June Harvest 1 The Prudent Homemaker 

I harvested Mission figs, Royal apricots, Meyer lemons, peppermint, green onions, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard, hibiscus flowers, and blackberries from the garden.

I worked in the garden, weeding and sowing seeds for sunflowers, Armenian cucumbers, Genovese basil, and vincas. 

I collected green onion seeds from my green onion flowers and planted a new row of green onions in the garden. We are using these more and more often as they can be harvested year-round. I am wanting to grow enough green onions in the garden to make it easy to harvest them several times a week every week of the year.

I made a batch each of orange extract and vanilla extract.

Blackberries June 2018 The Prudent Homemaker

I finished sewing a table runner that I had started last year and set aside in my sewing room.

Ezrom Eagle Scout Invitation The Prudent Homemaker

I took pictures of my second son for his Eagle Scout Court of Honor invitations. My husband designed an invitation on the computer and we ordered the invitations as photo prints, which were much less than printing them as invitations would have been ($0.17 each).


What did you do to save money this past week?


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  1. Can you explain how you make extracts? (In a blogpost, please — I don’t always read all the comments.)

    I’m sure I’m not the only one of your readers to be curious about this.

  2. I love your posts. Do you buy your vanilla beans online? I’ve been able to avoid buying more beans (I made a TON of extract 2 years ago) since the prices have gotten so high.

  3. Well done Ezrom!!! The invitations are beautiful. The best way I can save money is not to go anywhere so that’s what I did.

  4. Such a pretty arrangement with the scale.

    We finally finished our dining room update. I realized today that aside from a can of paint (which had a $10 rebate) we didn’t spend any money. We already had the white paint that I used for the trim and chair rail. We used a rug that had been sitting in the closet for 2 years. We put a small china cabinet in the room that was from another room. The room looks so much better and I appreciate it even more since it was such a cheap upgrade.

    We had to purchase a new couch but found a great deal online. Only a year old but the couple are splitting up so getting rid of furniture that won’t fit in new apartments. Timing is perfect because ours had a leg fall off.

    I found $20 on the ground. I also used a gift card to buy a few seeds at Home Depot. Rabbits keep eating my sunflowers. I found a diy repellant to use so will be testing that out this week. For now I took fencing that we already had and put around the garden bed.

    I harvested my first cucumbers and fennel this week. I also harvested a handful of green beans and basil. It is currently raining so this saves me from watering the garden.

  5. I am like Diana, in that I don’t spend money when I stay home. But I sometimes order things on a local online yard sale. I bought 16 vintage heavy goblets for $10. At an estate sale or thrift store they would have been at least $5 each. Even heavy glasses at Walmart are more expensive. We don’t break the heavier glasses as easily. I also bought a two tier plant stand for $8 and it had the $19.99 tag still on it, and had 2 woven plant holders in it. The main way I have learned to save money is to make my favorite restaurant meals at home. I recently learned how to make chick filets which saves me a lot of money. The trick is to use powdered sugar in the breading, and cook it in peanut oil. I look online and find copycat recipes, and look for the highest rated one. I also have 2 books with the secret recipes. I rarely eat out anymore. I also found flowers at Lowes on the clearance rack, where I always check first. I love your blog! You are an inspiration.

  6. You must be so proud of Ezrom, what a fine young man. Thank you so much for sharing the photo and invitations, they really made me smile. Have a great day. Wendy, NZ

  7. Congratulations to Ezrom! What a wonderful accomplishment! I’m so impressed with your harvest- we’re not quite there yet, but my Mother has been harvesting lettuce that reseeded itself from last year, and my peonies and a volunteer poppy are just about to explode in blooms. We had an interesting week and (whispers) no one was sick woot! Joining in here: https://frugalfive.com/2018/06/11/frugal-5-friday-6-8-18/

  8. Goodness, the first photo is a still life. Pure artist’s eye you have, for sure. The other photos are equally lovely. I found my first ripe blackberries today, and picked them. We had a soft rain this evening, and I hope more berries will be ripening soon. We planted the last of the tomatoes, eggplant and peppers I started just before the rain. A friend with German heritage gave me a flan pan not long ago, for fruit tarts. I bought some beautiful strawberries at the farmer’s market last week, and made a strawberry tart. I was surprised how easy it was, even with making the vanilla pudding from scratch (the recipe called for instant pudding). That sounds like a great idea with the green onions. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/06/a-tart-bug-duty-frugal-accomplishments.html

  9. * We took advantage of house sitting and did laundry there!
    * We used the fan instead of the air conditioner, and I have been keeping blinds closed on hotter days.
    * I was blessed to meet a friend halfway to walk and talk before she moved out of state.
    * We saved money by eating mostly at home.
    * I combined as many errands as possible to save on gas.
    * I sent a present using a gift card I had, and it made my friend’s day.

  10. Your photo invitation is wonderful and your flower arrangement lovely.
    I try daily to be frugal. I was happy to get our garden in..and my herbs planted. I do have lettuce growing and chives and able to use these n herbs in cooking.
    . We painted our older brown wooden chairs black to match our vintage kitchen table we painted.
    . Spray painted a gold shelf black and made a place for a few things given from Magnolia.
    . Brought in a few flowers and branches from outside.
    . Received Free items from grocery store. Several half gallon ice cream .One per sale.
    . Able to continue on eating.plan from Dr inexpensively.
    . Worked on flowers yard…walked for exercise.

  11. 1. Avoided going in to The thrift store when I dropped off some donations. I don’t purchase something every time I go in, but if I don’t go in, I certainly won’t buy anything.
    2. Had about an hour time between jobs and went home instead of browsing around a couple local shops. Driving was only about 15 minutes so I didn’t have much time at home but it was enough to get a walk with the dogs in, garbage emptied and to the road and dishes washed and put away.
    3. Utilized a clearance box of long grain rice, some peckish looking carrots, a partial bottle of nutritional yeast i had tried a wgile back and some sale purchased flax milk to create a cheesy broccoli and rice casserole. It turned out d elcious and without even trying I made a vegan meal.
    4. Shopped around for new tires and found what I feel is a reasonable price. Getting those put on Tuesday.
    5. Utilized Ibotta to purchase several items on my grocery list. I ended up turning in enough rebates to get a $2 bonus. I have loved using Ibotta this last year or so.
    6. Used one of Kroger Friday freebies and clearance lemons to make 2 pitchers of yummy lemonade. I mostly stick to iced tea and water, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change.

  12. You haven’t seen anything yet!! I am down to my last bottle of vanilla, which was just over $50 a pint when I last bought it, and it is now about $68 a pint if I remember correctly–I looked it up a couple weeks ago, thinking ahead. I use a lot of it as I make a double batch of Brandy’s granola weekly and I bake most things at home from scratch also. I even bought a bottle of Mexican vanilla last time to try–but I had to admit I prefer the taste of the Madagascar variety. Don’t spill a DROP–it’s too expensive!! That is REALLY a lot and I’ve spoiled two families already by using it. Such a difference in flavor.

  13. Another wonderful photograph of the scale and other items, it made me smile, thank you. I thought…she could make a living as a photographer, then smiled as I realized you already have enough to do 🙂

    Congratulations to Ezrom for being an Eagle Scout, that is a huge accomplishment and a great deal of work!

    I have been reorienting our meals to focus more on veggies and fruits, small amounts of meat/fish and much less starch. I find many of my favorite inexpensive meals and treats are full of potatoes, rice, sugars and breads etc, so I have set them aside. For the past few weeks, I have bought fresh fruits and veggies and found the cost very reasonable.

    I sold my old work wardrobe via a consignment store and now have a credit there…I will use that to buy what I need for clothes the rest of the year. I almost went into Macy’s today then realized I didn’t need to spend real money.

    I took a look at our annual budget and year to date spending. It appears we will be okay and end right on track, assuming no meteors land on our house or car 🙂

  14. It wasn’t the most frugal of weeks for me–we went to Portland for 4 days. But we stayed with relatives, and ate all meals at their house except for the day we took them out to lunch.

    My BFF, Mary, gave me a bunch of plants from her garden = about $175 worth. She also gave me about 3-1/2 yards of fabric that might become the curtains in the new guest bedroom…or something else.

    I have decided to make a gift a month for Christmas and birthdays. Since I basically have no talents, my criteria is that the gift doesn’t require much skill, LOL. Or require me to buy a bunch of stuff I’ll never use again. My June gift was a bath wrap for DDIL. I found directions on the website of the late Nancy Zieman, who was the sewing lady on PBS for so many years. This is what I made in about 20 minutes with a bath towel bought on sale for $6: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing- … ath-towel/. I embellished the wrap with a 2-1/2 inch wide strip of Hawaiian print fabric sewn over the woven stripe. The only caveat is that if you embellish the towel, be careful that the Velcro gets sewn to the correct sides so that the embellishment shows in front. Also, when choosing a towel, note that there is no standard size. Look at several towels to choose one that is smaller or larger to fit the recipient. Also, for a deluxe-size gift, consider a bath sheet or beach towel.

    My friend also taught me to make a pillowcase using the “burrito” method and French seams (which I had never done before). Instead of stitching the short side of the case, I left it open and made an adorable pillowcase dress. I used a piece of a sheet and scraps from my stash and my cost was $0. One of my other goals is to sew a pillowcase dress per month for charity.

    I have a new house (in about two weeks) to furnish. I found towels I liked online at Wayfair. I then Googled the towels by name of style and found they were sold at several different stores. JCPenney was a dollar or two cheaper on each item, plus they also had a 25% discount on a $100 purchase. I found a shower curtain I liked for $26.99. I searched for it on Amazon and found it for $13.72. Then the Honey app price-checked and found it for $11.40 and free shipping. It always pays to shop around, even online. Alas, it’s easy to $ave money when you are $pending….

    We stream DirecTV Now and Netflix. I learned we can use it at two locations, so that’s what we will do at the new house. $46 for TV at two houses is a deal!

    Because what goes around, comes around, we offered DH’s cousin’s DD the use of our vacation home (where we are living now) for a week in August (we will be moved out by then). Another cousin did the same for us nearly 40 years ago when we were dead broke. Because we reciprocate, I don’t feel that we are using the relatives when we stay with them.

    I took a dozen deviled eggs to a church potluck yesterday. Two of us had fabulous lunches for just the cost of a dozen eggs ($1) and a few condiments. BTW, deviled eggs are always the first to go!

    Frugal fail: DH didn’t see a sack when he carried the groceries in from the car, and I didn’t notice that I didn’t put away any meat. Lost about $10 worth of meat. That won’t be happening again anytime soon!

  15. Congratulations to your son. He must have worked very hard to complete his Eagle project. That is wonderful that you are able to get onions all year. Your figs look wonderful. We planted 3 fig trees last year so I am hoping to get a few figs this year. We had a busy week. Our septic tank had issues but it is all fixed. Hubby was offered 2 free tickets to see Billy Joel. We are really excited about that as we have never seen him perform before. The rest of my week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/06/my-frugal-list-week-of-june-3-2018.html

  16. Congrats Ezrom!!
    I attended a clothing swap and found a pair of shoes, a pair of knee boots, a blouse for work, drinking glasses, a ceramic bowl, several bars of handmade soap, and some bathroom cleaner. I also got 2 infinity scarves and a regular scarf. They were itchy acrylic so I pulled them apart and will crochet something else. I picked up two packages of melba toast and a big bucket of lentils. There’s at least 3 lbs left. All FREE!
    I cooked most of our meals at home and went home for lunch on days that I finish work early.
    I made several loaves of bread.
    I crocheted a bag with my recycled yarn.
    I instead of buying coffee or tea at work I make it in the office.
    I shopped my own closet and resisted the impulse to buy.
    I dug through my pantry and looked up new recipes to use what I have on hand.
    Work is limiting the amount of printer paper we can use so I took a big stack of recycled paper to use instead.
    I made a big pot of beans to eat this week.
    I passed on some toddler clothes to a friend who really needed them. Less clutter for me!
    I bought shower gel online. It was on sale.
    I ordered cotton yarn from Aliexpress.com to practice crocheting and make dishcloths.

  17. Congrats to your son on his eagle scout court of honor! And I love your photos! Can I ask, what background did you use for the first photo? I’m always trying to improve my photography, and backgrounds are something I want to improve on.

    My frugal accomplishments for the week are:
    – My husband wanted to order in a meal this weekend, but I threw together some Pizza Scrolls, using up items from my fridge (homemade yoghurt, the last of a red onion, and a few chopped mushrooms, and some homemade pizza sauce leftover from pizza bagels that I made last weekend) and pantry (flour, baking powder, salt), and freezer (the last of my grated cheese, and some pepperoni from my freezer that I traded for somewhere between 6-12 months ago). It was frugal, fresh, and delicious! I’m still working on perfecting the recipe, but will share it when I do, as it’s super-easy and super-frugal.
    – I referred two colleagues to a board game testing experience, where they were paid in a $25 gc to Amazon. I wasn’t able to attend, but I’m glad I helped stretch someone’s budget!
    – In Canada, David’s tea had a free iced tea promo going on this weekend. I don’t live within walking distance of a David’s tea store, and I didn’t have the energy to do anything besides rest up for the week ahead and do a few chores, but I told several co-workers about it, so they’re going to take advantage of that. I love sharing frugal deals!
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Amazon (the card was on sale, just not as much on sale as if I had saved for a $25 value card).
    – I macerated a carton of strawberries with some sugar and stirred it into homemade yoghurt to make a delicious strawberry yoghurt. I usually turn strawberries into jam, and then stir jam into my yoghurt, but this needed a little less energy, and I needed to use up the strawberries asap.
    – I dehydrated some apples to take to work as healthy snacks.
    – I’ve been making a lot of pizza themed snack-type meals lately: pizza bagels, pizza scrolls, pizza English muffins. They’re inexpensive and super-fast to throw together, which is perfect given that I have yet to see the second trimester burst of energy most women seem to have. I add in enough vegetables as toppings, or add veggies as a side, and add some meat from the freezer for my husband, and he’s quite happy.
    – I rinsed out the jars that I keep my homemade yoghurt in and used that water to water my balcony plants. A little extra nutrition for the plants, and a little water savings for the environment.
    – I made a mock-version of compost tea for my garden: I put a bunch of kitchen waste (banana peels, egg shells, watermelon rind) in a blender with some water and some blackstrap molasses. A little bit of extra nutrition for my balcony, and less waste in the garbage.
    – I baked several loaves of chocolate chip banana bread for snacks this week. I ran out of chocolate chips so I chopped up some baking chocolate I had and used that.
    – I redeemed a Pinecone Research reward for $5 to my paypal account. Then I used that money to buy two shower razor holders from lightinthebox.com – very inexpensive, although shipping takes 1-2 months.
    – My sister reserved her condo party room for my baby shower (she reserved it many months in advance because a) she’s super-organized and b) she wanted to make sure she got the date I had requested. My family is awesome! The frugal part of this is that while she does have to put down a deposit, she’ll get that deposit back after the party. Whereas at my condo, you have to pay $200 (that you don’t get back) for security guards. Not sure why, as the party room is literally less than 5 metres from the concierge’s/security guards desk. But yay for finding a free and very nice venue for my shower! My sister is planning the shower with my mother, and they’ve split the costs. I also plan to contribute things like a cheese/fruit/cracker platter, and possibly the bonbonierre (I’m hoping to bake onesie shaped cookies; inexpensive; personalized; and fun to make!)

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  18. I don’t really know WHAT I did last week!! I’ll try to think. On Monday my husband had another debilitating bout of vertigo and was flat out the entire day. He ate a banana–and some liquids. I called the doctor after starting the medication he had given us, and he recommended Gatorade. After trying 3 flavors, my husband swears he will drink more WATER, Diet Pepsi, or coffee. Gatorade tastes awful. (I knew that because I discovered it prepping for my colonoscopy.) I bought a large pack–28 bottles I think, because we were at Sam’s Club at the time. It will be gifted to my daughter’s step-grands, who play football in the fall! They drink it then. We also ordered new glasses for both of us at Sam’s Club. I hope they are ready soon as my husband agreed to leave his old ones there and then regretted it. Apparently his habit of answering questions he doesn’t understand caught up with him. He’s hard of hearing, wears two hearing aids, and needs to learn to ask people to repeat things when necessary. We also had to cancel a weekend away, which we had both looked forward to, because he was unable to drive. I offered to drive him (about 250 miles each way) in my car but he wanted HIS car. (a 50 year old car with stick shift and no air conditioning, which even he finds difficult to shift.) I can drive a stick shift, but I didn’t want to drive THAT one that far. So we stayed home. Therefore we can pay for the glasses with what we would have spent on the motel for the weekend! Money saved after all. Not to mention gasoline and food we would have bought. I made all meals at home and tried very hard to have fewer leftovers, with some success. Last night I made homemade chicken fingers–the chicken breast I used was so large we only ate half last night. It came in handy today for a quick meal after my late afternoon doctor appt. I made a fresh salad with tomatoes and feta cheese, and reheated last night’s leftovers. Just as good tonight! In between forays to the doctor and e-mail messages back and forth, I attempted to do housework and gardening, without accomplishing much of either. On Saturday my granddaughter visited, which is worth stopping everything for. Her mother and step Dad came over too–none of us see her often enough. She manages to come maybe once a month. She is working 3 jobs and finds it necessary to go to bed quite early these days for a 26 year old! We enjoyed seeing her, and feeding her. She always arrives hungry and she eats only chicken or turkey, so it’s quite the feat to find something sitting around that appeals to her. I made her small pizzas with ciabatta bread bases, sauce, freshly grated mozzarella (she didn’t believe I would grate the whole pound to save a little money but she saw me do it) and the turkey pepperoni which I buy for us because it’s lower fat. The cheese is0 either $3 or $4 a pound, depending on whether it’s on sale or not. (Not as cheap as Sam’s Club, but better tasting, IMO.) Finally on Sunday we managed to pull some weeds from the garden and my husband removed a pretty good sized tree from a flower bed where I didn’t need a tree. I pulled up lots of mint while he did that–so I smelled rather good when I was finished. The mint was out of control. I still have more to do–parsley, chives, and mint are all growing together in one great clump and I’m trying to gain control over them again. (Last summer was too wet for too long—we never planted anything until late June!) So a disorganized week, but things did get done, and husband did get better and was eating again by Tuesday. This week on Friday we go to the neurologist about his vertigo and his possible dementia. It’s time!

  19. Hello Friends,

    We have had a wonderful week here in Colorado. Here are some of my frugal accomplishments:

    – My garden is coming along wonderfully. I have spinach and swiss chard ready to be picked. I also have many herbs to use in my cooking. I love garden time!
    – We had a nice dinner with friends on Saturday. I brought potato salad and they provided the meats. It was fun to hang out and talk and the kids played. This is a great low cost way to meet with friends.
    – I was able to help get some chips donated to our children’s ministry for a volunteer lunch that we needed to have. This was nice to help keep the cost down for the church. The chips were served with nacho sauce, chili and toppings. It was a frugal meal to feed about 50 people.
    – I made a meal for a sick friend out of mostly on hand ingredients and was able to help in a couple of other ways. I wrote about this on my blog. (https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/06/06/how-to-bless-others-without-breaking-the-bank/) It was nice to do this and not go off budget.
    – I organized a bake sale using SignUpgenius.com to help raise money for our women’s ministry. You can use this to request items and it is all organized online. I like using this one and PerfectPotluck.com. It helps ease the burden off one or a few people and everyone can contribute.
    – I cooked most days this week.
    – I shopped at the commissary on post for meats and items that are cheaper there.
    – I stocked up on bread at the Dollar Tree. They have nice brands that are only $1.00.
    – I was able to get strawberries for $.75 per pound. They were on sale for $1.25. I had a coupon from Driscolls.com for $.50 off. If you do a survey with the product code, you can get another coupon. I have done this deal many times in the last few years. Sometimes, I am able to get berries for free or a quarter when they are on sale at Safeway because they double coupons. I try to stock up and freeze them when this occurs.
    – My daughter was able to get a lot of prizes from the summer reading program at our library. She received a swim pass, a tee shirt, clay, a bookmark, and stickers.
    – I signed up for a lot of freebies, which I also posted on my blog, if anyone is interested.
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  20. Been busy wallpapering the stairs and loft, moving furniture around the house, painting the living room and dining room, and refinishing the dining room table. Ordered custom blinds for the loft and hung new curtains in the laundry room to help with the ridiculous heat. Bought a new TV cabinet with a fake fireplace in it for the living room (we live in the South, so its just decorative, but the old yard sale table fell apart so, yeah…).
    Up this week: refinishing the bedroom furniture, repainting the bedroom and rehanging all of the pictures int he house.

  21. Oh, congratulations to Ezrom for becoming an Eagle Scout! Great accomplishment! And the invitations are beautiful!!!

    I found $22.00 in loose change in an old purse. I had never had time to clear it out as two of my family members were in the hospital when I quit using the handbag. It was like buried treasure. I hate sending old purses to the landfill but these two purses are really totally worn out.

    I am lending a small dining room table a friend’s son who is going to university about 300 miles from here. It will give me more space and when I downsize I will get it back.

  22. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Pass on our congratulations to Exrom for his accomplishments. So glad Brandy you are harvesting such wonderful produce to increase your family’s pantry stocks and meals too.

    Bit of a hard week for us here as we both have had the flu and been battling by doing short stints on tasks as we have the energy to do so, but we made it 🙂 and are both feeling better. We have been thinking this week a lot on finances and working out the best way our money can work for us to our advantage.

    Finances –
    – Banked some more money for the month into our emergency kitty.
    – Decided since we have built up our food storage levels and only go grocery shopping once every 2 – 3 months to each fortnight bank our grocery money into a high interest bank account to earn interest until we need to use it. Got to love bank interest on grocery money 😀 .
    – We also went and saw our ward clerk and since I am a dependent spouse as I am a carer (not earning enough income to pay tax) to DH who is on a military compensation pension (still classed as working in the defense force) for him to pay my tithe and offerings to reduce both his income and the amount of tax he pays each year. This should save us from our estimates around $300 odd a year in tax we have to pay where that money can go into paying for needed items, bills or house deposit savings in our household.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased a 4lt dutch oven on special from Aldi for $23 saving $181.11 over buying an equivalent brand in our small country kitchenware store. We will use this on top of our slow combustion fireplace during winter to cook roasts and heat up bulk meals we have prepared in the freezer rather than using the electric stove to save on electricity costs.

    Groceries –
    – Used our other $350 for $300 grocery e voucher and with 50% off specials saved in total $70.60 off our grocery costs. We used this partly for our 2 monthly groceries and the other part for stocking generic brand staples to increase our food storage.

    In the gardens –
    – Picked 100 g of cherry tomatoes which we used for meals and 100 g of strawberries we froze for smoothies, ice cream toppers and jam from the gardens.

    In the kitchen –
    – Blanched and froze 51 bags or 6 months food for the 2 of us of sweet potatoes picked from our vegetable gardens. Still have more to go which will supply us with a years worth of sweet potatoes.
    – Made a cheesecake lasting 3 nights dessert for the 2 of us from cream cheese purchased on special and free lemons from a friend we traded vegetables from our gardens with saving $8.38 over buying it in the local supermarket.
    – Made a big 3 kg batch of sweet potato and pumpkin soup to last us 2 nights meals from sweet potatoes picked from our gardens and potatoes purchased on special saving us $28 over purchasing it premade in the shops.

    Usual frugal things we did –
    – Used vegetable washing, cooling, boiling and dish rinsing water to water vegetable seeds in the gardens (we are drought declared here), watered the lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine rather than using town water, used our slow combustion stove to boil water for our cuppas and to reheat meals on rather than turn on the kettle and stove to save electricity, only turned on our electric hot water system when the water needed heating and washed out clip seal freezer bags for re-use.

    Hope everyone has a great week ahead.


  23. I was pleased to see that 2 of the 3 spirea bushes that I bought for 50 cents each came through the winter, have grown much larger and are blooming now! Landscaping dollars well spent for these hardy perennial bushes!!
    When I took the flannel sheets/pillowcases off in the third floor bedrooms before we had 5 family members arrive to stay for 2-1/2 weeks, I realized that I needed some new pillowcases! So I went through my fabric stash and so far have made 4 pillowcases and will make four more all from the same piece of fabric!! Zero out of pocket cost!!!
    I am using up frozen foods in anticipation of our Zaycon ground beef arriving in about 6 weeks and then the beginning of October, I am getting 80 pounds of Zaycon boneless skinless chicken breast for 99 cents a pound! At that price, I ordered enough to see us through much of 2019! Our daughters split a box so that each will get 20 pounds because even 10 or 20 pounds will make a dent in their grocery bills and the 40 pound boxes are divided into 4 ten pound bags which make them easy to split! The promo code for that price is CHICKEN2018 and is valid through June 30. Here’s a link if anyone still wants some: https://zayconfresh.com/refer/zf182397

    A friend traded a huge bag of lettuce (5 pounds) for a loaf of cheese bread that I had and we were both pleased! Bartering is definitely a way to make our money stretch!
    I finished upholstering cushion covers and trim for a friend’s RV . She was provided all the material and was happy to pay for my labor! Here’s a link to the photo of it finished: https://pin.it/rx3jazq53atlac
    Made most meals at home from scratch, washed ziplocs bags for re-use, picked 2 cups of sweet cherries from our new cherry tree! There are blackberries forming on the bush I bought and planted 6 weeks ago! Bathroom renovation going well!wall tile goes up tomorrow! We were able to reuse most of the 2x4s from the framing as well as insulation so that cut down cost and we used leftover superinsulation on all the exterior walls!
    All in all,a very good week!!!

  24. Love the pic with the scale! And congrats to your son!

    Here are my accomplishments from last week. Not many, but also didn’t spend much.

    • 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.
    • Found a dime.
    • Got my free drink from Friday Freebies.
    • Ate in all week.
    • Won $7 at our Trivia night.
    • Got pineapple for 88c/lb., watermelon for 20c/lb., strawberries for 75c/lb and honeydew melon for 89c/lb. Loving all of this summer fruit! Also got corn on the cob 10/$1.
    • Got free truvia from work leftover from a conference. I will use these to make my low cal koolaid (packets I had paid only 5c apiece for.)
    • Worked 12 contract hours.
    • Got a few Ibotta rebates.
    • Joined the summer reading program at the library and signed up my grandson too. His age group received a onesie for signing up but didn’t have his size, so I got one for a little baby girl, which I will give to my niece at her baby shower along with her other gift.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  25. Congratulations to your son for obtaining Eagle Scout! What was his project? I have a cub scout and a boy scout who are working their way up and we love to hear what other scouts in other areas of the country do to for their Eagle project.

  26. Welcome to our world Hamish!!! a beautiful baby.

    Very well done Ezrom!! just look at all those awards & badges !

    AnnLee S

  27. We had a very busy week with my daughter’s graduation and the open house on Saturday. They both went very well, and I’m feeling a lot of relief having those 2 big events out of the way.

    Her graduation dress is here: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/jaanas-graduation/

    I cooked a lot this week. I made some things for the weeks ahead, such as frozen pizzas.

    I accepted help from my family with food items for the graduation party. My sister and niece made and fried home-made donuts on the spot. They were a huge hit. Another sister brought all the meat and cheese–many, many dollars worth. Mom brought veggies, and deviled eggs. They all helped put things together that morning, and keep the food table full. I used coupons from the stores, and Ibotta rebates to help bring the cost of the food down, while still buying extra treats and making things really nice.

    My garden is now giving me lots of lettuce, a few snow peas, and green onions. I got the idea to let them self-seed here on this blog, and this is the 2nd year I didn’t have to re-plant them. I, also, do want to move the row over next year, so I have another batch going to seed right now, and I will plant them in another place. I’ve picked a few small artichokes, and the raspberries and strawberries are starting to get ripe.

    Pictures of the week are here: https:https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-june-10-2018/

    For the past 2 years, my husband has had a 1-year contract with the school district. Last year, they renewed it in the spring. This year, they told us Thursday that they are not renewing it due to “district-wide budget constraints.” There were others who did not did have theirs renewed, either, and some who did. It’s silly in a way, because the special needs kids are still going to need IA’s in the fall, but they won’t have to insure all these people all summer, and can fill the positions in the fall, when they find they can’t cope. But….. that means no insurance for us this summer and no job lined up for the fall. I’m looking into insurance options to cover us. He is not eligible for unemployment, as it was a 1-year contract job. He already had a part-time summer job lined up, and had the 12-month paycheck plan, so we are fine for summer, and I have my part-time job. He is applying for other jobs, but it is likely that the bulk of the openings will appear in August. IF he decides to stay in the school system, that would be the most likely time to get a job. So, while we are fine for the next 3 months, we will need a new plan by fall. I anticipate that we will carry on as planned through the summer, with a little more penny pinching than usual, in case it takes a little longer in the fall. Grow, garden, grow!

    I have deep peace about this. I cannot explain how deep the peace is, it could have only come from Him. God has always been there for us, taking care of us, and gave me assurance that He knows all of these things. I’m sure anxiety may rear it’s ugly head once in a while, but for now, I can truly say, “it is well with my soul.”

    So, in the meanwhile, I am getting ready to go backpacking with the teenagers at church next weekend. I’m super excited, as I have not been for many years. I will let the young, strong youth leader and his wife lead the way, and will come along at the end –at my own pace! My youngest daughter is going, as is my niece. It should be fun for us all!

  28. Our week has been busy as I started my new job and we are adjusting to the new schedule.

    I bought needed OTC medications at a discount chemist.

    We took advantage of some great grocery deals and bought 5kg of white rice at 50% off, 2kgs of butter on clearance for $3.20, bacon at 30% off plus you got ten free hash browns, 6kg of our usual dishwashing powder on clearance at 60% off, our favourite yoghurt at over 50% off and a chorizo at half-price.

    Our clock in the living room broke. My husband found one that matches our wallpaper exactly and was on special for 25% off.

    We tried to use hot water bottles, blankets, thick clothes and our electric blankets to reduce our heater usage. The heater still ran for 39 hours this week. 🙁

    I baked bread and muffins and used the heat to warm the kitchen. I also made yoghurt in the slow cooker and bulk-cooked eggs for lunches.

    I paid a bill online to save a stamp.

    I had some study to do for my new job and used scrap paper for all print-outs and taking notes.

    I swept our tiled floors instead of vacuuming.

    I worked an extra 2.5hrs.

    Most meals were made at home. I had one planned lunch out with a friend and one night my husband and I were at such a long appointment that we bought some nuggets and chips to share on the way home. My husband took all lunches to work, we used up some produce given to us for free and ate the free hash browns for breakfasts. Unfortunately, some yoghurt spoilt in the fridge but that was the only waste.

    We went bowling with friends one night. I downloaded 50% discount vouchers for everyone and my husband and I ate dinner at home beforehand. People came back to our place to play board games and I served homemade muffins that used up some free plum jam.

    I finally found some glass mixing bowls with lids and they happened to be on special too!

    We found one recycling bottle during our delivery round and friends left two bottles at our place.

    I froze four portions of leftovers to use later.

    I mended holes in a pair of pants and a pair of stockings.

    I bought two work tops and a Christmas present at a thrift store and received a free reusable bag.

    We washed two full loads of dishes, saved warm-up water when hand-washing, washed two full loads of laundry and dried it all on racks.

    Wishing everyone a good week!

  29. Congratulations on your sons Eagle Scout Award. That is quite an accomplishment. I know how much work goes into it.

  30. Congratulations to Ezrom.
    Your photograph for this blog post is so beautiful. It could be framed, or on a calender
    I was able to harvest lettuce, arugula, green onion, radishes, and peas from the garden.
    I accepted a gallon of milk from the woman who was waiting in line behind me at the post office. She had just purchased it and her husband refused to drink it because the sell by date was the next day. I brought it home and put it in my freezer.
    I donated a box of items to the local humane society thrift store and got a receipt for my taxes.

  31. I miss Scouts so much. What a honor for Ezrom . You must all be so proud of him. I continue to spend as little as possible. I have been pretty successful this week. While in town, we decided to stop at the salvage store. We were informed they were closing down and this was their last day. I bought food for 1.00 a case. Mac n cheese, tuna, peanut butter, peas, ranch dressing powder, and I don’t remember what other food items. Sugar cookie was given a bag and filled it up to the top for 1.00. She bought every snack imaginable. Think the overpriced stuff by the cash register in the stores. I spent a total of 8.00 this week. He told me to find a box and fill it with any copy paper I could find and we could have it. That box was so heavy I could hardly pick it up. 30 reams easily. Everyone knows sugar cookie draws and honestly, everyone loves sugar cookie.
    My freebies for the week. I entered 66 Coca Cola caps and received 3 movie tickets, 3 LG drinks and 3 LG popcorns. My kids are not laughing at me so much now.
    I was given a bottle of amoxicillin and prednisone. The neighborhood very old Tom cat must be fighting a younger male. He has been looking terrible. His orange size knot has disappeared with a little doctoring. We live in a rural area and I imagine Big Bob is not eagar for a vet trip.
    I found 3 like new pairs of America Eagle jeans in the trash. If sugar cookie can’t wear them, they will be sold on Facebook yard sale page.
    My treasure was a beautiful bathroom light fixture sitting in a pile on the side of the road. I have slowly replaced the awful bright gold fixtures that were in my house. I had seen one recently in the thrift store but they wanted 50 dollars. I cringed at that thought. I drove by this one, turned right back around and carefully got out and claimed it. They are all kind of bronze with a creamier glass. Sugar cookies young man will install it and I am delighted.
    I redeemed Swagbucks for:
    Two 9 pk cases of wipes
    252 case diapers
    48 rolls Scott type tissue Target brand
    My refrigerator woke me up at 2 30 AM sounding like it fixing to explode. I couldn’t find any tools. So with a spoon and toothbrush, I attempted to repair it . Seriously. I unplugged it, cleaned the fan, realized they have a conspiracy about home repairs. I tossed stuff out of the freezer. I put the valuable items in my chest freezer. All cooked goods will be eaten and well, some items went into the trash. After sitting all night, it seems to be fine. It may have been frozen up. Happily, I didn’t have to call a repairman. I am grounding the children until my toolbox shows up. It is hard to make repairs with a spoon.
    We have a middle aged homeless couple camping nearby. I bought the 5 1 dollar cheeseburgers. I told them where they could get jobs and they DID.!!!!! I got the woman some of my jeans that were way to small for me. I packed them a box of personal care products from my stockpile. I told them where they could shower. I don’t know how these people ended up in a tent in the woods but I feel so sorry for them. She gave birth 4 weeks ago to a 10 week early baby. Drugs etc were not involved. I heard recently that most people can’t cover a 4 hundred dollar emergency. I can’t do much for them but I can donate a little since they really are trying.
    Be blessed everyone.

  32. Beautiful photos! This week wasn’t particularly frugal because a dear friend got married in Key West and we went! But still…
    -we flew out of a smaller airport near our home where parking was dirt cheap
    – we brought snacks for the trip
    – we called our hotel on our layover and asked if they had a shuttle (they didn’t list it on their website)and they picked us up
    – we ordered the wedding gift from amazon and mailed it directly to the bride and groom to save on shipping. A portion (small but still!) of the gift was using a GC from a survey
    – at home, in laws watched our children
    – we did our monthly budget while waiting in the airport
    -at home, we ate meals from the freezer
    – continued to use cloth diapers
    – tried to keep the house tidy
    -filled in another high value survey yesterday
    – continued to read online about questions to ask the benefits manager when I meet with her next week!
    – came up with a plan for splitting my paycheck between accounts to start putting more towards our house. Would LOVE to pay that off early if possible,

  33. Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    We have gotten a good amount of rain in the last few days so we haven’t had to water the plants much at all. We have had cooler weather, too, so we haven’t had to turn on the air conditioner as much as we usually do this time of year.

    We harvested lettuce and spinach.

    While going grocery shopping at Food 4 Less I always check out the clearance sections. This week I found applesauce and canned clams and salmon at great buys. I bought several to add to our food storage.

    We took our lunches to work each day.

    We made all our meals at home.

    Our most frugal meal was the split pea soup I made with ham pieces that were in the freezer from our Easter ham and chicken broth that was also in the freezer.

    While my husband went fishing with our son-in-law, I pulled out leftover soup from the freezer for my dinner on Friday night and I ate it again for lunch on Saturday.

    I made laundry soap.

    I look forward each week to reading the comments. Have a great week, everyone!

  34. i think if you are commenting and will make a “tick” in the box by line “Subscribe to this entry (Please fill in your email address to subscribe to blog updates.)
    then you´ll have answers to your e-mail box.

  35. Brandy the photo montage is gorgeous. Amazing that you are still picking the lemons – this must be month 4? Congrats to Ezrom – he looks both proud and happy!

    • Took advantage of the 56 degree weather and baked cookies and made a mac & cheese casserole with spinach and diced tomatoes.
    • Hung a load of laundry up to dry.
    • Earned 36 bonus swagbucks for month of May
    • My glasses broke so I took them back to the store and they repaired them for free.
    • Saturday was the annual Connecticut Open House day, when most museums, historical sites, etc are free for the day. I went on a 45 minute cruise on the CT River for $5 and visited Nathan Hale’s first schoolhouse for free.
    • Made swag goal x 1
    • Had overnight sleep study and the office staff had prepared a credit card authorization and left it for me to sign. I read it carefully and made changes: checked off the box for charges to be for “this appointment only” and crossed off the line the company had checked off giving authorization for “all appointments in 2018.” I had a photocopy made of the paper after I made the changes. There was another “new patient form” that requested my social security number. I left this blank. I’m not sure if everyone knows that it is illegal for a company to require that you provide your social security number unless they need to report some part of the transaction to the IRS or they are a state or federal agency. To be clear – it isn’t illegal to request the number – only to require it.

  36. What a beautiful arrangement with the vintage weigh scale, fruit and flowers! Congrats to our son, Ezrom, on his accomplishments with Eagle Scouts. The photo invite is beautiful as well.

    Brandy, do you use your sunflowers for food, or just for the flowers? If you use the seeds to eat, how do you do that (do you roast them? do you shell them? if so, do you have a best method for shelling them?). I love sunflowers and would love to harvest the seeds for food. I’m just not sure how to best do that. Would love some in-site if you have any.

    Here are our frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Meals made at home included hot chicken sandwiches with potato wedges and green beans, make-your-own pizzas, breaded chicken burgers with broccoli and salad, tacos (choice of beef or black bean), BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with Knorr sidekick pasta, and chicken fried rice with veggie spring rolls.
    *Enjoyed sampling all the baking being made each day in the various historic houses at work, as I have been for a few weeks now. Certainly saves me from having to bake lunch treats at home.
    *Harvested a large bowl full of spinach. Romaine lettuce, as well as the other greens, are big enough that we can harvest for salads as needed, but can also be left to grow larger. Flowers have formed on tomato plants, but no fruit yet. Peas and beans are getting quite big, but no flowers yet. Cucumber is still quite small (not vines yet). I have 5 little watermelon sprouts popping through the ground. Dill and carrots are just sprouting through the ground. No sign of oregano yet.
    *I have had a craving for fried rice for a while now. Every time I make a huge batch of rice with a dinner (as in 2 cups of dry rice cooked up), in hopes of having leftover rice to make it, DD eats all the leftovers! Now any other time we have leftovers, I have to force the family to eat them. So, anyways, this weekend I tried to make a pot of rice without DD knowing. She was in her bedroom and had been for hours…thought I was safe. As soon as I started cooking the rice, out she came. Seriously, how do teenagers instantly know you are making their favourite food? Anyways, I lied to her (and hubby who also showed up asking what was cooking) and said I wasn’t making anything, so never mind. I had know idea making fried rice would take such stealth and secrecy! Anyways, it worked and we finally had fried rice for dinner on Sunday…but DD ate all the leftovers, which I was hoping to enjoy in my lunch. *sign*
    *I cooked a large chicken breast on the BBQ with our burgers on Saturday, knowing that I would be making fried rice. However, when DD mentioned she was craving chicken shepherds pie, I decided to use only a small amount of the chicken for the rice (like a restaurant, just enough to say there is chicken in the rice) and saved the rest to make the casserole. That 1 chicken breast will end up being stretched over 2 meals!
    *Bought minimal groceries this week, as we really didn’t need much.
    *Attended our final Weavers and Spinners guild meeting on Monday, before we break for summer. We toured a local university’s textile art collection before gathering for a potluck dinner. I took a lasagna as my contribution, which went over well. DD, my mom and I enjoyed the leftovers for lunches for a few days after…yum! I also won a hand-spun skein of yarn as a door prize! It was a lovely night out.
    *I received a free sample box of tampons in the mail, which also included a high value coupon. These particular kind do not have an applicator. I’m thinking they might be perfect to take to Europe with me, as they are very small and compact!
    *Hubby has started booking flights and hotels for our European trip for next April. We discussed our travel plans while looking at the calendar and decided where and when we would travel to our next destination, so he knew what dates to book each hotel. He used Expedia points and points earned through a travel credit card to decrease costs (the bookings are being put onto the credit card, which creates more points to use towards booking more hotels), as well as watching prices closely and doing lots of research on the various hotels to get the best deals, locations, etc. We have been saving for this trip since last year. All credit cards will be paid in full when the bill arrives. Excited this trip is all starting to become a reality!
    *I am starting a weaving project at work. I will be making tea towels on the 4 harness table loom. This will be great practice, as I have someone to help direct me as I make this project and I hope it will give me some confidence to try it on my own loom at home next fall/winter. Perfect for gift giving!

    Thank you everyone who joins into the conversations here. I always enjoy reading your comments each and every week!

  37. Congratulations to Ezrom! What a great accomplishment. We are in the garden a lot now. We are still harvesting green onion and lettuce here. Your right green onions are handy and easy to grow. The lettuce is the best thing growing in our garden right now. Salads are so easy to make. Just pick, clean, and it’s ready.

    Here are the rest of my frugal accomplishments:

  38. Brandy,

    The way you did the invitations is just brilliant. I did the same when my children graduated from high school. They are so much cheaper.
    They look really nice anyway. I just don’t see the big deal in paying all that money for invitations.

    Great idea and the invites turned out amazing!!!!

  39. Congratulations to your son! I went to the cheapest laundry mat. I also got books to read from the Free Little Book box set up at the laundry mat. I also got magazines to read from the Free Little Book Box from the walking trail. I put more books into both, than I took out. That cleans clutter out of my house, and I consider that a win. I always return the books, but I usually put them in a different Free Little Book Box than the one I originally got them from, because that makes sure the books are distributed area wide. I did my own nails. I wore thrifted outfits, as always. What I really do, is just not spend unless it is to replace something that has been used up. I always try to find a cheaper substitute. I walked at the walking trail. I did go swimming at the Army Core of Engineer’s Bridgeport park about 40 minutes from where I live. I had never been there before, it was beautiful, and cost a dollar to swim. I usually go to a different park but they increased their rates to $2.00, and it was not a dollar’s worth of gas between the distance of the two parks. We have many state, national, and parks from maintained by the Army Core of Engineers in this area. I like to visit them because they are inexpensive, beautiful, fun and a wonderful staycation. I attended a different LDS branch (church) because I was on call at work in that county, and enjoyed the service. I stuck to my turnip greens, homemade potato salad, homemade coleslaw, tomatoes, sardines (all of that for different suppers), and sandwiches for lunch menu. I made a scambled egg sandwich for breakfast every day.

  40. I make vanilla extract, but would love to know how to make orange! Oh, and if anybody has a good pickle recipe…we have tried a few times only to go through the canning process and not like the taste.

  41. I found 26 cents on the floor at the credit union while I was making a deposit.

    Continued to fill 2-3 tree tubs with weeds every day. I got behind while I was sick, & am catching up now.

    Thinned the peaches on the clingstone peach tree. I planted this tree when we first moved into this house. It was supposed to be an Elberta, which it clearly is not, since it does not ripen at the correct time, and it is a clingstone, not a freestone peach. The skins also do not slip. BUT — the peaches are delicious, they can beautifully when I peel them & cut them from the pit (which is a learned skill), and last year the dwarf tree produced 3 bushels of beautiful fruit, so it is worth the effort. We have tried repeatedly to figure out what kind it is, & have decided it must have been a “sport” that was not true to genetic breeding.

    Stocked up on ice cream when it was on sale.

    Harvested peas from the garden.

    Continued to knit on a baby blanket from the leftover yarn.

    Ordered a Christmas present (a custom puzzle from a photograph) on sale from Shutterfly. We have found these to be quite durable, & our grandchildren love them. They are quite pricey unless bought on sale, or when a free gift is offered, since puzzles are often the “free gift” that is offered.

    Helped my youngest daughter turn a very long table runner into two shorter runners & two placemats. All it took was time & thread.

  42. I’m another one who doesn’t spend a lot of money if I can manage to stay home. (I’m happiest on the days I don’t have to leave the property, anyway!)

    I bought the bare essentials for groceries this week and spent the rest of my grocery money (and some of next week’s) on strawberries. They are one of the few fruits we like that I don’t grow. I found a U-pick strawberry patch and the strawberries are $1.90/#, compared to $3.50/# at the farmer’s market. So yesterday I made strawberry jam and chopped up strawberries to freeze. Today I’ll make strawberry shortcake and can strawberry lemonade concentrate.

    We’re leaving on vacation at the end of the week, so the rest of this week I’ll be making cookies, muffins, etc. and prepping food to take with us, so we will eat out only a few times.

    I also made candles with chunks of old candle wax and old candle jars. I had some colors, scents, and some thrifted wicks, so the cost was minimal. And they smell so good! And it was really much easier than I thought it would be.

  43. I did the same thing with our Christmas cards. Printed them as a photo and not a card. Saved me a lot of money. Way to go, Ezrom!

    Brandy, that first photo i think may be my favorite so far (besides the baby photos!). Did you paint your kitchen the navy color? If so I would love to know the paint color. It’s gorgeous!

  44. I forgot to add- I ordered new emergency glasses through Zenni and bought an extra 6 month supply of contacts. My prescription expires in July, and they’re doing just fine, so this will let me extend the time before I have to pay for a new exam into the new insurance year.

  45. I would like to ask for instructions for the orange extract too please. I’ve made vanilla extract before and that worked out well for me so I would like to try the orange one.

    thank you : )

  46. Laurie, my first blackberries in my wild patch are just ripening too! Always one of the milestones for us, here in the Piedmont of NC.

  47. Congrats on the Eagle scout!

    I put a few items with our girl scout troop fundraising yard sale and made $101 and less stuff in the house

    Sold a new kids outfit on Fb marketplace for $10

    My mom sent over a new bag of cereal and french fries

    Only grocery shopping when needed

    Used a groupon and remaining balance on a gift card to go see a movie with hubby and the 11yo(only spent $18 out of pocket for admission, large popcorn and 2 drinks)

    One of our dogs had a nasty cut on the bottom of his foot. Our vet knows he doesn’t like to be messed with so hubby took some pics at home of it, took it to her office, and we didn’t have to pay for an office visit, just $36 for antibiotics, pain pills, and sterile wash.

  48. Congratulations to your son – those badges represent a lot of hard work on his part!

    Last week wasn’t too bad frugally speaking. I worked a 14 hour day at a polling station for last week’s Provincial election – and had a training day earlier in the week which I will also be paid for. I also worked more hours on the small job I have for my church and banked my first pay cheque from them.

    Groceries were bought by cashing in a jarful of coins I’d been collecting plus the last of my loyalty points and I stuck to just what I needed – mostly milk and lots of vegetables. I have stuck to my low carb eating fairly successfully and only eat two meals a day now – which saves money – but I’m honestly not hungry as I eat a ton of vegetables at each meal. I am not being extreme, feel great, heartburn is gone and my clothes are much more comfortable already so I am pleased.

    Didn’t do much socializing last week so no money spent on eating out. I picked up lots of books from the library and I’ve been reading almost a book a day at the moment! I’ve also managed to get out for a few walks in the lovely weather we’ve been having so that has perked me up a bit as well.

    Otherwise it was the usual, wash zip-loc bags, use rags instead of paper towels for cleaning, use up all veggies and leftovers and only did one load of laundry in the machine (also did a bit of hand laundry) and then hung things up to dry.

  49. Congratulations to Ezrom. That is a big accomplishment!
    This week I:
    Transferred the money saved up for home and auto insurance into my checking and got them both paid. What a relief to not have to pay them monthly (with a service charge) anymore.
    I need to re-upholster some yard sale kitchen chair seats, which came with all the foam padding removed. New foam padding is outrageously expensive. We are sitting on folded blankets and towels on the wooden bottoms until I find a cheaper price.
    The last time I cut up a whole chicken, I didn’t worry about getting every bit of the meat scrap off the bones before I froze the carcass. I thawed it this week and stewed it just enough to cook the meat, pulled the meat bits from the bones, then put the bones back in the pot and cooked them another hour and a half to made a rich broth for homemade dumplings. I added the meat back just long enough to warm it. There was just the right amount of meat in the dish. I made the dumplings out of cassava flour since I have to be wheat free for a while, and it worked!
    I harvested mint from my containers and made mint tea. If I chill it, I find that I like it without any sweetening at all, and it’s so refreshing on these hot days.
    I found a pair of Clark’s leather shoes at Goodwill — the soles were clean, even. They were just what I’d been looking for.
    I am using homemade detergent and shampoo, cooking from scratch, am wearing thrifted clothes, and packing my leftovers as lunch, as usual.

  50. Rhonda, one of the things I use orange extract in is Oatmeal Scotchies, the oatmeal cookie recipe from Quaker that has butterscotch chips in it. I have the old recipe cut out from 30 years or so ago and they used the orange extract. I see now a days they just say vanilla. But the orange is really good.

  51. Lorna, you mention sweet potatoes often. I have never heard of blanching them. Do you use them then as fries or chips? Or chopped up in recipes? In other words, are you packing them whole in freezer or in the shapes you will be using them as? I normally only steam whole or bake and then pack the pulp into freezer containers.

  52. Congratulations to Ezrom! My son is working on his Eagle; I know how much effort goes into it and what an accomplishment it is. the picture and invitation look wonderful.

  53. Wow! Are those figs unusually big or are the apricots small? I don’t think our turkey figs would overshadow an apricot, lol! Then again, I don’t know much about the difference in the two.
    Congrats to Mr. Ezrom!~TJ

  54. Your daughter’s graduation dress is lovely. Good luck to your husband in the job search. I checked out your blog too and loved it.

  55. When you made your Christmas cards as photos did you put them in envelopes or mail as is with address on back of the photo?

  56. I do love the real vanilla extract as well, but I’m not willing to spend that kind of money on it. So last time I bought vanilla extract, I went with the imitation instead. Sad to do it, but I just cannot justify that kind of cost!

  57. Hi frugal minded friends. I, along with my SO, sister, niece, and my parents went on a cruise last week. We left Thursday and returned Monday. My parents generously paid for everyone’s fare. I received a $10 onboard credit, and when leaving yesterday, I’d only spent $4.95 while on the ship!! I packed my travel coffee mug, my large Bubba Keg insulated water cup (30 oz), 8 cans of La Croix water, a box of tea bags, and entirely too many clothes. I opted to NOT purchase any drink plans (unlimited soda/juice was $8/per person per day, and they offered an alcohol package at $56 – yes FIFTY SIX dollars per person per day, and if you chose this option, EVERYONE in your stateroom over 21 had to purchase it too). I would fill my 30 oz water cup in the buffet dining room once or twice a day, filled my 24 oz coffee travel mug up at breakfast, and only bought one drink while on the ship!

    I can’t remember my frugal wins for last week prior to leaving but I know I did a lot of shopping leading up to the trip, gathering things for 3 staterooms and some clothes for myself. I picked up as much as possible from the Dollar Tree or Walmart. The stuff I purchased specifically at the recommendations of seasoned cruisers that made life easier are items I can still use here at home: a mini fan that kept the room cooler ($5 at Walmart), some magnetic hooks to use on the walls to hang things like our room keys and the daily papers of activities (on clearance $1.50 at Walmart), the small pop-up hamper to keep dirty clothes off the floor and out of the way ($1 at Dollar tree). The cruise forums were a wealth of knowledge and while I’m glad we had this experience, it’s unanimous that we are not cruise people. We’ve agreed that future vacations will be back in our beloved mountains and/or we will fly directly to a tropical destination. Perhaps since we have a small beach house already, the appeal of being on the wide open sea was lost on us.

    Now that vacation is over, it’s time to reopen my Etsy shops and relist Ebay items and buckle down and save this summer. SO has his kids for the next 10 weeks for their summer vacation, and as he’s living 3 hours away now, I will not see them often. Last summer threw me for a complete loop when he and 3 kids moved in, and I went from cooking for 1 or occasionally 2, to cooking for the 5 of us, plus his sister who was visiting from overseas. It’s back to just 1, so now’s the time to really get serious about getting back on track!!

  58. As usual your photos are wonderful.
    Congratulations to your son. Eagle Scout is something to be proud of forever.
    For the most part I have been very frugal.
    I am having some health issues and we all know that can suck your money away in an instant. Even so I have been able to do a bit so save.
    I have not used my car at all this week. This saves so much money for me. I have an SUV. I only keep it because I have it paid off.
    I am testing a quilt pattern. This gets me a free pattern for my library.
    I was gifted a large basket of sewing and craft items. I threw away what was damaged or so old as to be not usable.
    I buy books from the library bookstore. They have a free book area also. I think this is an often overlooked place to get books for your own library.
    I have watched Amazon Prime and read from Prime Unlimited. I know that I pay for these, but I don’t go to the movies ever and I read a lot. Both of these things pay for themselves in my first usage a month. I live in a small town in Texas. You have to go at least 30 minutes to an hour away to buy anything.
    I was gifted a loaf of banana nut bread.
    I buy , marked down bread from the Walmart bakery. I can get a large loaf for 50 cents.
    A friend wanted me to make him a meatloaf. He bought all of the ingredients with enough for me to make one for myself for my “troubles”.
    My son sent me 2 boxes of 100 count tea. I was whining that the cost had jumped from $3.15 to over $5.00. He also sent me two boxes of Irish tea that his daughter loves.
    I bought 3 boxes of tea from Dollar General for a little over $3.00 each. They were 125 count.
    You have to be careful when you buy at DG, but sometimes you get a great deal.
    I cancelled my Terminix service. Their price has continued to go up. They are almost $100.00 a quarter.
    They no longer spray inside of your house. So they are doing half the work for more money.
    Last month the tech didn’t do a great job and I have been infested with ants. Instead of calling him back I sprayed myself.
    I had a plum tree dieback a few years ago to just a nubbin on the roots. I kept watering it and it is giving plums this year. They look like a wild plum not the big purple ones in the stores. I don’t care.
    We are harvesting whatever we can get every day and making jelly.
    There is an Almond tree that came up on its own right by the plum tree. It is loaded with almonds this year. I have no idea what to do with them.
    I am purging a lot from my house…as I run across scraps of fabric (I am a seamstress) I am making fabric pinwheels.
    I have made 3 so far and have them listed in my Etsy shop.
    I am buying school clothes for the 2 grandbabies that live here when there is a sale. I haven’t made it to the thrift shop yet, but I will. The 2 babies (10 and 13) have worn thrifted clothes all of their lives. They dress better than most of their friends.
    I accepted 3 bags of clothing from my oldest daughter. I love shopping for free.

  59. I wasn’t aware that Nancy Zieman died last year. It came as a bit of a shock to me when I read about it in a comment.

    Company is here this week. I am so very glad my niece and great nieces came so far to visit their grandma who is 95-years-young. But in my head, I had them showing up this evening, not yesterday evening. I have been procrastinating on housework because of back pain and leg stiffness bit once I knew I had to get a day and a half of prep done in less than six hours, I got extremely focused and got a lot done. Still, it is a good thing they are family. And I am now zonked. Today, we accompanied them to an inflatable waterpark in a nearby state park. The only savings was $9 by driving grandma’s car with the annual pass instead of the out-of-state rental car. They had great fun even though it seemed pricey at $15 per hour per person for the waterpark. Grandma and I didn’t have to pay as we sat in the deep shade under some pine trees on shore.

    We got a great deal on petunias during a three-hour flash sale and bought two flats, 96 plants, to brighten up the outside before our visitors showed up. We went to three greenhouses before we found affordable, beautiful tomato plants. I planted a planter box with onion sets and dragged the planter box with the sweet potatoes I started inside to the deck. A few geraniums survived the winter. I will be attempting to make more from cuttings. Silly me is trying to grow Swiss Chard again even though all my previous attempts failed with rusty leaves. I think I will try harvesting the leaves at the itty bitty stage to beat the rust. My visiting great nieces will be planting some seeds in planters and I told them that if I am able to keep their plants alive, I will send them photos of the progress of their virtual garden.

    The gifts for the guests were well-received. They had wanted some workbooks, notebooks, novelty items, and t-shirts from an out-of-the-country company. A few weeks before they were scheduled to come, the company had a great sale so nearly all of the things they wanted were greatly discounted. And zippered leather Bible covers were only $3 each before shipping (something mom and I wanted). The sale happened too close to their visit to use regular shipping. Four-business-day shipping from Ecuador was pricey, but we justified the expense by pretending that the Bible covers were $15 each including all the shipping costs and the shipping for the rest of the items were free. A quick trip to Dollar Tree for some sweets, mechanical pencils, colored pencils, drawstring backpacks to organize the stuff by giftee, and a beach bag to hold the three backpacks finished up the presents. The girls also have been expanding their scrunchie collection as mine has been shrinking. I have been able to declutter the house a tiny bit more by finding things they can get more use of than I.

    I hope you all have a peaceful week.

  60. I used a gift card that I earned through YouGov (by completing surveys) to purchase homeschool curriculum for this upcoming school year. I also sold several of my homeschool books that I no longer need on Amazon. We’ve had an expensive couple of weeks….my husband had surgery two weeks ago and my son had his wisdom teeth removed this morning. I will also be taking my oldest daughter in a couple of weeks to see her specialist for scoliosis. We have been trying to do things around the home and stay in town to run errands to save on gas. I’m hoping that July will be better regarding my family’s health.

  61. Congratulations to Ezrom on his wonderful accomplishment!
    I have been cooking every meal despite it being a time of year we often ordered take out in the past.
    I have been buying inexpensive chicken thighs and deboning/cleaning them myself which saves me a great deal over boneless skinless thighs even when they’re on sale. I save the bones and make chicken broth.
    I tracked down insurance bills to get our copays returned – we have dual coverage but the drugstore will not submit to more than one.

  62. Hi Athanasia and a good question 🙂 .

    We blanch and freeze them and chop them into slices so we can steam them for vegetables in meals and you can also cut them into chip shapes and then fry them for chips once blanched. The frozen chips you get in the shop are simply vegetables blanched and frozen and then I think they add their chemical cocktail to them dare I say it 😮 . We like to make our own chips etc as we know what is in them and can add our own seasonings and cook in our preferred oil or fat.

    The procedure is you boil them for about 25 mins until partially soft in their skins, put them in iced water for an equal amount of time, take skins off with knife, chop into your desired shape (chips or slices), dip in a mixture of 1/2 cup of lemon juice per 1.1 litre of water to stop the sweet potatoes turning brown, drain them, and then pack in meal sized portions for the freezer.

    Here is the website I go by for all my blanching and freezing of vegetables, just scroll 3/4’s of the way down for freezer instructions and click on the vegetable/fruit/berry you want to blanch and freeze – http://pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm. It also has a lot of canning and other recipes in there which are wonderful too.

    Hope this helps.


  63. Congratulations to Ezrom! Such hard work but he’ll be rewarded the rest of his life with all the knowledge he has gleaned.

    I too was unaware of Nancy Zieman’s passing. I learned so much from her shows.

  64. I’m not sure either–which was why I was looking it up in advance of needing it. I thought the price increase was due to a crop failure and thought it would go down again by now. We are retired and don’t spend a lot on little luxuries, so up until now, I have bought it. I do have my limits also.

  65. Congratulations to your son!
    This was a good week on the frugal front.
    My parents let us tag along on their camping trip. It was a huge help as they helped with my kids, took care of the food, etc. I don’t think I could have taken my kids camping alone, especially with a fussy baby. The kids had a blast on the vacation.
    Packed lunches for the swim meet to avoid buying food at the concession stand.
    I found a lot of marked down clearance items at Kroger and got the free Friday coupon downloads.
    Kids played with Legos I’ve gradually picked up at garage sales.
    Was able to pass along some baby formula samples and coupons to a friend.
    Older daughter is attending a free nature camp offered through the county this week, and she is enjoying it. She needed a plain white shirt, and I found one of mine that she can use when they tie-dye it.
    I signed my kids up for the summer reading program, and each one got a free book.
    Bought diapers on sale. We use any type, and the Kroger brand was part of their mega sale, $3.49/package. This is cheaper than Aldi (for me) and we aren’t picky. I underestimated what we’d need during the last Huggies coupon/catalina deal, so now we’re set.
    Cut both my boys’ hair. It’s basically a buzz cut, so fast and easy.
    Had to go to the bank, and I always ask if they have silver dollars or “special” coins when I’m there. So far, the tooth fairy has always been able to leave a special dollar coin, which is hopefully exciting. Sometimes when I give money as a gift (which isn’t very often), I give it in $2 bills.
    We ate simple meals using loss leaders from the grocery store.
    I pick up change that I see on the ground. Every little bit adds up!
    Frugal fail: I had planned to have a garage sale, but I am just not organized enough to go through and sort, price everything, etc. I sell some things on local facebook groups, but it’s much slower.

  66. Hi Brandy!
    What a beautiful still life photo! Where did you find the white colander?
    Thank you for all the inspiration!

  67. I planted some smaller sunflowers for picking, but I have grown big ones before and let the birds enjoy the seeds. I believe the correct method is to soak the seeds in salt water and then roast them. I may plant some big ones this year; the hard part being that because they follow the sun, they never face the house, so I never see them!

  68. My mom found the tiny white colander at a garage sale for me.

    I have a regular-sized white one as well that she bought me at Ikea. They still sell that one. It’s just under $10, I believe, which is cheaper than I have seen them anywhere else. I have used that one in other photos.

  69. Marcia, I started using imitation vanilla for the granola and keeping the real vanilla for baked goods. It’s a LOT of vanilla in the granola recipe and that is just too expensive now. Jut a few years ago I could buy a 16-ounce bottle at Sam’s Club for $6.82. Now they sell an 8-ounce bottle for $20.98. That means it’s 6 times more money! Sam’s sells 32 ounces of imitation vanilla for $4.97.

  70. I made 48 cupcakes and masses of sausage rolls but despite all the baking the heater needed to stay on. I have all the curtains drawn and doors closed with the door snakes in place as well. When I go to bed there’s bedsocks and beanies, but the electric blanket is still on. Still it is winter and the rain is welcome.

  71. If you have friends or family traveling to Mexico, ask them to bring you some vanilla. We love the Molina brand, but you do have to be careful as they have the real (natural) and the imitation as well. Buy the real one. It can be purchased in the regular grocery stores down there for very, very inexpensively–I think the last time we got it, it was less than $3 for a large bottle (about a pint). Little ones were around $1. Of course, you have to buy it in pesos, but it’s worth the mind-power to do that. There are other brands, but they don’t taste as good, in my opinion. Whenever we go down for a mission trip, or family travels on vacation, we just have whoever goes down get several bottles, and then often give them (or receive them) as Christmas gifts to each other.

    So many people around here travel to Mexico. I don’t know if that is the case in other parts of the country or not, but around here, it’s pretty easy to find someone to get us vanilla, and we get several, so we don’t need to get more for a few years.

  72. Good grief, that was some kind of a sleepless night! I’ll bet you were tired the next morning, but I’m glad you fixed it.

    I would want my toolbox back, too!

    It’s great that the homeless couple was open to working, and accepting help. Is the baby camping in the woods, too? That would be so difficult in any case:(. I’m glad you could help, and I’m sure they appreciated it.

  73. Same here- the kids left a gallon of orange juice in the trunk of my car overnight in the heat. $4.58 wasted! I hate when that happens, but now we’ll pay more attention.

  74. It’s like a real bonus when you find money in a coat pocket or an old purse – isn’t it? 🙂 $22 was a lot – I think the most I ever found was a $20 bill in the pocket of a coat that I hadn’t worn in a couple of years as it was too small. I was going to pass it along to someone but did a quick check before I sent it off – no idea why the money was there as I rarely put bills in my pockets and the coat had been to the cleaners before being put away!

  75. Your daughter’s dress is lovely – sophisticated without being risqué – she looks just beautiful.
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your husband to find a new job soon as I know having health insurance is such a big deal in the US.

  76. Hi all. I am finally having time to post after about a month.
    In the past month, we have sold a car and that $ is being used to help pay bills and put more down for house payment. Money spent was minimal, since I was gone two weeks and then my husband was gone for two weeks. I came home to an overflow of tomatoes! I froze some spaghetti sauce and made some salsa and ate lots of tomato sandwiches.
    Now that my father in law has moved in, we are working on a new budget.
    Have a great week all!

  77. Pat-I just tried to place a Zaycon order and it said the promo code expired May 31st. Maybe it was not for first time orders?


  78. For those who are OK with using the imitation extracts I was at our Kroger affiliate store today in town and I saw that the McCormick imitation extracts were being clearanced out.

  79. Thank you Lorna. I might try slicing some. We like baked sweet potato chips (slices). I normally buy a number of sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving time when they are on sale and just store in the root cellar. They last. But this would save a step getting the chips ready for the oven.

  80. We cook 5 (dry) cups of rice at a time so I can see how 2 would not give you much for leftovers. I always put a 2 cup container into the freezer, sometimes a quart. This way I have leftover rice when I need it in a bigger hurry than the 45 minutes it takes the rice to cook. Rice with butter and soy sauce is a favorite snack of my youngest.

    I think cooking smells must make it upstairs or down the hall quicker than what the person doing the cooking can smell as I have that same problem.

  81. Brandy,
    I love your photos this week, great job! Congrats to your son. I love hearing about your children’s accomplishments-we need all the positive news we can get.
    We have had several rain showers this week which really helps with watering the garden and the lawn.
    I was given a brand new pair of Clark sandals which I will use this weekend when we take our vacation. (and the rest of the summer)
    We have been eating left-overs all week from my Dad’s 80th birthday party. Nice not to have to think up a menu plan.
    We will attend a free dinner event on Friday evening which will be a nice change from the leftovers.
    I have been enjoying fresh cut roses from my garden.
    I have been suffering from allergies this week and yesterday at work my throat was so dry. I treated myself to a cola that I had been given several weeks ago as part of my birthday present.
    Today is my son’s 29th birthday. We will celebrate by having Chinese take out and then sending my parents home with the leftovers. I am trying to help my parents out by providing dinner for them a couple nights each week as they are no longer cooking for themselves (elderly and my mom is not in good health). My sister is helping provide them meals as well.
    A friend is house and dog sitting for us while we are on vacation. She will water all my plants and the garden to keep things alive while we are gone. We will only be gone 4 days but that is long enough to lose everything in hot weather.
    Thanks to everyone for making this my must read blog each week!!

  82. Congratulations to Ezrom!
    The extracts look lovely! I thought the vanilla was a super light honey at first.
    Last week’s frugal accomplishments:
    -My husband worked from home one day, which saved on gas and wear and tear on the car.
    -Read 6 library books.
    -Found a penny!
    -Used the $10 Target gift card I earned from DailyBreak to buy some pantry items.
    -Redeemed Swagbucks for $25 Paypal. All the money I earn online goes to our vacation fund. We have our 20th wedding anniversary next summer and we really want to go to New York City. We’re huge Harry Potter fans and would LOVE to see the play…but tickets are expensive! (Like, minimum $340 for the two of us to see both halves of the play. They have tickets available thru May 2019 but we’d be going in July.)
    -Bought Father’s Day cards and two other cards at CVS using a 25% off purchase coupon, along with a $3 off 3 cards coupon, and a $5 ECBs I got from doing an email survey. $11.08 with tax for 5 cards OOP with tax.
    -We went out to dinner after voting, but went on Pizza Rev’s cheap(er) pizza day (Tuesdays.) Took home the extra paper napkins, which I like to have on hand for drips/small spills.
    -Got a free 1 dozen eggs from a Catalina and a Free Friday Teddy’s brand root beer at SaveMart. My husbad and I shared the root beer while we watched the Tony Awards.
    Have a great week, everyone!

  83. kgs- I am SO sorry! I was told by zaycon that it was good through June 30th, but when I had my son try it on his account, it said that it expired May 31! So very sorry!
    Try the promo code FALLFRESH. That is suppose to be same 99 cent/ pound price. Let me know if it you have any more trouble with it!

  84. Congrats to you and your husband! We know the work it takes a family to achieve Eagle.

    I have been very frugal this past week…especially with with avoiding stores. Not that I have not bought necessary items, but have avoided unnecessary expenses. I am in full force on the losing weight (yet again) and it is helpful to stay out of stores.

    I did finally admit defeat and sent a number of items to the thrift shop. It’s so good to decrease clutter. God is so good to us and I am thankful to have excess. But, if we won’t use something than there might be someone who can.

    Found a few cents, procured a free small watermelon, received a gift of some fermented cabbage, found some useful books on the give away table at work, found a couple of my favorite clothing items in a bin I was sorting (!), took out a couple library books instead of buying some, getting the brake work done on our Keep at a local garage to keep our economy going, my husband went to Free Food Friday to stock up on some perishables and keep them from the trash, bought my inlaws their Christmas present from the thrift shop for half off (12.50!!) and transplanted current bushes, more Ragusa Rosa, mint and perennials.

    I keep reminding myself to focus on less (especially eating less and buying less) and no spending. Keeping on keeping on.

    Happy frugal-ing!

  85. Our daughter and son-in-law came to stay for a week. I bought/made all her favorites ahead and put them in the freezer. I found cheese bagels on sale for $.99/ 6pk. My daughter loves them but the 6 pack usually runs around $3.49, so I bought 2 packs, sliced them and put them in the freezer. I got the cream cheese for less than a $1/ pkg by combining coupons and sales. She is really the only one who eats cream cheese so I don’t usually have it. I pulled 2 huge pork roasts out of the freezer that I bought at $.99/ lb. I turned one into carnitas and one into kalua pork, both went into the freezer. Each made enough for 2 meals for the 8 of us. We decided our one big splurge while the kids were home would be to go to the movies together. One of our other daughters works at the theater so she got a free ticket for herself and one for a guest, we used 2 movie passes that were a gift and we went on the least expensive day so the remaining 4 tickets were $6.50 instead of $13 each. It was over 100 degrees several days that they were here & we don’t have AC so we packed a lunch and went to the beach on those days. Because we packed all our food the only cost was gas and sunscreen. I found 2 mylar emergency blankets on the clearance rack at the grocery store. This made them $.75 each. I put them in my drawer for Christmas stockings. We attended a choir party & were asked to bring something to share. We cut up a huge watermelon that cost $4.99. 1/2 the melon filled my largest bowl so the other half remained at home. The hostess sent home a meal worth of baby back ribs and several servings of grilled salmon. It was delicious 🙂 A friend dropped off some leftovers from a campout. A dozen hot dog buns, a dozen burger buns and 2 heads of lettuce. When my husband came home from the same campout he had a 2 costco size jars of nutella. At the campout 2 jars were opened and knives placed in both. One was used about 1/2 way and the other was untouched except where the knife was stuck in. The person who brought them declared taking them home “too disgusting.” So hubby volunteered to take care of it 🙂 My kids are thrilled. They love it on toast, bananas, pretzels, graham crackers (more campout leftovers) almost anything. I got 2 huge broccoli crowns in my imperfect produce box. When I divided up the florets they made 3 meal size packages. Then I peeled the stems and cut into strips for stir-fry. I made this stir-fry with cabbage, broccoli stems, carrots, onions & ground turkey https://www.budgetbytes.com/beef-cabbage-stir-fry/ The family inhaled it all 🙂 I got a great deal on bacon (of all things) It is the healthier kind (no nitrates, uncured, no preservatives) and the usual price is $7.99/12oz. If you bought 4 or more the price came down to $3.99/12oz and then each one had a 50% off sticker because the expiration date was approaching. There were also several online coupons to add on. When all was said & done the packages came out to $1/12oz I bought all the packages. I cooked several in the oven for the kids to make sandwiches for lunches. I bought a 40lb box of boneless skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon. There was a coupon that made it $.99/ lb and I had a $5 referral credit so the box was $34.60. It will arrive in September, so I will watch for a great sale on freezer bags and look for inexpensive recipes. I also need to make room in the freezer; that will give me incentive to use what is in there instead of buying at the grocery store.

    Friday starts our Summer craziness. Friday is youngest daughter’s pre-camp campout. They are going Surfing. Monday is the beginning of Zion’s camp for hubby & son. The following Monday is daughter’s YW camp. The following Monday is EFY in Santa Barbara. We also have a week of beach camping for everyone except hubby and hubby & son are going on a 50 miler in Yosemite. Maybe by August I’ll be able to catch my breath. I also have to plan the homeschool year for the last two kids.

    We started a construction project in our backyard. Because of the affordable housing crisis in our area, the city has loosened up on laws regarding ADUs, also known as granny units or casitas. Our 20 year old daughter has major health issues that mean she might not ever be able to live alone. We want her to be as independent as possible so we are building her a tiny house. So far it is a square foundation hole, dug by husband and son. Should be interesting 😀

    A long time friend is moving her family this summer to another state. They had planned on a kitchen upgrade and had bought all new cabinets, a new sink, oven and microwave. They can’t return it, don’t want to sell it or move it, so they said if we had a place to store it all we could take it. I have an entire kitchen worth of stuff in my garage. It is like a maze in there now and getting to the food pantry is an adventure. Kitchen renovation was not on our horizon, but we couldn’t say no.

    The other upside is the garage clean out to make room for the kitchen unearthed several bins of high school curriculum that didn’t work for my previous high school graduate who has dyslexia, but should work for her sister next year, and I had forgotten it was there at all, so that is fewer things to purchase, including a $300 chemistry set gifted by the grandparents that didn’t get used because the previous high schooler took chemistry at the local CC.

    I love to participate in the frugal accomplishments because writing it all down makes me realize how blessed I am even though sometimes my budget feels uncomfortable tight. Thank you for the forum

  86. I do, too. I grew up singing it in church, and still love it even though it’s not used as much in the church we are attending right now.

  87. Thank you. To be perfectly honest, I like it so much better than the one she and her sister bought, so I was super happy that we both agreed on that dress because it was so pretty and appropriate! And, we will always have the pictures so the dress will last forever:)

  88. I make vanilla extract with vanilla beans split in a large container with (cheap) brandy. That container becomes my main infusion source, and I pour the result after a few months into smaller containers to use for cooking and gifts. I always put a new vanilla bean in the smaller container to continue strengthening the extract, and because it looks special when you use the smaller bottles as gifts. The trick, of course, is finding reasonably priced vanilla beans. I am convinced that the brandy (usually Christian Brothers) makes a much richer extract then the flavorless vodka.

  89. Check printing cards at Sam’s. I think you get 100 cards for $25 and that includes foil lined envelopes. my friend does that every year. I print 4×6 pictures for Dirt cheap at Walgreens (last year they had a Penney a Print special) and tape inside cards i bought for 90% off the previous after-Christmas or at thrift stores. I know so many people who no longer do cards due to price of postage but I love sending and receiving them.

  90. I have 2 bottles of homemade vanilla on the go, and have had for years. I use one while the other ‘ages’. Once the one I’m using is about 2/3 empty, I refill it with vodka, put it in the back of the cupboard, and bring the other bottle forward

  91. I bought Madagascar beans off Amazon. I have done mixtures in Vodka and some in Rum, which is slightly sweeter. I bought amber colored bottles off Amazon and packaged as gifts. They make great hostess gifts with a towel or other item.

  92. Hi Brandy, after you are done soaking your beans for extract put them in a jar of sugar and let that sit for a few weeks for vanilla sugar. It’s a way of getting a little extra vanilla flavour out of some very expensive beans.

  93. I remember back when real food was not so expensive. Real Chocolate, Real Vanilla , Real Butter. It is so sad most kids now don’t even know what things are supposed to taste like.

    I eat such a plain diet anymore it does not matter to me . Apples and Oats for Breakfast , Apples and Tuna at lunch or Chicken, Chicken and veggie or fruit at dinner. Sometimes I eat Oats again or Soup for lunch or dinner.
    These are the few things that don’t seem to bother my stomach and even the fruit I often have to skip . Like the last two nights we had pineapple and I had one tiny cube. I love pineapple but it was not loving me yesterday and the day before. If I have stomach issues I will eat plain chicken and plain whole grain toast. Nothing on either. Very boring diet.
    Very very cheap too!

  94. Rhoda how exciting. We have been saving also to go to Europe. We found a great deal at Costco. We are going to London, Paris and Rome. Never been to Europe. It is a little daunting watching the You Tube travel videos. LOL

  95. FallFresh worked. Thanks so much. My order is place for Oct delivery. Hopefully your credit points will show up in your acct soon.

  96. I love the photo of your son! He has certainly worked very hard and aquired so many useful skills. You must be very proud of him 🙂


  97. Another reason they ask for a social security number is so they can send you to a collection agency if you don’t pay your bill.

  98. I agree — I rarely check Instagram. Brandi, please cover this on the blog! (It would make for a nice quickie post right now, when your time is taken up with your darling baby.)

  99. Jules, you can view instagram accounts without having one of your own (unless they have set it up as a private account). You just can’t comment on the posts. The same goes for Facebook.

  100. I’ve been to London and Rome. We did London in 4 hours (long story), so I’d love to go back and really explore it more. However, we spend 10 days in Rome and really saw just about everything there was to see. Although pretty much everything we saw was amazing, I would highly recommend taking a tour of a catacomb (where they buried people…can’t even start to explain how interesting that was) which I’ve heard they also have in Paris, and if you have time, book a side trip from Rome to Pompeii (there are bus day trips you can book that will take you to the site). Pompeii, to this day, is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! Definitely worth making time to fit this into your trip…you will not regret it!

  101. So glad! I felt horrible that the other code expired! 99 cents a pound for any meat these days is good, but for boneless, skinless chicken breast where it’s high protein and no wasted weight from bones or skin that you end up paying for, I am happy to restock my freezer ! So many people have a different mindset though- “40 pounds? What would I do with 40 pounds.” (Even though we are only 3 left at home, I’m happy to not have to make weekly runs to store to buy a couple pounds at a time! Plus, because they are divided within the box into 4 ten pound bags, if you really didn’t have space or money to buy 40 pounds, you could always split it up easily with 1-3 friends and each get 10 pounds!)
    I always remember years ago, when coupons were doubled with no limits, that our local Meijer’s had Prego spaghetti sauce on sale and with a coupon, it made it 29 cents a jar. After I used my coupons, I discovered that under the label there was another coupon that would do the same 29 cent cost!
    I went out to my car and took out my car key and carefully cut off the part of label that had coupon on the back and went back into the store and bought more for myself and 2 daughters who worked and a friend with little ones that wouldn’t be able to get to the store in time!
    On my last trip into store, I still had about 5 coupons left that I really didn’t need and I offered them to a lady who was putting a jar into her cart. She thanked me for 1 coupon and said she would use it when Prego wasn’t on sale, but declined the other 4 coupons because she only “needed” one jar to use for dinner that night! What??? Many people don’t understand the concept of having a pantry at home so they can get to the point of only buying when those items are at their lowest price!
    The “pantry principle” has served me well over the years of raising our 11 children!! Lol!,

  102. I also use Mrs. Wages pickle mix and have for years. It is a fairly simple process and you don’t have to worry about measuring out lime.

  103. We don’t do Instagram and Facebook as it is against what our Church we attend has decided is acceptable for social media. I have mentioned this before. Along with the Twitter and everything else. We read blogs if we have judged them to be inline/acceptable with Church teachings. Brandy’s blog is now being read by 2 other ladies I know.

  104. Don’t have much time to write though I did try to read everyone’s posts to look for new hints, etc.

    Congratulations to Ezrom on earning the award. My husband and I took our delayed anniversary trip last week and drove SE in the state. We came across a covered bridge (walkable only now) that had a pathway with railings leading on and off and marked with sign saying it (the path/railings) was an Eagle scout project. Will you be sharing what Ezrom did for his? I do like it when you have lots of pictures.

    We went to Old World Wisconsin on our trip (a living history museum similar to what Rhonda works at in Canada). I have not been there since the children were younger but have been reading a mystery series written by a former employee of the museum and the stories are placed there. So I wanted to resee the sights. Then we went to Milwaukee to visit some of my father’s relatives and stayed overnight with an aunt and uncle. The next day we shopped at a natural foods coop and were able to use our coop card there in reciprocity. Bought bulk items. Stopped by the University where a friend of mine works and she met us on her break and we had iced coffees in the cafe. Then we drove north up along the lake. We watched the car ferry loading and leaving for Michigan. We stopped at waysides and parks and little towns. We had packed a cooler with snacks and beverages. It was a nice two days.

  105. I love London! Be aware that a lot of museums and galleries are free so be sure to take advantage. And a lot of those places have wonderful restaurants which were quite reasonable for lunches – we then bought sandwiches, yogurt etc. to eat for dinner back at the hotel (and supermarkets there mark that day’s items down a LOT at the end of the day). London is expensive but there is a lot that you can do for free or quite low cost.

  106. I understand and respect if the choice to not use social media is part of your religious beliefs, Athanasia. Brandy’s Instagram account is filled with the same pictures you see featured every week on this blog. Nothing offensive. I don’t have, nor do I care to have, my own instagram, twitter or facebook account, but still enjoy checking out some things others have posted on occasion. Some people may not be aware they can do this.

  107. Thank you for all the great ideas! They all sound really good, especially replacing the vanilla in some baked goods with the orange flavouring. Now I’m thinking I should try making some orange extract for myself.

  108. I love the Eagle Scout invitations! I will have to show my Webelos scout! 🙂

    This weekend I am trying to get back on track after a huge derailment personally. I am off work for the next week so hope that I can take good advantage of the time.

    Last night we went to scout night at the symphony. We had purchased adult tickets but scouts in uniform were free with donation to a food pantry. They gave us free entry for all of us, so we’ll be able to have a date night later this season, already paid.

    Working on a menu plan. Goal is to use up freezer items. Made bbq pulled chicken in the crockpot last night and peach breakfast cobbler this a.m.

    Carpooling with the kids for camp this week. Kids eat meals there so that is covered.

    Doing a lot of shredding as I’m going through the paper clutter. (My goal is to shred an entire box, not including what can be safely recycled at our church collection point.) Blank envelopes are getting re-used.

  109. I would like an explanation of extracts as well as how and when to harvest chamomile. I enjoy learning from you. We are experiencing a drought in the Midwest and are using your hint of collecting the ‘warm up’ water in the shower. It is absolutely shocking how much goes down the drain. Thank you so much for that tip. Congratulations to your Eagle Scout and on the birth of your latest bundle of joy.

  110. We finally had rain. My single mum gardener had just planted my planter box with veggies. Good timing! My friend who grows beautiful tomato plants told me she’ll sell them to me at a discount. I went to the rock garden society where I won two raffle prizes. I had hoped for the gift certificate to a greenhouse but was one number off for that prize. I won two beautiful plants: one an expensive Martagon lily; the other was immediately snagged by my friend who gave me a ride.
    She is going to give me a lot of the perennials that she wants to thin out.

    I bought chicken legs with the thighs attached for $1.50. A great dinner protein choice. Not a lot of leftovers but no waste. I’m still enjoying the asparagus from the market. And spinach. I am thankful that, in spite of budgetary tight constraints, I have so much. I saw the wild orchids in bloom. Happiness is… what more does one need, really???

  111. I have never heard of Aliexpress but the prices looked really reasonable. Have you used them before or was that your first order?

  112. Thanks Rhonda. Our church has a school associated with it. It used to pretty much be mostly our own church families. We expanded over the years a grade at a time up through 12th grade. We started getting enrollments from non church members, many of whom were coming in with cell phones, smart phones and tablets. The elders decided we needed to set parameters for the use of technology. We had a very small computer lab at the time and so enlarged that. Computer usage at school is strictly monitored and the families sign a statement as to following technology usage (equal and acceptable to what the church families follow) when they are not in the school. Obviously we have no way to know what is being followed, other than trusting. But the church as a whole felt they also should follow these guidelines.

    I am fine with this. There are things we used to do 4 years ago and no longer do, what most people actually consider acceptable, like (most) current TV shows and movies in the theaters. We also added a dress code , again which there is no way to enforce outside of school, but the new children could reflect poorly on our witness, which is a worry, so we try.

  113. Krissy, If you make it to NY check out the ferry from Battery Park. Tickets are very reasonable, and the ferry runs between battery park, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty- both of which are free! They run every 30 or 45 minutes, so you can get off, take one of the tours, wander around, then hop on to the next stop. Also, check out the half price box office in Times Square. Each day around 2PM, they sell the unsold tickets for that evenings shows for 1/2 price! You may not get your first choice of a show, and the tickets may not be next to each other- but it’s Broadway for 1/2 price! While standing in line for the tickets, we got a coupon for one of the best meals I ate in the city- it was a French place, and you got a glass of wine, a choice of 3 entrees and a couple for desserts for one price. Also, beware-m there is no such thing as a “bottomless” cup of coffee in New York. You order a cup, you get one cup, no refills. We got a hotel that included a coffee pot and made our own, lol.

  114. Between the 2 of us, we had 4 doctor appts last week–the 4th was postponed at the last minute. We will have more coming up shortly but we are getting some answers. My husband was tested and definitely has dementia. There was a written test of little tasks, and he got 14/30. Passing is 24/30. I have suspected this for some time–at first it was hard to decide if it was his hearing or his comprhension, but later it became clear he simply can’t remember short term stuff any more. The doctor offered lots of suggestions and help. They have a social worker and a counselor we or I can see for ideas on how to cope with everything. I’m already pressed a bit–some of the small jobs my husband has been doing are no longer possible–he sets the table for dinner, and was putting away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. He is unable to remember where everything goes so I have been doing the dishwasher. Tonight we had mashed potatoes and I couldn’t find the potato masher. I handed him the small electric mixer and he did the mashing with that. It’s quite exciting having to improvise. One day he locked the garage keys inside the garage–had to file a hold in the lock apparatus to get in. I have confiscated the extra keys a number of times already. I wander through and see what I can find on his workbench that isn’t supposed to be there. If we can keep our sense of humor, it all works out, but sometimes I do get frustrated. I know it’s not his fault, but sometimes it’s not convenient to have to stop and look for things that have disappeared. The worst problem is going to be the issue of driving. Cars have been his hobby for the last 30+ years—he has two show cars and a daily driver. The doctor says he is not safe to be driving at all. There is a facility that will test him so that the “news” can come from a neutral third party (not me.) It will leave a huge hole in his life—we have always done road trips for vacations–even to Alaska when we went. We do car shows and car club get togethers for social events. Our yard is a mess–he hates gardening and I have to supervise anything he does there but I need his strength to get the job done. We have worked at it when we can but we’re OLD! Our work periods are pretty short. I just have to make some decision on what I can still do and what I’m going to have to do without. Vegetable garden may be “out.” Flowers I have to have! Luckily I have put quite a few perennials in over the past several years.

    Both my daughter and son in law are disabled themselves, although my daughter is able to do some help. For Father’s Day we put our heads together and made a nice lunch here and gave him gifts. We each did half and it worked out well–we had hot meatball sandwiches with sauce and cheese, and then strawberry shortcakes for dessert. These were made with ground turkey, as our granddaughter does not eat red meat. They tasted fine because I added lots of spices to the meatballs!

    I am able to drive without any problems, although I am not so sure about longer trips. I haven’t gone anywhere alone that was more than 4 hours away. We’ll either take shorter trips or maybe bus trips as long as he is still able to. It’s a matter of changing some of the ideas we’ve had and thinking of other ways to do things. It will take some adjusting–but I do have a social worker and a counselor to consult through the hospital neurology clinic, which I expect to take advantage of. We’ve been so busy with doctors but managed to still cook dinners most nights. Our friends are back from Arizona for the summer so we have gone to dinner with them once, and another day for lunch. We don’t mind spending for that because they spend from about Christmas until April or early May in Arizona–and we don’t go out to eat as often when the weather is bad.

    Not asking for sympathy here, as we do have limitations as we get older, but we do have to make some mind adjustments–especially me! I’m going to have to be as patient as possible–never a strength for me! I know it’s not his fault and he’s not being difficult so we do try to laugh it off as much as we can. I forget stuff too–just not quite as much! Any ideas will be welcomed. I have already started cooking even more and eating out less, as he is less eager to go out these days. I am trying to do it without complaint. I am also looking at frozen foods as a possible replacement for “going out” I have almost no experience with them, so if you like a particular brand or flavor, please let me know. Right now I can run out for sub sandwiches once in a while, and I make pizza at home anyhow. Thinking of ways to make easy meals so that I don’t get frustrated without my nights out once in a while.

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