It’s been a hot week, requiring us to still run the a/c both day and night (I tried turning it off and opening the windows at night, but it was 81º in the house at 10:30 p.m. and it was just a bit too hot, even under the fan). However, it made for a pleasant, warm evening after dark for us on Friday night, when we enjoyed an al fresco dinner on the patio. I put out a tablecloth on our outside table and we had a wonderful meal.

I canned 27 quarts of pears, 3 pints of pear butter, and 6 half-pints of pear butter from the 72 pounds of pears that I picked up last week for .49 a pound (the children did eat some of the pears).

I picked Armenian cucumbers from the garden and I canned 20 pints of dill pickles from them. You can see my caning totals for this year on my website.

I picked zinnias from the garden and put them on the kitchen table.

I used coupons to get free spray gel and free packaging tape.

My husband bought a used scooter for $180. It will take a little more money (maybe $200) and a little work to make it work better and look better. This will help us to put off buying a car for longer, as our family does not currently fit into our car. We usually only go to church as a family (which is not very far), so my husband can take the scooter and the rest of us can fit in the car. This will make it possible for us to delay buying a larger vehicle for a year or more. As an added bonus, the scooter does not require registration or insurance, so it does not have the extra expenses that would come with a motorcycle or another car. In addition, it gets over 50 miles per gallon, which is much better than our current vehicle. This will save us money in gas. Currently we fill our only car with gasoline every 2 weeks. I am interested in how this will change, as my husband should be able to take the scooter to work most days.

I watched two free shows on Hulu.

I listened to free music on Pandora. I found out that you can type specfic songs in (not just types of music) and get those songs, including movie soundtracks.

I sprayed my grapes for grey mold with an organic fixed copper spray that I got for free earlier this year using a $25 off $25 coupon.

In addition to the cucumbers I mentioned above, I harvested Swiss chard, green onions, basil, and 2 zucchini from the garden! (Finally!) I’m hoping that the zucchini aren’t too hard to eat. I’ve had very few this year (fewer than my usual few) and the ones that have grown were too hard (like rocks), even after cooking. If these are good then we’ll have some fried zucchini this next week.

I mended a dress for my daughter.

I picked up books from the library that I had requested (some for the chidren for school and two for me) and I read one.

What have you done this past week to save money and enjoy life?

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  1. That is WONDERFUL that your daughter doesn’t have student loans. Both my husband and I graduated without any student loans and it has been so incredibly helpful and wonderful!

  2. I just harvested a butternut squash from my garden too. This is my first year gardening. Do I have to let the squash sit a couple days before we eat it or is it ready to go? Thanks!

  3. I love reading all the frugal comments!I cancelled surgery on my back because the insurance company and hospital were quoting my $0 and hundreds of $ OOP. The hospital said I had to pay lots of money. I said no I don’t, cancel the surgery. That is exactly what I did. I need the surgery but I don’t want to be in debt. I’ll have the surgery when I can afford it or the hospital agrees to do it like the insurance says.I packed all my lunches and kids lunches for the week.I made dinner at home all week.I did stretching and walking to keep my back strong and try to avoid surgery.I went shopping at 5 stores and got $200 worth of groceries for $50.I got a refund of $175 and put it in savings. I will spend some on Xmas.I crocheted 2 scarves for Xmas gifts.I got my girls some “free” make up with coupons for Xmas.I got 3 little samples from Aveda that I will put in my daughter’s Xmas stocking or make a little basket for her at Xmas.I have yards and yards of Xmas fabric that I bought years ago. I made napkins and place mats out of some of it. I made stuffed toys for our favorite lab who carries items in her mouth. I bought Halloween things last year for 90% off and will use for this year’s Halloween decorations and fall festival.I spent $1 at Dollar Tree and got a Fall decoration for the front door.I put out our fall decorations around including cross stitch ornaments I made several years ago.I got 3 pumpkins free that I will make into pumpkin puree for the freezer.I wrote down this week what I did to be frugal.

  4. Here is the recipe for the Apple Honey Tea, it is very easy to make, however if you have more than 3 people drinking it, I would double or triple the recipe, as it does not make a very large amount.6 apple peels3-4 cups water1/2 tsp cinnamon(or 1 cinnamon stick)1 Tbl honey1 Tbl lemon juice-Place the apple peels in a saucepan. Cover with the water, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid is colorful and appley.Strain out the apple peels using a colander over a large bowl. Add in the honey. Taste and add additional honey/cinnamon to taste.You can transfer this to a crockpot set on warm, until ready to serve. You can also freeze this for later use-just boil the apple peels and freeze the liquid. Add to your crockpot about 3 hrs before serving, and heat through adding the lemon, honey, and cinnamon to taste.I thought this was a great alternative to the apple cider that you buy at the grocery store, it can get pretty expensive. Thank you everyone for the tips on making stuffing using the frozen bread heels, I will definately try that with the holidays coming up soon. I also would not worry about the comments that other people say, I have seen more people trying to be more resourceful with the economy in the condition it is in now. I try not to waste anything and find a use for everything that I possibly can, you have to take those negative comments in stride!!!

  5. I bought a 99c/lb whole ham at Aldi. My family of 5 (including teenage boy!) have eaten it twice, have enough for another meal, and I made soup with the bone yesterday. We still have more meat, and three more servings of soup. I think that works out to 23 meals for $9.I did an experiment by planting the root ends of green onions. In about 10 days, they have grown about 4″ in length. I may not have to buy any more green onions!I made several homemade breads this week.I did a little knitting for Christmas gifts.

  6. I went to two grocery stores. I spent about $80.00 total but saved $51.00 by buying items on sale, using coupons and having some coupons double at one of the stores.Found a sweatshirt for my son that we bought last year but it was too big. This year it fits great. He also tried on a pair of jeans from last year and they still fit.Thawed and baked a ham from my freezer.Used a gift card and bought two new shirts for myself.We got our property tax refund and three prepaid Visa cards (a promotion when we bought new cellphones) in the mail. I will deposit the property tax refund into our saving account. I think we will save the Visa cards and use them in December for gas for traveling or for holiday food.Jill

  7. Brandy, I’m sorry to hear that your husband has not had a lot of sales this year.Thank you for continuing to inspire us with your ideas on how to have a wonderful life with what you have.I’m praying for you and your family.Jill

  8. I went on line and googled templates for Christmas shapes and bone shapes and just easy shapes I could make. I cut the shape out, then pinned it on the fabric and cut about 3/4 bigger than the shape size, and sewed it up and left an opening for the stuffing. I then stuffed them with some stuffing I had around. Big enough for the lab, Haily, to carry in her mouth. I made them out of Xmas fabric. Very easy. These are for her for Christmas. We love Hailey as a family.

  9. Aldi’s is having a sale on apples, 3 lbs for $1.99 so 67 cents/lbs. I wanted to try and make some applesauce for the first time. Is this a good price and are these apples OK to make my first batch???

  10. Linden, I just keep remembering, “consider the lillies of the field…” I smiled when I read the response you gave.Brandy, I was also informed today that there is some program somewhere in OR where you can join a group that harvests unwanted produce. You donate half of what you harvest and keep the rest for free. That is all I know, but thought it might be helpful to share that at least. Maybe you have readers in OR that could use this.PenelopePenelope

  11. Thank you!! After a decade of waiting/hoping, we finally were able to adopt a dog this August. I want to make her some special things, since I have plenty of materials on hand.

  12. Some apples taste better than others when cooked; some require more sugar than others to make a yummy sauce. There is not an Aldi here, so I don’t know if the sale includes any good cooking apples.As far as price, calculate how much it would cost to buy the apples, cinnamon, sugar and other ingredients (if any). Also consider your energy costs and whether or not you need to buy storage containers for the finished product. Compare that to what you would pay for the same quantity of pre-made sauce and that will tell you if it’s a good deal.

  13. Jenn, it was for “services” from a local business. I find individuals and small businesses to be the best to work with like this, especially if you can pay up front. Also note, they often offer you the most expensive proposition first so always keep digging. For example, at the post office, I went to ship my son’s things and the first thing they offered was “we can get it to him tomorrow for (like) $143.” I asked for the lowest possible price- $23.EmersonFamily,I always leave my out on the picnic table for a few days making sure that; the stem is dry, any flaws heal over, it’s very dry, etc. When I bring them in, I scrub them with a vegetable brush and vinegar to kill any bacteria that might cause them to rot. (Old-timers would simply dip them in a sink of water with a few tablespoons of bleach. But vinegar works best to me and healthier I think.) Allow them to dry completely before storing. Mine have lasted through til spring before! 🙂

  14. Not sure what type of apples are on sale but just about any apples will work for sauce. My favorite is a mixture of Jonathons and red/golden delicious. Jonathons have a great taste and the delicious add sweetness. I usually cut them up and put in my crockpot on high for 2 hours. Sometimes add cinnamon, sometimes not. Then mash them with a potato masher and freeze 2C in quart bags. Very easy. Saw above an apple peel/honey tea I want to try with the peels. Good luck on your first batch!

  15. That is a huge difference! Congratulations on the new job!In addition to those other savings, you’ll have an extra hour and a half a day or so. How wonderful! What will you do with your new time?

  16. I never thought to use my hula hoop for making rugs. I use it in my free exercise routine I gleaned off from a “we won’t name” exercise/weight loss plan.

  17. Brandy, I have those same white dishcloths with blue trim. Though mine are wearing out, I’ve had ’em so long! I’d love to see a photo of the scooter after you guys get it fixed up. I actually tried to keep a running list this time:*Used a (free!) reusable grocery bag to carry my lunch since I don’t currently have a formal lunch box.*Made do without body lotion (though with the cold months coming, not sure how much longer I can pull this off). Just used Vaseline for my feet and elbows.*Made do without eye cream. Moisturizing them with lip balm, a trick I learned from my niece. The lip balm was purchased at 66% off.*Remembered to unplug the hair dryer.*Brought my breakfast with me to work.*Brought my lunch with me to work.*REMEMBERED that I brought my lunch with me (instead of buying something because I forgot that I brought my own).*Used a handkerchief rather than one use paper tissues.*My husband picked me up from work at the train station rather than at my office (saving gas).*Took a survey to earn a $3 coupon which we have since used.*Took a survey for the chance to win $100.*Pointed out to the cashier when items rang up at $2 a piece over what was stated on the advertisement.*Salvaged a couple ears of corn by cutting off the bad parts.*Reused plastic bags for doggy (and litterbox) duty instead of buying bags for that purpose. *Used a mobile app to pay bills, saving on postage.*Did some meal planning. Didn’t completely plan out the week, but did more than I usually do. Most of the selections were pretty frugal (fiesta lime rice, a pasta and bean dish, lentil soup). *Saved $6.66 off my grocery bill by loading coupons onto my rewards card before making the trip to the store.*Printed off and used a $1 coupon for parchment paper.*Attended a “sorta free” concert (The entry fee is covered by our $25 annual membership fee and there’s one each month.)

  18. Hi RobbieKay,Just a thought for you: I stopped buying lotions for my legs and face last winter. I just couldn’t stomach buying MORE items, you know? So, I pulled out the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and began using them. They work great! I’ve since switched to Sweet Almond Oil (very good for skin care) simply because I like the smell better. I always have both in the house for other purposes, so I was able to cut down on the number of items I purchase. Have a lovely weekend!Shani

  19. I menu planned based on what was in my freezer and stockpile and planned several meals that I could freezer cook to save time in the evenings. I made homemade yogurt, a large batch of BBQ baked beans from dried beans, pasta bake, homemade pizza from scratch, taco casserole, spanish rice, nacho meat and sauce, and mini meatloaves. I took advantage of coupons and sales and replenished my stockpile for upcoming months. I cashed in points for $20 in CVS gift cards. I called a company and successfully had a late fee waived. – Amie

  20. Thanks, Shani. I was actually just looking at the oils in the store today and wondering about them. Because my skin is so sensitive, oil is my favorite choice for washing my face. However, it’s hard to know which ones will work well for cleansing. I’ve had success with coconut oil and some blend that I found when my husband and I combined our households. However, Vitamin E turned out to be a waste of money–way too thick and sticky. So it’s good to hear what others have had success with.

  21. Oh, and to explain something from my original comment–my company pays for my train ticket, so when my husband picks me up at the train station the cost of the train ticket is not a factor for me.

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