Hamish Discovers Grass The Prudent Homemaker

Hamish discovers grass in this beautiful classic baby outfit that I purchased for $4 at a garage sale.


The weather was perfect this week. We enjoyed having the windows open all day long every day. We only had to use the fans for a few hours this past week.

I brought the electric bill down $43 this past week from what the electric company estimated by bill to be this month. Each week, I receive an estimated bill amount, based on past and current usage. I always challenge myself to bring it lower than the estimated amount. The week before I brought it down $10. My bill will now be $53 less than it would have been. I continue to be diligent in turning things off when not in use, using the lights less, even in the early morning before sunrise (For instance, I use the single light over the tub rather than the entire set of bathroom lights while showering, using one bulb instead of 8, and even though our kitchen has no windows, I keep the kitchen lights off as much as possible once the sun is up.) I have 8 days remaining and I am trying to bring the bill down even more, as always, though it will be more of a challenge this week as temperatures won’t have dropped as much, so I’ll have to be more creative and mostly more diligent about my electricity usage in order to achieve my goal of coming in under the estimated amount. Last week’s electricity cost $22 for the week ($3.14 a day). I know I can get it just a little lower (just under $3 a day) when the weather is as good as this if I am diligent.

From the garden, I harvested Armenian cucumbers, rosemary, cherry tomatoes, peppermint, and chives. We cut lots of fresh peppermint for herbal teas, which we had with breakfast or else for snacks with either homemade bread or homemade oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip cookies.

While pulling weeds, I accidentally pulled a branch of a bush that had been growing where it should not have been. It had rooted under the dirt, so I planted it in the garden where I am making a new hedge.

I used free samples of beauty products.

I made yogurt in the crockpot.

I am diligently working to use up as much as possible from our freezers this month. I want to use up the old things before the turkey, ham, and other harvest and holiday food sales of November and December. I cooked a ham this week, some whole chickens (I cooked two at once to save on natural gas as well as to save time on two busy nights; it was too windy to use the solar oven so they cooked together in one pan in the oven along with baked potatoes at the same time), and made some inexpensive things such as homemade Rice-a-Roni and several salads with leftover chicken and homemade salad dressing.

I mended a pair of jeans and the case for an item where the zipper had come unattached from the case.

I read an e-book from the library on my phone.

I collected shower warm-up water and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

I did some free French study, listening to YouTube videos the teach French.

Saturday was the community garage sale in our area, where several master-planned communities have garage sales. There are so many communities having sales on the same morning that it is impossible to visit all of them before lunchtime, when most people close up, even though the houses are all within a 2-3 mile radius. The people who live in these neighborhoods are only allowed to have garage sales two weekends a year on specific dates. The houses are close together; often, I can park in one place and walk to two or three houses having a sale next to one another.

This time, I went to the two neighborhoods that in the past have been the places where I’ve had great success in finding items on my list. The pickings were slim this year, though, with fewer sales and fewer items for sale. I noticed this trend in April as well. One neighborhood of about 75 houses usually has 30-50 sales. This time only 3 or 4 houses had items for sale in that tract.

Frustrated with not even finding many sales worth stopping at, I left those neighborhoods and went to other tracts close by.

I stopped at a sale that completely surprised me. First, I found some plastic links that babies play with, an item that was on my list as most of mine have gone missing. I then walked from the seller’s driveway into the garage and found a plethora of classic baby boy clothing. This is not a style that one even finds for sale in this part of the country, but the seller had moved here from South Carolina, and she was selling smocked and other classic clothing. I have always wanted to buy these for my boys; I have bought a few for my girls online in the past, and I know that even on eBay, these clothing items go for $20-$30 each used, plus shipping! She was selling the outfits for $4 each (most being two-piece items, such as a smocked romper with a shirt underneath). She said if I bought a bunch, she would make me a deal, and she did, giving me an extra $15 off the clothing I purchased after I made a large pile! She also gave me a large bag of disposable nursing pads for free.

I also bought some clear plastic drawer organizers from her to use in the bathrooms ($1) each. I took them home and my eldest daughter was able to use one to organize hair supplies in the bathroom where the girls do their hair, and I used one for makeup and one for hair supplies in my bathroom, so three drawers were organized in my house this week. My daughter said the organization of the bobby pins made doing her hair faster the next morning. I love how a little organization saves time every day! If my mother had told me this as a child I wouldn’t have believed her, as I always had a messy room, so mothers of children with messy rooms, take heart!

I found two men’s ties for $0.50 each. One I will gift to my eldest son and the other to my husband for Christmas.

I bought two silicone baking mats for $0.25 each. I use these often for baking instead of parchment paper, and they’re fantastic to line a half-sheet pan to freeze fruit that you don’t want to stick together into one hard lump (such as berries or sliced peaches). I freeze them first on those and then put them into a freezer bag once the entire pan is frozen, so I can take out as many or as few as I would like. 

I purchased three boxes of new-in-the-box LED Christmas net lights to use outside for $3 a box.

At another sale, I found a small inflatable toddler pool that had only been used once by a grandmother when her grandchildren came to visit ($10). My children have been wanting one of these. At the same sale, I found several pairs of brand-new earrings (marked at $2 a pair) and a little toddler plate with a matching fork and spoon ($1).

What did you do to save money last week? 



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  1. What terrific garage sale finds! And I’m very impressed with your electricity savings. So inspiring.
    We had the first snow of the year – it melted off after a day, but was pretty while it lasted. That morning, just as the snow began to stick, I went out to harvest raspberries and chard. On the way back to the house, I spotted a clump of four large shaggy mane mushrooms. I brought them into the house and sautéed them in butter and a little sherry and stuck them in the freezer to use later.

    We are still getting lettuce and tomatoes from the greenhouse and chard, collards, and raspberries from the garden beds. We disconnected the garden irrigation due to freezing temps at night. I’ll continue to water the greenhouse by hand.

    I made a batch of homemade pancake syrup.

    I mended my husband’s pajama pants, took in a pair of my jeans, and made four Christmas gifts.

    Our neighbors left to spend the winter in Florida and gave us their perishable leftovers, including almost a dozen eggs and a large bag of fresh spinach.

  2. I am so happy for you for finding the classic outfits for little boys. My nephew-in-law banned those English styles for his son which made the older women related to his wife sad. We have to settle for minature modern menswear when shopping for his sons. On the bright side, his edict saved us lots of time and money.
    Mom’s eating and drinking has varied during the week. I had to throw out a lot. But Friday she drank more and on Saturday, I promised we could go to dinner if she drank enough for me to be confident she could make it back up the porch steps. She did and we did. We split my favorite meal at a local restaurant and she ate almost as much as she had the previous two days combined. Yesterday, she did fine too. The bathing aide commented on what a difference adequate foid and water had made. My sister had told us that her youngest son had cried and cried when he heard his grandma was not doing very well at all because he was hoping to go to the parks nearby with her (probably especially the inflatable water park at the state park his nieces went to this year) when they all visit her here next summer. His tears might have given grandma the encouragement she needed to take in more nourishment despite being very old and very tired.
    I took advantage of 20% off and $4.95 shipping at Joann.com to get two Dr. Suess blanket kits ($8 each instead of $29.99 regular price) and six yards of fleece. I will sew and topstitch by hand the blankets instead of tying the edges.

  3. Busy saving money in the kitchen. I made chicken potato soup by first making chicken broth on the stove top from frozen chicken carcasses. I then finished the soup in my crock pot using one large bone in breast and bits of chicken from my chicken broth. Hubby said best soup I have ever made. Wanted donuts so made donut muffins. My one son eats turkey sausage links every day for breakfast and I ran out of the store bought kind. Made turkey sausage from ground turkey and it is delicious. Never going back to Jimmy Dean sausage and homemade is so much cheaper. Homemade sloppy Joes for Sunday lunch. homemade Swedish meatballs with mustard sauce(recipe called for 1/4 cup of heavy cream but I used evaporated milk instead plus small pat of butter) served with whole cranberry sauce from Aldi that I added orange zest and small amount of orange juice then mixed together.
    My son is in a job training program working in several restaurants and needed non-skid restaurant shoes. I remembered I had some in the garage that my daughter used to wear and they fit him perfectly. Going through closets and drawers to get rid of clothes that no longer fit my adult children that live at home. All 3 have Down syndrome and all 3 work! Found dress pants for both boys at consignment shop and went right to place that does my alterations. I don’t have a sewing machine or hem pants. Found a cashmere dress coat for my husband that he can use for work at the same consignment shop and it was 20% off.
    I bought a $1 box of marigold seeds in the Spring and planted them everywhere. They are blooming profusely. Next year I will buy 2 boxes. I didn’t buy any annuals this year saving money there. Between my perennials, plants given to me and the seeds our yard looked great. Happy frugaling everyone.

  4. I have also seen less and less at garage sales and thrift stores this year. I think these things must go in cycles. I remember it being that way in my area after 2008 for awhile. I’m glad you found some treasures. Those clothes sound great.

    Last week was frugal in some areas and not frugal in others. We get paid every two weeks, so I do my grocery shopping every two weeks. My kids like to empty the cupboards as soon as they are full so we swing back and forth feasting one week and famine the next. I’m trying to teach them something, but I’m not sure it’s getting through yet. There’s plenty to eat, but it has to be prepared.

    Spent the weekend reorganizing the first floor, and repeatedly going to the store to pick up 99 cent per pound chicken that was limit 10 pounds per transaction. I really miss Zaycon. It was so much easier. So tonight we will cut up and freeze our 90 pounds of sale chicken breast, and hopefully that will get us through the next few months.

    My daughters car battery died three different times on her way home from school. Once we were able to jump it. Once we replaced the battery, and the last time, we had to call AAA and have it towed home, so obviously a bigger problem like maybe the alternator. I need to save up cash for this repair, so my husband is getting her to class for the next few weeks. She also had an interview for an internship at a local nursing home working with the memory care patients and she will find out Tuesday if she got the position. Her final CNA training is in this same type of work, and so far she really enjoys it. This place is less than a mile from our home, so it would save her a lot of gas and commuting time. Time she could put towards studying when she gets into the nursing program. Fingers crossed.

    Other than that, we made a lot of bread and bakery from scratch,cooked from the pantry and freezer, and tried not to spend money. An ongoing lesson in creative problem solving!

    Also, I wanted to ask about fragrance free products that you might know of or recommend, especially shampoo. We have been using Free and Clear or the Walgreens generic version and it just doesn’t work for our hair. Any suggestions, even recipes for homemade would be welcome.

  5. My favorite post of the year! I’ve been going to garage sales weekly and making a profit of about $20,000 a year on ebay for the past decade. I just love it. it is my hobby and passion! I’ve also outfitted my three sons from sales, and rarely by things new!
    If you remember the address of the house with the smocked clothing, I would recommend sending a thank you note for all the lovely items and letting her know you’d be interested in purchasing more as her son outgrows items. I’ve had success with this strategy. Of course, it isn’t necessary if you feel as if you might not want more from her in the future.

  6. What an amazing price for the silicone mats. $0.25 is just unheard of, wow. They can be very expensive! I’ve had mine for years. They are so handy for baking.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons/rebates when possible. Recent finds include frozen veggies for $0.69/bag, grapes for $0.99/lb, bananas for $0.39/lb, peanut butter for $1.00, mayo for $0.50, eggplant for $0.99/lb, 4 free Excedrin and more. All of my transactions can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-10-13-18/

  7. We do as much fragrance free stuff as possible here, but shampoo is one that eludes me.

    Here is what we use that is fragrance free:

    Mens’ deodorant: Speed Stick unscented
    Women’s deodorant: Secret unscented
    Hairspray: Salon Graphix unscented. There is NO masking fragrance like there is in other “unscented” hairsprays.

    I use Aveeno body lotion.

    Then we are mild on soaps and shampoos, making sure the scent isn’t too strong.

    I make my homemade laundry soap (recipe under “Make” at the top of the site) and I don’t use dryer sheets. I started making homemade soap 14 years ago in order to avoid fragrance, as my husband is really sensitive to it.

  8. Brandy, Hamish is precious and I love his outfit. Good job at the garage sales!

    This Wednesday, my husband Bill will be getting a stem cell treatment. At present, he can’t even walk to the back of our small Walmart store because of the pain in his hip. If the procedure works, the cartilage will regrow and his body will be healed. It will take at least four weeks before we know anything because the cells continue to grow for months. There is no painful recovery time, physical therapy, loss of work, or other health risks. Two shots in his hip and he comes home.

    The negatives are that it is not a guaranteed and insurance pays for nothing. It is VERY expensive ($6,400 for this one treatment). It’s new technology and appears to be amazing. We discussed waiting to see if the price would drop but that probably won’t happen. It’s gaining in popularity, new uses are being discovered, and there is a limited supply because cells aren’t mass produced. Also, the more his hip deteriorates, the more treatments will be required later. I see no reason to make him suffer any longer than necessary.

    As for me, I will share my health woes when something positive happens.

    We received an amazing windfall, it had to be from the Good Lord because there is no other explanation. Out of the blue, we received a call from a logging company wanting to harvest the large trees on the property we purchased years ago for our retirement. We signed the contract this morning and they will begin logging this week. The exact amount is unknown because it will be determined by the number of trees; however, it should be enough to cover our medical expenses. It will lower the value of the land for a few years but it will improve the health of the smaller trees.

    This week we have focused carefully on frugal activities and have been recycling trash for cash. I shared details about how Dustin sold junk for scrap metal. Except for the long line, it was easy. Price is based on weight and metal content but they figure all of that out for you. I recommend anyone interested to google your area to see what recycle companies are available.



  9. What great yard sale treasures! The personal connections always make the shopping more fun.
    I got my outdoor plants in before the few nights of frost we have had. I hope to keep this year’s rosemary bush alive. It is in a deeper pot than in previous years and I will try to find a spot indoors that has more sunlight.
    Love that our city does curbside recycling pick-up, which saves on trash costs. We had to take our household solid waste to a drop-off point and got rid of the broken microwave and the old DirecTV dish.
    Working diligently on combining trips when we have to drive somewhere and making meals sized for leftovers.
    Brandy, can or do you use candles? Or is that not convenient with so many people. I know they are often easy to find at yard sales.
    The latest Darling Dahlias comes out tomorrow: “The Poinsettia Puzzle.” I wonder if the characters discuss how to pronounce the name of the flower. I tend to three syllables.

  10. Those are some great deals you found.

    Our weather here (Seattle area) has been unseasonably warm and sunny, with temps in the mid 60s. Usually October is quite wet (and we do need the rain). The leaves are turning and the trees are just glorious this year. I have been enjoying that so much.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    – Last year, I bought a package of LED bulbs, and put two in our bathroom fixture. I saved the packaging and noted the date I used the bulbs, because the brand has a five year warranty. One bulb burnt out last week, so I emailed the company, and they will send me a replacement.
    – I picked up our vegetable share at the farm (two more weeks left until the season is over). This week’s harvest included turnips and kohlrabi. The greens of both of these are edible, so I used them in cooking last week. I made a big batch of green soup for my work lunches and froze it. The share also included kabocha squash, so I made Thai curry squash soup (a basic pumpkin soup with Thai chili paste added). So delicious on a cool fall evening.
    – I bought several packages of sunflower butter cups, but the filling was dried out. I emailed the company, and they are sending me coupons for free replacement packages. Apparently this happens when the sun butter cups aren’t kept at a proper temperature during transport.
    – I returned an item I didn’t end up using.
    – I went through my closet and donated a bunch of things that no longer fit to the thrift store. I have a couple more drawers to go through.
    – For my work wardrobe, I wanted a lightweight blazer. On my visit to the thrift store, I found one that fit perfectly for $8. Plus I had a 30% off coupon. What a deal!
    – This is something simple I do that brings me a lot of joy. Every few months, I use my phone to take a few pictures of things in nature that represent that season; right now, autumn leaves. Then I select two pictures to use the background on my smartphone (I use one for the lock screen and one for the regular background). So, every time I look at my phone now, I see a beautiful shot of the leaves turning, and it makes me happy.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  11. I accepted a bag of clothing from a neighbor for my grandson. He now has plenty of pants for the school year unless he has a big growth spurt! Thanks, neighbor! I have dehydrated a few tomatoes, cukes, and zucchini that we won’t be able to consume quickly enough. There are two bags of apples left from another neighbor; do I slice and dehydrate or do I can apple pie filling? I need to make a choice and get them done soon. We used the sitting-on-the-counter-a-bit-too-long bananas to make muffins for snacks and breakfasts. Grandson gets to practice a little math while helping me bake and he eats better when he helps prepare the food. He’s also a little less bored when he gets to help me. We save all scraps from meals and canning/preserving and feed them to the farm animals my son tends. I gathered up windfall apples from a neighbor for the pigs and chickens. I think of it as feeding my future dinner. I am currently crocheting around the edge of a car seat blanket for my great nephew. His grandmother chose and paid for the fabric; my gift to him is my time and crafting. I enjoy my crocheting. There’s something about the feel of the yarn and the repetitiveness of stitching that is very soothing. I can justify the time spent watching a show on tv if I have something in my hands, such as my current project or the laundry that needs folding. I am trying to consistently declutter something daily. I worked full time for 32 years (as well as held a part time job during the last 12 of those 32 years) and I am amazed at how I let things go during that busy season. I challenge myself to fill my garbage can to the brim each week with the things that cannot be recycled or reused. I’ve got the feeling it will be a long-term project, but that’s ok.

  12. My daughter and her two children have moved out so all of my bills have reduced considerably.
    My busy season is at an end. I am finishing the last costume I intend to make this morning. It has been a hectic season, but I have made good money.
    Because I am sewing like a crazy woman from July until now I don’t go very much which saves me more money.
    I bought a dozen chicken for my freezer. They were on sale.
    I am baking one today. It is in the 30s here today (cold for Texas) so the heat is on low in 2 rooms of my house and I’m baking to warm the kitchen.
    I will get 6 meals out of that chicken and my ex will get half of the chicken for himself and his dog. *laughing*
    I am buying Christmas gifts as I find things on sale.
    I am reading free books. I am an avid reader…in fact I read on the computer as I sew. This month I have read at least a dozen books. I think reading is some of the least expensive entertainment we can have.
    I was so excited about your garage sale finds. It is fun to vicariously live through your triumphs.
    Thank you again for all you do and all you share with us.

  13. I love yard sales because our thrift stores’ prices are outrageous! I recently bought a food saver and plan to reuse the bags if possible. Freezer bags tend to leak at the corners after thawing food. My husband and I laid a little section of zeon zoysia sod ourselves because they charge as much as the sod cost to lay it. We know it spreads fast. It should be spread out in a few years. It doesn’t have to be cut as often so I think it will pay for itself. I have been watching movies on Amazon Prime which costs about $10 a month. It is convenient. I just learned to make dishwashing powder and I will let you know how it does. My husband wastes money, but I still try to budget mine. If I didn’t I would not have any to give to humanitarian aid. When I go to thrift stores or other stores and see things I would like to buy at a great price, I just tell myself that those few dollars could really benefit people who don’t have the basic necessities. I don’t even look at clothes or shoes anymore because I’m not working now and don’t need any. It is getting easier and I am getting choosier about what I buy. I have to really love it or need it.

  14. Here’s a few ways I saved this week:

    Went to a neighborhood yard sale last weekend. A lady put out some items that were free; one of them was a large hiking backpack in perfect condition. Took it home for my son who was delighted to get it for camping. Also, found an immersion blender for $2, a Reebok jacket for $3, throw pillows that were 4 for $1 (what a deal), a flat iron for $1, and a sweater for $2.

    We are getting ready to go to Branson this weekend. I had already booked a room, but decided to see if there was another hotel that would be a little less expensive. After reading reviews I settled on a different hotel that serves ice cream and cobbler in the evening. It was $40.00 less expensive for the two nights we are staying.

    Found out that the Price Chopper in Branson serves meals with two sides for $4.99 to $6.99 in their deli. Quite a savings over eating at a restaurant.

    Speaking of Branson, if anyone ever needs show tickets, there is a purple building on the main drag that sells tickets two for one. It does not involve timeshares at all. It has saved us tons of money during the 20+ years we have been going to Branson. Here is their website: http://branson2for1tickets.net/ They have tickets for almost all the shows. You have to wait til you get to Branson to purchase the tickets, but we have never had any problems getting any tickets. They do not sell tickets for Silver Dollar City or Dixie Stampede.

  15. It sounds like you got some excellent treasures at the yard sales. The classic boys clothes must have been meant to find you, someone who would really appreciate them. Great job on the electricity usage. I found something interesting when I looked at my usage online, which is the two days that we were out of power (18.5 hrs total), our usage shows as more than when we were at the beach a few weeks ago. On the power outage days, I can’t bring up the hourly usage due to “no data”, as I can the other days, just the total, but that sure looks a bit fishy. I’ll look again today, and probably end up calling them. I’m trying to keep pulling a few things from the freezer every week, to make room, and still getting a few things from the garden. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/10/another-storm-frugal-accomplishments.html

  16. I’ve been focusing this week on using what I have, and avoiding the temptation to get more supplies. I made a casserole using leftover Thanksgiving turkey, and broccoflower instead of broccoli, and Campbell’s soup with shitake and crimini mushrooms and some grated cheddar cheese, grated by yours truly. I have no idea how long this Campbell’s soup will stay around the stores, but I’m going to stock up on it. It’s excellent.

    When the vet’s office was closed at the end of the month to do inventory, I had run out of cat food. I bought a similar food at the grocery store. I’ve sealed the rest of the bag with duct tape and tucked it in the fridge freezer for when I need it. The cats liked it, but it left them very hungry, so I’ll just use it when we need it.

    I went to the store to buy salmon on sale, but they only had luncheon meat from the same ad item. No, thank you.

    Another couple of days of snow. I have been looking for ways to make the winter more interesting, since it has started a month early. I’ve signed up for Netflix again, after a long break. They’ve given me a month for free, as if I were a new customer, though they know I am returning.

    Found a beautiful but sad movie for free on CBC TV online, called Water, about Indian widows in the 1930s, who live together in isolation after their husbands die, including seven-year-old child-brides.

    The sound card stopped working on my two-month old computer after a Windows update. I was worried about how I would get it repaired or replaced, since I need it for transcription work and for entertainment. I spent an evening troubleshooting, using first the instructions for Windows, and then the instructions for the sound card itself and then finally the instructions from the computer manufacturer. The very last suggestion before “send for service” cleared up the problem, which was replaced the driver for the sound card.

  17. I do hope it turns out as well for you as it did for me! We have continued to grab a bar out of the freezer when needed, as we had a lot of lunches in the car this past weekend while traveling.

  18. Cindi (and everyone else), please tell us about the gifts that you make! Also, Brandy, great scores at the yard sales…and what a cute little boy!

    A friend was cleaning up her garden after our first frost and gave me a bunch of cherry-type tomatoes. I also picked up windfall Italian prune/plums. I have been feeding my compost pile (3 plastic garbage cans) with kitchen scraps and dryer lint.

    We sold our freezer with the other house. It was 23 years old, had gotten to be too big for us and wasn’t worth storing and moving. My husband and I decided last week that we needed a freezer again. Lowe’s and Home Depot advertised the same 13.8 cf Frigidaire upright for $478 and $479. I went online and bought a Kenmore of the same size for $395 after $30 promo code. I will also receive $80 worth of Shop Your Way reward points, which I plan to use for Christmas shopping. And I’d better do it quick—before Sears goes bankrupt.

    I used coupons on my phone for 40% and 60% off two items at Jo-Ann’s, saving $5.60. Both are for my second Operation Christmas Child shoebox (girl 10-14). If I’d known I was going to do two, I would have bought more school supplies when they were cheap!

    I got a screwdriver with extra bits in the handle free with purchase at Harbor Freight for my boy (10-14) OCC box. I have a coupon for a free measuring tape, but I didn’t get it because it wasn’t metric.

    Good news on my newish freebie plants—I haven’t killed any of them yet! The philodendron cutting has put out a new leaf, the aloe has 3 new offsets and the spider plant is throwing a baby! Also, I brought my Christmas cactus indoors and put it in a dark room…and 10 days later, it is now covered in buds! (Hoping to keep it alive until Christmas, LOL).

    I mended a shirt of my husband’s…which was a hand-me-down from our 40-y-o son! Frugal fail–the dog threw up on my bedspread, and it went all the way through to the mattress pad. I got it out of my sheets on the second try, but there is a big stain on my summer bedspread that I don’t seem to be able to remove…and it’s not that I haven’t tried (four times). Mending and stain removal are part of the “usual frugal stuff” at our house.

  19. Jeannie, I’ll be interested to hear how the treatment goes. We went to a presentation on stem cell treatments and were quite impressed. A good friend had treatment and her knees and hips are doing great! It is expensive so we’d have to budget and try to figure out how to do it. I just want to delay a hip replacement as long as possible as I want it to last a long time! Mary

  20. I agree — it works great, and they seem to do even better as plants, because they’ve adapted to your particular climate and area. Pull the spent flowers off after they’ve dried a little, store in a plastic bag. Next year, throw them out on the area you want marigolds in.
    I have two large planters (old metal tubs) that have reseeded themselves this way for at least 4 years…and every year, the flowers get nicer.

    Also — for the dog-stained bedspread…if you can’t get it clean, try cutting the bedspread in squares, and using it as batting for potholders. My mom does this a lot with used mattress pads.

  21. Brandy, I am so pleased that you found lovely clothing for Hamish. Hand smocked items are so nice.
    My grandmother was a professional seamstress and used to hand smock all my dresses and nightgowns when I was a little girl.
    I have deliberately been avoiding my favorite thrift store for several months because I just don’t need anything. In fact, I have been de-cluttering and getting rid of things. However, my daughter who lives out of the country has asked me to check for some specific items for my grandson as I will be visiting soon. I did not find those items but I did find three Ralph Lauren sheets that I will use for the fabric to make pajamas for my local grandchildren for Christmas. I frequently find fabric for projects this way.
    I am especially pleased with myself because I have finally obtained a senior pass for our city bus system. I am almost 70 and find that driving 6 lane multi level freeways in a large city is becoming more difficult. Our transit system is excellent, I have tried using it several times, an all day pass is only $1.35 and on weekends I can ride for free. This will really help for trips that are outside of my local comfort zone.
    My sister is visiting this week and I have managed to plan meals that require only a few produce items that I need to purchase. I also have a coupon for one of my favorite restaurants to save money on a fun meal out for the two of us.
    The weather has cooled down quite a bit (it’s quite cold today!) so the air conditioning hasn’t been on much and my house is mostly brick so I haven’t need the heat on either…a win/win!
    I hope everyone has a great week.

  22. Linda, good afternoon! I live near and work in Branson….for Silver Dollar City. My husband was GM at Dixie Stampede for 20 years until he retired about 1.5 years ago. I hope you enjoy your visit!

  23. I always love hearing about your garage sale finds, Brandy! I love the thrill of finding a reallllly good deal on something that one needs.

    I had a bit more energy this week than last, and got a few frugal accomplishments done
    – I made a batch of yoghurt and a batch of ice cream sandwiches, and put together a week’s worth of smoothie ingredients in little freezer bags (I just add yoghurt and milk to them and blend them up for easy meals).
    – I have some apples leftover that I hope to turn into my (award-winning!) Apple Crumble (http://approachingfood.com/harvest-apple-crumble/). I see how much energy and time I have before baby arrives.
    – My mum came over and helped me wash all the baby’s linens and clothes, etc. in my homemade laundry detergent. Definitely cheaper than using store-bought detergent, and fewer chemicals for the baby to react to.
    – My mother gave me a few dental samples (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.) and I will pass them on to my MIL.
    – My husband redeemed $10 worth of loyalty points to get some groceries.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gc to Indigo
    – My workplace bought pizza for lunch for everyone one day, so I saved my lunch for the next day.
    – A few friends got together for a baby shower/get-together for me this week at a local Starbucks (I’m close to delivery and not up to hosting, nor up to trekking across the city to a friend’s place). I used a gift card from Swagbucks to get myself a drink (and two free waters) and used the remaining change to buy the friend who gave me a ride, a drink. He ended up only having to spend 26 cents OOP which pleased him.
    – One of my friends passed on to me 7 AppleCheeks cloth diapers, along with a cloth diaper bag, as her youngest is almost out of diapers.
    – Picked parsley, rosemary, and thyme from my balcony garden.
    – Made a list of easy meals that I can make from the freezer or pantry for after baby is born (which will likely be this week).
    – We got two sets of free baby socks and mitts along with some nursing support samples from babyboxco.com.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as usual!

  24. Love the outfit for the baby! Gosh…I am so tried of not having a frugal week…again over budget…I have medical issues and had to have a surgery… which was $220…many other Dr visits at $40 per visit.. my daughter went to 2 parties so gifts…also my son had a boy scout camp out…so extra $$ all around. Hopefully this week will be better.

  25. Love the outfit on the baby! That style of baby clothing is very common in my area of the deep South. I had to attend a visitation after my cousin’s child was killed in a tragic accident. It was so sad. I wore clothes I already had. In other news on the frugal front, the air and the heat are off, and I hope it stays that way for about a month. It is a high of the mid-80’s today, but hopefully, will be in the lower 80’s and even 70’s the rest of the week. I love this time of year. I cooked dried beans, and made rice. I also cooked from my canned vegetables, along with a salad, potatoes, and carrots. I made bread pudding from leftovers. I ate sardines from a tin. I am trying to eat down my dried beans supply. I am totally out of meat, except for the canned tuna, canned chicken and canned sardines. I hope I only have to buy eggs and maybe a few other things until the end of the month. I want to stock up on holiday food starting November 1st.

  26. We live about 3 hours from Branson, just west of Sedalia. Love Branson!! Actually, thinking about going to Silver Dollar City and working part of the year once my husband gets retired in a year and half. We are going to Silver Dollar City on Saturday. We have our yearly pass. Love the craft show.

  27. Being frugal allows you to pay those medical bills, purchase gifts and pay for camp. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We had to buy 2 new tires this past week and we had money to pay for them because we are frugal.

  28. I love that baby outfit. Those are the kind I always wanted for my kids when they were tiny.

    We had a near miss with the hurricane — we lost power and consequently our stove burned out, so not very frugal. However, considering how badly the people just northwest of us have it, we are very lucky indeed. Michael had been forecast to make landfall much closer to us than it did. Luckily, I installed a two-burner drop-in unit in the kitchen counter when we built the house, next to the stove, for use when I am canning or cooking a big holiday meal, as four burners often aren’t enough at those times. I can use the two-burner and my microwave, so we aren’t desperate for cooking.

    I redeemed Swagbucks for three Christmas gifts from Amazon.

    I got an organic chicken on sale and made chicken and dumplings for a family member’s birthday dinner. I didn’t use all of the chicken meat, so I made chicken salad and tonight will make chicken noodle soup with it. I use my grandmother’s easy recipe for homemade dumplings — flour, salt and hot broth, and my family loves them.

    I made bone broth from two bags of mixed bones and chicken necks that were frozen. I find mixing the bones — pork, beef, and chicken — gives a nice meaty flavor without any of the meats giving such a pronounced flavor that it tastes “wrong” when using it with dishes that call for a specific type of broth.

    Gas prices are going up, but we have gas in cans left over from the hurricane, which I can use for a little while.

    I renewed a subscription to a Christian magazine for teen girls that my granddaughter loves, and got it for less than half-price in a special offer. This will be part of her birthday present later this year.

    I’m in awe of what people are finding in yard sales and hope to go “shopping” at some soon. We have them every weekend here, so one has to go simply all the time to find things, and I just don’t have the time for that. They also tend to be small, since many families have several per year, instead of saving up for a big one. Now and then, though, I find something great, so I try every so often.

  29. Your son is adorable!

    I have a soft spot for smocked clothing as well. I remember years ago, when money was very tight and living on base, I went to a garage sale. The woman who was holding it had a bedroom in her house that was filled to the top with boxes of children’s clothing. I was stunned. A bedroom just to hold the outgrown clothing for two children? And it was all for sale?

    The lady said, Yes, everything is $2.00 each. I started going through the boxes and I found smocked dresses here and there. At that price, I could afford to outfit my 18 month old daughter for a long time- I ended up buying 14 smocked dresses that day, up to size 6.
    It was a large amount of money for us at the time, but the clothing was in perfect condition and it took her through first grade.

    I am so glad you found such amazing deals. I think it is even harder to find smocked boy’s clothing. It’s a classic look and it is hard to find without spending a fortune.

  30. Hello American friends
    I am watching a programme on the BBC right now called Autumnwatch New England and it’s so beautiful! The colours of the trees, the wildlife,lakes etc.Springwatch and Autumnwatch are regulars for us and they are based in a different part of the UK each time, somewhere with abundant wildlife and lovely landscape. This is the first time they’ve filmed it in the US and it’s superb. Just showing a covered bridge at the moment.
    Happy autumn / fall to everyone and thanks to Brandy for such a great blog community.

  31. Maxine, I made a pair of pajama pants for my husband, knit two scarves for my choir director and our choir accompanist — using yarn from my stash. I made this pin cushion for my MIL, who collects all things owl. https://www.craftsy.com/sewing/patterns/little-owl-pin-cushion-template-and-tutorial-/291826 .
    I decorated two flour sack towels for my MIL. I learned this week that you can write on flour sack towels with Sharpie markers! I laid out a couple of funny sayings on my computer (I used Canva, a free program), printed them out, then laid a towel over the design and traced it with an extra fine point Sharpie, then filled it with a fine point Sharpie. Then I starched and ironed the towels. They look like they were screen-printed. Best of all, the whole process only took about an hour for two towels. I purchased the towels in a 4-pack at Target with a gift card ages ago.

  32. Jeannie, my husband had stem cell treatment on both knees 5 years ago. Though his knees still occasionally bother him and he will probably eventually have to have knee replacement, he says the treatment helped a great deal. At the time he had it, he had had to give up skiing and hiking. Within a few months, he was doing both again. Like you, we had to pay for the treatment out of pocket, but were very pleased with the results and there was very little down time for recovery. I hope insurance will start to pay for these treatments soon.

  33. Just saw this idea recently: put a magnetic strip on one side of your drawer for bobby pins. Might be useful for you!

  34. We haven’t gone to the state fair in years but certainly enjoyed a visit to Sedalia a couple of years ago, including the Bothwell Mansion and all the early American cattle drive and train history. Interesting area.

    You are probably already aware it may be busy on Saturday at SDC….sorry about the traffic this time of year! I work in an office off park, M-F…otherwise, funny to think we could run into each other. I think you have a fun plan to consider once your husband gets retired. Working conditions aren’t always ideal (weather, if outside) but there is a sense of family there that is so worth it. I envision the place Rhonda A works as similar in some ways.

  35. I can relate to your comment about organization! I too had a terribly messy room as a child, but as an adult, I NEED the space around me to be organized. I keep everything in very specific places and almost never lose things because of that. Never would’ve thought that I’d be like that when I was younger either! 🙂

    I’m still using up garden tomatoes. I don’t know if the ones I have are going to ripen much further, so I may be researching recipes for fried green tomatoes soon! Last week, I used a bunch in a batch of guacamole- I’ve been loving the sales on avocados by us recently! I roasted five on-sale butternut squash and put them in the freezer; we’ll enjoy them as soup throughout the winter. I used up some bananas in chocolate banana brownies, and my daughter enjoyed play time at a local library. I walked for exercise, which is something I always enjoy, and I only spent $39 on groceries. Kind of a quiet week, but that’s okay. 🙂

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  36. Love love love yard sales! I really hit the jackpot back in the summer–a lady I didn’t know gave me 4 large bags of clothes in the parking lot of the grocery store because her husband said she “had to donate them.” Most of them fit my 12-year old daughter and she liked the styles. I didn’t have to shop for school clothes at all! And some of them that didn’t fit or she didn’t like, I have sold online too. Sometimes lately I feel like the money just keeps going out and out, so a few wins like that are nice.

  37. No, I haven’t tried hydrogen peroxide with Oxi, and I have both. (Oxy in the wash water is one of the many things I have done, but I haven’t used hydrogen peroxide). How do I do it? (I can think of a couple of different ways). Each time I have washed it, a little more has come out, and then I have dried it in the sun for some extra bleaching. I think I might be able to stand using this with just a pale stain. Or not, LOL. If not, I’ll donate the spread to the animal shelter for dog bedding. Funny thing, this is the first time in my life I have had more than one spread at a time.

  38. I had a great week saving money. Yay. I am so inspired by you and your blog. I think of you often when I turn off lights or turn down the thermostat. It’s chilly here so we do have the heat on but it mostly runs early in the morning when it’s cooler.

    I baked homemade bread, pumpkin bread, chocolate chocolate chip muffins, cheesy garlic biscuits, and gingersnaps cookies. I know there are other things but I’ve forgotten.

    I made all meals but one at home. We ate mostly simple meals and like you, we are trying to clean out our freezers and pantry to make room for sales food in the next two months. My girls like eating at home and often tell me how much better the food tastes

    We’ve been staying home a lot more to save on gas or combine trips to save as well.

    We’ve been sending my missionary and my college students regular packages but the shipping costs are more than we want to spend. I figured out that my college student has a Walmart that does free grocery pickup. So I places an order that he picked up. His stores prices are cheaper than mine and I was able to get him more food than I can send including perishables that I cant send. It’s a win for both of us.

    The weather turned chilly so we turned on the heat. We set our thermostat to 74 in the day and 72 at night. This will save on gas.

    I’m always looking for ways to save and am happy with what I’ve been doing. Thanks for your blog

  39. Bill was not looking forward to a hip replacement either. We calculated after we paid our insurance deductible, office copays, pain medicines plus time off of work, it would have been expensive also. I was amazed at how stem cells are being used to heal so many noncurable ailments. It’s truly amazing. After the doctor explained all that went into preparing the cells for transplanting, it’s no wonder it is so expensive.

    At the presentation we attended, people were asking about all types of diseases. Some were being cured at almost 100% and others not. It seems (at least in our area) certain clinics are focusing on different illnesses. My doctor was offering suggestions to the crowd as to whom to contact.

    I will keep everyone informed as to what I learn.


  40. Hamish is so cute, and I love the outfit.
    I made applesauce in the InstaPot with gleaned apples that had turned very soft. It was a bit sweet for my taste, so I added some lemon juice. It was delicious. I also made sour cream cookies from a recipe in the back of a Darling Dahlias book. We often cannot finish a tub of sour cream before it goes bad. I took some of the cookies to potluck at church, sent some back to college with my daughter, froze some, and kept a few out for my husband.
    I used cotton from the top of a bottle of vitamins in place of about 5 cotton balls.
    I have been using our small solar lantern when I go for an evening walk. It saves using the flashlight, which eats batteries.
    I mended a large tear in my husband’s ‘grubby’ jeans. He uses those for dirty work in the yard and they still have life left in them. I used denim from old jeans for the patches. I keep a good supply of denim on hand by buying jeans when they’re on sale for $0.25 at the thrift store.
    I am painting a set of end tables, also purchased at thrift store for $0.25. I will resell them at our upcoming yard sale.

  41. Nothing much was frugal about last week for us either, as July and October are “big bill” months. I pay Homeowner’s Insurance and Car Insurance in those months, and I pay in one payment for the year, avoiding extra charges tacked on for “installment” payments–even if quarterly. Our weather cooled off and we stayed at home most of the time, working on getting the house and yard winter-ready. Screens are off and storm windows on, A/C units on the first floor have their winter wooden covers on (made by husband when ACs were new and used ever since.) He did a couple long walks on the canal towpath because it was cool enough to do so. I did some “Christmas pre-shopping”–I stay out of the stores so much that I have to look around to see what is available and in style, although the latter is not of much importance to me. I need to do some online looking too but haven’t had much time. My husband, now that he is not allowed to drive anymore, is enjoying doing more on the weekends–psychological freedom, I guess. (Also his hobby of working on cars won’t pay off in his driving enjoyment any more.) So both weekend days were full of activities–granddaughter came to show us her new car and drove us to an art show nearby. I made her lunch and we took photos. Yesterday we took 150 mile ride to a state park which is very scenic, as is the drive there and back. We thought we would stop to eat somewhere but
    nothing appealed to us except roast beef leftovers we knew we had at home. Dinner was just in need of reheating and we were happy with it. I am trying to get to the fall closet swap but not getting far yet. Only one dr appt this week, on Friday, and not a long drive for us. Hoping since the forecast says cool and rainy that we will be inspired to stay indoors and get busy. Husband did do some weeding and covered the BBQ for winter. (Too dark to use it once the clocks go back.)
    We lost our closest TWO department stores this year and if Sears closes as well, it means going in a whole new direction for shopping–and losing our “fav” mall entirely.

  42. What a beautiful photo – and such a good deal on the charming baby clothes!
    I managed a couple of No Spend days last week so that helped. I also kept my food shopping to a minimum and continued to use up freezer and pantry items. I also baked, a sweet soda bread and a poppy seed cake, again using up items I had on hand so I took treats to both my Saturday language class and to Church for Fellowship hour. Earlier in the week I used food on hand to make up dishes to take to the Tuesday night potluck supper for my English class. Grocery shopping will also be kept to a minimum this week.
    Finished the locker room purge and did a major cleanup in my apt. so I am feeling really good about the amount of work that I’ve got through this past week – things are looking a lot tidier.
    I have a couple of leads for a couple of different part-time jobs so resumes will be going in shortly.
    Continued to wash full loads of laundry, keep lights off if not in the room, make use of the library and reuse ziplock bags – all the usual. Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.

  43. This is for two weeks, as I have been swamped both at work and wrapping up the garden.

    I was able to get flour for $1.25 for a 5 pound bag. I usually like to get unbleached flour, but was desperate, so….

    I got a pork roast for 99¢ a pound. Put it in the crockpot that night with a can of root beer, and the next day had pulled pork. Have used it for many things. Also got 10 pound bag of potatoes for 99¢ each. This time of year that sale seems to come along every 3-4 weeks. Got 20 pounds.

    DH picked the last of the tomatoes before we got a killing frost. Made two huge batches of tomato – basil soup. I don’t care for it, but he loves it. (Not a fan of tomato soup). Also made BLT pasta with tomatoes, basil, chard, onions, and garlic from the garden. YUM!!!! Picked the last of the corn before the frost. Gave some to neighbors. I cut the corn off the cob after blanching it, then put one cup in a small bag then load those small bags into freezer bags. We have 120 cups of corn in our freezer. This was a great year for corn. We also have over 40 containers of salsa in the freezer. So actually, just a great year for the garden.

    We are still picking lettuce, chard and parsley from the garden. Everything else, the frost killed. We need to finish shelling the pinto beans and putting the onions up in pantyhose. I put an onion down the leg of an old pair of pantyhose and tie knot, then continue doing that until both legs are full. Then I store these in the cold room in the basement. They keep till spring.

    We have planted half of the garlic. Still need to get the other half in.

    Made homemade chicken enchiladas along with Spanish rice. Made a baked ziti with the last of the zucchini, some carrots and onions from the garden, as well as a few mushrooms.

    Made 16 homemade sausage and cheese biscuits to have for breakfast. Made more zucchini cheese muffins, and put in the freezer to have with soup this fall and winter. I think I have 4 dozen in the freezer, along with 6 loaves of zucchini bread.

    Found 97% lean ground beef in 3 pound chubs on sale for $4.99. That ends up being just $1.67 a pound. Got 5 packages and put them in the freezer.

    I know there was more, but those are the highlights.

    Oh, for those curious about geographic regions, I am in Eastern Washington, about 3 miles from the border with Idaho and around 80 miles south of the Canadian border.

  44. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Brandy you did so well on all the items you purchased from the garage sales 🙂 . That outfit that Hamish has got on is divine and I agree I just haven’t seen babies clothing with smocking for ages and yes they cost a fortune here too and usually only available in specialised high end stores. Incidentally Hamish looks totally perplexed at what the heck the grass is, so lovely to see the facial expressions on curious young babies when they discover something new.

    A bit of good news on the home front here is that we saw a 3 large bedrooms 2 bathroom property on 1.21 acres to buy we had been keeping our eye on on the internet for about 4 – 6 months that was reduced by over $50 000 putting it into our price range 🙂 . We put in an offer on it and our offer for less than the advertised price was accepted, we have signed a contract and have conditional finance approval from the bank. We will find out whether we have unconditional bank finance at the end of next week. Keep us in your prayers everyone.

    We knew if we waited long enough we would find a property in the right price range for us as the housing prices are coming down fast at the moment here in Australia. Oh boy though did we see some woeful houses for sale (and they wanted top dollar for them), that the owners simply did no maintenance on and were literally falling apart through neglect.

    Not a lot done this week with racing backwards and forwards to solicitors, the bank, getting quotes on car, house and contents insurance.

    We did manage a few things though being-
    – Banked more money into our home deposit savings account.
    – I listed more items on eBay using a free listing promotion.
    – DH managed to get 2 pairs of dress pants from BigW for $93.90 less than the usual shop he buys them from and they are about the same quality :). One pair was on special that I found for $10 🙂 . I used the balance of what wasn’t spent to pay our phone and internet bill with.
    – We washed all washing in cold water, hung it on the clothes line to dry and used saved grey water to water the household lawns with.
    – Used saved shower warm up water to water the fruit trees and new seeds planted in the gardens.
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – We picked a heap of thyme, French and English lavender from the gardens and are now drying it to sell and some for the home.

    I hope everyone has had an equally wonderful week :).


  45. Hello Brandy,
    Hope you are feeling better. Good job on the garage sale finds- I love those classic baby clothes. I especially love the pic of Hamish..so very cute as are all your children.

    We embarked on a mini bathroom makeover. Our main bathroom had not been touched other than to paint in the twenty years we have had our home. We were concerned about possible water damage to floor and vanity. Thankfully the subfloor was in great shape. The vanity crumbled in our hands so it was past time to replace this. We ended up putting in new flooring, new vanity and counter top and new light fixture and new mirror. We were able to do all this for just under $500. We had to remove 2 layers of vinyl flooring which we did ourselves and was by far the hardest part of this renovation. It came off in small little chunks. I was able to find a really nice quality light fixture at the re-store for $25 and we already had the flooring from another project. We are glad we did this project now because if we waited a couple more years we don’t think we could physically remove that flooring ourselves. This project was done in anticipation of my husband’s retirement in a couple years. We are trying to get everything in good shape including our bank account before retirement. We are very pleased with the results and happy to have this project completed.

    My husband met a gentleman that owns some land that needed some trees removed and offered all the firewood from the trees to my husband for free if he would cut the trees and remove the firewood from the property. My husband started on the project this weekend and much to his surprise, the gentleman showed up with his boy scout troop and they helped load the wheelbarrow with wood for my husband. This was truly a blessing. This will provide us with free winter heat for next year.

    Thanks to everyone for taking time to comment … this blog is one of the favorite parts of my week- thank you Brandy.

  46. Great yard sale finds! Since I’m in a decluttering mode, I’ve been staying away from garage sales or even stores for that matter! Lol!
    This week, I bought 20 more pounds of chopped onions for $4 and dehydrated them as well as 5 pounds of chopped celery for $1 and dehydrated those too! I vacuum sealed those in half gallon mason jars and will be grateful for them during the months when celery and onions are out of season!

    My little side business of Scrappy Bags and flannel Softies (reusable Kleenex substitute) has done really well this week again and more of my excess fabric stash is being used so my decluttering is actually bringing in a little money too!

    We went for a long weekend to my sister’s house about 350 miles north of us and packed our snacks and meals for on the road, eliminating the need to buy fast food or mini-mart food which is always more expensive and not that healthy! Had a wonderful visit with my sister and also my brother whose memory is fading these days! This made any expense for gas, etc, worth it!

    Hope everyone else is having a frugal week!!

    Pat in Ohio- HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

  47. This is what I love to hear! I started making Christmas presents last year (Brandy’s influence) and I had a great time. I have no particular abilities except for basic sewing and cooking skills. (I can knit dish cloths if you don’t look at them too closely). I just love hearing about things that most anyone can do. Everyone liked what I made them last year…of course, I pinned a large Amazon gift card to each one…….! I hope everyone that makes gifts this year will let us know what they make.

  48. This has been a busy week that I kept track of on my blog, good thing because Hubby asked me three times this week when we did something.
    I am still freezing and canning tomatoes I was given…and eating them daily. We are expecting our first FREEZE in the morning. Don’t have the gardens were we would like but that’s okay.
    Yard sales were a not much this fall.I am glad you found items Brandy.
    I mended a pair of sweat pants and Hubby darned a pair of socks.
    I bought a pair of men’s work jeans today for me to use when working outside instead of my good jeans, cost was $8.99 . I bought new dress shoes(actually ankle boots) , I couldn’t find anything in the women’s dept (I wear a 5/6 in women) but found a size 4 (I wear a 3-4 in children) that was marked down from $65 to $20. We stopped and saw my Daddy in the nursing home (was a good day as he knew who I was) and then Hubby’s parents along with running errands of for ourselves and the Amish neighbor.
    Rest is here. https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/10/a-busy-week.html

  49. We have been enjoying some part-time house-sitting.

    Our frugal accomplishments include the following:
    * It was fun to do an event via Facebook live instead of driving somewhere.
    * We turned off lights and the computer when they were not in use.
    * We kept our grocery shopping trips to a minimum and still had plenty to eat!
    * I made all my husband’s lunches and breakfasts.
    * I’m learning to schedule my appointments better so that they are not all over the place.
    * I stayed home instead of attending an event that would cost money for unhealthy food.
    * I attended a local vendor event on Saturday and made some excellent connections.
    * I happily combined trips in order to save stress, time, money, and gas.

  50. No — it’s permanent ink. After it dries it is set. (I think ironing helps set it, too). I can’t promise they won’t fade a little with bleaching, but screen-printing does that, too. And I can’t take credit for this as an original idea — I saw it on Pinterest.

  51. Once again I want to thank everyone who left kind words for me last week. Sugar cookie is currently stable although we will need to investigate a new tumer. Sometimes life is just simply complicated even when it is none of my own doing. The hurricane caused a great deal of damage to my yard. I am so grateful it didn’t destroy my car or home.I also realized that I must lower my homeowners insurance deductible to something I can actually pay if I needed to file a claim. I have three immediate family members other than my daughter with terminal iillnesses. So hospitals, hospice and doctors weigh heavy on my mind. One may be looking at going to jail for being a hoarder. Only in my life could such stresses land on my shoulders. You hear about tragedies but this is just to much. I recently slept for three days from sheer exhaustion. College girl came home and helped. I ended up with a new latest edition kindle fire after a supervisor ended my month long series of csr nonsense. My laptop is being replaced under it’s warranty. Keeping up with my receipts and warranties is the only thing that got mine replaced. If I hadn’t kept them where I could find them, those items would not have been replaced as those type luxuries are no longer in my budget. I am all for being organized. We were able to get beef roasts for 2.50 a lb at Sam’s Club. We rarely buy them as ours normally run about 4.50 lb. I can say that our chest freezer is packed full of bargains . We are set for a long cold winter. Today while listening to NPR radio in the car, sugar cookie asked me why people were complaining they didn’t have any canned food to eat after the hurricane hit. She said that anyone could eat a cold can of something if they were hungry. I was amazed that she really understands the value of our stockpile. Simple lessons that we practice each week are garnered one can at a time. I am planning my trip to see Army boy. His platoon is graduating. He is hurt. I have no details and no contact. I am hoping to see him as he should be with them even if he is not graduating. The worry is great. I have the trip covered with swagbucks and am so grateful that I am not being forced to make financial decisions that I really can’t afford. My life was brightened with a doe and two fawn, a turkey and her 5 babies, a humming bird and lots of crazy looking mushrooms. I enjoy the beauty in the simple things. Besides I am a city girl, I never new wild turkeys walked around with little gobblers.

  52. You may want to try a mixture of Dawn dishwashing detergent, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda, there is no real science to it I just put some of each on and scrub with the toothbrush. So far in has saved several of my shirts that had underarm stains.

  53. Margaret, I haven’t commented for about a year as things have been crazy since I returned to work for various reasons. But I have tried to stop by and read posts and comments when I can. I was so thrilled for you to hear that you are expecting. I hope you have a smooth delivery. Take as much time as you can to rest and enjoy the snuggled with your wee one. They are not very little for long!

  54. Sharpies will dissolve with rubbing alcohol. Not sure if regular alcohol (vodka, wine, etc.) will dissolve it or not. Otherwise, if you heat set the marker, it should be relatively permanent. It may fade with time and washing, though. Still a really cute gift idea. Even if it does fade, the towel will still work!

  55. Best wishes for your husband’s quick recovery. I had never heard of stem cell treatments for joint issues but had been offered platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections after my knee surgery. They use your own blood for these treatments but they are still considered to be experimental so private insurance doesn’t pay for them here. It would have cost me $600/per injection and each treatment consists of 3 injections (not sure how long between injections). I decided that it was just too expensive to cover on my own. Luckily the surgery alone did the trick with no complications. When I had shoulder surgery a few years ago I was part of a blind study to test the effect of PRP on this joint (using just one injection at the conclusion of the surgery – I recovered so quickly that the surgeon was convinced that I had received the actual treatment rather than the placebo but turned out no – it was just the placebo. There are so many new options available now so I wish him all the best.

  56. I’m glad you found so many great things at garage sales.

    We decided on Tuesday, to go camping on Thursday night for several reasons. We have been wanting to take our nephew, as he last got to go with us last June and has been asking and asking to go. The weather was gorgeous. We went to the beach. It is quite close to our house–about 2 hours away. We used the park pass, and saved $93 in camping fees. We spent very little on food, as we had most of what we needed at home already.

    Since we returned, I’ve spent around $7 on groceries, as that’s all we needed.

    Before we left, we hustled around and finished up some frugal things, like stacking the rest of the wood, canning a couple of things, finishing my daughter’s dress, and keeping life going as usual. I put pictures on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-october-14-2018/

    Today, I filled the yard debris bin again. I would love to fill it weekly with things that need clipping, but can’t manage it. Still, I’m glad I got it done this week.

    We did something today that was very meaningful. Our friend, Harnet, was sworn in as a citizen of the United States today, and we got to go to the ceremony. She has worked so hard for this moment, and we are so proud of her. We will have a party later, but for now, we enjoyed the ceremony.

  57. Want a couple interesting suggestions to watch on Nexflix?
    If you don’t mind watching a foreign film with sub-titles, try watching “The 100 year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”. It’s very funny and has a plot twist at the end you will never see coming. Info on the movie here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hundred-Year-Old_Man_Who_Climbed_Out_of_the_Window_and_Disappeared_(film). You can also read the book, of the same title, if you’d prefer.

    If you would like a good documentary, try watching “On Our Way to School”. It’s a very interesting peek into what some children have to go through, just to attend school in some countries. It will make you appreciate how lucky our children really are. Here is the trailer for the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyfJPymDkb8.

  58. Those were terrific yard sale finds!

    Our Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate mostly home-prepared meals, including lentil tacos, pumpkin soup (from the freezer) w/ turkey quesadillas, roast chicken and potatoes, and leftovers (of course).

    * Made banana bread and banana pancakes to use up some very ripe bananas.

    * Harvested a couple of tomatoes (just not a good year for tomatoes this year), acorn squash, and a bell pepper.

    * Made two loaves of bread.

    * Processed some of the two bushels of apples we picked up last week.

    * Hubs and I both got our hair trimmed by students from the cosmetology program of a local college.

    * Hubs biked to work one day and worked from home one day.

    * We had some rain (yay!), so we turned the sprinklers off.

    * We enjoyed watching the lightning show.

    * Our computer died (not related to the storm; it was just old). We had to replace it, which was pricy, but at least we were able to get a bit of a discount due to Hub’s job and we used a cash-back card. I’ve also now added a computer-replacement line item to our savings account.

    That’s all I wrote down. Have a great week, everyone!

  59. Made Beef bone broth in a slow cooker. Will picnic with grandson instead of eating out. Played for free at library and places that my mom has membership at. Didn’t drive places even when we wanted to go places, came home and ate dinner at home. Cleaned for my Daughter -in -Law’s birthday present instead of buying a present as our funds are limited. Son gave me gas money to come babysit my grandchildren. Will be gifting my other son a coat for his birthday that was given to us and make him a meal he likes. Utilized library for many things. Read at the library one day for two hours. It was very relaxing because I was away from home. At home I always feel like I should be working on something. I am going to need to allow myself relaxation time as my blood pressure is skyrocketing. Turning off lights except above us. I think for Christmas I am going to offer my time for presents to do things like clean. I’ve got to think of something for grandchildren and great nephews that is minimal cost. I may go to Dollar tree to pick out presents. I need to do this way before Christmas as to avoid the crowds and lines.

  60. Hamish is so adorable in that outfit. You always manage to find such wonderful garage sale finds, Brandy! Glad you were able to find some Christmas gifts as well. I love how you have made saving hydro into a little game. Having some fun with frugality always makes it feel more uplifting to your spirit. Your post this week sounds like you are feeling a little less stressed with the new routine. I’m so glad!

    Summer had yet another return for a few days this week. This week they are predicting snow in some areas. Anybody else notice how weird the weather is lately? This week, our frugal accomplishments for our family included:
    *Meals made at home included Thanksgiving leftovers night, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with cold salads, crock-pot meatballs in gravy with mashed potatoes and corn, skillet gnocchi (this was a new pre-packaged “convenient” food I picked up to try as an alternative meal for the revolting family members) with loaded baked potatoes and broccoli with homemade cheese sauce,
    *We invited my MIL for our Sunday Thanksgiving dinner, last weekend, but she already had made plans for that day. Last minute, on the holiday Monday, she invited us (including my mom) to go out for Chinese buffet. She kindly paid for all our meals.
    *Used PC loyalty points toward for $30 worth of free groceries this week.
    *I continued to stock up our pantry and freezers. Costco had beef stewing meat on sale, so I bought 2 trays, which divided into seven meal sized portions. I bought a bag full of pears when they were on sale for $0.98/lb, which I will canning soon (I like to have a few jars in the pantry for variety). Last, but not least, we took a road trip to pick up a bushel of “C-grade” apples (will be made into apple pies/apple crisp for freezer and canned apple sauce) and a pie pumpkin (will cook and freeze puree) from the apple orchard. We took DD and her friend with us. We also picked up the flowers from my grandparents graves, had lunch at McDonald’s (a huge treat, plus they have Monopoly right now which they enjoyed ), then stopped at the cheese factory (picked up fresh cheese curd) and chocolate factory (restocked the chocolate stash) in Campbellford on the way back. DD’s friend thoroughly enjoyed the road trip. Her family never goes anywhere and she enjoyed hearing all about our family history.
    *Peeled, sliced and froze the last 10lbs of carrots I bought for $1.88 a couple weeks ago. We should have lots of frozen, sliced carrots to carry us through winter now.
    *Made cherry cake with crumb topping (recipe link: https://bunnyswarmoven.net/delicious-cherry-coffee-cake-with-crumb-topping/) for DD’s lunches this week. I already had all the ingredients in the pantry, including a can of cherry pie filling. DD’s friend is going to her school again at the moment (long story, crazy household with consistent bad decision making…but she will be transferring to another school next month as they will be moving…again), so I will continue to send lunches to school for her as well, whenever she needs one.
    *When we had a return of warm, summer like weather for a few days this week, I took the opportunity to clean the interior of my car. Afterwards, my mom offered to use a pre-paid car wash ticket she already had to clean up the car exterior. My car looks great now!
    *We also dragged the area rugs out on the deck while the weather was warm and cleaned them using our stream cleaner. The rugs were both bought used at auctions for really great prices a few years ago. We steam clean them once a year, and let them dry outside, which really freshens them up. The living room/dining room area was then deep cleaned…washed walls, steam cleaned or wiped down all furniture, cleaned and waxed hardwood floors, washed curtains and dried them on the line, etc.. My mom prefers doing fall cleaning, so the house is nice and clean for Christmas holidays.
    *Hubby informed me he received another $0.50 raise from his job this week. His last raise was less than a year ago, he’s had several raises since starting there a few years ago and he’s never had to ask for one either. I think they really like him. The extra income is always appreciated!
    *DD attended another free cooking class, through Autism Ontario. They cooked Asian inspired cuisine this month. She enjoyed socializing with the other teens that sat at her table. They were all around the same and were all goofing around having fun. She said she didn’t enjoy most of the dishes they tried, but overall still enjoyed going. I just appreciate she is willing to try the “new to her” dishes while practicing politeness and grace when she doesn’t like them.

    Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  61. Hi Brandy & everyone.
    Last week was a crazy week! I only read the comments on Thursday so I decided to wait until this week to comment. Brandy, last week you said you began using Xtra Math for one of your children. My 4th grader uses this in her class and has since 2nd grade. I asked her this morning and she still likes it. Her class also uses freckle.com. This one is to practice her skills in math, ELA, social studies and science. She likes this one also. She also used arthub as an art class a couple of years past. That one is a homeschool Dad who shows how to draw objects.
    The last 2 weeks have been crazy and felt unorganized. The kids were still home until after Columbus Day for potato harvest break. My middle daughter worked extra hours at the nursing home so I felt I was always on the road back & forth for her job. She is saving for a car so trying to help as best I can. I am almost done fall cleaning my son’s room and in the middle of cleaning my daughter’s room. Much decluttering happening at our house. Combined errands as much as possible. Went to the library and loaned out art books for youngest daughter and 1 book for myself. Also purchased a few books for a total of 45 cents.
    My husband & I had his and hers colonoscopies last Monday & Tuesday. I had a 3 hour delay for mine. They gave me a $10 gas card due to the delay. Everyone in front of me had complications. My husband used that gas card and another one that had a $14 balance to fill up my van. Wednesday I was good for nothing due to dehydration from the procedure so my youngest son stayed home to babysit mom. Brought the girls for their yearly Dr visits and afterwards stopped at my sil’s house. She was cleaning house & selling off many items. My daughter bought herself some clothes, scrubs and a pair of Kloggs shoes. The shoes were just about new, my daughter needed to buy some for her CNA course and she got these for $10. My youngest came home with some halloween outfits and perfume and bodywash.
    I’ve been using my weekly task list and seem to be getting more done. My MIL had a birthday last week so family got together on Saturday night to celebrate. We all live close by but never seem to get together.
    I went to the thrift store and bought a shirt for each boy, a spring trench type coat for myself in coral, 2 books for my daughter, one of which was an American girl story collection and 4 paperbacks for myself. Cost $6
    Garage sales are not the best around here. Many hold them all summer long like a summer store–no bargains. Since we now have a children’s consignment store many items are sent there rather than the thrift store. I have looked at their pricing online and feel it is out of my budget range. Beyond that most items are sold on facebook. No one seems to want to lose money on items they bought. The prices are just crazy. Oh well. Lucky you!
    I also had a job interview last week.
    Your son is beautiful Brandy.
    As far as reader locations. I live in Fort Kent Maine. It is on the Canadian border. We are on one side of the St John River and Clair New Brunswick Canada is right across from us. They speak mainly french there and many of our older population does on this side. We are a town of about 4,000 people. Our main industries are mainly logging and potato farming. We just finished our peak leaf season here. The leaves are falling down and soon snow will come. That lasts about 6 months here. I have seen it reach 40 below zero f here but mostly will reach around 20 below. The kids go outside for recess as long as it reaches zero. We have moose, bear, deer etc here. Winter activities are ice skating, ice hockey, skiing, snowmobiling. In March we have A big dog sled race. People also ice fish and have little fishing huts on the lakes like little villages. We have many lakes around here so many people fish, boat and camp. There are many trails for the ATV’s, side by sides and Snowmobiles. All those things cost money so we don’t do them (ha, ha) but many people both locally and from out of state do enjoy those things.
    Have a good week everyone.

  62. Hello Frugal Friends,

    Now I need to go unplug a bunch of items after reading your post! Here is how we saved this week:
    – We are moving to a new house. We are trying to DIY as much as we can to get the house ready. I have never cleaned and decluttered so much in my life. We have calked, painted, scrubbed, repaired and fixed more things than I thought possible. Now I know to try to keep a running list of repairs or something. There has to be a better way.
    – We are eating out of the pantry and freezer in an effort to not have to pack a bunch of food. We are having some odd combinations but I haven’t used my grocery money up!
    – I am attending a Financial Peace University Class at my church. I needed a reminder and re motivation after following the “baby steps” for years now.
    – I sold an crocheted item on consignment and worked at the consignment shop.
    – I downloaded freebies some of which are on my website here at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/10/15/10-freebies-today-10-15-18/
    – I have been running Earning Station, Swagbucks and Perk and doing other apps to save up for Christmas.
    – We ate many meals at home including: chicken salads, baked ziti, bean soup, meatballs.
    – We went to a Casting Crowns Concert last night which was wonderful. It was not frugal but was a birthday present that the kids will remember.

    Have a good week!

  63. Your Hamish makes me miss babies. I have officially finished the massive clothing sorting and donating job I was saddled with. I washed and put away a large tub of baby and toddler clothing for future grandchildren.

    Paid off two bills from the past couple year’s financial disaster. We continue to work diligently toward the goal of returning to a debt free life.

    I have an upcoming large expense that I am behind on saving for, so I am going to cut to the absolute bone for the next few months. I might even look for some part time work over the holidays if I am up to it.

    Finally finished getting our house in order…including the garage, cabin, cars and barn. Still working outdoors and have a couple indoor organizing projects planned. I do believe all the work is already paying off with better productivity and the satisfaction of having just what we need in just the right places. Working toward less stress in our lives.

    I have really pulled something in my shoulder and am having difficulty sleeping. I just keep reminding myself that this too shall pass.

    I did the usual frugal things including getting free exercise. I also found a penny and put it in my shirt pocket. When I got home, I forgot about the penny till after I had hung up my shirt only to find it was gone. Oh well, I thought. The next day, I found said penny in the door step and promptly picked it up and marched that penny right to the change container. Win!

    Happy frugal-ing friends

  64. I imagine how much joy and excitement the Christmas lights will bring to the children! The same goes about the pool!

  65. I think your “ quiet” week sounds lovely. I loved library time when my children were smaller. We used our green tomatoes to make salsa verde and we loved it! You can find many recipes and canning recipes online.

  66. Yes, please do let us know how it goes! I have a dear friend who is needing a hip replacement, but is wondering about stem cell instead.

  67. Fall has arrived in Idaho with nights hovering at 30 and cool breezy days. The tomatoes are all wearing blankets. We still expect some Indian summer when I can uncover them for a bit. Have harvested all the winter squash and apples. Last week I completely unloaded my pantry taking 4 large boxes of dishes and equipment to the thrift store. Caught up on my brothers mending visited the mom’s taking a chocolate cake to my mother in law as she grieves for a departed pet. Bought a dozen roses for my mother yesterday and delivered them to her room at the nursing home..wishing her a happy mother’s day…it was my birthday.
    Stopped at the thrift store and found a roaster for Thanksgiving, a small toaster oven and a new waffle iron for 1$ each. Yard sales are my fun downfall. I try not to stop unless I have something in particular in mind. Safer for me to go to the thrift store where I know what I spend goes to a really good cause.
    Trying to eat out of our pantry and freezers. This week the grocery outlet had bacon for 1.99#. I bought 10 pounds. Had trouble finding space in the freezer for it.
    We cooked lots of beans this week. We like them plain. I also combines some of the pintos and some of the black beans with meat from the freezer and frozen sauce to make chili. Plan to use the rest of my black beans to make Brandy’s black bean burgers. Using cooked acorn squash to make pancakes and serve them with spiced apple syrup using squash and apples from our yard and eggs from our hens.
    I’ve finally had to start using the dryer for the 2 loads of laundry we do each week. I put a nylon stocking over the hose from the dryer and let he warm air add some humidity to the house.

    Enjoying books online from the library saves me extra trips to town
    Giving thanks for good health and full freezers

  68. Congratulations on finding a house and making an offer. For months, I have been reading about your savings and am impressed with your diligence. I am sending positive thoughts that this will work out for you.

  69. I hope you get the house! I can’t wait to hear about your new adventures moving and settling into your new home. You’ve worked so hard to get there.

  70. Heidi Louise, I bring my rosemary plant in every year. Just don’t overwater it. Let the soil dry down an inch at least before your water. Use a pot that drains, also. Don’t forget to use it, also.

  71. Jerri, I think it is much easier to pre-make the apple pies, then wrap them unbaked and freeze them. Then they are ready to use. Otherwise, with pie filling you want a pie you still have to make it.

  72. Awesome Garage Sale finds, Brandy! The hunt is always the best fun!

    I also had some garage sale finds in my neighborhood this week. It is our first fall in Portland – and I was shocked at how many fall sales were going on. The weather has been unusually warm, so that is probably a factor. We are often well into rainy season by mid-October here.

    I bought a brand new poker chip set for $2 for my oldest (he doesn’t play poker, but he has autism, and loves the feel/sound of the chips. I will give it to him for Christmas and put it in his “chill” box). I also bought a stack of new holiday cards and bags for $2. My husband went to another neighborhood sale and bought several classic jazz vinyl records for $1 each….amazing!

    A Buy Nothing neighbor was moving and gifted me a floor lamp, an IKEA nightstand (now my husband and I each have our own and they match!) and some frames. I also received a set of twin sheets and a drum pad for my younger son who is playing drums in the middle school band, and a brand-new puzzle that I will gift to my mom for Christmas. I gave away a chalkboard and some vintage Portland enlarged photos on Buy Nothing to other neighborhoods. So grateful for Buy Nothing right now – when we moved down to Seattle I downsized a lot – probably too much! We are just getting to the furniture and lighting that we need in our new house. Some of our expenses have been higher than we anticipated and I underestimated how much money we would lose to OR taxes (WA is a no-income tax state). So I’m being very diligent about being patient on the used market and not buying new. Buy Nothing has helped tremendously!

    I picked the remaining apples and tomatoes from my mom’s garden (she can’t eat tomatoes and has way too many apples!). They are perfect-sized for lunches. I have also been doing SO much better with meal planning! I plan meals around sales and from your site as well as Budgetbytes and go to two nearby grocery stores for the week. No mid-week runs. Once a quarter I make a Costco run. Our meals have been better and we’re saving a lot of money.

    I also gifted flowers from our garden to my sister for her birthday and cut some others for our Dia de los Muertos display on our fireplace mantle.

    Crossing fingers our good weather lasts just a few more weeks! (and yours too, Brandy!)

  73. Spent the weekend organizing and cleaning the pantry after the spider and pantry moth explosions and discovered we also had bean weevils! Joy. Any more critters want to join the party? So cleaning and disinfecting and then poisoning again is in full progress. The good news is we discovered it at a time we have the money to restock and will do so with things in Mylar or designed for 25 year storage this time.

    Spent part of Sunday cleaning out the shed. Discovered a bunch of painting and electrical supplies we forgot we had and made room for the new generator, propane tanks, and gas cans. Tossed old paint and other broken or useless thing.

    Continued picking up Christmas stocking stuffers and taking pictures of items or noting them in a memo on my phone when someone mentions something they want or need.

    Skipped the grocery store for a week as we didn’t have any pressing needs. I did buy more plastic boxes to use in the pantry for organizational purposes, but that was my only purchase all week.

    Attended the local fair (free) and watched the acrobats. Attended an RV show ($4 total due to military discount) and took water to drink as it was hot. Still looking, but figuring out what we want as non-negotiable amenities and seeing how pricing and discounts are working so we will be better off when it comes time to buy.

    Used my “chips” at the VFW for my drinks (you get these if someone buys you a drink and you don’t want it then, or if you need another drink to meet the minimum to use your debit card). They were out because I had more than a dozen in my purse!

  74. What a precious baby boy! Brandi, I think you bought some of those plastics rings you lost at a garage sale that I had about five years ago, along with a playmat. (I’m in North Las Vegas). I remember because you employed the “Will you take this much for it” strategy that you talked about in another article. I remember thinking how clever that was because I really just wanted to get rid of stuff and didn’t care how much it sold for. I asked you if this was your first baby and I think you said it was your fifth or sixth and that your baby stuff had worn out. I didn’t know about your blog back then but you made an impression on me. And is my memory playing tricks on me or did you have blonde or very light brown hair then?

  75. So sorry to hear that there is so much lines and stress for you to deal with at the moment – there are times when it just doesn’t seem fair that one individual or family has to deal with so much at one time.

    I am glad that you weathered the hurricane without too much damage and I hope that the visit with your son will at least give you a momentary break. Please look after yourself.

  76. It wasn’t me (but that is a common garage sale question from buyers. My mother uses it all the time when buying a bunch of stuff or when prices aren’t marked). I don’t dye my hair; it has always been dark brown and now it is going a bit grey and I am considering whether or not to start dying it. I was given my first set of baby rings with my eldest and then a second set with Octavius. This was the first time I have ever bought any. I never had any disappear until the 7th and 8th babies as my older children started taking them apart and making off with them. They never did all turn up. Before that, the first set was just fine.

  77. Gardenpat, I know you are one busy lady, but…will you be posting more info on “The Ant or The Grasshopper” website? Or is everything on there that you will be posting? I’ve quite enjoyed reading all the info you’ve posted so far. Would love to read more if there is any!

  78. I see some blessings in there too, Lillianna. Your yard may be damaged, but you still have a house to live in. Many were not that lucky. You also had food to eat in the crazy aftermath. Not everyone was so well prepared, as your daughter pointed out in a roundabout way.

    You still have time to spend with those loved ones, before those terminal illnesses take them from you. My father passed away very suddenly, so no time to prepare mentally for that loss. He died on the operating table during a somewhat complicated, but routine surgery to remove pre-cancerous cells in his esophagus, when something accidentally and most unexpectedly punctured his Aorta.

    So don’t forget to count those blessings. I hope you enjoy every moment of your trip to see your son, even if he doesn’t graduate. You worked hard to get it all organized within your very strict budget…so don’t let anything ruin the fun!

  79. Hi to all –

    Last weeks frugal things

    – paid .69 for contact solution from cvs with coupons
    – meal planning
    – eating at home all week, including before football game
    – only shopped for groceries with a list
    – only washed full loads
    – read library books
    – continue to use swagbucks, ibotta, Checkout 51, Shopkick and receipt hog
    – I received a bunch of swagbucks from coupons I printed – I print only what I plan to use.

    That is all I can think of As always I look forward to and enjoy reading all posts.

  80. Tammy, how old and what gender are your grandchildren? Do you have any crafting talents? Perhaps we could help you with some inexpensive gift ideas for them. I LOVE coming up with gift ideas and hearing what other’s have done in the past as well. So, please, please let us help you out!!!!

  81. Thanks, J! I remember the post you wrote on your blog about not being afraid to cuddle your little one — I’ve taken that advice to heart and plan to cuddle my precious baby lots! Hope your life settles down and that it’s a good kind of busy!

  82. Lisa, they do the potato harvest break here, though not as widespread as in days past. Not as many students needed.

  83. Susan, I would highly recommend encouraging your friend to check into stem cell procedures. It seems to be the way of the future. Replacements don’t last forever and a person’s body can only have two (according to our doctor). It is a shame everything has to be so expensive.

  84. I will pray for you and your son. Also, it sounds like you have more than your share of health issues in your family.

    I know I’m just ignorant, but how can you go to jail for hoarding?

    I’m glad you got your Kindle and computer issues resolved.

    It is wonderful that you daughter would know what to do if she couldn’t cook some food. That’s a triumph! Now you know she won’t stay hungry if a disaster strikes her when you are not there–she will open a can of beans, etc. and eat up. That must set your mind at ease. I’m pretty sure my autistic niece would struggle with what to do under less-than-ideal circumstances.

    It sounds like you have a lot of wildlife in your area. I also love looking at wildlife when I get a chance.

  85. Hamish looks darling in his new outfit with his chubby little baby hands and feet. Congratulations on all the yard sale buys.

    We have had our first snows. They don’t hang around this time of year as melts quickly once the sun comes out. But we feel fully ready for winter. The wood supply is ready (we only use as supplement), the gardens are cleared except for Brussels sprouts and kale, and there is fall broccoli in a hoop house, all the canning is done, the root cellar is full, the basement rafters are full of onions. I have about 200 green tomatoes left to ripen on card tables in my daughter’s bedroom. Some of the tomatoes are small like a golf ball…they’ll eventually ripen. I will use them as they ripen, usually cooked into spaghetti sauce.

    My husband did pick up another 200 lbs of potatoes (seconds) and we bought 8 pounds of cranberries, both from roadside stands. The cranberries have been washed and are all packed into quart bags in the freezer. We visited youngest daughter at her teaching assignment which is close to where middle girl lives and works and many of husband’s side of family. Took them each some potatoes, some canned goods.

    Did all the usual of cooking and eating at home, taking lunch to work, hanging some clothes on racks inside (no longer using outside lines), using up leftovers, washing out and reusing ziplocs, mended socks and tears and buttons etc. Husband put the storm windows up in the breezeway. Cousin that takes care of plowing the property roads in the winter put up the reflectors. More leaves have been mulched an added to compost piles or put over perennial beds. Grass was mowed short. Outside lights are up…once we get daylight savings after Halloween it is so dark out here. Mini lights on the buildings break up the darkness without having to have yard lights on all the times.

    Some of the things cooked and baked over the last 3 weeks…white bread, pumpkin nut bread, cranberry orange nut bread, plum kuchen, apple crisp, pumpkin pudding, scalloped corn, baked potatoes, baked fish, baked squash, salmon loaf. Made another batch of butternut soup, kale and white bean soup and cream of broccoli soup. It is so nice now that it is cool to have the stove and oven going so much more. Cooked up the last of the hot peppers chopped with onions and put into 1 cup freezer containers for adding to Spanish rice, refried beans, sloppy joes in the future. Made coleslaw, 4 bean salad (took to potluck), caramel apple dip. That’s what I remember.

    Read the first 3 books in the Hamish Macbeth series recommended here. Reading a book about relief workers who came to Puerto Rico on the soonest flight in called WE FED AN ISLAND. Husband and I went to 4 lectures at the public library on local history. Watched several episodes of BRITAIN’S BEST HOME COOK on the HULU. Also tried the new show NEW AMSTERDAM on TV. Seems good. Had tried THE RESIDENT but that was very…too much…stuff I don’t think necessary.

    Our 25 year old dryer stopped heating mid load. The repair man from the local shop where we bought it said it needed a new coil. He replaced it. Cleaned the vents. Said otherwise in fine shape.

    Invited to birthday party for great niece…had cake and ice cream. She was only 1 year so more a chance for relatives to get together. We gave her a pack of chubby crayons and a coloring book. They can put it away til she is older. Granddaughter Dora’s birthday is coming up. Older daughter and I have been working on quilt together for her twin bed she will be moving into soon. We did a quilt as you go log cabin pattern in pinks and greens. I made a small one for her doll from just one of the squares with a larger border on top and bottom to make a rectangle. I did all the cutting and piecing, Eliana will do the setting and borders and quilt by machine. We are very on schedule…birthday is 11-4. I need to think about Christmas. We (our Thursday family group) finished drying apple slices and filled 7 half gallon jars and two gallon jars. Occasionally I make a dried apple pie but most of the time folks just like them for snacks. My mother said when she was little my grandma dried the apple slices on screens up in the attic.

  86. I like your tip about the bathroom lights. I feel that a lot of bathrooms are overlit. In our bathroom, it’s all or nothing with the lights, as they’re all on the same switch. I took out half of the bulbs from the fixture. It saves energy and blinds me less when I’m up at night!

    I need a new set of measuring cups, but it’s just the one-cup measure that I need. I discovered this week that one of our sets of children’s cups hold exactly one cup, so I can use those instead, either forever or until I find a set I like at a suitable price.

  87. I forgot to mention, I also made my own liquid castile soap—not from scratch with lye, but from grating up bars and adding to hot water. It is much cheaper than buying liquid castile soap! I will always do this from now on. Two quarts for two dollars!

  88. Thank you for your encouragement Becky 🙂 and I remember cheering you on and was so happy when you purchased your home too. Hoping this is the same Becky 🙂 .

    If we get the finance through in a couple of days we will be putting a 36.85% deposit down on it with what we have saved and will have enough to buy the second car for living out of town, do some small electrical and plumbing jobs needed for the home, probably put in a bore for water security, and pay all the legals and insurances too.

    We will update everyone next week whether we have it.


  89. Thank you Kandace for your encouragement :).

    I have to say it is scary putting in an offer and we know there was 4 other couples vying for the same property with some travelling from hours away to view it. We knew as the property was sitting on the market for some time and with the property price being reduced dramatically, we hedged our bets and put in our highest offer minus $7000 we had worked out our budget could afford and were stunned when the agent rang the owner and they immediately accepted our offer. The price, size of the bedrooms, house and land and condition of home was outstanding compared to others we have seen that cost way more.

    Shall update you and everyone next week :).


  90. Thank you Cindi for you encouragement 🙂 and you are right we have worked so very hard to save to get to this point but it was all worth it 😉 .

    Shall keep everyone updated next week 🙂 .


  91. I would love it if someone gave me a gift of cleaning. One year my daughter gave my 5 frozen meals that I just dropped into the crockpot in the morning. Best gift ever. Perhaps do one of those as a gift.

  92. What really infuriates me about Sears is that it happened because the CEO was a hedge fund manager who sold off all the profitable assets, like the tools and Maytag, to other companies that he owned part of. This is basically the result of legalized theft that hurts consumers. We have no other major clothes retailers here in Interior Alaska, so if this one closes it will be a loss for us.

  93. Rhonda,
    Thank-you. I have a 7-year old grandson and a 4 year old granddaughter and two great nephews ages 4 and 2. I wish I could say that I have crafting talents. I have done slumped glass and enjoyed it. I crocheted a scarf as a child. And I took home-ec in the seventh grade 36 years ago and haven’t done sewing since, although I enjoyed it. i do love to cook. I would love to develop crafting talents.

  94. I would love some DIY Christmas gift ideas for my almost 3-year-old grandson and newborn granddaughter! Their parents (my daughter and SIL) are very talented and crafty people, so, it’s pretty challenging to come up with something unique. I can sew, crochet, and do woodworking….but, I struggle with ideas!

  95. Athanasia, While the kids did go back to school last Tuesday they are still harvesting in my area probably until this weekend. The farmers are smaller with 300-500 acres. Presque Isle, which is about an hour and a half away plants closer to 1000 acres so they start earlier and end later–but then they are zone 4 and we are zone 3 where it is colder. We are expecting a dusting of snow tonight in my area. The kids that actually are working harvest are allowed to continue to miss school but have to make up what they miss. There are not a lot of kids that work harvest anymore with the use of harvesters etc. It’s not as labor intensive as when they picked by hand.
    My dad, who turned 94 last week, would harvest for 2 months when he was a kid with his family. When one farmer was done they would go farther and work with another farmer. It gave them money to feed them thru the winter.
    My local historical society has been posting old pictures of potato harvest in our area–it is quite interesting!
    Thanks for your comment and what state are you in?

  96. oh….2 loads of laundry a week sounds heavenly. I average 25-30 a week right now. It’s just that season of life.

  97. Tammy
    One year for my nephews I made fort kits using old sheets and clothes pins. I added a flashlight to each bought at the dollar tree. Or I try to find a book for each from the Goodwill (they are usually a dollar) and add a homemade bookmark (thank you Brandy).
    They are getting a older, too young for a dozen homemade cookies, but too old for “imagination” gifts. Thankfully, they are avid readers.

  98. Tammy, I have an idea. Why don’t you give each child a homemade crown and a certificate designating him or her King or Queen for a Day. The child spends a day or overnight with you at a designated time and you play games, watch a video together, help them make a special dessert and cook their favorite meal. What you are basically doing is giving each grandchild the gift of time. Pretty good gift for the parents, too.

  99. Becky this person is a set of twins. 65 yrs old. For many years they owned a warehouse that was part of their business. For 34 yrs they packed it full. One is a compulsive shopper/hoarder I believe. It wasn’t a problem until they shut the business down. They took it all home with them. It is packed in small utility houses, stuffed in two cars, mounded in heaps with tarps over them. Oh my would I love to go through it ! Then the cats appeared at some point. 100 plus in a 1000 square foot house. Another 100 in the yard. I have never seen anything like it, even in a hoarder show. The cats have mostly been removed. But, there are still cats in the house. Everything was suppose to be removed. It hasn’t. My best guess is they are going to end up in jail and the house condemned. There is nothing I can do. You need a gas mask to go in the house and they actually live in it. Very sad. One twin is extremely ill. Cancer, strokes, heart attacks and had emergency kidney surgery this week. I am all they have.

  100. Oh, I feel silly. I guess my imagination got the better of me when I read that post on garage sales and I thought “Hey, I think I met her!” Lol.

  101. 1. Found a great pair of jeans on clearance and got them for $6! Regular price $50.
    2. Made my husband a pot roast for dinner with beets and carrots. It was on Sale for $2.99/lb instead of the usual $4.99/lb.
    3. We just received info from our realtor that the house we are purchasing, the sellers are including a brand new generator at no additional cost. That is a wonderful bonus for us as power is lost often during Michigan winters.
    4. Submitted $3.60 into ibotta and qualified for $1.00 bonus.

    Not a very frugal week, but every little bit counts.

  102. I am so very happy for you and look forward to your upcoming posts. I have my forever home and it is a blessing to call it home !

  103. Rhonda A., I am so sorry about your father. It is sad not to have had the chance for good-byes and to prepare yourself. I know too about the shock of a sudden and unexpected death of a loved one.

    Lillianna, Sorry to hear of all of the worries landing on your shoulders. Glad that your house is ok. I hope Army boy recovers soon. Ann

  104. Rhonda,

    I would love gift ideas for a 3 year old and a six year old great nieces. A sweater accidentally got put in the washing machine and ended up felted so I thought I might ask their mother to send me their handprint sizes and I might make mittens for them but am at a loss for other gifts.

  105. They closed here in Canada first – bankruptcy and it’s the staff who didn’t get proper notice money and the pensioners who lost out as they are last on the list to get any kind of compensation – shareholders are always first in line! They are a disgrace!

  106. Re hoarding – as I understand it if a property is so damaged due to hoarding that it presents a danger to the inhabitants or to the neighbourhood at large due to garbage which attracts rodents & bugs then the city can order it to be cleaned up by a certain date. If it isn’t done then they can step in and do it – charge the owner for this service (or put a lien on the property) and the owner can also be sent to jail for being non-compliant with a court order.

  107. What about a “Dress Up” box for each of them – outfit bits & pieces that could come from garage sales or charity shops and supplemented by bits & pieces from the dollar store? You could pick a theme for each of them and decorate a gift box to reflect this (just a good cardboard box would do) add in all the dress up items with maybe a cheap story book that relates to the theme?

  108. Finally, the weather turned nice and the snow started melting. A friend took me to see the migrating swans. We didn’t know if we’d see any. There were but 5 at the usual pond but that was lucky as a friend said there were none on Sunday. I think they have just started to arrive from the north. They were too far away to photograph. I always like seeing them in the fall because they sometimes have their grey cygnets with them. It is a twice yearly ritual for me to see them. Anyway we kept going west but then decided to go south through Kananaskis country. The sky was a beautiful blue, the mountains were covered in bright snow. We had a picnic lunch of ham sandwiches, apples, cheese, and lemon water. I didn’t eat as I had felt very unwell and didn’t want problems. We had other problems because soon we discovered the highway was being paved. We were getting off of it soon anyway to go up an unpaved highway but then discovered that too was being worked on with delays etc. Had there been a warning sign, we would simply have gone to Banff. So we went further south then took the Cowboy Trail back up north to the city. It is one of the few times this year when the weather was good, no smoke, no snow on the ground. On our way back, in the south, we finally saw 20 swans. Frugality? nothing bought. One of the few times we’ll be able to do this before winter! An annual treat!

  109. I received my softies & I love them so much I placed another order because I thought of more people who would love them in their Christmas packages. I consider this to be a frugal gift because I am replacing buying tissue packs for myself & for others, plus it will help fill up a stocking.

  110. Thank you Athanasia for your encouragement and wonderful thoughts :).

    We too are looking forward to buying our forever home and settling down and it will indeed be one of the biggest blessings to us.

  111. Best gift idea ever! My kids prefer being gifted with someone’s time rather than physical items. One of their favorite things to do is play restaurant at their great grandma’s house. She sets a pretty table, writes a menu and makes fake money. Then she is the waitress and cook, and they have to act like they are the customers. My kids are 8 & 10 and have loved this since they were small!

  112. Ok, I’ve googled ATV, and it’s still not clear to me. What is an ATV? My Google results all seem to show a ride on mower, what does the ATV stand for?

  113. Hi, everyone! Brandi, concerning reducing your electric bill, a timer connected to your water heater is another great way to reduce costs. I live in Florida and our electric company offers what is called the “On Call” program. By signing up for it, the company installs a “gadget” connected to what ever appliance on the list you sign up for. In my case it is the water heater and AC unit, and you authorize the company to switch off those appliances during high demand hours. Normally for 15 minutes in a year span. I have been on the program for about 25 years. I receive a $ 8.00 credit during summer months, and $4 during winter months.
    Thank you for your blog, and for all that you share. Grace to you and yours.

  114. Hi Brandy

    I live in the UK and like you don’t enjoy scented products. There is a brand of deodorant called Mitchum that works really well and is available in roll on or spray and is unscented.


  115. Patricia,
    Our water heater is gas.

    The electric company has a way that they can take control of your electric and shut it off during peak hours. I refuse to sign up for the program. I am home during the day and do not want my air conditioning shut off in the middle of the day when I am home. It will quickly climb to 90 degrees or more during the day inside when it is 110 outside. When one of our a/c units broke (our house has two), it would be 105 inside the house [i]at night[/i] That may be fine for those who work outside the home during the day, but I would hate that while I am home.

  116. Oh Happy day. The funds from the sale of our rental have been released. This morning I electronically paid off our house and credit card. Hubby and I will drive across town and pay off the car….we will be debt free by afternoon.

  117. Thank you, Margie, for the encouragement. I’m glad your surgeries went well and it was wise to weigh the costs of treatments. We did the same because medical expenses here in the US are astronomical. I understand research is expensive and someone must pay the cost, but I wonder if there is a better way?

    We received a call from the doctor and they have moved his everything to tomorrow instead of today. Another day to wait.


  118. ATV stands for all terrain vehicle. They do resemble riding mowers, but no blades on the bottom. Think more like a motorcycle with four wheels that is for off road trail riding.

  119. OK, here are some ideas. First, I don’t know what type of budget you have to work with, but I’m going to throw out some ideas. If you can’t afford or find them this year, but like the ideas, save it for another year! Also, if you don’t have a Pinterest account (totally free to sign up), I would highly recommend it. There are some amazing, super easy, cheap/inexpensive, DIY gift ideas on there for every level of crafter (and many that don’t require crafting at all). There is also a plethora of recipe and frugal living ideas, too. It’s fun to explore! So here we go:

    1. If you still have summer clearance items around in store, check the camping department for a super cheap, stand alone, 1-2 person sized tent (sometimes they even have kids tents). In Canada, I can sometimes find these between $10-$20, but might be cheaper in the US. I would give this as a gift with both childrens names on it, as it is a larger item and it can be shared. They can use it indoors or out as a “fort” to play in.

    2. DIY Games – Yatzee (buy a set of 5 dice and google search for game sheets to print off – best for older boy), Handmade Memory Game (print or cut out duplicate pictures/shapes [could use family pictures for personal touch] and glue to nice looking, cheap card stock, or use fusible webbing for a recycled fabric set), Hand-painted Tic-tac-toe game (use a square of plain heavy weight fabric [eg denim or canvas], scrap wood or a cut log round to paint the grid, then paint stones with simple X or O, bee vs ladybug, 2 different flower designs etc. Here is some inspiration: https://chickenscratchny.com/2013/04/spring-time-tic-tac-toe.html), Homemade Checker Board (paint or stamp the checker board grid on scrap wood or recycled fabric, and use painted bottle/jar caps, rocks, cut slices from a tree branch or buttons. Be mindful of game piece sized for the younger ones). Lots of ideas for DIY games on-line, including large, yard sized ones that are really cool, too!

    3. Homemade Playdough with dollar store or thrift store cookie cutters. I like the Kool-aide playdough (https://www.123homeschool4me.com/2011/10/kool-aid-playdough-recipe_21.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes) as it is sented and makes it more fun. But you can also make just regular homemade playdough (lots of recipe variations on-line) and dye it different colours, add sparkles, etc. Perhaps add a good sized laminated placemat (bought or homemade) for the children to play on. Another similar idea is to make homemade slime (again recipes on-line, uses borox). Perhaps you could also include the recipe, so their parents can make it again when the dough dries out).

    4. DIY Chalkboard – this can be as simple as taking a piece of smooth wood (any size you want/have) and painting it with chalkboard paint. You can mount it into a new or used picture frame if you’d like. Add some dollar store chalk, and a piece of fabric for an eraser.

    5. No Sew polar fleece blankets – You can make one for each of the children! Tutorials for these are on-line. Pick up some cheap, age appropriate childrens books and maybe make a homemade book mark to gift with the blanket. An alternative is to purchase a cheap, soft throw, which sometimes ends up being cheaper than buying the polar fleece. Could personalize it with their name, either by embroidery (lots of great tutorials on-line. Just pick one very simple embroidery stitch to learn and use it for all 4) or using fusible webbing and recycled material to cut out the letters of their name.

    6. Gifts for the boys: *Toy Car Play Mat – there are lots of tutorials on-line. If you use double sided heavy fusible webbing, you don’t have to sew! Use recycled fabric material from around your home (old sheets, clothing, blankets, etc.). An alternative is to use paint. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be fun to play with! Maybe add a toy matchbox sized car or two (under $1 each) to complete the gift. *Wooden blocks – If you have wood tools, a handy husband (if you don’t know how to use the wood tools) and either scraps of wood or purchase some very cheap, untreated wood, you could cut them into shapes (different sized triangles, squares, rectangles, etc.) and maybe some various lengths of thick wood dowel (a broken wooden broom handle would work), to create building blocks! Sand them well, and if desired, paint them different colours. I also found this idea on Pinterest: https://www.howweelearn.com/diy-wooden-building-blocks/.

    6. Gifts for the girl: *Dressup box – gather together some pretty scarves, costume jewlery, tiara or homemade crown, wand (here’s a homemade one: https://www.hometalk.com/9381605/how-to-make-a-ribbon-wand), maybe make a tutu (https://www.thepinningmama.com/diy-no-sew-tutu-for-little-girls/, if toule is too expensive, cut up an old lace tablecloth or old curtain sheers for the strips), a hand-made no-sew cloak (https://www.dltk-holidays.com/halloween/no_sew_warm_cloaks.htm), an old evening clutch/purse, cool hats (cowboy, floppy rim sun hat, sombrero, etc) or anything you find that would be fun for dressing up. Check at thrift stores for cheap items, go shopping the morning after Halloween for hugely discounted costumes/accessories, or repurpose some of your own unused items from your closets. The more funky, the better! (Note, you might be able to make one of these for boys too, using “manly” items like ties, hats, vests, no-sew cape, etc.) *No Sew Hair Accessories – Brandy has some great ones on her blog, or google for more ideas. *No-sew sleeping bag for dollies or stuffies – Here is the tutorial: http://dolldiaries.com/doll-play-christmas-eve-sleepover-by-the-tree/. To make this cheaper, I suggest looking for polar fleece blankets, throws or large adult sized sweaters at the thrift store (watch for 50% off sales at your local thrift store to really save) and recycle the fabric for this gift. Or you might even have something in your home to use for this! *No-sew dolly (or stuffy) diapers – here is a tutorial: https://athriftymom.com/doll-diaper-tutorial-no-sewing-required-gift-idea-pattern-dolldiaper/. Again, could use recycled fabric that doesn’t fray for this.

    So there are a few ideas. Let me know if these ideas won’t work for you (please let me know reason why, so I can refine my thinking) and I can think up/research some more for you!

  120. Lisa, your part of Maine sounds a lot like northern Minnesota. Reading your post made me so homesick for the lakes and the cold and the ice fishing. The original settlers there were not French, but lots of Swedish and Norwegian. Also, no potato farming. I’m not sure why, maybe the soil is too sandy.

    Thanks for sharing about your hometown.

  121. Brandy, I just want to thank you for hosting all these comments on your blog. I don’t feel so alone with my money saving efforts when I read your blog.

    Hamish looks like Royal Family baby in his sweet outfit, I think his feet are awfully cute too.

  122. Brandi, I would love to have a gas water heater, they are more cost effective! I do not have that option. I understand about the on call program, I am also at home, but do not have little ones anymore; Still Menopause and high temps don’t mix. 🙂 I just thought I would pass along that information in the event you or your readers were interested.
    Thank you again for your blog!

  123. Athanasia, I agree; however, my freezer is full. My son works on a farm and part of his wages are in the form of pork, which we love and appreciate. It’s a good dilemma to have and I’m grateful to the friends and neighbors who share their bounty.

  124. Rhonda,
    What wonderful ideas! Thank-you so much. I’m looking forward to getting something together. Your ideas are so much better than what I thought about doing. I am grateful for your ideas!

  125. Jenifer, both my grandkids and great nephews love to make tents. They also love to use my flashlight that i leave on my kitchen table in case the lights go out. Good idea!

  126. Oh Maxine, I love that idea! My grandkids would love it too! And yes I’m sure my son and daughter-in-law would love that as a gift also!

  127. Fun idea Margie! Boy I’m so glad to have so many ideas to choose from. This is great. Beats what I was thinking of entirely!

  128. 1. Found a Batman play set that my son has been looking for at the thrift store for just $3…he was so excited to save over $30 by buying it used…training him right:)
    2. My daughter found two dresses appropriate for the 1930s era to use as costumes in a play (She is playing Aunt Tilly in It’s a Wonderful Life)
    3. I fixed the zipper on my wallet.
    4. I mixed up a blend of oils to help with anxiety…it seems to be working!
    5. Will not have to buy any winter clothing for myself or my daughter because everything still fits from last year…which is good health and money wise!

  129. Cindy, so sad to read of the death of your cousin’s child. I pray you all find comfort in the good memories.

  130. All of my friends are older than I am by quite a bit some as old as 89 they often ask for me to take them to the doctor it blows my entire day. Last week I told one I would have to charge for driving 120 miles she said I will find someone who cares. (Harsh) But now I have the day free.

  131. Hi to all –

    I have a ? about sewing machines. When I was a teenager I had a very old one that I used a lot and do not know what happen with it. I had two others from a thrift store and rummage sale. They did not work as well. I am looking for a new one for about $100. I would be doing small projects and mending. Can anyone recommend good ones to look for? Thanks!

  132. Hi Brandi! I just found your blog, and have been enjoying reading past posts and gettin so many good frugal ideas from your readers, too. We are at a much different stage of life than you — we are retirees living on Social Security alone. Not an ideal situation, but one that was beyond our control. I would appreciate any ideas or tips from your readers (and from you too, of course) on ways to live on an extremely low income. Thank you in advance!

  133. I purchased a great refurbished machine from an independent sewing machine repair man. With $100 to spend that may be a good place to check, and repairmen are good sources of information about brands etc. I paid $90.00 for what was a much more expensive machine. Instruction manuals are fairly easy to find on the internet .

  134. I agree, it would be fun to run into each other! Got to say my favorite show is the Haygoods!! We are wondering if you could recommend any new shows in Branson. We’ve seen so many of the older shows. TIA for any info you can give us.

  135. The no sew fleece blankets are easy to do. I have done several over the years, picking up the fleece at the Joanns Black Friday sales. Favorite sports team logo or camo are always popular with teen boys, cartoon or super heros or animals for younger children. To save even more (the printed fleeces are often a few dollars more than solids) I make one side printed and one side a coordinating solid on larger ones. For younger children, 1 -1/2 yards cut in half (fleece is 56-58″ wide) is a good size, while for teens I use 1 1/2 yards full width. My now adult 2 oldest are still dragging around throws I made them over 8 years ago!

  136. Jeannie, how can she find out more information? She is in Tennessee near me, in Chattanooga. If you have any information that could help her, her email is jborisevich@puc.edu.
    Praying for your husband today. I see that today is the day for his treatment.

  137. I do so enjoy reading the weekly frugal post and all the comments from the kind, caring, and wise community here. What a refreshing sweetness for those of us, wary and weary of the typical online social communications. On the frugal front, this week:
    I am using a needle and a .94 spool of fishing line to repair small tears in two of our small window screens that are letting bugs in. Our 65 yr. old modest, wood frame home was built with cheap, aluminum windows and screens that are pretty much disintegrating. It is impossible to find any replacement screens in their size. The work and reweaving is taking much longer than I thought: 5 hrs. and counting, on just the first screen. By far, my most frugal endeavor this week, but with the arrival of cooler weather, we want to turn off the a/c and enjoy the cool, fresh air.
    I bought a $1.50 xl- sized man’s shirt at the thrift store that I am creatively remaking into a skirt for me. It is the dark gray, ribbed knit that I have been looking for in a winter skirt, but hadn’t found. Sewing by hand, since my old machine won’t sew knits, I am having fun using my skills and talents, and it is coming along perfectly. My youngest daughter and I are joking calling it my “shkirt”! I enjoy looking at “upcycling” examples online, but really, remaking existing clothing has been done since people first started wearing clothes. I, too, love the old-fashioned look for babies and young children. If I may, I will try later to share a link to a free, online 1918 book that shows diagrams and patterns to make children’s clothing from adult clothing. Anyone who sews would find it interesting and still applicable.
    In the kitchen I am working on stocking my pantry for six months. Thanks again to those who recommended websites on this previously. I am seeing my areas of food estimates that were too low. I am still working on the logistics of stocking of pet foods, toilet paper, and other non-food items. Baking and cooking everything from scratch. Eating leftovers. Clipped coupons for Halloween candy for family treats. (We neither hand out nor have the kids Trick or Treat, so this is our only candy.) Enjoying making and eating fall recipes.

  138. I sew on a 35-y-o Kenmore that I bought new way back when. It is built like a tank. I understand the best machine out there is the Brother Project Runway machine. It costs under $120 and is available at Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon. It gets rave reviews!

  139. Welcome Sue!

    My husband is 55, and we have a new baby 🙂 He got married late in life at 37 and we have 9 children. I’m 42. We’re used to living on a very low income; we have a variable income and though my husband is in the top 5% of salesmen in Real Estate in Las Vegas, we still made $20,000 less than the poverty level last year. If you’re looking for tips on living (and thriving beautifully!) on a very low income, you’ve come to the right place!

    I suggest you start here on my site:


  140. Sorry for not responding to your request at the same time as Tammy’s response. I had to leave for an appointment! For the 3 year old grandson, see the above suggestions for Tammy. If those won’t work, please provide reasons, so I can refine my thoughts and research to better suit your needs.

    To add to what I already posted above, I also just found this idea for a boy (or girl), too: https://buggyandbuddy.com/make-wooden-toy-car-ramp/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes. You could even make the pieces different lengths! Here is another really cute idea…a “fishing” game. This one is a no-sew: https://frogprincepaperie.com/gone-fishing-a-fishing-matching-game/, OR you could sew one like this: https://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/homemade-toddler-toys.html.

    For the newborn baby, I would suggest creating a fabric touch and feel book. There are so many tutorials and ideas on-line to provide some inspiration for this. To keep it cheap, recycle an old bed sheet or even more special, large pieces of fabric from some of grandma and grandpa’s clothes for the background “pages”. For the textured fabric, you can easily recycle old clothing or other materials (towels, old scarves, old mens ties, old curtains/sheers, old blankets etc.) you already have. If you don’t have enough or need different textures you don’t have, check thrift stores for bits of fabric or articles of clothing at super cheap prices. If all else fails, check fabric stores for “end pieces” or clearance fabric that is extremely cheap. You can use fusible webbing to attach and hold the textured pieces in place, but I would zigzag stitch the edges to make sure they doesn’t peel off. If you don’t have quilt batting in your stash, use a layers of flannel or fabric from an old towel or blanket to provide the squishy thickness of the fabric pages. Remember, even if the parents are crafty, fabric books are always unique, durable and so special, since it was handmade by grandma!

    My bet…the 3 year old grandson will also enjoy this gift. In fact, you could sew a “quiet book” for him. There are some amazing ideas for creating different pages in a quiet book. Here are just a few links to inspire you: https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/12-ADORABLE-QUIET-BOOKS–PAGES-AND-PATTERNS-TO-BUY-OR-DIY/#_a5y_p=5558815, http://www.threadridinghood.com/wordpress/quiet-book-sew-along-overview-free-12-page-book-tutorial/, https://m.babyblog.ru/community/post/rukodelie/3154929, http://www.imagineourlife.com/2011/09/22/sock-matching-quiet-book-page/, http://www.lifeinournomad.com/2014/02/the-quiet-book.html, and http://thingsiliketomake.blogspot.com/2011/10/brocks-quiet-book.html?showComment=1340746844323&m=1. There are SO MANY cool page ideas that I saw on Pinterest, but they were just pictures with no links. If you’d like to make one of these, I highly suggest you do a Pinterest search for “quiet book ideas”. Just for interest, some of the images pinned were from quiet books being sold on Etsy for well over $100 (seriously…noticed 1 said $140 for the book!:o). So if you are looking for a way to make money, and your good at sewing/crafting, this might be a good craft to try selling!!!!

    I hope these ideas are helpful to you or others. If anyone has other ideas, please post them! Sometimes it can be really hard to think up ideas for gifts when it’s your family. Inspiration is always so helpful (thus why I love when Brandy posts what she made or bought for her family;))

  141. Please check over the previous suggestions. I’ve posted a lot of ideas that would be perfect for this age group. Again, if they won’t work for you, please let me know why, so I can refine my thought and research for more appropriate DIY gift ideas.

    One more idea to add to this mix, since these are girls and a bit older…why not sew them a sock monkey (yes, a boy might like this too)! Here is a free sock monkey sewing pattern that’s on-line: https://www.craftpassion.com/how-to-sew-sock-monkey/2/. I do suggest using a good quality sock, though. If the sock is cheap, it will get holes in it too easily.

    Hope this helps!

  142. I’m sorry. That makes sense now. It seems like it would be hard for everybody all around. I can see that they can’t live there. It sounds like medical help is surely needed.

  143. We offer an afternoon tea at the pioneer village I work at. When we have young children, I would sometime offer to serve them lemonade in the tea cup, if they don’t drink tea. It made the lemonade a little more special. So, in line with playing “restaurant”, you could also gift them an invite for “Tea with Grandma” (or Nana, Auntie, etc). The tea/lemonade can be served with little sandwiches and sweets and maybe look for some fun, old fashioned “parlour games” to play at the tea party!

  144. Hi Jenny and thank you for your encouragement 🙂 .

    It has been a long 4 years of saving really hard with a lot of sacrifices to get there along the way but is so worth it to get a home.


  145. Wow, what wonderful ideas from Rhonda, Susan, and others. I am taking notes, because a lot of these are going to be put into use this year. I don’t know that I can really add much, but I will say that my sister-in-law and I comb thrift shops and garage sales for our young grandchildren, and we often find plenty of books and toys for less than $1. This year my granddaughter’s teacher had students tell their “favorite toy”, and my granddaughter said, “My green dragon from my grandma!” I asked her mother, “Erm…what dragon?” and she brought out a plastic bath toy I’d found in a 25¢ bin. Easy stocking stuffers!

  146. It sounds to me as if some sort of assisted living situation with supervision would be more suitable than jail. If one twin is that ill, s(he) will need medical care for sure. The other perhaps needs some mental health guidance.

  147. Tammy: Brandy’s Link at the top of the page of “Make” and “A Gift a Day” has instructions for making bookmarks, (page 7 by my count). I have used up a lot of un-used embroidery floss making tassels, and got self-stick-laminating paper for them, though of course clear shelf paper also works. Tassels would be fascinating to a small child, (though probably not for an unsupervised baby). If you give books as gifts, a “matching” bookmark would be a nice touch. I plan to cut up some old Christmas cards to make some, and leave the back not-plasticized so I can write a message.
    Some other items Brandy has posted there might be good inspiration to you! If you know their interests in characters and stories, look at the decorated t-shirts, bags, and pillows she has made.
    I like the king for a day and restaurant ideas people posted above. A blank photo frame, to be filled with a photo from the day, or a book of photos, would add to it.
    A child who really likes to color might enjoy some greeting cards, (print simple images from online on cardstock), and envelopes to make his/her own cards. That could be a way to guide a child into making thank-you cards after the holidays.

  148. Tejas: I like your “shkirt” story! It takes a good imagination to look beyond what a garment was originally designed for and make it into something else. Lots of raw material is available in thrift stores.

  149. Hello, Sue!
    My husband’s and my employer closed abruptly, several years before we were expecting retirement. Since then, he and I have become closer as we re-think how to spend our money carefully. Rather as a homemaker makes it her/his life’s work to take care of the house and family, it is now our mutual career to make the best use of our resources. We were fairly frugal before, but, as I think others will agree, we found that food is one of the most important variable expenses to address.
    Be sure to check out resources in your community as available, some undoubtedly targeted at seniors. Best wishes to you!

  150. Heidi Louise, Thank-you for the ideas. I like so many of them. It’s funny I’m getting excited about Christmas presents now. I won’t have to spend a fortune, yet there are so many nice things I can do. I’m so happy that so many people posted so many nice ideas. Thank-you to Everyone!

  151. Rhonda,
    You are full of so many good ideas! I love to write and so I love the Quiet book Idea! As a child I loved to make collages or pictures with scraps of material and yarn and stuff. I totally forgot about it. A Box of scraps with some paper to make collages might also be a nice idea. I am so inspired now! I feel so much better now. Thank-you.

  152. It’s important to get a machine with metal parts. Plastic parts break easily. Brother is a good machine—I sewed with my MIL’s for decades until the machine couldn’t be adjusted anymore. Then I bought a new one–mine is a Bernette, which is a lower end Bernina designed but not made in Germany. They had 3 models and I bought the middle one which was about $300 new, if I remember right. I don’t know if they are still made because my shop went out of business when the owner died. Quilters love the Singer Featherweight, which are older but reliable. I don’t think the newer Singers are as good as they used to be. I’ve only had 3 machines of my own—the third was one I bought in England when we lived there—no electric, no foot power—it had a hand cranked wheel where the start wheel is on most machines. I actually did sew on that for the three years we lived in England.
    You should be able to get a decent machine for $100, and do a lot of sewing with it. Don’t be dazzled by things you don’t need for 95% of your sewing!!

  153. Oh Tejas,
    a free online book from 1918 showing how to make children’s clothing form adult clothing sounds interesting!

  154. Welcome, Sue! We are also retirees, although fortunate to have income besides Social Security. You are going to pick up a lot of useful information here. I read all of the comments every week and always learn something new.

    In the last year, we downsized and bought a new, smaller home in a convenient location. Besides making some money on the sale of the other house, our household running expenses have gone way, way down. On a month-to-month basis, it is huge. You might consider this. And if you still have a mortgage, you might be able to move to a smaller house and own it free and clear. We still have two vehicles, but I think we could do just fine with only one…unfortunately, my husband doesn’t agree. Yet.)

    Here is how we saved an easy $100 month when we moved: We canceled the newspaper. We got rid of our landline and use two prepaid cell phones. We don’t have iPhones. We quit satellite TV and started streaming and picking up the local channels with a compact antenna. If someone in your family is addicted to cable channels (like my husband), you can get DirecTV Now for $40, or $55 if you want sports.

    Stay healthy. Cook and eat at home. If any of these apply: Stop smoking. Don’t drink or gamble. (I grew up in a home where both parents smoked like chimneys and my dad was an alcoholic. We were always broke). And, keep reading and posting. You are going to learn so much…and we will learn right along with you.

  155. Lisa, in Wisconsin. I think we’re actually 3rd in potato production in country but still just a fraction of Idaho. I remember my 4 brothers and my sister doing this 40 years ago. I don’t like getting dirty so I never signed up. Pretty mechanized nowadays, though the Amish in the area use their horses and either a spinner or conveyer. Both messy. My uncle still does his field with an old Farmall tractor and the conveyor contraption. That’s when it’s handy to have about 40 kids and grandkids. We’re also zone 4.

  156. Rhonda A, thank you so much for the gift suggestions! Wow, so terrific and inspiring. I feel the creative block melting away!

  157. Animal hoarding can most definitely result in jail time, because when there are that many animals, they are often not taken care of properly and it becomes an abuse/neglect situation. The problem is likely the animals and their inability to take care of them, not their hoarded possessions.

  158. I’ve been wondering which town you are in, Lisa. 😀 I grew up in Penobscot County. I’ve been to Madawaska, but I don’t think I ever made it as far at Fort Kent!

  159. I would look for an older cast iron Singer from the 1940s or 1950s, such as a Singer 15-91. I’ve seen many of them for $25 or so and I’ve been given two for free. For around $75, you can have it tuned up by someone who specializes in vintage machines. You’ll end up with an all-metal, workhorse of a machine with no frills. Perfect for mending, quilting and basic sewing. I also have a Singer 328K, which is pretty decent. It was $8 at the thrift store, plus $10 for the sewing table (also thrift store) and $40 for a cleaning.

  160. Wonderful link, thank you! My aunt gave me a pair of wool pants that belonged to my father when he was a teen. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them. This book gives me some ideas!

  161. Hello everyone from a far to warm Holland. (23 celcius instead of 14 celcius, wich is normal for this time of year).
    But next week the temperatures will be close to normal again. Strange how you can be longing for Autum/winter after summer, and then after winter you long for summer….!
    Still living frugal:
    Made pumpkinsoup from a small pumpkin that was already going a little bit bad.
    Accepted slat plants from a neighbour at the garden complex, planted them with an old window over them to protect them from nightfrost.
    Made apple pie from given apples
    Made a Foccaccia bread from scratch.
    My husband won 1 kg of cow meat (roast) by playing cards in the village house. He does that every month during the winter, they always have meat to win, this was 1 price. The lower your ranking the cheaper the meat, ofcourse. But they get it at our butcher so we know it is good meat. And going out at the villagehouse is not at all expensive because we work with volunteers.
    A fellow villager “cleaned up” our computer, it was getting slower and slower. He only charges 20.- euro’s (as always)
    Then there was a not so frugal thing that happened to my daughter her I-phone fell in the water (to deep to find it again) and so she lost….the phone, her ID card, bankcard and public transport card, and she also needed a new card for the (borrowed) “new” phone.
    Wich will cost us 65,- euro to replace the cards and she has to buy an new phone. Although the kids mostly buy refubished phones it still is about 250,- euro. I always sad to the kids, you can lose your walled/phone, ofcourse that happends, and so I will pay for the lost cards ONCE if you lose it again you’ll have to pay al that yourzelf.
    Bey , Greeting from Tanja

  162. Thank you. It happened in 2009, so not a recent death. But at the time is was quite a shock. I was waiting for my mom to call to let me know when my father was out of surgery, only to receive a very late phone call that my dad didn’t survive the surgery. I was stunned and an emotional mess to say the least! I have come to terms with what happened, but it’s impact still lingers. Since his passing, I have had 2 surgeries. Every time, I am extremely overcome with nervousness before hand, then breath a huge sigh of relief when I wake up from the anesthetics.

  163. Sandra, this is brilliant never thought about online ordering at Walmart for my son away at college will definitely be doing this! On another note I no this seems strange however when I do have to ship something I have found that fed ex ground to a business address is usually cheaper than any ups or usps. Colleges are considered business addresses or if ur son works maybe he can get a pkg there. Thanks for the Walmart tip!

  164. You can buy a kit to make replacement screens in any size. Or get them re-screened. My local ACE hardware has redone mine a couple of times when hurricane debris or a dog tore them. Last time he took the time to show me how to do it.

  165. Athanasia, I never worked harvest. Although my parents were both born here I was born & raised in Connecticut. The closest I got to work harvest was by helping my future husband who was in charge of the potato house. I got to pick rocks from the conveyor belts when the trucks came in. During harvest time that was the only way I would get to see him if the weather was holding up. He did engage me on a rainy day during harvest though. Gotta love rainy days during harvest! My FIL no longer has a farm but still works for a farmer. He’s 74 and will only stop when he can’t go on anymore–just loves it. It sure can be dirty. My oldest son worked at a potato house one year and always came home full of dust, not bad in my book. When his older sister had worked on a harvester one year it was really cold, rained a lot & was muddy. When she came home she would have to peel the clothes off before she got in the house so I could hose everything down before I could put it in the washer. Working harvest used to be a rite of passage around here but no longer the case.
    My husband’s grandfather used to have a farmall. My inlaws used John Deere. Today’s equipment is extremely advanced but has a high price tag to show for it. A local farmer is buying a new harvester which comes at a cost of $400,000 for a machine that is only used for 2-4 weeks out of the year. I guess that is why we rarely see small local farmers any more.

  166. Stacey is correct. ATV’s seem to be a little old fashioned now though. Side by sides are more popular here. They are similar to ATV’s but can seat 4 or 6 people. That way the whole family can ride together, very expensive though. Maine is known as “Vacationland” so a lot of money is poured into tourism. We have an extensive trail system that is used by ATV’s in late spring through fall and once the snow arrives is used by snowmobiles.

  167. Hi Sue. We love new people here! They bring so many new ideas to our amazing community. So please don’t be shy to post comments. There is a wealth of knowledge here, as you are already finding. So if you have specific questions or need advice on an issue, don’t be afraid to ask. Someone, if not several, probably has an answer or suggestion for you. It’s a great community for that, so don’t be afraid to utilize this resource as you find new ways to be frugal.

    Since you are new to being frugal, this is my advice. Learning to be frugal is a slow and steady learning curve that is unique for every individual. Some of us have been at this for a long time…and we’re still learning new tricks! So don’t expect to suddenly know all the answers instantly. Don’t expect what works for one will work for everyone. You will need to try new ideas that appeal to you and see if they work. You may have to modify these ideas to suite your household and family needs. Or they may not work for you at all. That’s perfectly ok! Don’t worry…just keep a positive attitude and an open mind. So sit back, take a deep breath, and let the learning begin.

  168. Stacey, our soil is not very rich here too and very rocky. Now that harvest is done we will be seeing kids working the fields picking rocks and yet next year it will still be full of rocks. Winter is long here so ice fishing is really popular here. It is an amazing site to see the huts on the lakes. Minnesota sounds very similar to here. We do have a Swedish settlement about 40 minutes to my east called, of all things, New Sweden. Makes the world a small place indeed.

  169. Andrea, that is so cool! What part of Penobscot county did you grow up in? I do live in Fort Kent but just on the outskirts about 10 minutes away from town. Not far but seems a lot longer during the winter. If you have been to Madawaska, you most likely passed thru Fort Kent to get there unless you went by the other side from Caribou through Van Buren. You would not have gone through our downtown area though. We are about 20 miles before Madawaska. Madawaska is one of the 4 corners of the US and we are the beginning of US Route 1 which is the highway that ends in Florida. Nice to hear from a fellow Mainiac.
    I also want to thank everyone for their comments and Margaret from Australia thank you for your request. I feel like I have gotten a great geography lesson.

  170. Growing up we had an electric water heater which was really expensive. We did shut it off at the breaker until we needed to use it but probably was only feasible since at that time it was just my parents and myself. At this house the water heater was originally hooked up to my boiler. We did not have to deal with increased electricity bills due to the water heater but we would pay for it through our heating oil. During the winter we have a wood boiler so that would take care of the water heater but in the summer we were just on oil and could easily use a full tank of oil (250 gallons) thru the summer for our family of 8. Right now oil is over $3/gallon so that adds up. We now have a water heater that runs on a heat pump. It can be run on a hybrid capacity of heatpump/electricity. We just rely on the heat pump. We now use no oil in the summer so it saves us a tank of oil which for this summer saved us approximately $750.

  171. You found some great garage sale finds! Isn’t that the best! I’m wondering if garage/yard sales are down because the economy is picking up? Just a thought. They are always hit or miss for me but the hunt is always fun and helps with the budget:)

  172. Tejas, just a thought on the screen repairs. I brought my broken screen to my local hardware store. They had some type of machine that rescreened (?) it. It did not cost me much and only took about 10 minutes. I do recall my mother buying screen patches to fix ours at our old house. That house was built in the 1940’s when screens were much thicker & sturdier.
    Also check your candy coupons. I had some that expired 11/1/18. If you do have some of those they can be redeemed the day after Halloween when the candy is marked down. You can freeze your candy so it will last longer too.

  173. I second all the metal parts! I have a singer 403 which is an all-metal electric. Occasionally it needs to have the tension springs replaced and you need a repairman/woman who knows about mechanical sewing machines but you can run it by hand for tricky spots or if the power goes out. They start at about $100 on ebay.

    You may also want to check sewing clubs, quilting guilds or other similar organizations. I know our church quilting groups are given several machines a year by people who either don’t want them or are cleaning out grandma’s house. They happily give them away to people who will use them! No guarantees for the quality but you can tell them you’re looking for something specific and am willing to pay $100 for it and they may be able to keep an eye out for you.


  174. Beautiful outfit for the baby!
    I love when they discover grass…
    I harvested leeks, chard, rosemary, parsley, beets, celery and lavender from the garden – just before the freeze we’re getting! And that will be it I think. Maybe carrots and brussels sprouts after the freeze if the voles and groundhogs don’t get them.
    I paid for concert tickets by going directly to the box office instead of buying the online. I saved over $22 per ticket. Which was a good thing since I needed that for the stick em up parking lot prices on the night of the concert. In the end I think it was a wash since I had to pay for the gas to get there, but at least it wasn’t a negative sum game.
    We are also keeping our electric bill very very low so that we can draw down from the net metered amount that we’ve been putting in “storage” from our solar panels. So far our usage has been flat since April and if I squeeze one more month out of the sun I think I’ll have a much less expensive heating season on my hands. We heat with wood and electric backup, my dh calls it “heat by blowdryer”, and live in a very large house sooooooo…we’re cold for many months unless we’re hanging out in the woodstove room. Lights are going off when not in use, space heaters are verboten until November, and the hot water heater is on a timer. Fortunately we have lots of able bodied people to haul, stack and split wood for the stove.
    Our cars keep breaking and I fear we may have to buy another one. This is not in the budget right now since I’d like to pay cash so I’m trying to develop a plan for five people going to work, school and activities with one less car. Some people will be standing around, twiddling their thumbs a bit I think…
    I received a lovely cash gift for my birthday and bought myself a new phone to replace my nearly eight year old Samsung. It still works, just not as a phone. LOL! It was time and this was the perfect use of that gift. I bought a nice big one to replace both the phone and my kindle which died last month. I will not replace that now and will read any digital books or magazines and the news on the new phone. It also has a much better camera which makes me happy.
    I found guitar lessons for my youngest homeschooler for less than $10/lesson and the lessons are two hours long! It’s because they are group lessons but he’s having a blast and learning how to play guitar so it’s a win-win. It was through a local college’ adult education program.
    I started restocking the pantry for the winter, seeking out the least expensive option for the item I needed. For instance, I needed to have instant mashed potatoes in the pantry and we eat a specific brand so I pulled up several different tabs on my browser and comparison shopped across the internet for the brand. I ended up saving a bunch of money when I found not only a less expensive source but one with free shipping as well!
    I’m teaching myself how to knit a hat in the round and am determined to use only what I have in my basket so I went on the yarn and wool site called Ravelry and found several free patterns to choose from. What a great place that is!
    I got a job at our local YMCA which starts soon, is very part-time and drops our family membership price by almost $60/month! They gave me the discount right away, saving the money starting this month even though I haven’t completed the training yet. This is an excellent benefit for us as we all use it and can takes exercise classes, swim, use the sauna and so on all for under $40/month. It’s such a blessing in the winter when we cannot be outside, too!!
    Have a great weekend everyone!

  175. Hi, I clicked on the link for the book, but I couldn’t figure out where to go from there. It sounds like a very interesting book, though.
    What a beautiful photo of your little boy and what wonderful garage sale finds, Brandy. I love that style of clothing for children, too. I really admire your garden. I need to start doing that. My husband did pick four boxes of Liberty apples from our backyard tree on Sunday.
    I was blessed to find a knit shirt and lightweight sweater for each of my two little granddaughters for $5 for each item and an 18″ doll bathtub playset for $19.99 at TJMax this week. I also found some Friends Lego bricks and a Razor scooter still in the manufacturer’s boxes at Goodwill. On another trip to Goodwill, I found some new-with-store-tags jeans that will fit my daughter, and since they had Goodwill’s color-of-the-week tag on them, I paid about $3.50 for the new jeans. The toys will be nice for Christmas. I have on hand some twill fabric that is pink with leaves printed on it that I got from JoAnn’s Fabrics for $5.99 per yard this spring that I am making into two circle skirts for my granddaughters to go with the $5 pink sweaters from TJMax. They love skirts for some reason. I’m not that great of a seamstress, so it is with some trepidation that I cut into this fabric. I think I probably need some practice more than anything. I am from the generation that took Home Economics classes in school years ago, and so I have some really basic skills from that. Recently, I found a blog and Youtube videos for beginner’s sewing that I plan to watch from anitabydesign.com. Maybe it will spruce up my skills a bit. Well, best wishes for a nice week.

  176. My standard remedy is to soak things for four days in a strong solution of Tide detergent. It will even undinge the clothes people give my daughter for her girls.

  177. Tejas,
    You can buy a roll of screen from home depot or lowes and replace the screen yourself. You’ll also need a tool for it that you can buy at the store. Im sure you can find directions on youtube.
    My husband used to replace them often as we had a great dane that ocasionally went through the screen.

  178. Elizabeth, continue down under the title and click on Contents. It will take you to the body of this short book.

  179. No Ace Hardware stores in my area. We have Lowe’s, Home Depot, and McCoy’s, none of which do repairs. We are big diy-ers, but the aluminum frame part is a factory crimped, one piece job. If we were to attempt to pry it apart, the entire thing would be unsalvageable. We have found screen rolls, but not customized-sizeable new frames to fit the existing windows, which are an odd size.

  180. I always buy marked down Halloween (without specific Halloween wrappers) for Christmas, Christmas markdowns for Valentines, Valentines for Easter. I never realized you could still redeem the coupon on mardowns, though. Thanks!

  181. Thanks for the info and encouragement. I think I may attempt that with the larger screens next spring when I can take on a big project.

  182. Welcome Sue. We all are here to support each other. Each story is different yet very much the same. Good stewardship and doing the best for our families. I’m here because, although frugal by training and nature, my husband decided to just stop working a few years ago. I’ve picked up the pieces, graduated one child from college with one to go. And I’m 56…putting life back together after a breakdown is difficult, but doable. Welcome to the community.

  183. Maxine – I had to laugh I have an at least 35 year old Kenmore! I call it the boat anchor as it is so heavy and solid. I took mine to a repair place and he told me “what ever you do, DON’T get rid of this machine!” . Apparently it is almost all metal parts and very little electronic components (if any). I’d like a lighter machine to take with me when we start travelling a lot in our RV. Have to consider weight!

  184. My house is 120 years old and while I replaced the windows, they are all custom sizes. The kit I bought allows you to cut the metal frame sides to match your window and then use little clips to put it together. Then you add the screening. Here’s what I used https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/window-and-screen-hardware/screen-framing/5164686?x429=true&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CjwKCAjwgabeBRBuEiwACD4R5rC38QPCKub-53s7MmQX8sl0HoRNjNZqHYliDYW6NAuI4l41ZhUXUhoCbqAQAvD_BwE

  185. when I was a kid we always got candy a holiday later. Halloween candy in Christmas stockings, Christmas candy in Easter baskets… We didn’t care -it was candy!

  186. Thank you, everyone, for the suggestions. The screen frame size to fit these two windows is 16 1/2 x 32 3/4. The entire top of the screen frame has an extended, flat part that inserts up into the window frame itself. Thus, only the lower half of the window is screened. I think I will just have to keep on weaving the old screens.

  187. Oh Lorna, such wonderful news! I am thrilled that you found the perfect property and that the process is progressing. Definitely praying that all of the pieces will fall into place so you can soon be in the home that you have saved for and dreamed of for so many years. We here have cheered you on through your journey and have all been so inspired. Can’t wait for next week’s post!!

  188. Susan, I have no idea where she would find out more information other than the internet. However, I am more than willing to ask my doctor at my next appointment on October 31st. I can email the information on to her then.

  189. Lillianna, I am sorry for all the serious and multiple stressors upon you right now. These worries would be difficult singly, but even harder when you are dealing with them all at the same time. I hope knowing that others are thinking of you can provide you a bit of peace and that your mind will be put at ease when you get to see your son. Take good care. ((Hugs))

  190. Tejas, you said, “I do so enjoy reading the weekly frugal post and all the comments from the kind, caring, and wise community here. What a refreshing sweetness for those of us, wary and weary of the typical online social communications.”

    That is perfectly said, a refreshing sweetness different from what we are seeing on line and the news.

  191. Jerri, I’m probably late to the party with this, but I used to can apple slices with sugar for pies. When I wanted a pie, I mixed the flour and spices with the apples and poured them into a pie pan. It made exactly enough for a 9 inch pie and tasted just like a fresh apple pie. If you want the recipe, I’m sure I can find it.

  192. Rhonda, and others, thanks for all the ideas. I’m going to look for one of those little pop up tents for my step-grandson Adam. He’s a first grader now. If I can’t find for Christmas, I’ll do for his birthday in April. I have a bin with some dress up items saved from my children but I will seriously look to add to that for the grandchildren. I am looking forward to w hen they are old enough for the tent-building with sheets and blankets so I have time to work on a tent making kit.

    I ‘m thinking ahead for next Christmas for Dora and Anna Joy and will make camping kits for their dolls. I like the fleece tied sleeping bag. Right now they have baby dolls and they are getting new outfits this year that I have sewn and some real baby outfits I found at rummage sales. Next year I think their moms are looking for American girl type dolls to add to baby doll they have. I have some patterns to sew clothes for those.

    The car play mat is a great idea and I recommend it. I made one last year for nephew Henry and he loves it.

  193. When my grandchildren were young, I made a “dress-up” box for them. Many of the items came from thrift stores; some from my closet; and some from Dollar Tree. For instance, one fancy outfit consisted of a pink sheer nightgown (with shortened straps), pink high heels, a pink purse, and a pink boa from Dollar Tree. I also found a woman’s sparkly blouse which makes a great child’s dress. I’m a great bleach fan so bleached all purchased items and used Lysol on shoes and purses. My granddaughter wore the pink heels until her feet were too big! When grandson came along, we added grandpas old shirts, a hat, and a wallet. Fun times for everyone! And be sure to put play money in all purses and wallets; they loved to play “store.”

  194. Susan, one year when he was single and in his 20s, I gave my son “dinner and a movie” for Christmas–a homemade frozen lasagne, French bread and a bagged salad, and a GC to a video store…guess it would be a Redbox now. I would love to have someone clean for me, too! Great gifts for adults. A certificate for a couple of hours of handyman time would be wonderful.

  195. PJGT, congratulations on graduating one child from college. Is the remaining child a girl?If so, she might qualify
    for some scholarships.

  196. Becky: Yes, congratulations to your new citizen friend! One of the things I like most about this blog is that it reminds me of things I take for granted. Happiness and long life to Harnet!

    I looked at your blog link and following the title of the book you read to your nephew, I went on an internet search to find the names of many authors I read as a child: Carolyn Haywood; Carol Ryrie Brink (your nephew might like “The Pink Motel”. “Baby Island” really came out in 1937?); Catherine Woolley/Jane Thayer, (the vivid agony and success of the boy saving up “Two Hundred Pennies”, plus Ginnie and Geneva books), and Henry Reed books by Keith Robertson. Thank you for this reminder of those stories.

  197. Thank you Lynn we are so very blessed with the well wishes of people from around the world who encourage and pray for us 🙂 such as yourself.


  198. Yes indeed, as Mmckms says, thank you for the Walmart tip! Such an easy answer to helping the out-of-state kids, and I never even thought of it.

  199. Laughing! Jennifer, same here! My mantra (as I buy seasonal candy for 50-75% off after a holiday) is, “Chocolate is chocolate, who cares what color the package is??”

  200. In the [i]“small things add up”[/i] column, I saved water from rinsing produce and warming up showers, using it to water the lemon tree and other potted plants. I harvested basil, oregano, mint, and a few tomatoes. I also harvested 5 sweet potatoes, a bonus since I was enjoying the foliage but never expected actual potatoes (I may have been born a farm girl but am a dismal gardener). I used dried herbs from the herb garden to bake herb bread, and used bananas that were going brown to make banana muffins.

    I remembered reusable bags when shopping and received the 10¢/bag refund, then used accumulated grocery points for a 20¢/gallon discount on gas. I continued washing and reusing plastic storage bags (if they were used for dry goods, fruits, or vegetables – I don’t reuse them if they stored meat products), and paid bills on line, saving postage and paper.

    We’ve collected quite an assortment of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion from hotel stays, so we’ve been using them up. I always keep a small hotel soap and small washcloth in a baggie in my purse, “just in case” – funny how often that’s come in handy.

    I used several cards made from my own photos (several years ago, sitting in a desk drawer) as birthday cards and “just because” notes. I took advantage of Shutterfly’s “free” offers to make the Christmas cards and address labels we’ll use this year, as well as several gift items, paying only for shipping.

    Our youngest came home for a movie night with Dad, and I threw together some pasta. He said several times how great it was to have a “home-cooked dinner” (he lives in a dorm and works in a deli). I said, “Honey it’s spaghetti and cheese toast…” and he said, “I know…and it’s awesome.” blogiverse.” Which, for some reason, caused us both to laugh hilariously. I needed that, too.

  201. Oddly, part of my original comment seems to have been cut out. This is how the last bit should have read:

    Our youngest came home for a movie night with Dad, and I threw together some pasta. He said several times how great it was to have a “home-cooked dinner” (he lives in a dorm and works in a deli). I said, “Honey it’s spaghetti and cheese toast…” and he said, “I know…and it’s awesome.” 😉

    My mother loaned me a book I’ve been wanting to read, and borrowed one from me in exchange. She told me what she would like for Christmas, which is a photo book of specific pictures. I’ve begun making this and will purchase it when Shutterfly has a promotional offer.

    For under $5 total, I bought several “silly littles” at a thrift store as birthday gifts for my sister-in-law. We have a fun tradition of thrift-shopping together and she’ll get a kick out of them. They’ll be wrapped in a recycled gift bag – she commented on how cute it was when she saw me receive it, so I made sure to tuck it away, earmarked for her.

    My husband accepted an invitation to join an old friend at a college football game, including dinner at an alumni event. He had a great time (even though his friend’s team is an arch-rival of his own college team) and sent me a bunch of videos he knew I’d love – of the halftime show. 😀

    [i]Organizing and decluttering:[/i] My husband continued posting items from several of his youthful collections on eBay, and adding sales money to our car repair fund. He says he got plenty of enjoyment out of collecting and is happy now to 1.) pad the emergency funds a bit, 2.) clear out things that have been gathering dust and taking up space, and 3.) have things he’s appreciated, move on to people who will appreciate them in their turn.

    [i]Gratitude and much-needed spirit-lifting[/i]: I cheered myself up greatly by creating an autumn-themed using only what I had on hand. It came out beautifully and my husband wandered through and remarked, “I really like the whole trend of setting a table and leaving it on display.” I found myself answering, “I do too. It’s called ‘tablescaping’ and it’s huge in the blogiverse.” Which, for some reason, caused us both to laugh hilariously. I needed that, too.

    Apologies for any double-posting…

  202. The photo of Hamish is so cute and the outfit is precious. Traditional clothes are popular here in NC also. When my (now adult) daughter was born, I so wanted smocked outfits for her. But, as noted, they were then-and still are-expensive. There was no way I could afford those prices. So, I enrolled in a smocking class and learned to smock myself! I really enjoyed it and improved my sewing skills as well. When our son came along, I made matching outfits for the both of them and really enjoyed it.

    My main frugal accomplishment was really my husband’s. We have been eating down our freezer in anticipation of refilling it with shrimp. Since we live on the coast, fresh shrimp are available to us seasonally, direct from fishermen. We were able to purchase 25 pounds of heads-on shrimp for $3.50/lb. (In stores, similar wild-caught, fresh shrimp is $15-18/lb) My husband cleaned them and less than 24 hours after the shrimp were swimming in the ocean, they were in my freezer which is about as fresh (and cheap) as you can get them. Although $3.50/lb for a protein is not inexpensive, the shrimp are usually an ingredient in meals that stretch the shrimp like shrimp and grits, jambalaya, creole, etc.

    I continued to do the usual: used cloth napkins, ate all meals at home, took all lunches to work, avoided food waste, re-purposed leftovers, recycled which helps limit how many trash bags need to be purchased, used natural light when possible, shopped loss leaders, stayed under my food budget, composted food scraps, got discounts for using reusable bags at the store, picked bell peppers from our garden and reused fall decorations in the house. I did have to spend $1 for cloth leaves for my door wreath after Hurricane Michael blew all of the original leaves away.

    For Margaret near Sydney, Australia: The Outer Banks where I live, are a string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. We are the part of the US that sticks out in the Atlantic Ocean, about half way down the east coast. Our area is famous for being where the Wright Brothers’ first airplane flight occurred in Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about everyone’s locations, here in the US and in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and beyond! Have a great week everyone! And thank you Brandy for hosting us all.

  203. My mom makes my kids a batch of their favorite snack for their birthdays. My oldest daughter gets oatmeal raisin cookies, my son gets chocolate nut cookies and my youngest daughter gets peanut butter bars. They don’t have to share them. It is always their favorite gift. My dad makes his famous donuts for Christmas and my sisters and I each get our own tin. He only makes them at Christmas time as they are a lot of work. They are the one Christmas present I want every year. Maybe you make something that they love that you could give them. My nephew always requests my husband’s meatballs and homemade sauce every year when I ask what he wants. My sister is not the best cook.

  204. Have you thought about making a tee pee instead of a tent. My nephew was given one by my sister’s in laws when he was little. She sewed it together and stitched his name on it. The grandfather made the poles. My kids loved it so much Hubby and I had to figure out how to make it. That was about 15 years ago. It lasted about six years and then one of the poles broke. They loved it. I did 5 different color sheets that I had picked up at the thrift store. Sewed the poles into it with help from a friend that is an amazing seamstress. Put Velcro on the opening so they could keep it closed. One of the best home made gifts ever. I know I will be making it again when I have grandkids.

  205. My aunt made one of those books for each of my kids when they were little. I think they got them for there 2nd birthdays. They had zippers to open and close. Buttons to do. There was a small pocketbook in the girls and you could open it and pull out a felt lipstick and brush. My sons had a small toolbox that had felt tools in it. There was a page with a face and you could put on different felt pieces to make silly faces. She didn’t have tons of money but she sure had tons of talent.

  206. Heidi Louise,
    My nephew, Jake, is special needs. So, it is VERY hard to get him to listen to any other book than the one he is enamored with at the moment. (For example, I finished the last word of one of the Betsy books, closed the book, set it down, and he wanted me to start it over–for the 3rd time!!!!

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve read some of them, but not all. I LOVE Henry Reed books, but they would be over his head at this time. The plot has to be very simple. I am thinking that the first Boxcar Children book might be a good one if I can catch him on a “flexible” day, if you know what I mean. I don’t know if I could keep his attention for Homer Price, especially the story where the donut machine just keeps making donuts, but I love that one….So many good stories out there–I’ve got my work cut out with him, but have many, many years ahead of me to read and read and read….His parents read to him each morning, or he gets whichever of us is putting him on the bus to do it if they have to head out early. We are all very grateful he is learning to love reading.

  207. Thank you. Yup–it’s the same Becky that was living in that camper a couple of summers ago, while looking and looking during such a great seller’s market after our house sold very quickly–but finally found a new home we could afford. We are nicely settled in now, and while we still miss living in the country, I am trying to find all the joy and contentment I can while living in the city for the first time in my life. I will say it’s almost too easy to go to the store now–very tempting when I run low on something to just go buy it, rather than wait as I did all those years in the country! And, I’ve just been reflecting on the enormous harvest my backyard garden produced this summer. So, I’m counting my blessings. There are many.

  208. I know how to smock, as I taught myself many years back, but my time is so limited right now that it is impossible to get to it! I prefer geometric smocking, but the outfits I purchased are picture smocked. I have smocked a few dresses for my girls but never for a son. I was so thrilled to find these!

    My favorite outfit, however, is the one in the photo. It’s not smocked, but the button-on pants are something that I just love!

  209. Becky I am so happy you have settled in well into your new home 🙂 and glad you have got wonderful garden produce from your gardens. Living in a camper is challenging to say the least space wise I know I have done it.

    Indeed it must be a shock to be so close to the shops now compared to before. We will be the other way around as we are on the outskirts of town now but only a 5 minute drive to do our grocery shopping. Where we are moving too depending on which town we go to to shop we will be anywhere from 30 -45 minutes away from the nearest supermarket although we will have a little corner store in town though.

    You are so right there are so many blessings around us if we look and notice them.


  210. You can also take the candy out of the inappropriate holiday packaging and re-package into cute cellophane bags tied with colour appropriate ribbon, or put in Ziploc baggies, if it really bothers you. Some don’t need it, though. Halloween sized chocolate bars are perfect sized for stockings. I buy those Christmas “story book” candies (they used to have multiple packs of lifesavers, but now have ones with Skittles, gum and other treats) when on clearance after Christmas and remove the candy from the package for Easter Baskets. I consider heart shaped candy at Easter perfectly acceptable for Easter baskets.

    I also watch for discounted chocolate bars or other candy to add to my stash. This week I picked up 4 boxes of Gobstoppers that were $0.50/box (around 1/2 the normal price). I have a couple 4 packs of M & Ms that I bought for $2 on clearance (so $0.50/reg. sized pack…yes please!) I always have an on-going candy stash to pull from no matter what the occasion! Sometimes, we even pull from it for treats when traveling, or rewards for good behaviour (AKA, daddy was a good boy so he deserves a treat, right?)

  211. Another week gone by. Hubby has been busy with fall yard work and cleaning and sorting the garage.
    I picked the last of the green tomatoes. Our garden is done now. We have hundreds of pounds of apples and squash stored in the garage. Some meal every day features some of these. Even though there are just two of us I never cook small amounts. Cooking 4 pork chops from the reduced rack gives us dinner, a lunch or two and fried rice from the leftover bits. Most times I also save the bones to make stock. This time I feed them to our very happy dog. Chickens gave us enough eggs for breakfast plus baking. I’m trying to eat out of freezers, pantry and garage stock till Thanksgiving week. WinCo will have free turkeys for 100$ grocery purchase including the turkey. I try to go twice the week before Thanksgiving to get two free 20_22# turkeys while I stock up on dry goods, laundry soap etc….I always spend more in November than any other month.
    Ordered my new glasses this week. Once they come I will be able to see to sew, so the rest of the winter will find me on sewing projects.

  212. QUITE understandable that you don’t have time now!! And those were great prices! The first matching outfits I made for my son and daughter had the button on pants for my son. The shirt had a simple geometric insert (a Chippendale design that matched the insert in his sister’s dress). His were short pants, but in the same shade of blue as Hamish’s. I was a novice seamstress and those fully lined, fully reversible, button on pants were SO difficult for me. I would sew a bit and then go to my friend’s house for additional help and repeated that process more than once. With her ample help, I finally got the pants finished. Once they were finished, I used them in several other outfits and every chance I got- Easter outfits and spring and church outfits. I made sure there was some blue in the shirt design so they’d match. When he outgrew them, I never made a pair like that again. I just hemmed subsequent ones and didn’t worry about lining them-or made the short rompers instead! I loved the geometrics too. I think my favorites were the geometrics I made for my daughter where you then wove ribbons through them. I did enjoy the picture smocking too which extended the matching smocking for the two children a few years (Scottie dogs, dinosaurs)

  213. Becky: I understand some similar challenges of reading with a special needs child, and it is so wonderful that you are reading with him! My son on the autism spectrum did not understand the emotional cues in books, (for instance: to know if a character was worried or reluctant to do something because she was walking slowly, dragging her feet, wouldn’t look up). It took a lot of describing for him to understand the motivations of the characters, and the fun of reading gets worn down if you have to do that a lot. As you said, Boxcar Children might be a good simple story line to try when he is excited about trying something new. I wonder if he would like recordings or videos of you reading to him.

  214. We are facing a major surgery for my child, so I Spent a .good amount of time this week preparing for that. I made carpool arrangements for my other child and pre-made 4 dinners forthe freezer to reheat and eat. So many times “freezer cooking” meaus baking somethingfor an hour or more, and this will help on more, chaotic nights.
    Starting to work on Christmas gifts. This year will be light due to hospital expenses, but I am trying to make a few things for family members. I found inexpensive wooden hangers at Ikea that I am doing fabric wrap on. Hoping also to work on a sewing project. Not sure what to do for my husband as he always buys what he needs.
    I also stocked up on books when Scholastic had its partnership with Kelloggs for free books.

  215. there is still 6 of us. I do about the same amount as when my older two were at home. Everyone hit growth spurts at once.

  216. I recently had to replace my alternator on my 2005 Dodge van. I looked at the car parts stores, online and in eBay for the best price with an warranty. The best value for a new part was on eBay around $89 total, the other stores were almost $300 and wanted the core (the old part) back! I’ve bought most of my vehicle parts on eBay for years and am very careful. I always check out the company’s rating and customer feedback. Hope this helps someone.

  217. I had PRO injections to repair 4 tears in 3 rotator cuff tendons October & November of 2010. I had 20 something injections each time, it hurt like crazy, 3 different times 2 weeks apart. My doctor said I had the most treated sites at one time that he had done. Around the same time a friend of mine had surgery, I’ve had no more real issues, just some rare pains and my friend has had surgery twice since then. I feel blessed that I had a doctor, one of two in my region, that was trained (in Switzerland i think) to do these procedures. By March of 2011 I was waitressing, carrying heavy trays of food and using my shoulder continuously with zero problems and no loss of strength!

  218. Socks, underwear and a package of his favourite homemade treats. Men rarely buy themselves new underwear and socks. They think there is nothing wrong with the their old ones, even when they are falling apart (I speak from experience). Adding a packages of treats they can have all to themselves will make the gift all ” perfect and sweet”!

  219. Also, maybe find some Christmas gifts you can make while you wait around at the hospital. Between surgery, and recovery, there will be lots of time to worry. Keep your mind at bay by keeping your hands busy making wonderful Christmas gifts! Look for ideas that are portable and easy to do while sitting in those uncomfortable waiting room chairs, like knitting, crochet, embroidery or small sewing or crafting projects. To keep it cheap, remember to use what you have already (recycle fabric from old clothes/sheets/blanket, look for craft supples you already have, use or recycle common household items, etc). Check Pinterest for great DIY ideas. If you would like some help with finding ideas, I’d be happy to help! I need ages, genders and all special crafting abilities you have. Even if you are not great at a craft, but have some knowledge, I can look for really easy projects within your ability that may work. I hope you child’s surgery goes well, Robbie! I’m sure this is a very difficult and stressful time for you and your family.

  220. I use Tom’s of Maine unscented deodorant and Aveeno Eczema therapy moisturizing cream (in a tube – really a lotion).
    I got the Free and Clear ( made by Vanicream) shampoo and it didn’t work for my hair, but my DH likes it.
    I have found Cleure shampoo to be good. (It is called volumizing shampoo, but I don’t notice a lot of volumizing effect, and I wasn’t looking for that anyway). Cleure is pricey, especially because you have to order it online and pay shipping, but my hair looks nice. I also use their concealer stick from their makeup line – expensive but lasts a long time.

  221. Hi Dianna, sounds like a great idea. We buy the castile bars too. How much water did you add to each bar?

  222. Marybeth that sounds fun. For an outside tent will probably just do as I did with my children. Beanpoles set up into teepee shape with beans growing up them. Old sheets over clothesline with clothes pins at top and ground (pegs).

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