Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Garage Sale Finds and Frugal Accomplishments

I went through almost every children’s clothing box this week (all girls clothes size 2 through 12 and boys sizes 7-18), putting away outgrown clothing, and pulling out larger sizes. It’s 94º here, so I don’t need warmer clothing yet, but I do need larger summer clothing.  I found that for sizes 5 through 8 in girls’ clothes, the boxes consisted almost entirely of winter clothing; what summer clothing they have in each size they have in their closets currently. This is a bit tricky since my 7-year-old and 9-year-old are both currently wearing size 8. I updated my garage sale list with needed items. I also spoke with each child about what they need and want to update the list before I went to a community garage sale on Saturday.

I spent a lot of time cleaning this week. I searched Pinterest for a few ideas and tried this technique on my range hood filters (my stove has 3) as well as this technique on my oven grates. I ran the self-clean cycle on the oven, but self-clean never really cleans glass on the door. A bit of searching suggested a paste of baking soda and water, which worked well. I tried several other techniques for cleaning the stove and surrounding cabinets, but these are the ones that worked the best for me.

I planted a few seeds in the garden, collected from my own garden. It’s still too hot to do most of my fall planting.

A rainstorm came through on Monday.  I turned off the drip system on Sunday night and did not need to water for most of the week. The storm brought us two beautiful days of temperatures 30 degrees cooler than the week before, where we turned off the air conditioning. The temperatures came back up and we saw temperatures in the low 90’s by Thursday, but it was a glorious preview of the cooler weather that we know will come sometime next month. I collected water in buckets.

I checked out a few new shows to watch for free online. I only liked and would recommend one of them, Home Fires, which is on PBS.org. My U.K. readers have probably already seen this, as shows from the U.K. don’t make it to PBS until after the season has ended. It’s a piece set in England in 1939.

I found a few things on my list at the community garage slaes on Saturday. I also found a few things not on my list that should have been, including several Christmas gifts!

For Ezrom, I found a bicycle for $20. This wasn’t on the list, but when I saw it, I knew it should have been. I asked the price (so many people don’t put prices on items!), expecting the usual answer of $300 that we hear at garage sales. When the seller said $20, I said, “Sold!” That day, my husband checked it out, put air in the tires, and fixed it up a bit, and Ezrom gave it a good wash.

I found a pair of roller blades for each of the boys at two different sales, each for $2 a pair! The boys were thrilled!

I found a few items of clothing on our list (though not as many as I need, so I’ll need to look for more sales throughout the coming month), paying $0.50 to $2 an item. I did find a few shirts and cardigans for my 7 and 9-year-olds. I found some beautiful Ann Taylor blouses and sweaters for Winter for $2 each. Some I gave to her now, and the rest I put aside for her birthday and Christmas.  (You probably don’t think Ann Taylor when you think of a 13-year-old, but these are perfect for her style). I asked her recently what she wanted for her birthday and Christmas and she couldn’t think of anything, but she loves putting together outfits. I also found her a nice church skirt ($1), and a silk blend sweater ($1).

I took a risk and bought a couple of electronics. I found a 5 mp Poloroid digital camera for $7 that will go the Cyrus for Christmas. Later in the day I found a 13.5 mp Nikon Coolpix for $30, which will go to Winter. She was researching this particular camera last year. I’ve yet to test them both, but I will be doing so before Christmas. For $1 I bought a camera case at another sale that Cyrus can use for his camera.

Fisher Price The Prudent Homemaker

I found a vintage Fisher Price record player for $10. I know they have started reproducing these, but the new ones take batteries! The old ones wind up, as they are a simple music box. This will be a Christmas present for Ivory.

I found a 2000 piece puzzle for $1 that will be a Christmas gift for Cyrus.

I found a new watch for each of the boys ($3 each) that will be a Christmas gift for them.

I found a beautiful gold beaded purse ($1), a pink pearl bracelet ($5) and an embroidered and beaded grey scarf ($0.50). I found a tiny gold frame for $0.25.

I came home with a few new games, including a travel Chinese checkers with pegs that fits in a zip-up case that looks like a cd holder ($1), a Monoploy card game ($.50), and a Go Fish Hawaaii card game for $0.25.

I found some vintage (1940’s through 1960’s) early reading books for $1 each. I found an oragami book ($0.25), and a couple of paperback stories ( at $0.25 each).

Storage Box The Prudent Homemaker

I found this storage box for $2, which will now house three girls’ Legos. I found another nice small plastic bin for $0.75.

I bought two gold flower pots for $1 each. I found two packages of shoelaces for $0.10 each.

Citrus Juicer The Prudent Homemaker

It’s always great when you can go with someone else. My mom always sees things that I miss, and she saw something on my list that I walked by twice without noticing, which was a Juicit. My mom has one that I have been borrowing for juicing our lemons. This one is very similar. It was $5 and my mom bought it for me as an early Christmas present. She also gave me a popup hamper that she found for $0.25, which was great because the girls somehow busted the last one I had in their room. She found a few things for some of the children for Christmas as well. She also found me an oval vintage metal embroidery hoop  for $0.25!

I found three orange peelers and a small spatula, each for $0.25.  I also found several plastic drawer bins ($0.25 each), and a metal wastebasket for the boy’s room ($2).

I bought a toddler bed (with a mattress) for Ivory for $15. This wasn’t on my list, but it will work well for her. This caused me to do some rearranging in the girls’ bedrooms, and I switched one child into a different bedroom so that Ivory will be able to nap better. I’ve now got some redecorating to do! The switch is prompting to me to hang up some things in the girls’ rooms that I haven’t done yet, so that will be good, and I think they’ll end up happy with the switch. 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

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114 Comments

  1. Wow! That’s one busy week you had there!

    Great find with the record player. I was so miffed when I bought the kids one for last Christmas only to find that not only do you have to wind it, but like you said, it also takes batteries because it’s like a glorified CD player now. Seemed kind of pointless to make a wind up record player that requires batteries to run it. I felt kind of ripped off as the old vintage ones were not only darned near indestructible but the way they played (like a music box) was always so fun to watch as a kid. I’ve still got my eye out for a vintage one.

    I did get the reproduction TV toy, however and that one still works just with a wind up mechanism. Just an FYI to anyone who might be thinking about getting one. I love watching my son wind it to watch the picture move and listening to it play “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.

    I got some sewing done this week and managed to fix some plumbing. The full list for me can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/10/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap_9.html

    Have a great week, everyone!

  2. Hi Brandy and great find on the adorable record player and lemon juicer and such great prices, and also your new to you bed and new to children bicycle :D.

    Hello one and all from Australia in beautiful spring, where it is really hot in the country at 30oC at the moment :(.

    In the garden –
    – Planted 1 lge row of blue lake climbing beans.
    – Planted 3 rows of spinach beet.
    – Picked green feast peas, snow peas, broad beans, cauliflower, turnips & broccoli.
    – Weeded some front yard herb patches and mulched them.
    – Mulched 3 large vegetable patches in the back paddock to keep the moisture in with the heat.
    – Arranged with a friend from church to sell her our excess produce cheaper than they can purchase them from the local farmers markets, that will mean around $16 extra in our pockets this week, and extra money in their pockets as they have just purchased a house and moved here and finances are tight. A win win for both families financially wise and will help me buy much needed seeds, organic fertilisers, and potting mix for the garden.
    – Took back excess dripper hoses ,connections, and garden seeds (purchased cheaper elsewhere) to the hardware store saving us $77 that we will put into our house savings account.

    Grocery shopping –
    – Not so frugal this week, I was aiming for $48.82 and ended up a register at $92.87 ouch being $44 over but made up for the downfall in taking the excess garden dripper system, parts & seeds back to the hardware store.
    – Another unintended purchase but needed to protect the redhead being me from the vicious heat here, was the purchase of 6 long sleeved work shirts, 3 for husband 3 for me, with 50 plus UV protection for $173.70. Did however due to it being hotter weather get them on sale for $11 less than usual price we pay here each, saving us $66 total. Darn have to make this up now 🙁 out of future weeks budgets.

    In the kitchen –
    – Blanched washed & froze 2 bags of snow peas.
    – Blanched washed & froze 2 lge bags of broad beans.
    – Making a lovely vegetable bake from turnips, broccoli, cauliflower & silverbeet from the garden tonight to last 2 meals.

    Trading –
    – Traded excess vegetables for a dozen eggs.
    – Traded excess vegetables for 2 packets of garden seeds – 1 climbing beans (already planted) and 1 packet of sweet corn.

  3. We’ve had a very frugal week. My older son has moved out to attend university, which has meant that we’re experiencing an excess of leftovers. I invited my parents over for dinner one night and we enjoyed a lovely buffet style meal of leftovers. A tradition I see us repeating. My husband and I spent a nice afternoon walking around the neighborhood and running errands, which was both frugal and useful.

    And of course I blogged about my frugal endeavors here:
    http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/five-frugal-things-109

  4. Wow what great finds -so exciting when you find things for Christmas gifts. I remember our girls enjoying playing records all day on their little record player. Ivory will enjoy it I’m sure.

    It’s still nice here but the garage sales are mostly over for the season. I will miss them but we will go to estate sales instead.

    The garden too is over but I managed to harvest a few more vegetables before I started cleaning up.
    Here is a list of my other frugal ways this past week here:
    http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2015/10/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-101115.html
    Have a blessed week.

  5. Hi Brandy,

    I loved reading all that you purchased at the garage sales. You did very well, especially with the bike and the record player. The player brought back memories of my children having lots of fun with it.

    Thanks for sharing your cleaning methods. When I had a stove that was not self cleaning, I would put a small bowl of ammonia in it overnight. In the morning, all of the gunk on the walls and bottom would just wipe off really easily with a cloth. It saved me hours of cleaning it. Now with the self cleaning, I just run it although it takes 4 hours.. That is a lot of natural gas. UGH!

  6. I enjoy getting gifts at rummage and yard sales too but the problem I find is that it is VERY difficult to do since my kids are almost always with me when I go. Do you go on your sales by yourself or do you take children along? Do you sneak the gifts or do they know about them and then just forget? My husband often works on jobs on Saturdays so I have the children with me if I go- any helpful hints?

  7. This week I started harvesting and cleaning out my garden because autumn is now here in Ohio and peppers and tomatoes will stop producing/ripening outdoors. My grandchildren had picked “all” of my peppers last week, but when I went into the garden to pull the plants, I discovered that their definition of “all” and mine were quite different! Lol! I was able to pick 2 overflowing pecks of bvarious peppers! I began to dig for sweet potatoes and so far have about 30 pounds curing in the sun. I’ve also picked 3 pecks of tomatoes, some ripe and some green. I will lay out the green ones so they can ripen indoors.

    One of our local stores has 5 lb bags of Russet potatoes on sale this week for 49 cents/bag so I bought 100 pounds for $9.80!!!!! I remembered that somewhere online I had seen a storage unit for root type veggies using barrels mounted horizontally with a large cut out opening and air holes. I knew that this would work in my basement! When I found the photo and pinned it, I was sad to see that the photo had no instructions on how to build it! I am blessed with a clever husband who looked at it and figured out what we needed. For date night, Friday night, we took 3 fifteen gallon plastic barrels ($5 each at Pepsi Bottling) that we were not using and stated cutting them and drilling the aeration holes. We had a great time! The next morning, we found 2 x 4’s (the original photo showed 1 x 2’s which hubby considered too light to hold three full barrels! He also used scrap wood to build triangles that he puts in for reinforcing corners. Saturday afternoon, our first three barrel unit was made and we loaded the top barrel with our potatoes. Each barrel will hold about 85 lbs of potatoes! Today I will buy 6 more of the barrels- 3 for another storage bin unit and 3 for our family water storage!

    We had a nice dinner on Thursday with boneless pork chops ($1.49/lb), mashed potatoes (10 cents/lb), home canned green beans (free from my garden), home canned applesauce (free from garden). On Sunday, I used the leftover green beans and mashed potatoes in fridge to make a Shepherd’s pie for our dinner! Took the leftovers from Shepherd’s Pie and portioned them into Rubbermaid containers for brown bag lunches! We are determined to use our leftovers and reduce food waste!

    I’ll buy about 100 lbs more of the potatoes on sale this morning now that I’ll have enough barrel storage which will see me through the winter! I also have 50 lbs of onions in a separate barrel storage that I got at the Amish produce auction for 10 cents/pound.

    I finally decided to start using the dry beans that I’ve had stored in buckets for many years! When I’ve wanted to use black beans in a recipe, I never have “ready to use” black beans so, I am embarrassed to say, I would go to Krogers and buy some canned black beans even though there were 100+ pounds of dry black beans in my basement!!!
    So, I poured dry beans into my crockpot and soaked them overnight, then rinsed and cooked them on stove for 30 minutes and pressure canned them! How simple that was!
    I have decided I will be keeping 14 jars (2 batches) of each variety of beans on my pantry shelf at all times! Btw- I had a quesadilla recipe I wanted to make for dinner that required black beans. I forced myself to open and use 1 of my newly canned black beans and guess what? They were soft, but not mushy or crunchy!!! Delicious!!!! Why has it taken this long for me to learn and put that knowledge into action??? Goodbye store bought canned beans!!!!! Major savings!!!!

    Since it’s getting chillier here, I used some leftover (from my Goodwill flat sheet that I used as quilt backing) sheet to make handkerchiefs for sneezes and drippy noses! Simple to do and used stash leftovers!

    I’m so pleased to see empty jars each week as we use our home canned storage and then each week as I see newly filled jars ready to put back on the basement shelves! Our food storage is doing well and being constantly rotated and I am so grateful that we have been so blessed!

  8. Great finds at the garage sales!

    I went to CVS and got 2 deodorants for my son just paying sales tax OOP and got $4 in bucks to use next time.

    My son came home from college for a quick visit and I noticed he desperately needs new athletic shoes but never mentioned it to me or asked for a new pair. I was proud of him for not asking, but of course I wanted to get him a new pair. He picked out a pair from the clearance table at Sports Authority. I used a $5 coupon for signing up for their rewards program and paid the balance using funds from my gift/extras account from selling clutter around the house, swagbucks, doing surveys, etc.

    I ordered more of the Clinique rosacea cleanser and cream I use when their free gift started. I think I have enough now to last me for a year. My order qualified for free shipping and an additional free full sized item in addition to the GWP, which I put away for my daughter for a holiday gift. With this GWP and other free cosmetics I put aside a couple weeks ago from Dillards GWP, I should be able to fill to the brim one of the cosmetics bags!

    I did a mystery shopping assignment at a grocery store after work. I’ll get a small reimbursement from groceries (I got things to fill gaps in my pantry – flour, sugar, tomato sauce) and a small shoppers fee.

    I cut up limes I got from my CSA share and froze them to pull out to put in my water or for cooking.

    Took my father to Walmart to do his shopping. Entered his receipt into Savings Catcher for him plus a receipt I found in a cart.

    Stopped at CVS on the way home and got 4 bags of popcorn free (will put these in my sons Halloween basket for him to take back to college).

    I gifted more Halloween decorations to a woman at work with small children who is starting over.

    I had a couple more ebay auctions close for $28.

    Plus all the usual – washing out baggies, wearing clothes more than once, composting, gardening, taking leftovers home from work, not doing any shopping other than the above. I keep busy doing something every day at home. Reading frugal blogs to keep motivated. I work overtime as I can.

    I’m looking forward to reading what everyone else has done. Have a great frugal week!

  9. Rebecca, I go with my mom twice a year on the weekends of the community garage sales. Sometimes I will try to get to a couple more, and those I do by myself. I leave the children home with my husband. That many people in and out of the car would really slow me down, not to mention the looking time with children in tow. I bring everything into the house in bags and take it to my room. Anything that isn’t for gifts I bring out and give to them that day, but the rest I pack away for Christmas and birthdays.

    Maybe there is another mom you can swap with? She can watch your children while you go and you can give her a chance to go another weekend, or to just do some regular shopping in exchange?

  10. That is wonderful! I am so glad that you found all of those things for yourself and your kids. I wish we had a community sale like that around here, but I know that every region has its own blessings. I just returned from a trip to visit my dad in Alexandria, VA and got to visit Mt. Vernon. It was the highlight of my trip, and encouraged me to work harder at home and on my garden. I thought of you as well when I saw the seed starting garden – he had an entire area devoted to planting vegetables to start seeds with and there was a quote that said, “it is a mistake for a farmer to be obliged to buy his Seeds; to exchange Seeds may, in some cases, be useful; but to buy them after the first year is disreputable.” It made me smile. I don’t know if you have ever read “The Founding Gardeners” by Andrea Wulf, but if you haven’t, you really should. It’s about the horticultural and agricultural efforts of the founding fathers of the U.S.

    One nice thing about the D.C. area is that the Smithsonian museums are free, so I got to go to the National Gallery as well and purchased 4 11×14 high-quality prints of artwork to add to our collection at home. They were only $2.50 each.

  11. I love garage sales but our season is winding down. The better ones are from March until the beginning of October.

    Frugal accomplishments this week include:
    1. Accepting left over rolls and ham from our church anniversary service Friday night. The meat from the bones will make a couple of mess this week and the bones will be used as well. I got enough rolls for five meals. Those were put in the freezer. I also took a pan of cornbread from my friend that she didn’t need and I will freeze that and use it for Thanksgiving.
    2. Shopped the Friday sales and got five pounds of flour for .99 each. I bought twenty five pounds. I would have bought more but I currently have no more storage.
    3. Stayed home and did not eat out, not even once. I know this may seem strange to some of you because you never eat out, but this is a major budget buster for us, especially on weekends. This is week three for us.
    4. Made two skirts from some of my mom’s stash of material. The one skirt I had planned to wear Friday night turned out to be too casual for that event so I wore a blue suit and jazzed it up with some leopard accessories I had. I got several compliments on the outfit. The second skirt I started Friday and then realized I was out of elastic and did not have time to buy some so I set it to the side. My husband was digging in the closet and found an old skirt that had exactly the amount of elastic I needed so I was able to finish the skirt for free!

  12. We had beautiful weather in central Maryland this week with no need for air conditioning or heat. My neighbor, her two children, and I went to a local pick your own (or buy what we’ve already picked) farm. We got there around 10 and took the hay wagon ride to the pumpkin patch where we each picked several. I’m so glad we got there early in the day because by the time we got back, there were several dozen people in line for the wagon ride and by the time we left around 11:30 or 12, the line was a couple hundred people long, as was the line to go to the apple orchard to pick. It’s a popular place in October since they do a fall harvest celebration each weekend and there were a lot of soccer players and their families visiting in between games at a huge kids’ soccer. We ate lunch at a restaurant 3 miles away that is associated with the farm. It was a great time for all of us, including her autistic son who has become more and more comfortable with me and thus more vocal.

    While there, I bought half a bushel of mixed “seconds” apples for $10, which gave me 2.25 quarts of dehydrated slices and 16 cups of frozen slices. Another 4 cups of chunks will be added to the apples I prepped and froze last month when I make applesauce. I saved and froze the peels and cores but haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do with them.

    I also purchased ½ peck of seconds tomatoes for $5 and which dehydrated to 1.5 quarts. They are SO good that I am going to buy more and do several more quarts. Some of them will end up as part of Christmas gifts. A bag of 10 peppers, mostly red, from the discount shelf was 50 cents. I will cut up and either freeze or dehydrate them. A 5 pound bag of undersized russet potatoes to make potato soup for my daughter was 99 cents. There should be enough left to also try dehydrating them. I am so glad that I bought the Excalibur dehydrator this year; it is really helping me to stock my pantry.

    I cooked a pork roast in the slow cooker and shredded it to make pork bbq. I froze it in individual servings so it’s quick to grab for lunch at work.

    Darcy mentioned last week that her husband wants to keep the outside lights on overnight and she hopes that the LED bulbs they installed would help lower the bill for running them. I have two porch lights with fluorescent bulbs that are kept on 24/7 and my overnight cost is about .035 kilowatts per hour; I’m more than willing to do that for the safety factor of someone coming up to my house for either an innocent or nefarious purpose. I am able to monitor this through my electric company because I have a smart meter.

    It may not be frugal – okay, it definitely isn’t frugal – but I get to see my daughter on Halloween when she is in Virginia Beach for the weekend, only 5 hours driving time away instead of the usual 9 when she is at school. I’m making her several different types of cookies, some fudge and candies, and some main courses, such as the soup. I also get to drive over two of my favorite bridges – the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The tolls aren’t cheap but if anyone is interested in some great engineering projects, look these bridges up. Any bridge that includes two tunnels and has a rest stop with a restaurant on it is pretty cool in my book.

  13. You can look up a Just Between Friends sale in your area. It is a big “garage sale” held in public places 1 time a year. Everything sold is for children and is in almost new condition. In our area it is a 3 day sale. I am lucky, in our area we have 2. One in Austin just last month, and now one in Round Rock next week. I go on the last day when prices are cut to the bone because no one wants to take the unsold items home. In the Austin sale a month ago I got some nice clothes for a grandchild, name brand, for less than $20.00. I also picked up some toys for my day care business. I set aside money all year to buy at this sale for my business. I am looking for some baby bottles this week that a new client uses. I brought 2 at the store because I had to have something to feed her with, but the 2 bottles, just a 4oz size cost $24.00 here. She will out grow them and need the larger size quickly. We are supposed to supply the bottles etc. in a home daycare so I am always looking for these kinds of things. Bottles change so much. These are a Latch brand and are made for breast feeding mothers.

    To save money this week I cleaned my pantry, took a big inventory of what is there and what is needed for the rest of the year. I got sugar on sale, some flour on sale, and have much of what is needed for holiday baking.

    We have had NO rain, it is going to be 97 here today. We had to water this week. Our trees were looking kind of sad. I used rain barrel water on the roses but did not have enough left for the trees. We have not had measurable rain in our area since last May. Sometimes I think I live in a desert.

    I mended some shirts for a neighbor. I did not want or expect pay but he insisted and put the money into my mail box. So I got an extra $20.00 that I will use in my Christmas fund.

    I planted a few squash plants. Our local grocery store had some ‘seed pods’ on clearance for 19 cents each. I got some squash pods and planted them in empty pots. I use this squash in our dog’s food as well as we eat it. Our vet told us it is a good filler for dog food because it is not high in empty calories like rice. When cooked in chicken broth our dogs love it.

    I am working on my Christmas gifts for family and friends. Finished one pair of pillow cases and got another set half done over the weekend. I also got some things to put back for my grandson’s Christmas. Some new to them games for their player and some music for their CD player.

    Made my husband some pumpkin pie. His favorite. He has diabetes so making his treats is something I do often. He can not eat store brought things because often even if they are marked ‘sugar free’ there is something else in them that he is not supposed to have.

    Had family reunion this past weekend. Nice to see older family members that live a distance away. My mother in law passed away a few years ago, but 3 of her brothers are still around. Though in their 90’s now it is great to hear stories of their child hood with Marie. (my mother in law) I really miss her. She was so sweet.

  14. I love that quote! Thank you so much for sharing! I have a book on the gardens at Mt. Vernon and one on Monitcello; I’ve never been but I have studied their gardens as much as possible (online, too) and I have never seen that quote! I’ll definitely have to check out that book! I think I have heard of it once before but I will check it out for certain now!

  15. We always keep on the lookout for vintage toys for our daughter. they were made so much better than the plastic/disposable ones that are on the market today. I, too, always enjoy reading what you find at rummage sales.
    Last week:
    -I picked the three bell peppers that were big but not changing color, picked all but the tiniest of tomatoes to ripen in the house. I picked more parsley. My husband picked the last pumpkin. We picked the carrots. We did not have to many this year, however I washed, sliced, and cooked them. I also used some going soft carrots from our crisper drawer to avoid food waste. I ended up with 4 quart bags, in serving sizes, for the freezer. Winter is almost here as well, in northern Illinois.
    -I was able to take advantage of a very good sale at a local grocery store. I purchased 20 lbs of potatoes at .18 per pound ( I don’t have room to store more yet), hot dogs for .39 a package, 3 pounds of apples for 1.99. The store also had a meat sale. If you purchased three pkgs of specially market meat you got them for $5 per package. I purchased 1 pork loin (original price was almost $7, and two family sized pkgs of boneless pork chops that were almost $9 each. I picked the largest packages to get the most for my money. The store also gives children 1 free cookie, so my daughter picked a chocolate m and m cookie.
    -My husband and I have been taking turns making dinner and cleaning the kitchen. Last week he made mozzarella stuffed meatballs which I paired with some pasta with homemade marinara. I made Brandy’s taco soup with scratch made corn bread. I made homemade marinara sauce using homegrown tomatoes and herbs and homegrown onions and oregano that was gifted to us last Christmas in a set. I made yogurt, banana bread, mulberry jam, coconut oil toothpaste, copy cat Popeye’s beans and rice, snickerdoodle apple crisp (my husband found the recipe on Facebook and drooled so I made it one day when he was gone) . I used bacon grease in a recipe that called for lard and I couldn’t tell the difference. I reconstituted dry milk powder and added it to the milk jug of whole milk that was half empty. I have been trying to make meatless meals more to stretch the meat we do have. My husband LOVES his meat, so this has been a challenge. He loved the beans and rice though.
    -Picked flowers for the table. My daughter picked a couple of greens from the yard to put in with the flower and it looks very pretty.
    -My husband found a hand held game system for our daughter for her birthday for $40 that included 2 games. He paid for it with his own money. I wanted to get her something non electronic but oh well. She will enjoy it and will be able to take it in the car when we drive somewhere long distance. He also made her a birthday cake. My mom came over, we never even heard from his family and they only live 30 minutes away. We had pizza ($5 Little Ceasars pizza) and cake at home with my mom. My mom bought her new warm jammies with owls for her present. she loved them, and I had purchased her a new pair of green, handmade slippers just like my great grandmother used to make from an Etsy seller. I purchased the slippers a few weeks ago. When she saw the slippers she gasped and said “OH THANK YOU HONEY”! She calls us “honey” because we always call her that LOL.
    -I deep cleaned the bathroom using my liquid soap nuts. I washed everything ceiling to floor. It looks and smells great. I used rags from my rag bag, a scrubbie brush, and my homemade cleaner. I have found that liquid soap nuts is a great cleaner for the toilet bowl.
    -I figured out why my printer wasn’t working. We had gotten a new internet modem from the company because our old one quit working and I didn’t set it up on the printer LOL oops.
    -I still haven’t heard about my unemployment but received an email that I have to call them. I should have received a paycheck today and it was not direct deposited into my account so I have to call my former employer and see what is going on there. I really dislike calling them. I also have to make sure they will be paying me for my unused vacation time.
    – My husband cut my hair for me.
    -We sat outside and played and enjoyed the last of the beautiful fall weather. My husband raked a leaf pile for our daughter, one of her favorite fall activities is to jump in the leaf pile.
    -I renewed our library books online to avoid a special trip. I have read several books this week and read every night to my daughter.
    -drank water.
    -I used saved water from rinsing veggies etc into a bucket or shower water or the water bath canner to water plants and pour into the washing machine.
    – I pulled a package of rolls out of the freezer. The rolls are from the HUGE bread donation at my former employer that I received for free. I still have several packages of different types of buns/rolls etc in the freezer. We will use hamburger buns for sandwiches, for example.
    My hubby made $50 replacing the brakes for his best friend’s girlfriend.
    -I cleaned out and organized our small freezer (I haven’t gotten to the big freezer yet) and organized it using small square tubs I had in the spare room. Looks much better and much easier to find things now.
    -I washed and reused glass jars and baggies, kept lights, electronics, and appliances off and unplugged when not being used.
    ALSO: My husband is supposed to be having an interview this week!! I am so nervous as he hasn’t been on an interview in several years! It would be so wonderful if he got a better job so I could stay home with our daughter for awhile. It is for a very good company that his best friend works for.
    Have a great week everyone! I look forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments!

  16. I love all your garage sale finds!

    My children have been asking for pancakes for breakfast, and I finally had a chance to make them this weekend. I made a double batch of blueberry pancakes with blueberries that we picked for $1.25/lb. and froze in August. I flash froze the leftover pancakes, and when the boys feel like pancakes for breakfast, I can take a few out and warm them up in the toaster for a quick, healthy breakfast on busy mornings.

    This week we tried Mustard Glazed Chicken. By making a few changes to the recipe, it turned out to be a fairly inexpensive meal. I substituted some of the ingredients for less expensive options that I already had on hand and I used one large boneless, skinless chicken breast to feed my whole family by butterflying the chicken breast and cutting both pieces into two more pieces for a total of four pieces. I also made a big pan of roasted potatoes and added carrots and onions from our garden.

    I picked carrots from our garden. I haven’t had to buy carrots for about a month now and I love that I can walk right outside for them!

    I bought whole wheat bread for $1.03 per loaf and English muffins for $.99 each at the bread outlet store. I used some of the English muffins to make breakfast sandwiches for lunch this week and I will use them this week to make English muffin pizzas for dinner.

    I reused freezer bags.

    I started a handmade gift.

    http://vanessasvalues.blogspot.com/2015/10/simply-saving-saturday-october-10.html

  17. Vickie, how do you find Estate sales? I have never seen a true estate sale here. A couple of the places I went to in the senior community on Saturday I found deals because the homeowner had died, but everything was out like a regular garage sale. I have never seen a true estate sale with things in the house in place. I don’t know if they don’t do them here or if I am just missing how to find them.

    The garage sales are just starting here; it is too hot in summer as was almost too hot on Saturday at 94º. I ended up sunburnt.

  18. Found 10 lbs of potatoes for 1.49
    sunday ate at church
    found 500 sheets of line paper for 1.00
    Starting to look at what I bought that an i opener. Ex yesterday bought 3 pops for us and it came 5.50 that. I could of save that.
    hubby trimmed apples trees and was able to take the to dump for free

  19. Hi Brandy! Great finds you got at those yard sales! MUCH better than consignment stores.

    So for me, since I’m still off work (but thinking I’ll be cleared on Friday) I’ve been sticking to home. Saves money and gas.

    I got several free magazines in the mail thanks to Recyclebank.

    I downloaded several books to my Kindle App.

    My mother has been so very helpful and since I’m off work, she graciously made my Car payment for me this past month 🙂

    Took my son to my parents house on Sunday and he got his hair cut for free. My mom had bought pizza from Little Ceasars so Sunday lunch was free. Afterwards my boy played outside with his girl cousins for over an hour. Nothing like good old-fashioned fun with family.

    Ate dinner at home Mon-Thurs.

    Went to a Pumpkin Fest with the family. Rode a roller coaster I first rode back in 1984 as a young child. SO many fun memories.

    Hung loads of clothes to dry in our basement to save on the gas bill. That’s about it I think, everything else was just regular day-to-day stuff.

    Hope everyone has a great week.

  20. WOW! you found a lot of great stuff!!

    -we replaced more lightbulbs with LED
    -Read a chapter book to the kids (my kids are young and didn’t know if they would like a book without pictures- they did!)
    – printed coloring pages
    -bought a pair of jeans off ebay for myself, and listed 3 pairs that don’t fit
    -used recycled cardboard to start fireplace
    -reused a large container of greek yogurt we finished to put leftover chili in the freezer
    -turned off stove/oven a few minutes early.
    -turned on fewer lights even though it is staying dark longer/darker early evenings
    -stayed within grocery budget
    – Mom turned 50 yesterday and my sister and I treated her to pedicures, lunch, then came back to my house for coffee and talk. was a splurge money wise but so worth it, and filled my soul. (no grandkids except 4 week baby Daniel, which was nice to enjoy complete focus )
    -made pot “pie” 100% from scratch! so good! although I made the filling, poured into a 9×13 and then poured a cornbread topping on it. .. Very time consuming but so worth it, next time I will double and freeze one!
    -Switched seasonal clothes out and wrote a list of what needs filled in.

    – Food Waste: whole head of cauliflower 🙁

    Question: does anyone have experience or advice on starting a compost pile now [inexpensively], for next spring ? {We live in Indiana} We weren’t able to get a garden in this year at the new house, but am trying to be proactive for next year!??

  21. Hi Brandy and ouch at 36 oC I understand the air conditioning that you have there and why it works overtime.

    I cannot complain though as when we first moved to the country from suburbia to here it was 45 oC, so it is relatively cool here at the moment. Although being born with red hair and having such a pale complexion, so pale that you could use me for light in a blackout :D, anything over around 20 oC burns me and makes me light up like a red traffic light in under 5 minutes without copious amounts of sunscreen on me.

  22. • Made crockpot applesauce from orchard apples that were starting to turn soft
    • Found a good color lipstick at an overstock store that I liked. Went back after I tried it and bought 3 more to stock up.
    • Ran out of my face moisturizer but found it on sale at Walgreens, plus a coupon, plus my son’s employee discount for a reasonable price.
    • Found a home gym on Craigslist. We have been looking for a while and this one fit what we were looking for at the budget we set.
    • Pack my lunch for work every day using leftovers from the night before.
    • Crocheted boot cuffs as a gift for a friend using leftover yarn from a previous project.
    • Mended 2 pairs of pants that were missing buttons.
    • Cut my husband’s and son’s hair using clippers.
    • Used a coupon for my own haircut. (I’m not brave enough yet to let my husband cut mine!)
    • Made a list of Christmas gifts to buy/make which will keep me from buying spontaneous.
    • Planning ahead for Thanksgiving so I can watch for sales on what I need.

  23. I’m learning so much from everyone’s posts. Here are my latest efforts to save money. I got a coupon code for a free Redbox movie rental, which we used for “Friday popcorn movie night”. My kids really look forward to Fridays. I have some black satin sheets I purchased for next to nothing many years ago. It turns out that I hate satin sheets, so they’ve only been used a few times. I’m going to use them to make matching Christmas dresses for my three girls. I made two batches of goat milk soap. One batch was honey/oatmeal and the other was scented with orange essential oils (turmeric is a fantastic colorant, by the way. It made the soap a nice creamy orange). The produce bags from the grocery store are quite thin, and make excellent liners. Baby wipe containers make great molds, the lids snaps down and keeps the liner in place while the soap sets the first 24 hours. I had some frozen grapes that needed to be used, so I made raisins yesterday.

  24. Dear Brandy and everyone, What fantastic sales and good finds. You have a lot put away for Christmas already and very good things. I am glad you found things on your list.
    I have been working on Christmas presents and Christmas fruit cakes. I made a lot of small cakes to use as gifts.
    Our weather is warming up as yours is cooling off. I am using a lot of recycled water on the garden. I had some bargains and a meal of using up left overs.
    Have a great week, love Annabel. Xx My weekly list and ideas for inexpensive gifts to cook are here http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/

  25. I really enjoyed reading about your yard sale finds, Brandy. You found some great stuff this round, especially the bike and roller blades. I’m sure your boys are thrilled with their new “toys”!

    Well, this weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving. I’d like to extend a Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian counterparts that read this Blog. We had company come to stay, which was very enjoyable. Today we’re off to our favourite local fair, before my brother makes his way back to Ottawa.

    I’ve been pretty busy this past week. So with no further delay, here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Registered our family to go to a free screening of the new Star Wars movie in December through Autism Ontario. The event is an early morning theatre screening where they turn down the volume and leave the lights turned up a bit, to accommodate for sensory issues often associated with Autism spectrum. We’re very excited and looking forward to see the next movie in the Star Wars series!

    *Cleaned my daughter’s play area/storage area. We purged things that were no longer needed (which felt good to let go of) and I received 4 coupons for $5 off a $25 purchase at the thrift store. I brought a love seat in from our storage in the garage, shampooed it, and used it for my daughters play space. She loves her new seating. We also bought a brand new heavy duty shelving unit for around $90 and a cheap metal shelf at auction for $4 to help organize the space better. It’s not completely finished, but is looking much better already.:)

    *My mom and I volunteered again this week at my work. There were a lot of left over apples from the Applefest event. In the spirit of not being wasteful, they decided to make apple pies and applesauce with the left over apples. As a thank you for our help, we were served hot apple pie! We had the option of taking home applesauce, but declined as we already have lots from last year to use up. I really hope I’m done with peeling apples for this year.:p

    *My daughter complained that I never buy treats for her lunch. I pulled out a package of instant banana pudding, made it up with powdered milk from the pantry and put it into 5 snack sized reusable containers for her lunches this week. That is as close to store bought that she is getting, so she’d better not complain!;)

    *Chicken breasts were on sale at Costco this week, $5 off a package no matter what the pack cost. I dug through and found some that were cheaper, thus getting a better deal. I paid about $20 per package which contained 8 large chicken breasts per pack. We made both packages into chicken souvlaki for the freezer minus 2 breasts for one dinner (hot chicken sandwiches) and some of the marinated chicken for another.

    *Home made meals this week included a crock pot of chilli for my husband & mother and perogies for my daughter & I (neither of us like chilli), chicken fingers with rice and veggie, tacos, hot chicken sandwiches with potato wedges and carrots, pizza (dough made in bread maker), and chicken souvlaki with rice and corn.

    *We were running low on bread in the freezer and my brother was coming to stay, so I made homemade bread to use while he was visiting. Yummy and frugal…my favourite way to save!:D

    *My brother came to stay for our Thanksgiving this weekend. My homemade bread apparently inspired him as he decided he wanted a bread maker, plus he needed a crock pot so he could make pulled pork. He’s on a tight budget, so we went to a local thrift store (same one I donated to earlier this week), where we found several. He picked a bread maker that cost $8, but was missing the book and a crock pot that cost $12 (we plugged them in there to make sure they worked). He even found 2 shirts in his size that fit well (he is very large so cloths are VERY expensive new). I used one of the coupons for $5 off the purchase, so total was about $40. We looked up the manual on-line for his bread maker and printed off the English section only (37 pages) so he would have a reference for it, including recipes (I also copied the recipes I use most for our bread maker). We cleaned up his purchases, then he tried out the bread maker (with tips and pointers from me) and it worked great! I gave him some bread making supplies to take home (yeast, powdered milk and bread flour) to help get him started.

    *Of course we had roast turkey with all the trimmings on Sunday for our Thanksgiving meal. My MIL and my brother joined us for the feast. We had already bought the turkey cheap last year during Christmas sales. Carrots, potatoes and onions have been on sale very cheap recently, too (less than $0.20/lb). I found a can of cranberries in the pantry we bought on sale last Easter. We used the bread ends that I saved in the freezer and dried herbs from the pantry to make the dressing. I served homemade bread with dinner instead of buying buns. For dessert, we offered homemade pumpkin pie and apple pie from the freezer. So overall, the meal was very inexpensive to make! We will be making turkey pot pies for the freezer with the left over’s. These are a really cheap, simple, and delicious meal option that my family LOVES to eat!:D

    I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s frugal accomplishments, as always. Wishing everyone a wonderful, frugal week!

  26. We have many estate sales here, and I think that is because this is a much older community than Las Vegas, as far as the age of houses….many houses date back to the early to mid 1800’s, and have been in the family a few generations. I see estate sales advertised in the newspaper, on facebook, on the radio. etc. I have gone to a few, where you walk through the house. It is like walking through a family history program.

  27. Brandy, we go to auctions in our area, which can be like estate sales. Some auctions are done at the person’s home, while others are done at a place rented by the auctioneers. Regardless, they are usually because either someone is downsizing or someone has passed away. We’ve found some incredible deals this way…even better than if we had went to yard sales!

  28. You did so well at the sales, Brandy, and I love the record player you found. It pushed my nostalgia button and now I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy with memories.

    We are still in our busy spell and I failed to take the time to record my frugal goings-on. I can share that I was blessed and able to be a blessing this week because the pantry is stocked. Friends were moving her mother to a new home, so my husband went to help with the physical lifting and carrying and I made a huge pot of chili, muffins, corn bread, and a cake to feed the moving crew. We had plenty for the meal and enough leftovers for lunch today for my husband, my daughter, and me.

    And as soon as I post this I’m going to make a batch of homemade sports drink (recipe at http://achatovercoffee.com/2015/08/12/i-tried-it-homemade-sports-drink-with-my-recipe/) for my daughter. Her conference and district cross country meets are in the next two weeks, so she’s working to stay hydrated and in top form for her races.

    Have a lovely week!

  29. I can beans as well. I typically don’t precook them, though. 1 cup 2 tbs. Beans per quart, fill jar with hot water, and process 90 min at 15 lbs pressure. I will season them sometimes with taco seasoning to make chili beans. I also can ham and bean soup, though I do precook it. I use directions from the ball blue book for them. Makes for a quick off the shelf meal. Just heat and eat. That and a few other home canned soups save us from desperate pizza calls on busy nights. So much cheaper!

  30. No, going the last day of the sale like I do the prices I see are lower. Like I paid just $5.00 for an infant swing that new costs at least $75.00. I got a exersaucer for a baby too, like new condition for $4.00. I did not buy a lot of clothes there. My one grandson Gavin is wearing an adult size small in a shirt and pants. Evan on the other hand still wears youth clothes. I got him an LL Bean jacket for $8.00. Some like new shoes for $8.00 too. Nike brand.
    I think it depends what day you go. Like I said in my first post, the last day they really mark down the prices so that they do not have to move the unsold items. This next week’s sale will be at the Dell Diamond. (Dell Diamond is a baseball park) I will go on Saturday, the last day of the sale.

  31. Oh man! That record player brings back memories! What a great find! I want to come to Vegas and go to garage sales with you. I feel like I never find anything when I go. Maybe I need to start making a list.

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for last week:

    -Kroger had two 5 pound bags of potatoes in the clearance section. They were $1.23 each. I bought both bags. As far as I can tell, there is nothing wrong with the potatoes. I was stumped at to why they were marked down.
    -I did a pinecone survery
    -We have been enjoying so fabulous fall weather and have not had to turn the A/C or heat pump on at all. I’m definitely looking forward to a lower electric bill.
    -We had enough fuel points to get 70 cents off each gallon of gas. We filled up both cars for under $40.00!
    -We had friends come visit us for a night. I made homemade egg mcmuffins for breakfast. They were a big hit! I made a vegetable soup for lunch. Our friends took us out for dinner which was super nice of them.
    -I used a 15% off code to order some sweaters from LL Bean. I love the quality and feel it is worth it to pay a little more to get sweaters from there. With the code, they were a great buy. My other sweaters are old and worn out and need to be replaced.
    -We desperately need new towels. I bought some at JC Penney. They were on sale, and I also used a $10 off coupon so they were very reasonably priced.

  32. Such great finds at the yard sale! It’s nice to find things you need, and also some presents that the recipients will love. I hope to someday have a few lemons to harvest. Last winter I started some from seed. I repotted the strongest 4 seedlings over the summer, and just brought them indoors yesterday. I also started an avocado, which is 4′ tall now, but I’d say that’s REALLY wishful thinking to hope for a harvest from that :o) I will look up Home Fires. Most of what I seem to enjoy are British shows. Joining in here: http://www.abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-habit-and-frugal-accomplishments.html

  33. It has been quite awhile since I have commented but have read what all of you ladies have been up to which is very motivating!
    Yesterday DH’S boss offered us his tickets and parking pass to the Ravens game, over a $200 value. It was a beautiful day and we got some exercise walking from the car to the stadium. On our way home we stopped at Aldi’s where I found packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts with $4 off stickers. I bought 2 of the smallest packages for a total of 9 lbs. for about $12.

    I am picking a handful of cherry tomatoes about every other day as the garden starts to come to a close. I have been watching the nighttime temps so I know when to harvest any green ones and ripen inside or to pickle. My Thai basil, which I started from a piece that came with my soup at a Vietnamese restaurant, continues to grow. Each time it starts to get too tall I cut it back and root the pieces so now I have quite a bit that I will cut and dry before the first frost. I got a bunch of sage from a fellow Freecycler which I will also dry. The same person gave me 2 Texas red star hibiscus which I have planted in my front garden.

    Recently a father on Freecycle posted a wanted for a skateboard for his son. My youngest son left for university in August and before he left made a pile of stuff he no longer wanted. In the pile was a skateboard and I had waited to get rid of it, to make sure he didn’t decide when he had been at school for a bit, that he wanted his board at school. I contacted him and told him about the man’s post and he said to give him the board. The man was thrilled! A few days later the same man offered a Whisper Mill grain mill which is something I have had on my wish list for years. When I emailed him he said he would be happy for me to have it! I picked it up the same day and it is in like new condition! I am looking forward to using it and grinding my own wheat! I’ll take any tips that you ladies might have about using a grain mill!

    The past 2 weekends have been 2 of my favorite church sales. I seem to do much better at these than at yard sales. The first one changed it’s opening from Friday at 6 PM to 11 AM. I happen to see this on their website the day before and I’m so glad I did. It was less than a mile from my office so I took an early lunch and my girlfriend went with me.
    ~I bought several things for resale including a Keurig with Kcup drawer for $3, 2 brand new XBox 1 games for $2 that I will sell on Amazon and 7 pieces of American Girl furniture for $5.50 that I will sell on FB.
    ~For the kitchen I bought a tortilla press for 75¢ that sells for $30 on Amazon, 2 Revere Ware pans for $1.25 that 1 will go in each of my sons “1st apartment box” and a heavy duty manual can opener for 25¢. I also bought a new canner for $3 which I will use to replace mine. I also got a Teavana tea brewer and a Maryland mug from the free cart. The mug will be a stocking stuffer for DS#1.
    ~For the home I bought 2 new chimney sweep brushes for $1.50. DH passed on one years ago at a church sale and always said he wished he’d have gotten it. Now he has 2! I also bought a box of Yankee Candle Bayberry tealights for 40¢, a large outdoor pillow for the deck for $1 and a new European square pillow for 50¢.
    ~For my family I bought 4 books on CD for my husband and a CD of Irish music for DS #1.
    ~For myself I bought a dress form for $2.50, 2 bolts and a bag of fabric for $3, glass floral frogs for $1 and 3 pairs of earrings for $5, a pair of pearls and 2 pairs of sterling. One pair is marked T & Co. Peretti and after researching I confirmed they are indeed Tiffany earrings designed by Elsa Peretti. The lowest priced earrings I can find by this designer are $125 but most are $175 or more. Yippee!

    All of this from the first church sale! The second sale was not nearly as good as it normally is and I didn’t buy much. A large galvanized metal caddy for 50¢, a vintage ceramic inchworm garden sculpture for 50¢, some paper crafting supplies for $3.50 and a Toddy coffee maker for $1. The carafe to my Toddy had gotten broken and the mason jar I was using wasn’t really working all that well. I also needed to order filters and this came with 2 new ones! I love the Toddy for making cold brew coffee concentrate and am happy to replace it for so little!

    Have a great week ladies!

  34. Brandy-what great finds at the garage sales! I am always happy when I can find some toys for the grand kids. I, too just found out about the baking soda paste for the oven door and will be trying that. I always clean the oven this time of year before the baking season.

    I went to the thrift store this past week and found some fabric that will come in handy. The best find was enough autumn fabric to make into a tablecloth for our Thanksgiving dinner. I also found white linen napkins and fabric swatches to make into throw pillows. I also got 2 puzzles for the grands.

    A couple of weeks ago we bought two LED bulbs but one did not work, so we took it back and bought a 2-pack for the same price of the one we returned.

    The heat and air-conditioning continues to stay off as we are having a very mild fall. That is always a blessing. The forecast is for upper 60’s and low 70’s and sunny for the coming week.

    I took a vacation day today (Columbus Day) so I will only need gas for work for 4 days.

    Went to the library for books, made Greek yogurt, a Greek salad for lunches, crock pot spaghetti sauce (I use my standard recipe and quadruple it and freeze in portions), and steel-cut oatmeal for breakfasts.

    I am slowly stocking up on pantry items like whole chickens for 88 cents per pound and canned tomato foods that we always use. Next week I will only have to buy produce and maybe milk or eggs.

  35. I love reading about your garage sale scores… so inspirational! I have never had the patience for garage sales and thrift stores, but I am beginning to cultivate the right attitude. Saving money, helping people feel good about decluttering, and keeping things out of the land fill are all important to me!

    Some of our frugal accomplishments this week include:

    1. Used credit card points to book a FREE hotel room and rental car for a trip we are taking in two weeks (we pay for everything with the card to get the points, and pay the balance in full each month to avoid interest).

    2. Last year, we went to a music festival and spent a LOT of money on food and drink there (they don’t let you bring your own). This year, we planned ahead and budgeted the same amount to spend. But we were more careful with our spending, eating beforehand and drinking more water at the festival, and still have 1/3 of the money we set aside for the event.

    3. We planted our first-ever Fall garden: cauliflower, kale, carrots, beets, bok choy, and onions. We used the square-foot gardening method and kept it small enough that it won’t be tragic if we make mistakes our first time out.

    4. I dehydrated some kale and spinach that was about to go bad, and ground it in the food processor to make greens powder to add to smoothies.

    5. We enjoyed a free outdoor concert with friends and an out-of-town guest.

  36. Great buys, Brandy! If the baking powder solution doesn’t work for you oven window, there’s a window cleaner that you can buy for wood stoves that works like a gem. It’s cheaper than the kind for appliances too. You can find it at Tractor Supply stores. Do you have those in your area?

    Thrifty things we did this week:

    Harvested and canned carrots.
    Harvested blackberries and made jelly.
    Laid a flagstone path under our trellis with free stones.
    Refinished a table, hutch and chair with stripper that we bought at estate sales and a thrift store.
    Built a cupboard from repurposed wood.
    Heated the house with free pallet wood.
    Collected and cut up free pallets for firewood and building.
    Made a cross stitch piece from thrifted items.
    Attended two auctions for free entertainment.
    Traded bushels of carrots, apples, pears and garlic and herbs for a lamb roast and some venison.
    Used that venison and our vegetables to make chili which I canned.
    Attended a moonlight madness sale where I bought a pork loin roast for 89 cents/ lb. and roasting chickens for 69 cents a pound.
    Prepared the chickens, one which we ate and used for sandwiches the other I froze the meat. Ditto for the pork roast.
    Saved all the bones and meat scraps from the lamb, pork and chicken and made a good bone broth that I canned.
    Bought a wringer washing machine at an estate sale.
    Used the gray water from washing clothes for flushing toilets.

    It was a busy couple of weeks! I missed reading you blog.

  37. What is a potato barrel? I don’t buy potatoes in bulk because they get eyes and too soft quickly. I just think I don’t know the proper way to store them.

  38. Reading your garage sale finds was like a mini Christmas morning to me. (To live vicariously!)
    While thrifting this past week, I found 2 antique rulers – one had sharpie marker all over it. After researching Youtube, I found a remedy removal using what I had (tea tree oil and a little elbow grease).
    2 baby showers – in which I will need gifts. I found a brand new crib dust ruffle (while thrifting)– the 4 panels of “ruffle” I am going to cut and use for the tops for burp cloths, the white cloth that lays under the mattress will be cut to make the backs – I should get 6 cloths sewn. I figure 3 each plus a few onesies for each gift. I had intended on making baby quilts, but have been too busy with other projects.
    Our washer died, with the purchase of a new one, we received a GC to a furniture store. My husband has wanted a new table lamp, so we went to look for one. I was in super sticker shock (no table lamps under $200). Thankfully, they didn’t have one he really liked. I will use the GC to buy a vase to give as a gift for his mother. He thought that was a great idea.
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  39. I also belong to the red head club (although mine is now liberally sprinkled with grey, the complexion remains the same.) I am so thankful for the invention of sun screen, as when I was a child, that was not an alternative. I wore shirts over bathing suits and just plain stayed in the shade when necessary. Still had many stinging and even a few blistering sun burns. So much nices now to put on sunscrren and a hat, and be outdoors!

  40. One of the things I like most about our Thanksgiving meal is that we keep it simple—-I make cornbread stuffing, and my own gravy, and mashed potatoes and always pumpkin pie and chocolate pie. Most of that comes from the pantry–the only changes from year to year are which vegetables I cook. Lately I’ve been making homemade yeast rolls that my granddaughter loves, and which don’t take long at all. I just need to buy the turkey (usually at a good sale price–not sure about this year’s yet), make sure I have cranberries, and some whipping cream for the pies. And the leftovers are always split with family although that still leaves plenty of us. We are only two people and I generally buy about 14-16 lb turkey. Then I have little cooking for the next few days, too.

  41. I’m not a redhead, but I’m still fair skinned. It was a normal part of childhood for me to have at least one severe sunburn every summer, including massive blisters all over my shoulders and back. I loved swimming, and would say in the water all day, then pay for it that night! I never tan either, just burn and peel. By the time I was a teen, I learned to with a t-shirt as well.:p

  42. MaggieB and any others: I don’t have a blog but I do have a Pinterest account. If you go on Pinterest to Gardenpat11 , look under my Preparedness board, you will see our version (the 3 blue barrel unit) as well as the version that inspired us with the white barrels. Hope you enjoy seeing it!!

  43. 1/ I cut my husband’s hair. The boys still don’t agree I do the same for us. Too bad.

    2/ I watch “Facing the Giants” on Youtube. Can’t find it in DVD …

    3/ I exchanged a meal for my daughter in order not to pay for school lunch.

    4/ I mend the slipcover of the garden umbrella

    5/ I collect the seeds of potimarron in order to cultivate and trade

    6/ I went through children clothes in order to prepare clothes to be sold at the school sale and to know what to buy, and only what’s needed

    7/Cakes were on clearance at the bakery. -50% ! So I bought some to eat with the stewed apple/plum

    8/ I brought the car to the garage in order to be by an expert and to be repaired without any money

    9/ We were invited to perpetual vows of a carmelitan brother. I made some gifts (toilets bags).

  44. I had that same record player when I was little. Now I’m wondering what happened to it. That’s a wonderful find for you.

  45. Janet,
    I use “chili beans,” pork & beans & kidney beans in my homemade chili. I would love to know what brand of taco seasoning & how much you put when you can your own chili beans. I had never thought of that. I have previously googled recipes for home canned chili beans but never found that suggestion. Thanks for the great idea.

  46. I used to make pumpkin pie for a diabetic husband, but little by little I switched him to pumpkin pudding—-basically the same recipe, cooked in a pie pan but without crust. It gets sort of hard around the edges of the pan, and he says that helps make it feel like a crust…

  47. My frugal accomplishments include:
    -opening the windows. The weather is gorgeous. No stove to heat the house and not AC to cool. It’s perfect.
    -menu planning. This saved me $40 at the grocery store this week. I plan for $100 a week for my family of 8.
    -hanging clothes out on the line. The wool socks that we were take forever to dry in the dryer. Hanging them out saves money and the soaks. The jeans also got put on the line. They last longer and don’t get holes as quickly.
    -buying clogging shoes used. My daughter needed clogging shoes and we were able to buy them used from another dancer whose foot grew. The shoes are in a great shape and are only a year old. This was a great savings.
    I love this list! This helps me see that I really am more frugal than I feel right now. I broke my wrist 5 weeks ago and I am slowly getting back into being a mom with two hands.
    Thank you for taking the time to write your post. This website is such a blessing in my life.

  48. Great garage sale finds! Last week one of our local churches had their annual rummage sale. This one can be hit or miss for me, but I went on bag day and for $4 I got 14 tops for me. Seven short sleeve and seven long sleeve. I am so happy to have new to me clothes to wear at such a great price.

  49. Gardenpat – thank you so much for sharing your pinterest with us. Just one question – we are bothered here by mice – how do you keep the critters out?

  50. Brandy, estatesales.org will tell you about the sales in your area. I was able to do a search and find some in Las Vegas.

    In our area, we used to have lots of sales in houses, but recently one company has taken over most of the inventory and they hold their auctions in a large warehouse, which has actually been quite nice, as they have separate portions one sort of garage sale section and one auction section. We almost exclusively go to the garage sale section as there are great deals generally they give you a bulk price, whereas the more expensive stuff goes into the auction.

    This weekend there was both a house sale and one at the warehouse. My husband bought a good deal at the warehouse and I found one lantern at the house sale. It was a mini antique lantern for $5. I am absolutely in love it. They had an old scale which was a bit beat up, but it was $20 and my husband said that he has seen better. I didn’t by it and I will wait for a better one. Generally, the house sales are two days, both saturday and sunday. The first day everything is list price no deals. The second day prices are 30-50% or best offer later in the day. I didn’t make it back to see what was left the second day oh well! There’s always more….

  51. This is my favorite post of each week. Last week I continued to find ways to save. I continued reading the Smart Meter and trying to find ways to cut our power bill, used cloth diapers, and cooked at home everyday but one night. I have been buying Christmas gifts off of the Clearance section of Walmart and Target. I am finished with two of the five kids. HOORAY! I have finished Christmas shopping for extended family all but my mom. I am going to embroider my parents’ initials on pillowcases for my mom so then I will be done. YEA! I took my daughter for the first time yard sale shopping last Saturday and she loved it. I did not get through all my to-do lists but maybe this week. Positive thinking, right!

  52. I do what Jennifer mentioned. I use a metal garbage can that i punched holes into. It works like a charm. It can be difficult to ‘stir’. So, once a Summer, i tip the whole thing out into the yard and play with it, (with the shovel), and put it back into the can. If it’s dry, i leave the lid off when it rains. Black gold!

  53. Edith Jane, Thanks for the turmeric tip! I just bought some today; i’ll have to set a few aside for my next soap day. Love the produce bag tip, too! (I always use parchment paper.)

  54. *I agreed to babysit a puppy for a week which will pay for the new flooring in my sewing room. A cat we used to own went psycho (no really – she just went nuts one day) and began using the corner in that room as a pee spot. On top of that, our old cat was so large that he often peed over the side of the litter box in the next room (a 1/2 bath) which went under the wall and into the carpet. This happened before I got smart and started using deep Rubbermaid tubs as litter boxes which solved that problem! Anyways, I have all the carpet and pad pulled up and will use the oil based Kiltz paint I have leftover from the bathroom redo to seal the floor where there is cat pee odor. Even after being treated with Nature’s Miracle, I can still smell it (or think I do – I’m rather paranoid about my house smelling like cat pee!) We plan on getting the vinyl next week (finding pins in carpet is a pain) and will use the leftover glue we have from the bus project to put it in. I also will be using leftover paint to paint the room.
    *I painted several pickle jar lids in the colors I have chosen for my sewing room and now I am starting to put thrifted knobs on all of them. Anytime I find a unique cabinet knob or pull for really cheap (.25 cents or less) I grab them and put them away for a future project. Last year I used them for Christmas food gifts. These jars I just made up will be used for button and scrap ribbon storage.
    *I brought my dogs in to the kennel with me to bathe them – I am allowed to use the kennels shampoo so no cost but time and muscle workout (Our Dane just doesn’t appreciate a bath much).
    *I combined a $10 off coupon with the sale price to pick up the adult cat food. We went to a larger size bag than we have been buying but they allowed us to change the size on the frequent buyer program and not lose out on how many we have to still buy (buy 11 and the 12th is free) Picked up the free bag of the dog food. The store keeps track of it all which is great cause I can never remember! I used to save all of the receipts when my kids were in 4-H and traveling all over the state for the ARBA rabbit shows but got out of the habit. With my new set up in my sewing room, I hope to better track our spending on everything!
    *I started picking the junk apples off our tree in the back. I’ll use them to make apple cider vinegar since they aren’t good for anything else. The graft died so we will be cutting the tree down after I get the “usable” apples off it.
    *I found cheese at the discount grocers for 1.25 for 8 ounces (my buy it price is anything under 1.99). I bought 4 packages. I also found ready cooked Mexican meats (carne asada) that I can pop in the crockpot on busy days for .99 cents each. Again, I bought 4. They also had some great lunch meat (the kind with no nitrates/nitrites) for 3.99 a pound. I only bought a pound.
    *We found Honeycrisp apples at the farm market for 1.25 a pound – so I treated my hubby to a few (these are his favorites) But I will be buying Galas at the farm I buy our potatoes from probably next week to make applesauce. You don’t need any added sugar when you use a high sugar apple to start with which saves on the cost of making it. Hopefully the price is well under the grocery stores .69 cent price.
    *I made a new dinner in the crockpot which was a huge hit (honey sesame chicken). Lately most of the new crockpot recipes we have tried have fallen flat on flavor but this was great and will go into the rotation.
    *My husband “dragged” me to an estate sale that was posted on Craigslist as having lots and lots of Ham radio gear. unfortunately, it was ALL gone by the time we got there but I did score a sewing desk that holds 2 machines ($30), a Herb book (.50) and lots of seam binding (.50 a package). Hubby is new to the whole ham radio hobby and needs a better antennae and some type of tuner (I won’t pretend to understand any of it)
    *Made homemade rolls again which saves my hubby thinking he needs to stop for “crusty bread” on the way home. I try to make enough to go with meals thru out the week but my son eats one when ever he wanders thru the kitchen so I might double the recipe next week (or find a hiding place)
    *I managed to save about 5 pounds of dogfood from the garbage at the kennel and ran it thru the grinder for the poultry. Many of them are growing new feathers and can use the protein boost and it cuts waaaay down on how much food they eat. I am waiting for the stock up sale at the feed store to happen. Last year it was late Oct or Nov and I stocked enough to get the birds and rabbits thru the winter months.
    *Purchased a new heated water bowl for our female meat rabbit on sale. Since we only have 3 rabbits, we no longer heat the shed to keep the water from freezing. By switching from an oil filled radiator type heater to heated water bowls and bottles, we saved $100 a month on our electric bill.
    *Fixed a pair of jeans with a broken zipper – I wondered why a brand new pair of jeans was in the giveaways at a sale – The zipper won’t stay up, any pressure and your fly’s wide open – so I took a broken hair elastic and made a loop from the zipper pull and hook it around the button. Works like a charm and I have a new pair of jeans!
    *My daughter has a Pinterest board with ideas of desk organizers she wants. One of the items happened to be a storage canister. I happened to have an antique jar with the glass lid that snaps closed (I can’t remember what those are called at the moment – something bail?) that was filled with OLD lavender blossoms – something I had gotten free several years ago and just hadn’t found a use for yet. She wants something pretty to keep her receipts in (she saves them all – musta learned something from watching me) so I cleaned it all up and gave it to her to use. I also have several more jars I am painting the lids of in her room colors to use for office storage and will use some more of the thrifted knobs.
    Fails: Let far too much food go to waste ( I need to get better at “redesigning” leftovers into new meals) and wasted money and went out to eat 2x when neither of us felt like cooking. OH I guess that was only 1 time since the other was for our anniversary and that isn’t a waste to celebrate 22 years 🙂

  55. Hi, Brandy!What wonderful gifts you found! I have garage sale envy! I’ve been thinking about trying to get a town-wide sale going for next year. I’m not sure i have the stamina.
    Again, i’ve worked too many hours. My Summer job is ending this week, and i can’t wait! (One of two jobs i have.) I run around like a crazy woman for five months and recover in the seven months after.
    I did manage to find some ground chuck for 2.99 lb, so i bought 10 pounds and bagged it up in 12 oz. packages. Since i don’t eat meat, i think 12 oz. is enough for my husbands meals.( Have the percentages for ground beef been moved down? I was all confused when i went to buy it. My husband doesn’t like the burger too dry; i thought chuck used to be about 90/10; what i bought was 85/15, which is what hamburger used to be; i think???)
    I cleaned both freezers. With the burger meat, i think we’re good for a long while. Butter is on my radar…
    We have the park sticker which allows us to get in ‘free’ for the season. So, we went to the Tahquamenon Falls for a few hours. It was a beautiful day! On the way home, we stopped in the Seney Wildlife Refuge and took their seven mile slow ride around the marsh. Although we’ve lived here five years, this is the first time for the marsh ride. Glorious! Lots of swans diving for dinner.
    Stopped into a store that’s new to us and found buns on clearance for 25 cents! Since my freezers are almost full, i only bought two packages. (Such control!!)
    I made a banana cake with some frozen bananas and popped it back into the freezer for when i need a cake.
    Peeled and froze many apples for the Winter.
    Cooked and froze many squash and pumpkins for the Winter. Still a couple more to go.
    Dehydrated many apples for snacking. I used too much sugar/cinnamon mixture, but i’ll still eat them. Lesson learned!
    Made all meals at home this week; saved shower water for the toilet/washer; hung clothes out only once this week, but it all helps. And, more of the usual..
    Wishing everyone a great week!

  56. Great finds Brandy! I also happend to find a record player like the one you found but mine is a reproduction. I paid $1 and my kids love it! I also found a baby car sun shade for $1, and I might go back and purchase a cloth diaper stash from a neighbor but I’m on the fence as to whether I’ll need it in the future. It would be an easy choice if I knew I wanted more children but who knows??? (My youngest is 5 months)

    My biggest frugal accomplishment is inviting a friend’s daughter to live with us in exchange for house cleaning and childcare. We are lucky enough to have a bedroom downstairs that the children are too young to live in (I want them up with me). She was wanting independence from her family but she is not ready to marry (which is the only way her parents wanted her to leave) This arrangement is a blessing to us both because she can live closer to school and work and I get a little extra help around the house as well as someone to teach Spanish to my children. She is a lovely young lady and I’m so grateful.

  57. This is great! I hope the potatoes stay fresh, let us know as the months go by.

    I finally found the simplest way to cook beans for me. I take few cups full and dump them into my crock pot with water or chicken stock. I add some salt, herbs, pepper, garlic (or just leave them plain) and when I come home in a few hours they are ready! If I don’t get them in time they sometimes get mushy but they taste like refried beans and my kids love them either way. I wish I had the energy and know-how to can them. That would be quick!

  58. Hi Marcia and that would be generously sprinkled with wisdom and not grey :D, and yes relate and same here too. Love sunscreen too but even with pouring copious amounts all over me I still burn, relate to the blistering burns too had many of those :(.

    So love the invention of 50+ UV shirts, however they are for men here, but I use them for gardening and when we are chain sawing to supply us with winter timber, so don’t really care what they look like bright fluoro colours and all as when I have finished with them they are a lovely shade of dusty red dirt anyway. No sunscreen needs to be used except hands and face under my very broad brimmed straw hat.

  59. This week I picked cucumbers, tomatoes, a butternut squash, green beans, carrots, zucchini and some snow peas from the garden. It’s winding down, but there are a few things left. The timber is being harvested from our 4 acre woodlot. We won’t know how much we get until it is sold to the sawmills. It’s very interesting to watch.

    My sister gave us some gluten free groceries. We were given an envelope containing $932 from an anonymous source who is concerned for us with my husband’s job loss. We were given a book of stamps. We have received many, many cards expressing love and concern for us during this hard time.

    We had our first 4h meeting of the year. I taught cooking while other parents taught other subjects, as normal. I used many garden items, home canned or frozen items, and bought the rest. The cost was quite low. We did 7 different recipes for around $25, including all the things I had on hand. (I had $40 left from last year and so now have $15 left to re-fill pantry items that were used, which actually cost more than $15–but were all bought bulk or on sale)

  60. Hi Rhonda and relate to the never tan thing here too. As a child & early teens I used to turn red, blister, peel and my freckles would just join up in lines across my nose. Somehow being a teen makes you eternally optimistic that your skin will change and you will miraculously have a tan some day.

    Didn’t help that I was bought up in the coconut reef oil era and baby oil era ( no sun smart was heard of then), where it was the norm to lather yourself in the stuff, lie out in the sun and get a beautiful “golden tan”, they even had people with spray painting kits that people would pay for them to spray the oil on you on the beaches of the Gold Coast. When in actual fact what happened is sunstroke, blisters, second degree burns, and ultimately peeling and no tan for me and you aging 10 years in the process.

  61. I remember my older cousins using baby oil when I was a kid. They, ironically, were a redheads and actually did tan…go figure!

  62. I love all those old fisher-price toys. My parents saved all of ours and they just aren’t built as well anymore.
    I found a winter coat for my son, plus some new warm-up outfits at our consignment shop. He has grown 4 inches is the past year, so I know he will need to get all new pants. I am trying to buy a little each week to keep the cost down.

  63. Hi Melissa,

    We also have had a cat with a pee issue. The only thing I found that truly gets rid of the smell is baking soda and vinegar.

    Good luck!

  64. Hi Lorna. I had to laugh at your post. I remember the baby oil thing. I have really dark hair, or did, some grey now. My mom was a brown-eyed red head and my dad was black-haired with the bluest eyes. My mom had the fair skin and my dad was olive-skinned. Guess what? My sister and I got mixed genes from our parents. She had the darker eyes and blonde hair with skin that tanned a gorgeous brown. Me, I got the dark hair, light skin, and freckles. sigh. I remember my grandmother telling me to get into the house and stop lying in the sun. She said that I had a red heads complexion anyway and it wasn’t going to do any good. Talk about bursting a teenagers bubble. lol

  65. There are some weeks I feel like all I am doing is putting out money…..and this has been one of them!

    Although there was a lot of out of pocket expenses I still did it with a savings and that I am very grateful….

    One of the ways I did manage to save was thru using coupons….

    *I hate to buy shoes and when I do I usually have them until I have to throw them out. With the change in the weather it is now time for closed shoes. I found a coupon for 30% off a chain store in my area. I bought myself two pairs of shoes that were both on sale and then was able to use the coupon on top of it! I will hold off on buying sneakers this year or at least until the spring.

    *I also had a $5 off a $25 dollar purchase at CVS….I bought a few things that were “going to be needed” to take advantage of the savings.

    *The weather is cooling off nicely….Fall is my favorite time of year. To try to save on my utilities bill I have been opening up the blinds during the day to heat the house up a little and at night if it’s still a little cool we just use a blanket and not the heat. So far this year I am under my budget about $185.

    *Dropped a bill off in a drop box to pay my water bill instead of using a stamp. I pass the building daily so it wasn’t out of the way and a waste of gas.

    *Cut my sons hair….it’s a savings for him not me but its a way I can help him and I am also happy to help someone else keep some cash in their own pocket!

    *Bought a couple of more Christmas gifts since items were on sale and I had another coupon…I also received a $10 Cash back coupon so I used that on some dish towels. I was really tempted to buy Christmas themed dish towels but instead opted for plain red this way I can use them all year instead of just for the holiday season.

    Hopefully I will be back on track soon without so many out of pocket expenses but at least I have gotten what was needed at a savings!

  66. Oh wow, seeing that record player brought back memories.
    Here is what I got up to this week.
    On Tuesday, I took in the recycling before hitting the thrift store to pick up some fabric for my winter quilt. Then I went to the library to work on a project. I discovered a new reference book and was about to check it out when the librarian advised me that an updated version was available on the “for Sale by Donation Table.” I donated $3 to the library (all the change in my wallet) and walked out with a new and very informative reference book.
    On Wednesday, a friend from work sent a spaghetti squash home for me to try. I have not tried spaghetti squash yet, and I’m looking forward to trying out a few new recipes.
    On Thursday, I backed a gluten free lemon loaf to pack in my lunches to eat while working a temp job. This gig will only last a few days but it could be very busy.
    I worked a four-day temp position. I was scheduled for only a couple of hours but they were so busy that I stayed for the entire 8 hours (and then some).
    A friend gifted us with a bag full of fish caught by his son who is an avid fisherman. This windfall included two whole salmon.
    My neighbor knew I was working late at my side gig and sent over Thanksgiving leftovers including a jar full of dried apples. We have enough turkey and fixings for meals for a couple of days. And, yes, I do have wonderful friends and neighbours.
    I hope all my fellow Canadians had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and that everyone here has an amazing week.

  67. I am so very excited because a new Goodwill store just opened in Manhattan, very close to where I work. It is huge and to my surprise when I stopped by the other day, it was stocked full up to the ceiling. I did not have a chance to explore as I was rushing home before the rain started but I am planning to go this weekend. Very excited. I am going to Poland in November to see my family so I am on a lookout for practical gifts for my nieces (usually clothing and shoes).

    My weekly update is here: http://www.brooklynbasedgirlfriend.com/last-weeks-frugal-accomplishements-17/

    Stay frugal, ladies.

  68. Hi Brandy That was a great deal on the Bike and I love the lego case. This week I found a package of 5 chicken leg quarters on clearance for $1.48. I made one meal and 6 cups of stock. There is still a little chicken left for lunch tomorrow. I also bought 4 3lb bags of gala apples for 1.28 each. My husband and I went on a dinner date with a gift card our neighbor gave my husband as a thank you. She locked her keys in her house when the dog shut the door behind her as she was getting something from her car. My husband used his ladder to climb in her only open window.

    My husband needed new work pants. He checked a store but the price was high so he asked me to check. I found the same pants on sale at JCPenny and had coupons. Since he used to never think about it the $60 we saved was really great. I also bought my daughters required high school calculator refurbished from Amazon. That saved us $40. I cooked most meals at home. I stocked up on household necessities at Target and received $15 in gift cards.

  69. • Was able to stock up on shave gel, face moisturizer and motrin
    • Picked up 45# of apples… will use for eating fresh and dehydrating
    • Got a good deal on a Christmas gift for my teen; been adding items to my list as I think of them and watching for sales
    • Kids and I watched a movie for Friday night entertainment (i love doing this and it’s very low/no cost)
    • Husband sold some football tickets
    • Got a free twix bar (coupon) and free mints (ecoupon)
    • My son and I went to see a movie with free movie passes I had (we were the only people in the theater!)
    • Printed out my own 8 X 10’s of my son to frame. Do this for both kids and it is such a money saver! I sent them to Costco and they were only a few dollars (vs. studio prices)
    • Redeemed swagbucks for an amazon gift card I will use towards Christmas gifts
    • My husband got a birthday card his mom had mailed him back in August…. We only live about 20 miles apart so I’m not sure what happened but he was happy with the gift inside (it also came without a postmark so we thought maybe it got stuck to another piece of mail)
    * my teen took a babysitting job

  70. We no longer have either of those cats – the psycho one was put down (peeing was the least of the problems – she began attacking everyone for no reason and not for play!) and the old kitty sadly had to be put down a couple months ago due to medical issues. I use the baking soda and vinegar on the puppy pee spots with great success. It even works on OLD spots from years ago that have been cleaned upteen times and they keep reappearing. But I have never had luck with it on cat pee unfortunately. That stuff is just the most potent smell! The Kiltz really seals it so it doesn’t come back up thru the wood so our current kitties won’t be attracted to the spot either.

  71. My favorite thrift store had a 50% off sale. I bought 5 shirts for my husband and 2 sweaters for my mom and 1 sweater for me .
    Plus I bought 2 pairs of flannel pants and a purse and Also 3 pairs of dress pants for my daughter , who wears business casual at her office. The total bill was $ 35.00.

  72. Mandy.. good luck to your dh, it is so scary going for job interviews I know. I had to look for a new job at the beginning of the year.

  73. Faith.. we used chicken wire and sectioned off a corner of the yard (we have dogs). A friend who has a small farm gave us horse manure but you can check Craigslist under Free Items and you should see a lot of farms give it away free if you are willing to go get it especially horse farms some even load it in our area. My friend we took storage totes and shoveled it in and lifted them into the bed of our truck. It is hard work but it’s free. We saved all the grass clippings when we mowed swept them into a stand up dust pan (Dollar Tree has them $1) and put them in a 5 gallon bucket and dumped them in the compost. A neighbor who bags all his leafs gave me all his which I put in the compost. And of course you save all you veg scraps and coffee grounds, never put meat of any kind in the compost.

  74. Sometimes often I feel like a Jekyll and Hide spender – thrifty for so long and suddenly I don’t care anymore. I have to have a crown put on my tooth and this will take the money we had set aside for Christmas. We have more money in savings, and may use that for Christmas, but I’m beaten down and just don’t care this month. Not motivated to save a few pennies here and there so I can spend mega bucks on dental and medical bills.

    I did, however

    *buy 4 bag of apple “seconds” for $.99 per bag (at least 15# of apples I’d say). Most were honeycrisp, Fuji and braeburn that I used in making over 4 quarts of applesauce (some got eaten before I canned it).

    *dye my permanently grungy winter coat grayish purple (it was bright pink). It turned out much nicer than it had been, you can’t see the dirt anymore. The dye didn’t cover completely evenly so some areas have a purplish hue, and the stitching and zippers definitely look purple rather than grey, but after 8 years of the same coat a change is nice. I still like the style of the coat and the cuffs and material isn’t fraying, so this saved $100 to $300 on a new one. I never see warm coats in my size at thrift stores except in worse shape than the mine was before dyeing. The one caveat is I splurged on yarn for knitting myself mittens, hat and scarf and with purple highlights to the grey coat my caribbean blue heathered with gray yarn will not match. I did find some in my yarn stash that should work.

    That’s all for me, sorry about my crummy attitude this week. trying to resist buying stuff just for the fun of it.

    Brandy your kitchen cleaning is inspiring, thank you.

  75. Brandy, first of all I want to thank you for how much you have helped me prepare my family for potential emergencies and so forth. Our 72 hour kits are packed and ready. Your posts, links, and info regarding items to pack were extremely helpful, invaluable really. I also have a well stocked pantry, which is always a work in progress I guess, but to feel more “prepared” is such a good feeling to have. My fall garden is coming along nicely

    Last week I harvested tomatoes, red yellow and green bell peppers, basil, okra, parsley, and our first ever raspberries! I have never had a summer garden produce this much this late in the season, so I’m very pleased by that.

    At the end of the season I bought some reusable plant markers at Walmart marked down to very little. I have a drawing of my garden each season (I do square foot gardening) where I write down what is planted where. However, these markers will help me keep it all straight better I think. I also bought seeds on deep, deep discount. My seeds are stored in the refrigerator so will hopefully last a few years. I plan to start collecting seeds as you do, Brandy.

    I dried the little pink roses from my daughter’s birthday flower arrangement to make a dried arrangement. I discovered that Michael’s has a senior discount which I didn’t know about and could have been using for the past four years! Therefore, I have resolved to ask in every store I go to if they give a senior discount.

    I have been purchasing Christmas gifts here and there as I spot something. I bought a couple of gifts on clearance at Tuesday Morning the other day. I need to get busy this week working on a few gifts I hope to complete before Christmas.

    We celebrated our son’s birthday. He just turned 17 and is very disabled. He has a couple of toys that really matter to him, but for the most part he just doesn’t care about “things.” He has no fear of the future because cognitively he’s very much “in the present,” which is really a blessing when you think about it. His birthday is difficult for me because his twin brother died the day they were born so I’m also putting flowers on a grave that day. Also, my son doesn’t eat food by mouth so no birthday cake and it’s difficult to find a gift to buy for him that he would really enjoy. His best gift was his sister coming home from college, which is wonderful to him. The day before his birthday we gathered with extended family where he received lots of attention and was able to explore grandma’s house (always fun). On this birthday we let him watch his new DVD on the “big” TV (instead of his little one) and went for a really long drive (he always enjoys that). Once again, his birthday reminded me what all these celebrations are really for. To celebrate the love we give to and receive from our loved ones. Our relationships. Our faith. These are the true riches we have. It was a good day.

  76. Libby

    Thanks for that tip.. I have a older dog that if I’m not careful to block off our extra craft room will sneak in there and pee. I have scrubbed and scrubbed and finally got the smell out but she has been pretty good at watching for me to leave the gate open and started old habits back up. I will definitely be trying that trick out, we have old hardwood floors.

  77. Melissa.. we had a cat like that. We had her for 18 years she came with my husband. She was very antisocial from the beginning.. I think from being alone so much when my husband worked on the road. His parents went up and fed and watered her but she was alone a lot. Anyways.. she really got bad the last year we had her, bit mil and mil ended up in the hospital with some kind of poisoning from the cat bite. The Vet said something is wrong with her, she isn’t right and didn’t understand why anyone would want her. So we finally had to have her put down. Sad

  78. My frugals have been limiting going to the store to once a week and reduced my grocery bill this week by $25 of what I normally buy. I made hard tack candy today 3 batches for Christmas gift giving. Probably a frugal fail is I bought 2 boxes of cookie, candy tins from a friend who sales pitched me “If you buy them all I’ll give you a good deal”. Well it ended up costing $25. There are probably 50 or so tins but way more than I really wanted so I dont feel good about this deal but felt pressured into buying it. I hope to be able to sell some of them to a friend who has just started a craft business and may be able to use them for her upcoming craft sales.. fingers crossed. Other frugals is I will be starting to work 5 days a week for at least the next month. We had two sales clerks quit within 2 weeks leaving us down to 2 of us, the boss and a seasonal worker who will work one shift a week so I’ll be making more money but less time at home. With Christmas coming the money will be useful. I am looking for meat bargains right now.. one of our stores is having a 3 day sale with chicken leg quarters at 39 cents a lb. so I hope to be able to stop in there and pick up some chicken. I feel my dogs a chicken a week at 95 cents a lb. so this would definitely help with the budget a little bit. I am still getting tomatoes from my garden.. just finished tearing it down today and brought in a lot of small tomatoes which I will let turn red on a table in my craft room and use them in salads and freeze what I can’t use. God gifted us with a bountiful garden this year and I can’t see throwing them away when there is a bite or two on each one.

  79. Brandy, once again thank you for creating this website and your blog. I have learned a lot and each week continue to learn from you and the other folks who write their accomplishments and ideas. This week I didn’t have any huge new savings but did the usual things at home that really save money…planning meals, eating in from our pantry, making bread.

    One frugal idea for anyone who has a US armed forces veteran in their family. Check out the VA for health care. Lots of negative press on the news in the past few years, but we have battled through the system (patience and perseverance counts) and it is a huge cost savings. We now get all my husbands drugs through them for $8 a prescription (costs varies on various rules)… If anyone has a husband or wife or parent who served, take the time to check it out please. It could save thousands. We have used them the past two years while maintaining Medicare since we didn’t trust the quality until we had a lot of experience. We will keep Medicare parts A and B for coverage if we travel but now can drop the part D next year and that will save us $480 a year. We have found the quality of his doctors equal to the outside world so far. We will keep Medicare as long as we are financially able just so we can have a second alternative or coverage outside our area. As an FYI, my husband has very complex health issues so we have used lots of their specialists….alas. But he is fine right now, thankfully.

  80. Thank you. We are loved by many. I am trying to concentrate on the love that is being shown, instead of the unfair way my husband and our whole family was treated. My husband and I are trying extremely hard to speak with grace when the subject is brought up by the many, many people who want to discuss it. Today, for instance, I ended up in an hour long conversation with a concerned lady on the subject. I tried to be real and transparent about the fact that it was hard for us right now, but to not let anger, negativity, or disappointment overshadow the conversation. We want to take the high road and come out of it with clear consciences, and not feel that we have built resentment, or disention with our words. However, this is hard, emotionally, and I’m exhausted at the end of every day. It would be way worse if no one cared, so I’m grateful that they do.

    I keep counting my blessings. It helps. Here are some more. 1) We had a text that old friends were going to move out of area next week, so got to have them over for dinner last night. Good visit, nice time. 2)The owner of the local feed store just put a $150/month credit on Rob’s account while he is out of work. She wants to help during this time so we can keep our chickens, etc. We had thought we should sell the chickens and just use fewer eggs. 3)My aunt has invited us as her guest at Sunriver (in Bend, OR- she has a time share) for a week. In the past, when she has done this, we’ve paid a few fees, etc., to help out. This time she’s not wanting anything at all, except our company. I’m going to be glad to get away to emotionally recharge. 4) I’ve had offers of a meal, but graciously declined because I didn’t need it right now 5) A dear friend had a tumor in his collarbone, which broke the bone. He had successful surgery yesterday, and they are seeming hopeful that it is not malignent- but it’s been sent for tests. 6) yesterday, my mom and aunt came over and we made casseroles for this friend’s family, and another friend who unexpectedly ended up in the hospital–she got to come home today–another blessing. (They really only know 1 of the families, they are just nice and help out with whatever when they come over) 7) My daughter fried up 2 lbs hamburger, onion, and peppers and we opened up 2 cans of beans. We made 4 enchilada casseroles –3 to give away and 1 for dinner from that and some enchilada sauce I made from our garden tomatoes, tortillas from the fridge and cheese from the freezer. Such a blessing that I have a well-stocked pantry and freezers and that the garden just keeps on giving and vegetables that stretch the meat out.

    I’m watching for more blessings tomorrow!

  81. I had 1 extra jar filled with my black beans beyond my pressure canner capacity, so rather than just running the pressure canner with only 1 jar OR putting the jar in the fridge and using it asap, I tried filling 6 other jars with rinsed off DRY black beans (1/2 cup of dry beans into a pint jar) 1/2 teaspoon salt and then fill the jar with hot water to 1″ of the top of jar. Same timing- 75 minutes @ 10 pounds pressure and VOILA! 7 perfect jars. I confess, I opened one and the beans were softened just right!!!

  82. Infrequently, we have had mice get into our basement. Hubby then inspects the perimeter to try to find any places they might be getting in and seals it up. In the meantime, we always have mouse poison in the basement corners just in case. We store any Mylar bags in Rubbermaid totes. Dry things like grains, beans are stored in sealed buckets, smaller things like dehydrated fruits, chocolate chips, pasta are stored in glass mason jars and vacuum sealed.. So basically, we try not to have anything a mouse can “nibble” into!! Hope that helps!

  83. My older daughter was a redhead who tanned. My husband also, but he has had some skin cancers for his trouble. Doesn’t go in the sun anymore. Daughter died in an accident at 42 so didn’t have time to get cancer. I have to admit that people have always thought me younger than I am, and I attribute that to not being exposed to the sun as much as the average person.

  84. Hi Cassandra and your grandmother sounds gorgeous, and straight forward and to the point. She did probably save you some sunburn, even if she did totally destroy your I will get a tan no matter what teen thinking :).

    I remember my grandmother was really cool, she would go to the markets with me and we would both buy rather hippy beach outfits together at really low costs. She owned one of the first dance studios in Brisbane in the 1920’s and taught ball room dancing. She danced right up until she was almost 80 and everyone around her age used to think she was in her early 60’s as she was so active, light on her feet.

  85. Brandy – I am so impressed with how much you accomplished in the last week.
    Two weeks ago I had cataract surgery in one eye – I am pretty young to have gotten one. The good thing is that the doctor inserted a multifocal lense in my eye and I now have 20/20 distance vision. Although this was a little pricier than a plain, clear lense – it will eliminate the cost of glasses in the future. Before my surgery I froze a number of dinners in preparation.

    I found some slightly dented cans of spaghetti sauce in the clearance section of my grocery store at half price so I bought several.
    I made some good buys at the Grocery Outlet such as 99 cent Ritter Sports bars and a pound of tomatoes for $1.50. I also went to the Daiso Japanese dollar store. For any of you that live in the Pacific Northwest – it is like the Dollar Store only several notches cuter with some really unique items.

    While I was recovering from the surgery, I made 50 note cards for Christmas gifts. I was inspired to do this by ‘The Bluebirds Are Nesting” website. I’d found a book in my ‘Friends of the Library’ sale part of the local library, that was filled with old postcards and other nostalgic images for only 50 cents! It was a fun project and I was really happy with the results.

    Lastly, at a thrift store, I found some 14 K gold earrings with small jewels for $16.00. A real find for a Christmas gift for my daughter. I also found some old Pyrex bowls in mint condition to give to my daughter-in-law – she collects that stuff.

    Went hiking for exercise. That’s all for this week.

  86. I have fixed broken zippers in exactly the same way!! I have a couple pair like that in my wardrobe now. I also have a pair of capris with a broken zipper where I stitched velcro inside the fly because zippers are a pain to replace. I’ve already worn them with the Velcro for 3 years or so!!

  87. Eileen. Prayers for you. Life seems to go like that sometimes, doesn’t it? We go months with no unusual expenses then are hit with unexpected things. I am learning to enjoy those mountain-top highs and expect the valley lows. Always teaches me there is a climb ahead! Stay strong and hope you feel creative soon to find those bargains again!

  88. I agree, what a wonderful story you shared about your son and his birthday/love-day. CarlaM, thank you for reminding us what is really important.

  89. well you certainly hit the jackpot at the sales. i haven’t accomplished a thing this week’ got sick about three weeks ago and couldn’t shake it. ended up going to the doctor because of a horrid cough i couldn.t get rid of. well, i’ve had pneumonia. never had that in my life. just about wiped me out. sure hope i can get something accomplished this week. sure have wanted to get in the kitchen and bake. hope everyone has a good week. god bless’

  90. Brandy-
    So when did the oval metal embroidery hoops become vintage? I used one when I cross-stitched as a 12 yr. old in the 80’s.
    I’m 44, does that make me finally vintage? 😮

    Leslie in MO

  91. By the technical definition, vintage can be 20-30 years plus (antique is 100 years plus). However, the metal embroidery hoops (I learned on them in the 80’s too) were made before then as far as I know. In the 80’s I couldn’t buy them at the store (I tried; they only had the wood ones). One of my metal hoops is over 100 years old. They were old when we used them in the 80’s.

  92. Wish I had heard about the multifocal lens before last Tuesday! I also had cataract surgery but the doctor thinks I will still need a light prescription for far and near sightedness. Perhaps it’s because I’m probably much older than you! I have worn glasses since I was 14 so it won’t really be a problem since I’ll be able to see so much better. Having the other eye done in 3 weeks.

  93. Hi I am from Oz in south east Queensland and am still finding the weather perfect and only had a fan on for a couple of hours this spring. I have only just started reading your blog after being recommended reading from the blog ‘down to earth’ and so far very interesting and enjoying your tips on living life cheaply with children

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