Lemons on Cutting Board The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested pomegranates and lemons from the garden.

I sowed seeds in the garden for snow peas.

I ordered Christmas gifts online with free shipping.

A photography conference that took place in another state this week had some of their keynote speakers talks online for free for a short while! I was delighted to be able to watch a bit of the conference without having to buy conference tickets, additional event activity tickets, purchase a hotel stay for several days, or spend money traveling to and from the conference, nor did I have to leave my family.

I gave the four youngest children (two sons and two daughters) haircuts, which saved time as well as money.

My husband and I had a date night at home where we played a card game together and had dessert together after the children were in bed.

We attended a free car show that also served hamburgers and hot dogs to all of the attendees.

I picked up another turkey for $0.68 a pound while at Winco. It’s a limit of one per transaction, and I needed potatoes and milk, so it was good to pick up a turkey on the trip.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I remembered a Visa gift card we got from participating in a medical trial, and it covered all of a rather big purchase at Target. I was so surprised, as I had forgotten how much was on the card. I used it again today and the purchase went through. I’m quite sure there’s not much left on it, but I’m happy I didn’t toss the card, thinking it was empty!

  2. A car show with free entry and free food sounds like a great place to take the family!

    My frugal week:
    – I made Maple & Brown Butter Crispy Rice Treats, using a bag of marshmallows I bought discounted through the flash food app (http://approachingfood.com/maple-brown-butter-crispy-rice-treats/).
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gc to Amazon.ca, then I traded it for a BNIB Fischer Price toy for my daughter for Christmas, worth $25, using my local trading app. I also traded a pie tin (reused) of vegetarian shepherd’s pie for a silver picture frame. I just made extra when I was cooking dinner, so it didn’t take much time. Plus, potatoes were on sale this week, so that plumped it up quite cheaply.
    – I bought 10 lbs of potatoes for $1, which is the cheapest price for my area.
    – I had homemade chocolate mustaches on sticks (i.e. edible photo props) leftover from my daughter’s party, so I’ve been packaging them up and giving them as little gifts to friends/fellow mums when I see them. I always save the plastic sleeve that cards sometimes come in, plus I usually save good cardboard, so I cut out some cardboard to fit the clear plastic sleeve, and then arranged a few mustache-pops in them. They turned out quite nicely!
    – I met a friend for coffee at Starbucks and used a swagbucks gc. It was a nice treat! Another time I used a loyalty reward to get a slice of gingerbread. It’s something I normally wouldn’t pay for, so it’s a nice treat.
    – I made two dishes for my cookbook supper club (book borrowed from the library): vegan cheese sauce, and lemon tahini garlic salad dressing. It was a fun and yummy evening, and way cheaper than going out to eat.
    – A friend of mine signed her son up for a mommy & me type course at a children’s play area. I looked at the website, but instead of signing up for the expensive course, I signed up for a new-to-the-program special. For $22.50, I can take my daughter to one class plus three drop-in-&-play sessions. This will be nice for when the weather is cold, and my daughter is tired of the library (which we go to at least twice, and often three times a week).
    – I made ricotta and sweet potato ravioli from scratch for the first time. Was yummy!
    – I made a double batch of granola, and tossed in some pumpkin seeds I had saved from a pumpkin I cooked. They added a nice nutty crunch and I could reduce the amount of almonds I put in.
    – I bought a hardcover book from the public library sale for 50 cents.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. I bought the $1 bag of potatoes, too, even though I already had another bag in my pantry. At that price, it was worth it. In fact, I forgot to grab it while I was in the store. I realized I missed it while putting my groceries in the car, and went back in for the bag!

          1. I bought the carrots and potatoes. And bought 2 of the onions and made cartelized onions in the crockpot. I packaged them in smaller amounts for the freezer and also gave some to DD and DS.

    2. Margaret could you post your list of free/cheap sites for the Toronto area please? Or you can try and send them to me…I think my email shows up? I have a number of young moms in Toronto who are wanting to lower their environmental footprint and save cash too.

      1. Hi Patsy! So glad you asked; I love sharing information!
        In regards to reducing ones environmental footprint, really the only thing I can recommend is the BUNZ trading app; it’s great! You can get practically anything using the app, from half-used bottles of shampoo (not my thing) to BNWT baby stuff. I’ve gotten framed prints for my nursery, Baby Gap jeans with the tags on, brand new toys, boxes of diapers, and so on, plus I’ve been able to declutter. The only other environmental thing would be to use wish.com to buy items such as reuseable ziploc bags (the super-sturdy dishwashable ones that are the same ones sold on Amazon for a lot more), and making sure to take advantage of a 20% off promo code if they download the wish.com app to their phone, to make it even cheaper. I purchased a set verrrry cheaply with the goal of reducing the number of ziploc bags I buy (even though I reuse those) both for environmental and frugal purposes.
        As for Toronto frugal mom resources, here are some I know of:
        – the Toronto Public Library – great baby and toddler programs (and amazing STEM programs for older kids). My daughter goes to the toddler time and sometimes even the French story time. The library close to me also has a great kids area with lots of toys; not all locations are as good though, so it takes some looking around.
        – I’ve taken my daughter to a free baby French class at the Alliance Francaise, when they had an open house (once a year).
        – I’ve also taken my daughter to a free baby Spanish class, when they had a demo class (also, once a year). You can google demo language class Toronto or similar key words to find free classes. I’ve even found one to teach Mandarin, although I’ve yet to take her there. Kids won’t learn much from a single class, but it’s good stimulation for babies regardless, and something to get mums out of the house without spending money. I don’t feel bad about taking up demo classes while not signing up for courses, as I also tell all my mum friends about the courses, so I’m effectively advertising for them.
        – I’ve also taken my daughter to demo classes for music. Rainbow Songs is one (highly recommend, and they have classes all around Toronto), and Fun with Music Together is another.
        – The Children’s Storefront in the west end, is an Ontario Early Years centre, and is basically a play centre. Their website is terrible, and I haven’t had a chance to go in person yet, but it sounds great and it’s completely free.
        – Oaks n’ Acorns is a for-profit version of a play centre, with everything from crayons to lego to gymnastic equipment, and they have a promo on where you can get 3 drop-in play-all-day passes plus one class for $22.50. They have two locations, one at either end of the city. That’s a relatively cheap way to get kids out of the house and burning off energy in the winter. You have to look around the website a bit to find it, but it’s way better than paying $200 ish for a course.
        – The City of Toronto has amazing programming available, and a lot of it is free, depending on the age of the child, everything from dance to competitive sports. You’ll have to be quick to sign up as the free spots fill super quickly, but it’s amazing how much free programming is offered. You can find the programming guides in the public library, as well as online.
        – The Centennial Arboretum is open to the public and is free, and is a great place to take kids on a rainy day if you want to get out of the house. Very educational and pretty as well. Totally insta-worthy too!
        – Toronto also is amazingly green, with lots of interconnecting ravines and walkways. I’ve hiked it extensively and it would be great to take kids of all ages on. There is a free Toronto Green Spaces map on the city of Toronto website.
        – Riverdale Farm is a farm in the city, and free. Great to take kids to, especially in the summer.

        Oh, I just thought of one more environmental and frugal thing — the Really, Really Free Market, is held on the first Saturday of the month, year round. I think in the west end. I’ve never gone, but it is as the name says, totally free. You drop stuff off, and then shop the sale.

        Oh, and one more thing, there are pop-up Repair Cafes held periodically throughout Toronto, where people can bring stuff to be fixed by volunteers. Keeps items out of the landfill and saves money too. I’ve never gone myself, but have had friends volunteer and it sounds great.
        Hope this helps!

        1. that’s great. I also live in YYZ so I know some of the City things. But I always ask as there’s so much more out there. My young mom friends live in the West End so I’m not as familiar with them. BTW, have you gone to the greenhouse at Allan Gardens? It’s great in the middle of winter and again free.

          1. Patsy, I just thought of two other things your mums might be interested in: there’s a toy library and a tool library in Toronto, both in the west end, I believe. I haven’t used either, but they’re definitely great ways to reduce your environmental footprint.

  3. Those lemons look like oranges! I’m sure they make the best lemonade! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were pancakes and ham, shrimp with peas and scalloped potatoes, turkey breast with green beans and garlic bread, butter and herb roasted chicken with macaroni and peas, hamburgers and chips, beef quesadillas, leftovers.
    *Served homemade hummus with crackers and carmelized pears (all from the pantry) to my bible study group.
    *My husband was on 2 prescriptions. The doctor realized he could get a combo prescription, which was much cheaper than just a single one of the two previous prescriptions. Earned $5 ECB at CVS when picking up the new prescription.
    *When we purchased our new-to-us car, the dealer said they would repair a torn seat if we brought it back. We followed up and are taking it in this weekend. They are even giving me a car to drive while the repair is done!
    *Paid bills online to save checks and stamps.
    *Went to a corn maze with the youth of our church. The youth paid for my admission and my pastor’s wife paid for my dinner since I drove.

    1. They are very dark yellow, as Meyers are a lemon bred with a tangerine. They are large like oranges, thin-skinned, and very juicy without many seeds!

  4. That’s a lovely lemon harvest. I have two I’ve grown from seed, and wonder if I’ll eventually be rewarded with lemons. Before a hard freeze, we harvested all our pumpkins and winter squash. I foraged a passionfruit, a haw fruit, and a lion’s mane mushroom, which I’m making into medicine. I blanched several quarts of lima beans for the freezer, and cooked with our eggplant, squash, tomatoes and herbs. Oregano was harvested and dried. My winter slippers were mended. Old T shirts were cut into cleaning rags. I dropped five boxes of donations at the Salvation Army today, giving me room to do some more decluttering. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2019/11/harvest-time-frugal-accomplishments.html

  5. My husband was still out of town most of the week, so I continued to work on projects around the house and eat what I had here at home. I sewed a shirt for my husband for Christmas, and made two other gifts. I put together two photo books and ordered them using discount coupons, saving over $40.00. I shopped sales at the grocery store. Bone-in pork chops were on sale for $1.99 lb, pasta was 49 cents a pound and canned green beans were 49 cents each, and I had free coupons for Cheez-its and a package of sliced cheese. The only chops in the meat case were $2.99/lb. I found someone who worked in the meat department and after searching several minutes, he went into the back and came out with several packages of the sale chops. Sometimes saving money is about being persistent. I signed up for health care under the ACA again this year. Payments are going up to almost $400 a month (with the subsidy), but we will figure out how to pay this. I combined discount codes and a gift certificate to purchase a sweater from Kohl’s for $3.50. When my husband came home, he brought with him a box full of canning jars from his parents’ attic, and a bag full of pecans he picked up at a highway rest stop.

  6. I made black bean soup. We are trying to eat what we have so as not to have to do much grocery shopping this week. Put on sweaters to keep warm rather than turn up the heat. Bought some things from dollar tree cheaper than other places. Spending more time at home, saving gas. Made a balm with essential oils that we put on our feet and I think it might be keeping us from getting sick. We have been around sick people and yet we are healthy.

    1. I remembered more things. I bought coconut milk, olives , chicken and tuna packs all for a dollar at dollar tree as well as kleenexes 175 a box, toothpaste, floss, a notepad with pens for the grandkids. Went to a pantry and got a flat of tomatoes that I am going to process as well as cheese, milk, bananas, eggs, and potatoes. Used duolingoo to study French. Cooked with lost of eggs… cheesy eggs, hard-boiled eggs, egg salad. Turned off lights.

  7. What a great price on turkey! I hope that one per transaction means you can go back and get more.

    • I Invited a friend’s husband, who is a woodworker, to come take what he liked from my basement – a win/win – he got wood he wanted and I cleared out some space.
    • Hung all laundry out to dry.
    • Continued to vacuum/mulch leaves from the lawn
    • Meals included: pork with cabbage stir fry, roasted chicken, popovers, roast beef, and asparagus, oatmeal, beef with barley soup
    • Washed ziplock plastic bags to reuse
    • Cut open tube end of hand cream to get the last bits out
    • Washed the car before draining the garden hose and putting it away for winter
    • Made a gratitude tree for my refrigerator using materials I had on hand
    • Found shrub fertilizer spikes in a back corner of the shed. They were too fragile to pound into the ground but I spread them around some lilacs
    • Did the final asphalt patch on the driveway
    • Made chicken stock in slow cooker using carcass of chicken roasted earlier this week.
    • Watched YouTube for entertainment and listened to free audio book on Hoopla
    • Had a frugal fail: tried a new recipe which called for coconut milk. I had powdered coconut milk in my pantry and didn’t realize it had gone bad until I added it to the soup. Had to throw out the soup.
    • Went to a friend’s house and made shell Xmas trees using mussel shells gathered on the beach

  8. This past week was, hopefully, the last of the chronic fatigue weeks. There will be months of recovery, but each week will be better. Still waiting on the wig I ordered mid October, when I called about it and found it was back ordered, the customer rep upgraded my shipping and prioritized my order. Hoping it will be here this week. I did buy the exact one I wanted on a 20% sale.

    We did a great job using up food from the fridge and freezer this week. The expired table was smaller than usual, but we did end up with an apple, milk, chocolate milk and bread. All useful and free.

    Trimmed my husband’s hair after he cut it. Walked with the dogs everyday for free exercise. Watched movies online for free, from the library, or that we own while resting. I also only heated my bedroom on those days letting the rest of the house maintain a colder temperature. Mended some items and finished trimming the Christmas tree skirt I made last year from a black wool skirt and blackwatch plaid wool dress from the thrift shop. Looks lovely with the ribbon trim. I found the ribbon at a thrift shop last summer.

    Feeling rather blessed.

    1. Trish:
      With each passing week, the fatigue will diminish, and your strength will return. Sending you much light and love during this time of recovery.

      1. Patricia,

        Patience is being practiced! Thank you for your encouragement. What I really want to do is some sort of work…probably part time. I’m not allowed to return to the classroom this year, and might not ever at my age. But I’d like something that gets me out of the house and starts on the journey toward paying off these bills.


    2. You amaze me with all that you accomplish even as you recover. Remember not to overdo things – best wishes.

  9. Hello all!!

    It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared so this will be a what I can remember from the past few week

    We replaced an exterior front house door. My husband and adult son painted the new door with a couple of coats of Admiral Blue paint which was a savings rather than buy the door painted. The new door is a Mission style with the 6 window lights which is a wonderful change as the door replaced didn’t have any windows. Now, we have extra natural light coming into the entryway and we can see out too. It’s a pleasure to walk into the entry way and notice the extra light. The outside of the house is late 1950’s style “brick” in shades of gray and white so the blue is a pretty contrast. We kept the storm door and when the men rehung it, they did something different and it closes tighter. Tomorrow, when temperatures are in the 20’s, I think we will feel far less cold air draft! The door removed is a steel door and will be used to replace a bad smaller door in the pole garage. Not quite a “buy one get one” but reusing feels like I’m getting a door for free.

    And, free labor too!

    Our Ford Escape’s front passenger seat was so wet it was holding a puddle the other day after a bad storm. Turns out the drain tube around the hatch was clogged. Who knew there was even a drain tube? Utube video to the rescue. Son used the air compressor to blow the “clog” out of the tube and actually was pushing dirt so wet and thick it was like sludge. If I remember correctly, new set of tubing and labor would’ve cost $125.00, not counting the time to the garage, etc. Very handy to have an in house mechanic!!

    Our catechism classes packed Boxes of Joy as a service project. We added some of the pens I found this summer. It felt great to be able to share more because our money had gone so much further. Added a few other little odds and ends like brightly colored erasers, silly stickers with smiles, together with what the students brought all added up to a a box that would delight a child with nothing in a mission school. A reminder of how much we really do have and don’t appreciate.

    We used loyalty points towards a gas fill up.

    Used a couple of coupons for on sale items at CVS we needed to restock. Turns out there was also a sale on a few of the items which grew the savings. All in all, cut the purchase price to half.

    Made a chicken soup with vegetables and noodles one week, the next week beef with vegetables and rice. Usually we’ll have soup one night for supper and then at least two lunches for the two of us.

    And finally, finally, finally, got to the library and got a library card. Been meaning to do this since I moved here when I married my husband.
    This library offers movie and music CD’s, even music that can be downloaded from their online site, newspapers, genealogy, interlibrary loans from even out of state libraries!!! All free.

    A big thank you to everyone for sharing. I am not only inspired but always learn something!

  10. Oh how I could drink a pitcher of lemonade right now. So happy you got to experience the seminars this weekend.

    The household has been dealing with a doozie of a bug for the last 3 weeks. Thinking this week it will be kicked.
    Traveled prior to that to help family. Brought home the free hotel toiletries and packed lunches for the flights.

    Started a second PT job as the current (first) PT job is phasing out. It is a lot of out of home work, but I am hoping to pay off my final debt by March (which is also when the first job will be complete). Tighter purse strings are coming, but with the debt gone, do-able.

    A birthday gift will be homemade canned tomato soup, as she did not have time to can it herself this year. I did have to buy the tomatoes as my garden was a bit off this year. My compost pile did give me a butternut squash and 2 acorn squashes just big enough to be picked before the hard frost. Tickled about that.

    Started the penny challenge before the new year, hoping it will be a pick me up this time next year.

    Thank you to the veterans, especially those who comment here.

  11. This fruit photo is beautiful; Brandy you have a wonderful eye for color and texture.
    This week….
    -My wonderful sister gave me 4 hard cover “Nancy Drew” books that her school had put out on a “free” shelf. I was so excited and so kind of her to think of me. My favorite books when I was a little girl.
    -Invited to an in home art show and a quilt shop Christmas open house. I went to both with friends. We stopped both days for lunch and I ordered a hearty bowl of soup. I am not a fan of going out to eat to often and was proud of my menu choice .
    -Wrapped up sewing 3 baskets as Christmas gifts. I am so glad to have them done and can’t wait to give as gifts.
    -Enjoyed a fire in the fireplace with wood that we harvested. DH and his buddies split wood here this weekend, I fed everyone lunch and they were so kind to bring the wood spliter. My husbands helps others and we feel blessed to have such great friends.
    -Got a free meal as part of a committee meeting that I attended.
    -Organizing different areas of our home. I discovered new spices in the spice cabinet.
    Stay frugal all…

  12. I went to Super One’s annual 12 Hour Baking Sale and bought a year’s worth of flour; granulated, powdered and brown sugar; 2 lbs. of butter @ 1.99 lb.; and 1 doz. eggs (coupon item) @ .49. I put it all in my garage pantry immediately (flour goes into plastic bread bags and is stored in the freezer), then stood back and admired my laden shelves!

    I spent $17 and change for drawer handles and pulls to rehab my childhood chest of drawers. I will be using leftover paint.

    Myhusband brought home more used 2x4s and is using them!! (He never met a 2×4 he didn’t like, but he much prefers new ones).

    We saw Downton Abbey at the $3 cinema and loved it! Especially since we didn’t pay full price at the first-run theater!

    We organized and started unpacking our garage. I spent $12 and changed out the 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs with four 100-watt equivalent LEDs. They draw a total of only 54 watts and provide a zillion times more light (1,600 lumens each, vs. 575 watts each). My husband thinks I’m a genius…priceless.

    Hope you are all having a great week!

    1. Maxine: No kidding on the zilion times more light from LEDs!
      When I finally realized one of the two regular bulbs in our bedroom ceiling fixture had burned out, I switched them both to LEDs. My husband said it is now like walking into a tanning bed, it is so bright.
      A friend was advised to switch all their bulbs to LEDs when they put their house on the market. It made a huge difference in how it looked.

    2. I have been so pleased and surprised that Dollar Tree has had good quality LED bulbs! I was able to replace almost all of the bulbs in our house. I did have to spend a little more for some chandelier bulbs and yellow outdoor bulbs. But for around $40 we are good to go – with a few spares just in case. And they are bright. We also replaced the bulbs in our RV with LED bulbs from Amazon. To buy them from Camping World would have been crazy expensive but Amazon had them by boxes of 24 for less than the cost of a two pack of bulbs from CW. That has made a huge difference in the level of brightness as well as drawing so much less power.

  13. *My green tomatoes are ripening very well, and we are using them in meals.
    *I made home made pizza–yummy!
    *I received a gift certificate for volunteering at our local thrift shop, and my daughter also received one. We will use these over a long time period, as they do not expire so there is no rush and we can wait and really find things that fit well and are the right color for us.
    *I bought avocados for .49 cents and stocked up for the freezer.
    *I found some perennials for only $1.13, so bought six of them and got them planted in the garden–go me!
    *I was able to find the exact same shirt that my daughter was outgrowing at a local consignment store. Not only did we get a good price on the blouse, but we were also able to trade in the identical blouse that was growing too small for part of the purchase price on the “new” one.
    *I accepted leftover spaghetti, and it is feeding us for at least two lunches.
    *I sent Christmas gifts for my older sister who lives several states away, with my younger sister when she visited me this weekend. My younger sister will be traveling and spending Christmas with our older sister. No postage costs for me, and the gifts will arrive safely and in good condition!

    Lots of pictures and more details on my blog at: https://tnquiltbug.blogspot.com/2019/11/frugal-friday-november-3-9-2019.html
    Writing from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
    Looking forward to reading what everyone has been up to!

  14. That’s a great price for turkey!

    Our Frugal Accomplishments for the Week:

    * I made lunches for both of us this week- rice and miso soup for me, taco bowls (tomato rice, seasoned pinto beans, peas, a bit of taco seasoned chicken, and cheese) for my SO.

    * We avoided turning on the heat again this week. It has only been chilly a few days this week, so we’ve just added a few throw blankets around the apartment and worn sweaters.

    * My parents visited us over the weekend, and we went out for lunch. They generously paid for our meal.

    * I prepared our winter gear by washing items and switching insoles into my boots. Our stuff is as good as new now!

    * We did our shopping for the month and paid less than $35. We will need to go back for fruit, milk, and maybe some veggies, but we should come in under $50 for the month.

    * We avoided an extra trip with the car (I missed my night class because I felt ill, which meant I didn’t need a ride home).

    * Dinners have been things like soup (chicken wild rice soup), sloppy joes made with lentils, and other cheap meals. I’ve baked bread as well, and cooked up some side veggies for us both.

    I hope everyone has a great week (and stay warm! Our “feels like” temps were at 0 F this afternoon!)

  15. We continue to work on our fixer upper, doing as much as we can ourselves. We gratefully received a twin bed with trundle, plant pots, curtains, a plant, 4 patio chairs and a dresser from a relative that has moved.
    My son texted to say that he found a book of Forever stamps in a used book that he bought. He was quite excited.
    We have eaten rice and beans, made several different ways, the last 3 nights.
    I picked up a veggie spiralizer from someone in my buy-nothing group.
    We have opened up all the windows in the middle of the day and closed them again before it cooled to much, to warm up the house.
    I gave my neighbor some asian pears that a friend shared with me. The neighbor gave me persimmons in return. We have only lived here 2 weeks, I am so thankful to have a neighbor to trade produce with.

  16. Worked on a client’s Christmas quilt, using her Gran’s fabrics. Plan to have it finished today. https://pin.it/ioedlr67c266gy
    I baked 36 mini banana bread loaves for a church training meeting this past Thursday. (I have a Wilton pan that makes 18 in one batch!)I used overripe bananas I had frozen. https://pin.it/tbxwlr36znaz2l

    I went over to Home Depot for cement sealant to seal porch steps while weather is clear, dry and in 50’s! Hubs was able to spread the sealant on after our son and I lifted the bags, mixed up some of the dry mix with water and did any/all running, lifting, etc for him! https://pin.it/byadpibbmabiep. We had to reconcile ourselves to have it finished but not with finesse. Finesse can be done with it in the lateSpring when weather warms up! But for now, it is protected from the elements and no one will get hurt on them because they are crumbling and deteriorating! We spent about $175 total. The estimates to do this were both about $2500! So quite a bit of savings there!

    Hubs had his follow up testing on his heart procedure 6 weeks ago. They had him swallow a tiny camera to see into his heart! Amazing!! The procedure was a success so he has now been taken off his expensive blood thinner and will be on a much lower dose generic blood thinner as a precaution just for 4-1/2 more months and then, no more blood thinners!! There is no cost to us for the new low dose blood thinner versus the $200 a month, so it’s like we just got a $200/month raise in income!!
    My daughter told me about a research study at our large university here that was for people my age who had good hearing. I was accepted and got $80 just for 2 two hour sessions of having headphones on and repeating the words or sentences that I heard! That was fun and easy!!
    I also was accepted into a research study about health care that will pay $150 just for taking a survey online that will be Tuesday and Wednesday. The company is legitimate and has an A rating from BBB. They were only doing surveys in my county for this one so I’m fortunate!
    I just got $52 from Ebates/Rakuten. That is SO easy to use!
    I found flats of strawberries that actually looked good- not over-ripe or moldy but not pale and hard either! $5/flat so I called 2 of my daughters who wanted 6 flats between them to freeze. I bought 1 flat and we have been eating them fresh! Yum!!
    One of my daughters-in-law found a great sale on 80/20 ground beef and after checking to see if I wanted any, bought an extra 45 pounds for me. I checked with daughter who moved here from CA to 13 acres in the country to see if she wanted any. She took 10 pounds of the 45 to put into her freezer.

    So all in all, a very good week!

  17. I completed enough surveys to earn a $5 Amazon gc. It was a lot of answering for a small reward.
    My son in law came over twice to put up plastic on my kitchen windows–I washed the curtains and took the blinds down but haven’t washed them yet—it’s going to be a job. I did set the oven to clean itself, resulting in some ashes to wipe away this morning but a much cleaner oven. I try not to do it too often because it takes so much power, and it was pretty well incinerated already, so I set it for 2 hours instead of the 3 which is the normal cycle. It worked fine. Got the plastic on the windows just a couple days in advance of the big snow coming. (Some of it is already here. We have a few inches but expect more overnight.)
    I made a lemon cake pudding for dessert last night–an old favorite we haven’t had in a while. It was a good ending to leftover goulash and green beans, although the leftover goulash was pretty good too.
    We voted. We were invited to a 75th birthday party last Sunday, and then went out with the birthday girl and her husband and two other couples on Friday night. It was a good time but it was COLD. I had my back to the door at the restaurant and every time it opened, I felt it. I was wearing a turtle neck and a heavy sweatshirt kind of thing over it. Winter has arrived before we got acclimated to it! I cooked the other nights–goulash, a fairly blah chuck roast, which we ate two nights despite it being disappointing! I can’t remember what else I cooked. The days fly by so quickly I wonder where they went!
    My DD did become weight bearing after her broken ankle, and came over once to help with some cleaning and use my washer. Handy to do both at once. We also did a short shopping trip on Saturday and had a chance to talk about Christmas gift possibilities on the ride there and back. I left my husband home alone for a couple house and he was ok. I don’t like to do that because he isn’t very good at following directions, but it was very cold outside so he stayed in. He is likely to go walking and has the possibility of getting dizzy–I’m not against him walking but I want him to do it where there are people around in case he needs help. Not on the canal towpath in colder weather–so few people on the towpath at this time of year. He forgets that sometimes.
    I slowly am getting some gifts bought for Christmas, although DGD has plans to go to Chicago with her boyfriend to his parent’s house, so I might get a few extra days before our holiday celebration with them. I don’t mind moving our celebration but am wondering –since it’s the first tme—if it will make me lonesome on the real Christmas to just have husband and me here. I better have some back up projects planned in case I get mopey!!

    1. Marcia R. If your celebration is around the kids , yes you might get lonesome a bit. We found by focusing on celebrating of how we did before the kids came along helped a lot. Hubby;s faith starts on Dec 6th and ends Jan 6th so we start doing special things then. We still go look at lights a couple times instead of just Christmas eve. I put nicer meals on the table. This year we are going to read the start reading the book of Luke. My family celebrates the winter solstice along with Christmas.. We honor each other’s faiths and celebrate both of them.

  18. I’m really thankful that my husband has the ability to work on machinery, which is not his full-time job (he works in advertising). A few weeks ago our water heater died. While there was an expense to purchase a new one we didn’t have to pay to have the new one installed. This past week he also handled car repairs which saved about $300.

    For several weeks I’ve been really tempted to succumb to a local restaurant‘s ‘shrimp night Tuesday special’, but in defrosting the freezer this weekend we discovered half a bag of frozen shrimp. We tried a different method of cooking it that was delicious, eliminating my internal struggle/fix for tomorrow night:) We also organized the deep freezer and pantry a little better. I’m always grateful for tools like skillets and cookbooks and a variety of ingredients whenever a new recipe works, knowing how very blessed we are and how often we take that for granted. When I do feel like I’m taking life for granted I reread your story about living off your food storage. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write it.

    We had several days of beautiful weather and were able to keep windows open for fresh air. I picked an orange from our tree to juice and add to home-baked cranberry muffins to take to a church event. I used some tomatoes I had frozen from the garden this summer in a lasagna I made for a family gathering. Now I’m waiting for broccoli to be ready to harvest.

  19. Hello Frugal Friends,
    I hope you are enjoying your Veteran’s Day!
    Here are my frugal accomplishments:
    – This week I placed an item that I can sew quickly and easily on Facebook Marketplace. Within a couple of hours, I had almost 20 items ordered. This was surprising a nice little money maker for me!
    – I opened a booth at a local flea market. This booth will hold my sewing items and crochet items. I am excited to give it a try!
    – I had a lot of homework this week. Which I suppose kept me busy and not spending money.
    – I have meal planned through the end of the month to save money on groceries.
    – I have a ham and a turkey ready in the freezer from last Christmas that I purchased at very low prices.
    – I signed up for a PinchMe sample. Details about this and other freebies are on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2019/11/11/check-pinchme-com-for-free-samples/
    – That’s about all that I can think of for now!

  20. I cleaned and organized the master bathroom vanity. I found a missing sterling silver and onyx earring in the hair accessories. I found lots of bath gel and lots of moisturizer. I organized my make up and even though I haven’t bought much for the last 3 years, (So far this year I have spent less than $10, and that is very typical.) I vowed to make an effort to wear some of the items more often.

    I hemmed a pair of pants for DH. I cleaned out and organized my yarn basket, yarn supplies and sewing box. Now I know what my next 6 projects should be.

    I made two new to me soups with chicken breasts and both were very good – Tumeric Coconut Chicken Soup and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden imitation). Someone had given me a can of coconut milk, something I hadn’t sought out because it always seemed kind of expensive. But now I see you can get a can at Dollar Tree for $1. I also tried a new enchilada recipe using shredded pork and a homemade enchilada sauce. I bought 2 boxes of 16 oz. gnocchi, each for $1 at the discount grocery shop. I bought discounted Halloween candy for Christmas stockings.

    My daughter has a birthday just before Christmas. I like to give her a basket of little fun things as well as a larger gift (this year a 45 piece set of stainless silverware). So I bought her 3 pairs of Halloween socks for 58 cents (90% off for final clearance). She likes holiday socks but I have already given her many Christmas socks, so I am diversifying holidays. I will give her notecards, mints and a key chain, giveaways from a PBS event I attended. And I will keep watching for other fun items. I bought my grandson 2 pairs of sleep shorts and 2 pairs of sleep pants for $3, marked down from $45 total.

    I borrow movies and books frequently from the library. I enjoyed A Man Called Ove this week.

    1. Thank you for the heads’ up about coconut milk at Dollar Tree! I will have to check that out!

  21. This week, we did quite a bit of grocery shopping. I hadn’t done much shopping for several weeks, and needed to restock some things. I looked at the ads and went to some stores myself and sent my husband to others, gleaning the good deals from each.

    My daughter and I cleaned the fridge really well before putting in the new groceries.

    I redeemed a very few Ibotta rebates.

    I got a routine medical appointment done, using my insurance.

    I took my daughter on a field trip that was set up and paid for by my sister for a group of kid/families. We went to the End Of The Oregon Trail Museum and Interpretive Center in Oregon City, Oregon. My contribution to the trip was to drive my big van and pack a lunch for all 18 of us. (Clearly, others drove, too!) We all had a wonderful time and the kids learned a lot. Pictures are on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

    We found the materials for 2 projects in my stash. My daughter’s project was a doll that she wants to donate to the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox project. She got it finished. That picture is on my blog, too. I’m so glad to see her taking a renewed interest in sewing. I feel it’s such a good skill to know.

  22. Each year I love seeing the photos of your Meyer lemons. I’d like a framed print of them in my kitchen. I used a coupon on the back of a grocery receipt to get my hair cut. I haven’t cut it in about 4 years. I bought baby Henry some baby tylenol combining coupons to get them for 99 cents. I refrained from stocking up on many sale items at Kroger. Even though great deals, we no longer eat those items and I’m learning to resist the impulse of unneeded good deals. I did buy 10 lbs of butter at $2.49 a lb .I blessed my mother with a new living room suit. Its persimmon in color. A weird orange but it made her very happy. I used a coupon to get my daughter’s oil changed. I bought several desired items at the thrift store. I replaced my bedroom slippers that had the soles completely worn off. The key fob to my new to me car was cracked. My son used my gorilla glue to carefully glue the plastic casing back together for me. I hear replacements are quite expensive. I found a store sale on the store brand 1000 sheet toilet paper. I ended up with 40 four packs. At 25 cent a roll that’s the cheapest I’ve bought it at in a good long time. I redeemed a receipt for a bottle of advil for a free movie ticket. I also redeemed the receipt for a yogurt purchase for 2 more movie tickets for sugar cookie. I redeemed points on several bank accounts for giftcards. I saved the points all year to give them to my 3 children for Christmas gifts. I saved a lot of money and spent very little. Well except on my momma. Shes very ill. That smile was priceless and I am so blessed that all my frugal ways allowed me to spoil her. Shes proud of my survival skills. I owe them all to her. Have a great week dear friends.

    1. Hi Lillianna
      My family always tease me because I get so excited about a good deal on toilet paper and buy up large quantities. I’m so glad I’m not the only one!

      1. Penny P the women in my family seem to border on being hoarders. I really have to fight the tendency. But, toilet paper must be my weakness. I figure I only have about 150 rolls. As I have run out in the last two years I have found the price point almost double. I figure it’s better to hoard tp than cats.

  23. I love your date nights. Just having fun together is important. Its been cold here and snowed 8 inches yesterday. Very early snowstorm.
    Since winter has come now we are back to going to estate sales when there is a good one. This past week we didn’t get the car that was posted but we bought a lot of things for the house that were cheap.
    I listed most of the items and other ways I’ve saved here

  24. Awwww, lemons from the garden! So pretty! We only get the long-traveled lemons from the supermarket, but since we have small lemon trees as potted plants, maybe one day they will bear fruit, too.

    The weather in Estonia has been quite warm and nice for November, so we don’t have to heat that much. That saves us firewood.

    We ate several meals from the freezer.

    I mended our oldest’ backpack. We need to buy him a new one soon, but until we find a suitable model he can still use the old one.

    While buying a sweater for one of the older boys, I successfully resisted our youngest’ whining for new jeans. Later at home I proved him that he has 5 pairs of jeans in his drawer. Then we “shopped” in the box under our bed and he got two sweaters I had kept from our older boys.

    I tore apart an old sweater and used the wool to knit socks. Estonian winters are usually cold (think Alaska) and we all need several pairs of woollen socks. I don’t like the quality of the store-bought socks, so I prefer to knit all of them myself.

    When shopping for groceries, I found that huge bottles of laundry detergent for wool were marked down. We wear many woollen things and so I need a lot of this detergent, but it is often sold only in very small amounts and the price is much higher. I think this bottle (4 l) will get me through this winter and the price was just 1 €/l.

  25. The car show sounded like the perfect outing for the family. Free entertainment and free food…that’s awesome! So glad you were able to view the conference keynote speakers from the comfort of your home. Continuing education opportunities are always amazing! I’m amazed you are able to get such a great price on turkey’s with any purchase. Usually you have to buy a certain amount of groceries to get those deals! I’m sure it feels good to restock the freezer with cheap meat.

    This week, our fugal accomplishments involved the following:
    *Meals made at home this week included: grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles and potato chips; loaded potato ranch chicken casserole; waffles with strawberries (from the freezer), maple syrup and cool whip topping; lentil sloppy Joe’s; cheesy ham & broccoli rice skillet; and cheddar sausages with homemade macaroni & cheese casserole and broccoli with cheese sauce.
    *Bagged lunches included: cheese, onion and chive quesadilla (I cooked it that morning, but they can be pre-made), fresh mango, yoghurt, sugar free fruit cocktail jello cup (made with jello and canned fruit cocktail from my pantry); hummus, crackers, jello fruit cup & money for cafeteria; chicken, cheese & onion quesadilla, leftover potato wedges, sliced pears, yoghurt, jello fruit cup; leftover lasagna, orange slices, yoghurt, jello fruit cup, banana bar; chicken noodle soup (from the pantry, in a thermos), home-canned applesauce, yoghurt, jello fruit cup.
    *Packaged up a bunch of meat with my food saver that I bought to restock our freezer. I added 12 meal sized pks of ground beef (bought on sale @ Costco), 4 pks of shaved ham and 4 pks of diced ham cut from 3 black Forrest hams ($2.50/600g ham), 3 pks of 2 BLSL chicken breast and 4 individual chicken breast pks (bought @ Costco, unfortunately not on sale but we were low), and 4 full chicken legs (bought on sale for $0.70/lb at grocery store). That should keep our family going for a while!
    *For Sunday breakfast, I decided to have eggs Florentine. DD was not up yet, and I was going to just make some for myself. I then had a brilliant thought. I made extra scrambled eggs with sauteed spinach, and used it to make egg Florentine wraps for DD! I assembled the wraps with a slice of havarti (Swiss is more traditional, but use what you have), a scoop of scrambled eggs with spinach and topped with a drizzle of Hollandaise sauce (onions could also be added in desired). I made her 3 wraps total. She enjoyed 1 for breakfast that morning, and I wrapped up the other 2 for a quick breakfast option during the week! These could also be used a grab & go lunch option as well.
    *Tried a new recipe, Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins (https://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/moist-healthy-marbled-chocolate-banana-muffins/). The only added “sugar” in these muffins is 1/2 cup total of maple syrup! The marbling makes them look like cupcakes, though. These will be used in our bagged lunches this coming week.
    *Decided to use a McDonald’s gift card that was hanging around on the table. Didn’t know how much it was worth, or where exactly it had come from. I was pleasantly surprise the card had $10 on it, which paid for all but $2.10 of my order! Also gave my mom $10 worth of gift cards for our local mall to use towards DD’s Christmas gift.
    *Since my fall canning “to-do” list was pretty much completed, I decided to create a new “to-do” list. I found having the list helped me remember all the jobs, both big and little, that needed to be done. I could then chose which ones I could do that day, depending on what else was happening. As things come up or I think of other tasks that need doing, I can now add them to my list, so I don’t forget to do them!
    *A few weeks ago, I put together an ornament making craft session for the Weaver’s & Spinners Guild meeting. The ornaments will decorate a tree that is auctioned off for charity. I simply found simple ideas on Pinterest for the ornaments and bought the inexpensive supplies. Two members, independent of one another, took 2 different ornament ideas and made a bunch to sell at different craft sales they were involved with. Both did quite well with their ornament sales. That tells me people really liked them! Just food for thought!!! Here are the instructional links to those 2 ornaments, if anyone is interested: http://ariansstudio.blogspot.com/2010/12/tiny-hat-ornaments-how-to.html?m=1 (if you knit/crochet, leftover yarn from projects can be used for these), and https://www.wherethesmileshavebeen.com/how-to-make-a-yarn-ball-ornament/, with second example https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/Ae3bqL3g_-iwqrkR9ENitVwrf8klFRffKIGsKeth7Ak6IEbp7Jyzryg/ (note: we made these with Christmas balls from a thrift store).
    *Continued to clean & organize the kitchen cabinets. Purged more items, moved some items to store somewhere else and disposed of others. Only have 1 more to do. DD has already commented on how much easier it is to get things out of the cupboards. I agree!
    *Worked an 8 hour shift this week.

    Looking forward to reading the comments throughout the week. You all are my educational entertainment each and every week! Have a good one, everybody!!!!

  26. Frugal week as I stayed home most of week itself. Went to the VFW twice and only paid for 2 drinks total as others picked up the tab due to the USMC birthday (I’m Marine – long ago) and then once as I was judging the VFW essay scholarship contest.
    Stayed home otherwise.
    Combined picking my husband up at the airport with some shopping. He left his car at a work site for the weekend and got a colleague to drive him to the airport.
    We spend a “frugal” weekend away in Key West for the boat races. Drove my fuel efficient car (40mpg). Stayed at the base for a cheap hotel. Picked up stone crab claws and steamed shrimp at a fish market and ate them by the water with a bottle of wine brought from home for a tasty (frugal) treat – far less than eating the same at a restaurant. Brought our own bottles of wine and bourbon (with our own reusable cups) for drinks back in our room, water, and for ‘walking”. Coffee and tea, too. Walked everywhere. Ate meals at food trucks or small locals restaurants rather than do any fancy or tourist dining. Lots of window shopping. No souvenirs. Biggest expense was our bar hopping, but that was expected.

  27. I made black eyed pea and ham soup (with portions added to the freezer for the future). Did the same with 15 bean soup and ham. My husband had stents put in his heart arteries so we were at home resting quietly and needed nourishing low salt meals. Bought low salt canned vegetables on sale to restock my pantry a bit. Now have only one turkey left in my freezer from last year so will cook that for this thanksgiving! DH and I used to eat three to four turkeys a year (we cook them and split up the meat and freeze for future meals) but have found we prefer chicken now, so this year I will only buy one extra turkey. Current prices are $0.79/lb but I haven’t been to winco (it is 20 miles from our home).

    One of the comments here reminded me we have a $40 gift card, so I will use that this month as we shop for groceries,

  28. I stocked up on 5 lb of lean ground beef and 9 lb of loin chops, all at $1.99/lb. ($1.50 US) I’ve divided the beef into 1-lb packages. Sometimes the pork chops need to be pried apart, but this time they are separate in the package and can easily be taken out one at a time. The chops are large, so I will slow cook some, and use each of those chops for two servings of pork. I also bought a few cans of no-salt tomatoes on sale, for use in making chili and slow cooking meat.

    I bought my month’s groceries a week late, and have a lot of food in the house now. December’s shopping will just be for a few things for Christmas, and any fresh items needed.

  29. Winter just showed up. The local ski hill had its earliest opening ever Saturday. But the air conditioner is still in the kitchen window and the combination of my already achey back last week and a snow-covered balcony now means that is where it stays. I tucked a bath towel around it yesterday to reduce the cold air infiltration considerably. Since I have bubble wrap, I am going to make a better-fitting layer of insulation for it both inside and outside.
    We now have enough of the pressed sawdust logs and waxed cardboard logs to keep a fire going in the fireplace during the day for at least a week if our power goes out. My lungs prefer the pressed sawdust logs because they burn so much cleaner than most firewood. The waxed cardboard logs are the easiest to start and also are cleaner burning than firewood. Mom likes her fires. The guy who installed the damper never showed for the repair so I have to call the other chimney sweep who still installs the same brand. So much for a “lifetime warranty” if the installer you chose closes down his business. At least it is stuck open instead of closed.
    I thought I would save both time and money by taking advantage of Kroger’s offer of free bring-it-to-the-car service on Saturday. Their website is horrible. I spent hours trying to assemble my shopping list and only got a third of the way through the 72 pages of buy 10 save $5 offers. When I went to schedule a time, I was after the shortly after 4 p.m. cutoff for scheduling same day pickup which meant I lost out on at least two special deals. Ugh. The next morning I revised my list to get it under $85 (Their estimated total does not include all discounts) and make very sure it was at least $35 and arranged to pick it up between 1 and 2. I arrived at the store at 1:54, called to let them know I was there, and the clerk showed up with the groceries about 17 minutes later. Good thing I hadn’t brought mom along to shiver in a cold car while waiting. Then Kroger sent a survey asking me what I did with all the time I saved by using their grocery pickup. Seriously? I “saved” about negative five hours!!! It did keep me from impulse buys but I’m usually good at that while going up and down their aisles and only buying sale food items. The $10 chicken dinner was delicious and the $5 flowers beautiful. But I so look forward to shopping at the new Aldi in a nearby town that opens tomorrow.
    I’ve been doing mom’s mending too. She has recovered from the illnesses that clobbered her last August and is doing well for a 96-year-old. She is making herself breakfast right now.

    1. Holly, thank you for sharing your experience with Kroger’s online shopping service. They have started it at my local Kroger and I have wondered about it. I think I will skip trying it until they get their act together.
      Congratulations on getting a new nearby Aldi. Their prices make it worthwhile to do the extra effort bagging your own groceries and taking the buggy back.

  30. 1. Earned $17 in reward points from my credit card.
    2. Held off getting a kindle for my son’s birthday until they finally went on sale for the holidays. *Now hoping it was the lowest price of the season…
    3. My husband split some old logs to replenish our wood pile. *Better late than never!
    4. Took home leftover pizza, cookies, and drinks from a party at church
    5. Found a great site on YouTube called cartooning4kids that shows children how to draw their favorite characters. *My son has been drawing nonstop all week.
    **Pictures on my blog https://thethriftyeducator.com/2019/11/12/frugal-things-21/

  31. The lemons are lovely. Mine are a little behind Brandy’s; it’s so hard to wait for them to ripen. They make fantastic lemonade.

    I ordered some chicken hearts, gizzards and livers, as part of my effort to eat more organ meat. When I met up with the farmer, she said she was shocked to find that she only had last year’s hearts and gizzards left, but the packages were still sealed well and the meat looked good. She decided to give me three packs for the price of one, if I would accept them even though they are older. I did!

    My adult children and I will once again share the work and cost of Thanksgiving by splitting the menu. I’ll make a couple of special dishes for me since I am still on a restricted diet, but it will be nothing like trying to prepare the entire meal myself.

    I hung jeans out and they didn’t quite dry, so I put them over our loft banister to finish drying.

    I hope to visit a relative right after Thanksgiving, and if I do, I’ll be carrying the Christmas gifts for her family with me, saving the cost, time and aggravation of mailing them. I always shop ahead for them, to allow myself time to mail or take them before Christmas.

    I have my large Crock-Pot cooking a big pile of mixed bones from the freezer. I let it cook about 36 hours, to get the richest broth.

    I re-read one of my books that I own, 84 Charing Cross Road which is combined with The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, by the same author (Hanff). It always makes me smile.

    My daughter and I had our yard sale and did fairly well, and most importantly, got a lot of stuff out of our houses. We do one a year, this being about our fifth year, trying to reduce the amount of stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. Our combined total was just under $300.

    Thanks for all the ideas I find here.

  32. It has been an awesome week! My youngest son is home on vacation, my oldest son took off work for a few days, my middle son was off over the weekend so we have been able to all be together. It will be July before this might possibly happen again. It felt so good to have them all here. We visited my mother at her assisted living apartment and she is happy there!
    It was Mom’s birthday so I decided against giving her a frivolous gift. I went to the dollar store and purchased shampoo, lotions, foot soak scents, etc. – things she could use. We also stayed, had lunch, met her friends and the meal was free.
    My biggest frugal saving has been cooking from scratch. I am canning beans, soups, and meat for my youngest son to take back with him. Since he was here last I have used my coupons on good sales to load up on things for him to take back. He has learned my frugal ways, cooks all his meals at home and prepares lunches for work. He has big ambitions for the future and doesn’t want to waste any money.
    Frugal fail: I bought rubber strips of insulation to cover up gaps in the edges of my front door. Spent a long time working to get it perfect, then the next morning when we awoke, we discovered it had all fallen off. I was not impressed. I returned the unused boxes to the store for a refund. I’m back to using wide tape over the gap (it works great but looks horrible.) Back to the drawing board.
    Second Frugal fail: Did a big coupon shopping at Dollar General. When I checked my receipt at home, the register failed to take off any of my coupons. Today I will return, receipt in hand and get refunds. This has happened quite often and the managers recognize me (I am ALWAYS polite and thank them for their service). Next time before I check out I WILL write down on paper the item and the coupon amount, then run the coupon items through first at the register. They will be listed on the top of the receipt and easy to spot. Before I walk out, I need to compare my list to the receipt.
    I did share pictures of our no excitement but wonderful weekend on my blog.

  33. Yesterday we did some trading with my brother-although we came out further ahead. A relative had left some unused bear spray with us before their flight home which we passed on as my brother is an avid hiker. My brother gave us an older mountain bike, an ereader and a spaghetti squash. I received an email from Westjet offering me a $350 credit( normally $250) plus free checked bags and a $99 companion fare if I signed up. The annual fee is $119 so if I keep it for one year I should come out a minimum of $231 ahead.

  34. We did all the routine stuff of READING THIS BLOG AND ALL THE COMMENTS !!!!
    hanging laundry on drying racks, opening and closing curtains, oven meals combined with baking breads and desserts.

    I miss Mejers Lemons when I stopped working in Georgia. The ones they get here in Ohio are very small.

    I went through the over counter meds to and listed what we need to replace. I will watch for sales and coupons for the items.

    We have been helping our Amish neighbor’s sister in law who has cancer. Her stateside doctors are sending her (Her husband is going with her) to Mexico as a last resort. While she is gone we will do everything we can to help her family take care of their farm and children. Her church paid us gas money but we donated it back to the family.

    We gave another family 5 heads of cabbage so they could make some kraut. Their cabbages didn’t grow at all so they were going to go without. I had 10 heads wrapped and in frig.

    We are still insulating the house. Taking cardboard boxes to use as air barriers. Two fold, we are using boxes that we used to move in last fall and I am clearing more boxes so we don’t have to go buy anything for air barrier beside the staples.

    We are eating from the pantry unless the meal is free HAHA. A guy Hubby used to work with got a free coupon because he buys his lunches at the gas station and gave us the coupon since he doesn’t eat pizza.

    I saved over $55 at Kroger’s using coupons, sales and Ibota.
    Blessed be

  35. Brandy, your lemons look so lovely and delicious. Last spring I purchased a small potted Meyer Lemon plant and watched it double (if not triple) in size throughout the summer. I have now moved it to the sunniest room in the house as it wouldn’t survive outside here in North Carolina during the winter. I have been making sure to open the blinds as early as possible each day so that it gets plenty of sunlight. Also giving it a light misting of water daily to provide it with a bit of humidity. I have high hopes for a little lemon crop in it’s future :). Your beautiful photo has me dreaming of this goal all the more.
    I used free time last week to inventory my Christmas wrapping supplies, napkins, candles, etc. I decided that many items could be donated. Also found a few things that are needed for this season and made a list. I will keep the list in my purse so that I can be on the lookout for them when I am out thrift shopping.
    The chicken carcass that has been in my freezer from a rotisserie chicken is now 6 quarts of homemade chicken broth. I put it in the slow cooker with water, an onion, spices and cider vinegar. Cooked it at low for 24 hours to make a nourishing rich bone broth.
    I discovered that we had two bags of lentils in the pantry. I found a recipe on the forks over knives website for a lentil vegetable soup. I liked the addition of many different vegetables and was able to use up some spinach that was in need of being used up.
    After hearing about the magic of Norwex cloths for years, I decided to purchase the cloth set for window cleaning. At first the cost seemed very high to me. However, yesterday I put them to the test. Using only the wet cloth I was able to get my windows clean and streak free. The other cloth was used to dry and polish the window. It was very easy and fast. I have always considered window cleaning to be a monumental task involving ladders, buckets and various cleaning products. Often the results were streaky. When we lived in a two story home we would periodically pay to have them professionally cleaned. The results were wonderful, but the cost was something else. Now in my 60s and living in a ranch home, I feel like we will be able to keep up with our windows rather easily. So, in the long run the price of the cloths seems very worthwhile to me.
    With the darker mornings I decided to leave the lights off and light a candle instead while taking my shower. Saves on the electric bill and is also a nice gentle way to start the day.
    At day’s end I am enjoying curling up under my covers with a good book. I have quite a stack to go through . Some are from the book swap we have in our neighborhood, some from my sister-in-law and others from thrift shops. A new to me author that I have been enjoying immensely is Kristin Hannah. I just finished The Great Alone and thought it was fantastic. Also enjoyed The Nightingale.
    Reading everybody’s comments about turkey prices has made me want to find a good price in my area and get one for the freezer. Would love some sandwiches with real turkey as opposed to lunch meat. Also need to stock up on cranberries. Tis the season.

  36. -I wonder how many others are like me and tend to not comment much when “in the thick of it” . The past month has been difficult with my husband losing work on account of knee problems along with the normal slowing down for winter. We also lost one vehicle permanently and our other was unable to be run for several weeks. We completely used up our savings. It’s a very scary feeling to not have a safety net. But we’re okay. The woodstove is burning warmly and our home is safe and secure. While our pantry stores are greatly diminished, we are fed.
    -When we got the van fixed, we took advantage of a free museum on local history as a fun outing. Dan’s grandparents treated us all to a meal out! And just after we determined to give our tithe even when it didn’t seem like we could afford it, we were given a gift of $50 from someone in our church, which made up for the part we had given without knowing how things could work out.
    -My reselling “business” is really picking up. I was able to purchase close to $100 worth of lighting for photography. I think I will be able to sell things for a higher price with better photos and the lighting will pay for itself shortly, though it seemed counterintuitive to reinvest in the business when we ourselves are struggling. I am really at a point now where I am able to pull some of the profit for other necessary things for our family and not just buying more inventory each week. I am still enjoying it and I’m spending a lot of time learning how to do it better. I have a goal of earning $1000 a month in profit. I’m not nearly there yet, but I like having goals to work toward!
    -Though I haven’t contributed my own frugal accomplishments for a few weeks, I do read everyone else’s comments. This website is a great encouragement and comfort to me! Thank you all!

    1. When you’re in the thick of it is the best time to post! It helps you see that what you are doing DOES make a difference and brings hopes to others in the same situation!

      1. I absolutely agree with Brandy! What you do to work with your very strict budget, all those creative solutions you come up with when you have a need and things are super tight, those are some of the best frugal ideas anyone can offer!!! I absolutely love reading about how people make it work on a super strict budget. Because when I was dealing with our financial disaster, reading about how someone else found solutions in a similar situation helped me realize there were still things I could do to help us get through those hard times. When I started to list things I was doing to help my financial situation, it help me feel less depressed, because I could visually see I was doing something to move us in a positive direction. Now I gather all those amazing ideas that I read about and file them away in mind or sometimes even put it into practice. If I ever find myself back in such a situation again, I now understand knowledge is power and it will help me deal with financial setbacks with a confident, positive outlook. And if I meet someone who is struggling financially, I happily can share that knowledge to offer them hope as well.

  37. I love lemons. That picture makes my mouth water.

    These past few weeks have been far from frugal. Still, I’ve been doing the things I always do like cooking at home, and using food from the pantry, fridge and freezer. I have also been dealing with an ongoing medical issue that is annoying (and makes me grouchy). Our health insurance deductible has been met for the year, so that is helpful.
    A few other frugal accomplishments:
    – Rewatched all of Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime. I’d love to see the movie at some point. I get terrible vertigo from most movie theaters, so I will wait for it to come out on a streaming service (hopefully Prime or Netflix!)
    – Revived a week-old bouquet with $2 of clearance flowers.
    – Repaired a clothing item for my husband.
    – Ordered several pairs new jeans for my husband on sale. Got $50 in Kohl’s cash, which I used to buy a down vest for me and a bunch of Burt’s Bees lip balm.
    – Planted bulbs for the spring and cleaned up my planters on the patio. Added some plants that will survive the winter, and hopefully not be eaten by the deer who occasionally visit.
    – Read magazines from my work and from my mom. When done, I will donate them to our library, where they are sold for 25 cents.
    – Worked out at the gym and used the sauna.
    – Read books from the library,
    – Took walks outside when we had nice weather.
    – Made water kefir and kombucha.

    Have a great week, everyone. I always enjoy everyone’s posts. And thanks for hosting, Brandy.

  38. I did a big grocery shop to finish off the pantry refill last Saturday – and since I use a “bundle buggy” (don’t drive) and use public transit it was a good thing I did it all then as we now have six inches of snow on the ground – with more due tonight – and it is bitterly cold! Winter is much too early this year. But at least the pantry is well stocked. I like to have all the cans and bulky/heavy items, like TP and laundry detergent bought before winter really hits as trying to use a buggy in the snow is almost impossible.
    Added more Loyalty Points and also purchased a lot of veg that was on special ($1 bags of items and others at much lower than normal pricing) – have lots of onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and rutabaga and will buy some more frozen veg tomorrow – its all that I have room for in my freezer!
    I cooked a lot of eggs this week and turkey thighs – which are delicious! I also made up servings of pasta using up a lot of whipping cream that I’d been given as it was right before the expiry date. I’ve frozen a lot, used more in the creamy tomato sauce, and will whip up the rest tonight – waste not, want not!
    I’ve taken food to work each day and only buy a coffee a couple of times a week as a treat. I did eat out last Friday night but it was part of my allowance – had a wonderful warm seafood salad – something I am going to duplicate at home. I need to keep eating lots of salads but having the seafood and some veg warmed up makes it seem more hearty for this cold weather.
    Read two library books this past week and watched some interesting programs on both Youtube and Netflix – seriously thinking of doing away with cable – at least until baseball season returns. A friend is going to bring over some extra “rabbit ears” that she has so that I can try them out and just see what channels I get without cable.
    I am throwing a 60th birthday party for a friend in a few weeks and while others will contribute, I will be providing much of the food. Got 3 different dips for an excellent price last week plus got a box of fancy crackers that collected a lot of Loyalty Points so I am well on my way. I plan on doing a variety of sandwiches and have plenty of tuna, salmon and ham filling already in the pantry – such a relief to know much of the cost is already covered.
    Hope that all of you experiencing this early winter keep warm – and that Lorna in Australia is safe from the terrible fires they are experiencing!
    PS – Brandy – just love the photo of the lemons!

    1. Margie, when my husband (then fiance) and I lived in Toronto a number of years ago (late 90s), we used rabbit ears instead of cable. Because many of the networks are aired out of Toronto, we received most of the main channels quite clearly (like CTV, CityTV, etc.) because the signals were quite strong. I know they changed to a digital format several years ago, so I don’t know if the type of rabbit ears we had then would still work. But the rabbit ears are definitely worth a try, in my humble opinion! If they don’t work, an alternative is to look into an android box. It uses your wifi internet, which I assume you already are paying for. We have one and LOVE it! It’s similar to having a streaming service like netflix, except you can watch your favourite TV show the day after they have aired, and access ALL the different streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV, etc.) for free. You might even be able to watch sports as they are being aired, with the right app downloaded onto the box (not a sports fan, but I think it may be possible). Only fee is the initial cost of buying the box, which can vary in price from a couple hundred to over a thousand. There is a store here in our mall that sells them. I’m guessing you could easily find somewhere in Toronto that you can get one, with sales people who can answer all your questions about how it works and how to set it up.

        1. We have a newish tv and an amplified antenna (just a loop and rabbit ears) sitting on top of the refrigerator, the highest indoor spot in our house, and receive many digital channels from surrounding cities. Ontario is just a little bit too far away. Unfortunately, there is a hill between us and the nearest PBS transmitter. So we use Roku with our DSL/wireless internet service to watch some PBS shows. I only pay for the Great Courses Plus.

          After the conversion to digital and before we got the new tv, we had to insert a digital to analog conversion box between the refrigerator-top antenna and the tv.

          1. Holly, our library now has a way to watch the Great Courses at home online with a library subscription. There’s a bit more to do, but check it out and see if your library offers it.

          2. Oops. I meant to type analog to digital box.

            Brandy, I will check to see what our local library offers now. Fortunately, my subscription to Great Courses Plus is very reasonable.

        2. They are called android boxes. The box connects to you TV and uses the internet. If you have a smart TV it works similar to them. There are free apps you can download to get access to free streaming. Current favourites are Cyberflix and Cinema, but better ones come alone all the time. If you search for an android box on Amazon you will find all sorts of them for sale. You may be able to find a store selling them in your area as well. I believe Best Buy even sells them! If you can find a store selling them, the sales people may be able to provide answers to any questions you have. Don’t have a box? Some of the apps can also be downloaded onto your computer. Down side is the screen size, unless you are techy enough to figure out how to connect you TV to your computer

      1. Although lots of folks are using those android boxes, they are not legal in canada. I would discourage anyone from buying/using one. If your TV is relatively modern, you should be able to get a ton of over the air channels. And you can simply hook up a piece of coax cable and use it for an antenna. Make sure you switch your input to over the air. I know I get far more channels than I could ever watch.
        BTW, you can sign up for streaming services for baseball on your computer. My oldest son does that from Alberta.

        1. Thank-you Rhonda and Patsy for your replies.
          I do have a Netflix account for one user. I’m in Manitoba with one child in Alberta and another in eastern Ontario. We all seem to be able to share it:)
          I do use RB digital ( free from the library)and am thinking of accessing Disney plus as it would be used in our house.
          I love the British shows seen on PBS and see some show up on Netflix. I’ve thought of gettingBritBox to access them. Years ago you could go through the BBC app but they halted that and now have in a paid format. I don’t have a PVR so I just watch on PBS when it’s originally broadcast.
          I do hook up my laptop to our tv and can see so much via you tube and apps.
          Thank-you for your weighing in on this subject.

        2. Actually, I asked about that when I got my box. It is not illegal to watch anything that is put on the internet, including streamed TV shows or movies. It is, however, illegal to downlaod them if you don’t have the rights to do so. Therefore the boxes are not illegal from my understanding!

  39. Hi to all –

    My frugal things for last week

    Picked up 4 cans of vegetables for .10 each, picked up 6 creamers very cheap and earned $ back thru ibotta
    Washing baggies and reusing, washing full loads
    Walking dogs for exercise, made apple bread from apples getting soft.

    We are still working on refinancing… which seems to take forever….hoping this goes thru soon so we can pay off house sooner than later.

    I appreciate having this site to learn from and also all the gratitude shared. The last 2 years have been emotionally draining for me with my mom moving after 56 years to a smaller and no stairs place and FIL moving across country in with us. So this site has been my happy place online!

  40. What beautiful lemons!
    My out-of-the-ordinary frugal moves the past week have been adjustments to the change in weather.
    I got my (purchased last spring on clearance) canna lily tubers dug up and put in the basement after one frost but before things got too cold here. Hopefully, they will come up when I replant them next year.
    I washed and put away the rain gauge for the year. The glass tube that catches the water broke some years ago. I replaced it with the flat-bottomed plastic tube from some glitter, and when that wore out, one from some Easter jelly beans. I draw measurements on the side with a permanent marker, and we get a close enough estimate after a rainfall. I fear it would freeze and expand and crack over the winter, let alone get buried in snow, so it is in the shed for a few months.
    Was thinking of hot chocolate and remembered I had some Hershey’s chocolate sauce to mix with milk, heated in the microwave. We use very little milk and for us it doesn’t matter if it is skim, 1-2%, or whole. I just buy whatever has the farthest out best-by date, which is of course only a guideline. I think whole milk, or milk with more fat, lasts longer than skim.
    My husband is joining in more and more with my frugal fun grocery shopping. We always carefully study the clearance shelves at our local store, three spots of dry goods (do they still call them that?), dairy, and produce. I have the routine down to be able to guess when it is likely the very expensive organic greens will be marked down from $4-7 to 99 cents, and can estimate how long they will last after their best-by dates, (romaine hearts four or five days; arugula the shortest time). I continue to lose weight from so many salads for lunch. Adding toppings from potted parsley and green onions I rooted makes me feel like I am really contributing to growing my own food, even though those are tiny additions.
    Watching for walnuts on sale to freeze as the holidays approach.

  41. I bought 57 small pumpkins for $5!!!!! Pumpkins are not very popular to eat where I live, most folks in this area of the county seem to prefer sweet potatoes, so I can usually score a deal after Halloween on pumpkins. I have stored them in my dark, unheated bedroom. They kept for several months there last year. I made two hamburger and brown rice casseroles, and sent one home with the missionaries. I also made tomato soup, added a little casserole to it, and spinach, and it made for a delicious soup! I walked at the park. I also took a nap…my fav…lol.

    1. Cindi in the South,
      When I can get small pumpkins, I love to scoop out the seeds and then fill the cavity with homemade cranberry sauce and bake them. Delish!

  42. I gave up (temporarily) on the book and sat outside today. The temperature went up to a “balmy” +7ºC (42ºF). The day started off with snow. it was supposed to rain but didn’t. I tried shovelling the snow over the past two days one-handedly. I don’t lift but just push it off to the side. I was glad I persevered because by today the driveway snow had melted and was clear. I sat outside and watched the birds. I got a beautiful Downy Woodpecker photo and a White-breasted Nuthatch photo. it was nice just to relax! Back to the book, tomorrow!

  43. This week’s frugal accomplishments included finally doing enough swagbuck surveys to achieve a gift card at Dan Murphy. This will be included in the gift for my BIL.
    My next mission is to do enough surveys to get a PayPal gift card.
    Theoretically Summer has nearly arrived but it’s freezing in Melbourne, I have winter PJs, thermal underwear and the heater all on. Also I’m heating a nice batch of warming chicken soup. The house is fragrant with chicken, turmeric, and spring onions.
    At least the cold weather is an incentive to stay home warm.
    Happy frugaling folks.

  44. As usual I love reading what everyone has done!
    – this week my husband had a conference in Dallas. He convinced me to go along! We paid for the flight with air miles and he was able to get all his travel, the hotel and my”guest pass” for breakfast and lunch all covered. My in laws babysat. In the evenings at the conference they had receptions with drinks and hor dervs but we were able to eat enough that we didn’t go to dinner two of the nights. All in all an incredibly relaxing and inexpensive getaway!
    – used cloth diapers
    – had to buy a third cares for each car for our youngest. We had looked on Craigslist (I know you aren’t supposed to buy carseats used before j get that response!) But our cars only for one particular brand three across and despite diligent Craigslist checking there were never any there. So we went through rakuten and at least got a few dollars back
    – sat down and did our monthly budget
    – decluttering efforts seem to be making some headway!

  45. We had a frugal and lovely week here!
    *We had nice weather before the bitter cold set in so I took advantage of it and got the big freezer defrosted. We used up some older stuff and now it’s ready for hunting season and the holiday sales.
    *After doing some decluttering, I listed some items for sale on Facebook and ebay. A few items have sold. This extra money is earmarked for Christmas gifts.
    *Purchased some household items online that were cheaper than local and also used the Ibotta app to get cash back.
    *We’ve been using the wood stove daily and have tried to keep the electric heater use to a minimum. Also have been shutting down power strips, etc. to keep the electric bill as low as possible.
    *Used the library for several free resources this week.
    *More on my blog here: https://www.cozyhomemaking.com/frugal-fun-homemaking-for-november-3-9-2019/

  46. I love the pictures of your lemons. We can’t grow them here because of the climate.
    I worked 4 days last week and brought my breakfast and lunch each day.
    Bagged up the carrots we dug and cleaned. ended up with 5 bags, with at least 8 pounds in each bag. Great year for carrots, and they keep well in the refrigerator in our shop.
    I voted on Monday. We have only vote by mail – but drop off boxes are open. I dropped our ballots off at the local library.
    We also had a great crop of onions. I chopped a bunch in the food processor, and put them in the dehydrator. Filled 4 trays twice. Ended up with a little over a quart of dried onions. will do a few more. I am using the ones that are small.
    Took my mom shopping. Everything she needed to get was at Wal-Mart so that is where we went. I got two loaves of day old French bread for 50¢ a loaf. Makes great garlic bread with the pizza pasta I made. Also got 2 no. 10 cans of tomato sauce. Costco has stopped carrying it, but Wal-Mart has started.
    Go cauliflower for $1.00 a head. Only had one. Will roast it with some carrots – YUM!
    Got BLSL chicken breasts for $1.28 a pound at Winco. Made chicken fajitas with onions from the garden and some peppers that were in the ugly produce section of Fred Meyer so were 3 for $1.00.
    Made Spanish rice to go with the fajitas, and also warmed up a can of refried beans.

  47. We had a pretty quiet week. We continue to do repairs in our bathroom before all our family comes. I got all the linens and towels washed before they come too. I have plenty it turns out. I found marked down bananas and avocados and made several batches of chocolate mouse. We have been making broth and having soup several times a week. The garden is black after our deep freeze and have my winter stuff covered till it warms up this weekend. I picked dandelion greens and chard and sautéed it for a couple of nights with eggs.

    So thankful for each of you all,

  48. Beautiful lemons, Brandy!

    Not much frugal this week, as we travelled on a trip to Milan, Italy! I’m saving my pennies so I can spend Euros! We used a Groupon package, which saved us a lot of money.

    My accomplishments:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads the in washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate in 3 times. We had leftover BBQ chicken, potato salad and green salad; steak, baked potato and broccoli; and frozen pizza.
    • I saved all the toiletries and tea and coffee from the hotel.
    • Fixed 2 shirts that the buttons kept coming undone. I had bought these on clearance and didn’t want to give up on them!
    • Hung most of my clothes on the line.
    • Continued to scan all receipts using the CoinOut and Fetch Rewards apps.

    Have a great week!

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