Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week of July

If you haven’t see the video coverage of the grasshopper swarms in Las Vegas, I encourage you to check it out. We’ve seen many more than normal here, but the majority of the grasshoppers are downtown. I’m hoping they don’t eat everything in my garden.

The garden was very productive this past week. I harvested peaches, three kinds of grapes, figs, and a large Armenian cucumber that we ate over several meals.

I cut and froze peaches for smoothies and popsicles. I have now frozen 34 quart bags of sliced peaches from one tree and there are still more peaches that I will freeze this week. This is in addition to the peaches that we are eating fresh from the tree.

I dried figs to use in future batches of fig sauce over pork.

I stocked up on boneless pork loin roasts while they were at the incredibly low price of $0.99 a pound. Now that I have a large freezer again, it will be easier to stock up on meat at the lowest prices, allowing us to have meat more often in our meals.

I paid my eldest’s college tuition bill for the summer term using an e-check to save the extra 2.79% that they charge to cover credit card processing fees. Her university has a three and a half-term system: fall, winter, and spring semesters of 14 weeks each, with a 7-week summer term. Students are assigned two semesters and during the third semester, they are supposed to take online classes. Anyone can attend the summer term. Attending school year-round allows more students to graduate faster. A large number of students receive some kind of financial aid (all are required to apply for Pell Grants). We are hoping to receive something for fall semester, but nothing has been decided yet. We saved money last year for her spring and summer tuition fees.

During summer term, Winter will be able to work five additional hours per week at her job, allowing her to save up a bit to cover her needs in fall, including higher rent and some good winter boots that she plans to purchase.

Because of the tri-semester program, some of her roommates have fall as their off semester (they’ll stay home while they take online classes). They didn’t want to move their food back home with them, so she received some canned goods and frozen chicken from her rooomates. She said everyone put the clothes they no longer wanted in a pile in the living room. Everyone took what they wanted and they donated the rest. She chose a pair of pants in a vintage style that were just what she was wanting.

We talked to Winter several times using the free Dup app so that we could see each other.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

We went to the library, where the children turned in their reading logs for new books to keep. They also picked up some free bookmarks. Every time we’ve gone this summer, the library has had new bookmarks at the children’s desk and at the front desk that anyone can take.

I combined our trip to the library with a trip to Target (they’re across the street from one another). I bought the last pair of sandals on clearance in my size that were identical to the ones I bought a few weeks ago (and marked down an additional $2). I put them aside to use when my current pair wears out. I used the mobile coupon for $10 off $40 of children’s clothing and I paid for part of my purchase with the $30 gift card that I got from the diaper deal a few weeks back.

The humidity was out in full force here during summer “monsoon” season, so we had 108 degrees as well as lots of humidity. We had the clouds go over but did not see more than a few drops of rain at our house. I kept an empty one-gallon ice cream bucket under the pipes on the side of the house where the air conditioner water drips. I used this water to water potted plants in the garden. If you live in a really humid area and own a dehumidifier, you can collect that water to water your garden (a huge help if you’re dealing with drought and water limitations!) Since I was home during the day, I was able to go out several times to empty the bucket during the day, having collected several gallons of water each day this way. The red noodle beans loved the humidity, and finally decided to grow!

I downloaded and read an e-book from the library that a reader suggested last week, Where the Wind Leads. It was excellent.

I potted the cutting I rooted from my mom’s pothos plant (that I originally gave to her as it has grown too straggly at my house). The day I potted it up, she brought several more large pieces that she had cut off of the plant. I put them in water to root to make new plants. I’ll use them for Christmas gifts for some people. The original plant was a tiny little plant that my now 14-year-old received about 11 years ago from his Sunday School teacher to give to me as a Mother’s Day gift.

I mended a skirt.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. This week we really put our energy into building the cabinets that will enclose either end of our gas grill outside. We bought the solid cedar 4x4s and a few other things like adjustable feet, but most of it is using what we already have! The sides are solid cedar fencing slats (we also used some of those a couple weeks ago to fence the final 35 foot of back fencing. The shelves are leftover hardwood flooring we took out when we cut a space in the flooring in the 3rd floor bathroom for the Jacuzzi tub in the remodel. The countertops have recycled 3/4” plywood harvested from a really warped sheet of plywood someone gave us! https://pin.it/bhxftpvdf5q32b The tile countertops were using 18” floor tiles that were in our daughter’s garage when she bought her house so since she put in hardwood floors, she gave us the tiles! The tiles will also be used in the buffet counter that we’ll build on the back of the BBQ!

    I’ve been decluttering in my sewing room and so I sold (so far) 2 quilting hoops, 1 quilt stand, 1 long arm quilt frame, 1 set of adjustable quilt stands, 9 spools of ribbon and 1 mid arm quilt machine. Still more decluttering to do! So that money is going into savings at the same time my room is looking better! Who knew I had 3 QSnap PVC quilt stands? Gave 2 to family members and am selling 1!

    My daughter bought 48 pounds of peaches at Meijers for 57 cents/pound and I was able to give her 2 dozen quart jars and two boxes of rings/lids from the ones I was given last week so she can can her very first peaches for her pantry! I’m so excited for her!! Her birthday was Pioneer Day so I got her a Steam Canner of her very own! I love seeing my children doing things to become more self reliant and also good stewards of the material things they’ve been blessed with!

    Another daughter let us use her $1 off per gallon of gas at Kroger’s. She had already used $1 off a gallon to fill her gas tank, but had the other $1/off from buying gift cards for work (4x fuel points) that were going to expire at the end of July! We babysat for her the other day while she was getting her stitches out from the carpal tunnel surgery and I had taken her for the surgery while hubs babysat two weeks before. So this was an unexpected “thank you” gift for us!! Great timing because our car was getting down below 1/4 tank!
    So, all in all, a very good week!

  2. Oh my goodness!!! Your children are too cute for words! Prayers that the grasshoppers stay away from your gardens!

  3. Hi to all
    My frugal things in the last week
    – picking up 6 large peaches for .49
    – staying in most days.
    – did all errands in one day
    – earned a $10 Walmart card that I’ll probably use this week at Sams Club
    – I tried to get the book Where the Wind Leads from the local libraries. All only have on audio – I cannot use audio so I will have to see if I can find in a used book store.
    – we have ate ate at home all week and my husband has taken lunch to work everyday.
    That is all I can think of for last week.
    Have a good week all –

      1. Yes, I would recommend ILL for the book also. Our consolidated library does not have it but we do in our church library. It is by one of the Christian based publishing companies so ILL might be able to get it even from a Christian high school or college.

  4. The picture of your son is too cute! And I’m so impressed with the amount of peaches that you’ve grown from one tree!

    My frugal accomplishments this week:
    – Using the pattypan squash from my discounted organic produce box (discounted because I used a gift card I purchased from a silent auction), I made Chilled Curried Cream of Squash Soup (http://approachingfood.com/curried-cream-of-squash/). So yummy, elegant, and incredibly easy. I think you could also substitute in zucchini for the squash, or use whatever squash you have on hand. Or even pumpkin! I served some to my sister when she came over to babysit when I went to a work dinner (it was a treat to go out to a fancy sit-down dinner on my workplace’s dime, even though I’m on mat leave!). I also served my sister some cheddar garlic biscuits that I had made and frozen last week, and some watermelon that my mother had given to me that was leftover from a dinner she hosted. Oh, and I topped the soup with a nasturtium that I grew on my balcony garden, a la Brandy.
    – I made lots of baby food from the last of the discounted organic produce, so I think I’m set on baby food for at least a month if not more.
    – I made Chocolate Cherry Swirl Ice Cream (no churn), using a sample of Bailey’s chocolate cherry liqueur I got free in a trade, plus cherries I bought on sale and froze, cream leftover from when made the cream of squash soup, and leftover homemade chocolate shell. I gave some to my mum when she came over to visit, and she couldn’t stop eating it, which tickled me pink!
    -I made lemon curd from egg yolks leftover from cookies I made last week.
    – I made the Pane Biano bread recipe from the King Arthur flour website, but I made substitutions to use up what I had in the pantry and not buy anything new. I use the oil leftover from a can of sundried tomatoes (it’s nicely flavoured) instead of regular oil in the dough, and then skipped the sundried tomatoes in the filling as well as the basil, but used leftover parsley and asiago cheese from my dinner party two weeks ago. Turned out fabulously – a very elegant bread!
    – I make my own laundry detergent, using Brandy’s recipe, and I’ve noticed that it will last longer if instead of grating the soap, I use ivory soap and then microwave it until it’s all puffy and cloud-like. I let it cool and crumble it. It dissolves much more easily in the wash and because it fluffs up the detergent, I can still use the same amount and have the detergent last longer. I don’t know if any other soap would react the same (likely not) but I thought it was a great frugal tip!
    – Sour cream and corn were on sale, so I made a Mexican-style street corn salad and served it to my sister when she visited another time, along with organic carrots (traded for a while ago) and some cucumber that my mother grew and shared with me. Instead of buying lime, I used the truelime packets that I had bought from the dollar store in the States when I was there on vacation. Cheaper than fresh lime when I only need a squeeze or two.
    – and finally, I redeemed Pinecone Research Rewards for $5 to my Paypal account.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone!

  5. July was very lean at the beginning as I waited for a check that took much longer to come than I had been led to believe. The pantry and freezer held out just long enough. I cooked rice and pasta dishes using several jars of turkey stock and some shredded turkey from the freezer. I flavored meals with a sesame Asian salad dressing using it for stir fries and as a surprisingly good pasta sauce. A partial bag of mixed vegetables from the freezer that had not been good boiled, were excellent in a stir fry, along with four brussels sprouts from the fridge. When I ran out of cooking oil, I used turkey stock for the stir fries. A three-cheese ranch salad dressing made an excellent dip for carrots. The very last masa harinha made some tortillas for a egg filling. Black beans gave me protein. when mixed with brown rice or pasta. I had a bowl of peach slices from the freezer each morning for breakfast, which had surprising staying power. I got in the habit of smaller portion sizes, so I lost a little weight.

    The check came on the day I was using the last cat food. I had made a list of people in town to ask for some cat food to keep them going.

    We had weeks of rain almost every day, so it was too wet to work outside. My computer was broken and my car had an axle that needed repair, so my entertainment and income possibilities were minimal in June and July. I read exchange books and some books from my shelves, and did a jigsaw puzzle. We used to do these on rainy days at the cottage when I was a kid, so it felt like a holiday. The scene was a seaside building with a flower garden, so it was pleasant to do.

    Since the check arrived, I have been getting items repaired and replaced. Today was also the first day of my Old Age Security pension, which adds to the steady portion of my income as well. The weather is gradually improving, though we had a huge dump of rain on the weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so heavy a rain, though fortunately no more than an hour or two.

      1. Ditto on your creativity in the kitchen and hanging in there. So glad the financial situation has changed for the better.

    1. I’m glad you will now have a bit of steady income and that your check finally came, Elizabeth. I remember a time when I was down to the last two eggs, a can go string green beans and Parmesan cheese. I was so hungry that it remains one of the best-tasting meals I ever had. You were very ingenious! Hope that things look up from here on out.

      1. Thanks, Margaret and Laura S. I enjoy figuring out how I can recombine even small amounts of ingredients on hand into meals I will like. I was happy with how well-balanced each day’s meals were too.

        I am sure things will be smoother now. Continuing to stock up and trying to get things in good repair will make a difference.

    2. You are so resourceful with stretching your food! So glad your pantry supply held out for so long!

    3. Bravo for making what you had stretch until the check came in! Way to go Elizabeth!!! Your creativity in the kitchen and for finding simple, cheap entertainment is very admirable. You should be very proud of yourself. I’m glad the check finally came just when you needed it the most.

    4. Yes, kudos to you on your creativity and resourcefulness! And remember, we know now that “protein-combining” at each meal is not necessary. So long as you eat a variety of plant foods, including grains and legums, over the course of a day or two, your body will extract all the amino acids it needs to build protein.

  6. I used credit on Southwest to fly and stay with my daughter-in-law while my son is away. The time together is priceless!
    I brought all my own snacks/meals for the cross country flights. I checked 2 bags for free ?and brought plenty of sewing and reading to do, as well as gluten free flour so I can bake for myself.
    We picked plums that were offered on a Craigslist ad. We got zucchini, green beans and apples at church. We got free horse manure from a local stable (to add to compost pile) and free expired greens from local independent grocery (also for compost). I’m trying to get a new pile going after our move.
    I sold 2 items on eBay.
    We negotiated a lower rent on our duplex because of items that were not as advertised.
    I am missing the peaches and figs from our trees at our old house. Thankfully I took cuttings of the fig tree (they are a tree that is not grafted onto different rootstock, so cuttings provide a new tree that is true to the original. Stone fruit trees are grafted onto different rootstock, usually, so cuttings do not produce exacted the same tree). 3 of the 6 cuttings I took have rooted and grown leaves, so I’m looking forward to planting at least 1. We have picked wild blackberries.

      1. Cara, that article was a little iffy in its information. It sounds like they spread fresh manure all over the gardens. Manure should be composted first and horse manure is perfectly safe to use. Google reputable sites, as ones from your local extension or other states extension services.

        1. I did nt find it iffy, but, here’s another one from a woman who had problems:
          https://www.smilinggardener.com/organic-soil-management/buy-manure/

          The manure in the first article wasn’t a problem because it wasn’t composted, but because aminopyrolid is apparently persistent.

          “Gardeners in UK (seriously affected since 2004), USA and Canada are reporting much slower breakdown than Dow suggests – up to 600 days to half-life. Tests done by the Canadian Regulatory Authorities suggest that in clay loam soils, it can take up to two years for the aminopyralid to be released.”

          And another from MOTHER EARTH NEWS https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/dont-trust-hay-compost-or-manure-zbcz1704

          ” I am still having big issues and it has been 5 years. The manure came from my 2 cows and chickens. I purchase hay straw and feed for the animals from auction in Berks County PA. I have had it this fall I am going to remove 8 inches of soil and replace with new. Screw the chemical farmers who get fat making hay sitting in the air conditioned tractors and never touch a bale. Chemical farming is too good to be true. We will never know the cost of chemical farming it is already too late. ”

          I don’t trust or ever use Google and Ag extensions are well-known shills for the chemical companies.

          Good luck!

          1. Ladies, thank you for these comments. I too, use composted horse manure on my garden but have been extremely cautious after reading the warnings years ago. We lease our land to a horse trainer and I discussed my concerns with him. So far there hasn’t been any problems. It seems it is getting more and more difficult to do the simplest things.
            Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  7. I searched and filed for compensation from experion for the data breach that involved both mine and my husbands data. It’s a simple questionnaire and you get either credit monitoring for six months or if you already have that you can elect for a $125 dollar check. It automatic if your data was breached and we had previously been notified our data was involved. We get credit monitoring through our home insurance so we each elected for the check.

    I signed up for a free trial of tiller, a budgeting app based on excel and google sheets that allows for debt snowball tracking, net worth tracking and allows you to link all your accounts to track everything in one place. I had tried both Ynab and mint before and this is much better.

    Got start of school things for 3 children for 30$, will use last years backpacks and will not be buying new special clothes. They have good wardrobes already. Accepted two bags of hand me downs for my daughter.

    Cooked 5 days worth of food for my family today before I go to work for the next 3 days working 7-7 which often turns into 7-9pm since I’m a charge nurse. My husband and I alternate working and being home with the children. We homeschool 2 of them and they other is going to public school special needs program as he is severely autistic and nonverbal at almost 5. I used two empty 2 liter bottles to make him a toy. I filled one with water and food coloring only about 1/4 full and glued the lid shut. The other has oil and water and corn syrup and is about 1/3 full. He has an obsession about pouring water and finds it visually stimulating and has been destructive with his compulsions. These kept him happy most of the time and prevented him from scooping water out of the toilets and pouring it on the floor. Yay!

    1. Hi Meredith – The FTC recently warned that most consumers will NOT receive $125. The settlement amount is capped at $31 million, which would provide $125 for only 248,000 claimants. It is estimated that 147 million consumers had their data compromised. Here’s a link to NBC: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/equifax-might-run-out-settlement-cash-ftc-warns-n1037371

      The other option is credit monitoring on all three credit agencies for three YEARS and an additional three years at only Equifax for a total of 6 years.

      Either way it is such a pain!

  8. Octavius reminds me of Almanzo in Farmer Boy! I love hearing about Winter and her college experience. Thanks to both of you for sharing. Sending you prayers that the grasshoppers stay away – again thinking about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her description of the decimation the insects caused.

    • Used a $7 coupon at a local hardware store to purchase silicone caulk. I then caulked the edge of the bulkhead doors. When we have torrential downpours, water is somehow coming down the bulkhead stairs into the basement and I’m trying to eliminate this leak.
    • Finally had a cooler day and I baked items for the August family reunion and put them in my freezer.
    • Hung all loads of laundry out to dry
    • Had an inexpensive summer fun outing: met a friend at a local farm which plants 14 acres of sunflowers and opens the fields up for one week in July to benefit Make A Wish Foundation. For $10 we took a wagon ride through the fields and had homemade ice cream at their stand.
    • Returned two items to Home Depot for a refund. I’m having an internal struggle when I’m working on a project (painting or caulking for example) whether it is better to buy more than I need to ensure I don’t run out in the middle of the project but then have to return the extra or is it better to run out and go out and buy more. I live 35 minutes one way from the closest Home Depot or Lowe’s.
    • Pitted and froze 7 pounds of cherries to eat with oatmeal during the winter.
    • Made a new recipe from Smitten Kitchen: corn, bacon, potato hash. It was delicious.
    • Ordered a free 8×10 from Walgreens

  9. I had not heard about the grasshoppers in Las Vegas. I hope they bypass your garden! How wonderful to harvest all those peaches. The majority of ours ended up in squirrels tummies. I was able to harvest summer squash, green beans, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, a pepper, a few apples and pears, and herbs. Oh, and some hazelnuts. I made a double batch of granola, and triple batches of pesto and caponata. I made zucchini tots, and a new recipe for cucumber couscous salad. Both recipes were keepers. Elderberries were harvested, and a medicinal tincture started with them. My niece joined me for a hike with a group I recently learned about. I purchased cherries for $1.89, organic strawberries for $2.79, and found some excellent deals at the discount grocery and Big Lots. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2019/07/beans-hike-frugal-accomplishments.html

    1. They’re here, but I only saw 20 in a little spot when I went to throw something in the recycle bin instead of thousands. It’s bad, though.

      1. Hi Brandy, I read about the grasshoppers online and they said that they aren’t the species at does a lot of damage to crops. I am hoping that is true.

        1. They have to eat something . . . so I don’t know. But the garden doesn’t seem to be disappearing yet, so we’ll see!

  10. Brandy, buy extra and take it back if you don’t need it. You have 90 days to make a return at those stores, which is a lot more convenient than dropping everything to run to the store!

    Love those pictures of Octavius! Love that hat!

    Last week was very ordinary. Didn’t even leave the house for a couple days. In addition to the usual frugal stuff, this was my week–
    *I machine-darned two tiny holes in one of DD’s newish T-shirts and the mends are almost invisible. Mending clothing is part of the usual frugal stuff here.
    *I got sweet cherries for .99 lb. at Winco–my go-to price, and totally unexpected. I bought 18-1/2 lbs., canned 12 quarts and we ate the rest fresh. I ran out of regular mouth jars and reused a few jars with twist off/pop up lids. They all sealed! This is something I’ve noticed the Brits and Aussies do with impunity.
    *A friend dug up a red peony that I gave her years ago as a division, gave it back Sunday, and I planted it this morning. This isn’t the ideal time to move peonies, but I bet it works!

    Best wishes to everyone here!

    1. Yes. it is!

      My comment about buying more than you might need and taking it back for 90 days (at Lowe’s and HD) was for Libby, who lives 35 minutes away.

  11. Sounds like a productive week!

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week:

    * I went home and visited my mom. I got a ride from my uncle for free, since he was already planning on heading up for the weekend. I made a batch of caramel corn to share and everyone loved it.

    * I borrowed several books from the library as ebooks, and read them on the drive (we spent 9 hours in the car because of traffic and bad weather).

    * We ate leftovers that I had cooked prior to leaving for the weekend, avoiding eating out.

    * I made the meal plan and shopping list for the month. It won’t be cheap (there are a few expensive things I need to stock up on), but I’m going to evaluate my freezer before shopping to make sure I need to actually purchase everything on my list. I’m hoping to find some shredded cheese in the freezer, so I don’t have to buy it!

    * I got a few items from my mom, who has been cleaning out her house- we got two suction cup shower holders and several old towels to use as rags.

    * I made a batch of coffee creamer using sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, and vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract is so expensive, though.

    * My mom sent me home with some leftover cherries.

    * I had a dentist appointment, where I had good check up. Good oral hygiene helps prevent the need for dental work!

    I hope everyone has a great week!

  12. – I found a complete and working Country Living grain mill at the thrift shop for $2.99. I had a 20% off coupon for my entire purchase which brought the price down to $2.39. I can’t get over it. Everytime I think about it, I feel amazed and blessed. A grain mill is something I’ve wanted for quite a while but have never found second hand.
    – I picked wild blackberries and enjoyed them in several meals.
    – I collected rain water and used it to water my outdoor, container garden plants.
    – I didn’t purchase a window air conditioner to deal with the heat wave. Instead, I dealt with the heat by wearing loose clothing, keeping cooking to a minimum, and using fans.

      1. I’m in New Hampshire. Most of the homes here do not have central air conditioning. Portable and window air conditioners are popular for use on the days that are really humid or in the 90s but honestly, most of the time, we don’t need them. It cools off so much overnight that if you open your windows at night and close them during the day, the house will stay cool. It’s 85 degrees today but it will be 58 overnight. Also, New Hampshire is heavily forested so except for the urban areas, most homes will have some shade provided by trees.

  13. Great price on pork loin! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were steak and chicken with green beans and potato wedges, frozen pizza x2, pork with salad and baked potatoes, hot dogs with broccoli and chips.
    *We were on vacation this week at a condo on a large lake that’s about 2 hours from our home. We enjoyed the pool almost daily as well as walks by the lake and time spent relaxing on the balcony with a gorgeous view. Our kids were able to join us for several days. We took them out to lunch one day (lunch specials) and then out to a matinee movie. We took turns cooking other days. We also played cards.
    *Shopped at thrift stores in the area while on vacation. Found my husband 3 name-brand shirts and 2 sweaters for work and a bag of 13 ties. Also bought 3 shirts for myself, a large tablecloth, a curtain for my laundry room, a full sheet, a hand towel, a roll of wrapping paper, a wrought iron paper towel holder, 2 books and a pair of binoculars. All for $42!
    *Used free time while away to read, meal plan, make a list of improvements we can do at home without spending any money, plan for fall ladies bible study, paint my nails…all an introvert’s dream. ?

  14. This year my raspberry bushes have been more productive than ever, and I mean ever. I have eaten myself nearly sick on them each time I go out to pick, that being every third day to catch the latest ones to ripen. So far, 16 quarts in the freezer. Fresh fruit is very expensive in Alaska and the quality is not always the best, so this is a miracle.

    My husband has sinus problems and is always blowing his nose. I am so thankful that he is willing to use handkerchiefs instead of expensive tissues. This weekend I was driving past a garage sale and saw a table with what looked like bolts of cloth. The owner used to own a fabric shop, about 20 years ago, and now feels she is too old to use up the stuff she kept for herself after she closed the shop. She sold me any cloth I wanted for 10 cents a yard, so I bought 50 yards of it to make new handkerchiefs for my husband, as his are old and wearing thin. There were great “manly” patterns.

    After finding the cloth for sale, I went and woke up a quilting friend who works nights and insisted she come see the bolts. She bought out almost the entire supply, I have no idea how much but it was hundreds of yards. At the end the woman told her to just take the remaining bolts as she was shutting down the sale and just wanted to be done with it. My friend took me out to lunch as a treat for forcing her to go to the sale. We seldom eat out and there was leftover pizza that I brought home and husband and I had it for lunch the next day.

    A bee keeping friend gifted me two quarts of her honey.

    Did all the usual stuff of reusing bags, hanging things out when I can, not wasting food…it all adds up.

    LOVE the pics of your son. You must get tired of hearing that but today’s shots really made me smile.

  15. We are still being battered by the health insurance company our COBRA insurance was abruptly switched to. Thus, finding small joys is important! Thank you all for posting this week, and always.
    My Mom claimed that all flowers match each other when put together, so I am trying out her theory with a few almost done blooms from my yard: a red gladiola that fell over, a maroon dahlia that was pulling the plant down, the last day of a peach day lily, and so forth, in a small sky blue yard sale vase. I will have to re-arrange them tomorrow, which is part of the pleasure.
    I didn’t find organic lettuce on clearance today, yet got pea pods marked way down, which I will enjoy greatly with dip. Haven’t found much at yard sales recently, except for some children’s books for a dime or quarter. My chiropractor’s office is having a children’s book drive for a family-charity-house. They will get books and I won’t buy stuff I don’t need, while having a fun cheap shopping trip.
    When my father had a convention in Salt Lake City and we traveled with him, long long ago, we went to a play one evening that presented the history of the Church of the Latter Day Saints and the pioneers going to Utah. One scene I recall vividly was the attack of the crickets! The answer to the settlers’ prayers was when sea gulls arrived and began to eat the insects and the crops were saved. I don’t know that the miracle of the gulls is a viable solution in Las Vegas, though.

    1. Heidi Louise and Brandy, I would think there would be gulls in and around Lake Mead. We like birds and do a lot of birdwatching. I even like gulls, they have so much energy.

      1. I have never seen gulls here, but I have seen a crane and an ibis. That was very unusual, though. We do see Canadian Geese, though!

  16. I love your son’s photo! So cute.

    We were ably to rescue these items from the about to be outdated table: 3 bags of rolls, a head of lettuce, a bag of coleslaw mix, 3 green peppers and a yummy cake. We froze the sub rolls and green pepper slices and ate everything else.

    Paid off another bill. Down to just 3 bills remaining. Really excited to be moving forward.

    I wanted to buy some history books of our area so I can supplement my income next summer doing something I love. Teaching history! I found all but one used on amazon. I’ll spend this time in treatment and recovery doing my research.

    I was able to buy yet another airline ticket. This one is for my son to return to college next January, and I used miles. Only one more ticket to buy this year. Probably have to pay cash.

    I ordered tee-shirt transfer paper for a laser printer to make some Christmas presents. My daughter graduated college with a minor in photography and does take lovely photos. I am looking forward to a collaboration between us on the Christmas presents this year. Another project. She’s going to search the thrift stores for some nice shirts to use.

    We also have a plan to make bridesmaids and groomsmen tees for when she marries. I expect that will be about 18 months from now. Starting the planning together. It’s fun!

    My DD started a gofundme page to help cover our health insurance costs. The insurance is amazing, but we have to COBRA since I am not working. We now have enough for September’s payment. DD is amazing and so very helpful.

    Happy frugal-ing friends

  17. I don’t write much down, so am always stimied when thinking of last week. What did I do? The same things I always do. Closely supervised my ailing husband to make sure that ALL the garbage got taken to the curb. His dementia has him cutting corners right and left, and the last thing I want to get stuck with is last week’s garbage not being taken away in mid-summer. Tomorrow I will do the same with both garbage and recycling to make sure it all goes away.
    We drove 50 minutes each way to a doctor’s appointment that had been cancelled and NOT marked off my calendar. I can do better on that!! The next day I had a routine visit with my primary MD and mentioned the back pain which is constant. He gave me a new medication which is doing a great job on the back pain but does have some side effects. I will see if they become more tolerable in time. My back feels great and I got so much done today, I was very pleased. Usually I have to sit down a lot in between jobs–or in the middle of jobs.
    Today I had to drive to the pharmacy because I didn’t refill my husband’s pills. I got enough for a few days and can pick up the rest when I’m back that way. Same problem with some for me–but I didn’t need those right away. I am supposed to give my husband 2 in the morning and I only had 1–so he got the second half a couple hours later. Best I could do. I made a batch of rolls today, a double batch of granola, and a double batch of my husband’s favorite salad dressing. Supper was easy–chip steaks with cheese in the fresh rolls and a side salad with locally grown tomatoes! We were happy and full–had canteloupe for dessert but were both too full to eat any. I was very happy to get those things stocked back up as we had been out of granola for a few days, and I like it a lot!
    Last week’s groceries included about $10 worth of fly paper and fly spray and such. There are two windows which seem to let the flies through easily, so we spent a lot of time swatting them and otherwise seeking their demise. Flies are very annoying to me because they are dirty, disease spreading trouble makers!! My daughter has promised to come over and help us clean the windows and spray them and take the blinds down and wash them, wash the curtains, etc. If we get the right amount of sunshine this week, she will be over as she has appointments next week. I need to find some caulk in the barn–I’m sure we have some already. There must be spaces where they are getting in. It will be a big project but it will be a huge improvement if it works. We have managed to greatly reduce the population in the house, to about zero, with the trusty flyswatters. I know tomorrow is supposed to be rainy but I’ll be watching the calendar for good weather.
    I found an excellent weekend activity for us–we drove to a town a bit over an hour from home (I have relatives there although I didn’t find them this trip) –we went to a FREE Bluegrass festival in the town parks. There were three stages and a “jam tent” and we managed to listen at all of them through the day. It was fun and perfect weather for it. They had food trucks and charities selling food of various sorts around the venues. My husband had lunch–I just had a soda as I wasn’t very hungry at that time. Later we ate dinner on the way home. My husband is somewhat confused by large crowds so the smaller scale of this festival was perfect for him. Lots of places to sit were provided, from folding chairs to stone walls, and the various stages were not terribly far apart, which is good for my impaired walking! I made it all over but one upward stretch of sidewalk was difficult.
    This week is going to start out rainy so hopefully I can clear up some papers and magazines this week. It’s nice to keep busy without spending much money. We found a great thrift shop in the town we visited but it was too crowded and hot to really look. I do know where it is now, however!
    It was a good week. We had a couple surprise downpours, but we needed them at that point. Thunderstorms possible tomorrow–just rain is fine with me.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

    1. Marcia, I am glad to hear you and your husband are adapting to his changes in ability. Were you the couple that liked to go to car shows? I think you had to cancel out of a big one a while ago. I notice that old car shows pop up around here all the time, sometimes in a restaurant parking lot, sometimes in the park. They are small, no fee seems to be attached and usually seem to have radio show sponsorship. Maybe you have something like that for an outing.

  18. Your garden always sounds so wonderful Brandy – but you – and so many of your readers do work so very hard at this time of year to ensure that none of it goes to waste. I too hope that the grasshoppers pass you by. Some of these insect plagues seem to come in cycles – two summers ago everyone was talking about the invasion of tiny ants we seemed to all find in our kitchens – just about drove me mad! But it was only the one summer (although I always keep on the lookout).

    So glad to hear that Winter is continuing with her frugal ways and that she was able to use what others left behind.

    I didn’t do a big grocery shop last week but did manage to pick up some more items for the pantry that were on at a very good price. The few other items purchased all earned me some Loyalty points.

    I decided to pass on a dinner out on Friday night as the place chosen was MUCH more expensive than the places we normally go – plus it would have been difficult to stick to my keto plan as they have a limited menu. It was just so hot and humid that I really didn’t feel like a big meal anyway. I did go to brunch with a couple of friends after church – we had a lovely “mini English breakfast” for less than $15 – tax & tip included. We then went to the museum as two of us have yearly passes and my pass allows for a guest so I was able to get the third person in with no cost to any of us.

    It’s a good thing that I decided to watch the pennies a bit last week as two cheques I deposited were returned as invalid! My office had switched to a new cheque writing company and someone input one of the account numbers incorrectly into the system – so the first batch of cheques all have to be redone. It will all be sorted in a day or two and we were able to contact almost everyone else affected so I’m not too worried – I had a feeling that’s what had happened. I just had to take a deep breath!

    My apt. was a bit of a mess, so I bit the bullet and got a LOT of decluttering and cleaning done. I moved some furniture around so that meant even more cleaning as there was a lot of dust bunnies hiding behind those pieces! I shredded, recycled, threw out and put aside a pile of things to either sell at the Fall garage sale or donate – then I dusted and mopped – just have some vacuuming left to do. I always feel as though I can think better when my environment is neat and tidy.

    I worked 22 hours last week and took lunch with me as needed. I can make tea for free at the office when I want so that also makes a difference.

  19. Glad your garden isn’t getting eaten by the grasshoppers.

    This week we used the library to entertain our grandchildren as well as ourselves. I was able to buy an entire art curriculum for a dollar at a book fair! My grandchildren were very interested in the Paintings that we talked about together. I hope to get to use it more in the future. Also bought some music books and language books for 50 cents each.
    My husband and I had a picnic in the air conditioned car one day. Enjoyed the internet for entertainment as well as information.
    Turned off lights. Turned up air to save money.
    Money is tight but we are slowly paying things down. I was able to buy a few books at the book fair. What a treat! I make do with the clothes I have. We hope to be able to save I love to wear pretty things but I am getting used to wearing what I had previously bought from thrift shops. Funny thing is, I still have gotten compliments on clothing I bought for a quarter at a thrift shop years ago.
    Got an oil change at a cheaper option after doing some calling to find out the best deal.
    Used basil in several recipes. We have been using the noodles that my husband and I bought on our anniversary a last year for very cheap. My son loves noodle dishes. I am going to cook more bean dishes this week.Probably some Indian dal, curry with hardboiled eggs and later I think black bean burgers sound good. i also hope to make a quiche this week.
    Still need to call on hospital bill. That is a job for tomorrow.
    So happy that bills are getting paid down. I think if we are careful we will be fine come tax time and I hope to be able to buy propane by winter.

  20. It’s been another great, frugal week:
    I found a couple of books my daughter needs to read this summer in the library system, and picked them up after placing holds online.
    I participated in a focus group, and paid a teenager from our neighborhood to babysit. Even after this, I still came out ahead by $100.
    We made cookies using ingredients we had at home.
    We ate the food at home, even when it would have been nice to go out to eat.
    Enjoyed unseasonably cool temperatures, opened windows.
    My brother and SIL picked up some $5 pizzas. They were going to throw away the leftovers, but I offered to take it home. That half of a pizza won’t go to waste.
    I had a headache and put the kids to bed early, then drank a big glass of water and went to bed myself. I think that helped.
    I filled up the van with Costco gas, which is one of the cheaper places to buy it around here.
    I used a Chickfila happy meal Fandango promo code to get a free movie, which we streamed online. The kids enjoyed it.
    We went to a potluck with some friends at a nearby splash pad, which was fun.
    I continue to sell clothes and shoes on facebook marketplace, ebay, and mercari. Every little bit adds up.
    I made extra pancakes to feed us over several breakfasts.
    I was hungry for dessert, so I poured some strawberry jam over a brick of cream cheese, then dipped pretzels in it. Yum! It was like a cheesecake, and hit the spot.
    I baked bread.
    My kids got to go to a city tennis tournament/competition. They were very excited to get to ride a bus (into Houston).
    We enjoyed a picnic lunch at a park.
    I went to a couple of garage sales. One was a multifamily garage sale, and all their clothes were $1. I bought a few North Face jackets ($1 each), but I’m not sure whether the sizing will work.
    We enjoyed swimming at our neighborhood pool when it wasn’t too crowded.
    We had some instant potatoes that I really don’t care for, but I made them into potato soup with some real mashed potatoes, and at least they didn’t go to waste.

      1. Brandy, i see 2 good changes in your web page this week. I use mobile phone to read. 1. After commenting i am transferred to where i was when reading comments (not in the beginning of comments as before, which was annoying) 2. Frugal Accomplishments recent post is better located.

  21. Those peaches look so wonderful. I, too, hope the grasshoppers stay away from your garden.
    I harvested the last of the cabbage and wrapped it in foil and stuck it in my crisper. I’m usually able to keep it a month to 6 weeks this way. We enjoyed cabbage, carrots, lettuce, chard, onions and herbs and a few cherry tomatoes from the garden. I cut mint and lavender to dry for herbal teas.

    My husband received an item that came wrapped in a lot of brown paper. He put the paper in the recycling bin, but I fished it out, ironed it flat and rolled it up. I now have app. 30 yards of 30-inch wide brown paper. I use it for drafting patterns, wrapping gifts, making gift bags – even draining fried food.

    My husband volunteered two days at the county blood drive. He received a coupon for a free ice cream and enough points for a $35 Amazon gift card. He used this to buy a water pump he needed.

    My husband took all the area rugs and cleaned them with the pressure washer. This uses no soap and they look like new – much better than renting a shampooer. He hangs them over the desk railing to dry.

    For entertainment, we attended a free concert in the park and listened to a lot of audio books and read ebooks from the library. I have also been enjoying the YouTube Channel Simple Living Alaska. A young couple sold everything last fall and moved to Alaska to homestead. They are hard workers, great gardeners and I have been very inspired by their videos.

    1. Cindi, another hint to keep cabbage is to just remove it leaf by leaf, rather than cutting into and leaving all those raw edges. This works really well for purple cabbage when you just want to sliver some up for the salad bowl. You could do it with green cabbage if you were not doing up the whole head and just needed to chop some for garnish. I got this tip from Yolanda at Simply Homemaking blog and have been using it for a couple years. No need to trim off raw cut edges anymore.

  22. Brandy, your blog is a highlight of my week, but I seldom reply. Our life just seems so routine with only eating out when it is work-related and otherwise cooking from scratch. We garden, so really enjoy fresh vegs. in the summer. Once a month I fly to Barter Island, north of Alaska, where I pastor the Presbyterian church. The people are Inupiaq and have been very welcoming. Earlier this month, I saw 4 nanooks (polar bears) there.
    We made 2 trips to MN. last year when my husband’s sister was dying of cancer, so had decided not to go anywhere this summer. But we heard that a church we had served was closing, so we went back for the final service. It was a sad day, but nice to see old friends. We also saw relatives and friends and stocked up on reading for our long winters! We also brought back books for our son who lives with us. I also continue to make hats which I donate for homeless and villages. I just sorted out 165 for 3 churches and am working on enough for another church for Christmas. I should finally have given away 3,000 this year. Last year I did not give quantities away because of my sister-in-laws death just before Christmas. We came back from MN, and I had one day at home before flying to Barter Island for Christmas.
    I appreciate all the frugal ideas you all share! My husband is still working at 68, but I’m very aware he will eventually retire and we will need to be even more frugal.

  23. I’m sorry to hear about the grasshoppers. That is a very real threat to your garden. Hopefully, they will stay away from it! You are getting an amazing peach crop they year. I”m glad for you. I know how awesome it is to have fruit and veggies in the freezer.

    I have peaches that need to be processed. I’m going to freeze them and make jam. My sister sent them up from her farm.

    Today, we made 19 jars of relish. It is mostly zucchini, but I also ground and used a handful of pickling cucumbers that needed to be used, red pepper (from the store) and onions my sister gave me.I was astounded at how many zucchinis had grown so quickly:)

    My husband canned 7 quarts of beans.

  24. Thanks to the tip here; I am slicing and freezing peaches we got on sale. I have not done this before and look forward to having peaches in the winter. Also from a reader here I found out I can now plant fall snap green beans and lettuce. Only I went to Wal-Mart to buy seeds and they just packed them up. That was the only place locally to purchase them. A friend has seeds and is mailing me some. My husband hosted friends at our house for a game night. I was to be at a mom’s night out event and it got cancelled. So, I was home and cooked spaghetti and meat sauce. There was so much left over I was able to make spaghetti bake the next night for dinner. This was new to my kids and they really enjoyed the spaghetti bake!

  25. The picture of your daughter is how I picture the Victorian girls/women when I read books about them. Cool, tranquil and thinking!
    Hoping the grasshoppers stay towards the fluorescent lights (for the sake of the locals gardens).

    This week I accepted peaches and clementine’s from family.

    Spray painted a small wooden shelf and plant holder with paint I already had to decorate with what I had.

    This week will be very cash dry, so I wrote myself several positive notes/phrases to keep frustrations at bay.

    Made a half recipe of peanut butter cookies to not have too many cookies and to save on ingredients.

    Stepped out to weed the garden and spied 2 baby yellow squash growing! I picked a plum tomato, a few green beans and 2 jalapeno peppers. I’ll prep the green beans and keep in the freezer until there is enough to use at a meal.

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. Miss Jenifer, take heart,! I feel more accomplished and proud of myself when money is tight. It forces me to be more creative with meals and recipes. I am always amazed at how much I can create from so little. Imo, the best baked goodies are the least expensive and sometimes far healthier than the more elaborate recipes.
      There is a youtube channel that I discovered a while back called Mornings With Granny. She does meal prep/planning using what she has on hand & lives on a fixed income I beleive. Great inspiration.
      God bless you during your trying times. This too shall pass.?~TJ

      1. Thank you TJ for the kind words – you are very right. I have plenty to do and did it this week with a good attitude and slept well feeling good what was accomplished. I didn’t know about that youtube show/channel. I took a break and enjoyed a few of her videos. I know I will check on her regularly.

  26. Hubby asked if you had posted about the grasshoppers. They usually eat broad leaf weeds and gather around ultraviolet lights.

    My clothes washer died and we had to replace it. I found one of the places we buy appliances was having a sale. I told the sales clerk I want the largest they had in stock I could take home NOW. He had 2 at the same price. I took the one with the better reviews, didn’t care what options it had…. it has a delay start which I am now in love with as I habitually load the washer the night before with the first load but don’t add soap…. I think this will spoil me.

    I harvest 125 lbs of gourmet potatoes we grew in grow bags. I added up what it cost to buy the grow bags(divided by 3 as they are usually usable for 3 -5 yrs) and the potting soil and the seed potatoes. I basically paid 75 cents a pound. Local grocery store charges $1.50 per pound. This will feed us a couple months at least.

    I did take a stand that had been Daddy’s and put it in our north loft that we use for non food stock up. I can really see what cleaning supplies is needed or not needed now and it’s easier to clean the floor since everything was just sitting on the floor.

    Rest is here https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2019/07/not-frugal-weekend-clothes-washer-died.html

    1. The delay start is wonderful. I have mine programmed to start a load at 3 a.m. most nights so that when I get up I can put that load in the dryer and immediately put another load in the washer.

      1. Hi Brandy,
        With all the heat and sunshine you have there, and your wanting to save electricity, I’m surprised you don’t hang clothes out on the line to dry. Even here where it’s much more humid, on a sunny day clothes dry amazingly quickly (and smell wonderful). Even when it’s overcast, it’s still pretty quick.
        We never use the dryer.

        1. It’s extremely time consuming, we have tons of dust here in the desert, it’s often windy enough to blow clothes down, and I have a gas dryer, which is very inexpensive to run. I do four to six extra large loads of laundry a day and don’t have that kind of time to spend outside, nor do I want to stand outside when it’s 110. I also had skin cancer removed earlier this year and I need to be very vigilant about my time in the sun.

          1. I totally understand. I cannot hang clothes outside because of all the birds! When I sit outside, I have to have my bird poo hat on because otherwise, it ends up in my hair….yeah, it happened….lol. The climate is great for line drying but not the birds. I also cannot garden, much, they have made the soil a hot mess.

          2. I feel very lucky to be able to have solar drying.
            Sorry it’s not possible for you, Brandy!

            I bet you have lots of lovely hats to shade your face from the sun.

            1. I have some but it is too hot to be out there. I had to water the plants the other day at 10 a.m. because I forgot to water them the evening before after the sun was down. I felt ill for hours. Heat exhaustion is just not worth it to me.

      2. I just checked both my dishwasher and washer…where have I been? I am going to use this to run them in non-peak hours to save on electricity. Thanks for making the lightbulb go off!

  27. I hadn’t heard about the grasshoppers either — we lost our antenna in Hurricane Michael haven’t replaced it, so I’m behind on the news. I will look that up. It sounds like a plague!
    I went online to Experian after hearing about the offer. I was in the affected group but it said my husband wasn’t. Okay…. I opted for credit monitoring. This is the third or fourth time I’ve had free credit monitoring due to data breaches. Granted, this won’t start for a while, but it’s four years for all three credit bureaus, and six more with just Experian.
    Our pears normally ripen in late-ish August, but the squirrels and woodpeckers are going after them now. I think I’d better check a few and see if they ripened early. We had a mild winter, which may have caused it. If they are ripe, I will dehydrate some and probably make pear butter. I use the Foley food mill I found second hand to make the pear butter. We never water, fertilize or spray this tree and it always produces. The pears are too hard to eat fresh when ripe, but make great dried or cooked pears. Since I can less foods per batch and can less overall these days, I use a tall stainless stock pot from Goodwill and a little round roasting rack from another thrift store for my water bath canning. It uses so much less water and time.
    Since I eat a special diet for my autoimmune disease, I bought an online bundle of books for $39.00, which saved me a ton over buying the paper books or e-books separately. I am enjoying trying the many new recipes and reading up on information to help me handle my disease better.
    I currently have someone at home to help my husband while I work. I showed her the bundles of cleaning rags, the homemade detergent, the vinegar for fabric softening, and the random re-used bottles of homemade cleaners, which is all I use, instead of going out and buying a load of paper towels and store-bought cleaners and detergents. She is fine with using what I provided and in fact, said her mother also makes her own laundry detergent. At first I felt a little shy about showing her my frugal methods, but then I realized there was nothing to be embarrassed about!

    My first thought at today’s picture was “Tom Sawyer!” He is so cute! I remember my girls wearing their little OshKosh overalls years ago. The picture of your daughter with a book is so restful, and she’s lovely along with it.

  28. Such Lovely Photos!
    I coloured my hair and gave myself a pedicure; I highlighted my daughters hair with a kit from drug store, and my teenage daughter cut my curly hair.
    I reached my swag goal 2x and ordered some gift cards for Amazon. I used the gift cards to buy some household items.
    Many family members are downsizing and have given our family items to sell, donate, use or recycle. I acquired 2 blouses, some sand paper and a garden tool. I was able to sell $181.50 on local buy/sell site, I donated a car full of items, and recycled some old electronics.
    I was able to arrange to work late one night and finish my project thus eliminating the need to travel to work the next day.
    All meals, snacks, beverages were from home, we rarely eat out. My mum received a flat of blueberries for free and she gifted us a large bowl full.
    Love this website and all the comments, Thanks to everyone!

  29. Hello! I am new here, although I’ve been following this site for years. I don’t have any frugal accomplishments from last week, but plenty of frugal fails. After repeated failed attempts to pay off our debt and an impending major car repair looming over us, my husband and I decided it’s time to put our noses to the grindstone and get down to business. I am very much looking forward to learning from everyone—this is such an encouraging and kind community! I wanted to hold myself publicly accountable and am excited to report some frugal accomplishments next week, however small they may be (it is going to seriously be baby steps for me- ha!) Brandy, thank you so very much for this site, for all the work you out into it, and for being willing to share your knowledge and glimpses into your life! It makes me excited to save money, instead of nervous and scared about changes.

    1. Welcome! Darcy, if you share some of the areas you are struggling with, we may have some advice to help you find solutions that work for your household. I find that frugality is a very individual journey for everyone. You have to find solutions that work for you and your household. It’s just not a one size fits all kind of thing. So don’t feel like you are a failure if things you have tried in the past haven’t worked for you yet. The most important part of being frugal is to keep trying and build upon the successes, no matter how small! We all look forward to learning and sharing with you each week.

  30. Octavius is adorable in that hat! Someone else said Almanzo in Farmer Boy, and I think that is spot on. I hope the grasshoppers stay far away from your garden. I remember them every summer when I was growing up in the country, but nothing like what Las Vegas is dealing with right now.

    * We filed a claim through the Equifax data breach class action lawsuit for $125 each, so that will be an extra $250 coming into the budget at some point. We already have credit monitoring, so opted for the check instead. (Total aside, but if you haven’t done this already, and even if you don’t think you would be included, I definitely recommend googling “equifax data breach settlement” and “find out if your information was impacted” to see if your data was breached. If it was, you fill out a quick online form for a base settlement of’s $125, or free credit monitoring if you don’t already have it.)

    * Last week we cooked and ate most meals at home, and made an effort to use all of our leftovers. I brought home leftovers from several work events, which we incorporated into our menu. Meals included crock pot Cafe Rio shredded chicken tacos & cilantro lime rice (rice brought home from work), and chicken parmesan with instant pot ziti & sauce using breaded chicken cutlets brought home from work. I had free lunches at work all week last week due to software training, so did not need to bring anything, which was nice.

    * I hang-dried most of our laundry indoors on racks, but did use the dryer a couple of times for towels (my husband dislikes “crunchy” towels). With our indoor a/c & fans, the laundry dries quickly. It has been quite warm these past few days, upper 90s with humidity. This morning it was 85 when I was driving to work, and what felt like stifling humidity with no moving air outside. We keep our house thermostat set to 81 most of the time, and use the portable a/c units in our bedroom & living area to keep the house cooler and the central unit running less. So far it is working well and the house stays dry & comfortable.

    * I have been using my mornings before work to get a lot of things done at home. My husband leaves before I do, and so I have some free time when I can get things accomplished. He’s very helpful around the house, but his recent promotion means more stress and longer hours, so I have been trying to do more around the house to take some of the weight off him – and I enjoy it! This morning I changed the cat litter boxes and got the house trash & recycling ready to go out – trash pickup is tomorrow morning, so bins need to go out tonight, which I will do after work. I also did a few smaller things like empty & refill the ice cube trays, fed the birds, got meat out of the freezer for this evening’s dinner (skillet lasagna with green beans on the side), and mixed up a fresh batch of lemonade for the refrigerator.

    * I made another $20 in Amazon credit by filling out surveys, and used that to order a couple of fun treats – a movie we’d been wanting to add to our home entertainment library, and some lipstick for myself.

    * We had to spend $240 on roto rooter, which was not frugal, but I was glad we were able to cover the expense out of pocket and without a problem. That would not have always been the case for us. We did have to cancel something fun we had planned, but that is okay. We have an ongoing problem with roots growing into our drain lines (extremely common in our area). Normally I keep them at bay with root killing products twice a year, which has kept the problem at bay for a couple of years now, but this year I slacked because we’d had a lot of rain and frankly, I got lazy. When our toilets wouldn’t flush we knew we had to call right away, so they came & cleared the roots out of the line. We had root killer in stock so right away I started using that again. The plumber suggested using rock salt, which I also have in stock at home, so I’m going to try that after I run out of the root killer. I just need to remember not to slack this time around!

    * We received a large, beautiful area rug from a neighbor. She changed her living room decor & the rug no longer matches, so she was going to put it out for bulk trash pickup. It is very nice quality and looks almost new. My husband saw her taking it out on his way to work one morning, and stopped to talk to her and picked it up, even though we didn’t yet know where we could put it because it is quite large. When he got it home that evening, we saw that the colors matched our dining room, and the size works perfectly. The rug we were using under our dining table was really too small, but a nice quality wool rug. We were able to move that rug into the kitchen and then do some rug reorganizing (our house is 90% hard floors, so we have a lot of area rugs), which enabled us to get rid of several smaller rugs in poor condition (honestly worse than I realized). I’m pretty proud of my husband and his eagle eye for curb treasures.

    * I hope everyone has a great week!

  31. Brandy, your peaches look delicious. We have many extra expenses coming soon (car repairs, repair of water leak, braces for my son) so I’m trying to be as resourceful as I can and trying to spend as little as possible.
    *Made chocolate chip cookies and froze some for an upcoming road trip to Montana
    *Made sun tea
    *Finally found some drapes for our sliding door at Bed Bath and Beyond on clearance, and the cashier let me use an additional 20% off coupon on each one. I have been looking for affordable drapes for so long. The fabric would have cost more to make them.
    *Found bolts of fabric on clearance at Walmart for 25 cents a yard and 36 cents a yard. This was such a blessing for me. I have been checking Walmarts in our area and finding clearance fabric at a dollar a yard, but never less than that. I know a lot of people don’t care for Walmart, but I love the Waverly brand fabrics they carry. The colors all mix and match each season, and the prints are printed much straighter than the JoAnn’s fabric brands. I have purchased yards of of printed fabric at JoAnn’s and not been able to use it becausr the pattern was printed so skewed and crooked.
    *Trying to cook from my pantry and freezer…the grocery prices just keep getting higher and higher here.
    *My husband trimmed the lavender in our front yard, I bundled it and hung it to dry. I will make lavender sachets and dried flower bunches for Christmas gufts.
    *Working on another order of napkin sets for a local store. They are in a tourist town, so summer is the busy season.
    *My 13 year old son has finally learned the wonder of thrift stores. He is a “free spirited” artist type who does not want to dress like everyone else. He has discovered that he can find unique clothes at low prices and now is happy to follow me around to the thrift stores!
    Thanks to Rhonda for the ideas on water storage last week. Thank you to all for your ideas and inspiration. Have a great week!

  32. Brandy, those are wonderful photos of Octavius. Thank you for sharing!
    I made 22 bars of homemade soap. I had the ingredients on hands and although I haven’t made soap in years, they turned out nicely. I made a batch of citrus mint with oatmeal and another of lavender. The soap making used up the last of my lye, so if I make soap again I will have to find it and it is harder to find. I also use a stick blender for making soap. I didn’t want to burn out the one I use in my kitchen, and found one at a thrift store for $3.
    I donated two bags of craft items to a thrift store that only sells craft items..
    We volunteered to help with a Pioneer Breakfast and were able to take home a leftover cantaloupe and part of a watermelon.
    I am making a baby cardigan as a thank you for a friend of mine who gave me yarn and knitting patterns a few weeks ago. She is expecting in November and I am using the yarn and one of the patterns she gave me.
    Saturday night we packed a picnic of sandwiches, fruit, and other snacks, and went to a local park where they have a free concert of a group who does Motown music. It was really fun and we enjoyed dancing as well.
    I hiked once during the week.
    I have harvested tomatoes, basil, kale, and beets from my garden this week.

  33. Brandy,
    Love the photos of your children! They always make me smile.
    I just wanted to report on the baby shower I hosted for my niece. I used many of your frugal ideas. There were about 25 guests in attendance. I asked my neighbor if I could use part of their yard where our trees come together to form a canopy. The theme was Winnie the Pooh and this created a 100 acre wood feel. I borrowed tables and chairs. My girlfriend gave me the most beautiful blue hydrangea blooms from her yard for the centerpieces. We had two games so for the prizes I bought five dollars of fresh flowers and mixed them in with greens and grasses from my yard for bouquets . We had several children in attendance so we had a children’s game where I asked them who was Winnie-the-Pooh’s very best friend and they had to discuss among themselves and come up with the answer. I gave each child a small bag with Winnie-the-Pooh holding an empty honey pot over his head. I asked them what Winnie-the-Pooh needed and then to open the bag to find the answer…inside were individually wrapped bit-o’honey candies. They all seemed to enjoy that- I got a good size bag of that candy for $2 at WalMart and it was enough for 8 gift bags.
    For the food I roasted a turkey I had in my freezer and made small turkey sandwiches. I made a large green salad with sliced strawberries and canned mandarin oranges, pecans and poppy seed dressing. My sister brought a salad and my daughter made the cutest Winnie-the-Pooh cake- her first attempt and it was great.
    The point is that you can put on a very nice event and keep the costs reasonable. I could only do this with the help from all of you and your good ideas. Thank You!!

    1. Your party sounds lovely! I think it’s nice that you could have it among the trees! How appropriate!

  34. Brandy, the white dress that your daughter is wearing in the picture, is that the $1 dress that Winter modified for a dance? Your daughter looks s beautiful in the photo and your son is just adorable in his overalls! I’m glad both you and Winter were able to add to your pantries this week. I hadn’t heard about the grasshopper issue in your area, either. I hope your garden remains relatively unaffected by them. I know how devastating it would be to loose that food source for your family.
    This week, our frugal accomplishment for our family included:
    *Meals made at home included chicken low mien stir-fry with veggie spring rolls, BBQ hamburgers & hot dogs with potato chips, hamburger helper with green/yellow beans, BBQ chicken breasts on a bun with pasta sidekicks and corn, and chicken fingers/patties with tatter tots and green/yellow beans.
    *Made 2 pictures of homemade iced tea. It’s so easy and cheap to make!
    *Hubby bought 22 bunches of broccoli as it was on sale for $1/bunch. My mom used 1 bunch to make the stir-fry. Hubby and my mom then blanched and froze the rest for winter use. In the winter, broccoli skyrockets to $3 or more a bunch in our area, and frozen (which has far more stem pieces in the bag than I prefer) is not much cheaper. while they had the equipment out, they also blanched and froze the big bag of green/yellow beans from our garden. I love having lots of healthy, home processed frozen veggies on hand, to use throughout the long winter.
    *The grocery store had some good sales this week. Hubby stocked up several pantry items that were low. Buying them on sale saves us a lot of money!
    *Hubby told me he helped out a couple Nuns while grocery shopping this week. They were going to buy some cheese at full price of $6-7/block. He stopped and told them that there was cheese on sale in another area of the store that was $3.88/block. He was quite proud of himself.
    *Brought home some extra treats baked at work, when no one wanted them. My family is always happy to get treats!
    *Harvested more green/yellow beans, lettuce (2 types), Swiss chard, beet greens, and a small handful of strawberries from my garden. We also have several tiny jalapenos growing! These are a first for our garden, so it’s kind of exciting.
    *DD, DD’s friend, hubby and I went to a free concert this week. The band playing was The Sheepdogs (a current Canadian band with a very classic rock sound). We had dinner out, but DD, hubby and I shared 1 meal. The platter is quite large and there was plenty for all of us. DD’s friend ordered her own meal, but took 1/2 home. I took drinks and snacks for later in the evening. There were a lot of free give aways, too. We took home a t-shirt (that actually fits DD), a ball cap, 2 Frisbee’s (for the dog!), 4 pairs of sunglasses, 2 cell phone holders for the car, a reusable straw (it rolls up into a travel case), 3 band-aid travel packs with band-aids in them, a pen, a key chain, a magnetic clip for the fridge, a box of mints and 2 coupons for free McDonald’s french fries. DD’s friend picked up some free things as well, plus I gave her a lip balm, as we have several floating around the house and really didn’t need another.
    *Things at home for DD’s friend became a bit overwhelming for her this week. She ended up staying the weekend with us. We fed her well, gave her some of our clothes to wear and keep (including a package of new underwear that didn’t fit us properly), and pulled personal hygiene items from our stash for her to use (toothbrush, underarm deodorant). I also bought her 2 new bras (she only owned 1 bra), which wasn’t cheap but I feel better knowing she has a few comfortable bras to rotate wearing during the week. I was able to buy 4 pairs of good quality leggings for $2/pair ($8 for 4) and a knit 3/4 sleeve sweater for $3, that will also fit her. Gave her 2 of the leggings to help her out for school clothes and saved the other 2 leggings plus the sweater to give her for Christmas.
    *I will be getting a couple more hours consistently each week at work, until the end of the season. Those are always appreciated, as the money certainly adds up!
    *We’re having a problem with our dog refusing to eat her dog food. Tried putting water on it, then broth, with minimal success. Tried a different brand, again with minimal success. Someone decided to try putting her food on a plate, and she ate it! She also accepted a ceramic bowl of food. Apparently she didn’t like her metal dog bowl. Mixing “people food” in it also helps, as does having the cats nearby (she doesn’t want them to eat her food!). It’s still a struggle to get her to eat her own food, but we’re working on it. Crazy dog!!!!

    Thank you everyone who posts your comments each week. I learn so much from all of you. Hope you all have a pleasantly frugal week!

    1. It is the same dress! It was originally a women’s size 16! It was a little large on my girls so I sewed each of them into the dress for some photos (I took more with the next daughter down as well) and then unstitched the back of the dress after the photos. It was really simple to make it work for pictures, and the dress is just a little long on them, which is just what I wanted in the photos where they are standing!

    2. Hi Rhonda my dog – Shadow a 7 year old Labradoodle- sometimes refuses his dry dog food, I make up a batch of rice (Uber cheap stuff fromAldi/Lidl) and mix that in with his food, if that doesn’t do the trick I drain the tuna can (oil not brine) onto the rice before giving it to him. My days that dog loves tuna!! He’s particular about his bowl too – he prefers a metal one – you better not put a plastic container down for him! Dogs are so funny and give us so much joy don’t they!

      1. Hi Joanne. We have found pretty much the same thing! We have discovered that a little “people food” mixed in helps get her to eat the food. We’ve been using leftovers, so they are getting used up and not going to waste (we have problems with that, so this is actually a positive thing). Whenever I open a can of tuna, all the animals in the house go nuts! The cats and the dog fight over who gets the tuna juice. I now have to split it between them, 1/2 to cats in 1 bowl and 1/2 poured on the dog food. You are right, the dog food mixed with tuna juice guarantees an empty bowl! She’s a spoiled little pooch already, and she’s not even a year old yet!

  35. I was given a box of apricots and plums during the 4th of July breakfast. I prepped them in half then froze them that day. This week I thawed them since I finally had time to make apricot jam and plum jam. It’s so good! I made mini pancakes from wheat I ground up and then I froze a gallon bag of them for easy kid breakfasts. I dehydrated huge zucchinis from my sister’s garden using my zoodle maker and my dehydrator. The rest of the summer I will reconstitute them, drain them and then add them to scrambled eggs, yum! I used dehydrated veggies that I did last Thanksgiving season from the sales in some soup. We started having Soup Saturday so there is enough for lunch after church on Sunday. I also used failed roti bread for breadcrumbs in a recipe to feed the missionaries. Thanks for your blog!

  36. What an adorable little farmer! I just cut some more of my pothos and stuck the stems in water to root, I am bringing a bottle [I found a pretty glass water bottle in my yard after a horde of teens were here recently – so free 🙂 ] with the rooted ones I have had a while to the library – one of the newer librarians was hoping to ‘green’ up their area at the desk so I’m pitching in – they’re always so helpful to us there!

    Wonderful about the beans finally growing – and I can’t believe how long you used that cucumber LOL. I did a lot of reusing this week as well as stretching meals and using what we have on hand – I found some excellent prices on marked down organic ground beef that we will enjoy when I have a moment to think of what to do with it [it’s already frozen] and for my daughter’s project at camp I was able to find some free coloring pages to print to go with her theme [she is a counselor for mentally handicapped adult women aged 33-67 – they love the lion king and recently saw the movie on a rainy day so we have baked gluten free cupcakes for them to decorate while listening to the soundtrack, and they’ll color the pages after that]. I’m sending her with a package of 50 markers I got for .99 at a back to school sale several years ago and we’ve really never used. I’m happy to share that with her group [there are 20 ‘campers’ so they’ll need a big batch!] and I’m sure they’ll use it throughout the rest of the summer as well.

  37. I had a car accident. Not my fault. 18 wheeler’s hood flipped off and I ran over it…couldn’t even brake it happened so fast. It was also very dark, at 4 a.m., and the 18 wheeler kept going. I am still not sure if it was his hood, or the hood of another 18 wheeler he ran over and flipped into my lane. Good news, I was not injured (no one else was in car). Bad news, my car is a hot mess. Tow truck guy (he has been towing for 32 years and was so interesting to talk to) said that I was lucky it was a plastic part, not metal…yikes! I am enjoying the rental, so roomy, ….so I am looking at the positive side of things. I have a huge deductible so, that bites but hey, no medical bills….awesome!!! Otherwise, my coworker made me homemade banana pudding and it was so delicious! I think I looked like death warmed over when I finally arrived at work and she felt sorry for me….the things a gal has to do to get delicious homemade banana pudding….lol. I picked more figs from my mom’s tree. I trimmed my hair. I brought my lunch, as always. I took a nap….always my fav. Y’all have a great week!

    1. Oh my, Cindy, I’m glad you are OK. That must have been very scary at the time. Glad your co-workers were kind enough to give you a delicious treat to make you feel better…but please don’t feel you need to have a car accident on a regular basis, just to get homemade banana pudding. LOL

  38. Your pictures are so wonderful. Your son looks like he could just step onto my mini-farm. And your daughter – she looks beautiful and relaxed. Just how a summer afternoon should be spent.
    I took my mother shopping this week, plus to her bank to make a few changes to her account. We were able to change her account so she isn’t charged an $8 monthly fee. Not a lot, but totally unnecessary. I also took her to Trader Joe’s again. she has now been twice. cookies and chocolate are what she bought. It puts a smile on my face to see her indulge herself a little. she’s 96, and almost didn’t make it last year, so I try to indulge her every now and then.
    I brought breakfast and lunch to work all week.
    Made spaghetti aioli one night for dinner with garlic, green onions, zucchini and chard from our garden, plus a few purchased mushrooms. Used linguine noodles I had purchased for 49¢ a pound. This fed my DH and I for dinner and lunch for two days.
    Made Mexican chicken in the crockpot one day – from Cheryl’s Frugal Corner blog. I used homegrown and frozen corn, homemade salsa, and black beans (from the garden a couple of years ago) that I had previously cooked and then frozen. It was really good and made dinner and lunch for at least 2-3 days. Luckily DH does not mind if he eats the same thing a couple of days in a row.
    Purchased a 2 pound bag of mozzarella chees on sale for $4.99 and had a $1.25 digital coupon for it, so net price was $3.74.
    Picked broccoli, zucchini, lettuce and a handful of snow peas. Thought the peas were done.
    Made zucchini bread and muffins. Gave a loaf to a neighbor who was going camping. They later told me it was their breakfast for 2 days when they realized they forgot to pack anything for breakfast. It is one of my MIL recipes that I am carrying on. She has dementia, so can’t do much anymore.
    Weeded cilantro, corn, green beans and dry beans. This year I am growing navy beans. First time for that. I grow dry beans every year, Usually I rotate black beans, pinto beans and some Italian heirloom beans that my DH’s grandmother brought back from Italy over 50 years ago. I had enough of each of those, so decided to try something new.
    Shelled pinto beans. Got almost 2 gallons of shelled beans.
    Found cherries for 99¢ a pound. didn’t have much cash on me, but bought three pounds. Came home and immediately processed for the dehydrator. Love dried cherries.
    Now that I look at all this, it is quite a lot. Especially since I worked 30 hours last week too.
    Hope everyone has a great week.

  39. I woke up this morning to find your site down! What happened? You probably have explained elsewhere, but I haven’t had time to check. Like many of your readers, I forget to write down my frugal wins. I should keep better track because it is very cheering to see what I do manage! When one is somewhat elderly, ahem, it is a little more difficult to chase down the arguing… There is a church resale shop where I find quality items for low prices, but it is usually the only one. Other than shoes and gift, my entire wardrobe comes from there. I shop Aldi’s for my gluten free stuff and lactose free milk, but I really haven’t found a good place for cheap meat. I can’t have treated meat (antibiotics, GMO etc.) as I am supposed to follow a FODMAP diet. We do garden and have been harvesting since June various veggies. If we can keep the critters away, we should be able to have a good harvest grapes, and eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, leeks, chard and green beans. I now call my husband The Great Exterminator because he is trapping mice by our garden beds. I call the garbage can The Morgue because of all the bodies he throws in it. I fear to think what the garbage collector calls it! We had so much rain this spring that I think that the poor victims were flooded out of their habitats. We live five blocks from the Chicago River. We have good flood control, but the rain flooded the forest and meadows. I heard an entomologist say that your grasshoppers are a result of wet soil. Apparently, they need wet soil to hatch. I grew up in Oklahoma and we had a lot of grasshoppers. The tornadoes would bring torrents of rain, but July and August were bone dry, perfect for the hoppers. It was awful walking through tall grass. I hope that they show some respect for your wonderful garden. Praying that is so. Thank you so much for your blog and the pics of me your beautiful kids. Simply adorable!

  40. Miss Brandy, all your babies are so beautiful!
    I was wondering about your seed sowing method in this heat. Do you sow them indoors or direct seed in the ground this time of year? I am having no luck lately trying to get seeds to germinate outdoors. Thanks forany pointers! ~TJ

    1. Make sure that what you’re sowing likes the current soil temperatures. Use a soil thermometer or a small meat thermometer that goes down to 40 degrees. Generally, the soil is about 10 degrees cooler than the air, so things that like it 75 degrees or higher to germinate will germinate (basil, zinnias, and herbs). Make sure your seedlings don’t dry out or they won’t germinate.

  41. Hi Brandy and I am glad you have been able to collect water for your plants and pick so much lovely fruit from your garden. It certainly helps to have more freezer space and we never seem to have enough here despite having 2 x 400 lt freezers. We are still in drought here and haven’t had any decent rain since last Christmas and most homes are out of tank water to run their homes with and can’t buy any water as the local councils are not selling it to the water carriers. We shall pray for rain and hope others will for Australia and hope we get it soon although we are fine at the moment for tank water for the home we are using it sparingly.

    Couldn’t put in my comment earlier as it was showing up the website had a problem.

    Here is how we saved and got ahead last week –

    Finances –
    – Listed 10 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $16.50 on usual prices.
    – Paid an extra $175 payment off our mortgage.
    – Notified the company we purchased our new 20 tonne log splitter off that the item is faulty and spewing out hydraulic fluid and asked for a refund.

    In the kitchen and home –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Damp dusted the whole home to get rid of the drought dust and it now sparkles.

    In the gardens –
    – With excess soil removed from the grape yard enclosure by a friend with a tractor who put the soil over our back fence we back filled areas where erosion had happened from previous creek flooding. We have spread 2/3 of the soil out and have a third to finish it. There was a lot of soil.
    – Connected the water from the garden tap through 19 mm pvc pipe reducing to 13 mm pvc piping to the 13 mm drip irrigation frames in the 10 garden beds. We reused more connectors being t-pieces and elbows from our previous gardens as we forgot to buy more.

    Water preservation –
    – Saved grey water from our washing machine to water spider plants, canna and calla lilies in the ornamental flower gardens and star jasmine.
    – Saved our hand washing water to water hedges around the outside of the home.
    – Saved shower warm up water to fill drink bottles with and to damp dust the house with.
    – Used grey water pumped from our grey water tank to water the lawns with to hopefully green up the grass around the outside of the home. We also used some of the water to water the mulberry and fruit trees.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful week :).

    Sewingcreations15.

      1. Thank you Brandy I think most of the properties around here are using every bit of their grey water to water something.

        The kangaroos are starving around here in the drought and the green grass that we are creating in small spots is keeping them alive I think. We have a little swamp wallaby who comes for our bread ends and apple cores and takes it from our hand. It was rather undernourished and about 2 years old. I noticed she has been feasting on the few green patches of grass and her condition has improved dramatically.

        So sad to see many kangaroos dead on the roads as they come for the green grass at the side of the roads from the water runoff.

        Sewingcreaions15.

        1. I have seen images of the cattle but I had not heard about the kangaroos. That is quite a problem.

  42. I’m very late posting but did write down a few things from last week!

    *Used the Paribus service to get $5 credit for a late Amazon delivery.
    *Made ear spray for our dog to try before going to the vet. It’s working very well! That was at least a $75 savings.
    *Spent only $15 for our 13yo daughter’s 8th grade curriculum. She wants to try homeschooling this year, and I’m happy to do so!
    *Left AC off 2 days during nice weather. What a treat for late July.
    *Harvested from our small garden: 4 squash (yellow & patty pan), 6 small potatoes, a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, pear tomatoes and green beans. It hasn’t been a productive enough garden to preserve anything, but I call it a success since we pick something out of it to eat fresh every couple of days.
    *Gifted frugally for a dear friend’s birthday: Used a card from our stash. Gifted a cute coffee mug that I knew she would like and I had received for free. My daughter suggested filling it with an assortment of 7 different tea bags so she could have a different tea each day of the week. I also had picked up an adorable little tea book at the library book sale for $1 and put that in. Used tissue paper we had saved from another gift and put it all into a cute brown gift bag that we get from Dollar Tree 2 for $1. Then my daughter and I made cream filled strawberries with strawberries bought on sale on other on-hand items. My friend loved it!
    *Made crafts from items on hand for an upcoming festival booth for a church fundraiser. These included animal print coasters from wood, bath salts, face & hand scrub, foot scrub, and bracelets from embroidery thread. We did buy a few fake flowers from Dollar Tree and used other items we had on hand to make small flower headbands/wreaths that will fit children. These were fun projects we did as a family so that was a bonus.
    *Submitted a $15 rebate on the dogs’ quarterly flea and tick medicine. Will put this into savings when it’s received.

    1. Jenny, what a nice gift you created for your friend. I hate when people say they are not creative enought to make gifts. What you put together was a very sweet and personalized present, perfect for your friend. It was not extremely expensive, yet so very thoughtful! I love it!!!!

  43. A friend passed on her daughter’s bike to our older daughter. I got my Amazon First Reads free book for August. I went on a trip with some friends and we drove there in my van. My friends covered the gas and we rented an Airbnb. We brought food and made breakfast at the house every morning. For activities, we went to the beach, antique shows, the farmer’s market, and browsed shops. I only bought a postcard and some small necklaces for my kids. We all brought library books to read. We noticed we forgot to rent the last day we planned to stay, and negotiated with the owners to stay one more day for less than the cost of the daily rental rate we had paid,because the town we stayed in is mostly where Chicagoins go to stay at weekend lake houses, and most renters don’t book for Mondays.

  44. I have been doing lots of gardening and putting up food these last several weeks. We got rain last night after about six weeks of no rain. I was thrilled and put all my house plants out to get a good watering!

    * I have been harvesting tomatoes, zucchini, green beans,peppers, Swiss chard ,cucumbers, purslane,lambs quarters, and herbs. I have been drying the herbs and made some marinara sauce and am going to ferment cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and cabbage this afternoon. I have been sautéed greens veggies for lunch, having salads and soups to use up the produce as fast as possible. The 15 minute weeding a day has been so helpful keeping beds manageable and have cardboard down where there is room to help with moisture retention and weeds.

    * I have also been composting and amending beds for fall planting. I found two stray pepper plants, and some tomatoes and transplanted them. I have also planted more cucumber, bush bean and squash seeds hoping to extend the season into the fall. My zucchini have lasted longer than ever even with squash bore but they will only last another week or two.

    I missed work two days this week due to a bad cold and I babysit a baby and toddler, so I loaded up on books on gardening, foraging and wellness. A local general store is hosting a free seminar on lymph health which I signed up for, I love learning and am grateful for free resources!

    Have a great week!

    * My hubby and I had date lunch using a GC and we brought home enough for an additional meal.

  45. I love these weekly posts. I feel like it keeps me accountable. I want to have something good to report each week.
    – Anyway, this week I found some graduation and mother’s day cards on sale for 15 cents each. And gift bags for 25-49 cents each. I don’t usually do gift bags because I find it cheaper to use wrapping paper. But those gift bags were cheap and pretty!
    – I used my fuel saver rewards to get 10 cents off per gallon on 19 gallons of gas. We filled up our gas can, too!
    – I worked 2 extra hours.
    – I made a deposit into our HSA and my husband’s retirement account that will be tax deductible.
    – I canned green beans, pickles. I froze peppers, zucchini. I dried basil and tomatoes. We ate broccoli, cauliflower, blackberries, and strawberries fresh. All that food was from the garden.
    – We went out to eat one night. We went to a local place that’s pretty cheap and both ate for $25 – tip included.
    – A friend bought me a subway sandwich for lunch one day.
    – I used Ibotta and Fetchrewards. And Mr. Rebates.
    – I ate leftovers for lunch all week.
    – We made one big batch of meat on Sunday. We fried fish, chicken, pheasant outside. That way we had a variety of meats to eat all week and didn’t heat up the house at all. The pheasant was a gift from a friend who had hunted them in South Dakota. He has way to many to eat. He gave us 6 breasts. They are delicious.
    – I made coleslaw with cabbage from the garden. I had everything else on hand.
    – I used 2 birthday cards from my card stash.

    1. Jessica, I love using gift bags to wrap up gifts. I just keep the gift bags that others give me and reuse them. Therefore, no cost to me. Every once in a while, I need to buy one, as I don’t currently have a bag that is appropriate for the type of gift. But for the most part, it’s a minimal cost I associate to gift giving.

  46. To: Margie from Toronto and Tammy. I have to go offline for about 2 weeks due to a product recall.
    So I will catch up with everyone’s news in two weeks time. Not sure why my other emails didn’t get
    posted but Margie, thanks for the tip re No frills. Our local no frills had a lot of unadvertised specials.
    Sadly, I did not have enough money to really buy everything for the pantry but I did get about a year’s supply
    of pasta.

    1. I had to restore a backup of my site because it got hacked again. A lot of comments disappeared because of it.

      1. A bit of a delay in going offline. It is a free new battery offered to replace ones that may overheat. On the phone Apple said it had to be sent away and would take 2 to 3 weeks but the store says it can be fixed here in 3-5 days. Unfortunately it seems my “friend” threw away my two external hard-drives last year so I will have to buy a new one. I don’t have the money for it right now but will get it fixed soon. I am going to finish the book (which I backed up on memory sticks) — mostly missing footnotes– in the next week or so and then take my computer in. The final days of the archives at its present location are coming up and I want to take advantage of them.

        Not to worry about missing comments from me, Brandy. I figured it had to do with your site’s down time. Ann

  47. A little late posting this week!

    My accomplishments:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate in 2 times. We had BBQ chicken with spicy rice, corn on the cob and salad twice. We were out of town the rest of the week. I portioned out the last of the rice and chicken into single serve containers and put them in the freezer for lunches.
    • Went to Portland for the week but used points to book my flight. I have a companion pass with Southwest, so Hubby was just the price of the security fees and we stayed with my niece so free accommodations. We took her to dinner as a thank you. I also gave her a spa gift card I’ve had for years that I will never use.
    • Hubby brought his lunch the day he went into the office.
    • Since we were out of town, I didn’t take Dad out to lunch this week.
    • Cut open the bottom of my toothpaste tube to get the last amount out.
    • Hubby sprayed for bugs himself instead of calling an exterminator. Good thing he did, as an hour after he sprayed there was a dead scorpion on our patio!
    • The remote lock on one of our cars wasn’t working. My Hubby thought it was the actuator in the door, so he bought a replacement. Once he had the door apart, he found that something just wasn’t plugged in, so he plugged it in and now it works great. We are returning the part he bought. Saved us $38!
    • We had bought the car part on Amazon so when we returned it, we took it to Kohl’s, as they process returns for Amazon now. In return, we got a 25% discount coupon. Hubby needed some new shirts for work and I needed pajamas for our trip and I bought another pair for my daughter as a gift. All were on sale, plus we got 25% off of that, plus $25 in Kohl’s cash. We paid $113.14 for 4 men’s shirts and 2 pajamas sets. We saved over $195.05.
    • Saved $29.72 on my electric bill compared to last year’s bill.
    • Got some SW airlines Rapid Reward points for taking a few surveys.

    Hope everyone had a great week!

  48. It’s almost time for us to go back to school and we have been busy in the yard doing as much as we can before our long summer days together shorten. This week we:
    -I used nursery coupons to get two shade trees in our backyard for 25%off each. These are the only plants in the backyard for now. We hope to save this next year to plant many more trees/garden boxes/sprinklers next summer.
    – we built a chicken coop using ideas off Pinterest to make it big enough and simple enough to hold our 7 chickens. We had leftover materials we were able to return to Home Depot and used that return money to buy a timer and supplies to drip line a garden box that we thought we would have to wait till next summer to do.
    -we borrowed a paint sprayer from a friend and sprayed the chicken coop with one gallon of paint and then cleaned and returned the sprayer. We didn’t have the funds to purchase our own sprayer and if we had hand painted it would have used more than a gallon so this saved us a bit of money.
    -I returned two shirts and a dress to a store that I had purchased on sale at the beginning of the month but I have lost weight and hadn’t worn them yet and they still had the tags on so I was able to take them back. I will keep that money to purchase new smaller clothes when I see some on sale.
    -all of my kiddos (7) have grown like weeds so I went through and organized their clothes from the hand me down bins to figure out what I need to buy for the falls/winter. I decided to just get them a back to school first day outfit and wait to buy additional items at the thrift store or as the back to school clothes clearance out.
    -we made a deer roast from the freezer that a neighbor gave us last fall. We paired it with rice and veggies and the kids really liked it. We made it in the pressure cooker so I didn’t have to heat up the oven.
    -I turned the AC up to only kick on when it gets over 80F and I open the windows in the morning for as long as I can and then in the evening too.
    -we harvested tomatoes, a cucumber, Anaheim peppers, basil, a bell pepper, strawberries, carrots and onions this week from the garden.
    -I was able to use leftover pea and green bean seeds I had on hand to sow a fall garden. I hope it has enough time to take off-it’s our first attempt ever.
    – I made copycat Cracker Barrel pancakes for the family and they loved them! We have cooked from home most days this summer to save money and eat from our garden.
    – I didn’t go shopping this week and so we were creative and used up all the veggies and food in our pantry we could instead. This also saved us gas money.
    – I traded a friend doing my hair (dying and cutting) for me coming over and helping her organize her playroom.
    – my hubby picked a part time graveyard job to help with the kiddos getting bigger and costs rising. He goes and sleeps overnight at a senior women’s home and if they get up and need something (or their meds) he helps them. He is allowed to sleep there and the job is 10pm-7am so we still see him and he gets to his main job on time. The ladies love him because he cooks them whatever they want for breakfast in the morning before he goes.?
    – we took our car in for an oil change and the mechanic gave us a long list of things to repair. We took the car to our regular mechanic and he whittled down the list to only need one thing done right now saving us $800! We will need to have another part replaced in the next couple months so we are planning on it.
    -I went and tried some clothes on at a store that was having a sale, but then I realized the same clothes were 40% off online so I just purchased the clothes online that I had tried on and needed and left the store.
    – my friends parents have a huge apricot tree that was bursting and they told me to come over and pick as much as we wanted. We filled a 5 gallon bucket to take home. We shared with my dad and then ate fresh apricots for days!
    -we saved the scraps from building the chicken coop and made them ramp, and then the tiny scraps we will use in our fire pit one evening.
    -we watched a bunch of Instagram and YouTube videos on urban homesteading and are saving and planning on adding fruit trees and garden boxes to our backyard and side yard and front yard next year. We will use timers (we will save money buying the supplies in bulk) and driplines to save money and time grow more. My plan is with our chickens and garden to grow and preserve as much as we can and make our yard work for us.
    -I rinsed and saved eggshells to crush up and add to my tomatoes and peppers to add calcium…they seem to have liked it!
    -I weeded a large area behind our patio to add raspberry starts to soon from a neighbor.
    -I will keep a look out for discounted fruit trees and shade trees as the nurseries and Home Depot start to clear out their garden center.
    -we are working hard to make our home and garden a zero waste/sustainable urban farmstead that can take care of us and our animals and to be able to share with family and friends and neighbors. I hope to learn how to propagate and use cuttings and graft and just grow in my knowledge of Soil, plants and preserving.
    Thanks!

  49. I didn’t realize the grasshoppers were still swarming. Your garden is doing so good I hope they do stay downtown. Winter came out great for the end of the semester.
    I’m finally getting a harvest out of the garden. I hope we have enough warm days till we can harvest the beans but I can feel cooler temps already. Here are my frugal accomplishments for this past week https://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2019/08/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-8419.html

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