It’s incredibly hot here this week. We started on Sunday with a high of 112º, and the thermometer just kept going up.

Tomatoes and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

I picked tomatoes and basil from the garden for a caprese salad.

Caprese Salad The Prudent Homemaker

I cooked a ham, which we sliced for sandwiches using my meat slicer.

I cut grapes from the garden, which we enjoyed alongside sandwiches for lunch.

I worked on my embroidery project quite a bit while sitting inside in the air conditioning, under the fan.

While sewing, I listened to several free French lessons online.

I sowed seeds for more zinnias, basil, red noodle beans, and pumpkins in the garden.

My eldest son helped me put in stakes and a trellis in the garden for beans using materials I had on hand. My husband had picked up several stakes for free several years back from someone who was getting rid of them. It has been nice to have them to use in the garden.

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

I attended a church social and accepted the leftover food that I was asked to take home. Several people were able to take leftovers home.

I went to Target for a few necessary items. I was considering purchasing a few more things (and had Cartwheel discounts for several of them), but I decided against them and to save my money instead.

Before I went to Target, though, I decided to stop in at Ross. I don’t usually shop there but felt like I should go in. I was able to find a dress for $15 that was just what I was wanting (solid navy blue, with sleeves, and somewhat vintage-styled). I’m working to build a new wardrobe in the smaller size that I am without spending much money. This dress was in the budget. 

My daughter and her friends were going to the thrift store. I had them take my donations with them and they got a receipt for me for my taxes.

Dorsett Goldens The Prudent Homemaker

I picked apples from my tree.

I cut the shirt sleeves down on four more shirts for my husband to turn them into short-sleeved shirts. He had been needing some new shirts when all of these hand-me-down like-new long-sleeved shirts were given to us (by a stranger!) and since our weather is usually warm or hot, turning almost all of them into short-sleeved shirts has been perfect for him.

I mended an item of clothing.

I turned a pair of pants and a pair of jeans that were torn at the knees into shorts for the children.

I listened to swing music on Pandora while cutting apples and sewing.

Change Purse The Prudent Homemaker

I made a little change purse to hold my quarters when garage sale season comes back around in October. I was wanting a little quick project that could be completed after I had done my other sewing, and this was quick to make using fabric scraps I had on hand. I added a little British telephone box charm that I had on hand (I bought 6 of them for a small amount on Etsy for gifts a few years back)  with a jump ring and a pair of needle-nosed pliers.


I just want to thank you all for your comments. It’s nice to know that others in the world are working to live within their means. It’s not a conversation that I get to have with women nearby, and I truly enjoy reading each of your comments and learning from you!

What did you do to save money this past week?


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  1. We had friends over for dinner last night. I have lots of sugar shell peas in the garden and wanted to incorporate them into our dinner. We are have temperatures in the 90’s now and although that’s not very hot compared to your temperatures, Brandy, it is still ac weather for us. We ate out on the deck which was shaded. I served lettuce wraps for an appetizer using lettuce from our garden. I decided on a dinner salad with chicken breast meat, sugar shell peas, grapes, apples, green onions, and pasta. I made a sour cream and mayonnaise dressing with some lemon zest and ginger marmalade. We had warm home made dinner rolls with our salad. It was a complete success. I served cherry pie made with cherries from our tree with a scoop of ice cream. Discovering that I was out of milk and cream, I saved a trip to the store and served an herbal tea with dessert. That was a big hit, too. It was a very frugal dinner party with everything prepared from our own garden, pantry, and freezer.

    We didn’t shop this week. We are eating meals based on food in our pantry, freezer, and garden. I have been canning cherries and making pies for later.

  2. I, too, get inspiration from both your writing this blog and from the comments. Living life frugally is, for me, about making intentional choices. I chose to drink coffee at home and not Starbucks. I chose to make lunch when I’d rather go out. Years ago I chose to pay off my student loans and credit cards.
    So many choices in the day to day living of my life to not spend money. All the many choices put together give me an amazing life.

  3. I love your blog, Brandy! The combination of living within your means, focus on creativity and beauty, and delight in hearth and home make it a lovely place to visit and share.

    My frugal accomplishments for this week include:
    – I was given a bag of Dutch ‘hail’ (essentially chocolate sprinkles) from a colleague at work last week. Growing up, I used to eat them sprinkled on bread and butter, the same way my mom did growing up in Holland. I took them and created cupcakes with them. ( I brought the cupcakes to work as a thank you for the gift and also as a thank you to a colleague for covering for me while I take a day off to go camping with some friends. I also made mini versions for the DH to take into work. The cupcakes were a hit! And of course I buy the butter on sale, and the shortening, cocoa, and flour in bulk.
    – I froze the leftover chocolate buttercream to use at a later date. This works wonderfully for when you either don’t have time to make a frosting from scratch, or when you want to fancy up a regular cake or cupcake by changing up a filling inside. #NoWaste!
    – Went to Costco (my work gives me a membership each year) and took my parents and sister along so that they could buy stuff too
    – Ate enough samples at Costco that it effectively was a light lunch
    – Found 2 lbs of yeast for approx. $5 (cheapest price I can find anywhere), butter for $2.85 brick (again, best price I can find), cocoa powder in a large bag (cheaper than buying it in smaller containers either in a store or online), chocolate chips (cheapest price anywhere), and bought a #10 can of tomatoes for the first time. With the amount of tomato dishes that I eat, I should be able to use that up quickly even though it’s just me and the DH, but I plan to portion out and freeze some.
    – Got a free sample of laundry detergent at Costco
    – Decluttered and gave a sweater to my sister that she’ll wear at work, and some garden pots to my mum. The rest of the clothing and household items I donated.
    – Made apricot jam as a gift for Father’s Day, as it reminds my dad of the jam his mom used to make. I used up the last of the pectin I had in the cupboard to make it a bit thicker, but usually I just use fruit and sugar to make my jams.
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks card
    – Bought a cherry pitter and a package of 50 plastic pipettes for under $9, using money I earned doing surveys. I plan to use the pipettes for alcohol-soaked cupcakes (I’ll post on my blog when I actually make some, because the presentation is quite something but it’s really easy to do).
    – I packaged up some bananas and peaches that were overripe, along with the last of a container of peanut butter, some psyllium, and some kale I had frozen, into two baggies in my freezer. I’ll add homemade yoghurt to them and blend them up for smoothies during the summer.
    – Took the last of my wilted carrots from the fridge, peeled them, and soaked them in cold water to re-crisp them. Worked a charm!
    – Made a batch of yoghurt. Can’t wait to enjoy for breakfasts (or dinners!) with sliced bananas and spoon of homemade strawberry or apricot jam, or topped with homemade strawberry granola. Lots of calcium, protein, and potassium, plus 2 servings of dairy and 2 servings of fruit makes for a meal that fills me up.
    – Picked some radishes from my balcony garden and ate the greens and root in salad

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  4. I’m so thankful for you and this wonderful online community. I expect few of us have others close by that share our frugal spirit. I’ve been looking forward to our first caprese salad, and saw this weekend that our first tomatoes are beginning to turn color! Some of our wine grapes are beginning to ripen. So far, we’ve only eaten them fresh, and they’re lovely that way. I tried something new with our fallen apples; trying to make apple cider vinegar with them after adding a bit of honey. I’m hoping the honey adds enough sugar so they’ll ferment. Always the experimenter! Joining in here:

  5. Hello everyone! I too am thankful for this website. I have lived frugally most of my life. There have been times where it was a lonely existence, as no one I knew was living this way. Not only did they not live frugally, but they criticized me for doing so! It is great to share with like minded people. Thank you, Brandy!

    My frugal accomplishments this week:

    * Received a free 2018 calendar.
    * Received 8 free birthday cards from a charity I support.
    * Saved carrot peels, onion skins and ends and celery leaves. I keep a bag in the freezer and add these whenever I have them. I will use the bag of scraps when I make turkey or chicken stock from a carcass.
    * We live in a 2 story rented home with 2 ac units. I made sure I raised the upstairs thermostat to 84 during the day, as I do not go up there most of the day. Also raised the downstairs thermostat to 78 degrees as much as I could. I run warm and live in the Phoenix area and I usually turn the ac to 75 degrees just to be comfortable.
    * Hubby is pretty good about using whatever brand of most items, but he is particular about his deodorant. Was able to buy 6 containers for more than 1/2 off each of them by combining sales and coupons, so he is stocked up for now.
    * Drank free tea and coffee that I got from work.
    * Our back porch is really slippery when wet (we have a pool) and hubby and I were tempted to buy a rug for the porch, but resisted and are just using an old beach towel instead.
    * Found a dime on the sidewalk 🙂
    * Wore pants more than once to save on laundry.
    * Walked and did water aerobics in the pool to save on gym costs.
    * Wore older clothes when I wasn’t leaving the house.
    * Cut up an old shirt into 5 inch squares to use to wipe out my cast iron skillet. This saves on paper towels and I can just throw the rag away. This shirt had tassels and some gemstones sewn onto it. I cut those off and saved for a future craft project.
    * Ate leftovers for lunch all week.
    * Washed ziplock bags and saved bread bags to reuse.
    * Made stirfry one night with leftover pork tenderloin that had been in the freezer for a while. Also used leftover rice from the freezer for that. I used up some asparagus that was leftover from our anniversary dinner out last week and other assorted vegetables that I have in the freezer. Ate the leftovers for lunch.
    * Combined errands to save on gas.
    * Mended a pair of pants.
    * Used free hotel toiletries all week
    * Hubby has agreed to take his lunch a few times a week instead of eating out. This has been a difficult conversion, but he has finally volunteered. This is a huge victory for me! I already have his lunch packed for tomorrow! And I am looking forward to coming up with interesting lunches for him.
    * I donate to a couple of charities every month and have always written a check and mailed. Just realized I could donate online using my credit card, so I am saving stamps and getting miles on my credit card.
    * The windows in my kitchen eating area are not covered. They are on the north of the house so they don’t get much sun, but it is a 3 window bay area, so one of the windows faces northeast and gets the afternoon sun in the summer. We hung up a sheet to block it and it has worked great. Doesn’t look great, but we are just here temporarily so we really don’t care what it looks like.
    * Kept grocery shopping to a minimum. Hope to not have to buy any more this week.
    * Found my umbrella clothesline and clothespins. I can insert the clothesline into the a sleeve in the pools cool deck that is for a volleyball net. I will dry this week’s laundry on that.

    Have a great week everyone!!!

  6. Brandy and All — I, too, really appreciate this blog and the community here. I love the focus on frugal living as a joyful and creative thing to do.
    We took a mini-vacation to Denver this week to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We took the dogs and stayed at a LaQuinta (which doesn’t charge extra for the dogs and has a good breakfast buffet.) The hotel is near a park with trails, so we can wear the dogs out before we leave them to go out. We got tickets to a Colorado Rockies game as his birthday gift. We took our own snacks and water to the game. We shopped Costco to stock up on a few things like flour and olive oil while we were there. (There is no Costco on our side of the mountains.)
    We ate the last of the peas and the first of the broccoli from the garden. I don’t think the broccoli is going to last much longer in this heat. We also got some strawberries, lettuce, radishes, green onions and herbs from the garden.
    I picked daisies and columbine for an arrangement for the table.
    I pulled up the pea vines and transplanted okra and collard greens I grew from seed into the space in the greenhouse that they were occupying.
    I repainted our outside door facings, using paint we had on hand. It’s a different color than the white that was originally used, but I like it better (this is a tan color that matches the wooden doors better.)
    On my husband’s birthday, I gave him a homemade card I had made and a homemade coconut cream pie – his favorite. We had friends over to share the dessert with us.
    I bought new bed pillows (my husband had a nose bleed and ruined his) and pillow covers. The covers each came in a plastic zippered pouch. I picked out the stitching to remove the zippers – they are the perfect size for making cloth zippered pouches that I need for a couple of Christmas gifts I have in mind. And this post has inspired me to look for little charms to add to the zipper pulls (I’m sure I have some in my stash of craft supplies.)

  7. I am curious what others are paying for eggs. A few days ago I was in another state (where I do my big shopping) and almost fell over when I saw large eggs for .46 per dozen. I only bought a couple since I still had several dozen at home to use up.

  8. Wow! You did so much this past week. I love your coin purse. I love that you listened to swing music while cutting apples. It’s amazing that you were able to turn the clothes into something that works with your current weather. That’s something I wish I had the time to do. I’m hoping once I finish my degree I can pursue more basic “life skills.”

    I made an art wall, hung out blankets and sheets to dry, redeemed some Swagbucks, received tons of clothing for my son from my mom, and more:

    Happy soon to be Monday, everyone. I truly enjoy reading all the comments here too. It’s my favorite place to learn frugal tips.

  9. My frugal urban Seattle week:

    -We biked all week, not taking our car out of our parking space.
    -I was super annoyed that the leather on our comfortable leather chair, purchased only four years ago, was peeling and cracking. I was just about to start shopping for a new chair when I did some research and found some acrylic paint that should stop the peeling. The paint cost $7. It’s not a perfect solution, but it should make the chair last another few years for us, hopefully.
    -I started making more cloth napkins from fabric from my stash. I also found some fabric (old Ikea curtains) that I want to make an apron for myself out of.
    -Inspired by Brandy! I made lemonaide popcicles rather than buying ice cream from the store for our “hot” week (it’s in the high 80s…don’t laugh too hard at us!) My kids are fans.

  10. I too would like to offer my thanks and gratitude for this blog. I don’t have anyone near me with similar interests, so am very glad to have this community.

    Last week’s frugal tasks:
    -made homemade bread, sliced and frozen in separate baggies for use this upcoming week
    -ate at home all except one meal. This is the third week we have spent $20 or less eating out!
    -continued eating items from the freezer
    -continued to try one new recipe a week. This practice causes my DH some stress because it is risky…given my cooking skills, but I believe 75 percent of the time, the new recipe is a keeper 😉
    -this time of year, the heat makes going out so unpleasant that we stay home and don’t spend money.

  11. My significant other and I have moved in together and combined our households which has proved quite the challenge for me. He has three children and I have three of my own so handling meals for eight people on a budget is throwing me for a bit of a loop. I’m working on getting better at having meals that can be flexible. My children’s schedules are pretty rigid and if I say they’re going to be home at a certain time then I’m almost 100% certain that won’t change. My new additions have much more flexible lifestyles than I’m used to and I have discovered that even if I start preparing a meal thinking all eight of us will be present, there’s no guarantee there will still be eight by the time the meal is served. On more than one occasion I’ve started preparing dinner for eight to end up only serving four (which is fine because then I have leftovers!) or worse, started preparing dinner for just two of us to find out that I was now needed to stretch things to serve five or more. I’m learning a lot of flexibility! I love my new expanded family and I’ll just have to learn new ways of doing old tasks 🙂 If anyone knows any clever tricks for magically expanding meals then let me know!

    This week I made banana bread using over ripe bananas. I found some strawberries at Aldi for $1.29 which is almost unheard of for this area! I bought several pounds and have served them as sides for lunches, sprinkled on waffles and even made shortcake.
    I saved a total of $14 using cartwheel discounts.
    I cashed in $20 on Ibotta. I’m having a lot of success right now with this app finding rebates on things I’m already planning on purchasing.
    I managed to collect $2.50 in rebates for Checkout51. I find Ibotta gives me more bang for my buck but I continue to keep up with checkout51 because every now and then I have a barcode that I can scan.
    I tried a few new recipes to add some variety to our meals and have had a few successes. I made honey mustard chicken the other night that got rave reviews from my step-son.
    Twice I had to run to the store for small items, those times I walked rather than waste the gas.
    I used a gift card one day to purchase a starbucks coffee. They got my order wrong and gave me a free drink coupon which allowed me to have another free coffee this weekend.
    I picked up a double shift at work to help bring in extra cash. The extra money is wonderful even if I end up spending two days exhausted from lack of sleep.
    I found packs of boys Champion socks at Target on clearance for $3.48 for a six pack (A steal in my book, decent quality socks can be ridiculously expensive). I bought all the clearance ones I could find (four packs) and also had a 5% off cartwheel.
    Target also had some packs of boys Hanes briefs on clearance for $4.98, I bought two packs which was all that was left.
    I pay for all of my Target purchases with a redcard debit card that is linked to my bank account. This gives me an additional 5% off without having to wrack up credit card debt.

  12. I haven’t shared my frugal accomplishments for a while but continue to read your posts and everyone’s comments.
    We are doing best to stay frugal and generally money conscious. It has been challenging lately as I’ve been struggling to cook. I am 11 weeks pregnant (it’s happening!) and I’m struggling with nausea and have zero energy.
    I am still trying to be conscious while grocery shopping and buying only necessities, every dollar counts and we are putting all we can away for when the baby comes.

  13. My husband was sick this week with a stomach thing. So i made a lot of plain pasta and rice. I didn’t need to shop much at all (plenty of veggies for the other three of us) so our grocery bill was $50 under budget. I also got quite a bit of free food at work. There were visitors to our office, and leftovers from their lunches.

    I am crocheting a purse. I patched a blanket. I accepted a loaner long sleeved swim shirt for my son this week.

    We listened to music on Pandora,and watched tv on Hulu.

    It’s my birthday my hubby made me pancakes. We are also celebrating at the regular neighborhood potluck.

  14. HI Brandy and all,

    Always enjoy all of your beautiful posts Brandy and hearing your latest frugalities along with everyone else’s. Your coin purse came out so pretty! I would like to make one too but do not know how to sew in a zipper yet.

    My biggest frugal accomplishment this last week is that our store had on sale the type of tissues, paper towels and toilet paper that we used, so I was able to get coupons for all three, stockpiled and saved $71.00. I know I need to work on our paper consumption though.

    We were on stay-cation this week and went out only twice but did order take-out some evenings for our fun. Today we went to a beautiful herb and flower garden and the admission was free. We went to a Lebanese restaurant and I ate a ten dollar appetizer that was very filling when eaten with a lot of pita bread. We brought on own iced tea from the car since we didn’t want to leave it in the hot sun, since it was in plastic containers and the waitress let us drink our own tea since they were out of iced tea.

    I bought items for my birthday when Macy’s was having a great sale and I believe I also got free shipping. Today Easy Spirit shoes are having a half price sandals sale and I need a special width so I have to buy the more expensive shoes now. I need to check with DH to see where we are at with our finances before I order some.

    Tomorrow is the last day of my husband’s vacation but he will work for four days and then have four more days off. It is so nice when he is home!

  15. Brandy I so love to share ideas with both yourself and other contributors too and thank you for the time and love you put in to this lovely blog. Like yourself many of my friends don’t live as frugal a lifestyle as we do to be able to save for most of our house with cash either, it makes me feel not so alone at times when I get strange looks from others. Congratulations on getting a wonderful new dress for such a good price you deserve it.

    Hello everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week are and this week I will start off with our blessings –

    – Blessed that a friend offered that we could firewood from his property free of charge after we rang the previous property owner we used to cut firewood from for the last two years and he had got someone else to cut there.
    – Received with gratitude and thanks 2 supermarket bags of oranges, lemons and grapefruit from a friend we had been sharing our saved garden seeds from our gardens with after a heat wave killed most of their vegetable garden so they could replant without cost.

    Financial –
    – We were able to bank more money into our saving for our home with cash bank account.

    In the garden –
    – Picked 750g of cherry tomatoes, 3kg of capsicums and 500g of shelling peas from the gardens saving $38.20 over purchasing the equivalent amount in the local supermarket. There is a shortage of tomatoes here in Australia after recent weather events and they are hugely expensive to buy 😮 .
    – Mulched half of our vegetable garden beds with composted grass clipping saving $35 over buying hay.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all our meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made a large batch of coconut queen drop butter biscuits with powdered eggs and coconut we need to cycle though in the pantry for the week saving $16.35 over purchasing the equivalent quality in the supermarkets.

    Electricity savings –
    – Used our solar lanterns to light our home rather than turning on mains powered lights saving $10 this week. Electricity prices have now been advertised here to go up another 3.5% starting in July 😮 .
    – Boiled water ,steamed vegetables and cooked noodles on top of our slow combustion fireplace. We used the water for washing up and making our hot chocolates with too.
    – Only did 2 loads of washing instead of the usual 3 by washing lounge covers once every second week instead of weekly.
    – Did all of our washing on cold cycles in the washing machine and stain removed any stains using our homemade stain remover.

    Water savings –
    – Saved 60lts of town water by only doing 2 loads of washing instead of 3 this week.
    – Hand watered the vegetable garden beds as we fertilised one day with rain water from our tanks saving 90lts of town water.

    Firewood savings –
    – Cut 900kg of seasoned firewood from fallen trees from a friends property saving $152.68 over purchasing the equivalent amount of firewood.

  16. My husband never took his lunch to work until the last 3 or 4 years before retirement. One day, I didn’t make a lunch for him and he complained that he would have to go to a restaurant to eat! Besides saving a ton of money, lunches from home tend to be “real food” in amounts it’s healthy to eat. A lot of restaurant meals leave you coming back to work and wanting a nap!

    Here is a tip from a friend of mine: Every night, when she is cleaning up from dinner, she packs lunches for the next day. Not only does this use up the leftovers, it gets both jobs done faster. Depending on what they had for dinner, how much is left, etc., she adds fruit, fresh veggies, yogurt, dessert if they have any, etc. Her husband’s co-workers always comment on what great lunches he brings.

  17. Margaret, when I read about the chocolate sprinkles on your blog, I meant to tell you there is a store in Unionville called The Village Grocer that carries a number of Dutch imports. It’s definitely not a store for the frugal shopper, but it is a beautiful store that reminds me of being in Europe. It is nice for a treat. And they sell amazing almond croissants. One time I went there and they were giving out pizza samples, and the sample was an entire slice. Made my day!!

  18. Hello Brandy and fellow readers! I also look forward to this blog and the weekly posts 🙂 It’s nice to know I am not alone in my frugal lifestyle!

    -I cancelled my Amazon membership ( I paid monthly), have a phone call into an insurance agent to find us a better deal ( and less money) for vehicle and homeowner’s insurance, and still do not have a cell phone (despite pressure to get one – don’t need one and rarely used it). I also called my power and light company to find out when “off peak”hours were, and was told they don’t do that.

    -shopping: 1 free (8 oz?) bottle of Aveeno lotion for free  using a coupon, purchased 2 – 18 count cartons of large eggs for .59 cents per carton. Used a $5 gift card I received last week and paid $1.40 out of pocket. I earned $3.50 in Ibotta rebates (I spent $8 on a few groceries then checked Ibotta, bringing my price down to $4.50!) and had to purchase a birthday present for a friend of my daughter’s for her birthday party in a week. I ordered a couple of clearance priced toys on Walmart dot com, I went through ebates which earned me .66 back and had the toys shipped to the store to avoid paying for shipping. I spent $5 oop for 2 toys her friend will love.

    -cooked 2 batches of beans (red and white) , made minestrone soup, red beans and rice with leftover/frozen ham, overnight oats, “walking tacos”, chicken hamburgers using cheap chicken ground up in my food processor with fried American fries, Ate leftovers for dinner, made yogurt, bread, popsicles twice,

    -Temperature outside went down to mid 70’s so the ac units stayed off

    -I used $2 in Plenti points towards my fuel purchase for the week to get me to and from work

    -exchanged library books/movies twice

    -printed two free coloring sheets for my daughter to enjoy

    -printed a $10 off $10 purchase for Payless Shoes, I plan to use this to purchase a pair of sandals for my daughter.

    -Re-read several posts on The Prudent Homemaker blog 🙂

    -Combined trips (Target, Ear Doctor for daughter, etc) to save gas and time

    -hubby changed the oil and rotated the tires on our car himself.

    -My daughter and I took a walk – free exercise, picked up 10 pennies along the way and 3 plastic bottles (water and soda) and 1 Styrofoam cup (recycled the bottles threw away the cup)

    -hung several loads of clothes on my drying racks due to rain or work schedule rather than use the dryer.

    – used up a half bottle of dish soap that I found in the pantry (not sure why it was in there)

    – harvested black raspberries, green onions, a few strawberries, and parsley. I have lots of pears growing on my two pear trees and 5 punches of grapes growing on my vines!! This is the first bunches of grapes since we planted them a few years ago. I weeded the garden, planted Armenian cucumbers because the other cucumber seeds (pickling cukes) did not sprout, I planted more pumpkin seeds, soapwort seeds, found a surprise tomato plant when pulling weeds, planted more parsley, butter lettuce, and green onions

    – I strained most of the last batch of ACV I made using apple peels and cores, then started a new batch of apple scrap vinegar using the “mother” from the last batch I made and apple peels and cores I had saved in the freezer

    added more soapy water to my jar of reusable cleaning wipes in the kitchen

    I watched A Tudor Feast and Wartime Farm on youtube for free (Thanks Jamie for mentioning it last week 🙂 )

    I reused the morning’s coffee grounds to make a few more cups in the afternoon for myself

    Reconstituted evaporated milk to use in my coffee, and use instead of milk in mashed potatoes and oatmeal, etc.

    added kitchen waste to compost pile (not meat or dairy)

    picked some tiny purple/pink flowers for a small bottle to put on my kitchen table

    hubby made a new table for his plants out of an old door (stored in the garage for who knows how long) set on top of an old school book cart. He has cactus plants ( in northern Illinois lol). He put these out in our covered and warm breezeway.

    My old 1980’s meat slicer that my mother in law gave us several years ago finally quit working for good. I am now saving my money to purchase a new one.

    Have a great week everyone and I look forward to reading everyone’s comments!

  19. Brandy, I love reading your posts and all the comments. I told my husband reading your blog has made us money because it is here where I learned about Ebates a few years ago.

    I did a lot of cooking this week. I made a frozen turkey and used the meat to make turkey wraps, Turkey parmigiano, and also Brandy’s Museum Pasta Salad which was a big hit with my mother in law who was visiting us. I didn’t have rice vinegar or sugar snap peas on hand, so I substituted with Apple Cider Vinegar and a bit of sugar and frozen peas. It was still great. Very refreshing on a hot day.

    I had to replant some of my vegetables in the garden. Hopefully this time they will grow. This year I am growing beets, beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and Rhubarb. Oh, and a lonely strawberry plant. We planted a blueberry patch 2 summers ago but it is still very young and we are focusing on growing the bushes as opposed to getting a yield of berries.

    I haven’t been feeling very frugal lately because of all the money for our almost completed renovations (which have been entirely necessary things such as interior weeping tile, new roof etc or things for our hopeful sale of the house in 2018). However, on Thursday this week we had major rainfall. In 24 hours we got more rain than we normally do in the entire month of June. There was flooding in several nearby cities. Thankfully no flooding at our house, but boy was I thankful for the new roof!!! Otherwise I have been trying to make wise decisions for the reno – being frugal but not cheap if that makes sense. One such decision saved $600.00 this week so I was glad for that.

    I picked up a book at Chapters called Letter Art. It was on clearance for $10.00 (from 36.95) and it has some step by step instructions for some gifts I want to make. I did check and could not find the tutorials for what I wanted online. It also has templates in the back of the book for the entire alphabet that can be photocopied and enlarged for various projects. I am not super Crafty, but there are a few projects I want to try now in the hopes of making some Christmas gifts.

    Have a great week everyone.

  20. Let’s see the dress!!!

    Have $43 to make the week on…thankful for gas in the truck and food in the pantry. Love your posts as well as looking over the coments – lots of smart women.

  21. We started shopping at Winco 2 weeks ago and we are amazed at how much lower most of their prices are. We bought a case of powdered milk from the store house. Excellent price. Picked several bowls of sugar snap peas from the garden. Using lots of herbs and tomatoes from the garden. We bought a pop up pool this spring for an unbelievably low price and are enjoying swimming in it to cool off in our 100° degree weather. My husband’s work had a company picnic at a local minor league baseball game. My hubby took two of the boys and had a wonderful free guy night. One of my sons won a coupon for a free haircut. We used that this week and doesn’t he look handsome! Started crocheting a baby blanket with a free Ravelry pattern. I plan on sewing some toddler rompers later this week with some adorable cotton fabric I already have.

  22. I only recently discovered your blog, Brandy, but I love reading it and getting creative ideas on how to save money. This week I didn’t have any money to spend. I arranged with my single-mother-gardener to come today and weed. I would have done it myself but found it was just too much physically for me. I’ll owe her the money until Wednesday. After she finished weeding (at least the part she was working on), she invited me to go see the most beautiful rose garden. It was stunning so I took several photos. When I came back, she invited me into her veggie garden where she picked Swiss Chard, Kale and herbs (basil, garlic flowers, parsley so I have enough greens to last me for the week. This summer I am going to go to Banff, just for the day. Calgary and region now have a bus to and from Banff and Lake Louise. It is only $10 each way I think. Because of Canada’s 150th birthday, entrance to national parks is free so I am going to take the bus to Banff one day soon. Already I’ve had 2 trips to the mountains to see the wildflowers, courtesy of friends. Most of the summer I will have a staycation but in mid-July friends are taking me to lunch at a “you pick” farm so I will get Saskatoon berries and cherries for my freezer. Another friend is going to give me extra perennials that she has. I bought 6 small rock garden perennials with a gift certificate I won. It has been a wonderful summer so far.

  23. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments Brandy! What I love most is that you know how to be frugal without being tacky or cheap. I always leave your site feeling inspired. 🙂

    Some of my frugal accomplishments were harvesting lettuce, thyme, strawberries and lavender from the garden. I also got a free T-shirt from Menards and re-cut it into a fitted T for myself. Some other accomplishments here:

  24. I live in Houston where it is hot and humid, not as hot as Nevada but hot nonetheless. But no matter how hot it is outside, men with white collar jobs wear long sleeve shirts all year long. Short sleeved ones are considered unprofessional. Guess this isn’t the same in Nevada? I never lived anywhere but TX and always assumed it was that way everywhere

  25. I look forward to this post every week. I have very few friends that are frugal. Thank you Brandy for all of the time and effort you put into it.
    We had a very busy and expensive week because my son graduated High school. We did find some ways to save:
    -We did all of the yard work and house work ourselves.
    -We borrowed a friend’s power washer to clean the patio, driveway and outside furniture.
    -We used our 17 year old canopy tent. The elastic that holds the tarps together have all broken. We just use zip ties now.
    -We borrowed my B-I-Ls small canopy tent also.
    -We borrowed some chairs from a neighbor.
    -We borrowed an extra cooler from Sister #3.
    -The night of the ceremony we had whoever came to the ceremony back at our house(Thursday night). We had a light dinner before. We served cake after. We brought our own water bottles with us.
    -We did most of the cooking ourselves: burgers, hotdogs, sausage patties, coleslaw, pasta salad, quiche, bean salad.
    -We took whatever food was offered: My mom brought baked beans, Sister #3 brought a sushi platter, Sister #5 brought a veggie platter with dip, a cousin brought pastries and 2 friends brought cookies. We are very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family.
    -We did order a cake from BJs. When I went to pick it up they couldn’t find it. They had the order but no cake. I said OK please just write on a different cake that they have for walk ins. The girl asked if I could wait a few minutes and she would do it right then. I said sure. When it was done she said the cake was on the house for being so nice and understanding about the situation. $24.99 for free.
    -We had so many leftovers that I sent home some with my parents, 2 of my sisters, and an Aunt. No one else wanted any. We have leftovers for lunch and dinner today. I already packed my lunch and hubbies for tomorrow.
    -My husband ordered a part for his truck($73) and did the repair himself saving us $.
    -I shopped sales and bought most of the supplies and food ahead of time saving $.

  26. Yes, pitting cherries is work! But so lovely that you have them in your yard and garden. I purchased a bag of cherries as a treat for my boys at $3/lb last week. I pitted them all for them, as they are still small, but it was worth it to see how much they enjoyed them, cherry juice dripping down their chins!

    Enjoyed your dinner party menu. Sounds a lot like how we entertain.

  27. I haven’t posted in a while, but had the chance tonight. I love your blog, Brandy! It is a bright spot and encouraging to me. Thanks to everyone for sharing comments, I always come away with new ideas.

    Highlights this week included picking a gallon of blueberries from a friend. We’ve been invited back to pick this week. I resisted purchasing sandals new online for baby and found a barely worn pair on consignment for $3. I made all our meals at home with veggies from the CSA. We had two shared meals with my mom, including a yummy sweet and sour stir fry with shrimp. She purchased the shrimp and we provided the veggies and cooked. I made a batch of Brandy’s granola for breakfast. I took the boys to a free program that the library did with animals. They loved it, and I got to visit with a friend.

    Thanks everyone for sharing!

  28. The Caprese salad looks delicious and healthy. A sure sign of summer.

    Thank you for this community and sharing of your life. I love reading what others are doing and it helps me keep up my determination to live frugally and make conscious choices about what I do with my money.

    I’m on a “use it up” kick. I have two bottles of laundry detergent that my mother bought when she stayed with me during recovery from surgery almost two years ago. Both bottles are scented and I prefer unscented detergent. However, I’m almost out of the unscented so rather than buying more, I’m using up the two other bottles first. I also went through a large plastic bag of hotel shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer. I’m almost out of my shampoo and haven’t seen it on sale yet. I’m using up all of the hotel shampoos rather than buying more shampoo.

    Blueberries were finally on a good sale here – $1.69 pint. I bought 10 pints, washed and froze them to use in baking and smoothies this winter. Found a celery bunch on sale for $1.29. Diced it and froze to use in winter soups.

    While cooking, I listened to an interesting Ted Talk on fear setting rather than goal setting by Tim Ferriss. I have been struggling with when to spend the money on doing a MAJOR home repair. Using his technique helped me work through my fears: having just enough money but then having the project run over, how much is enough in my emergency fund and how much do I have for this repair, etc.

    My brother is an architect and I asked him if he would draw up plans for this project. He said he would do it as a gift to me. I took photos and measurements to send to him.

    The lease is up in our office and we are moving. I accepted freebies from my employer of: shower curtain rod sample, a wall clock, and some exotic wood samples.

  29. The satin pouch is so pretty.
    I agree, your weekly blog keeps me from feeling lonely in the frugal department.
    I recently lost my job, and through prayer and many discussions it was decided my path is to maintain the house and sell online. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment on my ego/pride but it is going well. I think the lack of a weekly paycheck has me more determined to make use of what I have and to sell what really isn’t needed. It’s almost a high.
    We had about a half a cup of cubed cheese (from a dinner party) that was drying out. Minced it as best as I could and made your potato/zucchini cakes with the cheese added. Delicious!
    Have wonderful week!

  30. I have the same situation. There are no women in my life who must be as frugal as we are, so it means a lot to have all of your ideas. Thank you Brandy, for allowing us to meet here and encourage one another. This week was Vacation Bible school at night all week. We spent no $ on fast food, due to things I had prepared ahead of time in the freezer. My sis gave us an old $10 Sonic card that had been in her wallet since 2015. We ate Sonic burgers last Sunday on our way out of town to visit my Dad for Father’s Day. There was enough left over for 50 cent corn dogs, which was a fast supper one of the VBS nights. Silly, but quick and fun! I tried a new haircut place and got a $7 haircut during their grand opening pricing. My cut at the regular place is $20. The cut wasn’t exactly what I described to the hairdresser, but I’ll get over it. Eating tomatoes and edamame from the garden. Resisted buying an item that was on clearance. Making use of every dib and dab of leftovers in the fridge.

  31. This week I made enchiladas several times to use up the filling I made with cheese, spinach and black beans. I ate pulled pork for several meals – frozen leftovers from work. I made banana nut bread and muffins. The frozen bananas were several months old. I also made and froze easy chili-like soup – with leftover grilled hamburgers crumbled, canned diced tomatoes, corn, kidney beans and black beans and taco seasoning.

    I rotate my work clothes and shoes so I wear a different pair of my usual shoes and sandals (about 15 pairs) each day. My shoes usually last 5 to 10 years. I try to wear all my summer clothes at least once in 5 months. I wear my favorites several times a month.

    I streamed Grantchester, The Tunnel and My Mother and Other Strangers from PBS.

    I crocheted a beret and matching scarf to match a newish winter coat. I spent $3 on yarn.

  32. Loved your red coin purse. It has inspired me to use my left over fabric and make some for gifts. Have a great week.

  33. This week saw us enjoying local strawberries as much as possible. The season was late and it’s short, so we eat them as much as we can when they are available! We are still working on weeding the garden beds–which were too wet until the first of June. We’ve still had a number of showers but only a little over an inch of rain this week, so were able to get a fair amount accomplished. More to be done and it will be between showers again this week. I don’t think we are planting veggies this year–so late now, but the morning glories are doing very well in the porch boxes. I did find three heads of Romaine lettuce growing nicely on the edge of the compost pile. My daughter needed lettuce so she took one home with her yesterday. I also did some baking this week, making a large pan of cornbread, two loaves of lemon zucchini bread (as mini-loaves) and putting most of each into the freezer. I made a pan of brownies today too. We can probably eat those without having to freeze them! This week I also hope to get some floors washed. I didn’t manage to do that this past week, although it was on my list.

  34. This has been an amazing week for us! We no more than finished 2 clients’ orders from our home based woodworking business than we got another $800 in firm orders for more things! And while some are from people within our circle of friends, more and more are people that we’ve never met, thus expanding our client base!! We are over the moon excited about this! We’re hoping that this will be a nice stream of extra income when husband retires in 2 years!!
    I harvested, blanched and froze a quart of peas and a quart of broccoli from our garden. I also harvested 3 heads of Romaine lettuce.
    We’ve been getting 13 eggs a week from our two chickens! I’m not sure which one is the “Thursday slacker” but that’s been such a blessing! We pick up 3 more hens from the hatchery on Wednesday and we already have people asking if they can buy our extra eggs since we could be getting about 3 dozen eggs a week!!!
    We enjoyed popcorn tonight on our front porch using a large popcorn popper that some friends gave us! It was wonderful and fun!
    We only spent $23 last week for groceries- using things from our pantry/freezer instead! We watched a British murder mystery movie on Netflix for a relaxing evening in!
    It is so green and beautiful outside here in Ohio these days! We love this time of the year but remember that winter will be here sooner than we realize! So we are stocking up our pantries!
    Meijers had a sale this past week for Prego spaghetti sauce – about 90 cents/jar ! Now I’m sure many of you make your own, but I admit it, we are Prego snobs!! And 90 cents/jar is so much better than over $2/jar!!! I also got some Nestle’s milk chocolate chips for the same price so I bought 44 jars! I won’t need to buy any more for a year!
    All the usual- bag washing, meals at home, brown bagging, mix making, etc!
    Very good week!!

  35. Our biggest frugality is that we are now eating only the fruits, vegetables and herbs from the garden. If it has not ripened yet, then we aren’t eating it. BOth of us miss potatoes the most, since they won’t be ready until late August, but we have a lot of rice and pasta we stockpiled during sales the past year, so are eating that instead. This early in our season (interior Alaska), we don’t have a lot of variety but we’ll make do—some days I am ashamed to admit I have to remind myself that there are people all over the world who would rejoice in eating fresh monotonous fruits and vegetables, so I should be thankful instead of complaining. We have a freezer half full of moose and salmon, both of which we got for free by trading foods I canned last year and berries I gathered and froze last autumn. (Although some of the salmon came from a young man who fishes and when he visited his mother, who lives next door to us, and she told him that my husband mows her lawn and drags her trash to and from the curb once a week. As a thank you, he dropped off 35 pounds of salmon he’d caught the week before!)

    A few months ago I got a coupon that resulted in my getting two large tubes of toothpaste for free. We finally got around to opening a tube and hate the taste. However, we are using it anyway.

    Traded two loaves of homemade bread for two dozen eggs.

    Needed more eggs so I went to a farmer’s market, taking along 19 egg cartons I’d been saving. I figured some small egg seller could put them to good use. The vendor accepted them with thanks and gave me a free dozen eggs in exchange, in addition to the three dozen I was purchasing from her.

    Took some books to a non-profit bookstore and received a tax donation.

    Wrote a letter of complaint, a polite one, to a soap company, explaining that the pump on a brand new bottle of their shampoo had malfunctioned. They sent me two new pumps plus a coupon for a free bottle of shampoo.

    Other than that, just did the usual stuff of reusing bags, making yogurt, drying laundry outside and so on.

  36. Our biggest frugality is that we are now eating only the fruits, vegetables and herbs from the garden. If it has not ripened yet, then we aren’t eating it. BOth of us miss potatoes the most, since they won’t be ready until late August, but we have a lot of rice and pasta we stockpiled during sales the past year, so are eating that instead. This early in our season (interior Alaska), we don’t have a lot of variety but we’ll make do—some days I am ashamed to admit I have to remind myself that there are people all over the world who would rejoice in eating fresh monotonous fruits and vegetables, so I should be thankful instead of complaining. We have a freezer half full of moose and salmon, both of which we got for free by trading foods I canned last year and berries I gathered and froze last autumn. (Although some of the salmon came from a young man who fishes and when he visited his mother, who lives next door to us, and she told him that my husband mows her lawn and drags her trash to and from the curb once a week. As a thank you, he dropped off 35 pounds of salmon he’d caught the week before!)

    A few months ago I got a coupon that resulted in my getting two large tubes of toothpaste for free. We finally got around to opening a tube and hate the taste. However, we are using it anyway.

    Traded two loaves of homemade bread for two dozen eggs.

    Needed more eggs so I went to a farmer’s market, taking along 19 egg cartons I’d been saving. I figured some small egg seller could put them to good use. The vendor accepted them with thanks and gave me a free dozen eggs in exchange, in addition to the three dozen I was purchasing from her.

    Took some books to a non-profit bookstore and received a tax donation.

    Wrote a letter of complaint, a polite one, to a soap company, explaining that the pump on a brand new bottle of their shampoo had malfunctioned. They sent me two new pumps plus a coupon for a free bottle of shampoo.

    Other than that, just did the usual stuff of reusing bags, making yogurt, drying laundry outside and so on.

  37. I’m “refreshing” two extra bedrooms and the bathroom between them, in anticipation of guests arriving next month. I’ve vowed to do this using mostly what I already have (it’s been fun getting creative, actually), but I also have a list of items to keep an eye out for at garage sales and thrift shops. I found several this last week, including three beautiful, high-quality woven baskets with linen linings for $2/p., and a full size bath towel – the exact brand and color I am using in the guest bath (and which were my late in-laws – neither my brother- or sister-in-law wanted them and we were glad to put them to use). The towel was $1.50.

    I was also looking for some specific items for my grandchildren to use and enjoy when they visit, and I found quite a few of these – several pairs of jeans for $1/p, some fun and comfortable t-shirts for less than $1/p, some games, books, and a few bath toys for $.50 and under.

    I decorated the house for Independence Day using things I already own, and resisted the urge to buy more!

  38. Jenifer,
    I’m sorry to hear that you lost your job. As our work doesn’t mean a regular paycheck, it certainly means always striving to make the most of what we have. My husband and I are constantly finding new ways to save money. The fact that we can still find new ways to save is always surprising and satisfying!

    If you ever have cheese that is drying out (say leftover after cutting on a platter and no one ate the last few pieces) you can put it in a bag in the freezer, and then use it when you need to top something with cheese that will be melted. I’ve saved bits and pieces of cheese this way many times and then I use it all together on a recipe.

  39. This town is [i]extremely[/i] casual. When I went to the symphony with my husband last month, I was one of the few women in a dress, and definitely the only one in a long dress; you could have picked me out from the crowd. [i]Many[/i] people, both men and women, were wearing jeans and t-shirts to the symphony. I was shocked; people were always dressed up when I went as a youth in Los Angeles. I knew we were a casual town, but still. . . .

    When it comes to work, people are also casual. In some professions, a tie is required but short-sleeves are definitely okay here. I don’t know any real estate agents, though, who wear a tie here. Most work is done over the phone and through email. Most male agents that I know wear shorts, flip flops, and short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts to work. No one expects the agents to dress in long pants and certainly not long-sleeves; it was 114º here this week. The shirts that my husband received are all plaid button-downs, so they’re more informal and yet much dressier than a t-shirt 😉 People dress up for their business card photos but are casual in everyday work and in meeting with clients, unless they have a very high-end clientele.

    It definitely depends on where you live in the country. A friend of mine once commented about her daughter’s two wedding receptions. One was in New York state, and everyone went in suits and ties. The other was in Idaho (where the groom was from) and most people showed up in jeans and cowboy boots.

  40. Thanks, J! I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in the area. I LOVE almond croissants! I can never make them to match a good patisserie so they’re one of my weakness when I find a good bakery. Mmm…totally craving almond croissants now! And free samples are the best!

  41. Pitting cherries can be a job, but we always found it to be a worthwhile one. We have had tart cherry trees in the yard for 50 years now, and the children grew up learning how to pit cherries with a toothpick or paperclip. It is a spring tradition around here. Every blue moon we have a year that for some reason they just don’t put on, and I am always thankful to have some put back in the freezer. We have yet to have a year go. Y and be completely without.

  42. Margaret I love your opening paragraph. Beautifully put. Now I’m off to your blog to nag you for that alcohol infused cupcake recipe LOL

  43. Brandy I love your blog and I so enjoy reading the comments. I really admire your generosity of spirit, allowing fellow bloggers to put their links in the comments. I’ve started following several of them. Thank you.

  44. Congratulations! Hopefully once you are through the first trimester the nausea will settle down and you will feel a bit better. Having a baby is the greatest miracle of life – but people sometimes gloss over how bad you can feel during pregnancy. Rest while you can my friend!

  45. There is something I forgot to mention in my earlier comment – Lidl (a German discount grocer) has opened stores in the States. The press has been describing it as an Aldi (where I know many readers here shop) meets Trader Joe’s. We used to have one around the corner from us when we lived overseas. Readers looking for reduced grocery bills will probably want to see if there is a location near them: Unfortunately there are none in Canada yet…I have to admit I am jealous of the low cost of groceries in the States compared to Canada.

  46. What a very productive week you had! Beautiful coin purse too.

    I also don’t know anyone with a similar frugal outlook so it’s great to connect with others. I appreciate your down to earth, knowledgable and pretty photos blog!

    Our week was fantastic, as is every week!

    -bought $5pp tickets for my family to attend a French Festival in the CBD (online presale). Children get free admission. There will be, amongst other things, a whole section dedicated to free children’s activities! Plus a free story book.
    -found a French playgroup for my children to attend, 2 hours every Saturday morning. It seems quite craft based. Looking forward to checking it out.
    -spent $36 on the weekly grocery shop. I was $30 over budget last week so this weeks minimal cost puts us back on budget.
    -went to the foreshore with the children’s scooter and trike. We met a friend and her children there. We had a play, walk and picnic on a perfect sunny day plus a nice chat.
    -made ice-cream in the blender using, amongst other ingredients, berries picked off our Lilly Pilly’s. It came out a lovely purple.
    -made healthy snack muffins with oats, banana, peeled green apples, egg, melted butter, honey and wholemeal flour
    -did not have to fill up the car with is on half full after 3 weeks
    -now wanting to listen to some swing music : )

  47. Congratulations! I remember those days well. Everything I cooked made me nauseas too. It will pass. Very light and easy meals help. Ginger helps with the nausea too.

  48. Here in northeastern South Carolina, eggs have been very cheap since around Easter. I think I paid .43/doz last week at Aldi, and the price was comparable at Walmart, too.

  49. My husband usually takes a salad or homemade soup along with my homemade Greek yogurt with fruit to work with him. He works with a couple of young men who buy fast food for lunch most days. When my husband and these young men started working together they called his food “gourmet” and commented on how “healthy” everything is. Now, several months later, after my husband has shared his food with them, they are asking for the recipes and asking to eat his food, especially the Greek yogurt. They have gone out to buy him lunch just so they could have some of the food he has brought with him.

  50. For your back porch, you can buy silica sand that you sprinkle into wet paint or clear sealant to help give the surface grip. Not sure if this will work for your porch, but thought I would let you know such a product existed. It might be a cheap solution to the problem.

    I like to save veggie peelings as well in the freezer to make stock. It feels good to make nutritious food from scraps you would have thrown away.

  51. I live in Ontario, Canada and the cheapest I can get a dozen eggs is $1.77. This is a sale price and not always available. Regular price is $1.98/dozen.

  52. Thank you, Brandy, for consistently posting about your frugal accomplishments each week. It is so appreciated. I love coming here to read everyone’s comments and keeping motivated to stay frugal. My husband and I are empty nesters, looking to build up our retirement funds, and getting out of debt before I retire in another decade or so (my husband will be retiring sooner). There is always something to learn here.

    A coworker gave me a large grocery bag full of Swiss chard from her garden. I will be trying your soup, Brandy!

    I made Greek yogurt in the slow cooker.

    On Saturday we celebrated our oldest granddaughter’s 8th birthday. Our second oldest daughter made Subway-like sandwiches (she worked at Subway through high school) served with chips, fresh fruit and a cookie cake for dessert.

    We celebrated Father’s Day at our oldest daughter and son-in-law’s house. We had Italian sausage and bratwurst on the grill. I brought homemade potato salad and fresh fruit. We also swam in their pool with our grandsons.

    Our youngest daughter moved out of our house and into her apartment so we have some extra space again. I am looking forward to using my sewing machine more and making some aprons for my daughters and grandchildren for Christmas gifts.

  53. These stores did not do well here and closed up. They were called Fresh and Easy. They were actually quite high-priced, and in the end, they decided to stop having ads their last year. At that point, many people wrote them off completely, including myself. They used to have a couple of good sales at Thanksgiving, but that was it. They carried a lot of individually packaged ready-made meals. They also had limited hours; most grocery stores here are open 24/7 in our town and they didn’t open until after a lot of people had already gone to work and closed up too early as well. Grocery stores are often quite busy here at 11 p.m.

  54. I took delivery on 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon. I trimmed bits of fat from the meat and froze about 30 pounds of chicken breast. I canned 10 pounds and then made 4 quarts of chicken rice soup with the bits I’d trimmed. I bought 25 pounds of carrots for about $5. I will be canning those next week.

  55. Brandy, I want to echo Jane’s comment about your generous spirit for allowing fellow bloggers to link to your site. I have learned so much for you and the other ladies. You are a blessing.

  56. Brandy,

    You are a great hostess of this blog. It is such a lovely group because of you. We all look forward to coming here to have this talk about living within our means , and many of us get busy with life and have seasons where we do not comment however, we are still extremely grateful to you and all of your work. It is a wonderful place to come together each week for this conversation.

  57. We can get extra large, at the local gas station, with coupon, for 69 cents a dozen, limit 2. This runs about once a month. Some weeks it’s a bit more, rarely less.

  58. Thank you for always posting and creating this great little online community. I am younger (in my 20s) and it seems like it’s not “cool” to be frugal. My husband and I have tried to make smart choices about money since we got married 4 years ago. But our friends don’t seem to be on the same page. So I don’t have a lot of people to talk about this kind of stuff with. It feels so good to really be supported and encouraged.

    Anyway, here are my frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – made two more raised strawberry beds
    -charged electronics at work or in car as much as possible
    -made an extra $180
    -washed only full loads of laundry, except for a load of delicates
    -accepted leftovers from my parents
    -continued to eat from pantry. I have about $30 left in my grocery budget for the month, which I probably won’t need unless we run out of milk. My husband is a big milk drinker. It’s one of the few things he insists on having, so we make it happen. Right now, milk is less than $1 a gallon at our Aldi’s, so it’s not a budget breaker or anything.
    -set up new bank accounts that have higher interest rates. In the first month, we received $10.50 in interest on our checking and savings accounts!
    -combined errands as much as possible
    -checked out books and movies from library
    -we have seen an unusual drop in temperatures here lately, so we haven’t ran our air conditioner in 4 days.
    -got free dirt to fill in our retaining wall for our landscaping. Got some plants on sale to finish the landscaping. It looks wonderful! I’m so happy to have that project done!
    -used the internet at work after hours to complete an online training. This saved me in gigabytes since we get charged a fee if we go over a certain amount.
    -cooked 2 large meals and then reheated leftovers throughout the week to avoid heating up the house.
    -changed dishwasher cycle to take off the heated dry feature
    -exercised without using electricity
    -made 2 loaves of bread and a batch of soft pretzels
    -I had to buy a new pair of black sandals, as my old ones had broken. I found a pair on sale for $15.
    -changed the dog’s food to a cheaper brand.
    -caught shower water. I still haven’t had to actually run the sprinklers since it rained quite a bit last week. We’ve had little bits of rain occasionally since then and the garden has stayed pretty good. We are supposed to get more rain later this week, but the garden will probably need a light watering before then.
    -found a shampoo that I like on sale for 78 cents a bottle. I bought 2
    -practiced shooting my bow for fun
    -picked lettuce and radishes from garden. I have TONS of tomatoes coming on. They are still green right now. I’m also seeing little beans, pumpkins, zucchinis, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and watermelons on my plants. Hopefully, they all survive!
    -Picked chives, basil, and parsley from the garden. Dehydrated and stored them.

    I think that’s mostly everything. I hope everyone else had a wonderful week and found some great ways to save some money. I always enjoy reading through the comments and seeing what everyone else is doing. You guys give me great ideas!

  59. I am in SE Tennessee and my Aldi has had them for 28 cents a dozen! However, I buy organic, free range eggs when I can, and my Aldi has them for 3.49. I did score at my local grocery outlet last week, free range eggs for 1.59 a dozen!

  60. I know that there are some Lidl stores opening in the States, and we look forward to it eventually making its way to where we are (TX). A friend goes to one in SC, and says that it’s similar to Aldi.

  61. Jennifer,
    I’m sorry to hear about your job loss, and I am in the same situation. I have been praying about starting my own business, and while I believe the answer is yes, I’m still nervous about it and worried about income (my faith for others is strong…when it comes to me..not so much!) My husband is completely supportive and not worried at all, but it’s a shock to the system! This blog is so helpful and inspiring…I wish you luck with your online venture!

  62. You are just amazing, Brandy. Thank you so much for all the inspiration (especially the sewing and craft projects) and for encouraging such a lovely community of frugal people. I’ve learned so much from everyone here! Love the change purse you made this week. I didn’t realize it was handmade until I read your post. So pretty and professionally done! I would love to see the dress you purchased, as someone else mentioned. Always nice when you find a brand new outfit on sale that you know you will wear for a long time. So worth the initial investment. I also love that your daughter and her friends had an outing to the thrift store!

    Well, as usual, we’ve had yet another crazy week. Today my daughter graduates from grade 8. We have a lot of running around this afternoon. I’m happily reading all the comments until then. Our frugal accomlishments for this week are:
    *Meals made at home included meatballs in Diana’s sauce with mashed potato and corn, homemade chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, flavoured rice and green beans, hot turkey sandwiches (used frozen leftover turkey from Easter) with mashed potatoes and corn/green bean mix, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with homemade seasoned & roasted potato chunks, and chicken fingers with tater tots and broccoli.
    *Pulled a bag of homemade beef barley soup and a container of homemade lasagna from the freezer (they were saved leftovers from a while ago) to use as cheap, hardy lunch items for 3 days this week.
    *Still enjoying treats at work baked by my very talented co-workers in the wood stoves of the historic buildings. Some have been exceptionally delicious! We’ve enjoyed rhubarb tarts, empire cookies, sugar cookies, ginger sparkle cookies, cinnamon rolls, rhubarb cake and so many other amazing baked goods since we started back…YUMMY!
    *I went with my daughter on her grade 8 grad trip to Toronto. It wasn’t cheap (paid $120 for each of us!). However, we did have a wonderful time. We attended a show at the Second City comedy club that was fantastic, enjoyed a nice lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory, then went up the CN Tower before heading home. I took healthy snacks from home, which helped us make it through the day. I was very pleased with my daughter’s behaviour and I spent less than $30 on the day (a souvenier fidget spinner and a fast food dinner on the way home). Some of the children had never been to Toronto. It was such a wonderful pleasure to witness their pure excitement over this experience.
    *We had to pull out a bunch of my stored houshold items in the garage to look for the double bed frame (Couldn’t find it anywhere, unfortunately, so we went to the Salvation Army thrift shop and bought a new one for $52). While we had things pulled out, I looked for items we could use. I pulled my crock pot (my mom’s is burning things on the lowest setting), a couple canning jars, my cast iron fry pan, a small casserol dish, a pizza pan, 3 enameled bowls and 2 cheap plastic step stools that my daughter used to use when she was younger (my mom used them for her potted houseplants on the deck). It was like shopping in a thrift store, only everything was free!
    *My husband and I finally watched the movie “The Zookeeper’s Wife” for free on our android box. We had wanted to watch it in the movie theatre but it did not last long there for some reason. We really enjoyed it! Now I want to visit the Warsaw Zoo in Poland just because of it’s history!!!

    I will keep reading through all the comments as I have time. Thank you all for inspiring me every week!

  63. This past weekend my busy seasonal work ended until a bit in the fall and winter. Overall I consider it a big success. I only whipped out the credit card a few times for impulse purchases when exhausted. My praises to the ladies who work full time year round. It is difficult and I am impressed by anyone who does it. Now I need to plan what is next, set goals and start “to do” lists.
    *This past week I began weeding the garden, oh what a mess. I harvested cucumbers, greens, onions, strawberries, squash, and feverfew. There is so much more to do.
    *A ridiculous money saver. We realized we were out of coffee filters (running to the store for one item is not something I do), so my husband WASHED the coffee filter and reused it. I offered to iron it to get out the wrinkles. We figured we saved ½ of one penny. But a half penny saved is a half penny earned (Ben Franklin, sort of).
    *An important saver. I had a job in downtown Nashville this past weekend. Two weeks ago when I was working down there I was SHOCKED when I discovered the parking garages have raised their rates from $5.00 for the weekend to $20.00!!!!!!!! Yikes! Walking a long distance late at night in the dark is not something I am willing to do. My brother, my boss, picked up the ticket, but this weekend I wanted to do something else. My husband drove me, dropped me off at the door (woohoo), then went and visited friends. He had fun, I was happy. As a warning, Nashville has become a boom town. Everyone is moving there and the place has gone crazy. It is as if everyone has gold fever. Prices are skyrocketing, gouging is common, and the atmosphere seems to be a frenzied. Gone is the relaxed, polite and friendly atmosphere. Sadly, my old home is gone. Get me back to the country!
    * I finished my series about my odd job. If anyone is interested, I have posted all the links to each post. A bit much, but here they are:


  64. Sandra, your dinner sounds delicious. There is a store around here which has the jingle of “great food for not a lot of money”. I think that’s what we all aim for around this list.

  65. I ordered the free Canadian National Parks pass online hoping we will be able to have a day trip to Point Pelee this year. It is nice to hear that you can now take the bus to Banff and Lake Louise. Enjoy it for all of us flatlanders.

  66. Another reader, 3-4 years ago mentioned eating the sprinkles on bread and they had a Dutch name for it. I have forgotten the name.

  67. Darcy, maybe you should write out a couple of your recipes that the guys liked and give them to your husband to take to work. Sometimes men (and women) think cooking from scratch is too hard when in reality they just don’t understand how to follow a recipe and picture how it should be.

  68. Cindi, are you growing your vegetables in a greenhouse? I wasn’t sure. Your broccoli is
    far ahead of ours. We start indoors, then transplant out. Maybe it is cooler here than by your. It’s only 54F now but I think another storm is coming in.

  69. Eggs here in the stores are about .99 for the store brand, sometimes less. The organic and name brands run between 1.99 and 4.59 or so. I normally just get eggs from my daughter’s farm. I’ll buy the cheap store ones if I need a lot of eggs, like for 10 doz cupcakes or something like that.

  70. Thanks for the tips! I made him a salad with turkey lunch meat, cucumber, tomato and red onion and also included a large dill pickle and a few cookies. I think he will be satisfied.

    In general, my husband is pretty frugal, but doesn’t like to feel like he “has to” save money. But I recently quit my job so our budget is a little bit tighter than it used to be and he sees me trying to save more now that I am not earning money. Now he feels like he is helping with that as he prefers me at home right now.

    Most of the guys in his office go out, but I think a lot of them do because everyone else does. I think a few of them just want someone else to make the first move to bring their lunch. It will be interesting to see how many of them follow his lead!

  71. Thanks for the information on silica sand. We are in a rental, so can’t do that but it will be good to know once we buy our next house, as we plan on having a pool again.

    And yes, it does feel good to make nutritious food from scraps. Today our dinner is Leftovers Soup (my mom used to call it Garbage Soup, but my hubby doesn’t like that name!) I keep a container in the freezer and throw in the last bits of veggies and meat that are too small for a serving. I also rinse out spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce cans when I am using them and put that tomato water in there. Once the container is full, I put it into the crockpot and add any veggies it is lacking (today I added a carrot and a stalk of celery,) a couple of beef bouillon cubes, Italian seasoning, garlic and a couple of cups of water. It will be delicious!

  72. I’m in Oklahoma and the last time I was in town they were still $1.97 per dozen! That’s why I was shocked to see .46 doz, that was in Missouri.

  73. Or maybe as a Christmas gift, offer to teach those boys how to make yogurt or one of the recipes that they would like to learn how to cook. Pretty cheap gift that keeps on giving!

  74. Your story reminded me of when I had my first job out of college. I worked with a man who always brought 2 sandwiches and a piece of fruit for lunch. When we’d go out on jobs together, he’d give me one of the sandwiches and I’d buy him a bag of chips. I always thought I got the better end of that deal. At that time, it didn’t occur to me to make my own sandwich.

  75. Very interesting! Fresh and Easy was owned by Tesco, which is not the same as Lidl so hopefully Lidl will be better. We actually had a Tesco on the ground floor of our flat in the UK. Lots of convenience foods in the smaller shops. A great example of a company not doing proper research before expanding internationally. Reminds me of when Target came to Canada. It was a total flop even though many Canadians love Target.

  76. Jessica, you and your husband are making wise choices that you will not regret. These will have long term rewards.

  77. I worked a job like that. Not only did everyone go out for lunch every day, they also bought coffee at both morning and afternoon breaks. Also, they’d go to very fancy restaurants to celebrate birthdays. I couldn’t afford any of that.

    At the time, I was paying off student loans and credit card debt. I allowed myself one purchased coffee on pay day. So, twice a month, I would buy myself a regular drip coffee at morning break, not a latte or fancy drink. Regular drip coffee was all I could afford in my budget at the time. I never ever gave in and had to live through a lot of peer pressure. I’d walk to the coffee cart with everyone so I could socialize. But I’d only buy something on payday. Eventually my co-workers quit harassing me about it.

    Finally, birthday lunches were celebrated in the office as a potluck. I felt truly vindicated when that change occurred. I wanted to socialize with my co-workers but didn’t have the money to spend like they did. The funny thing about the potlucks was that everyone mentioned how much better the food was!

    Good for your husband to stick to his goals and pack his lunch.

  78. Thanks for the correction!

    I read about Target in Canada. I heard their largest problem was keeping the stores stocked; they never did manage to keep the shelves stocked. A lot of bloggers were writing about how the stores were a mess as well; they weren’t keeping things tidy. Always good to make sure you can keep your stores full and neat if you want to make a profit!

  79. I used to host international students. Part of my compensation included providing them with dinner. I’d ask for a headcount at breakfast about who wanted dinner that night. If they didn’t say Yes at breakfast, they’d get a sandwich and not the hot dinner that night. They learned quickly to say Yes. The benefit to me was that I knew how many people I had to make dinner for that night.
    I had some tupperware-like dishes that were microwave safe if someone wanted dinner but wouldn’t be there at 6pm, our sit down time. I’d then write their name on the cover and they could reheat it when they got home or take it for lunch the next day.
    Also, unless it was a special dinner like Thanksgiving, I’d always plate the food in the kitchen. It made it easier to ensure equal sized servings for everyone. So, it made saving dinner for someone very easy as well.
    I don’t know if this would work in your situation but it worked very well for me.

  80. I work at a convenience store where eggs typically sell for $1.29 or $1.49. When they go on sale it is usually for 99cents, which is currently what they are. Next week they are supposed to go on sale for 49cents/doz. But our local grocery store and other area stores seem to price around $1, give or take 30cents.

  81. Hi

    I went to the secondhand clothes sale for both schools ( I have a son and 2 daughters). I saved £40 on a blazer for my son ( needed small amount of mending). I found tops for my youngest for £1 each- bought all I could find. It is easier in the morning if you have not run out of uniform! Bought my youngest a ‘big girl rucksack’ for next year. I ran into a friend and she mentioned that it looked brand new ( it is pristine). My daughter has insisted on using it before next year. I also bought sports kit. I checked the ‘new’ website-saved over £220! Yes!

    Sold £20 of children’s old shoes and clothes on eBay.

    Eating down freezer as it is playing up. Don’t know if it is due to heatwave – here in London it has been 35C. I know it is not much compared to some people on here but it is a lot for us. I think the guarantee has expired so slightly miffed. Just eating food now – no buying. One way of saving money.

    Filled up on cheap petrol at supermarket- loyalty card and credit card ( fully paid monthly) give a lot of avois which I am saving for a trip in approx 4 years ( lots of saving to do).

    I gave my rescue dog ( angel) leftover chicken flesh bits ( no bone) after I had made stock instead of a tin. He loved it. I am looking into making his food myself as I don’t like what I read on the side of his tins/ pellet bags- but need to get it right.

    Like everyone else I really value this community as people round here don’t concentrate on saving money at all.

    That’s all from me for now.

  82. Too many Canadians were used to shopping in the US Target stores. Their ‘Canadian’ model did not measure up to the US stores. Not only were the stores messy, they did not have the selection the US stores had. You’re correct in saying that there were also stocking problems as well.

    Also, the prices were higher in Canada. For those living in Vancouver, it was cheaper to drive to the US to shop in the US Target stores even with the exchange rate favoring the US dollar.

  83. I hope you’re right! We are trying to pay off our mortgage as quickly as possible. Then we will be completely debt free. That will be a great day!

  84. Absolutely! A person we know is building an addition in their home with a basement. They had all the dirt from the basement to get rid of. We were glad to have it!

  85. This particular week wasn’t frugal but for good reason.

    Our cat managed to get fleas when I took her to the shelter for discount shots and the entire house became infested. I created flea traps with water and soap that didn’t really work but we were able to kill off most of the fleas by vacuuming our carpet and sprinkling borax over it. We also bathed the cat with dawn dish soap and fed her flea-killing pills. The pills were not cheap but the other ways of getting rid of fleas were definitely frugal and much more environmentally friendly than buying flea shampoo and fumigators, etc.

    However, we did spend a lot of money this week. A lot of our church members are going on medical missions this summer and we supported many of them financially. One sister didn’t get a single donation until we gave. Additionally, we hosted a game night that many of the church members attended – most of them are college kids with limited budgets so this was a great way for them to have fun and enjoy fellowship without spending any money. We also fed them tacos and soda.

    It was a hit in our budget but we felt the Lord move us to give, even though it hurt. It was a blessing to be able to give as much as we could in different ways as a way of thanking the Lord for us being able to live rent free. I was proud that we were able to do so much. We also put our babysitting services up for a mission fund-raising auction and made $200 for the goers! 🙂

    Next week, we will be using a gift card to a restaurant to treat our pastor and his wife (who is pregnant for the first time!) to a meal. We are thankful to the giver of the gift card and thankful we could pass on his gift.

  86. We are in the same stage of life as you are, Darcy. We are taking a hard look at where we are and where we want to be in 10 years when we retire. I just quit my job of 15 years due to some company changes. My husband says I should just say I am retired, but I am not all together sure that I won’t go back to work eventually. I am enjoying being extra frugal now that I have the time!

  87. My husband just started taking a lunch after he was diagnosed with diabetes in May. Before the diagnosis he would eat breakfast and dinner at home and skip lunch for the most part. He usually takes leftovers and/or salads of different types. I make a huge cookie sheet of roasted veggies at the beginning of the week and make sure there is at least one extra portion of meat leftover at dinner that he can have for lunch I’ve also been making chicken or tuna salad in case he wants something besides leftovers. I also make an egg bake every week that he alternates with oatmeal at breakfast time and some days he will take that for lunch on days that he has oatmeal for breakfast. There is also yogurt, applesauce, raw veggies and low fat crackers and unsalted roasted nuts that he can fill in with if need be.

  88. When my mother in law had to move to a memory care facility we inherited her old well loved cherry pitter. My boys (almost 9 & 11) LOVE to sit and pit bowls and bowls of cherries for me. If you can find an old cherry pitter at a yard sale, they are tons of fun.

  89. Aldis in Omaha had eggs for .38 per dozen with a limit of 6. Eggs were not on my list but I bought them at that price!

  90. We are having a cool, windy day, but fortunately no more rain for the moment. This is such a growing time of year, so productive and so much more to look forward to.

    We did all the usual of cooking and baking at home, eating at home, hanging out laundry to dry when it wasn’t raining, composting, recycling, mending. We’re all doing the adult summer reading at the public library and it is getting a little competitive. Baby Dora is participating in my Church library summer reading and with 6 adults regularly reading to her she is doing good too.

    We have harvested rhubarb, chives, mint, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, dill, thyme, edible pod peas, various lettuces, spinach, kale, and strawberries. We managed to get a goodly number of berries, though we were worried. We have had quite a bit of rain and then the forecast predicted up to 7 in of rain coming. So my husband, youngest daughter, oldest daughter and her husband rigged up a tented cover for the bed using clothesline, clothesline poles, tarps, tent stakes. Fortunately there was no wind, just steady rain. We ended up with 5 inches when all done but the strawberries did not drown and we’ve been picking all week.

    We had relatively quite 2 weeks.

    We did a one day girls trip with oldest and youngest daughters, granddaughter Dora, daughter in law, her baby Anna Joy, myself, my mother and daughter in law’s mother… drove over to spend the day with middle daughter. We all went over there as they were having a city wide rummage sale in their town of about 2500 people. We took a coolers with beverages and snacks and food for a picnic lunch. Johanna made cookies for the dessert. We drove my car so I could bring scooter and daughter in law’s mini van so place for carseats, purchases, and a place for the babies to stay behind if they were napping,with one or two of the grandmas. It rained on an off but that does not stop garage sales here one bit. Tornado maybe. We ate lunch at the park. We didn’t go to her apartment and her roomate (her cousin) had worked the night shift at the hospital and was sleeping.

    We found many items at the sales. For ourselves I bought a tabletop rotating CD holder that I can use in the library, 24 various books and a church cookbook, a clear plastic bag (prob about 20 gal size) of fabric pieces that were mostly cotton but some wool, a Gingher pinking sheers, random balls of yarn, 2 men’s flannel shirts, 40+ pieces of silverware most not matching but can be added to our extra silverware we use for big gatherings. A small fleece blanket still in a wrapper. 3 full rolls of paper from an adding machine…these are fun to use to make small banners and signs.

  91. I look forward to reading these weekly posts and comments! It’s always a great source of ideas and it’s wonderful to see other people living this lifestyle. I wish a bunch of you lived near me! I live in Aurora, CO and I have yet to find friends with the same frugal mindset. Everyone my age (late 30s) just wants to go to bars. I prefer potlucks, barbecues, and game nights! Anywho, here’s my frugal week:

    Made zucchini muffins for my fiance’s fishing trip using zucchini I had frozen from last season.
    Made bread pudding using old bread about to go stale.
    Made homemade spinach dip for snacks at work.
    Home cooked all 3 meals all week.
    Worked in the vegetable garden and harvested some spinach that’s about to bolt.
    Planted lettuce seeds and planted three raspberry bushes.
    Planted the ends of a few bunches of green onions to regrow. I’m working on getting a few pots worth so I’ll have green onions year round.
    Mended a couple of work shirts with holes in the shoulder area.
    Hung clothes outside with clothes rack.

  92. All true! They couldn’t stay stocked and the prices were not as good. Canadians were used to going to the States to get the DEALS at Target, and they just couldn’t produce the same deals in Canada (exchange rate, population size, transit, tariffs, etc.). The stores near where I live were clean and well kept – but definitely had the stocking problems and the pricing issues. I got lots of amazing deal when they were closing all the stores – but that was not the intention!!

  93. We had unusually warm weather (for the Pacific Northwest) -almost 100 degrees this weekend so at the last minute we decided to head to the beach. My adult daughter and her family headed down earlier in the day. I was anxious about this because I had not budgeted for this outing but at the same time I realize we have to capture the summer days while they are here. I was very pleasantly surprised when we reached the beach cabin, and my daughter had brought food and had dinner ready and waiting. Then another pleasant surprise was that the small beach town was having a festival and there were lots of free activities that my grandson really enjoyed. My husband and I enjoyed a great sunset on the beach. It turned out to be a great summer weekend to remember with no danger to my budget at all!

    We stopped at a Marshalls store on the way home and to my delight they had a good selection of Gap brand underwear and socks on sale. I was able to purchase Gap socks for all the guys and my daughter for Christmas- each person will get 2-3 pair of nice quality socks for a total of $10! This was a save in more ways than one- we were going right by the store so there was no extra gas money or time involved.
    Due to the warm weather, I was able to line dry 3 loads of laundry.
    We stopped in at a garage sale while at the beach and I was able to purchase a brand new, never-used small French press coffee pot. My adult son uses a French press every day for his morning coffee. His French press is larger in size and so he ends up wasting a bit of coffee each morning as it is difficult to measure out the one cup he has and he lives alone so nobody to share it with. With this new smaller pot, there will be no more waste. The smaller French press was only $3 so I am sure he will quickly save more than $3 worth of coffee.
    I too feel very honored to be part of this blog community and feel so very grateful to Brandy for all the encouragement she provides us.

  94. I had to comment on the clothes. My best friend & her husband recently went to a funeral (in the Cali desert) and wore what I would. He wore a suit & tie. She wore a dress & heels. She said that one of the cousins walked up to them wearing flip flops, a Hawaiian shirt, & shorts and asked them why they were so dressed up. She’s been talking about that for weeks!!!

  95. “Okay, whichever one of you is taking Thursdays off, raise your wing!!!”
    Thanks for the laugh, Pat!

  96. This is the only blog I follow! I look forward to the blog and replies every week. I had 2 no spend days this week. My goal is 10 days a month with no money spent. I have a paper planner, everyday I write what I spend and add it up at the end of the month. I shop Aldi, Sam’s Club, Publix and Kroger. This was not a very frugal week. My husband traveled and usually save money on food. Not this week we ate out 3 times. Oh well my sons was spending the night at a friends and I treated my daughter.

  97. Oh wow! So many great comments this week (like usual but more prolific). I’m having a blast reading them all! Thanks for hosting us every week, Brandy!

    It’s been busy and frugal around here. Still trying to wrap my “variable pay brain” around regular paychecks but I am getting there!

    My list for the week and garden update can be found here…

  98. Kathy,
    It will be ok.(I’m like you, easier to have faith in others) 2 weeks before my job ended, I was pumped, the house was going to be ready for the queen in 2 days and EBay sales were going to be good enough to carry me through until unemployment kicked in.
    It took 2 weeks to get the house clean enough for the queens driver and EBay sales were awful. And all those pre job loss pep talks started to make me feel worse. But then things started to pick up sales wise, and the fact the house is more in order… Point is, do the pep talks, and don’t quit. The jump off point might not be the smoothest but you will survive.
    And honestly this blog – reading, taking notes, the community really helped over the years easpecially the first 2 weeks (after job loss) not be a complete crisis.
    You can and will do it. And you’ll do it well!

  99. Brandy, how soon before you grapes are ripe do you put the paper bags on them? Thank you for all the things you teach us.

  100. Brandy, your name has been a common reference that past few years in our house. My husband calls your rosemary olive oil bread “Brandy’s bread” even when he gifts a loaf.
    Thank you for your work with your website.

  101. My daughter’s recent hospitalization has left me physically and emotionally exhausted. I continue to monitor her around the clock as I am just simply paranoid . I have tried to book as many of her follow up appointments as close to home. We actually sat in traffic 5 hours the other day after a wreck closed the interstate down. I found calcium chews for her for 3.00 instead of buying the high dollar pills she was prescribed. She won’t swallow them so this was a win for me. I was able to stock up on 100.00 worth of grocery items utilizing swagbuck gift cards with a Groupon deal. many of the items were on sale so my value was even greater. I only paid 12.00 outofpocket. Since the medical issues have us pretty much homebound, I am busy purging my house. I took a huge load to the dump where we were able to trash, recycle and donate items. I have quite a bit more to get rid of. I am going through all the clothes and getting rid of any thing and everything we don’t wear or use. I have become minimalistic over night.

  102. Lots of comments, you may not get to this…but…I love your blog not just for your frugality, but because your heart is in making a beautiful, warm home and family life, as well as retaining your femininity. Frugality doesn’t have to equate to looking and acting like the couple from the American Gothic painting. I have a friend who thought she was being helpful to her husband during one pregnancy by wearing men’s briefs underwear during one pregnancy! She didn’t buy them, but I guess she thought she was being practical…
    Anyway, your change purse is adorable. My daughter is a HUGE Dr. Who fan and all around Anglophile; I’m sure she would love that charm that you added as a zipper pull.

  103. Those are great ideas, Athanasia and Rhonda A.! I am on vacation this week so I plan on making them a nice pot of mushroom soup and enough yogurt to share. 🙂

  104. I only buy free-range eggs (the DH and I rarely eat eggs), and the cheapest I can find is about $4/dozen. Needless to say, I happily use flax eggs in my baking when I can, so I use maybe 1 dozen eggs a month, max, and often much less. If I have eggs that are significantly past their best before date, I use them to make lemon curd (yolks) and meringues (the whites). If eggs are super-cheap where you live, those are two desserts that seem fancy, but wouldn’t be expensive!

  105. Brandy, I love all your photos! My daughter made Caprese salad this week too, and I also pulled some Easter ham out of the freezer this week. I try to limit my shopping as much as possible to The Grocery Outlet, which opened less than a year ago in my town, and my church thrift store, where I receive a 20% discount for volunteering. My most exciting purchase last week was a pretty upholstered chair in great condition for $21.00. It is an item I’ve wanted for a long time! I also bought 3 high quality blazers in perfect condition from the dollar rack. I am starting to put together a back to work wardrobe.

  106. Rice, pasta, and potatoes are great for stretching meals! Making chili and suddenly have a whole bunch more people to serve? Serve the chili over rice/pasta/potatoes to stretch it out. Rice and pasta cook quickly, so easy to add to a dinner menu at the last minute. The same principle applies for a lot of other saucy dishes.

    Also, if you keep a batch of soup and/or bread in the freezer, you can pull it out as an addition to whatever you planned for dinner, and serve that along with smaller portions of the planned dinner. Takes some fore-planning to have soup/bread in the freezer, but worth it not to stress over last minute additions, I think!

    Good luck, and let us know how it works out!

  107. I am in agreement with everyone else who commented with their thanks and appreciation for the time and effort that you put into your blog! It is such a pleasure to come here and read all the frugal things you accomplish on top of everything you do in your regular daily life. I also enjoy reading all comments and get lots of ideas for ways to save money.
    I am still doing a pantry challenge and we continue to eat meals at home. Our one splurge was to take our oldest grandson out for dinner for his 12th birthday using a gift card we received for Christmas. I have been under my grocery budget for the first 6 months of the year by continuing to eat most meat and vegetables from the freezer.
    I have continued to use leftovers to make new meals.
    I continue to combine all errands on one day.
    Our garden got started late, so we have only harvested strawberries and peas. Our onions are a bust. Out of 150 planted I have only found about 25 to 30 that made it thru our torrential rains. The area they are planted in does not drain well and most of the washed away. The rest of the plants are thriving tho.
    Have a great week everyone!

  108. The broccoli is outside, but I planted starts from a nursery that were pretty far along. Most of the rest of veggies are in the greenhouse. It is in the 50s at night, but up to almost 90 in the day.

  109. Jessica, you are wise beyond your years to save now. Learning to live frugally now will pay big dividends the rest of your life — and the money you save now will compound and be a real boon to you later on. Staying debt-free will give you the freedom to do things your less-frugal friends won’t be able to do, and you’ll be much better prepared to weather emergencies. Good for you!!

  110. Yum! I love caprese salad. I also really appreciate all of the comments here. I always seem to learn something new. 🙂

    Our frugal efforts have been pretty routine, so forgive the repetitive nature. That’s the way it works, though, isn’t it?

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Watered pots and roses with warm-up and rinse water (it’s been pretty hot here, so they’ve needed extra water).

    * Harvested grapes, plums, yellow squash, and purple pole beans.

    * Made bread.

    * Accepted produce scraps for our hens and collected eggs from them.

    * We had a clogged, backed-up drain, so Hubs used our “snake” to clean it out. (We invested in our own “snake” years ago; it’s more than paid for itself.)

    * Hubs used some scrap wood to build some new planter boxes for herbs (the second-hand half wine barrels we had been using finally fell apart).

    * We were able to reduce our electricity usage by 4% compared to this time last year (and by 6% compared to two years ago). I’ll be glad when the weather cools back down (as it’s supposed to this week) so we won’t have to use the AC.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  111. Undoubtedly you already know, Holly, that you don’t actually need the pass to get in free. I ordered mine ages ago but have not received it yet. Calgary and region put this special bus (which goes about 10 times a day) to reduce highway traffic in anticipation of all the tourists. Have a great time at Point Pelee. If I had money and health, I would go from sea to sea to sea to as many of the national parks as I could.

  112. Right as they are starting to color. I did try putting my sheets over the grapes this time instead of the bags (as it is easier to check them for ripeness) and this is working too–and it is easier to check when the grapes are ripe. The birds are relentless in my garden right now; they are eating everything–but not these covered grapes!

  113. Hopefully you can plant something else in that area now! I’ve been filling holes in the garden with seeds every chance I get; lots of things didn’t come up or came up and were eaten by bugs. I’m excited to see a few new seedlings coming up in those areas. I’m doing a lot of “try, try again” right now in the garden. I will get things later but I should still get something from those spaces this year.

  114. Jen G check out leather honey for your chair it used to be called Harness honey and it revived hundred year old harness that had been on the floor of my parents,barn for who knows how long. I use it to save and protect all my leather it’s on amazon. For what it can do its well worth the money.

  115. Reading your blog while I was sick in bed this weekend inspired me to start a regular frugality feature on my blog. I mentioned you in my post about it. You’ve seriously inspired me.

  116. Hi Becky, Erica and Athanasia and here is the recipe for queen drop coconut biscuits and we double the recipe –

    – Cream 6oz. (170g) of butter and 8oz. (227g) of butter to a cream.
    – Add 2 eggs and beat well, add a Tablespoon of milk,
    – 12oz. (340g) sifted all purpose flour and add 1 teaspoon of baking powder,
    – Add 4oz. of desiccated coconut or you can use currants or sultanas instead.
    – Pinch of salt.
    – Mix well and drop in small pieces a teaspoon full on to greased biscuit or cookie trays. We do a heaped teaspoon full per biscuit and drop them onto the baking tray with baking paper lining it.
    – Bake in a quick oven for 8 – 10mins . We bake them on 180 oc or 350 F for 25 mins or if like us you have an older non fan forced swap shelves with your trays at the 12.5 min mark.

    Enjoy everyone and this came from a 1962 cookbook called The Schauer cookery book, and they are delicious

  117. Mariana, I am so happy for you and T. I have noticed you haven’t posted lately and was hoping it was for happy reasons.
    I hope as the weeks progress the nausea subsides and your energy increases. God bless your growing family.

  118. I love the change purse! It is so cute! I do appreciate your site and all who contribute. There aren’t many people around here to talk to about money saving topics either, which always makes me eager to see what everyone is saying on your blog! Some things I did to save money this past week: Our library had a fantastic adult craft day that you had to sign up for ahead of time to make garden totems. It was free and everything was provided. I made a “lighthouse” out of red, white and blue dishes, a vase, cup and flower pot, which is now on my deck. I have always wanted a cupcake tier and they said after everyone made one totem we were free to use up the supplies and make anything we wanted. They had alot of glassware left. I made a crystal cupcake three tier holder out of three plates and two glasses. Somebody else made a cake platter. The woman leading the class said she bought all the glassware at the Goodwill for the program. We used clear outdoor weather/waterproof caulk to glue everything together and had to leave everything at the library over the weekend to dry. Other things I did to save on money: Went to a free lecture with my husband from the Smithsonian at a grist mill that included meet the author for a book signing, light refreshments, and a free tour. My husband took me out to lunch for my birthday at a very nice restaurant and we used a buy one get one free coupon sent to me by e-mail for my birthday. I also recieved a free pancake meal at a pancake house, which I used when my mother and I went there for lunch. We have also been eating less meat for health reasons which saves money too. I negotiated with our phone company twice when our bill went up and they gave me a small discount. This is for our landline and internet. I have started researching other sources for these things. I have been watching the sixth season of Call the Midwife from the library. I also baked and cooked from scratch.

  119. Both of my teenage daughters outgrew several sundresses this week… since I am now the shortest gal in the house, that means I have new sundresses!
    Taking my oldest to tour several colleges next week. Found out many colleges host your family to free lunch in the cafeteria after a tour! If you meet with an admissions counselor, your kid also gets a free college Tshirt. Pretty generous!
    My birthday is in July. We googled every restaurant in town with free Birthday offers and have been enjoying all the small goodies with each trip through town!
    Found out JCPenny offers a free 8×10 without sitting fee to military families. Took the oldest in for a new photo in living room and taking the youngest tomorrow. Teenage girls sure love that!
    Have an awesome week, everyone!

  120. Thank you! I just feel so much less stressed when I am making smart money decisions. I am not perfect, but I do try very hard to be a good steward of the blessings I have been given.

  121. Crockpot meals are great for when people are eating at different times. My husband and I do this a lot, as he gets home late on the night of the week that I have an activity.

  122. I love potlucks for both the affordability and the sheer variety of food, but some people really resist them. We had a situation with my kid’s religious school where once a year each grade would have a special dinner. My child could never stay for the dinner because of multiple food allergies they couldn’t accommodate. I pushed for several years for them to make the dinner potluck because I knew then that he’d have at least one thing he could eat (or that we could take his whole meal, but he wouldn’t feel out of place because everyone would have different food on their plates). The potluck idea was repeatedly knocked down because it was felt the meal wouldn’t be as “nice” as the prepared meal. Finally, one year, they tried it and the person in charge was blown away not only by how much good food there was, but by how much easier it was to plan and clean up! She didn’t need to recruit a big committee of people to cook, set up, clean up. Now all the class dinners are potluck 🙂 .

  123. Brandy, I totally understand your comment of not having a frugal conversation you have with the women around you. A friend asked how I came up with some of the frugal ways I do and Hubby told her from my best frugal friend Brandy and Brandy’s ( that’s all you that commnet) circle. So true as I reread everyone’s post at least twice if not more and yours daily. I read it first thing in the morning to get my in FRUGAL mode. LOL. I got 10% off 3 different medical bills (after ins paid their share) for paying by check before the bill was due (credit cards charge the company for accepting the credit card). My 90 yr old Dad gave me jars that he had washed..they were from pasta sauce and gravies as he no longer makes his own so buys at Aldi’s. Told me to use them instead of my canning jars for my herbs and such. I was able to put what as in 6 qrts into the jars he gave me and put the qrts back into canning supplies. I got eggs for 71¢ a dozen. I got chicken breast for $1.83, got a free chuck roast with buy one get one saving $8.45. Combined meat coupons (so far and few between with what I actually use) Saved almost $100 with coupons and sales with paying $250 ..that’s almost 30% savings, really good for me.I put that unspent $100 in my savings instead of spending it elsewhere.
    The rest is here.

  124. Jenifer,

    I recently quit my job of 15 years. While it was a very exciting job, it was also completely hard deadline driven and I loved my boss, but he was a bit ADD (literally) and wanted everything NOW. I made a lot of wonderful memories, but I am so happy to be home now. I am LIVING my life. My frugality is my job, but I now have a flexible schedule. If I want to spend the morning with my grandson, I can. I can take the time to pray every morning. I’m enjoying having the time to really cook and not just do quick dinners.

    I had stayed home with my kids when they were in school, but went back to work when my husband was laid off. Once he was employed again, my money was extra. I used it to pay off all of our debt, college for both kids, my daughter’s wedding, 2 vehicles, a few nice vacations and a home remodel, all in cash.

    I do miss the money a little bit, but I love my freedom more. And I’m very lucky to have a husband who is completely supportive.

    Good luck with your Ebay sales!

  125. Please keep doing what you are doing. When my kids were your age only 1 stayed frugal and the others followed their friends. Guess which one is retiring at 40 and owns his house? His siblings sigh with regret when they get to talking of life at family dinners. He doesn’t rub it in and has many times called the youngest for advice on grocery shopping and meals. The oldest says she “ate” her retirement … I’m proud of the choices you are making. Stay strong.

  126. Erika… I took your comment of Be calm you don’t have to stock up for the Apocalypse.. and made me a sign of it… Stocking up for the Apocalypse is my mode. So thank you LOL

  127. Hi Brandi, I was just wondering if you use the pan juices from roasting meat and/or make a stock out of the bones/scraps/ or pan juices? If you do what do, do you make soups and sauces of the stock?

    Just wondering as I haven’t seen you’ve mentioned making stock and soup when you cook meat. I do it a lot but many people don’t know how or how to use it.


  128. I so appreciate your blog, Brandy. It reminds me of the Tightwad Gazette, which I dearly loved in the 1990’s. I am back from my required work conference beach trip, which was complete with Tropical storm Cindy, and wow, I have never been at the beach during a tropical storm. Those waves were huge! I was able to walk on the beach a couple of days after my conference meetings when the rain would slack up occasionally. I took a cooler full of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. The hotel had removed the microwaves from the rooms. However, there was one at the end of the hallway and I used that one. Breakfast was free. I received free pens at the conference, and a vendor gave me a pair of sunglasses, that I gave to my son. That is my “vacation” for the year. I enjoyed it actually, because it was not burning up hot and I found the storm to be fascinating. I was required to be there, and could not leave unless mandatory evacuations were ordered, so I might as well enjoy it…lol. I do not spend on vacations because the funds are simply not there with our high medical bills, and my limited off time, and I appreciate this group of folks because y’all understand that. Anyhoo, I got chicken for 69 Cents a lb (which was high but I was hungry), and potatoes when I got back from the conference and with the leftovers ( along with some carrots, onions, and tomatoes, and pasta), I made homemade chicken noodle soup. That is what I am eating for supper all week. I estimate that it actually costs me under $3.00 to make and I will have plenty of leftovers to freeze. I have brought my lunch to work every day, a sandwich, and I make stove top popcorn to bring to work every day for a snack. I love Brandy’s fig recipes because I have a huge fig tree in my momma’s backyard. Have a lovely week, y’all!

  129. 68¢ a dozen for large great value brand in Ocala Florida. Some of the other stores have eggs for more money

  130. It seems that your words really struck home with a lot of your readers: “It’s nice to know that others in the world are working to live within their means. It’s not a conversation that I get to have with women nearby”.

    I know that what you wrote is very true in my own life. Although I’ve sent out ‘feelers’ to acquaintances and friends about frugal living, no one has responded back with any interest. I belong to both a local canning group and several community gardens. I thought for sure someone in one of those groups would be like-minded. Still, no interest even in those groups.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, Brandy. Perhaps a blog post some time?

  131. Thank you! That keeps me more inspired to stay on track! I don’t need to make a ton of money or have a ton of things. I just want to be comfortable and feel secure. I know life can throw anything my way, so I want to be as prepared as possible.

  132. Thank you Athanasia. I do love working for my brother and can handle it since it is only seasonal. It wears me out! I have missed reading all my favorite blogs.

  133. Marybeth – I follow The Krazy Coupon Lady on Facebook. They post deals frequently through out the day 🙂

  134. I have survived the last week, with moving in 120 degree weather and 115 degrees other days. Used several days because of the heat. Water & Powerade (we had already) was so refreshing!
    Frugally we used what we had for eating except one day picked up some Mexican take out and getting desserts on my daughters last day of work.
    I appreciate your blog Brandy and all readers posts. I have learned so much over the years. Thank you!

  135. My husband’s a Prego snob, too. I throw in homemade once in awhile, or I’ll try a different brand, but we always come back to prego. At 90cents a bottle, I’d buy as much as possible, too!

  136. I don’t really make stock much. The way I cook turkey (breast-down) it makes its own stock while cooking; I have a pan full when I’m done and I just use that. The meat falls off the bones and it is very easy that way to use it all. I’m sure I could try making yet another pot of soup from it, but I don’t usually, as there is already a large amount of stock at the bottom of the pan (about 8 cups from my 20+ pound turkeys). I’ve never done it from a pork roast; we use the liquid from cooking the pork as a sauce of its own over the meat. The -an gets scraped pretty clean. When cooking a whole chicken, the third use is generally soup, and I’ll often make a stock then, but I’ve never mentioned it. I tried freezing stock once–the bags moved and it spilled and froze all over my freezer, and as I keep my freezer really full, it stayed that way for a VERY long time! It’s best for us if we eat the stock in soups right away.

  137. At this point, I don’t know what else there is to say. I realized this week that I have been trying so hard to have this conversation locally, and while people may accept some aspects of frugality, most are not trying to do a large number of them. I felt frustrated to not have this conversation locally, but then realized I get to talk about it every week when I read everyone’s comments (and sometimes even get a moment to respond back to them!) and I realized that that is good enough. I think we all have our own interested andd sometimes, if our interests are different enough, it might mean seeking out those with like interests from all over the globe. I sure appreciate everyone’s comments, and though there are almost 10 pages of comments at the moment I am reading this, I know that the post has been viewed over 5000 times already. I’d really like other readers to join in more often and have the conversation with everyone; we all want to know what can be done to live within our means, no matter where we are in the world and what that means for each of us. I am constantly learning new things from readers’ comments and gleaning new ideas.

  138. I hope your freezer lasts, and if not, I hope you can get everything eaten before then so there is no waste!

    I love that you are saving for a trip in 4 years. It’s something I’d like to do, too. Right now I am only dreaming and researching. Hopefully one day I’ll get to go!

  139. Lorna,

    I am new to this site but wanted to offer encouragement on your goal of paying cash for a home. We purchased our home with cash 16 years ago. It took us several years to save up for a modest home. People thought we were crazy, too! Guess what…they are still paying their mortgage payments each month while we are able to slow down on work hours and will probably retire altogether by age 50. Who’s crazy now?

    Keep working toward your goal and ignore everyone else. I think most people are just jealous and deep down know what you are doing is amazing.

  140. All the lawyers wear a blazer coat and tie for court here, it is required. However, many wear short sleeves under their coat. Khaki trousers are sorta standard. You can always tell the out of town lawyers (from the big cities of Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, etc.) because they have on a very expensive suit….lol.

  141. Well said Brandy. I have been reading your blog for years, but it is hard for me to comment when I am not on maternity leave as I am right now. This is a great community and I learn something new from this forum every week. Every single week.

  142. So sorry to hear of your job loss. I went through that during the recession and it is tough.

  143. I look forward to reading your blog weekly, and all the comments that go with it. Some weeks it takes me all week to read all the comments from beginning to end and then its too late to say anything. We are still struggling along. Don’t have new renters yet. Its been very frugal for the past few weeks. My 13 year old (special needs) has decided that she isnt wearing shoes anymore. If we try to force them on, she kicks them off……so…….that means she cant go into the store and neither can I since I can’t leave her in the car. Saves us even more money!!! Although I dont know whats going to happen when school starts. I’m scared they wont let her go and then I’m going to have a truant officer come after me for her not being in school! We’ve taken away her ipads, she can’t use the computer or have her dolls till she wears her shoes and its not working. I’ve offered mcdonalds and chucky cheese but she needs to put her shoes on, its not working either. A week or two back, I was able to score 40 boxes of ronzoni pasta for 50 cents a box. I was able to get it that price often when I lived up north, but not at all since we’ve been in Florida. We’ve been having some sort of pasta for most dinners. I had purchased some 24oz jars of sauce for 99cents each at save a lot, but they’re gone. I made a pot of sauce this morning using a number $10can of tomato sauce that i got for $3, I bought a pack of primo sweet sausages in sams. Instead of putting all of them or even half of them in the sauce, I cut up 5 and put them in and froze the rest. My husband likes to help himself to the meat in the sauce between meals, so hopefully he won’t find much and then the sauce will last longer. I’m still drinking the maxwell house with the “my k cup”…..yuck!!! Occasionally I go over my parents house, and borrow a k cup. Ebay and amazon, and the apps are doing a lot better than they had been.

  144. Rhonda, hold the cherry in your one hand and hold paper clip with your writing hand. Just push the end of the paper clip into the stem end of the cherry, wiggle and pull the pit out. We use the bigger size paper clip. I just measured one and they are
    1 7/8 ” long

  145. I sowed zinnia seeds and planted jalapeno plants and pepperoncini plants. We love putting sliced pepperoncinis on our sandwiches and nothing compares to having them crisp and fresh from our garden. I also finally got sungold tomato plants in the ground.
    I hit a resale shop and found like new Crocs for both me and the hubs in new condition for $2 a pair. These are perfect for gardening.
    I made salsa in the food processor and have a big bag of blue corn tortilla chips from Sam’s Club. I’m planning to make slow-cooker southwestern black beans overnight so we can have nachos for dinner a couple of nights as well as put some beans in the freezer as there is just three of us.

  146. I think its awful the way some people dress for some situations. I know in the end being there is what matters, but at least make an effort to look nice when going to church, a funeral or the symphony!

  147. The first Sunday of every month is a potluck after morning church. Many times family gatherings are potluck also, like reunions and birthday and anniversary parties. Weddings are not potluck but are often cooked not catered. Funeral meals are usually partly catered with the meats and buns being ordered and then the sides and desserts are all brought in by church members.

  148. Stephanie, if these children are old enough to be making plans and going places on their own then they should be old enough to keep you informed as to whether they will or won’t be at dinner.

  149. I absolutely adore your coin purse! My oldest daughter and I are going to take a sewing class in the fall.

    My frugal accomplishments:
    -Cooked every meal for my family this week from scratch.
    -Bought a couple of pairs of ballet flats for my professional wardrobe at an excellent price.
    -Purchased a new dress for work for $10.
    -Bought a basil plant to keep us in fresh basil for a long time.
    -Purchase a large sewing kit for $3 so I repair some of my husbands cycling gear. This should save us about $47.
    -Checking out some French cooking books from the Library to give me ideas for meals.

  150. Your salad looks amazing! We have quite a few tomatoes in our garden, too, and we’re still trying to figure out how to use them all!

    This week:

    1. I was at a conference for work and packed my own coffee, water, and snacks to save money.

    2. My job is paying for all of my parking fees and meals from the conference, which means I’ll get to reap the credit card rewards for free. 🙂

    3. Tonight’s dinner will be prepared entirely from our freezer meal stock. It’s been a tough week for me to cook from scratch, so these are lifesavers.

    4. I started line-drying our clothes to minimize use of the dryer.

    5. We pickled cucumbers from our garden. 🙂

  151. I am going to make a suggestion, you are in a power play with your daughter. She senses and knows she has got you. She is not doing it out of malice, she know that this is getting to you, and it is, hence your post. Let her not wear shoes. Take her in a store, let them say something to her, that she can not come in the store. Make sure you have her shoes in your car trunk. Before all this, let her not wear shoes at home and SAY NOTHING. OR go in a store, and not that you would shop, go in, stand where you can see the car. Leave the shoes in the car. She may put them on and get out and come in. IF she is 13 and goes to school, she can wait in the car. Stop bribing her, though I would take away the computer or Ipad. You used the word scared for yourself, stop that, she knows it, and I get the special needs issue. BUT would you put up with this if she was not special needs? Plenty of 13 year old with out special needs, do similar things, not the shoes but not do as you asked. You need to work on what respect is. Truant officer? No.. does she have a social worker? That or child psychologist would be also an option. I am sure there are some here with special needs who can address this too. I have seen once any child gets your number as they say, they exploit it. For you, work on what is not a special needs issue and what is. The very best to you.. hang in there?

  152. Thank you Lorna. I have been thinking of getting one of those digital scales like they use on Great British Baking show, since I measure by volume here, not weight. But I’d like to try their recipes without converting. I don’t know what they mean when they say “fan”. I am wondering if that is a convection oven?

  153. In the movies, and as I recall in real life, all the men back home in Houston in contact with the astronauts (“Houston, we have a problem”) wore white short sleeved shirts and ties. Weren’t those scientists considered professionals? Of course that was a long time ago.

  154. Most people dress up here for work. Unless there is a work uniform like at the gas station or a fast food restaurant or factory. Our doctor wears a long sleeve shirt and tie year round. There is a thing that a lot follow, like in banks, other business and schools, called casual Friday where folks can wear in maybe khakis and their favorite sports jersey or polo shirt. Even at our grocer they used to wear short and long sleeve white shirts with a black tie. That was until this Kroger thing took over and now they wear a polo shirt. We were at the car dealer as my car is still under warranty so they do the oil change and I remember the service department (not the mechanics) and the sales folks were all wearing shirts and ties.

    But when I was younger everyone in general dressed nicer I think, but even so, to me a tshirt is still underwear, not the final presentation.

  155. Hi Shea and thank you so much and wow you did so well paying for your whole house with cash, congratulations. You are so right it gives you so much financial freedom 🙂 .

    You are right about jealousy of others as well or I think most people are just afraid of the unknown, being frugality, which is foreign to most who live on the consumerism band wagon and feel that they have to have what the Jones’s have now. Fortunately we are happy being the way we are but through frugality we are able to buy the things that are important to us with cash and when we do invest in something we get quality items that will last for years.

    Most see us as doing without and I have even had a lot say to my face we are poverty stricken. I was glad to say to a friend at church when he remarked, well it is not like you could afford to go and buy a new car tomorrow is it ?. I simply replied well yes we can buy two with cash but we choose to save for our home instead of borrowing huge amounts, but however go on 😀 as he was talking about another struggling couple at church .

    We are not going to be able to unfortunately pay for the whole house and land with cash but with 50% saved, which is our goal, we will have a very small mortgage that can be paid very quickly with very low repayments. Unfortunately we are starting again (literally) and a middle aged couple so for us this would be the best way to go.

    Thank you so much for your encouragement 🙂 .

  156. Bless your heart….I don’t know how you handle the heat!!

    Lots of leftovers right now.

    Daughter’s birthday is Friday. We are not having a party until house is clean…which means we may not have a friends party! Life lesson. But we will make a cake for her and open gifts. She is getting a sweatshirt, book, dvd and filaments for her 3d printer pen. All but one were bought on sale. The sweatshirt was from a play she was in in May. She had wanted it, and it is large enough she’ll grow into it.
    The other book I purchased I decided to hold until Christmas.
    Starting to price out school supplies. Classes start here in 4 weeks!! I “recycle” half used spiral notebooks into loose leaf paper for the school year. Saves me the headache of trying to find the “right” price and the wire gets reused in one of my daughter’s crafting projects. Also hoard all the pens and highlighters I can to save time and $ later.
    Pricing out and scheduling school activities. Choices need to be made for everyone’s sanity!!
    Lots of swimming/friend time at neighborhood pool.
    Husband is saving 200 on car work because he inquired about work discount.
    Have a wonderful 4th everyone!!

  157. Hi Kimberly,

    I’m wondering if your daughter’s shoes are pinching her someplace and she isn’t able to communicate that. Also would she try flip flops?

    It takes a lot of patience to raise children and even more with special needs children. Keep the faith 🙂

  158. Except for the heat of the summer, I make and freeze soup and stock year round. I freeze soups in leftover 32 oz yogurt containers that I’ve had for years. I use masking tape and a magic marker to name and date the soup before freezing. These containers work really well for keeping the soups upright, making it easy to defrost in the frig, etc. The downside is the containers are curved and slightly narrower at the base meaning there are empty spaces in between containers. Typically I freeze the soups in the kitchen freezer/refrigerator and then move them down to the basement freezer once they are blocks of ice.

    Clean up is a breeze as the yogurt containers go through my dishwasher after I remove the masking tape.

  159. Could it be that the shoes are uncomfortable, and she might wear something else to her liking. Just a thought.

  160. I don’t comment often but I do read your posts every week Brandy and I always read all the comments, and I do appreciate all your hard work. It is great for me to see that you have some regular Canadians readers as our prices are quite a bit higher and circumstances are sometimes different from your US readers.
    I have not been as frugal as I should have been over the years but circumstances have changed as I have been retired (earlier than expected) and will now have to live on a lot less money. I will look for some part-time work in the Fall so when I packed away the winter clothes a few weeks ago I put my Fall work wardrobe (a capsule one) to one side – the only purchase needed will be some new black walking shoes.
    I have always kept a well-stocked pantry and at the moment my small freezer compartment in my fridge is packed – unless there is a good sale I won’t be buying any meat, poultry or fish for at least 6 weeks. I am now setting aside a set amount of money at the start of each month for groceries, household items, laundry and transit (I am a city girl and don’t drive but live right across the street from a subway stn.) – I use jars as opposed to envelopes. I am being realistic and giving myself a monthly allowance but my goal is to have money left at the end of the month. This will then be split between savings and an extra credit card payment.
    I have been researching free and very low cost things to do this summer and I’m also going to take along some food and a thermos of tea in order to keep costs down – I have to admit that eating out is a real downfall for me so it will be a challenge.
    I am using my time off to give my apt. a deep clean and I love to move furniture around and redecorate using what I already have. I have been doing a lot of purging of “stuff” over the past couple of years but even so half my dining room is piled up with items that I am taking to a friend’s garage sale at the end of July – she has invited me to participate so I am hoping to raise a few extra dollars – which will be split between savings and extra payments.
    I will be reading this blog even more closely in these upcoming months – so thank you to everyone who participates.

  161. Hi Athanasia what they mean by a fan forced oven is simply a normal oven with a fan in the back of it 🙂 . If you open your standard oven up and see if it has a fan then you have a fan forced oven.

    If not then you are best simply to rotate trays of biscuits half way through the cooking time to stop them burning. I put the top tray on the bottom rack half way through and the cooking time and move the bottom to the top tray of the oven.

    The fan in an oven makes things cook more evenly than a non fan forced oven as the heat is evenly distributed through the whole oven instead of just the top, the same applies to things like food dehydrators.

    I hope this helps.

  162. if you have stomach/food poisoning you can take activated charcoal with a lot of water. It gets rid of toxins and any bugs that may have been in your food. You may have to take 2 every 4-6 hours for a few doses.

  163. Brandy–I’m a faithful reader but rarely comment. I broke my wrist in Feb. and “graduated” from OT today. Good to know I’m better but hard to stop OT where I got individual care. I love to follow others and their ideas on frugal living. Even in Fairbanks, we are able to have a good garden each summer. It was a late start this year, but we have tomatoes that are turning color already. This was a big week for us–we were gifted a “new to us” stove and fridge that are wonderful compared to our antiques! It was a rough month because we had problems with our boiler, which we need even in summer for hot water. I found your blog after a vacation and have read it all. I look forward to the start of the week for new entries. Just a warning–based on the number of books my son has bought in the last week, it will be a long winter! (We are all great readers, especially of used books.) Thanks so much for making this community of frugalistas!

  164. Thank you for the explanation, Athanasia! I had never heard of this before. I bought a cherry pitter a few years ago, but they are expensive and only one person can use it at a time. Might have to try this trick so that my mom and I can work on pitting a bunch of cherries at the same time.

  165. Christine, even if you do cut back on paper usage, it is so nice to have those things on hand. And they certainly aren’t going to go bad!!

  166. I should say, the male lawyers wear that. All of my female colleagues wear suits for jury trials, but wear simple slacks, dress, or skirt, with a simple blouse for court, and usually, but not always, a suit jacket. Many wear very bright colored suits and clothes and it is considered appropriate here. For days that we are not in court, the dress is still business but much more casual, and if we are not in court on Fridays, we have blue jean day. Of course if we are having court, we dress up.

  167. My husband has been taking his lunch to work for 22 years! We do the same thing your friend does – we make the lunch when we are cleaning up after dinner. In winter, we use a small individual sized crock pot for him to carry soup, stew, or pot roast in. He carries the inner pot to and from work and leaves the cooking part at work. It doesn’t “cook” the meak but heats it well by lunch time. Lots of nice and frugal ways to save on lunches at work!

  168. My husband takes a big thermos of hot coffee brewed at home as he is taking his morning shower. He drinks it through the day, and it saves a ton of money.

  169. Watched the latest episode of the Great British Baking show last night. Wow, they like their biscuits crisp! That Paul was dropping them onto the plate and it they didn’t clatter he was, oh no. Soft.

  170. friend, it does sound like you are having a wonderful summer. Enjoy your mountain scenery and all those lovely flowers.

  171. I think I may be the only one who does this – I save the “juice” from cans of corn to make “corn cob” (without the cob) jelly. Two 15 oz cans of corn will render 2 cups of juice which makes about 3 1/2 half-pints of jelly. It tastes like a combination of honey and apples, and so at our house, we call it “Faux Honey Apple” jelly. It is delicious, and we don’t “waste” the juice. I do the same thing with cans of peaches. You can use just the juice or throw the peaches into the blender and then make jelly. This is the best peach jelly we’ve ever had! Store jelly is so HARD. When you make it yourself, you can use as much pectin as you like for the consistency you want. In fact, jelly has gotten so expensive, it is cheaper to buy cans of peaches on sale (or a #10 can) and make up a lot of jars yourself. Tastes a lot better, too.

  172. I have a special needs son, so I feel for you. What I had to do with him was to get high top sneakers (not easy to find) and tie them in knots he couldn’t get undone (mind you his fine motor isn’t up to figuring out most things yet on that front). Since she is at the age where, even though she might not be able to communicate it well, that she might want “cool shoes” maybe see if you can pick up a pair of cheap combat boots somewhere? My step-mom with my special needs half sisters, one of which would run around barefoot in the middle of winter if you let her, went with crocs and started taking her on walks, determinedly putting the shoes back on her feet every time she took them off. My half sister liked the control of being able to slip the shoes on and off and eventually snapped out of being difficult.

    With the school and her being special needs…my son has bad eczema all the time and it effects his feet. Just get her to a point where she’ll wear socks and talk to her teachers. My son runs around in socks all the time at school :). Take care and good luck!

  173. Jennifer, I am not understanding. What is the queen and the queens driver?

    I pray your new life plans go smoothly.

  174. We live in Alaska, and we were paying our neighbors $4 per dozen for fresh eggs. “Organic” eggs at the grocery store sell for $3.88/dozen. At Costco, you can get large eggs in 2 dozen pkgs. for almost $4 – so around $2/dozen. We would kill for eggs at 49 cents/dozen!!!!!!!

  175. Hi Susan – I’m a Susan, too. 🙂 Just want to put out there that this might not be so easy. My daughter, now 20, is on the severe end of the Autism Spectrum. She also has Dravet Syndrome. She appears to be a very typical teenager, but is so, SO far from it. I have been in similar situations, and would rather stay home than risk an on the floor meltdown in public, the likes of which most people do not understand. It is humilating for both of us and heartbreaking for me, to see people who have no idea of the situation view my daughter as a brat. She is a terrific, amazing young lady who doesn’t (and truly, CAN’T) deal with the world the way the rest of us do (or try to!). In this case, it’s wearing shoes, but it could be ANYTHING – triggers are many. If communication is an issue, an ultimatum or stern word would fall on deaf ears. My daughter knows when we mean business, and we know that sometimes, well, regardless of our best strategies and plans…she will “win.” Because the comprehension isn’t there, so there can be no give and take. We simply avoid the situation and hope for the best next time. And love her fiercely, every minute of every day.

  176. To continue…at the sales I also picked up some partly used spiral notebooks, a 3″ loose leaf binder, a gallon size baggie with random sizes and lengths of elastic, ribbon and ric-rac. Also some random pieces of play food, dishes to go with the play kitchen we have in our basement from when my children were young. Last I think was a small stake that had a butterfly and the word FAITH on it for putting into a flower pot. The two mothers were mainly on the lookout for baby clothes in larger sizes and they did OK. The cutest thing they found were 2 white fake fur hooded winter dress coats in size 4. The family selling had twin girls, well our 2 new granddaughters are only 3 months apart and measured the same length at birth, so they think they will run the same size.
    We also picked up a few boy outfits for my sister in law’s new baby. They did not come along. Eliana found 2 nice pair of rubber garden boots at 2 different sales…she says she can never have too many of those for the farm. The biggest sized purchase we found was a Cozy Coupe in great condition, no bent wheels. We checked. We bought it as a surprise for Susie’s baby boy…They live in an area with sidewalks so they could make use of it. We had to tie that onto the top of my car. As far as adult clothes for the women, that was hit or miss due to a lot of the clothes being inappropriate for us. But we still had a very fun, full, frugal day.

    Some of the items cooked and baked over the last 2 weeks were banana nut bread, white bread, Brandy’s French bread, corn muffins, rhubarb pie, banana cream pie, 10 pie crusts for the freezer, butterscotch pudding, jello fluff, sloppy joes…vegetarian and with meat. Made egg salad sandwich filling, tuna-macaroni shell salad plus a vegetarian version, vegetable wild rice soup (normally I don’t make soup in the summer but we have had such a cold damp spring we needed it), macaroni and cheese, kabobs with beef, with tofu and with vegetables and lemon rice pilaf, plain yogurt. Had corn on cob 2x. Was just OK. It looked good but it’s already old by the time it gets to store.

    We had our VBS last week so it was busy. Our church has a meal every night for the workers and their families which is very helpful. It is nothing fancy but at 5 there is a buffet of sandwiches, chips, fruit and salads, no dessert. Everyone can gather, discuss plans for the night, have prayer time and start refreshed and frazzle free. A group of ladies started this years ago when they noticed their children starting to move into the adult roles in VBS and that lives were so much busier in general. This has to be 25 years at least. Now this week our missionary Patti and my youngest girl Olivia have taken off with the group of 23 Jr and Sr high teens and 11 adults for 2 weeks to work with 2 sister churches and their VBS programs and some building projects. it’s very quiet around the house! so we had our tenants over one night for a cookout and strawberry shortcake.

    So far I have done 16 pints of strawberry jam and 3 half pints. I also sugared and mashed some and packed in 1 C freezer containers for adding to homemade ice cream later in the summer. We sold a lot of rhubarb at the farm stand. Finished shelling and freezing peas.

    We sold our 1970 VW bus to one of my husband’s nephew’s for $1.00. It was the first car my husband’s family owned, bought back when he was 16 and they had just left Amish and needed a vehicle to hold 10+ people. We used it more when our children were younger for traveling and camping, then my husband used it for deliveries (seats removed) and to tow the trailer, also for deliveries. It could use more and more work so the nephew will be able to do that. My husband bought a panel truck to use instead.

    We enjoyed time outdoors in the garden and birdwatching and sky watching, when it wasn’t raining. The mosquitoes are just emerging. Ick. We did get the concrete footings done earlier in the month for our deck. That will serve as a back yard for us. We really only have a front yard as our house is built in the side yard of the big house next door. We have a front patio that runs a good portion of the front of the house that my kitchen looks out on to. Then we have no side yards as out 3+car garage and connecting breezeway angles down and takes that up. The concrete apron of that meets up along the patio. So the patio in front is great for my potted plants, vegetable pots, large gatherings, star gazing etc, cooking out, hanging laundry etc etc but it is not at all private. The deck in the back will face the woods, be more shaded and more quiet. The drive shares with my daughter’s house just beyond us, the inner road that goes to the other farms, then down towards the road with my husband’s woodworking business and then finally the farm stand and the two businesses’ small parking lot along the county road.

    For those starting the 4th of July holiday already this weekend, hope you have safe and fun plans. Yes, also, Brandy thank you for the time you give for a safe place for all these women to share their lives with each other. As said, you are much appreciated.

  177. My husband has taken his lunch to work for the past 40 years. Can’t even imagine the amt. of money he has saved us. One year for Father’s Day, I made and gave him the “Paper Sack Lunch Award” to point out to our daughters the daily sacrifice he was more than willing to do in order to have their mom at home to care for them. We have all sorts of “heroes” in this world, but I believe I am married to one of the finest men on the planet. Frugality may be funny to some people, but to me, it is an act of humility and devotion Let’s be sure to “cheer one another on” in our homes.

  178. Hike to a Waterfall, History buffs won’t want to miss the Tennessee State Museum, Military Museum, and State Capitol tour, all of which are free or tour the Parthenon, a full-scale reproduction of the famous Greek temple, which houses the world’s largest indoor sculpture and the city’s fine arts museum ($6). After, drop by nearby LeQuire Gallery & Studio, where you’ll often find Alan LeQuire, the man who created the Parthenon’s mammoth Athena, at work on his latest sculpture (free).

    Carriage rides are not cheap but you should take one (just negotiate) There is so much to do I hope you have a wonderful time!

  179. I cool and then put my stock in freezer bags and then put the bags in cake sheet pans so if they do leak (usually when I over filled them) they don’t leak in the pan. I do can most of my stock though with my pressure canner.

  180. What I like most about your blog, Brandy, and this blog community is being frugal and living well. Having lived and worked in depressed areas of the country, I’ve know a lot of families who struggle. But I knew few who were like me and chose to be frugal, yet live with Beauty! Thank you for providing that. I’ve enjoyed watching your blog and family grow over the years. Sometimes when I’ve wondered if it was worth the effort, I’d need this community boost.

    My father became ill when I was in high school many, many moons ago and we went from haves to have-nots. I guess the shock of it has stuck with me. I still struggle with not overspending and provision. Right now my husband and I have suffered 9 years of troubles and are just getting back on our financial feet. The emotional toll has been the biggest hurdle, but having an attitude of gratitude makes it work. Thankfully I have always been frugal or we wouldn’t have made it. We are building a cabin on an acre of gifted land without a mortgage. It’s a bit rough going, but it’s summer and that helps. We need a place to live.

    Truly thankful for a positive community to belong to. 😀

  181. Brandy,

    I have been frugal since 1971 and I have practiced extreme frugality at times. I would say there are a few main things that save a lot that I have now learned. How to have a vacation and enjoy yourself to the fullest with whatever comes your way! I would work all of the time and never have down time. Now I schedule vacation days and even if it is just go to a local park that is what we do.
    I have done the vacation/work thing. Visit relatives, swap homes, and I even tried camping years ago ( I no longer camp) However a day trip is always a great option as well.

    The second area is the saving of the warm up water to water the plants. I also think we have been out of the habit for trying to save electric and I do try but I seem to loose the battle with our family.

    I do all of the regular things and they are just a way of life for me.
    However, I have learned as well from you and your readers and I have been frugal for years! So you can always learn something new!

  182. What an awesome idea, Eve! For those who are struggling with feeding their families, this is brilliant. Two edible products for the price of one is a great way to stretch your grocery money!!!!:D I’m thinking I might try making peach jelly from my home canned peaches. Wondering if this would work for my home canned pineapple chunks in pineapple juice, or even my canned cherries…so many things to try now. Thank you so much for sharing this idea!!!

  183. I totally understand the severe special needs child issues and how they do not process things like my other three children. What worked with them, absolutely would not work with my special needs child. Other folks, although well meaning, truly do not understand. One has to walk in your shoes, Kimberly, to really understand….hugs

  184. A friend gave me a big bag of fresh neem leaves; I dehydrated them and ground them up to store for the future. I made flea powder with diatomaceous earth I already had, ground yarrow (had to order, unfortunately) & the neem powder, and it seems to be working well (and won’t poison our animals).

  185. I love that sentiment! I feel sometimes like I’m swimming upstream so this made me feel better. Thank you!

  186. That is a nice outcome on the cake. Last year we ordered 2 sheet cakes from Costco for my daughter’s wedding. They had a beautiful small tiered cake made by a lovely friend that they cut & everyone else had sheet cake plated in the kitchen. When we got to Costco the day of the wedding the cakes were wrong. They found my order sheet & sure enough the mistake was on their end. The bakery just shrugged at me and told me I could take it or not. There was no time for them to make it right and it was not the end of the world, but talk about terrible customer service. I even asked to talk to a manager but they said there was no one to talk to. I was pretty irked.

  187. No..not a problem with the fit. She has a brand new pair that has 10 minutes of wearing on them! Thank you everyone for your responses. She is starting a new school in August that has only special needs students. I have a call in to them to see if they can help. She has all different kinds of shoes and access to all my footwear. At this point if she wanted to wear ice skates or scuba flippers, I might let her!

  188. Look for a cherry pitter, I found one on clearance after the season. Plus my kids have so much fun using it they usually do it for me!

  189. My 13 yo son has autism and has had shoe issues for years. One thing that has helped us is getting his teacher to help. Maybe when school starts, you can explain the situation and they can help her.

  190. I have not dealt with children with special needs or autism very much in my life. I HAVE been reading this blog – – for several years. One of her kids is on the autism spectrum. She writes clearly about issues she and he faces. I feel as if I am slowly becoming educated about how to be a respectful and compassionate citizen in a society where so many people and their families deal with this daily.

  191. Well said, Susie, well said! We too have a daughter on the Autism Spectrum (original Diagnosis of Asperger’s which is not quite as severe as some Autistic children). Sometimes there were sensory issues or other factors influencing the behaviour and no amount of bribing or discipline would change the issue. Case in point was the issue with my daughter taking the bus home from school. The other, younger children were loud and jumping around so much that she couldn’t stand it. She would find every excuse to avoid going on the bus. She even went to the washroom and “missed” the bus one day. The teachers suggested we should “discipline” her for avoiding the bus. I told them that no amount of discipline would cure her Autism, so they’d best come up with an apology to us for suggesting we were the problem and a better plan of action that would be more considerate of her needs.

    Quite frankly, I’m done with other people blaming me for my daughter’s medical issues I have no more control over than they do. I never asked to be a special needs parent, it just happened that way. Special needs parents are probably better parent then anyone will ever realize. We are put through the ringer, both physically and emotionally, every single day, we fight harder for our children just so they get the same privileges as “normal” children and we know the real meaning of loving unconditionally.

    Kimberly, have you tried getting her to wear something like slippers, soft sandals, swim shoes or moccasins that are looser fitting on her feet? I know you are financially struggling, so cost to buy something might be difficult for you. But if she will wear them, they at least cover her feet, and might work for school too. If you have pinterest and know how to crochet (or know someone who does), there are lots of instructions for making crocheted slippers using cheap flip flops as the sole. If you sew, you might be able to make something similar with really soft stretchy fabric (like from an old t-shirt, sweatshirt or even a pair of socks). It’s definitely a hard problem to find a solution to if your daughter refuses to have ANYTHING on her feet, though. I feel your frustration, and hope you find a solution soon.

  192. Margie, since you are in Toronto, I suggest you look into free entry to some of the museums or attractions around the city. Some may offer free entrance after a certain time (1 hour before closing or after 4pm), or on certain days (1st Monday of the month). Also check for discount coupons designed to attract tourists to their venue. Hotel lobbies have racks filled with coupons for various local attractions, free for the taking! It’s a great way to check out these sites on a strict budget. Remember, if you don’t get to see everything, you can always plan to go again another day.

    Another way to get access to expensive museums is to look into volunteering. I work at a pioneer village in Peterborough and our staff and volunteers receive an Attractions Ontario reciprocating card that offers huge discounts or free entry (sometimes a guest is free too) to other Attractions Ontario sites. This includes places like the AGO, CN Tower, Science Centre, ROM and many other big attractions in Toronto, not to mention other attractions all over Ontario (cheap trip to Niagara Falls anyone?). The rule at our museum is that you have to log 40 hours of volunteer hours to get one, but it will vary on how other places handle this. Worth looking into, if you find you have the time. Volunteering can be pretty fun too!

  193. I have been reading this beautiful blog for 5 yrs now, and I read it religiously. I love the friendship of like minded people, people like me 😉 I have learned a lot here. This is my first time commenting. I have been frugal and careful with my money my whole life, thanks in part to 3 wonderful grandparents who lived through the great depression, who taught me to repurpose, reuse, and refurbish anything I could, and to save up for things before I bought them. It is my way of life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not materialistic which helps. I do a good bit of sewing for myself, my daughter, and recently my mom who can no longer sew for herself. I have made her 3 new blouses and I am in the process of making her 2 comfortable house dresses she requested. I love sewing for others. I do a lot of hemming and repairing for everyone in my family because I’m the only one now who really knows how. I would like to share one way I have found a lot of really good bargains. I shop estate sales. You can find estate sales in your area on Lots of usable, good stuff. Can usually negotiate better prices and bundle multiple items for a fair, often very low price. I keep a running list of things I’m looking for and bring it with me to the sales. Most things we have found are in good working condition.
    My husband and I have been trying to cook at home for all our meals to save money as our health insurance premium for our son and myself is over $1000/month. That is temporary and will be half that hopefully by September. But for now, it’s a heck of a lot!
    I have really enjoyed reading all the comments this week, as I do every week. Thank you Brandy for this inspiring blog 🙂

  194. I also have a special needs young adult who is 28. This is the one with the medical problems that currently are causing me great distress. Often we have various issues with our darlings. My suggestion would be for everyone to go some place special and she will have to be left at home due to the shoe issue. With supervision of course . I have found that over the years that by not being dramatic and making empty threats, my child was left out very rarely. I also am willing to compromise. Big foot slippers? Fine. Ballet slippers? Sure. Rain boots, go right a head. Just remember you are not the only parent struggling. Mainly I would be consistent. I have the patience of a saint but this last hospital visit made me want to smash my head up against the wall. But God gave her to me because he knew I would always be good to her.

  195. I absolutely love your blog and the inspiration you share with others.

    * I am taking care of my friend’s rabbits & chickens, in exchange, we get to keep the eggs
    * A friend gifted my a comfry plan for the herb garden
    * We took the children to the beach at a state park for the day, and because my mom was with us we got an in-state discount getting us all in for only $6. We spent the morning on the beach, had a picnic lunch, and then visited the nature center.
    * I made another batch of hand soap.
    * Harvested, pitted, and froze the cherries from our tree.
    * We turned off the air conditioning for most of the week and had the windows open and fans on. It was uncharacteristically cool out until today.
    * My husband repaired our dishwasher and the boys’ window AC unit
    * I purchased 4 new tops from Kohl’s, and because of sales and coupons they came out to less than $5 each
    * On Monday I went to my chiropractor. She gifted me 3 pairs of sandals and a pair of slippers that were “floor models” in the office.
    * Our neighbor gave us 2 new bird feeders for my daughter’s garden, and a huge bin of bird food to keep them full for several months.
    * My children attended a free week-long science program at our local library.

  196. Hi, Brandi,
    I wanted to chime in with everyone else, singing your praises! I wrote in my journal ” Tomorrow starts a no spend month” which got me to thinking about you and how you went for two years without spending or spending much. I’m not sure I could have done that with your grace and good humor. Your really are a treasure! The time and energy you put into your family and this blog is amazing! Along with so many others, I am grateful and thankful for this community of people to look to for inspiration. You are the perfect host!

  197. Yes, there are a million frugal things to do. When we lived there and I homeschooled, I decided we would do the free things first and then we never had time for the expensive things!
    I recommend this website. It is a magazine that lists what is happening and what it costs.
    It depends on what you like to do and the ages of your children but the city’s attractions are unlimited. What do you like to do?

  198. Brandy–I make alot of stock and soups that I freeze in plastic jars. I use 40oz peanut butter jars and 32oz mayo and miracle whip jars.
    I have an upright freezer and line them up in the door. I put chicken on the top shelf and beef on the bottom shelf and soups in the middle. My husband does catering as a second job and brings home alot of leftover roast beef and rotisserie chickens and I always save the bones and scraps. I buy bone in chicken breast or whole chickens and save those bones and skins as well. I also save veggie scraps to add to the meat.
    I am actually making broth in my crockpot tomorrow as I found 2 gallon bags of chicken scraps in the chest freezer while organizing it and the veggie bag is full!
    The plastic jars hold up really well and can be run thru the dishwasher and reused.
    If any of you try this just make sure the broth or soup is cool before you put it in the jars. Hot broth in plastic jars causes the bottom indentation to pop out and the jar won’t be level anymore. Learned that the hard way with my first jar:-(

  199. Athanasia, it is a reference to the story “When The Queen Rides By” listed on Brandy’s website, under Encouragement. A wonderful read and a potent impression!

  200. Oh thank you for the answer!!! However, I checked our library system and no one seems to have it.

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