It was a very expensive week, as bith of my two central air conditioning units went out and one needs to be replaced (the other was repaired last week). It’s very hot in the house, and it will be until the new unit comes and can be installed at the end of this week. It’s 108°F/42°C here.

This is a major expense, so my efforts to save money in all areas are more important than ever.

Thankfully, I had baked several meals’ worth of chicken the night before the first air conditioner went out, so I didn’t have to use the oven.

I got a flat tire due to a large screw in my tire, and was able to fill it temporarily with air and drive to a repair place, which fixed it for free. These are new tires and I was very grateful to have been able to get it fixed; I went in half an hour before they closed, and they still fixed it for me.

We had leftovers, salads, quesadillas, sandwiches, omelets, and pancakes.

I cut roses from the garden to enjoy inside. I don’t usually get roses in August, and not all of my bushes are blooming yet, but enough were to cut an arrangement’s worth.

I enjoyed breakfast outside alone one morning. I moved my pink kalanchoe (shown above) from my kitchen table to my outside table to enjoy during my meal. I have found that a quiet breakfast alone early in the morning brings me a lot of peace. I don’t have to spend the money to go out, and I can keep my meal low-calorie, while enjoying the garden in the early morning hours before it gets hot.

I found a dress for myself for $16.99 at Ross. The sleeves were extremely long and loose, and didn’t seem to match the style of the dress. I cut them off at the elbow and I will be hemming them this week. I plan to use the fabric from the bottom of the sleeves to sew a matching purse.

I collected warm-up water from the shower and water drip from the one working ac unit while it was working and used that water to water potted plants in the garden. I also poured all water left in drinking glasses at the end of the day onto my potted plants.

I said yes to 4 leftover cheeseburger patties, some bacon, and some hotdogs at the end of a church dinner when the food was offered to me.

I harvested garlic chives and mint from the garden.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Isn’t it remarkable how major things go wrong when husbands are not there? My husband used to work a week away every other week—and everything major happened when he wasn’t there, from flooded hot water tanks to car trouble to a swarm of bees to that one memorable time when a naked lady(a stranger) rang our doorbell at 2am on a very cold winter’s night. Point is, nothing ever happened on his “home” weeks! But, seriously, I hope you get the a/c up and running; that is a life necessity where temperatures are so high. You’ve had more than your share of breakdowns and problems the past while. Hugs to you as you cope.
    *This week I canned peaches as slices, peach pie filling, and peach jam.
    * Finally the blackberries that grow wild in our region were starting to ripen. They grow in empty lots and are free for the picking. The berries aren’t as plump as they could be (due to very little rain), but they’ve had plenty of sunshine so they were very sweet and flavourful. I made blackberry jam and blackberry pie filling to waterbath can. We will likely pick more as they only cost us picking time, and as I didn’t do strawberry or raspberry jams this year b/c the lowest price here was Cdn$3.50/lb! Way to expensive for jams!
    * We ate green beans, basil and tomatoes grown in pots on our patio.
    *Gummy-style vitamins were on a deep sale, so I bought adult type for us as well as a big jar of children type for grandkids.
    *Otherwise an ordinary week filled with the usual day to day frugalities.

    1. The hot water heater could definitely be next!

      I was telling a few people that if the house caught fire the next day, I would NOT be surprised!

      It has been a huge number of things breaking since he has been away.

      1. My husband has travelled for work for the past 37 years. I quickly learned that something would break down ( house, car, etc.) and one of the children would be ill while he was gone. Once I knew to expect these problems, I stopped being surprised when they popped up. Now that my children are grown it is usually just a house problem that crops up.

  2. Hi Brandy and everyone
    I love the photos of bourgainvillia, we used to live abroad and enjoyed those tropical flowers. Annoying that both your Aircon units went out, hope all is sorted soon. There’s always something when you’re a homeowner!
    I stocked up with tea and coffee on a deal and used a coupon for a free multibag
    of crisps from Lidl. We don’t eat them often but they’re quite useful in the larder for a picnic.
    We gratefully received plums from a friend and from the garden used tomatoes, french beans, marrow, beetroot and potatoes.
    We have cut down on the number of Christmas cards we will send out but have decided to still keep up the practice so I am buying a book of stamps each month to spread the cost.
    I have done lots of decluttering and took bags to the recycling centre and charity shop. I washed and line dried winter fleece jackets. I did a stocktake of some first aid supplies and toiletries and discovered several tubes of hand cream which will keep me going till Christmas when I usually receive some as gifts. All my hair combs seem to have been eaten by the comb monster and I thought I needed to buy one but happily found one in the stocktake.
    I enjoyed looking around several charity shops for books and bought two British Library crime classics and another like new book for a gift.
    We have been eating down the freezer this week.
    If anyone’s interested in military bands, Highland dancing etc the BBC showed the Edinburgh Military Tattoo last night and alongside the massed bands of pipes and drums we watched the band of the US Air Force, the King of Norway’s military band and one from Trinidad and Tobago.
    Our nurse daughter ( we’re in the UK) says her hospital is seeing more cases of COVID again and some very sick people. Stay safe everyone.

    1. I attended the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 1998. A wonderful memory. I’m going to do a little research to see if it is available for viewing in the US. Thanks for the tip.

    2. That’s such a great idea to start buying stamps for Christmas cards now (to spread out the cost). I’m definitely going to implement that!

      1. Hi Natasha
        I like to get a headstart on Christmas and have everything done before December if I can, apart from some fresh fruit and veg. Then I can enjoy the season!

        1. I have boxes of cards bought on sale after last Christmas and I bought some special ones at an art gallery I visited a couple of weeks ago so that is done. Like you, I also by stamps well ahead of time – it makes a real difference as they are so expensive!

          1. Hi Margie
            Yes it all makes a difference. I bought cards for this year back in March at a donkey sanctuary. They were marked right down but are so cute, donkeys in the snow etc!

  3. Oh Brandy! So very sorry that you’re experiencing issues with your AC units. What a blessing though that one was repairable and is offering a bit of respite from the heat. Our downstairs unit was out for two weeks this Summer as well and we were so thankful to have the upstairs unit functioning, and to occasionally retreat to during the day. Hubby and I often remind ourselves that the good that came out of it is that we now know we ARE capable of surviving without the AC, even if it’s unpleasant and we’d rather have it operational. Hoping your second unit is replaced soon for you and your children.

    Another blessing – that your tire was repaired promptly and free of charge. Here in Texas, if we buy our tires at Discount Tire, they will repair for free as well. Fortunately, they typically have the best prices so it’s an easy decision to buy from them. Glad you were back on the road quickly. And great going on getting your tire temporarily mended until you reached the tire shop!

    So happy to share that we were blessed with ¼” rain this past week! The first measurable rain we’ve had in many months and even though we need much more to end this drought, it went a long way by raising our spirits and hopes for more! We were so excited that we stood on our back deck letting the drops wet our skin and clothing!

    Frugal efforts:

    *Once again discovered an error on a store receipt. Bought a new marine battery (for our gate opener) and the store failed to credit us $12.00 for the core battery we provided. When we alerted the clerk to the error (thankfully, prior to leaving the store), she gladly corrected it, and advised we would actually receive a debit card credit of $12.99 because through a glitch in their computer system, it also credits for tax on that amount. This is the third time in as many months (all different stores) that we’ve discovered overcharges/missed discounts on receipts. It really does pay to check those receipts prior to leaving the store. We live 40 miles roundtrip from these stores and have been advised they won’t process the credits/refunds via a call to customer service – has to be done in person at the store location where the error occurred.

    *Handy hubby installed a new entire exhaust system on our old truck. Saving us $400+ in labor costs.

    *Bought grapes at a great price in a container advertised as 3# for a set price. Weighed several containers and chose the heaviest … 3.5#! Got more product for my dollar.

    *Found great prices at Walmart online on a few nonperishable items we routinely buy and received free shipping. Continuing to compare prices at other sources (Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, etc.) and not assume that Amazon is always the lowest priced.

    *Free entertainment this past week was watching (the Texas team progress through the Little League World Series bracket. So entertaining and refreshing to see true teamwork and good sportsmanship among players from all countries – a great example for adults. They’re all winners!

    *Other free entertainment: **Observing a variety of birds and squirrels at our feeders and bird bath. Drought has brought them all to our little oasis. Hummingbirds are enjoying rehydrating on homemade nectar in the feeders. **Got in daily walk at a new-to-us shady and scenic historic cemetery while in the area. **Discovered a small historical park and enjoyed reading the plaques and touring the buildings and train caboose. **Enjoying watching classic nostalgic series – Leave it to Beaver and Family Affair.

    *Created September trackers/checklists inserts for my ring planner in Word and Publisher. Easy to customize and just takes time, but eliminates a purchase.

    *Darned socks to extend their life. This really is a satisfying and relaxing process.

    *Updated camping/RV packing checklists. We have separate lists for RV interior (mine) and exterior (hubby). These help ensure we don’t forget any items and eliminates the need to purchase forgotten items while on the road, where they’re definitely more costly.

    *Making tabletop wood décor Christmas trees again this year to give as gifts. Only supplies needed are dollar store towering blocks (their smaller version of Jenga blocks), wood glue and craft paint. All supplies are on hand.

    *Added thinly sliced cucumbers to a jar of pickle liquid and let set in the fridge. They are a nice mild flavor and we’re enjoying them with lunches.

    *Gifted my container tomato plant to our son who will no doubt coax it into blooming and producing. Savings = water and time.

    *Continuing to do all our typical frugal daily routine items… larger loads of laundry and line dried only; all leftovers refreshed for additional meals; lights/ceiling fans turned off in rooms we weren’t spending time in; central AC thermostats set at 80F degrees downstairs and 84/85F degrees upstairs during the day; kitchen sink warm up water used to water outdoor plants; dehumidifier water used to water outdoor nonfood producing plants; bath water used to water areas of lawn during this period of extreme heat and drought; only turned indoor lights on during the day when absolutely necessary – we have lots of natural light; ate from freezer/pantry except one restaurant meal.

    *Gratitude – This week I’m especially thankful for our good health, visits with neighbors, and a fun frugal outing with dear son.

    Wishing everyone a frugal and fun week ahead!

      1. I have used Discount Tires in Texas for many years. They have stood by their products. I have used the free wheel balancing, flat repairs, & tire warranty. I always get the road hazard insurance & they have replaced 4 tires for me in 10 years. I had a new car in 2013 & hit a curb blowing out a tire soon after I bought the car. I didn’t buy the tire at Discount Tires. However they called the manufacturer & got me a new Goodyear tire for 50% off. (Of course I had to listen to the husband lecture me on ruining a new tire.)

    1. That comment about the bird “oasis” made me smile, because I wrote and referenced the very same thing in my blog on Sunday! Our heat, humidity and drought here in TX have been B.R.U.T.A.L., as you well know! Thankfully, following Eric Berger: Space City Weather on FB and reading everyone’s comments has helped lighten the oppression this weather is causing everyone. I strongly believe in trying to keep a sense of humor through even the most difficult of times. Stay cool and hydrated my fellow Texan!

      1. TJ ….

        Our Texas weather and temps have been surprising, haven’t they? I think if we’d had a little rain mixed in, the extreme temps would have seemed less daunting. Glad you got a smile from envisioning our bird and squirrel oasis! It truly does appear to be one. We have such a wonderful mix of birds – sparrows, cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, hummingbirds, wrens and, of course, the squirrels! We even had a neighbor’s cat standing on its back legs and drinking from our bird feeder this morning. We’re in a small rural town and when we first moved in, raccoons even visited us from time to time. I’ll be sure to check out Eric Berger’s site. Have a great day!

    2. My son has worked for Discount Tire for years. DT really cares about people and their safety. They will repair any tire for free (if it is repairable), even if you purchased the tire somewhere else.

      1. Mominem –

        So great to hear that about Discount Tire! We’ve only positive things to say about them. And, have always witnessed the staff being extra courteous and empathetic with customers. A great work environment for your son!

  4. Oh, Brandy! What a hard week!! I can’t imagine living in your heat without the air con! This week is cooling down. There will be one day where our high temp will be in the 70’s , so autumn is getting closer. We had a big thunderstorm on Wednesday night/Thursday morning that left us without power . Fortunately, it went out at 3 AM and came back by 7:30 AM. Because of all the rain, Dave had to switch the diverted on our 4 rain barrels back to the downspout because the barrels are all filled to the brim! Knowing how many people still are in drought conditions around the country/world, we feel grateful and wish there was some way to share it with them!

    This has been a quilting week! Here are the client quilts I’ve finished since last Monday: and (These two are using same pattern/fabrics. A client made these for the bunk beds in their RV.) . Another client brought me 2 pieces of Pokémon fabric to put batting between and quilt with a star design that she could bind and give as a quick baby quilt! Not a bad idea for a gift in a hurry! Same client brought me a wall hanging to quilt that she never really liked but thought she would like to have quilted. (front) and (back). Here is the third of 4 she sent over that I finished this morning: . The fourth one is started on Lenni. Besides those 4 quilts, another 8 quilts came in from various clients, so my days/ evenings are spent getting those done! Good thing we have a lot of grab and go kinds of meals in freezer and pantry!! The extra money from all this work will help replenish money we used for siding company and now, the painters who just got started on Friday!

    I bought my limit 5 jars of Kroger peanut butter with their 99 cent coupon price. I was sad that it as only 5 jars because typically, I only buy peanut butter once a year. I use it in baking, sandwiches, etc. On Saturday, after dropping my daughter off in her suburb, I found a few Flashfood things at her Meijers, so I went over there (less than 5 minutes from her house). I picked up some fresh corn (5/$2) for a BBQ we were hosting that night and was walking to the checkout, when I saw a huge display with Skippy creamy peanut butter. Their “normal” price these days is $2.89/16.3 Oz jar. 😱These had a sell by date about a week from now and we’re priced at 49 cents a jar!! ❤️ Suffice it to say, I won’t need to buy peanut butter for the next year!! I felt like we were being watched over. At our house, we would call it a “tithing blessing”.

    Our new chickens are laying 6- 7 eggs per day and providing us, also, with compost additives! We feel like they were a wise investment.
    Harvesting lots of tomatoes, chard, peppers, cabbage, etc. I have several sunflowers blooming from some little starts that a friend gave me. I’ve never raised sunflowers before and these are a smaller variety. Can I still harvest seeds from their centers?

    Hope the week in front of you looks better than last week did for you, Brandy! Glad you have carved out a little time/space for yourself to feel peace. Prayers to you and your family!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. You should be able to harvest the seeds.

      HOWEVER, if they are a hybrid variety, it may only work for one year.

      I had a hybrid sunflower from which I collected seeds and replanted one year.

      The next year, I couldn’t figure out why the birds were ignoring the seeds.

      I looked, and every single seed shell was EMPTY inside! They grew that way!

    2. Pat
      Some of your links showing the quilts aren’t working correctly. One just keeps popping up after the beautiful twin quilts for the RV bunks. I love looking at the ones you complete. Some very talented quilters look to you to finish quilts for them. I hope to be one of them sometime this year.

    3. Gardenpat,
      I love Reese’s but until covid and buying groceries for my mom I had never purchased peanut butter. Just not part of my diet. The Skippy you bought with a week left on sell-by date will still be good for consumption in a year ? Do you do anything special for it (fridge or freezer ?) or just put it on a shelf? I didn’t even buy any of the 99cents jars because she already had one opened. My mom eats a spoonful each day for protein so I may need to up my peanut butter buying game.
      Love seeing the pics of the quilts. Thanks for sharing.

      1. TCR- I have kept unopened Peanut butter on a shelf in my basement – dark, cool and dry- for a year past sell by date without any rancid or “off” taste or texture.

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  5. Thank you Brandy and everyone else for sharing.
    Your plans to match a dress and a purse made me smile.
    I found a discounted perfect summer dress for me (unusual) but it was too short. I bought 2 dresses and took them to someone who will use one dress´s ruffle to make another dress longer and I plan to get a small dress made from leftover for my daughter. 2 dresses were relatively cheap still.
    I read an interesting tip about boiling several eggs at once easily for salad or just for eating. Crack them all into a bowl, put a bowl into a bigger pot with boiling water, boil a bit and you will get a cooked egg product which is ready to use.

  6. Hello, frugal friends! Brandy, I am so sorry you had such an expensive week. I do not want to think what it must feel like with no a/c. Here’s hoping the new unit comes in earlier than expected and can be immediately installed. And how nice that your tire was fixed so late in the work day and for free. It shows there are still good people out there in the world.
    On the frugal front:
    *We were blessed to be invited for a week at the beach by some good friends who have a timeshare. We went and enjoyed everything. Our lodging was covered but we did spend on a nice dinner for the 4 of us, one breakfast, movie tickets for the 4 of us (Golda…excellent) and the husbands played golf twice. Our car gets over 50 mpg so gas was minimal ($45). Our total spent was $350, not bad for a week at the beach. The men used coupons to reduce the cost of the golf and we both brought food and water.
    *Upon our return I went to Kroger and bought their loss leader of grapes ($.88/#) and peanut butter (5 for .99/jar and thanks Garden Pat for the heads up). I found whole wheat bread on clearance for .55/loaf, bagels for .65/package, and whole wheat hamburger buns for .37 each. I bought 3 loaves of bread and 2 packages each of the bagels and buns. I found a can of refried beans for .57. The only thing I paid full price was for skim milk and bananas. I had a digital coupon for extra fuel points.
    *I froze and dehydrated yellow squash from the garden. I also harvested more tomatoes, cow peas, ground cherries, cucumbers and greens. I will can the tomatoes into sauce this weekend and I made some Christmas pickles with the cucumbers. I had enough cucumbers left over to make cucumber salad. We gobble the ground cherries up as they come into the house. Next year I will plant more and try making jam with them.
    This week we are working to spend little as we have another trip in two weeks. Brandy, I hope you have a less expensive week. Blessings to you and all our frugal friends.

  7. I also love those early morning hours before anyone else is awake. The deep peace of the morning sets a good tone for my day! I hope you have some cool respite in some part of your house while waiting for that A/C replacement.I live in Arizona and I feel for you! Your continued encouragement and sharing of your days with us is food for my Soul..thanks!

  8. Brandy, sorry to hear about your AC units.

    On the frugal front:
    HH was OOT for a couple days this week on business. I increased the daytime temperature on the programmable thermostat while no one was home.

    HH installed a new doorbell button as the old one was brittle and cracked. He is no electrical engineer but is always willing to learn simple DIY projects.

    I bought HH an electric chain saw for his birthday at his request. I wanted to buy a cordless saw, but he insisted on a highly-rated, corded model for about a third the price of the cordless. The cost of the chain saw and rental of a stump grinder was far less than the bids we received for tree removal. HH, understandably, wants to wait until much cooler weather arrives to cut down our dead tree.

    I planned to purchase several perennials and a shrub using a gift card from a high end garden center. They had the desired shrub at a very high price and did not have the exact variety of the perennial I wanted. I used the garden center gift card to purchase an alternate variety of the perennial and purchased a similar shrub at a big box store for less than half the garden center price. Flexibility allowed me to spend less. I think the substitutes look great.

    The 100F temperatures finally broke, and I was able to open the windows at night and close them mid morning to reduce AC usage.

    I used the Upside app to purchase gas.

    We harvested more peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. We shared with family and friends. HH canned more salsa.

    A coworker bought in a large basket of pears from his backyard tree. I bought home a half dozen. I would like to bake some muffins using the pears before the hot weather returns this weekend, but HH has taken over the kitchen with his salsa canning operation.

    Rather than going out to dinner, several couples got together at our neighbor’s pool for a cookout. They provided burgers and fixings and each couple bought a dish to pass. We all enjoyed a fun and beautiful evening.

    Looking forward to reading about everyone’s frugal feats!

    1. Julianne: Although an electric chainsaw is like a toy compared to a gas chainsaw, it can still do some damage as can a falling tree part. I trust that your husband will have a helmet preferably with face screen and hearing protection while he is working. A dead tree can snap high up from the vibration of the cutting below. The piece(s) can drop straight down onto one’s head. Dropping a dead tree is risky business which is why it is expensive to have it done. I hope it goes well for you.

      1. Rita, Thank you for the safety tips. I appreciate the concern.

        Fortunately, HH is experienced with a chain saw, and the tree we need to remove is only 6 inches in diameter. Several years ago we paid to remove many large trees lost to oak wilt at our cabin. It was a huge expense and worth every penny we paid to the experts!

        1. I am glad to hear that! We have done a lot of tree cutting over the years but have also paid many thousands to have difficult trees dropped on our property. We had a ‘climber’ drop a couple trees last fall and it was amazing to watch; unfortunately, the same young man fell about a month later and is permanently disabled. Those darn trees keep growing; it’s best to take care of them when they’re a manageable size.

  9. Though you had some real challenges last week, it sounds as though your angels were looking out for you, with having cooked the chicken for leftovers, and getting your tire repaired for free. Per usual, I used your amazon link yesterday for a purchase. It’s such a tiny thing we can do to give back to this wonderful space you’ve created. Last week, I finished signing up for Medicare, after choosing the supplement I want. My husband did a great job researching, and we were able to get a plan that has no premium, and also pays $100 towards Part A & B, so all of it will end up costing $64.90 a month. I ran tomatoes through the food strainer one day, then the next morning, put them on to simmer for tomato sauce, giving me another three pints for the pantry. I filled the dehydrator with halved figs, which filled a half gallon jar. There was a virtual GC I had redeemed via Swagbucks some months ago, which was good until some time in ’27, but when I tried to use it, I got a message it was expired. After a conversation with them, and a phone call, I received a new GC, which I quickly loaded on to my amazon account, to be sure it worked, and it did. On Thursday, I drove to the NC coast, to meet an old friend. We had the nicest time catching up. We ate out twice, and all was delicious, including the leftovers. We did a little thrifting, and I found two pairs of workpants for J, a canister for my shop, and a half price tank top. It’s such a precious thing to have one on one time with dear friends.

    1. Wow! The plan you found gives me hope! I will have to sign my husband up in a few short years and the cost is a big concern for me. Your post leaves me hopeful.

      1. Many of the Medicare Advantage plans are a zero premium. However, many of them are also HMOs with geographically restricted networks. If husband is still traveling for work when he starts Medicare he might be better served by traditional Medicare with a supplement (part G or part N). These plans are not zero premium, but allow you to go to any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare nationwide. Also if your husband is considered self-employed then his Medicare premiums are deductible from any profits he makes.

          1. Brandy- When Dave was getting ready to retire and we started looking at Medicare options, it was so confusing! We didn’t want to go “cheap” with premium cost only to find that we had big co-pays/restrictions on which doctors/services it would pay for. But we also didn’t want to be spending huge amounts in premiums to have coverage that was superfluous or had no real advantages to us in our situations. We talked with some friends who had retired a couple years before us and they suggested going (actually, it was all done over the phone)to an independent insurance agent. They do not charge you for their service. But our agent looked at each of our medical histories individually and suggested options that were most cost effective while giving us adequate coverage! We have a Medicare deductible of about $200. And after that first $200 at the beginning of the year, we never pay OOP ! Dave has had 3 heart procedures including devices, implant. Probably over $100K dollars that we never paid a penny for!! Each person’s situation is different, but it was definitely worth having someone experienced sort through this for us! And every year, he re-evaluates to get us the best rate for the coverage that fits us best! JMO!

            Gardenpat in Ohio

          2. I went through AARP whose premiums aren’t super cheap, but I chose no deductible and have never had to pay anything for any procedure. I also get my medication free, I’m on five, and they are mailed to my home. The only exception to the medication is if I need something without waiting, such as penicillin, then I have to go to CVS or Walgreens. My niece chose the very cheapest coverage to save money and is now thousands of dollars in debt she can’t pay. I did so much research my head was spinning, bit I think I made the best choice for me.

      2. Research is the key, imo. I also went to an insurance broker for a free consultation and found his help well worth my time.
        I went the other way and chose to pay more per month but have no annual deductible and no copays on any care. I pay $167/month for my medicare supplement that includes all things medical as well as vision, dental, $100 OTC every quarter, and a gym membership called Senior Sneakers. No annual deductible and no copays for doctors/healthcare providers. The dental pays 70% but has a $1500/year limit. I pay an additional $8/month for my prescription drug coverage.

        1. This is so interesting! So much to learn! I have 4 1/2 years before we need to choose. Thank you for sharing this. That’s helpful, too!

          1. My biggest surprise when doing the research was that the county of residence is the deciding factor for what’s available to the individual. Given that Medicare is a federal program, the county of residence determining what’s available surprised me the most.

            I also learned that the traditional medicare supplement insurance (aka Medigap) has several tiers. The highest in my county is in the Plan G tier. With ‘A’ being the lowest tier. What the insurance rep told me and was later confirmed by others was that I can always elect to go ‘down’ to another tier but I can never go ‘up’. So the decisions made when Medicare is started can effect you for the rest of your life.

          2. Boomer Benefits has a Facebook page and you do not pay them, it is free to you. They have been excellent according to folks who have used them. They appear to be very helpful. I am using them to evaluate whether I need to go on my state plan or go with another Advantage plan.

      3. Hubby just did Straight Medicare and Part B ( $175/month in 2024) If you are out of state, most advantage plans are not accepted like if you got sick visiting your older kids. He got AARP supplement *aka Medigap as we are AARP members ($26 annual membership, $123 per month, (mine will be less when I get Medigap through them) and then Part D through Aetna silver script for $5.10 a month. He can go to CVS or Walmart for his meds. We have some out of state and wanted to be covered. The local business that can help wanted us to do Advantage that cover our doctors but had a $4,300 out of pocket. You can’t get Medigap if you have Advantage plans.

        1. The insurance broker did address being out of state or country, and said it wasn’t a problem as long as they were in network, and the network was huge, at least in the states. I haven’t had any experience with it, as I don’t actually start until Sept. 1, but he made it sound like it was a non-issue. If I find out anything noteworthy, I’ll comment about it in the future. There’s definitely a learning curve with all of this.

      4. I’m glad it was helpful. I did go through an insurance broker, but he hadn’t offered any zero premium plans, nor ones that also paid for a portion of Part A & B, so when my husband found out these were a possibility, we asked, and he researched it. He was actually happy to learn some new things. As many others have said, it really depends on your individual circumstances. I’m very healthy, on no medications, and mostly intend to use it as a catastrophic plan, as I prefer treatment to be natural/holistic if at all possible. As I don’t intend to use the healthcare system on a regular basis, saving the money up front makes more sense in my case than having the lowest co-pays or deductibles. Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect plan, when the time comes.

      5. I’ve had challenges recently, with comments not going through here, so I’ll try again.
        Brandy, I’m glad the info was encouraging for you. As several have said, it’s really based on your (your husband’s) circumstances as to which plan may work best for you. I’m very healthy, and not on any prescriptions, though this Advantage plan does give me drug coverage. I prefer natural/holistic treatments, and don’t intend to be using the healthcare system regularly, but intend to use this as more of a catastrophic plan (accidents, needed surgery…). So for me, saving the money up front makes more sense, even if the co-pays or deductibles are a bit more when and if I use it. Overall, it should be a significant savings for me. The insurance broker did address getting care out of the state or country, and made it sound as though the network was so vast, it should not be an issue to find a provider. If I find out differently, I’ll report back. If my original comments show up, feel free to choose whichever you think is clearest, and delete the others.

        Jean, plans vary based on the county you’re in, but hopefully yours offers this or something similar. It’s Humana Choice H 5216-017. My understanding is plans have their annual change up on October 15th, so that will affect it as well.

    2. Laurie, would you be willing to share your plan that you bought for supplement? I also live in NC and turn 65 this fall and am looking at options.

      1. Jean, I chose Humana Choice H 5216-017. It’s a Medicare Advantage plan. The plans are offered based on the county you’re in. Hopefully, your county offers this one or something similar. My understanding is the plans all have their annual change up on Oct. 15, so if you’re joining after that, I’m not sure if that plan will still be available, or if it is, it may change some. It’s pretty confusing, and I’m still figuring it all out.

    3. The local aging councils here in MS will also help you evaluate your Medicare options. They will also help residents 60+ prepare will and end of life directives. Free to residents, funded by federal grants I think.

  10. How fun are those purple roses?! My roses are struggling a bit, at least some of the ones I planted as bare roots this year. I was so excited to see what my Bathsheba (David Austin) rose finally looked like this week, and some pest must have burrowed inside before it opened because half of the flower was missing when it bloomed. I planted 10 new David Austin roses this year from bare root, and I’ve already lost one (it just turned brown, shriveled, and died), with two more likely to not make it. I don’t know what exactly is causing it…we knew we lost almost half of our new David Austins last year due to underwatering, but this year we’ve really been a lot better about that, so I’m wondering if there’s a pest that can cause the dried up, brown leaves, especially because it’s not affecting all the plants in a row but rather picking and choosing some from different sections. They all got put in with high quality mushroom compost and mychorrizal (sp?) fungi, so I’m not thinking it’s the soil? Any tips from you, Brandy, or from anyone else would be appreciated. I’m definitely a rose newbie!

    I was sorry to hear of your A/C going out, Brandy…talk about a bad time! I guess it could have been slightly worse if it had happened to you a few weeks ago, but still…108 degrees is no time to be messing around. I hope the repair isn’t astronomical. And since it sounds like you’re needing to go with a new model, maybe you can get one that’s energy efficient and save some money that way at least?

    I was thankful to have a couple very big frugal wins, namely…we no longer show as owing $350,000 in medical bills! I can’t tell you how relieved I am to no longer be needing to make weekly calls about the insurance (or thrice weekly calls…)!

    1. It’s astronomical. $10K. So many huge expenses lately that really derail the goal to pay off my house. But they have to be done, and the only way forward is through, so onward march!

      DA has a guarantee. Take pictures of your dead roses and contact them.

      The one that was eaten through sounds like a possible issue with thrips.

      1. Has David Austin been good about replacing your roses that started out okay but then were taken down by weather or bugs? Because I’ve contacted them about multiple roses that died halfway through their first season, and they said they didn’t reimburse for that. The only one they’ve replaced is one where they actually sent me the wrong variety.

        1. Yes. But if I feel it is my fault, I haven’t contacted them. They have replaced those that have died and always wrong varieties were replaced.

          1. I figured the underwatering last year was our fault, but I honestly don’t know what happened this year. Maybe it’s worth asking if they’re willing to replace?

            Also, I about died when I saw that your replacement is going to be TEN GRAND!! Oh my goodness, my heart hurts just reading that number…ugh…

            1. I’m just grateful they could fix the one. When the second one went out two days after the first one, I was very scared. There’s no way I could replace them both right now.

              1. Can you get financing to spread it out over time? I know that’s not the preferred way but I had to do it with one of my furnaces when just after replacing one furnace, the other one died. I could pay off the first one within two years but it meant I was paying for two furnaces at the same time so had to put the second one on a financing plan.

              2. Yes, but we can pay it, thankfully. I am going to put in on our credit card first to get the rewards points and then pay it off. I am new to this card and I don’t know how the rewards points work yet, so I need to research that. It should be a lot of points that way and I shouldn’t have to carry a balance. But I will have to save back up to have an emergency fund again.

              3. Brandy,
                Check to see if you can get a rebate on your new air conditioner either from your utility company, or through your State or Federal Taxes. We had to replace ours at the beginning of the summer and there is a Federal one for the high efficiency one that we purchased. The contractor who puts it in may know of one.

              4. Oh I have heard of that! He is coming tomorrow. I will ask and also look on the electric company’s website!

        2. Hi Brandy, also check for a tax rebate. The purchase of energy efficient appliances can result in an extra deduction on your taxes. 😊

    2. Torrie@To Love and to Learn
      Although David Austin Roses does have a guarantee, I’d suggest that your soil is indeed the problem. Mushroom compost is high in salts
      and can burn plants. I also suggest you not plant replacement roses in that same location at least for a few years.

      1. We were concerned about the salt content, so we asked for a soil test before we bought the compost, and the levels came back as low. I do wonder about there perhaps being disease from before still in the soil, though. Worth looking into, at any rate, especially as I’ve only had about a 60% success rate with my DA roses, and everyone knows they’re not exactly cheap!

        1. My success rate is about the same with bareroots. It’s much higher with potted roses. I still have some die, and I’ve had them die from other companies as well.

          1. That’s good to know about potted roses generally being more successful for you…that might be worth my doing a cost analysis on just going for those vs. bare root, especially as we’re trying to expand our rose collection for our flower farm (since we have several local florists who are interested in sourcing them from us for weddings).

    3. Torrie, Thanks for sharing with us that your huge medical bill issue was finally resolved. I was worried on your behalf, and knew it was an added stress you didn’t need. Forgive me,I’m from Canada and don’t know how it all works, does your insurance take care of it all now, or do you still have to pay a percentage yourselves?

      1. Normally we would have had to pay up to the amount of the maximum out of pocket expenses for the year, but since we were able to get her on Medicaid for Disability on account of her Down syndrome diagnosis, the entire bill is covered 100%. To say it’s a relief would be the understatement of the year!

        1. Torrie, thanks for that. That must be a load off your shoulders what with everything else happening right now; a true answer to prayer. I hope your husband’s job situation resolves solidly and well.

    4. Research if anyone else is having problems with the same compost. I came across an article about people having problems with glycosphate (roundup) residue in compost – the plants didn’t grow well (stunted) or just plain died .

  11. My best saving this week is on the way home from vacation our flight was overbooked. They offered us free hotel and meals plus $900 each to go home the next day so of course we said yes.

      1. I think you and your family will be able to take a nice vacation in the future with all hotel points that your husband is accruing plus your a/c purchase. I charge everything I can & pay it off each month. Then I go on a trip with my gal pals on the hotel’s’ dime. (Husband doesn’t like to travel.) I book at hotels with free breakfast. It’s great!

        1. That’s what I’m hoping! I don’t know how the points all work yet, but I plan to figure it out so we can do just that!

  12. I’m so sorry about your air conditioners. That is painful in so many ways! I hope the replacement arrives soon.
    We cut a cord of firewood in the National Forest. We now have the four cords we need for this winter, but hope to go back and cut one more to get a head start on next year. And everything still needs to be split and put into the woodshed. Right now we have a firewood mountain in our side yard.* A friend gave me some oregano and parsley from her garden, which I dried.* I shared cucumbers with friends and neighbors.* We enjoyed cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, chard, broccoli, potatoes, and carrots from the garden.*I sewed a winter coat. I have long wanted to do this, but the cost of wool was prohibitive. This summer I was able to purchase 6 yards of beautiful blue-gray suiting wool for $2 at a charity rummage sale. At the same sale I purchased a bundle of assorted fabric, also for $2. In it was some very nice pink and gray flannel – just enough for the coat lining. I purchased a zipper, the pattern, and 2 yards of Thinsulate inter-lining (the most expensive part of this project.) I am very happy with my new coat. It has princess seams, deep pockets and a hood and is very warm.* I used another piece of fabric from that $2 bundle to make a new ironing board cover.* I canned 6 pints of pinto beans. * I made two loaves of sandwich bread, two loaves of French bread, and a dozen bagels.* I found a good deal on green beans at the farmer’s market and combined them with tomatoes from my garden to can six pints of green beans with tomatoes and onions. I also canned another two pints of pickle relish.

      1. A woman working the sale remarked that they had priced the fabric so cheaply because they didn’t think many people sewed anymore (and thus, there wouldn’t be much interest in it.)

        1. That sounds like my kind of sale. I have sewn a lot of clothes but never attempted a coat. I am in awe! From your description, I can tell it’s beautiful. 🙂

  13. Oh no, I am so sorry about your central units. In your heat I can imagine how hot it got in your house. Your flowers are beautiful. You have such a good eye for taking pictures and for gardening. I can only dream to be a fraction of the gardener you are.
    I have started a gratitude journal. I am writing down everyday things that I am thankful for and things that bring me joy. We have do much to be grateful for.
    Our lawnmower motor blew up last week, so we were fortunate to be able to trade it in on a new mower. They are closing out models so we got a deal. Thankfully we had enough emergency money to pay cash.

    1. Sorry about your mower. Those are not cheap.

      It is 85° in the house, which is bearable. A decade ago, when the other unit broke at it was 118° outside, it was 104° in the house for a month before it was fixed. It was very hard to sleep then.

  14. Your roses are beautiful and what a wise thing to do for yourself – have that early breakfast in your garden before you face what always seems to be, an extra busy day. How aggravating that both the a/c and the tires had issues last week – it always seems to be that way though doesn’t it – it never rains but it pours!

    It was an extra busy week at the office but still managed to prepare dinner for a friend who was leaving for Paris the next day (she then gifted me with a lot of produce from her fridge) and then I met two other friends for coffee on Friday afternoon – we had a lovely catch up and it only cost me $4 for coffee & a muffin (that was my lunch). I made quesadillas, with bits and pieces from my fridge & freezer for the dinner and my friend loved them!

    I did spend a total of $60 on myself last week for two purses/handbags – both being 50% off. I have needed a new black cross-body bag for over a year now and this was a price point and a style I could live with. I then bought a bright green small cross-body/wristlet like one that will be great for out on walks or just quick errands when I don’t want to carry a big purse. It was a bit of a splurge but I haven’t bought myself a new bag in about seven years so I think I can justify these purchases.

    Otherwise my frugal week included:
    .picking up two prescriptions (only paid an admin fee of $3.20 for 3 months worth) – it is most often free but I had reached the point in the year when a fee was applied
    .used $10 worth of Loyalty Points but have since made those back up.
    .cancelled Acorn TV for the next few months – by then some new programs will have dropped and I’ll switch it out with Brit Box
    .my favourite eggs are back down to $4.49 per dozen (had gone up to $6) so I bought two dozen and made up a dozen egg bites for a quick and easy breakfast
    .I used up a few things from the freezer, along with produce that needed to be used up to make and freeze the following and add to my pantry:
    .5 stuffed peppers (4 are in the freezer)
    .2 containers of Zucchini Lasagna (use them instead of noodles) – each container is a generous 3 servings
    .caramelized a batch of onions that were going soft so they will be the basis of French Onion Soup in the future
    .roasted a batch of tomatoes that were getting over ripe and they will be the basis of a tomato/red pepper/lentil soup in the future
    .bought 3 liters of Ontario peaches for $3.88 – about 16 peaches (a great price since a small can is $2.88 here) – froze slices for smoothies, added some to a fruit salad bowl and ate the rest
    .bought strawberries and blueberries on at good prices (plus they both earned Loyalty Points) and made a fruit salad to have all week with my yogurt
    .the remaining passata from the lasagnas will be used in a pasta supper this week
    .had a bit of spinach and a few walnuts left so made my first batch of pesto. I think that I needed more salt and oil but it’s not bad for a first attempt and it is in the freezer
    .made up a liter of dried milk to use in place of fresh this week

    I then added some cans to the pantry – beans, lentils, chickpeas and hearty soups (that I eat over rice or noodles as a meal) – all were on for good prices this past week.

    Thank you to whomever mentioned the book “Living on a Little” – I bought myself a copy and I really enjoyed it! I know it is dated and a few little things might be mildly offensive (just put it in historical context) but I would recommend it – lots of great ideas that are still useful today.

    Hope things run a lot more smoothly for you this week Brandy.

      1. I kept trying to think what time period it would be but couldn’t pin it down. I’m thinking maybe 19 teens or early 1920’s – what did you think? It is amazing how much is still relevant today.

        1. She died 20 September 1923 according to Wikipedia. She was a prolific writer with books listed as published from 1901 to 1925. Living On
          A Little was not included in the listed titles. Gutenberg lists a publication date of 1908 for Living On A Little.

        2. Thanks for mentioning it- I looked it up and there is a digital free copy available to read; the copyright is 1908. Looking forward to checking this out.
 and enter the title (to prevent a long link from popping up here).

  15. I am so sorry to hear about your A/C’s breaking. I am glad one was at least repairable.
    We had my daughter’s engagement party this weekend. We saved where we could. We held it at the fire department that my daughter’s fiancé volunteers at. It is $100 for volunteers plus they give you all the tables and chairs you could need. They used the caterer that the fire department uses for it’s functions. They gave 20% off since the fiancé is a volunteer. The food was delicious. They had sent evites to save money. You are not allowed to hang decoration on walls at the fire house. We used a room divider and got pictures from CVS with a 20% off coupon. I had picked up a few MR& MRS signs from Target also. We hung one on the top of the room divider with a bunch of photos underneath. We also hung one on the table with the food. We put pictures at every table also. It came out really cute. I had gotten a dress on clearance a few weeks ago for $12 and I wore shoes I already had. I have several weddings next year so I know I will be wearing the dress again soon. There were lots of leftovers so we haven’t had to cook. I vacuum sealed 6 packs of pork loin for future meals. Hubby brought home a few bagels from work on Friday that would have been thrown away. Our oldest daughter and her husband came from out of state and stayed in our spare room. We cooked all meals at home except for the party. The garden is still producing. We are incorporating the veggies into our meals as much as possible. We have had some nice days so our A/C was off and windows were opened.

  16. Gosh that sounds an expensive week. Our extractor fan in the bathroom stop working. Thankfully my husband was able to repair it, saving about £150. I’m currently repairing the hem on 2 pairs of jeans, I don’t know how my husband manages to damage them.
    We continue to prepare for our daughters wedding, finding a photographer who will just take photos during the ceremony and group photos afterwards has been challenging. We have booked one for 3 hours and not the whole day, thus saving at least £300.
    I had a shock when I went to get my potato basket, there was evidence of a mouse. Traps are set and thankfully nothing has been damaged in the larder cupboard. We live near farms, friends where surprised we have never had mice before. Unlike you we have lots of rain and fields have been flooding, no wonder they want to come inside!

  17. I harvested red and golden cherry tomatoes along with goat’s bag and oxheart tomatoes. I harvest zucchini , watermelon and cantaloupe. We start our mornings sitting on the kitchen porch with the dog.

    Hubby picked up milk (grocery costs this month under $55.) on his way home from staying in the hospital over night with his dad who had a cancerous tumor removed from colon. Saved his parents from hiring someone to sit there all night since the hospital is extremely short staffed and he needed to have someone that could help him to the bathroom. His 2 brothers and him split the time between them , the daughter and 2 granddaughters split the time staying the his mom. Grandkids was in and out of both places to the point both parents said enough …LOL. So no costs there either as she has polio and falls easily. While there they did the fall cleaning so she won’t have the hired ones that were coming in twice a year.

    We had a CD mature so we used it to help pay down the mortgage.

    We open windows early mornings, hang blanket and towels on kitchen porch on the end where I don’t hang laundry to keep the heat out of the house. In the afternoon I shut the French doors and close those curtains to keep the sun out then and remove the ones hanging on the kitchen clothes line.

    Daughter 4 came up and helped declutter garden shed and 1st bay of barn. Then helped me move all the garden stuff to the 1st bay. Still need some better organization but it cleared the garden shed for Hubby to use for winter wood instead. He had talked about building a wood shed ($11,000 as it would be the size of a 1 car garage.) and I thought… nope , use what we have. I donated a truck load, there was room for Charlotte to ride in the front seat (dog loves to ride) with stuff at her feet. Daughter 4 and I wrote down everything that was going. What was going to trash (read BUBBLE WRAP he forgot we had from moving 6 yrs. ago, really wished recycling was better in this county) will be put in the trash weekly (we have a limit of 6 kitchen trash bags) instead of paying $150 for them to come pick it up. Most likely he will have to rebuild the shed in a couple years anyways as it’s over 20 yrs old and never was painted. The old barn wood is definitely seen better days. He might be able to find something else amongst the Amish.
    We are still looking for a car/truck to replace the one that is dying.
    We had over 3 inches of rain and flooded our basement as it came through the casement windows. Hubby rigged some Plexiglas over them so I can still open the windows for fresh air but keeps the rain from coming in. The hardware stores wanted over $300 for each one as the casements are bigger than most.
    Prayer for peace
    Blessed be

    1. Juls – We live in a rural area, as it sounds like you do, but have had luck posting bubble wrap and other moving type material on-line (for free) or leaving it at a free shed at a trash transfer station where we are told it always gets picked up. We also have given some to the owners of an antique shop for wrapping customer’s purchases. Just some ideas. 🙂

  18. Your roses are lovely, so beautiful! I am so sorry that your ac units have died! That is so expensive but necessary given your hot weather! I hope you can get some fair quotes and get the repairs done soon, those temperatures are brutal for having no ac!

    My husband and I and my daughter and her family of 7 went to a South American country to visit my daughter and her family. We hadn’t been in 5 years, though she has been here to visit 2 years ago. It was a great time with everyone, we took puzzles for the evenings and took day trips . Being in a third world country makes me appreciate all the things we take for granted in the U.S. My husband has a 7 year sabbatical allotment that we used for our air fare . Housing was free and we made most of the meals at home.

    I got home to a sad looking garden, it had been watered but constant 90 temperatures and it was done. There are a few tomatoes, zucchini and green beans left but very small amounts. I planted lettuce and sugar peas. I am working to amend the soil in a few beds so I can plant beets, radishes and parsnips. We have been eating the last baby potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and cukes for meals. I have been seed saving as much as I can!

    I am enjoying getting back to reading my library books, exercising for free at the senior center and line drying my clothes. A friend was purging her books and let me select what I wanted, I got 10 books. My grocery shopping is minimal as I have trouble paying the prices I am seeing. I did get some trash bags to add to my stockpile, and need to add more shampoo and soaps for the pantry also.I am starting the process of washing my summer comforters so I can switch things out next month. I am looking forward to cooler temperatures hopefully by late September!

    I hope everyone stays safe with the upcoming hurricane in the nest few days!

  19. I remember a joke from years ago that appliances talk to each other so they can arrange to break at the same time ;). While maintaining two AC units is expensive, the positive is if one breaks you have the other. At my old house, we had two units and when one broke two summers ago, the house was able to stay at 82…we felt lucky it did that well.

    1. We are at 85° but years ago when the one broke, it was 104° in the house for a month while the home warranty company argued over replacing the unit. I don’t have a hime warranty now and a replacement is crazy expensive.

      The one good thing is that it will be a more efficient unit than the 20-year-old unit it is replacing. Given the 14% increase in electricity rates here since January, that should be a help on the electric bill moving forward–but I still don’t know that I will ever break even.

    2. Rita, Thank you for the safety tips. I appreciate the concern.

      Fortunately, HH is experienced with a chain saw, and the tree we need to remove is only 6 inches in diameter. Several years ago we paid to remove many large trees lost to oak wilt at our cabin. It was a huge expense but worth every penny to hire experts!

  20. Sorry to hear about the AC units and your flat tire. That’s a lot to deal with at once. Glad things are moving forward. Your flower photos are gorgeous.

    I haven’t posted in a while. My life has changed significantly in the last few months. I separated from my husband at the end of April, and was able to stay in my neighbor’s apartment for two months while she was out of the country. I was extremely grateful to have somewhere to go, and it was quite frugal because I only had to reimburse her for a few expenses (around $200). I eventually found a reasonably priced apartment not so far from where my sister lives. (Bear in mind – reasonably priced in the Seattle area is still expensive – but the rent includes all utilities, including internet, except for electricity.) My landlord is wonderful, the place is great and the location is so convenient. I am so thankful to be able to live here.

    I was able to take most of my personal things from my former residence, and was eventually able to also to obtain my well stocked pantry (several hundred dollars worth of food and baking items). So thankful for that! I did have to buy a fair amount of basic apartment things (lamps, chairs, bed, mattress, desk, etc.) I bought a few items new, but the rest I have found at thrift stores and garage sales. My sister gave me a large table. My mother moved to a smaller place around the same time so I was able to use some things she no longer needed. Other family members offered furniture and other home goods. I feel very blessed.

    My vegetable share at the farm was already paid for so I have been enjoying lots of fresh vegetables weekly. It also includes flowers and herbs (which I love). I share the bounty with my sister because it’s too much for one person. This runs through October.

    Various ways I saved:
    – bought very nice desk chair at a thrift store for $6
    – picked wild blackberries and apples in a vacant lot
    – picked up the occasional free item from the local natural food co-op, most recently peaches (yum!)
    – purchased good quality dishes and several pans at thrift stores for a fraction of what they would cost new
    – awhile back, my mom had given someone a toaster oven that she no longer needed. That person contacted me and asked if I would like it back because they no longer wanted it. I happily accepted, and have been using it every day.
    – I tripped and sprained my ankle. I texted my former boss (physical therapist) and asked him how to proceed. He told me what to do (soak in epsom salts, use a compression brace, ice after a few days) and at what point I should go get an x-ray. Luckily, it did not get to that point and my ankle is getting better.

    I am currently looking for a new job (as I suddenly found myself unemployed – thankfully I have some savings to tide me over). Every week, I have been reading this blog and everyone’s comments for inspiration. So glad to be part of a community of like minded people.

    1. Good luck in your job hunt, Tina! And I am happy to hear that you have found a place to rent and the things that you need to live there!

    2. Tina S –

      Thoughts are with you as you enter this new season of life. Wishing you well on your job search and it sounds as if you are well on your way to settling in nicely in your new home. Best wishes!

  21. I am sorry to hear about your AC units. We also have 2 units here in our home and we replaced one when we bought the house but left the other as it was only 2 years old. Since then we have had to install a zoning system on one of the units and repair a wiring issue on the other. All costs totaling about $12k! We have paid it down and only owe another $1400 but goodness sit has been a long road. As you say the only way is through it so we have just made it work. I will not miss making that payment when at last it is gone.
    We have had a busy week here with several doctor’s appointments and activities. I was grateful to have found several deals on groceries this week including BLSL chicken breast for $1.77/lb, 18 eggs for $0.60, milk for $1.29/half gallon, and the fabric softener I love to use for $7/large bottle. As we have been eating down the freezer, the chicken will certainly come in handy – I bought 30 lbs. I will make up a batch of homemade chocolate pudding with some of the milk as my son loves that for dessert and it is perfect on these hot summer days.
    I received two free weeks on my gym membership as a reward for referring someone who joined the gym on my recommendation. I had my yearly physical and scheduled my mammogram. Both of these will yield a gift card from my insurance company and cost me nothing out of pocket as they are viewed as preventative health screenings.
    When we bought our home we replaced the flooring throughout the house. The carpet and pad that we installed in the bedrooms is one that carries a lifetime warranty for any spills and stains that cannot be removed. The carpet in our master bedroom has some spots that I cannot seem to remove despite professional cleaning an every spot cleaner there is. I filed a warranty claim with the manufacturer and am hopeful that they will honor it. If so I will replace the carpet with the same wood flooring we have on the main floor of our home. If not I will save to replace it ourselves as we have a great deal of wood floor remaining and the cost to add to it will not be terrible.
    I cooked all of our meals at home and we ate up leftovers as well. I have been using the crockpot for many of our meals as it doesn’t heat up our home as much as the oven or the stove. I used frozen bananas to add to protein smoothies and oatmeal for my little guy. I find that batch cooking is a very frugal task and I tend to double any recipe that I prepare. I cooked two roasts at once for chipotle shredded beef and two packages of bbq chicken thighs. This allows me to use up the electricity more efficiently and gives us several meals over a couple of days. I also find it easier to eat healthy when I know what I have prepared and planned.
    I made coffee at home and keep our thermostat at a set temperature. I also kept my blinds closed, lights off and avoided using the oven to keep electric costs down and the house cool during the latest heatwave.
    We pulled the last remaining few veggies from the garden and tore out the whole of garden #1 and the bulk of garden #2. I will finish the work this weekend as we needed the trash can space to finish. Once the gardens are cleared we will till the space and plant the fall seeds. I have begun sorting them and am hopeful that they will yield a good harvest. I trimmed back my black-eyed Susan as well to help them focus on the roots and spread next Spring and Summer.
    Cheers to a productive week ahead everyone!

  22. Good Tuesday morning to everyone. I am so glad that I retired this month. Don’t know how everything would have gotten done. Your flowers are gorgeous, Brandy. Maybe next year I will have flowers.
    My week went like this:
    Meals – Stir-fry using chicken from the freezer and broccoli, zucchini, snow peas chard and onions from the garden. Stuffed baked potatoes, using potatoes, broccoli and chives from the garden. Cheese and bacon bits from the fridge. BLTs – only mine was a BCT – using tomatoes, lettuce or cucumbers from the garden and bacon from the freezer on homemade herb bread. Each of these meals lasted at least twice.
    Preserving – Made 8 pints of zucchini relish using zucchini, onions, and peppers from the garden. Made 7 pints of tomato basil simmer sauce, using tomatoes, basil, oregano and thyme from the garden. Shredded and froze zucchini in the amounts needed for zucchini blueberry bread. Put zucchini and the proper amount of blueberries for the recipe in sandwich bags and then froze together in a gallon bag. Made up 3 batches of the produce for the freezer.
    Garden – In addition to what was picked from the garden for the meals listed above, we harvested the following: Our dry beans were clipped (pinto beans this year), but they still need to be shelled. Corn, peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and kohlrabi as needed. Dug most of the remaining potatoes. Dug the white onions one day and the yellow onions two days later. Picked 12 pound of tomatoes. Was going to be for more tomato sauce but have decided to use it for salsa instead.
    Other cooking – Made 2 loaves of blueberry zucchini bead and 2 loaves of herb bread. Shredded a pound of cheese, while I had the shredder attachment out after shredding the zucchini.
    Shopping – Did not do much. Picked up 5 jars of peanut butter for 99¢ a jar, got the limit of 5 packs of TP for $3.99 a pack, also got Tide for $3.99 per jug. That was about the limit of my shopoping.
    Other – Went to visit my son, DIL and GD on Saturday. I took them one of the loaves of blueberry zucchini bread, and a couple of bell peppers from the garden, as well as 8 ears of corn. I go near my sister’s house on the way, so dropped off zucchini, patty pan and crook neck squash to her, as well as beets, kohlrabi, carrots and a cabbage. Had a wonderful day taking care of my darling GD, while my DIL and son baby proofed the house more (she is staring to crawl and pull herself up to standing) as well as cleaning out closets. I spoiled us all a little, by taking eveyone to MOD pizza and treating everyone.
    That was about the limit of what I can do in a week.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

  23. I thought I was finished stocking my pantry but No Frills has its soup sale on again so I’m buying more cans at $1.66 each compared to the regular price of $3.50 or more. My regular grocery shopper could not shop for me as her sister was dying. So I fell back on using some of my
    soup supplies. It will be good to replace them. I am buying more peaches as the price has come down this week. And I will buy a case of Italian prune plums for the freezer as there will be nothing nicer on a thirty below day in the winter than to have stewed prune plums. No Frills also has Sunbutter on sale. Co-op has a $6 bag of tomatoes on sale for $2 plus. By the end of September, I would like to have my pantry completely restocked and a case of apples in my fridge. On Sept. 1st, my volunteer will be picking up my order from Sunterra where they have a package of pork products (bacon, a ham, sausages, etc.) on sale for $49 reduced from $70 plus. I will use the ham for thanksgiving, put the sausages in the freezer, etc.

    I am doing a massive decluttering and deep cleaning of the house. It is very slow going and overwhelming but after a task is completed, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

    After having spent a day and a half clearing off my hard drive and not clearing much space, I gave up on being able to do so in the short term so I could instal the scanner I was given. That will have to wait until cold winter days. Instead I’m spending an hour or two first thing in the morning to transcribe and then type my beloved great-aunt’s handwritten diary, circa 1958. In the last months of World War I, she was widowed when her very young husband was killed in action in Meuse-Argonne, France. She was then a young mother of a toddler who miraculously was recovering from spinal meningitis. In 1958, she visited the monuments and cemeteries for the dead of World War I in France. It is very touching to read her diary and I certainly am misty-eyed doing so. When I finish the typing, which should be in about a week, I am going to email it to her grandson, then mail him the original as he is mentioned in the diary. I want to have a copy before I send it to him just in case the original should get lost en route.

    Brandy, I am so sorry to hear about your tire (but glad that it could be fixed for free) and about your need for a new air conditioner. I loved your photos (comme d’habitude) of roses and was very interested in the photo of the pink kalanchoe plants. Two kalanchoe plants were included in the plants I didn’t ask for in the spring but now I am glad to have them. They have lasted in bloom from mid-May and are still going strong, require minimal water and are very pretty (although none of the butterflies go to them). I will repot them and before we get a hard frost I will leave them with a friend who has a sunny window to babysit them over the winter for me. I wish, in fact, that they would have “babies”.

    Today may be our last sunny day for a while as rain is predicted. So I need to make hay while the sun shines…

    1. How interesting about the family history! One of my brothers has also become very interested in our family history so I have been looking out some info and some photos that I have. I’m going through to visit him in October so I will take them down at that time.
      I also bought some more cans of those soups – best price in ages and I picked up some more peaches today as they were really delicious and I want to get more into the freezer. Ours come from the Niagara region – do yours come from BC?

      1. Hi Margie,
        When my great uncle was going to board the train to go off to war, he took one of the baby’s shoes with him. The baby had not been expected to live let alone walk. His father, my great uncle had prayed that God would spare his toddler’s life and take his instead. That is in fact what happened. When he was killed in action, someone found the little shoe on him and returned it to my great aunt. The story was written up in a magazine in the 1950s or 60s. I don’t think that my great aunt ever knew who returned the shoe. In this diary my great aunt is being driven around by her son, who was the toddler who not only lived but walked and served in the Second World War.
        As she writes, “What a price is war!” I always cry when I think of the little shoes.

        As to the peaches the first batch were from Ontario (presumably the Niagara Peninsula). They were delicious but some were unripe one day and the next day they were spoiling. I cut off the spoiled part and ate them. These present peaches are from B.C. Apparently, fortunately, the B.C orchards were spared from the fires. We had smoke again today — not bad but it really bothered me so I retreated inside. I haven’t decided yet whether to freeze them or make jam with them.

        1. OK, now I’m crying, too – baby shoes! What a wonderful gift to preserve the diary – for your family and yourself. I have my grandmother’s diary from when she came over on the boat from Norway in 1952 and met my grandfather. Funny thing is, when first getting to know him, she mentioned she didn’t think he was “good marriage material.” They were married for 60 years and had 4 children. 🙂

    2. I love that you are transcribing your great aunt’s diary. My grandfather was in that same battle in WW1 and made it home again. If it’s not too personal it would be great to share some of it with us.

      1. Susan from Cincinnati,
        How wonderful that your grandfather fought at Meuse-Argonne and miraculously survived. As 40 years had passed by the time she was writing her diary, my great-aunt’s writing is not very emotional about her trip, although she may have cried she does not describe that. Instead, she writes a dispassionate literal description of the war memorials. Amazingly, she was not a bitter person, had a strong faith in God, became a teacher, founded a small museum in her town. (If her grandson agrees an electronic version of her diary will be given to the little museum). My great uncle was awarded the French Croix de Guerre. One of his descendants has the little shoes (which by the way were little army boots as the toddler was dressed in army clothes when he and his mother my great aunt said good-bye to his father at the train). I am sure another descendant would have his Croix de Guerre. I think he probably was awarded a Purple Heart. Fortunately, his body was found and identified on the battlefield and he was returned home. It is my great uncle’s grandson with whom I zoom almost every Sunday so we can discuss genealogy and our progress in that regard. Soon after my great uncle’s passing, she took in a baby nephew and raised him with her own son. Then a couple of years later, my mother was born in her house. My mother and great aunt were always very close — my great aunt did many kind things for my mother. My great aunt was also very kind to me. I was sad to find that something she gave me that I cherished greatly has disappeared from the house.

    3. I love the story about your great aunt’s diary.
      My dad contracted spinal meningitis in the 1940s when he was four years old. He became very sick and was admitted to the hospital. After several weeks of treatment without improvement, the doctors could do nothing more for him. His parents said their goodbyes and prepared for the worst. The next morning, my dad woke up feeling much better. He miraculously recovered and is still living today, age 83. To this day, no one knows why my dad recovered. (I told him it was because he was too ornery to die 😉 – which is true!)

      1. Tina,
        That is incredible about your father’s recovery. Glad he recovered also for your sake, even if he is “ornery” LOL

  24. Beautiful photos as always, but the bougainvillea ones are stunning! Did you know it grows reasonably easily from cuttings (slips)? My now large deep cerise one came to me as a rooted cutting. I am not expert at taking cuttings, but if I see a nice plant I will give it a go. Quite a bit of my garden has come “free to me” this way.

    1. I know you can air layer it, but I hadn’t heard it does decently from cuttings! I will have to search for a tutorial for the proper season for cuttings. I have some friends who would love some if I have success. Thanks!

  25. When my husband worked out of state, something would always break that was water related…a pipe would burst, drain back up, hot water heater go crazy. I asked the plumber if he had a frequent customer discount one time (just joking and he gave me 10% off, lol)

    One day, hubby brought home corn on the cob from a lady he did work for. It was delicious.

    I ran out of aluminum foil, but I knew since I recently cleaned up my storage, I had another roll.

    Made sure to take a can of soda to work to avoid getting one from the machine (saves $1.25 each time, and the sugar since the machine doesn’t have Dr Pepper zero)

    I had a free third entree code from Panda Express. Hubby wanted it one night, I got a single entree of what I wanted, and ate a bit of his noodles.

    Turned off the air the second it was cool enough (which only started Saturday)

    Ate breakfasts and lunches at work(I can eat free)

    Our book club book was free on Kindle Unlimited (we try to make it a point to select those)

    I got lax on keeping up with leftover last week so I did have to throw some out(thankfully, not a lot)

    Earned $3.25 from upside

    Our neighborhood is having a garage sale September 16th. I went ahead and added my address to the map, so I need to get everything together that I dug out to sell at the last of summer.

  26. It’s been a great, frugal week in Houston!
    I made a big batch of Mexican rice, to take with some other things, to a birthday potluck celebration. There was some left over, so I used it with some cut up hamburger patties, to make the filling for stuffed bell peppers. That’ll do! I made some old bread into cinnamon toast.
    We don’t eat out often, but I took the kids out last week for the $1.99 Wendy’s kids meals after 4 pm. They subbed mini frosties for some of the sodas. I think I bought 9? kids meals, to split up to feed the kids. It ended up being just the right amount of food, as their kids meal portions are small.
    I took the kids to a church pool party. They were supposed to just have popsicles, but the organizer ended up ordering pizza for everyone, since it was a small turnout. This was an unexpected treat. We were given an extra pizza to take home, which I sent in the kids’ school lunches the next day.
    I bought gas at Sam’s, the cheapest place around here.
    I bought a few more things at Goodwill to resell. Their prices are going up. Previously, all kids clothes except girls dresses and winter coats were $1.99. Now, some are still $1.99, but some are higher. I returned a pair of pants that won’t fit the son I bought them for.
    I had a terrible headache, fever, and chills, so I “paid” one son in leftover frozen Easter candy to babysit my youngest two for a couple of hours so I could rest in bed. The others could fend for themselves. I really don’t like to ask them kids to take over many of my responsibilities, but he was good about it and happy to help, thank God. I feel better now, everyone is back to work and school.
    I also bought the .99 peanut butter, and asked a relative to buy me 5 with his Kroger card, since he wasn’t planning to get them.
    We’ve been eating meals at home using what we already have.
    I volunteered to work at the concession stand at my daughter’s volleyball game. This was tough, as I had the other kids with me, but I packed other snacks for them so I wouldn’t buy anything.
    Hope everyone has a great week!

  27. Oh, Brandy! I’m so sorry about the extreme heat and your A/C troubles. I hope all gets fixed as quickly and as least expensively as possible. * I’ve been trying to make meals that don’t heat up the kitchen, as well. A couple new-to-me recipes included grinder salad wraps, bbq chicken wraps, and caesar salad with some canned chicken. *We have our out-of-town kids coming in for the Labor Day weekend so I’ve been meal planning and getting in some extra food for that. My oldest daughter came over yesterday and asked what she could help with. She ended up cleaning my kitchen floor, vacuuming the stairs and deep cleaning two bathrooms. In like an hour and a half! Oh, the young! I’m so very thankful. That would have taken me a couple days since I have to stop and rest. * finished a knit hat and a pair of embroidered pillowcases for Christmas gifts. * Read and listened to library books. * I’ve been staying home most days, saving on driving and shopping. * Hope everyone has a great week!

  28. Your flowers are gorgeous, Brandy! I’m sorry to hear about your necessary, yet astronomical A/C replacement costs.

    This weekend we were out of town helping our son move into his college apartment for the school year. We drove to save on transportation costs and took the Prius. He had everything cleaned and saved from last year. We simply unpacked it and helped him set up. Our family stayed in a 3 bed hotel room with free breakfast. It was less expensive than getting 2 rooms or renting an AirBnB. We took a cooler and I packed lunch for the trip to the university and we ate a rest stop. On other days, we only bought food and skipped buying drinks. It was hot, so I would have been tempted to buy cold drinks at the gas station had I not packed drinks as well. We replenished the ice at the hotel.

    Other savings: I caught an overcharge on my credit card. I contacted the company and asked them to remove it. I waxed my own eyebrows. Before we left, I cut my son’s hair. When we returned, I put myself on a free diet using MyFitnessPal to track calories and macros. I’m starting to experience middle-age weight gain and I’d like to nip it in the bud! No special foods are purchased and I’m focusing on eating the veggies from our garden rather than follow a special “meal plan” with a specific shopping list and menu.

    Update on the ultrasonic rat repellers: On the high setting the sound is annoying when windows are open, but I think it’s working. We only caught one rat in a trap last week, compared to 4 the previous week. We discovered some wild rabbits nibbling my cucumbers. So, I believe we have rats and rabbits using my garden as their personal farms. I will have to find a way to block access under the fence.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone!

  29. I’m in New Zealand and I so enjoy your beautiful photography and resourcefulness. I know your days are full but I would love to see your sewing again on your blog. I used to love that along with your decorating and gift making. Seeing some of your clever personal and homemaking purchases would be wonderful. Your style is inspiring to me and how it can be done with resourcefulness. Would it be a possibility to do so?

    1. Hi Ingrid! I haven’t done much sewing the last few years (the garden renovation and homeschooling taking the majority of my time) but I have some projects that I am trying to fit in this year. If I can get those done, I will definitely be sharing them!

  30. Oh my Miss Brandy, that is miserable! I hope you can get the a/c fixed soon, and stay as cool as possible in the meantime. I have only experienced having one of ours go out at a time, and that was a terrible experience, so I cannot even imagine two going out at once. I managed the situation each time by living in my thin cotton nightgowns, lugging a fan to each room with me as I went & taking quick dips in a nice cool tub of water often and as needed, lol! Stay safe, these 3 digit temps can be so dangerous!

  31. Yikes , an AC unit is an unbearable thought for me. Being such a worry wart , I am always thinking about what might go out next. I imagine that a hot water heater and a new refrigerator are my next big purchases. I try to put away a little extra savings each month for these things. I received $14.00 this month in free money from CVS this month. I bought a couple of products for myself and a pack of TP. My care pass at CVS definitely is worthwild. I brought home 6 plastic containers with lids. The grocery store repackages garlic into smaller containers. I will use these to store our new ingredients in. I have chia and flax seeds and different flours . Sugar cookie will know not to use these items. As I have adjusted our diet we are cooking and eating new things. Some of these items are expensive ,like monk fruit sugar. I don’t want her to experiment with them. I carefully fished out 6 Ball quart jars from an 8 pack at the dumpster. They seem thin and don’t have the Ball logo on them. I wonder if they sell a cheaper version. These came from a Dollar General. I will use them for bone broth. I kept two pairs of shoes from 9 bags of clothing I rescued. Someone definitely wasn’t on a budget. I kept Timberland s to sell and a new pair of Avia’ s for myself. I wanted a new pair , but have repeatedly put it off . All the other items were dropped off with a neighbor . She pulled several items for her family and passed the others on. Once again the items will go to Haiti. I have enjoyed more watermelon that I collected. I guess I never bought it because are budget was so tight. Now walking around the store I can’t believe that most prices seem quadrupled. I’m happy to be resorceful . My dumpster diving provides most of what we need. I brought in 15 lbs of sweet potatoes . I’m hoping they store well and we will have them at Thanksgiving. I’ve already froze pecans for the holiday. Today I brought bin a bottle of Mr Clean and a new mop head. A can of coment was rescued and my house will never be dirty. Seems like I rework my budget more often these days. Everything keeps going up. Gasoline and my utilities continue to rise . I read the book that Juls Owing mentioned. It gave me some more ideas and I hope to utilize more of the food ideas mentioned. I’m thinking we are going to try some beef hearts and tongue. I love liver so if anything at all , I should enjoy it. I hope everyone is dry and safe.

  32. Brandy my hubby would say “That’s what all the saving is for…” when that many things go wrong. It’s difficult to spend money on the new units I know but hopefully the savings will offset the cost rather quickly making it even easier to pay off your mortgage.

    It feels like it’s always $100 every time I walk into a grocery store anymore and here of late I’m often in twice a week. Four years ago, we seldom spent $200 a MONTH at Aldi for the bulk of our groceries and storage and then spent perhaps $150-200 more the rest of the month at sales. I am doing my best to insure we have no waste, that we eat a budget balanced diet (meaning not having too many high priced items all in one week’s time). My little garden is done. Curious to see what the potatoes and sweet potato harvests will be. The potatoes are just beginning to die back. It was all free sprouts so any gain is over and above what I would have had had I just gone on and composted the sprouts. The epitome of my gardening was a lone bell pepper from the two plants I purchased which puts it’s cost at $10 and it only the size of a medium egg…

    I have spent the past evening on Pinterest looking at clothing in the same colors as what I own and have a board full of things to attempt with what I have on hand. I should get much more mileage from my wardrobe if even 1/10th of these looks good on me. And I think possibly I shall not need to purchase anything except a new winter coat and some shoes to see me through.

    My husband was asked to perform for a wedding of friends and then we were told that it would be a destination wedding. We were starting savings to go but our friend told us on Sunday that they will be paying for our room. He did mention eating out so we’ll have to come up with those funds and gas money but I’m looking forward to a Spring trip to the beach!

    We have just sorted out all the size 2 and 3T clothing from my grandson’s drawer. He pretty much skipped over 3T! I need to pull out the bin of clothes I set aside and see what we have in 4T. My daughter wasn’t interested in keeping the clothing my dil passed along but I went through it all and set some pieces aside. Given the three months of unemployment she’s just been through, I suspect she’ll be pretty happy to see the additions going into his drawer!

  33. Happy Tuesday.

    The biggest discouragement this week was that my son’s car was stollen from college. I felt so angry and powerless that someone took advantage of him. I let myself be furious for about 15 mins and then I wrote myself a letter of gratitude. I thanked God the car hadn’t been lost in a terrible accident. I wrote how proud I was of my son handling the insurance himself, how lucky we were to be able to give him a car in the first place, and how glad we were it was insured with a rental car provision. I reminded myself all things in this world are temporary but love endures. I ended with a story my sponsor/ mentor would tell me. God’s world is economical with a plan I will never truly know. Faith means I beleve everything happens for a reason.

    Most things this week or comparatively minor.
    1. My low buy August was a success. I spent only 38% of my normal budget. My “real food- non UPF” challenge has really helpful because my meals were so simple.
    2. I am flyng to Michigan to see my son. I read about a travel hack using bar shampoo. I had never heard of it. I bought a very inexpensive bar that was paraben free. I cut a small chunk from it and put it in an old balm container about the size of a quarter. I put a little rubberband under it to ventilate. Apparently these last forever and and have no spill worries. I added it to my Crystal deodorant travel stick that has lasted about 10 years so far. I only ever fly with roller “under the seat” luggage. It simplifies my life and is much cheaper. Every inch of space counts.
    3. Food is going to be tricky since I avoid any food with preservatives, flavorings, emulsifiers or HFCs. This is my plan: I will make some PBJs with homemade bread in case the first couple of days I can’t get to a bakery. The free breakfast at the hotel will have fruit and hard boiled eggs. I am bringing and additional park of “paleo bars.” I will order veggie dishes with fish in a restaurant. The tricky part is my coffee creamer. ( We all have a weakness.) My creamer is the only one I can find with five ingredients and no added flavorings. So my plan is to freeze it in a clear bottle. Allegedly, TSA lets you bring frozen liquids in. It will keep my other food fresh until I can get to the hotel frig. I’ll let you know if i make it or not.

  34. I lost my notes when I stepped away to get tomatoes out of the oven. I’m making a tomato quinoa salad for my daughter to take on campus for lunch. She decided she did want to eat lunch vs. wait until after classes after all.
    A blessing, the freshman pre-semester seminar not only earned her a free credit hour but also meals for the weekend (on her student card and she was able to use any unused ones after the weekend) AND a $150 grant to the college bookstore! That is unexpected but so nice.
    Trying to get my head wrapped around this week’s schedule, with my husband’s doctors, sports (schedules are off after last week’s heat), college starting (oldest doesn’t quite have the hours to get license), her theater and work. And getting ready for my dad to come up in a week and to go to my conference. Just a lot right now, and my husband is still dealing with incredible pain all around. I did talk to the orthopedic doctor and if the pain stays high they will request an MRI.
    My personal good news, I published my book last night for Amazon Kindle on his medical condition (well, one of them) with all the information I’d researched on his disability these last 2 years. That was a huge achievement. We had such little to go on. I’m hoping it blesses someone.
    Tore out some overdue plants and mulched with cut grass in my veggie beds. Had to borrow a rake from a neighbor.
    Started peas even though I suspect the rabbits may get into them.
    I’m going to cut short before I step away and lose it again!
    Thankful for your blessings of fixable things this week.

  35. I agree with previous posters – the big stuff always happens when my husband is out of town. The A/C units have broken a few times over the years when hubs is gone. We’ve also had the dishwasher, dryer, washer, oven, refrigerator, cars, etc. I’m glad that you are able to get things repaired though – even the car tire. We seem to have people looking for repairs and there’s not enough repair places/persons available. Long wait times.

    Our natural gas bill had doubled so my husband checked for leaks with a tool he has among his many tools. He discovered he hadn’t turned off our gas fireplace in the basement in the spring. That is now off and hopefully we can save money other ways until it goes back down again. Oops moments are usually expensive but learning moments. Or senior moments for us.

    We got a bid back in early June to get our back deck replaced. It’s 25 years old and wasn’t ever built well when we bought the house. The contractor is a local person who our son worked for a few years ago. We had discovered water damage that was more extensive than we wanted to see. Plus the deck was uneven by 6 inches from one side to another. A few boards were close to breaking with rot that we couldn’t even see until it was coming apart. My husband took down most of the deck himself and hauled the bad wood away to the dump. He also moved sprinkler heads. We went to price trex and found a lower price than the original quote which saved 1/2 of what we had originally picked. Great reviews and good quality. The work my husband was able to do (removing the old deck) will reduce the price we pay for the completed job. Our new deck will be double the size and have a roof extension over it to help cool the house from the west sun.

    I made refrigerator pickles from 6 cucumbers from our garden. We also picked 6 peppers which are turning red in a bowl on my counter.

    I remade 2 old wreaths to a newer version of late summer flowers/fall decor. I changed out my front and back door wreaths. I haven’t bought a new wreath frame in years and always buy the flowers off season/clearance. The wreaths really boost my spirits. I love to see them on the doors.

    My daughter is having a hard time finding formula that she uses for her baby. The price is $50 for 42 ounces which lasts her two weeks. But there is nothing in stock anywhere. She is going to have to wean her baby off of one formula and try another brand. I was able to buy her 2 from Sam’s Club for $35 each/ $70 for 2. The prices and lack of availability/limits on buying are crazy hard for these moms.

    We’ve had most meals at home. I kept my grocery bill down by buying the bare minimum and what was on sale. Gas prices have gone up again and are now $4.50/gallon. I’ve been very careful to combine errands and not go far. I haven’t been to see the grand babies – it takes 1/2 tank of gas to go back and forth. Thank heavens for FaceTime. I’ve been able to continue to get free car washes from my kids job. Continue to use the library and exercise at home with videos, cleaning and yard work. I went to the doctor to check out a few aches and pains and got some help with those issues. Better to nip it in the bud than let it keep developing after several months. We’ve met our deductible for the year and that is always nice – not for the money we have to spend, but to know everything else is covered for the rest of the year with out of pocket expenses.

    Very beautiful photos again this week Brandy. Thanks for sharing your talent.

  36. I’m sorry that you are having to buy a new air conditioner and that you are dealing with that during the summer. I’m glad you are enjoying your mornings. I love your pictures!

    I continue to eat no dairy, gluten or sugar. I am feeling great! Losing weight and spending less money on food. My husband is losing weight as well. We all feel better! I spent two dollars and got an entire bag of clothes at a thrift shop bag sale. I got two pairs of exercise pants, a pair of slacks and shirt for my son, and a dress. I was pleased!
    We visited family and had family over for dinner instead of going out.
    I decided after we use the produce that we have, I will buy less at a time. I worry that we won’t use it all before it goes bad. We had some lovely sales this week; 99 cent packages of arugula and spinach, 48 cent celery and 68 cent head of lettuce! I was very happy to get those deals!
    I have been walking on our land or exercising in the house every day the last 2 and a half weeks. It feels great!

    1. The children did go see them some but hanging out there all the time is not an option. We have stayed home and did school at home and made (cold) meals at home. The house is not unbearable at 83 to 85°.

      I was talking with a friend about our ac and she told me she keeps her house at 84° normally to keep her bill down. That really made me think. Personally, I was surprised at how well I was doing at 81°. I keep the house at 79°, because keeping it lower is a much, much larger bill. But rates have gone up 14% this year, and moving the thermostat up keeps the bill lower. I am wondering if I could set it at 80°in the future and we would be fine. It’s certainly worth trying.

      1. Brandy –

        When our downstairs AC unit went out earlier this Summer we were without it for two weeks. We did have the upstairs AC working, but only our bedroom is upstairs and it wasn’t practical to spend the majority of time there. So, we mostly stayed downstairs without AC. After our AC was repaired, we realized that we could tolerate a much higher setting and now have our downstairs set at 80 and upstairs at 84/85 during the day, even with triple digit outdoor temps. I think our time of living without AC was advantageous in acclimating us to tolerating higher temps. Hoping your unit is replaced soon!

        1. I really am fine. But I am running the other side colder than usual and using a fan to blow that colder air out of the first room into the main area of the house. There is another bedroom on this and everyone wants me to run the house colder. I explained that that would be several hundred dollars more a month and I won’t be doing that. Indeed, our usage for a week with only one unit running part of the week is almost the same as running both units at 79°.

          I have ceiling fans in most rooms.

          I think with everything going up in price, we might need to learn to adapt to higher temperatures. I know many people in the UK who wore gloves in the house and went without any heat in winter. We may all have to make choices with rising rates across the world.

          1. Brandy –

            Very true! Even now with both AC units functional, we’ve also turned the speed up on our ceiling fans and that has helped a lot as well. The higher cost of utilities is certainly encouraging us all to be even more creative than usual.

      2. We only recently got window AC units for our bedrooms here in Oregon and always made do with window fans before that. Now I adore going up to bed and having the room nice and cool. It’s amazing how quickly you acclimate to a “new normal.”

  37. Hello all.
    Brandy, I’m so sorry you are having the added stress of major mechanical failures. They always seem to come when you’re trying to reach a big goal.
    *I am getting enough eggs now that I can supply our struggling neighbor with 2 dozen eggs a week now. They are loving all the weeds I’ve been pulling and all the kitchen scraps which cuts down on the feed they eat.
    *I purged quite a bit of my summer wardrobe and got a donation receipt for tax write off.
    *My quail hutch is almost done and I only used what we had – I re-used all of the screws from the old one and put hardware cloth we picked up for free instead of the rusted rabbit cage wire that was on it before.
    *We had a couple of days with very high humidity but thankfully we didn’t get the high heat they were forecasting as well. We kept the air conditioning set on 78 and I spent time in the cool basement. That should be the last time we’ll need to run it this year. Now the game of how long can we go without turning on the furnace starts 😆.
    *I’ve started re-potting my outdoor plants that I will over winter in the house – geraniums, Boston ferns, asparagus ferns and my surviving lemon tree.
    *I didn’t have to throw out any leftovers!! We used them in new meals or froze them. We didn’t need to buy any food as well.
    *We stayed home except for a drugstore trip for prescriptions.
    *I made curtains for someone and set the money aside for thrift store shopping.
    *I sold a couple things we no longer needed and used that money for gas for the truck.
    Not much else happened around here – the mad rush to get all the outdoor projects done before the snow flies has begun. Stay safe everyone!

  38. Oh Brandy, sorry to hear that so many things are breaking and are so expensive to fix. Good idea to sit alone and enjoy the garden in the morning – I have thought about that for some time, and I definately feel more inspired to do it after reading this post.

    The last month I’ve processed apples from our two best bearing trees – one of them have just started bearing this year, and we have had so many apples – I’ve made different apple products from more than 125 lb and we still have about 10 lb to go! A lot of dehydrated apple slices, apple sauce, apple fruitleather and apple juice. I’ve made apple sauce both with and without sugar – it just goes into the freezer. The variety without sugar we use on cooked or oncooked oatmeal for breakfast, the variety with sugar is good for ‘instant applecake’ when we have guests – we just crush biscuits and put the applesauce on top and put whipped cream on top of the applesauce or serve it beside so people can take as much as they want. The biscuits are a bit like macarons without color or filling (makroner in danish), quite cheap and lasts forever. I don’t know if this type of bisquit/cookie is available in US?
    We make applejuice both ‘raw’ and in our steam juicer – two very different products. The raw juice we drink as it is, but we add sugar to the ‘cooked’ version and dilute it before drinking. The leftovers from the steamjuicer I boil, blend and after adding a little honey I dehydrate it as fruit leather – no waste! The ‘pulp’ from the raw juice I also dehydrate – it becomes very crunchy and we also use this on top of oatmeal, but I think it would also be good as a part of granola or granola bars. I will have to experiment with this!

    My son has grown a lot recently – especially his feet! He is now able to use the smallest mens size shoes, which is going to save us a lot of money. Childrens shoes are crazy expensive here or they don’t last. Last time we bought a pair of cheap childrens shoes they started to fall apart after a week! We buy most of his clothes second hand, but secondhand shoes have been almost impossible to find after a certain age. So we gave up on that a long time ago and have been paying 120 USD for shoes/boots several times a year! But some weeks ago, we took him to the sport outlet and bought mens hiking shoes and sports shoes at a fraction of that price, and they have kept up very well so far!

    We have harvested corn, snack pepper, chili, chicory lettuce, squash, cucumber, green beans, tomatoes, figs, welsh onions and of course apples in the garden. I also harvest a lot of seeds for next year. The lettuce and fennel I have planted for autumn seem to do very well – this is the first time I have such success with my autumn garden.

    I sewed a button on a cardigan.

    I biked to all appointments.

    We used some homemade walnut schnaps as a present made from free walnuts.

    We were making my sons room into a big child/teenage room. We cut the legs off his semi high bed and removed the stair and one side to make it into a bed that can turn into a sofa when he has guests. I’m going to sew a case for the duvet, so it can douple as a sofa cushion. I think I will use some old jeans for that. We also need some kind of cover with elastic band along the edge – I hope I can make this myself as well. We moved the existing lamps to fit the new height of the bed. So an almost free makeover!

    I continue reading ‘The complete tightwad gazette’ – very enjoyable and informative.

    I read about the rose of Sharon last week – crazy expensive! I didn’t get to reply, but it is quite easy to propagate from cuttings if anyone wants to try. I actually sold a few in my little plant stall last week that I made this way.

    Have a nice week everyone!

    1. Cam, the Tightwad Gazette changed my life. I discovered it before the internet and signed up for the $1.00 monthly newsletter (delivered by snail mail). It was at the time when we were the most broke and $1.00 was really more than we could afford. It changed my way of thinking and that brought us out of poverty.
      Keep reading, learning, and searching.

  39. I really enjoy seeing your pictures on Instagram. The garden in the morning is so beautiful. A few moments to yourself is priceless! I love reading all of your readers ideas and I have for many years now. I have a prayer request if allowed. My best friend took a bad fall from her horse and is in the ICU 3 hours from home. It happened on Sunday and so far, she has not woke up from a traumatic brain injury. Her name is Jeannie. Thank you.

    1. Jacki

      I will definitely pray for your friend. The ICU doctors may be keeping her asleep as part of the healing process. Prayers for you and her.

  40. Brandy, I’m sorry about the AC and tire issues this week but glad things are getting resolved for you.

    I found some great deals at a thrift store. They had scarves and shawls for $1 each. I bought three shawls for me (cotton and linen), a Max Mara silk shawl in perfect condition that retails for about $250 (I am looking for someone to give it is as it isn’t my style, but I couldn’t resist!), and another for a friend. I bought a book for a friend and she gave me a pair of pants she thought I would like.

    I harvested some tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, sage, and chives from the garden.

    We went to a potluck birthday party. I had ingredients for coleslaw in the fridge and made that. We had a church luncheon the next day and I made another batch of coleslaw. We were able to bring home 6 hot dogs. When having them for dinner the next night, our mustard container got emptied. I remembered a tip from Amy Dacyzn of the Tightwad Gazette and put olive oil, some vinegar, and spices into the container and shook it up. I now have some salad dressing ready to go.

    I read “This Tender Land” by William Krueger and am now reading “The Mayfair Bookshop” by Eliza Knight.

    I am also cleaning out my pantry, sharing food we won’t use, and looking at the dates on items I have canned.

    I am also grateful get up about midnight and open the windows, bringing in cool air for the remainder of the night and a good portion of the day to save the use of our AC.

  41. Oh Brandy I’m so sorry about your air conditioners. We have 2 and are at the point of needing to replace them…ughh. We got the one for downstairs recharged early this summer but it will be the last time- it’s time to replace. We have been in our house since late 1999- so most things we need to do are very expensive. I’m sorry this is happening while your husband is away working- what a challenging time this is for you and your family.
    Things we are doing to save money…this doesn’t feel like a frugal time for us. We are going to the Oregon Coast in a week for 5 days (I did get a discount on the house). We will cook most meals at the beach house and we are driving all the way there and all the way home without stopping part way which adds a hotel cost. The following week I am working in California so my husband and daughter will fly in at the end of the week to do Disney for a couple of days because it is her birthday weekend. That will not be frugal at all but we haven’t done Disney for many years and a short trip there is definitely more frugal than a week. I also just purchased a new mattress for our guest room as well as a new frame and headboard because we have needed to for a long time and my daughter’s best friend will stay at our house with the dogs while we are at Disney. The mattress was on sale as were the frame and headboard but still…money going out.
    We are eating all our meals at home to save $$ for our vacations. I had an account with Imperfect Foods and Misfit Markets and tried to skip an order week but discovered last Sunday that I was being shipped $190 worth of food (!)…I wasn’t happy at all. I sent their customer service an email and received a response that the charge would be reversed but I would still receive the groceries. The groceries will arrive today and I will freeze as much as I can and we will eat the rest over the next week and a half before we leave for the ocean. I’m glad for the company’s response but I’m canceling their service because their items have really jumped in price.
    I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again- saving on groceries and meal planning is the biggest way I can affect savings in my house. If I don’t meal plan, we waste money on takeout which really adds up even though our household is just 3 adults. I have started following several frugal contributors on YouTube which keeps my goals top of mind.
    I hope everyone has a great week! Brandy you are in my prayers as I know this is an especially challenging time for you.

  42. I so wish I could send some cooling mountain breezes your way, Brandy! I admire your ability to find even a few moments to enjoy outdoors in your climate. Breakfast outdoors is one mf my frequent rituals, too.
    *Thank you to all who commented about my Rose of Sharon gift from a neighbor last week. Who knew Rose of Sharon had so many fans? 🙂 I responded to each of you but did so late in the week so my comments may have not been seen.
    *Many of our frugal efforts this week involved making good use of time and clearing things out to allow a bit of cash in. Some friends are taking swim lessons at a YMCA one county over. My boys and these same friends were taking lessons in the Y’s homeschool program back in March of 2020, got two lessons of that session under their belts and then WHAM! – lock-down happened and no more lessons. My boys already knew how to swim but were taking advanced lessons working on diving and perfecting strokes but this was their friends’ first session of swim lessons ever. I felt so badly for them! But, the Y graciously offered all of us a number of free passes once they opened back up to the public (in 2021) but we have only used one of them since then (we just don’t get over that direction very often but the classes were wonderful and worth the trip at the time.) Fast forward to now when the youngest of said friends is taking lessons and we went along to swim with the older child. Since I am a firm believer in “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, I asked the front desk staff member if those free passes were still on the books all this time later. Sure enough, they were! So, we got to hang out with friends and swim for free and can do so a few more times.
    *Stopped by the Salvation Army Thrift Store while on the way to the pool since I am rarely in that area. Found two beautiful vintage pillowcases with hand-crocheted edges for $2. They make me smile. 🙂
    *We cleaned up and priced some antique and vintage tools we have many duplicates of to sell at our neighbor’s antique booth. She told me one of them sold to one of the other booth holders as they were putting it out for display. Hopefully, they will all be as popular. My boys and I made walking sticks out of old tobacco sticks we have had forever by cleaning them, treating them with boiled linseed oil, and creating handles made from braided leather and wooden beads. They turned out quite well and is the kind of thing that sells well here with all the hikers. We shall see….
    *I gave my some of my rapidly growing kombucha SCOBY to two friends. Love to pass things along.
    *My love of VanEngelen (always have to give credit to Brandy for introducing me to this wonderful company) continues and I jumped on a recent FB subscriber deal for a naturalizing allium collection at 20% off. A bulk order of daffodils has been my birthday present to myself for the past 3-4 years (and will be again this year) but I am excited to add these lovely flowers to my property. My family and I usually plant the 100 or so bulbs together which I love but this year, it will be more like 400. I think I will hold a bulb-planting birthday party with my nearest and dearest. How fun would it be to plant bulbs on a beautiful mountain Fall day and eat cake afterward? I only wish I could have you all here, too. 🙂
    *As co-chair of Events and Field Trips for our homeschool co-op, I have been busy planning. In addition to things already planned, I made arrangements for a visit to a local corn maze in October. This is a trip we do with friends every year anyway but going as a group and planning ahead gives us all a discount making it very inexpensive.
    *Only a little grocery shopping this week for specific B1G1 free pork loin, marked-down chicken thighs, and milk. We continue to eat out of the garden and pantry with some things still left in the freezer from last year.
    *Other than that, we press on. Hope everyone has a lovely week! Thanks for all your inspiration and encouragement. 🙂

  43. -We’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes, another zucchini, herbs, beans and kale from the garden. I canned another batch of peaches. We had a few apples ripen on the trees and should have grapes in the next week or so. I made banana muffins (with old freezer bananas), sourdough bread and oatmeal fruit bars with a mix of leftover fruit. Made cold brew iced coffee in my French press. I got some bananas and apples on clearance plus stocked back up on coffee. I cooked the last of the spaghetti squash from last fall.
    -Enjoyed a few free dinners with potlucks and my parents. We’ve been resisting going out for ice cream on these hot summer days. I had a coupon for a free qdoba meal. Invited a friend over for dinner instead of going out.
    -Took my kids to the library to play and get a book club book for myself. Enjoyed play dates at the park with friends.
    -Did some garbage cleanup, tore up carpet and started hardwood floor refinishing at a rental property. Long term, hardwoods outlast LVP flooring every time, so we’re always happy to find hardwoods under old carpet or linoleum.

    1. His employer does not offer health insurance, but I am sure this will help someone else! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Brandy, My son who lives in Henderson, His A/C went out during the the last hot blast that hit your area. I told him to set up a cooler in a small room, put in a bag/block of ice and keep the lid open (Or use frozen water bottles) and set a fan to blowing on it. It will cool the room and he said it did a fair job of it. Be sure it is a smaller room and you will have an “oasis” to cool down in.
    if someone already mentioned this I am sorry-I have not read all the comments and I just wanted to make sure you got this info

  45. All I have done for the last two months is garden, harvest, and process food. We have done nothing fun, at all. It is hard to go somewhere and enjoy yourself when tomatoes are ripening and then going bad on your kitchen floor. The garden has come first because we emptied out my pantry last winter after the garden failed due to bad weather. We know how important it is to store away food. This past week, the garden has suddenly slowed down and I now have a chance to at least breathe. My first moment of rest is to check on my tightwad friends. (Hi, ya’ll)

    My oldest son has moved from one apartment that he has shared for seven years with three college friends to a smaller one with one other friend. He was upset because the apartment had raised the rent so much that no one could afford it anymore. There were four men squeezed into a three-bedroom. One slept on the living room couch. These men have decent full-time jobs (ambulance drivers, medical technicians, warehouse workers,) but they were priced out of their bachelor pad. My son was unable to fit his small freezer into the new apartment so he brought it to me. I now have another freezer! The timing is perfect to hold the rest of the garden produce. The sad part is that all of them feel like they will never marry because they can’t support a family.

    My husband and I feel the pain of rising prices because we lived through the seventies and saw this crash coming way back. The younger generation was not expecting this and are shell shocked; however, they are rising to the occasion and adapting quickly. To anyone who is new at money-saving, just keep learning and trying new things. It will make a difference.

    Thanks to everyone who comments with money-saving ideas. I always learn something new.

    1. Jeannie, I was just thinking about my garden when I read that you had a failure last year. I’d be canning and freezing like crazy this year, too! I have a small space and last year my beans weren’t much. This year I got a lot! I’m still using up last year’s tomatoes and it’s a good thing, because I tried growing them in buckets this year and I’ve gotten 5 tomatoes so far! I was just thinking, this year the only fruit I’ll be canning will be cherries and applesauce. Last year it was plums. It all depends on what fruit I can get free or cheap. With a garden, you just eat what comes up! Never the same two years in a row. I’m sure you’re tired of tomatoes, but aren’t you glad to have them?

  46. I know that I already commented. But I wanted to add something. I went to the store this evening with the idea that we would buy a few things. But then, I noticed the prices! Ouch! I couldn’t believe how expensive everything was. We decided to eat the fruit we already had and not buy more until we find a good sale at a cheaper store and we have eaten everything up first. I’m concerned about the prices come winter. What will they be? Strawberries at this store were $8.99 a package! I didn’t buy any. That is just one of the things that I noticed. Everything was expensive. Although I did find some chicken breast, bone in for $1.68 a lb. I bought some. They had chicken leg quarters for cheaper, but they didn’t look too good and had added fluids. I was able to buy hamburger 80/20 for $2.99 a lb. and I bought some butter beans and I almost didn’t buy Tahini, is was so expensive! But I did. I know I can make my own hummus for cheaper than buying a carton of it and definitely cheaper than buying it at a restaurant. It doesn’t take much tahini, but it was twice as much as I remember paying for it. Ugh! I may be making bean dips without the tahini in the future. I decided to plant more lettuce on our window sill. I am happy that I have basil growing. I may see what else I can grow. It looks like I need to. I am watching sales carefully. I have the chicken boiling now so I can use the broth and then I will pick the meat off the bones and make something with it tomorrow. We will also have some butter beans and a veggie salad using what we already have. My husband fixed our shower today, saving money on a plumber. I’m so glad he was able to get the part to fix it! Sponge baths work, but I do like a shower. We don’t have a tub. I made a veggie succotash using lots of vegetables and pinto beans, mint and ground walnuts yesterday and we ate it today as well. I got the recipe from the Blue Zone diet. It was excellent! It called for a different type of bean, but I had pinto beans on hand. It worked! I did find a nice squash for a couple of dollars. We will eat that in a few days. I want to use up our potatoes. I will probably make a soup with the chicken broth and potatoes, add some onion and celery and maybe a carrot. Yum! I’m making myself hungry. I’ve been drinking lots of water. It is cheap and very helpful in feeling good!

    1. Tammy, I have never used tahini because my little country store didn’t sell it when I tried the recipe years ago. They do sell humus with tahini but my fresh salads are always better. (sniff, sniff)

  47. Lovely photos as always Brandy! Sorry to hear about your A/C issues.

    **It was my 51st birthday on 8/22. Got a free dessert from Red Lobster, free candle at Yankee Candle, free Starbucks drink.

    **My 19 yr old son sustained an injury at work on 8-18. Broke a bone badly in his foot that required surgery. That’s all covered under Work Comp.” Since his father was on strike at work(which has now been rectified) I drove an hour away to pick him up along with my ex, whom I allowed to drive my car—because they both have gas guzzling trucks & I have a Honda CR-V(gets better gas mileage)—to the surgical center. Made that trip 3 times in a few weeks which costs me money in gas but since neither of them are working—I made that sacrifice. Also bought my son & his father some food at Sam’s Club to help alleviate their grocery bills. My son is on a healthy eating program for his future plans. So I bought him some food to keep him on his path.

    **I stay home on my days off, save for those trips for my son’s Dr appts. My worksite is 4 miles away from where I live. Normally, I can go 2-3 weeks without having to put gas into my vehicle.

    **got my & my husbands hair cut for free since my mother is a licensed cosmetologist/hair dresser

    **MIL came over and weeded our front lawn. It’s mowed but there’s a patch of weeds underneath a tree in our front yard. Not gonna lie, I could care less about gardening or landscaping. She loves it however.

    **Attended a neighborhood picnic. MIL brought a large pasta salad. I don’t eat much but there was just SO much food so we brought home a few pieces of grilled chicken & hamburgers.

    ** Now that the weather has turned a bit cooler here in NE Ohio in the Am, we can turn down the A/C in our house.

    **Used my $50 GC from my in-laws for my birthday to Applebees to treat my son & hubby to lunch after my son’s follow up appt with the surgeon. My son got their AUCE boneless wings so the entire meal cost me $12 excluding tip.

    **used my FSA card to purchase dressing supplies for my son’s foot. He needs to change it every other day.

    **Also used my FSA card to purchase diabetic supplies for my husband, glucose monitor strips & needles for his insulin pens that can be bought OTC. Also bought some bandaids for the house. I gotta use that money before the end of the year or else I lose it! I told my son, make an eye Dr appt & we can use my FSA card to pay for glasses that isn’t covered under my current vision plan. I need to do the same for myself. I need a stronger bifocal lens as even though my current glasses that I got in May 2022, I think they need to be stronger.

    **the puppy went to the groomer & only charged us $15 for a cut, nail trim & shampoo. Our puppy just brings us so much happiness especially to my father-in-law. My Mother in Law watched our puppy when we took my son to his Dr appt last week. They love having him visit & they’ll be watching him when hubby and I go on vacation at the end of September. We are going to Hawaii, Honolulu, to visit my brother in law, so we don’t have to pay for lodging, just the flight, a rental car & monies for incidentals, like day trips to Pearl Harbor, the Dole pineapple factory and a luau. Other than that I wanna soak up the sun on Waikiki Beach!

    Hope y’all have a great week!

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