Italian Pittosporum The Prudent Homemaker

My daughter brought home some leftover greenery and two roses for me from a floral arranging class she took because she knew I would like it. She also brought home an arrangement that we enjoyed on the table all week. She learned how to make a simple arrangement and a boutonniere. The woman who taught said that if the girls in the class could make their own boutonnieres, they could save the cost of buying one for their dates for any future dances by making their own.

I used a free print offer from Sam’s Club to print free invitations for my son’s upcoming Eagle Scout ceremony. A lot of places offer you 100 free 4 x 6 prints when you start shopping with them. I never used these as I was printing 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 images before. I was glad to use some of them this time! Almost all of these will be handed out in person, so we don’t need envelopes nor do we need to pay to mail them. (I know several readers asked about his project. I’ll have a post up with photos later; I still have quite a few photos to go through).

I planted some seeds a reader shared from her garden in my garden.

I cut grape leaves from the garden for a meal. I also harvested a few red noodle beans, Swiss chard, garlic chives, basil, and a few tomatoes.

I collected hollyhock seeds from my garden.

I collected several gallons of water from the air conditioning drip and used it to water potted plants on my patio.

Every morning where we had a low of 79º and a few mornings where it was 80º, I turned off our air conditioners and opened the windows for an hour. I keep the house at 79º, and the air conditioner will run in the mornings too, but this way I can air out the house. According to the report from the power company, I saved $9 this week doing this (plus my house smelled fresh!)  I wasn’t able to do this every day; half the week it was too hot, with lows around 86º. We run the air conditioner here until mid-October generally, when our highs drop down to 83ºF.

I took stock of my garden seeds and began making plans for what I will plant this fall. It’s too hot to plant cool season vegetables until October, which is when I plant my fall garden here.

Solar Oven Roasted Chicken The Prudent Homemaker

I used my solar oven to cook a pot of pinto beans, to roast a couple of chickens, and to roast potatoes. I made large amounts of beans and cooked two chickens at once so that I could just reheat leftovers in the microwave. I didn’t have to use any power to cook those meals nor did I have to heat up the house (which is really wonderful when it’s 109º outside!)

My son helped me repair the trellis in the front yard where it had fallen from the weight of the Lady Banks’ roses that I had growing there. I had cut the plants to about 2 feet high and will probably move them to another location at some point, as they do not flower almost at all where I have them because of the lack of sunlight (and this type of roses only flowers once a year as it is).

I took cuttings from my star jasmine and am attempting to root them to plant on this same trellis in place of the roses. It’s probably too hot for this, but the plant needed a trim anyway. If they don’t take, I’ll try again when the temperatures go down.

My son accepted a brand-new pair of tennis shoes from a widow on our street whose late husband no longer needed them.

I took apart my dishwasher filter and gave it a thorough cleaning so that it will run better.


What did you do to save money last week?

Similar Posts


  1. Another great week! I think it’s fantastic that your daughter was able to take a flower-arranging class. Is this through your church? What a fun class to have!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I made Strawberry FroYo, using my homemade yoghurt and homemade strawberry jam! ( Am loving have such a healthy dessert option, and sometimes even make some for breakfast on hot days.
    – I ran an errand downtown and came across a Kiehl’s promotional event. They were handing out popsicles and free samples, so I got some skin care tailored to me, free!
    – My mom gave me some dental care samples (toothpaste and such) that the DH and I will send to his mum overseas.
    – The DH redeemed some points on his credit card for $40 worth of groceries, so that we only had to spend $3 and change out of pocket for the week’s groceries.
    – I exchanged a $10 gift card with my mum for $10 cash. I won’t use the gift card at the store before it expires, but my mother will.
    – I traded half a dozen peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for a large homegrown zucchini, via my local trading app. The zucchini was large enough for at least 3 dinners for the DH and I.
    – I redeemed enough coupons on a coupon app to cash out for a $21 cheque, so I expect that in a few days, along with a (very) small cheque from Ebates.
    – I took a friend out for coffee at Starbucks using a gift card that I earned from Swagbucks. I know he’s on a budget, so it was nice to be able to treat him.
    – Redeemed my Starbucks reward for a lunch bowl/salad. Normally it would cost over $10, but I got it free!
    – I traded a bottle of wine that was gifted to me, for a nicely wrapped soap & lotion giftset from Pier 1 Imports (not a cheap store). I will likely put it in my gift drawer and re-gift it this Christmas.
    – I traded some tea that was gifted to me, for several cans of pop. I’ll set the pop aside from when I need a treat or when I have company.
    – I used a coupon to get a free pop, a treat for my lunch hour.
    – I snipped some overgrown branches from a bush on my walk home from work, and arranged them in a silver julep cup (a la Brandy) in my entranceway. A very nice centrepiece for free!
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon gift card
    – Made blueberry lime mini doughnuts, using blueberries I had frozen when bought on sale.
    – I redeemed some AirMiles rewards for $20 worth of groceries, enough to last us for most of the next week, as well as covering a few dollars worth of my sister’s groceries.
    – I treated my sister to a drink at Starbucks using my giftcard from Swagbucks
    – Made a vegetarian version of my mother’s meatloaf, and used some ketchup packets I had lying around, as well as some homegrown thyme.
    – Made and froze meatloaf sandwiches using the leftover meatloaf and some frozen English muffins from my last trip to Costco. Delicious, affordable, and easy-to-grab-and-go for my work lunches!
    – I found water drops on sale for 99 cents each (usually $3.99), so I bought 10. My husband doesn’t like to drink plain water, and this way he stays hydrated for pennies a glass.

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone!

  2. It has been delightfully, unseasonably cool here in St. Louis area. It is wonderful to have days and nights with the A/C off!
    It is amazing how many pairs of shoes my husband and I both have that are nice and expensive name brands, all from the thrift shop. I wonder why we ever buy retail anything. Thanks for all your inspiration–I love ebery post.

  3. A floral arranging class sounds like fun! I love it when I can open up the house for some fresh air. It makes a lot of difference. We finally got some rain, and the garden is keeping me busy, harvesting, preserving and cooking. I canned fig jam and tomato juice last week, and froze pawpaw and okra. Best of luck on your star jasmine cuttings. I’m happy to be joining in here:

  4. That’s great that your daughter was able to take a flower arranging class! I recently was gifted a bouquet of mixed flowers and quickly learned that I don’t have a lot of talent with flower arranging. The flowers were beautiful but sadly not displayed to their best.

    I feel like this past week went fairly well on the frugal front.
    -We went on a mini vacation to the mountains a few hours away. I brought along three days worth (we only went away for three days) of breakfast, lunch and snack foods so we could eat those meals in our hotel room. Most of our activities revolved around hiking so it was an inexpensive trip.
    -I cashed in $25 from Checkout51 and a $20 Amazon giftcard from Ibotta. In the past I’ve used my Ibotta rebates to buy Starbucks giftcards for myself as a treat but I’m working hard to fill holes in my kitchen supplies and knew that an Amazon giftcard would be put to better use. I used my $20 to buy a new brown sugar bear, a storage container for bulk food items, and a new bread lame.
    -I went through the Ibotta app to buy my Amazon purchases, earning me 3% cash back.
    -I signed up for a Costco card through the groupon promotion which seems like a really good deal. I also went through the Ibotta app to sign up for this and earned another 3% cash back on my subscription cost.
    -We put money into savings
    -I usually buy individual containers of the Noosa brand yogurt for my lunches everyday at work because I like the flavor and they are large enough to be a complete meal for me but they are very expensive I think. This past week I’ve instead bought the largest size container of store brand vanilla yogurt and decided to portion it out into individual reusable containers and added a scoop of raspberry jam to the bottom. I think it worked out really well and I got more than a weeks worth of lunches for about the same price as I was paying for one Noosa container. I’m considering doing this for oatmeals as well since when I work I need to bring breakfast and lunch with me. I have been using the prepackaged, microwavable oatmeal bowls but bringing in a scoop of oats to microwave in the breakroom wold work as well. I have access to milk and margarine at my job which helps.
    -I made homemade french bread, chocolate chip cookies, a chocolate cake and homemade tortillas. I never realized just how easy it would be to make my own tortillas and they tasted amazing.
    -I made multiple meals out of the pantry and freezer, clearing up some much needed space
    -My grocery shopping this week revolved around building up my pantry staples as I had plenty in the freezer and pantry to make most meals
    -I completed my school shopping during tax free week and took advantage of multiple coupons and discounts I had been saving for this occasion. I have been saving my Target promotional giftcards and was able to get $25 off my Target purchase not including cartwheel or redcard saving. I had a 20% off coupon for the consignment store where I bought school clothes for the kids saving me $35. I also had a $10 reward for DSW where I bought two pairs of children’s shoes on clearance.
    Hope everyone has a good week!

  5. How does one make a vegetarian meatloaf? 😀 I would like that recipe if would please. Always on the lookout for new and good food.

  6. I upped my water intake to one more glass a day.

    I found another single lady to go walking with at night and do some DVD exercises with at home.

    I continue to work through the food I have in my pantry/freezer. I only buy things that will go with what I am trying to use up.

    Have a breakfast meal plan down, working on supper – I’m hoping to do leftovers for lunch.

    I have gotten my sewing machine out for the first time in umpteen years and am starting to refresh my skills. Starting with simple things like mending and working my way up. It’s surprising how things come back.

    My little dog is going to be in our community theater’s version of Mary Poppins. He is Willoughby the dog (Andrew is the movie dog’s name). I made him a pretty bow from a couple different layers of tulle that looks super cute on him, I might be biased. This is frugal fun and has added joy to my life and the dog really enjoys it.

    I’ve used the library, walked when I can for errands, kept the ac as low as I can and done without as I’ve told myself no several times to purchases.

  7. I went to a church community dinner. Great food and fellowship. I was told not to bring anything, just myself. I pointed out to the organizer that our store had a special on corn on the cob –– 10 ears for $5.00 which is a great price here. I offered to buy the corn but they said they’d get it (someone donated money for the dinner). The same store has peaches on sale for 10 pounds for $10.00. That is a great price. I will be going to buy some to put in the freezer. While at the dinner, one of the friends I’d invited offered me a box of picture frames so I can frame my flower and bird photos at no cost. My first tomatoes are ripe. The largest one was inedible as it had rotted on the bottom. I’d never seen that before. Hopefully the next ones will be fine.

    After having frozen my modest crop of sour cherries, a friend offered me hers. I gave her the tree years ago and now it’s loaded. Due to forest fire smoke, we weren’t able to pick them today. In the meantime, a different friend (who bought her 8 trees on my advice) and who isn’t able to use them this year offered me all of her cherries. Her husband will pick them. What I’m going to do with them is another question but i’m getting jars ready. I bought sugar on sale 2 months ago. I’m looking for recipes for sour cherry eggless baking (due to allergy to eggs). I may make a crisp.

    Another friend whom I invited to the church dinner brought me the garden veggies that I’d ordered and then gave them to me as a late birthday present. Beets, sugar peas, peas, onions, potatoes. That should keep me going for another few weeks.

    So all in all a great week. Ann

  8. Kroger had mailed coupons to us based on our shopping history. And a $5 Catalina had popped out on our last trip there. We got six ounces of cheese and a German Chocolate cake mix for free. We also saved about $3 with coupons for butter, cottage cheese, orange juice, and spaghetti sauce. Then, there was a $5 off 2 coupon attached to a healthcare product we need to buy regularly. All in all, we saved $25 with coupons and sales with a final bill around $40. To top it off, another $5 off Catalina popped out at the end of the checkout process for our next shopping trip.

    I had shopped for a few groceries in town the day before too and had been dismayed at the low quality and high prices of the produce at our local grocery store. Tomatoes are more expensive now than Michigan-sourced tomatoes were in the wintertime-and they are coming all the way from Mexico! The local farm stand wants $3/# for their tomatoes. I told the nice farm girl that at those prices, we’ll have to stick with canned tomatoes from Walmart.

    I had a frugal fail last night. I had wanted to try a brand of soup mixes that I couldn’t find at our local Kroger in the soup and beans aisle. So I went shopping online at Walmart very late at night. My internet connection is still DSL so it was a slow process. The searches on Walmart’s site did not return the same items consistently and there were times when my click to buy seemed to be ignored. So it took a long, frustrating time for me to compile an order of 19 items that I thought came to $36. By then, it was 2:30 a.m. I hurried through the checkout and didn’t notice that I was getting charged for shipping until I read my confirmation email. I had missed free shipping by 27 cents-$34.73 instead of $35. I immediately tried to cancel the order but they said that while 18 of the items were cancelled, it was too late to cancel one of the soups. So I am currently spending just over $8 for six ounces of beans and some seasonings that should arrive Tuesday. I tried in vain to learn by reading FAQs online if Walmart will refund the shipping if I return the beans to the store. If they won’t, I just had a $6 lesson to (a) don’t shop online at 2:30 in the morning and (b) review the order subtotal and total carefully before finalising any orders.

    I picked up my new eyeglasses this week. I had a very, very limited selection of “free” frames with my coverage. Most of them were way too gaudy. But, fortunately for me, there was one frame that I liked as much as the ones I had been wearing. They are very similar-so similar, in fact, that I spent several minutes trying to determine which was the old pair and which the new that evening. I eventually determined with confidence that the new pair had arms that aligned slightly better and the print listing the frame’s name on one earpiece looked newer. The reading portion of the bifocal is a little bit stronger too, which I appreciate when attempting to read teeny tiny print. The opticial technician also realigned my old, now spare, pair that had remained slightly askew since an incident between my head, the glasses, and the car’s doorframe. I had been afraid to subject the frame of my only pair of glasses to any twisting or bending because I really NEEDED them to see.

    That is about it for last week. Some frugal wins and some fails. I hope you all have a lovely week and, for those of you in the path of the total eclipse of the sun, I hope you have clear skies that day.

  9. And the flower arranging and boutonniere making course sounds fabulous and will bring pleasure to your daughter
    for her life!

  10. The rotten on the bottom tomato sounds like blossom end rot. It’s due to a calcium deficiency. I have cured this by drenching the plant with milk (reconstituted powdered milk is fine.) Crushed eggshells are also good.

  11. I am an experienced and certified teacher, who took Spanish in high school and had opportunities afterwards while working at local grocery stores and teaching to use the language. Now I home educate my son (have been since he was born) who will begin 9th grade this school year. He has chosen Spanish for his foreign language. After spending many hours/days on the internet looking up various curriculums and reading reviews, I decided to save $100+ by instead purchasing a nearly-new Spanish textbook from our local thrift store, and create my own curriculum around that. I went to the thrift store on the day that teachers received 1/2 price on school supplies by showing their ID. I have a HSLDA teacher ID, so I got the textbook for $2, as well as other Spanish materials for 1/2 price. It has been fun planning our Spanish lessons, which includes buying fun, picture flashcards (to add Spanish words), blank index cards, and a few storage containers from the Dollar Tree for inexpensive Spanish games. There are also lots of free Spanish materials online…videos for practicing pronunciation, games to play online, and free posters, practice worksheets, and games to print. I am confident my son will have an enjoyable experience learning Spanish while also fulfilling his high school credit requirements. And…he will have me for practicing his speaking!

    I am not able to grow vegetables in my Georgia yard due to too many squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and deer who eat/destroy anything and everything before it has a chance to grow, much less be harvested. I cook/bake with a lot of zucchini throughout the year. The prices have not been lower than $1.29 per pound at our local Kroger (the lowest price I can find), so each week at this price, I have been buying several pounds to bring home and shred, then store in measured zip top bags in my freezer. I saved the ends that could not be shredded for vegetables soups, and put them in sandwich zip top bags for freezer storage.

    Speaking of Kroger…this past week when I went grocery shopping, I saved over $35 using a combination of Kroger in-store deals, digital coupons and printed/clipped coupons…and that was not including buying items that were on sale. I enjoy planning my shopping trips this way and seeing how much $ I save on items we regularly use.

  12. We are still harvesting grapes & elderberries every day, & drying both as fast as the dehydrator is able. I made a peach crisp today to use some of the Red Haven peaches that are too small to bottle. Picked a half bushel box of pears from our tree. Picked some of the crab apples from our tree, & the Golden Delicious apples are almost ready to pick, too. We are picking some yellow pear tomatoes & early girl tomatoes every day now.

    I have been reclaiming the water in which I soak the dehydrator trays to remove sticky juices, & using that water in the garden.

    Began knitting another doll blanket that will be part of a birthday present for a granddaughter this fall. I ordered some puzzles and two photo books from Shutterfly using a coupon that made them 50% off, and because the order was large enough, I got free shipping as well. The puzzles will be a birthday present for a granddaughter, & a Christmas present for a daughter, and the two photo books will be Christmas presents for two different granddaughters. I also ordered something online for a son-in-law, for his Christmas present. I prefer to be done with the holiday shopping no later than Thanksgiving, so we can enjoy the season without being in the crowded stores, or under the gun making gifts. I find the back to school sales are actually better than the holiday sales, here. With a new grandchild due in late fall, I want to be done with as much as possible by October. I give gifts to 17 people; 10 are finished & ready to be wrapped, or ordered & on the way here.

  13. This week was busy so it went by quickly. We:

    -was given a brand new unopened gift box with perfume & spray that I will re-use as a Christmas gift. I have 23 people to buy for this Christmas and a budget of $150 (the budget is around $30 down from last year)
    -thought about Christmas lunch with all our extended family and the food we can have. I have settled on made from scratch caramel tart and a fruit cake with custard for dessert. Nibbles are also decided. Main meal is a work in progress
    -no grocery shopping this week, aside from $5.05 spent on vegetables that were on sale
    -we FINALLY signed up to get the internet connected at our house. We got the cheapest 100GB per month plan we could find. It will take about 3 weeks to install as they need to put a port in our house
    -had a lovely day at the beach with my family and took a picnic
    -made more quinoa vegetable soup and froze some to take to work
    -researched ETF’s & index funds!
    -reviewed our budget. We are on track to be mortgage free by December 2018
    -being mindful

  14. We returned safely from a wonderful Mexico mission trip last evening. I wrote about that here:

    I did not do a “saving money” post this week, but here are the things we did to be as frugal as we could while traveling.
    First, we took a lot of food with us. Food was provided by the group we were with, but several times, we ate out of the cooler when they were eating out. My motivation was to have food I could eat without getting sick, but it saved money for the group as well.

    We also took quite a bit of water. It was all used. Those kids were thirsty!!! So, all the water the group brought, our water we brought, plus a bunch more water that was purchased down there was all used. One thing we brought was 2 cases of gallons of water (12 gallons total), and the kids poured them into their water bottles for the road home. That’s a cheaper way to buy water, for sure. Every kid brought a water bottle, and that helped save money, but it was so hot during the day that we were fighting dehydration, so we just bought more. Our trip down was especially hot–reaching 109 at one point. One of the leaders was diligent to pour out into a pitcher any extra water from any bottles the kids left laying around, and it was used for washing produce, etc. There were large jugs of safe water at the base, but not at the work site, which is where we used the most of our water.

    Rob and I both helped with the food, but neither he nor I were the main “food person” who made the plan and bought the supplies. She did a great job, and packed food for breakfasts and sandwich ingredients so we could picnic on the road. When food was purchased, the kids were given a spending limit and one time pizza was purchased at Costco and eaten in the parking lot. Breakfast foods like bagels and yogurts were available each morning on the road, picnic style.

    We ate very simply during the week.

    One meal was scheduled to be eaten out during the week because of an evening meeting we needed to go to, but we had enough food to eat at the base. The time crunch that day was easily solved by a couple of us going back to the base a little earlier than the main group and making it so it was ready the minute they rolled in.

    The kids were great. I saw a couple order a small amount of food, letting the youth pastor know that they would eat that and then order another small item if they were still hungry. There was very little food waste that way. Some kids were not hungry at all at times, and did not order at all. This was usually when they had been snacking in the vans.

    Each person brought 2 boxes of cold cereal to help out the meals.

    Snacks were put into each vehicle for the ride home, so none needed to be purchased. We personally bought Rob energy drinks for the extremely long ride home, and diet Coke for me on the journey, but very little else.

    Rob (my husband) was sent to buy some food items during the week and chose to get inexpensive produce from both a roadside stand, and a grocery store. Otherwise, he just paid what they were asking. He doesn’t speak Spanish.

    We stopped at Costco in Ensenada to pick up those items that could not cross the border, such as vegetables.

    We had many kids in each van or vehicle to save gas on the road.
    Gas was still very expensive down there.

    We fund-raised for much of the money, and wanted to use it as wisely as possible.

    I’m looking forward to getting my house/meals/garden/etc. in order. It was a great trip, but I’m glad to be home.

  15. -Used free online videos to exercise and do yoga every day.
    -reduced my coffee intake by 2 cups and drank more water.
    -saved shower warm up water and water leftover in cups to water the garden once and flush the toilet several times.
    -did not eat out
    -went on a picnic with my best friend and her family, they provided most of the food. I brought a kale salad with homemade dressing, sliced cucumbers, and chocolate chip granola bars for dessert.
    – I started using Dr. Bronner’s bar soap to wash my hair and my daughter’s hair and make a homemade rinse of water with lemon juice (instead of ACV. I have done that before and didn’t want to smell like salad dressing lol). It works well, is much cheaper, and is all natural.
    – We kept the ac off due to cooler temps (NOT normal for this area in August).
    -I only had to water the garden once, otherwise we had enough rain that I didn’t have to
    -My mother in law purchased my daughter 2 dresses and a shirt for school (which starts in 2 days here).
    -I repurposed a small, pretty floral patterned plate in the bathroom for a soap dish.
    -Exchanged books and movies at the library.
    -I made bread, smoothies several times, I used a failed batch of chia pudding in a smoothie so it wouldn’t go to waste along with some cherries that were going soft, pancakes, stir fry, fried chicken (hubby’s request) with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, tacos, and took all my meals to work from home.

  16. Brandy – Are the grape leaves for flavoring the chicken or are you cooking them with the chicken to flavor the grape leaves? I found a recipe for grape leaves stuffed with chicken and rice. Do you make stuffed grape leaves?

  17. A florist showed me how to make boutonnieres, too. I have made them many times for special church recognition events as well as dances and weddings. Both the cake decorating and flower arranging skills will be used over and over again. Of course, Winter has a great example to observe right in her own home. You add a gracious touch to your home with your fresh flower arrangements and when Winter sets up her own home she will do the same.
    I gave my husband a haircut this week. We sold our second vehicle and cancelled the insurance. We are enjoying plenty of fresh tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, onions, and fresh herbs. Boneless skinless chicken breasts were on sale at a best price so I stocked up and processed all of them individually so that I can take out just what I want to cook at any one time. I trimmed them up neatly and then cooked up about two cups of chicken bits that will be used for chicken salad. I also found eggs on sale at a store I don’t usually frequent because it is too far out of the way, but since I had a meeting to attend nearby, I ran in and picked up a few dozen.

  18. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . Brandy you always pleasantly surprise me with the continued ways you save money in your home and we have been thinking also of buying a solar oven as well being in the land of sunshine here.

    This week has been mainly spent working on building up our garden beds with manures and watering in newly planted vegetable seeds we have planted in sheltered areas in our gardens. The weather is warming slowly during the days now and soon spring will be upon us and we are determined to have all our soil amending done for the start of Spring for planting.

    This week we have saved money by –

    Fuel savings –
    – By using our RACQ grocery gift card which gives us 5% off purchase prices and coupling that with our 4c per litre fuel discount with our store rewards card we saved in total $8.35 off our fuel.

    In the garden –
    – Purchased another trailer load of horse manure saving $288.80 off prices rather than buying it in bags.
    – Hand watered newly planted vegetable seeds, strawberries and herbs with rainwater from our tanks rather than using town water.

    In the kitchen –
    – Had a number of vegetarian meals to make our meat stretch further.
    – Cooked all meals and bed from scratch.

    Electricity savings –
    – Turned off our electric hot water system at the power box and will only turn it on every second day to save on electricity. From what I have read the water will keep hot in there for 2 days, so it will be interesting to find out tomorrow night.
    – Used our solar lanterns at night to light our home rather than using mains powered lighting.
    – Boiled water for our cuppas in the slow combustion stove rather than turn on our electric kettle.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  19. I was on vacation this week and stayed home. I cleaned the oven inside and out. I made pillowcases from a sheet I bought at the thrift store. I made an apron from a tablecloth that I rarely used and had for at least 10 years. I also did lots of organizing and gardening.

    On Wednesday I invited my daughters and grandchildren over for lunch. We had taco salad, Spanish rice, and Berry Lemon bundt cake

    For our dinners we had zucchini cakes, roast chicken, Amish onion cakes, fried green tomatoes, kale chips, Provencal vegetable soup, and homemade wheat bread. I also made smoothies and blueberry pancakes for our breakfasts.

    We bought lots and lots of berries this week. Blueberries and blackberries were 87 cents for each package and strawberries were 97 cents each. I froze most of them.

    My husband and I went on a date on Friday. We went shopping at JC Penney using 2 coupons for 10 dollars off. We bought some much needed sheets that were $12.99 for a set and a set of glass containers with lids. We also went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. I had received a card for a free entree from work.

    My husband and I babysat for our two grandsons. My daughter provided pizza and salad for our dinner and I made chocolate chip cookies.

  20. I agree…I wonder that we ever buy anything new! We began buying used decades ago when looking to buy clothing at least assembled in the USA. It was impossible, so we began to buy used and haven’t looked back since. I also buy used for the fabric if the price is low enough. Our rural area makes shopping time consuming and we tend to shop online for our needs. What is the saying, Necessity is the mother of invention? Keeps our skills in shape as well.

  21. All of this week’s meals were made at home using food I already had on hand. I used the grocery budget to purchase food for my pantry and non-food preparedness items.

    I used a $10 off $50 purchase at Big Lots to purchase pantry items and non-food preparedness items. By keeping my purchase as close to $50 as I could, it maximized the percentage saved.

    I foraged wild blackberries and made a blackberry cobbler.

    I picked wildflowers to add to a few flowers from my garden and made a bouquet for the front entry.

    I took advantage of Hobby Lobby’s 99 cent sale on Simplicity patterns and purchased quite a few, including several from their vintage pattern line. Some will be used to make Christmas gifts this year and some were clothing patterns for me.

    I made use of our town’s library to check out movies for the weekend as well as two books on money saving techniques.

    A neighbor gave me some homemade fudge as a thank you gift.

    I had an expensive car repair this week but was able to get a 10% discount by showing I’d served in the miltary.

    I purchased four loaves of bread that were marked down for quick sale. Normally, I bake all of my own bread but at 50 cents a loaf I thought it was worth it to keep from heating up the kitchen. I put them in the freezer to use in the up coming weeks.

    I’ve planned next week’s meals using times I already have on hand.

  22. I have learned from my SIL to bring oatmeal in a glass dish with a lid and pour hot water on it 10 minutes before eating. She puts on nuts and dried fruit as well. Simple and easy.

  23. My tomatoes finally began ripening this past week, so I was able to make 3/4 batch of Rotel that I canned using ingredients I had on hand! 6 pint jars were added to my pantry shelves!

    I found English muffins on sale so I made up a dozen bacon (leftover strips), egg (from our chickens) and cheese (bought in bulk and packaged into ziploc bags for easier use) McMuffins! Packaged each McMuffin into sandwich size ziplocs and added them into our “Grab & Go” breakfast bin in the fridge!

    Replenished our “grab & go” lunch bin in the fridge with more mini pizzas, heroburgers, chicken, bacon Alfredo focaccia and leftover southwest crispy chicken wraps. This makes breakfast and brown bag lunches so much easier in the morning for DH & son to gather up! Saves a lot over buying drive through too!!

    Replenished several of my mixes that I had used up- Dry Ranch dressing, Zesty Italian, garlic bread, brownie mix and cookie mix. So glad to have all the needed ingredients right here in my pantry and really happy to have the convenience and $$ savings from the mixes on my shelves! I don’t go a day without using one or more of my mixes!!

    Chickens are now producing 3 eggs every day- our last two young hens should start adding to that number soon!! It provides us with enough eggs to hard boil a dozen in my Instant pot for lunches and snacks, make a dozen breakfast Mcmuffins or burritos as well as baking needs!

    I baked 4 loaves of orange zucchini bread from my garden zucchini and orange zest I had dried in my pantry. Yum!!

    Made 8 dozen peanut butter cookies using my basic DIY cookie mix- 6 dozen of the were taken as refreshments for a couple events I was involved in! Buying that many at Sam’s Club would have cost me $20!

    Remembered Marivene’s way of keeping up with weeding by filling a bucket with weeds each day and got back into that habit! Thanks, Marivene, for that tip! My garden and yard appreciate it and look beautiful as a result!

    Sold two more planter boxes and have the $40 to deposit this morning into our account! Getting ready to start make more of our pallet Ohios since autumn is approaching and a friend asked us to make some pumpkins for her (we had already decided to test market some) so, we will change our seasonal stock items for our business! We also have some winter ideas ready to prepare for marketing as well.

    I gave one of my daughters a short arm quilting machine that I had planned to sell. She is a teacher and lives to quilt and I knew she would be thrilled to have it! I also sent her home with 3 big bags of fabric that she picked out from my stash! It’s a great feeling to be able to share!

    Lots of pantry eating and rotating fridge food into meals this week! Enough variety from that to have everyone happy! I only cooked 2 “original” meals this week- both using pantry/freezer ingredients already on hand. I haven’t even spent $50 this two week pay period on food!
    Had good news! We found out that the monthly amount listed for DH’s company pension when he retires in 18 months will continue until both of us pass away! This will be in addition to our 401k (which is not as big as it should be since we were raising 11 kids!) and SS. Our lives are pretty simple so retirement looks more achievable!

    After pruning our 13 fruit trees, they look healthy and vigorous and we are hoping that next year we may start getting fruit! Several of our friends have nicknamed our home as the “Urban Oasis” because we are right in the heart of our state capital city!! Definitely a reminder to us that no matter where you live, under what circumstances, there is always something that you can do to be wise stewards and improve what you have!

    All in all, a very good week!!

  24. Last week was my long week at work. Worked Sunday thru Saturday night, then got mandated on Sunday morning(yesterday) for another whole shift. I’ll get time & 1/2 for it but won’t see the money till my first paycheck in September, the 8th. I also worked 4 hours of overtime on Thursday 8/10. I injured my back at work but they denied my work-comp claim, so I’m out of sick time/vacation time for the rest of the year. I was able to comp the 4 hours, which turns out to be 6 hours. to save in case I DO need to take a sick day for whatever reason. I’ve also had to seek an attorney to win this case because the state (for whom I work) does not want to pay, stating pre-existing injury. I want my accrued sick and annual time back. Lawyer thinks I’ve got a pretty good case. I see my neurosurgeon on 8/30. He’ll be the deciding opinion as to which way we go with pursuing my case.

    I eat meals at work since I cannot bring food into the prison with me. Just need money for drinks, which I try to drink water but it still costs $1.50. Only places I went was to work and back.

    School starts next week here in NE Ohio. I’ve purchased all of my son’s needed supplies for the 8th grade. Most things I already had in storage save for a new zipper binder to carry to classes since they aren’t allowed to carry backpacks/bookbags during the school day. My mother is giving me $100 to purchase him a new pair of sneakers for the school year..He’s got a big foot, at least a size 13, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to find a pair he likes in his size at a store.

    This coming weekend is our annual D-Day event in our town. It’s a WWII reenactment that attracts reenactors from all over the country. It’s free admission. There are Higgins boats, B-52 bombers flying overhead. One year, the Discovery Channel came to our town to record it! It attracts about 25,000 visitors to our Lake Erie town here in NE Ohio. We will go down Friday and Saturday for the big Normandy Beach invasion at 3pm on Saturday.

    I wish I had Winter’s seamstress skills because I’m a nurse(RN) and I’d LOVE to dress up as a WWII Red Cross nurse and participate in the reenactment!

  25. Brandy, are the grape leaves put in there just as you would if it were, say, spinach? Just tossed whole with the water/drippings to wilt during the end of cooking time?
    My dad has some grape vines and I am considering trying the leaves. Thanks.

  26. We continue to be blessed by my MIL for groceries and now dog food as we have finally run out! September with its paychecks cannot come too soon. A couple unexpected expenses arrived this week which has been stressful, but we keep moving forward.

    My dear daughter is having her wisdom teeth out today and my MIL has volunteered to stay with her and my son since I am gone. The dogs also need watching as my son works so many hours at his summer job. Praying all goes well for them. My inlaws are paying for her bill as well. Between them and my parents giving us some land to put a cabin on, we have been so blessed. I shudder to think what would have been had we not had family support.

    A good friend made dinner with plenty of leftovers one evening. We attended the church potluck picnic but didn’t need to bring anything since my husband was responsible for picking up the church-paid-for main dish and getting it ready. A long day, but a frugal win. He even brought home cut-up fruit after.

    I am enjoying my new bicycle. With the guard, I can wear pants and skirts without getting dirty. I borrowed a bike lock for the week from a friend, so I can bike around (I am doing a project with the local history museum remotely and need to be at the building this week to put everything together). We only have one car here.

    I flew with a five hour wait and only purchased one cup of coffee and one inexpensive burger. I brought all my other food and an empty water bottle to refill…it was a long day! I also came with 2 airline snacks I didn’t eat because I just wasn’t hungry.

    I wanted to bring some east coast treats back, but didn’t want to spend much (any really) money, so I was on the lookout all summer for something that would work. Frugal success! At a garden party, the hostess put together bags of gummy lobsters and handed them out as treats. In addition to my bag, she insisted I take all of the extras too! I don’t eat candy, so they are Exactly what I was looking for! I am very grateful for them, and they have made perfect gifts.

    It is exciting that your daughter is learning the fine art of flower arranging and cake decorating. Last winter I learned to make wreaths after years of wanting to. There are so few artisans who share their talents. I love making life beautiful.

    I am so grateful that the museum offered me this grant work as it included an airline ticket. Now I am able to be here to celebrate my silver anniversary with my husband tomorrow. It is a gift from God to be sure. I was also able to squeeze out two very inexpensive tickets to a final music performance that includes the end of the season party for free. That will be our evening out. I was calling to see how to get the 15% locals discount and told the young man that I was a volunteer in years past and he offered my 50% off instead!

    I will even be here for the eclipse. I fly out an hour after, so will get to experience it. Tickets double the next day, so I feel fortunate to be able to get the return flight that I did.

    We are swamped with bills that are piling up, but cannot be thankful enough for help from our family and the upcoming job. My dear husband is working now and that is such a relief. The children both have perfect summer jobs that will greatly help with their college book costs. Our daughter will even be able to pay her own way back. She is still recovering from her head injury and cannot make the 10 hour drive without staying over half-way. Her final year of school! Thankful hearts here!

  27. This is basically a deconstructed stuffed grape leaves dish. I served it over rice. You eat the leaves. This is way faster, especially when I am cooking for so many people. There are lots of different ways to make stuffed grape leaves with different ingredients. This just makes the whole dish faster and simpler, though I like them stuffed too. When I do it this way I use younger, smaller leaves; they are less fibrous. For stuffed leaves, you need older ones that are bigger and they are tougher. I have made them stuffed as well.

  28. Kind of but not exactly. They are much tougher than spinach and need to be in there for quite a long time before they wilt. The liquid is important to help them cook. I used small, newer leaves, which take less time to cook, but they still take a bit to cook before you can really eat them, as they are quite fibrous.

  29. Ah, I always love the idea of using a solar oven! I keep meaning to whip one up in our backyard as well. 🙂 And congratulations to your son on his Eagle Scout ceremony! That’s such an achievement!

    This week:

    1. Grapes were on sale for 87 cents a pound (the cheapest they’ll be all year in our area). I bought four pounds and I’m in the process of making them into wine. I also got four pounds of plums to make into fruit wine, too.

    2. I cut up and froze some old bananas to make into smoothies.

    3. I made a batch of homemade yogurt and saved the whey. As it turns out, this stuff is delicious in smoothies, too!

    4. We borrowed superhero movies for free from Mr. Picky Pincher’s sister. They came in handy since we were sick last week and just wanted to laze around. 🙂

    5. We used half-off coupons at our local nursery to buy privacy bushes. We have a chainlink fence and our neighbor’s dog drives us absolutely crazy. Hopefully these bushes will give us a little silence.

  30. These are a few things I did:

    Made homemade yogurt and buttermilk, chicken broth from a free rotisserie chicken we got, and baked two loaves of bread

    Purchased enough milk and eggs for two weeks because the prices were so low ($1.77 for milk and .47/dozen for eggs)

    Accepted some homegrown tomatoes from our neighbor

    Opened up the windows in the morning and turned off the lights to save on electricity

    Had new internet installed which will be faster and almost $15 cheaper per month

    Purchased two new pairs of pants for $5 each on clearance, and they were my favorite brand! Normally they are about $15/pair, so I saved almost $20. I am spending some of my set-aside birthday money on clothes, and was glad that I could use some of it on something else now.

    We got invited to two birthday parties this month. I wasn’t sure what to do for gifts, and was planning on going to one store, but there were police everywhere on the street I needed to take and the only way out was to go a different direction. I ended up going to a different store and found quite a few toys on clearance (as well as the pants I mentioned above). I felt like God was providing even in the inconveniences of life!

    Researched different pairs of shoes for my husband online. He is in sore need of a new pair of running shoes. He tried some on at a store that was offering a BOGO offer, but we waited and when I got home I thought to look up the pair on Amazon. They were just slightly more than they would have been if we had done the BOGO plus the coupon, but now we don’t have to buy an extra pair of shoes to get the deal.

    I worked a little on our health insurance discount activities. We have to complete a number of activities in order to get a $40/month discount on our insurance for the upcoming year, as well as earn $1000 for our HSA this year.

    I got out some of my cookbooks out that have recipes from other parts of the world. I am trying to gather more recipes with humble, simple ingredients and less meat. One cookbook I love is called More with Less.

  31. Brandy, may I ask what you added to the roasting pan to cook your chicken? I see herbs and lots of liquid, but not sure what they are. So nice to read that your daughter was able to take a flower arranging class. Now she can help you with that lovely chore to get more practice! Or maybe she could make a bouquet as a thank you to the widow down the road for giving your son those tennis shoes. I’m sure she would really enjoy some flowers.

    I’m really happy about our frugal accomplishments this week! This week the frugal accomplishment for our family included:
    *Meals made at home this week included BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with cheese & bacon toppings optional and potato chips, spaghetti with choice of red or meat sauce, homemade chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, white rice and corn-on-the-cob, shepperds pie (made with leftover roast beef), breaded chicken burgers with homemade garlic sriracha mayo (optional) and corn-on-the-cob, and meatballs in Diana’s sauce with green beans and mashed potatoes.
    *Broccoli was on sale for $1 a bunch, which is a great price for here. I was off on Monday, so after a trip to the grocery store, my mom and I cut, steam blanched and froze 15 bunches of broccoli total. This will hopefully get us through most of the winter!
    *Chopped up 2 bunches of celery ($0.97 each) and put it in the dehydrator. Will use the dehydrated celery for adding to soups in the winter. Cut the base in quarters and put them in the veggie scrap bag for making soup stock. Saved the leaves and other bits to feed to our Guinea pig.
    *Washed, pitted and froze the last of the cherries in the fridge, before they went bad. Will use them for either jam making, smoothies or a dessert.
    *Brought home a few more free potatoes, a good sized tomato, a handful of cherry tomatoes and 1 carrot top from the gardens at work. My mom gobbled up the cherry tomatoes as soon as I got home. DD also wanted a snack, so I handed her 2 golf ball sized potatoes. She cooked them in the microwave for under 1 minute, topped them with some butter and grated cheese and enjoyed her snack! Our Guinea pig enjoyed the carrot top with her dinner.
    *On Saturday, I sent my husband to the farmers market (his day off, I was working) to see if he could buy me a bushel or half bushel of beans. So far we could only find baskets of beans for $15. I would need several to make up the amount I wanted. My husband still couldn’t find any bushel size, so he asked one of the vendors. Well, he must have asked the right guy, because he was able to get a “half bushel” for $25! Hubby came home with 2 plastic shopping bags filled to the brim, one each of green and yellow/waxed beans. Love that man!!! 😀 My mom and I will be blanching and freezing the beans on Monday (today).
    *A storm blew through and we lost power for about 6 1/2 hours one night. Had a taste of what an emergency would be like with our autistic daughter…it wasn’t pretty! Just a side note, did anyone else know that not having access to the internet is child abuse? How dare the hydro company take so long to fix the power!
    *Every year a husband and wife, who run an English school in Taiwan, hosts a group of young Taiwanese students twice a summer for a Candian experience. The husband is Canadian and the wife is Taiwanese, they live in Taiwan but he still owns a property here in Ontario that their family spends time at each summer. They always bring the students to our Pioneer Village so they can practice conversations in English. We have come to recognize the group when they come and enjoy talking with the young students. They often ask for our autograph as a souvenier, which we all find entertaining. I usually end up chatting with the couple as well and they are getting to know me now. This week, they brought me little treats from Taiwan! I brought them home and kindly shared them with my family.
    *This week my hubby managed to get a steam burn on his arm while at work (he’s a cook). We pulled out more telfa pads to dress his wound. That $1 box of bandaging material is getting quite a workout lately!

    I’m looking forward to reading your son’s post this week, Brandy, as well as all the wonderful comments left by everyone else! Have a wonderful week everyone.:D

  32. That’s a great idea for the yogurt, Stephanie. I usually buy individual yogurt containers for my daughter to take to school. Now I’m wondering if she would like plain yogurt with jam added. Not sure if it is any cheaper normally, but if there is a sale it might be!

  33. I always admire your floral arrangements, I do not have a green thumb at all!

    Our biggest frugal accomplishment this week was to do our own tax returns for the first time! Saved us $250!
    I completed our DYI invitations which I mentioned last week. Unfortunately, the printer ruined our last envelope. Instead of buying a whole new pack, I will make one out of cardstock we already have. We also bought my husband’s suit for the party at an outlet mall. We got pants, suit jacket, shirt, vest and tie for less than a new pants/ jacket combo would cost.
    I bought lunch out twice this week (I have time off work at the moment and like to splurge a little bit, this is definitely not the norm!) and used vouchers. We went out for ice cream once using a gift card my husband had.
    We received a parcel from my parents overseas filled with sweets. Them and my grandparents love spoiling us, I actually prefer sweets “from home” compared to what I can buy here and it means we hardly ever spend money on sweets. 🙂
    We picked up more fruit from one of the free stands around the city.
    I thought about the “usual things” that have become second nature in our household: washing Ziploc bags, using reusable containers for work lunches and leftovers, only washing full loads of washing and dishes, air-drying washing, eating leftovers, saving warm-up water, using the same glass for a day, combining errands, filling the whole oven when it’s use etc. These things might seem insignificant or obvious, but I love it when all of you share the ordinary everyday stuff because they’re easy to implement and often forgotten.

  34. I’m looking forward to reading about Ezrom’s Eagle Scout project.
    I top-dressed my garden beds with finished compost. I did this for all my potted plants a couple of weeks ago and I’m amazed by the vigorous growth this has encouraged.
    We went camping and I packed all food from home to eat the four days we were away.
    We were camping in the heart of peach country, so we stopped at a farm stand and bought a box of peaches for $30. This is $2 more than we paid last year. I live at too high an elevation to grow my own peaches, so this is the closest I can get. At the same stand, they had all their ‘ugly’ squash on sale for 33 cents a pound – I bought 6 pounds of zucchini. I shredded half for the freezer and we will eat the rest. At home again, I made two large peach cobblers (one I took to a church supper), 10 half-pints of peach jam, and 9 pints of canned peaches, plus we ate some.
    A package came this week that was stuffed with a lot of brown paper. I ironed the paper and added it to a roll I will use to wrap Christmas gifts.
    I cut flowers for the house.
    We are eating lettuce, tomatoes, chard, collard greens and a few raspberries from the garden. The chipmunks ate the green peas and are slowly destroying the carrots, despite my best attempts to keep them out.
    I baked bread.

  35. Hi all! Since we took our only child to her first year of college on Friday, last week was not very frugal.
    These are the things we did to save

    – all items needed for her were bought on sale – she has shopped for awhile for all items
    – made all meals at home
    – made banana nut bread with bananas getting too soft
    – filled truck on way to dropping off daughter getting .30 off a gallon
    – using dishwasher and washer only at full loads
    – grocery shopping alone and with a list
    – I needed some new sneakers and my husband needed work clothes so we made a quick stop at Outlets after taking our daughter to school. We both found good deals. My sneakers were half off and can replace my torn ones.
    – I continue to walk the dogs for free exercise, while my husband is a runner and does every weekend.
    – we met with a shutter group and decided to order so we can have privacy and it will help keep the house cooler. It’s not cheap but it will help lower our electric bill. We hope they can be done by the end of this month.
    That is all I can think of how we saved in the last week. I hope everyone a good, frugal week ahead!

  36. I am “mostly” a silent reader but I would like to share my accomplishments this time.

    My husband started a new job in June (yay!) after nine months of unemployment. We’ve had more wiggle room, however I will never go back to the way I was doing things for. I have learned a lot these past months and I would be silly to throw that education aside. Great depression cookbooks, reading this blog and others like it and the generosity of others helped pull us through. I’m very grateful.

    Last week:

    I hung most of the laundry outside

    Made a batch of yogurt from a gifted 1/2 gallon of milk

    Made dish washer detergent

    Picked the last bunch of green beans, pulled the plants to make room for Swiss chard and other cool weather greens

    Almost purchased a new shirt online in the style I have been looking for. Decided to wait and I am glad I did. Found almost the exact one at the thrift store for 2.99 in excellent condition. Was very pleased. Also purchase two maternity blouses in good condition, one for $2.99 and another for $1.99. I am currently in the first trimester with No. 6 which we found out I was expecting a week after my husband started his job. Whew!

  37. Hello Brandy!

    What great classes your girls are able to attend. In our home this week, my husband finished building his large shed. It is 8ft by 12 and large enough for the tractor, lawn mowers, snow blower etc…He designed and built it himself so all he needs to do now is add the trim and paint. He probably saved about $1500.00 doing all the work himself and it is much needed storage.

    We’ve been working in the garden this week. We were finally successful with carrots but the children planted them too close together so they are small. For our Fall garden we decided to use seed tapes. After pricing them, we decided to try making our own seed tapes. You can find the details here: They just went in last week so I’ll let you know the results..

    It was my husband’s 50 birthday last week. We celebrated mostly at home. I made my husband’s favorite cake: carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Thanks to YouTube, I learned how to make buttercream flowers to decorate it. We had a nice dinner out and my friend babysat for free which was awesome. We topped off our night out with a trip to Barnes & Noble (because we are wild like that). I found a book on couture finishing techniques on the clearance table and I used my Barnes & Noble rewards to get the book for $2.00!

    Congrats on your Eagle Scout. I have two cub scouts. It’s such a fantastic thing for boys.

  38. This comment reminds me that when I was working as a medical assistant I wore scrubs everyday. But on halloween the clinic liked to come in costume. I desperately wanted to wear an all white nurses’ outfit complete with cap and I searched thrift shops but couldn’t even find a used white uniform. Oh well, it sure would have been fun.

  39. I would love to learn more about flower arranging. My husband often brings me beautiful flowers from the grocery store but I never know how to arrange them in the vase once they are home. Anyway, here are my frugal accomplishments for the week:
    -My roma tomato plants are starting to die, as they usually do around this time. I picked all the tomatoes that will be ripe in the next couple days and have them ripening now. I will make spaghetti sauce soon with those tomatoes. I left the green ones on the plants for a few more days. Then I will pick them too and lay them out to ripen. After that, the Romas will probably be done. I still have several other varieties of tomatoes that are producing a lot. In my experience, Romas produce a TON of tomatoes a few times and then die.
    -I paid a couple bills online
    -Used my parents internet to watch a webinar since their internet has no limit.
    -Attended three trainings at work this week. These will help me earn more money in the future. Lunch was provided one day and I packed my lunch the other two days.
    -Canned 12 quarts pumpkin
    -I harvested 3 5-gallon buckets full of tomatoes this week. I used them to make 3 pints ketchup, 4 pints chili base, 8 pints pizza sauce, 6 pints salsa, and 3 pints BBQ sauce.
    -Canned 5 and half pints pickle relish
    -Picked two canary melons, 2 watermelons, and 1 honeydew
    -Picked 3 cantaloupes that I made into cantaloupe jam
    -I picked 7 zucchinis that I will shred and freeze
    -Harvested potatoes and onions, which I curing in my garage right now.
    -Picked 3 butternut squash and 10 acorn squash.
    -I made cayenne pepper powder with peppers from the garden
    -Made 2 bottles hot sauce with peppers from the garden
    -froze 3 sweet peppers, 3 bell peppers, jalapenos and Hungarian wax peppers from the garden
    -Blanched and froze a head of broccoli from the garden
    -Made sundried tomatoes from cherry tomatoes I had picked
    -Dried Basil
    -Picked 6.5 pounds of carrots from the garden. I will shred, blanch, and freeze some to make carrot cake and carrot muffins. The rest I will store in the fridge for us to eat. They should keep for a couple months that way.
    -Made a double batch of lasagna. That way I could freeze one to eat later.
    -Made homemade pizza, which produced leftovers that we could eat for lunch. I had everything to make it on hand already.
    -My grandparents bought 2 half-gallons of orange juice that was on sale at the grocery store. They decided they didn’t like that brand and gave it to us. My grandparents were also gifted several soup mixes. There were two for soups that they don’t like, so they passed them along to us.
    -I found a grocery store that had 4oz tubes of toothpaste on sale for $0.99. Which was a good price here. So I went to buy the toothpaste and saw that they had several boxes that were marked “25% more free!” So I made sure to get 4 of them (the limit was 4). So I got 5oz for $0.99!
    -We needed a new grill as our old one didn’t work anymore. We decided to wait until the end of summer to see if we could get one on clearance. Last week, we found one for a good price. Plus, we had gift cards to that particular store. So we paid $19 out of pocket for the grill and some lighter fluid! We used the money we had earned from our yard sale to pay for it. We also used yard sale money to buy a new hand vacuum, as our wasn’t working anymore.

    School starts for me this week, so back to work it is. I will need to make sure I stay on my meal planning game so I don’t make impulse purchases just for convenience sake. We will also be spending more in gas, but it’s still well worth it for me to work!

    I hope everyone has a great week.

  40. Although I am a regular reader, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. We’ve had a terrible Spring/Summer financially. Things have not been this tight in our previous 24 years of marriage. It has just been perfect storm of issues between both cars needing major work (the newest of the 2 vehicles is 16 year old as it is!), our dog needing major surgery and finding out from our accountant that we owed considerably more in taxes this year than he estimated last year that we would owe it’s been rough and discouraging. We make a point to save up enough to cover the lack of a paycheck for my husband (he’s off during the Summer) however things did not work out so well this year and we went into the Summer without having enough saved. As a result we are in no spend mode and I have to make do with what’s in the pantry for the next couple of months. Glad it’s well stocked! So in an attempt to stay grateful for what I do have and to help keep me focused I decided to post my weekly frugal accomplishments.

    This week:
    -I was gifted two of the biggest zucchini’s I’ve ever seen which I shredded and froze for breads and zucchini cakes. Got 5 quarts out of them.

    -saved seeds from my cucumbers. I have so many that I may never need to buy them again. 🙂

    -I work for a physician and a patient of ours owns an orchard. She brought a large bag of peaches to the office for us to share. After everyone got what they wanted I was left with 6 large peaches that I took home and froze for smoothies.

    -my husband’s sister was visiting and she took us out for ice cream one night.

    -I cooked down several pounds of tomatoes that we brought in from the garden for sauce. I’ll probably make it into pizza sauce to can

    -speaking of pizza, we made our own this week instead of ordering out like we usually do. I made extra crust for the freezer

    -used water from our rainwater catchment to water our ducks and fill their pool.

    -harvested hot peppers, corn and green beans

    -planted more lettuce (black seeded Simpson and red romaine) from seed I’d saved as well as spinach. Also put in a 3rd planting of green beans and a late planting of summer squash

    -hung all laundry on the line to dry

    -we had some great weather so we were able to turn off the AC and open the windows for a few days

    Thanks for letting me vent a little. Posting my accomplishments has made me start to feel better already. I love this group!

  41. I am the same accord with early Christmas shopping. I aim for October, I am a florist and spend from the second week in November to the third of December decorating clients and businesses homes for Christmas. I found out years ago that for me to be able to enjoy and remain worshipful during the season, I must purchase gifts early, pre plan and cook ahead of time what if possible.

  42. Great pictures again, Brandy! The chicken looks wonderful!

    My accomplishments this week:

    * Cancelled a subscription to an online station. When I was working I used to listen to it every day. Since I quit, I never do. Saved $9.95 per month.
    * Last week I had made a large pulled pork butt for Hubby’s birthday dinner. We had a lot of pork leftover. I repurposed some of it for dinners this week. We had the pulled pork with braised cabbage (leftover from the pulled pork taco night last week) and fried potatoes one night and then I made pork enchiladas with sauce I had in my pantry that I had gotten on clearance. I still have another container in the freezer to use at a later date.
    * We ate a lot of pork this week, as I also had 2 boneless pork chops that had been a freezer for a while that I needed to use. The other chops that we ate when I first bought them had been really tough, so I took the remaining 2 and pounded them out and made pork schnitzel. It was delicious and I served that with braised cabbage and Viennese potato salad. (A cabbage and 2 people lasts forever!) Both times I braised the cabbage in bacon grease I had saved in the fridge.
    * I have kept up on my tracking of my freezer inventory. This has helped me to use up the oldest things first and with my meal planning, as I can just look at the spreadsheet instead of standing in front of the freezer trying to figure out what I have. This also saves electricity!
    * Made foaming hand soap by diluting liquid and soap 5:1 and putting in the foaming dispenser.
    * Filled dish soap bottle, but diluted it.
    * Put leftover potatoes and corn in my freezer soup container.
    * Paid bills online, saving on stamps.
    * For my weekly lunch date with Dad, I joined a loyalty program for a restaurant near him. I got a 25% off coupon to use. Also got a $10 off $35 coupon that I will use this week.
    * For Christmas, my husband had given me a gift card to Panda Express so I could get take out for lunch without feeling guilty. I was tempted to use it this week, but have decided to use it when we are on vacation in a couple of weeks and will need to eat out. Had leftovers at home instead.
    * Turned off all unnecessary lights and kept the AC as high as I could stand.
    * Used free coffee and tea that I had gotten from work and free hotel toiletries. Also washed my ziplocs and saved other plastic bags.
    * Continued to keep my budget document updated.
    * Had some homemade fudge I found in the freezer when I inventoried. Have been taking out only 2 pieces at a time to have with my afternoon tea.
    * Used a gift certificate we had won at trivia for dinner on Tuesday night at our weekly Trivia League.
    * Had some dehydrated strawberries that have been on my shelf for a while. I rehydrated them in milk and used them in my smoothie.
    * I may have already posted this, but I had a $10 off $10 at JC Penney so I bought some much needed socks for me. Final cost $3. Also had a $25 off $25 at Helzberg Diamonds. I got a sterling silver chain for $5 to go with a pendant that I haven’t worn in 30 years.
    * Hubby drinks beer on the weekends. I got a $20 rebate on Miller Lite. This made the total cost for 36 cans at $6.
    * I drink wine on the weekend and I found some on a great clearance and was able to fill my wine rack. 9 bottles at $2.24 each. They were on clearance for $2.49 and then I got a 10% discount since I bought more than 6 bottles. It is good wine too.
    * Got some Foster Farms lunch meat for 67 cents a package. It was originally $4.99. It was on clearance for 75% off, then there was an Ibotta rebate on it.
    * Put unexpected $100 check into savings.
    * Got free coupons from the local Kroger store, plus their free Friday download. Got peanut butter, a box of cereal and a Kind snack bar. From the grocery store that doubles coupons I got a free small package of Hostess Donettes. Also got 2 bottles of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent for 99c each. Also got some vanilla yogurt on clearance that I froze in ice cube trays for my smoothies.
    * My son came to town to celebrate my Hubby’s birthday, which was last week. My son-in-law’s mother also came to town to see them, so she also came over on Saturday for a pool party/BBQ. She brought us a bag of caramel popcorn and a bag of candy bits to use in baking from a candy shop in her hometown as a hostess gift. Usually Hubby wants to serve our guests steak, since he grills it so well. But I talked him into doing bacon cheeseburgers. I got the hamburger for 30% off and already had the bacon, which I had bought for 67c / lb. Daughter brought a pie for Hubby for dessert. I also had chips and dip already from when it was on sale for 4th of July. It was a very nice, relaxing day. Nothing fancy!
    * Cut up some more shirts to use as rags. Put them in an empty Kleenex box for easy access.
    * Hubby received a gift basket from his mother filled with snacks and 4 bottles of beer. The items came in a metal container. Hubby tends to pile all of his stuff on the bar in the kitchen and I needed a container for it. I used the metal container for that.
    * Hubby brought his lunch 3 times last week. He has been doing great with that!

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  43. Hello everyone,
    I am trying to get back in the habit of fugal accountability. This past week we have:

    Fought hopefully successfully with the insurance and M.D. office to coordinate my migraine treatment at %100; I had to follow the N.P. to the new neurologist as I cannot find anyone else in our area that will administer Botox for migraines. This treatment has worked the best so far at curbing them and making the migraines I do get less severe.
    Although it is over 30 shots in my head and neck it lasts over 10 weeks and takes 20 minutes.

    Purchased #20 of leg quarters for .39 a pound. I enjoyed Librivox’s reading if the Count of Monte Cristo while I separated the legs from the thighs. The legs will be grilled or roasted and seasoned like buffalo wings(with homemade sauce). I deboned and skinned half of the thighs the others half I froze as is, I then made stock with the skin, bones and other parts like the backbone that I would have otherwise thrown away. The 8lb bags fit perfectly in my largest slowcooker and I can just throw a bag in and shred the meat and save the broth. The 10 lb bags I usually process.

    We have harvested four gallons of muscadines. I am currently in the process of cooking them down then I will make regular jelly, muscadine pepper jelly and syrup. These will be used as gifts for Christmas. I am inspired by Brandy’s use of grape leaves to try muscadine leaves in cooking. We have had a bumper crop this year.

    I purchased a pair of jeans for .54 at the thrift store. These I will turn into two gift for Christmas. I have a two nieces that play the ukelele. I will make them gig bags from the jeans and my husband will creat two Collapsable stands as well. We are also making guitar stands from the same pattern for other family members. We have a pick maker and are making a variety of guitar picks out of plastic and copper sheets as well.

    I purchased markdown milk at $1.57 a gallon, we froze four of the gallons and grapes at .98 a pound.

    I have decided to make myself a Japanese style apron. This style has the straps that rest on the shoulders rather then the neck. My neck has been testy for years and I think this may help. I need a new apron anyways.

    I purchased at Sams club wide mouth stainless steel double walled bottles for $2.57 each. These will be personalized and filled with candy for Christmas gifts. Each year my grandmother gives me $150 to purchase almost 40 gifts for family members. It is difficult, time consuming and frustrating, but I know one day I will look back with fondness. The fellas this year will receive the bottles the ladies either jewelry or scarves I purchase wholesale thorough work. Last year it was crazy fuzzy socks with nail polish. She was raised in the depression dirt poor, that left a mark on her, so everyone MUST receive a little something. I would just add $$ to it, but she demands the receipts to guarantee I do not, I did for a few years until my sister let it slip.

    My eldest starts college next week. She has decided to remain at home. With the scholarships and the tuition assistance from the state of Louisiana, she is fully funded and will make almost $1,400. This will go towards books with the remaining combined with graduations gifts will be used to purchase a CD. No it will not result in a significant profit, but it will make a little and will not be easily accessed.

    The other two children will start school tomorrow. They have their supplies packed. My mother gifted my sister and myself $100 per child, which was used for shoes, supplies, fees, etc. It was a blessing for sure.

    I am a hostess this week for another baby shower at church. We decided on a brunch tea. I purchased the flowers wholesale from work and will be using my collection of teapots for decoration and using my collections of teacups and such for the shower. I will be making coffee punch and using one of my dispensers. I will also make a belly sash in lieu of a corsage that can double as a door badge for the baby’s room.

    I pray everyone has a blessed and frugal week.

  44. Had a lot of vegetable odds and ends from other meals—tiny zucchini, three tiny cukes, a wilting head of cauliflower. I put them in a pot with just enough chicken stock to cover them, cooked them to death, used an immersion blender to liquefy them and that made a thick soup, added two pieces of aging cheese and a half a brick of cream cheese. It ended up a thick, delicious soup that we ate for three evening meals. Was boring by the third day but it was worth it to use up items I would have thrown away in the past. This was my first time using cukes in soup but with the blending of all the vegetables, it was impossible to taste or see it, so I plan to keep that in mind for the future. I get a lot of cukes from our garden, so it is nice to have one more way to use them besides making pickles and salads.

    One of our electric sockets went out. My husband has helped an electrician friend with woodworking, so he called the friend and asked him to teach my husband how to change the socket. The guy refused, saying he didn’t want to teach someone that it was okay to “mess with electricity,” but he came over and fixed it for us. I offered to pay but he said it was a pay back for the times my husband has helped him. He explained that he wanted to help us, but just could not in good conscience give someone just enough knowledge to make them dangerous. Then he found out my husband is severely color blind and said that alone would have been enough to prevent him from teaching my husband anything—one color mismatch of wires and it could be all over.

    The rest of the week it was just the usual stuff we do to be thrifty.

  45. I found a pair of “houseshoes” at Goodwill that are actually house shoes, with real soles, just in time, as the soles on my old ones have parted company with the shoes, in several pieces. I follow my grandmother’s practice of keeping a pair of shoes for the house that are super comfy, but not flimsy or non-supportive.
    In spite of a late cold snap, our pear tree is going to produce a few pears. They are not good for fresh eating, but they make great dried pears, so in just a couple of weeks, I should be able to start drying them.
    My husband found a dime, and I found a nickel. They go in our change container to roll later.
    I was traveling to visit family but we didn’t eat any restaurant food while there. I packed snacks and a drink for the trip there and back.
    I’m making a birthday “card” for my daughter by scanning old photos of her into a collage. I’ve done that for a sibling, as well. It’s fun, and is cheaper and much more personal than a $3.57 card from the store.

  46. I’m trying to quit being so lazy about posting here although I always make time to read the posts and all of your comments. After 35+ YEARS of practicing frugality, I find I’m still learning. Thank you to everyone that takes the time to let us know how you navigate your frugal waters! I posted the ones that stand out in my mind for the week:;postID=1447726215655879865;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=3;src=postname

    Make it a great week yall! ~TJ

    PS- I [i][b]must[/b][/i] implement that bucket o’ weeds a day tip! So do-able in our heat and humidity (eating that elephant one bite at a time). Fabulous idea, thanks!

  47. It was a slow and easy week for us in our home but it didn’t stop attempts to save money! My niece’s husband died and I was reminded yet again of a time when we were financially strapped and one of the children passed away. The place where we worked took up a donation and we made a ‘down payment’ on the funeral service. My niece and nephew have no life insurance, were both working low paying jobs and have two small girls. Thankfully donations came in to help cover expenses for his service. We are no longer in the same position we were when our son passed away but this situation has sure made me stop and think about our children and where they might be in their own lives at present… Food for thought ladies!

  48. Oops — sorry about that. Well, I will look forward to hearing about Cyrus’s project — and Ezrom’s in the future!

  49. It sounds like you are doing great! Good for you having a good pantry, and those saved seeds will give you practically free produce. You have accomplished a lot.

  50. Your soup sounds wonderful! Great use of leftovers! Another use for cucumber is put them in smoothies. I slice them and put them in ziplocs in the freezer. When I make a smoothie, I just pull out a few and add.

  51. Commenting on Mable’s vegetable cream soup. I do similar things. If we get tired of it after a day or two I add it to the dogs food or mix it with scratch grains for our chickens. Sometimes if it is cheese based I will add it to my bread dough and toss in a hand full of chives to make garden bread or pizza crust.
    We’ve had company twice in the past week so meals have been a bit off schedule. I did bake more than usual. Leftovers went to the chickens. They reward us with more than enough eggs for our use and some to share. I cut the breasts from a big chicken and froze them for later. Pressure cooked the rest. Some was used for dinner with fresh corn and cantaloupe. Chicken and broth was mixed with leftover corn for soup stock to freeze. The rest was used to make rice. I cooked a pot of pinto beans using homemade salsa and tomato juice. My homemade yogurt was mixed with raspberries and some frozen cream and cream cheese to make frozen raspberry cream cheese yogurt. I bought a box of cheese bites at the dollar store. Used the last of a jar of peanut butter and some almond bark to make Butterfinger bites. I’ve only spent 47.00 so far this month on groceries. Trying to just use what we have as much as possible

  52. Great job this week! We planted 4 blueberry bushes and 4 fig trees this year. We can’t wait until they start producing fruit so I know how you feel. Our tomatoes also started turning red this week. Much later then last year. The weather has been wacky this summer.

  53. I had a pretty average week of doing all the usual things we all do on a daily basis to make the most of what we have. We went to our beach cabin yesterday to prepare the property to have some large cedar trees taken down. That was a lot of physical labor moving things out of the way and removing overgrown brush so they can get to the trees. We took a walk on the beach and I gathered a good handful of beach gravel to take home. I also picked a few wildflowers and a couple pieces of beach grass. Once I got home I made myself a beach flower arrangement. I put the beach gravel in a clear glass vase. The beach gravel worked to hold the flowers in place. I used the wildflowers and beach grass to make a great flower arrangement which will make me smile all week.

    Each time we make that trip to the beach, I stop on the way home and look thru the shops to see if I can find any good deals for Christmas gifts. This time I was able to find some high quality house slippers with good rubber soles. I purchased a pair for my mom and a pair for my daughter for Christmas gifts. They were $2 each. I am hoping to finish my Christmas shopping by the end of October. We have a Christmas wreath business and so I get very busy and don’t have time to shop for or make Christmas gifts.

    I am so very happy your children have all the great opportunities you share with us Brandy-such a blessing.

    This is the year of tree removal for us I guess. We had a few trees taken down at home and we plan to rent a log splitter in the next couple weeks and split it all into firewood. I am not looking forward to hauling and stacking firewood but I will be happy when I am warm this winter. If we have enough to fill our woodshed, we plan to share the rest with a widow that has a special needs son. It would bring me great joy to be able to deliver them a truck load of firewood for the winter.

  54. I’ve not had much time to focus on frugal things. I started a new job a couple of weeks ago and I’m trying to get acclimated to it. Monday is my busiest and longest day and I purchase lunch out – about $5 for a chicken sandwich and drink. On the other days, I’ve been trying to work through lunch then eating something when I get home,

    My hours will increase in a few weeks and I may just start packing a snack or little lunch most days to hold me. My hourly rate isn’t high so I would like to spend as little as possible. I have some flexibility in how many hours each day so I may rethink the process as time goes on.

    In the meantime, we are trying to eat some things from the freezer and pantry. I’m also trying to purge old stuff from the freezer (anything older than 2015 is being carefully inspected).

    I am already working on some frugal Christmas gifts

  55. Wow, thanks for the smoothie suggestion, Laurie in AZ! I would never have thought of that and since I just harvested 27 more cukes today, I will be freezing slices tonight!

  56. First I have to say I learned so much about cake decorating from all the comments last week. Cake decorating is my nemesis, so I really appreciated all the tips people were sharing.

    This week I finally started harvesting from our garden. We enjoyed cherry tomatoes as a side with fish, I made zucchini bread and chocolate zucchini cake, and we enjoyed green beans. I also brought some of our harvest with us on vacation. We are currently staying with family for our frugal holiday 🙂

    Before we left for our trip I was spending most mornings at the park with my kids (free).

    We celebrated our 10th anniversary. There was something I wanted to get my husband but I didn’t have the money right now. Hopefully I can get it for Christmas. Instead, I got him a delicious treat from Amadeus Patisserie in Thornhill. The food there is truly incredible.

    I had a frugal fail. After painting, I thought new curtains would look better in our dining area. Then I decided no, don’t replace them, just wash them and iron them. Well, despite following the care instructions exactly as labelled, the blackout backing melted completely in the dryer and two sets of curtain were ruined. I ordered a new pair on clearance but ended up returning them. There is a reasonable priced set of blackout curtains at Costco, I hope there are still some in Stock when I get to the store next.

    We continue to research for a possible move next summer.

    I ordered foundation from Sephora via Ebates and picked my 3 free samples. I rarely wear makeup (aside from a quick swipe of foundation and a translucent powder with SPF) so when I get free blush samples they last a long time. I also love high quality perfume, but I’ve never bought a bottle in my life. I live on perfume samples! I can’t wear it to my job, so the samples last a long time.

    Have a great week everyone.

  57. I’m glad to hear from you again, Melissa! I wondered if you were well and how things were going. You have accomplished a lot for having so much on your mind! Great job!! Is your husband a teacher? Does he have the option of getting 12 paycheck, even if they are lower amounts? You have always seemed to get things together and I doubt this snafu will be any different. Keep your chin up and forge ahead…you can do it girl!! Sending prayers anyway, can’t hurt and will definitely help!

  58. My son has had to order his size 14 for years so I feel for you. I have a friend whose daughter wears a 12 in women’s. She took to buying men’s shoes and western boots.

  59. My son told me that he followed the directions on his black out curtains and it melted. I suggested he do what I do with my 40 yr old lined drapes…dry over the shower rod (I use a drying rack or clothesline but he doesn’t have those) with towels to catch the drips on the floor. Hope you can find new ones in price range.

  60. My frugal week in urban Seattle:

    -got a $10 Starbucks gift card for completing a city transportation survey. Will be saving it for a Saturday morning date with my husband once the weather turns rainy here.
    -took my kids swimming at our neighborhood lake, which is free, rather than one of the city pools, which is not. It is way more fun to swim in the lake, too!
    -continued to do all errands, outings and go to work via bike. We only used the car twice last week.
    -my sons and I picked blackberries, which are ubiquitous here in late summer (even in the middle of the city). Made some blackberry compote for pancakes and a blackberry crisp for dessert.
    -went grocery shopping once last week and kept my spending under $70 for the week for our family of four, plus a nephew who is visiting. (for me, that is an accomplishment…I’m super good about not spending money at restaurants, but I could be a more stealth grocery shopper. Plus food is expensive here!)
    -picked up another client for my small business! I plan to use the extra money to help pay down our mortgage a little.
    -picked up three new bottles of ACT mouthwash and two gorgeous dresses in my size from my ‘Buy Nothing’ neighbors.
    -surveyed clothing and school supply needs for my kids and realized that they only needed new backpacks and lunchboxes. They will need winter coats, but not likely until December and I can keep an eye out while thrift shopping until then.

    Feeling very grateful this week!

  61. Hi Mitzie! I hope to post the recipe on my blog soon, but am still tweaking the recipe. Generally, the easiest way to turn a regular meatloaf recipe into a vegetarian meatloaf recipe, is just to swap out the meat for Yves ground round (soy-based meat replacement) plus some extra oil. As long as there’s enough egg and oil to bind the ‘meat’loaf together, it should be fine to use any recipe. To keep it more frugal, I watch for sales on the Yves product, and then buy a whole bunch of packages and freeze them.
    However, if you’re looking for a veggieloaf recipe, well, if you find a good recipe, let me know! 🙂

  62. Hi J! With bunz, you can meet anywhere you want. Subway stations are popular, and people specify whether to meet in or out of the station (i.e. you can drive to meet or take the TTC to meet. I’ve met several people at TTC stations who biked there.) Whether or not it’s a station or intersection close to you, is up to you. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to arrange a trade. I tend to meet at Bathurst station simply because a lot of the people are students and because that’s easy for a lot of people to get to. But I have a friend who only does trades if they come to her station in the west end. In other words, you can be as picky as you choose! Oh, and some people actually have pickups at their house. But that’s rarer, and personally, I wouldn’t do it just as a general safety precaution, unless it’s something bulky, like a couch. Personally, I’m loving getting rid of stuff that I don’t want, and getting stuff that I do want, but you do have to wade through lots of unwanted things (like half-used bottles of shampoo) to get to stuff that you do want (for example, BNIB items). Best of luck if you do decide to try it!

  63. I love what Winter is doing. My daughters did their own wedding flowers and saved a lot of money.I did the one’s wedding cakes also. My older daughter regretted ordering hers.. was not happy with the end result and felt she spent too much money.
    I am just starting into my 3rd week after shoulder surgery. In shock that I was allowed to quit using the sling completely at week 2 because I am healing super fast. Already lifting 2 lb weights (my 8 oz corelle coffee cup with coffee is 1 lb 5.7 oz). That’s great on one side. I’ll be able to put in a better fall garden than we thought etc… but the insurance is only going to pay for 4 wks of rehab because of the speed I healed instead of the 6 that was ordered. Hubby talked to his company’s wellness center and they are willing to help me with rehab since we are members ($26 a year for both of us…think YMCA or gym). I am using the exercise bike Daddy gave me, a exercise ball that we got several years ago when my Cerebral Palsy acted up, hand weights my son gave me, restorative yoga on my Kindle and walking with Rascal that has finally started walking again with me (he hasn’t much since we had to put Kira asleep).

    Hubby is riding the motorcycle to work when it’s not going to rain to help save on gas especially since I have to drive 40 miles round trip to rehab twice a week.

    I ran out of wax paper, but thanks to Daddy telling me to keep the inserts of cold cereal boxes I had paper to use. Hubby eats cold cereal before he goes to bed in the morning. Doesn’t want a lot or anything heavy. Granola isn’t something he eats unless it’s a granola bar I make and he takes that to work. I buy cold cereal when it’s on sale and I have coupons that it comes under $2 a box.

    We ate from the pantry, following a menu that was simple, had leftovers 3 times instead of the regular plan overs as Hubby cooked too much and I wasn’t helping so didn’t catch it. He is thankful I am back to cooking. We had deep fried zucchini and green tomatoes this week about with a green tomato sauce with thin spaghetti. Zucchini bread pancakes with sausage patties.Pork roast with dressing and cranberry sauce pretty much wraps up the meals.

    I with Hubby’s help canned pasta sauce and tomato juice. I dehydrated bell peppers. I put deep fried zucchini half coins and spears in the freezer and a package of zucchini bread pancakes.

    The only weekly thing we need for the rest of this month is milk. I’ve been stocking up. Did a big score at CVS but it wasn’t planned as well as it turned out. I had $18 in extra buck coupons and 2 $2 coupons for Xlear(sinus rinse).They only had 1 Xlear so I looked at the vitamins, buy one get one…cool another thing off the stock list…listerine buy $10 get $5 extra bucks..price was below everywhere else so I grabbed 2 which was over $10 which also takes that off the stock list. Checked out…total came to $48.03 minus the savings of $28.49. I paid $19.54…63% savings !!! THEN the cashier hands me the receipt and tells me I earned another $20 in extra buck rewards. I’ll use it for the next Xlear I buy that will take that off the stock list.

    Went to Save a Lot… priced some things that I’ve been trying to find lower prices for, have one more place to check and then I can decided where to buy those items. While there I bought somethings that were on the stock list and saved 35% there compared to the other places I have priced those same items. I also noticed they had 50 lb bags of potatoes, manager told me they were running just under $16 and coming in twice a week and could order me some at any time if I want more than just one bag. I will call the produce farm I was going to buy from and see what their prices are since they are an hour away from me.

    Windows are open, AC off,even Hubby has taken to not turning on the AC in the bedroom especially while I am gone he will leave the bedroom door open (or I open it when I leave) because Rascal scratches at the door wanting to be with him when I am gone.No point of having AC on if the rest of the house is windows open and you open the bedroom door.He has also gotten used to NOT leaving a light on in the kitchen at night, just opens the bottom half of the bathroom curtain and the security light gives enough light to see in the bathroom (almost too much but we don’t pay that part of the bill)

    The rest is here

  64. Brandy, so you don’t put ANY liquid with it? Like, literally just put the chicken breast side down in an ungreased pan? Or put some lemon juice in the pan first? Does the skin essentially become the oil that prevents sticking, until the broth appears? I’ve never cooked a chicken, but I know I will at some point in the future, so I’m really curious as to the exact specifics. Thanks so much!

  65. Greetings from Michigan,
    I’ve thought about buying a solar cooker but our sunshine probably wouldn’t be enough. We’re North of the 45th parallel and get 200 inches of snow, on average. I love reading about your cooking prowess with it in your climate, though.
    This week I pressure canned more green beans. I also took my stash of frozen vegetable odds and ends and cooked it down into broth. I ended up with nine quarts that were also pressure canned. This opened up room in the freezer to start on the next round.
    I found two containers of cleaned, cooked plums. I used those and three packages of raspberries from last year to make a delicious syrup. I’ve been putting it on ice cream. I canned eight pints for later.
    My husband finally installed the solar-tube in the bathroom. I love it!! It makes it so bright and cheery in there. We have a second one to be installed in the kitchen. I can’t wait! We’ve been trying to turn off the light when we leave the room! We should save quite a bit in electricity. We bought these several months ago at Mennard’s. They were having an 11% sale where you get 11% back in the form of a rebate check to spend in their store. This week, I went there to spend the last of that rebate check on deodorant and hair conditioner and got another 11% rebate form! It’s turning into this endless loop.
    The water bill seems to have caught up, finally! It went down another ten dollars. I’m so happy! It makes me more determined to keep at it.
    I sold a few things on eBay.
    We got to skype with our son and grandchildren after not doing so for several months. Love it, bad connection and all!
    I’ve determined that I really only need to make two, maybe three, meals a week to keep us going. With different leftovers from days before, so far it hasn’t gotten too boring. This revelation has kept me from stressing about what to fix on the days I’m working the afternoon shift.
    I’ve been hanging clothes on the line, washing lots of bags and using cold water.
    Wishing you all a good week ahead!

  66. Based on my experience with power outages, hot water will easily last 36 hours or so, depending on how much you use.

  67. There is a link in the post. It’s a regular solar oven. That is a smaller roasting pan (I have a larger one that looks just the same, but it will fit a 22-pound turkey. This is a small roasting pan). I put the pan in at a diagonal and I can fit it in that way.

  68. Could you bring a bottle of water or other drink to go with your chicken sandwich? Fountain sodas are $1.79 to $2.69 for the smallest size where I live. Buying bottles of something in bulk (or a refillable water bottle) would save at least $1 every week.

  69. That is correct. There is NO need to grease the pan. All of that liquid is chicken broth! The meat just falls off the bones when you roast the bird breast-side down with a lid over the top (this method works the same in a regular oven too). The fat on the bird is oily enough. I poured a bit of lemon juice over the backs of the chickens after I put them in the pan, but not down in the pan.

  70. Can’t wait to see your post on your son’s Eagle project. Our son is just starting his project. I don’t see a pin board on your Pinterest link for Eagle “stuff” (invitations, court of honor decor, food, etc.). Do you have any good (and of course frugal!) ideas? Lots of the families in our troop cater a meal, but I’m not sure we can swing that, and I’m sure the invitations and decorations can add up quickly.

    School resumes this week, and I’m glad to be getting back into a regular routine after having everyone off summer break.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * We were able to find new shoes for our son for about half price by combining a sale and coupon at Big 5.

    * Made bread, granola, blueberry compote, a vegetable tart, refried beans, and a cucumber-tomato salad.

    * Harvested lemons; lettuce; eggplant; peaches; basil; mint; two cucumbers; Roma, yellow pear, and cherry tomatoes; one small zucchini; and some yellow summer squash. Also collected eggs from our hens.

    * Hubs took his lunch to work one day and ate at home one day. He also rode his bike to work one day.

    * Our son was provided lunch two days when he attended training for a mentoring program at his school (8th graders help the incoming 6th graders).

    * Continued to collect water for the potted plants.

    * Continued to keep the thermostat set for 80F and to open up when the temps dropped below that.

    * Mopped our floors using vinegar, castile soap, water and old hand towels in an old-fashioned rag mop clip/handle (like my mom used 40+ years ago).

    * Redecorated our mantle with items we already own.

    That’s all I wrote down. 🙂 Have a great week, everyone!

  71. I just made my Eagle Scout refreshment board public so you can see it now 🙂

    I did free invites because I had a deal but had I paid for them Sam’s had a $0.10 a print sale for 4 x 6 photos (regular price $0.17). I made the invite into an image and just uploaded that; it’s a photo I took with words on the right side; I will email you one so you can see it. It’s much cheaper than ordering actual invitations.

    For the decorations, I am going to go with patriotic decorations. I have some small flags and I will use those on the table (the ones you’ve seen on my blog for the 4th of July). I also have two round medallions I made from flag ribbon that I’ve used for patriotic holidays and I’ll use those too.

    If I have any decent flowers in the garden I may cut some red and white zinnias.

    I have a patriotic board too and I am going to look back at that and see if I can’t glean some more ideas.

    I have several ideas pinned for food, but it’s either going to be cookies or cupcakes or brownies and water. I’ve had some people ask if I need anything and I will probably ask them to bring cups and paper napkins. I am not going to buy bottled water; I’ll just have a big container with water; I have a large one and may borrow another if need be. It’s going to be outdoors at the end of the month, at night, so around 95º (so lots of water needed). I tried making cookies today and the butter dough wouldn’t even allow me to take them off my floured granite counter without them melting to put on the cookie sheet (this is dough I just took out of the fridge, too!) so I am going to try a shortening cookie recipe. If that doesn’t work then it is going to be cupcakes or brownies. I only have made rolled cookies in winter before and even then I have a little trouble with the dough but now it is a mess, so I think it could be the same problem I had with butter cake frosting, and the shortening recipe might help. I’ve never made it so I will try that next (I tried my regular butter dough today and I ended up just giving the children the dough to eat instead of cookies!)

  72. Friend, blossom end rot isn’t really rotting due to a disease. You can still use the tomato, just cut around and remove a cone shaped area of the end. Peppers can get it too. We give our tomatoes Epsom salts.

  73. Thank you. One of the reasons I wrote it up so quickly is so that my mom could see pictures and read about it right away. She is always so supportive of us, and loves to see what we’ve been up to. I’m glad you enjoyed it, too.

  74. It never ceases to amaze me at how hot is is there! Cookies melting on the counter? Wow!!!! I had so much trouble with the heat on my recent trip–ankles swelling, etc., I feel for you!

    It sounds like you have great ideas for your celebration. The red, white and blue theme sounds wonderful. If you had red, white, or blue sprinkles, you could always put a few on top of whatever you make to add the color, or just the goodies, as is, with the flags on the table, etc. or a colored plate, would give the theme, as well. You are such a creative person, it will be fun to see what you come up with. I always am amazed at how nice things look, even when kept simple, which is my favorite way to do things. Flowers always perk things up. I hope yours cooperate for you!

  75. Here in Canada, our milk product prices are a lot different. For instance, 4L of milk (about 1 gallon) is $4.27. I can buy a package of 16 individual yogurt cups (100g) on sale for $3.99 – $4.50, and that includes the fruit. The larger containers of yogurt are sometimes on sale for $2 but have less yogurt in them than the individual containers combined, so not always a better deal.

  76. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son a while back, and the current loss of your niece’s husband. Virtual Hugs.

  77. Being frugal has become a necessity. It appears my husband’s cancer may be back – at least that is what it says on his discharge papers from his stay at the hospital last week. He had to have the fluid drained off his heart and was in the hospital for 4 days. He is still dealing with a lot of pain. Now if we could get at least ONE of his doctors to answer our questions we’d be better able to get a plan in place! So, here is what I managed to accomplish:
    *Brought my own food from home to eat at the hospital – I stayed with him 2 nights – and drank the free coffee or water.
    *Have only eaten from the frig and freezer and only went to the store for milk.
    *Took on a couple sewing jobs in order to pay the smaller monthly bills.
    *Picked green and wax beans, summer squash, cucumbers and raspberries and dug a mountain of potatoes – after this last week though, where it didn’t get watered much or picked, it may be done.
    *Picked up the free bag of dog food we earned (buy 12 and the 13th is free)
    *Accepted a half bag of dog food that the old beagle can eat (unfortunately, the Danes have VERY sensitive tummies and I don’t want either of them bloating due to a food change. The emergency surgery for that runs into the thousands and I can’t lose them right now – they are what is keeping me sane).
    *Used a food distribution to add some needed meat to our menu.
    *I am slowly taking apart the old wooden play-set in our backyard. I reused the railing along one side of the cement patio to keep the dogs from running thru my plants and to hide the extension on the downspout. I still need to put the other railing on the other side of the patio. The deck boards I will be using to build a couple more raised beds and the really long 4×4 posts will be used for fence panels along our back chainlink to block the views into our yard with our not legal poultry 🙂
    *We took on a 5th wheel trailer demolition project – before we knew his procedure would be much more involved that we were led to believe. We get to keep all the appliances, awning and other mechanical stuff to sell or use in another trailer we are re-building. It is still here – I still have to remove the floor and the front storage area. My Dad is going to bring me a better pry bar to get the job done.
    *I [i]finally[/i] found some silicone muffin tins to freeze extra eggs and fruit in and I had almost exactly the right amount of change in my little change purse! This will make removing them once they are frozen actually possible – in my regular muffin tins they would NOT pop out even with running a bit of hot water on the back side or using cooking spray!
    *My husband took on a small drone job for today – it’s not much but every little bit right now counts. He is still very much in pain from his procedure so I will be driving and helping “spot” the drone to keep it clear of power lines and trees – I can’t fly it as I am not licensed so he has to go with.
    *Planted broccoli, cauliflower and some greens for fall crops in my greenhouse. I may try some carrots as well.
    *I also have implemented the “bucket of weeds a day” routine – it has really helped me keep the weeds under control and the job seems much less overwhelming!!
    *At one point, our poultry pens had river rocks put in them in an effort to keep the ducks water cleaner – it didn’t work and the stones have since settled into the dirt. I am very, very slowly digging them up and using them as “mulch” around a big maple and next to the house where we have had some drainage issues. I also laid down old poultry netting/fencing to keep the dogs from digging as they are the reason we were having drainage issues in the first place! Between the stones and fencing, hopefully they will be frustrated and they’ll go dig where they’re allowed to!
    *My son has built himself a new computer. My hubby and him are then using the parts from his old one to build me a gaming computer so I can again play games with my hubby and friends we have made thru gaming. This has been a very large part of our marriage – it was our date nights for the many years we played various games. We can no longer afford the pay to play games but he has found a couple free to play ones that we can enjoy together – especially while he is down.
    *I made a couple new pillows for our porch chairs out of fabric I already had, mended a couple shirts and put elastic in a couple more pants. I am going to need some new jeans soon as even with the elastic, they are falling down. I’ll probably use the can deposit money from returning cans and bottles to pay for a couple pairs from the thrift store.
    *I cut the dogs nails myself again saving us $10 per dog. I need new clippers or need to figure out how to sharpen the ones I have but they are good for another 6 -8 weeks or so.
    And I think that is it – have a good week everyone!

  78. Thanks for the encouragement! Once I sat down and really took a look at the situation I realized it’s tough but not impossible! It helped to write it down and get it off my chest so to speak.

  79. No, my husband is the technology coordinator for an elementary school so he works the same schedule as the teachers. He could have his check spread out through the year. It’s a long story, but he was laid off from the school system when the IT department had a “restructuring” a few years back. He was unemployed for 9 months then the offer came for this position. It’s a better schedule but with much less pay. It’s been hard for him as there are not a lot of companies that are looking to hire men over 50. So for his morale, he likes to seem a little more money in the check during the months he is working. All I can say is that he’s a wonderful man who deals with a lot of “stuff” at his job so that he can provide for us. It’s been a real eye opener having him work in the public school system!

  80. The same thing happened to me with the blackout curtains in my bedroom! I thought I was losing my mind because I could’ve sworn I followed the directions perfectly.

  81. Holly, next visit ask the farm stand for the tomato seconds. They probably have them right behind the stand. Tell them you need a large quantity for canning. Go earlier in the day when it first opens. Is this a daily stand by the side of the road? Those may be better prices than a stand at the farmer’s market.

  82. I cooked! I made garlic scape pesto and then another pesto with a mix of garlic scapes and basil. I made two batches of homemade pizza dough. I also made a quiche with a pie crust that was marked down to .50 cents at the grocery store. I love having food already made in the fridge that I can just heat up.

    I harvested Sungold tomatoes from my garden and picked the last of the raspberries.

  83. Heather Google Amish Canning apron… they have either a H back or X back. I have nerve damage in my shoulders. I think 1940’s apron patterns also don’t have ties around the neck. I bought my first one from an Amish lady and ever since have just used that apron for the pattern.

  84. I’ve battered or breaded cucumbers and fried like zucchini.Diced up them up and mixed with cream cheese and a bit of garlic powder for a sandwich spread. You can mix it with yogurt…it’s a Greek dip. Dad fries them like potatoes…does the same with radishes

  85. Brandy try a small ice cream scoop and do drop cookies, you can lightly flatten them if needed with a glass dipped in sugar.Chill everything and put cookie dough bowl in pan of ice water. A friend does this when they are living in Texas 6 months out of the year.

  86. Melissa I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. My father was recently diagnosed with lymphoma but had to be hospitalized for pneumonia 7/7 and they’ve put his chemo on hold until he can get out of there. I know how stressful it can be. Take care of yourself. Hugs & prayers~TJ

  87. Thanks Juls. I actually did end up cooking one sheet of them like that yesterday and using my cookie stamp. The problem is,
    my son wants some very specific cut-out cookies for his Eagle Scout ceremony at the end of the month. I want to see if I can make that happen.

  88. Brandy, your chickens look amazing!
    -My youngest is still away so no food, water or electricity for her.
    -Got free bagel and butter every day from Panera. Froze several because if I eat a bagel everyday for a month I will gain 10 pounds.
    -Did fire pit in yard several nights with my Hubby. Had s’mores one night. Roasted marshmallows another.
    -Used $5 in Kohl’s cash. My husband bought me a tablecloth for my birthday and it was to small. I returned it. Wanted a new one but happy to wait for a sale. Got summer clearance and got 2 new tablecloths and 6 new kitchen towels for $18.78. He had spent $30 so I still have $ to spend from my birthday. 2 of the kitchen towels are going to my daughter for Christmas.
    -Garden is doing great. I picked 3 cucumbers, a yellow squash, a pound of edamame, 5 pounds of green beans, tons of lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, sage, dill, and my first tomato.
    -Got gas on discount day. Saved 6 cents a galloon
    -I treated my son to lunch with a gift card I had. With tip we spent $9. Both of us ordered lunch specials and drank water. I even came home with leftovers. They were part of my lunch the next day.
    -My husband and I went out Friday night. We drove down by the marina. They have some cute shops. We walked around and looked. He offered to buy me ice cream. I waited until we got home and I made myself a cone. I am not paying $5 for an ice cream cone when I get a gallon of ice cream on sale for $2.
    –Victoria Secrets sent me a coupon for a free pair of underwear. That is all I got. Thank you very much.
    -Made crock pot dinner one night so very easy after work. Another night I had taken out a steak. My son ended up going out to his friends house to eat. I was so tired after work(it was a rainy day and 4 camps showed up at work) I just made omelets for me and Hubby. We had the steak the next night.
    -Found more change at work.
    -Line dried laundry
    -Used leftover water for potted plants.
    -Used AC 1 night all week
    -Did 3 no spend days
    -Worked an extra 8 hour shift
    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  89. My older DD was vegetarian and she often used a mixture of ground garbanzos and ground nuts, usually walnuts. It actually comes out quite tasty.

  90. Sugar cookie safely arrived to family members out of state. My back surgery appears to be a failure. The surgical pain is fine. My nerve damage is worse than before the surgery. I am so disappointed. I have been reading all the past posts. I finally found how to go back to the very beginning of them. I have enjoyed them so much. I actually forget my pain while lost in all of these great ideas. Puppy is a great companion while I rest.

  91. Hi Brandy,
    What a mess! I wondered when reading your description of the melting cookie dough, if it could be salvaged as a press-in pie/tart crust. A bit more flour probably wouldn’t hurt in that scenario. Just a thought 🙂

  92. Well no one here has a problem eating dough 🙂 (myself included!) I think at 81º in the house when the oven is on, it’s just too hot for an all-butter dough. It stands to reason that if you can’t do an all-butter frosting for a cake without it melting in our weather, you can’t do a cookie dough either. I’m rolling straight out of a super-cold fridge on a granite counter with a marble rolling pin. I’m keeping it as cold as can be, but the cookies won’t come off the counter, and I even over-floured it.

    There’s a good chance I’ll end up making something else for him if the shortening recipe does the same. Somehow I think it might not and it will be like the icing and be fine. I don’t know yet though; I’m using the counter for canning today, not baking, so it will have to wait until I can try again in a couple of days.

  93. A good place to buy large sized shoes is Nordstrom Rack. Also, I have a friend who is 6’9″ and wears a size 19 shoe! His mom found out where the Gonzaga basketball players get their shoes and calls every time Colton needs new shoes. It is surprising how often special-ordered shoes are never picked up, and how cheap the store will sell them. Recently she got him 3 pairs of name-brand athletic shoes for about $20 pair.

    We bled money on our house that is for sale this week, but made some frugal progress, too.
    I did all the usual stuff—getting better control of cooking, hanging clothes to dry, turning off lights, etc.—plus a few Un-usual things:
    (1) Harvested a handful of blueberries from a bush planted last year.
    (2) I will still own this house in a couple of weeks when the apples and pears come on–made plans to can fruit again this year.
    (3) A friend repaired a chair and would not let me pay him.
    (4) Turned off irrigation water a few times. The lawn seems fine.
    (5) We are not running the A/C at night. Since we only sleep here occasionally, it’s fine. We keep it cool during the day for sales showings.
    (6) I realized that I will never can veggies again. (I’m in my 70s). Placed free ads on craigslist for MIL’s pressure canner and my big Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Neither has sold yet. (I desperately wanted that mixer and then barely used it). We are majorly downsizing when our house sells.
    (7) My carpet cleaner needed a new hose. I ordered a used one online for $17.99 and free shipping. A new hose would have cost at least $9 more.
    (8) Remembered to turn the water heater off when we left our vacation home (where we are currently living) when we came “home” for a few days.
    (9) Two of my biggest money-savers are mending and stain removal. This week I mended a cloth napkin by hand (after all, I paid a quarter for it) and re-sewed some decorative top stitching on a pair of capris. I struck out on a stain, but lightened it enough that I can wear the garment…as long as I’m not out to impress anybody!

    The one unfrugal thing I did was pay my bills by check through the mail, instead of online. I wanted to be able to change my mailing address. I spent about $3.50 in postage that wouldn’t have been necessary if paid online. I’d forgotten how long it takes to write checks and round up the right envelopes and stamps.

    Have a great week, everybody! PS to Brandy–congratulations to your son for becoming an Eagle Scout. My son is one, too. (Once an Eagle, always an Eagle).

    –Maxine in northern Idaho

  94. My husband wears size 13/14 shoes. We have had good luck with New Balance sneakers for him….Rack Room Shoes and Famous Footwear. We first check the clearance section, then sales, and always try to use coupons!

  95. Thanks again for this weekly post!
    I bought butternut squash in bulk very cheaply and am using this with Swiss chard from my garden to make vegetable lasagna quite often. Pasta sheets are very expensive here in South Africa so my husband makes and rolls our own using flour, eggs (from our own hens) and water. Costs very little. I use cheese and milk bought on sale.
    When roasting butternut I make more than I need for the meal and use it to make spiced pumpkin muffins as a snack.
    I needed to take a plate of food for a ladies meeting. I tried Brandy’s White Bean Dip – yum! Super easy, all the ingredients from the pantry, and I served it with vegetable sticks including carrots and snow peas from our garden. A delicious, low-cost plate of snacks that everyone loved!
    Spring is here and my tomato and basil seeds are coming up nicely. I’m also getting carrots, lettuce, snow peas, Swiss chard, kale, celery, radish and herbs out the garden. The peach trees are blossoming too. I make minestrone soup quite often, using veggies from the garden, and serve it with homemade bread. An inexpensive meal my whole family loves.
    We continue to save water from the baths and shower to flush the toilet, mop tiled floors and do laundry and look for new ways to save electricity.
    I’ve been purposeful in setting aside children’s clothing to be reworn the following day if it’s not visibly dirty. This has reduced our laundry by at least one but possibly two loads per week. That is detergent, water and electricity saved and no one notices that the children’s clothing has already been worn! Towels get hung out to air in the sun daily too, and we only wash them every 10-14 days now (when they start to look and/or smell used).
    Something I am always amazed at is that there are always more ways to save, and every bit really does count!

  96. Melissa, I have thought of you and your husband frequently since you first mentioned his diagnosis. Good thoughts and prayers to you all. You both are such hard workers. What an awesome trait to model.Blessings.

  97. Becky, yes I too enjoyed reading about the trip. It certainly sounds like you have an active and willing to serve group of youth. I am glad you found a new church in your new hometown.

  98. Mandy, how nice you found free yoga on line. My girls started doing yoga together when they were in middle school and high school. The youngest was in 7th and was just starting cross country, as all the others did, and they had a new cross country coach for her team who was a yoga fan. The girls found some DVDs at the library and they’ve continued to this day. They even bought me a DVD of chair yoga. I have an aunt on my father’s side by marriage who turned 90 in January and she has done yoga as far back as I can remember back when public TV used to air a yoga show daily. She said she would probably not be up and around and moving as well as she does it not for yoga and that it keeps her young.

  99. I like the Urban Oasis name…you could make a little plaque and hang it by you front walk.

    11 children? All gone from home now except the one son you mentioned above? How many grandchildren so far, if you don’t mind my asking?

  100. Thanks, Janet! I’ve been pondering something similar. I always check out names I’m considering, and it looks like there are a few Walk In The Woods soaps already out there. I’d love to have some more ideas!

  101. Anne, I hope you can find a pattern and sew the outfit. It sounds like you would enjoy dressing up. I haven’t seen anyone wear a white nurses dress for years. My daughter Johanna, the RN, wears scrubs at the hospital she works at. They have a choice of 2 colors. She buys the pant bottoms but then instead of the top she orders scrub dresses, then she fills in the v-neck opening to make it more modest with fabric she takes out of the dress hem as there is always plenty.

  102. Maxine, too bad you are not close enough as my younger son has been wanting a Kitchen Aid. I use mine daily, sometimes more. I even have a 2nd bowl (it just stores inside the other) and several attachments. Good luck selling it to someone who will be very happy to have it, I am sure.

  103. Jessica, your garden sounds a lot like mine, except you seem to be about a month ahead on the pumpkins and hard squash. Back to school is coming up so soon! Our classes start after Labor Day but staff goes back week after next.

  104. Made most meals last weekend including Brandy Taco Soup recipe. My daughter almost knocked me over after basketball practice she was so excited to have some. Sealed the deck myself to save. Canned peach butter. Took our Electric car whenever my husband was not using it to save on Gas.

  105. I have a favorite recipe that is very simply rubbing spices over a whole chicken and placing it in the crockpot. Cook on high 4-5 hours, or all day on low. The pot will be full of liquid and the chicken will fall apart. Easy breezy!

  106. Brandy, the cheapest cookies you can make are snickerdoodles, and most of the recipes call for shortening. If you bake brownies, you could frost them with vanilla frosting and use red and blue sprinkles, if you have any.

  107. How about “Tree Hugger” or possibly or how about “feel the view” A deer lover’s friend or maybe Weekend adventure.

  108. Stephanie,

    What great savings on the back to school shopping! Tax Free Weeks can really help families out with a little extra planning.

  109. I stopped giving gift of items that you purchase or make years ago. Now I give the gift of time and often an experience. For my grandson’s birthday he turned 6 I gave him a coupon to go to the indoor pool this is a big deal with slides and shooting water etc. Cost for the day was $11.00 we took a picnic and we had an entire day outing afterwards I took him for ice cream with a coupon. It was an adventure for him. For my son and daughter in law who are parents to three young ones and my son is going through a very tough and time consuming training program I purchased them a couples massage and served them a nice dinner and baby sat. Total cost for both people to have a gift was much cheaper as it was bought on sale (check groupons) Everyone can give the gift of time. Wash a hubbies car to make it sparkle like new again. I help my hubby with his hobby as a gift and he really loves that gift.Life is short and money is just money but time is our greatest asset. And in the end when it is time for each of us to leave this earth the only thing we take with us is our memories. It is the main thing we leave behind as well.

  110. Gardenpat ,

    I just love your side business. I wonder if florist would like to have pumpkins with a small box at the back that they could add flowers too.
    This would work well with almost every holiday if it took off.

  111. Janet, my family [i]loves[/i] gifts like these. I think those are great gifts.

    I was reading a blog post this past week from a woman who said they no longer give their children gifts at all at Christmas. Instead, they take a family vacation. I have long wanted to do that, and I know my children would be happy with that gift.

    My budget this year is most likely going to be limited to whatever I already have on hand, so homemade gifts will still be something I do. One day I would love to have a larger budget and the chance to take a trip.

  112. Maybe you could contact the producer/shop you’ve bought them at? I’m sure you’re not the only one!

  113. Do you like having an electric car? Can you go 100 miles on it without needing to be recharged? I have wanted to talk to an actual owner of one to see how they liked it, but no one around here has one.

  114. I agree. Growing up, this was encouraged, acts of kindness and I have 2 specific ones that stick with me – visiting my Grandparents without my siblings. They both lived in our states faraway so visits were not often. My mom does this now with each grandchild, she she and child to lunch and out for an activity.

  115. My budget for Christmas is limited this year also. I made Brandy’s granola recipe and used what I had on hand which were dried prunes (chopped up) and coconut. I am eating it for a snack for break today at work! I made a crockpot chicken and dumplings and also added a can of mixed vegetables that I got for 50 cents, and I also tossed in some leftover navy beans and carrots. I used a can of chicken, since I am out of meat in my freezer. I made the dumplings like I used to see my grandma make them…. it was delicious and I am gonna have it for lunch today. I had made homemade tomato soup earlier in the week, using fresh tomatoes, a can of tomato paste bought for 44 cents, water, spices, and leftover plain yogurt watered down to replace milk. It was very good. I love using what I have and making things from leftovers. I trimmed my own hair, and did my own nails. My electric bills was again under $45 dollars this past month, which is unheard of in the deep South. However,part of the reason is that I have not been at home. I have been at hospitals and doctor offices, and paying, ya pay one way or the other…lol. My car gas, of course, is higher, with all the trips to a major medical facility, but I am not complaining because I am just grateful for new medical technology. I think I am gonna go to just prepaid talk and text unlimited cell service, which will save me even more on my phone, at least $10 a month. I have to use certain service because of our cell tower situation, but I should be able to get it to under $25 a month. Phone internet is spotty where I live, and I really think it is just nuts to pay an extra $10 for something I can barely use. The library is where I am using the internet. I think the library is one of the best deals around. I have one two blocks from my house, and I have one next door to one of the places where I work. I adore the library!

  116. Mitzie, I use a combination or cooked lentils and rice (white or brown) in equal amounts. I season the rice with soy sauce first. Then add the same other ingredients as you would to a regular meatloaf…sauteed onion, peppers, celery. Add bread crumbs and eggs and I use savory seasonings like parsley, marjoram, savory, garlic, thyme, black pepper etc. Put in loaf pan (I use 4X7 pans…several of them),cover with catsup or BBQ sauce, cover and bake half hour then uncover and bake another 15 min. Oven 350F. It is crumbly hot right out of oven but firms up very well when cold and makes great meatloaf sandwiches.

  117. Melissa, nice to hear from you again. Sorry to hear you have been having some troubles but I pray that it’s all under control soon.

  118. I cook a whole chicken (or just quarters if that is what I have) seasoned with rosemary, salt, pepper and lemon in the crockpot. I always serve it with rice pilaf and peas. The next day, I take all the leftovers (broth from crockpot, chicken, rice and peas) and add chicken bouillon and water and make soup. The lemon adds a great tang to the soup and it is delicious!

  119. I needed new drapes for our living room and adjoining dining room. I searched all over for some decent and reasonable black out drapes and was really surprised at how much they were priced. Then, I ran across some that were nice as well as reasonably priced at a Dollar General store! They met my needs completely. Whenever I need to launder them I will not put them in the dryer but will let them air dry.

  120. Heather, I love the story about your grandmother. You will have many good memories as you say.

    Look for cross-back patterns. Sewing with Nancy website has a pattern. There are no ties. These are the kind I wear, same as my grandma and mother did. Her pattern is very simple, but you can find more complicated patterns with more pieces, piping, etc. That is more the pattern I use. My mother in law’s (Amish) apron I remember had a yoke that joined up over the shoulder blades, did not criss cross but was still a slipover. My sisters in law still wear that type.

  121. Melissa, I pray your doctors will have a more definitive answer for you and I pray for peace of spirit for you and your husband. You don’t need any more stress right now.

  122. I love the More with Less cookbook as well. It is one of my favorites and my mom gifted it to me about 30 years ago, it is dog eared and splattered with food, but it is a treasure. No frills, easy recipes, basic ingredients, all I want in a cookbook!

  123. Thanks, Brandy. I just found your email (it got routed to the spam folder, so I’m glad you mentioned it here).

    I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of what you actually decide upon. You are so creative. I’m also going to spend time perusing your Pinterest boards and will likely borrow some ideas (although I’m not sure how adept I’ll be at bringing them to fruition).

    It’s just amazing how the heat affects your baking. I don’t remember having problems as a kid in Phoenix, but then we did mostly drop types of cookies so shape didn’t matter. I do remember my grandmother decorating a wedding-style cake for her 50th anniversary celebration (the first time I saw rose nails in use). She must have used a shortening-based frosting, because the decorations didn’t melt. 😀

    Thanks again!

  124. Dear Momsav,
    When you said greetings from MI it caught my attention but then when you said you get over 200 inches of snow, we much be neighbors. I am about an hour west of Marquette. Where are you?

  125. I was going to offer my family’s recipe for drop sugar cookies, which we usually ice at Christmas time. Last year I never even made cut outs. But if he wants something special in shape, that won’t work either.

  126. Cindy, I heartily agree about the library. I go at least twice a week to get books, magazines,etc. we have a new books and. They also have such programs and we take advantage of them as we are able.

  127. Melissa V,

    I am so very sorry for all of your troubles if you write to me privately, I would like to hire you for a sewing job and to help by sending a small care package. I sent a small care package to Brandy years ago when she was having difficulties, I believe from the Thank you it was very well received. I do Operation Christmas Child however, on top of that I try to do at least 2 to 4 care boxes for those in need and I feel your family is my calling this year. So please write me privately mountains2009 at g mail dot com . We will pray for you and your family.

  128. It is always amazing to me how much change people throw away or walk away from when they drop it. The other day I was at the Grocery this lady did her check out and dropped .40 when I picked it up for her and gave it back to her she said I don’t want it. .40 is .40 I put it in my change purse. Just two days earlier a guy did that in front of me at the self check out he left his change it was .98 he said he did not want it either .98 more in my change purse. Most of this goes to grandsons allowance, but I pay him at most .4 a day so it takes him awhile to earn the change others are throwing away.

  129. Brandy,

    Many of our trips are one night and the cost is right at about $100. So if we were going to give each other a gift at Christmas and a gift for Our Anniversary, Birthdays etc. We can just save and go away. We are going to California Maryland about 1.5 hours from our home we will go early one morning stay one night cost of the room after tax including breakfast $98.00 we will stay all of the next day and drive home that evening. We have also slept in the car one night just to see more things on a bit longer trip but we try to keep the room at $100 or below and we bring our own food except the one breakfast they feed us.
    I can’t wait to see California Maryland (Solomon’s Island) It is so very nice to do these trips and if you really set your mind to it like your trip to see the Canyon you can see a great deal of America!

  130. Gabrielle, there are some tricks with carrot seed that may not require the homemade tape; #1. put seed in freezer overnight before planting, #2. plant in a shallow furrow. Don’t cover with dirt yet. #3. Run to the house and boil a kettle of water. #4. Back outside, water the seed in the furrow with the once boiling water, when done, cover firmly with dirt but not too deep. This is an old trick so you won’t have to wait 3 weeks for germination. The seed will often sprout in just 3 or 4 days. Works for parsley as well. Good luck! Laura

  131. I put it all in a jar and save it up for a day out with the family or towards a vacation. I always thank God for whatever I find whether it is a penny or a $100.

  132. I would love to find a hotel room to fit 10 people, but most are no more than 4. 6 is usually the max, and those are more than $100 (so most things would mean camping). Driving to my brother’s wedding in Los Angeles cost us several hundred in gas (our van fits us all but only gets 8 mpg in the city and 12 on the freeway); we stayed one night and it was very pricey (and I shopped around, but there weren’t many options that weren’t several hours from the wedding). Those two things make it much more expensive for us; add in the fact that we are 4-5 hours from major cities in any direction (excepting St. George, which isn’t really a major city)–you have to leave the state to see anything–and it gets expensive. We did the drive to the Grand Canyon and back in one day because we really wanted to take our exchange student, but it was over 10 hours of driving in one day (so we didn’t have to pay for a hotel or to camp) and it was really too much for one day. It was several hundred dollars in gas to go. My husband felt strongly that my friend’s son saw something of the country while he was here, and my husband had always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. We spent just a few hours there before turning around to drive home. I don’t think we’ll attempt to do that much driving in one day again, so any other trips like that would require an overnight stay. In 17 years of marriage, we’ve only taken our children on three trips–that one day trip, to my brother’s wedding, and to Utah (where we stayed with a nephew and his family). (All have been shared on the blog; the other two were in 2013 in July and September; we brought our food on all our trips).

    Honestly, I would love to take more trips; we have lots of vacation ideas, but that’s money we simply don’t have. Right now I will be happy to have enough to pay next month’s bills. I’m doing what I can to keep our utilities as low as possible; August is our highest utility month for the year. My water, gas, and electric bills will be around $720 this month.

    My parents have been doing more experience gifts with our children rather than toys, and my children appreciate them a lot. They like the date with grandma and grandpa out to lunch and one small gift rather than a bunch of toys. My parents didn’t used to do this, but we have been delighted with the switch to this, so I think it’s great that you’re doing that with your grandchildren.

  133. I too hope your pain becomes more manageable. I have chronic back pain, too. Good days and bad days. I wish you more good days!

  134. I would love to hear what blogs you enjoy. I read yours every week and truly enjoy it. There are so many good ideas and I appreciate your positive attitude. I’m trying to fill my life with more good.

  135. Dear Brandy,

    I am so very sorry that money is so tight right now and I also apologize I did not realize you are so very secluded where you live. I am blessed to live just 11 miles outside of Washington DC there are many states within driving distance and we have a vehicle that get 33 to 45 miles to the gallon so it is not unusual for us to see two National Parks in one day. I wish I could invite at least your older children out to see some of this great history of our nation. However, it is my sons home and they don’t want guest. They are too worried that twin baby girls would get sick at this point with every thing brought into the home they go crazy cleaning.
    They are so cute I don’t want them to get sick either. However the three grandchildren constantly with needs at 60 and almost 70 years old is also why we need the adventures. I was so very busy always working until I hit about 48 then I decided one day per week we would take off and just go do what we could. It all started with a walk down the road into the woods. It can be anything but we always get out. It is our time together.

  136. love your blog, I try to save money on different things, but some times, i am not that constat, trying to be on track
    1.- I brought lunch to my job 4 days this week
    2.- cook dinner at home
    3.- my washing machine broke, so instead of buying one we send it to fix, it wasnt cheap, but at least cheaper than buy one brand new 🙁
    4.- went to the park with my toddlers, and we saw lime threes, so we pick up like one kilo of limes for free.
    5.-my boss had a meating, and she brought to the office all the sodas that they didnt use on the meeting, so all the coworkers could enjoy them
    6.- went to my parenst house and we ate pizza with them
    7.- my parents gave us one pund of cheese.
    8.- had 20% of discount at the mall for back to school supplies for my kids.

    thats all i can remember, hope to keep saving.

  137. Brandy,

    I know you said you needed copy paper this is the best deal you will find all year.
    Staples Copy Paper 3-pack, 750 total sheets – $8.99
    Submit the $8.74 Mail-In Rebate (will print on receipt)
    $0.25 after rebate

  138. Las Vegas is just in the middle of nowhere, really. You have so many wonderful things to see where you live! A friend of mine lives near D.C. as well and shares some great places he visits with his family on Facebook; I enjoy seeing all of them.

    The west side of the country is very different from the east. For fun, check out Las Vegas on Google Earth, and you can see how far away it is from everything–and every direction is desert as far as you can see.

  139. Thanks to everyone who gave advice on blossom end rot. It has been difficult to keep up with the watering as it’s been so dry and hot (for here) so although I tried to keep up with the watering, it might be water. Thanks Brandy for that suggestion. Athanasia, I have one more tomato with it so will cut around it and eat the good part. My mother used to use tums for the tomatoes so that’s why! We are heading into an early fall so I will keep all of the advice in mind for next year… Thanks, everyone!

  140. Brandy,
    Since my kids have food allergies (but not the same ones), I always roll my dough between sheets of parchment, sometimes floured. Maybe try that, and then put the parchment directly on your cookie sheet. If you’re using a cookie cutter, you can just peel away the excess dough. FWIW I’m in Utah and my house is also at 81.

  141. Woohoo! In our house, it’s always exciting when someone passes an oral challenge! Congrats to your daughter.

  142. I have been using those from Dollar General now for several years. They are inexpensive enough I can cover out windows and nice enough to look really well. They did help lower our summer bills enough per month to more than pay for their cost. Now and then Target puts their panels on sale for about the same cost as those at Dollar General. I have only ever hung mine on the line wen I washed.

Leave a Reply

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