Earth Angel Roses The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden.

I cut rosemary and Swiss chard from the garden.

We picked blackberries, apricots, lemons, and figs from the garden.

I had my son spray for bugs. Spraying the outside of the house rather than having a bug service saves us hundreds of dollars every year.

We watched children’s shows on and YouTube.

We had friends visit from out of town that we had not seen for many years. Before they came, I checked to see if their children had any food allergies. One of her children is allergic to beans, and I was planning to make bean burritos. I planned a different meal instead (Baked potato bar and salad), using ingredients that I had on hand.

I returned 1-gallon and 5-gallon plastic pots to the nursery, where they will be reused. I received a credit of $1.08, which I used towards my purchase of some flowers for the garden. Several of the plants I purchased were on sale.

I sowed seeds in the garden for two kinds of basil.

June Floral Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I gave a daughter and a son each a haircut.

My husband has been needing some new clothes for several years. We found him a wallet (for $7) at Walmart that he liked. The next morning, when I was entering the receipt into Quicken, I noticed that I had been double charged for the wallet. I went back to the store, hoping to get the money back, but having no proof of being double charged, I wasn’t sure if they would give me the money back or not. Customer service used the information on the receipt to look up the transaction on the register on their security camera footage to see that I was, indeed, telling the truth, and I got my $7 plus tax put back on my card (I found out this is their standard policy for being double charged; I don’t know how many days of footage they have on hand, so I was glad I went the next day, just in case). We found him some dress pants at Sam’s Club. The manufacturer’s price on the pants was $75 a pair; we paid just under $20 a pair for them (Sam’s Club’s price).

I took advantage of the Father’s Day sales to purchase two shirts for my eldest son at Target, on sale for $5 each (a polo shirt and a t-shirt) which will be some of his birthday gifts for his birthday next month.

We had lots of fun taking short rides in my dad’s “pre-owned,” new-to-him, 1925 Model T!  I plan to take some proper photos in the future, but the first ride is documented over on my Instagram account.

Ezrom Eagle Scout The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated my son’s Eagle Scout ceremony rather simply, decorating with flags of two sizes that I already had (some of which had been purchased for my oldest son’s Eagle Scout ceremony last year) and some large flags that were borrowed. We also used the patriotic ribbon medallions that I made years ago with ribbon that I received from my mother-in-law. Our dessert was simply ice cream, which we purchased on sale.

I’ve had several readers ask about his project. I hope to share his project as well as my eldest son’s project in an upcoming post or two.

June Moon The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?




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  1. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I gave my husband a haircut.

    I made some napkins from a tablecloth that I already had. I have enough left of the fabric to either make more napkins or a table runner.

    I organized my sewing supplies and fabric, getting rid of what I know I won’t use and keeping what I know I will.

    We have had very hot and humid weather so we kept curtains closed to avoid the sun heating up the house. We are also used ceiling fans to keep the cool air circulating.

    For Father’s Day I took my husband out for lunch at a newly opened place he was wanting to try. We shared a sandwich with fries and a drink. In former days we would have each gotten our own sandwich. We are finding that the older we get the less we need to eat. We ate all other meals at home.

    I washed baggies to reuse.

    I washed our clothes in cold water using homemade laundry soap and vinegar for softener.

  2. I made a batch of what I am going to call Cajun chili. I used a mix of lentils, black and navy beans, diced tomatoes, onions, celery and bell pepper and spices I had on hand. It turned out to be delicious.

    Using up overripe bananas and sale yogurt for breakfast smoothies.

    Purchased a new pair of sneakers for $22.00! They were on clearance for 44, with an additional 20% off, I had a $10 off coupon also. When I went to register to pay, the clerk offered for me to use her additional 15% off coupon! I was so excited.

    I started a new prescription for my migraines. It’s a daily preventative. The clerk said my cost was free due to a coupon covering my copay of $30. After looking over the paperwork that came with my prescription I discovered the coupon will cover my copay for the next year. That will save me $360 over the year!!

    I feel as though this has been one of my better weeks in a long time.

  3. This past week was not frugal at all, since we were on a cruise! We saved up and paid cash for the trip. As all food is included in the cruise price, my husband and son ate several Guys burgers for lunch, steak every night for dinner, along with several pizza and ice cream snacks, while I enjoyed various seafood entrees and salmon, as fast food, steak, salmon and seafood are rarely on the menu at home! They also had several show productions, PG comedy shows, movies, and musical entertainment we enjoyed the ship,that were included in the price. We did one shore excursion (snorkeling with the stingrays), and the only “souveniers” we purchased were fridge magnets ( inexpensive, useful and don’t need dusting!) and a maraca for each of the grandchildren for $1.00 each. We stayed out of the casino, the overpriced shops on ship, and the bars. We spent an extra night in New Orleans, as the difference in flights more than paid for the hotel, and I was able to spend the afternoon with my cousin whom I hadn’t seen in several years.

  4. Cashed a pine cone research check.

    Continued to fill 1-2 tree tubs with thistles & weeds each day to get the perimeter beds back in order. I am also stripping the now dry fir needles from the branches I laid over the beds last December. The needles will help acidify the alkaline soil we have.

    Completed knitting the little white baby blanket I made from the white yarn left over from our youngest grandson’s blessing blanket. It will be used for the next grandchild born.

    Our local grocery store gave out “S’mores kits” to anyone who spent more than $70 on Saturday. Each kit had a box of graham crackers, a bag of large marshmallows, and a bunch of Hershey bars, with a collapsible metal toasting rod for the marshmallows. Our next door neighbors have 2 children & camp often, so we accepted the freebie & gave it to the neighbors. I also used the accumulated points to reduce our grocery bill by $15.

    I made another batch of turkey vegetable soup from our pantry stores: dehydrated cabbage ( bought on salin March at St. Pats then dehydrated), dehydrated onions (from the garden) dehydrated parsley, bottled carrots, bottled green beans, bottled mixed summer squash, & bottled tomato sauce (all from our garden), along with turkey broth & turkey chunks bottled in November after Thanksgiving. We always buy multiple turkeys with the coupons & sales, then roast each turkey, serve one meal, & bottle the rest of the meat, making broth from the turkey skin & carcass. We hold back one turkey in the freezer for later use. The soup is a “dump & heat”, with 6 pint jars, so it makes 12 cups of a gluten free meal, & stores well in the fridge for reheating.

    Ordered a free 8×8” photo book from Shutterfly, that will be a present. I only have to pay the shipping, which makes it affordable for me. Shutterfly has a free code right now for 4 free 8×10” photos, too.

  5. We went to a pool party last weekend. It was fun and the host was kind enough to provide everything.
    My friend gifted me several bags of beans, rice, pasta, and chips that her family wouldn’t use.
    I was gifted several skeins of yarn by the same friend.
    I went shopping at the wholesale market instead of the supermarket. With the warmer weather prices are cheaper. I got an entire box of celery and a box of chicory for $7.
    Another friend’s guinea pig died so she passed on the leftover bedding and food. There were several bags each which was a blessing as it can be quite expensive to buy.
    A colleague is moving on to bigger and better opportunities and purged his professional library. I was able to find several books to pass on to a friend who is just getting started in the business.
    I had some potatoes that were going to go to waste so I cooked them and used the leftovers in potato bread.
    I set up a local swap and I’m trying to establish a local Buy Nothing group.
    We spent time in the park or the playground each day.
    I’ve hung all the laundry on the indoor rack this week. I didn’t use the dryer even once.
    My son got two books from the library.
    We still don’t use satellite, cable, or streaming services.
    I’m working to become more efficient in housekeeping by using an app.

  6. I really loved the photo of your son, great smile! And congratulations again to him for a great achievement.

    After spending more this year on food than budgeted, I have made steady progress eating down the freezer and pantry, with minimal grocery spending. It feels great to see the freezer half full and know that I am saving money. Sometimes I get so excited buying food on sale, the freezer gets to the top…

    Even my husband has gotten into the sprit of saving money. A few months ago, the scratch and dent store here in Phoenix had boneless skinless chicken breasts for $0.70 per pound, but you had to buy a box of 40 lbs. so I did. Then found out that it was two 20 lb bags of frozen chicken, all frozen into one giant cube. So I thawed it out in an ice chest over a day or so, chiseled the chicken breasts apart and repackaged them. My husband at the time was rolling his eyes. But I persevered! This week, we had chicken for dinner and he asked if this was part of my chicken stash :). And he tells our friends about the great price. Since there are only two of us, the chicken will last a year 🙂

    On the long term frugal front, we have both been paying a physical trainer at the gym to work with us. Since we are 62 and 70 years old, with quite a few years of inactivity recently, we were in terrible shape. Husband has lots of health issues, including rods and pins in his back, so he needed someone to teach him how to get back in shape. Our belief is that by getting back in shape now, getting muscles again and restoring some level of balance and flexibility, we will set ourselves on a much better path the next 20 years (lower medical expense and greater ability to live on our own). So this epic task is more of a long term frugal accomplishment we hope!

  7. We had frost this week in interior Alaska, so I lost some items in my garden. However, a generous friend who has some zucchini seedlings she had not put in the garden yet due to lack of room gave me 13 zucchini plants. We use and freeze a lot of zucchini and even if this is more than normal, it saved me from spending money on nursery starts (and I may not have been able to find any, since a lot of people did not cover their plants on June 12 and found themselves running to the nursery the next day for replacements).

    I did a string of mystery shops and earned over $160 for the week, plus free gas and pop.

    Was cleaning a back cupboard and found two waffle irons and two crock pots. I have no idea how I ended up with duplicates, but sold one of each on a local FB group.

    Babysat a friend’s dog for a week. She paid me with a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card that had been given to her but she would never use. I took my husband there for a fancy coffee and a sweet treat as a surprise after church. He likes fancy coffees but seldom indulges himself. We sat there and played a Scrabble game we’d brought with us. It was a nice date.

    Husband cut my hair. Not the most talented stylist, but it will grow out and it is cooler. I get it professionally cut once a year, and then he tries to keep the shape going after that.

    My sister got an Instant Pot and hates it so is giving it to me. Last year she gave me a very fancy toaster that she didn’t care for. The year before that it was something else expensive. I think she purposely buys things and passes them on to me under the guise of not liking them, as a way not to hurt my feelings by making me feel less well off than she is. I am quite a bit older than she is and raised her during her teen years. We are not poor by any means but her husband is a surgeon and they have no children so have a large disposable income. These “I don’t like it after all” gifts started after a year when she gave me a large monetary gift for my birthday and I explained that I was very thankful but could not reciprocate so it made me uncomfortable to get such an extravagant gift. It was my husband who told me, after a smaller but still expensive present the next year, that I needed to show some grace and let her try in her way to thank me for escaping an abusive home and then coming back in my early 20s to rescue her by telling my parents they could either give her to me to finish raising or I would turn them into the police and child protective services. So now I express my sincere thanks and keep my mouth shut about the value of these gifts.

    Other than that, just did the usual things to save money—reused and repurposed and did without.

  8. Gosh I just love your pictures. That one of the sunset is gorgeous! Congrats to your son!

    *We had my son’s mission farewell. I made most of the treats myself. Plus a few people offered to help and they brought fresh fruit. We served water. Borrowed chairs and pop up tents. We said thank you to those people who helped by giving them leftover treats.

    *I opened the windows on any morning/evening that was cool enough. I ran fans to help circulate the cooler air from outside. This is the thing I miss most in the cold days of winter – the fresh air in the house.

    *We have been spending money to get my son ready for his mission – but I shop sales, use Ebates and buy the cheapest but still sensible option.

    *I made most meals at home and revamped leftovers. I will only have 1 child at home for the rest of the summer. It will be very interesting to try to meal plan for only 2-3 of us. I plan on saving the money I usually spend I groceries for stocking up on food storage when a good price comes along. That money usually comes out of our general budget. Since most of our kids are out of state for the summer, I can save that extra grocery money.

    *Requested books from the library about different aspects of cooking. Two are about using slow cookers and one is about grilling. They are all by America’s Test Kitchen. Figure I can pick up a few tips.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

  9. Your roses are beautiful!
    My small strawberry patch is really producing this year. Fresh strawberries every morning with yogurt, yum! I made strawberry shortcake which we had two nights, put 2 quarts in the freezer and made strawberry rhubarb jam. I also put 6 cups of chopped rhubarb in the freezer for future use. I picked up 5lbs of butter for $1.99 lb., Greek yogurt for $.33 a single serve cup, 2 quart square of ice cream for .50 and a box of fudgicles for free. Have a great week.

  10. I love the flowers, Brandy!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed 6 and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Walked for exercise.
    • Worked 10 hours contract.
    • Ate in 5 times. The only dinners out were for our Trivia league and we took my Dad out to dinner for Father’s Day.
    • Made low cal Koolaid with free truvia and Koolaid I had gotten for 5c/package.
    • Decided to NOT do coupons right now, as I really don’t need anything, even for stocking up. I am trying to eat up what we have.
    • Cancelled the newspaper since I won’t be doing couponing.
    • Got a free bottle of diet cranberry juice for my Friday freebie.
    • Daughter and SIL had us over for lunch on Father’s Day. I brought some watermelon I had gotten on sale.
    • Got 8# of strawberries for 75c/lb. I have been eating these like crazy! Also got a bag of apples for 99c and bananas for 49c/lb off the clearance rack.
    • Continued to read free library books and books I already have here. I love reading on summer afternoons. It is too hot here to do anything else and it just seems so peaceful!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  11. Brandy, what lovely flowers and congrats to your son, I have been reading your blog for over 5 yrs and have learned so much from you. You are wonderful. Something frugal I did was sign up for a program called OHM CONNECT, it is free, the idea is to save energy and money by using less power 1 hour a day twice a week . You can recieve notifications by email or text when the Ohm hour is approaching, usually the day before. You can save $100 or more per year by enrolling. This service is available for California residents that use PG&E,SCE and SDG&E energy companies, if interested you will need to connect your electric account, and have your account number ready. If any readers are interested I have a referral code. It is https://ohm/chloeandcinnamon . I would greatly appreciate anyone using my code, I am a sahm, and am trying to earn money for back to school clothes and supplies for my children.Thanks, hope everyone has a frugal week.

  12. The photograph of your roses reminded me of my bridal bouquet so many years ago. My father has a 33 Ford and I use to love to go for rides in it.
    I continued my quest in collecting coke caps this week. I have found an interesting source that nets me 20 to 30 each day.
    I submitted 2 different icons on coke cups from McDonald’s to a contest they are having and won two PlayStation soccer games. I gifted these to two young boys in my neighborhood. ( with parents permission )
    I placed an order at Google express for 4 items. They were all set to ship seperately. One item was canceled and the other three arrived several days late. That was not a problem for me. Each of the three packages contained the wrong items. Patience in my old age is a virtue. College girl took photos of each item and emailed them to them as requested. They refunded my money. Replaced the three wrong items. Told me to keep the wrong items.Gave me a 55.00 credit ! The great part is the wrong items were all better items than my original purchases. I offered to take them into town to our local Target, but they just don’t do that. I actually felt bad about all their mistakes. And the thing is, I was not rude or demanding in any way. Great service.
    We are preparing for sugar cookie to visit family for the summer. We only bought new panties. College boy is leaving for the military in two weeks. I am a basket case. College girl is home living mom. We are having lots of favorite family meals. I was never meant to have an empty nest. Sugar cookie will be gone 8 weeks. I have many plans that will spend little to no money. I read outside each day and do my swagbuck s surveys. I am enjoying my birds, bumble bees and the lovely carpenter bee who is turning my good wood pallet into Swiss cheese. Better the pallet than my house. Have a great week everyone.

  13. Congratulations to your new Eagle. Something to be proud of!

    I have rid our family of much clutter. We have a good supply of items that we thought might be useful now and in the future. I have sorted and organized and reduced the overflow to only that which we can really use. There will be more work to do this fall, but much has been accomplished. It does feel good not to be overwhelmed.

    I painted the second garage door and it looks better. Although they probably should be replaced, that is not going to happen. This way, the doors are sealed and will last longer. I inherited the garage and it has been neglected. When we got it, it was packed up the gills with mostly junk. Now it has been cleaned and is usable. I did take another pickup truck load to the transfer station as I continue to find trash in the woods and around the place.

    The brakes started smoking on the Jeep, so I was forced to take it to the garage and use the old farm truck. In order to do that, I needed to buy a new battery. Thankfully we have friends here to help as DS and DH are back home working. I am so blessed that the brake work (and a few things on the old truck) are able to be fixed!

    I ordered glasses and they are here. Unfortunately my glasses are very expensive because of my prescription and the special lenses and added things I need. I am just estatic to be able to get glasses that I’ll be able to see clearly out of and that are not broken! God is good!

    Bought food that was a bit more expensive this week. I had been wanting to see if there were any pre-made foods that would make life more simple, so I tried some frozen meals that were on sale to see what I thought as well as a couple pre-made soups. I’m not a fan; however this is a good week to experiment as my kitchen access is limited. I’ll keep on my regular whole foods meal plan that is much less costly. I am reminded agsin of just how fortunate I am. I can cook (thank you mom!) and am rewarded with health and energy as a result.

    Did the regular cost saving things…reused what I could, combined trips, have a friend touching up the color of my hair, visited the library, shopped sales, reorganized and found some clothing to wear next fall when school starts up again, found a couple coins, saved water and used it on my flower boxes, and waited on watering until it rained.

  14. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    You did really well to get clothing for both your son and husband for such low prices 🙂 and so good to hear you are getting wonderful produce from your gardens too.

    Here is what we did to save money last week –

    Finances –
    – Banked more money into our saving for home deposit account bringing us to 26.23% of the way there.
    – Listed 30 items on eBay on a free listing promotion saving $49.50 on usual listing fees.
    – Banked more money into our emergency kitty.
    – Readjusted our budget to bank both the pantry stocking and grocery budget into a high interest savings account to earn interest as we are only going shopping once every 3 months. This will enable us to take advantage of 20% off grocery e-vouchers for all our groceries by buying them off eBay. I will of course couple this with 50% off sales to maximise our savings.

    Internet earnings –
    – Earned $28.66 from the sale of a bread bag, pumpkin seeds saved from the gardens, dried sage from the gardens, and watermelon seeds saved from the gardens.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased 6.04 kg of sausages on special saving $4 kg saving $24.16 on usual prices.
    – Bought 6 x 200 pkts of multivitamins and 6 packets of butter menthol’s on special saving $40.68 on usual prices.

    In the gardens –
    – Picked 340 g of cherry tomatoes saving $3.76 over buying them.
    – Separated 74 g of dried sage, 18 g of English Lavender and 9 g of French lavender picked from the gardens and dried saving $20.77 over purchasing the same amount in the shops.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Blanched and froze another 30 more double meal sized bags of sweet potato picked and cured from the gardens. We now have 81 bags so far and still going but are getting to the end of what we can use in a year so will take the rest to church to give it away this Sunday.

    Electricity savings –
    – Only turned on our electric hot water system when the water needed heating, boiled most of the water on our slow combustion stove for cuppas, heated up most meals on top of the slow combustion stove.

    Usual frugal things we do –
    – Hung washing on the line to dry, used a cold wash instead of warm to wash clothing, stain removed clothing with our homemade stain remover, used vegetable washing, blanching, cooling and shower warm up water to supplement water the vegetables in the gardens, used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the household lawns with, washed out baggies to reuse and cleaned with saved flannelette rags rather than using paper towels with homemade pantry based cleaners.

    Hope everyone has a fantastic frugal week ahead :).


  15. I’m always impressed by how you grow so many and such beautiful flowers in the desert! And am looking forward to learning about your sons Eagle Scout projects!

    My week was pretty good:
    – I made another batch of Easy, Cheesy Pizza Scrolls ( and my husband and I enjoyed them for a few dinners. A frugal dish, as the most expensive thing is the cheese, and that can be used sparingly. Easy to jazz up with leftover veggies and/or meats as well.
    – Thanks to someone mentioning it in the comments last week, I signed up for a coupon from Driscoll’s. I rarely see that brand at the stores where I shop, so I gave the coupon to my sister.
    – I was able to redeem a birthday reward from Starbucks. I use it to buy a box lunch, which I ate for dinner. Free food is the best!
    – I printed out a coupon for a free birthday chicken sandwich from Mary Brown’s Fried Chicken. Although I’m vegetarian, I might redeem it for my husband or a family member. My parents used to own one of these franchises when I was a child, so it has a special place in my heart.
    – I harvested strawberries, green onions, and parsley from my garden. Very excited to see my first blueberry growing!
    – I’ve continued rinsing out my yoghurt containers pouring the rinse water on my balcony garden for some extra nutrition for my plants, and less water waste for the environment. I do the same when I make myself a smoothie; I rinse the blender and pour the rinse water on the balcony garden.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gc to Amazon.
    – I carpooled with my mother and sister to run errands.
    – I redeemed airmiles for $10 off food (bread and cheese and fruit – my lunches for the week) and combined it with a promotion so that I should get another $5 worth of airmiles back in my account.
    – I forwarded a coupon to my sister for $3 off a cake she was going to buy.
    – Using my local trading app, I traded a transit token for package of printable magnetic sheets and a $5 off any purchase at The Body Shop coupon. I also traded ½ dozen banana nut muffins for a package of paper plates, a package of forks and knives each, and a package of plastic cups. I plan to give these to my sister to help reduce the cost of the baby shower she is throwing for me in a few months.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  16. I love that sunset or sunrise. Breathtaking.

    This week we had the remaining 2 out of 4 birthday celebrations–1 simple with $5 pizza, ice cream and strawberries at home, and 1 for our little 4-year-old friend. We were helping with that party which seemed simple when we were planning it, but was more work than I thought it would be in the end. Good thing there were several of us working on it, so no one had to carry the whole load. When my sister and I moved the party over to our friend’s house from the park where it was held, more guests were arriving. When I texted my sister at around 6:30, more guests had arrived. Whew! Not bad for a party that was supposed to be from 12-3. I was glad I helped move it over before I left.

    I actually just got off the phone with my friend, in the middle of commenting, and found out that still another family or 2 came over Sunday afternoon as well, as they couldn’t make it on Saturday. She was so happy she had cooked so much African food—it was needed!! She got a little rest today, and was just today finding time to call and thoughtfully thank us for our help on Saturday.

    We had a double graduation party to attend after the birthday party. So, I didn’t have to cook that day at all. Then, we ate leftovers for family Sunday dinner for Father’s Day. Easy.

    I went out super early Saturday morning to grab a few bargains before leaving for the birthday party. I got Miracle Whip and Mayo for 99c/each, –5 mix and match. I got briquets for $3.99/15 lb bag. I got 5. I grabbed my Friday Freebie–juice, and large ketchups for 99c each–I got 5. Those were amazing bargains. I did not get a couple of other things that were on good sale, or buy extra items at the store.

    I was able to pick green onions, raspberries, strawberries, and lots and lots of lettuce. I’ve been sharing with the extended family, and we have been having lots of salads. I put a picture of the produce here:

    Other than the stock-up grocery items on Saturday, we only grabbed a couple of items at the store this week, as I didn’t need much. I’ve spent what I wanted to spend over the last 4 weeks, and will set up my grocery envelopes again after getting paid in the next couple of days for the month to come. I get paid mid-month, and we take the grocery budget from that check. Having the produce in the garden really helps me stay out of the store. I will be cutting the grocery budget down a little bit this month because of the garden.

    The girls went to the beach today with the youth group. They used money they had earned to pay the $10 fee. That just offsets the cost for gas. They could take a lunch or buy their own, and the youth group would provide dinner. I know Patsy, at least, packed a bunch of food to take with her, along with some drinks.

    I had another doctor appointment today. Since my husband’s job ended, our insurance only goes until June 30. So, we are using the insurance while we have it. I have been trying very hard to get appointments out of the way all spring, as there was a rumor that the district was going to do this to a bunch of employees. I see how nice it is for them to save over $600,000 in 2 months on insurance alone, but it’s hard on the employees:)

    We got an email from the district stating that “they often don’t renew the classified employee’s contracts, that this year was just more than usual, but they would be posting new jobs on June 15 and everyone should apply.” 6 or 7 were not renewed in his school alone. We looked the new jobs up on June 15, and found that the vast majority were 3-1/4 hour positions. Hmmm. Could you live on 3-1/4 hours of work per day? Us either. My husband applied for the 1 or 2 that would be longer hours, and that he was qualified for. (He has a 4-year degree, but not a Master’s degree, and is not a certified teacher. He has been working as an aide for special needs kids.). You would not get insurance with such a short work day, and that’s an issue for us, as well.

    We spent some time talking over finances, making plans on how we are going to handle things this summer, and ideas on insurance. I’ve enquired into one option that probably isn’t going to work for us. The second idea is to explore enrolling in the Oregon Health Plan for the summer. (I’m assuming he will back at work by fall….hopefully) We were given the royal run-around today, being directed from office to office on the phone, being told that the other one was the place to call for information. In fact, my husband stayed in the car calling and calling while I was in the doctor. We had originally planned to eat out for a date today, but decided to go home instead and eat food we had. (My diabetic specialist is over an hour away, but they were very quick and efficient there, and we were done quickly and decided not to spend the money.) After that, we drove to the place we were directed to go after all those phone calls, only to be told they could not help us there after all, but if we go to another office tomorrow between 11 and 1, someone there could help us. Really? REALLY? So, I took the offered forms, filled out what I could at home, and we will troop down there tomorrow and see what can be done. I just want information. Do we qualify or not? Are we now low-income enough? Or aren’t we? I have a part-time job for the summer, and so does he, but really need insurance this summer, if possible. I keep being told that the only way to know is to apply. It doesn’t seem like the best use of anyone’s time to me, but I’ll follow their directions and see what happens. We were hoping to figure this out today so we did not have to take all the kids down there tomorrow, but hopefully, it won’t take too long.

    I’m going backpacking with the teen-agers from church on Friday-Saturday. I’ve been gathering as many supplies from the shop as I can, from years past, and only buying what I can’t find out there. I’m really excited, and hope it’s as fun as I remember from when we used to go long ago. I do have a suspicion that the ground is going to be harder than it was when we were younger:). I’m hauling a mat in. It’s worth the extra weight to me! We are also getting ready to go camping as a family next week. We have the camper. We will pack food. The campsite is free because we have a park pass from adopting older kids from the State of Oregon. We have money in a can to go out for dinner at least once from saving our change, plus the $5 we won a the Safeway Monopoly game a while back. We do have to pay the $6 reservation fee and for gas. I just need to get it all ready before I go backpacking, while working the next 3 days, and traipsing from office to office inquiring about OHP.

  17. .Ate all meals at home last week
    .Enjoyed coffee and a treat for free at my volunteer evening
    .Enjoyed my monthly social Club meeting and talk on Wed. morning (included as part of my yearly membership)
    .Enjoyed a free jazz concert with a friend on Wed. night – it was a live presentation at the city’s main Jazz radio station
    .My friend treated for a coffee afterwards
    .Friday morning I attended a free tour of the Fisher Rare Book Library and learned that it is open to the public so I will be getting a card. We each donated $5 as a thank you.
    .Then I travelled down to the Art Gallery (I have a yearly membership so no extra cost) for a members tour of the new exhibit of Inuit Art
    .Made a couple of trips to the library for books that I’ve had on hold
    .Since I knew I’d have a lot of transit trips to make on the Friday I purchased a daily transit pass – got more than my money’s worth and then passed it along to someone I ran into as I left the subway when I knew that I wouldn’t be using it again that day.
    .Saturday I invited a friend to lunch as part of her birthday gift – it wasn’t as costly as eating out and we had a lovely afternoon catching up in comfort. I had purchased her gift a few weeks ago and I had already taken her to the Art Gallery for the Kasuma exhibit (tickets were very difficult to get but i managed it as a member) and then I’d also got her a free ticket to see “Annie” when one of our theatre group didn’t feel like using her ticket that night.
    .Two other out of town birthdays this week so I sent e-cards as I have a yearly subscription to Jacquie Lawson cards – I find the $20 per year fee more than fair – especially considering the cost of cards and stamps these days!
    .Bought very few groceries and got through the week just fine using up what I already had on hand
    .Enjoyed a number of documentaries about The Ancient World on YouTube
    .Worked a few more hours for the church for which I’ll be paid when I submit my hours at the end of the month
    .Signed up for Focus Groups – I completed an online application and will hear this week about the first one that I’m up for -I’m keeping my fingers crossed as the participation payment is $100 – not too bad a week

  18. Beautiful photos, as always!
    This was another good, frugal week.
    The kids got to swim with their cousins at my aunt’s house. My mom bought pizza and my aunt gave them popsicles. We took some chocolate chip cookies I made and keep in the freezer for last-minute occasions like this.
    I took the kids to swim at our neighborhood pool.
    We were able to pick up a lot of the loss leaders at the grocery store. Fortunately, there are many grocery stores nearby. Corn was 7 ears/$1, strawberries were 2#/$1.99, plus some Kroger digital coupon deals.
    Sunday our daughter was baptized. She wore a beautiful garage sale dress, and we had a light meal after. I cooked a pork roast in the crockpot and shredded it for sandwiches. We had some of the sale-priced corn mentioned above, plus fruit salad, chips, and our neighbor’s gift was a wonderful cake. It was beautiful and delicious.
    Continued logging the books read online for our summer reading program.
    Kids attended free tennis classes offered through the city. They do it in the morning before it gets too hot.
    I found a lot of marked down food to help stretch the grocery budget.
    My mom helped watch the kids at a swim meet while I met my last volunteer requirement, which was working the concession stand.
    Tonight for dinner, we had baked potatoes. A long-gone restaurant in my college town served baked potatoes with all kinds of toppings: taco, Italian (meat sauce and mozzarella), chicken broccoli cheese, steamed vegetable and cheese, bbq, etc. We cleaned out some leftovers by serving them over baked potatoes, adding butter and cheese. It definitely helped stretch the little bits that were left.
    I think I lost my umbrella and am keeping an eye out at thrift stores and garage sales for one that is new-to-me.
    Question: How do you ladies make frugal friends? There are many nice women at our church and the kids’ school, but their lifestyle is very different from ours. Do you have frugal friends in real life? I know that I need to try to be more outgoing and less of an introvert.

  19. So exciting to have an Eagle Scout!
    This has been a busy week watching our littles while their mom and dad are vacationing (first time without kids!) in Ireland! So glad that I was able to plan ahead and make lots of homemade cinnamon French toast sticks, egg cups, muffins so that I just added fruit to it and they were happy! I got Mandarin oranges- a 3 pound bag for $1 (we went through 6 pounds already and are into the last 6 pounds! ), watermelon that was $1.99 over the holiday, bananas- a 40 pound box for $5 and lots of strawberries for 97 cents/ pound! Made up other meals ahead as well which has kept us from running to a take out place or the grocery store!
    We decluttered and took all our old batteries/ CFL and also Florescent tube lights to the authorized waste authority so we didn’t have to pay to dispose of them.
    We gathered up scrap metal around the house and yard and recycled it and got $47.10 for it and it’s not just laying around taking up space!
    We have well over $100 more in extra unopened reno supplies from our 3rd floor bathroom to take back to store and get credited back for.
    We ate lettuce and green onions and kale from our garden and raspberries and red currants and cherries from our fruit bushes/ trees!
    I am almost finished with the brick walkway using freecycled bricks and have a lot left over so I’m deciding where my next brick path will go! Nice dilemma to have! So far I’ve used over 500 free bricks and probably have that many left!!
    It’s exhilarating to make practical and/or beautiful things out of discarded free materials!
    We are continuing to eat down our freezers in anticipation of our August ground beef and October boneless skinless chicken breast that we ordered from Zaycon- With the promo code FALLFRESH, it’s still 99 cents a pound for their 40 pound box, which has 4 ten pound bags to make it easier to split with others! Not trying to sound like a commercial, but that’s a price point for meat that I can really be excited about!

    I got 5 jars of MiracleWhip and 5 big bottles of Heinz ketchup for 99 cents a jar/bottle!i like to keep those on my pantry shelves and they are two things we are picky about!
    Started a use-it-up challenge a while back and a 7 item a day declutter challenge today so I’m really looking at what
    I already have with new eyes to decide if it is something that I want to keep or if it’s just taking up space! Using things up is making me really stop before I buy other things and the combination should result in some real Savings!
    Hope everyone else is having a great week!

  20. We picked our very first strawberries this year out of our back yard garden yesterday evening. The littles are enjoying them! I’m retired now so I’m home to take advantage of cool morning breezes and then shutting windows/drapes to keep the house cooler. The a/c runs, but not too much. I made my bread precursors tonight so will bake tomorrow. We’ve gone to a neighborhood play group the last two weeks; no out of pocket costs there because we’re at the park using things we already own.

  21. Is your son on the young side to have attained the rank of Eagle Scout? He had to gave been very organized goal-oriented to have fulfilled all the requirements.

    We enjoyed having houseguests for a few nights last week. They used our house as a base while visiting other relatives. (My niece’s dad is one of a zillion siblings so there are lots of other relatives to visit along with visiting her friends.) Given the difference in energy levels, grandma and I didn’t mind the breaks from hostessing. She treated Grandma to a meal out with her daughters when they first arrived and another day brought home three entrées from an Indian restaurant with a Flint mailing address even though it is actually located in a neighboring township. The food was absolutely delicious and the portions were so large that we enjoyed Indian food for dinner two nights in a row (and I ate the remnants for breakfast). The great-nieces were easy to please. Their mother ran out for donuts from her favorite donut shop that she’d loved as a kid the first morning. I served a coffee cake that was very inexpensive ($1.50) the second morning, and I introduced the kids to my favorite breakfast cereal, popcorn, the third. I guess popcorn for breakfast has to grow on you…. at least they very politely tried it. They got yogurt that morning too. (I love Dollar Tree’s little name brand yogurts, four 4-ounce servings for $1.) The last night they stayed with us, we planned on getting baby cones (golfball sized) from a popular ice cream stand in a neighboring town. But school let out that day for the summer. So many families decided to celebrate the occasion with an ice cream cone that we couldn’t get into the parking lot. So we went to a Dairy Queen instead. Mom got the smallest sized custard and the girls all had mini Blizzards. I skipped having a cone out because DQ was slightly more expensive than what mom had budgeted (and, true confessions, I had eaten ice cream at home earlier in the day).

    Milk today was $1.69 a gallon at Krogers! We bought two and I almost bought a third gallon to stash in the freezer.

    Today, we repaired a broken rod and some rubber bushings that had dry rotted and fallen off the rear end of mom’s old car. It ended up taking about two hours longer than planned because two bolts wouldn’t come out, they’d just spin. (Gotta love unrestored geriatric cars in places which use salt to make winter roads safer) To get them out so the car could be disassembled to put on the new parts, the mechanic had to cut two small holes into the frame and then repair the holes by welding. And some other small parts were needed too to replace rusty connectors. The bill was higher than planned. I agreed to it because I knew they actually did additional work because of the condition of mom’s car. But when we returned to the shop, mom stated her age, 95, and asked a simple question, “Could I have a senior discount?” Those six words saved her about $19.

    I hope your dad thoroughly enjoys his new car. He’ll need to especially cautious driving because old cars don’t have all the built-in safety features newer cars have.

  22. Hello,

    Wow that is such a wonderful accomplishment of your sons! You should be very proud.

    I have had a not so frugal week… We had a horrible Colorado hail storm that caused over 100,000 claims just to our insurance company alone. We were out of town. We came home to a very beaten up car and home. Thank God for insurance. We already have had our home damages assessed and need a new roof, fencing, patio furniture, grill, chicken coop, siding, and a bunch of other stuff. I have been a little down thinking about it but, the kids and family were safe and all those items can be replaced. I will say that I am very grateful we have an emergency fund. We will be fine. I wonder sometimes if the emergency fund is necessary as there are so many “fun” things to spend money on. But I am very glad that it is there. Some of my friends have not had this and had to borrow from other areas to pay deductible costs. So, I guess we will spend the next few months building it back up. Life is always unexpected!
    – I tried to do some frugal things. We were on vacation so I packed all of our meals to eat in the cabin. I was able to get a military discount off of the cabin stay. We used a free veterans National Parks Pass to get into a National Park for free. It was very beautiful to drive around and completely free. We kept spending on vacation to a minimal and took advantage of the free activities at the camp site such as mini golf, a huge jumping pillow, hiking, and looking at plants. It was a fun time.
    – I signed up for some freebies which are on my blog here:
    There are a lot of free, family summer activities coming up on this list.
    – I am waiting and hoping that my garden will come back to life. It was very damaged after the storm. Which was the saddest part for me. There are some plants that look like they might make it so I am hoping for the best.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week…

  23. Happy Tuesday, Frugal Friends. Brandy, your arrangement is gorgeous. Congrats to your son on his accomplishments!!

    Last weeks frugal wins:

    Bought a whole chicken on sale for less than chicken pieces. Boiled it for a meal, took most of the meat off the bone to use in a specific recipe, which fed 8 servings already and I have a lot of leftovers which I’ll eat this week or freeze. The rest of the bird will be going back into a stockpot tomorrow with veggie scraps to make broth that I’ll bag and freeze.

    Found bags of coffee on clearance at Walmart for $2.75/bag in flavors like Chocolate Cappuccino and Blueberry Cobbler. I have a coffee bar here at my house with quite a few flavors of coffee but I was running low on variety so I restocked. Each bag will get me a ton of cups of coffee here at home and I couldn’t even buy 1 cup at Starbucks for that price. WIN!! I will check the other Wal-mart sometime to see if they have any different flavors. Coffee is my guilty pleasure so I love being able to stay home and brew a cup of something and not waste money at a drive-thru.

    Ate a lot of sandwiches and veggies and things that didn’t require using the stove or oven since that side of my house gets all the west sun and is super hot already in the afternoons.

    Accepted some produce that my parents were given from a family friend. I took some summer squash, a couple of tiny cucumbers, and a bowlful of cherry tomatoes.

    Kept a/c at 80°. It’s been in the upper 90s here with high humidity, so even at 80 the a/c is running a lot. Kept blinds and curtains closed to keep the house from heating up.

    Bought some veggie plants on sale at Home Depot while they were 3/$12. I have zero success starting plants from seed for some reason. I picked plants that were already a good size, and 2 of the pepper plants already have baby peppers on them!!

    I am redoing the closet in my bedroom. It’s a typical 1960s brick ranch house with tiny closets. I’m adding a second hanging rod in there, doubling my space. For $8 (wooden dowel and closet pole sockets), this renovation is going to save me a lot of time and frustration by being able to fit more stuff in there!

    I finally heard back from Pinecone Research. I’ve had an acct with them for years but late last year it was deactivated for some reason and I stopped receiving any emails for surveys. I tried reaching out to them twice to see what was going on and asking if I should cash out my nearly 20,000 points. I received an email today saying my account was reactivated and I had a survey to take, so I made a quick $3. Glad I didn’t cash out my points.

    I need to start writing down my frugal accomplishments again. I always think to myself “Remember this for next week’s post” but then I forget by the time it rolls around!! Hope everyone has a great week. I can’t wait to read everyone’s wins for last week.

  24. Thanks for the post and thanks to all readers for their ever-uplifting comments over the years!

    I found out I´m pregnant this week. I was planning it a few months now, at the same time feeling I´m crazy. Put doctor´s appointment to July a few weeks ago already to go back to birth control. Well… I´ll be 40 soon and I have kids in ages 12, 7 and 5. I felt I finally have some time and energy for myself, but now… Yet I thought – if not now, when? Actually there was only one time in every week I thought about having another – in church every Sunday. I just had a great idea about future (free) education for me. Been home so long that my old career is lost. After 2 years of schooling (mostly at home, every other weekend there are group learning sessions) I can become an English teacher and work in schools! Also I can take 2 other subjects to become teacher (Art, other languages, History etc etc) and it´ll be free. I plan to do it still!
    I am just so scared and worried. Pregnancies have never been easy for me. And now I´m even older! 3 months non-stop morning sickness, the end itself (me being huge and hardly moving), delivery itself, new beginning with new baby… So much less energy to focus on my other kids in between… You know it all. It´s crazy!
    I don´t want to tell anyone before our 12 weeks appointment, so… I´m telling it here 🙂

  25. Your roses are really lovely. Mine are still in bud – but at least promising that they will bloom this year.

    We picked strawberries and rocket salad from the garden. Since there will not be enough strawberries this year because of drought, I went to a strawberry field and picked 22 kg! It cost me just 2 Euro/kg, this is a very good price. Now we have plenty of strawberry jam and frozen strawberries.

    My mother celebrated her 80th birthday. I gave her a fine lace shawl that I had knitted. I also did the catering for the party, saving her at least 150 Euro. She paid me for the food and also gave us some leftovers.

    Right now we are praying for guidance, should we sell our old car (12 y old, lots of work done this year for approx. 2000 Euro, the market price is probably less) and buy a newer one or should we have more engine works done for 500 Euro that would mean that the car will run for 3-4 years like new? Any advice?

  26. I harvested the first of the blackberries, as well as lettuce, basil and rosemary. Many eggs were collected, yogurt, suet and hummingbird food made, and laundry done with homemade soap and hung on the line. We’re currently having a brief, frugal vacation at the coast, with our granddaughter and my sister’s family, which I’ll share more about in my next post. I look forward to reading everyone’s comments.

  27. Congrats to Ezrom on becoming an Eagle Scout! Well DONE!

    My husband gave our son a haircut

    I watched The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

    My mother gifted me with some cash that was unexpected.

    Watched World of Dance on NBC

    Slow week because I worked 7 nights in a row.

  28. Hello everybody,
    Scouting is not so populair in the Netherlands so I have no idea what your son has achieved but it looks impressive!
    This is what we achieved last week:
    – I put in a certain amount of money in 3 different saving accounts, then the bank gave us 3 big bath towels.
    – I helped my husband painting one of the dormers of our house, wich means that I held the ladder, as we are getting older and with that a little bit more nervous to go up a ladder that high. He painted/sanded for 1/2 hour , then I did some of my chores for 1/2 hour and so on. So I did not have to stand by the ladder for 3 hours or so!
    -I cleaned my own house……. That is a frugal accomplishment, because I do housecleaning as a job LOL.
    – Somebody at the vegetable garden complex gave me young palm cabbage plants wich I accepted.
    – Picked flowers from the garden.
    – Bought 1 day old bread a few times. ( For 50 euro cents)
    – Picked strawberries and herbs from my garden.
    – Picked red-currants from my garden and made a lot of jam already.
    Stay frugal everyone.

  29. That is one cool car your dad bought, Brandy. I hope he really enjoys driving it! That is so nice you were able to visit with old friends. It is always fun to catch up with good friends. Great idea for the meal you served, too. Congrats to Ezrom on his amazing accomplishment!

    This week our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included chicken shepherds pie (made with only 1 chicken breast that was missing a small portion), BBQ sausages with Knorrs pasta sidekicks and salad (fresh cut from the garden), crock pot meatballs in gravy with scalloped potatoes and mixed veggies, BBQ chicken breasts on a focacci bun with Caesar salad (used leftover garden lettuce), turkey bacon sandwiches on focaccia bun with dill pickle spears and BBQ steaks with mashed potatoes, corn and salad.
    *Harvested young romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach from our garden. The spinach is bolting, so I will be collecting the seeds soon. I also thinned the beets and saved the tiny greens to give to our Guinea Pig. Happy to see there are flowers forming on the pea vines.
    *Brought home some rhubarb from the gardens at my work, which was chopped up and frozen for later use.
    *Had a container of fresh strawberries in the fridge that were pasted their prime for eating. I cut off the bad parts, blended them with a very ripe banana and some milk to make a strawberry banana smoothie for DDs breakfast one morning. It made more than she could consume, so I poured the rest into a popsicle mould. DD was thrilled to enjoy a healthy popsicle as her after school snack!
    *Bought a pack of fancy multigrain focaccia buns at Costco. They were a bit more expensive than I normally spend on buns ($5.50 for 16 very large buns), but boy were they delicious! This simple little luxury of buying special buns turned our homemade meal into a restaurant type meal, only much cheaper. I consider this a huge frugal win! We used them twice this week and froze the rest to use for future use.
    *Took hubby with me for grocery shopping this week. We decided to also check out a local store which often has discounted meat. I convinced him to cook us some steaks for dinner that night (he’s a cook at a restaurant, but doesn’t like to cook at home). We bought a package of 4 steaks for $24.00, which seems expensive. However, hubby pointed out that it would be $24 per steak dinner if we ordered it at a restaurant. Having a hubby that can cook a restaurant quality steak dinner?…priceless!
    *Made homemade apple fritters using the recipe we use at my work. It used up some beat up apples in the fridge. DD and hubby approved! I will be making homemade “Bush Doughnuts” (a recipe from Catherine Parr Traill’s book written in the 1800s) this coming week as a thank you treat for all the school staff who helped DD this year.
    *DD and my mom met hubby after work and took him to Dairy Queen for his free father’s day Sunday (I had to work, so I didn’t go). We also went out to a restaurant as a family to celebrate father’s day. Hubby chose the restaurant. We used his CAA card to get a discount. DD and I brought home our leftovers and had them for our lunch the next day.
    *Looked out in our back yard one morning and was delighted to see a mamma fox with her baby running through our yard. So cute! Later they came back with another fox (2 adults and 1 pup) and we enjoyed watching them pounce, chase and play with each. Nature really provided some beautiful, free entertainment.
    *Attended a school meeting regarding what we wanted to do for DD next year. It was suggested that we look at a reverse integrated LLS class setting (she would take some classes for credit and attend life skills classes during other class period, designed for children with special needs), which will mean transferring her to another school. After visiting 2 different schools to see what they had to offer, we are starting the process of switching her to one of those schools. Hoping they are better at understanding DDs disability and dealing with her challenges.
    *DD’s school has a green house, and offers a horticulture class. This week DD went for a walk through the greenhouse one day. It was empty except a teacher, whom they stopped to talk to. The teacher had a bunch of plants left over from a plant sale they had held this spring (which I didn’t know about), and offered them to take for free. DD, knowing that I planted a garden this year, picked out some plants to bring home for me. She picked out a large container of chives, 2 tomato, 2 cucumber, 1 dill, and 1 watermelon plants, as well as a rhubarb plant (to my great pleasure, she remembered I wanted one)! They have all been added to our veggie garden. DD also brought home a super tiny spider plant that she wants to replant and try to grow herself. I’m thrilled she has taken an interest in trying to grow something, though I am being realistic and realize she will probably loose interest very quickly. The next day, she brought home a pot with a geranium and some rock garden type flowers (don’t know what it is called but has tiny white flowers). So proud DD is learning some frugal tips from watching her mom!

    Looking forward to reading all the comments, as always! Have a wonderful week, everyone!!!

  30. 1. Made brownies and Carmelitas as a substitute for a store bought birthday cake (surprisingly my daughter did not complain)
    2. Bought 20 notebooks for $.25 each and plan to buy more next week. These should last us a year. Between homeschooling, Sunday school, and comic book creations, we fly through these quickly!
    3. Zero food waste
    4. Made my daughter a “favorite things” bag as one of her presents, which included brown hair ties, lots of chewing gum, ranch sunflower seeds, and a giant chocolate bar.
    5. Picked up 5 mayos and 5 ketchups for just $.99 at Kroger

  31. Brandy what an accomplishment for your son! You must be very proud.

    Summer and garden finally in full swing. Have been picking asparagus, rhubarb, lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, and now strawberries starting. I have canned pickled asparagus and strawberry rhubarb jam.

    Had a conference out of state last week for work. I am a nurse and wear scrubs. Needed some business casual dress. Went to thrift shop and found 3 summer casual dresses that I paired with summer jackets/sweaters I already had. Spent $15 for all 3. I spent less on 3 than I could have gotten 1 for new. Plus all name brand and higher end.

    Cooking all meals at home. Lots of salads with kale, lettuce, and chard from the garden. Plus grilling. Have made pork ribs twice in instant pot then throw on the grill. They are so easy and so yummy. Also made a big batch of potato salad. Made meals ahead for hubby when I was gone 3 days. He didn’t eat out once! Made a double batch of Brandi’s granola to go with yogurt and strawberries in the morning for breakfast.

    Doing some decluttering and cleaning. Took inventory of home canned goods. Rearranged and redid inventory list. I know I don’t need to can any pears, pickle relish, or diced tomatoes this year. But I do need salsa, spaghetti sauce, green beans, dill pickles, and applesauce.

    Getting ready for vacation. Take a week camping and fishing. Hope to put some fish in the freezer.

    Have a great week everyone!

  32. Congratulations to your son!

    My husband and I showered at the gym whenever we were there.

    I swept our tiled floors instead of vacuuming.

    We kept warm with blankets, hot water bottles and thick clothes. The heater ran for 34 hours. We have started using our electric blankets overnight.

    I parked in a free car park outside the city centre and caught the bus in.

    I bought some presents on clearance at my sister’s favourite store.

    My doctor bulk-billed an appointment so that I did not have to pay out of pocket.

    I had two planned lunches out and paid for them from my pocket money. My husband’s work provided one lunch for him. All other meals were made at home and leftovers used up or frozen.

    I worked an extra 7.5 hours this week, some of them attracting penalty rates.

    We found two recycling bottles on our weekly delivery round.

    My friends and I bought bachelorette party supplies for one of our friends on clearance.

    My husband bought downlights for the kitchen at a 35% discount. He will install them himself.

    My MIL, SIL, niece and I went on a day trip to several wineries. My SIL works in the industry so we got a discount wherever we bought wine. We packed a picnic lunch and had a lovely, relatively inexpensive day out.

    I paid a bill online.

    We washed three full loads of laundry and dried them on racks. Three full loads of dishes were washed in the dishwasher and we saved the warm-up water whenever hand-washing.

    Wishing everyone a lovely week. 🙂

  33. I’m so glad for you that your gardening efforts produce such beautiful flowers and I’m in awe of your talent to make them into stunning arrangements. Ezrom looks so proud – well done! Good info about Walmart.

    • Cut peonies to enjoy inside – taking the simple route of just stuck into a vase 😀
    • Had an interview almost an hour away so combined with errands
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Put vinegar and table salt on the weeds in my driveway. It worked great as I don’t want anything to grow back in this location.
    • After six months of being unemployed, I received a job offer for the perfect job for me! The dress style at work is more formal than my prior job, to which I could wear sneakers. My goal is to have 8 business outfits before my start date.
    • Purchased new work clothes on Ebay
    • I love my purse but it is worn-looking and this style is no longer made. I’ve been looking for a purse for several months. It finally occurred to me to see if my purse was listed on Ebay. It was and I purchased it
    • Placed an online order for work shoes and checked first for a coupon code and saved 20% off order. I also went through Swagbucks to get points.
    • Placed bulk order with San Francisco Herb Company, which I found through Brandy. Ordered cocoa powder, powdered coconut milk, sea salt, oregano, powdered kale, veggie soup mix, and some essential oils.
    • Have closed up the house during the heat of the day and opened up windows and run fans at night and early morning. Crazy swings in temperature. It was 49 on Saturday morning and 100 is expected for Monday.

  34. Another blog I read uses the OHM program and loves it. I think it is also available in Texas and Canada. She puts her kids in charge of the OHM hour and shares the savings with them.

  35. Bought 4 lb of ground chicken at $1/lb. They were out of the brand for this special and weren’t taking rainchecks, but sold me all they had left of a different brand at the sale price.

    Got a $60 credit on my municipal utilities bill. They had been estimating bills for several months while replacing water and gas meters, and my water bill came in well under the estimate. This credit helps offset $5 a month being charged for each of two meters installed, and a much higher carbon tax this winter.

    Agreed to a monthly payment for my property tax, which gives me more time to pay, without interest or penalties.

    Attended several community advisory committee meetings for the college whose board I’m on. I really enjoyed the meetings, meeting a lot of interesting people and learning a lot about the college. I also spent a day attending two convocations and an indigenous honor ceremony, which was very moving. Lovely to see everyone graduating. All of these events came with a free lunch, which has given me some good ideas for new sandwiches at home. I expected to just be paid mileage for the distances I traveled to these events, but was also paid for the meetings. This extra income will help even out the drop in income I have in August and September.

    I’ve done some stocking up for the lower income that’s coming, buying larger sized packages, putting some meat in the freezer and canned salmon and peanut butter in the pantry, as I’ve seen them on sale. I can’t eat entirely from the freezer and pantry, but I’ll be able to keep my spending on food very low.

    We had a few days of rain last week, but the forecast is for warm and sunny weather for the coming week. I’ll take some time off from transcription to enjoy this weather. The yard is overgrown from all the warmth and rain, and I haven’t been able to keep up with it, though I am making progress. A few more days’ work outside will make a difference. I am also planning a picnic and a day trip or two, and have some books from the library.

    One problem that has solved itself is that for many years, I have had a tippy brick chimney on my very old garage. I haven’t known who to call to get it taken down. Last week, some heavy winds took it down, and more than one person offered to clear it up for free, so they could have the bricks. I accepted the offer for help from the person who looked in the most need, and he has happily chipped the mortar off them and taken them away in a hand wagon.

  36. I was unexpectedly in the hospital for 3 days. Our church ladies stepped up and brought in 5 meals for us as I recovered. We are empty nesters yet the ladies brought enough each night to feed a large family. So we had enough for dinner, lunches, and to freeze for more meals later.

    Our boys and their families visited on Sunday for Father’s day. I was able to feed everyone out of our freezer and pantry.

    I found a recipe for homemade ant killer on Pinterest and it worked! (Sugar water and Borax soaked cotton balls)

    We were gifted some free if you haul it firewood (broken pallets) so have spent several nights enjoying a fire on our patio.

  37. Just wanted to say congratulations on the pregnancy – you sound as though you ned a bit of a boost. It is certainly a big commitment but I think you have all the experience that you need to be know exactly what you are getting into – but you also have the wisdom to know how to cope.
    That is great news about a new career – take it slowly and don’t overdo it – but it’s a goal for you and something that you really want so don’t let it slip away. Good luck and take care of yourself.

  38. Only 500 euros more for a car that should run for 3-4 years sounds like a good deal to me. All the best with whatever you decide.

  39. This week SIL brought over a large batch of rhubarb she had picked as they were going on vacation. DH made a strawberry-rhubarb pie( yum) and there is enough left for another pie or crumble. Received notice of DD’s student grants and loans for uni this year-she received $4,000 in grants that do not need to be repaid. Her 5 days working as a teaching assistant turned into 5 weeks so she can save for uni. Today and tomorrow they have asked her to proctor some provincial exams so all in all a very nice opportunity for her. She has another summer job starting in July and in the meantime she will work along side me doing childcare to earn some extra $’s. Yesterday we took her birth mother out for lunch. I had a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant that came with a $10 grocery card. Plus the birth mother insisted on giving DD money for her recent birthday and paying for lunch as she was just so happy we took the time to see her. Un frugal things coming up are car service today and DD getting her wisdom teeth out next week( partially covered by dental insurance).

  40. Congratulations to your son — he looks so happy.
    We spent a week and a half in Alaska for a truly wonderful, bucket-list vacation. While it wasn’t inexpensive, we did our best to make it frugal. We saved credit card points for two years to pay for our airline tickets and some of our lodging. During this time, we charged everything we could on the cards and paid the balance in full each month. To save money, we stayed in hostels instead of hotels in both Anchorage and Denali. The Anchorage hostel was $50 a night and the one in Denali was $100 a night (compared to $200 and up for a night for a hotel room in the Denali area.) We had private rooms and the shared facilities in each hostel were very nice. This also enabled us to cook our own meals five of the nine nights. Our credit card includes access to airport lounges, so we ate two meals in lounges while traveling. We did stay in a hotel three nights, but this was covered by credit card points. And speaking of meals, eating out is expensive anywhere, but especially in Alaska. Our first afternoon in Anchorage, we went to Walmart and bought a cooler and food to make breakfast, lunch and snacks every day, and five different dinners. We spent $134 on all of this – much, much cheaper than eating out. (A brown-bag lunch in the Denali area – sandwich, fruit, chips and cookie — was $13 per person). At the end of the trip, we donated the cooler to a local thrift store. I packed a small bottle of detergent and a length of clothesline and some pins and hand-washed clothing periodically throughout the trip. I saved $45 on parking by parking at a nearby hotel and taking their shuttle to the airport. While we were away, we had housesitters look after our dogs and home. We found them through – a service we have used half a dozen times before. The service is free – people stay at your house for free for the privilege of enjoying your area at no cost to themselves. They provide references and we have been pleased with every couple we have hosted.

  41. Congratulations! God must have felt you were ready. I had my last baby at 38 (not planned at all) when my other kids were 16 and 11. To say I was nervous is an understatement. He is 10 years old now (he was born 4 weeks early) and everything went just fine. Good luck to you on your new little blessing.

  42. The way I look at it is this: 500 is less than 2000 and if the car will run well, that’s a deal.

  43. I harvested my first tomatoes from my yard.

    My daughter wrote all of her thank you notes using stationery we already had which saved us a lot. Stationery is so expensive.

    Not sure if this counts, but I picked up a second job delivering meds to hospice patients on the weekends and as needed through the week.

    I had to pull up my metal edging around some of my beds because it is starting to rust out, and I am simply going to edge it myself with a square ended shovel instead of replacing it. So far, that has saved me a bundle as replacing it would be really expensive.

    My photographer friend of mine provided for free unedited copies of my daughter’s senior pictures when I purchased 48 wallets and about 6 5x7s. She also gave me the copyright release, so I am now able to make copies of them in any size for gifts. This saved me about $1000 as she gave me digital copies of all 350+ photos.

  44. I reallly enjoying reading everyone’s comments and learning new things from others.
    My week was really frugal – my husband was home another week, after two weeks of taking care of his Dad and moving him across country with us, by car. We ate the homemade spaghetti I made. My husband & I missed our bean burritos, as we were away so we had that from things we already had. I did do grocery shopping one day and my biggest frugal trip was to Albertsons for meat buy 1 get 3 free. I paid $33 dollars for 4 packages of steaks. That will last at least 4 meals for 3-4 people. Late Saturday moving truck arrived … so it’s been busy here.

    Garden is finished for now since it was too hot for any more tomatoes. We are researching what and when to plant next.

    I have signed up for summer reading thru the local library.

    Have a good week everyone.

  45. Becky, I do not know if this is an option for you or not as you are in a different state. Our local hospital has an office in it that does this for folks. She just needs your bank statements and your SS# and she can connect with the marketplace insurances and the state medicaid insurances and do all this for you. It is a win-win situation as obviously this benefits the hospital in the long run and the patient.

  46. Not a whole lot of frugality going on here this past week. Seems like no matter what I do to save money, hubby counteracts it ten fold, lol.

    Putting away leftover yardsale items, I found a zipped up bag stuffed with conditioner samples. It must have been in our troops batch of donations and my coleader tossed it in my box. Right at 30 packets of biologe conditioner. I love the sample packets because they are the perfect size for my 11yo.

    My mom sent home 2 bags of chips

    Used a $10 off a bag of dog food coupon that the two big boys use

    Stayed home as much as possible. Only ran errands when I took the teen to work or went to work myself

  47. Sounds like a great trip-would you mind sharing the names of the hostels you stayed at in Denali and Anchorage? Thanks

  48. A financial advice show from many years ago used to say,” The cheapest car to drive is the one you already own”.
    3 more years for 500 Euros sounds like a good value. 🙂

  49. Rhonda, sounds like your daughter made some good choices for you at the greenhouse.
    I hope everything comes together for your daughter and the potential new school situation.

  50. Elizabeth, I like the idea of the “favorite things” bag and hope I remember that for future uses.

  51. Mabel, Your sister sounds like a very generous person who loves and appreciates you deeply. How wonderful you were able to intervene in her life when it mattered and make such a difference.

  52. Gosh, I’m very moved by your story about your sister. And I think you’ve married a very smart man. That’s great advice. Let her shower you. There might be things that she wants to say to you in gratitude that are just too painful for her to speak.

  53. The irony is that I think it was my sister who saved me. I was not headed in a very good direction until she called weeping and begged me to bring her to live with me. I was not headed in a very good direction but once I had her to be responsible for, it became easy for me to stop too much drinking and too many boyfriends. I think that it is why I fell in love with my husband, who was the first guy who welcomed her to come along on dates and bought her birthday gifts.

  54. I know what you mean about the family being on board with frugal savings or else it feels like they are undoing everything. I saved for 22 years every frugal penny I could it was in a bank account total came to $389K
    That was going to be for my retirement. My ex ran off with it. I save now but my family does undo everything! Big time!!! I do keep trying!

  55. We actually found the promised helper today. We got there before 11, and were the first ones he helped, so were in and out. Now, they are going to process that application, and let us know in a day or two. Or so they say:). At least we feel like we got somewhere today!

    If this doesn’t work, calling the hospital sounds great!

  56. Our weather is on a summer roller coaster here. Cold and wet one week, hot and humid the next, then back to cool, now hot and humid and wet this last week. Had almost 6 inches of rain over 2 days. Pretty water logged but it could be worse as we do have sandier soil.

    We did all the usual of using up leftovers, hanging laundry outside if not raining, recycling, composting, washing out ziplocs. Over the last 2 weeks we did not do much shopping. The grocer had bratwurst 5-packs for 2.50 so bought the maximum allowed of 5 packs total. I wrapped each pack in freezer paper and labeled and added to the deep freeze. I have other packs to use up first. I bought orange, yellow and green bell peppers as they were all on sale, sweet onions for eating raw, sweet corn has been 4/1.00 so bought 12 of those. We had a very unimpressive watermelon and 2 just OK cantaloupes. This is time of year when out own food isn’t in yet so I end up buying in the grocer and it just isn’t as good, but it is still 2 months to go for many items. So also bought tomatoes for BLTs, broccoli and cauliflower for eating with dip and to make veggie pizza. Also cucumbers, celery, and a head of iceberg. The iceberg was .99 I remember. Bought flour tortillas, chunks of Parmesan and Romano cheese, small red potatoes for salad.

    Over 2 weeks some of the things we made were asparagus bisquick pie. I used left over corn kernels off the cob also. It was one of those magic pies, that’s not the word, but can’t think of the right name. It was supposed to be a zucchini and tomato pie but I substituted the vegetables and used Swiss cheese instead of mozzarella and marjoram instead of oregano. We had BLTs three times. I cooked all the bacon at once so I only had to deal with once and then put in the fridge for later. Baked white bread, Brandy’s recipe for French bread, banana nut bread, fake Key lime pie since I just used regular lime juice. Also made a rhubarb upside down cake. Made cream of broccoli soup using 2% milk and last years frozen broccoli. Made a batch of spaghetti sauce using all the different peppers, celery, some canned mushrooms, onions etc and our canned tomatoes from last year. We used it once for spaghetti and the 2nd time to make a pan of baked mostaccioli. We made pancakes with last years frozen blueberries. I have one quart bag of blueberries left, either enough for a pie or a couple of smaller items. We had broiled or grilled asparagus practically every day. Made cold (American) potato salad, 4 bean salad, coleslaw, cucumber salad, tuna noodle salad…I like to have cold salads in the refrigerator in the summer. Made a batch of butterscotch pudding. Also got out the popsicle makers so could have popsicles in the freezer for the little children, and the big. Filled them only 1/2 full for the littler kids.

    Been busy with graduation parties…had 7 high school and one college and one grad school to go to. They’re all open houses so come and go. None of these are relatives this year. We give a small check and homemade cards. No birthdays this month in the immediate family.

    to be continued…

  57. My younger sister was born in 1960 and her youngest son is 11. Do the math. You’re a young(ish) mom by comparison. She was heavier at the start of that pregnancy than she was at the end of her first. So she had a problem with her blood pressure that landed her on bed rest for a week or two before the baby was delivered two weeks early. He did have a heart defect that wasn’t detected until he was a toddler but it was 95% fixed without open heart surgery before he started kindergarten. He’s now a tall, happy, healthy, smart boy. His 38-year-old big brother told his parents that he always wanted a little brother, but hadn’t expected to have to wait until his late 20’s to get one. My sister also became a grandma one month after she became the mother of five. (Third generation of very young aunts or uncles.The Father of the Bride II movie was enjoyed in this family for some reason.) Enjoy the little one to come!!!

  58. Mabel,

    I am so touched by your story about your sister. Your husband is right. She is being generous and kind and can afford things financially. So sit back, be thankful! and gracious! I love your story. You made a huge difference in her lie; now she want to do things that help you and that you will like. It gives her pleasure. Don’t deprive her of that! Ann

  59. When I was a kid we didn’t have popcorn for breakfast, but we had hot elbow macaroni with cold milk. It still is one of my comfort foods, although my husband fails to see the allure of it.

  60. Margie — you’ve had a super interesting past few days! I love Inuit art and was thinking of selling my collection but decided to keep it. I just have to find walls to hang it on! Today, I continued sorting the “so-called garbage”. (things a friend took it upon herself to throw away from my home when I was in the hospital. — such things included my usb back ups, my compact flash cards, a ring, a brooch, my financial info without shredding, a family photo dated 1899,
    other irreplaceable photos. Just by a fluke, I realized what she had done and intercepted the bags and have been sorting ever since. I am down to the last bag. I was sitting outside when a friend came to pick up a tomato plant I was giving her and a hummingbird came to my feeder. I took a one-handed photo that turned out well! It was wonderful to watch the hummingbird 3 feet from us!

  61. Hello,
    I have not commented in the last month but have been faithfully reading everyone’s comments. I am still unemployed but am making the best use of my time off. The time off has been a blessing since I was very burnt out and need the physical and mental rest.

    During the last month i have:

    made several batches of both laundry soap and fabric softener. I have 2 sets of washer & dryers. My husband washes his work clothes on the older set. He wanted to use my DIY detergent but used too much per load (3 caps full/liquid detergent!). We both concluded he would be better off with his on sale detergent.

    Continued spring cleaning/decluttering. I continued to set aside things I want to sell later, brought tons to the thrift store, donated books to the library, and religious items to our local school of religion.

    The kids completed their school year so we set aside binders, lunch bags, backpacks etc that are in good condition. They will use them this fall.

    While spring cleaning I started a running list of what needs to replaced in household & clothing for the fall or back to school. Also found a lot of duplicates so I organized as needed.

    Daughter visited at the end of her spring semester before her summer classes started. Since I’m not working–I got more of a chance to visit.

    My sister & her husband from out of state came for a visit. She paid for a lunch for me and brought pizza for the family another night.

    Husband ate leftovers for lunch at work. We ate most meals at home except for 1.

    I have been putting my unemployment funds into savings & just living off one income. Sad to say I am saving more being unemployed than when I was working (we used those funds for several big projects).

    My husband & I have come to the conclusion that when I do go back to work I only want to work part time. I was really burnt out and let things slack at home too much. I could fall asleep anywhere!!. Part time would be a better fit for our family.

    We received some free food items from a very generous lady. Hubby planted the garden for me Memorial Day weekend. I was busy with my daughter going to prom. Cool weather hit once it was planted so it slowed the growth and we had a frost that effected the cucumbers a bit. Did not plant Zucchini this year since still have a bunch in freezer.

    Still eating down freezer. I need to defrost and then this fall we will buy a 1/2 cow from a coworker of my husband.

    bought 5 dozen eggs for $1/doz. saving 75 cents per dozen.

    Decided to concentrate on cutting back in the food budget. Have brought down weekly spending by $100 per week. We are spending about $25 per person on food but I need to increase the quality so a lot of shifting in spending is due. Also want to build up the pantry since there are a lot of holes in it. I also want to be able to save money to use toward bulk purchases which is not happening at all.

  62. I find it very hard to make “frugal” friends but most often they have recently immigrated from other countries. Only one neighbour is into being frugal. She and I are both daughters of depression era parents and I think that really makes a difference.

  63. Congratulations on the pregnancy. Your children will be there to help you raise this baby, just like brandy’s kids help her. P.E.O. International gives small but sometimes vital grants for women who need to go back to school for retraining. For further information, google P.E.O. International and look at P.C.E. grants. It may help with tuition or books even for online courses. My sister-in-law was 40 and 42 when she had my nieces. We’re so glad! You will still be relatively young when your baby is 20. Not crazy. Inspiring. Great good luck. Ann

  64. I can’t think of the name of the Bisquick pies either, but I do have a couple of the recipes that I use now and then. And I make my own Bisquick from a “copy cat recipe.” My husband loves when I do a sausage and Swiss cheese quiche–that’s my adaptation of the Quiche Lorraine recipe, and the sausage is on sale frequently for $3 per #.

    My best frugal thing this week was credit card points! I have two Mastercards–one I share with my husband, and one I share with my granddaughter. She sells real estate so her checks are very irregular in arriving–so we have an arrangement where she uses this credit card and I pay the bill when she isn’t able to, and we settle up later. Well some months ago, our credit union started giving us points for dollars spent, and I hadn’t really spent much time thinking about it, but decided it was time to see what we could do with those points! After looking carefully, I discovered I could get $150 deposited to my checking account, just like that, on the account my husband and I use. Granddaughter had some car repairs and also an expensive computer repair the last couple months, so I was able to get 2 $100 credit cards on Amazon from the account I share with her. I have not decided what to use the $100 credit cards for yet—I put them on her Amazon account and told her NOT to spend them. She said “what kind of sick game is this, Grandma?” She is too funny. Trying to teach her to put a little aside for the times when she doesn’t have money. (She works 2 other part time jobs as well as selling real estate, for a more regular source of income!) She is a leasing agent for an investor with lots of residental properties, and she also sells advertising for a local arts weekly newspaper. It keeps her in groceries between the much less frequent commercial real estate deals. She is always getting a “big check” in “two more months.” She is improving her budgeting skills all the time but she still has a way to go. She laughed at me when I whipped up a couple individual pizzas for her lunch when she stopped in one day, because I grated the mozzarella cheese on the spot. When I told her it goes on sale for $2.99 a pound if you grate your own, she didn’t think I was so anachronistic! Doesn’t take a lot of extra energy to grate a bit of cheese. There are still a few points left on each account, and we do have a number of things automatically charged to the acccounts each month, so this is quite a nice free perk they have added! SO much easier to have small bills put on the Mastercard and write one payment a month, usually on the computer.

    Still doing all the everyday moneysaving things, but felt like the above was a real coup for this week.

  65. Brandy, it is very considerate of you to ask your guests if they have any food allergies.

    Here is what we did last week to save money:
    * We ate all meals except for one at home, made from scratch.
    * We kept the A/C off and used the fan instead and made do very well. Our electric bills this summer have been pleasantly low so far!
    * We lined dried all our laundry. This keeps the clothing in better condition longer as well.
    * I made a few days’ food at a time. Because of this, I would go straight home to eat after an appointment instead of stopping somewhere for food. I saved money and my health by doing this.
    * I set up an appointment right before another one and at the same place to save time, money, and wear on my car.
    * We combined errands several times to save time and money as well.
    * I placed several client orders in one to save money on shipping.
    * I used what we had at home to make a meal for a client who is going through a tough time.

  66. It sounds like you raised a lovely lady. On a separate note, how do you use the zucchini? I’ve only used it in ratatouille, but I’m sure there are other delicious ways of handling it.

  67. Did the towels have the bank’s logo on them? I personally have more than enough towels, but if my bank decided to give me free bed linen or cushions I would be very pleased. (Logo free)

  68. I’ve begun to walk to work several times a week. This is frugal because I save on the tram fare and I shower at work, reducing my water bill. (Thanks to Jo for pointing this out further up the comments.) I’m hoping it will be frugal long term as I would like to drop some weight.
    I belong to a facebook reduce waste group so if someone has too much produce they put it on the group facebook page with their general location and people can message them to take the groceries if they need. I’ve ended up with a couple of spinach packets, a roma tomato packet, 3 large potatos, a yam, an onion, a cucumber, and 3 zucchinis. This will reduce my food bill, and stop the food going off in someone else’s fridge. I just to purchase bread, coffee and meat.

  69. We cruise, in the same manner. When you don’t drink alcohol, buy the unlimited soda plan, gamble, or take the expensive excursions it is a GREAT way to get from port to port.
    We buy a travel guide (usually from the library sale) and check out their suggestions, hop in a taxi and go to the beach on our own. It helps that we visit Caribbean ports where Spanish and English are spoken. Most of the places have taxi rates set by their governments.
    How else can one vacation for about $120 a day per person all food and lodging included?

  70. Jennifer June 19,2018 you can google house cleaning apps for IO or Android and they have several suggestions. My daughter uses Wunderlist as she delegates work to her 3 kids to do while she is at work and they are on summer break.

  71. Hilogene in Az June 18, 2018 My Dad did this when he turned 60…he is 91 and in the nursing home now and therapy constantly tells us he is in good shape because he kept working out even when he struggled to walk. Rode a exercise bike every morning while he watched 1 1/2 hrs of news. Walked his kitchen counters backwards etc.. SO keep at it … Proud you are starting now.

  72. So so week here. I ate most meals at home. Used a gift card for 1 lunch out and paid for 1 wine dinner.

    I made several small trips to Lowe’s for materials needed to finish projects at home and scored a gallon pf paint for my guest room for only $15. I will paint that room on Thursday. I stained my bedroom furniture to give the room a brand new look. I fixed several spackle issues in the dining room and kitchen and I will finish painting them today. By the tome the summer is over I will have repainted, redecorated and/or updated virtually every room in our house.

    Paid to have the house pressure washed. Not frugal, but I couldn’t do it myself and it looks so much better.

    A bowl slid out of my hands as I was putting it up on a shelf. Old mixing bowl managed to slam into my face, cut my lip, chip my tooth, bounce off the granite counter and land on the wood floor – and DID NOT BREAK. I seriously got beaten up by a bowl. A bowl.

    It cost over $200 to get my chipped tooth fixed.

  73. Or just stay on board the ship when it’s in port. I loved doing that on the Caribbean sailings. The ship empties out and it was just a few of us around the pool all day long.

  74. Hilogene — Have you found Produce on Wheels Without Waste (P.O.W.W.OW)? It’s a nonprofit in the Phoenix area that offers 70 pounds of produce for a $12 donation. Anyone can participate, there are no restrictions. They set-up in multiple locations in the area or you can go to their warehouse.

  75. As some of you know my youngest and her 2 children live with me. They have been here most of the babies lives. With that said you will understand that I had a very frugal week because Gaby is at her dad’s house for the month and Zayne was with his auntie for most of last week.
    I only had to feed myself.
    I am testing a quilt pattern for an author. She always has quilts in her books. I have had some problems with the directions (no pattern piece and then some confusion when I did get the pieces). The lady felt bad and sent me a $50.00 check. I haven’t cashed it yet as the problems were minimal.
    I got 2 orders last week. One for a flower girl dress and the other a Harry Potter fairy dress. I ordered the tulle for the skirt when I saw the tulle on sale for a wonderful price. I went through SwagBucks to order from Amazon and got free shipping since I have Amazon Prime. It was a win all the way around.
    Jake brought a loaf of banana nut bread, a frozen chicken and a banana for me.
    The chicken will feed us for at least 4 to 8 meals depending on what I make.
    I paid all of my bills online except for the cash bills.
    My daughter got a new (to her) car so her insurance bill went up. She has to pay that bill herself now so that saves my over $100.00 a month.
    I am looking for school clothes and supplies on sale.
    I do look for clothes at garage sales and thrift stores also.
    I have found accessories for hair and purses deeply discounted for the granddaughters. They will be 11 and 14 in the next few weeks.
    With it so hot here in Texas cooking has become a real chore. My kitchen is in the middle of the house and when we cook it heats the house quite a bit. I am trying to cook in the cooler mornings (high 70s to 80s when I get up at 6) and use the slow cooker to help with the heat. So far it is working. Next month will be even hotter so I will have to change my strategy.
    It is hard to save on that a/c. I am sleeping without the air in my room so far by leaving the door open from the living room.

  76. Pretty flowers and congrats to son! Growing up, we were a girl and boy scout family and I have fond memories of what we learned and experiences we shared. Here’s what I tried to save money and to be frugal last week:
    -Put more stuff on Ebay to sell.
    -Won a free book, “Six Seasons”, a very nice book and cooking veggies that are fresh from the garden according to seasons only using fresh ingredients. My FIL liked it so much, we ordered him one for Father’s Day. Mine is a hardback and I really like it! I entered a contest from the company we get fresh veggies delivered free to our door every other Saturday in a 5lb box for $10.99.
    -Dried some basil from the garden.
    -Got free babysitting for an overnight trip from the inlaws. They sent a large container of mac & cheese home with DS.
    -Really bummed out that one of my favorite grocery stores, Krogerought home some oranges and 3 small containers of fancy salad dressings.
    -Ate only from pantry and freezer. Both DH and I took lunches and snacks to work.
    -Sold another item on ThreadUp.
    I hope everyone has a blessed week ahead!

  77. Margaret: Just the name, “Easy Cheesy Pizza Scrolls”, got me thinking about what to do with some crescent roll dough I bought at a super-clearance price. With pizza sauce and cheese that I had, it was the basis of a nice supper. Thank you for the idea prompt!

  78. Jenny, grate to use in muffins, bread, quiche. Dice and saute and add to pasta sauce. Use it in the layers of lasagna. Some people slice it thinly the long way and use in place of the lasagna noodles. Some people “spiralize” it and use in place of spaghetti noodles. Can be served raw with dips and in pasta salads if you use the smallest freshest ones. Add to skewers for shish kebab. Pickle it. Use it to make sweet or dill relish instead of cucumbers. Stew it with onions, tomatoes and garlic. I once had a mock apple pie made of zucchini slices rather than apple slices. Chocolate zucchini cake or cupcakes. Stuffed with ground meat or grains, cheese and seasoning and baked. Sliced, breaded, seasoned and baked or pan fried. Zucchini pancakes (like potato) served with apple sauce and sour cream. Added to stir frys. Zucchini au gratin. I have done all of these except for the mock pie and the mock noodles.

  79. How nice of you to take out DD’s birth mother. I’m sure that means so much to her.

  80. I spent my day sorting out clothes, mostly my mother’s, to give away to charity. I find this the hardest thing in the world to do but kept reminding myself that some frugal or needy person will be thrilled to get lovely designer clothes (back in the day, my mother’s bargains as she could never afford full price). Some had never been worn. I drew the line though at giving away one dress because it is such beautiful linen. I looked at it and think I’ll take it to a tailor to see if he could use the top, expand the skirt and make a skirt for me. I don’t think I can do it myself. It pains me to give away her clothes, as it feels as if I am parting with a piece of her spirit. Also, such fine material just cannot be bought for any price these days. So I’ve been thinking about keeping a few of the clothes and repurposing them.

    I messed up with the hummingbird as I’d left my camera on the table while I sorted so when the hummingbird came I had to move to get my camera and of course that scared him.

  81. I haven’t posted in quite awhile, but I read every week. We finally got our garden in. The last of it just yesterday. We are picking lettuce, green onions and a few strawberries. that is about it for now. The garlic is growing well. will be ready to harvest at the end of next month. We have a few tomatoes on our early tomato plants. Also picking oregano, thyme, lovage and chives.

    Just like several others last week, I was able to get Kraft Mayo and Heinz ketchup or 99¢ each at Fred Meyer (our Kroger affiliate). I also got a free bottle of cranberry juice for the Friday freebie.

    My son came home for Father’s Day. My DH wanted to BBQ. Who am I to argue? I made macaroni salad and a green salad to go along with the BBQ. We have been eating on the BBQ all week.

    Made some sausage patties with on-sale sausage. Had our own breakfast sandwiches.

    My former neighbor dropped off a dozen eggs from her chickens for us.

    My DH is retired and on Medicare. His Medicare supplement participates in the “Silver Sneaker” program, as does the gym about a mile down the road from us. My DH joined, and does not have to pay any fees. His supplement pays for it. He just commits to going at least 8 times a month. He also is walking about 5 miles at least 4 times a week. He has lost 15 pounds in the last 6 weeks. His Dr. was very pleased when he went in for a checkup. Wants to see him again in 6 months and determine if they can lower his blood pressure meds. Both losing weight and not having the stress of working have played into the lower blood pressure, I am sure. Yea for good dr. visits.

    We have been reading lots of library books and also getting free books on my kindle.

    About a week ago, I put a pork roast that I got for 99¢ a pound into the crock pot with a can of root beer, and let it cook over night. After I took it out, a shredded the meat and added BBQ sauce that I got for 25¢ a bottle to half of it and homemade taco seasoning to the other half. That week we had a choice of BBQ pork sandwiches, pork tacos, nachos or quesadillas. enough variety to keep us happy.

    There is more I am sure, but this is long enough. I surely enjoy reading everyone’s comments.

  82. I didn’t save my money this week but saved my friend’s. She had been scammed by someone pretending to be a technician who could fix her Microsoft PC computer. I told her it was a scam (Microsoft and Apple never cold call people). I told her she had to phone and cancel her credit card, go to the bank and change her bank card account number. Fortunately, the credit card company could reverse the charge. There have been 125,000 cases of fraud in the U.S. this year by this method.

  83. Hi Brandy, enjoyed your post as usual. I’m gonna type my frugal accomplishments as they come to my mind so they will seem random. First of all in the garden front, I’ve been harvesting tomatoes for about two weeks now. Tonight I plan to can my first batch as I have them all over my counter right now! We have been eating a few blueberries off of our bush but my parents have given us over four gallons so far! I am just freezing them as I like to make blueberry muffins and cobblers throughout the year. I usually save my jellies and jams for the fruit we don’t care as much about eating other ways. My parents also continue to give us a couple
    gallons of goat milk each week. We also get about 15 gallons of water from them each week for drinking as our city water is very salty and my parents have well water. I planted more basil seeds. We had an entire aluminum pan of pulled pork given to us that wasn’t eaten at our VBS. We’ve had a few meals off of that so far. I went to our local thrift store this week and found my youngest daughter a new bathing suit which she needed, a pair of linen pants, a purse for my daughter, some never opened face wash (burts bees) and a gallon ziploc bag full of magnetic dolls and clothes (Melissa and Doug brand) all for $6. I got groceries and spent more than usual but had to get some necessities such as pool supplies, hair elastics, underwear for the kids, and a pair of shoes for one of my sons. I did get those on sale. I also haven’t been able to line dry any clothes this month due to extremely high humidity= sour clothes. So, I’ve been using my dryer regularly. Also my son had a hand accident back two weeks ago and he’s having to go to therapy twice a week, two hours away. This is crucial therapy so it’s not optional. I know we will feel the strain of having to use gas money. We continue to stay home almost daily (with the exception of therapy now) and I just purchase necessities on shopping day. This will definitely be a more expensive month than usual but thankful my husband has a job.

  84. Just wanted to say “congratulations” from a pregnant almost 40 year old as well! I’m due in December…it’s been a rough one for me too so far, my energy levels have been laughable. My youngest is 5! So we have a lot in common.

  85. Athanasia you are right butter menthol’s are cough drops and are great for when you have a sore throat or are coughing and they put a lining on your throat to stop you coughing and it dulls the pain somewhat too. They have been around since I was a child :).

  86. I don’t have time to post up the list of frugal things I’ve done right now but am wondering if any of you can give a bit of advice on a blender? I think I’ve shared before that I have some food texture issues which have really restricted my diet – my regular blender doesn’t really blend things smooth – do any of you have a Ninja or Vitamix? Are they really worth it? Do they actually blend berry seeds smooth as well??
    Thank you!

  87. Leigh Ann, I completely understand about not having frugal friends IRL. I usually don’t talk about my money-saving activities with my friends, as they’re just not interested in it and are ok with a degree of debt. (Even my DH thinks I err on the side of penny-pinching as opposed to prudence. I don’t, I’m just used to living on a much, much smaller income from prior to marriage, and now prefer to make my money do as much for me as possible. We joke that he earns most of the money, and I don’t spend the money, and between the two of us it’s a good partnership.*grin*) Luckily, my mom gets my frugality (she raised a family of 5 on one income, at a time when mortgage rates were 18%) and appreciates when I tell her about a frugal win. The only thing I can think of to make frugal friends would be to start a meet-up group or a local fb group about frugality & stretching one’s budget. Hopefully once it’s established and people are telling others about different deals and techniques, you could have a coffee date (using swagbucks gc) and start real life friendships from there. The key would be to make sure the group was about local frugality, so that you could make local frugal friends. Best of luck!

  88. Congratulations on your son’s achievement. Have to ask who sewed the badges on his sash? A friend and I lead a pre- junior girl guide group here in Sydney and we love it. Our girls are aged from 5-8 and so enjoy earning a new badge.

    I start training for a casual librarian job next week and I’ll be using public transport to get there so it will be cheaper, and I’ll finally have some time to read on the train, and catch up on all the comments from previous posts. I’m excited to get a job back in a library after 2 years out of the field.

    I’ll have to get organised and take my lunch as there is a very well known and absolutely wonderful French patisserie in the same suburb that I’ll be working so I will have to be disciplined!

  89. Jenny, we use zucchini in breads/muffins, season and bake them in the oven like chips (for hummus and dips), roast them up with other root veggies, and make vegetable noodles with them. I don’t own a veggie noodle maker, but I use the other side of my peeler and make thinner julienne style noodles and cook them for less time or cut/shred them by hand. Brandy has a great zucchini potato pancake recipe on this site that I really enjoy too!

  90. Brandy, congratulations on your son’s accomplishment! That’s wonderful. Your flower arrangement looks so beautiful.

    We went on a trip to San Francisco to unwind and see the city, and had a great trip. I liked coming back home to wide open spaces though! I earned free airline tickets through my credit card over the course of the year, and got a deal on a nice hotel through the same credit card. We were almost $200 under budget at the end of our trip!

    I’ve worked on really going through our storage over the last year, and finally feel like everything is in a manageable place. We are storing a great number of my mother-in-law’s items from her storage unit after she fell on hard times after her divorce. I finally got things organized, and it feels great! No money spent either.

    I switched litter box systems for my cat and found a much cleaner, easier, and more affordable method that I’m happy with. Anything that helps make an unpleasant job more approachable is great.

    I’m looking forward to getting back to our usual routine and trying to get a few more projects done around the house. I hope everyone has a nice week!

  91. We sometimes had cold milk over crumbled graham crackers for breakfast. You had to eat fast before they turned to mush.

  92. I have a Ninja. it’s really good. It can’t grind grain and struggles making peanut butter, but otherwise its good.

  93. My suggestion is to volunteer for things where you might meet other frugal minded people. I work at a pioneer village and many of the people there enjoy connecting with the “old ways”, like cooking, baking, crafting and gardening the way they did in the 1800s. Subsequently, this is also quite frugal in nature. I’ve learned so much working there! Most people today would be horrified at the idea of making dandelion jelly, but my colleges (along with many visitors) are equally curious about what it would taste like. I’m surrounded by opportunities to learn lots of different historic crafts, like knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting, basket making, rug hooking, weaving, etc. because I meet all these people who demonstrate them in our village! I have colleges who love to garden and are a great source of information when I have questions. If you don’t have a pioneer village nearby, look into volunteering at a historic house or a museum.

    There may be groups through your church or other community organizations that offer educational courses to youth or those who are struggling financially about how to live on a small budget. You could even look at volunteering at a shelter (like a shelter for abused women or a family shelter), soup kitchen, a food pantry or community garden. Regardless of where you volunteer, you will still be helping your community, meeting new people, and gaining new frugal skills even if you many of the people you meet are not as frugal minded as you! Hope this idea helps you think outside the box a bit Leigh Ann.

  94. I love your efforts to do stuff with family outside the home like camping even with your very limited resources and not let yourself to be discouraged.

  95. Your comment reminded me that I can take away those big car, tractor etc batteries which are laying around and get paid for that, too, just as for old metal!

  96. That’s shocking! What was your friend thinking? What a relief it must have been to have caught the bags in time!

  97. Yes, he is. He is 13. He would have had it sooner, but there is a minimum wait time between Scout ranks before you can move up a rank.

    21 merit badges must be completed before becoming an Eagle (including several specific ones). He earned 47. He would have had 7 more, but he, along with half his Scout troop, became ill at the first morning of campout where he would have earned several merit badges.

  98. Love my Vitamix! But they are expensive. Mine was a hand me down from a friend. She didn’t use it, go figure-$400 blender. Almost brand new.

    So handy during canning season. Makes butter, blends very smoothly. Mine also has a canister that has a special blade to grind flour.

    It will last many years,

  99. FYI if you need any in the future, $ Tree in my area is changing to Hallmark cards and they have tons of packages of 6-8 HM ThankYou cards for $1

  100. Thank you. I decided a long time ago to live my life, with or without a lot of money, if you know what I mean. Life keeps throwing hard things at us. I think most people’s lives do. There was a point in my life when I kept thinking that “if only this” or “if only that” I would be happy or I would do this or that. But, the Lord has worked with me on contentment, creativity, being happy where I am, and so forth, and I decided to not stay in the trap of thinking like that, but to instead live my life to the fullest that I could. I don’t want to waste my life wishing this part of it was over, waiting for some magical time in the future that will be perfect.

  101. Elizabeth M., I’m curious why you feel you couldn’t live entirely from your freezer and pantry. By focusing on stocking the right things, it would certainly is possible.

  102. I wrote a long answer to you but the computer seemed to have problems so that I’m not sure that went through. It was probably too long and if it comes through you really don’t have to approve it Brandy. Margie from Toronto, I really don’t know what she was thinking. I will forgive her but not forget about it and she won’t be a true friend anymore which I find hardest to bear. I still feel displaced from my own home. I think God truly guided me to those bags (perhaps with input from my Mother). There were many things my Mother had told me never to throw away which my “friend” did throw away. Included was a tiny published genealogy of her family which is irreplaceable. I have often wondered whether I would ever feel my Mother’s presence. I do feel her in her garden (now mine). Bt most of all, in retrospect, I feel her while sorting the 8 bags of “so-called garbage”. I foud a photo of a graduating class (that I had never seen). I searched and searched among the faces and finally found
    her face. Even the way that one thing led to another to another to the garbage bags confirms that she and God were overlooking the entire operation.

  103. Hi Diane, I’m now using a two piece sifting cat litter box from Walmart (no lid for my large cat to fit inside) that was $7 with the cat litter pads from (pack of 100 for $30) that soak up the liquid, and the Tidy Cats Breeze litter pellets (3 pack $30). It sounds like a lot upfront (total was about $65), however I can rinse and reuse the pellets nearly indefinitely and the litter pads only need to be replaced 3-4 times per month. The system is SO much cleaner, there’s zero litter tracking, and virtually no smell. I’ve tried (not exaggerating) 8 different litter box systems and this DIY version is fantastic. It took about two weeks for my kitty to switch to it, but I’m finally not dreading the litter box cleanings.

  104. Some troops–and I assume Ezrom’s is one–focus more on helping the boys earn merit badges than others. My son was very motivated to become an Eagle, but I only remember his troop working together on one merit badge in all the years he was in Scouts. He did earn a couple of badges at camp every year, but the rest were on him. The troop committee felt that the boys should be self-motivated. While I agree with that in part, I also realize my son missed out on a lot of interesting experiences that he might have had in another troop. He had a couple of lulls in Scouting. When he applied to go to the Jamboree, we required him to make the Star rank, or it was going to be a no-go. Life followedthe Jamboree in about the minimum time frame, but then he became a “lifer.” He didn’t do anything to finish his Eagle until his time was almost up, and then he popped out the last 2-3 merit badges in quick succession. He made Eagle about two weeks before his 18th birthday (summer between junior and senior years of high school). The combination of merit badges required to become an Eagle Scout really does produce mature, well-rounded young men. Good job, Ezrom! Congratulations to you, Brandy, for having raised two Eagle Scouts…so far.

  105. Not our troop, Maxine. My husband made sure our boys earned their Eagles early, before they were in high school, because he knows how busy high-school aged boys are. He was too busy in high school with football, student council, and life to earn his Eagle, and he wanted to make sure our boys got a chance to earn theirs. Most boys are like your son, staying a Life Scout, and a few make it to Eagle right before they turn 18–in our troop, too. Only 2% of Boy Scouts in the U.S. earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

  106. We stayed at Arctic Adventure in Anchorage — nothing fancy, small room, but clean and safe.
    We stayed at Denali Mountain Morning just outside of Denali National Park — we both loved this place. We had a cute little cabin by the river. The restrooms/showers were in a separate building just a few steps away — private restrooms like you would find in a house. The kitchen/commons area was in big cabin also close by.
    We enjoy staying at hostels because of the low price, the cooking facilities, and because we meet nice people from all over the world. And it’s people of all ages — many frugal seniors like us as well as young people.

  107. Marivene you inspire me! I’m starting to save the pine branches I trim from our pine trees so I can strip them for my soil. I live in Utah as well. I’m so impressed with your use of the turkey. Thanks for all the great ideas

  108. It is a matter of quantity. I had a very difficult winter financially, and had cleared my freezer and pantry. I have been restocking as it was possible, but I don’t think the supplies will be sufficient in another month’s time to go without buying food entirely for the following two months, when my income is lower. What I have will go a long way, but not all the way.

    Also in August and September, which are the months I have the least income, this is also a time when the most fresh food is available in Northern Alberta. I will want to stock up on some items then, as well as enjoy fresh local produce. It is a balance of what I have saved in the freezer and pantry, and what I have set aside from earnings.

  109. That was good thinking on your husband’s part, Brandy. Ezrom’s badges certainly show a young man with a wide range of interests. My husband (also a Lifer) did help, especially with the Photography badge. His problem is that he never knows when to stop, LOL. Before they were through, they had dug out all of DH’s old photography equipment (which we had dragged from house to house for 30 years) and built a complete darkroom. Not the most frugal of badges, LOL. When the technology changed, I talked DH into donating all of his equipment to a charter school in exchange for a digital SLR. Again, not the most frugal of solutions, but well worth it to get rid of all of the equipment! DS’s interests are mainly skiing and mountain biking. He got the skiing badge, but didn’t do the work for the mountain biking badge. He is going on 40 and his legs look like you cut a big cantaloupe in half and slapped it on each side of his calves.

  110. I think your mother must have been looking over you that is for certain. And now you have had the chance to go through all those items and to remember how much they meant to your mother and to you.
    I hope you feel more settled in your home very soon – perhaps putting all those things back where they belong will help that process along and make it feel like home again.

  111. My frugal accomplishment won’t show profits for several years. Our shop full of freezers is blistering hot in the summer with all the freezers running most of the day which makes the shop hotter and makes the freezers run… So we transplanted a sugar maple tree to the east side of the building to give it shade. The west side is cement and there’s already a tree on the north, the south has the path to the door so east it was. At 8 feet tall it already gives a bit of morning shade with more to come as the years go by and in a few years we’ll be able to tap it to make maple syrup.

  112. Thanks, Margie. I think as the summer wears on, I will feel more settled. My other friends here cannot believe what was thrown away. It is a gorgeous day out here today. I think a trip to the mountains soon may be called for, especially before the influx of traffic for the Stampede and other tourist traffic. It is so hard to know which of many places to go.

  113. Thank you for your suggestions! Glad you have your mom and this community to share those frugal victories!

  114. Thank you, Rhonda! There are a lot of volunteer opportunities around here, and I’m sure there are a lot of nice people I haven’t met.
    Sometimes it also seems like there is a good bit of overlap between environmentally-conscious people a frugal people. I’m not what I would consider “crunchy,” but I can still enjoy talking about avoiding food waste, buying things second-hand, etc. with someone whose motivation is different from mine. Thank you again for the suggestions!

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