I read several e-books from the library: The Diplomat’s Wife, The Go-Giver, The Winter Visiter, and The Ambassador’s Daughter.

I bought a new refrigerator on sale to replace our 18-year-old one that was breaking apart piece by piece. It will be delivered tomorrow. I learned that the regular price online at Home Depot for the fridge was the full retail price, but the store’s regular price was much less. The sale price online showed the fridge was 32% off, but the savings in-store was 10% off (same final price). This was a good lesson that if I really need an appliance immediately and I can’t wait for a sale, I might find a better regular price in store.

My husband figured out that he could cut out part of the molding that we had put around the refrigerator 13 years ago and enable us to fit the 36″ refrigerator that holds the same amount as our current refrigerator (but is wider). This was a blessing in not only not having to lose three cubic feet of storage space with a smaller fridge there, but the larger refrigerator was on sale for $400 less than the smaller one!

We ate down most of the remaining items in the fridge and freezer. I had a number of packages of frozen fruit that had been in the freezer for a long time. I made smoothies several times to use up the old frozen fruit in there from our garden. I made crepes and topped them with blackberries from the freezer with a little sugar.

I stocked up on tuna fish, peanut butter, and canned mandarin oranges at the semi-annual case lot sale. My mom had given me a $5 off $25 of case lot items coupon that was in the paper that I used to get my total even lower.

I ordered two pairs of pajamas online on clearance for my second-eldest daughter and chose ship to store, as the store is nearby, instead of paying for shipping.

My husband moved into his new office this week. He had a party to show the new office to his agents. We bought four 2-liter bottles of soda on sale for $0.88 each and four take and bake pizzas from Winco for $5.98 each. We used paper plates, napkins, and plastic cups that we had received from my father-in-law’s home earlier this year. Most people didn’t eat much, so we had enough leftovers for our family for a couple of meals! His agents loved the new, smaller office, which has a reception area (for all of the offices in the building) as well as conference rooms that they can use, which more than make up for the smaller space. Everyone still does almost all of their work from home, but if they want a place to meet clients, they still have one, and we save $675 a month!

Moving the office meant we had more furniture than we needed. We donated the larger office furniture and took some of the custom-framed images over to the new office. We brought the rest of the pictures home. We will be redoing some pictures at home and will use the frames that we have at home and from the office for some changes in our decor at home.

Winter is finishing up her summer term at college. She spent Friday doing some batch cooking of soup, beans, and cookie dough. She’ll be starting her fall semester soon, where she’ll be a sophomore. Had she gone to public school, because of her December birthday, she would have just started her senior year (she’s 17). Our original reason to homeschool our children was to get them to start college early. Once they started college, we want them to graduate debt-free.

Winter is renting the textbooks she needs for fall semester from a place near her university, which rents for less than the university bookstore. She had already purchased a book her first semester that she needs for fall (it’s a book for her major), so she didn’t need to purchase anything for one class. Her total book fees for the semester are $108! This is considerably less than I paid at college for a semester’s worth of books 20 years ago!

Our second-oldest, our son Cyrus (age 16), will start taking college classes from home next week through BYU-I’s concurrent enrollment program. Classes are $30 a credit hour, and his classes for fall semester don’t require any books.

Cyrus has been building his own library of old, out-of-print books from the thrift store where he works. He is buying hardcover copies of books with his work discount, paying $0.80 to $3.60 each for books. We found a small bookshelf last week that someone had set out for the trash for him. He cleaned it up and put his books there.

I needed some new regular-sized (not child-sized) hangers. I just hadn’t remembered to pick them up at the store the last few times I went. Someone at church mentioned that she was getting rid of some hangers and some other things because she is moving. I spoke up and she gave me a bunch of hangers (somewhere around 40).

What did you do to save money last week?

Similar Posts


  1. Pressure canned 7 pints of dry kidney beans so they are ready to use rehydrated beans. I mentioned before a week ago that this brought a home-canned pint to 18 cents each versus the cost per can (59 cents or more per can!) by buying a pound of kidney beans for $1 each at Dollar Tree!
    Got a $50 Amazon card for referring daughter over to Purple mattress company. We bought a mattress from them in Feb. and absolutely love ours so daughter bought one in June and love theirs! We both got $50 Amazon rewards gift card. I used mine to buy 2-1/2 cases of Cottonelle toilet paper mega rolls! We were getting lower in our supply and with winter coming, I have a certain amount I like to have in stock in my bathroom pantry! I only had to spend 2 cents OOP because I wanted to use every penny of that gift card amount! Lol!! I used Subscribe and Save and got an additional 5% off.
    Over Labor Day weekend, Target had a sale on their 8 quart 7 in 1 Instant Pots- $59 instead of the usual $129. I have loved my 6 quart model for almost 2 years now and use it regularly. 3 of my girls have upgraded to this larger size and have loved the additional capacity! So after checking with my son in CO (who has surgery this week for his Stage 3 colon cancer and has been on chemo and radiation and will have 7 more courses of IV chemo post-surgery) found out that his wife has a small pressure cooker that she uses but with 2 teenagers and a young adult son still at home, it doesn’t have the capacity to make as much as needed for a family meal. So I bought her 1! She was so excited and gave her small one to her newly married daughter. We were thrilled to give her something that could ease her workload by making meal prep time faster! We also gave her the link to our family “Tried and True Instant Pot recipe” board that another daughter set up for us when we got our IPs! As any of us try a new IP recipe and like it, we add it to the Board so the rest of us can go there and feel confident that our families will also enjoy it! I checked with another local daughter who works and she asked me to get her one too and have it delivered to our house so it would be delivered with someone at home to receive it. She picked it up and paid me for it. I bought one for myself too! So 3 IP purchased! ? Using my Target VISA, I got 5% of the $59 cost, so it made them $53 with free shipping! Our local daughter plans to keep her 6 qt IP too so she can do 2 things at once! I’ve been thinking of selling my 6 quart IP figuring that even if I sell it for $25, that will defer some of the cost of the upgrade!

    After reading his Family Handyman magazine and researching online, hubby decided to repair/replace our cement front porch steps that have been crumbling. We had estimates for around $2500 since they are solid cement, not just hollow molded ones. With just about $75 in cement cost (a very specific type for this project) and special bonding liquid and making forms from extra 2×8’s we have from someone’s deck project that we were given, we went to work chiseling out most of the decaying cement! We are doing 1 step at a time so we can still use the steps to the front door by just avoiding the step that is setting up (24 hours). Here’s a link to the photo of the first step being poured. And yes, it was after dark before it was poured so we used our portable flood lights! Lol! https://pin.it/34dfe4nv2gye3

    I was invited to a baby shower and although I had baby quilts I had made in my gift cupboard that were more “boy-ish”, the mom-to-be is having a girl. So I made the following quilt using scraps https://pin.it/hjlj4p6gf5pqy4 and the backing is what was left over from a $1.99 SA sheet after I used most of it previously as backing for another quilt! https://pin.it/kifp4ftenw2cjo. I used my new longarm to quilt it up in under 45 minutes! What a blessing to be able to give a gift with time as my only cost! Btw- the mom-to-be loved it! Oh, and here is the queen size quilt I had on my longarm machine last week. It is now on our bed just in time for those cooler nights when we keep our bedroom windows open all night! https://pin.it/owothlib5xpgqs and here’s the back so you can see the quilting design better. https://pin.it/rstv3fry2gumx3

    We prepped for and placed some of the paver bricks that we have been given so that as soon as we place two more courses of pavers to the right of what we’ve done in the photo, https://pin.it/pdejniq234oemi, hubby will be able to start building the buffet counter on top of the pavers, between the pergola uprights. Everything has been cut for that (including the tiles for the countertop) but we didn’t want to be putting down pavers after the counter was there with it’s 4×4 supports into the ground!
    Made Black Bean Taco soup for dinner using home-canned tomatoes and black beans, DIY frozen corn, jalapeños and precooked ground beef and DIY taco seasoning! Feeling grateful for our food storage! We never feel “deprived” as we make meals, snacks, etc from it each day! I made a peach cobbler for dessert using some of the peaches from our tree. How is it that I’d never in all these years made a fruit cobbler of any sort when it was so easy? Every day, I’m amazed at how many things there are still to learn!! Makes life a fun adventure even as we get older!
    What a great week this has been!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, you and your hubby must be either in great shape and thin or get along really well… Your bed seems narrow to me 🙂

  2. Wow, I can’t believe Winter’s book costs! That would hardly cover the cost of a single textbook when I went to university! And I’m glad you were able to stock up on some food at the case lot sale.

    My frugal week:
    – I made Rosemary Cheddar Drop Biscuits (http://approachingfood.com/rosemary-cheddar-drop-biscuits/), using rosemary that I grew myself on my balcony garden, and cheddar cheese that I bought on sale, grated, and froze.
    – I made concord grape juice from the grapes I picked last week. I kept some as juice, and turned some into concord grape jelly and canned it. I made sweetened and unsweetened juice, and froze the very tart unsweetened juice to add to super-sweet purees such as apricot puree, for my daughter.
    – I made chicken broth from the chicken bones from my freezer, plus a few mini carrots (tops included), green onions, oregano, thyme, and basil, all of which I had grown myself on my balcony garden. I added a splash of vinegar when cooking the bones, to draw out some of the minerals, and snapped a few bones as well, to let some of the marrow out into the broth. I’m a vegetarian myself, but if my household consumes meat, I try not to waste any part of the animal.
    – Then I made a chicken noodle soup, using the chicken broth and the chicken left on the bones, as well as some tomatoes and carrots and herbs from my garden, plus a few beans I had cooked and frozen previously. I used alphabet noodles from my pantry, and it was the perfect size for my daughter to eat. It made enough for dinner for my husband one night, and lots of frozen servings for my daughter.
    – I made a batch of cranberry almond granola, out of pantry ingredients.
    – I redeemed $10 worth of loyalty points, as well as a promo code worth $65, to buy the week’s groceries and replenish a few pantry basics. Cheddar cheese was on sale, so I bought a bunch to grate and freeze. I noticed that there was no price difference between the medium and old cheddar cheese packages, but the medium cheddar packages were 50 g larger, so I bought those.
    – I made a variation on Becky’s lentil taco filling, and mixed it with rice to make burrito bowls for several dinners. I made the taco seasoning from scratch and put the extra in my pantry.
    – I picked rhubarb, grape tomatoes, rosemary, oregano, basil, and mint from my balcony garden. I froze the rhubarb, ate the tomatoes, used the basil to make basil-infused mayo (using mayo I got free in a promo earlier in the summer), and dried the other herbs to add to my pantry.
    – I made a double batch of laundry detergent. I used one bar of ivory soap plus one bar of goat’s milk soap (which I had gotten free in a Costco promo last year), but realized as I was making it that I had run out of washing soda. To tide me over until I can find the best price on bulk washing soda, I turned a package of baking soda that I had bought on sale for my pantry, into washing soda, by baking it at 400 degrees for an hour.0
    – I hosted my parenting bookclub this week (book borrowed from the library) and made my award-winning Harvest Apple Crumble (http://approachingfood.com/harvest-apple-crumble/), using apples I picked for free previously. I made it with vegetable shortening instead of butter as one mum is severely lactose-intolerant, so I also served homemade caramel sauce on the side. This is the third social get-together in a month that the same batch of caramel sauce has been pulled out for! I also served iced tea made from homegrown lemon basil (http://approachingfood.com/lemon-basil-iced-tea/).
    – I was able to shop at Old Navy and buy 3 tops and one dress for some family friends, using giftcards earned from Swagbucks. I only paid 43 cents OOP, which made for an affordable gift!
    – I signed my daughter up for a trial French class, with the Alliance Francaise, called Bebe Alliance. It was so cute! It was just a free half hour class at an open house, but it was great stimulation for her and I picked up some ideas on how to incorporate more multi-lingual learning into her playtime. They also served free Viennoiserie, which were a delicious treat!
    – Using my local trading app, I traded 2 dozen pb and choc chip cookies for a children’s plate and a BNWT hedgehog pillow for her nursery. I also traded digital currency from the app for a pineapple costume for my daughter for Halloween (pineapples are a running joke in my family so everyone will laugh a lot at the costume).
    – My daughter currently loves being pulled around in a cardboard diaper box, and when I had a playdate with another mom and baby, that baby also enjoyed it, so I gave another diaper box to that mum. A cheap and fun toy!
    – I ordered a subscription to a breakfast smoothie service, and used a coupon code I found online to get it 12 free smoothies! (After which I cancelled it) It was all super-healthy ingredients, so my daughter enjoyed them as well.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Margaret – a friend of mine’s granddaughter is just over 1 year now and she has been learning sign language! No hearing issues – just a way for her to communicate until she is speaking – it’s amazing how quickly she picks it up!
      Its truly amazing how much you have managed to grow on your balcony – congratulations.

      1. It’s amazing how quickly babies learn! I’m trying to teach my daughter three signs: ‘eat’, ‘more’, and ‘milk’. I got a baby sign language book second-hand from a friend (yay, frugality!) so I’ve been using that. My sister reinforces the ‘more’ sign when reading books to my daughter, so that’s a help,
        And thanks re the balcony garden! I’m having issues with some plants, so I’ve joined a few fb groups dedicated to Toronto plants. There really is a group for everything! The latest one I’ve joined is called ‘What’s wrong with my houseplant’! I’m slowly learning more each year! My mouse melons, which I was so hoping would grow well, are not, but the morning glory plants that I grew from saved seeds from two years ago, have practically taken over my balcony, and are winding their way up everything they can, including other plants. And I have a single sunflower, from a free packet of sunflower seeds that I planted, that is growing in a weird corkscrew shape. But herbs seem to do well, so I think will plant more of those next year. Definitely a learning curve!

        1. Margaret, check out the show Signing Time. There are several episodes on YouTube and there is one episode that covers all the toddler words. Hamish can sign eat, more, hot, cookie, cracker, cheese, ice cream, and book.

  3. I purchased a home dry cleaning kit to clean my cashmere and wool sweaters for fall. I made slow cooker apple butter and instead of using fresh apples, I bought large jars of applesauce at Sam’s Club and used that. Then I didn’t have to peel all of those apples, which saved a lot of time. I took clothes, that I no longer wear, to the thrift store so others can enjoy them. I used a 40 percent off coupon to buy a birthday gift for a friend. I borrowed several ebooks from the library.

  4. 1. A few years ago I lost over 100 pounds but the weight was slowly creeping back up. I realized a few months ago that my clothes were shrinking! So I cut back and finally lost all I had gained plus 10 more. This is frugal because I was about at the point of needing to buy new clothes since the ones I had were starting to look like sausage casings on me. My husband lost 25 during this time of supporting my weight loss efforts, and could fit into clothes that had been languishing at the back of the closet. And our food bill went down by about 25%.
    2. For my birthday I ask my husband not to get me gifts but to spend 8 hours of a weekend day doing all the niggling little chores I see that need doing. He already does more than his share, but he tends to focus on different things than I do. So I am starting the list so it is ready to go in a few weeks. And for our anniversary, which is a week before, he has asked that for a gift I detail his car. My gift will be that for two months he does all the laundry; for some weird reason I don’t mind cleaning the bathroom or the kitchen but I detest laundry. And winter is an easier time for him to do it, since we pretty much have to use the dryer during Alaskan winters. So, very frugal birthday and anniversary gifts. And he will make my favorite meal and I will make his favorite dessert.
    3. Did two mystery shops, netting $45 plus $20 in free food and gas
    4. Canned 41 jars of tomato sauce and 9 jars of jam, all from things I grew this year.
    5. A friend is having a late in life baby and is so exhausted that she can barely function some days; unplanned and frightening to be a first time parent at 49, when she had thought and been told that she could not get pregnant (and at first assumed she was in menopause, with the weight gain and no periods and mood swings). She has another month to go and although her husband of 25 years (10 years older so no spring chicken himself) helps, he works long hours and is in an industry that tends to lay off older workers. He is scared of ending up jobless with a newborn, so he works whatever hours they demand, without a peep. I told her that as our gift to her, we will bring her a soup or stew or casserole three times a week and that each will be large enough to feed the two of them for two days. Boring to eat the same thing over and over but I could not manage six different meals a week, even for just a month. Really, all I am doing is doubling what I make for us most of those days, so it is pretty easy for me and won’t duplicate the baby gifts she will be receiving from her friends. More frugal than some of the gifts I have given new parents in the past.

    1. I think you’re plan to make meals for your friend once her baby arrives is a wonderful idea and I’m certain it will be much appreciated.

  5. I so appreciate all the wonderful comments left for me last week regarding Germany. I’ve been researching many of the things mentioned. I’m glad you figured out a creative way to fit the size refrigerator you wanted, and for significantly less money too! That’s pretty interesting about the online vs store price. How wonderful some hangers showed up just as you needed them. Thanks for also sharing the frugal accomplishments of your children. It’s like we’re getting three for one :o). The garden is starting to dwindle, but I’m still harvesting lots of good things. I canned tomatoes, and made gelato with our hazelnuts. Friends visited over the weekend, and gave us large bags of tart dried cherries and dried cranberries. I shared soap and pawpaws with them. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2019/09/early-september-frugal-accomplishments.html

  6. Last week was pretty ordinary, with mainly just the usual frugal stuff–reusing and recycling, using 1/3 of a dryer sheet per load, turning off lights, consolidating errands and saving wherever I can. I paid my bills online. It is beginning to look and act like fall in northern Idaho, so I turned off the automatic irrigation system and only watered once last week. We are still getting tomatoes. I canned another 2 pints of excess tomatoes = 11 pints so far.

    Thanks for the update on Winter and Cyrus. Will Winter be taking the second semester off, or does she plan to go year-round to graduate sooner? (If she takes off winter semester, she will miss the worst of the winter weather in eastern Idaho and be in LV for the best of the weather there).

    1. She is assigned to be online during winter term but will stay there to do her school and continue to work. The “off” semester they are supposed to take online classes. Many people stay at the university during that time.

  7. Those college book costs are great. Being able to rent the books is a great benefit to a lot of students, I think.

    My week was centered on Hurricane Dorian – before, during, and after. The only food I bought that I would not have picked up on my regular shopping trip was a 24 pack of water at Aldi’s for $1.99. They had about 580 packages in one area of the store and more on the shelf. I did not have to open them because we never lost power or water, although internet was out several times between Thursday, when the storm passed us by and thankfully stayed offshore, through today (Monday). I took Thursday and Friday as vacation days; it’s amazing how little I care about impressing anyone with my work ethic since I know I’m retiring in January and will never have to go through another performance evaluation.

    I was concerned that water would get into my heat pump outside. It’s raised about 6-8 inches off the ground but my yard needs landscaping to stop water running downslope to the house (project for this winter/spring). I learned how to pack sandbags to put around the raised base as well as long the edge of the screen porch where water also pools. I did have Lake Mari there for a day, but the porch is also raised about 6 inches from the ground with an open area under it and water did not get to it even though we had about 8 inches of rain. Most of the sandbags were free from the county; I just needed to fill the ones I needed. I bought a few more when I reached my allotment from the county but spending $35 there to save potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage was well worth it. Pro tip: If you ever need to fill a sandbag, skip the shovel and use some type of scoop, such as a sand bucket, especially if you are filling them by yourself.

    Fortunately, I had NO hurricane damage, although others in my neighborhood had major trees or tree limbs come down, had wooden fences blown apart, or suffered room damage. All the blocks of ice I made in case I lost power went unused and I’m not complaining about that!

    I sent my daughter gift cards from credit card points for her birthday as well as a check and a small gift card I bought to a national cake chain that has stores in both my area and hers in Oregon. Her birthday is this week and her boyfriend’s is at the end of the month. They followed my advice and signed up for the free birthday gift promotions at several stores and restaurants they patronize, including the cake store.

    I shopped my homeowners’ insurance which was up for renewal at the end of this month (can’t believe I moved nearly a year ago) and saved $410 over the old insurance. The agent who sold me the policy was kind of shocked that I was paying the entire annual premium at once and not going for monthly payments. It’s a $22 difference in cost and I have the money so why would I not pay it. It’s not as if I would earn much interest on it in the bank. I do not have an escrow account but faithfully put aside the total for all insurance, including the car and umbrella policies, and real estate taxes each month. It makes life a lot less stressful.

    Other than that, it was a normal week with prepping food to eat before it goes bad, reading and listening to e-books from the library and Scribd, catching up on chores, and doing yard work, including picking up the many, many skinny tree branches that ended up in my yard. It was good to stay home and save money by listening to and watching college football games (all 5 of my teams won!) this weekend because fall festival season is coming up and money WILL be spent. Fortunately, it’s already budgeted.

    Have a wonderful and frugal week.

    1. I just had to chuckle when you mentioned not having to impress anyone because you will be retiring soon. I am an RN and when I have notice that I was leaving my job after 30 years I started playing ” You Don’t Own Me ” on my phone from time to time when I was doing paperwork. It raised a few eyebrows for sure.

  8. You’ve had a busy week, Brandy! It’s amazing that your children are so young and starting secondary school already. Has Cyrus decided what he’d like to study in college yet? Or is he still trying to decide his major? I love that he is building a reference library through his new job. Congrats on the new refrigerator!

    This week I finished up working at the pioneer village for the summer season. I will still work 3 more events (2 in October and 1 in December), as well as the Christmas school programing which starts in mid-November and runs to just before Christmas. With my return to home life, I will be taking over most of the cooking and grocery shopping. I will also be very busy canning various items to use in winter over the next few weeks. No rest for the wicked!
    This week our frugal accomplishments for our household included:
    *Meals made at home included baked chicken breasts smothered in cheddar cheese soup with mashed potatoes and green/yellow bean mix, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles and potato chips, beef french dip sandwiches, spaghetti with choice of sauce, homemade cream of potato soup with homemade garlic bread (using up some lingering hotdog buns from the freezer), and homemade fried rice with veggie spring rolls (see below).
    *DD started back to school this week. My mother kindly made up a brownie mix to use in DD’s lunches and some of my lunches this week, as I worked an extra shift on labour day weekend (more hours, bigger pay check!) and didn’t have time to bake. It appears DD’s friend will be attending another school this year, so I will not be sending her a lunch. Though this is a savings for us, I feel sad I won’t be able to ensure she has at least 1 healthy meal each day.
    *Made a batch of healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (https://eat-drink-love.com/chocolate-zucchini-muffins/) using the crooked neck squash I brought home from the gardens at work instead of zucchini, and pantry ingredients I already had on hand. These muffins will be used in DD’s school lunches this coming week and extras are for the rest of the family to enjoy.
    *Typically, I boil several eggs at once and eat an egg each day for breakfast, with extras kept in the fridge. Often we use them for making egg salad sandwiches or deviled eggs for lunch, too. On Sunday, I decided I needed a change and made myself some oatmeal with sliced almonds, dried cranberries and maple syrup (all pantry items). DD also decided to make herself some oatmeal, mixing in homemade low sugar jam and sliced almonds. I’m sharing these ideas for those who may be looking for budget friendly quick and easy breakfast (and lunch) options.
    *Prepared a big pot of white rice one morning, in preparation for making a triple batch of fried rice for dinner. For those who haven’t seen my previous posts on making fried rice, here is the link for the recipe I use: https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/best-fried-rice/. Not only is it cheap, it tastes amazing, it really hits the spot when you are craving Chinese takeout and it tastes just as good as leftovers making it a great lunch option (you could even make a batch for pre-made work lunches as a budget friendly time saver!). Leftover meat can be added if you’d like. I use frozen mixed veggies, but feel free to add whatever favourite veggies you have on hand (fresh, canned or frozen will all work). We like to pair it with veggie spring rolls to complete the meal.
    *I picked a big Ziploc bag of rose hips from the gardens at work. Washed and froze them so I can try making rose hip jelly this year. I’ve never tried it before (neither making it nor tasting it), but historically rose hips were commonly used as they provide high levels of vitamin C and other nutrients. Canada’s climate cannot naturally grow citrus fruit, but rose hips have higher levels of vitamin C that even citrus! Search google or Pinterest for more info and other ways to use rose hips if interested. It won’t cost me much to make, considering the rose hips were free, so I thought it’s worth a trying. If we like it, it’s another very cheap product to stock my pantry with that would help provide a healthy, balanced diet if I had to rely only on my pantry in the future.
    *Enjoyed a free slice of cake and some leftover veggies & dip at work this week.
    *Stocked up on several amazing sale items to fill out some areas of our pantry a bit. Mostly canned goods that will come in handy during an emergency, that double as easy lunch items. However, I was able to get breakfast sausages, ketchup, laundry stain remover and a few other items on sale that we were out of or almost out of. Love when things are on sale just when we need them the most.
    *Started the week with a birthday celebration. Our Potcake puppy we adopted in the winter turned 1 year old on Sept 2nd. My daughter insisted on buying her a special dog cookie that said “happy birthday” on it. We also bought her some new toys and a box of cheap dog treats, as birthday presents (again DD insisted). Our puppy came all the way from the Bahamas. We have taken an extra special interest in the damage that Hurricane Dorian has done there, as our puppy’s “relatives” are still on the islands. It’s so sad to watch the devastation on the TV, then look over at our spoiled pooch lounging comfortably in the lap of luxury. She really is one lucky doggie!
    *DD came home from her first day at school with the most beautiful ceramic tile she created in art class, using a sharpie and alcohol. I was thinking of making it into a hot plate or display it somehow, as it was so pretty! However, one of the Vice Principles at DD’s school also saw it and asked if she could have it to display in her office. DD has agreed to make more if I buy her coloured sharpies, rubbing alcohol and cheap tiles. If they turn out as nice as the first one, I may give them as Christmas gifts!!!
    *I was really feeling like I wanted to get my hair cut this week. I’m not able to get my hair fully cut yet, as I will still need long enough to put it up in a bun until after Christmas programs are done. It always seems a huge waste of money to get just a trim. So I cut my own bangs, as per my usual, which made me look and feel better.
    *Our washing machine needed to be replaced. We haven’t had it an extreme amount of time. However, in the time we’ve had it, the rubber seal needed to be replaced early in the game, the water pump needed replacing a little while ago and now the rubber is again needing replacing. In the last few weeks, it has destroyed 3 of my bras, which is not cheap to replace. It was definitely time for a new one. So, hubby and I have been on the hunt for a replacement. This week, we noticed that Costco had a highly rated top loader washer with an in-store energy saver rebate, for $449 plus tax, but we had to get it home and install it ourselves. We checked out another store to compare. They had a similar, but slightly smaller machine with less setting options for $549 plus tax, free delivery, an extra $30 to remove the old machine and we could get an extended warranty for another extra $200. Hubby wanted to buy the “free delivery” machine with the extended warranty. Well, I talked some sense into that man, and we bought the machine at Costco. We used my brother’s mini van to transport it home. Hubby and my brother brought the new machine in, took the old machine out and we plan to take the old machine to the scrap metal place where we might get paid a few bucks for the metal.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s inspiring comments this week. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

    1. Rhonda A.,
      I myself have been thinking of harvesting rose hips — I am thinking of drying them for rose hip tea but jelly or jam sounds delicious, too!

      1. Here is the link to the recipe I want to try for the jelly: https://passthepistil.com/how-to-make-rose-hip-jelly/. This one gives the option of using apples to create enough pectin for the jelly to set. Don’t know what your area is like, but we have lots of wild/unused apple and crabapple trees everywhere here. I think I might grab some crabapples off a tree, add them to the pot while cooking down the rose hips and make the jelly almost completely with foraged local produce!

        1. thanks so much! And thanks to Mabel, too. There are usually lots of apple crabs on my own tree but I had no fruit of any kind this year. I may be able to get some from another friend — I just remembered I have some in my freezer from last year so I’m all set. Thanks1

          1. Another option I am considering is using apple peels that are left over from making applesauce. Again, basically free food, with just the cost of sugar and hydro to make it.

      2. file:///C:/Users/dorki/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/IE/7U21AH4G/FNH-00114.pdf

        This is a publication, free to download, from the Alaska Cooperative Extension, that gives info and recipes for rose hips.

    2. Rhonda – we are staying in an RV park in the S. Colorado Mts. The wildflowers have been amazing – including the wild roses. I realized there were rose hips on the plants and I googled what to do with them. Apparently inside the hip are “hairs” that one shouldn’t eat. So I am planning on harvesting some in a week or two (some website say that harvesting after the first ‘light’ frost is best and other say – ‘nope, not necessary’). Our nights are down to about 49F so it is getting cooler. I would like to make rose hip tea and most of all, rose hip jelly! I’ll let you know how this goes. Mary

      1. I read the same thing about the hairs, which is why I’m doing rose hip jelly and not jam! I happened to be working in the house that has the rose bushes in the garden on the last day we were in buildings in the village. I took the opportunity to collect the rose hips, while I had the chance and they were still healthy looking. I tried collecting them before, which was after the frost had hit that year. I put them in the fridge, then didn’t get a chance to do anything with them for a week or two. When I finally pulled them out, there were worms inside the rose hips…yuck! So I tossed them. If you are going to collect them, I highly suggest doing something with them right away, whether it be wash & hedydrate, wash & make the jelly or wash & freeze until you have time to use them!

      2. if you put dried rose hips in thermos with boiling water and leave it overnight or 24 hrs, you´ll get a drink very rich in vitamin C. It´ll come out over extended period like this. 1 bigger spoonful for 0,5 litres.

  9. It sounds like you got a good deal on your new fridge!

    Our Frugal Accomplishments for the Week:

    * I found out that I needed to order a new laptop for my classes this semester. I bought one from Sam’s Club online, using Ebates and my cash-back card. It ended up being 50% off a comparable one from Walmart.

    * I found out that I only needed to pay $300 in fees for this semester instead of the $700 I have the last two years. I used these savings and the remainder of my book budget towards the new lapop, since I had already set aside money for these.

    * I found out that my SO’s work offers a day every year where all employees get 25% off at Sam’s Club, and it’s coming up at the end of October. I’m going to focus on eating down our freezer and pantry, so that we can take advantage of the discount.

    * I used the steaming water from steaming greens to cook pinto beans.

    * We had leftover night twice this week.

    * I made buttermilk pancakes and set aside more milk to culture.

    * I tried making yogurt from skim milk powder, but it didn’t turn out very well. I’m saving it to use in smoothies instead of throwing it away.

    * I made chicken enchiladas- I cooked up 2 lbs of bone in, skin on thighs that I bought for 59c/lb, then added 4 cups of cooked pinto beans, some homemade enchilada sauce from the freezer, some peppers from my farm share box, and a bit of cheese that had been languishing in the fridge. These are one of our favorites, and they’re so cheap! Shredding the meat finely means there’s enough meat for each enchilada, too.

    * I prepped our lunches for the week, and they turned out completely vegetarian- mine are brown rice, teriyaki tofu, and seasoned vegetables, and my SO’s are vegetarian chili in individual containers with cornbread baked on top.

    That’s everything I can think of at the moment. I hope everyone has a great week!

  10. Last week, I feel like I was getting back on track with more frugality. Here are my accomplishments:

    – I started to coupon at Dollar General. I was able to get several items for about 7.00. This included laundry detergent, pain medication and other items. On Saturdays, they have a 5 off 25.oo coupon. This seems to be the best day to get good deals because you can stack the 5 off with other coupons.
    – I was able to do a deal several times at Walgreens. This deal included laundry detergents for a little over a dollar with coupons and sales.
    – On Sunday, I had a free meal at my job in exchange for participation of a work function.
    – I am taking 4 classes online, using Veteran’s Benefits from my husband’s army service. One is personal finance, which has been interesting!
    – I cashed out on several apps and websites. The total for August was a little over $103.00. The article about these paying websites and apps is on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2019/09/09/how-i-made-103-40-in-august-from-websites-apps-credit-card-rewards-and-more/
    – I have been sewing and crocheting items for my first craft fair!
    – I also worked some extra hours last week, at work.

  11. Brandy Winter is doing so well on spending so little on text books and batch cooking to save on costs. The new office will certainly cut costs and save money in this challenging economic climate and yes it is the same here in Australia. What a blessing it is to have case lot sales and have a voucher to get even more off the already discounted prices. Our groceries are going up fast here especially on meat and vegetables with the drought hitting most of Australia, the floods and now bush fires and I am seeing a lot of people struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table as inflation is higher on groceries than wages increasing.

    Here is our savings for last week –

    Internet savings –
    – Dh rang up Telstra about our wireless internet & got more data for $15 less per month than the current plan we are on. He is really getting very good at this and searching for bargains everywhere we go and is quite enjoying it. He was rather apprehensive doing this before until he saw what bargains I could pick up :).

    Purchases –
    – Found skin on thigh cutlet fillets on 1/2 price clearance at Woolworths for $3 a kilo and purchased 3.352 kg. On special we also purchased a 2 lt chocolate milk and all up savings on the chicken and milk on usual prices was $10.91. We are trying to stock up our meat freezer with preferably all 50% of more meats.
    – Ordered an e-gift card from RACQ for fuel and saved 5% or $10.53 in free fuel.

    Finances –
    – Paid near on an extra payment of $175 off our mortgage.

    In the gardens –
    – Planted some beetroot, lettuce and silverbeet seeds after adding fertiliser to the soil in the vegetable gardens.
    – DH cleared some fallen ironbark branches from trees on our back boundary and cut it into firewood but there is still more to do.
    – Watered newly planted silverbeet, lettuce and beetroot seeds in with town water from the drip irrigation system.
    – Watered potted fruit and herb plants with cleanish vegetable steaming water, dish rinsing water, grey water pumped from the grey water tank and some town water.
    – Watered the fruit, berry trees and some lawn in the gardens with water pumped from the grey water tanks. Used grey water from our hand washing to water shrubs in gardens around the home.
    – Used saved shower water to fill up hand washing, drink water bottles and to clean the bathrooms and toilet.
    – We fill up a 4 litre ice cream container of water for the kangaroos and wallabies to drink as there is no water for them in the creeks and the small amount of green grass our grey water helps create is keeping a few mothers and baby kangaroos alive along with giving them some apple cores and bread ends.

    We are on severe water restrictions of 100 litres per person per day as of September 1 here due to the drought so every drop of spare water goes to water something here. Fortunate we are on tank rainwater for most the home so we can allocate most of our town water allocation to growing the vegetables in the gardens. It will be a much smaller vegetable patch this year.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful week last week and will have this week too :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

      1. Most welcome @Cara DH and I both love animals and can’t see them go thirsty and hungry. We have both been carers of native animals in the past so we do what we can and I know others in the area who are giving the kangaroos their fruit scraps and peelings too to help them.


      1. Rhonda thank you we are trying to do our best to help the kangaroos and wallabies as are many people. It is a thing most people do in the country as we all cannot see animals starve or go without water. The farmers here also keep an eye out for starving kangaroos and either put them down themselves as they are in such poor condition or notify the local policeman who will do the same. The local policeman if they can be saved takes them to wildlife carers in the area.


      1. Thank you Cindi the last what we call decent rain was a year ago but we have had far below average rainfall in our area for 2 years now. The locals say it would be rare for us to go into a third year of drought and we are hoping that they are right. Many farmers are sharing their bore water from bores on their property to water stock for their neighbours. We all pull together as a community to help each other where we can.

        I am so happy your drought broke there for you it must be a relief.

        Thank you we are hoping to get decent rainfall soon but we are very blessed to have about 2 years worth of rainwater in our 3 large large tanks for the house as the rain filled them before we purchased here in December and the house was vacant for 18 months so the water built up. Many locals have run out of water in their homes and can’t buy any or are finding it hard to buy water for their homes from the local water carriers as councils are tightening the amount of water they can sell. A few have approached us to buy our rainwater but we are reluctant to do that as we don’t know how long this will last. A few neighbours we have told on the quiet that they can come here for showers or a small bath if they are out of water though.

        I know we are not alone as many areas/farmers and communities have had drought longer than us and we pray for them.


    1. Lorna, I’m always so impressed with all that you and your husband accomplish each week – you are amazing! It is incredible to read of the heat and forest fires hitting so much of Australia – but it’s even been bad in the north this year and even in Alaska! Here in southern Ontario we’ve been pretty lucky – a few days hit 40C but not as many as last year and there has been enough rain to keep things green – in fact we’ve had to watch the water level in may places as it was getting pretty high gain. It rained yesterday and there is a thunderstorm starting up right now but it’s supposed to clear by the weekend – wish we could send some your way.

      1. Thank you Margie and it helps to know that people are thinking of us and others and you all bless us and many others 🙂 . We try our best to do what we can when we have the energy.

        We will keep praying for good rain and especially those areas and families affected by the bush fires currently. The way I look at it is things can always be worse and we know we are always being looked after and “shall not fear”.


  12. I went to a local Coop home store, which sells hardware and lumber, and bought a telescoping handle and a squeegee, so that I can clean the outside windows without using a stepladder. This will save me hiring someone. I was pleased that I could find this item locally. I also needed quite a few lightbulbs. LED bulbs were 50% off at this same Coop store. Some CFL spiral light bulbs will be replaced. The LED bulbs are brighter, look better in my ceiling fan fixtures, and will reduce electricity use. The bulbs are rated to last 15,000 hours.

    I put together an order for two pairs of pants and two tops at Land’s End with a 30% off discount. I didn’t place the order, though, because I wanted to check sizes. The next morning there was a reminder about the order, still at 30% off. By evening the discount on the order was 40%, so I submitted it. This is the second time in a row I have gotten a larger discount by waiting 24 hours after I have put the order together online. I think this is now my policy for online shopping.

    I had said a week or two ago that none of my utility bills came in under $100 this summer, which I was disappointed about. One did come in this week for $99.88. 12 cents to spare. This is my village utilities bill, which includes natural gas for heating and hot water, water, sewage, garbage and recycling pick-up. (I tend to call it my heating bill, even in months with no heating.)

    Sunday would have been my dad’s 100th birthday. I let my nieces and their dad know, and suggested that they think of him fondly, and have something chocolate to eat, because he was a a great chocolate lover. My nieces both got to reminisce a bit, and were enthusiastic about putting chocolate desserts on their menus. It didn’t do my dad any harm, I think, since he lived to 89. I also called my sister-in-law, and my dad’s “baby sister” who is now 90. It was fun to touch base with everyone, and we all seemed to enjoy thinking and talking about him. We all live very far from each other, so we don’t see each other. I found a small chocolate cream pie for my own menu. Though very small, it will be two desserts for me.

  13. Congrats on the new fridge. And how interesting about the store vs online price. I will remember to check that in the future.

    This covers the last two weeks, as we were out of town early last week.

    We had a great trip to Chicago. Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions on what to do. We stayed six nights in an extended stay hotel right downtown, which was great. It had a kitchenette and a washer and dryer. Breakfast was included, which my husband took advantage of, but I brought my own oatmeal to make (hotel breakfasts tend to not agree with me). We bought transit passes for the week we were there, which we used for the trip to and from the airport, and everywhere else that was too far to walk. The purpose of the trip was to see the Mariners (Seattle baseball team) play in Wrigley Field, which apparently happens only once every few years (my husband is a huge baseball fan). We went to one game together, and my husband went to the other game by himself. Otherwise, we did a mix of free stuff (Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Riverwalk, and walked along Lake Michigan) and things that cost money (architecture cruise on the river, the Art Institute, the aquarium, the Field Museum, and the Willis Tower). We bought a City Pass that allowed us to see the main attractions at a discounted price. We ate a bunch of meals out, and enjoyed Chicago style pizza twice. Yum. It was not an inexpensive trip, but we had planned and budgeted for it.

    I can list a few frugal accomplishments before and after the trip:
    – Did a lot of cooking and food prep. Made hamburgers and meatballs for the freezer. Chopped 8 quart bags of poblano peppers and froze them. Made several batches of broth. Made water kefir and kombucha.
    – Made deodorant and face scrub.
    – Mended a cloth grocery bag for my mom.
    – Shared food with my mom who is still recovering from a broken arm. She gave me a couple bags of frozen blackberries and some chicken bones to use for broth.
    – Donated our farm share (CSA) to a needy family for the week we were out of town.
    – Had a small birthday celebration for my sister a week before her birthday, since we were both over at my mom’s that day. I brought cupcakes and my mom got ice cream. My sister was surprised and very happy. I gave her a small gift I had purchased when I visited the lavender fields in July.
    – Went to Kohl’s and checked the clearance items. I do this about twice a year. Found several very inexpensive tops (one for $2.00 and one for $2.60).

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments this week!

    1. Tina, always happy to hear when someone enjoys my hometown! Glad you made it to Millennium Park. Truly one of the most beautiful places in the city and that is saying a lot! Not to mention Wrigley Field – a treasure by itself! My dad had Sunday afternoon tickets for over 20 years and my husband’s Grandma grew up in Lakeview – both were lifelong Cubs fans. And the pizza, of course….

  14. What did you think of the e-books? I’m looking for some good new reads! How wonderful that your children are learning to be frugal and resourceful! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  15. My parents don’t count every penny but they are contentious about how they spend their money. When they were looking for a new refrigerator, they found the one they liked online. However, my dad just wanted to see it in person so they drove to the nearest Home Depot.. It was cheaper in store than online and the sales lady said to ALWAYS check in store for the expensive items, as that is often the case. Also, you can see if they’ll sell the floor model at an even cheaper price (scratch and dent). For $500 less, they got what they wanted and only had to spend an extra two hours to do it.

  16. Love the picture of the pears! And congrats on being able to get the larger refrigerator! And Winter sounds like she is doing very well.

    We had a rough week, as two of our good friends died in the Conception boat fire. We were just numb all week. It is such a tragedy.

    Our accomplishments this week included:

    • 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.
    • Ate in 5 times. We had leftover pulled pork, potato salad and corn on the cob; slow cooked ribs with corn on the cob and baked potatoes; we had my husband’s nephew and his wife who were passing through town on their way from moving from Maine to California, along with my MIL, SIL, BIL and niece. Instead of us taking them all out to dinner, Hubby picked up some Mexican food from a great place on his way home from work.. Had enough leftovers for the next night; frozen pizza; steak, baked potatoes and corn on the cob.
    • Hung 3 of 4 loads of laundry.
    • Worked 14 ½ contract hours.
    • Resisted the urge to grab lunch out on Saturday and made tacos for lunch instead using all ingredients I already had.
    • My boss bought my lunch one of the days I went into the office. Hubby brought his lunch most days. There were a couple of days that I had to grab lunch out so I made sure to just go somewhere cheap.
    • Read library books.
    • Returned a couple of items to the grocery store that I bought not knowing I already had them.
    • Got 4 boxes of cereal and 2 yogurts for free. Also resisted the urge to buy anything else except for fresh veggies and milk. Really want to start eating up what we have again.

    I hope this week is a good week for everyone.

    1. So sorry about your friends and very scary ..hopefully the good will be safety in the future all done by your friends sacrifice

  17. I don;t feel very frugal. I am running up medical bills right and left. We did go to the library to borrow movies for my son. I also went to a mobile food pantry. Husband worked overtime last week. Paying bills on time. Setting up payment plans for some medical bills. Besides the surgery, I am definitely diabetic and need to learn to manage it. Another appointment for that this week. Glad I made a plan to pay our bills a month ago. We do have money to pay our taxes now because we saved a bit at a time. I need to make a new plan to pay medical bills too. But we will also need to save to pay the next taxes. Called on a bill that I thought was an error and it was. Glad that was figured out.
    AARP sent me a welcome to the 50’s club letter.. I turn 50 at the end of this month.

    1. So sorry about your medical problems! Just wanted to mention, in case you were interested. I was able to reverse my pre diabetes by following Dr. Youngberg’s advice in his book “Good by Diabetes”. Basically, eating a plant based, Whole Foods diet along with exercise. I feel better than I did ten years ago, (I am 54 now) and lost 55 extra pounds along the way! I realize this may not be for everyone, but I am so thankful I learned of lifestyle things I could do so I didn’t need to go on medication. Not completely frugal, in that I have had to completely replace my entire wardrobe due to the weight loss, but I am having much more fun shopping for deals on new clothes than I would have spending the money on medication!

      1. Tammy,

        I’m sorry to hear about the diabetes! Susan M.’s comments are right on the mark. I’ve known several people who have
        lost weight and the diabetes was resolved. The trick for you will be to maintain good nutrition, the diet that is appropriate for diabetics, as now is not the time to sacrifice good nutrition.
        You certainly have a lot to deal with right now but I know you can cope with it all. Remember to smell the roses, watch the sunsets along the way.
        I’ve been thinking of you.

          1. Tammy, You’re welcome. Peppers freeze well in baggies. My mother used to freeze strips of green pepper to use in casseroles later. Ann

      2. Susan M. Thankyou. I definitely would like to be able to reverse diabetes if possible. I’ll have to check out that book. Congratulations on your weight loss1

      3. I would recommend taking a nutrition class to help manage your diabetes. It was one of the best things I did for myself. I learned a few things I didn’t know and resolved to eat better. It’s been 16 years since I was diagnosed and I’m taking oral medications but have been able to avoid any serious complications so far. Best of luck to you.

    2. Just remember, Tammy, if you weren’t being frugal, your finances would be even worse off than they are right now. I would love to read about some of the daily things you are doing to keep yourself above water, even if they seem minor. What cheap meals are you creating from what you received from the mobile food pantry? What small efforts are you doing to keep your bills low? What low cost entertainment have you utilized this week? Listing them is not only helpful for you to see the positive efforts you are making, but helpful for others who may also be going through a similar financial circumstance currently or might in the future. I’m betting you have some amazing tips to share with us. So please don’t feel embarrassed…I sincerely want to glean from you 1st hand experiences on how to live on an extremely tight budget!!!

      1. Rhonda,
        Thank-you. You are right. If we weren’t being frugal, we would be so much worse off. We would not be able to pay taxes or buy propane or any of the things to survive. When my husband had his old high paying job We spent it on eating out and vacations or just anything we wanted. We didn’t save. Not good. Now that things are very tight we are surviving. We turn off lights when we are not in the room, only using the light directly above us. We have been going to a mobile food pantry when we can to spread our budget. Where we live they give us healthy food. Today we had corn on the cob, little tomatoes and mashed potatoes from the pantry and I added a chicken patty for each of us that I’d bought on sale. For dessert we had strawberries, also from the pantry. This morning I made eggs from our chickens, sausage from my husband’s family and pears from the pantry. My husband took peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work and my son and I had a couple of tacos for 79 cents each in town before his physical therapy. I have a bunch of apples so I am going to make applesauce, unsweetened. I am going to try and freeze some. i think I should be able to do that. I use the internet a lot for entertainment. Mostly looking up recipes to make from ingredients I have on hand. Oh another meal we made is we took half the sausage one day( the other today) and cooked it with a sweet potato, onion, and and apple. It was very good. Everything was from a pantry except the sausage from family. My son found more asparagus spears growing and picked it and we showed him how to cook it. Right now asparagus is $6 a lb. So I might send him out tomorrow to see if more has grown. we all love asparagus. Unfortunately earlier this summer we sold our asparagus and I didn’t put any back for winter. it did help pay bills at the time. So that was a plus. So any apparatus we get now is certainly a treat. I plan on making Brandy’s Rosemary white bean soup from dry beans that I have. We all love it and I can use my pressure cooker to make it quicker and save energy. We have been trying to consolidate our trips so we are running to town several times a day. My husband looks for quarters at the grocery store in the carts because he actually can make money from what people just leave in the cart if he puts them away.. One day he found 4 quarters. We have found the two cheapest grocery stores and that is where we shop for anything we need that is not at the pantry. We actually base our meals around what we get from the pantry and what I have on hand most of the time. We already owe three thousand dollars in hospital and doctor bills and I haven’t even had pre op appointments or surgery and hospital stay. Two bills we are making payments on already and the other I hope to set up a payment plan. My husband is trying to work overtime every week. That is helping a lot. Tonight we watched the sunset, because Ann reminded me not to forget to do that. Something we were doing and I was replacing with reading about cancer and diabetes and generally feeling sorry for myself. Watching the sunset was very nice this evening. I think I will save rose hips too. I have a rose bush here on our property. I would enjoy rose hop tea as would my husband!
        We receive lots of sweet peppers. i am excited about that because they are so expensive here. Not only are we eating them fresh put I think I will put it together with some frozen tomatoes I have and make a soup. I’ll add some other things. I may look up a recipe on the internet for inspiration and then do my own twist on it. I really enjoy soup and will probably do that tomorrow and make the bean soup on a day that we are running low on fresh veggies. Although I love that soup too. I love potato soup and we have a lot of potatoes but I am not sure it is the best choice when I have diabetes. I will soon find out. I am so glad that we are on a schedule that I made to pay bills way before I found out about all this medical stuff. So we seem to be alright so far. I need to make another two months of a payment plan and we will have to fit in new medical bills into the plan or find help. I buy soap and toothpaste from the dollar tree or general dollar for cheap unless I see it cheaper somewhere else.. I like to buy things that we need on sale when we can. I am not shopping for clothes for any of us,not even thrifting now. We make sure our garbage bags are full before we throw them out and if I can use a grocery sack for some of the garbage, we do. My husband and I do the bills together so neither of us spend what we don’t have. Thanks Rhonda, it was fun to write what I have been doing. And Ann thanks, I plan to watch more Sunsets and smell the roses!

        1. I have a roasted pepper soup recipe here on the site!

          You can also cut the peppers in half and roast them. Cover them while they cool and then peel the skins from them. You can cut them up or blend them as a spread for sandwiches. The roasted ones/spread can be frozen, too.

          1. Brandy,
            Thanks for the ideas and I will use your roasted pepper soup recipe. Thanks! Good to know I can freeze the roasted ones.

        2. Tammy loved reading this update, Rhonda was so smart to spur your ideas and writing. I am a nurse and though every person is different with diabetes one safe routine is 4oz of protein at lunch and dinner with vegetables-almost unlimited with greens/cucumbers the starchy vegetables like corn have limits, 2 fruits per day, breakfast some doctors and registered dietitians have varying ideas but eggs with veggies or oatmeal- other healthy grains bulgar, quinoa etc.
          Along with 64 oz of water rounds out a basic intake to keep blood sugar stable
          Many doctors recommend a small serving of protein/carbohydrate snack in evening to keep blood sugar stable overnight if you find you are very low upon rising or shaky lightheaded
          Hope something of this helps
          I love Brandy’s recipes especially when the ingredients are so frugal and delicious

          1. Pam,
            Thank-you for the information. I really appreciate it! I do sometimes feel shaky and lightheaded in the morning. In fact sometimes I do during the day if I wait too long to eat something. I love Brandy’s recipes too!

        3. Tammy, for someone who thought they weren’t being frugal, that is one awesome list!!! Thank you for sharing everything you are doing. You’ve developed some great habits with saving hydro and gas for your vehicles. Although I don’t specifically search for quarters left in the carts, I sure do get excited when one or two cross my path! Those quarters definitely add up, especially if you consider what a dollar can buy you at the grocery or dollar store. If someone wants to help me buy food for my family, so be it!

          I’m so glad the pantry you are getting food from gives out such healthy options. It certainly makes it so much easier to manage your diabetes when you have the right food choices to consume. I love that you were able to stretch 1 sausage over 2 meals! The soups all sound wonderful. If you can, freeze all your veggie trimmings that normally get thrown out (carrot peelings, seed ends from peppers, tomato skins, onion peels/ends, asparagus ends, etc). They can be boiled down, then strained to make a free, healthy and very tasty veggie broth. I prefer to add them when I boil down chicken bones, to add more nutrients and flavour to the chicken broth. But using them to make separate broth batches means you will have twice the broth for making soup, all for free! If you decide to make a potato soup, try adding as many cheap veggies as you feel you can (like carrots, onions or corn). It adds a bit more balanced nutrition to the soup. You are right, potatoes aren’t the best choice for diabetics. However, in moderation, they can certainly be used. In other words, don’t eat potato soup every week, and balance those high carb meals out with lower carb ones during the day. As for the abundance of peppers, have you looked up recipes for stuffed peppers? Not only is it a frugal, healthy meal, you can make extras and freeze them for a quick/convenience meal later. Also, you could do a nice stir-fry or fajitas with some of the peppers. There are lots of options, that’s for sure! Keep thinking about your future needs, though.

          If you have any extra produce now, definitely think of ways you can preserve it for use in the winter. With bills adding up, and Christmas fast approaching, you will be so thankful for anything you were able to packed away for making balanced meals later. Thank you, again for sharing your efforts. I truly do enjoy reading and learning about what really helps when a budget is so tight (thus what attracted me so strongly to Brandy’s website in the first place!). Keep up the great work, Tammy!!!

          1. Rhonda,
            Thank-you. I love your ideas too! I enjoy reading and learning about what really helps when a budget is tight also. I honestly have never made veggie broth. I need to. I usually make chicken broth from bones. We like fajitas, good idea! I may freeze some too.

        4. Tammy, is there a Catholic Church in your area that has a St. Vincent de Paul? This organization can help you with medical bills, food, rent and mortgage payments. And, you donot have to be Catholic to get help. It would not hurt to call around. Blessinfs to you and your family.

          1. Sabrina,
            Thank-you for the suggestion. I’m not sure if there is or not. I may check into it.
            And thank-you for the blessings.

        5. Hi Tammy. Make sure to check with the hospitals about financial assistance. As for the peppers…stuffed green peppers are great and you can freeze them. I also core and chop up my peppers, lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Then bag them up and back in the freezer to be used in chili and flavoring for other dishes. I am praying for you. Thank you for sharing all the ways you save…you have given me some ideas and motivation.

        1. Yes, Tammy. I got it from the library, then bought it second hand. I highly recommend it and the sequel: The Longevity Paradox. Losing and keeping off weight has never been so easy for me and it’s never been truly difficult. I know I’m lucky in that. The premise of both books is that you need to avoid certain foods to rebuild a health gut biome. Populations of “bad” bacteria create food cravings for what they use for fuel and when you change your diet, the gut biome changes and the cravings for unhealthful foods end.

          Good luck.

    3. Tammy, do you have multiple payment plans with a single provider, such as the hospital? If so, I suggest you sit down with the business office and see if you can consolidate the bills, then ask for financial aid. Sometimes the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. If you can show them the total of what you are paying them, they may be more able to help.

      I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Getting an AARP letter is not much of a 50th birthday present. IMO.

      1. Thanks for the suggestion Mazine.

        The bill part of this is about as scary as the medical part. You are right about the AARP letter!

    4. May I recommend checking out Dr. Jason Fung on Youtube. He is a kidney specialist here in Toronto who has written a book called “The Obesity Code” but he deals a lot with diabetics who are experiencing kidney issues as a result. His recommendations are a bit different from the accepted views but more and more doctors here are starting to follow his program. A friend has type II Diabetes and she has lost nearly 50 pounds in less than a year and her numbers have dropped significantly – here doctors are very pleased. I am on the program also – not diabetic but High BP and need to lose weight – my cardiologist recommended it.
      He has some videos that are aimed more at medical people (they are lectures he gave) but he also has many aimed at the general public. He has quite a dry sense of humour so not too hard to follow. See what you think.

      1. Margie,
        I will check him out. Thank you. After I heal from surgery I definitely need to lose weight. I have a feeling I am going to lose weight from this surgery too. My one tumor is the size of a small baby. Looking forward to getting it out.Even though I’m not looking forward to the pain.

  18. Hi Brandy
    I’ve seen you mention case lot sales a few times. I was looking around in my area for one, but they all seem to be at military bases. Do you have to have served in the military in order to shop at one or are there other types?

    1. This is at Smith’s grocery store. It’s the only store here that has them, and they’re in the spring and fall. From what other readers have told me, it’s just a few states in the west that have them: Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming are the ones I’ve seen mentioned before, and it’s generally Smith’s and in Utah a store named Macey’s. Other readers may know of others but those are the only ones I know about. I’m not military so I don’t know about that aspect.

    2. Angela,

      You might try Walmart’s online site — in Canada, they sell case lots of soup. I don’t know what the prices are like — to me I looked at the U.S. website but the prices didn’t look great but maybe they are as I don’t know U.S. prices.

    3. Angela, youhave shoprites. They havea can can sale every winter and every July. They also have Italian food month in I think Feb. March is frozen food month. You will definitely be able to get cases lots on sale.

    4. Thanks Brandy, Ellie, and Kim. Good point Kim! Shoprite completely slipped my mind. I will try them for sure!

  19. Got all of the first of the month bills paid – bought my transit pass – and stocked up on mostly non-food items. There have been some good sales at my local NO Frills and Shoppers Drugmart – items on for 50% off – their own brand items bought for Loyalty points. In all I’ve wracked up about $20 in Loyalty points just on these items that I really needed. Things like mouthwash, dental supplies, TP, Acetaminophen, kleenex etc. – stocking up for winter. I like to have about 6 months worth on hand by the end of September so that I can get through the winter without having to buy much. I’ve got my eyes open for a deal on laundry detergent next – I use one particular brand due to allergies but I have a price point that I won’t go above. I still have two bottles left so I’m not desperate. The only food that I bought was some milk, yogurt, fruit & veg as I’m still trying to eat a large salad every day and trying not to waste food.

    I was able to gift a couple of meals to my elderly neighbour and gift some items to our church pantry – all from stock I had on hand. I also volunteered for some fundraising projects at my church – so it was a very busy week.

    I worked a lot of extra hours so I’m going to enjoy Wednesday off this week!

    Got caught up on a lot of laundry – and only used the dryer for some sheets.

    Decluttered some more household items and gave everything to my superintendent. She always knows of recently arrived families or she will send a barrel home to the Azores once or twice a year so everything gets used by someone who really needs it. A far better use for things than having them gathering dust in my cupboards!

    So glad you were able to get the larger sized fridge and at a great price! And it sounds as though the new office arrangement has worked out really well for everyone – and that is a lot of money to save every month!

    It is starting to cool down now – especially overnight – but the temps will be up and down a lot for the next few weeks. But I love the Fall and have been happy to pull out a couple of sweaters to wear over this past weekend. I will slowly start switching over to Fall clothes over the next few weeks.

    Looking forward to reading about what everyone else has been up to.

  20. Well, she’s gonna love those boots she bought last week. Tell her to start looking for wool socks. Costco sells 6 pairs of Smart Wools for $19.99, and I’ll bet they show up in thrift stores, too. When it get really cold, I wear a thinner sock underneath. I’m assuming she has long underwear? She will need it. Costco (again) sells 32 Degree at excellent prices.

  21. Oh, that’s interesting—a semester of online courses–independent study in a way. A good way to practice time management. My grandaughter, who is now 27, wasn’t terribly good at that at Winter’s age, but is finally getting it together now. She thinks she has met “the one” and he is very disciplined because he is a writer, so we will see whose good or bad habits rub off on whom! She used to be two hours late for everything, but has been improving in that area.
    My last week was all off schedule–my 53 year old niece found out on Tuesday that she had severe heart blockages, was immediately admitted to the hospital and had triple bypass surgery on Thursday. She is doing well and is out of ICU and into a regular room. She is single so her mother sat at the hospital during her surgery. As her mother is my sister and also a widow, I was there with her for the entire 14 hour day! I had prepared well for the day, bringing a windbreaker, a couple boxes of crackers, a bottle of water and the last granola bar in the house. Due to the hospital being right downtown, they have valet parking, and the valet gave me my ticket and said just get out and leave the car running. In my confusion, my jacket and my snacks were left in the car, and I had no idea where the car was parked, The waiting room was, of course, freezing! Eventually a receeptionist brought us blankets to wrap up in, but we froze for several hours before that happened. I did find the best deal on the one meal my sister let us leave and get. She and her daughter ended up with terrible grilled cheese sandwiches and greasy fries. I hit the “choose your own sandwich” bar and got a roll with turkey, hot pepper cheese, raw red onions, and vinegrette. Also a slice of coconut cream pie for a cost of $6.04. My sister paid $8 something for a meal she couldn’t really eat. Later I went to Tim Horton’s (also in the hospital) and got her a cup of soup and myself a bagel. Her other daughter had left by that time, as she is not supposed to drive after dark due to vision problems. We were finally able to see my niece about 10 PM–her surgery was scheduled for 1:30 but the previous patient had problems and her surgery couldn’t be started until 4:15. I arrived back home about 11:30 PM after dropping my sister off. It took me two days to recover!! Actually I think it took my sister about that long also, and she’s all of 18 months younger than I am.
    Luckily my husband’s friend had taken him out for the day on a long ride and for a meal–which he does about once a week or so–so I didn’t have to worry about anyone taking care of him. I am lucky he is so good about this–his brother was also disabled before he passed, so he is aware of what my life is like as a caretaker.
    I didn’t really do anything much out of the ordinary the rest of the week–paid some bills, did some laundry, slept when I could. On the weekend I took my husband to the local peach festival. They sell huge shortcakes for $5 each, the highlight of the festival to most people. The peaches were actually a bit underripe but the shortcakes were good anyhow. My husband had a sandwich first but I didn’t need one–just the shortcake was plenty. It was in a town an hour away, so we had a great ride both ways, and a walk around the festival as well as the shortcake! A lovely weekend experience.
    I did get my bill for school taxes on the very first day of school. Funny how they manage that every single year! Not a problem, as we get a significant veteran’s exemption, so the taxes are quite affordable.
    It has turned suddenly fall like the past week but is supposed to be near 80 for the next couple days after getting down to about 50 tonight! If I can motivate my husband, I still have gardening and household things that need doing before it cools off for good! Which I hope is not soon!.
    Have a wonderful frugal week ahead.
    OH–I did catch a good value on a one day sale at Bath & Body Works–regular $6.50 a bottle foaming hand soap was on sale for $2.95 each. I have a bottle on my sink that was a gift and lasted me two years! (If I have soapy water going, I don’t use the hand soap.) I think I bought seven of those to put away for gifts. It’s good soap and I’ll probably gift one to myself also! All the fragrances were so tempting!

    1. Marcia: I am here to give testimony to good habits of a mate rubbing off on the other partner. When I met my husband I was $90,000 in debt, mostly school loans but also some profligate spending. He is on the tightwad end of the continuum and when he asked me to marry him he added that I needed to understand that this meant committing to being frugal and making paying off my debt a priority (he had zero debt, even though he also had a graduate degree). I still tease him about being the only man who has ever prepared a romantic meal and set a table with real flowers, only to pull out a spread sheet of his projected debt pay-off rate while he was still on his knee after popping the question! I agreed and although at first I would find myself mentally sulking, eventually I ended up as thrifty as he is without giving it a second thought these days. I cannot think where I would have ended up without him and thank God all the time for sending me someone to balance my weaker points who was willing to take on my debts! Who knows, your granddaughter may end up an expert at time management!

  22. Saturday when I was running errands with mom, I stopped by an upholstery shop to get an estimate on doing two Eastlake chairs. After I learned the labor will be $125 each and remnants that would work for the chairs are less than $7 a yard, I asked the owner if she had any sample books she wanted off her hands. She had just tossed a couple in the trash dumpster and had three more by the front door. She gave me all five and a bag of fabric scraps from her most recent projects. She suggested I could make patchwork and use that for the chairs. Hmmm, crazy quilt with all the seams reinforced with machine featherstitching would almost be period-appropriate. Tempting. It is also tempting to take the chair I bought at Goodwill and try doing the reupholstery myself. My dad was able to learn how to do it and the required tools are not expensive. The second chair that needs recovering was my great-grandmother’s which he repaired when I was in high school. I bought a book from Goodwill that includes details on how to reupholster an Eastlake side chair.

    I want to start making bags and purses again, something I did in my teens. I only need interfacing now and I have the raw materials for dozens of projects. Now to create a crafting space in mom’s basement as soon as possible…. The desk, bookcases, files, cabinet, workbench, and the drafting board are downstairs already. They just need a thorough cleaning, some paint, and being moved into one organized area, Lack of electrical outlets in that corner of the basement will have to be worked around. I will be using some adapters in the overhead fixtures for additional lighting, charging batteries, and the electric sewing machine. I have a lower wattage travel iron so I will be able to use it while plugged in overhead too. A normal clothing iron would draw too much current. so when I have more than a seam to press open, I will iron in the laundry area. You don’t want to see the living room carpet right now after cutting all the fabric out of the sample books. Threads are everywhere!

    I am just old enough now to sign up for social security retirement. My goal for next year includes finding ways to earn some money while staying home with mom that I will be able to continue to do for years. I hope I will be healthy enough to work more after mom no longer needs my assistance. I spent 19 years living within a mile of the ocean before I moved back to the midwest to help mom so I won’t feel cheated if I never really get to have a traditional retirement. But I need to work to save enough to pay for at least a few years of assisted living at the end of my life so I won’t be a burden on my nieces and nephews–even if they are willing and able to take care of me when my time comes.

    1. Holly – I love Eastlake furniture! I had several pieces but had to downsize and they went. I’d like to look for more. There are a lot of websites for working from home while near/at/beyond retirement age. I would be happy to share with you as I look more into this. Mary

    2. Holly,
      It is amazing what one can do reading a book. In college I had to spend time in the theatre department behind the scenes. I was given a book and a chair and material and told to reupholster the chair. I didn’t think I could do it but I did and I was so proud afterwards! Good luck with your projects! I love the beach! But lately I’ve been happy to live in the midwest.

  23. Glad about the fridge. The weather is changing here as well. It is cooling rapidly. I’ve checked all of the winter gear and found that we have everything but a pair of boots for myself. I had planned to bring back one of my older pairs, but was unable to travel of course. I will probably have to buy myself a warm pair of boots online. The last time I bought myself a new pair of boots was in 1990. It gets very cold and snowy here for months!

    Food wise we’ve been able to buy almost nothing this week. I’ve also put up bananas and green peppers (frozen and dehydrated). I also found 3 four-pound bags of gluten free baking mix on the expired food table. The expiration date is a year away, so that is great. Not sure why they were donated, but I’m thankful as my daughter is gluten free.

    Great news! My husband was helping friends move and they could not fit their snowblower. So they gave it to us. We are so blessed by this gift. It’s a big one in great shape…and we need one.

    Happy frugal-ing all

  24. Here are my frugal accomplishments this past week:
    *I only put $5 in gas in my minivan, it will be going into the garage on Wednesday or Thursday. It’s been eye opening how much less driving I can do if I try.
    *The kids and I walked to their soccer practice instead of driving on Wednesday. It’s .9 miles one way, and we did it, but won’t be doing it again. By the time we made it home, my sciatic nerve was really bothering me, and being 31 weeks pregnant, the discomfort was not worth it.
    *I brought snacks instead of buying snacks at my kids’ soccer games.
    *We rented a movie for free from Redbox with the code I got after buying marketside brand pizzas from Walmart.
    *I really wanted Oreos and stopped at Walgreens and I found family size packages on clearance for $1.24. That was awesome. I also picked up a box of 50 drawstring garbage bags also on clearance for $3.49.
    *We walked to the library closest to us (only .4 miles there and back) instead of driving to the one that I prefer (7.4 miles there and back). The one I prefer lets my kids check out movies and unlimited amounts of books, and also doesn’t charge late fines (they realized the late fines make up less than 1% of their income and also discourage library usage and return of late items). The one closer limits the kids to 7 books and no movies and charges late fines still, but it was free to walk to.
    *A friend gave us a bag of yellow squash and zucchini. We will be eating the yellow squash with dinner tomorrow, and I plan on making zucchini bread, too. The same friend also made cream of roasted cauliflower soup and brought it over to share with us for lunch on Saturday.
    *I used a $2 gift card that I earned on Shopkick at Walmart toward my groceries.

    1. Toni, have you ever seen bicycles from the Netherlands? Biking in the Netherlands in a huge cultural thing…everyone does it! They have some of the coolest looking bikes I’ve ever seen, too. Here’s a link to one of my favourite bike styles I saw when I was visiting: https://www.urkai.com/portfolios/cargo-bike-short-by-bakfiets/. The cargo bucket on front can hold 2 young children, or can be used as a carry basket for lots of items. I wish they sold these bikes here!

      1. Rhonda – I’ve seen those cargo bikes here in downtown Toronto – not sure I’ve seen any kids riding up front but plenty of cargo being taken back and forth. Not sure who sells them though.

        1. How interesting! They were common to see them in Amsterdam, with 2 kids strapped in or delivery people taking a load somewhere. I was just fascinated by them. These would basically replace the need for a second car if we could use them all year round (in Canada, that’s a bit more difficult, but some people are die-hards when it comes to bicycling). Regardless, they are certainly a great invention!

  25. I’m glad you got a new fridge! I’m sure you are more than ready to be done working around the old, broken one!

    This past week was a week where I could focus on things in my home. I like weeks like that. I did a lot of homeschool with my daughter. I took her to the Oregon Gardens one day for homeschool day. I put a couple of pictures on my blog: http://beckyathome.com
    We had a really good time. It was too much walking for my husband, and I wanted to focus on my daughter rather than take a group of friends this time, so just the 2 of us went (along with quite a few other homeschoolers, none of which I knew). We had a great day and got to eat our picnic lunch on a bench perched high on a hill overlooking part of the garden. We were able to enjoy the gardens in-between learning stations.

    I canned quite a few tomatoes and finished the apples, making them into applesauce.

    I’ve been cleaning and scrubbing since the fall rains finally started. It’s still messy and mud is still tracking in daily, but I don’t care. I love this time of year. Having a dog is making more laundry, as well.

    We cooked for the college aged group at church, as we do occasionally. I cooked up a turkey from last Thanksgiving’s sales and used it to make giant turkey-noodle casseroles. (There is a budget for this project, and I used it for most of the meal, but I wanted to use that turkey before it got freezer burned). When my husband went to the day-old bakery, for rolls, all they had were sub sandwich rolls. He got them anyway (I mean, $1/bag? Right?) and then made garlic bread buns. The kids LOVED them! We made tossed salad, added a few veggies from the garden and made some boxed brownies I got recently for 50c/box. It was very inexpensive and they seemed to love it.

    My husband did a deal at the grocery store and got 8 boxes of cereal for $3. He used the Safeway app, downloaded coupons, and used some coupons he cut out. I was impressed:)

    I just got done reading the biography of Hudson Taylor to my daughter as part of her school. (He was a missionary to China in the mid 1800’s). If I had any idea that I was sucking it up in the financial and/or food department, I no longer think so! It was quite humbling to say the least. We both really enjoyed the inspiring story of his life.

    After a couple of months where the grocery bill was a bit high for various reasons, this month it’s staying right where it belongs. So far.

    1. We can still use the old one–it still keeps things cool! So we feel a little bad about getting a new one, BUT, the produce drawers no longer work, the fridge leaks water without being hooked up to water, and the freezer doesn’t seal properly. Plus, we are both getting older and I just cannot keep squatting several times a day to get into the produce drawers and see on the shelves. Now the fridge will be at eye level. The old one will be hauled off this morning.

      1. Brandy,
        glad to see you got a good deal on a new fridge. Don’t feel badly that you got rid of the old one. I think the water leak was a fire hazard
        and it is good you got rid of it!

        1. Well, at any rate, it was damaging the floor. Plus, the new fridge is an energy star appliance and the old one was not. Most importantly, I don’t have to squat to use the fridge portion, which is just getting too difficult as I get older.

      2. The old fridge served its useful life for you. I know I have to remind myself that some items need to be replaced before the crisis of them failing completely. Life is definitely easier when things are at easy reaching distance and height.

  26. We are now in the Canary Islands where we will be living for the next three months. It is just beautiful here. Every morning we wake up and say, “another day in paradise.” We are avid birdwatchers so it is fun to see new birds. Yesterday we saw a pair of purple herons.
    The people here seem really nice. They can be fast drivers but no road rage and always stop fir pedestrians at crosswalks.
    The food is very low priced. I bought some jam for $1
    20 a jar US. I saw a jar of, at least, a quart of honey for about $2.75. I keep feeling shocked when they tell me how much I owe at the check out counter. Clothing is also very low. I bought a new cotton camisole top for $3.50. We are cooking most of our food at home. However, today is my birthday. We are going to the island’s quaintest historical town and eat out. Tried going to one thrift store and it wasn’t very good.
    We are swimming every day which is free fun! That is all , I guess, for now.

  27. Hello everyone, it has been a while since I wrote a comment. I do read the blog every week though.
    We had a good summer, very high temperatures, some days 104 F , witch has never happened before in history!
    Childeren doing good, youngest and oldest started a new secondairy vocational education ( don’t know what it is called in the USA).
    Oldest is doing textiel and fashion and youngest is doing entertainment and events, and our girl in the middle is in the second year of dairy farming.
    We had to make some costs like buying 2 laptops ( only bought one, saving up for the second one) YS needed clothing with the school logo. The two oldest get studant grants so they must pay everything themselfs, and for the YS we still get childsupport so we pay for his schoolstuff.
    We had some bad luck with our car, wich came with a expensive bill. Because of our savings running low and the bill from the car I took on some more cleaning jobs, as the kids are away from home more the house does not get so messy (I hope) wich allows me to work out of the house some more.
    Our shed is filled with wood for the winter and my freezer is filled with vegetables from the garden. And we can eat fresh veggies still, also from the garden ofcourse.
    My garden is a vieuw mile from my home (2,5 mile) so that takes a lot of my time, but….somebody in the village I live (and clean there house for) offert my to have my garden on there land. And that is super, it is bigger, costs me no money to rent and is much closer.
    Saving money there also.
    Still doing al the other frugal stuff like…line drying washing, eating al meals at home, eating left overs, being a one car familie I cycle to work and to the grocerieshop. The kids have free traveling during the week and 40% off during the weekend but cycle a lot also.
    Keep up the frugal living everybody!
    Greetings from Tanja

    1. So good to here from you again, Tanja! I love reading your comments, with all your wonderful spelling errors. In my head, I read it with the most beautiful accent and it makes me so happy!!!

    2. Tanja 0 so nice to hear from you again – I’ve been wondering if you were still reading this blog. You have had a busy summer but it sounds as though and your family are doing well and you certainly sound well prepared for the winter already! Please don’t be a stranger – I too love hearing from everyone all around the world.

    3. Hello Tanja,
      I saw your daughter is studying Dairy Science. Both my son-in-laws are Dairy Farmers. Best wishes to her. Such a hard job, but very rewarding.

  28. I love reading everyone’s accomplishments! I learn so much here.
    – used cloth diapers, ate all leftovers, didn’t turn on lights unless necessary, etc
    – tried to be more diligent about using our compost bin. Why pay for trash removal when there’s a way to make better soil and help keep things out of the landfill?
    – had to dispose of two rugs we just couldn’t get clean. Paid 10 dollars at the dump to get rid of them, and picked up 3 big bins of compost for free while we were there.
    – stuck a pot of lavender in the ground- it hasn’t been doing well, this was a salvage effort
    – picked a few tomatoes. I hope to build the kind of garden you all have!
    – went to a baseball game with my husband for our 10 year anniversary of our first date (which was to a ball game). Parked far out so we could park for free and had dinner at a Chipotle using a GC. Since the Red Sox aren’t doing so hot, tickets were super cheap- nosebleeds were 6/seat!
    – stopped at a thrift store and found two new in box model planes (a Spitfire and a Corsair for any WWII buffs). Called my husband and when I learned the price of new models, bought them at $2 each immediately. Now I’m storing them for Christmas for our eldest. Also bought a few pairs of shoes for the kids to grow into, as they were 50% off.
    – cleaned our mud room space with water and vinegar. Going to make my way through the house gradually, as we no longer pay for someone to help us clean
    – printed lots of photos when I found a good deal on prints
    – washed sheets and hung them to dry. Trying to get used to the tactile feel of no dryer sheets
    – I know many on this blog may not have this issue due to their faith backgrounds, but any advice on how to help your husband decide more kids is a blessing would be great. I think mine is a little overwhelmed by our 3 under 5, but I’d like to grow our crew a bit more!
    – second question….how to you guys earn so much on Swagbucks without it taking all day?? Would love any tips!

    1. Riley, I asked Brandy to give you my email address. I would be happy to connect with you about the number of children comment.

  29. 1. Thankful that my husband is finally back at work after two months of leave following a surgery. The only negative is that we will not get a full paycheck until October 4th, but at least he is working again!
    2. Found great deals on costumes at the thrift store. $2 for an adult size dragon costume and $5 for a velvety queen’s dress.
    3. My son found a Millennium Falcon ship at the thrift store for $2 and was pleased because he had been looking for one there for almost a year.
    4. My daughter found a beautiful upholstered chest to keep all of her costumes in for $20 at a yard sale **She does 2-3 plays a year and accumulates a lot of costumes…oh and she spent her own money, so that was frugal for me.
    5. At another yard sale, we found Saxon Math books for $1 and containers of tennis balls for just 25 cents each.
    **There are pictures on my blog https://thethriftyeducator.com/2019/09/08/frugal-things-18/

  30. Brandi, I really appreciate you telling us about bookscouter.com a few weeks ago as it has saved my 18 and 19 yo sons a lot of money on their college textbooks! Both of them paid $150 for their books this semester, which, I agree, is SO much less that what my husband and I paid years ago. So glad that your two oldest are getting their college classes done early. Winter had such a good teacher and I can see that in her batch cooking. Not many 17 yo girls would do that these days! I taught all four of my boys how to cook and clean. The two oldest are on their own and they transitioned well. My husband also does Dave Ramsey’s Highschool Financial Peace course with them too. I just remember my own launch into the world and not knowing how to cook or clean., much less any of the other homemaking arts.

    We started homeschool this past week and I now only have one student, my 15 yo son. Our 18 yo son is going to the local community college so he is at home too. Besides running around for my son’s soccer practices and games, I focused on trying to use up the abundance from our garden. I made salsa with the cherry tomatoes and jalapenos. I diced tomatoes and froze them in pint containers. I made a caprese type salad and pesto pasta to use up more cherry tomatoes. I made chamomile and lemon balm tea using the herbs from my garden for the first time. It was good iced with a lemon in it. I have summer squash that I am going to try to make squash fritters out of and then I don’t know what else to do with it all? We can’t believe how well our garden did this year. We think it is a combination of our homemade compost and the mason bee house my husband put up. I finally got green beans and lettuce planted in August for a harvest before our frost date, which is usually October 8th or so. I have never been organized enough to get a second planting!

    I finally got a wood bench painted with the last coat of dark royal blue and put it out in our garden so we have a place to sit a spell. My husband surprised me and made it himself after I had mentioned how nice it would be to have one. He is so sweet.

    I want to thank you for your website as it has encouraged and helped me so much over the 5 years I have been reading it. I appreciate all the comments and learn so much from the ladies. It’s like having a little neighborhood group of homemakers to chat with and as I don’t have this in real life, I appreciate it!

    1. Karen, I just posted above about double chocolate zucchini muffins I made this week for my daughter’s lunches. I used a crooked neck squash in place of the zucchini and they turned out amazing! In fact, DD in the past said she didn’t like zucchini muffins or bread. I had her try these before telling her they had squash in them. She loved them! Here is the link for the recipe: https://eat-drink-love.com/chocolate-zucchini-muffins/.

      Also, you could make a 3 sister’s soup with them. The soup has corn, beans and squash. If they are summer squash, you could make it as a broth based soup, instead of mashing the squash. Don’t need a recipe…just use your favourite broth (veggie, poultry or ham bone broth would work well), add your favourite beans (navy, kidney, black bean, etc), some corn (canned, frozen or even fresh if you want to cut it off the cob), some diced squash and add your favourite seasonings. It’s cheap, healthy, delicious and will use up some of your garden abundance in yet another way!

    2. Karen,
      I remember my launch into the world too. I couldn’t cook at all. I remember cooking eggs and bacon in the pan together at the same time. That was a disaster. And it is only one of many disasters I made before I learned to cook!

  31. Last 2 weeks have not been super frugal, a but a few bright points.

    With Dorian coming, DH came home from Miami for the week to help and we bought some hurricane things we needed, but had been putting off (extension cords, gas cans, cables, contractor bags, a battery charger, and a deep cycle battery). We purchased a new pool vacuum, pool pole, and an instant hot water faucet to replace broken items. All items purchased from our house or hurricane funds.

    No hurricane damage, but we are much more ready for the next one!

    We fostered a 14 week old Blue Tick puppy for the storm and decided to keep him. As I volunteer at the shelter, our adoption fee was only $100 (not $200) and included his shots, a microchip, and the neuter. A new puppy meant new expenses – food, toys, a new bed, a play area fence and a whelping mat (since I work all day) – still cheaper than our other 2 options which were puppy day care or a twice a day dog walker.

    Ate out a couple of times due to errands and cabin fever – 2 breakfasts at Waffle House and take out Chinese. I will get 3 – 4 more meals out of the leftover Chinese. Continued eating out of the freezer. Tried a new recipe that DH rated a “repeater” and put in the book.

    Husband’s truck needed an oil change. We are not mechanically inclined, so it was $90. Husband came home and looked up youtube videos to see if he could do it himself. NOT something I ever thought I’d see! Dyed my own hair and my friend cut my bangs. Cut husbands hair.

    19 year old Freezer is making noises. Started looking at replacements but we need a particular size due to the location. Every model is at least $600. I can get a bigger freezer for $400 but we’d have to figure out a new location in the house for it… so considering our options.

    We thought we had a roof leak (in the new roof!!!). Turns out it is AC condensation on the ducts in the attic. So the AC repair people came out to wrap, seal, insulate, and clean the duct work. $375! Only $150 of it was materials. Husband watched so he could do it himself if we ever had need again.

    1. Jennifer, you might want to sign up to be a mystery shopper for companies that do oil change shops. We have not paid for an oil change in literally years, and sometimes we get paid over and above the cost of the oil change. We have also been able to use relative’s vehicles for oil changes. The company I shop for is KSS international http://kernscheduling.com/ and maritz mystery shoppers. You pay upfront for the work but they reimburse you a few weeks later. I can attest to the fact that they are legit and I have never been cheated by them. I should say, however, that these are the ones that cover Alaska, so I have no idea if they also operate where you live.

    2. If you have Valvoline oil change places near you, they always have coupons online for discounts on oil changes. Just Google Valvoline oil change coupon and they should come up. They can scan them right off your phone, you don’t even need to print them.

  32. Hello everyone! This past week I got gas for 30 cents off a gallon with grocery reward points, took an online survey to earn points towards an Amazon gift card, ordered books online from Thriftbooks, to be used as Christmas gifts, scoring huge discounts, continued to pack lunch all week & used YouTube for yoga/stretching in the morning. My biggest frugal win was when I dropped off a car load of items at the thrift store. I have been thinking about buying a messenger bag to use for work instead of the tote bag I currently carry. When I took a walk through the thrift store I came across a brand new messenger bag with my company‘s logo on it! I’m guessing it was a company gift at one point that the recipient decided not to use. So for $2.99 I have a brand new bag, I truly believe with patience and persistence we can find what we need without having to spend a lot or buy brand new .
    Hope everyone has a great week can’t wait to read everyone’s posts for inspiration!

  33. I was away for much of last week so I have fewer frugal accomplishments. I had a place to stay and took breakfast food and snacks and ate two meals a day plus snacks. I ate out twice, saving half of my lunch to eat the following day.
    I finished freezing the last of the peaches after making peach salsa. I picked the ripe tomatoes before I left and put them whole into the freezer. When thawed, they peel easily and I will turn them into canned tomatoes.
    I also finished up a few knitted baby hats from small bits of yarn. I will donate them this week.
    I also cleaned out some of my art supplies to donate to a local non-profit art store.
    I borrowed “Downsizing the Family Home” from the library. It’s a great book about helping parents downsize their homes but also has good tips that can be used personally. It’s given me the incentive to once again, keep purging….
    Have a glorious, early fall week everyone!

    1. Kandace: Thank you for mentioning “Downsizing the Family Home.” My library had it and I am going through it to inspire me to keep cleaning out things I don’t want or need. I appreciate her point of view (Marni Jameson, published by AARP) and the advice from others she includes. I am going to suggest it to my sisters, because even though I think we think we are largely understanding of each other’s points of view, we won’t know until we have to start sorting together, though hopefully not for several years yet.

  34. I took in 3 skirts that were slightly too big. Now I have more variety in my work clothes.

    Out neighbor is keeping us supplied with fresh produce. Today she brought over 7 tomatoes, a quart bag of green beans, and a pint jar of pickled beets.

    We are eating down our pantry and freezer.

    I’ve started sewing for Christmas. I’m making 4 Quillows for each of our grown kids in their favorite color. Hubs is making wood lanterns and a rocking horse for the grand baby.

  35. I am a longtime reader but this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to say thank you to Brandy for the posts and the readers for the comments. During my last two pregnancies, I was up most of the night in a lot of pain, and I would read through all of the comments and pray for people. It was very calming and got me through a difficult time. I am a Christian homeschooling mom of a large family and I find it hard to connect with like-minded people in real life. Almost no one I know practices any sort of frugality, and we live in an affluent area and are considered highly unusual. So I really appreciate the fellowship from this group. Here are some of my frugal accomplishments: I called our cell phone provider multiple times trying to obtain the best rate for our needs. I meal plan all meals. I stay home most of the time. I harvest berries, herbs, and vegetables from our small raised garden. I packed all of our food for our recent day trips, and gratefully took home leftovers from the family we went to visit. I still have a long way to go in many areas though and I appreciate learning from everyone and receiving encouragement to continue on. Also, my children participated in the library reading program this summer, and while we did receive some free rewards such as used and new books, I found that the program has ended up costing me quite a bit to redeem the “free” restaurant, activity, etc. coupons my children received since you always have to add money to use them, such as paying for a parent’s admission to the activity in order for the children to participate. They have had a lot of fun, but I feel this is something I should try to budget for in the future if we participate again. Thank you all for your inspiration and God bless!

    1. Midwest mom,
      It is nice that you prayed for people. I like the community on Brandy’s blog also. I don’t have it in real life. I have one very good friend that I don’t see often because frankly, she is very busy as I am really. But she has been my best friend since high school.

      1. Praying for others helps me stop thinking of myself and my problems. That is so sweet that you are still connected to your high school best friend!

  36. Brandy, your photos are so lovely, I could hang them in my kitchen! I think Winter is doing an amazing job for a 17 yo off at college, she is a wise young woman and well taught!

    *We had a son in town with his two toddler daughters for the week. He is deploying to Korea for a year, should be there by now, and we celebrated his coming home with a small family gathering of a dozen of us. I made bbq from Boston butts on sale and have had enough for three leftover meals, plus bone broth and broth from the original meal. I made a peanut butter pie, as that is his favorite, chips I had for free and some applesauce that was homemade. We sent him off with some cash for his meals en route and four boxes of granola bars, he had let his meal card expire. Our son was adopted at 8, after being in five homes, and it has been a rough ride in many ways. The Army has been great for him, he needs the structure, clear expectations and he is learning skills for a job once he is done. He is talking about taking classes and finishing a bachelor degree , that he started eight years ago. It would be wonderful if he did that, we are thankful he has a job, is clean of drugs, and trying to make a life going forward!

    * I have been taking soup and broth to my second friend with the broken arm. She has let me get horse manure and when I take a meal or stop to check in on her, I grab two buckets full. My work to amend my garden beds continues, bit by bit. We cleaned out some brush and extended my bed another five feet. I get such s thrill from every little bit that gets done. My seedlings are emerging slowly and will plant more this weekend, I love checking and seeing those little bits of green emerge!

    * Right now the only things I am picking are tomatoes, peppers and. Holy basil, everything else is dried up or not producing yet. It is still very hot here with daily temps in the 90’s . We did not get any rain from Dorian, we were too far west, so I am still watering daily all my little seedlings.

    * I found a denim skort at Kohl’s over Labor Day, it was on sale along with sports socks, I used a coupon for 10 off 25, and bought them using a GC from my sister. I wear skorts daily, like a work uniform as I do child care, cleaning houses, and elder care, and I need to be able to maneuver but look tidy. I was thrilled to find one as they were picked through!

    I hope you all have a wonderful week and am grateful for this amazing community and Brandy!

  37. Good morning, fall is here already with cool rainy days and cold nights. My furnace is running already. According to our weather network, we had 54 days of rain this summer. My garden was affected by this but still had a decent crop of beets,onions,garlic,green beans and tomatoes.
    This week’s frugalities include:
    Putting away all the mint I dried for tea
    Accepting 10 lbs of sour cherries from a co-worker
    Filling up the car when gas dropped to$3.60/gallon
    My zucchini did not do well, I ended up with one huge zucchini which made one dozen chocolate zucchini muffins, one dozen spicy zucchini muffins and one pot of Mexican zucchini soup.
    Packed breakfast ad lunch to work as well as cooked all suppers at home.
    Hiked and ran trails in our river valley for free exercise.
    Have a good week!

    1. Hi Teresa,

      I am so envious of the sour cherries from your co-worker. None of my sour cherry trees had fruit this year. I usually pit then freeze them for winter use.
      What is in your Mexican zucchini soup? I was given a huge zucchini. 54 days of rain in the summer is unprecedented. My flower beds are like jungles — clearly they need more water than they usually receive. Ann

  38. I am continuing to eat the veggies my friend gave me as a belated birthday present. I am going to put all the frozen chicken carcasses in to make broth, then cut up (I hope) the huge zucchini I was given and add it to the soup. My first tomato is ripe and I will make good use of it. Overnght, thetomato split with all of the rain but it can be used anyway.

    I picked up my laptop since Apple had finished the repairs. I was blessed because a cab driver gave me a free (very short) trip from one end of the mall (where handibus drops off) to the other end where Apple is. It is a long walk carrying a heavy laptop with only one useable arm. Apple replaced the recalled battery and the case for free — if I’d had to pay it would have been $680 Cdn. It is like a brand new computer — the new battery extends its life. So the recall is a blessing.

    On the way back, I stopped at Indigo where they had a rack of books wrapped in plain brown paper and marked in felt pen with things like ” legal mystery, murder”. with low prices — I bought one for $5.00. The prices are donated to a local school for the challenged. The book I got was a mystery by John Grisham. A savings for me but a donation to the school so everyone wins. I bought Lost Girls of Paris as a birthday gift for my nephew”s wife. I looked at Louise Penny’s newest book but decided I should read in chronological order so I’ll wait a while. While at Indigo, I saw little kits to grow Italian herbs — usually at $16, I think, — I bought it for $6.95. It is in a pretty little pale blue metal pot and I will give it to a friend for Christmas. Now is the time to buy Christmas presents.

    While sorting, I found some negatives of me as a two year old with my siblings. I am in the gardening wheelbarrow being pushed by my grandfather in his Victoria rose garden. I will have prints made of my siblings and give them to my brother forChristmas — a treasure to find!

    I spent some time interviewing two separate women for a grant for their school tuition. Lovely women.

    Yesterday we had a light rain which was like a West Coast drizzle. Today it is still overcast. The furnace is on. The leaves are turning yellow. The Ohio Buckeye has been touched by frost and looks as if its branches have been dipped in orange paint. I hope to find a way to take my friend to the mountains to see the yellow larch leaves and have tea. She turned 90 so it will be nice to find a way to celebrate.

    1. it’s funny to hear you talk about frost. We hit 100 Tuesday and are joking about still getting black flagged (temp over 90) for outdoor exercise until the 1st of November.

      1. There was a bit of frost about 3 weeks ago. Being so close to the mountains, early frosts are not unusual! 100 is very hot for us and our hottest
        is usually in the low90s and then not for long. only 2 or3 days are really hot. Almost always it cools off at night. The furnace is on…

  39. Main goals this week were to bring breakfast and lunch 50% of the work days and I managed that. DH and I discussed some frugal topics and made plans for how to reduce spending so that we may pay a few things down. Then of course a car battery dies. Such is life!

  40. Purchased plane ticket, round trip Atlanta to Salt Lake for $268 to go to free work conference in October. While I have to pay for the ticket, the conference is free and I am excited to go back and see my grand child ( and of, course, the parents…..lol.). I am really pinching my pennies to go. IT is not as cheap as the first time I went, but this is when the conference is, and I cannot fly back out there until late spring/summer of next year, so I am going while I can. Otherwise, I washed my clothes at laundry mat for $1.50 and put them in the hot car to dry, saving myself 50 cents. I am truly cutting way back, as much as possible. Even with the heat index of over 107, I am now leaving the air off all the time. I don’t get home from work until late anyway. 20 dollars, here, 30 dollars, there, and I will make up this ticket and the other expenses of traveling to the airport.

  41. The pears look wonderful. The terrible squirrels stole the remaining ones on our tree!
    My frugal doings:
    I normally just recycle the newspaper filler ads, as they just have coupons for expensive brand name stuff I don’t use, every time I look. This time I happened to look through more carefully and found 60 cents off my usual brand of organic sugar, and $3 off of Boost, which my husband drinks now to assist his diet. I used them right away, as I use the sugar to make kombucha and was almost out, and he was low on his drinks. I’ll be checking the ads more carefully from now on.
    I was happy to accept a gallon of shelled, blanched and frozen acre peas from a dear daughter. I returned the favor by giving her half of a 15 pound bag of grain-free dry catfood, which my old cat can no longer chew well.
    I did an online survey for a software that my company uses and won a $10 Amazon gift card.
    I have worked hard to reduce my grocery bill this month. I’m off to a decent start, if I can just hold the line for the next three weeks.
    The Florida heat is still blasting us, with plenty of humidity, so our air is running day and night. I changed the filters this weekend.
    Brandy, that was a good job on the refrigerator. I know you are thrilled to finally have a decent one, with no loss of space! And your kids are really on top of the frugal ways. They’ve got this!

  42. I love these posts and comments each week. It is a comfort to be reading/sharing with like minded people.
    Brandy, what a great way to repurpose the frames!

    I upcycled the stuffing from large old couch pillows to smaller ones. The new pillows were upcycled from a cotton shower curtain I bought at a thrift store and had used for other home décor.
    My garden started producing! I have been picking zucchini, yellow squash, beans and a few tomatoes.
    I was able to pay off a debt and still have enough for savings. So close to being debt free.
    Cooked the three main meals from scratch, by the end of the week I really didn’t want to cook, reminded myself to be grateful I could do so.
    Accepted free tickets to a sporting event. I offered to drive everyone and they in turn brought wonderful food to tailgate with. A great day of fun with friends for ¾ tank of gas. Friends handed off the leftovers, which made dinner one night (so grateful to have the whole day off from cooking and cleaning up after).
    Someone gave me a pack of gum I will not use, so I put it aside for my gum loving nephew.
    Quick question – for those who make bread – is there a way to clean the dough bowl/utensils by hand without having to toss the wash cloth into the laundry after (due to the residual sticking to the cloth)?
    Stay positive everyone!

    1. I save all mesh bags, like the ones you get with onions or lemons. I cut the mesh into squares and keep them in a box under the sink. When I make bread, I use one of the squares to clean out the glue-like flour from bowl and utensils; it really does work very well. Then I throw the square away. I have literally dozens of squares and if I were not reusing them they might just hang around until I got sick of the collection and trashed them. This way they have at least one more useful life in them. I also let a co-worker know I do this and she brings me her bags.

    2. Jenifer, I also had an issue with my dishcloth/scrubbie getting all mucky with dough! And I realized the issue was that I was cleaning too soon! (Yes, it is possible!) I found that simply letting the bowl or mixer sit full of water for a while meant that any leftover dough was easily rinsed off. So I’ve started to let my bread dough bowl sit full of water for a few hours. I put a bunch of other stuff to soak in the mixer bowl as the same time, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting a lot of water.

    3. Jennifer, fill the bowl with water for 5 minutes, then use a plastic (rubber?) spatulas scrape it all off. Rinses right off.

  43. *****Brandy, what an amazing savings of $675 a month. Definitely sounds like that was a good restructuring of the office situation.

    *****I started kindergarten at 4 so was 17 as a freshman, though technically with credits I was a sophomore. My twin sister however stayed on the normal schedule so we were never actually in the same grade.
    People don’t really think of us as twins as we look nothing alike and we never dressed the same or did twin things. We’re just best friends.
    I always feel funny mentioning this as I did once before on a blog and I got negative comments about how bad that was for my sister. It
    wasn’t! My parents were both teachers, I could already read and I was emotionally ready to start school. Petronia’s happy place was being at
    home with our grandma and little brothers and she was ready to go when she was supposed to. So, I am very glad your children are getting
    the early start because they are obviously ready and well prepared.

    *****I never got around to commenting on the trash bag situation. We only come up with about 1 or 2 of the 13 gallon kitchen bags of garbage a week. Everything else is either composted (year round) or recycled. We don’t throw away yard waste as it can be composted. We share a wood chipper with the family (5 co-joined farms) so that handles branches and gives us mulch. Leaves we can burn, shred with the mower and till them into the garden or compost. Weeds we burn. Of course we are a smaller family too, only 4 of us right now.

    *****We have done all the usual of cooking and baking at home, composting, recycling, using up leftovers, packing lunches and snacks. We are winterizing now. We washed all the windows, woodwork, and mini blinds, cleaned and put away the summer rugs and aired out the winter rugs and put them down. Husband and son in law Theo brought the wood stove back into the living room. We have not had a fire in it yet. The furnace has not tried to turn on yet either. The filters are new. We have been into the 40’s at night and 60’s in the day. Trees are changing color. The garden is really slowing down now. We are 75 F right now so hopefully that will give the tomatoes a boost. We have brought all the geranium pots in. We have one large bush-like one that has been growing for years. That one will stay in the sunroom. The others will get trimmed and go to the basement to sleep. The annual posts are looking scraggly so I picked up 2 dozen of the small mums for 1.00 each to fill the pots at our house and daughters next door and the pot by the shop. I picked yellow, rust, pink and purple.

    *****We are not having a great year for tomatoes but still plenty to do with for our use. Our daughter trellises the plants so she gets a good yield and we planted 36 plants. No blossom end rot. We’re getting a smaller size tomato is what I am seeing most. We’ve finished picking our fall raspberries. We have 8 apple trees worth of apples all looking good though are oldest ones are slowing down a bit. Sweet corn has been great. We are still picking bell and sweet peppers, eggplant, runner beans, zucchini, cucumbers, cabbage, fall broccoli, fall spinach. Cantaloupe and watermelon have been good. We have 4 kinds of squash…acorn, butternut, delicata, and buttercup. I only grow pie pumpkins. My uncles that run the family farm stand have an acre or so of pumpkins so they keep the families supplied. The main stand is in front of our house as we are on the main road and they decorate our house and my husband’s woodworking business every season. That is nice. I’m still picking herbs to use as fresh: have dried plenty for the year and also of mint for tea. Will bring a basil plant in and a rosemary plant into the sunroom. Of course there is still kale.

    *****Over the last 3 weeks (since I wrote) we have had 1 funeral and 1 baby shower at church. Both include meals. the funeral was one of our older ladies in church…she leaves a sad sad husband of 64 years. We always make a memorial to the church. For the shower the 3 girls and I and my mother went in on a Pack/Play. They are new to our church so this is their first baby with us and that means she gets a baby
    shower from the church ladies. The other 2 children are in our grade school. The dad mostly speaks Spanish…they moved up from Texas to be with her family. He has been checking out piles of easy readers from our library and reading them with his little boy and girl. Then there was the funeral of one of my husband’s cousins. He had to travel to that but managed to get a spot in the van they (other relatives from this area) rented…this was his closest cousin Micah who is still of Amish but they have kept in close touch over the years and our families have visited several times. He leaves a wife, 5 children and 16 grandchildren.

    *****Some of the things cooked and baked over the last 3 weeks…white bread, Brandy’s recipe for French bread, blueberry pancakes, chocolate chip waffles ( I was given a mix and this was the 2nd half of the canister), banana bread, zucchini bread. I made 1 dozen mini ones (I think the pans are about 3#x5 or 6#) so far of banana nut and zucchini. I’ll make some cranberry nut and pumpkin also. My husband likes to take one down to the shop in the morning and then it thaws and they have it with their morning coffee break. I pre-slice them. I find it easier to wrap a loaf then muffins. I have about 7-8 different recipes I will get through before they are all stocked up. End of August we had that first touch of fall in the air and I felt the itch to make soup. Made cabbage roll soup from a recipe in our church cookbook. So easy. As it is not vegetarian I also made a batch of vegetable wild rice soup using of course what veggies were on hand. Made pizza, tuna macaroni salad, egg salad and tuna salad for sandwich filling, also vegetarian tuna salad, deviled eggs, cherry pie, blueberry buckle, French toast using the French bread. Made yogurt. Made granola. We have had grilled brats, grilled burgers, grilled fish, grilled eggplant, grilled tofu a number of times. While my husband is cooking those we add on kabobs of vegetables, or sweet corn in husk, or potatoes, or jalapeno poppers. Johanna wanted a lemon chiffon cake for her birthday so I made one, 3 layers with lemon curd in the layers and decorated with whip cream and candied lemon slices. Using tomatoes we have had BLTs, tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad, grilled tomatoes, fresh salsa with cilantro. Baked parmesan zucchini chips. No bugs out anymore so we have eaten outside a lot. Lots of smores. Other things I forget.

    *****My main canning projects now will be tomatoes. I only can a few things…tomato juice (I cook it down until it is thicker than juice but not as thick as sauce. Use it for basis of soups, vegetable curry, spaghetti sauce.) Also salsa and whole tomatoes and tomato marmalade. Later I will do smaller batches of the juice and freeze in quart containers as the tomatoes wind down. Froze 5 last quarts of cream corn which I use for chowders and for scalloped corn. Made and froze jalapeno poppers. Made and froze double baked potatoes. Made and froze stuffed peppers, some with Italian season filling in the bell peppers and some with Mexican season filling in the poblano peppers. The potatoes I wrap separately but the peppers I freeze in meal size batches. The poppers I freeze individually and put in freezer ziploc. I use freezer paper when I can as I can just write instructions etc right onto the outside. The squash we picked so far are curing on the picnic table. I have about 40 pears in the spare refrigerator and will take those out as needed. We bought two 50 lb bags of potatoes so far. We don’t bother to grow russets as they are so cheap to buy here. We buy unwashed as they last longer. Also we are still drying storage onions. They will get hung in the basement. Oh yes carrots. They are also still in the ground or in the extra refrigerator. For anyone that doesn’t know, our oldest girl and her family live next door. She does most of the gardening, planting etc. I handle most of the canning and freezing and we share all.

    1. How very nice to have a wood chipper!

      I remember the first time I was somewhere where it was legal to burn yard waste. I was shocked! I had never see anyone do that before and was surprised to learn that it was legal there. Here, it is illegal. My next door neighbor likes to do it, though, but the firemen and police officers that were in the neighborhood have told him more than once that it is illegal. He just put in a pool, so he shouldn’t need to burn his weeds anymore. Win for us! It filled out house with smoke within 60 seconds of him starting his fires!

      I have tried composting, but it either molded or dried out and dried out and blew all around the yard. We tried for a year and after that my husband asked if I would please let it go, so I did.

      1. I live in much the same climate as you and our composting pile just dried up and sat there ,too. I even tried watering it occasionally. And to add insult to injury, it attracted rats. Enough, it had to go.

        1. Yes, and rats are a problem here. I’ve been poisoning them and still can’t get rid of them.

      2. Brandy, I would think it would be hard to compost in such an arid climate. You need a certain concentration of moisture going to keep the internal temperature of the compost pile up and the organisms happy. I know you can’t burn in town here or the cities. We are rural, but our village rules require a source of water in attendance to the fire and only burning on calm days and to pay attention as to whether a burn ban is in effect. It does smell nice in fall when the someone is burning leaves.

  44. That’s so great that you were able to get the same size refrigerator.
    My biggest accomplishment last week was finishing the queen sized quilt I started 2 1/2 years ago to use up a lot of small scraps of cotton fabric. It is entirely hand quilted and it turned out great
    And now the living room looks bigger without the quilting frame set up in there.
    I bought a case of ripe tomatoes and canned 16 pints of chopped tomatoes and 6 of tomato soup.
    I canned another 7 pints of green beans.
    I froze corn from 12 more ears.
    I did some mending, read library books, and enjoyed flowers from my garden.

  45. This week ….
    -Gladly accepted lots of fresh produce from my sister. Made BLT’s, cucumber salad, fresh tomatoes, stir-fry squash, onions, peppers, fresh salsa, and still enjoying more in the days to come.
    -Two family members lost jobs and am saying prayers. I pray for calmness and am glad they have savings and positive determination. It was a day of praying and hopefulness in tomorrow. I sat and listened and tried to be supportive.
    -Paid bills and tracked expenses.
    -Enjoyed my birthday with my dear family. Wonderful well wishes from others that made my day.
    -Hosting a book club at my house. I have all necessary supplies and read the book-all good.
    Stay frugal everyone…..

  46. What awesome news that you were able to purchase the larger size refrigerator! Love the updates about Winter and Cyrus.

    • One local farm stand is only open Thursday – Monday. Any leftover inventory is put outside and discounted on Tuesday with payment via an honor box. I was able to buy discounted tomatoes, jalapenos, and eggplant at the farm stand. Made a tian using tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, and eggplant slices.
    • Blanched green beans and froze
    • Made swag goal x 3
    • Ate all meals at home which included: tikka masala with chicken, eggplant, and zucchini, stuffed tomatoes, and a plum cake
    • Hung all loads of laundry up to dry
    • Cleaned our own gutters

  47. Hope you are enjoying your fall. It’s still fairly hot until the at least end of the month in Los Angeles, but we have gotten a couple of more overcast/humid days.

    Some frugal wins this week:
    * We installed a whole-house fan. This was a fairly big expense but we are hoping that over time it will decrease our use of the air conditioning on summer afternoons and evenings when we really struggle to cool the kitchen and living room.
    * Replaced the burned-out microwave lightbulb with an LED.
    * Used pineapple scraps and saved frozen strawberry tops to start two naturally fermented sodas; I used two 2L Le Parfait Super jars at the thrift store that were the perfect size for this. The soda was decanted into flip-top bottles from Trader Joe’s that I got from someone on our Buy Nothing Group.
    * Harvested Concord grapes, goji berries, figs and tomatoes from the yard.
    * We canceled our Hulu subscription because The Handmaid’s Tale is over for the year and we’ve finally given up on Grey’s Anatomy.
    * Received a bag of hand-me-down baby clothes from a thoughtful teacher at my son’s school.
    * Received a baby swing from another mom in our Buy Nothing Group.
    * Picked up a succulent and geranium potted together (?!) that someone left on the curb. I’m hoping to eventually use the succulent as a hanging plant somewhere in the house.
    * Restocked our usual inexpensive $2 bottles of Suave shampoo and conditioner.
    * Found $0.05 on the ground.
    * Walked to the mall and back, saving $1 in gasoline.
    * Got a free cup of ice cream for downloading the Baskin-Robbins app (note that the coupon doesn’t activate until 24 hours after the download / registration, and then is only active for a 24-hour window).
    * DIY: Replaced the broken strike plate on the screen door.
    * DIY: Installed drawer pulls on our new cabinet.
    * Used a corporate benefit from my husband’s company of babysitters for only $5 an hour. We’re doing some construction and the baby is teething and the house is more bombed out that usual! I can clean and fold laundry while the sitters hold the baby or take the toddler to the park.
    * The fancy pasta was BOGO at Sprouts so I splurged since the unit cost after the discount wasn’t that much higher than the cheaper stuff.
    * Cargo biked to the grocery store and e-biked to pick up my oldest from school; no gasoline expenditure.
    * Used my (new-to-me) food processor to make pesto at home for the first time, as part of a frugal meal of noodles and zoodles (spiral-cut zucchini).

    1. It was 107 here last week. This week we’re just below 100, but we have a few days at 100 coming within the week.

    2. I have been thinking that we should install a whole house fan at our house on the farm. The days can be very hot but it generally cools down to 60sF at night. Many years ago a friend had one installed when he had a townhome built. He had to get permission from the townhome community board and after it was installed everyone wished they had one as well! He really doesn’t like AC and was working during the day. He’d shut up the house and then turn the fan on when he got home. In our RV, where we are staying right now, the nights are very cool and I noticed that the 12v fan in the bathroom does an excellent job of pulling hot air out!

  48. I canned tomatoes and pears I was given. I also accepted free donut peaches and apples.

    My husband’s truck broke down on Friday on a busy road with no berm. It could have been a very dangerous situation but someone he knew was driving by and towed him to a nearby has station. His boss allowed him to borrow a pickup for the weekend and a cousin lent a bigger truck and trailer to tow the truck back home. A knowledgeable associate at the auto parts store did some trouble shooting and diagnosed the problem. It only cost us less than $30 to get it fixed. We will need to give gas money to the cousin the next time we see him. But it’s another instance of things not being nearly as bad as they could be!

    I have been reading the recommended book about root cellars and it turns out the high humidity is a good thing in a root cellar (humidity measures 65%-95%). I was hoping I could use it as a second pantry but I don’t think it will work well for that. So I will begin to stock up fresh root vegetables to store there. While Dan was busy working on his truck all day Saturday, I cleaned out garage. In doing that, I made space to begin storing some long term food storage in the garage. The humidity is still high-ish out there but no higher than in the house. Winter is coming! And that means a very low income for several months. Now is the time to prepare.

    My husband’s truck is in very bad condition and we’re considering buying something else. An acquaintance has a vehicle in very good condition for sale for $1000. It’s a good deal and the person said they would hold it for us if we’re interested. So, we’re trying to save up the money as quickly as possible. I’m not positive we’ll be able to do it, but we’re working toward it.

    I have friends coming tomorrow and I’m planning a meal for the 19 of us without buying anything.

    I didn’t buy anything unnecessary last week or so far this week.

    Listed 20 items on eBay.

  49. Hubby bartered hauling services for produce we were in need of. He also found someone that supplies Amish and Mennonites around here with lamp oil (some Amish use kerosene and some Mennonites use electric). He was able to get me 5 gals for $22.50 instead of the normal $55. I’ve been paying. We use oil lamps at the table while eating in the mornings and evening.

    A professional baker told me when baking multiple things to do bread first, , cakes 2nd , pies/custards 3rd and cookies last.

    I reread Brandy’s “How to cut expenses when you think there’s nothing left to cut”.

    I talked to our Amish neighbor about how they do their trash (1 bag a month if that) and other ways they “save” AKA respect their resources is their term.

    We had to go out of town for my fasting blood work so combined it with stopping at the vet’s Rascal needed rabies shot and they are the only one in this area that does a 3 yr rabies shot for the same price as 1 yr. We also got all 3 dogs toe nails clipped (so they don’t charge office visit and they are 1/3rd less for nails cut then anyone else) Rascal has been flopping ears even though I washed them out (ear wash from vet) so he got them washed at vet’s and some salve …thinks allergies not infection. Charlotte has be going to town itching her feet… got a shot as it’s also allergies. Wilbur was checked but fine. Both Wilbur and Rascal will be on pain meds this winter due to leg/hip problems . That will come in Nov when Wilbur and Charlotte get their booster shots. MEAN time. I took Rascal and Charlotte even though I asked for Wilbur and Rascal, Hubby kept Wilbur with him while he paid. Charlotte knocked me down trying to run to the truck (and it wasn’t our truck) so now I have 2 bruised knees and 2 twisted ankle along with sore wrists, skimmed hands and elbow. I get WILBUR and Rascal for now on !!!. Still we didn’t stop for anything for me to eat since I was hurt and waited until I was home.. which sucked since I have to fast 14 hrs to begin with …20 hrs fasting is NOT recommended.

    PLANNING to be MORE frugal this week.

    1. Juls,
      Please consider checking out vitalanimal.com for information on vaccinations and allergies. As a rule, pets are unnecessarily re-vaccinated and that can cause allergies and a host of other problems. If you think about it, children aren’t vaccinated every year or so!

      1. Cara, I completely understand your thoughts on this. When I was just starting out in the Veterinary industry (I was a veterinary techinican for over 10 years), I worked for a Veterinarian that did both holistic and conventional medicine. We once had a conversation about vaccines that really stuck with me. This man was older (close to retirement age at the time) who very strongly believed in the holistic medicine approach. He said when he first started out in Veterinary medicine, rabies and many other deadly diseases we vaccinate for were common place. Vaccines are the reason they are not so common anymore. For that reason, he understood the need for vaccinations. Today, many parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. Recently there were outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases in Canada, where vaccines are free for children to receive. Children were unnecessarily getting sick with very deadly diseases and put other people at risk as well. So when considering whether vaccinations are worth the risk, please consider how deadly the disease is you are choosing not to vaccinate for before deciding whether the risk is worth it.

        1. Rhonda V.
          I’m referring to OVER vaccination of pets.
          I worked with a holistic vet for 10 years and most of the problems we saw were in animals who had recently had their yearly vaccinations. In Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy (Volume 11, p. 205) says “There is no immunological requirement for annual revaccination… The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy…”
          That is not a holistic, but a conventional medicine resource.

          While I was growing up in a third world country, I knew NO ONE who had serious effects from normal childhood diseases which are not deadly, such as measles, mumps, chicken pox, and whooping cough. Furthermore when you contract the natural disease, you have lifetime immunity. Preventing an illness is not always the best thing to do. Vaccinations ado not confer lifetime immunity and many children who contracted the measles, for example, had ALREADY been vaccinated.

          1. You see, here’s the problem with the info you provided. There are many parents and pet owner who may be reading this info. These people don’t have medical training or any medical background. However, they read what you wrote, and think. “vaccines are bad”. They then decide that they don’t want any of their children or pets to experience any side effects and choose NOT to vaccinate at all. This is were the danger lies. They may have avoided the side effects, but they are also now at extreme risk if their children or pets are exposed to the deadly diseases they decided to forgo vaccinating for. This also puts themselves and others at risk as well, as many of these diseases are easily transmitted. Rarely do these parents actually have conversations with medical professionals about their concerns. They just read what is on the internet, or what someone else has written (which all must be true if its on the internet and in books, right?), then draw their conclusions to not vaccinate. My point is there should be a conversation with a medical professional, whether it be a veterinarian or a licensed medical practisioner, first. If the conclusion from that conversation is that they should not vaccinate, then it is a much more informed decision. Always be careful what medical advice you give, Cara. Knowledge is a very dangerous thing!
            By the way, the problem with rabies vaccines is that you can’t easily test the level of immunity the animal has. I personally have my rabies vaccine. I had to have it as part of my Veterinary Technician college training. I had 3 shots while in school (in the very early 1990s), and have never needed a booster since. I can have a titre test to check my immunity levels. The cost for such a test is very expensive. Most pet owners would not be willing to fork over the money to do such a test for their dogs on a regular basis. As you know, since you work in the industry, it’s hard enough to get them to pay for a yearly vet visit, or treat their animals for simple illnesses without baulking at the costs. This is why they have vaccination scedules for pets. It ensures their pet’s immunity stays at good levels while keeping costs low for the pet owners. Is the system perfect…no. Does it work…well, I haven’t seem a case of rabies, and I sure hope I never do.

            1. Rhonda,

              It’s also important that parents have a choice for their children. I know children who have died and had other problems because of receiving vaccinations. California recently removed parental choice and requires everyone to be vaccinated. The greater good is not good for a child who has seizures because they are allergic to the ingredients in a vaccine–and now will be forced to have the follow-up doses of that vaccine.

              Please speak kindly and know that others are hurting from damage caused to their children by vaccines. This is a heated topic and as such, I will not publish any more comments on the matter.

    2. Don’t keep us in suspense! You talked to your Amish neighbors about how they only generate one bag of trash a month, then you didn’t tell us how! Please, please, pleeeeeeeez!

  50. I am getting back into the routine after the summer. I always find it hard to be as frugal in the summer but we definitely didn’t go too crazy here over the summer. We did get to some local summer theatre, which is always a treat! My big frugal win is that I won $500 in grocery gift cards completing a survey on the bottom of a receipt. Since there are only three of us, and my pantry and freezers are well stocked, these should last us quite a while. I was thrilled as my husband’s work is seasonal and there are definitely times when we don’t have as much income. No one was tending our church garden this summer and I asked if I could pick the rhubarb that is growing there. I got around 14 cups for the freezer so we’ll be enjoying this in various forms throughout the fall and winter. I have been busy canning and am hoping to have all the applesauce I need for the winter canned by the end of the month. My son loves applesauce so we go through quite a bit of this. I’m hoping to can pears and make some pear sauce if I can find some at a good price this fall. It’s my husband’s favourite! I am looking forward to getting back into the routine of posting each week now that we are settling back into the fall routine!

  51. Sounds like you had a great week of saving even though you had to spend! Our frugal accomplishments were:
    *Meals made were bbq chicken thighs with rice-a-roni and green beans, hot dogs with mac and cheese and peas, cheeseburgers with chips, chicken salad sandwiches with veggies and dip, pancakes, homemade pizza, pan-seared salmon with baked potatoes.
    *Scheduled appointments on the same day to save gas and time.
    *Had a friend over for dinner instead of going out. Kept it simple by serving chicken salad sandwiches, veggies and dip, and chips. She brought chocolate cheesecake and gave me the leftovers.
    *Served leftover chicken salad sandwiches, veggies and dip, and cheesecake to bible study group.
    *Used $5 ECB’s at CVS towards purchasing foundation.
    *Purchased a sweater and a tshirt both half off at Goodwill along with a pair of like-new shoes, a set of sheets and a dust ruffle.
    *Colored my roots with 1/2 a dye kit at home.
    *Accepted a free sandwich for lunch one day at work.
    *Walked with a friend for free fellowship and exercise.

  52. Hello everyone! Hoping you’re having a good week.
    I love pears too Brandy! We are thinking if our locust tree does have to come completely down, maybe peach or pear trees would be a good replacement.

    We had a happy resolution to an ongoing issue for my husband and myself. More so him as luckily, most of my life I have had very few dental problems but my husband has had very serious dental needs since he has been a young child. Almost a year ago, we enrolled with a dental insurance plan and realized after a few days, that very few practices accepted the plan we had purchased. The list of participating dentists turned out to be out of date and we also were shocked to find out the plan we had purchased was really an “HMO Dental Insurance”. We contacted the insurance provider to upgrade to their PPO plan and were told, A, that we wouldn’t be able to upgrade for a year and then, after upgrading, we wouldn’t be able to file a claim for the second year.
    So, we tried to make the best of the situation and began seeing one of the very few dental practices who would take the insurance. Rather than overwhelm you with the sorry details of 8 mo of “I know I told you 2 fillings but I should have said 4” and partials that arrived from their lab so flimsy they broke in the dentist’s hand, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the insistence that xrays taken at their own practice only 3 mo previous couldn’t be used for an annual cleaning.

    For myself, finding a new dentist wasn’t pressing but as I mentioned, my husband has problems and now also has brand new partials that are still not fitting well.
    Luckily, during a visit with a former coworker, we mentioned we were searching for a dentist and we were thrilled to find out this week, that our experience with the new dentist was even better than our friend’s recommendation.

    We also felt affirmed to find out only a few minutes into the appointment that the it is standard practice with the new dentist to use xrays if they are less than 5 years old. And, cheerfully said, “Let me make a phone call for you and get them for you!”

    Although we didnt doubt that too many xrays isn’t safe, it did feel really good to know we had found a dentist who practiced dentistry ethically. After our experience, I feel sorry for the people who are being taken advantage. Being our own advocates, even though it meant the time and hassle of finding a new dentist, really feels empowering.

    Here’s the frugal part: The dental insurance we bought last year ( expires the end of Sept), doesn’t have a contract with the new dentist so we were self insured. Imagine our joy when we saw that the quote for my recommended work p ( I need gum scaling), without insurance, compared to the previous dentist’s plan with insurance, is 2/3 less!!!

    It’s the same old story, when something doesn’t seem right, trust your gut and get another opinion, if need be, two, especially with your health!!

    Also, if you are in a position to choose your insurance by what your dentist/doctor accepts rather than the other way around, I recommend it. During our appointment, we asked which insurance the new dentist takes, made calls the next day and now have a new dental plan which works very well with our budget. I know this isn’t an option for everyone and it’s the first time for me but if it’s a doctor you trust, it’s an immense peace of mind.

    Being careful, making educated decisions, seeking other options and trusting your gut to change a decision are all elements of exercising prudence.

    Savings this week, approximately, $4K. Peace of mind, priceless! This is where you imagine an emoji of a chubby blonde doing cartwheels!!!!

    1. Good call! I’ve had similar problems with dentists and been less than happy about it. So glad you found a solution!

  53. Greetings!
    Your savings on the business is awesome! So happy for you!
    We had to remove the trim on the wall to fit a refrigerator, too. That quarter inch would have been deal breaker. Living in a 600 sq. ft. home means there’s not a lot of room for negotiation.
    We had someone leave a brand new sweatshirt, with the sticker still on it, in the book section of our little store. It’s been two weeks so I brought it home. No telling who left it. We’ve had no calls. The tourists have gone.
    I took my meals and tea to work as did my husband. I did have a salad out one day while shopping. I tried to be strong but the salad won.
    When my husband had an appointment in the nearest town, I had him go to Target for one of their deals. He did awesome! I wrote it all out in detail and added the pictures from the flyer. I told him, “When you’re done, take the first load to the car, turn around and do it again.” We are stocked up on paper towel and tissue for awhile. He used a GC from a previous deal, a GC I bought last year at a discount and we have a GC left for next time.
    Our oven part has been lost in the mail. The company has sent a replacement. Hopefully, that will be here by Monday. I really miss my oven! My husband is on the last package of Aldi cookies. I’m trying to think of what to do for his chocolate fix. (The microwave brownies were not a hit!) In the meantime, i’ve Been using the crockpot and top burners for meals. So far, it hasn’t been too bad but i can feel myself losing steam. It’s been several weeks. The gas bill should be lower so that’s a plus!
    All but two loads of laundry were hung to dry. We’re entering that period of rain before snow so these nice days are drawing to a close for us. I am enjoying every one!
    I’m still exercising at home, walking with friends, trying to save water and doing what I can with what we’ve got. I found out today that I make so little that I don’t have to pay federal tax. I had to laugh because i’ve been getting a paper check for months and never noticed til today. But, it just made it very clear to me that I need to work harder at not spending needlessly. I need to channel your happy energy, Brandy! You are a treasure, that’s for sure!
    Wishing everyone a fabulous week!

    1. Momsav, try seaching google or Pinterest for no-bake cookies. They are usually made by melting ingredients on the stove, adding oatmeal or something like that, then scoop onto wax paper/parchment paper/silicone baking sheets and let cool. So easy, yet so delicious! If you want something a bit healthier, try seaching no bake energy balls.

    2. I know exactly what to do for your husband’s chocolate fix! This easy chocolate fudge recipe! (http://approachingfood.com/fruit-and-nut-chocolate-fudge-clusters/) It’s basically chocolate chips and condensed milk melted together on a stovetop. So easy, and sooooooo yummy! Plus you can mix in any sort of things you want, whether it’s dried fruit, candied fruit, nuts, whatever. I also need a chocolate fix each evening, so I understand where your husband is coming from! 🙂

  54. I haven’t posted in many weeks, but have been trying to keep up with reading them. I did have my root canal done at the end of July. Thanks to all of the folks who gave me suggestions around coping with that procedure. I have to say that it was more tolerable than what I had expected. Now I am saving for the needed crown – temporary filling is going strong. No more pain !!
    I have been stacking wood, switching clothing over from summer to fall and generally trying to stay out of stores.
    At the end of summer I decided I wanted to take up running – an unusual choice perhaps for a middle age woman – but I am loving it. I will need to spend on new running shoes soon, but otherwise I have all of the gear I need. I will buy “last year’s sneakers” to save 10-20% on them. There are lots of options for a run both in my neighborhood and at my work as well.
    Hope everyone has a great frugal weekend !

  55. It has been mid-eighties during the day and down to the forties and fifties at night here. We picked up our free lumber from the Truss company. I have been looking for a deal on hardwood. We like to get at least half a cord to bank our stove with at night. My husband had to take an ambulance ride last year. Our insurance would not pay for it. (Out of network) Even after I asked multiple times at the hospital to make sure it was covered. I made my last payment of $500. Almost $5000 to ride about 10 miles. It makes me sick to think of it. At least it is paid off. Please beware if any of your loved ones need transportation. I used chat conversation to lower our internet bill $10 a month. Got rid of Hulu Live, started using the free version from Sprint. I have been packing a small ice chest when ever I travel and fill it with water and snacks. No temptation to buy anything out. That is about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *