I sowed seeds in the garden for cilantro and snow peas.

I harvested basil, oregano, and lemon verbena, and I dried them all to use later.

I painted two pots that I have had in my garden for over a decade with a primer plus paint from Rustoleum. They were looking very beaten down from weather over the years and they are looking much nicer now.

My daughter was running late one morning and needed a ride. When I went to pick her up, I saw that there were three garage sales at the front of my housing tract. At one house I bought a basket that I will use in my pantry, a heavy stainless steel tray, and this pair of chairs (I removed the plastic that was covering the seats). I had been wanting a pair of chairs in just this style for my bedroom. The only thing is that I do not yet have a place for them until we move my husband’s desk into another room, which we cannot do until 2 more children move out! But the price was excellent and they were just what I wanted, so I decided to go ahead and get them now. (The fabric on the arms is slightly stained; if anyone has a frugal way to clean them, please share!)

My five-year-old was invited to a birthday party. When my children are invited to parties, I have made it a point to ask the child’s favorite color, what they like to do, and their favorite candy. (We have found that candy is a hit with all ages, including adults!) This little girl likes lollipops, so I went to the bulk section of Winco and bought her a bunch of lollipops and put them in a little jar that we had like a bouquet. I added some stickers and a chapstick from my gift drawer into the bottom of the jar. My gift drawer is mostly empty now, so I will be keeping an eye out for small items to add for when we are invited to parties. I particulary like finding items on clearance to add to the drawer.

The weather has been cooler than usual in the mornings, so I have turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows until 8 or 9 in the morning. The results have been huge; my new electric bill is less than it was was for the same month last year, despite a 14% increase in rates, and $150 less than my bill was for August. I check the hourly weather each morning when I get up and I then know if I can open the windows and doors and for how long.

One of my teens went through the broken and miscellaneous toys that the children had been given (mostly from grandparents) and got rid of them. I have found that we have plenty of toys with nine children, and my two youngest have just a few favorite toys (cooking toys and Duplo blocks). The rest of the toys they ignore, except to dump out. We put away the other classic toys (trains, Little People, which all the rest of my children loved, and wooden blocks, including those made by my grandfather and my dad) for when my grandchildren come to visit in future years. The boys are starting to like Legos, so we got those out as well. My teen then reorganized and dusted the bookshelves in my library, making the whole house feel better by having that one room tackled. It’s easier for the two youngest to clean up now. I have found that consumable and activity gifts (plus clothes) are what they crave now, from the youngest to the oldest.

Another teen went through the dress up clothes and games and did the same thing. That closest is now neatly organized. I love how reorganizing costs nothing but time yet adds so much to our life.

I harvested peppermint from the garden.

I collected shower warm-up water and water from the air conditioner drip and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

I read a book from the library, The Hundred-Foot Journey, using the Libby app and listened to music from the library for the soundtrack (which is wonderful) of the movie version using the Hoopla app. The movie is one of my favorite movies. The book had a very different storyline than the movie, and surprisingly, I liked both stories.

What did you do to save money last week?

I appreciate your support of my website! As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through my links. This means that I earn a small percentage from ANY items you place in your cart and purchase within 24 hours after going to Amazon from one of my links (i.e., it doesn’t have to be an item I have linked here).  If you’re going to be making a purchase from Amazon this week, I thank you for using my links to support this site.

My Favorite Movies

Similar Posts


  1. I loved the movie The Hundred Foot Journey as well and didn’t know there was a book that it was derived from I’ll need to check our library to see if they have a copy!

    Fall is definitely in the air here in Ohio! The highs all week will be in the mid-70’s and overnights are in the 50’s. Perfect weather for air con and furnace both to be off all day and night and windows to be wide open! Nothing better, in my opinion, than to sleep with windows wide open, snuggled under a quilt!
    More client quilts going out to their owners which meant some more income coming in! These are the 2 latest ones: https://pin.it/5rvK0sF and her beautiful backing: https://pin.it/71jISkB, then https://pin.it/4vbN1R1. That marked the finish of quilts that had come in. I spent the next day getting other pantry things done when a client called to say she was bringing me 4 quilt tops to be quilted AND a second client called from a nearby restaurant and said because the restaurant was in the vicinity of my house she bought a quilt top to be finished just in case she could drop it off on her way home! And here is that one finished now: https://pin.it/3I43L91 and close up: https://pin.it/2GsfIZd. So, for whatever reason, we continue to be blessed with income producing work! Since we just had an $850 plumbing repair that we hadn’t anticipated, all this extra income has meant that we could squeeze that expense into our budget without taking from savings! And we are grateful!

    I found a book for my free kindle app through Amazon that was being offered that day for free, so I “bought” it! It is called 5 Minute Meals, Quick and easy recipes for busy families by Bethany Fox. I “bought” it with my son in mind and started to preview it myself. Simple crockpot and microwave meals, desserts that use basic ingredients and only take 5 minutes to prepare. I’m going to try one tonight- Kung Pao Chicken Noodles. Wish me luck! Lol!

    We got our fruit trees pruned and staked two of the younger ones that had started leaning. When our Yard Waste pickup came this week, we had 11 bags of trimmings ready to be carried away!!

    The chickens are producing 7 eggs a day now and we still pick lots of ripe tomatoes every week!

    Our fig tree is covered with huge figs that are not ripe yet. If they still haven’t ripened, can I pick them green and have them ripen inside or is that not something that can happen?

    I picked up cream cheese (8 Oz) for 99 cents a box and some 2 liter bottles of Vernor’s ginger ale for 99 cents (instead of $2.99 each ) to put on our pantry shelf to use if someone gets sick during this winter to settle their stomach. I found “Otter pops” (but Kroger brand) on clearance- pack of 36 for 99 cents instead of $3.99!! Gave those to our daughters for their littles! They can store them on the shelf and just put one package in freezer as they plan to use them.

    As a side dish with dinner tonight, we had baked potatoes (from our garden) and sliced tomatoes (also from our garden)!! We just grinned as we realized that they both came from our garden harvest!!

    There’s so much to be thankful these days if we can look past all the loud noise of the world! Hope you’re all able to find that peace and gratitude!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Figs will not ripen off the tree. They have to be picked when ripe and they don’t last long after that (just a couple of days). My tree tries to produce a third crop each year but then it freezes and the tiny fruit freezes on it.

      1. Juls Owings- Thanks so much for the idea for my fig tree!! I’ll try it because my tree is loaded with figs!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. Gardenpat, Lili of Creative Savv blog, (I hope it’s okay to refer to her, Brandy) uses unripe figs to make a green fig jam/ preserves and also pickles them. That may give you a couple of options for your unripe figs. Despite my neighbors having bumper crops of figs, I’ve been unable to grow them in my yard. 🙁

      1. That’s good to know! Thanks for sharing.

        My neighbor can’t grow figs either. I was talking with an expert fig grower here and he said almost 100% of the time, it’s a lack of water that causes trees to not produce.

        1. I may give it another go. I always watered my previous two fig bush failures, but maybe just not enough.

      2. This makes me feel so much better. My neighbor across the street has a beautiful full fig tree that is about 30 years old. He said every few years it looks like it’s dead, so he cuts it to the ground, and then it grows back and he often has a bumper crop the next year. He encouraged me to try planting one. I have planted two, but both died. I was starting to feel pretty incompetent. I’m thinking it’s either sun or water levels — his tree is growing on the edge of a small hill. Mine is at the fence line.

  2. Brandy, nice job on the planters!

    I am still focusing on my challenge to spend under $300 on groceries and save $125 of actual money (not just theoretical savings) per month for the rest of 2023.

    So far this month I have spent $271.64 on groceries. This may be all for the month, but I’m still waiting to see the grocery ads in Wednesday’s paper. If I come in under $300, and I think I will, the difference can be added to my $125 savings goal. I have been stocking my freezer with meat deals and I bought a case of peanut butter last week. Also, for those of you that shop at Winco, they have fresh BLSL chicken breasts for $1.47 lb. right now. I didn’t need any so I didn’t buy them, but that’s a fab price.

    The “money in my pocket” savings goal has been wildly successful–I’m at $314.49 so far for the month! This past week I found .32 in the house, received a $25 GC from my insurance company for having a mammogram and ordered $37.64 in OTC products as an insurance benefit. The OTC company values the products at $64.50, but I looked them up on walmart dot com and they are actually worth $37.64.

    I harvested 13 butternut squash from my raised bed (three plants took over that whole end of the yard and grew through the dog run fence LOL). Depending on how long before we have frost, at least two more will likely ripen. The squash weigh 38 lbs. and are .99 lb. at Winco–likely the cheapest price I will see this year. I plan to bake, mash and freeze them.

    We have a family tradition of going out to breakfast after church on Sundays. When my husband stood up after the service, he was immediately struck with vertigo (which he has often but was doing well that morning). He didn’t have a cane with him. We went home instead of going out and I pulled together a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs with bacon bits, homemade biscuits from my freezer, the last half a can of frozen OJ concentrate and a pot of English breakfast tea…all in about 10 minutes. Probably saved at least $40! (but not including it in the challenge).

    Best wishes to everyone here. Next week will be October!

    1. The boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.98 a pound here at Winco. Our prices are usually a bit higher than yours. I bought one package last week and then I bought bone-in chicken leg quarters for $1.28 a pound.

      1. Brandy- How I wish we could share our prices with you! I just saw bone-in leg quarters here (Columbus, Ohio) for 69 cents a pound! That’s almost half your cost! 🙁 And water is abundant as well. It’s a real reminder to me to be so grateful for the blessings I don’t always notice.

        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. Same here, Gardenpat. I think I saw them on special in 10# bags last week for .49/#. That is the lowest I’ve seen them in quite a while, but they are often in the .59 to .79# range in those large bags even here in our resort area.

    2. Hope your husband is feeling better! I occasionally get vertigo and it is never fun. My doctor gave me some exercises to do….now I just need to start 🙂

      1. The exercises work very well for some, but unfortunately don’t have much effect for my husband. He also gets relief–sometimes–by taking meclizine, which is available OTC as Bonine and some forms of Dramamine (read the label). Both are found on the motion sickness shelf of most pharmacies. We have a friend who gets 100% relief with meclizine, although it doesn’t always help him.

        1. Maxine, my husband used to have bouts of vertigo quite often starting when he was around 25 years old. He did get some relief from meclizine but only if it wasn’t too far gone yet. At some point he figured out that he can avoid it almost entirely by taking Allegra D. I guess he’d developed allergies. He also learned that certain smells trigger it. For example, if he even sniffs near a peony bloom he will almost certainly have an attack! Also, going to the chiropractor has seemed to help.

    3. If you have a cool spot in your home 45*f to 60*f your squash will most likely last until late next spring. I simply wipe mine down with a week mix of bleach water, leave stems on if you can, place in a cardboard box with wads of newspaper as buffers between them and cover loosely. check every couple of weeks as you use them up. I do this with all squash including pumpkins and my basement in the winter is at about 66*f. I also keep my sweet potatoes the same way (but don’t wipe them down) after curing after harvest..I had 4 left that made it through summer from last year!

  3. I’m just home from our daughter’s wedding, 4 hours south. I went a week before the wedding to help with all the last minute things. I took a lot of food for myself, and everything I could think of that I might need.
    We did a lot of the work for the wedding ourselves, which is tiring and a ton of work but a lot of friends and family helped and I actually enjoyed the time spent working alongside close friends and family.
    I filled up with gas before I left because gas is at least 40¢ cheaper per gallon down there.
    Here at home I have pressed the flowers from the bouquet, picked the ripest tomatoes ahead of predicted rain overnight, eaten something from the freezer, and picked up a book from the library. Sums up a frugal life!
    I ordered the 4 free COVID tests the US government is offering again.
    Tomorrow I have a mountain of tablecloths to wash (cheaper to buy than to rent) and after that I’m taking my car to the $10 car wash for a wash and vacuum. I transported 10 buckets of flowers that my daughter’s friend had grown for the wedding and my car has 10,000 flower bits in it.
    I’d been working very hard to declutter my house before I left for the wedding and I definitely noticed and appreciated it when I got home. I’ve made some money through the process because I’ve sold some excess things. It makes me happy.

    1. Re: the tablecloths. My daughter had the same experience – she could buy nice-looking off-white cloths cheaper than renting them. She got lucky in that the place where she held her wedding reception so liked her tables that they bought the tablecloths from her when she was done. She got over half of her money back. Perhaps yours can be sold?

  4. I love the idea of the lollipop bouquet. Very clever.

    I also love that your teenage children were bitten by the decluttering bug.

    1. Well I asked for their help.😁

      Thankfully, they were willing to do a thorough job.

      I’m grateful. The house is much tidier now.

  5. Your eggplant look great! I love baba ganoush and Mousakka.
    I have been watching Youtube videos for frugal meal ideas. I plan our meals ahead of time. It makes mealtime easier and saves money. I also have been trying to use up what we have before buying more. I have turned up the air to a higher setting to save money on air conditioning. I should try opening the windows in the morning like you do. I could do it in the evening as well. We live on a gravel road, so I would want to see which way the wind is blowing the dust. I watched a video that Ardent Michelle did on a low budget meal. Tomorrow I am going to make pinto beans, fried potatoes with onions and fried okra and cornbread. I was inspired by her video and put pinto beans in some water to soak in the fridge. I am looking forward to this meal. My mom gave my son chips they weren’t using and he has been enjoying them with his pico de Gallo. My husband made a Thai green curry with coconut milk and shrimp and lots of veggies, Yum! I had made some earlier in the week with chicken and homemade chicken broth from chicken legs I’d bought for 99 cents a lb. We also made chicken salad. My husband and I enjoyed reading magazines at the bookstore and shared a cup of tea. We bought a container of tea and they gave us a cup of hot water for while we were there and we had tea to take home. I know, it is really cheap. But the clerk was happy to accommodate us and we were happy to have tea to take home for much less than what it would cost us to buy all that tea by the cup at the bookstore. We were happy! I haven’t had sugar in over 7 weeks but had a rice crispy treat, my blood sugar was low before I ate it. I enjoyed it immensely. Now I am back on no sugar and losing weight. We make sure we turn off lights. I have been using lots of basil as I am growing basil. Before it freezes, I will dry some for winter. I enjoyed teaching piano this week and spending time with family.

  6. I made a discovery this week, for about 30+ years there has been a tree in our hedge that I didn’t know what it was. During very high winds this week some wild pears fell off of it which was fortuitous as I was about to buy some for the mincemeat . I am allergic to apples. The mincemeat has been in a bowl steaping and has now been bottled so it can mature before Christmas .

    I also made nut roast sauerkraut and yoghurt, cooked all meals at home mostly from the pantry and the freezer. We have picked beans every day since June and the freezer is full so I must get some more jars and bottle them. The other crop giving a large harvest are raspberries, about a 450ml container a day. I can feel jam making coming on. They are lovely with yoghurt.

    We have had our Flu jabs this week and have our covid jab booked in two weeks time..

    I am emptying the greenhouse and wintering the garden. It’s funny what you find under the weeds, mostly potatoes and the odd beetroot. I have cleaned all the water butts. I have been collecting seeds and cleaning them ready for next spring.

    My greengrocer stopped trading last week and on a trip to town to the library I discovered the butcher has closed down as well. This leaves us with no choice but to use the supermarkets which are further away and everything is wrapped in plastic.

    Keep safe everyone

  7. Hi Brandy and everyone
    So good that your teenagers did some decluttering and organising, also the saving on your electricity bill from less air-conditioning is massive. The chairs are gorgeous, they will grace the room they eventually land in.
    The energy price cap in the UK is going to be lowered in October and our electricity company estimates our annual bill will be £99 less. This is very welcome but we will still be paying much more than we were before Russia invaded Ukraine.
    I mended the cover of a dog bed.
    We picked/ pulled beetroot, a few last raspberries, carrots, spring onions, lettuce, potatoes, cucumber, tomatoes, sunflowers and bearded iris ( this is an unusual iris, it flowers twice and is scented). We are still giving produce to neighbours.I froze packs of tomato. We lifted, divided and replanted some iris and put some more in the cutting garden.
    We drew names for Secret Santa at sewing group and I found some lovely fabric in a sale for my gift. There is enough fabric for two gifts actually. We draw names
    early to give ourselves time to make something before Christmas.
    I was able to put together a gift for an old friend from my gift box, things bought in sales etc.
    We have been supporting a friend who is going through tough times and he asked if we would like some books as he is going to downsize. When we arrived there were huge quantities of books laid out for us to choose from. I brought away 160 books! They are in pristine condition and include 50 British Library Crime Classics which I enjoy. There were many left. We offered to pay him something for them but he refused so we said we would make a donation to charity. Just as we were leaving he gave me a big bag of his wife’s costume jewellery ( sadly she has severe dementia and isn’t allowed to wear jewellery in her care home for safety reasons)and asked me to take anything I wanted and dispose of the rest. It wasn’t to my taste but a friend took a couple of pieces and I donated the rest to the hospice charity shop.
    It was such a kind offer and made this bookworm very happy.
    Stay safe everyone.

  8. Brandy, thank you so much fo sharing!

    I read an interesting tip from someone’s grandma: when storing canning jars, fill them with water. you can use it later in one way or another. i like how it makes one to automatically and naturally rotate the water storage.

    1. Oh goodness, this is one of those things that I hear and think “Of course, I should do that!” but I never would have thought of this on my own.
      Thanks for sharing this tip!

  9. How exciting to take control of your electricity costs. If everyone could be proactive it would make a big difference in the amount of electricity required to be generated.
    Team spirit at your house! Valuable lessons and results!
    I continue to be amazed at the beauty of your property in such a hostile environment for plants.
    Consumables for gifts; definitely my preference too.
    I am reading ‘The Earth Transformed’ by Peter Frankopan.

  10. I had to go to Tennessee for a prescription, which is an hour and 15 minutes away. They cannot mail over the state line. I had three refills on the bottle and they let me get all three filled. It wasnt cheap, and a compond medicine so insurance doesnt pay, but saves me driving up each time. They had organic elderberry syrup so I got 16 ones if it. I went to the thrift store and found an extra large metal bowl to use when cooking or canning large batches of an item, and i got The Joy of Cooking cookbook. They had a Bargain Box and I got canned beef gravy for $.34, theater box sour patch kids 50 cents ( for stockings), dinosaur lollipops $.69 for grandsons stiocking, Cheese It’s $1.50, Stove top stuffing for $1 to make chicken and stuffing casserole, and a rug for the back door. On the way home I stopped at a produce place and got some pumpkins for the porch, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and a jar of local honey. I’m going to shred half the squash and zucchini and freeze for bread or fritters.
    * We had a relative from out of town come by after church. So I made red beans and rice and cornbread. Since I had the house clean and a big pot I asked friends over that night. It is so economical to make. I add Conecuh sausage. a lb of dried beans, home canned chicken broth, spices, rice, cornmeal, and milk. This adds up to about $5 for the meal that fed two couples. Our friend ate her bowl and said, “I’m going back for 2nds this is so good.”
    * I have harvested purple hull peas every 3 days, and peppers. I dehydrated mushrooms from the store, volunteer kale, and mustard greens.
    * The weather has cooled into the 80s and quite chilly in the morning, so I expect a lower electric bill. We haven’t had rain, and I haven’t watered yet, but I have rain barrels when I need to. I have used water from cleaning fruits and vegetables and cooking pasta to water pots. We had a gallon of milk spoil when it had about an inch of milk left. I filled with water and watered my peppers and tomatoes.

    1. Pop an elderberry in your garden Bama Holly – they are easy to grow! I have made both elderflower cordial and elderberry syrup from mine and they were easy to make and just as good as anything store-bought. My only advice would be to keep it pruned if you want a tidy shrub as they are a bit of a straggly thing.

      1. I need to find one or order one. I can tuck it in the corner of the fence and let it grow within a little more space.

  11. Hello, frugal friends from the beautiful, cool Appalachian mountains of Virginia! We have been in New England visiting friends and family. We left in 80 degree weather and have returned to weather in the 60’s. It feels like fall. Brandy, regarding the fabric on your arm chairs; I have used Oxiclean on my furniture fabric with great success. I am glad you were able to find what you wanted at a good price.
    On the frugal front:
    *During our travels we used points for a free night at a hotel.
    *We mostly stayed with family and friends.
    *All hotels included free breakfast.
    *We used our T Mobile app to get .05 off per gallon on gas. Gas prices in New England are much higher than Virginia.
    *We attended the Big E (a regional fair which includes 6 states) in Massachusetts with our friends on the first day because military and veterans get in free. We picked up a few freebies at the V.A. booths. Other booths had freebies too.
    *We used our military discount at various restaurants when we did eat out.
    *We brought food and water for lunches and snacks.
    *Once home we turned off the a/c.
    *I had a LOT of green tomatoes on the vine before we left so I put them in brown paper bags and into a closet. I checked them yesterday and the bulk of them are red! So I got them ready and froze them until I can can them in to sauce. I saved a few for fresh eating this week.
    *I had a lot of kale and lettuce in the garden too. I picked most of it. I will dehydrate the kale and enjoy the lettuce this week.
    *I am challenging myself to $100 for groceries for the month of October. We have so much in food storage, pantry and freezers to keep us fed for a while.
    *We are doing the usual things like using cloth versus disposable products, turning off the oven and stove a few minutes before cooking is done, and hanging most of the laundry on the line.
    Not so frugal: We took our friends and family out to a meal a few times as a thank you. Some meals were pricey but well worth it in both quality and experience not to mention as a thank you for the wonderful hospitality we received.
    Wishing all my frugal friends a blessed and frugal week!

    1. We love the Big E. Hubby grew up in Massachusetts. We haven’t been the last few years because of Covid. I love all the craft booths.

    2. I used to live in western MA and LOVED going to The Big E. So neat having the eastern states all represented in one fair.

  12. Hello everyone!
    This past week I nailed a couple of frugal goals, here they are:
    I ordered a couple of gift sets from Rituals on an online sale 70% off. They look so fancy and will make for excellent Christmas gifts for my sister in law, my niece and my brother in law, as I know that they use that brand and I knew what scents they preferred. I got a free gift of deodorant and toilet water gift set for men which I will give to my 11 yo. When I showed the sets to my hubby, he loved it so much and said that he hopes that I ordered one for him too and just am not showing it. I said nothing and then quickly ordered 2 more male sets for him and his brother. This concluded my Christmas shopping pretty much. I have bought things on sale in January, like Christmassy cups and ornaments on 70% off, so all family members are set now. I had half a roll of wallpaper left from summer renovation project and so I used it to make bags for the gifts.
    My in-laws had their basement overflowing with water due to recent storms. A lot of things got destroyed but even more were saved and now we try to take some of the things which we would eventually inherit, so that they take less space in their home. We got a wonderful English clock, a magical mirror in a very ornamental brass frame, I got a sewing table from my dad in laws grandma and a beautiful, huge, Edwardian hatbox, and a top hat. All those things come from 1880ies and are so lovely. The top hat was packed in a local newspaper from April 1948( when its owner died and his hat was packed away) so we read it as a homeschool assignment.
    I cooked meals at home, made some sourkraut and sourdough breads. I had nothing to wear to the bookclub(I gained a lot of weight recently) so I sewn myself a simple, 2h skirt with a pattern and fabric which I had on hand. I love the look of this skirt on my round figure and I plan to sew several more.
    We still have squash in the garden…we pick it with a bit less enthusiasm now, but it was a very productive plant this year. We harvested 8 Hokkaido pumpkins, a basket of hazel nuts, a cup of cherry tomatoes, some raspberries, some blackberries and one 10kg Halloween pumpkin. We also took in the rest of apples, which were exceptionally many this year. I also dried and froze lots and lots of chanterelles.

    1. Oh how nice that your husband told you what he wanted! That made it easy!

      The hat and the hat box and newspaper! How wonderful!

  13. Good Morning!

    We are definitely having an extended summer here on the plains. We’re doing 60/90. 60° in the morning and 90° in the late afternoon. It’s too hot to open windows overnight, but we open them at 4:30am when we wake up. I can usually keep them open until early afternoon. Once the sun comes around the SW to the big windows, it warms up really quickly. Then I head to my craft room, which is in the NE corner of the house. My dog is due for a haircut so he gets hot. He stands in the hallway at 2pm and grumbles at me because he wants to go back to the cool room lol.

    Your toy talk had me thinking about toys at my grandparents’ house. I kept very few things there. My two favorite things to do when I was there was to draw and color each country’s flag. I used an encyclopedia. My favorite flag was Lebanon’s with the cedar tree! The other thing was to make house dioramas from shoe boxes using misc. scraps and such that my grandma gave me. I made little mice families from pom poms and felt.

    Isn’t it great how paint can make something look brand new? My husband has found us so many things that are merely in need of some paint. We have planters, pots, small tables, etc. Your pot looks great.

    Nice find on those beautiful chairs! I wonder if one of those dry cleaning products could clean the arms? Or maybe ask the dry cleaner. I’m sure someone her in the prudent brain trust will be able to help.

    Beautiful flowers as always. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I love the Hundred Foot Journey, too! I once made a whole chick flick round-up post on my blog actually for what to watch for different-themed movie marathons, and that one definitely made the cut. Many of the other ones you mentioned were also on it, except Monte Carlo, which I’ve actually never seen. Now, though, I’m going to go see what that one’s all about! I’ll drop the link to the movie post, in case anyone is wondering:


    In frugal matters though, I love that you included decluttering and organizing on your list. You basically kind of said this, but I think it’s one of the best frugal things we can do for our home (even though that might seem kind of counterintuitive at first) because it gives us that feeling of a refresh or newness that we all sometimes crave, but without actually needing to buy anything new! I love that you’ve taught your kids those skills so that they’re able to just go and do it on their own. I wish that decluttering was a skill I had learned earlier on…I think how different my own early apartments/homes might have been if I’d had those skills and been used to that mindset from the beginning!

    Here are my own frugal wins for the week:


  15. You are so right about how much decluttering and organizing can improve the experience of our homes. Those chairs are beautiful — I have a similar one in my bedroom.
    We’ve been away on a long camping trip the past three weeks. As usual, we saved money camping by using our senior pass to stay for half price at national forest campgrounds, and cooking all meals at camp. Home again, there was a lot to do. We visited our favorite produce stand and purchased a box of apples and one of pears. While there, I was offered a good deal on 2/3 of a box of very ripe peaches. I set aside the best to eat fresh and canned the others – 13 pints. We also grocery shopped – by combining store coupons, sales, and Ibotta, I scored some good deals and restocked the pantry. I’m still getting tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and chard from the garden. I pulled up squash and beans – neither of which ever made anything. I harvested 12 nice bunches of celery. I dried the leaves, and wrapped the rest in foil, where it will keep for several months in my garage refrigerator. I also harvested turnip greens, basil and parsley. I made a batch of pesto cubes and dried the parsley. I canned 8 pints of picante sauce. A neighbor gifted us some fresh Alaska salmon, which we enjoyed for dinner one evening. I saved the leftovers to add to stir-fry later in the week. We dug up two white locust saplings from the side of the road and transplanted them into our yard.

  16. The Hundred Foot Journey is a wonderful story! Now I’ll have to watch the movie too. I also check the hourly weather, for the same reason. I’d seen those lovely chairs, on your IG reel. Great find! Last week, I harvested the first eggplant, and stir fried them in homemade plum sauce, our garlic and green onions, which we enjoyed over brown rice. While in town for groceries, I stopped by two thrift stores, where I found two canisters for my shop, and a piece of slate wall decor for our skoolie. I made a stop by the library, and picked up three books. With some leftover sweet potatoes, I made two pies, one GF for me. I gathered bachelor button and rudbeckia seeds to save. I wiped down shelves that will hold winter squash and sweet potatoes with vinegar solution. I’m not sure if I learned about it here, but I watched Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, as one of my last Netflix movies, and really enjoyed it. My husband & I planted our lettuce seedlings, along with swiss chard and chive seedlings he bought this week. He added some of our chicken manure to the raised bed. We also planted seeds of carrots, mixed greens and beets in the garden, which pretty much finishes our fall planting. My favorite garden basket had started coming apart around the handle, so I mended it with a combination of T-shirt and leather strips. Hopefully, that will extend it’s life a long time. Bananas were frozen that were about to get too ripe. We’re in that in between place, where we’re using neither a/c or heat, and able to be open most of the time, which is lovely. I finally got around to cleaning and braiding the garlic. On heads that had some rot, I saved the good cloves, cut them thinly, and dehydrated them for powder. Celery with it’s leaves was also dried, and while the dehydrator was going, I harvested mint, and dried it for tea. The celery is intended for a gift of celery salt, for a couple who enjoy bloody mary’s. Before everything had fully dried, I harvested shiso, and dried it too. I give it to the pups, if they’ve gotten into something they shouldn’t. It’s deer season, and we have lots of hunters in the area. It’s not uncommon for a deer to end up dying on our land, and one of the pups came home with a leg yesterday! They’ve been getting shiso this week, which an herbalist friend told me helps settle their stomach. We had some cooler days, with highs of 72 and 69. To add a little heat to the house, the first day, I put bags of vegetable scraps on to simmer, and canned up broth the next. Harvests this week included muscadines, figs, pawpaws, cucumbers, yellow squash, eggplant, a tiny tromboncino, and tomatoes. Pawpaws were brought to a neighbor who loves them.

  17. Those chairs are beautiful. Grabbing them now was smart.
    The figs are coming on strong. We have been enjoying them. I gave some to a friend. She gave me a bag of hot peppers. Lettuce, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and swiss chard are still doing well. I collect lettuce and carrot seeds.
    I keep a white board on the fridge and we list leftovers on it so we know what to eat first. It fell and broke. I was able to glue it back together.
    I made a double batch of chili with tomatoes and peppers from the garden. My son came for dinner. I sent him home with some. The rest went into the freezer.
    A friend just had surgery for cancer. I left a large bag of vegetables for her on her porch. Her husband has been sending me pictures of what he has been making. I did offer to cook for them but they declined the offer.
    Hubby brought home leftover bagels and a blueberry muffin from work. He ate breakfast at work 3 days for free.
    I got 2 pairs of jeans ($4 each) and 2 flower pots (50¢ each)at the thrift store.
    Dunkin Donuts is doing a free drink on their app with code munchkins23. It is good until the 28. My daughter and I used it one day. I got a large iced chocolate. It lasted me 3 days.
    Saturday I had to work. We had 3 parties back to back. I ate leftover pizza and brought home a half full container of chocolate frosting. One of the parties did cupcake decorating.
    We are on day 4 of rain non stop. The A/Cs have been off. Laundry has been hung inside.

  18. I love how you can save so much money by turning off the a/c and opening the windows for a few hours each morning! And great find on the chairs!

    My frugal week:
    – I’ve been craving some nice baked goods, so I made some myself: super fudgy brownies (http://approachingfood.com/bakery-style-skor-brownies/) and some yummy caramelized onion and poppyseed focaccia.
    – I found four perfect condition and clean wide mouth mason jars with screw lids (but no sealing lids) in the condo recycling area, and took them home. I only need to buy a pkg of sealing lids (I checked and Cdn Tire has a package for $1.99) and I’ll be able to use them to put homemade chocolate granola in for Christmas gifts for my daughter’s teachers, bus driver, etc.
    – I use a sandwich sealer to make my daughter homemade uncrustables, and turn the crusts into breadcrumbs. I have not bought breadcrumbs in more years than I can remember.
    – I sold an item on fb marketplace, which paid for the co-pay on a physio appt. And then sold some tech stuff that my husband didn’t want, and that money will pay for the food for my daughter’s birthday party next month. All these bits of money definitely add up!
    – I printed out nice invitations for my daughter’s birthday party, themed lol doll ones (rolling my eyes, but that’s what she wanted), on quality paper leftover from my wedding invites a decade ago, and used my mother’s photo cutter to make sure I was able to cut them out evenly.
    – I baked some banana bread, and gave some to a friend who gave me some produce, and also gave some of the free kid’s cheese (snack pack types) I had gotten last week (sale + coupon) to the friend who had given me a bag of outgrown kid’s clothing. Nice ways to say thank you, without costing me (any but ingredients or time).
    – I redeemed $10 worth of Air Miles for groceries, and $20 worth of Optimum points for groceries as well. One of the grocery items I bought was sliced Havarti cheese, and I used some homemade buns from my freezer to make myself several sandwiches, which I then put back in the freezer for when I need to pack a lunch on the go. Saves me from buying food when out, because I know I’ve packed a yummy lunch that I’ll enjoy, plus it is as easy as pulling a sandwich from my freezer and popping it into my bag to defrost as I go about my day’s errands.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  19. What wonderful savings on the energy bill! Happy to read you had good helpers to help organize.
    Thank you for the kind comments last week regarding the loss of my dad.
    Moved composted dirt and rocks from my property to create a new rock-lined bed.

    I watched online videos on how to properly use rosehips as my rose shrub has a lot to gather.

    Using an old notebook, created a journal of things that have been taken care of/process of being taken care of for my mom as she handles the paperwork from my dad’s death. This idea was given to me by friends who are widows.

    Making meals more plant-based by using what grew in the garden.

    Accepted a bag of apples from a friend’s tree.

    Finally dusted – as the dust bunnies were starting to unitize – made a solution of vinegar, essential oil, and water. The house felt great afterward.

    I hope everyone has a great week.

    1. Heidi Louise – thank you for posting that link! We are out of covid tests at home and this was a good reminder for me to order more of the free ones. Thank you!

  20. Your candy gift reminded me of when I was a child. We would make candy wreaths to sell at the school bazaar. Shape the wire hanger into a wreath. You take a wire hanger, thin wire and penny wrapper candy from Winco. Your wrap the candy ends with the wire about a half an inch apart – maybe five at a time. then you wrap the wire around the hanger until it is tight and then smoosh the layers together. Continue until you have a thick wreath of penny candy. Add a beautiful bow and a small scissor tied to a ribbon. People use the scissor to cut off the candies over the course of the Chirstmas season. Here is a version of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuWADqkAkHI.

    – It is melon season. We rent out ground to melon growers. We are allowed to go pick some . You haven’t tasted anything as wonderful as a ripe honeydew. A trip out to the field proved they weren’t quite ready. Some of the orange flesh were. We will go back again next week.
    – I want to try my hand at making bathbombs. I found a tub of old coconut oil and I have a couple of bags of episom salt. I think I need citric acid as well. I will do more research.
    – Donating two bags of shoes. When I declutter , I like to measure the volume (l/w/h) . Then I can say ” I released 4sq ft of stuff from house to the universe. It always makes me feel like I have made a great achievement. There are several shelves in my closet that are now empty. I have no desire to fill them.

  21. My friend bought a box of tomatoes–she didn’t know what to do with them but they were a good price. She shared them with me and another friend. I was able to make 5 containers of roasted tomato sauce for the freezer. The tomatoes weren’t Roma, so the flavor was different. I think the frozen sauce will make great tomato soup if I add a little cream to it.

    I took a loaf of homemade bread and a jar of strawberry jam to neighbors who recently had a baby. It was great to pull together a gift from what I had on hand.

    I recently celebrated my birthday. My SIL took me to lunch and let me take home the leftover fajitas that we split. Another friend took me out for gelato.

    I am working on completed a knitted shawl as a birthday gift for a friend. I am also finished a really warm sweater for myself. The sweater came from a mail order kit that sends enough yarn to make the largest size. I don’t need all that yarn and another knitting friend said she would buy the remaining yarn from me when I am finished with it.

    The weather has been so moderate the last few weeks that we haven’t had to run the AC.

    My garden isn’t producing as much but I did make some chile verde sauce for the freezer. The remaining tomatoes will go into more sauce. I plan to harvest and dry herbs. I also was given six pears from a neighbor.

    The fall colors are spectacular right now. I hiked last week and enjoyed the red leaves. I plan to get out as much as I can for the next few weeks to enjoy the weather. I live within walking distance to a small canyon.

    I am overwhelmed by the gratitude I feel in my life for the blessings I have received.

  22. My biggest saving this week was getting a $700 refund from the airline for a flight that arrived 6.5 hrs late over the summer. This coupled with my earlier $1800 from another airline was very nice in offsetting some of my travel budget. Other frugal successes include baking all bread(DH) and opening the oven door after baking to warm our kitchen. Wishing everyone a very frugal week.

  23. We are finally getting some cooler mornings and evenings as well, and had a slight reprieve from afternoon heat last week, but it’s back this week. The dog and I are enjoying the mornings, at least; she likes to have a lie about to smell smells after breakfast, so I curl up in a blanket and leave the patio door open to get at least some fresh air in the house. The mosquitos drive me inside by 0700, but it’s a start to fall!

    In early August I did my first round of a fasting mimicking diet program, and was happy enough with the results that I did a second round last week. Most people do three rounds (1 five-day program a month), but as my results were not as drastic as the first round, I decided to cancel my third month, a $150 savings. I was still pleased with how things turned out as it got me past a plateau on my health journey, but we have a large vet bill coming in November (dental cleaning and more) so the program isn’t a priority now that I’ve got my bearings. Instead I’ll adjust my intermittent fasting hours & calorie intake one day a week and go from there.

    Discount for said dog: she is on a specific food that is costly. I kept getting emails that I had “reward points”, but when I’d log in to my account, it showed zero points. I finally dug around and learned that the company has TWO rewards systems; one for normal purchases and one for recurring orders. Our points were accrued under the RECURRING points system and I needed to go to a different page to see & apply them! Lesson learned for me …. her next shipment will be only $10 as I applied a mountain of points that had been accruing. It had never occured to me that a company would do something like that and not have the “redeem” button go to the appropriate sort of points! I was just about to cancel the order and use a different company, as that one is $5 more per box and of course, that makes a difference – almost a box worth by a year’s time.

    My husband is a big gym goer and uses protein powder – after finding a brand that works well for his needs, he too has accrued reward points, which I redeemed for his next order. (And they aren’t in a separate section of the website, ha ha!) His next order will be half off. I found the same thing on the meal replacement powder I use, when going in to skip my next order; so my next order is redeemed at 75% off and then I’ll skip a shipment or two to save for the vet bill.

    Last year we started using a vitamin + supplement pack from a brand new company, a small business based in Utah. August was our one-year anniversary with them, and the founder included a lovely note and Target gift card in our shipment. My son and I went to Target for groceries and the card took a good chunk off the bill; and we got a few cents more for supplying our own reusable bags.

    We went to the local food co-op for the things that weren’t available at Target or the base commissary, and checked the markdown shelf as always. I was able to find some breakfast items marked down that fall within what I can eat, perfect timing as I was down to the last box I got on markdown a few months back. My husband spotted some Ritter chocolates on markdown as well – those have been set aside for treats. We also received a few cents for reusable bags there, as well.

    Had a dental visit and gratefully accepted the “goodie bag” – my son and I use electric toothbrushes, but husband uses manual, so our visits stock him up on toothbrushes. And I found a four pack on clearance on the Target run, so he’s back up to six months+ of toothbrushes waiting in the wings.

    Not frugal for me, per se, but fun to do: I purchased a book months ago for the book club of the ladies’ self defense group I’m in. It was written by an FBI profiler, and a friend of my son’s is a Criminal Justice major. As I have no need for the book, I suggested he offer it to his friend, who gratefully accepted it. My son took it with him to a student club meeting at the college, so neither one had to use additional gas for the exchange either. Warm fuzzies for me, as he came home and said his friend was so excited about the book, he planned to read it that very night!

    The “usual” doings as well: using cloth handkerchiefs, cloth napkins, cleaning with washable rags, and the aforementioned cloth grocery bags. Cold steeping herbal teas overnight with no sugar has saved me the use of the sugar and the calories, same with my one daily cold brew coffee that is now taken with no maple syrup. Working out with items at home and wandering my way through a Hallmark series to distract me on the desk treadmill. I’m up to almost two miles a day between using it for blog and social media reading, and an episode of The Good Witch cozy series.

    Happy fall, all! 😀

  24. Re chairs, I did a similar thing this way…rub a little Vaseline on wood around the fabric area to protect. Lay chair on counter with arm over sink. Using a small bowl with a small amt vinegar and a drop of ivory dish soap, with a little brush dampen fabric and scrub gently …do entire fabric area extra on spots…..squeeze water out then use clear water to rinse. use towel pressed in to dry as much as possible. Keep blotting dry as much as possible.
    Worked for me, good luck, ann

  25. Brandy, do those chairs have the cleaning tag still on them? I’d be wary of using anything with water unless they have the tag that says they are water-safe. I used to have a dry-cleaning sponge (Amazon has them now, I see) for cleaning upholstery, wallpaper and lampshades, but I’m not sure how one would do for old stains. I used mine until I just wore it out.

    I dropped my quarterly tax payment off today, since it’s due by the 30th. I drive right past a tax office on my way to work, and their drop box on the door means I can pay my taxes even though I drive by before they open the office. No stamp is needed, no taking time off of work to get there during their open hours, no paying a silly $2 “convenience fee” for paying online.

    I usually keep a suet and bird seed cylinder with hot pepper in it at my bird feeders. My last one was eaten down to the last inch or so when something took the rest of it – probably a crow or perhaps the one squirrel that has learned to tolerate hot pepper. The bird seed store is not near enough to me to run out and get another cylinder, but I had a bag of bird seed, some extra-hot cayenne pepper and some tallow I had rendered. I used an empty plastic container that dried fruit had come in and made my own small, hot-pepper seed cylinder. It worked, and the birds are pecking away at it.

    I pulled the last of the garden vegetables and pulled up the plants, weeded, and added compost to start the fall garden.

    I found new jelly bags for my jelly strainer that I’ve had forever. The old bags had fallen apart. I have roselle hibiscus starting to bloom, so jelly making is getting close.

    I bought all-purpose flour on sale to get ready to bake for the holidays. I have to eat gluten-free foods per my doctor, but I make gluten foods and desserts for holiday dinners for my family.

    I cut up fresh chickens myself, saving 50 cents a pound, then vacuum sealed them.

    We are not where we can turn off the a/c yet, but that time is coming!

    I hope everyone has a good week!

      1. I read that shaving cream takes out spots so I bought a very small can in the travel area of the grocery store ($1) to use on my car sears. I had to do it twice letting it dry between cleaning and it worked very well.

      2. Don Aslett called them “dry sponges” and sold them at his cleaning store in Pocatello. If the store is still open, I am sure they mail order; if not, your daughter could pick one up for you the next time she is in Poky.

        1. I don’t think she is ever there nor am I up that way very often. I know a lot of people drive back and forth and make lots of trips, but I do not usually travel much.

          1. Look at his website. They mail order, although I didn’t look to see if they still carried this item. When I was looking for them (30 years ago), this was the only place I could find them, and I tried all of the janitorial supply stores in my area. They also have 5 or 6 locations now in Idaho and Utah, including one in Idaho Falls.

      3. I looked and found the dry sponges on Amazon. Don Aslett also had the Clean Report (I believe it was called) website and sold them there.

  26. I’m not sure if I shared it here, but one of my car engines died. I have stopped doing DoorDash as a side gig at least temporarily until I figure out the car situation a bit more and how to proceed. I have been coupon shopping more and using rebates such as ibotta. Our fridge is full and it has impacted the budget less. I have also been home more and cooking more which has been a nice change of pace. I am almost done with some things and will be able to finalize my finances and figure out how to move forward with that as best I can. We haven’t done a great deal in the money saving department but have been looking to more things that are good to do and not expensive like going to church, going to youth group, I also started going to an adult group this Monday with my church. I am trying to refocus my time and energy on good and positive things and people.

    1. One of my greatest frustrations with my wonky head is I often only remember part of a thought or memory. I frequently listen to my darling dahlia recordings. After years ,I’m not sure if I have even listened to a complete book. But they calm me and its soothing. I checked the blog looking for a list of books that Brandy had recommended. I thought that one such list existed. I vaguely remember another series mentioned. Possibly something during the war or depression. Maybe cooking or recipes were part of the story line. As time passes ,my dementia moves along slowly. Just enough to aggravate me. Any suggestions are welcomed. I spent too much money this month or perhaps I should say the children needed extra help. I’m shutdown for the rest of the month. I received a $51.00 electric company rebate. I happily bought my father a genealogy book he asked for. The cooler weather is so nice. I’ve been sitting on the ground doing yard work. This way I don’t fall and still get my gardening done. Sugar cookie requested a pot of soup. I tossed random items in the pot and we enjoyed it several days. I had two large bags of deer corn. I’m not sure what is eating it but my bird feeder drops consistently. We are traveling on a cruise in November. I’m slowing gathering an agenda for Chrissy. I know my time to travel is limited so we are making memories. I hope all is well.

      1. Two series that you might enjoy – one is the Masie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear (series starts just after WWI and continues on) – and another is the Isabel Dalhousie or Sunday Philosophy Club series by Alexander McCall Smith. I love these books for a Sunday afternoon read and I believe they should both be available via talking books if that is easier for you now.

  27. Those chairs are lovely! I have successfully used Folex spray on upholstery fabric and clothing. It has removed stains like red wine like magic! It’s less expensive at Walmart than Amazon.

    We were gone for the weekend for a friend’s birthday. We carpooled and took the Prius to save on gas. It was $6 in the LA area, and $5.35/gallon at Costco near home. 😳 Prices are high again! I also packed snacks and drinks to save cash. I ordered a birthday gift from Etsy during a sale and got free shipping. I loved your lollipop bouquet idea. So clever! 🍭 When we came home, I defrosted some chicken enchilada soup that we hadn’t finished the week before. That was a welcomed and thrifty meal after a long drive.

    My husband and I returned with colds. We’re thankful it’s not Covid! We’re taking care with elderberry syrup, Airborne and vitamin supplements in the hopes of recovering quickly. We have everything on hand. We keep stocked up since Covid.

    Most of my seeds germinated, but the ones that haven’t will be reseeded. I’ll make a note to order more of those in January.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone! 🍁🍂

    1. I love Folex spray and have used it successfully on upholstery and carpets. It is so natural and nontoxic without any smell. Home Depot, at least around here, has always carried it for a fairly low price.

        1. I just looked on Amazon and you can get a spray bottle of Folex for $6.65 . It says ‘carpet cleaner’ but if you read the ‘uses’ it has ‘good for upholstery’ among other things. Very gentle and works so well.

      1. Yes-it’s also available in some stores. I hope you’re all able to locate some! It’s a cupboard standby here. 😊

  28. Brandy, what a nice find on those chairs! We have a saying about garage/estate sales – if you wait long enough, you’ll find everything you’re looking for!

    We are still quite warm here, definitely not feeling like fall! Above normal temperatures in the mid-upper 90s and humid. I long for actual cool fall temperatures, but must accept the reality of where I live. Haha. At least we’ve been able to keep the air running less, and of course our usual routine of fans, ceiling fans, keeping the drapes & blinds closed. I did buy a couple of pumpkins and a mum, so we will see how well they hold up in these temps.

    The frugal stuff: We have cooked and eaten most meals at home, and I’ve been baking bread instead of purchasing it. I have figured out that if I start my dough in the morning in my bread machine, when I come home at lunchtime I can have shaped loaves into the refrigerator to bake when I get home. I can also set the timer for the machine to bake it, but I prefer shaping and baking the loaves in the oven if I have the time. Meals have included meatball subs, baked ziti with meatballs, stuffed salmon with garlic risotto and glazed carrots, sausage patties & biscuits, and deli meat sandwiches on homemade bread. We were both sick with colds last week, and having more issues with our dishwasher (again), so the deli-style sandwiches made several appearances. Minimal dishes and minimal work! Recently I found some anti-aging skincare I really enjoy marked 75% off at a local grocery store that was clearing out stock. I ended up buying several items that will last me quite a while. Most groceries were purchased at Aldi. Tom Thumb/Randalls had pork butt for .99 cents and bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks for .99 cents, but we had no room in our freezer so did not purchase any. We are also trying to eat down the freezer some to make room for holiday bargains, turkey and ham. I did buy some artisan flours at a “fancier” local market, but still feel like I got good prices. I bought a vintage (1980s-90s) American-made leather handbag from a brand I like (vintage Dooney & Bourke all weather leather) at an estate sale closeout for 50% off their price. It was in pristine condition, and I have been carrying that this week quite happily. Had my eye doctor visit and received a new prescription, so got my new lenses at Costco.

    I hope everyone has a lovely week!

    1. Dooney and Bourke are my favourite brand of bags – but now difficult to find in Canada since The Bay no longer carries them. I may have to order my next one online.

  29. After having done grocery pickup since the pandemic, I decided it’s time to go back into the store. I am back to using cash for that. I have a list in a notebook and tally (rounding up) as I put things in the basket. So far, I’ve been able to come in under budget again, after not being able to do that for awhile. Meal planning really helps this, as does not buying many snacky foods. Better for our health too. *Finished another hat for Christmas and a blanket for donation. * We were planning on going to a cabin for the week, but my online classes are a little more time consuming than expected so we decided to just go away for the upcoming weekend instead. Still a bit of a spend, but less than going away for nine days. * Meals have been creamy chicken haystacks and rice, taco salad, grinder salad wraps. I cooked up one pound of breakfast sausage and used it in three meals: calico beans, baked potato topping (with some cream cheese) and pizza topping. That and two chicken breasts were all the meat for the week. I was pleased with this. * For fun we babysat two of our grand darlings so their parents could go out. So good for the soul! * Started wearing my slippers and a sweatshirt so we don’t have to turn on the heat yet. * Read library books and watched football games on broadcast tv. *Hope everyone has a great week!

  30. Congratulations on the great sale finds! The chairs are beautiful. Do you think the fabric could water mark? I appreciate hearing about the dry-cleaning sponge idea. That sounds great, but if that doesn’t work, maybe there is a hidden area under the bottom of the seats that could be used as a test spot for water. I suppose we’re all guessing the stain is from dirt and oils from people’s hands, so something that would cut grease would be good. If you get desperate, you could tack doilies on the arms. Ammonia and water and a sponge has worked for me for cleaning upholstery (a nylon velvet couch and the ceiling of a used car when I couldn’t afford to rent a steam cleaning machine). I like to use ammonia because it doesn’t leave residue, although I would use a respirator now. One thing I wouldn’t try–I remember the time I tried to cut the grease and heavy dirt on an office carpet with Simple Green–bad mistake. The carpet seemed to just attract dirt afterward, and the smell of Simple Green seemed to simply linger forever . . 🙁

    This week I went to the library outlet nearer home to pick up a World War II book I had reserved online, The School That Escaped the Nazis, The True Story of the Schoolteacher Who Defied Hitler by Deborah Cadbury. The library was having a book sale fundraiser, so I purchased another book about the dust bowl, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan for a dollar. I also bought a children’s book, Mary Anning, The Fossil Hunter; a cookbook, Choices; and a two jigsaw puzzles. The $1 cookbook is one I already have, and it is in like new condition, so I plan to use it for a gift. The children’s book and the puzzles were $.25 each. I have collected books, games, and puzzles that I put in a large basket when the grandchildren come. I try to change things out occasionally, so different things are in the basket. I also put items in their room. I have told them they can take anything home with them that is in there that they would like to have. The room is rather bare right now. I need to restyle the tops of the dressers. I have an old bed doll an aunt gave me that I considered sending to Goodwill, but I think I will lay it on a bed in that room. It’s kind of funny because when they get ready to leave for the drive home, I overhear subdued conversations upstairs with their mother that go like, “No, we don’t have room for any more stuff, or the car is full, or we can’t take anything else.” She was a bit of a pack rat herself once upon a time, and she’s my daughter, so she won’t hold it against me:) But it’s nice to have something to do indoors. This past weekend was particularly rainy with fairly high winds blowing debris out of trees, etc. A big transmission line was damaged by the storm, so we had an approximately three-hour power outage. Also, the county’s Emergency Management texted a warning saying there could be 20-foot waves at the beach.

    Another sale I found was some grapefruit and lemons in mesh bags at Fred Meyer that had approximately three pounds per bag for $1 each. At another store I purchased, for $.29 per pound, about ten pounds of overripe bananas that I dehydrated. I was really thankful to get the fruit. I didn’t buy everything available. I thought I would leave some deals for other customers, but on the other hand, I can use the food, and I hate to think it might just be thrown out. Other people in the store did not seem to be at all interested in the less than perfect produce. I don’t know where it actually ends up.

    We had to travel to a medical eye appointment for my husband, so we went to WalMart. I checked to see if just perchance they had a good deal on potatoes as someone here mentioned finding a couple of weeks ago. I would like to buy enough to fill my plastic tote in the garage. In the past potatoes have kept well most of the winter. But WalMart proudly posted a sign of $5.44 for a 10-pound bag of potatoes. That is about double what they cost last year.

    The lenses my husband needed for his glasses cost twice as much, also. Medicare paid for the medical eye appointment, but as always, we had to pay $40 for the glasses prescription. The ophthalmologist’s office handed him the paper copy of his prescription for the $40, and he could buy the lenses from that office or anywhere else he chose. The lens to install in the frame he already owns cost $762 vs. $300+ about two years ago. It is just amazing how fast and how far the prices of things are going. It also seems like quality is going down on a lot of things. Don’t get me started on the onion skin spray painted with aluminum (at least I think that’s how it’s made) that Kroger sells as their “everyday” aluminum foil nowadays.

    The flowers in your opening photo are lovely. They look like little faces, maybe perfect to decorate the top of a cake with.

    Have a nice week.
    Elizabeth H.

  31. Frugal wins this week – accepted an offer from a coworker for our family to come pick apples and pears from their trees. She and her husband feed us all lunch and we had a great time in their woods picking fruit. We came home with a bushel of EACH! I have canned apple rhubarb chutney, ginger pear preserves and pear lime marmalade already and will be doing apple pie filling and halved pears in syrup next.

    We are having some much needed work done to the house in a month but we negotiated a better price by doing all the demo/prep work ourselves. We will have to go through our attic and declutter/consolidate the items we are storing in there so hopefully I will be able to sell them on Facebook Marketplace (which has become a bit of a wild place lately).

    I’ve switched up our meal planning style to something called reverse meal planning. The theory is you use what you have and what is on sale and make a meal plan around that instead of finding recipes you want to make and going and buying what they call for. We’ll see if they have a big influence on our food budget. I have to admit, I am jealous of these $200-$300 food budgets others have mentioned! We have growing young boys in the house so we go though a lot of food!

    1. Sarah, I have been planning menus this way for over 25 years and it really does save a fortune! Buying quantities of meat on sale and freezing it is key. Buy at least one extra turkey and one extra ham at the holidays. Several other things that make a big difference: only buy produce in season; have price points for meat and produce; bake at home; cut down (or out) on snack items…and if you do buy them, remember that anything you can buy in individual bags can be bought in bigger bags (think chips) and portioned out for MUCH le$$. I also buy store-brand cereal. If you find a deal on peanut butter, such as Kroger stores have been having every few weeks (.99 jar for their store brand), buy a case. Ditto for other products that you use a lot, such as spaghetti sauce.

      If I need onions, I will fill a bag if they are less than .49 lb., but if they are more expensive, I buy ONE. After all, I’ll be at the store again in a week. Ditto grapes–my price point is .99 – $1.29 lb. and they go on sale at that price every few weeks. So, if they’re $2.98 lb. this week, I just wait to buy. Bananas are generally a good buy. I buy apples and oranges when they are $1 lb. or less. None of this is difficult once you get the mindset down.

      Find the cheapest store in your area and do the bulk of your shopping there. It will generally be Winco or Aldi, depending on where you live. I generally save .50 to $1.50 PER ITEM at Winco. I have generally found Wal-Mart to be more expensive and I don’t like how they price their produce (per item, which makes it difficult to compare prices per pound).

    2. Sarah, very smart of you to try a new way of buying food. Reverse meal planning can have a HUGE impact on your food bill. It’s how I’ve planned for decades and I have one of those small food budgets while eating well.

  32. Those chairs were a great find – they are beautiful! I love your garden pictures. Someday I hope to have a garden. Right now I just have a coleus on my patio that I bought several months ago, and I have enjoyed it so much.

    Joining in from the Seattle area.

    Today I finally moved all my things out of the storage unit I was renting, so I will be able to cancel the contract as of the end of this month. I ended up having to move my things out of my former residence in a hurry, so everything was kind of a mess. I sorted through just about everything I own, which was a major accomplishment. Many loads went to the thrift store, a bunch of books were sold back to a local bookstore for cash, and my sister is going to sell some stuff for me on Facebook Marketplace. I still have some boxes in my living room. But I am making progress!

    When my mom moved in July, she whittled down her wardrobe considerably. I took several pairs of casual pants destined for the thrift store. They fit, but the waist is a little big. I will take them in eventually, but for now I just put a length of elastic through the belt loops and tied it in front. It’s not fancy, but at least they will stay up!

    I have started squeegeeing the walls in the shower after taking a shower (with a squeegee I got at the dollar store). I read that this helps with moisture in the bathroom (my apartment is a bottom unit and the landlord told me to watch out for mildew issues) and apparently you don’t have to clean the shower as often. Do other people do this, and does it help?

    There were many greens in my farm share this week (and my sister didn’t want to take very many) so I have been trying to find creative ways to use them. What I don’t use, I will blanch and freeze for later. I also got two kabocha squash, which I will make into curried squash soup, one of my favorites. I have been eating food in the freezer to make room for future frozen soup.

    I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and appreciate all the inspiration. Thanks for hosting, Brandy.

    1. I squeegee the shower every day. We have hard water here and this helps so much! It really cuts down my need to use cleaner and to clean it as often. It’s wonderful!

    2. Brandy: lovely pics! Good job on the planter!

      My husband is struggling with three separate health issues, all quite serious. He also got word that his company was laying off all their workers in the States except him and one other employee. His company is based in England and, fortunately, he works remotely. So, things are pretty solemn around here. Yet, we have so much to be thankful for! Not sure I’ll be participating often in the coming weeks, but I certainly will be reading all the wonderful posts and gleaning all the helpful tips as I have much sitting and waiting ahead.

      The weather here is magnificent! I am finishing off the garden and preparing to tuck all the plants and trees in for Fall and Winter. I still have a little Hummingbird that visits twice a day. He “sits” and dines for several minutes each time. He seems quite reluctant to start his Southern journey! He has lifted my spirits in this trying time!

      So, be safe out there. Buy that extra can of beans! Have faith! Onward, y’all, by all means!

    3. Dry squegee works well with dust, scattered toys etc, too. A squegee with a long handle beats a broom any day and keeps the dust to the floor. No mop needed when you have a damp old towel and a long handle squegee. It reaches to cobwebs in the ceiling as well if you don’t have very high ceilings. Check out professional cleaning videos for more inspiration

    4. The squeegee does work in keeping the shower nice. But, for some reason, I don’t like using it. I keep a small towel rolled up that I use the dry down the walls then hang up to dry. We are in a dry climate so that works for me.

  33. My teen got a job at Burlington. This could be a bad thing, lol. She does get a discount.

    My boss gave me a bag of El Salvadoran coffee for my husband (she’s from there)

    Thanks to a Subscribe and Save deal on Amazon, I got container of Dunkin Donuts coffee for less than $11 vs $19 at Walmart.

    The teen cooked taquitos and chicken strips. We used fast food sauces on chicken strip night.

    I had 2 quart bags of chili in the freezer…added 1 more pound of venison and a can of chili beans to make enough for dinner.

    Made $30 on items I had listed on Facebook Marketplace

    I had cornbread mix and didn’t notice it had long expired. It cooked up flat, wasting a couple eggs and milk. I cooled it, then crumbled up outside for the squirrels.

  34. Just returned from an author talk with the library. I was an early registrant and got a free signed copy. It sounds like my daughter would enjoy the genre so I’m hanging on to it for Christmas.
    We’ve had some financial setbacks. I had shared that my husband’s disability was declined. We learned this past week that my daughter’s college lost her loan paperwork and now she’ll be on the hook for $6k this school year. She’s doing everything she can to pick up hours and is loading up on scholarship applications. We’re trying to be optimistic. We may delay getting her driving test for a license as then we’d have to pay insurance for a new driver for another month to save money.
    We went to an orchard to pick raspberries and baked some nice treats for the family. I found a great breakfast recipe for raspberry chia pudding for breakfasts.
    Got flu shot at work and ordered my free home tests. Struggling to get a booster appointment for family. CVS canceled my appointment with no warning Saturday and refused to fix it.
    Garden is coming to a close for the season. I’m working on cleaning my garden beds and harvesting what I can. Dried purple basil and harvested fennel and dill seeds for cooking. I’m attempting to grow bean sprouts indoors as I have so many bean pods that I’d never use them all.
    We actually got rain tonight. Not sure if that means mushrooms will be popping up this weekend or not. If my daughter isn’t working we may have to forage for chanterelles.
    I took a few days off work for fall break and my birthday. If my husband is feeling well we may try camping.
    I know there is more but I’m getting tired. May write more later.
    Have a blessed week, everyone.

    1. I had to appeal twice before SocSecurity disability kicked in. If I knew now what I didn’t know then, I would have used a nonprofit in my city to help process my claim.

  35. Teenagers are highly UNDERrated! I hope they felt pride in a job well done.

    On the frugal front:
    We picked two bags of apples from our neighbors loaded tree. I kept a dozen to eat fresh and peeled, sliced and froze the rest.

    We celebrated a coworker’s birthday at the lab last week. I assembled a charcuterie board with items on hand to share with the staff since the birthday girl prefers salty snacks to cake.

    I had fun discussing the book Tom Lake by Ann Pachett and eating cheese cake (something I never buy or make for myself) at book club.

    I ordered replacement cabin and engine filters for my car on Amazon and changed them myself. I did it before, but it had been awhile so I watched a couple YouTube videos to refresh my memory. It was super quick and easy.

    After several weekends away, we stayed home this weekend and caught up on household chores. Things were looking a little dire. I feel so much better when the house is in order.

    I received several small storage bins from a coworker and used them to organize the products stored under our bathrooms sinks.

    HH and I were very tempted to go out to eat after a day of chores. We opted to bake a $2.50 loss leader, frozen pizza which we had on hand.

    I mended a quilt that we use at the cabin. It truly needs to be replaced, but the mending will give me time to look for a replacement.

    I look forward to reading everyone’s frugal feats!

  36. Hello! We are still recovering from all the unexpected dental bills for our son. So we have not been shopping all week and are trying to eat and make from what we have on hand. Tomorrow night I will make a version of hamburger helper. Wish me luck. We went to a local wine region over the weekend to start my birthday celebrating early! The restaurant that we had reservations at was closed for some reason. So that put a wrench into our plans. We went to another restaurant, while cheaper, was definitely not as good. we took a walk around the downtown area. Including a thrift store, where the prices were anything but thrift! For one pair of shoes they wanted $65 can you imagine? All was not lost though. We were able to stop at the bakery, where we had ordered our wedding cake many many years ago and were able to buy a few pieces by the slice. It was a fun memory and not that expensive. To Make up for kind of the disastrous weekend, my husband took me out to lunch in another area today which was lovely. We also stopped at a local pumpkin farm and I picked up several small pumpkins and gourds that I will arrange on my dining room table. On Friday night I will be going to a paint night fundraiser for my son’s school band. It will be nice to hang out with some other people and actually get out of the house and do something different. I’ve been struggling a little bit lately With some mental health moments, so I’m trying to do different things to get out of the house and cheer myself up. Have a great week everyone!

  37. I really like what you are doing to the large pots for your garden. Very striking.
    A busy week once again, as we are preparing for our first frost.
    Garden – Picked tomatoes, peppers, snow peas, zucchini, broccoli, corn, herbs as needed and all of the carrots. It ended up being about 25 pounds of carrots. Will take some to son and DIL when I go visit this weekend.
    Preserving – Made a batch of pizza sauce using tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs from the garden. Just made a small batch to test and see if we liked it (a new recipe). We did, so made two more batches. In all froze 11 pints of pizza sauce. Picked large bell peppers for stuffed peppers, then made them. This recipe called for cutting the peppers in half horizontally, and then roasting for 20 minutes prior to stuffing. Turned out very well, and a half stuffed pepper was plenty for a meal. Made 8 peppers (so 16 halves) and froze 10 of them.
    Other – gave corn, tomatoes, and onions to a neighbor. Took some tomatoes to some workers in my credit union. They were so kind in answering some questions I had. The DH gave tomatoes to several of his friends. (We have an abundant supply of tomatoes this year). He also took corn, tomatoes onions and peppers to another friend.
    Cooking – in addition to the preserving as noted above, I made a small pizza to test out the pizza sauce, made a stir fry using carrots, snow peas, broccoli, onions and zucchini from the garden. Added some chicken and noodles, and had a one dish dinner. Had corn on the cob several times. Made coleslaw to go with the BBQ hamburgers made by DH. Made a batch of Italian dressing using my homemade mix.
    We probably have another week or two in the garden, then the weather will chase us inside. Still plenty to do – shelling beans, drying herbs, roasting red peppers, and so on. Will be busy till the end of October at least.
    Hope eveyone has a good week.

  38. I wasn’t able to save as much as I wanted to, but I started a part-time job after being a homemaker for the majority of 20 years. I made sure to get one where I can wear the clothes I already have and where I won’t need to worry about packing a lunch or purchasing food out. I hope to put the majority of my paychecks into my savings.

    1. Erin, Best wishes on your new job!
      (Look into putting your salary into an IRA if you need retirement savings rather than general savings? Or both.)

  39. Love the chairs and sucker bouquet idea. We had friends over for dinner, my husband made breakfast for dinner and everyone enjoyed it. We have been walking ever morning love seeing the sun rise. Ordered my free covid tests. Continued to hang up clothes to dry on my racks. My husband got us a rose bush for the front yard. We have been taking our grandson to the park to ride his bike, extra walking and one on one time. He showed cows over the weekend and received 2 ribbons for showmanship.

  40. It’s finally starting to feel a little like fall here, and it is so nice. I feel like I have much more energy just because the oppressive heat is gone.

    Last week, I got creative with meals, using what I had, before buying more groceries. I also said yes to some leftovers my parents offered.

    I resisted the temptation to buy fall decorations. Instead, I did some deep cleaning to make my space prettier and more comfortable for free.

    I bought a new phone at 40% off, after selecting the least expensive model that would meet my needs. It had been so long since I last bought one, I didn’t realize that it wouldn’t come with a charger. After trying the old ones I had and realizing that none of them were the right type, I found what I needed on Amazon. I used part of a gift card I had saved to pay for the charger.

    Needed a new vacuum, so found one that is inexpensive and well reviewed on Amazon. Since I have almost enough credit left to buy it, I plan to do surveys to earn the rest so I can get it without spending any money.

    I bought vitamins for 20% off with a coupon plus another 5% for using my store loyalty card.

  41. Hi Brandy,

    I’ve started this twice and each time I was interrupted so here goes again.
    I love your new chairs, Brandy. I was interested in all the suggestions
    about cleaning the armrests. My first thoughts are to agree with Jo —
    not to use anything water based. I always learn something new here — Folex
    spray sounds very interesting and I’m going to try it on my carpet.

    It again wasn’t a frugal week for me. I have been trying to stock up on some sale items.
    No Frills has some good specials starting tomorrow, especially the President’s Choice entrees
    (lasagnas of different types, beef stroganoff, etc). Their prices on squash are great too.

    There are hard water deposits in the toilet so I learned on YouTube that a hard dishwasher cube
    (like the ones with the red centres) can just be dropped into the toilet, left to dissolve and this will take
    care of the ring. So far, so good.

    Last week I hired a friend’s brother to mow my lawn (the last mowing of the year), to put the rock chips on my scree garden
    on the boulevard, to put sand and rock chips onto my rock garden dry stream bed (that finishes it finally except for planting which I’ll defer until next spring). He worked hard – he is retired but still strong… I paid him above minimum wage — worth every penny.

    I had an unexpected set back financially so some things are just going to have to wait for a month or so.

    I planned a fundraising tea. It raises money for grants, loans and scholarships for women. Ironically I’m not going to
    the tea but it is all organized now. Thank heavens!

    I’m busy sorting out my late friend’s papers — they are going to the city archives before the snow flies!
    I finished reading my copy of The Gown, which I bought for $4.99 from amazon.ca. (reg $21.99) I really enjoyed it. A second copy is destined to be a Christmas gift. I am keeping my eyes open for other bargains – I bought a second book (regular price) which I may regift. it is called
    Killers of the Flower moon based on the true story of the murders of many Osage Indians who were wealthy due to mineral rights. A gory but riveting book. I couldn’t put it down.
    So now I’ve put all books aside until sorting, decluttering of things is done.

    1. I just finished reading “The Gown” also and just loved it. It is a historical fiction book about the wedding dress of Queen Elizabeth in 1947. Author is Jennifer Robson, and I got it from the library. If you enjoy sewing or embroidery you will like it. I kept having to go to Google (images) to see the actual dress she wore and how beautiful the beadwork and embroidery is, especially on the 15 foot train. I liked reading about how the fashion house that was commissioned to make her dress had to hide what they were doing so details of the dress wouldn’t be leaked. The story of the friendship between two of the embroiderers was wonderful.

    2. Hi Ann – I picked up a vegetarian and a chicken lasagna from that sale so thanks for the heads up – I hadn’t noticed it in the flyer. I had to cook both right away as my freezer is stuffed but I portioned up pieces afterwards and managed to get about 6 generous servings into the freezer that way – I’ll eat the other pieces over the next couple of days with a salad.

  42. Happy Autumn! I hope it is at least staring to feel like the season where all of you are. The seasonal temperatures here are making it so lovely to be out putting parts of the garden to bed, doing some of the last mowing and weed eating of the year and other Winter preparation tasks.
    *We are in the midst of building another large garden as part of our new chicken house build. The chickens will have an extra run that will also be a compost area so they can continue to do that work for us but it will be right next to this garden which makes it easy to transport. Since we live where there is very little flat area, everything has to be terraced and gardening in boxes and terracing them works well for us. My husband found some more of the galvanized ones we have in our kitchen garden for 50% off (less than he could build them for out of wood) so we ordered 8 more so there will be 12 total. This garden will have 3 rows of 4 boxes each with a center aisle and will be surrounded by a fence (deer-height.) The fence will be put up in Spring but we are getting all the garden boxes terraced in – one of two a day till its all done. Slow and sure wins the race. 🙂 Having more garden space (this will be our 3rd garden) will allow us to grow even more food and flowers which I love.
    *The kitchen garden is being reworked to allow space for a tractor or truck to drive through and access a part of our woods where we tend to harvest firewood. Right now, there are garden boxes in the way so they are being moved over and then the open space will have the picnic table and chairs which can be moved when we need to get a vehicle through. We have lived here almost 6 years and it is funny how it takes living somewhere a while before you really know how you need it to function at its optimal. Good thing we enjoy reworking things and figuring it out!
    *Earmarked some more things to be sold at our neighbor’s antique booth. Autumn dose seem like a natural time to clear out and ready the home for more nesting.
    *Reading “Crow Planet” and loving it. People seem to have strong opinions about crows and I, for one, love them. Also continuing to enjoy Peter Santanello’s YT channel. So much to learn.
    *Enjoy your week, all!

  43. Brandy, your photos are just lovely, I can feel the stress lowering just viewing the beauty!

    It has been quite cool the last couple of weeks, so no ac at all this month and getting by with the whole house fan if needed! It has been wonderful weather and it has made garden work so much more pleasant when it is cool! I have been picking kale, peppers, tomatoes and the last few puny cantaloupes. I planted more lettuce, kale, chard and beets. This is my third planting of lettuce and hoping this batch germinates! I have lengthening my beds using the lasagna method and free wood chips to mulch the paths. I am praying for a productive fall/ winter garden. I cringe at the grocery store at the prices for produce and meats, if something isn’t on markdown I don’t buy and shift my meal plans.

    This week at the grocery I bought 3 bags of marked down bananas for smoothies, chocolate avocado mousse and banana bread. I also found 3 5 oz.tubs of organic romaine regularly 4.99, at BIGIF and $2 coupons, so 50 cents a tub. That made 4 meals for $1.50 and I got lots of veggies in my hubby!😊 our neighbor gave us 1 1/2 dozen Guinea eggs that we ate in omelettes and stir fry dinners that were completely free with our veggies.

    I have been collecting our dehumidifier water and using it along with my English ivy homemade laundry detergent and line drying the wash. It makes for pretty cheap laundry, only cost is the electricity.

    Hoping you all are enjoying this weather and are busy prepping for colder weather! Thank you for faithfully sharing your wisdom and encouragement!

  44. I have started bringing snacks with me everywhere I go and this has drastically reduced my need to make unscheduled stops at convenience stores or grocery stores. Still trying to stay out of stores in general.
    I wanted to share something that I recently discovered in case it helps someone else. I am studying French and have been for a few years. I am always trying to find free resources – especially to hear the language being spoken.
    My family already subscribes to two streaming services – Netfl** and Amaz** ( no savings there but we are already customers). I just learned that I can watch some of the movies in French or at least have French subtitles on the screen. Netfl** also has the option to slow the audio down on some of the shows as well. So I can watch a show in French spoken slowly….. I have been watching cartoons in French at 0.75 speed 🙂 Je suis tres heureuse!

    1. You might do a search for “slow French” on YouTube. There are various videos posted by French speakers where they speak more slowly so it’s easier to understand. A friend told me about it several years ago, and Brandy may have mentioned it as well.
      There is also a Slow French podcast, but it looks like it’s a paid subscription. I found some of the older podcast episodes on YouTube. Good luck!

  45. I have a basket of peppermint that has “died” twice now — and is back with a rush!

    We’re in Vegas for a working gig, staying at Excalibur. (I have appraising to do for a client.) It seems surprisingly cool in the mornings…but I still ended up feeling sticky. There was a $30 foot credit promo — the first clerk told me (insisted) that wasn’t true…and the second clerk said, “Of course. It’s right here on your account!” Then we found out that nearly every food place in the building where we could use the credit was closed on Wednesdays…which is today. It will be easier the rest of the week.

    I keep thinking of you, Brandy, while looking at the various greenery.

  46. This past weekend was a good example of why I like to have a well stocked pantry. My husband and I were returning home from a short getaway when our son called. He asked if we could come stay with them for the weekend as he, his wife and the 7 month old baby were all sick (the baby was better off than her parents, thankfully) We said we would come the next day- Friday-as we were almost home, which is 225 miles from them.

    As soon as we walked in the door, I grabbed a bag with a chicken carcass plus veggie scraps and trimmings that I had in the freezer. They went in the crock pot on high to make bone broth for chicken soup. At bedtime, I put fresh veggies, chicken bits and other soup ingredients back in the slow cooker. It cooked on low overnight and was ready in the morning. I defrosted ingredients and assembled a favorite comfort casserole. I partially assembled an Asian slaw, taking the dressing with me and took a bag of apples to bake. I had scratch sugar cookie dough in the freezer that I took along too. I also took avocados, cheese, crackers and bread that could be used for snacks, breakfast or lunch. I took Gatorade and tissues from my storage. I did purchase an acorn squash (.99#) as my son mentioned wanting that. Since the grandbaby is eating purees which my Dil likes to make, I knew baby could eat the squash and apples.

    We were home about 16 hours before heading back out. When we arrived at “sick bay” we were able to take care of the baby to allow them to rest and let their meds begin to work. I was able to put a full meal on the table. My son, who is naturally thin, had lost weight over the previous few days. He ate pretty well with some of his favorites.

    The next morning we had breakfast options and soup for lunch. I did run to the store and picked up another loaf of bread and a half priced marinated pork tenderloin fot 4.50 that served us dinner the second night with the leftover sides. The pork also provided leftovers along with the casserole and soup for the future. We were prepared to stay until Monday but they were much improved Sunday so we returned home, thankful they were better, we were able to help out and most importantly, to get some sweet snuggles with our granddaughter! 🙂 I was grateful I had most everything I needed at my fingertips. Had a trip to the store been required, I wouldn’t have had the time to complete as many dishes with the brief turn around time. I was also glad we could leave them with ready made food for several meals after we left.

    Unfortunately, my husband is now under the weather, so I did a repeat of the chicken soup. This helps in clearing out the freezers!

    Brandy, your urns turned out great and the chairs are lovely. Can’t wait to learn more this week from all of you!

    1. Lynn this was so awesome to read and I love the idea of being prepared at a moments notice- my husband sometimes puts a damper saying I am doing too much but I love helping the young adults and also getting time with granddaughter

      1. Pam, I’m glad you enjoyed it! We lovingly refer to my mother as providing “Meals on Wheels” as whenever she arrived for a visit, it was always with meals in tow! So I learned from the best! 🙂 Even now, at 92, when we go home for visits, she spoils us by making my husband’s favorite cheese straws and other snacks for us!

        I know for our children, now young adults, they are all so busy with demanding jobs. When I get the chance to visit, I’m delighted to take a meal or two. I feel like we can have more meaningful conversations in their homes vs many restaurants. Plus, they don’t make many of their old time favorites themselves and they seem to really enjoy them! It is definitely more frugal.

        I do usually have a good stockpile. When covid hit, despite having completed a “pantry challenge” where I had eaten down many of my foodstuffs, I still had plenty of food for us-plus toilet paper! I like the security it provides.

        Now, with our first grandbaby, I’m delighted for any excuse to go see her! So I’m right there with you regarding helping out the young adults and spending time with granddaughters! 😍

  47. To Robbie:
    My husband has epilepsy and RA and it took him 5 years to be approved for disability. We finally had to hire a lawyer who specializes in disability claims to be approved. He was approved in three months after this and got a check going back to the time that he first filed. Don’t give up and have faith that it just sometimes takes time and lots of faith.
    Diana P

  48. We use AC window units to cool our house. Last summer our electricity bill seemed too high. So my husband put a meter thing on the window units to see how much electricity they use. We have 3 of them. Ends up one of them used as much electricity as the other two combined. So we bought a new window unit on sale for $270 that has Bluetooth capability to the phone for programming it and turning the temp up and down. Our first electricity bill came and we saved $150 a month!

    This year has been a struggle to adjust to my husband working 30% of the time out of town. Last week was his first week home in 5 weeks. Monday he got less than a 24 hour notice for a business trip out of town. With 4 kids the cost adds up greatly for us to go along because it requires an extra vehicle and an extra hotel room. That was always our dream since we home school, for us to travel with Daddy, but right now the money is not in the budget.

    Last week the 2 teens were at Papa’s house helping him build a shed. So the 2 elementary kids and I got to go along at no extra cost since we could travel in one vehicle, stay in 1 hotel room, and pack food. We got to go to downtown Nashville. The hotel had a shuttle service to downtown. The library was in walking distance from the stop. So the kids and I had a great time hanging out at the library each day and the kids swam in the hotel pool at night. There was free breakfast at the hotel in the morning. It was a wonderful blessing!

  49. I spent $25.69 on groceries for the week for my family. We went camping, taking all food with us. I gardened, harvested fruit and vegetables, hosted a play date and served cinnamon loaf with icing (free at grocery outlet) and tea/coffee, buried food scraps in the garden, hung all washing to line dry, kept electricity and water usage to a minimum, bicycled everywhere except to and from camping and went to the library. It has been a busy and fun week!

  50. Brandy, I use Folex on *everything* for fabric stains and it is truly mind-boggling how well it works. Highly recommend trying a bottle. It will not go to waste!

  51. I joined Maxine in the savings challenge. My goal too was to save at least $125 in September. I managed to save $250 and it is in a savings account proper, not tucked into the regular checking account. I’m very proud of that savings!

    I have started a stock up list which I plan to use as my shopping list in October. I have a number of items that I am out of and which I want to get back on our shelves in the pantry. I plan to buy only what fresh produce and dairy is needed and try to skip other sales unless they are super fantastic. I organized my freezer and feel I’ve more than enough meat to last us up to the holidays when Ham and Turkey will go on sale.

    I ordered a new coat from Amazon. It’s a lovely coat, nice and heavy and fits perfectly and was only about $90 which was a bonus compared to other coats I’d been looking at.

    I made all our meals at home this past week. We had Barbecued Cheddar Meatballs (Six Sisters, next time I’ll leave out the cheddar), Red Beans and Rice, Herb and Mayo roasted Turkey breast, Turkey Tetrazzini and then my son brought us over a container of Hungarian Cabbage Roll Casserole which was delicious. It was a little low on meat for my dietary needs but we had enough meatballs leftover to have one each with the meal (they are really good sized meatballs) so this worked out. I made bread and an apple cake.

    The money saved from the coop and the overage I’d set aside for the electric bill through the spring months, meant I had to pay only $10 more for my propane gas fill-up which I thought was great.

    My grocery purchases for this weekend were 3 cartons of 18ct. eggs. I forgot to load the digital coupon so didn’t get the full savings but as I reminded myself the price I paid today was the digital savings amount 6 weeks ago, so I still feel like I did ok. I also picked up some discounted breads in the bakery (croissants and a package of Brioche type rolls that are slider sized which I’ll save for a meal in a couple of week). Was shocked at cost of a package of a name brand cookie I’d been craving and couldn’t find. I did buy one packet, but I won’t be buying any more anytime soon. I’ll have to find a copycat recipe.

    I got more soil last weekend and this week I planted my entire garden. I have cilantro, parsley, chives. I planted carrots, green and yellow bush beans, sugar snap peas, beets, carrots and Mesclun mix lettuces. My tomatoes have revived and have put on blooms so I’m hoping I can get a harvest of tomatoes one more time before killing frosts hit those.

    I cashed in Fetch reward points for a gift card to our favorite restaurant, earned $14.26 from Amazon Affiliate links on my blog.

    We’ve had somewhat cooler temperatures and so the AC is off most of the night and often well into the midday. I’ve had windows open most mornings.

Leave a Reply

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