Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments for the End of August

I harvested red noodle beans, Armenian cucumbers, Asian pears, and Bartlett Pears from the garden.

I read an e-book from the library: The Alice Network, a historical fiction piece about female spies in WWI.

I needed more garbage bags for the kitchen trash. I went to the store, where everything had been repackaged into smaller sizes. I took out my phone and used the calculator to determine the price per bag of the different store-brand options to make sure what I thought would be the least expensive was actually the least expensive. It was a good lesson for my son, who was with me. He pointed out how we were literally throwing money in the trash by buying garbage bags. (I buy the self-tie Up and Up brand 13-gallon trash bags from Target, for those who were wondering. They come out at 12 cents each. My trash can is a 5-gallon bucket under the kitchen sink).

We gave two sons a haircut.

Winter told me that she bought herself two pairs of winter boots from Ebay for less than $15 a pair, brand-new! She’ll be well-set to keep warm this winter.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. This week has been a whirlwind. I took a friend, who was recently widowed, to the hospital on Monday morning at 5 AM for some cancer surgery and to put in an ileostomy bag afterwards! She was going to drive herself to the hospital so she would bother anyone! I was grateful for the opportunity to serve and we had a wonderful visit!

    We picked up a few more van loads of paver bricks that our friends are giving us and will start using those this coming week!

    We took other landscaping bricks we had and spent several hours on Saturday digging out the area for them and started to lay them into place. We had started before, but took those out because they weren’t set in correctly. Here’s a photo of what we got done. https://pin.it/jkifgnvxjqwgwa

    We sold the extra bathtub that we bought 18 months ago. Our daughter works for a big plumbing supply company and has a company discount. 18 months ago, hubby bought 2 deeply discounted tubs to remodel the final 2 bathrooms in the house (first 2 are already done). Well, we put in one of the tubs in our 3rd floor remodel but we changed our minds about the second one, deciding that we would instead put in a big walk-in shower only when we renovate that 4th bathroom. Turns out it was a neighbor, literally around the corner and she was thrilled! We used the money to make 2 additional principal payments on our mortgage! That makes 9 principal payments in the past 2 months! Since it is our final debt, we are hoping that we can pay that off in the next 2-3 years! Only $38K left to go!!

    I was able to pressure can 15 pints of beef chunks over the weekend to rotate on to my pantry shelves. It’s a way I can diversify my food storage so that in case of power outage or to make more space in my freezer, I still have shelf stable option! https://pin.it/5ucrsr5upj3sa2

    I realized that in the month of August, even though SS shorted my check by $800. (Long story), we had a car repair of over $300, paid our health insurance deductible for hubby for the year of $185, donated $100 to our grandson’s band fundraiser and paid $400 in Rx costs, we still did not dip into savings and ended August with $151 to divide up- half to savings, half to paying down mortgage! We feel like we have been watched over and abundantly blessed!
    I found BL pork loin halves for $1.49/pound so I bought 4 and had butcher cut into 4 roasts and the rest 1” pork chops. Haven’t seen the BL pork down this low for a while! Saved $40 over their normal price!

    A friend asked if we would be interested in a free upright freezer. One of her friends is moving and doesn’t want to take it along to her new place. We had to wait until Labor Day Monday because she had been using it until a day or so before that. So we know it is working fine. We were given measurements and have made space for it to go where our chest freezer currently resides. An upright will make it easier to access our frozen foods. We already have a large upright in the basement. This one would be in our laundry room next to the kitchen and would keep freezer meals and precooked ground beef and chicken for easy meal prep! The generous lady giving it to us still had about 15 pounds of frozen chicken and 2 racks of pork baby back ribs that she gave us too! We decided to give our chest freezer to our schoolteacher daughter who has 3 teenagers and lives in a small apartment. Even though she has never had more than the little freezer compartment of her fridge, she has always made freezer meals and precooked meats and packaged them in meal portions for 26 years! She was in tears when I told her!

    After lots of researching and calling and waiting for promotions, we finally can switch our internet only subscription to another company to save money! We only wanted internet- no other services to bundle because we don’t want them! Our internet provider had been increasing over the years and was currently $65.99/month just for internet!! We did not have a contract with them but they would not negotiate a better price for us! So we found a company that we have a 2 year contract with. Year 1- $24.99/month and year 2- $42.99/ month. After year 2 (which is still $23/month less than we are currently paying), we will again play the game of changing companies unless they can stay at that rate or better. The first year savings will be $492 and even the second year at their higher rate will be an annual savings of $276! That’s money we can halve into savings and mortgage prepayment!! Little bits….

    1. Pat, what dishes do you make with your canned beef? I have both canned beef and venison and am looking for ideas to use them. Thanks. Also, I really enjoy your posts.

      1. I use them in chimichangas, quick beef stew, chili, any recipe that calls for beef chunks or stew meat actually, because it lets me “skip ahead” on the recipe to make something so much faster! It’s the same reason that when I buy ground beef, I will precook a lot of it and parcel it out into ziploc bags in 2 cup portions and then freeze them. Any time I have a recipe that calls for 1 pound of ground beef (just not meat loaf! Lol!) , I can add the precooked ground beef to save time! I am basically lazy AND cheap, but I really don’t want to give up convenience!!! Lol!!

    1. Here we have a wheeling trashcan for the city to pick up. we don’t use garbage bags, we just dump the things that can’t be recycled or composted into the large bin. Because we have a separate compost bin in our kitchen, and take the recycling to the curb, our small trash bin in the kitchen does not get wet and disgusting. Would it be possible for you all to stop using trash bags?

      1. Unfortunately, no. We are technically supposed to bag everything, but we only bag the kitchen trash. I don’t bag the bathroom trashes or the yard waste. I don’t compost except for occasional trench composting in the garden, as everything here blows away, molds, or just dries out and then blows all over the yard (within a day). We often wash our kitchen trash can as it gets disgusting inside even though we use bags. There are things you can’t compost, like bones and grease from cooking.

        1. Brandy, have you ever looked into starting a worm composting or vermicompost system? Not sure if this would work for your situation or not. I don’t have any experience with one, but definitely have heard of them. It might be a way to add free compost to your gardens, and decrease the amount of garbage your household produces. Both will save you money in the long run!

          1. I took a local class on vermicomposting. They said because of our extreme heat here, the worms have to be kept in the house They said the garage is too hot. We ruled it out at that point because there is no where inside to put it.

        2. With luck, Brandy, you’ll find an enclosed compost bin at a yard sale! That would seem to solve your weather problem. here, we have to keep ours covered in the summer to stop all the nurtients from washing away in the rain, but I make much more than would hold in a typical enclosed unit.
          I have heard that some people do compost meat and bones, but we don’t eat those so I can’t say.

          1. I tried the trash can method. It couldn’t be turned easily with a pitch fork, and with our extreme heat, it would just dry out on the top and mold on the inside. After trying several methods over the years, the only one I use now is trench composting, where you dig a spot in the garden and bury things. I find this the easiest method, and the worms eat things like banana peels and strawberry tops right away.

          2. Brandi/Cara, I too tried trench composting, keeping kitchen scraps, but even though I dug it quite deep (I thought) the next morning it was totally destroyed with egg shells left ….. raccoons are the little thieves!! so that is out for me. ann lee

        3. I have never bought kitchen trash bags. We have a 15″ x 9″ small plastic trash can under the sink. We use the standard plastic bags from the grocery store, Walmart, Dollar store, etc. They fit perfectly over the rim and are free. If we run out of our own bags from bringing home purchases, I simply grab a bunch from the plastic bag recycle container at the front of most stores. We use 3 bags on top of each other to prevent anything from leaking into the can, which stays clean. We also use junk mail or old magazines in the bottom of the bags to prevent leaks. We collect these and stack them vertically under the sink for a ready supply. I do have to empty the trash a couple times a day, but it keeps the kitchen from smelling from an overflowing trash can. When the bag gets 3/4 full, I simply pull out the top bag with the trash in it, tie the handles together and dispose of it. Then I put another clean bag in the can, over the other 2 bags, drop in a magazine or junk mail on the bottom and I’m set.

          1. We empty our 5-gallon bucket three times a day. I’m afraid a small trash can wouldn’t work for our size family! I use reusable bags at the store most of the time. I know some people use store bags in bathroom trashes, but we would literally have to empty the trash can 10 times a day if I used that. As it is, the bathroom trashes need to get emptied twice a day alone.

    2. Don’t quite know where to place my comment, as format has changed. Someone may be able to use my info on trash bags. I spend zero cents by using recycled bags from self defense studios. They order tons of uniforms, sparring gears and helmets that come in very durable, clear plastic bags with a small logo on the front. Typical size is 26 inches wide by 40 inches long. I cut sone short, and they fit over my kitchen trash can perfectly. I just tie the top into a knot when disposing. Have not had any leaks so far. If interested, just go to your neighborhood self defense studio and talk to the person in charge of inventory. They are looking for ways to recycle all this plastic. I fold them lengthwise first to remove all the air. Neatly folded bags take up minimum space. The bags are also very clean, so I use them to transport clothing on hangers.
      Have a good day and good week, everyone!

  2. FRUGAL
    * Harvested figs and apples from the garden
    * Started a green-tomato lactoferment with green tomatoes my toddler helpfully picked
    * Walked to pick up our van from the mechanic shop
    * Foraged some purslane and mint runners from a corporate planter bed
    * My 9yo made chocolate-chip cookies almost independently; it was a good chance to discuss fractions!
    * Cloth diapering and line drying
    * Saved $20 on an afterschool program for my son by registering early
    * Breakfast made at home was coffee, overnight oatmeal and a pre-made breakfast sandwich defrosted overnight
    * We removed a cabinet from our kitchen and I’m able to repurpose it as a potting table in the yard.
    * Ate leftovers for dinner
    * I returned a defective product to Amazon for $150. It’s the first time I’ve had an issue with either Amazon Basics brand or an Amazon Warehouse deal.
    * Line drying, cloth diapering
    * Sold two vintage books we were given but don’t have a use for. The $18 will be used for other expenses.
    * Went to a free dance exercise class to support a friend who’s studying to be a teacher
    * Used a handkerchief instead of buying tissue
    * To save energy, turned off the router and turned off the thermostat before we left on a Labor Day overnight trip
    * Saved the unused salt packets from a road-trip stop at In N Out Burger; salt is cheap but they’re handy for packed lunches.

  3. Your pears are gorgeous!

    My daughter started full-time kindergarten, and on her first full day, I cleaned out a little over half the garage. It *seriously* needed it, having never been cleaned since we moved in 4.5 years ago (in the middle of winter, right after an awful snowstorm, so you know the movers just threw stuff in and ran!). My freezer was in the back of the garage and I fell trying to get out there last winter, so I promised myself that as soon as I had some alone time, I’d tackle the project, and I did! I have a fabulous clear path to my freezer (which I organized, which will save us money!), and I already found some tools that my husband had misplaced, which saved the cost of needing to buy a new one. Huge win right there!

    I’m getting my exercise in doing all the organizing projects I have time for now, plus walking my daughter to school and back. I baked a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for lunches, then made a batch of pumpkin muffins and froze the rest of the pumpkin. I had some peaches that were going soft, so I tossed them in the blender and froze cubes of the blended peaches for my daughter’s yogurt. I attended a play at my son’s school with my son- total cost to get in was $6, and it was well worth it! I also cleaned out my nightstand and found some old birthday cards from my mother, containing a restaurant gift card and over a hundred dollars in cash, so that was a nice find!!!

    I saved the most money by staying home most of the week and working on things around the house. The only day I went out was on my grocery shopping day. We did have a small problem with our car, but fortunately it turned out to just be the battery, and we got incredibly lucky when the place the car decided it didn’t want to start was a Walmart parking lot. Husband ran inside and got a new battery and replaced it and we were on our way! It was an unexpected expense for sure, but considering that it could have been something much more expensive, we’re not complaining too much. 🙂

    Have a great frugal week, everyone! 🙂

  4. Such an awesome photo of your son in the sunset! I’d like to ask a question. I know there are several on this site who live in or travel to Europe. We’re traveling to Germany later this year, and trying to figure out the best mode of transportation… train, bus or rental car. Initial prices we’re finding for train travel are quite expensive, which we weren’t expecting. We’ll be based in Frankfurt, and take day trips from there. I’m also open to suggestions of good things to see and do there.
    We harvested pears here as well, all that we could reach with the picker, and ended up with two 5 gal. buckets. I’ve made one batch of pear preserves so far. Also harvesting cucumbers, tromboncino squash, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, lima beans, and hazelnuts. I’m using lots of homegrown veggies in our meals, and making yogurt and hummingbird food. The dogs were bathed with homemade soap, and ears cleaned with diluted vinegar, per the vets instruction. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2019/09/happy-pollinators-frugal-accomplishments.html

    1. When we went to Europe, we bought a Eurail pass for travel between cities/countries and used public transportation or “hop on, hop off” tour buses within the cities to get around. I cannot speak or read the language, which makes driving very complicated (not to mention they use different signage for things like yields, and such in Europe). I’d much rather travel by train or bus, than try to interpret the signs while driving in a foreign country. It’s much easier to ask someone who speaks English for help with bus or train travel.
      As for things to see/do, we visited Berlin, Germany. We went to a medical history museum which was very interesting (but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea). We also saw the remains of the Berlin wall, and the Brandenburg Gate. My favourite and most memorable thing, however, was visiting the Berlin Holocaust Memorial. It doesn’t look like much when you see pictures, but made a huge impact on me when I walked through it. We were only there for 1 day, so I know for a fact there is far more we could have done, had we been there longer.
      What helped me the most, when planing our trip, was to go on Pinterest and search things to do in the different cities or countries we planned to visit. There are tons of travel blogs that give reviews about many attractions. From those descriptions, we could narrow down our “must see” list, as well as the “if we have time” list. Everyone has different interests. But reading about the various things to see and do helped us choose what was of most interest to us before we even went. I may not have seen everything, but I did see the things I really wanted to see! I also suggest reading some of the “foods to try” blog posts for Germany as well. They tell you what the German names are for different dishes and what it is. Some cities even have specialty dishes that travel blogs highly suggest trying. It was also helpful info to know before we went as well. Oh, and you definitely need to try authentic German schnitzel…it was so good!!! Hope this helps!

      1. My sister just returned from exactly what you describe-they were based in Frankfurt and day tripped out. They bought Hessen tickets which allowed up to 5 people to travel together for the day within Hess state( also included local transport in the city/towns I believe). If you are going out of that state there are also other day/weekly passes you can buy at the train station. They enjoyed visiting Mainz and Limburg-they focused on smaller places as they previously lived in Germany for 2 years-there are lots of nice day trips from Frankfurt.

      2. Thank you, Rhonda! I love the Pinterest idea. Never would have thought of that. I should have mentioned that my husband spent a few years in Germany in the military, and drove there, as well as in Italy for our honeymoon. I would never attempt it, but he’s the one that suggested it for Germany, after finding out rail passes were something like $47 per day.

      3. Hi Laurie,
        I am not sure where I read this, but 2nd class train tickets are much cheaper than 1st class train tickets. The difference between the classes is supposedly not that big.
        Check out Frommers.com and Rick Steves for sights to visit. Both have wonderful, inexpensive suggestions.

      4. Rick Steves has a free app that you have to download to your phone before you leave. You can get free tour guide of popular sites that you can listen to with ear buds. We were in Italy this May and used his app for several sites. Check it out.

    2. 2 years ago, I went with Girl Scouts to Europe. We went to Munich and saw the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, which was great fun! You can also buy Birkenstock shoes there for half the US rate, even when factoring in the exchange rate. We also toured the BMW museum. We loved Munich.

      Please note that in Europe, there are two types of water – sparkling (with gas) and natural (flat).

      Enjoy! And really try the local food. Twas delicious!

    3. Laurie – I lived in Europe for over a decade, and I have also spent time in Frankfurt. Germany has great public transportation, so I wouldn’t rent a car (gas is very expensive compared to the US, and as Rhonda mentioned, driving could be challenging). I have always taken the train, but buses may be less expensive. I personally find trains easier to use if I don’t speak the local language (I can read a train timetable and map in any language). But there are probably bus package tours to other cities, which tend to be cheaper. If you do take the train, bear in mind that Germany has some faster/express trains (compared to local slower routes) that may have a different price class (or at least this used to be the case).
      As for side trips from Frankfurt, my number one tip would be Prague in the Czech Republic. Gorgeous city, so much history. I have traveled a fair amount, lived in Paris and Amsterdam, and I’d still pick Prague as one of my favorite places ever.
      Good luck with the trip planning! So fun!

      1. Tina makes such a good point about the cost of gas. It’s moe in Europe for a liter of gas than California gallon of gas prices!

    4. Hi Rhonda,
      I was wondering why you chose Frankfurt and if that’s definite? I think there may be more attractive places to be based. Of course it depends what sorts of things you like to do!
      We traveled by rental car both times in Germany and found it not at all problematic. We loved Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a charming medieval walled town.

    5. Laurie: How exciting to travel to Germany!
      I can’t speak to specifics of the costs, but suggest you compare the stress levels of the different kinds of transportation and your potentially limited time, and factor that into your decision. Does one of you really like to drive? Can you learn the signs and road patterns quickly? Figure out how to get gas, where to park, how to handle delays? Look around while you are driving? Taking public transportation puts you on official timetables, yet it is predictable and provides unique vistas into people’s back yards. Even if you pick more expensive options some of the time, which will give you better memories of your trip?

      1. Actually, Heidi Louise brings up a very good point. You should consider the problem with parking in Europe. The narrow roads and dense population will make it very difficult to find places to park your rental car while you tour around.

    6. Hi Laurie!
      Check in your state and see if there is a German-American club active there(possibly in the Fort Bragg area). They would have lots of info on things to do and see in the Frankfurt area. We were stationed in Darmstadt in the 90’s, which is about a 30 minute drive from Frankfurt. We loved Germany! It’s so beautiful and easy to get around. So much history there. Try and find a Volksmarch or 2 to walk. Such fun! I hope you enjoy your time there!

  5. Not a whole lot of savings going on last week…my mom sent over 2 bags of pizza rolls, 7 pot pies, and 8 totinos pizzas. All great for cheap lunches.

    Used up my last 4 free frozen drinks coupons from McDonald’s

    One last visit to the waterpark..fed my 12yo and her friend before we got there and kept snacks minimal. Used our free drink cup for soda

    Hubby got our favorite chinese takeout one night we were home alone. Plenty left for lunch the next day for the both of us.

    The biggest: hubby’s truck is finally paid off. An extra $425 a month!(maybe more, I need to see how much we will save dropping the full coverage insurance)

    1. I’m just curious why you would drop full coverage insurance on a vehicle you just paid off. The difference, or savings I guess, is minimal. Let’s say the difference is $50/month and I think that number is gonna be high. If you actually saved that $50/month, how long would it take you to save enough cash to replace that vehicle if you have an accident that is your fault? If you only get liability and one of you totaled the vehicle, you would be missing a vehicle. I never drop full coverage until the value of the vehicle depreciates to the point that the year’s insurance payment is more than the vehicle is worth. I suppose if you have family in the auto-body business that could help but you would still be out the cost of the parts/paint. Just my humble opinion. I would sure hate to see you lose a vehicle that you just paid off.

  6. 1. I cut husband’s hair.
    2. Husband cut my hair.
    3. Harvested 68 pounds of tomatoes from the greenhouse and canned them in various ways, including some spicy tomato jam for Christmas gifts.
    4. Defrosted the rest of last summer’s pumpkin pulp so I have freezer room for this year’s garden pumpkin pulp, and made a dessert bread and dog treats.
    5. Did a mystery shop to get an oil change for our vehicle. They paid for the change plus $30.
    6. Harvested, chopped and froze 71 quart bags of onions. Not the same day as I processed the tomatoes, thank heavens. Kept six onions whole as we will use those up before they get soft.
    7. As I harvested most of the garden (except for potatoes, leeks and carrots), I ran the stalks, stems and so on through a chipper/shredder a neighbor loaned us. Mixed in poopy chicken straw I have been hoarding all summer. I now have three compost piles, each about three feet tall. With the Alaskan winter and the fact that I no longer have the back for turning compost, the compost won’t be ready until the middle of next summer. That is perfect timing since we cannot mulch before about July since our soil is so cold and needs as much June sun as possible.
    8. Used the library for books, DVDs and to trade in magazines and puzzles.
    9. Husband was hungry for corn dogs (yuck to me, no accounting for taste). I don’t deep fry since I set our kitchen on fire once, but I found a casserole that mimics corn dogs. He loved it. (I sometimes make it sound like I do all this stuff by myself. Husband is right next to me harvesting and canning. I would quit in despair if I had to chop onions by myself.
    Thanks for all the encouragement we get form this blog. Sometimes I feel like the cheap Lone Ranger among my colleagues.

    1. Simple way to make mini corn dogs: Whip up some cornbread batter. Put into muffin tins about 2/3 full, then place hot dog pieces vertically in the middle, leaving the very top of the hot dog showing. You can usually cut each hot dog into about 3 pieces to fill 3 muffin cups. Bake about 15 min at 425 degrees.

  7. Like many of you, I spent much of the week canning. Five batches of peach salsa, a batch of frozen tomato sauce, six bags of corn, four pints of corn broth, a batch of pears, and batch of pear and ginger conserves, raspberry jam, and froze batteries. I still will freeze peaches and make grape juice.
    I ended up giving away roughly six 5 gallon buckets of pears to happy recipients because I still have plenty in my storage. I was also able to share peaches and grapes with others.
    I finished another baby cardigan and child’s hat to donate.
    I was able to save some money on a gift by using a gift card that I already had.
    I also got two great dresses and a jacket at a thrift store. One store had buy one get one 50% off on pants and shoes, and I was able to find two pairs of shoes and pants/jeans. They were all great additions to my wardrobe and I was able to retire some older dresses that had lost their stretch.
    I trimmed my bangs to put off getting a haircut for a few extra weeks.
    I also finished touching up paint on my living room ceiling after doing some patch and repair work.
    Entertainment was provided by my public library, rewatching Downton Abbey in anticipation of the movie coming out this month and reading books I had requested.

  8. I love that your son is learning the lessons of life right there with you.

    I had a rather frugal week as we continue to spend as little as possible. Our insurance costs are 2110.00 a month now and that is taxing especially since my income was twice my husband’s and is now zero.

    The expired food tables yielded 2 gallons of milk and several half gallons of coconut milk. We also netted some rolls, sliced bread, one potato and 4 green peppers.

    I organized the kitchen cabinets and now have a better handle on what there is to eat up. Made Brandy’s Tuscan Soup recipe from the pantry. It was delicious with a can of Chipotle diced tomatoes I found. Added some pazzaz. Also am making boxed brownie mixes that I have on hand for birthdays.

    We are watching movies that we own now that I took them out of the box they were stored in and put them onto shelves.

    I just keep on organizing and sorting. We are moving into a different season of our lives and it I might as well take this time to sort out the house. I’m thinking that we may move into a condo next May when our lease is up. If so, we will not want to move everything. The time to do something about it is right now!

    1. Trish, sending you continued encouragement as you tackle your treatment, and insurance/medical expenses. I know it is not easy. Your outlook is inspiring.
      Much grace.
      Patricia/Fl

  9. I learned to can chicken meat in the past 2 weeks. Found a sale at Aldi’s today 10 lb chicken leg/quarters 50% off got them for $2.75 a bag which I will be cooking chicken tomorrow deboning and making in to chicken soup this week to be “canned”. Like Pat, I am stocking up my pantry with ready made meals and freeing up my freezers for fall and winter sales. A friend gifted me with over 100 canning jars so I can do more canning of soups and meats so thankful for all the blessings God has given us.

  10. I enjoyed a few days in Victoria, BC, and stayed at a lovely boutique hotel that had some nice perks.
    *Day 1,- brought my lunch and snacks from home. Had a very reasonably priced dinner out, and received a free piece of pecan pie for being patient when the service was slow.
    +Day 2 – Used a voucher from the hotel for free pastry and beverage from their cafe. Indulged in afternoon tea at Butchart Gardens (which was my splurge of the trip, but I highly recommend.) Wasn’t that hungry for dinner, so enjoyed a complimentary welcome cheese plate in the hotel restaurant along with a glass of wine paid for with a $10 credit for skipping laundry service.
    +Day 3 – Free voucher again. This time I chose a brownie to snack on later and a Pellegrino to go with my very inexpensive lunch on the water . I’m not much of a breakfast eater, so those vouchers really were ideal for me. Enjoyed snacks from home on the plane along with my free brownie.

    I’m embarking on a No-Spend September. I’m usually fairly frugal in my daily life, but I like to ramp it up a few months a year. I’m trying to pay my house off early, and any extra money I save will go towards that expense. Once that’s done, I’ll have more money for travel which is my passion. By being very careful with my expenses on a daily basis, it’s allowed me to go on wonderful holidays, even with a below-average salary. Friends think I deprive myself, but they don’t understand that I don’t need ot want all of the T’HINGS they accumulate. One of my friends just wants it all which is nice, but unrealistic. She constantly asks me what I bought on my trips,. Sigh. C’est la vie. She’ll be working in her 70s and I’ll be traveling.

  11. I love that you showed your son how to figure out the cheapest trash bags. A valuable lesson…think of how much he’ll save over his lifetime! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were spaghetti with salad and garlic bread, bbq pork sandwiches with chips and grapes, fried eggs with sausage and biscuits, leftovers.
    *Accepted a huge coffee cake muffin at work.
    *Harvested a couple of tomatoes and some parsley.
    *Attended a ladies night out for our church and won 2 $20 Walmart gift cards and a nice mug in the door prize drawing.
    *Helped throw a baby shower. I was in charge of games and was able to print off free games from the internet (using paper and card stock I already had) and buy nice prizes at the dollar store. The new mom was registered at Target but I wasn’t buying enough to qualify for free shipping. I looked over her registry and bought similar items from Walmart which, coupled with other needed items, qualified me for free shipping. Went through Rakuten to earn cash back. Brought home leftover meats, cheeses, rolls, meatballs, chicken salad, veggies and cupcakes.
    *Coordinated my annual bloodwork with my monthly allergy shot to save a trip and a copay.
    *Accepted rice, salsa, caramel sauce, a red pepper and cornbread mix from my mom.

  12. Hello Frugal Friends,

    I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day! Here are my frugal accomplishments:
    – Worked many extra hours this past week, which will help on my paycheck!
    – Stayed home for most of the Labor Day weekend, so not a lot of money spent there.
    – I have been pulling a lot of zucchini and squash from the garden. I will share some of these with friends.
    – I have a lot of basil to process as well. I intend to make pesto with it.
    – I have been studying personal finance, in college, so this has made me think even more about our finances and where we are headed, goals, etc..
    – I came in $60 under on our gas budget this past month, so I will put this into savings.
    – I was able to cash out $20 on Ibotta app, $25 on Swagbucks, $14 on Coinout and do some recycling to get money back this past month.
    – I have lots of freebies on my blog, they can be found at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/
    – I planned my menu for the week as well.
    That’s all I can think of for now!
    Blessings,
    Liz

  13. I always enjoy reading the comments everyone leaves, so I thought I’d join in this week. 🙂
    *I found a teaching job closer to my home over the summer so I am able to save time and money on commuting. This district also pays better than my last one, so that is also a huge blessing as well!
    *I helped my 75 year-old mother call the manufacturer of two of her expensive meds. After having her cardiologist fill out the necessary form, we faxed in her required paperwork. We are delighted that she is now able to save $800/mo OOP. (This was her expense AFTER Medicare and her supplemental insurance were used!!! Absurd!)
    *For the past few weeks, I have been eating out of the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards. I’ve been freezing empty containers filled with water so that the fridge and freezer aren’t running more and using extra electricity. Once I come across some great sales, I will start replenishing items at rock bottom prices.
    *I cut and colored my own hair.
    *I pack my lunch every day (school lunch for adults is nearly $4.00!) and do meal prep on the weekends.

    Thank you, Brandy, for your beautiful blog and the weekly inspiration you provide!

  14. Brandy, your son’s remark about garbage bags is what I have been saying for years. Although I admit to occasionally backsliding, my main purchase of things to throw away is, well, you know! I haven’t found an acceptable substitute for THAT and I am NOT open to suggestions, LOL. This was my week–
    * I am continuing to pick a few ripe tomatoes most days. I also harvested a few beets and a green pepper. (Hap, the juvenile delinquent dog, has been climbing into the raised bed and harvesting the peppers for himself). So far I have canned 9 pints of tomatoes. It’s not a bumper crop, so I don’t expect many more to can, but we are sure enjoying them fresh!
    * I found Gloria Vanderbilt jeans on clearance at Costco for $4.99!! I bought three pairs!
    * I bought a lug of peaches for .99 lb. at the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time fruit stand. I canned 10 quarts and made a peach pie. These truly weren’t ready for prime time. They were a lot of work and there was a lot of waste (which I composted)…I think the rest of my peaches this year will come in cans, LOL.
    * A friend gave me 3 raspberry plants.
    * I bought a book for about half-price that I know I will want to keep. I ordered it from Abe Books through bookfinder dot com.
    * We saw Yesterday at the $3 cinema. I loved it, and the caramel corn is only $2 at the concession stand!
    * I had 15 minutes to kill and I was right by Goodwill, so I shopped for tops. I must not have been in the mood to shop for clothes, because I didn’t find a thing. I was at another thrift store later in the week, helping a friend haul a sofa. I didn’t find anything there, either.
    * We received a $189 check from the state tax commission. Earlier, they notified us that we owed about $400, which we paid. Now this. My husband told me to run the check to the bank before they change their mind again!

    Now I have questions for your readers, if you don’t mind. (Feel free to delete if you do mind–but it goes along with your son’s comment). I have been an ace recycler for over 45 years. Lately, I have been feeling defeated by the sheer volume of plastics, and wondering if all of it is actually recycled. I am looking for reuses for plastic, so I don’t have to recycle so much. I would like any info about products that are available in big refill sizes.

    Also, and here’s an idea: I never can finish a restaurant meal. Instead of using a take-out box, I am going to start bringing my own Tupperware or Rubbermaid container. I have a Rubbermaid container that is 7 or 8 inches square and should be perfect. I really like this idea. Also, I am refusing straws and only using drink lids if there is a likelihood that I might spill the drink. (Straws and drink lids can’t be recycled where I live).

    Best wishes to everyone! If you are in the path of Dorian, please stay safe!

    1. Hi Maxine,
      Good for you on cutting down on plastic. Unlike glass which can be infinitely recycled, plastics are down-cycled into increasingly lesser quality plastics and eventually are thrown away, polluting our water and air, if burned at the landfill. Here are a couple of sites I’ve found helpful and inspiring
      https://myplasticfreelife.com/
      http://plasticisrubbish.com

      Our family has been keeping thrifted plastic containers in our trunks to use for left-overs for more than 20 years. In my purse I carry a small, hard plastic drinking glass, metal fork, spoon, a cloth napkin, and an aluminum straw, in case any is needed. If you’re keeping a plastic container, it would be simple also to get one of those metal drinking containers with a reusable, non-spill top to keep with you as well. Thrift stores are full of them! Then you eliminate plastic tops!.
      Of course always use cloth bags at the store, or just carry items in your hands. It incenses me to see people hand-carry their items to the check out and then take a plastic bag. if they could carry the stuff to pay, they can carry it to their cars. Try to buy loose produce instead of in plastic bags. I prefer that anyway, because one can choose.

      Good luck, and thanks for thinking of those of us threatened by Dorian.

      1. Cara, there is no market for recycling glass in the Pacific NW. Our recycling centers no longer accept it. I used to sneak across the state line into Washington with my glass, but I no longer bother. Why? Because they aren’t recycling it, they’re dumping it. (Washington is more politically correct than Idaho). I often take bread and/or produce bags back to the store when I buy produce. I see no reason to buy mesh bags when I have all of the plastic bags I would ever want for free…despite my serious efforts to reduce/eliminate/reuse the plastic bags that come into my house. At least this way, they are used at least twice. I’m not the person who goes into a store, unwraps everything and leaves the wrappings at the checkstand. It ain’t the cashier’s fault!

    2. If you like to use a straw( I do ) they sell metal ones. My daughter bought me a bunch as a birthday gift and made me a little case to keep one in my pocketbook. She also made me bags to put my loose store bought fruits & veggies in so I don’t have to take the plastic ones. I have brought my own containers to restaurants too. Some places give you funny looks, others are great about it. I use so many things as kitchen garbage bags. I use dog food bags( my sister gives me hers too) and I use charcoal bags. I don’t dry clean often but when I do I tie a knot in the plastic and use that too. When we got new pillows I used the bags they came in too. I used to take the bags at work that the cups came in. They were great. I am always looking at things and saying , how else can I use this before it has to go in the garbage? Our kitchen garbage isn’t messy because I compost so things don’t leak. There are so many ways to reduce plastic. Our great grandparents didn’t have it and did very well without it. You are doing great. Keep it up.

      1. Great list, Marybeth!
        Also, empty potting soil and mulch bags can be used for trash, or for packing up some of my much overgrown hostas to give away, or even just for kneeling on when the ground is wet. I have a stack of tomato cages in my shed that I don’t use, stored upside down with a plastic pot on top to hold the rogue wire ends together. I stuff my bags in that.
        Pizza boxes that have sauce smears might not be recyclable, (don’t know how clean the cardboard is supposed to be), but work well for putting under paint cans or roller trays, and probably would work as a weed block underneath mulch.

  15. -I use Sam’s Club garbage bags. Same size is 6-7 cents each depending if they are on special. Best thing is you buy in box of 200 so you only have to buy a couple of times a year. Never had one leak or break. They have scented and unscented. Highly recommend. I order online for store pickup and a couple of times they were out and shipped to my house for free.
    -My sister had been raving about tv series Yellowstone, got season 1 from library and watched. Think I can watch season 2 on demand when I house sit in few weeks.
    -Local chain of stores liquidating, got tons more Hallmark greeting cards for 10 cents. Used 12 of them today for September birthdays.
    -Found some holographic nail polish I had been wanting marked down to $2.25 from $9. Bought myself a bottle in 5/6 colors and some to include in my sister’s birthday bag in October. Now I just need to find that 6th color.
    -Made sure to eat at Mexican restaurant before lunch menu went off. For 8 dollars ate lunch fajitas plus leftovers for lunch the next day for me and the mom. $8 for 3 meals and we still had chip and dip leftover.

    1. Good to know about the Sams’s bags! Though at my house we empty the kitchen trash two to three times a day in addition to taking many items out the recycle bins. Next time I will look at those!

      1. Brandy,

        We use the unscented Dollar Tree bags that are 14 handled bags for a dollar. They are thin, but I’ve never had one rip…although we do take them out with care.

        Trish

      2. We also use Sam’s club trash bags. Once in a great while they will catch on the lid of the trash can (Son 2 gave us his old one) but even then we can still tie them. Don’t have leaks because we don’t put “liquid ” anything in the trash. We spend around 14 cents per bag including the cost of the trash being hauled. Have to have EVERYTHING in bag , can’t weigh over 25 lbs and limit is 6 bags. We have 2 Amish neighbors that will toss a bag in once in awhile also. Our trash co knows it and doesn’t care as long as it’s not over 6 bags.

        1. Wow, your rules are quite strict! What do you do about leftover cooking oil and grease? You’re not supposed to put that down the drain here. And we often have liquids from things that I don’t compost.

          1. Grease that I can’t use for cooking gets passed to Amish neighbor as he burns corn husks out side. If he can’t use it or it’s liquids I don’t put down the drain,I put it in a milk jug. coffee can, some kind of container being tossed anyways that has a lid.after it’s cooled and put the trash sack. I have also froze that kind of stuff in an open can (no lid ) covered with foil (that I wash and reuse) and then toss the day the trash is being picked up. Ice cream containers work good also. We have a septic tank sand leach bed.. grease would damage it and it would cost over $30,000 to replace.

  16. -I made butternut squash soup from some of the squash given to me last week. There will be soup from this batch for lunch all week.
    -I have been buying groceries monthly at 10% off, but the flyer for the week had very high prices. I did stop in at that store to buy a large can of coffee, which gives me a three-month supply at 30% less than buying a supply each month. I bought the rest of my groceries at the other store in town, where prices were a little lower. It gave me the chance to say thank you to the manager, who has made a major donation (3 pallets of food) to the local food bank, which has been really struggling, and who sponsored the library’s summer reading program. This store has excellent meat and produce, and has recently introduced a frequent buyer card.
    -My plan to go to the city to buy shoes this week fell through when all the stores with shoes large enough were just having their summer shoe sales. I definitely need something for the fall and winter. I went to the local discount department store. I found two pairs of black men’s shoes that fit perfectly. They are plain rather than masculine. I’ll use one pair for working in the wet yard, and one for walking to events and running errands. For some weeks, I had been having cramps in my legs while sleeping. The cramps have disappeared since I started wearing these new shows. I have also found some instructions on the internet for how to determine what shoe size I take. This should make ordering shoes online more successful.
    -Two crocheted winter slippers got separated a few months ago. I re-united them, ran them through with my laundry, and they are ready to keep my toes warm when the floors get very cold. I also also tracked down an old bathmat that matches some new towels, ran it through the wash, and gave it a haircut to remove loose threads.
    -I did some food prep, to bake and dice some chicken for the freezer. A 3 lb bag of onions was going soft, though these normally last for some months without any problem. I chopped up what I could salvage, and have these in the freezer as well. Both these items should help with making some healthy meals more quickly.

  17. My kids watched me carry a calculator at the grocery store every time we went. Now as adults they are faithful penny pinchers!

    Today I made homemade plum sauce to can. It is delicious! This evening I fed six people for a birthday cookout entirely from my pantry/freezer. My adult daughter was amazed there was no trip to the store involved.

    I cleaned my carpet myself this week with homemade cleaner and canned 4 pints homemade jam. I hung most of my laundry out on the line to dry. Both dogs and both cats were bathed and/or treated with homemade soap or flea powder. I went thru both fridges for foods which needed using before going bad. I did a home mani peri rather than pay at the salon. I picked up a Christmas gift off the discounted rack and purchased some pasta for storage for 50 cents a pound. I’ve begun gathering a basket of mending to work on next week. I think that’s it! Have a great week!

  18. The pears look really good, Brandy. That’s a great price for winter boots, too. Winter has definitely learned some great lessons on how to be frugal from her parents, as has your son.

    Our frugal accomplishments this week entailed:
    *Meals made at home included hamburger helper with green/yellow mixed beans, make your own pizzas, shepherd’s pie, BBQ steaks with baked potatoes, and homemade macaroni & cheese casserole (plus there is enough extra to use for several lunches this coming week).
    *Harvested a bunch of green beans, 2 small ripe tomatoes and 2 pickling cucumbers from my garden. I have 2 small pie pumpkins that are starting to ripen already and will be ready for picking soon. Looking forward to adding pumpkin puree to my pantry. Brought home a few potatoes, a crook neck squash and a bunch of green beans from the gardens at work. The beans were added to the bag of beans picked from our garden, that will be blanched and frozen for winter use when I get a chance to do it. I am hoping to grate up the squash and use it in baking (they are similar to zucchini).
    *Steak was on sale for a good price at the grocery store this week. When my hubby went to purchase some, he noticed the steaks were cut quite thick. He tracked down the butcher and asked if he could get some steaks that were cut thinner (hubby is a cook, so he knew exactly how he wanted the steaks cut). The butcher obliged his request and hubby bought 8 steaks for around $40…the cost of 2 steak dinners at a restaurant! We enjoyed a steak dinner this week, and 5 steaks were added to the freezer for another meal or two later.
    *With our steak dinner, we cooked baked potatoes as a side. When we accidentally brought up twice the number of potatoes than we needed, I suggested we cook the extras anyways, since we were already going to use the BBQ propane. The leftover baked potatoes can be used in a batch of potato salad, to make potato cakes or for some other dish this coming week.
    *I asked for a rain check when I saw a sale on butter for $2.99 but they were out of salted butter (our preference for everyday use). I will pick up 4 in the next week or two when I go in for more eggs and the butter is restocked.
    *We are getting low on cans of baked beans in the pantry. It occurred to me that I have dry navy beans in my pantry and a pressure canner. Looked up canning recipes for maple baked beans on Pinterest and found one that looked easy enough to do with ingredients I already have in my pantry. I need to can up black beans and chickpeas as well. So when I make those up, I will try this recipe out!
    *Celebrated my birthday this week. I complained that I always get birthday cards for everyone else, but it is not reciprocated by most of my family. So, of course, everyone gave me a card this year. My mom gave me money, as she usually does, which I tucked away until I decide what I want to buy with it. My hubby bought me a new vehicle last month as my birthday gift this year. But the most precious gift I received was a screen saver for my cell phone, created entirely by my daughter. She drew it with her favourite free drawing app on her computer, then sent it to my phone, downloaded it and saved it as my lock screen for me. It cost her nothing to make it, but her time and creative talent (of which she has lots of). I LOVE it, because she made it especially for me. I also was taken out to dinner, as per our family’s usual birthday tradition…my choice of restaurant of course. I also requested a strawberry cheesecake from Costco for my birthday cake this year. Hubby really wanted to get an ice cream cake, because they are his favourite cakes, but Dairy Queen ice cream makes me feel sick after eating it…thus my cake request. It was so good! I happily took leftovers in my work lunch for several days.
    *DD’s clothes were sorted this week, and anything that no longer fit was pulled. I sorted through those clothes and picked out the pieces I wanted to keep for myself. Gave a couple pieces to my mom. The rest we will offer to DD’s friend. If she doesn’t want them, we will donate them to a local thrift store.
    *I found some comfy shorts on sale for $3 each (end of summer clearance) and picked up 2 for DD, plus a pair for myself. Also found a summer PJ set for DD on clearance. Since they will not get much more use this year, we will have some newer summer clothes to start out next spring.
    One more week of work before I take a break until the first fall event in October. The list of things I need to do when I’m done gets longer every day! Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments, though. You are all so inspiring!

    1. Rhonda A.
      It is neat that your daughter made a screen saver for you. The presents that the someones thoughtfulness and time are the best. My favorite present probably ever was a year when I was teaching and my son came with his friends and he played the violin for me at my school. It was such a special day I cried tears of joy! Pretty neat when our kids think of us like that!

    2. Your comment about your mom still sending you money made me smile. My grandmother lived independently up until the day she died at 99 years and 11 months—never having been to the hospital or had a serious illness other than delivering her kids! And she never had to take any medications for any chronic illnesses, like high blood pressure or diabetes. (I do not understand why she was not diabetic, nor could the doctor, since for as long as I can remember she started every day with a twist glazed donut and a bottle of full sugar Pepsi. When she died, the freezer was full of donuts and the closet had cases of Pepsi!) Anyway, even when she was 99, she would send out Christmas and birthday cards to the three of us grandchildren, always including a dollar. She could not afford much so she would go to the bank and get crisp new bills to include. Thanks for reminding me of a nice memory.

  19. Made a crockpot full of pinto beans. I just tossed them in with water this time and let them cook overnight. They came out perfect. I used them in a soft flour taco with spinach, onion, cheese, tomatoes, salsa, and sour cream. I will be eating that dish for supper every night this week. I meal prepped for my work lunches, and paid my water bill. I walked for free at the local park. Being gone last week should lower my power bill. My goal is under $50 in the air conditioning months. Since we had heat indexes of over 100, actually closer to 115,in July, and my bill was only $60 then, I think it really will be under 50 this month. It was really hot at the beginning of the month but I made a conscious effort to not use the air, so we shall see.

    1. Cindy, my winter electric bill is nowhere near that low! I was feeling very happy last week that my electric bill came in at $360, less than the $415 the electric company predicted. We all felt very hot in the house still (it was 110 last week) but I am grateful for a lower bill. Yours is amazing!

      1. My electric bill in the winter is much higher because I don’t like the “cold”, even in the deep South….lol. My electric bills runs about $200 in the winter, and even got up to $280 one cold January month. I just don’t have to run the air very much, even down here, during the summer months because of the white metal roof, the roof is shaded about 3/4 with trees anyway in the summer, and it is a small (912 sq ft) house. It is also just me. If I had a larger house, lots of children at home, a dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc. it would be much higher. I do my wash at the laundrymat ($1.50) and dry it there also (50 cents) once a week. I think $360 is great in a Las Vegas summer with a larger house, lots of children so that means lots of washing and drying, and no large shade trees around the house ! You are doing a fabulous job with your electric bill!

        1. We have natural gas for cooking, our water heater, our dryer, and our central heat. That’s under $40 a month on the summer for us and even in winter we are under $100–and winters are short here.

          Shade trees are just not something one sees much of here!

      2. Our electric is $150 average. and our propane hit $350/month last year. Goal is to get electric to $125 average and propane (heat, cooking and instant water heater along with heater in pump house to keep pump from freezing) to around $200/mo. Son’s electric bill was $150 this past month and his natural gas was $50… said he knew his Momma was cat sitting on that bill. LOL

        1. They keep raising the electric rates and the water rates. We made changes to our outdoor watering and the grass needed less watering in summer that way–but our bill was still higher. I’m so glad we made the changes or my water bill would be over $400 a month this summer. It’s over $300 now.

    1. The last time I checked Sam’s Club the bags were more there. I’m set for a while but I will definitely check them out next time! I have no favorites–just cheap and unscented is what matters to me! I hoped when posting that someone would have a less expensive solution, because I don’t mind changing to a lower priced item at all!

      1. We have a small kitchen garbage can. The bags we were using we’re getting expensive & we were always running out. My husband bought a case ofvthe kirkland brand of small office trash can liners instead. I was skeptical at first but they fit perfectly & we only need to buy one box per year if that!

        1. Our big family makes for a lot more trash! And I recycle a lot, too. I can only imagine how much more there would be if I didn’t buy in bulk!

  20. Brandy,
    I really think your picture of you little boy and the airplane looks wonderful. It looks great with that background of the sky
    I am feeling better this week. I attribute it to the vitamins and better sleep. I have an appointment with the oncologist this week. Set up a payment plan with the hospital for the bills so far. My husband worked another day of overtime so that will help. I got 40 hours in this week.
    Turning off lights when we can. Staying at home when we can. Cooked soup a lot this week. Actually found meat on sale this week. Spent 50 dollars on groceries that are healthy. 50 cent bags of salad mixes made me happy. I think we saved for taxes. Glad I made a plan. It made things tight but between husband working overtime and a rigid plan. We are ok. A little nervous about upcoming hospital and doctor bills, but somehow we will figure it our. I appreciate ideas that people have given me and I may incorporate several of the ideas into our plan do get things paid off or reduced. We borrowed a couple of movies from redbox this week I laughed so hard at “Isn’t it Romantic.” and my son is watching “Godzilla” . It was nice to relax and not worry about anything while watching the movie. Missing my grandkids. I haven’t seen them as much beause they started school and I hadn’t been feeling well. But the pain is gone and I seem to have more energy. I’m hopeful that these are good signs.
    Wish it would go away and I wouldn’t need surgery.
    I found that not buying fresh foods makes our money stretch rather than processed foods. Splurged and bought some books on beating cancer even though I don’t know if the tumors are benign or cancerous at this point. Praying they are benign.
    Been enjoying simple time at home, reading, playing with my son’s dog. Talking with family. Watching the sunset with my husband. Seeing the deer near our land. Simply watching birds gather seeds and perch on the wires near us. I’ve enjoyed this week.

    1. Tammy, I hope you get some good news, and feel better soon. Glad you are getting more sleep. Much grace to you.
      Patricia/Fl

      1. Thank-you Trish. You have been in mine as well.
        Tammy.

        I found out I have a tumor the size of a baby and my ovaries are the size of grapefruit and not in my pelvis anymore. My abdomen in incredibly distended. my uterus is fine but they are talking hysterectomy and taking out ovaries tubes and tumor. It must be fast growing because it is a different story than couple of weeks ago. The strange thing is I don’t hurt anymore. But I am happy about that. I’m praying the tumor shrinks. Still don’t know if it is cancer or benign. They did more bloodworm to do tumor markers.

          1. Hi Tammy, you’ve been in my thoughts and prayers. It is amazing how fast it is growing But I still hope and pray that it is benign. Once they have dealt with this, you will undoubtedly feel better just to get rid of it. Are you putting meals in the freezer for when you have surgery? I wish I lived close by To you so that I could help and deliver some meals to you. Again you are in my thoughts and prayers and I will be thinking of you and hoping for a good outcome. Ann

        1. Tammy,

          Hang in there. Modern medicine is amazing. They can really look into our bodies and check things out. Praying precision for your doctors and over the medical tests. The sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.

          Trish

          1. Ann,
            Thank-you for your thoughts and prayers. It would be nice if you lived close by! I am praying it is benign also. The blood work for the tumor markers came back negative so the suspicion for cancer is low. I’m grateful to God for that. Surgery is at the end of this month. My husband has asked for two days off to be with me. I am happy about that. i hope you are well.
            Tammy

          2. Trish,
            Thank-you for your encouragement and prayers. I hope you are doing well. You are right, modern medicine is amazing. I’m praying for precision also. Thank-you so much. I sure like your positive outlook, Trish. I need to stay positive as well.
            Tammy

  21. The novel you read reminded me of a good series you might want to check out: Bletchley Circle. It was a PBS production about 4 female WWII code breakers after the war. They still notice patterns from their training in daily 1950s England. It’s very well done. I found it on DVD at the library.

      1. The first two series are wonderful. The latest series moves to San Francisco and while still interesting tended to be a wee bit “over the top” for me.

    1. I loved this series, but I am an easy mark for WWII movies. Foyle’s War is another one I loved. I wish I had never seen it, so I could watch it again.

      1. I will probably watch that one again at some point. If it’s really good I wait several years until I’ve forgotten parts of something and then rewatch or reread it again!

      2. I’m watching Foyle’s War again, too. It had been 2-3 years. I remembered some things, but some things I didn’t. Enjoying it anyway!

  22. Hello to everyone!
    I went to a rummage sale this week. In the last hour they offer clothes for $1 for a bag full. I got 4 items for myself (including Talbots and Eddie Bauer brands) and many more good brands that I will resell on eBay.
    We stayed late at church and picked up a lot of free produce that was leftover.
    I made applesauce with free apples. I use it in egg-free baking. I freeze it in ice cube trays and then use 1-2 cubes for a cake.
    We sold extra beds and box springs, the last one got picked up today. I am thankful to not have to walk around the stack any more.
    We used coupon for 2 free drinks this morning. We received a stack of coupons in the mail as a welcome to the area.
    I am going to try altering a shirt that was in my $1 bag. Not much risk there!
    Have a good week!

  23. Husband broke the earpiece on his glasses. One shop said they could not fix them & another shop said 60$ to repair them. He was shopping around for a new pair & the optical shop said they could put a new earpiece on for free. Glasses are repaired.
    Went to a movie for our anniversary with free ticket vouchers obtained from Coke Rewards. I also had a voucher for a large popcorn & drink.
    Needed a new hairdryer. Almost bought one @ Goodwill. A few weeks later I found one while on a trash picking excursion.
    Gave the yardman (who is low income) a microwave, 3 shirts, pr of work boots, & reflective safety vest I trash picked. I also provided him with a simple dinner meal. He was happy to get his free items. I was happy to get rid of the clutter.
    Husband fixed the sink (which I stopped up). A few days later the water line to the fridge leaked. He fixed that too.

  24. Trying to live frugally from Portland OR:

    *Spent some time harvesting tomatoes, onions, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers from the garden. I froze spaghetti sauce, sliced peppers, blackberries, and shredded zucchini for later use and made several loaves of zucchini bread to eat and freeze. This was my first year with a big garden. I made a few mistakes, but overall it was a great experience.
    *I had some sunflower plants topple over in the yard so I quickly cut off the flowers and put them in vases for our home and some neighbors. I’m horrible at neighbor holiday gifts, so maybe this will be a good substitute?
    *went through my boys closets before start of school. gave away some great clothes that got too small to my Buy Nothing group. Happy to find they still had plenty to wear and only need to shop for Sunday slacks. Those are pretty easy to find thrifting in my area. I’m also having them reuse backpacks and binders this year — I try and buy high quality (LL Bean) and they last for several years.
    *We had budgeted to buy an A/C unit (we live in an older home with no A/C), but I really hate A/C and convinced my husband to try be vigilant about letting cool air into the house in the mornings, plus utilizing our fans. Luckily, we had a really mild summer, otherwise we likely would have caved.
    *As public high school students, but my kids can use their student body card to ride city buses and light rail for free during the school year. This makes it much more attractive for us to travel by bus and light rail as a family — and we did so twice this weekend — leaving our car at home.
    *Tried an awesome new mountain bike park with my youngest on the light rail line near our house. This is run by the city so it’s free — it would be at least a $20 fee to go to a privately owned park.

    We had a big unexpected expense fall into our lap this week. I pouted for a day, but now I’m mostly grateful that we have built up our savings and it won’t be catastrophic. Yes, it would be great to put that money towards future college expenses, or retirement, or even a nice family vacation, but no one is really immune from these things happening, and the best thing to do is to keep a good attitude and keep living frugally.

    1. How are your kids liking the new Grant High? Did they go to “Grant at Marshall” last year? I went to Marshall the first 4 years it was open (1960-64). For the rest of you: Portland is a city of neighborhoods and the first thing a Portlander asks another Portlander is “what part of town did you grow up in?” The second question is, “What school did you go to?” and it doesn’t matter how old you are…those are the questions.

      1. Hi Maxine, You are so right about the questions, haha! I love that about Portland – how distinct the neighborhoods are, even though most outsiders wouldn’t likely notice the differences. The new Grant building is gorgeous. It looks like a small college campus. We are so lucky! Both kids are enjoying the school. There is an inclusive school culture and lots of kids there to work hard and learn. Of course, there are always exceptions and no place is perfect, but overall it has been a great place for my kids. I love seeing the kids biking in groups to the new school each morning. My oldest son when to Grant-At-Marshall last year as a freshman. I actually love the design of the campus with the big courtyard in the middle, even though the building is dated. So funny you went to Marshall! My dad attended Marshall in the late 1960s. I think he graduated in 1969. He grew up off 76th and Powell. Best to you, my Portland friend!

  25. Funny, I ran out of “good” garbage bags tonight. I get 13 gallon unscented with drawstrings at aldi. Instead of buying more I pulled out the cheap ones that my husband picked up somewhere while we were moving to bag up clothes (Dollar Tree, I think), and am using those for now. I don’t care for them because the bag falls into the can too easily. I will just take care not to overfill them for now.

    *I worked on an new spreadsheet for our budget through the end of December 2019. I used to budget monthly, but now that my husband isn’t self-employed anymore, he gets paid weekly and so I wanted one that was weekly. Now I know what bills to pay out of which paycheck.
    *I still haven’t put more gas in my van since I still haven’t had enough money to get my van fixed. I only drove to walmart twice (3 miles round trip) and once over to our other house (we use it as storage at this point since it isn’t ready to rent out yet.
    *while at the other house, I was able to locate pair of shin guards I knew we had that my girls will need for soccer soon, so I only had to purchase one new pair ($5).
    *I asked around on Facebook for soccer cleats for my girls, and a friend had just the right sizes. They will only be using them for about 8 weeks, so I was thrilled to save about $50 not buying them.
    *My grandma stopped by for a visit and brought me a new knitted baby blanket that she made for the baby we are expecting, and a muslin sleep sack. She also brought some Mary Kay makeup samples for my older daughter, disposable razors, shampoo and conditioner, a new hairbrush, a spiral notebook, and a few other odds and ends that my girls were thrilled to get.
    *My sister brought us a bunch of sweatshirts and jeans that her boyfriend’s daughters had outgrown for my girls. We could use most of them, and just in time as the temperatures are getting much cooler here in New York.
    *I found a new package of size 3 diapers and 3 packs of Costco baby wipes that the previous owners left behind. My almost 2 year old is in size 3, so that’s perfect.
    *I read a free ebook on the Libby app, I think it was called “Flat Broke with Two Goats”.

  26. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Brandy I am glad you were able to pick some lovely pears and cucumbers from your gardens to top up your groceries with. You are so right children learn from seeing us doing frugal things in our lives and Winter has certainly taken after yourself in her frugal endeavours of getting the best things she needs at a minimal price.

    Our savings added up to $362.09 last week :).

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals from scratch.

    Bargain grocery & medical –
    – Purchased a grocery e-gift card from RACQ saving 5% or giving us $13.89 in free groceries.
    – Topped up on an additional carton of full cream powdered milk and a carton of baking choc chips for additional food storage.
    – Picked up 2 x 2 lt bottles of orange juice on clearance for $2.50 each saving $5.
    – Purchased 4 x 6pk of wholemeal and white bread rolls on clearance saving $3 on usual prices.
    – At IGA on clearance I purchased a 2.134 kg pork shoulder roast for $8.54 saving $8.53 on usual prices. We have had one roast meal and will have two nights of a homemade pork and vegetable home made pie and a 2 lunches from the rest working out at just near on 0.85c per meal for each of us.
    – While at the op shop they were giving away a huge trolley load of red capsicum so we brought home 5 large ones weighing about 2 kg saving $15.80 over purchasing them. We diced them and put them in 7 meal sized sized portions for the freezer.
    – Got DH’s pain medication for a few months on a bulk script saving $71.50 over buying them per box on prescription. I also got 5 months worth of my medication to save trips into town to fill scripts.

    Op shop and new clothing bargains –
    – From an op shop I picked up new with tags a pair of jeans & a pair of 50 + hard yakka work jeans, near new pair of jag jeans, a zip up tracksuit top, a pair of cotton capris and a wool jacket all for $5, bargain !. The hard yakka work pants are $50 – $65 ea new in other stores.
    – As my track pants and tops are near worn out from Millers on end of season clearance and for $10 ea I purchased 3 pairs of track pants and tops, and two waterproof long padded jackets. The jackets alone in other stores are $60 – $80 ea at normal prices.

    Ebay Listings –
    – Listed 19 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $31.35 on usual listing fees.

    In the gardens –
    – DH put the heavy duty chicken wire on the front of the garden beds and made gates by using star pickets with wire so we can fold back the wire to plant and till. It is now covered in wire, kangaroo proof and ready to plant.
    – I went through our saved and purchased vegetable seeds and found we only needed to purchase heirloom bean and corn seeds which I ordered on eBay.
    – I can’t wait to get my hands in some dirt, get outside and plant things in the gardens as I have not been allowed out in the sun until my face is healed more from my pre sun cancer treatment cream :).
    – Used grey water pumped from our grey water tank to water fruit, berry and ornamental flower gardens.
    – Used saved rain water from recent showers from runoff from our tank shed roof to water potted plants and herbs.

    We still need lots of rain here as the local farmers are having to put down starving kangaroos, so sad 🙁 , and most homes are out of rainwater and need water to fill their dams to water stock.

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Hello Lorna from central New York! First may I say I’m glad to hear your health is improving. I always enjoy reading your posts. Back in 2005 I had the great fortune of visiting Australia while I accompanied my husband who’s firm had an office in Sydney. Years ago I I just fell in love with the Blue Mountains while watching The Man From Snowy River. I thought oh I’d love to go there but thought probably not. I was so blessed to be able to go! I just wanted to tell you that. I loved Australia and the people. I’ve been reading Brandy’s blog for years but have never posted before. This is a great community with such great ideas.

      1. Hi Cheryl and thank you for your encouragement and I am feeling a lot better with the help of quite a bit of medication and my face is now just baby pink after the treatment cream.

        Glad you posted here and look forward to hearing more from you. Australia is indeed a beautiful country with lots of wide open spaces and in some areas beautiful rain forests as well. We live about half way up the East coast of Australia and slightly inland. The Blue Mountains is certainly a beautiful area to visit.

        It is indeed a lovely community, thank you to Brandy for hosting us here, with contributors having lots of fabulous ideas as well as being friendly and uplifting towards everyone.

        Have a great week ahead 🙂 .

        Sewingcreations15.

  27. Love reading your accomplishments as always. Very inspiring. Thank you for how you titled this post. It’s always much easier to find the most recent when there is something in the title to help identify the week the post is about.

  28. Those pears look great! My little tree didn’t produce any this year; it was planted last year so not unexpected. The peach tree we planted last year only had two peaches, but my neighbor willingly shared her bounty with me. Now I’ve got to get them processed. I prefer to can them rather than freeze so that I have room in the freezer for freezer meals.

    My son and I spent an hour working in the garage and got a lot of the remaining work done. The garbage is rounded up and ready to take to the dump.

    I baked two loaves of bread, one for the new neighbor who brought me chicken and rice with her mole sauce for lunch one day and one for the neighbor who shared her peaches. I also baked banana muffins using up the overly ripe bananas on the counter and making an easy breakfast.

    I got three bags of clothing ready for the thrift shop. I can’t believe I had that much in my closet. Oh yeah, I retired almost two years ago and don’t wear “work clothes” any more. I’ve bought very few items over the past two years, although I did buy some new dresses to replace the ones I’d worn for years. I’m wearing shorts and tees most of the time and don’t go anywhere during the day, so a smaller wardrobe is great. I got to thinking about it and realized I’d been “home” long enough to eat, sleep, and bathe, for the majority of the last 43 years. I love being home now.

    Make it a great week!

  29. That’s so awesome that you showed your son how to do unit price comparisons! I spend a lot of time on finance related subreddits, and the number of people who don’t know how to do that is surprising and concerning. He’s getting the skills he needs to be a financially savvy adult 🙂

    Our Frugal Accomplishments for the week:

    * I meal planned for the month and made our grocery list based off of it. I chose meals to use up foods we already have on hand, to reduce costs.

    * Went shopping for the month- I spent $59 for items for most of the month, and should be able to pick up anything else we need (milk, etc) with the remaining $41. I wasn’t originally planning on a $100 budget for September, so I find myself debating how to utilize the extra $100 we have budgeted for food for the month- I could stock my pantry farther, or put it in savings or towards some debt. All three have their merits…

    * I did a price comparison on the cats’ dry food and found that the better quality food I could get for 50c cheaper per pound, while also supporting a local store and getting free delivery. Local does not necessarily mean more expensive!

    * I made more honey wheat bread. This is definitely our favorite 🙂

    * I used some near-expiry milk to make pancakes. I supplemented it with some dry milk powder as well- I love having milk powder on hand for situations like this!

    * I used several veggies from my CSA box to make Greek flavored chicken and veggie pitas. They were so good, and helped me enjoy vegetables I don’t usually like (such as eggplant). These will be for my lunches this week.

    * I also tried a new quesadilla recipe for my SO’s lunches. BBQ chicken and pineapple quesadillas- they don’t sound good to me, but my SO likes them!

    * I bought 9 lbs of bananas and prepped them for the freezer after they turned brown. I have recently rediscovered my love for bananas, especially in baked goods, and they’re so cheap at 44c per lb (generally the cheapest fruit unless there’s a great sale on something else). I’ll use them in snoothies, granola, banana bread, muffins, and more.

    * My SO got two bottles of apple juice and a loaf of banana nut bread from work. Neither are items we’d usually buy, but we will definitely use them!

    * I bought some celery, chopped it all up, and froze it in 2 cup portions. This way I have it available for soups and other dishes, without the rest of it going to waste.

    * I got a free lunch on Friday from work.

    Those are all of our accomplishments (at least, the ones I can remember!). Have a great week, everyone!

      1. Hi Peggy,

        If you’re planning on using it several months later, you’ll want to blanch it, but I only got 3 portions out of this one bunch of celery, so I didn’t bother (I’ll use that in a month or so).

  30. As usual Brandy, your pictures brighten my day.
    We stayed home over the Labor Day weekend, except for church, saving gas.
    Since I’m in Florida, we’ve been watching the weather carefully. It looks like my area (northwest) is safe, but I ache for those in the path, especially the Bahamas, which have taken a battering. I actually bought very little in the way of supplies for Dorian, except for gas, which can be hard to get when flows of evacuees come through.
    I hadn’t made yogurt in a long time, but I decided to make some with my dehydrator. I used grass-fed, raw, organic milk, and still came out with cheaper yogurt than the stores. I made two quarts, but used one of those quarts to make frozen yogurt. I was gifted the ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer years ago, so I used it. Home frozen yogurt is sweet with a tang, which I like better than store-bought frozen yogurt, and making it at home is way, way cheaper than buying it from a frozen yogurt place.
    I always figure my per-bag price on trash bags, too. I wish I didn’t need them at all. I recycle a lot in my work’s recycling bin and compost most of our scraps, but we still have some trash to haul off every week.
    Since the month has changed, I’ll buy another $25 Swagbucks gift card for $22. I’ve started Christmas shopping.
    I’m sending a letter of sympathy for a death, instead of buying a card. That’s not because I’m frugal, I just prefer the letters, but since I already own stationary, it is actually frugal as well.
    I’m having to set up new accounts for just me, due to my husband’s possible need for long term care in the future. I immediately set up bill pay with my new checking account. I like getting my bills paid at no charge, with no fuss.
    About a year ago, I made bows for my homemade grapevine wreaths, using some ticking fabric I’ve had for years. This weekend I untied them, washed, starched and ironed them, and will put them back on my doors with some fall accents.

    Brandy, do you ever make grapevine wreaths with your pruned vines? The idea of making them intimidated me until my daughter’s Brownie troop made little ones to use as Christmas ornaments years ago, and I was recruited to help.

    1. I have thought about making baskets and wreaths, but I have not. How long do you soak your vines before turning them into wreaths?

      1. Brandy, if you make the wreaths just as you trim the vines, they don’t have to be soaked at all, because they are still pliable. I trim my vines in December (north Florida) and just throw them in a pile then right then start by pulling a long one to make the original circle out of a few wraps of the vine. I hold the vine ends first with my left hand until I get a few more wound around the original circle so that the ends are held in place. Then I keep wrapping then tucking the ends, wrapping then tucking the ends, always overlapping my starting and ending points, until I get it as thick as I want. I push on it now and then to get the circle evened out if it gets lopsided. It took just one little wreath for me to see how it works and I taught my sister easily — she is still using the wreath she made, too. I never have to tie or wire them together, using this method. I’d suggest starting with a small one first to see how it comes together, and wear glasses/goggles. I don’t usually wear gloves, but if you have some that are flexible enough but protective, they would help protect your hands from wayward vines. I’ve made probably a dozen wreaths by now, and I’ve never soaked the vines, so I can’t answer that question, but then, I’ve never needed to. Try it and I think you’ll figure the process out in no time. It actually doesn’t take very long, either.

    2. Jo: I remember the devastation at Mexico Beach in Northwest Florida last year. Members of our branch went to help in Milton, which isn’t even near the beach and it was a mess! I feel so sorry for the Bahamas. I stock up also but I am far enough away from the coast so I only get tropical storms…. usually.

      1. Yes, and it’s still bad in the Panhandle! Our church is still sending groups to help some small towns recover. I shudder to think of what it will take to rebuild the Bahamas.

  31. The weather has been cooler in the morning and late evening, so we have been able to get by with turning on the house fan overnight.
    *Garden is producing tomatoes, cukes, zucchini ( though I am down to the last plant), a few green beans and holy basil for tea.
    * Planted lettuce, a few beets, more radishes and Swiss chard. I continue to amend beds for planting. It is slow going, a bed is usually 2×5 and requires hauling manure, compost and my compost at the bottom of the bed. Bit by bit, they are getting done, so my planting is only three to four rows per week.. I need to get some more manure from a neighbor as my pile is gone, I have fresh but it needs to age over the winter. My husband cleaned a small are of blackberry and honeysuckle and I may expand the bed another two feet later this fall. Every inch and foot means more food down the road.

    * We ate a volunteer cantaloupe and had two little ice box melons that lasted for three meals.

    * We had a 10% coupon at Lowe’s, used it for filters for the house, grass seed , pot of flowers on clearance and a torn bag of organic potting soil was 50% off. I hope to put some lettuce seed in big pots next month to put in a little box my son built with a plexiglass top. I would love having lettuce over the winter.

    * Helped a friend with doing some rearranging dishes in her kitchen, and got a free coffee mug for a daughter’s bday this week. I will add a free bag of coffee to her gifts. The friend offered my whatever I wanted for hauling it to Habitat. I took her to the grocery and she bought a rotisserie chicken which I deboned for her and asked if she would us the carcass and she said I was welcome to it I am making broth for another friend who had a very bad broken arm and had surgery. Two friends with bad breaks due to falls this summer makes me glad I work so hard to exercise, I hope my balance and core strength would help if I did fall! I am heading back to help the other friend with her kitchen again tomorrow and look forward to doing projects together.

    *.Cleaned out bag of stationary to take to a local yard sale supporting local ministries. Hope to get more cleaned out to donate this month!

    Please be safe this week, those living in the areas impacted by Dorian. We are out of the cone of the storm but know so many will be impacted.

  32. It has been while since adding my frugal accomplishments, but every week I come and read. It is inspiring and encouraging!! We are having baby #5 in early December which is a great time, since my husbands work schedule has him off work every year 2 weeks with Christmas and New Years, but it means we need to be doing lots of frugal things before them. Since it will turn into a while month + without any income. the biggest thing we have done is sell his truck ! We fixed the brakes in the van and put all the additional money we got from the dealer into savings! .. Our monthly savings between gas (he travels weekly hundreds of miles!), payment, and insurance will save us $700. — We plan to replace his truck with a fuel efficient car– possibly around Christmas time. We have bought 2 vehicles over the years at Christmas and seem to get a better deal.

    Bought a bushel of tomatoes from a local farm– I made spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, — I am so happy to have thought to save the peeled skin and tops. I ran them through our juicer and canned an additional 4 pint jars of tomato juice! I have never thought to do that until this year and will continue. I grew up with my mom making a simple side dish of cooked elbow noodles with tomato juice with salt and pepper. So I will be using it for that!

    The farm also had huge zucchini for 50 cents each.. they were as long as my hand to my elbow. I mad sourdough zuchinni muffins with 3 of them and one I simply shredded to use in the winter months for muffins.

    I have been decluttering the house – I have things listed on Ebay . and if it doesn’t sell in this month it is going straight to donation. I have a bad habit of keeping and keeping those piles of things. I would use FB marketplace for some, but since we are a one car family right now I don’t want to take away precious time when hubby is home.

    We bought the kids fall clothes from Old Navy after going through saved clothes in storage. I saved more than I spent, used a big back to school sale, a $40 rebate (I buy groceries using my old navy cc and immediately pay it off, but it earns my points to buy family clothes and shoes). I also went through Rukuten and earned a couple dollars also.

    Scanned all receipts through Fetch. I like them because I can just scan and not have to look through and add the deals before scanning my receipts.

    I got a lowes rebate from my bathroom makeover paint and plan to buy mum for Fall decorations which should be very little oop. and will plant them in my front landscape before winter.

    I did a freezer cooking challenge- I need to ramp this up since it will make life easier in December.

    Received a notice about our house payment going down $12 a month.

  33. As always, thank you for your wonderful blog and all the work you put into it.

    This past week was pretty-much used up watching ,and getting ready for, hurricane Dorian. We didn’t have to buy anything. We keep 20 gallons of water in gallon glass jugs at all times, and also have a couple of rain barrels. I made sure all bottles were filled and also filled containers of water to freeze in case the power went out. We have 2 freezers, and made sure they were full to keep cold (we don’t have a generator).
    We have a gas stove and water heater so knew we could cook and have hot water, at least for a while. We have plenty of food for us & animals in storage.
    We boarded up our rental house and will leave it mostly buttoned up until the hurricane season is over: we don’t have a renter right now. We mostly boarded up our house, including the bedroom and were happy to find that with the ceiling fan we were completely comfortable (no AC).

    It was a lot of work moving pots of plants and garden furniture, and stuff in the carport, but we were glad to have done it because the horrific conditions in the Bahamas could have happened to us.

    1. Cara,
      Like you I prepared for the hurricane. Grateful we were spared. Thinking of our brethren in the Bahamas.
      Be well.
      Patricia/Fl

  34. Hello everyone
    Back to work tomorrow after a 7 week summer holiday so frugality will resume in our house, I find being frugal during the holidays so challenging, I seem to be popping out all the time and my purse keeps popping open too buying things that’s I suddenly seem to need! Fingers crossed when I’m back to work (in a school with no cafeteria) my purse will stay finely shut
    Took my eldest son to college 80 miles away from home (I’m in the UK so its slightly different to College in the US) last Monday, he’s living independently aged 17, renting a room in a shared house so I’ve been nervous as to how he’ll cope. He’s doing fine which is a relief except for the mistake we made with his cookware. We purchased an ordinary saucepan and frying pan only for him to discover on attempting to cook his first meal that it’s an induction hob and ‘normal’ saucepans don’t work. That led to a further purchase of induction suitable pans, hey ho I’ve now gained a new saucepan and frying pan!
    I previously had a food budget of £75-£80 for me my hubby and two sons. Now my eldest is out of the house I’m aiming to spend £50 for us 3 at home so I can transfer £25 each week to my eldest for his food. He’s an athlete (an American Football player, unusual fir the UK I know but it’s a growing sport here!!) so he eats a LOT of food, we 3 at home are most certainly not athletes so we should manage with £50.
    That’s all I can think of at the moment, I’m making a commitment to post each week to keep me on track, wish me luck!

  35. I’ll come back to post on frugality in a little bit, but right now I’m posting to ask a question…

    There is a root cellar in our home that my grandparents used some but it has always seemed damp and we’ve not taken advantage of it. With 10 people in 1300 square feet we really need to use that space for food storage. Does anyone know what humidity level is safe for food storage? I’m ordering a humidity meter, but I haven’t found anything that tells me what humidity level I should be aiming for. Thanks in advance!

    1. Sarah, There is a book on Root Cellars by Nancy Bubel. (I can’t remember the exact title.) I checked it out of the library years ago. You could give that a try.

        1. Sarah, root cellars are supposed to be humid (about 90%) and cool. I hope the book you are going to borrow helps you and you will
          be able to use the cellar as intended.

    2. Sara Judy is correct. Mike and Nancy Bubel wrote Root Cellering. It’s also on Kindle at Amazon. My Daddy who dug everyone in the family cellers read this before I used to and said it was pretty much right on. He is now 92. They tell humidity and it will be different for what you are storing.

  36. Regarding trash bags, I buy a box of 80 at Aldi for $4.69 which comes out to 5.8 cents each. I don’t think you have an Aldi, Brandy, but I really like the quality and cost of these.

    We went camping with my parents. We brought a lot of food home and my mom also gave me a cooler full of peaches, donut peaches, pears, asian pears, nectarines, and apples. I brought her some salad mixes I picked up on clearance. While we were camping, a man from a neighboring campsite gave us a rotisserie chicken that he had purchased but the person he purchased it for didn’t show up. We brought it home. Today, I pulled the meat off the bones, cleaned the wing bones for an experiment I needed to do for our homeschool and made broth. It will become pot pie for tonight’s dinner.

    I stopped at 2 thrift stores and bought 3 paper grocery bags of needed items for only $13. Included in that were 5 items I listed on eBay.

    I wasn’t able to find clothing for my 9 year old son used so I went to The Children’s Place on Monday. It was $37 for two pairs of pants and 4 shirts. I don’t like to spend so much, but I didn’t have a choice. I also got “place cash” for $20 off a $40 purchase starting 9/10.

    I made peach peel jelly, but it didn’t set up. I will use it as syrup over pancakes, etc. With the scraps from the next box, I just made fruit juice for in smoothies instead of bothering with jelly.

  37. I haven’t joined in for a few weeks and have missed all of you. August turned out to be wickedly expensive with a dead washing machine, dead car battery, and my car in the shop twice for different repairs. Some months just are like this but it can be hard to roll with the punches.

    Your comment about garbage bags made me go look up what I spent on the last box and see what size they are. I purchase the Boulder brand from Aldi which are also 13 gallon size. I paid $4.59 for a box of 80. So agree with your son about tearing up dollars bills in order to throw them away!

    Here’s some of my frugal accomplishments:
    • Made stuffed tomatoes, grilled a large batch of hickory-smoked chicken breasts on the grill to maximum the grilling surface then froze some of the cooked chicken breasts, baked a plum cake for a party and used on-hand ingredients except for the plums, Made pesto using on-hand substitutions (walnuts rather than pine nuts, arugula leaves to round out basil).
    • Achieved swag goal several times
    • Hung all laundry out
    • Researched washing machines on Consumer Reports using the library’s online subscription then went through Swagbucks and purchased a new machine from Sears using coupon codes. I chose not to pay $25 for a set delivery time so the window I was given was between 7:00am and 9:00pm.
    • Used a raincheck at Walgreens and combined with a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon. Then in a second transaction I purchased five different items and used reward points to pay for all except $0.24
    • Went to the neighboring town’s library sale and bought seven DVDs: new-still-in-the-wrappers first FOUR SEASONS of Call the Midwife, second season of The Crown, The Polar Express, and Bride & Prejudice plus a cookbook and a DK travel guide to Sweden all for $6.00. I was THRILLED!
    • Printed out coupons from Swagbucks for Arm & Hammer laundry detergent. Detergent was on sale for $1.98 and I bought three for a total of $2.94.
    • Stopped by the farm stand and bought two dozen ears of local corn, which I removed from the cob and froze.
    • Tried a DIY deep conditioning hair mask made from smushed banana, mayo, and olive oil.

  38. Gotten through back to school! Whew.

    We’re hopeful that we’re on our final 5 week’s without my husband being able to work. He’s frustrated and so am I, trusting God with a lot.

    My flex savings account card is frozen because they can’t find a receipt I sent in, so I am having to submit for reimbursement currently. I am buying Visa gift cards through scrip fundraising program so my expenses are giving a % back to school and kid’s tuition. That’s helpful. We’ll do the same with car tags as they come due.

    Traded social media guidance for my children’s costs for theatre this fall.

    Camped with friends this weekend, we’re able to get a youth group rate and saved money. Kids planned menu.

    Scout troop repaid sister to ship some project supplies to u.s. instead of buying new. Saved $ and space for all.

    Sent wedding dress to angel gowns. Found a group that wasn’t requiring financial donations to give. They suggested cutting tulle out as they wouldn’t use, donated that to theater group.

    Used Amazon gift card from blog revenue to buy tissues etc. for house.(we don’t do Costco or sams currently, )

    Worked out carpool for after school activity.

    Baking banana muffins this eve for school bake sale.

  39. I love the picture of your son. The colors are absolutely breathtaking.
    We picked green beans, snow peas, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions, green onions and cucumbers. We also picked our first few ears of corn. You forget how delicious corn right off the stalk tastes.
    Used shredded cabbage and carrots as well as onions and snow peas from the garden in a batch of chow mein. We love it, and it made lunch and/or dinner for a few days.
    Grilled zucchini, peppers and onions when we BBQ’d one day. They were wonderful.
    I worked all five days last week, and will probably work Monday through Friday for the next six weeks. I am a CPA, and October 15th is a drop dead deadline for many of the projects I work on.
    Picked up my mother’s laundry to do at my house along with mine.
    Brought breakfast and lunch to work all week.
    One of my young co-workers, to whom I gave some zucchini last week, took my recipe for zucchini tots and made some for her boyfriend and herself. I was glad to hear that.
    I have basil and thyme drying in two different dehydrators.
    Hung some of the laundry on the line. Made it so only one full load went in the dryer this week.
    That’s all I can think of for now. Hope everyone has a great week.

  40. I love the sunset picture of your son with the airplane.

    Once we got back from our camping trip where I had many homeschool outoorschool activities planned, we hit the ground running! I did applesauce (14 quarts and 11 pints) on one day, worked in the garden, filled the yard debris bin one day, did lots of laundry and other household chores.

    My sisters send my daughter and husband to the Newsboys concert at the State Fair Thursday night. They had a ball! They went with my niece, Michaela, and her daddy–what fun for them all! (I’m just surprised my autistic niece loved it so much, but she did!)

    We used my daughter’s summer reading prize to get into the Oregon State Fair for 1/2 price on Sunday afternoon. My daughter’s friend (and mom and siblings) wanted us to go with them and this was a way we could make it happen. We watched a monster truck show while we were there, which was free with admission. It was my first time for that, and I enjoyed it even though it was really loud. I put some pictures on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

    We did school and started our school-year work schedule today. Although we have been doing homeschool for over a month now, the public schools started today for part of the kids and tomorrow for the rest, so my nephew started today. One thing I did at work today was work on puzzles. His mom discovered that he had taken most of his puzzles down from up high and dumped them out and mixed them up. Hmmmm. How did you do that, she asked him. “With a long thingy–just pushed until they came down,’ was the reply. So, we are trying to work them, find any missing pieces, and store them in an even better place. She usually rotates his toys out after summer, so I think some will get put away. (for those of you who don’t know, he is special needs, so it’s actually quite amazing that he figured out a way to get them, even though it’s inconvenient). So, after doing chores, working on his room, reading aloud, etc.–the usuals), I worked puzzles:). Kind of fun actually.

    1. Becky,

      As you put the puzzles back together in their own boxes, make an identifying mark on the back of each one – my mother’s family was huge on puzzles and always did this. The mark can be anything – a dot or line in a particular color, the first letter of the title of the puzzle, or whatever. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved us! We usually do it after the first time we put the puzzle together – when we’re putting it back in the box.

      Lea

    2. Becky, many years ago I was given a bunch of puzzles that were all jumbled together. They were simple puzzles, but the mess made them hard, and a challenge for anyone. My babysitter’s husband took up the challenge and pieced all of the puzzles back together. When I got them back, I numbered the back of each piece with a felt marker. All of the pieces of one puzzle were 1s; the next puzzle was 2s, and so on. Then we labeled the boxes or put the rest in labeled zipper bags. If you found a stray puzzle piece, you only had to look on the back to know where to put it.

  41. I love the photo of your little boy at sunset, Brandy. The colors are amazing!

    I didn’t get anything posted on my blog this past week as I have been super busy and not very frugal.

    Our water heater decided to quit on us and spilled a LOT of water all over our basement. Thankfully we caught it before it got too bad – our daughter went into the utility room looking for a tool and stepped in a pool of water. Unfortunately, the water ran under the walls into the carpet on the other side. It took a week to get the carpet back to normal and the water heater replaced. Of course it was the first week of school too! We had to move so many things and are now in the process of putting them back; cleaning out as we go. Thankfully we didn’t have too many losses – a couple of spare ceiling tile for our suspended ceiling and a few random other items. Most things were up off the floor.

    Anyway, that was a huge expense and our medical insurance premiums went up so my husband’s paycheck has been lower than previous. That is about a $130/month hit in income. It has already been a rough and discouraging year without those two things.

    I did something new and frugal this past week though – I tried canning. I have always blanched and froze or dehydrated and I have done refrigerator canning or freezer canning but never “real” canning that you can stick on a shelf at room temperature for an extended period of time. I have successfully canned 4 quarts of tomato sauce, and 5 quarts and 3 pints of sweet cucumber pickles! That was encouraging – our grocery budget has gone down again and my freezer was completely full (we lost a lot of freezer space when our refrigerator died earlier this year). We now have delicious tomato sauce and pickles to eat later this year at no cost. I used jars I had received as gifts and lids that were given to me by a friend. I had all other ingredients on hand – no expense out of pocket.

    We also finished an outdoor fire pit (for small outdoor bonfires) in our yard using rock that a friend wasn’t using and wanted to get rid of. The area isn’t quite finished but it is usable – just in time for fall!

    That’s it for this week from me. Thanks for all the good ideas and the encouragement here. I greatly appreciate it.
    Lea

  42. I am confused–I hadn’t seen a new post from you come up on my blog list feed since last November, and I clicked on it to see if you were alright, only to find that you have been posting all the time. I am so relieved–I thought something terrible had happened! I deleted the link on my list and then put it back in, so now I am receiving posts again. Plus I have the happy task of catching up with your posts for the past year. I truly enjoy your blog. Your posts inspire me to create my own money saving adventures–and I am always recommending your Chicken Fried ‘Steak’ recipe to people. I love it when they tell me they have tried it and it’s now a regular menu item.

  43. I canned 7 bottles of yellow beans, we finally unplugged a very large and old deep freezer. We are now down to two freezers. We used to have four since we raised our own chicken, beef and pork. Now we no longer do that so we don’t need the freezers. We collected a 500ml jar of honey from our bees, gathered 10 cups of blueberries from our bushes. Picked tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini from our garden. I put our onions to dry to preserve them for this winter and dug up the potatoes.

  44. Hi Brandy and all,

    When thinking about posting this week, I debated what to say. I did the usual frugal activities, for us…eating from the freezer and pantry in preparation for fall stock up. However, over the past few weeks, we have spent money we don’t normally spend (both my husband and I are retired so we live on a tight budget). We made an investment last year that has done unexpectedly well, and decided to take a portion of the gain and spend it. So we traded my car in for a newer used car, replaced my husband’s broken computer, and replaced a few other items. Here is our logic. We learned a lesson 20 years ago that when our investments looked good, we didn’t spend anything, and then the investments went down (and of course we didn’t spend then). So now, we have taken some of our chips off the table, so to speak. If all continues to go well, we will do some roof work this fall, and head into the next few years with more peace of mind. After years of tight budgets though, spending money is harder than you think 😉

    1. I am so glad that you could fix things! On years when we make more, we make repairs and put more in savings. I think your choices sound very wise!

  45. I love your photos as always, Brandy! Do you thin your pears the same way that you thin your peaches?

    – I made cherry cupcakes using the cherries I had canned recently and iced them with leftover buttercream (http://approachingfood.com/coconut-buttercream-frosting/) from my freezer.
    – I combined a sale on diapers and a 20X the loyalty points offer to get $25 worth of loyalty points. I then redeemed $30 worth of points, to cut my grocery costs for the week in half.
    – I combined a sale on tp with a redemption offer, and was able to get a $10 fast food gc, without paying any more than my usual price point for tp. My husband and I then went out to dinner at Swiss Chalet, using the gc. I took the chicken bones from his meal home and froze them, to make chicken broth at a later date. It was a low-cost date night!
    – I bought a perfect condition children’s hardcover book for 50 cents from the library. I go to the library weekly with my daughter, and always check to see if there are appropriate books available.
    – I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe this week, but didn’t like them too much. I ended up turning some into ice cream sandwiches using ice cream leftover from the sundaes and ice cream waffles we served guests last week. I much prefer them as ice cream sandwiches!
    – I used the package of plant-based ground meat that I got free in a grocery store promo last week, to make my grandmother’s German Meatballs. I made the breadcrumbs needed for the recipe from a piece of bread leftover from my mum’s lunch. They were so good! It was so nice to taste familiar family favourite again after so many years as a vegetarian! And the fact that it was so inexpensive made it taste even better!
    – I made a small batch of yoghurt, to use up a carton of milk my mother gave me that she didn’t want, and used the last of my homemade yoghurt as culture.
    – My mother gave me half a watermelon, and I gave her a jar of apple jelly that I had made (and canned in a reused jar).
    – I used a $5 off $20 coupon when buying items from my local bulk store, and I combined it with a sale as well.
    – I hosted a playdate with another mum, and served homemade pizza (http://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/), watermelon, and the cupcakes I made earlier in the week. I also made a sensory game for the babies: I bought generic jello for 77 cents and made it up in a lasagna pan, with toys inside the jello. I used plastic toys from my daughter’s toybox that would wash clean afterwards, but were good for little hands to try to grasp, like plastic link toys, plus some dollar store toys from a loot bag from a party she went to (that I didn’t bother to keep afterwards as they’re not safe unless I’m watching her). We put the babies with the tray on a large tarp (from my camping supplies) so that they wouldn’t get jello everywhere when squishing it between their fingers. It was a fun and frugal playdate for all of us!
    – I went grape-picking with my daughter and sister and picked three shopping bags full of concord grapes, for free! Through my local trading app, I was able to connect with someone who didn’t eat the grapes but didn’t want them to go to waste. I baked him a batch of cornbread from pantry ingredients as a thank you. I used my husband’s transit pass (he has a monthly transferrable pass) to get there and back. My sister joined us, and I treated her to an ice cream cone from a local store, purchased using the digital currency from my trading app. We also stopped by a local pet store so my daughter could see some animals. A fun outing for all of us for no money OOP!
    – I was able to bring some concord grapes to my parents when I visited them, and my mum send us home with some homemade tomato soup.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

    1. Pears are grown a bit differently than peaches; they grow like apples off of fruiting spurs. They should be thinned as well when they are small. This is the first year I didn’t get a chance to thin (everything in the garden was about a month behind, and then when it was time to thin I was busy getting my eldest ready for college last minute as she left for college just a few months after she applied). So my fruit is small this year.

  46. Just catching up on posts (as usual, lol!). Congratulations to your son on his new job! My daughter worked at a local thrift store for a while and I loved being able to take advantage of the discount too (even though she no longer works there, now I qualify for the senior discount!). She loved having the discount as well, and also receiving a similar credit as your son, to spend when they met budget. It was a great incentive to reward the employees!

    We’re you able to get your new fridge over the labor day holiday sales?

    Have a wonderful week everyone!~TJ

  47. We didn’t really have any *big* frugal happenings last week, but we did do our usual maintaining of a simple and frugal lifestyle. I kept to the minimal grocery budget and tried to eat up or freeze leftovers and not waste any food. I have been focusing on trying to lower our electric bill so have been looking for little ways to save on that like not turning on lights during the day and shutting off power strips during the day or overnight, whenever it won’t be used. We spent time last week getting last minute stuff organized for our 13yo daughter to start homeschooling for her 8th grade year. And lots of cleaning and organizing around the house, which I always enjoy!
    https://www.cozyhomemaking.com/frugal-homemaking-for-august-25-31-2019/

  48. Love the airplane photo, Brandy!

    My accomplishments last week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Roasted the bones from the steak we had on Friday night and some bones I had in the freezer and made beef stock. I used onion tops, celery ends and carrot peelings, etc. that I had in my freezer. Used the beef stock for vegetable beef & barley soup.
    • Ate in 7 times. We had steak, baked potato, broccoli and cauliflower (twice); beef barley soup and homemade beer bread made with some ale my husband didn’t care for (twice); pork enchiladas made with some bone in pork chops that I cooked in the crockpot and then used corn tortillas, enchilada sauce and black olives that had all been in the freezer for a while. Made enough for leftovers for lunch too; one night Hubby had to go to his Mom’s to fix her truck, so I had leftover hamburger & rice casserole from the freezer and he made himself a quesadilla when he got home; pulled pork, pintos & jalapenos; potato salad and broccoli chopped salad.
    • Hung 6 of 8 loads of laundry.
    • Paid $25.62 less on this year’s August electric bill vs August 2018.
    • Used a birthday card from my stash of cards I’ve gotten free from a charity I donate to for my sister-in-law’s birthday.
    • I brought my lunch the days I went into the office. Hubby brought his 3 times.
    • Worked 13 contract hours.
    • Got a coupon for a free bag of pasta. This was a coupon that comes out at checkout. Someone else had left it just hanging there. Yes please! Redeemed it this week.
    • Got 2 shirts on clearance marked down from $35 to $7.58 each and then 1 more for $5.38. Also got a shirt for my grandson for $3.18 and my granddaughter 2 pair of pants for $1.18 each.
    • Got a couple of Ibotta rebates.
    • My niece did me a favor with helping me figure out some financial things with my mortgage. She is a CPA and a whiz at these things. I ordered a $25 Amazon gift card for her using my Southwest points as a thank you.
    • Took my Dad out for breakfast for our weekly get together. We went to IHOP. I used the Pay with Ibotta app and got 5% back ($1.15.)
    • Checked out a couple of books from the library.
    • Upgraded our Southwest credit card. It will have a higher annual fee, but the benefits we will get will offset that. One of the benefits on the new card is no foreign transaction fee and since we will be travelling out of the country 2 times in the next year, this will come in handy.
    • Used the $20 gift certificate I won last week at trivia to pay for our drinks at this week’s trivia night.
    • Company I work for had their monthly birthday breakfast for people who have August birthdays, so free muffins and fruit one morning.
    • Got 8 ears of corn on the cobs for 3c/ear. Also got a free yogurt.
    • I have a recipe for a cheese dip using Good Seasons Italian dressing mix. When I priced it at the grocery store, it was $3.99/4 pack! I looked for a homemade recipe on my phone and found one using ingredients I already had and costs pennies.
    • Cut the bottom of a tube of toothpaste to get the last of it.

    Have a great week!

  49. It has been a strange but wonderful week here. A week ago Monday, I fell and hit my head unfortunately didn’t break anything. I think I already mentioned that in a previous blog post. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I spent at the archives as it was the last day the public could access the archives downtown before it moves to the university. We managed to get our book manuscript Sent to the government. On Tuesday, a friend asked if she could stop by and bring some vegetables for me as a late birthday present. We were sitting outside near the house when I saw a creature on the driveway. It turned out to be a big bobcat. It was very sleepy, Yawned a lot, and wagged his tail. I happened to have just put in a new flash card into my camera and had my camera outside with me. I went up on the porch and could shoot over the jungle of Peony Plants. I got 22 photos of the bobcat, of which only two did not turn out well. When the bobcat Yawned, it looked like he was growling. He was also busy watching all the little dogs being walked on leash by their owners. I could swear that he had a smile on his face watching them. The photos are absolutely incredible. Because I had my telephoto lens on the camera, it looks as if I’m standing right next to the Bobcat. It was very unusual that the bobcat just lounged on the driveway. He knew that I was there but it did not bother him in the least. My friend asked what would happen if I approach the bobcat. I said I would not get close to a bobcat; however, I did take one step toward him to see what his reaction would be and see if he was a healthy bobcat. The minute I took the step, he set up, watched me, stood up, and then moved away from me by going down the driveway to the city sidewalk. I was really thankful no one came along on the sidewalk at that moment because they might’ve had a heart attack. It is very unusual for a bobcat when it’s hot and human was watching it not to very quickly depart. Finally, I am beginning to sort out stuff. I was busy doing that when the most beautiful butterfly landed at my feet but I did not have my camera with me. I hope that it will return. I also missed a photo today of a bald eagle flying overhead. My friend and neighbor phoned to tell me that it was there but I was outside and did not get her a phone call .

    As far as being frugal, I bought 10 pounds of potatoes at Safeway for $5.99. That is the cheapest price I have seen for potatoes in quite a while. My friend gave me cherry tomatoes, broccoli rabe, corn on the cob, and the biggest zucchini you have ever seen. I’m not quite sure what to do with the zucchini because I think that I won’t be able to slice it with my broken arm. I am contemplating putting it into a zucchini lasagna almost like a ratatouille sauce. Normally if it were a small zucchini I would shred it and put any excess in the freezer But this is a monster zucchini that I do not think I’ll be able to shred – it’s too large for me to maneuver it. I also bought some cheese on sale at Canada Safeway. I have not done my bigmonthly shopping expedition yet. I took my computer laptop into Apple to get the battery replaced. Apple recalled the computer because of a defective battery. In addition, they will be replacing the case next to the keyboard. Apparently that is necessary when they replace the battery. My case was not shutting but I did not associate that with the defective battery; however, apparently the battery was swollen so that the case would not shut. I think it was a fire hazard and I am glad that it is being repaired. It is at no cost to me; had it been, it would have cost me $680 Canadian. When I get it back, I will have virtually a new computer.

    I never realized just how much I rely on my emails and my computer for correspondence, news, information. It was very lonely here last night when I could not check up on any emails from friends. Instead, I read a book on the butterfly garden which was excellent. I was just about to go to sleep when Mr. great horned owl Decided to hoot and call and keep me awake half the night. The migratory warblers are also coming through and I have seen some bird species I had never seen before.

    Brandy, you’re a photo of Octavius with his silhouette in the sunset is beautiful. Please forgive my typos but my iPhone does not always understand what I am dictating.

    1. Wow Ann,
      You are braver than me. It sounds like you got some really neat pictures of the bobcat. And all the wildlife sounds so nice. I love when I see a different type of bird. I enjoy birds anyway but a new species is extra special. I definitely enjoy my computer as well. Best Wishes for your book!
      Tammy

      1. Thanks Tammy. I was a long distance from the bobcat. And I was on the porch so could have retreated inside. It was unusual because the bobcat knew I was there. Usually if they see a human looking at them, they will be off at once, when I took a test step towards him he left immediately— sign of a healthy bobcat. You only have to worry if it has rabies Or if it is cornered Or if it has kittens. It was a real treat to see it — unusual to see it during daylight. We are kindred spirits about birds! Ann

  50. Greetings! Gorgeous picture of your son! You do such nice camera work!
    -Since we’ve been back from our trip, the water bill was 30.00 lower. I’ll take it. The water bill is the bane of my existence!
    -I gratefully received salad tomatoes from one friend and green beans and zucchini from another. I shredded the zucchini for brownies and the tomatoes were shared with neighbors who have very little. Actually, I shared other vegetables with both. They were most thankful. I had no idea how hard of a time they were having.
    -My oven decided to quit working. We’re waiting on a part that should fix it. It’s been several weeks since i’ve had an oven so i’m anxious to get it back.
    -We knew we’d eventually need a new washer and dryer. Our old one was 15 yrs. old and had been repaired once for a problem that was coming back. A paddle in the washer had broken off last year. I had my husband sand it smooth but it didn’t clean quite as well. All that to say, we bought a new set during the Labor Day sales. They should be here today to finish hooking it up. I love it! It’s an energy star and has tiny loads for washing and drying. Plus, it’s a front loader. I’m very excited! This should help with the water bill. I’ll check later to see if there’s a rebate for this particular model.
    -A neighbor mentioned a source for grass-fed ground beef for 3.50 a pound. I made a trip out there, an hour away, and bought 30 pounds for the freezer. I cooked some burgers for my husband and he loves it so this was a win! (I’m vegetarian) I put the word out to friends and picked up more beef for them. (Whenever any one of us goes to Aldi we put in our egg orders with that person. It saves us all a trip.)
    -I finally finished painting the basement! So happy! The walls are concrete so the walls ‘weep’ when it rains or when the snow gets thick. So, I may need to paint every year to keep on top of it. This paint is supposed to stop the moisture but it doesn’t.
    -Since the basement is finished, I cleaned up/out the pantry down there. New shelves were put in that my husband made. It looks awesome! My husband calls it my IGA. Yep!
    -All laundry was hung on the line but one load.
    -I’ve trimmed the old dead flower heads, added chicken doo-doo and compost to the dead bed in readiness for next year. I still have a HUGE flowerpot to empty for the Winter. I’m waiting for the tomato plant that’s in it to finish up. I’ve been adding vegetable waste to the compost can. Because our Summers are so short, i don’t get compost til Fall.
    -I filled up the lotion bottle and added water to thin. I took lunches to work, walked every day and yoga at home for exercise.
    That’s it for me. Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead!

  51. Hello all!

    Have become a huge fan Brandy! Look forward to your blog all week and enjoy everyone’s comments and contributions! Each edition I learn something, which makes me look with a different perspectives for ways to save, reuse, use up.

    We are fortunate to live close to a town with a wonderful library with an annual book sale. Many of the books are donated, music CD’s and DVD’s in their original plastic wrap. The sale runs 4 days, Wed through Sat and this year we arrived about 1pm Friday. Shortly after we arrived, the announcement was made, “Buy 3 for the price of 1!” We spent $4 and left with 3 books (one is in perfect condition) and 3 music CD’s, one still in the store plastic.

    We were lucky again going to a annual Church Rummage sale that also runs a few days. Somehow, we hit the jackpot because 10 minutes after we arrived, “Everythings 1/2 price!” was announced. I found in original boxes, 12 pens to a box, blue ink pens for .50 a box, now .25. We teach catechism class, (think “Sunday School”) and now have enough for the next couple of years. We also found a sewing machine marked $10 so we paid $5 and I found the manual online….hoping the machine will lead to more frugal savings I already have sewing supplies and the knowledge, its getting used to the machine. I also found a large picnic basket I am using for spare blankets in the bedroom. The basket was chock full of “date night” fun colored plastic plates, cups, a couple of fans, etc. All of the “fun plastic” will be donated to a my parish’s “indoor yard sale” .

    Our spring was wet and cold, our summer very hot and humid. Our dwarf apple trees are just 6 years old and the yellow delicious must have had 100 apples. The day we taste tested for ripeness, we realized how delicious they truly were and evidently, so did the deer and squirrels!! The next morning the only apples left were even too high for my husband to reach without a ladder. Lesson learned!! Deer also thought green tomatoes were tasty. Thankfully, the “purning” seemed to energize the plants and not only did are the tomato plants flowering again, tomatos have set too. As much as I love apples, fresh tomatoes from the garden have no match!

    We needed to replace the dining room area rug but the replacement needed to include a runner for the kitchen sink and stove as the entire area is all one large room. I looked online and what I really liked was beyond our budget. I kept looking and realized by the 3rd day, the search engine was offering the same rug I liked but from different companies at better prices. By day 4, the price was in budget….with free shipping!! And, the rugs are washable ( lol, outside with a hose but still, washable). The area rug under the table and the runner are both a braided type with lots of colors. Soft underfoot and really fun and cheerful. The area and scatter rugs the new rugs replaced are a deep gray color ( that’s why the bright colors make such a difference) and were treated to soapy water scrub brushing and rinse with rain and water from the hose and are being used in the workshop. It feels really great to have gotten in budget something that brightens the room and to be able to reuse the originals in another room. Going forward, I’d love to make some of my own braided rugs but that’s a bucket list project.

    In our area, typically, yard sales over holidays are very slim and this holiday was no different. We did stop at one set up on Friday. We spent a dollar on two boxes of 64 Crayola Crayons to add to my class supplies.

    Although I am very sad a very old locust tree on our lot line has some very large limbs that have died to a lightening strike, we will be able to do most of the cutting ourselves and use for firewood. We brought both chainsaws for a tune up and the quote was $75 for each machine. Dear Adult Son found a “tuneup kit” online for $13 and ordered as an experiment. Experiment was a success!! Jury is still out if the pull cord chain saw is worth the repair to donate to the indoor yard sale or just donate as is. Savings for sure, approximately $60, more to come once we trim the locust tree for free firewood.

    Reusing things we already have brings a special pleasure doesn’t it??

    Rarely used track lighting in the living room area was moved to the laundry room and is being used nearly every single day.

    Used the padded envelope the chain saw tune up kit came in to double protect chocolate biscotti we sent to my motherinlaw. She cannot get it where she lives. She would rather eat chocolate biscotti than fruit or vegetables and since she’s 93 years old, I think she’s doing something right and am happy to send it to her.

    My husband is thrilled to see 3 pc suits are back in style and dug a few vests out of his closet to see which suit jackets might match/work well together. Results: Two more formal, one casual for teaching or functions he needs to dress more business style.

    Weatherman expects 2 more days of temperatures in the 70’s with low humidity so am planning to spend as much time as possible catching up with outside chores. Will make sure to bring the camera with me outside too!!

    Until next time!

    1. Kaye: Chuckled over your “three piece suits back in style” comment. When those were fashionable back when I was in college, a friend had a green five piece suit: Jacket, vest, and pants in a solid color, and vest and pants in a coordinating faux check, thus making a variety of possible combinations. As it was made of thick double knit, the suit probably still exists in its original form in a landfill somewhere.

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