I ordered a new pair of glasses for my daughter from Zenni Optical for just under $30, including anti-glare, tax, and shipping.

I gave my seven-year-old “new” clothing from a box of clothes I had saved for him from his older brothers. He was wanting a couple of specific things, including a red long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of brown pants. The box had both, and he was delighted. It also had a suit that my next oldest son had been given, and my seven-year-old was thrilled. He tried it on immediately. I hadn’t opened this box for ten years, so I didn’t remember much of what was in it. I will need to replace the elastic in the waistband of a couple of pairs of pants and shorts, and I have some elastic on hand for that already, so I can do that soon.

I flew to visit my husband in Denver on really inexpensive flights ($60 and $20).

We had three meals out, but all other meals we made in his hotel (it has a kitchenette), taking lunch with us one day.

I visited the Denver Botanic Gardens one day while my husband was working. He dropped me off on his way to his first appointment, an hour and a half before the gardens opened. I enjoyed walking around the historic neighborhood and seeing the house and the amazing park behind the gardens.

I had purchased an inexpensive phone tripod a little while ago, which I have been using to make videos on my phone for Instagram. The tripod allowed me to take some pictures of myself in both the park and the gardens. It was worth every penny! All of the photos on this post are from my phone and not my DSLR. I edit pictures using the mobile Lightroom app.

I knew the location would be beautiful (though the park blew me away), so I dressed for photos. I wore a Calvin Klein dress that I had bought new for $25 from Burlington that I posted about earlier this summer, along with a sweater I had bought from Amazon previously, the most comfortable Easy Spirit shoes that I had purchased on Amazon, a scarf that I had purchased from the gift shop at the Chicago Botanic Garden in April as a gift to myself, and my straw hat that came from a garage sale. I received so many compliments from strangers that I lost count!

If you’re debating wearing a dress somewhere, go for it! I not only ended up taking some pictures of myself that I really like, but I had a lovely day. So many women were so very nice to me.

While packing for the trip, I realized I need a few clothing items for this winter. A couple of days before I left, I got an email telling me that my referral credit to ThredUp was expiring. I didn’t even know I had a referral credit! I also had credit from returning some things. I used those along with a 45% off code to order several sweaters to wear this winter. The link is my referral link; thank you to whomever used it! ThredUp is an online thrift store.

Together, we did a couple of paid things. My husband hasn’t had a chance to see much where he is working, so I wanted to make sure he was able to do so. On Friday, we went on the Georgetown Express train (and took a packed lunch to eat before the ride).

We then drove to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, which is a wildlife preserve. It’s free to visit. A stranger told me about it at the gardens the day before.

We saw deer, prairie dogs, a couple of bison, hawks, and a bald eagle. I would recommend it if you are in Denver. They are making efforts to restore the prairie in this location and to return animals to live here. If you go to the visitor’s center first, they willl give you info on how you can listen to a free audio tour as you drive around.

We watched a movie on my husband’s computer that evening, rather than going out to the movies (something we had been considering).

On Saturday, we did one paid thing (the aquarium, which was very good), and then drove a couple of minutes across the river to see a park that I had read about that was designed as a formal garden. Parking was free.

There was a pétanque tournament going on, which we watched for a while.

As we drove across the river, we saw that we could walk down to the Platte River, so we took the time to do that, too.

I carry an insulated water bottle with me, which I had both for my flights and everywhere I went. I was able to refill it all over and didn’t need to buy anything to drink anywhere.

I found a store 4 minutes from where my husband was staying and found cardamom and cumin seeds for a great price. I hadn’t been able to find them near me. I had been considering buying some online. This saved me quite a bit over that option and I didn’t have to pay shipping.

The Botanic Garden gave me many ideas for my own garden. I particularly liked this basil, called Cardinal Basil. It makes huge flowers. Basil grows really well for me and I would enjoy growing this one from seed in my garden next year to use in flower arrangements in my house.

The edible gardens were my favorite. Like my own garden, they had flowers mixed throughout the food.

Zinnias were all over the gardens. I grow zinnias. They are such an inexpensive addition to the garden that grow from seed.

What did you do to save money last week?

When sharing your savings this week, please keep on topic. Posts commenting on the war will not be published.

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  1. It has been lovely seeing “my” part of Colorado through your eyes. We live a bit further south, in Sedalia, but Denver is only 30 min. away.
    We have bought a house near the NM border though, so will be moving to Fort Garland (between Walsenburg and Alamosa) next month. You would like it there, too. It’s like the Arsenal — but with mountains!
    Next time you’re in town, take some time to visit Cabela’s, off I-25. They have some interesting animal exhibits, and a huge aquarium with all sorts of fish, free of charge. The Colorado History Center is also quite wonderful — though I believe it charges a small fee.

    I do find it amusing that while you were in Colorado…I was in Las Vegas!

    P.S. Could you find it in your heart to do another Shopping/Meals for the Month post…even if it’s for the rest of the year? I still go back and reread the monthly posts on this subject. It would be helpful to see what you’re buying, and how you’re using it.

    1. Haha that is funny!

      I am not sure what I am going to buy the next couple of months. I will seriously consider this request, though, and see what I can do.

      1. I have been going through your previous monthly shopping posts as well, seeking to learn all I can from them. They are helping me to think differently (prioritizing) and therefore shop differently, making the grocery money stretch farther. Thank you for your example and encouragement in this way!

      2. You look very nicely turned out. IMHO many Americans dress slovenly with sloppy tee shirts, clothes too tight & revealing, run down athletic shoes, etc. I think people in Colorado noticed your tasteful dress as it is not the usual. I do not dress up as much as you do but I often wear a simple dress or a skirt & blouse. Yay for dresses! How nice you can take a trip, sightsee, visit your husband, and dress up for the occasion. You have worked hard on the home front. A lovely respite.
        The green metalwork at the Colorado gardens reminded me of your arches in your backyard.

    2. I have come into the city to visit my daughter. I’ve become adventurous and have wandered out a few times. Her apartment building is surrounded by small gardens and many tiny little shops. I never buy anything but admire all the lovely things I see. Being in new surroundings and the noise level of the city is a little unsettling for me. I have to force myself out of my comfortable zone. I saw a coupon on a favorite coupon blog for 50 off a 100 purchase at Amazon fresh . They don’t deliver to the boonies where I live but I knew they deliver to my daughters building. So here we are , 3 years into dumpster diving. There is just so little that we have any desire to buy. Our needs are blessed in double. My journey to changing the way we eat continues each week. Some of the products I have bought are relatively expensive although we don’t use very much of them. As an example , xantham gum and arrow root flour. Obviously, these are items ,I’m not likely to find in a dumpster. ( and no , I have no shame speaking of it ). I searched for some time on Amazon and collected a list of items I wanted. I made sure to choose items that were a lower price as several options of the same brand were quite higher than the others. I bought several Bragg products and other cooking items to add to our new cooking recipes. I got some deodorant and shampoo that were considerably less than what I could have got in the store. I was disappointed to not find Dr Bronners. But , for the bargain deal ,I found enough items to meet the $100.00 . I padded the list with some Boost drink for my dad. My total was $52.00 and half price is always a deal I love. On my way to my daughters apartment , I stopped at a couple of dumpsters that I normally wouldn’t visit. I found 4 bottles of Gain laundry and a gallon of bleach. I have a long standing gripe with sugar cooking wasting laundry soap. I’m going to try filling up the large pump container with one bottle of soap and the rest with water. There’s no reasoning with her. I had a box of 112 pods and they are all gone. My son mentioned they liked the fragrance so much they had been using two. I’m annoyed , just simply annoyed. I continued my journey into the city and ended up with many vegetables. I believe it was Saturday that I got a lovely load of dairy products. I’m unable to settle my thyroid. It is swinging wildly and leaving me quite sick at times. I’m trying some new supplements and hoping they help. I’ve always been skeptical of vitamins so I’m reaching quite far. Some of this stuff is expensive but will be worth it if it helps. I stopped by Marshall’s and pulled out a new in package comforter set. It had not been spray painted or knifed. I’ve washed it tonight. My daughter may want it ,and if not lil Henry’s mom might want it. I believe its a king but its very nice. Prayers for anyone needing one.

      1. I work as a vendor for a company serving grocery stores and I am appalled at the amount of waste I see. Good for you … I’m sure dumpster diving is plentiful, and good for the environment as well.

      2. I dumpster dive the college dorms. The amount that gets thrown away is insane. Still using tide, shampoo, and soap from May’s dive. No shame. We are saving things from being wasted and saving money at the same time.

        1. Same here, Marybeth. We live across the street from a college campus, and my family always checks the dumpster areas at the end of the school year. The amount of usable items and even food/pantry supplies students leave behind is astounding. This past year we even found several gift cards that still had value on them! I am glad to rescue these items, but sad that we live in such a throwaway culture.

          Glad you had a nice trip to my home state of Colorado, Brandy. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and inspiration!

  2. I love to see these photos of your travels, especially the botanical gardens you visit. Like Gardenpat’s, my comment last week was delayed most of the week, and I don’t think anyone read it. I knew Brandy was planning some travel, so I thought that was why. I’ll try to keep it short this time. I know she is so busy these days.

    I found two packs of chili powder in a shopping cart of clearance items. The plastic bags have 3.5 times as much as a bottle, and were 33% less in price. They are dated for 2025.

    I bought a very nice ham for $2.49 Can a lb ($1.75 US). It is cut up and frozen now, and there is a ham bone for making soup. I also found cough syrup at the pharmacy (lots of it), after shortages in early 2023.

    My province is proposing to replace the Canada Pension Plan with an Alberta Plan. I read the consultants’ report, and then experts’ comments, and then completed a survey the government is running to get feedback. I’ll write some letters as well in the coming days.

    We’ve had beautiful weather for this Canadian Thanksgiving. I hope everyone is well.

  3. It finally cooled off, so Friday I made an Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Tuscana soup with homemade chicken broth and kale I froze from the neighbors. All I had to buy was Italian sausage.

    Got a free order of crazy bread from Little Cesar’s

    Downloaded 2 kindle First Read books

    Earned a $12.50 Amazon shopping panel reward

    Went to a local store, and found $2 off cases of coke coupons on the soda. We bought 2 cases. We also found bacon for $1.99/lb.

    I needed a modern translation of The Canterbury Tales and found one on Kindle Unlimited

    I used leftover chicken thighs in my chicken and dumplings. I also mixed up some powdered milk to make the dumplings, since we were out. My teen refuses to drink powdered milk, but it comes in handy for cooking. I have a feeling once she moves out, it’ll be all I buy.

    Enjoyed opening up the house with the cooler temperatures.

    I bought some snacks at the store, then Hubby and I watched a movie on Prime one night we were home alone.

    Ate breakfasts and lunches at work

    Hubby’s truck is in the shop so he’s using mine. That keeps me from stopping at McDonald’s or Starbucks on my way home, lol.

    We are a little bit closer to paying off a couple more credit cards.

  4. I found another pork belly for $3.00 a pound which my husband turned into bacon! Some elbow grease and we can eat like kings! I sewed a knight costume and a dragon costume for my two sons for Halloween. We are having some work done in our house in a few weeks and to save money, we are doing all the prep work (installing some vents, removing the whole house fan, removing all the old insulation). My husband found some of the old insulation was good enough to save so we put it down in the garage as it is attached to the house but adding to this project is not in the budget. I have been under the weather and so we have eaten from the pantry and freezer. I participated in some consumer science studies and earned a total of $95 in cash! I challenged myself to only spend that on groceries this week – so far, so good!

  5. Beautiful pictures! I never thought to take a tripod on solo excursions.

    I’m a little ashamed to admit my want list is getting bigger. I rewrote it leaving space under each item to write an option I have or a gratitude. This really tamed the fire.

    I made some cat toys for friends cats using scraps and stuffing them with fabric trimmings and catnip. I will look for catnip plants on the free plant exchange for next year.

    I took cuttings of a shrub that I am hoping will root to expand my landscaping.

    Hope everyone has a calm and productive week.

    1. I really like your idea of leaving space under each item on a want list to write options and alternatives plus gratitude! I am going to adopt that.

    2. I don’t think you should be ashamed that you want things. It’s human nature, especially in the US. I absolutely love the way you’re reflecting upon those wants and helping curb desires for things that aren’t maybe really needed. Give yourself some grace, you’re doing great!

  6. If you can’t find that type of basil, I tried Thai basil this year and it has lovely purple flowers as well.
    My frugal bits:
    Meals and hotel paid for at my conference. I did buy a coffee and got food while driving there. I forgot how terribly bad fast food makes me feel but all I had for breakfast was a muffin and I needed protein. Ended up skipping dinner.
    Lots of library books checked out. 😁
    Went to library sale to get some holiday gifts. I like just browsing and finding fun additions with no expectations. Found 4 nearly new books by an author my husband likes at the library sale. Will save for Christmas.
    Husband found flannel pants for Chiefs buy 1 get 1 (we live in colts country). He replaced his worn pair and we got a 2nd for a gift.
    Worked on tearing down my garden as we have a frost warning tonight. Pulled all the green tomatoes. Drying herbs.
    Put out a bunch of mostly composted compost on part of my garden I cleared. I had some paperboard wine containers in my garage from when my husband still worked. I fill a layer with compost, carry to my garden and lay it out. It will break down over winter and I’m not killing my back in the process.
    Spent my evening in front of the fire pit quietly burning brush.
    Have a blessed week.

    1. Thank you! I have grown Thai Basil for flowers before. I like how large these flowers are. I found seeds at Baker Creek, Park Seed, and Botanical Interests.

      1. If you ever find Basil herbalea ‘Wild Magic’ I can’t recommend it enough. The flowers are sterile, so the leaves are never bitter, but it easily propagates. Violet flowers that last till fall, bees love it, but the scent is amazing. I plant it near my front door for the smell alone. The bees followed me around the nursery when I had it in my cart, so great for the garden. Unfortunately not frugal, but amazing. Here’s a link with pictures.

  7. You look so lovely! Glad you had a wonderful trip! I bought a bag of shrimp for $5.00 on sale at Walmart. Bought ice cream bars, buy two, get one free from Publix grocery store. Gas in the University town is $2.86 a gallon. Thankfully, it went down this week. It is still $3.29 in more rural spots. It has cooled off and I don’t have to run the air (nor heat) and the weather has been delightful.

  8. I was thankful to sell 2 canopies that we had for our daughter’s wedding. They took up a lot of room in the garage.

    I planted free fava bean seeds for a cover crop.

    I baked an apple cobbler in the solar oven for a potluck. I used homegrown apples.

    I bought cheese on sale at Safeway $3/ lb and used a $5 off $5 on top of the sale price.

    Sold a few items on FB marketplace and one on eBay.

  9. Thanks for sharing your travel adventures with us. Your pictures are so wonderful I felt like I was there! Glad it was so nice. * This week we received our free covid tests. * I was able to skip going to the grocery store next week. I put that grocery money away so I have it ready for the holiday shopping. Dinners last week were a potato/cabbage/sausage concoction I made up, BBQ chicken wraps, taco salad and a few days of leftovers of each. I made chili and cornbread for the family dinner and my girls brought homemade mac and cheese and butterscotch bars for dessert. It was lovely and not too much work for any one of us. * We took a load of donations to Goodwill. One bag was from my youngest daughter who was visiting. I had her go through the bins she has stored here and cull them down. We will bring them when we drive out East to visit her next summer. She cut it down from six to three! There were many books. I took a few, her brother took a few and my husband is bringing the rest to Half Price Books. My husband donated two suitcases he no longer uses and three messenger bags. It always feels good to have more space! * My good friend’s neighbor had a catered wedding reception and gave many fancy leftovers to my friend. She knew my kids were coming for a Sunday supper last night so she brought some for us. We split them and all had enough for our dinners tonight. * Found out my poor vision is due to cataracts and so I will be having surgery after the first of the year. Soooo thankful for good insurance. * Got my flu shot while at my check up today. They were out of the covid booster so I’ll need to go back for that. Again, thankful for good insurance. *For fun, reading library books, knitting, crocheting and playing with my grand darlings. * I hope everyone can have a peace-filled week.

    1. I would have loved to get fancy catered leftovers!

      It might not be comfortable to have two vaccines in one visit, so perhaps it was ok they were out of one.

      At least some of the covid tests being sent out for free are “expired” according to the dates on the boxes. My package had a notice pointing that out. However, the notice included information about checking for the new, extended expiration dates either online or by toll-free phoning.

  10. There a lull in quilting jobs after I finished the ones last week so on Tuesday, I was invited to a last minute baby shower on Saturday. The mom had been extremely unwell through the pregnancy and doctors set a C-section date for this coming Friday. I looked through my gift cupboard for a baby quilt, but there have been more baby boys that I hav gifted this year than girls! So I looked through my accumulation of free patterns I have saved on my Pinterest board, found one and printed it up! Unfortunately, the finished size was too large for what I wanted for a baby (54” square), so I reduced the size of the scraps used from 3-1/2” down to 2-1/2” and got this 36” square baby quilt. Used a scrap of leftover batting and part of a twin size vintage cotton sheet (enough left over to back another baby quilt! ) and voila!! Here it is: https://pin.it/1ZLIrLV and https://pin.it/1bjZf6c. Just before binding it, 5 more client quilts came in to be quilted! Here’s the first one, quilted up: https://pin.it/1UUV4Zi. She used a panel as the main area of her quilt top and added the 3 borders! So, apparently, there is still a stream of income that I will be grateful for for as long as it lasts!

    After surveying our freezer contents (1 of our 2 freezers) when Dave replaced fan in it, I was even more determined to rotate through without shopping outside of my current storage! I FOUND the small bags that I had divided the 10 pound bag of cooked bacon bits that I bought for $5! So this morning, Dave got scrambled eggs ( courtesy of our chickens) with bacon bits: https://pin.it/19M2VDo. He was pleased!! I cooked up a beef roast in crockpot and then shredded it in my Kitchenaid with BBQ sauce and we enjoyed BBQ beef on a bun for dinner entree with leftovers for lunches/additional dinners! I made a big beef pot pie when we had friends over for dinner, with a from-scratch pie crust, home canned beef chunks, sauce made from scratch and frozen mixed veg. It was a winner and we had 2 slices left for a dinner a couple nights later!

    I made chicken taquitos , cut them in half and used them as part of the buffet table for the baby shower with home canned salsa on the side. Did the same thing with mini egg rolls and served with home made sweet and sour sauce!

    Decluttering with 3 trash bags of stuff out to trash barrel. Nothing really nice enough to salvage for donation or sale. It felt good to see it going out !! Gave away things to people who had need and we were grateful to be able to share!

    Fall is definitely here so I will plant my garlic tomorrow and pick the remaining tomatoes and peppers before the frost comes. I’ll leave the Swiss chard for us to enjoy until it totally freezes!

    Quiet week. Hope everyone is doing well!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

  11. I’m glad you had a lovely small vacation, and so frugal too! And those pictures are beautiful!

    My frugal week:
    – made apple butter (http://approachingfood.com/pioneer-style-apple-butter-and-what-ive-learned-writing-this-blog/)
    – made pizza and mini pizza muffins using my super-easy dough recipe (http://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/). My kids love them, and they’re super easy to pack for lunch, snacks, or whenever.
    – packed leftovers and drinks for work, and whenever I was out with my kids, and said no to buying additional items not on the shopping list.
    – I was ill with the flu this week, so didn’t bake for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, but did bring one of those $6.99 giant Costco pumpkin pies to my family dinner. An affordable contribution.
    – I made some pickled beets (http://approachingfood.com/easy-mennonite-pickled-beets/)
    – I made my award-winning apple crumble (http://approachingfood.com/harvest-apple-crumble/)
    – instead of ordering cheques from a bank, I ordered from another company, plus googled for a coupon code. Overall, saved about 50% from the cost of ordering from the bank. I was pleased!
    – redeemed for $20 from legeropinion.com. Straight to paypal!
    – I did a very small transcription job from rev.com. Small amounts add up!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  12. This month is going to be tight for money because I took advantage of a a nice travel deal during my spring break in April. So I did the following:

    1. I had committed to bringing sliced apples to a staff meeting. Instead I filled a mason jar with almonds and another with walnuts. These were free from my husband’s co-op. The rest of our department is bringing Halloween candy and cider so the nuts can be a healthy alternative. Free.
    2. I let my Sam’s club membership expire yesterday. Today I shopped for s possible coupons and they had one online. $15 – a savings of $35 dollars. Wow. There is a new Costco going in near me and maybe that is why they gave the coupon for my area. The roasted chickens alone are worth $15 over the course of a year. I immediately checked the “do not auto renew” button for next year so I don’t forget.
    3. I am committed to eating from the pantry. I made an Anderson House dry bean soup mix. I looked up the instapot directions. This one was split pea soup. I took about a pound and half of “bits and pieces’ bacon I bought at Grocery Outlet. It was frozen. I put it in the pot with the mix and six cups of chicken broth. 15 min pressure cook and 10 min natural release. Then I added some extra peas and old orzo that has been hanging around. Delish. So easy to clean up . That will easily be 7 – 10 meals for my husband and I. I will make my favorite 3 ingredient biscuits and cook them in the airfryer for 10 mins to go with the soup.. Hubby loves it. We will continue to pick free melons from our renters. So fresh fruit, bread and soup for the next few weeks. Very healthy.
    4. I have my eye appt this week. I don’t have the money to order the glasses until December. I hate waiting but I have a cd maturing in Dec. I’ll use the prescription I get this week and order in December. I have a perfectly good back up pair and my prescription hardly ever changes. Delayed gratification.
    5. I have an out of town wedding at the end of the month. Our friend invited us to the rehearsal dinner as well. That would mean I would have to take an extra day off work. We declined and instead booked I booked two free nights with my IHG card. The extra day will give us time to spend with them after the wedding. I have to figure out a gift. That will take some thinking. It is going to be a ritzy affair.

    1. I caved on the wedding gift. The couple is only registered with Honeyfund. You purchase “experience” not things. I paid $100 toward their airline ticket to Hawaii only because it is my husband’s dear friend and I didn’t want to come off cheap. Sigh! I have serious qualms about all these weddings just asking for money. However, I do like the sustainability of not buying new things that may end up in a landfill in two years. What does everybody else think?

      1. I may be the outlier, but I’d much rather just give money or contribute into a registry fund like that. As you mentioned, I prefer not to purchase an item that may or may not be what someone wants and will end up tossed or donated. If they had specific products on a registry, that would at least help narrow things down, but I saw several registries when I was young where shop workers clearly told the couple what they “needed” for their new life together and had it happen myself. Within a year or two, I was passing it along or chucking it.

        We have a family member who has consistently ignored the gentle requests to not purchase “stuff” for us – and invariably I’m donating the unwanted, unneeded items. Another family member keeps asking what the kids want, and we explained they were saving for a car or college, and while the kids expected nothing, a small contribution to that would be a huge help; he promptly sent us large dollar amount Amazon cards and has continued year after year, even after we explained we try not to purchase through them. So I think it’s wonderful that you honored what your friends truly *wanted* in celebrating their union!

      2. I actually like the experience over things. We are in wedding central right now. We have so many weddings in the next 2 years. Some of the gifts on registries are out of control. I would rather donate to the honeymoon or house fund.

  13. Brandy I feel as if I had been traveling with you and that is such a gift- no money for travel this year due to some large expenses BUT because you traveled to see your husband I also got a great trip. Not sure if I enjoy your pics of your outfits, gardens or just reading was like a story hearing where you went, what you two did and how you accomplished it all. Thank you for sharing the experience, I enjoyed every minute. And the pics with tripod are amazing

    1. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it! If you are on Instagram, I am sharing mlre pictures there.

      I used the 10 second timer setting on my phone and just ran in place. I had to do a lot of retakes but I was able to get ones I liked that way without asking someone else and getting a couple I might not have liked without any that I did. Plus, there was no pne around much of the time, so I couldn’t have even asked anyone. I learned that the last time I went to a garden alone.

      I also liked wearing white; it doesn’t matter what color I am next to in the garden–it will go with everything!

  14. My niece used to own a condo about a block from the Denver Botanical Gardens. It was in a historic red-brick building that had been converted to housing. You could see the gardens from her place. She is out in Lakewood now, near my sister. We are all–including my son and daughter-in-law–going to Denver at the end of this month. My BIL is 85 with some health issues and it’s time for a family get- together. I haven’t seen my sister in over 6 years. Her daughters are my children’s only cousins.

    I only spent $15.38 on a very few groceries last week, although I spent $102.82 the week before. We don’t need much this week, but–if memory serves–we are expecting a big 12 Hour Baking Sale at Super 1 either this week or next. I am doing an inventory of what I already have before the sale and I am planning to stock up.

    We spent a LOT of $$$ at Best Buy last week for an iPad for my husband and Apple watches for him and myself. The watches have fall detection and are wearables for the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” phones we both have. (I fell 5 times last year). We opened a CC account and got $150 in BB rewards. I’m pretty sure we will be giving electronics for Christmas this year!

    Also, I bought new glasses at Costco last week for $220. I knew I had some optical coverage with Medicare, but I didn’t know how much. I did know Costco doesn’t accept assignment and assumed I wouldn’t get anything. The optician gave me a detailed receipt and I called my insurance company and learned I had $200 in benefits and all I had to do was send them the receipt. Which I did!

    Brandy, I took a selfie and was going to upload it to Zenni, but they don’t seem to have this feature anymore. ????? I was hesitant to order based on how the frames looked on a model–I wanna know how they look on me! Can you give us all some tips? My glasses would be a lot more than the $30 you paid for your daughter’s because I wear progressive bifocals. I’m OK with what they cost at Costco, but I would like to try Zenni.

    Finally, I pulled up my garden, harvested a couple more butternut squashes and picked the last of the green beans and beets for a friend’s chickens.

    Best wishes to everyone here!

    1. Maxine, I bought my progressives at Zenni.

      I tried on glasses somewhere and figured out what shape frame looked best on me. Zenni lets you look by frame shape so that makes it very easy. They also tell you the size of your glasses and I can measure my existing ones to see if I like that same size or not (lens height matters a great deal to me; even though I wear progressives, I don’t want to have lenses like the 90’s ones that cover half my face). Seeing the frame measurements help.

    2. Hi Maxine! My mother has the Apple Watch with the fall detection…. So worth spending money on! She fell and hit her head on the foyer of her house. Luckily, my dad was with her. The watch sent my brother and I a fall-detected text and then dialed 911 for her. My parents are in their late 70’s with health issues so this watch is a peace of mind for all of us! Thank goodness her fall only caused a superficial wound.

  15. Brandy,
    thank you so much for the tour! It was such a pleasure to see something I will propably never see! I am happy you could see your husband , as well. We already had the first snow. There was so much yard work to be done! We will see if it keeps freezing or shall we have warmer temperatures for the rest of October.

    1. I’m glad you liked it! I feel that same way about seeing places on Instagram. I may never get to travel there, but I got to see it from someone’s post, and that’s pretty amazing.

  16. What a treat to take a mini-vacation, I always love exploring a new city!

    I keep puttering along with my uber-frugal habits such as using digital coupons for grocery loss leaders, buying used instead of new, (I just set up an “alert” for when someone lists a specific bra on eBay) using the library, Hoopla and Libby; plus giving away and asking for things I need through my Buy Nothing group.

    I also got four dusty half-gallon canning jars from my dad’s basement, which are now clean and filled with the various bulk items I buy at Winco. I pick up these size jars when I can find them cheaply at thrift stores as they hold a lot and look nice when lined up together. Much cheaper than something from The Container Store and super useful. It just looks so much better than the hodge-podge of storage jars everything had been in.

    Of course, I blogged about everything here:


    1. I like the look of half-gallon canning jars for storage, too. I use them in my kitchen in the lower level, lazy susan corner cupboard for storing legumes. It’s just about the right quantity I need to store there, and bugs can’t drill holes in them like they did my Tupperware.Thanks for sharing your tips.

  17. Beautiful photos as always Brandy! So happy you were able to visit your husband!

    So, we ate all meals at home last week. Just did some minimal grocery shopping to replenish things we use daily. I always bring my lunch to work from home.

    One thing about Hawai’i? They are big on conservation efforts. So all the parks we visited had drinking fountains where one can fill up a water bottle free of charge. Which we did. Same with the airports.

    Also, all of the beaches there are free. They make their money on paying to park downtown where all the beaches are along the coastlines. One can also fish without the need for a fishing license. Something my BIL does regularly.

    I read an e-book using my library card on the Libby app.

    Jet lag is real. I think I’m just now getting over the time difference.

    On our last day in Hawaii, one of my BILs friends took us out on his boat. We ended up rescuing a stranded jet-skier & her nephews. She owns a 3-D printing company, where they do a body scan & turn them into 4 inch statues. As a thank you for rescuing her, she took pics of my hubby and I & will send us our 3D statue in a few weeks. She also brought us back to her home where we joined her family for dinner & made some new friends. We gave the boat owner money for gas for his boat. Gas is almost $5/gal in HI. Here in NE Ohio, it’s $3.22/gal right now.

    Had to turn the furnace on as the mornings have gotten cold. 41 degrees out this AM when I left work.

    Hope everyone has a frugal & great week!

      1. Lucky for me, I only live about 4 miles away from work. So a tank of gas can last up to 3 weeks. Unless I make a trip to see my parents who live about 75 miles away.

  18. The photos are wonderful! I enjoyed hearing about your travels very much. So nice you got to see your husband. You looked lovely and did all that walking in heels!

    Gas was over $7 not far from here; it made the local news. I’ve been buying when I go once a month to Costco, but it was $5.79 last time I was there.

    I watched my neighbors pets when they were out of town last week (I don’t charge them).

    Trying to salvage a quilt with spilt nail polish on it. Bought a stain remover for it that doesn’t look to be working. Will return it as it was a bit spendy, but worth it to try and save the quilt as it’s part of a set.

    Just finished what I expect will be the last heatwave if the year. Plan to do a big laundry push before it gets too cold to hang out. I’m sorting and downsizing. Will put up Halloween decorations now, I just couldn’t bring myself to do when in 97F heat. It wouldn’t look right.

    Got a frozen pizza on clearance at grocery outlet which made for a quick Friday meal. They don’t seem to carry smuckers strawberry jam anymore. It was my go to best price for the last few years. Got bacon on sale at Safeway and tomatoes at Whole Foods. I don’t normally go there, but can get local homegrown types and wanted a repeat of some for blt sandwiches. They were still on sale.

    Signed up for free mail delivery of rx, which will save gas, ordered free boxes from usps, and ordered an out of town book sent to my library. I love using link+ through the library.

    1. So those shoes are really comfortable! They have a wide heel and are padded inside. I walked in the garden and the park for 6 hours in them.

  19. I am glad you went to see your husband and what lovely photos.

    I have been sitting in the garden today it’s 25C I have never seen this temperature in October before. I was Ill last week, it seems to take longer to get over these things as you get older. We have had our covid jab this week as we are over 75.

    I pruned fruit trees and grape vines. I cleaned out greenhouse I don’t recognise it now and all the garden furniture and frames are all stored away in there. Moved and turned the compost I place the compost bin on the striped out veg bed to save forking it twice. In the spring I just lift off the bin and rake it out. I first had to move a slow worm (a legless lizard) he hibernates in the other compost bins to keep warm during the bad weather.

    I made yoghurt . I made 15lb of raspberry jam , I have 2 litre containers in the freezer and as many still again waiting to ripen.
    I made bread, it’s a while since I made it, I don’t get on with the easy bake yeast and this week I came across some out of date old fashioned yeast and it work so I am back in to bread.
    I canned enough french beans to last 2 years also have loads in the freezer. I also tried the cucumber soup, it is lovely hot and cold.

    Hubby bought a new tablet as his old one (8 years old) is to out of date for sites he uses. He bought last years model. It was cheaper. This definitely was not frugal.

    I have done all the laundry while the weather lasts, autumn is supposed to start on Wednesday with temperatures down to 16C.
    We have a toilet with a leak ,it has been difficult to find a plumber but we have one coming on Monday. I could have done it myself but these new low water cisterns work differently. This will put up the water bill.

    I did a grocery shop this week in Aldi and Waitrose. Tea has gone up again before covid it was £1.50 now its £1.95. I didn’t find anything reduced we were a bit later than usual.

    Have a good week everyone

  20. Hi Brandy and everyone
    What a glorious post! I have enjoyed the photos of Denver and all you did and it’s no wonder people complimented you on your outfits. My late mother always wore a hat when out in public and drew many a compliment. So glad you could share some of the sites with your husband.
    This week we received our free Covid and flu jabs.
    I found a lovely as new tunic dress in a charity shop in the colour I was looking for.
    A friend and I swapped magazines, I have one monthly on subscription, Country Living, and she receives different ones handed on by her clients.
    I had my free eye test and bought new glasses. My previous ones lasted four years. I chose a moderately priced pair and used a voucher for 25 per cent off which my husband received when he bought his glasses.
    I batch cooked sausage and apple casserole and mashed potato and froze some.
    I have started buying dry goods for Christmas and bought a tin of chocolates on offer and the dried fruit etc for the cake.
    My husband dug up all the potatoes and they are stored away and we picked some cooking apples for winter storage. We shelled the borlotti beans and they are drying again.
    We picked kale, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, lemon thyme and flowers and I took a bag of tomatoes as a hostess gift to sewing group. We gratefully received pears and a decorative pumpkin from friends and chocolates as a thank you for a favour we did for someone.
    Stay safe everyone.
    Ps All Creatures Great and Small has started again in the UK, I think it’s showing on PBS in January.

    1. My friend and I swap magazines too. She also brings me the sections I like of the Memphis paper since we can’t get in rural area where I live. I also take her my local county newspapers. She passes all along to her sister and I take magazines to my library’s free table. Saves us both money and saving planet at same time. She also bring me colorful comic section to use as gift wrap.

  21. Brandy, what lovely photos, both of you and your surroundings. I can tell how much you love photography;). Thank you for sharing, I doubt I will ever get to the Denver Botanical garden in person.

  22. What a fun weekend get-away! Thanks for sharing the travel tips and photos.

    On the frugal front:
    I brought a lunch to work 2/4 days which is a big win for me.

    My sister gave my grocery coupons for $15 off $100 and one free pound of bananas which I used in combination with DD2’s 10% off employee discount. After shopping, I applied the $0.17/gallon of gas reward I earned to fill my tank.

    I decorated for Halloween using items I already owned. Many of the items I used are more fall-like so they can be used through Thanksgiving. I did not buy mums this year since we will be out of town multiple times this month.

    HH harvested more peppers and cucumbers. The neighbors brought us a large bag of roma tomatoes. HH used them to make marinara sauce and froze it.

    Friends and I enjoyed low-cost entertainment including an in-home movie and a walk a with a stop for a BOGO sub sandwich.

    I used frozen veggie scraps and rotisserie chicken carcasses to make lemon chicken orzo soup.

    I went to an inexpensive DIII college football game with with family to watch my cousin’s daughter perform in her 475 person marching band. They were incredible. After the game we went back to her college house where my cousin provided dinner for everyone before heading home. It was a such a fun day.

    I look forward to reading everyone’s frugal feats!

  23. I will add the Denver Botanic Garden to my list. My step-daughter lives there, and I expect we’ll visit she and her husband next year. It looks beautiful, and appears you had a really lovely trip. Last week, all the house plants were brought indoors, which is quite a feat. We added a couple of large ones this year, including a rosella I want to try to overwinter, as they never bloom in time for me to harvest the calyces. We have two dwarf pomegranates, which have never born fruit, so my husband dug one up, so I can see if overwintering it indoors changes that. They die back to the ground, so maybe this will help. On Sunday, we started the project of replacing all the tin on the original roof. We were delighted to find there was no wood we needed to replace, so we were able to finish the same day, with just a few minor things remaining, like putting new boots around the soil stacks, which was done Monday. It’s good to have that project crossed off the list. A batch of suet was made for the birds. I found more kale volunteers, this time two varieties. Some were transplanted, and a dozen were given to a friend. She expressed interest in a beauty berry while here, so I dug one up for her. The dogs were given baths in the outdoor shower with homemade dog soap, likely the last of the year. When we potted the dwarf pomegranate, we used a mix of old and new potting soil. We used a large nursery pot we were given, and had no dish large enough to go beneath it, so my husband suggested a barrel lid, which I cleaned and epoxied the seal, to make sure there were no leaks. Some gifted worm castings were used to fertilize the lemons. I dehydrated celery twice, and a few chanterelles. With a forecast of a low in the 30’s, I harvested all the basil. Some went into pasta sauce, and the rest will be made into pesto. With the weather turning cooler, I enjoyed homegrown lemon balm tea or lemon balm/spearmint tea several times. My husband started our first fire in the woodstove Sunday morning, which the pups loved. Wishing everyone a lovely week!

    1. If you start your roselle inside early, that would give you a head start.

      I can direct seed mine here.

      They had some at the Botanic Gardens in Denver but it was small.

      I sowed seeds in July that are now towering over my head. I also planted in August and those ones are tiny.

  24. What beautiful photos and a perfect break for you and your husband!

    My husband and I used our rush passes to see the play “Murder on the Orient Express”. Rush passes are very discounted and you pick up available tickets at the box office an hour before the performance.

    I received a lot of free food from family. My brother gave me more plums, which I turned into several batches of spiced plum jam for neighbors for Christmas. I also made salsa verde from the garden. I received butternut and spaghetti squash, tomatoes, peackes, beets, and cucumbers. A friend gave me a jar of homemade ketchup after I shared my recipe with her. I made homemade tomato bisque for dinner with some of the many tomatoes on hand.

    My niece invited me to join her on a hike to a local cave and purchased the tickets. I brought water and snacks with me.

    I continue to walk as much as I can (to the store, library, and just for exercise), knit on projects to finish them, and read books from the library. I am grateful to be healthy and have a full and useful life!

  25. I am so glad you got to visit your husband and see so many pretty gardens. You look so pretty. The pictures were wonderful. We made chili Sunday and have been eating leftovers. My husband pressure washed the house and helped his daughter pressure wash theirs. I went to the last farmers market Saturday and some yard sales. I cleaned out one closet and a dresser and took the clothes to the church for their clothes closet. I still have another one to do. I cooked supper for the family Saturday night and we played games

  26. I’m so glad you had such a lovely visit with your husband. It looks very relaxing. We lived in the Denver area for 14 years, though we now live on the western side of the state. Your outfits were stunning!
    I combined leftover salmon with vegetables from the garden to make a stir-fry for dinner one night, and leftover pot roast with vegetables to make beef pot pie another night. We had dinner another night at a friend’s house. I turned the rest of my ripe pears into pear sauce. I planted garlic. I canned four pints of green tomato curry sauce. I made a batch of waffles and another of bagels. I still have a few tomatoes and chard from the garden, but our first frost is supposed to show up this week, so that may be the end, except for a few greens and carrots in the greenhouse.

  27. What a delight this morning to read your blog and see the photos. I have seen slide shows of the wonderful Denver Botanic Gardens
    presented by the curator of it when he visited at the rock gardening club that I used to belong to. It is so nice that you were able to visit the other places that look so interesting, too.

    I had two unexpected savings this autumn. I was chatting to the husband of my late friend whose documents I am sorting. I mentioned
    the tree that had fallen across part of my driveway. I had already had my tree chopper (aka arborist) come out for a quote. Then I had a financial reversal. So I had to delay their coming. Then my friend’s husband offered to cut the tree with his chainsaw. In the meantime, I learned on YouTube about Quikrete. Last winter, I had a terrible ice problem on my front porch. A friend picked up some ice melting substance for me. Unknown to both of us, it was the kind that damages the concrete. So my old porch was crumbling. Anyway, knowing that my friend’s husband is very handy and, in the past, has done some tiling work, I asked him whether he might use Quikrete on the front porch. After he cut up the lengths of the tree, he had a look. On Sunday, he put a preliminary coat on the porch.. It looked awful as it had pebbles in it but that was to anchor it. Yesterday, he put the second coat on it – this time with no pebbles in it. It looks like a brand new porch. It will be usable late today. The temperature was glorious over the weekend and really was probably the last chance to have temperatures warm enough for the Quikrete to cure and set. My friend’s husband said I only owed him for the Quikcrete. Rather than
    buying the pre-mixed kind, which was $54 per bucket, he mixed his own. Each bag (he used three) cost about $14.00. When I went to pay him, he said no, it was a gift. It saved me at least $1,000 in labour costs. Of interest is that recently a friend down the street was asking me how I thought they should redo their front driveway (it is concrete but except for one crack, is in fine shape as it was originally laid with lots of rebar so has remained level). Other neighbours have spent thousands of dollars on new rubber-type driveways. In addition to the initial outlay, it has to be sealed every year and that costs more than $1,000. I have suggested to my friend that her driveway could be easily fixed with Quikcrete. The same company makes a cold patch repair for asphalt which may also come in handy. What a relief for me, and a wonderful gift that he gave me. I was not able to afford a pre-fabricated new porch and had I been able to afford it, installation would have destroyed my Itoh peony bed. So there is a lot of thanksgiving going on here.

    As to groceries, No Frills has 400 gram blocks of Armstrong cheese for $4.47 each. That is one of the better prices I’ve seen. If I’m able to get some, I’ll buy a couple of extra blocks for my small freezer above the fridge. I bought Robin Hood all purpose and whole wheat flour
    at $4.99 each (2.5 kg bag). according to Safeway’s receipt that was half price but it is curious as No Frills has it regularly priced for
    $5.99. I am going to start making my own soda bread. I got the recipe from watching the masterclasses on the Great British Baking Show — it looks easy enough, doesn’t require kneading which I don’t think I could do with my injured arm. (it’s Paul Hollywood’s recipe).

    Now I just have 3 plumbing jobs, the re-installation of the inner pane of glass and two electrician jobs. Years ago, I bought a $1,000 light fixture for the bathroom for $65.00 on sale and now it needs to be installed. Hopefully I’ll be able to afford all of these jobs soon and order will be restored in the house.

    1. I have a couple of recipes for soda bread (one with WW flour and another a sweeter variety) – both are very easy and specify no kneading so very simple to do and always a hit. This should be a good option for you. I may get more adventurous this Winter as a friend has offered me her bread maker. I’ve always wanted one but couldn’t justify the cost. I think she bought this on impulse but she doesn’t really cook so it was just taking up space. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

      1. Nice to get a breadmaker – I have very little counter space so I’ve never bought one – I was offered one.
        Somehow if I win the lottery, I’m going to acquire a new stove/oven – there’s one I have my eye on which has proofing
        dehydrating plus goes low enough for yogourt making etc etc. It then would reduce the need for other appliances that take up
        space on the counter but it is expensive!

    2. It is much easier than you think to install a light fixture. YouTube can show you how. I just did that very thing earlier this month.

      The hardest part is being on a ladder with your arms over your head. Can a friend assist?

      YouTube and Pinterest have taught me a lot. My husband said if we could get some anesthesia, we could probably do surgery on the dining room table!

      1. Thanks Kerry for the tip. Unfortunately, I cannot do this myself as I have limited range of motion
        in one arm. I’ll think about which of my friends is handy enough to do this.

  28. What wonderful pictures from your trip! So glad you were able to travel inexpensively to see your husband.

    It was a good week. We had the last blast of summer weather in the Seattle area (80F on Saturday). I visited my mom at her care home that day and we played cards sitting outside. Found her a great deal on a mattress pad at a thrift store (8.49 plus a 20% off coupon). I often buy bedding/linens at thrift stores for a fraction of the price. After being washed in hot water, I figure they are as clean as the linens in any hotel.

    Enjoyed working on a couple sewing projects. I made another open front cardigan from an old sweatshirt of my moms, at her request. I just cut a seam down the center front, and folded under and sewed each side. She really likes them. I also mended a dress for one of her caregivers.

    Years ago, I made an ottoman from a 15 x 15 x 15 inch cube of foam (I wanted this specific size because I am short and could not find what I wanted in a store). At the time, I had to special order the foam and it cost me $60 (this was 15 years ago). I then covered it in fabric to match the living room decor. Now I am wanting a different color, and I already have a large piece of fabric that will work that I bought on clearance several years ago. I cut the old fabric off the ottoman yesterday, and today I will make the new cover. Basically, I neatly wrap the cube like a present, turning fabric ends under, and stitch it in place.

    Did lots of cooking. Made a large batch of applesauce from foraged apples that had been sitting in my fridge. Shared some with my sister. Cooked a spaghetti squash (from the farm share, not my favorite), and used it in a Mexican spiced dish with onions, peppers and ground beef. Topped it with cheese, avocado and salsa. This was actually very good. Cooked up a huge batch of greens (kohlrabi tops, beet greens and mustard greens) and ate them throughout the week. They were surprisingly tasty on cheese toast. I also made refrigerator pickled beets and green goddess dressing. My sister invited me to dinner on Sunday. I brought salad and applesauce. She sent me home with some barbecued chicken.

    I bumped the towel rack in the bathroom from exactly the wrong angle and it came tumbling down. I let my landlord know, and she came over and took a look. It wasn’t broken, but had come loose from the bracket. However, since it was the original bathroom decor (40+ years old) and had seen its fair share of wear and tear, she decided to replace it with a newer model. She also replaced the hand towel holder and the toilet paper holder. She picked really nice fixtures, and it looks so nice! I wasn’t expecting this, and I am so pleased.

    Did all the things I normally do: cooked and ate at home, walked outside and worked out at the gym, read books I already own, watched Youtube and streaming TV, and made creative use of things I already had on hand.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.

  29. What a lovely trip! And you look so classy in your dress and hat 🙂

    An FYI that cardinal basil is gorgeous, but you might struggle to get the stem length long enough. One way to work around that is to plant the seeds close together (like, 3-4″ apart close), and then plant something bigger (like zinnias) nearby to shade them out so they’ll have to stretch and compete for light. I guess if you don’t care a ton about the stems being super long, you won’t have to worry about it, but I find that unless I do that, much of my decorative basils tend to top out at around 14″ or so. (A gorgeous basil option that tends to be a little easier to get a long stem length is Aromatto). If you want to get cardinal basil, I think I was able to get mine from Baker Creed (rareseeds.com) for a decent price, and the shipping is always free (which I’m pretty sure you already know, as I think you’ve bought from there before). Anyway, I just figured I’d pass that along.

    Here are my own weekly frugal wins:


    1. Torrie – Just caught up with your post from last week. Many congratulations on your business wins. – amazing and well-deserved! Can’t wait to hear how you make the most of it in the months to come. SO happy for you and your hard work paying off so abundantly!

  30. Yesterday I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for ourselves and 3 guests. My DH made the pumpkin pies and I substituted a chicken for a turkey as there were only 5 of us and my local grocery store was out of turkeys when I went on Saturday. I am already looking forward to the leftovers.
    Bargains at the grocery store included apples for .50 cents per lb, rutabaga for .25 cents per lbs and red potatoes for .35 cents per lb. Our dinner guests also brought us a free cantaloupe that my nephew had grown. A new ring road opened near our house which should save us time and gas money on our travels around the city.
    No other big savings this week that I can think of but my sister is coming tomorrow to play Scrabble with me so free entertainment.

  31. Brandy you look beautiful.
    The kids and I all are off on Thursdays so I got us a library pass to a farm. We had a great time feeding all of the baby animals. They have an obstacle course and rock wall as well as other activities. We only had to pay for the feed bag that was $1. We brought food and drinks. I got a 50 pound bag of yellow potatoes(Yukon) for $30. The price just keeps going up and up. They are Hubby’s favorite. We went to another farm and went apple picking. The kids shared the cost of the bag. It was a beautiful day and we had lots of fun.
    Hubby and my FIL went upstate on their annual apple journey. The apples are $1.25 a pound. They each bought about 100 pounds. I sent them with drinks and snacks. The did buy lunch but ate dinner when they got home. We will be making applesauce this weekend.
    When I go food shopping I download my coupons before. Lately there have been lots of errors. So I check my receipt while I am in the store and get it fixed. It has been almost every trip.
    The weather is wonderful. No A/C or heat. Windows are open most days. Hanging laundry outside while I can.
    Figs are going crazy. I have been freezing some and will make jam at some point. Tomatoes got pulled. Eggplants, swiss chard, lettuce, peppers and beets are stilling doing great. Yarrow, parsley and mint got dehydrated.
    Cleaned out my car. Hubby washed it. It looks great.
    Special of the week was 48 cans of tuna for $27 on Amazon. We are stocked for the winter. I told my kids and my oldest daughter bought them too.
    Had leftover pizza at work. Kept my lunch for the next day.
    Hubby brought home bagels and a muffin from work.
    I baked muffins and oatmeal cookies as snacks this week.

  32. What gorgeous pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I love that new basil plant you are showing.
    We are still working in the garden, although it is winding down.

    I did laundry this weekend, and was able to hang about half of them on the clothesline.

    I made 16 stuffed pepper halves and froze 14 of them. The DH enjoyed 2 prior to my freezing them. I shredded a large zucchini after peeling it and taking the seeds out. Put 12 cups of shredded zucchini in the freezer, in 2 cup portions.

    We picked snow peas, corn, zucchini, rosemary, basil, peppers and tomatoes. We had some lettuce come up on its own and picked some baby lettuce from the bed in which my DH wanted to plant the garlic for next year. We planted the garlic for next year.

    I made a batch of 7 pints of tomato sauce, using Roma tomatoes and basil and oregano from the garden. I made 13 pints of pickled beets using the beets that my DH picked last week.

    Cooking – Made a pizza using some of the homemade pizza sauce I had made prior. We love pizza, so homemade sauce and homemade dough are great treats. Made two loaves of blueberry zucchini bread. Made breaded chicken, with corn on the cob and rosemary roasted potatoes for dinner. Had with sliced tomatoes.

    Shopping – It was the first Tuesday of the month, so Fred Meyer, our local Kroger affiliate, had there 10% off of their own products for seniors. Purchased peanut butter and pasta for 89¢ each after the discount. Also got tortillas for 99¢ each
    I visited my son, DIL, and granddaughter on Saturday. While I looked after my GD, my DIL made her a dress, and my son took a nap and then did yard work. While he did yard work, my GD and I stood and watched for awhile. Just thought I would take her into the fresh air for awhile.

  33. Beautiful photos! We will travel to Colorado in June for a wedding. Since we’re making a week’s vacation, I have been thinking about other things to do there. I will keep notes of these sites—they all look wonderful.
    I’ve been waiting for the Amazon Prime sales to buy 2 iPads and covers for work and also a floor lamp. I just got those ordered using your storefront link.
    I have continued our usual habits to save money. We visited a museum for free and bought $15 symphony tickets at Carnegie Hall for a stay-cation.

  34. The views are lovely, thanks for sharing them, Brandy.

    My roselle is ready to harvest, and I’ve just started picking. I have several ways I would like to use the roselle, when I can get the time. I found out they are freezable, if I have to wait a bit.

    I cleaned out my own car instead of paying for it to be cleaned.

    I dug up a portion of a blueberry bush and am trying to root it. It may not work, but there is plenty of plant left if it doesn’t.

    A bag of sweet potatoes had one start to go bad in it, and suddenly I had a swarm of fruit flies. Instead of buying traps, I poured a few tablespoons of my homemade kombucha into a cup and added a couple of drops of dish detergent. I also went through the potatoes and fresh fruit carefully to make sure there was nothing more going bad. I was surprised at how fast the fruit flies were trapped in the cup and drowned.

    My office is ordering 2 more work shirts with logo per employee, and they are free to us. We can choose our own colors and styles, so I always look forward to this. I also always try to coordinate my new shirts with my existing work clothing, so I can mix and match.

    I spent a little less than expected this past weekend when I shopped for groceries. That was a surprise, and a very welcome one. The reason is that I didn’t need to buy as much as usual – it certainly isn’t that the prices have dropped.

    My sister sent me a piece of “oilcloth” similar to what I had been looking for to make some casual place mats for my table. She found the remains of a bolt of the cloth in the right colors at Walmart. Since it was small and being discontinued, she got it for $1.60 and just gave it to me. It has a flannel-like backing already, so I’ll just use two cuts back to back for each mat, no padding needed. I already have thread.

  35. We had a frost warning last night, so I brought in my potted rain lily and my eight amaryllis plants. Something probably-squirrel-like chewed off the amaryllis leaves over the summer and I hope they recover while I let them go dormant for a couple months. I keep the amaryllis pots in a large old wire basket from an old chest freezer to make it easier to carry them all. Also, I picked all my blooming zinnias for a bouquet.
    I don’t keep track of how much I save in five cents per bag savings by bringing my own to the grocery store, yet the little amounts add up, and I don’t have the fuss of many plastic bags to recycle. We have so many economies like this that I have trouble thinking of anything to write because we have been doing them for so long.
    Didn’t look at the final bill printed out at our recent stay at a low-budget chain motel until after we left and am very irritated they charged us a $1 safe fee that wasn’t on the room estimate, for two rooms. I emailed their front desk and asked for credit; I found that very tacky of them and thought motels had stopped this particular practice.
    Lovely you could visit your husband! Since he has a car and motel room, can you leave some of your things with him so you don’t have to carry them back and forth between visits? I especially like the sixth picture down, with the doors open to the greenhouse and two ghost-Brandys reflected in the glass.

    1. Leaving some things is not a bad idea. I did buy and leave some hairspray. I don’t know about leaving clothing though; I think that’s not a bad idea in the future, but then I would not have those items to wear at home, so I would have to buy extra clothing to leave with him. Right now I am paying for a carry-on and bringing a tote bag as a personal item.

  36. You and these photos are just lovely, Brandy. They have a timeless appeal to them and I am not a bit surprised you got so many compliments.
    *We continue with a few mowing jobs as long as the season permits. It certainly helps for as long as it lasts. We are also doing some farm-sitting once a week for a neighbor until the end of the month.
    *We cut and split wood for the woodstove every day last week. All of this wood won’t be ready till next year but planning ahead saves us in all areas of life. While it may not appeal to all (I have a friend who grew up splitting firewood by hand and couldn’t wait till he grew up and got his own home with central heat 🙂 ) we have always enjoyed the task. Working at the splitter alongside our pond with the gold, orange and red of the trees reflected in the surface of the water and the leaves drifting down is just magical to me. Watching our puppy leap to catch the falling leaves in the air just adds to to the enjoyment. I am easily entertained!
    *Gave extra egg cartons to a couple of families in our homeschool co-op. I am the fortunate recipient of LOTS of egg cartons as many people I know save them for me. This is wonderful until I get so many they are falling down from every place I have tried to store them. Our co-op has a Buy/Sell/Trade chat on our FB page (the primary way we communicate the rest of the week) and it has been a blessing. So far, I have offered egg cartons and kombucha SCOBY – all of which was originally given to me but have grown or accumulated to the point I can share. Adult and children’s clothing, kitchen tools and many other things have been shared here.
    *Gratefully accepted an Instant Pot from my MIL. It is larger than the one I have which will be helpful. She was given it brand new from a friend but decided she would not use it (“I am happy with my good old-fashioned crock pot.” 🙂 ) so she passed it on to me. It is fun to think of how many hands some of the things I own or have owned pass through in their lives. I think that’s the way it should be.
    *No grocery shopping this week except for a couple of B1G1 Free items. Diligently working through the pantry and freezer to use up things from last year and things that need to be rotated through.
    *Bit the bullet and finally bought a new mobile phone after putting it off for a long time until my phone was literally falling apart. The good part is I knew this was coming and found a reasonable price through Visible as well as the new plan which will lower my monthly bill by about 50%. We do not have much choice in cell phone plans due to our mountainous location so I am glad to find a less expensive alternative that will work. My husband has his phone through his employer, my children do not have phones yet and we have no landline so my phone is the only expense in that category. Glad to be able to reduce one recurring bill further.
    *Received my bulb order from Van Engelen – squeal! 🙂 This has become a traditional birthday present to myself in the past 4 years or so and I look forward to their arrival with great anticipation. Now to get the areas prepared and to look forward to some lovely afternoons planting. Their bulk pricing and quality can’t be beat!
    *Harvested pumpkins and am enjoying the cheer they bring to the front porch.
    *Enjoying books from the library when I have a moment. Thank you to whomever recommended the book about the grandmother hiking the Appalachian Trail in the 1950s. Living in Appalachia and having hiked (small) portions of the trail make this very enticing and I have put it on hold at the library. Along with all the other advice and encouragement here, I have really enjoyed all the book recommendations over the years. Keep ’em coming! 🙂
    *Have a lovely week, all!

  37. Brandy what beautiful pictures and your outfits were lovely. I have been having home improvements done over the past few weeks. I had new windows put in the house and went through a small company called The Columbus Handyman. I bought 6 windows at Menards with their help showing me what I needed to buy and with rebates I will get back around $150.00. I need to have 2 rooms painted that I had fixed and drywalled ( found mold growing behind some heavy furniture in both rooms caused by the old drafty windows) so they cut out the bad places inspected to make sure it wasn’t on the inside of the walls as well thankfully no anyways I will now need to paint those rooms ( doing it myself with a friend) and that rebate money will go towards buying paint and supplies at Menards. I also used my Amazon Visa for the purchases and paying for the services I had done then paid it off immediately with my bank account. I earned points on Amazon for those purchases enabling me to buy some items very cheaply on Amazon including a Christmas gift that with my points ended up being free plus the item which I had been watching since before Mothers Day was on sale. I’ve been finding that using my Amazon Visa and paying it off immediately is garnering me a lot of points. Today was my sisters birthday and she didn’t have plans so I took her out for a girls day thrift shopping. Her son works as a manager at Goodwill and we were able to use his employee discount for family so we had a lot of fun knowing that whatever we bought was going to be discounted. I took some pictures of my sister trying on clothes and captured the joy she was having being out shopping I paid for her purchases when we cashed out. $35 worth of items cost me $19.00. I also had gotten her a gift card for her favorite restaurant she does a weekly days out with her daughter so they’ll be able to enjoy that together, memories over items is so much better of a gift I think. She sent me home with homemade Chicken and Noodle soup her husband had made yesterday so we saved money not eating out. I have been watching sales on apples and so far have canned up 36 pints of applesauce still have more to do the goal is to have 52 pints to last me a year at one a week. Having new windows put in I can tell a difference already in the sound so much quieter in my house and they will save me both heating and cooling bills over time. By using the Handyman service I saved a lot of money over buying from a large commercial window company about $15,000. The company is licensed, bonded and has a warranty plus of course the glass manufacturer also has a warranty on their windows and the company I used has been in business 37 years so a solid company. They do all kinds of home repairs so will definitely be using them again as I check off my list of things this little old house ( 75 years old) needs done. Oh other things I have done recently is bought a prepaid funeral plan and our plot at the cemetery including burial cost versus buying more life insurance. Everything is paid for taking the burden off my family. While it may seem strange it was pretty decent priced and no waiting around for a life insurance policy to be processed ( my husbands took 6 weeks). I am still utilizing the library for my books though I did buy 4 books today at one of the thrift stores at 99 cents each for winter when I may run out of books before I can get to the library depending on our weather conditions here in Ohio.

  38. Wow Brandy! Those are beautiful pictures! You look lovely in your dresses and hat and scarf. I love wearing dresses too. We have been eating lots of fruits and veggies and very little processed food if any. That is saving us money and we have less trash. I choose to buy the fruits and veggies that are on sale to use in our meals. I found packages of tomatoes for 99 cents a package. I found a large container of tomatoes for $2.49. I was excited about that because I love tomatoes! We have been using our basil that we grew. I will probably dry some this week in our dehydrator to use this winter. We have cooked at home on days we didn’t really feel like cooking and I know it saves us money. My husband and I discussed making coffee and tea for him to take in a thermos at work. He enjoys warm coffee at work and loves the Masala chai I make. So I will try and do that starting tomorrow if he wants me to. That will save us quite a bit over the course of a year of coffees out. I only want to do it if it makes him happy. I believe it will make him happy. My son has been helping me by turning off lights as well as my husband. During the day we are using the sunlight from the windows. I bought collard greens for $1.49 and will cook with a ham that we bought for 89 cents a lb last year. I cooked 10 lbs of chicken a couple of days ago and my husband made chicken curry over arugula today. I will make some kind of soup with it tomorrow. I boil the bones and made broth and we put it in the freezer to have on hand rather buying boxed broth. It is cheaper and we love it. We bought the chicken leg quarter for .68 cents a lb. I love a good deal! We will probably make more chicken salad for my husband to take to work and I will eat some for lunch as well. My son might eat some if he wants. I could also make chicken quesadillas. Those are yummy! My husband took me to a thrift shop and I bought several sweaters for winter. I was going to make do with what I already had. But I found some beautiful sweaters and I am very happy that we bought them. I got several for less than one would cost in a regular store. I also found a Dress that my husband thinks will look good on me. I will wash it and find out. We looked for jeans for him, but couldn’t find any that he liked. We did eat out one day for a date. It was a lovely time. Funny though, we also have had a nice time cooking at home together and we like the savings. I practiced piano at my mom’s house and visited them instead of driving all the way home when I had to go to town for another errand instead of driving back home and then back to town, saving gas money. I continue to use cloth napkins and handkerchiefs. I know this is saving us money. My mom is planning on making us more napkins and cloth towels. She got some material on sale that I think is beautiful. She really enjoys sewing and I appreciate it. I have a sewing machine that I just haven’t made the time to use lately. My mom was helping me for a little while but we got out of the habit of doing that. I find that I really enjoy spending time with family. I realize how precious moments are to be with them, especially as my parents age and I have been treasuring the moments I have with them. I have been teaching a great nephew that loves music to play the piano. I found some manuscript paper for $2.5o. I thought that was a good deal. I will be teaching him how to use it to write his own songs. He is already having fun playing his own songs on the piano. Because he enjoys it so much, I give him time to do that at the end of every lesson. It is a great way to end the lesson.

  39. I just thought of a tip for those of you who have Krogers. Ours starting tomorrow ( Wed) is having what they call a Early Bird Special on turkeys 99 cents a pound limit 2 turkeys. I can not ever remember them starting sales this early. It isn’t the greatest price but not bad either. This is in Columbus, Ohio but may be in your ads if you have Krogers or one of their affiliates.

  40. I forgot to mention that we always carry bags rather than buying bags at stores. It seems like minimal savings, but it adds up!

  41. Oh, what a lovely greenhouse! Sounds like you had a nice journey!

    My husband turns 50 by the end of the week, and we have invited people over for lunch to celebrate. We are making all the food ourselves, and have already started a few weeks ago – I’m so glad we have a big freezer! We are making a buffet with different warm and cold dishes – Italian meatballs with tomatosauce and rice on the side, quiche with onions and quiche with chard, a lovely beetroot salad with apples and tahini, salad with bulgur, homemade jam from lemon peel (a good way to use leftovers!) and homebaked wheat bread and rye bread. For dessert we are having rhubarb crumle and icecream. We have planned around what we have in the freezer and in the garden, so we are able to use a lot of homegrown produce and herbs. It is going to be very inexpensive compared to if we buy food made by someone else. We are having the birthday party at home, and we borrow extra chairs, plates, glasses and cutlery from my in-laws. We have bought different games for the children at second hand shops – as we live very close to a football training ground and a park with a big lawn, we hope that the weather will be nice, so we can go and enjoy ourselves at the park, and the more fit can play different games like badminton, soccer and a game called ’round ball’ – a very simple version of baseball, that I haven’t been able to find an English word for!

    My mother is having her kitchen renovated and as we talked about it the other day, we realized that there were many things from the renovation that would just be thrown away, that we could use in our home. She is having a new counter top, and the old one is made of solid beech wood. We would very much like to replace a cheap and water damaged board on top of our washing machine, so this is perfect. We can use the old sink as an outdoor sink – a thing I have wanted for a long time – especially to rinse of dirty vegetables and reuse the water for the garden. I’ve seen a very smart system on the internet where the water is collected below the sink.
    Some white tiles are also removed as well, and if just some of them come off in one piece we can use them ind the kitchen behind the stove to make cleaning easier. It pays to ask people for left overs from renovation projects!

    The last tomatoes are ripening in our kitchen – it has been a bad crop this year as it was very cold in the beginning of the summer. On the other hand, the autumn has been extremely warm, so beans and squash have produced well. This year I only planted my most high yielding pole bean, and this has also made a big difference in yield, so I’m also going to do that in the years to come.

    Quince is ripening, and we are going to make quince jam and membrillo as well as give some away to neighbours and friends. We are eating down the apples we stored in the shed, but they haven’t kept very well, as September and start October have been extremely warm (like summer temperatures where we live).

    I’ve finished reading ‘The complete tightwad gazette’ an enjoyable read! I’m reading a book from the libarry at the moment, that I can recommend called ‘The Shepherds Life – a Tale of the Lake District’ by James Rebanks. It’s about the authors family, life and traditional farming centered around sheep in the English mountains in Lake District.

    I’m also reading aloud to my son, although he is old enough to read even difficult and long books by himself. But it’s a nice way for me to introduce him to something he wouldn’t read himself, and we have a nice and quiet time together and a common experience we can talk about. It’s usually not childrens books, but I choose something that I think he will find interesting. We’ve read Thor Heyerdals ‘Kon Tiki’ for instance about his trip on a balsa fleet from South America to the small islands in the Pacific. Reading aloud is a nice time together in which we both learn something as well – and it is all free as I borrow the books at the library!

    Have a nice week everyone!

  42. Brandy, you look so lovely in your photographs. I have fond memories of the Denver Botanic Gardens from when we lived in Colorado.
    And dresses are wonderful any time when going out. I’m a dress person myself- I find they are more comfortable and no more trouble to put on than pants and a t-shirt and yet the effect is so much nicer.

    You got an amazing deal on your flights. I have a trip next summer and unfortunately we have not been able to get airplane seats for anywhere near that.

    However, I will try to make up the difference in haircuts. I am grateful for the free YouTube videos that taught me how to do a decent job of it.
    And I saved money by seeing if some 3 year old marjoram seeds would sprout- it’s not an easy herb for me to find, even the seeds, but I had an old packet in my ziplock bag of seed packets. They did sprout. I’m rather fond of marjoram in tomato sauces. Hopefully the dill and cilantro will be up soon as well.

  43. Summer came to a very abrupt end with temperatures dropping a significant amount. And it’s been very rainy as well. This past weekend is traditional close the summer cottage time. My DH and youngest son did the honours this year. I find it too melancholy so I stay home and get ready to host Thanksgiving dinner. The weather was particularly miserable with 30 knot winds and 3 metre waves but no snow flurries. We had used most of the food left up there and what little bits that needed to come home mostly went to my son’s home for him to use.
    Thanksgiving dinner was pretty easy. We had 1/2 a turkey vacuum packed and in the son’s freezer to use. Potatoes were $1.49/10 pounds, butternut squash bought at farmers market stand, sprouts (1/2 given to me by neighbour) gravy from a packet, stuffing from leftover bread and herbs from the garden. I made pumpkin/whole wheat cloverleaf rolls with some of the frozen pumpkin as well. For the vegetarian option I did a mushroom spinach strudel using puff pastry. It was so easy and good. Dessert was homemade pumpkin pie and whipped cream. I am using up the pumpkin that I froze last autumn and I always make my own pastry. I can make 4 crusts for the price on 1 package on sale at the grocers. We didn’t even buy wine this year as most of us aren’t drinking right now. We had fizzy water and limes from the soda stream machine. That was such a good buy for us.
    My Cuisanart food processor had a part break and I was so angry. I took it to the manufacturer and they simply replaced the parts for free. That made me happy. There was no hassle about it at all.
    My DH decided we needed to redecorate the living room so it’s taken quite a while to agree on a couch (finally did that and its now being manufactured right here in town). I thought it would be a struggle to find chairs but he dropped into an antique mall and found 2 older danish modern chairs in good shape for a really good price. I told him to go ahead and buy them. The cushions will need to be recovered but they are comfy, the right size for the room. We will sell the existing microfibre chairs on line. They are still in very good shape but just too big for this house.
    My DD had to have a minor biopsy and asked me to accompany her to the procedure. We are awaiting the results. She has given away several dining chairs and a table recently. And sold a couple of book cases that she no longer needed.
    Our veggie farm box has had an abundance of misshapen carrots. Last night for supper I made carrot/ginger soup using some of them. There’s enough for several lunches as well. We had it for supper last night with the last of the veggie strudel from Thanksgiving supper.
    For a date we took the dog to a beach dog park. Stopped not the way to get bagels with cream cheese and lox. It was a lovely sunny day to have a mini picnic.
    I have brought in my orchids for the winter and need to repot some succulents that has gone straggly over the summer outside. I also just dug up the geraniums to store in a bushel basket over the winter with the voodoo lily bulbs, the calla lily bulbs. The geranium blooms I’ve put in a vase for a little last bouquet. And I’m replanting a particular coleus in the hopes it lives over the winter.
    For Fall, Halloween, christmas this year I’ve decided not to bother decorating outside. I’m hoping to be away for most of the lead up to the holiday season.
    The library is a godsend for books. I recently downloaded the book you recommended last week to read on my iPad at night in the dark when I wake up. I find I can read one chapter and it settles my mind enough to fall asleep again.
    The cheapest gas prices here in town is $138/litre. Of course, I had to buy a car that only uses premium gas so I tend to not even look anymore. At least it doesn’t use very much fuel.
    It was great you got to visit your husband and have a mini vacation. Will he be working far away for much longer? And how is your married daughter and the son at university doing? We haven’t heard about them in a while.

    1. He will be working away from home indefinitely. The work is seasonal, and there’s not as much in winter, but we are hoping that he can get some this winter.

      My son was accepted into grad school for next year and my daughter is working in her field; she started right after graduation.

  44. Meijer had a fantastic 7 for $7 sale and fortunately only required the purchase of at least 7 items and not multiples of 7. I was able to stock up on things like tissues and frozen vegetables; peas, especially, go quick around here. Included in the sale were the 3-lb bags of yellow onions. Usually I stock up on them around Thanksgiving and use my vegetable chopper to dice them small and freeze them. It makes it so much more convenient when I’m cooking to just scoop out what I need. I bought 5 bags; if they go on sale again next month I may buy a few more.

    Our energy bill was at its lowest because we’ve been able to be without heat or air conditioning and just have the windows open.

    I attended the play that my oldest was stage managing at their university. When I tried to purchase a ticket online, the fees were almost as much as the ticket price, so I asked them to buy it at the box office for me. Not only did I save the fees but got it for the student price!

  45. What lovely photos! How nice that you were able to visit your husband and see some beautiful gardens.

    We enjoyed several days of cooler fall temperatures, and were even able to turn off our central air conditioner and open the windows for almost two whole days. LOL. We are still having highs in the 80s but at least no more 100+ temps. Hoping that soon we will get more “windows open” time with a cool front coming again this weekend.

    We are still waiting on our replacement dishwasher, so continuing to wash dishes by hand. It is expected to be delivered later this week. We have cooked and eaten almost all meals at home – again lots of sandwiches and homemade pizza for convenience sake! I cooked a brisket out of our chest freezer (purchased on an excellent sale earlier this summer) and we had brisket tacos with rice and black beans one evening for dinner, with brisket baked potatoes the next night. We grocery shopped at Aldi and HEB for bargains and to restock a few items. Used sink warm-up water to water plants and fill the bird bath. I made my own daily shower cleaner spray (using the Everyday Cheapskate recipe with a few drops of essential oils added for fragrance). Did my own manicure and pedicure at home. We took a walk and looked at interesting old graves in a local cemetery. Our dish drying mat was looking pretty sad. Instead of purchasing a new one, I cleaned the one we’ve been using and set it outside in the direct sun for several hours to dry out. Looks like new and I didn’t have to purchase a new one.

    We ran into an issue with my husband’s paychecks. For some reason his federal withholdings were changed earlier this year (a mistake by his payroll person) and they haven’t been holding enough out. We tried to correct it earlier this year, but long story, kind of got the run-around from his payroll department. We did some figuring and realized this mistake will put us owing a significant amount at tax time, so immediately had to correct the mistake and adjust our budget to cover the amount we think we will owe. We did get his deductions corrected by the payroll department, but since it is so late in the year, it won’t make up for the entirety of the owed amount. We will be working on some belt-tightening measures around the budget. Glad we are able to correct it and move forward.

    Found out that I need to have my gallbladder removed. Have had issues for many years, but finally got an actual diagnosis and plan. This is my busiest time of year at work, and I have an additional large one-time project launch at work AND I’m in the process of moving offices. The time is not ideal, but I need to get the surgery done. I will meet with the surgeon next week to schedule the date. Thankful for my insurance!

    I hope everyone has a lovely Autumn week.

  46. Hi Brandy, Your trip to Denver looks like it was wonderful. I guess as a bonus to your husband working away, your visits to see him are allowing you two to travel and vacation a bit in an unconventional way. Happy for you that you’ve found a good way to be together with his new job.

    In my neck of the woods, I am very focused on cutting spending. I tend to shop a bit compulsively for groceries. The last few weeks I have held back and am working on using items in my food storage, pantry, and freezer. Despite cutting back, I am still able to score good deals at the store that seem to make me always get more every week. I need to make room for a turkey or two in the freezer soon. It’s a nice conundrum to be in. Thankfully I’m good at freezer Tetris.

    You mentioned unboxing clothes from older children to your younger children. Today I am wearing pants that I bought when I was in college 20 years ago. I continue to not buy new clothes despite losing over 100 lbs. I have been very lucky with gifts of clothes from neighbors and friends letting go of items. I will continue to do this for as long as I can. On some things I am borderline Freegan, clothing is one of them.

    Wishing everyone a good week!

  47. You look lovely in all your photos. I’m glad you were able to have a nice visit with your husband.

    I did a lot of cooking and baking on Monday, since I wasn’t working because of the holiday, and put some meals in the freezer for later.

    I found an Amazon Fresh coupon for $50 off $100 and took the opportunity to stock up on some basics as well as to indulge in a few of my favorite brands which have become too expensive for me. The coupon made their prices more reasonable.

    I read free books and went on a family outing to the park for fun.

  48. We spent the week preparing for another typhoon. The one that hit in May was the strongest in 20 years, so we wanted to make sure we were ready. After the last typhoon we ordered a new shutter for our double door (last time we got about 50 gallons of water pouring through it) We had no leaks this time, The typhoon went 50 miles north of us so we just got alot of rain and wind. I had prepared for the power to be out for a month again. I have a gas burner I can use when the power is out but not the stove. I made lots of rolls, bread, and pumpkin bread. I can now gift these to friends. We picked a stock of bananas just before the storm so I have around 50 bananas ripening we’ll eat them fresh and freeze what we don’t use. My hens started laying again this week. Something about pressure changes sometimes jump starts their laying. Enjoying the fresh eggs. I had picked up lots of canned goods so I guess we’ll be going on a pantry challenge the rest of the month. I spent the entire month’s grocery budget in one trip, last time our commissaries generator didn’t come on and they lost all the cold products and it took 2 weeks to replensh. So I’m dealing with lots of food and it’s nice to know I won’t need to make any trips to the store. I’m teaching an upcycling Halloween/Xmas decorations class next week to young military spouses. I think that’s all. I’m visiting my brother in Colorado in March I really enjoyed all your pictures and will have to add the gardens to my list. Thank you.

    1. Sounds like you were well prepared!

      The gardens are $15 to get in. The park is just behind the gardens. I walked there.

  49. Please Please Please tell me how you got such amazing airfares!!!
    My three biggest savings this week were both at Fry’s grocery (Kroger, Smiths, etc.). The checkout clerk gave me a 10% senior discount on every item I purchased! This has only happened to me once before, so I will definitely ask for it next time. That was a big savings! Then I went to the pharmacy there to pick up a new prescription that I had been told was $45 for a 3 month supply. I asked if that was the cheapest price, and the clerk ran a few coupons through and brought it down to $16! Always ask! Then I got gas at the Fry’s station, using my rewards card, and got 40 cents off per gallon, taking it down from $4.19 to $3.79/gallon. It was a good day.

    1. I flew on Spirit.

      I noticed last time I went looking for flights that Wednesdays were usually cheaper than the other days. I flew back on Saturday instead of Friday and that was also cheaper.

      I believe this month is the off-season. If I had booked for this week, both of my tickets would have been $20 each.

      I booked using the Spirit app.

      With Spirit, a personal item (purse, backpack, totebag) is free. A carry-on has a charge. It is considerably cheaper if you book the carry-on when you make the flight instead of when checking in.

      I bought nothing extra and did no upgrades.

      I actually bought my tickets rather last minute: late Saturday night for a Wednesday flight.

      They are not always this price. They can run a lot more, depending on the day and time of year. But they are often rather inexpensive. A lot of jokes are made about Spirit, and I have laughed, too, but they have been reliable for me.

  50. Brandy, the gloves!!!! I have several pair that languish in the drawer. They are such an elegant touch, and I am old enough to remember wearing them to church when I was a child. You look very feminine (not often seen anymore) and beautiful. Loved seeing the gardens; I belong to one and it is such an enjoyable trip when I get there. Those visits when my husband was away helped immensely to tackle the days when he was not home; so happy you were able to see him! Last week was mostly pulling the garden. My tomatoes and peppers did not do well because of the weather. I have plenty left from last year in the freezer and canned to make it through until harvest season next year. My herbs are abundant and most are still going strong as they like the cooler weather. I am clipping the fennel heads as they are dried out and ready for harvest. The cilantro is on its second round, and the rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme and parsley are still going strong. I will be clipping some of them next week as I will be gone two weeks after that and will, most likely, have heavier frosts by then. I have been swimming laps regularly and really noticed the results when I was harvesting. Last year, the same work put me on the couch for days. This year, a few aches that night, but by morning all was good! Even using the pitchfork to dig potatoes barely affected me. Woohoo! I, like Tammy, am using clothes I had overgrown (truly the right word), but had saved. What a great feeling! Have a wonderful weekend!

  51. Did you find that the shoes run true to size? I always worry about buying shoes online and they not be true to size.

  52. What an absolutely beautiful post, Brandy! All of the photos are gorgeous and I would be hard pressed to choose one that I like the very best. I’m so glad that you are able to get away often to visit your husband and to do a lot of sightseeing while you’re there. That has to make the miles between you seem less daunting.

    I, too, would love any current or updated info you can share on your grocery and menu planning. I’ve gone back to reread your older blog posts on the topic and would find any new or current info to be so beneficial. I appreciate all you do to share your frugal and prudent tips with us!

    I have a question for those who water outdoor plans with water that was used to boil pasta, etc. Do you have any problems with ants being attracted to the soil or plants when you do this? Here in Texas, outdoor ants are prolific and attracted to food items. For this reason, I’ve not yet tried this. Would love to hear your experiences. Thanks!

    This past week was a mostly stay at home week and I focused on homemaking tasks – cleaning, decluttering and organizing.

    We ate out of the freezer/fridge and pantry with one restaurant meal. Leftovers from that meal provided a second meal.

    Hubby reorganized his home office, removing a table that he’d been using as a work surface (he prefers a table instead of a proper desk). That table was gleaned years ago from an old barn on a family member’s property, and we’d refinished it. It’s now too small and was replaced with another table that he had made using an existing table base and adding a top and molding. It looks very nice. He removed one existing cabinet and now his office looks very neat and uncluttered.

    The table and cabinet that were not needed will be sold.

    Removed Summer porch décor and replaced with Fall décor we had on hand. We have two chairs on our front porch and I like to display solid colored décor pillows on them in seasonal colors. Instead of replacing the pillows, I use zippered pillow covers and the inserts are pillows that came with our RV that we never used.

    Accepted gift of several wonderful oversized gourmet cookies from our daughter.

    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; unplugging chargers and small appliances when not in use; 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; continuing to use small batch DIY laundry liquid.

    Wishing everyone a frugal and blessed week!

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