I harvested tomatoes, garlic chives, basil, and peppermint from my garden (the raita in the recipe below includes mint from my garden. The recipes are from the blog Tea for Tumeric).

I removed tomato plants that had died in my garden and sowed seeds for cucumbers and Red Noodle beans.

I purchased several pots on clearance at Sam’s Club for $16.18 each. I had previously purchased 4 of these earlier this year.

I found chicken quarters on manager’s special for $0.79 a pound, so I bought several packages. I don’t usually see manager’s special prices this low, so I was delighted. I also bought 20 pounds of pasta ( the limit was 20) on sale for $0.50 a pound.

I took my daughter to the Dillard’s clearance center. She found a homecoming dress for $17. I also bought myself a red velvet dress that I can wear this winter for $17.

Hurricane Hilary brought rain and much cooler temperatures here. I took advantage of this and pulled weeds, sowed seeds for parsley and Armenian cucumbers, and planted two replacement trees for ones that had died. I purchased one of those trees on sale for $20 off.

I purchased two bushes to replace those that died this summer for 50% off, saving another $20. This summer has been very hard on plants here; everyone in my local gardening groups has had plants die like never before. I still have more plants to replace, but this was a good start.

I turned off my drip irrigation for several days and put out buckets to collect rain.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. We are in preparation for our daughter’s wedding next month. I am sewing a bunting that will be used in the decor and collecting vases from my Buy Nothing group. I tried on my dress, which I wore to our son’s wedding 6 years ago. It still fits and I’m as happy with it now as I was then. My husband will wear the same suit he purchased for our son’s wedding. I have moments of feeling bad that I’m not buying a new dress, since I feel it’s “expected,” but I really do love the dress and I hate shopping. It’s a classic style dress in navy blue so I think it won’t stand out as worn previously. Bonus is that it cost $25, as it was final clearance at a bridal shop. For a floor length formal gown, $25 is an absolute bargain! I asked my daughter what she felt about me wearing it and she was very happy. Having spent time in places like Haiti, Rwanda, and Sudan, she fully knows the privilege that we live in here.
    The tomatoes and cucumbers are ripening thick and fast. I love the ease of making meals because the vegetable part is all taken care of. Then I go out and eat a few berries picked while I’m watering.
    I realised that the reason the tidy up bug hits me in the summer is that during the cooler months I am outdoors more. I tend to stay inside in the heat of the summer. So the cleaning/sorting/donating etc goes on. I have repurposed some things around the house that I’m very happy with. Going through my things reminds me what I have so I can better use it (I found the clear food gift bags!). I have better organized my gift stash, separating it into 2 sections, one for general gift items and one with items labeled for specific people and occasion. I’ve also sorted my ebay items into “listed” and “not listed.” I used to keep it all in one box, but it was too easy to overlook items that needed to be listed. I don’t buy much to sell, but I do try and sell things that we are finished with or that we’ve been given that we don’t need. For example I picked up a one gallon glass jar in a free pile and used it for a while and then didn’t need it. I sold it for $5 on FB marketplace this weekend. $5 isn’t much, but multiple $5’s do add up over time.

  2. I hope the hurricane did not affect you and it provided more water to the lake.

    It’s been an indoor and outdoor week , we have had all sorts of weather this week from hot and sunny to storms and high wind so indoors. Autumn has arrived with misty damp mornings. The temperature is going to drop from Thursday.

    I checked all the winter clothes and washed some and hung them on the line to refresh them . I will wash all the bedding and towels on Wednesday.

    I defrosted the freezer and made an inventory, I found an unlabelled container of what I though was mince, we had it for dinner the next day, it turned out to be lamb stew and it was very nice.

    I found some potatoes in the veg draw well past there best so l boiled up a large pot and made mash with them, and froze then in portion size containers. I harvested 5 cauliflowers, we not keen on frozen cauliflower so I made soup with them and froze it ready for colder days. I am freezing french beans .I baked fairy cakes one small cake is a smaller portion than a piece of cake.

    I have harvested french beans, runner beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, blackberries, rosehips and hazelnuts . The hazelnuts need to ripen but I have to beat the squirrels to them. The squirrels eat the house and car wiring so we don’t want to encourage them to come near to the house. I have trimmed the hazel and mallow ready for winter. The hedges have now been trimmed. The veg patch is planted for winter.

    Have a good week everyone

  3. -Lots of movie theaters nationwide are having specials on Sunday August 27. $4 movies and specials on concessions. I’ve been wanting to see Barbie so I think I’ll go on Sunday. I live rural so nearest theater is 40 miles away but I can do a few other things in that town while I’m there. Bought tons of great 🎯 and Amzn bin items for only 10 cents each at local liquidation store. Original retail price $5-$20 each. Most for gifts.
    -We have one acre of pecan trees in our front yard. Normally in Nov/Dec have plenty to share with friends and family and still leave tons on the ground but maybe not this year. Tree limbs had grown over our driveway so low that FedEx and UPS trucks couldn’t get down the road. Even though totally wrong time of year had to trim several trees of pecan laden limbs. So this years harvest will be less and hoping trees aren’t damaged.
    -Enjoying Sonic $1.99 milkshakes each trip into town.
    -Just trying to stay cool and anxious for fall to arrive.

    1. We are seeing a rather big uptick in covid here in Arizona. I got it June 30 and was sick a week but fatigued and slow for almost a whole month! New variants= am I immune now for a while?? Who knows. I am being more careful so have decided to forgo the $4 movie on Sunday.Boo hoo. Saving money by cooking up what’s in the pantry and freezer, planning meals for next month to avoid extra grocery trips. Reading free books on cloud library,playing card games with my husband for date nights.enjoying sunrise and sunsets= more free entertainment as well as good for mental health!! Riding my bike very early before it gets hot= free exercise plus it makes me smile!

  4. You seemed so happy in the rain!
    * My tiny garden yielded green beans, tomatoes, parsley, thyme and basil.
    * I bought 60 lbs of peaches at seasonal lows. We had fresh eating and a peach cake, plus I canned peach slices, peach pie filling and peach jam for the pantry.
    *Boneless Pork Shoulder Roasts were on sale with a limit of two. I cut off two pieces to freeze for later, and turned the remainder into Pulled Pork which I pressure canned for shelf stability. They’ll be ready to go for suppers this winter.
    *I was asked to bring something to drink for a get-together and made iced tea. I funnelled it into pretty vintage jars for serving. All at very little cost.
    * Found a dark spot (hard to do in the city) to watch the meteor shower.
    *As usual: cooked our meals from scratch, baked our bread, dyed my own hair and manicured my own nails, hung laundry to dry, read books on Libby app as well as my personal collection, visited with my daughter, who is currently in Europe, for free with WhatsApp video calling.

  5. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Rain, blessed rain. So glad you’ve had rain for the garden and to break the heat. Good reductions on plants you wanted to buy too. Please will you show a photo of you in the winter wearing the red, velvet dress- I think with your colouring it will be lovely.
    It’s been a spendy week but everything has been needed and bought in sales or charity shop. I found a pack of men’s underwear in the supermarket reduced from £14 to £4, underwear for me in Lidl at £3.99 instead of £10 in M &S and the quality is just as good. I bought two pairs of knee length winter socks reduced too. I bought a pair of flannelette PJ’s brand new for me in the charity shop for £5 and a good as new book as a birthday present for a friend. We have an agreement that if we see something like new in a charity shop we are happy to receive them as gifts. I started boarding school with this friend at ten years old and fifty three years later we’re still friends.
    Inexpensive meals were tomato and red lentil soup, stuffed marrow and stuffed and rolled breast of lamb as a Sunday roast which has fed us for two days.
    We’ve used from the garden – tomatoes, blueberries, lettuce, beetroot, carrots, runner beans, potatoes and picked lots of flowers.
    We gratefully received figs from a friend, flower arranging supplies a friend no longer needed and swapped magazines with the same friend.
    I have been washing rugs, blankets etc before winter so I think our electricity bill might be slightly higher this month but I hang them outside to dry and I want to get that prep for winter done.
    Stay safe everyone.

  6. I think we got your heat, the heat index here yesterday was 119🥵

    I started back to work last Wednesday (first day of school is today) We’ve got several treats since then…received a 40 ounce Stanley cup, Olive Garden soup, salad, and breadsticks for lunch one day, we had breakfast and lunch at our department meeting Friday, and breakfast by a church yesterday.

    Received tomatoes and made more salsa

    I decided to use the digital books for one of my classes so returned the others ($40 versus $100, plus I’m afraid to get stuck with the physical books)

    The kids gaming headset finally quit so we did have to buy her another one

    The rest of back to school stuff for the teen was minimal, I only had to pick up a pack of socks. (supplies I’m not sure about, High School never tells until after the classes start).

    One payment closer to paying off another credit card. I sat down and made a plan for hubby’s stuff also

    Read and returned a library book quickly. I have one more on my desk I need to read before I get overwhelmed with 2 literature classes

    Picked up 3 big packs of hangars for $1.50 each. Now I can get the rest of the teens stuff put away.

      1. A bachelor’s in English eventually. I’ll have an Associates degree next May(if I don’t mess up in the next two semesters, lol)

  7. It’s been another busy week, but the temperatures were more moderate- high 70’s- mid 80’s F with overnight lows dipping down to 55 F! We’ve been able to open our windows all day and even overnight without needing a/c or fans! We even pulled up a quilt on the bed to keep us warmer! Just delightful!!
    Unfortunately, starting today, we will be back in the 90’s all week!

    On Friday, Dave found a post inviting people to pick pears for free for someone’s tree. So, off we went! Our daughter and SIL met us there and each of us were able to bring home over 60 pounds! https://pin.it/3vstGiV. Then, since so many others have been harvesting their potatoes, we decided to see how ours were. Instead of seed potatoes, we had bought organic potatoes on Flashfood that were $1 for a 3 pound bag. We got over 30 pounds of potatoes, with lots of medium to large size ones! https://pin.it/1dFjkmU. Last year was our first attempt and we got about 1-1/2 pounds! We’ve already thought of some ways to increase our potato harvest next year! So excited!! Lots more tomatoes, peppers, kale and chard! https://pin.it/4YAEvkg.

    On Flashfood, I found a whole boneless ham for $1.69/pound as well as some premade biscuits (6 for $1). I used those 2 things to make ham, egg and cheese breakfast biscuits! https://pin.it/6eIlz8s. Our new chickens started out laying 3 eggs the first day and are now up to 7/day! Definitely was worth the investment!

    Two more client quilts quilted up this week! https://pin.it/3Vw6XBY and https://pin.it/7pEg127. I just loaded the first of 2 more client quilts that came from a client in Texas. And there are 2 more quilts that have just come in from 2 other clients. So work is going well.

    I’ve been watching for a sale on peanut butter to replenish my shelf but I’ve wanted the 99 cent/jar price point. Starting this coming Wednesday, Kroger peanut butter will be on sale for 99 cents with their digital coupon and a limit of 5. So on Wednesday, I will be there for our 5 jars! Every 5 jars or even just 1 jar,can, bag or box of something that we can add to our pantry at this kind of price will expand it!

    The siding guy has finished cladding the upright frame pieces around all 43 windows and the painter comes on Wednesday to paint the rest of the window and door trims . It will be so good to have this outside project finished before winter comes!

    When I took new jugs of laundry detergent down to basement shelves, I brought 1/2 gallon mason jar of apple scrap vinegar that was ready to pour into a gallon water jug that I recycled after Dave finished using the distilled water for his c-pap. Labeled it “Apple scrap vinegar- NOT for canning” and took it back down to basement shelves!

    Abundant blessings have come our way this week and we are grateful!! I’m convinced that there are still opportunities out there for all of us! Hope everyone is able to find those little and big blessings/positives in their own lives!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Gardenpat I always enjoy reading your posts! It brings back fond memories of when I briefly lived up north (but in MI). The thought of snuggling up with cooler temps at night sounds dreamy to me right now, in the midst of our (what seems like neverending) steamy, HOT, weather. Enjoy!

  8. Like you, Brandy, much of my savings this week involved gardening. A neighbor, whom we do mowing work for, had an apple tree come down on a day of heavy rain. She asked if we wanted it and we said “of course!” So, for a couple of hours work, we got a truck bed full of wood – some of which can be used in the woodstove for heat and some is suitable for barbeque. We also cleaned up all the fallen apples (not mature enough to eat, unfortunately – I think these would give you a terrible stomach ache – but the deer and chickens will enjoy them.) While there, she offered me two substantial volunteers from a Rose of Sharon which I happily took. Another neighbor offered me a 3-4 foot high and wide blueberry bush from some uninhabited property she owns. I dug it up and replanted it with 4 others she has given me in the past. Growing all under it was princess pine (clubmoss or ground pine) so I got a bit of it in the digging up process and replanted it in several places around my property. I have a bit of it in the deep woods but this was growing in part sun so it will be fun to see where it does best here. While on a walk in the woods, I found a portion of a tree where the branch had come off of the trunk. Over time, the center of the branch has decomposed leaving a nice hole. When placed on its side, it created a beautiful natural planter which I filled with a little fern from the woods and placed in a shady spot on the path to my bee yard. Free plants and the fun of experimenting – some of my favorite things. 🙂
    Re-sowed lettuce and spinach in the kitchen garden to extend the season. We ate lots of tomatoes, peppers of various types, herbs, Swiss chard, onions and cucumbers all from the garden in a multitude of ways. My husband went to the grocery store to buy B1G1 free pork loin but that was it.
    Moved our young pullets in with the adult flock – so far, so good. Not a money-saver now but means they are getting older and closer to laying eggs for us which we are so grateful for. Our flock of 26 keeps us and other in the most delicious eggs I can imagine and they make me laugh with their silly antics. I have thanked chickens many times for their cheap therapy 18 years I have owned them.
    Took our 4 month old puppy to the dog park at our county’s Humane Society. We were there with our current foster kittens for their shots and worming and took the opportunity to try out the dog park while they had their appointment. It is a lovely place which benefits the many good deeds the HS undertakes. It was inexpensive for a day pass and I looked at it as an inexpensive training session for her. She is the first dog we have had that will be an only dog (as a puppy, anyway) so learning how to be around other dogs is an important skill she may not get at home. She did wonderfully and we had a great time chatting with all the dog parents – almost all of whom were visiting here to escape the heat elsewhere.
    Bought a few library books at the on-going Friends of the Library sale which are appropriate to re-sell in my neighbor’s antique booth. I have done this many times before and it makes a nice profit percentage-wise.
    The excitement of the week in our little holler was the appearance of a bear in the yard of our nearest neighbor (nearest being a relative term – they are a quarter of a mile down the road or so.) She has lived there for the 46 years of their marriage (he all of his life) and have never seen a bear in the yard. She called me to make sure my boys were not on their way down their, as they often are at that time, to help her and I am glad they weren’t. But, it led to a good conversation on what to do should they encounter a bear. Fortunately, we have black bears here – not grizzlies. I saw a fox out one morning while walking the ridge trail with my dog. It takes my breath away to see wild animals – for both the beauty of seeing a creature totally free and for the respect of how challenging their lives must be at times, at least from our perspective. I am constantly grateful for all the wild beauty that surrounds me and that I live among. And that I can live happily with an “entertainment budget” of pretty much $0. 🙂
    Wishing everyone a lovely week, as always!

    1. How nice to get the Rose of Sharon plants! I saw some at a nursery in Colorado that had been pruned to be standards. They were $307 each! I think getting new ones from friends is wonderful!

      1. Wow! I had no idea Rose of Sharon could be so pricey. They are doing well in their new spot so, fingers crossed. 🙂

      2. A couple in my building always do the plantings at the front of the building and they do an incredible job. Today I stopped to chat and she was showing me all the new blooms and one is a lovely “Rose of Sharon” which someone had given her to plant and it has done really well and the blooms are a beautiful mauve/pink. I told her about the price you quoted and she was shocked – we see them everywhere here – they even grow wild and are always a lovely shot of colourin parks and conservation areas.

    2. Mountain Mama Dawn,
      I love reading what you write. I love the wildlife where we are at as well. A deer had her fawns in our fenced area where we keep our chickens. It is a large area. The mama has been visiting her fawn that is still in there and its siblings have been visiting thru the fence. My husband tried opening the door to the fence to let it out. But it hid instead of leaving. We don’t want to open the fence night. We are afraid coyotes would come in and get it as well as our chickens. We think is it drinking the water that we leave for the chickens and the feed as well. My husband put out more water for it. I hope it jumps out with its mama soon. Although, it might be safer where it is.

    3. Dawn –

      What a coincidence that you mentioned the Rose of Sharon! We have had them in the lawns of our last two homes and we hope to plant one this Spring. They grow very quickly here in our area of Texas. For me, they’re sentimental as my grandmother and mother always had them. So fun that you mention them also!

      1. Love the sentimentality that so many plants evoke. For me, it is wild honeysuckle (grew along the fence of the house I grew up in and I used to hide inside the tunnel it made) and any old-fashioned roses (they were everywhere in my great-grandmother’s yard and the smell alone just takes me back there.) Thanks for sharing your memories, Carolyn!

    4. My in-laws had a wall of Rose of Sharon along their back fence in Pennsylvania . My husband has tried to grow them here in Illinois, but to no avail. Not sure why? Just wanted to say, I enjoy your posts very much!

      1. I grew up with them in Illinois (Chicago area). Plant in mid/late spring around Mother’s Day and they need to be in the direct sun here. I’d water for the first few weeks if we don’t get rain and/or if there’s a drought during the first summer. After that, they’ve all flourished without any attention but you can prune them if you like. If you’re in southern Illinois, they might want some shade, though. If none of the above is helpful, maybe test your soil?

        1. Laure, thank you for the tips! I would love to be able to grow them! He plants them along the back fence, which is mostly shaded, so I am betting that is the problem.

      2. Thank you, Laura! We are in Zone 6a so kind of like areas of PA even though we are in the Appalachian Mountains of Western NC at 3400 elevation. So, hopefully they will do well. The parent plant they came from is about 10 feet high so I have hope. I have planted them above our pond where they can grow as big as they want. 🙂

    5. Hi Dawn,
      There is currently a black bear living at a 500 acre State Park which we live to hike at. Although grizzlies are much larger and more powerful than black bears I have read that they can be at least as aggressive. I suppose this is something I would have to investigate further. Still I always keep my eyes open and awareness when hiking.

      1. Absolutely pays to be cautious with any wildlife, you are right. We have encountered juvenile (not cubs) black bears a few times and they have always just run away when they see us. From what my neighbor said, it sounds as if this was the case at her house, too. I would be more worried about cubs and their Mama – the term Mama Bear is coined for a reason. In fact, I have a Mama Bear T-shirt my boys gave me. Though, I try not to have to growl or show my claws too often. 🙂

  9. I dehydrated basil and cherry tomatoes. Gave 2 friends bags of cherry tomatoes. They are going crazy this year. The garden gave me peppers, tomatoes, swiss chard, eggplant and beets. My second planting of lettuce is in. I had 3 salads this week. The 3rd planting has sprouted. I need to get my fall plants in but I hurt my knee so a little at a time. I cleaned the shower curtain. I chose a white one many moons ago. Bleach makes it look brand new every time. I got 3 sets of PJs on clearance at BJ’s that will be Christmas presents. I’m more then half done with Christmas shopping, all of which were sales and clearance. I haven’t needed to water since it has been raining every few days. I’m glad you got some rain too. Windows have been open several days thanks to the cooler temps. I made brownies and banana muffins instead of buying snacks at the store. We like homemade better.

  10. Isn’t it amazing how much difference rain makes?! I could see a huge difference in your garden pictures from this week vs. last week. Your roses especially look positively luscious! We’ve also been enjoying cooler temperatures and lots of misty rain on and off (unusual here for mid-August!), and our flower farm has been loving it. My husband and I have often commented that the plants do way better when watered with rain vs. from our irrigation, and then it hit us — it’s probably because our irrigation water tends to have higher salinity. So there really is a difference!

    Our biggest tasks this last week were to start moving forward after my husband’s job loss, especially once the two most critical to-do’s were done (applying for unemployment and updating his resume). He actually already had an interview yesterday (and a very promising interview at that), so we’re actually feeling excited at this point about what the future hopefully holds for our family.

    Here are my frugal wins for the week:


    1. Rain and a thirty degree drop in temperatures! The plants changed SO much!

      We are going to be over 100° again but mostly in the 90’s for the next month and a half. Then the plants will be happy again.

  11. I picked the banana peppers that finally ripened. I think I’m going to try pickling them for sandwich toppers. I pulled the catnip plants so I could plant more snow peas for a fall harvest. I picked a couple more cucumbers but I think that’s the end of their production. I have so many pumpkin/squashes in the garden (that I didn’t actually plant) that I don’t need any for fall decorating! I’m not sure any will taste good but if not, at least the hens will enjoy them. Speaking of hens, I now have 4 that have started laying. Soon I will be able to start giving out the extras to those that need them.
    I picked up a vintage sheet set and polyester fabric to make basket liners for my toy storage crates and baskets. I used leftover paint and stain to refinish a cabinet we picked up for free. It holds the pack n play and cots when theyre not in use. It fit perfectly next to a buffet I already refinished for storage of kid things.
    Other than a lunch out with the girls (daughter and DIL) we ate at home. The meal wasn’t very good for what we paid 🫤.
    I harvested wildflower seeds from plants next to the road. Next year I hope to seed the lower part of the front yard with all wildflowers – basically make it a small meadow. I’m still trying to convince my husband that the upper yard needs to be converted to food garden space.
    I transplanted more hostas from where the deer are eating them and moved sedums to that location instead. I also moved daylilies to make it harder for the deer to get to them. I added compost to each hole since our soil is mostly dune sand.
    I fertilized all my blueberry bushes and added more oak leaf mulch. Maybe next year we’ll get berries again if they recover from the gypsy moths.
    I made a new roof for my quail pen with supplies we already had.
    And that’s all I can remember – i hope you all have a good week! 😀

  12. Hello from Texas! Drought and triple digit temps continue here in our area of Texas. We’ve not had any measurable rain to speak of in the past several months and there’s no rain in the 10 day forecast. But, today should be cloudy most of the day and we’ll take it! It’ll be our first below 100F degree day in many weeks (at 97F). No longer attempting to save our grass (St. Augustine will likely bounce right back after a rain or two) and we’re focusing on watering bedding plants. Fortunately, they are all drought resistant and so far are holding up well to less watering.

    The raita looks so refreshing! And I always look forward to your garden photos, Brandy – truly an oasis in the desert. Surely you’ve motivated others in your area to pursue a beautiful and productive garden as well. Have you seen others follow your example and do the same?

    Frugal efforts:

    *Continuing to use insulated zippered bags and our reusable shopping bags for all shopping trips. Have found that the large insulated totes are great for carrying all types of items (not just frozen/refrigerated) – they hold many items resulting in less trips from vehicle to the kitchen. We had a zipper break on one of the totes (we were unable to repair), making it less than ideal for transporting frozen food, so we use it as a large reusable shopping bag – no need for insulated properties for carrying pantry items. Also, years ago I purchased a supply of super large reusable regular totes from Tuesday Morning for $1 each and they have lasted for many years and are easy to clean and sanitize.

    *Will mend a pair of pants for oldest dear son, saving him the cost of replacement.

    *Accepted the gift of a really nice like-new IronFlask brand insulated stainless steel water bottle ($50 value).

    *All laundry line dried, as usual. Definitely an unfortunate perk as a result of the drought we’ve had for several months – no rain days to interfere with line drying laundry.

    *Grateful for a local meat market gift card received this past Christmas. It was such a thoughtful gift and it’s been nice to take advantage of occasional sales throughout the year.

    *Continuing to monitor our electricity and water usage. It is higher these past couple of months due to triple digit temps and the drought. Our small town doesn’t have other power company options or off peak usage discounts available to us, so less/wise usage is our only option for reducing costs (along with ensuring our home is as energy efficient as possible).

    *Shared several freezer items with others, which created much needed space for items we will truly use.

    *Frugal meals from the freezer/pantry and use of gift card: Hot dogs (meat market gift card, and bulk buns – for now and freezer); chicken salads (rotisserie chicken from freezer on lettuce with fresh veggies); grilled halibut and salmon (great price bought in bulk) with veggie medley; lentil soft tacos; and, breakfast tacos for dinner with scrambled egg, cheese, and toppings.

    *Sweet treat for the family this week – oatmeal cookies made with cookie dough from the freezer (thanks again for the recipe, Brandy!).

    Wishing everyone a frugal and fun week ahead!

    1. I have helped others plan gardens in town and I have hosted garden tours in my garden for those who are interested in learning more. Most people here do not want to spend more time outside and are not interested in gardening, but there are a few.

  13. Brandy as always such beautiful pictures. I paid my mortgage off this week so I am now debt free other than whatever bills come in from my husbands stay in the hospital before he passed away. So far I have gotten 3 bills all billed to the wrong insurance companies so I don’t know what the true balance is till they resubmit the bills to the proper insurance companies. I have been eating mostly from my freezers but am going to the store today for a few things. I am well stocked on pasta but that is good Brandy that you stocked up, it’s always a quick easy meal for those times when life is busy. I did buy at Aldi’s last week a 12 pack of hamburger patties for $9.99 equals out to 83 cents a slice, as a single person now that is 12 meals for me but for a family this can also be a huge savings. I no longer buy hamburger buns I just use sliced bread a little sloppy but it is almost a dollar savings per pack and I really don’t mind. I am still using the library and not buying books less clutter here in the house and no money spent. I did order some seeds from a Mennonite store after watching a Ohio couple grow carrots that are more big than long I am inspired to try again. I also order Burpless cucumbers to try my sister loves cucumbers but they make her burp so I am trying them for her to enjoy. I’ve been enjoying spending Saturdays at my sisters house in the country they usually serve me a meal just leftovers from the fridge which is fine we enjoy a quick meal together usually just me, her and her husband they have been such a big support to me since my husband passed away 6 weeks ago. I was looking for a dresser that I could use to store all my bed sheets in and looked on marketplace saw one I liked but couldn’t get at the moment as I don’t have a vehicle to transport it without calling a friend, I did send a picture to one of my friends who shops thrift stores often and has a van and told her this is what I am looking for if you run in to one. A little later she texted me she had one for me, it was actually one she had stored in her parents garage.. she and her boyfriend brought it over and gave it to me free. God is good in his blessings. My garden was pretty neglected this year with my husband being sick but I did get some things which I am freezing till I get enough to Can up. My raspberry bush grew insanely high no raspberries on it so this fall I am digging it up and planting it on a trellis as where it is at is a jungle and hard to weed around. I still have my husbands cell phone turned on and found a couple recordings on there of him singing and another of him talking so I ordered a tape recorder to record those before I turn his phone off. The phone bill will go down $25 a month but I wanted to make sure I was able to keep those even though the phone will store them eventually the phone will become non workable. I also found he had saved every text message we had sent over 3 years and the library taught me how to print those out so once I get that done I will cancel the phone it’s a lot and I need the time to sit down at the library and print them all out as I don’t have a working printer at home. My husband had ordered 2 different pairs of Baffin slippers one pair didn’t fit one pair had a broken toggle string I was able to gift those to my brother in law who is having circulation problems in his feet and can’t get a doctor appointment for 3 months. We were unable to return the slippers because of the pandemic I looked up the cost today they are $65 a pair so he was grateful to have them and we didn’t have to pay that price, I bought them 2 years ago. I hope everyone is having a good and frugal week.

    1. What sweet things to find from your late husband!

      I am glad you were able to pay off the house and that you got the dresser for free.

    2. Glad to read that friends and family are being so supportive at this time Anna. Take care of yourself.

    3. Anna, Thank you for your beautiful post. You are accomplishing so much. I am glad you have the support of your sister. I love that you will be able to save your husband’s recordings and text messages. I will be keeping you in prayer.

    4. Sending prayers and encouragement your way, Anna, as you navigate through all of this. What a blessing to have loved ones to walk alongside you. Hugs!

    5. Anna, I am so sorry about your loss of your husband but I am glad you will be able to keep his voice and his emails (and all your memories). Best wishes to you.

    6. Anna, lifting you up in prayer. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. My sister lost her husband almost two years ago and she still carries his phone. I think the way you are preserving the voicemails and texts is beautiful. Congratulations on paying off your mortgage! That is huge! May God keep you close.

    7. Anna, I’m glad to hear you are receiving support from family since your husband’s passing and hope you will move forward surrounded by their love and care. Good news the mortgage is paid off, congratulations.

    8. Anna –

      Congats on paying off your mortgage! And what a priceless find … to have the recordings of your dear husband’s voice. Something you’ll treasure forever. Your Saturdays with your sister sound just lovely!

  14. Brandy your gardens are beautiful. I wish I had your green thumb. My plants in pots did great. My plants in the yard not so much, but my rose bush is beautiful. My husband’s grandson showed cows in the county fair, and he won some ribbons. I had never been to a cow show before it was very interesting but hot. I have been reading books from the library. I had to have some blood work done and all of my numbers were good and I have lost 19 pounds. Walking, and watching my portions is paying off. My husband has lost 34 pounds but he gave up soft drinks, I am not at that point yet. I need my Dt Coke in the morning. My job is changing at work, but I am blessed to still have a job. I am counting my blessings every day to remember the good in all the turmoil in the world right now.

    1. Donna, great job on losing 19 pounds! I have lost 15 lbs. and not gained any through vacation and daughter’s wedding, which is huge. Forward we go!

  15. The summer has been hard on plants here as well. Your IG reel of planting one of the trees was hilarious! Seeing you so amused made it even better. Last week while getting groceries, I found dogfood on sale for $6 off, and blueberries for my smoothies for $1 off per package. Two books were requested from the library. Swagbucks points were redeemed for a $25 gift card. I opened a jar of our eggplant caponata, so we could enjoy it with dinner on one of the hottest days. Cucumbers, tomatoes, elderberries, the first tromboncino, figs and zucchini were harvested. Tomatoes were cooked down into tomato sauce, and canned. I’m always surprised by how little it produces, once cooked down. Close to 4 gallons of tomatoes made three pints. Oh well, I’m still quite thankful for it. Two pints of tomato juice were also canned. A new batch of golden paste was made for the pups. Tomato skins and bits were dehydrated, along with elderberries. The tomato skins were turned into powder, to add to dishes, and the bits will be used in bird suet. The last of an older batch of nettle & comfrey tea was used to fertilize all the houseplants, rosella, dwarf pomegranate, zinnias and nasturtiums. As I suspected, every last hazelnut has been removed by the squirrels. Sigh. On Saturday, we headed to a family reunion in Eastern NC. I brought apple beet salad & cranberry quinoa kale salad to share, and brought water and snacks for the drive. On Sunday, I made stir fry for dinner, which included our cabbage, pepper, and garlic. The cabbage was one of the offshoots from one that was harvested weeks ago.

    1. I’m so glad it made you laugh! I set out to make a serious reel and then that happened! It was too good not to share.

        1. Glad you enjoyed it!

          I saw a post that day from someone who said she got more views from her post where she wasn’t showered while working in the garden than one where she was in a dress picking produce, and that people are over pretty and want real videos. I still love pretty, but I thought I’d try making a real post and see how it went. Then that happened, which I wasn’t expecting, and I decided to post it because it was so funny!

  16. Good morning to Brandy and to everyone here! We are supposed to get about .4 inch of very welcome rain roday. We live in an area of active wildfires, including the big one in eastern Washington, so keep your fingers crossed that we don’t get any (or much) of the T&L also predicted.

    I slept very poorly this past week (even by my ridiculously low standards) and have not accomplished much. I’ve worked mostly on reducing food waste and have had some success. I made dessert twice this week using pantry ingredients. I had to buy the peaches for the peach crisp, but I used a pint of canned plums from two years ago to make the simple cobbler in the More-with-Less cookbook. I got those plums by asking on Marketplace if anyone had Italian prune-plums I could pick. I think this would also work for apples and any other tree fruit that’s prolific in your area.

    There haven’t been any good grocery specials in a few weeks, although I’m going to go back and check the Albertson’s ad for pasta. Maybe I missed something! (Thanks for mentioning this, Brandy!) I was feeling a little desperate about my inability to restock the pantry, so I went to Winco and topped up everything I normally buy in their bulk foods section. It’s always the cheapest and never goes on sale, so anytime is a good time to do this. I bought rice, oats, dried parsley and raisins

    My daughter went to the county fair with the family she lives with for half the week. I love the fair, but it is soooooooo expensive. She used a coupon for $2 off the admission.

    1. It’s a limit of 20 and you have to use the coupon. You can only redeem it once. Here, the brand was American Beauty pasta.

      1. I couldn’t find it in the ad, drat! (Maybe I should check the app for a coupon?). Also, we’ve had very light rain for most of the day today. Not enough that anyone would notice, though. If we are going to get anywhere near .4 inch today, the skies are going to have to open and POUR. Brandy, I’m sorry you didn’t get more rain. I’d told my husband that you were hoping for more water for Lake Mead.

  17. Thank Goodness for the rain here in Central California.

    After a mix up calculating my paychecks, I realized i would not get a paycheck in August. Wow! I declared a low buy month and have done really well ( coming down with COVID helped.) I have consciously told myself when I was going to make a small purchase “It will wait until next month.” Other savings

    1. I have used what I have had on hand.I fixed a pop up sprinkler using an extra part I magically found. Fixing anything usually entails three trips to the hardware store. I was so excited for something to work the first time.
    2. I made a great sweet popcorn recipe and took a serving to the movies to see Barbie. I had three movie tickets from a past promotion. I also filled my Nalgene bottle with water and brought it.
    3. We are members of a gym and we went swimming in the pool on Sunday. I have been so hot that I haven’t wanted to exercise. I reminded myself to take advantage of the membership. It has a cold plunge which I am challenging myself to stay in as long as possible. It is good for the immune system.
    4. I refilled 90 day prescriptions through Caremark at no cost to me.
    5. I am in the second month of a Non UPF challenge inspired by the book UltraProcessed People. I have stopped taking my acid reflux medicine and have lost an inch in my waist. I am using up the whole grains and beans I have around the house. I am buying sale fruit. My food bill is down about 60% this month.
    6. I did yoga with Yoga with Adrienne youtube videos.
    7. I am trying to move at least five minutes every hour. I made a 10 min spotify “Dance off” play list have a dance break. It is a mood changer.

    1. Thank you for the reminder to have a dance break. I could do with that mood changer today.

  18. We are on vacation and staying with friends and relatives to save on accommodation and to enjoy visiting with them. My husband was even able to help replace the water heater that had gone out at the lake cottage we are staying at. At one of our stops we were amazed to see milk for 2.47 a gallon and eggs for 1.15 per dozen-sure wish we had those prices at home. We have eaten a few meals out while on the road but usually at the cheaper places. Hope everyone has a good and frugal week!

  19. I harvested what I believe will be the last of the bell peppers and cucumbers from our garden along with some field peas. We have temperatures in the 100’s here this week with 100% humidity so I will hold off on tearing out the dead plants until we have a bit of a break from the heat. Once I get that break I will pull all of the dead plants and sow fall crops – a variety of greens, bok choy, cabbage, peas, green beans, spinach, lima beans, broccoli, lettuce, zinnias and more sunflowers. We have a bit more of summer heat left and usually have a mild fall so I am hoping for quick germination in the heat and then a great harvest in more forgiving temperatures.
    I had purchased a pineapple, honeydew melon and watermelon a week ago. I forgot about the pineapple until it was far beyond edible but I was able to rescue the honeydew and watermelon. Once cut, I knew we would only have a day or so to eat them so I prepared a fruit salad to go along with dinner last night and froze the rest for smoothies over the coming months. I have never frozen melon before but I am hoping that it will prove to be a refreshing treat.
    We still continue to eat down the freezer. I made an inventory list and have been creating my weekly menus from its contents to avoid food waste. I pulled two quarts of spaghetti sauce for Sunday’s dinner and whipped up a batch of focaccia to go alongside. I am trying to use up all of the bread flour that I have on hand and that makes me excited for fall to arrive since it is the season of soup and bread – a favorite meal of mine in any variety.
    I pulled previously frozen black beans to go along with brown rice and some taco meat. This will make burritos for the freezer which can serve as an easy meal or even a hearty snack from my little boy who never seems to get full. I pulled all of my frozen bananas and baked 3 loaves of banana bread. I have a few gallons of blackberries to turn into jam and 1 gallon of cherries that I will use for some muffins I think.
    I have been wanting a pair of angel wings to display on the wall opposite my dining room for quite some time now. Months ago I found a pair in an antique store but they were priced at $775… a price that I found absurd. This weekend I was able to attend a vintage market. I bought tickets months ago for $6 and planned for the gas expense which was small. Best of all I found a rustic pair of angel wings that I adore for $55! I cannot wait to hang them and am happy that I waited to find something that fit within my budget. I am happy to say that I was forced to buy a new pair of jeans as the ones that I had on hand were literally falling off of me. I took advantage of a sale at Old Navy and bought only two pairs on clearance as I have not yet reached my goal weight. The delight in the dressing room was so wonderful and I am feeling better than I have in years. I am so grateful for the victories along the way that keep urging me forward as this is a journey, not a sprint.
    All the usual frugal things here…combining laundry loads, running full dishwasher loads, lowering the thermostat when we can, turning off lights, staying home, cooking from scratch and gobbling up leftovers.
    I hope everyone enjoys the week ahead!

  20. Love the summer watch list! I am going to check out Burn Notice first.

    On the frugal front:
    I gave myself a (admittedly pretty bad) pedicure.

    We moved DD2 back to her southern university. We had a moment of panic, but were able to fit everything into our two vehicles and avoid the cost of a rental van. To keep costs down, we set our home thermostat quite high to limit AC usage while away, packed snacks and drinks for the drive, used hotel points to book rooms, enjoyed the free hotel breakfasts and snacks, and used the Upside app for gas. I enjoyed a free trial of Sirius XM radio and three audiobooks from the Libby app (Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, The Secret Life of Groceries by Benjamin Lorr and Desolation Mountain by William Kent Krueger.)

    HH tackled a small plumbing repair.

    I refreshed a white bathrobe by soaking it in Borax, laundering, and drying in the sun. (Thanks to Carolyn in Texas for reminding us of this tip last week.)

    DD2 emptied the coin jar and cashed it in at the Coinstar machine for an Amazon gift card to receive the full amount.

    Now that the nest is empty again, HH and I will restart our modified pantry challenge. I will reverse menu plan and limit groceries to loss leaders, dairy and produce.

    I used to always think that when our daughters moved out I would want a house cleaner since I would miss their help. I am easily able avoid this temptation as the house stays so much cleaner with just two people instead of four.

    HH planted green beans again. He is an optimist. We’ll see if the MN weather cooperates. (It is crazy to think that today will be a high of 101F and in less than 45 days we will likely have a freeze!) This week we harvested cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. I made sweet and spicy refrigerator pickles and a cucumber pasta salad. HH pickled jalapeños and canned salsa.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s frugal feats!

    1. For summer watch list, I will suggest “Almost Paradise”, on Amazon Freevee. The first season was great and second out now. From the same people who made “The Librarians” and “Leverage”, the story of a DEA agent attempting to be retired in the Philippines. Wonderful characters and touches of humor, and I loved seeing the country.

  21. Every time I watched the news of the Hurricane, I thought of you, Brandy. Glad you got some cool temps and rain. I hope all your readers in the region are safe. * We decided to get the service plus plan from our electric company for a year, to see if we would utilize it. Nothing had come up until our dryer started making some noise. My husband decided to request a service call, since we are paying for the service plus. We weren’t too hopeful, as people always say many things are not covered by it. But…a nice guy came and checked it out. Said it didn’t make that noise for him, but he noticed it was an aging dryer, so he ordered new major parts for it, all covered in the plan. The parts were shipped to our home, then we called again, and another service tech came out and installed them and now we essentially have a new dryer for free (well, we pay a bit every month for the service plus.) We were pleased. Speaking of electric though, we had been paying around $50 a month for the plan that spreads costs evenly throughout the year. We got the new amount for this next year and it’s $150 a month now! Sigh and ugh. We figured it would go up, but that was kinda a lot. Time to refigure the budget. * I’ve lost a bit of weight and had a pair of jeans that were too baggy and too long, so I folded over and stitched the waistband, and hemmed them into capris. I’m very happy with them now. * I have a burgundy skirt for church, and the knit top that I wear with it has worn out (for public use). I ordered a new top from an online store for bigger ladies that I love and trust. I looked up a coupon before I ordered and got a decent percentage off. Basically enough to offset shipping. But it’s something. * I’m making knit hats for my Sunday class for Christmas. I was able to combine a sale at Joanns with a 25% off curbside pickup coupon to get them for a bit more than $3 each, which is a good price. I didn’t need many, because I have some colors already. I have 12 students and I want each to be a different color. They are very cute hats with big pompoms! My kids are 7, 8 and 9 and hope they enjoy them. * Still enjoying reading library books. Been reading “Mr. Darcy’s Daughters” by Elizabeth Aston. It’s been good so far. She has captured Jane Austen’s style pretty well. Love the library with my whole heart! * I hope everyone has a great week and can stay safe and healthy!

  22. Have been reading you column and the responses for a long time enjoy it so much. You certainly have a green thumb and your flowers are beautiful, I have a garden what many would call large, and son helps me with it, we have been having tomatoes and made batch of spaghetti sauce and one of salsa, my freezer is full and running out of jars. everything has done good this year and still have potatoes to dig and the winter squash are taking over with many squash, will share with neighbor and also grand daughters Have much to be thankful for with the price of groceries going up every time you go to the store.

  23. Great to see you find some amazing grocery deals. That will make a lot of good meals for your family!

    I needed a stamp to mail a copy of my property tax in so my tax could be paid by the Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program here in Alberta. I didn’t want to break my last $20 bill, so I found the $1.10 I needed in a jar of small change (nickels and dimes) I had left from before the pandemic started and retail outlets stopped wanting cash. I find the post office and the library are fine with getting small coins. The post office is giving change on $1.10 stamps, and the library is trying to gather enough dimes to make up $5 coin rolls! There aren’t enough coins to roll up myself, but every now and then there is just what I need. When I get nickels and dimes, I add them to the jar, but I don’t use cash much these days.

    This is not a government grant to pay my property tax, but an advance on the equity of my house. It is a low, simple interest loan that does not have to be paid until I leave my house. It is designed to let seniors stay in their homes longer. My property tax is not very high, but the program still makes a difference to me.

    I used my $20 bill to buy 2.75 lb of lean ground beef at $3.98 (Can) a lb (about $3.00 US). That’s a very good price here these days. Sometimes we see lean ground pork locally for $2.49, but not ground beef. I also bought a 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) bag of flour. The grocery store usually packages the beef up into a $10 package at that price, but they had a squeezed a bigger sale out with an $11+ package. All the flour had a sale price ($1 off this size package), but the sale price was $1.50 more than I’ve ever paid for flour in a package that size. I expected my $20 would buy be one more thing, but that wasn’t to be. I came home with $1.80. However, I was pretty happy. Both the ground beef and the flour will be a very helpful boost in the coming pension month, when my grocery budget is lean.

    I have gone this whole month without coffee, which also saves me on buying creamer. I think this is the first time in my adult life that I have done without coffee for more than a couple of days. I don’t really miss it very much, though it is one of my life’s small comforts that I don’t think I want to do without in the long term.

    I’ve gone the whole summer without running the ceiling fans. We’ve had lots on nice warm weather, but running a smaller fan and opening the windows at the right time of day has been plenty to keep me comfortable. I’m disgusted that the ceiling fans still need to be cleaned now that we are getting close to the end of the season. I had hoped it would be one less chore.

    I’m normally an early riser, but this morning I woke up so late I skipped making breakfast. I grabbed a small apple to keep me going until I cook some lunch. It leaves a serving of oatmeal or eggs for some other meal.

  24. Your garden looks amazing – and I’m so glad that the storm at least brought you some rain.

    It was a quiet week – grocery shopping was mostly for fresh fruit & veg – still some ridiculous prices out there but I can only assume that it will get worse in the Winter so I’m enjoying it now.

    Caught up with a lot of friends this week but spent very little – Wed. had a wander through Chinatown with a friend from Beijing – she explained some of the goods in the Asian supermarket (T&T for anyone in the College & Spadina area) and I explained what to try and to buy in the big cheese market. We each bought some cheese and otherwise just window shopped.
    Thursday spent a couple of hours catching up with another friend over a latte and on Friday went out hiking with two friends and then we came back to one of their homes where we all chipped in something for supper. Lots of fun and a tiny amount of money spent. After all that I decided to stay at home over the weekend to catch up on laundry and cleaning – plus some reading. Did 5 loads of laundry and only put one through the dryer.

    Continue to use up items from the freezer and the pantry. I plan on only allocating about a third of my usual monthly grocery budget for September as I need to get some things used up. I keep checking out recipes online for new ideas. I had planned on doing some baking this past weekend but it was just too hot so maybe this week.

    Prayers for all of those dealing with fires, storms and earthquakes!

  25. I’m so glad to see your rain! It’s fortunate that you’ve found some sales on plants that must be replaced. I know losing plants hurts.

    I had to pull my Armenian cucumbers, as I think I mentioned, but a well-established summer squash plant has jumped over onto the trellis that the cucumber was on. Someone forgot to tell this squash that it is a mounding type. I have one portion of the squash that has grown up at least four feet tall, and has a number of baby squashes on it. They will be easier to find, that’s for sure.

    I still have okra coming on, and it is putting out more blooms and pods at new spots all the time. I’m glad okra likes heat, because the temps are staying above normal, as they have this entire month. The beautiful okra blooms are a bonus in this steamy heat. Some plants have quit blooming for now.

    I harvested stevia, squash, okra and cucumbers.

    I polished my most frequently worn office shoes again, and once again, I’m reminded that they look so much better when I polish them. This two pairs of shoes were bought second hand to start with but are nice leather, so they still look very nice when polished.

    I’m reusing a basket from a gifted-to-me floral arrangement. It will hold a variety of consumables for a birthday that is coming up.

    I am using the fabric from one of my husband’s favorite old button up shirts to make a decorative pillow cover. A portion of the placket with buttons will be the opening to put the pillow form inside the cover.

    I made homemade ice cream in the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment that was given to me, and stored the finished ice cream in a 40(?) year old Tupperware ice cream freezer container that had been my mother-in-law’s. She died in 1985 and it wasn’t new then.

    The usual: packing leftovers for work lunches, cooking from scratch, putting up excess food, wearing clothes till they wear out, batch cooking, combining errands, watching free movies and reading books I own or can borrow from the library, as well as those I download from Gutenberg Press, although I’m not a big fan of reading on a screen.

  26. How lovely to get some rain in the desert, and cooler temperatures, even if temporary. And what a deal on the chicken!

    My frugal week:
    – I cashed out $20 from the Checkout51 app.
    – I stacked sales, price matching, coupons, and rebates when shopping. This week’s best deals were buying ‘plant’ butter (just a different name for margerine, no?) using a 2 for 1 coupon, plus $1 x 2 back, so about $1.50 per block. I bought a 6-pack of tissues for $3.33, and stocked up on those. As well, frozen fish was on for 3.33/12 pack brand name.
    – I brought my lunch to work (dinner leftovers (http://approachingfood.com/easy-enchiladas/)
    – to celebrate the last day of summer camp, I packed snacks and sand toys and we had a picnic in park.
    – when visiting my parents, I took my kids to a city-run waterpark/splash pad. No entrance fees, lots of lifeguards, and I packed a picnic lunch to enjoy as well.
    – We’ve been enjoying a lot of free entertainment this summer, including petting kittens at my workplace!
    – I made pizza mini muffins
    – rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned my carpets myself. Saved literal hundreds over having them professionally cleaned.
    – I turned frozen leftover Alfredo sauce into pasta into cheesy, buttery (homemade) crumb topped casserole. Leftovers frozen for work lunches. No waste!
    – I made chocolate chip and coconut granola. Cheaper than box cereals, and still a treat.
    – enjoys lots of ebooks
    – I didn’t want to pay for Amazon music on my Alexa device, so connected my (free) spotify account from my phone to my Alexa device. Now I can play the songs I want, without having to pay the monthly fee that Amazon charges for selecting specific songs.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

    1. I bought 3 sets of those 6-packs of tissues so I should be good for a few months now – cheapest I’ve seen them in ages!

  27. I really enjoyed your pictures and commentary this week Brandy. I truly admire your determination for your family and your gardening. The garden is so peaceful to view in the pictures. It must be lovely to enjoy it in person. It’s beautiful.

    We took a family trip to a cabin – it belongs to an extended family member and they offered us 3 days for free. We had 8 people and 2 littles. We all picked a meal to cover and brought 4 wheelers and dirt bikes. Just the cost of gas and what meal we had to cover. Ours was a lunch and was quite inexpensive. I did buy lunch meat and rolls but we already had fruit, snacks and treats. I shared the lunch leftovers with the other kids to take home for their own use. I froze the roast beef we didn’t use for future meals of French Dip sandwiches this fall. The weather was in the 60s with a few rainstorms. It was a lovely view from the wraparound porch of birch trees and wildflowers. We saw groups of deer.

    My youngest in public school started last week. She budgeted out the amount she wanted to spend from her own money – which was a good amount. I budgeted in our amount we have given to each child over the years. She stayed under budget by $40. We went to JCPenney and bought shoes with the money from me. She found 3 pairs she wanted. Two of the shoes were on the clearance stacks and the other one was 50% off. We also found a pair of black sweatpants that she needed on sale for 50% off as well. She was very happy. The clothes she bought for school from her money were mostly found on the clearance rack.

    I didn’t go grocery shopping last week. We had enough food to last through another week.

    I went to the library, exercised at home, watched shows and read books. I did a Shutterfly order and was able to use Rakuten and a 50% off coupon. I uploaded some receipts to Fetch and Ibotta for cash back. Gas here is $4.21/gallon. I’m combining errands and staying home so much. It gets a little hard to be home as much as I am but I am filling my time with many projects or reading. Our dates are always at a place we’ve purchased a discounted gift card.

    We picked corn and cucumbers from the garden. I froze the corn. The cucumbers were used for dinner and my child’s lunches. We made tacos, blts, bbq steaks, eggs, grilled cheese.

    Have a great week!

  28. Did not have as productive a week as I normally would this time of year. I fell on Monday morning. Tripped on something in the garage and landed on my right knee. Limited what I was able to do all week. Getting better now.
    Garden – Picked cucumbers, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, snowpeas, onions, zucchini, lettuce and broccoli spears. The DH dug all of our red onions. I trimmed the cured garlic and it is in our basement fruit room.
    Preserving – Made 3 jars of pickles, 2 different times for a total of 6 jars of pickles this week. Used our own hot peppers, dill and garlic in the jars.
    Cooking – Had BLTs for dinner 3 times. We only eat them in the summer when we have fresh tomatoes. Made 2 loaves of herb bread. Roasted broccoli and cauliflower from the garden. Made coleslaw. Cooked beets for the DH. Made baked potatoes from our home-grown potatoes. Had broccoli and cheese stuffed baked potatoes for the main meal. Had popcorn for dinner one night.
    Daughter and granddaughter came to visit while they were in town. they came by so the GD could get tired out and then eat before the 2-hour drive home, so she would hopefully sleep in the car. Gave them some lettuce, cucumbers, onions, carrots and broccoli from the garden. Also gave them some corn from the freezer.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

  29. Our week at home was a frugal one overall, despite grocery store trips, etc. I had plenty of my budgeted money for the month left since I refused to do much shopping at the beginning of August. That was a help. I found some good sale items to help restock the pantry. I have been shaking my head over my attempts at growing food items. I paid far more for tomato plants than I ever got from them in tomatoes, but they are at least still blooming despite the 100F weather we’ve been having here to wind up August. But my most expensive vegetable to date has to be the $10 pepper plants that produced one tiny little green bell pepper and nothing more, lol. I will not give up. I will figure out this gardening thing and grow more of our foods here at home but it’s a reminder to me to be willing to go slowly and learn what varieties do best in our particular zone.

    I have saved cardboard to start a new lasagna layered bed. I am gathering seeds from the flowers that normally produce them and will store them for next year. I have designated a special box as my seed box so that I won’t have to dig through desk drawers looking for seed packets and envelopes.

    For entertainment I have downloaded a ‘hidden picture’ game and allow myself to play for about 30-45 minutes each evening. Then I pick up adult coloring books and color for at least an hour or so before bed. That change in routine has proven to be calming and allows my body to relax, hence I go to sleep earlier and sleep better. I didn’t need to purchase books or markers/pencils as I was given them over the years and had just set them aside.

    We have eaten from the freezer and pantry except for the necessary purchase of fruit and lettuce. I was very blessed to find great buys on three varieties of Apricot and Plum crossbreeds. One is Pluot and I cannot remember the names of the other two. I’d never heard them before, but they were less than $1 a pound which is a great price in my area. We have used all leftovers and nothing has gone to waste. I count that as a win!

    Ragweed is blooming here and grandson’s allergies are active (as are mine). He only gets relief from Allegra. I had some on hand but knew we’d need more. I was shocked at the cost this year compared to last fall. It had almost tripled in many places where I looked. I found some today at my local dollar store with $2 off coupons attached for less than I could find it elsewhere. With the coupon, I paid about what we did last year for it.

    Peaches are high in the grocery. I mean canned peaches. I’m not shocked. With the loss of the southeastern crops this year the market had to have been hit pretty hard. I found a store brand for under $2 a can which unbelievably is a good price. I picked up 4 today and plan to get 4 more next month if they are still that price.

    On the other hand, this year’s peanut crop yields should be excellent. The fields are lush and green and harvesting is now begun in some areas south of our portion of the state. That means that peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, etc. should be well priced this year.

    1. Terri, I have found that my green peppers don’t produce much until the cooler fall months. They seem to like that weather better. I live in northern Illinois to give you an idea of location, zone 5. Most of my tomatoes are still green and I probably won’t harvest the majority of them for at least another two weeks.

  30. 1. I went to a conference that was free & it offered some continued education credits that I can always use. We had a nice hot lunch. Afterwards the host said we could take the fresh flowers off the tables. I took the vase of flowers to my dear friend who is recovering from knee replacement surgery. I had a Get Well card in my card stash at home. She was happy to receive her flowers & card.
    2. I traveled to FL & used frequent flyer miles for my trip. When I got to the airport a sign said 3$ to check your bag at the curb. I went inside to the counter to do this free. Good exercise too.
    3. My neighbor picked me up at the airport after she got off work nearby. On the way home I got us both a light meal with some restaurant rewards I had.
    4. On Tuesdays in August Taco Bell has a free taco offer. I got my free taco & ate my leftover salad for dinner.
    5. Once again I took some frozen meat & a few other groceries in an ice chest stored in my checked bag. I can take one checked bag free due to my credit card. I use that free bag to haul things I need.
    It is nice to see lush, green grass & plants after the seared landscape from Texas heat. Florida is hot but it is 30 degrees cooler than Texas. I am enjoying the change in climate & foliage.

  31. Your garden pictures are so beautiful! You may have lost plants, but I see many things are still blooming.
    My garden is finally producing, and there is also a lot of produce available from local farmers, so this week was focused on preserving as much as I could. Local corn is ripe and I was able to purchase two dozen large ears, fresh from the field. We ate two ears that night and I froze the rest. This should be enough to last us the rest of the year.* I had a couple pounds of tenderized round steak from the last ¼ cow we purchased. Even tenderized, this meat is tough, so I decided to can it, as this helps make it tender. I canned two quarts of beef stroganoff. I also canned three quarts of tortilla soup and a quart of chicken broth.* We enjoyed lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, carrots, and potatoes from the garden.* I dried a bunch of carrot tops to use as a parsley substitute. * I harvested basil and made a bunch of pesto and froze it in cubes for future use.* I blanched and froze four servings of the smallest potatoes from the garden. I will roast these later.* I made a batch of homemade ranch dressing mix and another of homemade taco seasoning mix.* I made a batch of homemade yogurt.* I made two more quarts of refrigerator pickles, and two pints of sweet pickle relish.* I made 8 cards to use as get-well or sympathy cards.* I mended a shirt, a jacket, and a pair of jeans.

  32. We are cooking at home. I continue to cook no cow dairy, gluten, or sugar. I did have a bit of goat cheese yesterday and will have some more today. I am losing weight, saving money, and feeling great! I love cheese so the goat cheese was a treat. Tonight I am cooking a spaghetti squash that we bought from an Amish man for 2 dollars. We also bought some other squash for 50 cents each and some tomatoes. We enjoyed a small town parade last week. It was fun to watch and free! We are spending time at home in the air conditioning. It has been very hot here this week! My husband saved gas by shopping after work for us this week. He called me and we shopped “together” while we talked on the phone. Although I loved him shopping for us that day. I think I should go next time so I can see the sales. We usually shop together in person and I buy what is on sale and work the weeks meals around what is actually on sale instead of what we are thinking we want that week. It really does save a lot of money shopping the sales. I know we saved gas money, but I think we would have saved more had I shopped with him in person. The plus side is, he actually bought a lot of yummy things I wouldn’t normally buy. Because I’ve been in the house a lot this week, I have got a lot of cleaning done. I also continue to exercise. I love feeling so good! It really is amazing what eating right can do for one’s health! Losing weight is an added bonus!

    1. Hi Tammy,

      That is so good that you are feeling great! congratulations on the weight loss. Enjoyed reading about the fawn.

  33. Hi everyone,
    Thought I posted last week but obviously didn’t. I’m so glad some of you finally got a respite with the weather!
    Frugal – finished up gift shopping for niece, she is into baking right now so got her some fun ingredients at the Amish store, a huge 1 lb bar of chocolate and printed recipes. Packaged up for xmas box.
    I am working really hard at listening to needs and putting them in a file on my phone. My sister’s family will get a couple camping fans that are rechargeable, as they’ve had too many issues with power outages in their city. My son mentioned he’d like a headlamp for camping with scouts. My brother who cannot cook with recipes with more than 4 ingredients is getting some penzey spices I got on sale and all have recipes with them for simple dishes. My dad I will get tickets for the local storytelling festival for a daddy daughter date this spring. The speaker is one I heard on a friend’s cd and I think he would enjoy.
    Deductible hit, so I got a questionable mole removed and husband’s appointments with pcp, orthopedic, hematology and pain specialist and most of his PT and the chest xray will be covered pretty much in full. I think the referral for vertigo is outside our network though. Yes, he’s a mess. We’re still not sure if he’ll need knee surgery. I hope if he does it’s before winter.
    Made cookies with a friend for a lunch break.
    Made corn chowder in crock pot and am eating this week for lunches. Much easier than cooking meals and microwave is cooler to use.
    Fresh Thyme had boneless chicken 1.99 a lb. Bought 10 lbs and made some heat and eat peanut butter chicken and some oven chicken tenders for busy weeks. I ran out of panko so will need to make a run to the store to finish those up.
    Made a bunch of protein balls which make easy breakfasts.
    Not frugal but needed was a dinner date with my husband. We haven’t had one all year. Just got pizza and an appetizer.
    Did amazing at farmers market. Got a bag of paste tomatoes for $5. Oven roasted and then froze to enjoy this winter. Got another round on Saturday. Much easier, less stressful and less space than spaghetti sauce.
    Made and froze pesto from the extra basil plants I’d gotten from a friend.
    Made tea with some mint.
    We have rabbits around and I believe they’re living in one of my garden beds. Since they keep eating my food, I’m seriously considering washing the white flag this fall and just planting lots and lots of garlic vs. trying to fight them. If I knew they wouldn’t get into my lettuce, peas and carrots that’d be one thing.
    Made homemade ice cream for a treat. Not really frugal but we had so much fun making homemade caramel sauce and everything.
    Son was gifted some leftover wood for his Eagle Scout project. Every bit helps.
    My daughter took a free prep for college course this weekend at the University. Got a credit hour at no charge and the department gave each student a grant for $150 towards textbooks this semester! Huge blessing right now. With the college classes she took this summer, that makes 7 credit hours at no charge!
    Grateful to learn from each one of you this week. Wishing you all peace!

    1. FYI, if his vertigo happens even turning his head it could be a common inner ear issue. If so, look up Epley maneuver. It’s a series of positions that can correct it and can be done at home. It works nearly right away. Hope he will be doing better very soon.

      1. My husband has severe vertigo. Except for surgery, which could cause deafness, the only treatment I know of besides the Epley Maneuver (which sometimes works) is meclizine. This is an over-the-counter drug that is the active ingredient in Bonine, which is a motion sickness drug. It is also the active ingredient in one of the several versions of Dramamine. (The basic dramamine is the same as benadryl, so don’t get that. Read the labels). Meclizine sometimes helps my husband, but not always; but I have a friend for whom it works every time. Definitely worth a try if Epley doesn’t do the job. My husband’s doc has not had any good suggestions, but I think an ear-nose-throat doc would know more.

  34. I’m starting to feel small elements of fall here. A tad bit of coolness in the morning and evenings. Sometimes I think I can smell it. I’m looking forward to turning my AC off. I often come across cold products that I do not bring home with me. Milk ,yogurt , cheese , cream cheese , half and half , sour cream , cottage cheese and eggs. We simply don’t eat that much dairy and I have skipped over them. Two weeks ago I saw a recipe for a three ingredient cake . Its eggs ,yogurt ,and a little arrow root flour. It bakes up and looks like a quiche. I’ve added in small amounts of sweetener and it just makes my little heart so happy. After chilling it is simply delightful. I’ve learned I can change out the various dairy items and they all taste great. I plain on doing a savory one tomorrow with sausage . I’ve never been one to experiment with recipes so this is a new for me. I’ve sliced some strawberries and will suggest sugar cookie use them tomorrow. We are eliminating all sugar ,soda and processed food from our diet . We are doing pretty good. I was able to order a bag of monk fruit sweetener off Amazon for half price. I’m learning I can reduce many of the thickners and sweetners than the suggested amounts.

    1. About 35 years ago our then 5 year old nephew was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. The dietician told my sister that a person can cut sugar or other sweeteners in half and that you would never notice. Our entire family did that then. I’m pretty sensitive to sugar–it gives me a sinus infection so I rarely add it. So I’ve learned you can cut it even further. Good for you.

  35. This year, we joined a CSA and have been getting an abundance of sweet corn and tomatoes. It’s more than my family can eat in a week. We have been freezing the tomatoes and pressure-canning the corn so that it doesn’t go to waste. We have been cooking at home most nights, and when we really need to rely on convenience foods I’m relying on simple meals that I already have in the freezer. I want to get into the habit of batch cooking/baking for the freezer when I can so that I always have a few days of meals ready to go for when life gets overwhelming.

    My daughter is in Girl Scouts, and she and her friends had earned tickets to an amusement park. Last week we had a fun girls’ day out with 2 moms and 4 teenage girls. Free tickets to the park. Brown bagged lunches and snacks. It was perfect!

    Our chickens have also started producing eggs! We are so incredibly excited. Soon we should be getting about 2 dz eggs per week so that will save me from having to purchase eggs at the market. Our chickens also keep us from wasting food because we supplement their feed with table scraps, over-ripe or buggy produce from the garden, and weeds. We are growing sunflowers for our chickens. Once the heads droop and I can see the seeds, I clip off the heads and dry them out. This winter they will be sprouted to become delicious chicken snacks.

    I received a $10 off purchase of $10 coupon for the hardware store as a birthday month incentive. They have seeds on sale so I plan on going tomorrow to stock up for the next growing season.

  36. Several things went right this week:

    * Our new washer arrived. Old one died after 25 years of service. I’m surprised at how much fits in the new washer. Today I did one load with 2 pair pants, 2 pair shorts, FIFTEEN shirts, and some assorted small clothes. ONE load! I have trouble fitting everything on my drying rack!

    * DH took the old washer to the dump.

    * DH and I are adjusting to the new normal of his retirement. So far, so good, but I need to watch our finances to be sure everything’s on track. There was a lot of anxiety at first … it took 3 weeks to get health insurance correct.

    * Some wonderful markdowns at our Kroger! Today I got gourmet burgers: 4-pack regularly $10, on sale for $9, CLEARANCE for $2.43. I bought 4 packages. My fridges and freezer are stuffed. When I was checking out, a clerk asked me if there were any more marked down. I saw her leave her station, nip back to the meat case, and get a package too!

    * I had a pulled muscle in my back, so DH did a grocery run at the end of last week. He got some good markdowns. And my pantry is stuffed.

    * Walmart.com has half-gallon Mason jars on clearance. Around $15, instead of $37.

    * DH cooked dinner twice this week. And he’s grilling those burgers tomorrow.

    * DH and I are enjoying his retirement: We’re planning to visit our local thrift stores tomorrow. Later this week, we’re going to town so that I can get a haircut at the beauty school. We’ll add other errands — hardware store, Sam’s Club, etc. We will probably treat ourselves to lunch out.

    * Got excellent customer service from the chat on chewy.com about the dog’s prescription.

    * We are watching Season 1 of Poirot free with Amazon Prime. Unfortunately, it goes away at the end of the month.

    * All meals cooked at home. Last week, I had a pulled muscle in my back, so DH did a lot of the cooking. He made fish with cilantro sauce, fish with veracruz sauce, and pot roast. I made pasta marinara, muffuletta sandwiches, BLTs, enhanced ramen (on a night when we were working late on a repair), refried beans, and green chile stew.

    * We usually have leftovers for lunch.

    * I have found that I like savory oatmeal for breakfast, so I add a poached egg and parmesan cheese to my oatmeal. (bacon, too, if I’ve got it.)

    * I finished knitting a pair of bedsocks for my sister’s birthday. (Lovely alpaca yarn, bought on sale several years ago.)

    * library books, Amazon prime, and free streaming (Pluto, Freevee) for entertainment.

  37. I spent a fortune on food yesterday. I bought 2 packages of chicken thighs for $19 each and got two packages for free. My friend will keep
    two of the packages in her freezer. she also has 3 kg of frozen blueberries I bought on sale plus 6 lasagnas I bought for $6.95 each on sale from $12.95 each.

    I bought cleaning supplies, $2.50 jug of vinegar at No Frills as opposed to $4.50 for the same size jug at Safeway. I bought a case of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup for $10.95 (we used to get it for $8.95 on sale but the regular price is now between $12.95 to $14.95). I bought 5 clamshells of fresh peaches and nectarines. They were more expensive by 2 dollars each than last week’s unbeatable price but less than other stores. Also they had 1 litre more than last week’s clamshells so it is hard to compare. I had hoped to get to the farmers market but I don’t think that’s going to happen. i am about to freeze fresh peaches. I will bake the chicken thighs all at once and freeze them.

    My big expense (apart from groceries) is a pair of new shoes. After I went to the mountains for a day in June, I discovered a 4 inch hole in one of my shoes, in my only pair. (The only thing between me and bare earth was my orthotics). Years ago I had bought 5 pairs of those shoes – I had been in a store where they were 90% off. The friend I was with suggested he would kill me if I didn’t buy them all so I did for $30 per pair. At that time they sold for $300 per pair. Now they sell for $400 each pair. Well, I couldn’t pay that for them now (or even years ago). So I kept looking on the internet. Finally, I saw a very similar pair of shoes to what I had but they were men’s shoes. Men’s shoes are sized about 2 sizes smaller than women’s shoes. I didn’t know if they would fit. I phoned one of the store’s branches here but the sales person’s English was hard to understand. A second store was no more helpful. Then I phoned a store in a smaller town/city north of here. The saleslady had the bright idea to remove the insole and measure it and bingo! they should fit. I am buying two pairs as they are on sale at half price. I should be good for shoes for about 10 years. If they don’t fit, I can return them for a full refund. I will now get new orthotics for them – it will cost about $500 but will be fully covered by my private health insurance. When I retired, I had the option of converting my company insurance to a private plan which I pay monthly for – about $200 per month but the premiums cover my prescription drugs, my dental, half of my eyeglass cost, and so it pays for itself.

    We had a lot of rain yesterday and in the night. It has really cooled down although the temperature is supposed to rise. It is beautiful outside and I am going to take my Dutch oven outside, filled with water and cut up the peaches and put them in jars. Then use the water on plants outside. Almost all of the butterflies have gone.

    I think my grocery expense at payday will be to buy some local flour made in a peanut free facility. I still hope to start baking my own bread. A friend has promised me some of her sour dough starter. My severed tendon has healed enough that I think I can knead bread.

    Comment to Elizabeth M. It is good you bought the flour. Because of the extreme early heat Alberta’s wheat crop is only 60% of its usual harvest size and that may affect prices.

    1. I bought those peaches when they were on sale and they were delicious. I didn’t buy any last week because the price doubled here – but – I noticed that they are back down again this week so I think I will buy two clamshells and freeze some although it will be a challenge to fit them into the freezer compartment!

  38. My garden tomatoes did very poorly this year, only the cherry ones are giving one or two daily.I posted on Buy Nothing asking if anyone had a couple I could have. One lady gave gave me three! Another poster asked me to come pick what I want. I went hoping to get 6 or 7 but he filled a 5 gallon bucket full of tomatoes, peppers and broccoli! His garden was huge, over 100 tomato plants and every sort of vegetable and fruit you can imagine. When he carried the bucket to my car, I started unloading but he said to keep the bucket and return it and he would fill it again. He’s a retired gentleman and gives away most of what he grows, gardening is his love. He takes buckets to church every Sunday. I consider him an angel. What a blessing.

    1. This story of the gentleman giving you buckets of vegetables brought tears to my eyes. I know his kindness will matter to you as much as the vegetables themselves.

  39. Frugal wins over the last week: said yes to 44# of slicing and roma tomatoes my parents couldn’t sell at the farmers market that my mom did not have the energy to can – I got 18 pints of salsa and 12 quarts of whole peeled tomatoes! took the children to the library to check out books and the timing was such that we stumbled upon a free saxaphone concert in the library. They were delighted! I would love to see how much the library has saved us – they picked out 35 books for just 1 week! My youngest got a small burn and because we were prepared to handle this kind of medical event at home, we did not have to go the urgent care. He is healing up quite well!

  40. Hello! A busy week for us with plans made at the last minute several days due to issues with one stepdaughter’s relationship ending and her needing help with the kids, getting herself more organized and other planned errands/tasks. Felt like we were on call a lot.

    We enjoyed one meal out at a local Thai restaurant – we tend to treat ourselves when we dine out at places that specialize in what I really can’t do as well. So a true treat because I do not cook Thai meals at all. Dinners made at home included pasta e fagioli, chickpea salad, risotto puttanesca with sauteed spicy green beans (my new favorite side dish that’s been prepped a few times this week), leek, sweet potato and bean veg soup, pancakes – found a delicious vegan recipe for those after not even trying for a few years…, roasted red pepper coques and various fruits and veg as sides to everything. This week is pretty hot again, so meals will be either cold or on stovetop – no oven.

    Found some bathing suits for grandkids that were clearanced out at Sam’s and so sized up for everyone and picked up several. More expensive than thrift store, but ok with that.

    We are taking a cruise to Alaska next month – it that had rock bottom prices … we’d kept an eye on these for a while, so jumped on these dates. Excursions, however, are astronomical, so we’re skipping those. No matter, we know we’ll enjoy the port towns and not feel that we’re missing out- we’ll be able to walk all around and get a good feel for each location. I picked up one clearanced dress at a really low price from TJMaxx, for some dinners – a dress I can wear a lot through multiple seasons and will shop my closet for the rest to pack – don’t need much, so that makes it easier and less to pack.

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