresh coat of paint on it that will hold up better. We have lush green heavy grass and it tends to stick on and cause mositure and with moisture comes rust. This should help us get several more years out of it. I had to make a trip to town so I took the rest of the evening and enjoyed using the coupons that I received. I got a $30.00 cable knit sweater at JC Penny’s for $2.99. It was on sale for $12.99 and I had a coupon for $10.00 off of a purchase of $10.00 or more. I had a $10.00 off $30.00 for Bath and Body Works and a coupon for a free signature item with any purchase. They let me combine them and with their sales I bought around $72.00 worth of merchandise for close to $22.00. At Penny’s I got to be a blessing to a young lady standing in line by sharing a $10.00 off $25.00 coupon with her. She was buying a new coat and was so thankful. It warmed my heart!!!

  54. Ashlee

    Brandy – I am LOVING your new site. This is my first time commenting as I tried on the old site and always had issues. (I am hoping it works this time.)

    Since it is my first time posting, I will have more frugal accomplishments than in just a week. Through the tips and tricks here I have: Bought a meat/cheese/bread slicer for our home, I have used this to make my own bread, and slice meat for pannini sandwiches. I serve these for guests and they think they are the best thing ever! Butter bread like you would a grilled cheese, put a little mayo on the inside, sprinkle with Italian seasoning (homegrown), put whatever meat cheese you have and then grill it with a sandwich press or in a pan. YUM!

    I cut milk carton bottoms off and use them as drawer separators. (like I store my hand knitted washcloths separate from my towels, sort my girls hair things, etc).

    I taught myself to knit and sew, so I am making heating pads, ear bands, and dish cloths for many of my Christmas presents this year. For the kids, I am making seat-belt pillows. My family always travels far for the holidays, so I think they will appreciate them on the way home.

    I have begun doing many of the things recommended by others, canning, freezing, stocking up on sales etc. Best sale I hit lately was honey crisp apples for .65/lb.

  55. CarlaM

    Brandy, this is my first time commenting, but I have been enjoying your blog for some time now. Thank you for the inspiration and ideas you provide as well as the contributions of your readers. What a blessing!

    My greatest frugal accomplishments this fall were buying a ukulele through Craigslist for our daughter for her birthday, then sewing a case for it using material I had on hand and an online tutorial, she loved it!

    This past week’s frugal accomplishments were:
    – Taking advantage of great deals at Kroger. My receipt was as tall as me (literally), and my total cost was $240 including tax. I am now stocked up for holiday cooking and baking! Canned green beans and corn were 38 cents per can as were canned tomatoes. Land of Lakes butter was $2.49 per lb so I stocked up on that as well.
    – wrote an inventory of the contents of our pantry and freezers to help with menu planning and so I don’t lose track of something.
    – Found scrapbooking adhesive I like for great price at Tuesday Morning and stocked up.
    – gathered supplies and made a list of Christmas gifts still to make.
    – From stocking up at after Christmas sales in last years I will not need to purchase Christmas cards for the next 2 or 3 years. 🙂
    – Continued to wash my hair with baking soda.
    – My SIL has been giving me her Real Simple magazines. I tear out articles I want to share with our daughter and mail them to her. She enjoys receiving mail! I made a card and sent it to her as well.
    – I’ve been doing a better job of using leftovers and not letting things go to waste.
    – Baked homemade bread which I haven’t done in awhile.
    – Enjoyed playing our piano which was a gift many years ago from a fellow church member. It had been his mother’s and stored in her garage. He said he didn’t know if it could even be tuned. Well, it tuned just fine and has a few times since. We’ve been enjoying this piano for a decade or so now!
    – Wore 2 *new* skirts I purchased for $1 each from the thrift store. Also dropped off two huge bags of clothing items we don’t really need or care for.

    I noticed awhile back there was some discussion on here about stain treaters and I wanted to put my 2 cents in. I learned years ago from Mary Hunt that Fels Naptha is an excellent stain remover. Oh my! I wish I would have known that when I was a young woman. I have yet to treat a stain with it that it didn’t remove! Just wet the stain, rub the bar if soap over it, and wash as usual. Works like a charm. A bar costs about a dollar and will last forever. Some friends of ours own rental cabins and were frustrated that their cleaning crew were unable to get stains out of the bedding so they were going to have to replace a lot of bedding. I suggested Fels Naptha. They tried it and it even got those stains out!

    Blessings to all! Brandy I agree with you about the Draw 50 books. We have the horse one and it is great!

  56. Pam B

    I live in a hot climate and do not have a root cellar or basement. I store mine in our refrigerator. They keep the longest that way. I do have a potato bin inside the house, but it is usually too warm and they go bad fairly quickly. If your temperatures are cooler, they will last much longer.

  57. Pam B

    Amazing find on the turkey breasts – wow!

  58. Melissa in MD

    Been reading this blog for awhile now but this is my first time posting. Brandy, you and those that post on you blog have been a life saver for me and my DH! He was laid off in June of this year. Thanks, in a large part, to your website & blog we have been doing just fine! This weeks frugal accomplishments are:

    1. Cleaned out our chest freezer and found some deer burger that my brother had gifted to us a few years ago. Thankfully he uses a great butcher and the meat was in perfect condition so we used it for sloppy joes. I called my brother to thank him for dinner.:)

    2. Reorganized my chest freezer for easier inventory and access. Trying to make sure I know what’s there and that everything gets used.

    3. We still have several gallon bags of tomatoes from our garden in the freezer. Cooked some of them and turned them into 5 quarts of sauce.

    4. Got a (2) 1/2 bushel boxes of mixed apple seconds to dehydrate for $8.00 ea. Ended up with 7 quarts of dried apples for pies, crisps and snacks and 14 pints of applesauce. They were beautiful apples and didn’t look at all like seconds to me. The regular cost for a 1/2 bushel of the “good” apples is $24.00 so we saved a bundle!

    5. Our front load washer would not drain and started flashing a error code. My DH was able to fix the issue by going online and watching videos on Youtube saving us the cost of a service call.

    6. Right now we are getting about 35 eggs per week from our chickens. I currently have about 6 dozen eggs between my counter and my fridge. I’ve been taking hard boiled eggs for lunch, I have given some away and will be putting some in the freezer. The chickens are mostly eating the last of my garden and table scraps at the moment so the cost of feed has been cut in half.

    7. Found a pattern online for turning the feed bags into tote bags. So, for my co-workers for Christmas, I am going to make tote bags and add dried chives, oregano, sage, thyme, mint, lemon balm and rosemary from my garden. Will probably throw in a couple of hand knitted dish cloths too.

    8. Keeping my eyes open for all of the seasonal sales so that I can fill my pantry. Trying to prepare for the possibility that DH’s unemployment will end before he finds another job and the money available for groceries will be severely cut. He has had many phone interviews that have gone well but when he goes for the face-to-face interview and they see that he is 50 y.o. their interest in him seems to diminish and the interview is cut short. I know it’s not supposed to happen but the reality is that it does.

    Thanks again, everyone for helping us through this season of our lives!

  59. Jenifer

    Frugal, I have done this numerous times with my jeans. I started with the wiki how
    http://www.wikihow.com/Turn-Your-Flare-Jeans-Into-Skinny-Jeans
    after the first pair, I simply used those as the template for my others. I would turn them inside out and trace. My other advice is if you have thick knees or calves – better to err on the loose (you can always take back in) to start. Each pair took about 15 minutes.

  60. Andrea

    Thank you Brandy for your lovely new site. Thank you also for the regular frugal encouragement and gift a day posts.

    Some new frugal ideas I’ve been incorporating into our routine:
    -making homemade soup every few days. It’s a great way to stretch meat. One chicken leg is all I need for my chicken noodle soup recipe. And the soup will cover a few meals when combined with homemade bread.
    -boiling meat. Especially chicken. Then BBQ, shred the meat for casseroles/sandwiches or bake. So I end up with delicious juicy chicken and homemade chicken stock (which becomes soup base for the next day). I’m very proud of this discovery.
    -homemade wipes. Using 12 baby washcloths in a sealable container, combine 1c water, 1 Tbsp baby wash, 1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 Tbsp oil. I’ve used this on all 3 of my babies. It works great and prevents diaper rash. Better than store bought wipes. I am so proud that my washcloths have finally become thread-bare and need replacing. It means I’ve properly used them up!

  61. Judy

    Chickens need a certain amount of light each day to lay an egg. Here in Maine, we have to supplement a bit of light with a simple light fixture from 4 in the afternoon until 8 at night from now until usually March. The amount of electricity it uses is very little and I can still have eggs for us and a few to sell. I agree about the price of feed. They need to help pay the bill!!

  62. dawnelle

    I love these frugal week posts and the comments as well.

    This week I spent less on groceries using coupons. Decided to split a 1/4 cow from my friend who is butchering. This is a larger cost upfront but it will be so nice to have a variety in the freezer, and I’m assuming will save in the long run, of course. Cooked 2 meals, 1 mac and cheese 9×13 and one lentil bake for my kids to take in their thermoses for lunches, they prefer hot lunch and sometimes I run out (I try and make ahead and stock freezer but do run out). This worked really well and seemed easier. Caught a mistake on an Amazon order and they credited me back- yay but also made me aware that I need to check every transaction carefully. Sold $15 on a local resale site. Made all meals at home except one, but had a gift card for that one. Cut coupons for this week and am carefully planning my next shopping trip.

  63. Rhonda A.

    I am so pleased to see new people posting their frugal accomplishments. I learn so many new ideas from everyone!

    We’re on vacation right now, which is not so frugal. My husband is resistant to making our own meals when we’re on vacation. So we compromised. He booked a hotel which offers breakfast as part of the rate and provided a fridge & microwave in the room. He agreed (reluctantly) to taking a bagged lunch with us during our excursions but we eat our dinner meal at a restaurant. Here are my frugal accomplishments for the past week:
    -we planned the vacation months ago and chose to visit Washington DC as most of the sights and museums are free. We formed a budget and saved our money so the vacation will be paid for in cash!
    -I was careful of grocery purchases and meal preparations prior to leaving to ensure there were no left overs or food left that would spoil while away
    -packed reusable containers, plastic cutlery, dish soap, a j-cloth to use as a dish cloth and an old tea towel to use for packing bagged lunches each day
    -brought some food items with us but had to be careful as we were crossing over the boarder. We purchased more food at a grocery store once we arrived. Was careful of costs and chose inexpensive food items to compliment what I brought. (side note – I now understand your need for increasing your food budget, Brandy. I was shocked to see that most food items are similarly priced to those in Canada. It does make me feel better that we were not able to achieve the same grocery budget that you used to use in the past. However, it may be more comparable now)
    -at hotel breakfast, I take some extra items (such as yogurt) to add to our bagged lunch for the day. I am careful not to take too much as I don’t want anyone to complain but it does save on the cost of food!
    -thankfully gas prices are down right now, which means our travel cost should come in under budget!
    -we have used our purchased meals as part of the vacation adventure by eating at some restaurants we don’t have available in Canada. We are big fans of the Big Bang Theory TV show as Sheldon has Asperger’s like my daughter (though they never actually say that is why he acts differently, anyone who is familiar with the Autism Spectrum would recognize the symptoms). One of the characters, Penny, worked at the Cheesecake Factory, so my daughter was thrilled to actually eat at one
    -Left over restaurant meals are used as part of our lunch the next day
    -We attended the Veteran’s Day event today at Arlington Cemetery. There is normally a fee for parking, but today it was free due to the event.

    Added bonus:
    -Watching the Veterans at the Vietnam memorial touch the names of fallen comrades…so incredibly moving I was on the verge of tears…PRICELESS
    -Listening to Vice President Joe Biden deliver a wonderful speech at the Arlington Cemetery Veterans Day Memorial…PRICELESS

  64. Heather Irvine

    Thanks for the response back! It would not have ever occurred to me that an on-line ad would have more items shown! I think I will check ads online from now on.

  65. Becky

    During this past week, it was decided by the woman who we were getting our turkeys butchered with, that this was the week, although the origional plan was a couple of weeks away. So, last night, my husband loaded them up and took them to her house. She is taking them to get butchered today and they will be here by this afternoon. That will save us a ton of gas as the meat butchering shop is quite a distance from our house. We’ve given her 5 of our chickens for the tremendous amount of help she has been during this whole learning process of growing chickens and turkeys for meat. Trust me, we really did not have a realistic idea of how much meat this was going to end up being or how much work it was going to be, or the best way to raise turkeys……:) My husband has been delivering chickens right and left to relatives who are getting them for Christmas, and still we were not able to make enough room in freezers for 10 turkeys. So, a friend gifted us a small chest freezer and that will be enough. We do not plan to run 5 freezers in our garage for any longer than we have to, but will empty and move them out as we can. My husband is getting fuel for our small generator so we will be ready in case of a power outage. It will keep the freezers going, but not the whole house. A friend last night mentioned that there was a spare large generator at his dad’s house that no one wanted, and he would get it sometime if we wanted it, but it’s in California, and we are in Oregon, so I’m not holding my breath. We will see if anything comes of it.

    We filled the extra freezer from Rob’s mom as full as we could with beef and chicken and locked it so it could not accidentally be left open and ruin all that meat.

    We have a cold spell here right now, so are burning large quantities of the wood we received for free. We are not using the furnace at all right now.

    I cooked and ground, in the Foley Food mill, two squashes that the chickens found and pecked (I trimmed that off), and also a huge Sweetmeat squash. This was the best crop of squash we have grown at this house. We have a lot–2 pallets covered. The family brought it all inside the shop so it wouldn’t freeze in this cold spell. I froze quite a bit of what I cooked in baggies for recipes and have a large bowl we are eating out of in the fridge. The kids eat it with brown sugar and cinnamon. I made pumpkin custard from it and a batch of pumpkin muffins.

    We are using the refried beans I cooked and froze up really fast. I hope to make some more this weekend. It is a real money saver over buying the cans and the kids just gobble them up.

    One of the things my husband and I have been focusing on this past month is being more purposeful with the money I earn from piano. His salary coveres the bills. What I earn fluctuates so greatly that I buy the groceries, clothes, and whatever else there is money for. It’s easy to let the extra slip through my fingers when I’m super busy after I’ve bought the necessary food, household items, etc., because I’m not giving it the thought it deserves. So in the past few weeks, we’ve put some more thought into the “extra” and have done some good things with it (although not slways exciting:)) Things like: a portion of the power bill, money towards beef, stocking up with a few larger grocery purchases, and a dentist bill (the not exciting one). Next, we have Christmas, and also I want to re-stock my little savings envelope. I like to keep $ in there for unexpected stock-up opportunities, camps/retreats/events for kids that might come up, etc. I also save monthly so that buying things like 1/2 beef doesn’t hurt so much!

  66. Stephanie

    *I bought the Sam’s Club membership through Living Social and used ebates for 6% cash back. As mentioned by some of your readers last week, with all the freebies the membership was basically free. I appreciate the tip!
    *I picked a few more green beans from the garden and added them to the bag I have in the freezer.
    *I finished sewing a pair of flannel pjs for my toddler. The fabric was purchased during JoAnn’s black Friday sale last year.
    *I sewed a set of potholders that will be a Christmas gift. The pattern was free and the fabric was given to me.
    *I accepted a new job that will be a 7% pay raise and slightly better benefits!!
    *I completed one Pinecone research survey
    *I sewed a knitting project bag that will be a Christmas gift for my daughter.
    *I sewed a Christmas skirt for my daughter.

  67. Linda Higgins

    Happy Healing, Marivene! Glad to hear you are heading in the right direction with your recovery.

  68. RebekahU

    I just want to send you with a note of encouragement. My husband is a home building executive and we’ve struggled with employment issues on and off since 2010. My husband is also older. We’ve found that reaching out to those you’ve built relationships with over the years has been so important. When everyone you know is keeping their eyes open for you and praying for you, you hear about a lot more opportunities that you would on your own. We also began praying for God’s provision of a job. And lastly, while we were working to find the perfect job, my husband was willing to be under employed in the “between” time. He took a short term job with Redbox, and it was really good for our family. Also now is a good time to see if he could become self employed in a low cost/no cost start up. We’ll keep you in our prayers.

  69. Athanasia

    Janell, you can make your own bias tape if you have some co-ordinating fabric.

  70. Ashley

    Hi Brandy, I was wondering if you had any tips for cooking without butter (what you substitute for butter when a recipe calls for it and you just can’t afford it or don’t have enough). Cooking from scratch for a family of 6 means I go through SO much oil and butter. However, I can only find butter at almost $5/lb right now and just can’t afford to keep up at that price.

    P.S. this is my first time commenting, but I’ve been a reader for a few years. I’ve gleaned so much help and wisdom from your posts over the years that has helped tremendously in keeping our food costs down. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this website!

  71. It depends on the recipe. I’ve switched to shortening for pie crusts. I buy the Great Value brand at Walmart. As a bonus, I’ve had better results with my pie crusts. (Lard is even cheaper than shortening, and I did buy some to try; I like it fine in a savory recipe, like chicken pot pie, but for something like lemon meringue, I prefer shortening).

    For baking (muffins, breads, cakes, etc.) I use oil. I buy the Great Value brand in the one-gallon container at Walmart. This vegetable oil has zero trans-fats. I also use this oil to make salad dressings and to fry potatoes (we use just a little bit in the pan and then flip the potatoes to save oil).

    For putting on toast, on potatoes, on vegetables, and for sauteing, I use Gold N Soft Light spreadable margarine (also zero trans-fats). The best price I’ve found is to buy it in a 3-gallon tub–and it depends on the store, too. Winco usually has it on sale for $2.26. Walmart has it for more, and Smith’s carries it, too–but for even more. It will depend on what stores you have in your area.

    I save butter for making cookies, fancy desserts, and a few recipes where I just really prefer the taste of butter (those don’t usually call for much butter). I buy butter on sale in December and freeze it to use during the year.

    I do buy olive oil in a 3 liter bottle at Sam’s Club, but I save that for cooking chicken (and then I just use a little).

  72. Melissa in MD

    Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. This is the first time in 22 years of marriage that we have had to go through this praise God! Thankfully my husband does have talents and services that he will be able to offer and has already set his sights on some job possibilities outside his area of employment if needed. He has also been taking classes and working on setting up a side business. We have been talking about the blessings that this layoff has brought with it. We have learned how little we really need to be able to get by each month. We are also sole caregivers for my MIL who has dementia. She now needs 24 hour supervision and he has been able to be home with her. We have committed everything to prayer and I feel in my gut that, once we have my MIL in her new memory care facility, things will start to happen for him. Now we just have to wade through the paperwork and red tape of Medicaid! Thank you so much for your prayers! We appreciate them more that you will know!

  73. TCR

    I love sending cards, found tons of Hallmark brand cards for 50 cents each at local thrift store,(retail for as much as $6 and they had Thanksgiving cards) also got a brand new Christmas serving plate for $3, knew it was good deal based on manufacturer, when I got to car and looked on my phone it sells online for $85. I live in rural MS and have to drive miles to do anything. Met friends for lunch 40 miles away, while I was there remembered there was a CVS in that town so I stopped in for free flu shot, 8 boxes of bogo free candy that I use each year for gifts and qualified for free $10 restaurant gift card. No so frugal, I have lost free $10 gift card local dept store mailed me for my birthday. Got it in mail on the day I was leaving for a trip and no memory of what I did with it. I am single, child-free and almost never cook so most of people’s frugal accomplishments don’t apply to me but I love reading them each week.

  74. Susan

    Anna,
    I love looking at the gifts you’ve made. They are lovely. I hope your daughter is doing well. She is in my thoughts and prayers often. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Susan

  75. Marivene

    Jenn, I have friends & relatives who collect eggs year round from Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn, & Barred Plymouth Rock. Some chicken breeds do normally take breaks in colder weather, but not all do. Neither my daughter nor my friends have large flocks, just 5-6 hens. From time to time my daughter has had a rooster as well, but she lives rurally & my friends are here in the city where 5 hens are the limit, no roosters & no egg sales permitted. They don’t feed anything special, & they don’t use lights either. The hens just lay.

  76. Kelly

    Jenn, I understand. My 91 year old mother-in-law lived with us up until about 3 months ago but her Alzheimers got to the point where she couldn’t be left alone any longer. With my husband and I working full time plus raising our 10yr old son, we had little choice but to place her in an assisted living facility.

    Is there anyway that the grandparents can help you with gas for taking them hither and yon?

  77. Kelly

    Here’s what I did….I had 5 days off in a row, two of which were paid 🙂 So no usage of gas.

    *My son got his hair cut for free by my Mom, the hairdresser, just cost gas money to drive over there, 20 miles from our house. A haircut would cost $15 here. I also got to meet my Nieces pet pig, Paisley. He’s a micro-mini pig and oh sooo cute!! Loves to snuggle. Just hope he doesn’t grow to be too big…he’s not supposed to as long as he’s not overfed.

    *Downloaded 4-6 free ebooks onto my Kindle

    *Renewed my Snap Fitness membership–winter has arrived here in NE Ohio..we got a FOOT of snow today. My Mom paid for a year’s membership. I want to run a 1/2 marathon with a friend next September.

    *Cooked 3 meals at home during my 5 days off

  78. Lydia

    We helped our daughter with a remodeling project at her house. Many hands make light work.
    Last week all meals were eaten at home and took all lunches to work. Did some deep cleaning in a closet and found all kinds of fabric that I can repurpose, planning to make some dishtowels out of beautiful feed sacks that my mom gave me. I paused several times to remember how blessed we are.

Leave a Reply