Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

White Roses in November The Prudent Homemaker

I cut roses, sage, and basil from the garden for a friend.

I cut two more bunches of basil from the garden and gave them away to two others.

I cut chives and green onions from the garden, and three tiny white alpine strawberries.

I listed and sold two items on a Facebook garage sale.

I sold a used book through Amazon. This is my first time doing it. I listed mine lower than the lowest used price, and it sold within two days of listing it!

I cut the buttons off of 4 worn articles of clothing, and added them to my button jar.

I used materials I had on hand to make gifts.

I replaced a missing button on a pair of shorts with a button from my button jar.

I watered potted fruit trees with the water from steaming vegetables, water collected from the shower, and water left over in our drinking glasses at the end of the day.

I accepted several new books from a friend who offered them. She has a part-time job that includes getting paid in books. I gave some to the children right away and put some aside for Christmas gifts. This was an unexpected blessing, as I had gone to visit this friend to take her some needed items from my pantry.

My husband rented a Redbox movie for free using a free code.

 Basil in the garden The Prudent Homemaker

 

I changed my personal email this week to one without advertising. As I went about changing it with different places, I noticed that I could increase the frequency of my surveys from Pinecone Research. I have been taking surveys with them for years, and when I signed up, I signed up to receive them every two weeks. At the time, I thought that would be all I could fit into my schedule. I wish I had remembered years ago that I could take them more often! I changed my settings to 3 a week. If I can keep up with those, I may change it to one a day if they have them available. I’m hoping this makes it possible for me to earn a bit more money each month (they pay $3 a survey). I use this money to order garden seeds and to buy gift-making supplies from Etsy, so this will be a huge help to those budgets.

My mom had a couple of great savings this week that I will share as well. She has a piano that my grandmother purchased used many years ago. It has never sounded good–it actually sounded like a toy piano. She finally decided to get it tuned. She called a local music store, and she had 50% off piano tuning coupon for them–which saved her $50 off the cost of tuning! It turned out that the biggest problem with the piano was two broken dampers. She had those fixed ($25) and now the piano sounds lovely!

She also was frustrated with her dishwasher. The handle feels like it is about to break off. She also was thinking it would be nice to replace the racks in her dishwasher. Once she looked at the price of new racks, she realized those weren’t worth it ( ($350 for 2 new racks!), so she decided to just order the replacement handle for $25 from Home Depot. They directed her to their website for a video on how to replace the dishwasher handle. She’ll be able to continue using her dishwasher for a while yet, without the big expense of replacing her dishwasher.

My mom gifted us a bag of clementines. I started a batch of citrus cleaner with the peels.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

This Post Has 105 Comments

  1. MamaHen

    I worked really hard at using leftovers, coming up with creative, but filling meals, and having zero food waste. I did not succeed at the zero waste, but I am making progress. I am going to start using my bread maker more this week so the kids can have bread and jam as snacks.

    Still trying to be more conscience about turning off lights and using less electricity in general. Also trying to keep our heat lower by wearing more clothes during the day and night.

    My smart hubby was able to fix our water heater without calling in an repairman!

  2. Laura Anne Lee

    I love reading everyone’s frugal accomplishments it makes me feel like we aren’t the only ones trying to do this!

    My husband and I canned 35 quarts of pears and 15 quarts of pear sauce from pears my dad had gleaned for me for my birthday.
    I dried clothes on racks in the house since it was raining.
    Ate food from the pantry and freezer for the week.

  3. Ashely

    The last week or so hasn’t been frugal but it has been filled with lots of doing and accomplishments that have long been on my check list. Yesterday I spent 5 hours finishing my last assignments for my Physics class, after turning these in I will have passed with an A. This is my last pre req class, I have been taking them at night for three years. So I’m almost in disbelief that I wont be signing up for more next semester. I also signed with a contractor to have the house painted inside and out. After a year of of searching for someone within my budget I finally found someone. He came over Friday night and we finalized paint colors and he agreed to do some things on my ‘honey dew’ list while he took care of the painting. I’m very pleased and excited. It almost seems surreal that this is happening. ….I still have to clean off the front porch though.

    This week I plan on doing a lot of holiday grocery shopping to stock up for the next six months or so. There is a coupon where you can buy 50 dollars of groceries at Target and get a ten dollar gift card back. I can also use this at my area Publix who accepts competitor coupons. I plan on stocking up on turkey breasts as well as potatoes and other things which are on sale this week. I made my first trip this week and stocked up on sugar and a few other things. I get strangely excited when I grocery shop good deals.

    I also made the decision to give away a lot of pink crinum lily bulbs that I had sitting on my back porch last week. I was able to give most of them away to one family. The rest I put in two bags for myself to plant in the yard. The painter will be power washing the back porch and shed as well. My plans are to try and find some lawn chairs on craigslist or a yardsale and make a nice seating area.

    Slowly but surely my house is coming together. It’s exciting!

  4. Laurie

    I had a few red and white alpine strawberries for several years. It seems a cold winter did them in. There’s a lot of flavor packed into those little berries! This weekend, I put aside several books with the thought of checking out selling them on Amazon. It’s nice to know you had a good experience. I have both of my grandmother’s button collections, which I cherish. I too have cut buttons off worn out clothing, to use again. I’m glad you reminded me of clementines. I’ll have to look for them when I’m in town tomorrow. They’re such a treat this time of year. Joining with you http://www.abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2014/11/sheet-mulching-hoop-house-autumn-meals.html

  5. faith

    cut my SO and son’s hair.

    earned $5 amazon card via swagbucks.

    sold a maternity shirt on EBay.

    paid off a bill. saving us $100/month. and one step close to our goal of buying a house next year!!

    received a $25 paypal refund from a sweater that was back ordered and then canceled from August!

    won $25 target gift card from a blog! and received the ecard from target through email.

    won another blog giveaway $25 Amazon card via swagbucks (but haven’t received it yet) – the first place winner didn’t claim within 24 hours so I got picked the second time 😉

    made beef stock.

    continued stretching dinner meet into two meals.

    agreed to bring dinner rolls and pumpkin cookies to thanksgiving (will make both from scratch).

    made coffee creamer with coconut milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon- so good!

    bought my SO his big present – a guitar! – found it in sale . and he’s wanted one for years, I spent less than I thought it would cost and will make him extremely happy! .. I found a personalized pick via Etsy I plan to buy this week.

    the extra money won will go to Christmas presents this year! what a blessing!

  6. Roxie

    This has NOT been a real frugal week here. We had some vet bills that were unexpected. But such is life. We love the pets and we do budget in some money each month for their care. Sometimes it seems we do not budget enough. Everything is going up. We were out an extra $75.00 over what we had set aside.
    We have had some unexpected and unusual cooler weather here. Normally in our part of TX we do not see a freeze or cooler temperatures until Dec. All of last week it never got about 48 here and we had rain. What a blessing. No air conditioner and no extra watering. Our rain barrels are full too.
    Made meals at home. Made a few Christmas gifts for friends. Got most of my Thanksgiving day supplies brought and ready. We will travel 300 miles for Thanksgiving and I am bringing both the turkey and ham. I have also made several pies using splenda for my husband and other family members who have diabetes and can not eat sweets with sugar.
    Made a “new” trash can for my sewing room from an empty 5 gallon bucket. I just used a 2/3 yard of fabric I had in my collection. I measured from top to bottom of the bucket. Then ran a bit of elastic on top and bottom. Now it looks pretty and fits into the rest of the room not looking like a sore thumb.
    Found some wonderful towels at the Salvation Army thrift store. I washed them and gave them to the local NO kill animal shelter. They were so happy to get the towels. I felt good to be able to give them away. Between the old towels I owned and the ones I got at the thrift store I had 2 big boxes of towels for the shelter. It made my day to see the towels in use on Sunday afternoon when I picked up my dog.
    I have started a new hexagon quilt. I keep making the hexes when I have a minute or two. It will take several thousand hexes to make a queen size quilt so this will be a long term project. I spend a lot of time waiting for my grandsons to finish Karate or boxing classes or just in waiting rooms. Now I have something to keep my mind busy while I wait. I keep a small bag in my purse with the hex papers, 2 1/2″ scraps of fabric, a needle, thread, and small scissors. So I am always set.
    I did not use the dryer. I managed to get the laundry dry on our 3 racks. There are going to be double loads of sheets next week when the rain stops but after our drought that is a small pain to mess with. We have 3 sets of sheets for each bed so we are okay.

  7. Anna

    Dear Miss Brandy and readers,
    My daughter got an excellent checkup with her physician. She is cleared for limited activities. We are delighted to say the least and thankful during this season of thanks.

    My frugal accomplishments (very limited):

    My niece cut my daughter’s hair.
    I was referred to a trainer and will get free services.
    I made all our meals at home.
    We took lunches all week.
    I kept the heater at 63 F (it snowed yesterday).
    I did not go grocery shopping last week.
    I found a large clasp at Dollar Tree for a $1 vs. $5-6 at craft stores.
    I made Bible handbags, prayer beads, lace headbands, ruffled key ring and Christmas scarves (from supplies at home) for Christmas gifts. (I hope to be done by end of this week with gifts.)

    Blessing to all,

    Anna

  8. Jenny

    Kept grocery shopping to a minimum – did get really good deals on baking chips and sugar (check marks in the winter pantry list), nearly free ziploc bags, and some free cake mixes in addition to produce and stew beef. Cashed out $6.60 from SavingStar, which goes right back into the grocery budget. Received by mail $4 in store vouchers for the $1 worth of rotten potatoes I bought last week (a nice surprise!), and a $3 on-my-next-order coupon that was supposed to have printed at the register but didn’t.

    Cooked from scratch, packed lunches, baked bread. Made two batches of cookie dough for the freezer.

    We had a dear friend over to dinner who was willing to be a recipe guinea pig, so I invested in a few spices and made Indian food – roasted cauliflower and potatoes, chicken tikka masala, sauteed spinach, and rice. Wasn’t difficult, turned out great, used mostly things already I had aside from the seasonings and cream – and of course a lot less expensive than the amazing but pricey Indian place around the corner. (Let me tell you, smelling their food on the breeze while on the way home when hungry is VERY tempting!) I will do more of this!

    Used a free Redbox code for a Friday night movie at home. Books and videos borrowed from the library. I am on a women in the Civil War kick – I highly recommend “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War” by Karen Abbott.

  9. Jenn in Indiana

    Anna, I am so glad to hear that about your daughter. What a blessing!

  10. Teresa Meunier

    Good morning from the Great White North LOL
    It is already -15C here with 3-4 inches of snow on the ground.
    This weeks frugalities include:
    Made a batch of Mexican zucchini soup using homemade broth and frozen garden zucchini
    Drying all laundry on racks set up in the basement
    Changing the bedding to polar fleece sheets so temperature can be dropped at night
    Used a can of loss leader salmon to make salmon burgers
    Baked banana muffins with bananas from the freezer
    Brought up peaches and applesauce from the freezer since fresh fruit is very expensive right now
    Used my dried mint for tea
    Have a good week!

  11. Diana in Indiana

    – Finished 3 Christmas presents: Framed some old childhood pictures for my dad, crocheted a hooded scarf for my mom, made laundry soap and put in a pretty container for my sister.
    – Won a $5 Subway gift card at worked. Used it to buy dinner for DH and I while traveling. Only cost us $.83 for a 12 in sub which we split.
    – Keeping the heat at 65 (snowing here).
    – Bought cheap table favors/decorations at a Christmas outlet for a special program at church.
    – My son dog sat for us in exchange for him getting free reign of our refrigerator for the weekend ($60 if we would have boarded him – but we probably broke even on what my son ate. LOL)
    – used a free trial version of XM radio on a long car trip this weekend. We won’t renew it after the trial.
    – Wandered through Cabelas sporting goods store. They have tons of taxidermy animals from all over the world. Also a very large aquarium. These are all free to look. We didn’t buy anything at the store.
    – Found out I will be getting a large Christmas bonus from work. We already have our budget and won’t be needing this for gifts. Tempting to use it for more gifts. But we will use to reduce debt instead.

  12. Jenifer

    In my groceries bulk section they have loose mint tea. The price is about 50% less of the boxed/bagged tea and I find this bulk tea more tasty.
    I decorated for a family birthday with items in my house, or had printed many years ago but never used. We played charades and the whole lot of us (grand parents to 10 year olds) had a riot acting out the charades.
    For the party I scratch made the food, salads and onion dip.
    I found a crock pot cookbook at the Goodwill for a quarter, so far there are at least 25 recipes to try that are pantry staples.
    They also had other books of interest for family members – those were bought for a quarter each and will be put away for gifts.
    My husband saved us $80 by calling our vet with a question, instead of my first instinct of making an appointment. I didn’t know you could call and ask.
    I had some vegetables that were not going to get used in time along with some scraps, so I tossed them into the crock pot with some water and made 6 pints of vegetable broth.
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  13. Mandy Barnes

    Hello everyone! This covers the last two weeks, I was extremely ill the last week with a horrible cold and did not report my frugal accomplishments.
    To save money I:
    -stuck to my grocery list when I went to the store. I went last week and the week before.
    -I decided to give up eating meat and most dairy. My husband will not and that’s ok. I don’t expect my daughter to either, she’s only 4, but she does eat most of what mommy eats. This will save a LOT of money.
    -I drank water and hot tea.
    -I managed to make two loaves of bread, granola, vegetarian stir fry with quinoa and frozen veggies, power balls, apple/cinnamon muffins, my husband made pumpkin spice brownies from scratch.
    -We used a gift card for dinner one night when I first got sick. He picked it up and we paid $4 out of pocket. We’ve had this gift card for over a year.
    -I had medicine in my stock pile already. he did purchase tissues with lotion for me and my daughter though, who was also sick.
    -saved gas by not leaving the house except going to the store twice.
    -mailed in my husband’s pay stubs on the way to work this morning, saving gas.
    -finished crocheting a dish cloth.
    -made my daugher her own dish cloth for her play kitchen with yarn I already had.
    -we put two cinder blocks in the back of our station wagon to make it heavier now that it has snowed here. It has prevented the car from sliding around while driving.
    That is all I can remember. Have a great week everyone!

  14. Debbie in Florida

    We had another cheap date night. We went to the mall to use a free panty coupon at Victoria’s secret and another $10 coupon off anything. I ended up getting 2 panties for 54cents and put them away for a holiday gift for my daughter. We decided to eat at Moes. We were wondering why the line was out the door – we didn’t realize until we went to pay that they were having $12 for two burritos including drinks and tax.

    I went to CVS and got the free roll of paper towels and did the Scott TP and paper towel deal. With the sales price, coupons and $10 CVS gift card back for spending $30, they were cheaper than even Sams Club.

    I was able to start collecting the calyx from my roselle. I got a big cereal bowl full and there should be more ready every day. There are hundreds on the plants and more flowers opening! I’m freezing them and will pull them out to make tea and maybe jelly.

    I watered/fertilized the nectarine tree and bananas with water from cooking pasta and from the turtle tank when I did a partial water change.

    I completed 2 Pinecone surveys and they sent me a product to try.

    SO gathered up a few things to return to Home Depot that we didn’t use building the retaining wall and fence. He used the money to get a 9-pack of Brussels sprouts and another owl to guard my seeds.

    I did a mystery shop at a restaurant for dinner when SO was working. It was only 1 mile from home. I got the deposit for last month’s mystery shopping. I transferred the shopping fee portion to my Capitol One 360 account I’m using for gifts and extra spending. I signed up to do mystery shopping 2 more times in December at a grocery store.

    Made an extra payment towards debt – 25 more payments to being totally debt free including house and cars!

    I had a $20 paypal credit so I put it towards buying a mason bee house.

    On Swagbucks, I met the daily goal for 14 days.

    I worked 3 hours overtime – not much but at least something.

  15. Kathy

    Where did you get the personalized pick? I would like to get one fo m son fo Chistmas.

  16. Megan

    Glad I bought a turkey last week on sale (just to have in the freezer). We decided to host Thanksgiving this year. A family member offered to smoke a turkey and bring it! We decided that they would do a 12-14lb bird and we would deep-fry ours as well! So we’ll definitely have enough turkey and get to enjoy two different types this way!

    We went and purchased the peanut oil for deep-frying the turkey, and we were pleased to find it was half the price that we had anticipated. Because it can be re-used, we’ll split the cost with my father-in-law (we do Thanksgiving with them on a different day and they like to deep-fry a turkey as well)!

    I’m really proud of my son. His school sent home a fundraiser (selling Chico bags). He was really excited about raising money for the school, and he has been asking everyone we know if they would like to purchase any bags. (I will drive him around but he has to do the sales pitch – he’s six). So far he has raised about $150!

    At two different stops for Drake to pitch his fundraiser, he also managed to secure small jobs for himself (he wants to start earning money for our next vacation, which I’m planning for 12/2015). At one family members’ house he pulled weeds and swept their porch (earned $1.50); at another he helped pull mushrooms out of their yard (earned $2). We don’t pay per chore but each child has a marble jar that once it’s full they earn $5 (usually takes 2-4 weeks per jar)…there are multiple ways to earn marbles, but not every chore “pays”. There are lots of things the kids need to do or help with just because they are part of our family. My husband and I want our kids to help family just because, but it’s nice that the people have offered to pay because we also want the kids to have a good work ethic and earn their own money. (Such a hard balance it seems).

    Canned applesauce to stock my own pantry (8 jars) & have two to a friend for her daughter! We should be canning apple scrap jelly tomorrow for Christmas gifts.

    Used the coupon codes/credit from the Old Navy error a few weeks ago to order a Christmas gift. Had to call in the order because the codes wouldn’t work properly online (go figure), but was able to get my niece a $50 coat for $16. I think she’s going to love it (I hope so anyway)!

    We were incredibly blessed and gifted a some money from a family member. My husband and I are trying to decide what we will do with it… But I would like to put half in savings, then split the difference to spoil ourselves (especially my husband in the last year or so). We rarely buy anything for ourselves, often out any “extra” money towards any debts as we’re trying to pay the truck & house off early. We haven’t decided for sure, but are just stunned at this gift!

    We were able to order our tickets for the Nutcracker for no money out of pocket (we attended the local dance company’s Gala in October to support our niece and we received two free tickets to the Nutcracker performance with that purchase). Luckily both of our niece are performing on the same night so we will only need to attend one showing!

    I love reading what you’re grateful for each day! Makes me really think about how blessed I am as well. 🙂 Hope everyone has a great week!

  17. Mary Ann

    Welcome fall in California. I finally need to wear a sweater.

    I picked and seeded 25 pomegranates. I froze the seeds and will use them in my Vitamix for morning smoothies. I have another 25 to do today. I let those fruit go to rot for 15 years then was inspired enough by the people on this site to stop the waste. So much of being frugal is just being willing to see my daily life with a “new pair of glasses”. Now I won’t have to buy frozen berries. I am saving over $20 and I get all the health benefits as well. We have about ten orange trees. I am going to pick them as well.

    I made an adorable, rice-stuffed snowman out of a pair of socks. I found the pattern on Pinterest. My son is excited to make more with me for family and friends.

    I was getting anxious about the holidays in terms of food. I have already spent my food budget. I sat down with a two month calendar and planned the meals I will need through XMAS. I realized I have the makings of dozens of meals already. I made a list of possible dinners on the side of the calendar and highlighted days we would need meals (not many, we are doing a lot of traveling, have been invited to holiday dinners etc. . .) Now I can plug in an already planned meal anytime I want. I ruthlessly edited my grocery “wants” leaving only what I “need” to buy. Examples: I don’t have to buy brown sugar, I can use white sugar and molasses. I don’t have to buy cream of chicken soup, I can make my own. Now I am off to Sam’s to buy Tide, tea and bananas. That should get me through December.

  18. Melonie K.

    My husband was out of town for several weeks so I put our CSA delivery on a vacation hold, saving us $30 a week, $90 total. While he was gone, I used the lunches that I normally make ahead and freeze for him for work as lunches/dinners for the children and myself.

    We paid off his car right before he left, so when he got back, he called our bank and had them add a portion of the car’s monthly payment as a principle payment for our truck to get that paid off faster. The other portion will go toward our one other debt to pay that down faster as well.

    Yesterday I cooked a big batch of rice and a Crock-Pot of chili to rebuild his lunch “stash”. I’ll do a big batch of pasta and sauce for him tonight so he can rotate meals however he wants without eating out.

  19. Denise in Ohio

    Hi all! I have been a long time reader but first time contributor. Have learned so much from everyone. Thanks!

    I am restarting frugality because of some recent and soon to come expenses. Hope that posting will keep me accountable.

    So since I am restarting frugality, I didn’t do much last week. Thought I might share a couple of my on-going frugality tips. Dryer: We have a very long dryer vent to the outside and it takes a long time to dry anything. In the good weather, I try to line dry outside. During the winter, we attach an indoor venting thing. It is an inexpensive unit purchased at Home Depot or Lowes. You put water in the plastic box and the hose from the dryer attaches to the top. As the dryer is running, the heat and humidity are released into your home. Great to keep the house warmer in the winter. (We have a first floor laundry room). I often start a load of laundry first thing in the morning to get the chill off.

    Another dryer tip: I put fabric softener into a spray bottle (and it can be watered down). Using an old wash cloth or rag, I spray about 4-5 sprays onto the cloth and put it into the dryer. Very economical and easy. A bottle of fabric softener can last me years.

    Lastly, a gift idea. I love to read. So for Christmas, I have asked for the gifter’s favorite fiction or non-fiction book OR the book that made the biggest impact on them along with a note explaining why they chose the book. Frugal because the gifter can choose to purchase used. Easy for the gifter since it is THEIR favorite book. And I figure I will read authors and themes that I might not choose for myself and will get to know the gifter better by their choice and their note.

    Next week, I hope to have frugal accomplishments!

  20. Marivene

    Put up more tomato sauce from the tomatoes in the ripening bowls. I think we are nearing the end now.

    Dehydrated more browning bananas, & purchased some of the sliced pineapple that was priced below my usual purchase price, to dehydrate. Since it is canned in its own juice, with only citric acid added, there are no extra sugars, & it is full of fiber, so it makes a great snack treat for those of us trying to lose or maintain weight loss.

    I have been able to lose about 25 lbs since the first knee was replaced. This is important to me because the literature for the knee replacement has weight limit below which the device functions better, & at the time of the first implant, I was over that weight. Now I am below it, so the implant will last longer.

    Wrapped all the Christmas presents, so now they can be stored in plain sight instead of ”hidden”.

    Cashed my pine cone survey check.

    Made all meals from home or from the freezer meals prepped ahead.

  21. faith

    I love that marble jar idea!

  22. faith

    I’m a reader too, and I love that idea!

  23. Denise

    Anna,
    I am so happy to hear that your daughter is doing better.
    Blessings and prayers for you all.

  24. Becky Pratt

    I’ve been enjoying reading the prudent ideas this morning.
    I can honestly say it hasn’t been too frugal here this week. We had to break down and turn on the heat. *sigh* We have been getting by with layers of clothes and sweaters. It hasn’t gotten out of the 40s for the highs this week in our area of TX. Last night we had a dusting of snow and ice. This is usually the time of year we are in the 60s and gas and electric bills are wonderful.
    I was given 6 books for my reading pleasure.
    Lunch was bought and brought to me twice last week.
    We’ve eaten at home all week.
    A friend brought me 2 bars of soap he didn’t like because they made too many bubbles. *smile* My grandkids love the soap.
    I had bought a handmade Christmas ornament. It was standing stones on moss (think a tiny Stonehenge) with a tiny bottle brush tree. I am buying handmade ornaments for my Outlander (a book by Diana Gabaldon) Tree. When I got the ornament it looked like there had been an earthquake. All I could see was green moss. *laughing* I could hear the loose stones, but not see them. The seller sent me another ornament glued with different glue. It also fell apart. I’m sorry to say (I hated that she lost money) the seller refunded my money. Having sold many of these ornaments she and I discussed how to fix the problem. Using E6000 glue (my idea) seems to have done the trick. I will be gluing my stones into their globes and hanging them on my little tree proudly. They have now cost me nothing.
    Have a lovey week.

  25. Mandy Barnes

    I am so happy to hear of your daughter’s good health! Congratulations 😀

  26. Cindy in the South

    In August, I bought a small house (912 sq. ft.) to live in , including survey and closing costs for $28,000. My payments, including taxes and insurance are $375 a month. My mother loved to sit outside under the mulberry shade tree during the summer. Sadly, she died of cancer a week ago. I paid $4,000 for her burial expenses and another $450.00 for the gravedigger. I wore clothes I already had. She was a thrifty soul and would have liked that….lol. Burial expenses are something we will all have to face and it is unbelievable how high they can be…I am taking my lunch to work, as I always have and I lowered my monthly pay as you go phone plan to $25.00 a month for 250 minutes of talk and unlimited text.

  27. Robert

    Is it just me or is it true that no matter what you do to try to cut back some the holidays get more expensive every year. I got a ham for $10 off and I got a free turkey and we have friends bringing all of the side dishes but I needed items for the table and I went very cheap but it still cost a bit. I needed a gravy boat and some items to cover the table. All told I spent $85 just for a few items an electric knife and some placemat and napkins. I needed more plates to go with our place setting but I just decided to skip it and make due with what I have. (Some one will likely back out of the invite and then I will have plenty anyways) Everyone has been really sick in our area so I just know someone is going to be too sick to come in the end.
    I keep trying to cut back on the groceries as well but there are only a few meals that my very picky family will eat.
    Last week I tried to serve soup and they did not like it at all !
    So I have half a pot left over!!!
    We seem to eat pasta a lot! Mexican a lot and chicken and that is about all they will go for. Turkey but with Thanksgiving coming up we wanted to skip that one for now.

  28. Mae

    Let’s just say it’s not always smart to just skim these – I got to the part about a friend who was willing to be a recipe guinea pig and I thought you were saying a friend brought over a guinea pig she wanted a recipe for! And I thought, Ew, i know they’re used as food in some parts of the world, but really? Re-reading it made a whole lot more sense! Also, it made me hungry. Indian food, yum!

  29. Mae

    We had a few wins this week. Summer is coming; so I decided it was time to either fix up the kids’ playground equipment, or toss it. Turns out it was really easy to fix up – there were just a few screws that needed tightening or replacing. So now they’ve got tons of playground equipment for the coming summer. We’re having Thanksgiving this Saturday, so I did most of the shopping for that last weekend – I remembered to go to the grocery outlet store first and found much of what I needed there, deeply discounted. I made a couple of stocking stuffers for the kids using materials I already had; and I used a gift voucher + free shipping to get a couple of presents to tuck away for the future.

  30. kathy

    Thanks!!!!

  31. Jenifer

    I am sorry for your loss. How wonderful you honored her with comfort of a Mulberry tree to sit under.

  32. Jenifer

    Robert, have you tried budgetbytes.com? She has wonderful cheap recipes that would fit your picky eaters.
    Someone from here had mentioned that site earlier this year, it has been very helpful,to,save even more money for our grocery budget.

  33. Mae

    I hear you on the picky eaters! So frustrating! I’m tempted to send them to bed without any dinner sometimes but knowing my kids, they’d wake me up at 3 AM because they were hungry, and I’ll admit it, I’d rather sleep than fight over food; so I make them a PB&J and call it good and try to be thankful for leftovers to take to work for lunches . . .

  34. Becky

    Anna,
    I, also, am very glad to hear that your daughter is feeling better. Both she and you have had a rough time of it, for sure. It’s nice that she will be able to enjoy the holidays more, and that you can feel peacful about her improving health.
    Becky

  35. Becky

    That’s amazing! To lose 25 pounds while having to sit down and recover from 2 knee surgeries! Way to go.

  36. Andrea Loewen

    Hello Brandy and Commenters,
    This week my husband cooked a turkey with all the fixings (he’s the best cook in this house). We now have lots of wonderful leftover turkey. And I baked two pumpkin pies (my first ones ever!) from the only pumpkin that grew in our garden this year. So delicious! I told hubby how Mrs. Brandy makes a turkey a month and my husband said, “I wish I could do that” so we might just start. 🙂
    My husband purchased a snow machine for $400 (we live in northern Canada). We purchased it so he could ride with his Dad and take the kids. He fixed and cleaned the engine himself. Hubby said he could turn around and sell it for $800 now that it works but we’re planning on keeping it.
    I’ve done my usual cooking from scratch, cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and breast feeding.
    I’m working on building the pantry so I won’t need to purchase any groceries for the month of January when they’re the most expensive here. I’m experimenting with long term fridge-free egg storage. The cheapest I’ve seen them here is $1.97 a dozen. And that’s only once every 6 months or so.
    I’m also already planning my garden in the summer so I can stock up more of my own produce (like carrots, squash, apples and cukes) and am looking into growing lettuce indoors. Hubby really misses salad.

    ANY ADVICE? My daughter is 7 months old. We’ve been turning down the thermostat at night but it is getting too cold for her. She kicks off her blankets. My husband thinks we should turn on an electric heater in her room. Any other/cheaper ideas?

  37. Andrea Loewen

    Thank you for sharing the vet info! Good to know!

  38. vickie

    She would have thought you did well….so sorry for your loss. I know you’ll miss her.

  39. Janell in Georgia

    Just a thought, but if you do need some more dishes, try a thrift store or a Dollar Tree and look for solid white that you can mix in with other colors. Having miss matched dishes seems to be an “in” thing right now.

  40. judy

    Anna, so happy to hear the good news about your daughter.

  41. Lisa

    I am from Northern Maine where we experience cold winters to! For my kids what I would do was put on their pajamas and then put the sleeping bag type of pj’s over them. Once they started standing in the crib, which is at the age your daughter is at, I would just put the regular footed sleeper pj’s over their regular pj’s. I have done this with all my 6 kids and it worked for us.

  42. Sherrie

    This one is only some what frugal, but a huge accomplishment so I thought I would share.

    My children have wanted to go to Disneyland for years. Unfortunately, that was out of our budget, but I told them if they would put their loose change in a jar, I would too and when we saved enough to pay for the trip we would go. So every time they had extra money (found a penny, earned a little bit, were given birthday money, etc.) they were diligent about putting it in the jar. (It has been over a year, but not yet two since we started the goal).

    My husband and I counted the money tonight and we have enough to go. They will find out about the trip on Christmas Day.

  43. Marivene

    Well, it takes a lot more effort to get up & get a snack!

  44. Mae

    We’re taking our kids to Disneyland next year too. Make sure you us Pinterest and Google to find tons of great ideas for planning your trip! It doesn’t have to be expensive! Well, obviously the tickets are expensive; but there are some really good ideas out there for saving money once you’re in the park. My kids are weird. I gave them the choice of going for 2 days or 3 days – my husband only wanted to go for 2 and I was sure the kids would pick 3. They both wanted 2 days. Grrrrr. Democracy is over-rated!

  45. Becky

    Of the 10 turkeys my husband had processed, he had them cut up 5 of them. On Thursday night we ground 25 lbs. of turkey burger with a meat grinder we borrowed from a friend. He got burger bags (plastic) from the internet somewhere and used prime for free shipping. I froze legs in bags, wings in bags, and used the thighs and breasts for the burger. I froze all of those bones as well, in bags that are just right to fill a big pot so I can boil them another day. Tonight, we had 2 wings that I slow-cooked all day while at work. It was more than enough for all 5 of us. I made rice from the 50 lbs my husband got for very reasonable a while back.

    We packed lunches today.

    We dropped the 2 youngest off at Foster Parents’ Night Out for 3 hours Saturday. It is free to them, free for us, super fun, they get dinner and etertainment, and we got to go out together. Win-win!! We bought my husband new shoes. His had fallen apart so many times, even glue couldn’t fix them, so it was time. We ate an economical meal at Wendy’s because we had purchased shoes. We also got a few things for Christmas at a different store. We chose some clearance clothing that wan an additonal 40% off and a few other items. The girls made paracord bracelets and really enjoyed doing that.

    I had a piano recital Friday night. The biggest expense is the basket of prizes. So, my husband went to a discount store and got candy, gum and mechanical pencils for them to choose from. They were more reasonable. It went well and everyone was happy. I only had to pay $10 for the church rental (a token fee to help cover electricity, etc.),and pay for the prizes. It was a success and the parents and kids were happy, as was I.

    I cut out a skirt for one of the girls with fabric I have had for years.

    We ate a lot of leftovers and odds and ends over the weekend. I wiped out the fridge and it looks good right now. I cooked and froze another squash. I also used one of the acorn squash we grew, by roasting it in rings. I am making chili tomorrow for the small group Bible Study that meets here and eats dinner here Tuesdays. (Not a large group). So, the beans are soak.

  46. http://thejewishlady.com

    I continue to be frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons. Last week, I got free mailing boxes at Staples, free iced tea, free Orajel kids toothpaste, and free paper towels. I also found $0.83 Dr. Pepper 12-packs, $0.89 Skippy, and so much more! Full details and pics here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-1115/

    If anyone needs help with Black Friday planning, I have my tips and lists up, too!

  47. http://thejewishlady.com

    I forgot to mention that anyone who shops at Market Basket can get Huggies for $3.72 thru 11/29 by combining a sale with a new coupon. This is an amazing deal, because big boxes are included!

    http://thejewishlady.com/huge-huggies-sale/

  48. Jenn in Indiana

    Marivene, Would you be willing to share what you did to lose the 25 pounds?

  49. Jenn in Indiana

    Sorry for your loss. Enjoy your house, it may be small but oh how I wish we had gone smaller instead of bigger. We are at 4,000 sq ft and I desperately want to move to a much smaller place. I tell my husband that it just gives you room to have more stuff that you don’t need.

  50. Denise in Ohio

    Mae, we went to Disneyland a few years ago. With one day for the California Adventure and one day for Disneyland, you will have time to see it all. But it would have been nice to have even more time…..doesn’t Mom get a veto???? LOL Disney World requires 5 days for our family so we were surprised how “small” in comparison Disneyland is. We, in fact, now prefer Disneyland…it is not so overwhelming! Have fun!

  51. Kristine

    Robert-
    The price of food has gone up so much. I know how you feel. What we spent to feed our family during the holidays, last year, might get us half this year. It is sad how expenses keep going up but not people’s income.

  52. Melissa in MD

    Sorry for your loss. It sounds like your mother would be very proud of what you have done and I know you will miss her. You are so right about the cost of burial. My mom passed away 8 years ago and we her final cost was $7000. We are now helping my MIL to prepay and the cost has increased by about 30% in just 8 years!

  53. Melissa in MD

    We’ve been trying to settle into a new routine now that my MIL is in rehab and will probably be going into permanent Memory Care, so we’ve not been as frugal as I’d like but still not bad.

    -We still have not turned our oil furnace on yet. We are just using our zero clearance wood burning fireplace and 2 small electric heaters. The fireplace blows the hot air from the firebox into the room and it’s been a comfortable 75 degrees even since the cold temps hit this past weekend.
    -Have hung all laundry to dry in the house not only to save money but to add some moisture into the air.
    -my employer took the staff and spouses out to a VERY nice dinner on Friday night. DH got NY strip and I got scallops. We never would have been able to eat at this particular restaurant otherwise. And it was good!
    -Cut coupons and reorganized them in my notebook. Also made menus to last until the end of the year using mostly pantry items. I’ll be using grocery money to restock our pantry.
    -made 3 dozen banana muffins and a dozen rolls for the freezer.
    -Since DH was laid off he has been able to take advantage of some free classes put on the the local county workforce agency. He has been taking a series on starting your own business and last week took a class on small business taxes. He said it was the best so far and he learned a lot. And it was free!

    I love reading everyone’s accomplishments each week. It’s so inspiring and helps keep me on track! Thanks everyone!

  54. Megan

    Would you be willing to share what company you mystery shop for? I would love to do this! Thank you!

  55. Megan

    Good job on the needs versus wants at the grocery store, that’s a hard one for me! 😉

  56. Brenda

    They make things for that!! They are called sleep sacks, made by halo, I think. They come in different weight fabrics. They go over their pajamas. I loved them for my kids in the winter. They even make some with foot holes for when the babies are toddling. They have a closed skirt type bottom and are sleeveless.

  57. Celia

    We had another small ebay sale. My husband volunteered and was approved to work on Black Friday. I baked muffins and made cookies and sweet rolls for company instead of buying them( tempting with the baby), I made rug deodorizer, we are using a family members discount to help our church, thus saving them two hundred dollars without us having to lay out extra of our own money. We found a mattress sale for our sons and a box spring, saving more than half.

  58. Megan

    So sorry to hear about your mom. Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  59. Megan

    Congrats! We love Disneyland. We’re going December 2015 (I’ve always wanted to see it decorated for Christmas)! I can’t wait to go to Disneyworld one day (I’ve never been), but we are waiting until our kids are a bit older.

  60. Janell from Georgia

    I followed your link to read your blog. I enjoy reading other’s post to learn new frugal tips. I’ve never followed a blogspot so I will have to figure out how. But I loved the post I read. One tip I thought I would share with you about travel (I don’t travel but my brother does with his work). He has an insulated thermos, and will make coffee in his hotel room and fill his thermos to take with him as he drives. He has also told me a lot of convenience stores will let you fill a thermos for the price of a coffee and fill his water cup for free.

  61. Mae

    The last time I went to Disneyland was when I was 17. We went for 2 days and felt it was a good amount of time; but that was just Disneyland, there was no California Adventure back then. But my husband’s worried that 3 days will just be too much for the kids and at the end of it they’ll be growly grumpy grumble-bums. The law of diminishing returns and all that. I’m trying to build in a “free day” at the end so that if everyone wants an extra day, we’ll be able to do it. My kids are actually not huge Disney fans, so two days might be plenty. (I know the obvious question is, “then why are you going” – we’re flying in from Australia to meet up with my parents who live in the US, who will be joining us for Disneyland, and then taking the kids up to Oregon, where my I grew up and where my husband and I met 20 years ago next year. We’re flying via Fiji, where we were married. So it’s sort of a combined anniversary trip/Disneyland extravaganza.)

  62. Marivene

    Jenn, I didn’t do a lot, really. It was hard to move for the first 2-3weeks, so I kept a jar of oyster crackers, a pint bottle of dried fruit, & a bottle of water near the couch & the chair. When I took medication, I ate 2-3 oyster crackers, and one or two pieces of dried fruit, with water. It wasn’t worth the effort to get up to get a snack, so I didn’t bother most of the time. I didn’t realize how much I had been snacking before, I guess. I got used to not snacking.

  63. Andrea Q

    Thank you for sharing the information about changing the frequency of surveys from Pinecone! Some weeks, I get three and other weeks I get none. I didn’t know you could adjust that!

  64. Anna

    Thank you so much!

  65. Anna

    Thank you for your kind thoughts.

    Blessings.

    Anna

  66. Anna

    Thank you for the congrats. We are so relieved that her health is returning. It will still be a while but patience is a virtue.

  67. Anna

    Thank you so much. The holidays will be very joyful for my kiddo’s health and for God’s blessings.

  68. Anna

    Thank you and best wishes to you as well.

    Anna

  69. Tina

    * I am working on gathering swaybacks to use for amazon gift cards for Christmas gifts 🙂
    * made a loaf of pumpkin bread using canned pumpkin from my pantry ~ so good… enjoying it for breakfast and in packed lunches; also made homemade applesauce
    * made a triple batch of chicken/broccoli casserole; ate one and 2 for the freezer
    * picked up 40# zaycon chicken; cooked up a bunch and packed the rest for the freezer
    * we are investigation and dual high school/college AA degree program for my daughter to start next Fall. We had one meeting with the high school and have a follow up meeting this Friday. The frugal part is no tuition for the college classes!
    * keeping lots of blankets on our couch for bundling up :). I also added another blanket to our bed.

  70. Rhonda A.

    I am a picky eater and always have been. As a child I was resistant to trying new things made worse by adults shaming me about my personal tastes. But things changed as I became older. Not only did my tastes change, but I had more positive opportunities to try new things through co-workers, and parties. I still have very specific likes and dislikes (I absolutely hate onions but love broccoli), but my diet has expanded quite a bit from when I was a child to include things that my parents never cooked (such as artichoke hearts).

    I now have a child who is also a picky eater. It is mostly related to sensory issues such as textures and is resistant to trying new items like I was. I always encourage her to try new things when the opportunity presents itself (like at restaurants, especially buffet style ones). However, I also respect her likes and dislikes as I believe each person is a unique individual. Sometimes I also find that it may take several tries before she likes it. I just have to wait long enough for her to forget she tried it before, so there is no arguments and won’t try again. And never rule out the power of suggestion from a friend. Having them say it’s really good and they should try it is far more appealing than a nagging parent. Most of all, be patient and respect their personal choices.

  71. Rhonda A.

    When we went to Disney World a number of years ago, we suggested to my parents that they buy the pass for my daughter as her Christmas gift that year. We then used the Christmas money we were given that year to buy our passes. When we mentioned that my parents bought our daughter’s Disney pass to my husbands parents, they thought it was a great idea and wished that they had thought of this for the other grandchildren. It’s worth presenting the idea to the grandparents. They may not feel it is within their budget and that’s OK. But it is a super easy gift for them to give and you know your children will be thrilled to get as a Christmas gift.

  72. Rhonda A.

    Well, we just got home from our vacation yesterday, so frugality was still minimal. We continued to pack a bagged lunch every day and only ate our dinner at a restaurant during the entire trip. I was careful with my spending, with most of my purchases being Christmas gifts for my daughter and for some family members. Overall, we returned to Canada after 10 days in the USA with $500 American money still in our pockets! I am very pleased we came in under budget on our vacation.

    I was also pleased to realize that there was plenty of food in our cupboards to eat upon our return. I only required purchasing bread, milk and bananas for groceries to tide us over until I am ready to do a major grocery shopping excursion. Even these were not completely essential as we have powdered milk in the pantry, all the supplies to make bread and various fruits in the cupboard and fridge that could have tided us over if we weren’t so exhausted from the trip. I am looking forward to getting back on track this week.

    Since I don’t have much to report, I thought I would share one of the frugal tips that I do all the time and don’t think to write down. Here it goes…I don’t normally wear make up on a regular bases and haven’t for years. I put some on when I am going somewhere special, like a wedding, funeral or a dress up type of function. But I do not see the need to wear it to the mall or grocery store to impress people who don’t even care, or for the most part notice what I look like anyways (and if you’re questioning this, think how often you actually notice other people when you’re shopping). I have no idea how much this saves me, but for some it might be quite a bit. Just food for thought.

    Thanks as always to Brandy and all who comment for the great tips and suggestions. Have a wonderful week!

  73. Andrea

    If you vacuum the vent hose every six months, your dryer might work better.

  74. Linda Higgins

    Andrea, footed sleepers will help. Lighter blankets on top so as to not weigh her down and if she still kicks them off she will not be totally uncovered.

  75. Kathryn K.

    Last week I made meals using items up from the freezer and pantry. One of the items I used was some leftover ham I had frozen this spring – I can’t believe how many meals we have gotten from it and there’s still some left in the freezer! I made a crock-pot meal for the evening my daughter has dance class and it was very nice to come in to a meal that was ready to eat.

    I used a refund check to purchase some floor jacks from Menard’s and my husband installed them. We have an older house and it seems to be settling in some places so this will help stabilize things for now. I combined the trip to Menard’s with one to Aldi (we don’t have one in our town). I updated my grocery price book with a couple of my recent shopping trips. My husband also fixed our dishwasher – with the help of an online video it was very easy.

    We hit the local thrift store as a family Saturday morning and had several good finds – wineglasses, a nice winter coat for my daughter, a set of training wheels for my daughter’s bike (we had been looking for these items for a while), a sweater for me, a shirt for my husband, and two pairs of pants for my daughter.

  76. Theresa

    I have XM in my car and love it!! There are always great deals to be had should you decide you would like to get it.

  77. SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

    First I want to say how much I appreciate this blog and everyone’s comments. I read all the time even though I don’t usually post. I wanted to comment about the Disney trip. The last time I went (years ago), I purchased a 3-day pass even though we only planned to go 2 days. The 3-day pass included the parking fee AND allowed us entry into the park 1 hour before general admission. For us, it was worth the added expense. As for other frugal activities, I’ve been working on eating through my freezer and making all my meals at home. The latter is often a challenge for me and when I so appreciate the support on this blog.

  78. Theresa

    Lol!

  79. Mary

    This is my first time posting but have read your blog for sometime. First of all – I am every day thankful for finding Brandy’s blog and others through postings. For a lot of reasons three years ago my SO and I moved to the family farm. I thought I was leaving corporate world but after some months of driving everyone nuts I accepted a position within a corporation. One year later I was laid off and if I hadn’t been reading Brandy’s blog as all was going on I think I would have lost my mind, and my way. We have in the last year started an entire new agritourism business – with amazing support from the Farm Service Administration, the local community college and friends and neighbors. Over the past week as we wound down the business for the season I have had time to reflect on just how much I’ve changed at a deep, core level. One HUGE part of the transformation was that I slowly began to embrace frugality – what I now term abundant frugality. Brandy – you and the people who post here have been guides back to what I learned from my parents and grandparents. I remembered how to can and freeze food, to garden and the big one for me – to shop frugally. This is so big for me as I was a big time shopper when I lived in the city and worked a ‘big time’ corporate job. I have totally revamped my wardrobe as my suits, dresses, jewelry, shoes, designer handbags really don’t work on the farm. I kept a few select pieces and then began to rebuild a workable wardrobe. I discovered the incredible world of thrift stores! I donated my clothes, shoes and bags to the same thrift stores. I went through the contents of our home in the city – three levels, four bedrooms, four bathrooms for two people when we moved to the house on the farm. We either gave away to friends who could use and appreciate them (like Mikasa crystal wine and water glasses that I used for dinner parties and then didn’t use – for five years!) or sold them at a community garage sale. I still have ‘nice’ things as living well (Alexandra Stoddard is one of my ‘guides’) is important – I just have what I truly love, need and value.

    We used to order in or eat out a LOT when we lived in the city. I love to cook but long days didn’t work for my energy level and it was ‘easier’. Now we live 14 miles from town which makes either option harder. And guess what – we’ve both lost weight (also working hard this summer and fall outside helped – who needs a gym membership when there is hoeing and irrigating to be done). We shared a half a beef and a half a hog (raised without hormones by a local family) so have a freezer full of good meat. I shop deals and sales and my pantry is stocked. We had a ton of tomatoes from the 10 plants we put in so I canned and froze those – including salsa which we eat a lot of.

    On the beauty front – I stopped dying my hair and found that my actual hair is a lovely silver color! I found a great deal on L’Oreal sunblock at TJ Maxx – for $3 instead of $12!!! I wear a lot of sunblock due to fair skin and can’t use most sunblock due to skin issues. As one commenter said I also save a lot of money by not wearing make-up! And one final note – I found a facial hair removal product from Oil of Olay that works great and that saves me $15 every month. Part of ‘maturing’ is discovering that facial hair just seems to show up more and more and more. Hormone check is fine – just part of post menopause.

    So clothes, food, beauty – now entertainment. I rediscovered the library. I thought nothing of stopping at a big box bookstore and buying $100 worth of books. We have a world class library in the local city and they just opened up a branch just six miles from our farm! We downgraded our satellite package to the basics and do Netflix if we want to see a movie or something special. When we eat out we do so with friends and on a day when we are doing town errands.’

    Finally – the impact on me from a spiritual side was the most transformative. At the age of 61 I have refound my core and true north. It is easy to lose the way when there is so much distraction. Nothing like hoeing and weeding and planting and canning and any other activity with no noise other than that which is there naturally to become startlingly at peace and in a thankful state. I literally count my blessings every day and am astonished with how much abundant grace there is in my life. I have true friends, a SO who is growing along side me, my cats and dogs (which give us joy, laughter and comfort) and I have my Creator. Thank you Brandy, Anna, Marivene, Preppy Pink, Robert and all the others that I feel that I have come to know and that are inspiring, amusing and full of grace.

  80. Tina

    We moved further from “town” over the summer so I can relate about the options of eating out.

    I always make sure I have eggs, potatoes, etc on hand so I can always make a quick breakfast for dinner 🙂

    I have also been trying to have a few meals in the freezer that are ready to pop into the oven. Really nice when we are having a busy night or I have failed to plan ahead for dinner!

  81. Debbie in Florida

    Mary, Thank you for sharing your story! I couldn’t agree with you more!

  82. Pauline

    Since I live in upstate NY, I am certainly familiar with snowy roads! And I understand the potential benefits of adding weight to the back of your car, but please remember that a station wagon is open on the inside. If you were to hit anything, those cinder blocks would fly forward into the passenger area and could potentially injure or kill anyone sitting there. Please don’t be offended by this feedback; I always look forward to reading your comments, Mandy!

  83. AnnaInOhio

    LOL! I almost read it that way too.

  84. AnnaInOhio

    Good going on your husband checking with the Vet I try to do that too.. our Vet charges $45 for a office visit so that is substantial on the savings.

  85. AnnaInOhio

    My frugals this week? As I’ve mentioned before I work for a big box grocery store. We had a company dinner last week with all the foods coming from our store at the restaurant we went to (they are one of our customers). They had these wonderful sausages.. Contadina I think is the brand name. Anyways, we don’t sell them in our store only through our warehouse so I had to order a case of them (48 ct.). They averaged out to about 75 cents each with my employee discount and using a store coupons for $5 off any $50 purchase. We will have meals all winter and into spring from this meat. I try to stock up on a variety of meats, it’s much easier to meal plan if I have different meat choices. I cut the sausage into smaller pieces and made a stir fry in my cast iron skillet with cut up bell peppers(red, yellow and green) and served over rice as the restaurant did. Also frugal is I bought a 5 lb. bag of frozen tart cherries from work and made cherry jam last week. I saved the juice and made a batch of cherry jelly from that. That’s all I can remember for now but trying to stay frugal. Love the new website BRANDY, so nice to have things published instantly here.

  86. Sandra Chippewa

    My frugal accomplishments this week:
    *I did my monthly shopping within my budget. Only $1 to spare, but I did it 🙂
    *our dryer died about a month ago. We were really tempted to grab money out of savings that we were saving for something else, but decided to stick it out and wait until we found a good used one to by within our price limit. A friend found out we were looking for one, and his grandmother had one sitting on her porch she didn’t need. She gave it to us for free! We are so glad we waited, and it works wonderfully! And I am happy I don’t have to make anymore laundromat trips!
    *I found nice winter hats on clearance for $.50 ea for my boys (at Walmart).
    *I made homemade pizza successfully for the first time (with the help of my bread maker) rather than ordering out. My son chose this as his birthday meal but it just wouldn’t fit in our budget this month to order out. My husband and children said they liked the homemade pizza better! My children also had a blast helping me add toppings.
    *My husband re-purposed a very small dresser we were not using for us to use for the kid’s arts and crafts. He replaced some drawers with shelves. We added some baskets filled with the items for easy, but neat, access. He also added wheels on the bottom so I can roll it away when company comes.
    *A few weeks ago I purchased 6 panels of really nice brand name curtains for $30. I bought these off a Facebook garage sale page. We have been trying to update/change living room slowly with just a little cost. They were about 12 inches to long, but I shortened them with my sewing machine. What a difference changing the curtains have made! And, I learned how to do something on my sewing machine (I have only ever sewed one other thing). So far we have only spent $39 on updating the living room.
    *We put plastic on the windows in our drafty house to help with heating costs for the winter.
    *Our insurance company was offering a $10 gift card when I took my kids for their well-child check up. I took them up on their offer 🙂
    *I cashed in Swagbucks for 2 $5 Amazon cards. I am still trying to figure out how to get as many Swagbucks as some people get. I gt about $20 worth in a year. Any suggestions?

    One more questions if anyone could help: I have the kind of mop with a sponge right now, but it is falling apart. Would any of you recommend a certain kind that works for you, and would work well on hardwood floors, as well as linoleum?

  87. Mandy Barnes

    Thank you Pauline, neither one of us thought of that! We will have to look into something else that won’t potentially kill one of us.

  88. Lori

    I’m late, as usual but here’s my list from the last week and a half.

    Wanted new light shades for the ceiling fan in the master bedroom. The ones on the fan were this marbled/antiqued parchment paper/yellow color and I hated the glow they cast in the room. I priced out new shades at Lowe’s at $6.99/ea and refused to pay that much. I stopped in a Habitat restore a couple of weeks later and found 4 clear shades for $1/ea!! Changed those out and it’s amazing how much more light I get in the room now, despite using the small 40w bulbs.

    The fiance needed new khakis for work. Shopped at the thrifts where we found brand new pants from Jos A Banks that retail for $145 each. Bought two pairs for $3.75. Found two other pairs as well, for a total oop of $14.25.

    He also needed some new dress shoes so when we went into Burke’s outlet and I found an awesome pair of navy and gray suede wingtips for a whopping $1.50, I bought them! They are so awesome.

    Our rental house is cold. We’re waiting for the property management place to install new propane (lines? tank? I’m not sure) so we can have heat. Right now we’re getting by with space heaters, which isn’t very frugal at all, but at least we’re only heating the rooms we’re using. Still, it’s a pain having to go from a relatively warm room to one that is icy cold. You can literally see your breath in most rooms! Anyway, previous tenants complained about how expensive their heating bills were and I found out shortly after we moved in 7 weeks ago that none of the windows have caulking!! The windows are newer replacement windows but there was several where you could literally see the daylight coming through around the frames. I bought a couple tubes of caulking and sealed all the windows. It made a big difference in those rooms, temperature wise, and I am slowly getting layers of curtains hung too.

    I stocked up on yogurts at the Grocery Outlet. They had 4 packs of Greek for 79 cents and another brand that was 3 for $1. Sometimes I catch them when they have it 6 for $1 and really stock up but I haven’t seen yogurt there in months so I bought some even at the higher prices. Bought a bag of red potatoes too, though the price was ridiculously high at $2.99 for a 5 pound bag. Went to another store and found a 50 pound bag for $9.99 so as soon as I figure out where to store them, I will be going back to buy those.

    Continued to use vinegar/water to clean, homemade laundry soap to wash clothes, only running the dishwasher with full loads. Cooked at home most of the time. Stayed home most days. Worked a lot on my Etsy shops. The man started his new job today, thank the good Lord. It’s been a long 2 months with barely any income, except for unemployment, and the stress and anxiety of it all was causing me to not sleep. I feel like I could sleep for a month now, just to make up for the last 8 weeks! I am ready to see the paychecks rolling in so we can build up savings. We are going to need to buy a new-to-us car that gets better gas mileage sometime next year but I refuse to have a car payment until we have substantial savings to live off of. Hopefully the man is on board with this because we were barely scraping by the last 2 months.

  89. What great deals on men’s clothing! I’m happy that your fiance has a new job!

    A couple of things you may want to try to keep your house warmer:

    Use old rolled towels to block drafts in front of doors.

    Put in the foam insulation sheets (I think they are made by Duck brand; they look like thin stryofoam meat trays–which also makes me wonder if you could use some as a pattern to make more. . .) behind your switch plates to block drafts.

  90. Jennifer

    Everyone that posts here amazes me! I wish I could accomplish so much BUT I’ve done well even though we have a very hectic schedule these days between work, DD’s school and activities and my activities.

    We served a turkey dinner last Sunday and I came home with two huge turkey carcasses. I stripped the remaining meat and then put the carcasses (on two successive nights) in my crockpot to make turkey stock. Made turkey salad for sandwiches and got 6 quarts of stock put in the freezer. I also had a nice portion of leftover mashed potatoes and make potato pancakes with those and an egg, some green onion, cheese and a little bit of crumble bacon. The family LOVED them.

    Used the crock pot several days this week for meals. We took leftovers for lunch. Have eaten all of our meals from home. I ordered an expensive part for my stand mixer and a handy friend fixed it for me. It works like new!

    This same friend came across a used bike I could NEVER afford on my own (for free!). He’s fixing it up and I can begin riding with a local bike club which I’ve wanted to do for a while now. So this isn’t really MY frugal accomplishment..it’s his.

    I am inspired by your accomplishments

  91. Adriana

    im late too lori!! prob a few wks late. 😀
    -my local grocery store uses coins (silver, gold) to give out reduced pricing on certain things.
    I had 2 gold coins which got me 2-18 ct eggs for 49cents each.
    -Received 2 dozen eggs from my hubbys co-worker.
    -was a able to bless a friend from church w/ 4 boxes of cereal.
    -saw that a local grocery store was having a flash sale on campbells soup..chicken noodle or tomato for 50 cents. but I used a coupon and received a catalina making all 10 cans free!!
    -I found a 20lb bag of white rice for $4.89. the bag was ripped but it couldn’t have been more than a 1/2 lb missing.
    -last fri was my hubby and mines bday. We not only got wonderful gifts from our daughters and family..I won 2 movie tickets on the radio that very day!! lol I’ve never won anything like that so that was fun. The tickets are for Dumb and Dumber 2.
    On our bday, I also got several freebies…free burger from ruby tues, free bday drink from starbucks and free ice cream from ben and jerrys.
    -last wk for veterans day, my hubby got one of the gold coins for being military and we went starbucks (2 diff ones) to get a free tall coffee for each of us. (spouse was incl). We were able to get him a free meal from applebees which let us pick it up curbside and we shared the meal at home.
    -I saved $1.80 off per gal..got 30 gals yesterday. Last wk, I saved $1.50 off per gal..got the max of 35 gals.
    -We have a few unexpected expenses…wisdom teeth out for my 2 daughters and myself, my youngest daughter will be getting braces and my youngest daughter was accepted to go on a trip to Bermuda at the BIOS station. It is not free but this yr she will be going in a leadership role and will look great on her college application.
    -unexpected scholarship for my oldest of $2500 already credited to her spring semester. ironically the same price as my youngest trip…hmmm. God has a sense of humor, yes?!?!lol
    -I washed baggies, reused foil and continue to use only one burner and shut off early as another commentator suggested.
    -I do run my dishwasher daily but I continue to use the “light” cycle and do not heat dry.
    -I also run my washing machine on the light cycle.
    -I transferred $20 from my Ibotta acct to my checking acct.
    -I was able to get 2 small turkeys. One from target..89 cents a lb..no minimum purchase and I got one from a local grocer for 59 cents w/ a minimum purchase of $25.(not including the turkey) 🙁
    -stocked up on chocolate chips and peanut butter.
    -found 13 cents on the streets.
    -hubby worked 8 hrs overtime and found out he will be able to work a couple days during Christmas break.
    Have a blessed wkend ladies!! 😀

  92. Ashlee

    Sandbags are what most people use in Iowa. They are mostly all round, so they would have less of an impact.

  93. Mary Ellen

    I put bubble-wrap on most of my windows, excluding the front one. You can buy big rolls of the wrap at Lowes or Home Depot fairly cheaply. Cut it to fit your window, spray water on the window and press the wrap in place. After I have it up, I mark it with a Sharpie so I know where it goes. I take it off in the spring and roll it up for the next fall. It leaves no marks on the windows. I’m amazed at the difference it makes. Keeps out the cold, but lets in the light.

  94. Lydia

    This week…
    * I cut my husbands hair at home.
    * We ate left-overs two nights during the week.
    * I repaired a pair of shorts…got out my sewing machine.
    * I bought a turkey for 48/lb. and froze it in my small refrigerator/freezer on the bottom.
    * I finished a book from the library that I downloaded on my kindle.
    * Enjoyed my blooming Christmas cactus, which I have tended to for over 5 years.
    * I secured some flower bulbs that I have been drying for about a month in my basement.
    * I took a sick day from work, I was sick and felt glad that I have the ability to take care of myself.
    * I “hall walked” at a local high school, no fees, even walked to the school. Free exercise and good for you.
    On to next week.

  95. terric

    Janelle, you are hitting on something we’ve actually been talking about! I asked John if they made good metal thermos anymore. Then just before our trip I noticed a couple in front of me purchasing one of the Aladdin ones. I just haven’t gotten back to that idea. Jotting it down on my inspiration page to remind me!

  96. Nicole

    I made a turkey for the first time ever that I had bought and put in the freezer during Thanksgiving sales (October for making stock another day.
    I mended some pajamas and socks.
    I sold some items and a second hand store.
    I have been using leftover water in glasses and bottles to water the house plants and fill the cats dish.
    We have been going meatless more often, I have cut my weekly grocery bill by about 20% in order to save up for Christmas.
    Thank you everyone for sharing, I have found many wonderful ideas to copy by reading the comments as well as the blog!

  97. Ashlee

    I second the sleep sacks. In Iowa they are the only thing allowed in regulated day cares because of the choking hazards with blankets. If you look them up, i am sure you could make them pretty easy as well. There are super cute ones on etsy if you search sleep sack. I also saw some patterns.

  98. Siiri

    Dear Brandy, thanks for inspiration and effort! I have a question about blog reading – when I am reading comments and go to 2nd, 3rd etc page of comments, in the beginning always is the original post, I have to scroll a lot to get to comments. Could it be skipped somehow?

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