I harvested tomatoes, basil, peaches, green onions, lemons, oregano, blackberries, lemon verbena, and figs from the garden.

I planted the sweet potato vine cuttings that I had rooted and took additional cuttings to make more plants.

I transplanted oregano that had self-seeded to a more appropriate spot in the garden.

I transplanted vincas that had self-seeded to different spots in the garden.

I sowed seeds for vincas and zinnias in the garden.

I purchased 108 vinca plants as well. I bought the 6-packs, which are smaller plants, and much less than the individual 4-inch pots. The rest of the vincas for the season I will grow from seeds.

I had an appointment that took me to the other side of the valley. It was near my favorite Persian grocery store, and they carry some spices that I cannot get anywhere else, so I made sure to stop in while I was nearby.

I traded figs from my garden for 3 dozen eggs with a neighbor who has chickens.

I enjoyed quiet breakfasts early in the morning outside in the garden.

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  1. I can’t really think of anything frugal except I kept an envelope that someone dropped their bill off at work in, but didn’t seal or address it.

    That probably saved me like a penny, right? Lol

    Some weeks are better than others, but we just keep plugging along.

    1. That is funny. I know what you mean. Greeting cards are so expensive (to me) that I have signed them lightly in pencil and left the envelope blank and told the recipient that I did it so they could reuse the card. Family members know me and laugh. But seriously, I have a friend who collects old cards from people and cuts them with scissors that make a decorative edge and then mounts the salvaged picture onto construction paper or other cardstock and writes on the back. She sends a lot of cards to people in care facilities, etc. I think her idea started out small and naturally grew. She also makes cards for birthdays of everyone at church. I think it’s very thoughtful of her. One of my granddaughters asked for We R Memory Keeper paper folding and envelope making devices for Christmas one year, and she makes cards and envelopes. She got a set of gel pens that she wanted for a birthday. She buys stickers from Dollar Tree to use, also. She has a number of pen pals which was nice especially from during the pandemic. On day I called to talk with her and her sister and was told that their father had just driven the other sister to the post office to mail a package of some of her gel pens and stickers to a pen pal friend who had none. She had received a letter from the pen pal saying the friend could not buy those things, so she immediately put together a package and asked her father who was working from home to take her to the post office. The We R Memory Keeper products on Amazon were not hugely expensive, and she has enjoyed using them. She also has a beginner’s level calligraphy set she likes to use. I think she would like a set of wax seals. Anyway, I’ve drifted a ways from saving money, but I think even small things can make life just a tiny bit better; who knows who that envelope could end up blessing, and you are probably like me. You are so used to living frugally that nothing you are doing seems all that worth mentioning.

      1. Elizabeth, I have no artistic talent whatsoever, but I have considered starting to make cards. I will tell you about the best card I ever received. My oldest friend–our sisters played together before I was born–scanned a picture taken of us in front of her house when I was 6 or 7 and she was 17 months older. She then pasted it on a piece of green construction paper. That was it! Now that didn’t take any artistic talent at all. Think what she could have done with a gel pen! LOL Thanks for mentioning this. Hope it inspires someone else.

        1. My daughter (age 7) and I make press flowers cards, very little skill is needed as nature does the work for you! We press small delicate flowers (including weeds) and once dried use PVA glue (let down with a little m water) to stick onto blank cards, then cover with a second layer of PVA once dried to seal.

      2. Thanks! Thanks, Bea and Ava!

        Elizabeth, I love writing letters and sending cards. I have made some good friends via Instagram that I will share books with and send letters and postcards. I think back to when people would find penpals in magazines – remember that? It was mostly before my time, but I do still remember it in a couple ladies magazines. If you enjoy reading, might I suggest The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio? She has a group of friends who send Round Robin letters – those sound so fun!

      3. A few years ago everyone was scrapbooking. I waited to see if I could get some of the things at tag sales and I certainly did. At one sale she had bought everything plus and couldn’t get into it so she was selling everything. I returned at the end of the day and got 2 tote bags full of things, for $10, over half had never been opened I don’t buy cards, too expensive, but I make most of my cards, what I don’t make I send a note card from boxes I got at tag sales. I’ve also got things free on Buy Nothing on Facebook.

  2. We are behind you in harvest times still. But soon! 🤞
    We’ve had rain here in central Ohio too which has been lovely for our summer garden! With it, I’ve been inside keeping busy.
    I made a batch of blueberry muffins the other morning using some of last year’s frozen berries to make freezer space available. The recipe said it would make 12 but it actually made 17 so that was an added bonus! https://pin.it/KBg4CZY. It’s now been about 7 years since I stopped buying paper muffin wrappers and bought reusable silicon ones. That, for me, was a wise investment of a few dollars that has saved me dozens of dollars!
I bought a bushel of ears of corn – 5 ears for $1. and shucked, blanched and froze them for winter. For my $9.60 investment, we now are set with enough corn for us.
    This week (through July 1), Meijers will again have their corn on sale- 5 ears for $1!! This is where I bought my bushel last week and the ears were beautiful!
    Meijers also has their sweet cherries for $2.49/pound this week, so I will get some (3 pounds will make one batch) chocolate cherry jam (6) half pint jars, perfect for the gift baskets I’m making my kids for Christmas! Here’s the recipe: https://www.ballmasonjars.com/blog?cid=chocolate-cherry-jam. That works out to $1.25 per jar for cherries. I have the rest of ingredients and supplies!

    GFS (Gordon Food Service) has 10 pound bags of BLSL Chicken for $13.99 ($1.39/pound) through July 4! I will definitely pick some up. I will portion it into freezer bags and remove an equal amount of already frozen chicken breast from my freezer to thaw and pressure can!

    On a free clearance app, Flashfood, I bought a 2-1/2 pound (1 K) boneless ham, pre sliced, for $3. (Instead of the $10 marked).
    I also bought 11 packages of boneless stew beef for $2/pound that I am pressure canning to add to my shelf stable meats. https://pin.it/3PM3Bjy From this I got 20 beautiful pints! Since the first 16 pints fit into 1 batch in my canner, I also canned 4 pints of dry black beans with the last 4 pints of beef chunks to make a complete 8 pint batch to process. I was down to just 8 pints of black beans on my pantry shelf so this brought it up to an even dozen!

    I made hot beef sandwiches (a childhood comfort food) using 1 pint of previously canned beef chunks added to beef gravy that I made in 2 minutes from a mix I have on my shelf and hamburger buns that needed to be used up! It was a stormy, wet day so it really warmed us up! I love the convenience that a well stocked pantry gives me!

    And a grape vine that someone gave me that looked dead and I didn’t get around to planting for over 2 winters, is planted in a half barrel this year and bearing grapes!! https://pin.it/1kCwtVx
I was also able to quilt 4 baby quilts for clients – https://pin.it/7tXJ9sp , https://pin.it/6gykh55 , https://pin.it/3vYXURv and https://pin.it/4BO1pHB , which added money to our coffers.

    All in all, a good week.

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Your posts always inspire me to keep going, Garden Pat – you find so many frugal ways to stock your food pantry, and remind me that even the small things add up! (I’ll admit that I have a bit of envy for some of your discounted finds on meat and fresh produce prices – nothing like that where I live.) Could you share a link to your recipe for the beef gravy mix? I’ve tried a few of the commercial dry mixes and commercially canned ones, and they just don’t taste good to me.

  3. The big boys had their yearly vet visit, not cheap by any means and our Anatolian ended up having whip worms, so his medication was $65 on top of what everything cost. Each dog got a bandana and dog biscuits.

    Received $85.15 Menards rebates. Sent off for more this morning.

    My mother in law sent cereal, chips, donuts, jerky, and peanut brittle back when I picked up the teen.

    My neighbor gave me 2 more gallon ziplocs of lettuce. Good timing…it’s supposed to be hot this week so I see salads being ate this week.

    My husband received gift cards for Amazon and Bass Pro from his mom and brother.

    He also wanted to grill for his birthday. He did steak and hotdogs, plus corn on the cob and potatoes. Way cheaper than going out. I made a German chocolate cake. 😋

    Used $3 in rewards at Walgreens

    Ate breakfast and lunches at work

    Went back one time to the tutoring center at school.

    I noticed the date for my oil change on my truck is coming up July 17, and I’ve been managing my mileage so well, I’m almost 3,000 miles under the recommendation, lol. This week is my last week at work until August, so it’ll be even less driving for awhile.

  4. It feels like forever since I have commented here! I am glad to be back! It has been a busy time as we are moving into summer. Our garden has not done well because of the heat and dryness we had in May. I don’t think we will get much so I have been planning for this by accumulating Amazon codes from taking surveys and getting tinned goods. I have already accumulated many tins of tomatoes to make pasta sauce/pizza sauce/tomato paste. The strawberries have done well, thankfully, so we will have lots for the freezer.

    I have been drying clothing outside exclusively to save hydro and have been saving bath water and dishwater to water outside to save water. Utilities are so expensive that every bit of savings we can do helps.

    We continue to be blessed by our local free group. We have especially received a lot of food recently. We have had three separate gifts of tinned goods that have filled our pantry shelves in addition to many other food items. With food costs, it is a true blessing. A lady in our group had a clothing swap and I found several nice items for myself and several new pairs of pants for my husband.

    We continue to use the library extensively and drive as little s possible and combine trips when we do go out.

    Hope everyone has a lovely week!

  5. I haven’t posted my frugal doings in awhile because I just haven’t felt very frugal, but now that I’m harvesting daily from my garden, I feel like things are back on track. I don’t have a huge garden, but I’ve been getting a steady supply of pickling cucumbers and basil (both Genovese and Thai), with an occasional jalapeno. The tomatoes are starting to ripen, as well, but the okra and melons will come later. I also have a mint patch, a pot of chives, cayenne peppers, and a small patch of lettuce that’s probably finished now that temps are in the upper 80s (and soon to be 90s). My oldest daughter will eat a jar of pickles per day if they’re around, so I’ve been making refrigerator pickles as fast as she can eat them. This alone is a HUGE savings for our family, as I paid $5 for a 6-pack of cucumber plants, and it’s nearly $5 to buy one jar of her preferred pickles. I’ve made about 9 jars already (and they keep coming!).

    My oldest son got a job, so now I have 2 children who work. He’s not driving yet, though, so we’ve got to get him there and back. But at least he can help pay for his extracurriculars now!

    Nothing else too extraordinary: hanging most laundry outside to dry, menu planning and eating at home, etc. as we always do. Hope you all have a great week!

  6. Our grocery expenses are off the hook – we had an extra teenager for a good part of last week, and they do take feeding! It’s time to sharpen up my rusty couponing skills. Meanwhile, harvested the first basil, made pesto, used some and froze the rest. Whacked back the mint that was thinking about budding and loaded up the dehydrator; the plants will bounce back in no time, heaven help me. The peppermint is next… and I have to do something about the sage that’s trying to take over.

  7. Right now, my mouth is watering from your pictures! Wow!

    I had my annual appointment with the dermatologist today. Remembering Brandy’s experience with skin cancer and comments from last week, I drew her attention to two spots on my head–and both were pre-cancerous. (The operative word here is PRE). She burned them both off. Like Brandy, these were in my part. I will start being better about wearing a hat, even though I look ridiculous in hats.

    Bargain buys at Winco this week were sweet cherries for $1.47 lb. and BLSL chicken breasts, also for $1.47 lb. As soon as I got home, I wondered why I hadn’t bought more–so I stopped on my way back from the doc’s and bought another package of chicken. Each package weighs 4-5 lbs. and each breast is about 3/4 lb. One breast is plenty for a meal for 3-4 people. Unfortunately, they did not have more cherries. If they had, I’d be canning cherries tomorrow.

    I harvested my first cutting of Swiss chard this afternoon. I got a dishpan full. I’ll be freezing chard tonight. We’ll enjoy it this winter as a cooked green.

    Best wishes to everyone here. I learn something new every week.

    1. I think the important thing is to find what style of hats fits your style.

      We have such stong winds here; I’m looking into buying more hats that tie on.

    2. I, too, just had an annual skin check at the dermatologist’s office. She mentioned that a place they often find skin cancer is the ears. Another good reason to wear a hat and remember to apply sunscreen to that area.

    3. So glad those spots were caught, Maxine! A great reminder as I need to get in for a skin check too.

  8. The colours in your photos are just spectacular Brandy – your hard work certainly pays off!

    I had friends over for lunch one day rather than spending money on eating out – I did purchase a couple of extras but I still fed 3 of us and sent them both homme with leftovers – plus had enough for lunch the next day for myself – all for far less than even one lunch out would have cost in a restaurant.

    My PT pay was deposited on Friday so I decided to do a large grocery shop – something that I haven’t done in about six weeks. I wanted to stock up a bit on a lot of non-food items so that added to the bill – but – I was also able to make good use of Loyalty Point offers and even doubled up on quite a few. Even the cashier was impressed that I accumulated $20 in Loyalty points! I gave myself $200 for the month – spent $120 at the grocery, another $20 at the drugstore then $15 at a farmers’ market and finally $4.48 at another shop on Sunday. That Sunday total was actually $24.48 but I used the $20 in Loyalty points to purchase a split turkey breast that I have put away for Thanksgiving (it was about $4 cheaper than what I paid at Christmas) – $6 for a beautiful pork loin roast that was on special and that I will cut into chops, $3 (50% off) for a nice piece of Cod that will do two servings = plus some bananas, tomatoes and a large onion. I have $45 left in my grocery budget but I’m also going to cash in a half full jar of coins (a large jar). The coin machine I usually use is limiting the amount per transaction now so I thought I would do a six month cash-in. I estimate between $70 and $80 = but whatever it is, that will get added to the food budget and will have to do until next payday.

    I have put aside the money for my niece’s wedding gift and my haircut on July 7th. I also decided to spend some money on two IKEA bookcases. Originally I thought that I would need to spend around $700 for some new storage units but I repurposed and moved a few items I already own and repaired a bookcase that I thought was a goner so in the end I only spent $150 so I am counting that as a win! My next big ticket purchase will be some new dining chairs but not until I have the cash in hand.

    I got my first Shingles vaccine (just had to see the nurse and it was free) and I am booked for the second one at the end of August. Spent a good chunk of time doing more decluttering and pantry re-organizing – tiring, but time well spent. Enjoyed a wonderful walk around a new to me, hiking trail down at the lake and I’ve enjoyed some new shows on streaming. I’ve also subscribed to a few more YouTube channels that feature more vegetarian recipes as I need to put more of those into rotation, especially as the cost of beef continues to rise.

    Take care everyone – enjoy your gardens.

    1. Margie, if you haven’t heard, the second Shingles shot can knock you on your butt! My husband spent a day in August shivering under a blanket! Same with a couple of friends. Me? Just a little tired and a 3 hour nap and I was good. After seeing hubs, I intentionally didn’t plan anything uncancellable for the shot day or day after. I hope you sail thru it!

      1. Thank you for the Heads Up! I believe that I am scheduled for a Friday so that way I’ll have the weekend to recover if needed!

    2. My husband is a doctor and I am a RN. We got our first shingles shots a few years ago along with other updates such as tetnus, pneumonia and shots related to going to Africa. We both agreed that shingles shot was the most painful after effects we had ever experienced . Still not sure we will get the second shot? I told the person to give my shots in the same arm as tetanus always made my arm sore. She said you don’t want to do that… I didn’t even notice the tetanus arm because the shingles arm was so sore for days!

      1. As someone with chronic shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia) who was too young to get the shot initially, please consider getting the second booster. Trust me, chronic shingles is not something you want to risk getting. The pain in the arm from the shot is nothing compared to the actual disease and with the disease, it never goes away.


        1. Agreed. Of all the ailments I’ve experienced, shingles was the most painful, and stayed consistently painful even with the antiviral shot to halt the disease. Not to mention it screwed up my immune system so that for about two years, I was either exhausted or had cold/flu and every virus that came along.

  9. Despite yesterday’s tornado and storm, it is so very dry here. Corn is maybe a foot high and few farmer market booths have any produce. My garden is looking sad as well. Water bill is 40% higher than last month so it’s not for a lack of trying on my end.

    Got a different type of garlic at farmers market for fall planting. $1 a bulb is so much better than the $20 a lb I would get charged for mail order for the fall. I pick up a variety of types as they come out to try different varieties.

    Had a baking afternoon. Garlic knots, sticky buns and olive bread. Working on sourdough as well.

    Son baked cookies for his girlfriend for her birthday.
    Got a mug 40% off for my daughter’s birthday. Her birthday will be low key as we had graduation party and family earlier this month. So baking treats for friends and they are having a pj movie night.

    Took my daughter to a book signing sponsored by the library with an author she likes. Was part of the first 100 and got a free book.

    Brought fruit to office pitch in so I wouldn’t have to take home leftover junk food.

    Saved the chips and cookie from my dinner at an event for my son’s sack lunch for Scout camp.

    All really small things but hoping they add up while we wait for news on the disability.

    Have a blessed week!

  10. Your photographs are always so lovely, and your meals made my mouth water!
    I baked two loaves of sandwich bread and cooked a big batch of chickpeas from dried peas. I canned three pints of the chickpeas I wasn’t going to use right away.* We enjoyed lettuce, asparagus, sugar snap peas, and turnips from the garden. I also froze some peas for future use.* I cut some iris blossoms to enjoy in the house.* Friends who were cleaning out their house invited us to stop by and look through the items they were giving away. We came home with several large flower pots, a pair of water sandals for my husband, and a life jacket for my small dog – which we needed.*We attended a free concert in the park and packed a picnic dinner.*The only groceries we purchased this week were milk, eggs, grapes, cottage cheese and sour cream – all on sale. We ended up with two large shopping bags full for $19.* The ice maker in our refrigerator started leaking. My husband was able to purchase the part and repair it.

  11. What glorious looking produce. You are ahead of us in tomato ripening but we do have berries ripe.
    Target has a sale on Bic razors (50% off). I bought a 4 pack. I received 2 organic cabbages from Buy Nothing. I gave away a coffee maker and chive seeds.
    Our Costco membership expired and rather than renew right away I bought two shop cards with enough on them to last us at least 2 months. It’s like getting free membership for 2 months. The shop cards also work at the Costco gas station (cheapest gas around here by far).
    We are still watering with rain water (everything except the kale, lettuce and strawberries which receive fresh water). I’m curious how far into July we will get on that.
    I got a free toilet flapper from our city water efficiency office. I gave it to my daughter who needed one.
    I’m working summer school and have received free cereal and fruit several times. I’m always grateful for free food.

  12. Wow! I love your garden picture and the breakfast looks so yummy! A Persian store sounds interesting! I love using new spices.
    This week we used cloth napkins and hankies. Cooked our meals at home. Bought a pair of shoes and then decided they really were too much and returned them the very next day. We are cooking from our pantry and freezer, trying to use things before they expire or go bad. Enjoyed having family over. Called family. I remember paying a lot for long distance calls and I am glad it is not like that now. I have enjoyed reading things online for entertainment and information, mostly recipes. Turned off lights and opened shades during the day unless I needed light to read something. Washed full loads of laundry and dishes. I have mostly just cleaned and played piano for entertainment this week. I did find 12 oz packages of bacon for $1.99. I thought that was a great deal! So I bought some and we enjoyed some bacon this week. Otherwise, we have used what we have for the most part.

  13. I have to say I’m so impressed with how much you folks eat out of your garden, and such good eating habits to develop in the children. I only grow flowers and in a much smaller garden, of course, but I have learned from you to not throw things away if they have gotten too big for their area. There is almost always someplace to which they can be moved. And I also watch out for self sowing seedlings and see what I can salvage there.

  14. I ordered a pick up order at my drugstore using store rewards. Only thing I could think of to buy, was more laundry products to share with my children. Its a blessing to not need much. I brought home 6 dozen organic eggs from a sealed case. The sealed cases are well insulated so they were ice cold. Egg salad on the menu tomorrow. Quiche is up next. I’ve never had much watermelon. It simply wasnt in my tight budget. I’ve really enjoyed it this week. My weight is once again a struggle. Its probably due to my new medications. I guess this is a common issue. Im eating as clean as possible. No sugar and no junk. Even my fat pants are tight. Thats just so sad. My dad has said he really needs oxygen. I hate that this issue should be so easy to resolve and yet it is not. I visited with a friend and got information I needed to make a good decision. I bought a unit on Ebay and hope to receive it in a couple days. I made my purchase with a credit card from a reputable buyer. He accepts returns. I offered him a lower price that he accepted. The unit shows updated records and I’m hoping it works out well. I’m grateful to have the funds to cover the purchase. I sat several times and watched the birds. My favorite parking area has fruit bushes and the colorful birds are everywhere. I’ve seen 2 red fox too. I take photos but stay far away. Have a good day dear friends.

  15. It is very hot for us here 30C with no rain ,so we are having to water, I did manage to mulch before we went away , so nothing died.

    Used coupon £5 off £30 at Waitrose, bought some yellow sticker pain aux raisin , raspberries and ravioli

    Made stock from 3 carcasses and saved veg water in the instant pot ,enough for 5 meals Made soup and risotto from the stock and I put the rest in the freezer Made fruit cake baked in the Remoska .I made yoghurt and ice cream . A 1.5 kg chicken made 4 meals.

    Harvested peas, courgette, broad beans ,strawberries, lettuce and tomatoes, I have done lots of weeding especially around the autumn raspberries .The Bread Seed Poppy’s are blooming. I trimmed some wilted leaves off the apple trees, not many apples this year as we had a late frost. I dried Lime ( Linden) tree flowers for tea in the car as it has been hot inside with all the sun.

    I have sciatica again so hubby helped me mow the lawn, it hadn’t been cut for 3 weeks. We do leave part of it wild. The ground under the lawn has big cracks in it where it has been so dry for the last few years. Some years ago we sowed clover in the lawn, it stays green in a drought with the bonus of the flowers for the bees.

    Keep safe everyone


  16. Brandy as always your photos are stunning. My garden is growing well though I’m a bit puzzled by my cucumbers the aren’t very tall but are producing flowers I hope they will continue growing tomorrow I want to add more dirt to them last fall I planted in the same spot and they grew up the trellis (fish line) alot more than they are now so we’ll see and thankful that if they don’t do much I can plant again in the fall. Not much new to report on being frugal staying home. I did order after searching for well over a year thin towels finally found them on Amazon I guess my wording wasn’t right on previous searches they were 6 for $28 but with my amazon reward points I got them down to $21 for 6. I like thin towels and they are impossible to find in the stores anymore. My reasoning is 1. I like the texture 2. They dry just as well as thick towels. 3. They take up less space in the washing machine and 4. They line dry very quickly. I have some vintage ones that have beautiful prints sadly the new ones are solid colored but it’s the function that’s most important they will save money by not using so much energy and space in the washer and not having to use the dryer in winter since they will dry fast on the clothes rack. I have been able to harvest kale and salad from my garden. I’m still using the library every week. Husband starts Medicare in a few days. We had a agent come out to talk to us about getting supplemental insurance he was free. We chose Anthem which is also free. One of the perks to Anthem? They give us a $50 gift card for food each month and a $75 gift card to buy over the counter medications like aspirin, Tylenol anything medical they have a online catalog where you could even buy a weight scale if you wanted to. The $75 card is only every 3 months but it’s a nice perk. This is D in case anyone is wondering on the coverage to cover prescriptions now those are not free and we’ll face challenges with getting certain meds like Insulin but it’s no different than our private insurance that only is willing to pay for certain ones. Medicare only covers husband and fortunately he doesn’t have allergies as I do with insulins. I can’t think of much else thatt we’ve done this week.

  17. Your photos of your breakfast were fabulous! They look like bruschetta from a fancy restaurant ;). On the frugal front here, I have been in my new condo about six weeks. Getting settled into a routine at last. Due to its better construction and smaller size, my utilities bills are vastly less! Yeah! Electricity should be 1/4 of what I used to pay for AC here in the desert. I haven’t been cooking from scratch for quite a while due to the passing of my spouse and the big house sale and move. Finally, this week I decided it was time to start cooking again and build up my pantry again slowly this summer and fall (I donated most of it when I moved).

    1. Hilogene, I didn’t know your spouse had passed. I am so sorry to hear this. I’ve read your posts for some time and feel like I’m vicariously living in the SW. Sending loving thoughts to you and wishes for continued healing as you walk this journey.

  18. You have made you garden both beautiful and productive. I always enjoy the photos.
    Still in the settling in to and fixing our new home mode which involves a lot of hemorrhaging money to address deferred maintenance but it is mostly one time and done costs thank goodness.
    – My husband is doing what repair work he can. He is fixing the exterior wood problems found by the termite inspection. He and our son added a piece of wood to the bottom of the balcony railing using our son’s tools. Now it is safe for the dog to be put there. He is also slowly digging up overgrown or toxic plants in the yard so we can create an easy care landscape and enjoy the yard.
    – I picked up from my Buy Nothing group some small storage containers plus toddler plates and board books for the baby granddaughter to use when at our house. A member also committed to taking some large plywood planters and the dirt in them that the sellers left on the patio saving hauling fees. I got a small terrarium that will be used for a gardening project in August when we are providing daycare for our 6 year old granddaughter for a week.
    – We are cooking almost every meal at home, getting books from our marvelous library system, and as usual doing all household chores ourselves and batching errands. I have mended summer clothes and planning how to alter some that I don’t wear.

  19. What a beautiful amount of garden produce! It’s wonderful you have a neighbor to barter with. Our culinary sage didn’t make it through the arctic blast last winter, so I recently bought more. I always look for containers that have extra, and found a 4-pack with 6 plants. I planted them out, under fruit trees and berries. We were having cooler than usual temperatures, so on a day with a forecast of 68, I decided to can up the last of the winter squash. While I was in the kitchen watching the canner, I put five sweet potatoes in the oven to bake. I was delighted to notice the first tomato through the garden fence, on one of the Italian Pear tomatoes. On Sunday, and found another plant with three tomatoes. In previous years, it’s been August before we got ripe homegrown tomatoes, but I’m hoping with the Amish method I tried this year with some, we may get a few in July. We’ve always bought a few tomato plants, so we’d have some sooner, but not this year. We’re sticking with what we grew, and the “Amish” ones are quite sturdy plants already. I’ve harvested the last of the peas, mulberries, blackberries, blueberries, lettuce, oregano, the first cucumber, and gathered the lavender. A good part of a day was spent on mending. When I emptied another feed bag, I planted a potato in it, and placed it with the others. Our little game hen hatched out seven chicks. She’s a good little mama. Now that the days are beginning to feel more like summer, the outdoor shower was turned back on. The pups inaugurated the outdoor shower season, both getting “baths”. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2023/06/outdoor-shower-season-travails-of.html

  20. Such beautiful photos – and all those new vincas will be so lovely, Brandy!

    This week’s frugal accomplishments are mainly small wins, but even small changes add up to savings, right?

    *We live in a VERY small town with only one small (and pricey) grocery store and we only make a trip to the city every 6-8 weeks and combine errands – it’s an all day outing. No money spent on food or drinks – went this week and took drinks, snacks and lunch from home.

    *While in city, filled up on gasoline at 16 cents less per gallon than in our small town.

    *Also while in the city, noted prices at Aldi and Sam’s Club and later updated my Excel spreadsheet price book (thank you, Amy Dacyczyn!).

    *Rereading the three Tightwad Gazette books and trying some new frugal tips. Browsing through the books every couple of years always seems to yield new ideas to try. Back in the day, I was an original subscriber to her newsletter and was so sad when she discontinued it. Did anyone else here subscribe?

    *Has anyone frozen canned green beans? Experimenting with doing so. We don’t have a garden and don’t care much for storebought frozen green beans. Bought a 101 oz/6.3# can and when we have freezer space, will freeze in meal size portions (2 servings). Even if experiment is a flop, they were a great price and won’t go to waste.

    *Triple digit temps and very dry in our area for the past several weeks and we’ve kept our central air conditioning thermostat set to 80 downstairs and 84 upstairs during the day.

    *Used dehumidifier water for nonfood producing outdoor plants.

    *Kitchen warm up water used for outdoor plants.

    *Updating pantry inventory and wrote expiration dates on top of all cans. Placed those expiring soonest to front of shelves.

    *Separated a large rosemary plant, that’s several years old, into three smaller ones and they are doing well.

    *Refreshed soil in plant containers even though I’m getting a late start this year. Continuing to use 5 gallon white food grade buckets (holes drilled for drainage) and they work quite well. Lots of space for plants to grow and rocks on the bottom and the drilled holes provide adequate drainage. Also, the bucket handles make them much more portable and easy to relocate.

    *Followed Brandy’s suggestion and used Epsom salt in warm up water for watering plants. Thank you again for the tip, Brandy!

    *Darned a couple of socks to extend their usefulness. A skill I’m still practicing, but it is quite satisfying to know that a doomed item has renewed life … especially when no one can see my less than perfect stitches! Used a wooden darning egg handmade by hubby’s grandfather.

    *Relaxed my laundry sorting standards and now combine fabric types/colors. This is a cost savings due to fewer washing machine loads … less electricity and less laundry products. In the past I worried some fabric colors would transfer but have found that, with hubby and I wearing mainly dry fit activewear and very few true cotton fabrics, there is no color transfer. Also, the dry fit fabrics dry super quickly – in about half the time as cotton – on the clothesline in our triple digit temps.

    *Hubby added an additional clothesline for me under the side of our carport and it is now wide enough to hang large bedding. We live in town and have strategically placed our clotheslines (3) between carport posts to hide them from street view. All laundry is line dried except on rainy days, which we’ve not had in several months.

    *Hubby sharpened our lawnmower blades, extending their usefulness.

    *Very large 3# rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club ($4.99) was 4+ meals for hubby and I.

    *No longer purchasing printed books, except for a rare favorite. And employing “one in, one out” when I do. Accessing them in digital form and mostly free on The Gutenberg Project https://www.gutenberg.org/, other free eBook sites, or as free audio books. Less to maintain in our home (dusting and decluttering) and more portable. My joy is in the reading!

    *Convinced hubby to no longer order coffee pods for our regular caffeinated coffee. He had been doing so as a sweet gesture, knowing I love a certain cinnamon variety. I’ve found a bulk ground version that is more economical to use with our reusable cups, and will also try adding ground cinnamon to regular coffee.

    *Made big batch of marinara sauce using many garden tomatoes from two gracious neighbors, carrots, onions, pesto (gifted to us and frozen). Some for now, some for sharing, and a few batches for later went into the freezer.

    *Made Brandy’s yummy Oatmeal Cookie recipe – really tasty cookies and makes a LOT. Shared with our kiddos and three neighbors, and a portion into the freezer. Thank you for sharing the recipe, Brandy!

    *Neighbor gifted us banana peppers and they were a tasty addition to fresh salads this week.

    *My favorite 20 year old kitchen knife’s handle began peeling and flaking. Fortunately, hubby had materials on hand and added a coating to it, avoiding the cost of replacement.

    Wishing everyone a frugal and fun new week!

      1. Brandy –
        It’s wonderful to know the cookies are a family recipe! They truly are very good … hubby had a couple this evening crumbled on vanilla ice cream. A yummy treat!

    1. I was a subscriber to The Tightwad Gazette and purchased all of her books which was a compilation of the newsletters plus new content. That was many years ago. We had just moved to CO because my husband wanted to work for a ministry here. I applied the principles, and we were able to pay off our mortgage in six years even though our income was reduced by 50% (ouch).

    2. Carolyn, I’m just catching up here. You may not see this, but I also subscribed to the Tightwad Gazette newsletter back in the day. I’ve been intending to do some exploring on Project Guttenburg, and just bookmarked it. Thanks for the reminder.

    3. I have a silicone like handle on an OXO knife that has been degrading and getting sticky. Wondering if that’s the type of knife you have and what he used to coat it with?

    4. Love Amy D. I have reread the TG many times over the years. If nothing else it re-inspires me but often I learn something new!

  21. Brandy your pictures are lovely as always. Those tomatoes look so good. We don’t have any ripe yet, but maybe soon. We have been harvesting squash, zucchini, green beans, sweet banana pepper and 1 cucumber. We have lots of green tomatoes and blooms on our cantaloupe and watermelon. My niece was moving and gave me 4 bags of clothes, a huge Christmas tree and 3 totes of ornaments. I am sorting thru them and will donate what I don’t keep. My work has been having meetings so free lunches for us. I was awarded Employee of the Month and received a stadium chair and a certificate. I was so surprised. My husband and I have been walking every morning and evening and watching our portions. We both could lose some weight. We have decided not to buy a boat this year. We had been looking at them and can’t justify the cost versus how much we would use it. My rose bush and flowers are so pretty, they bring me such joy. I hope everyone has a safe holiday.

  22. This week I went on a very interesting garden-tour some distance from where I live – I brought my bike on the train and biked to and from the station as there was about a mile or two at the other end. Bringing your bike on this particular kind of train is free.
    On this tour I got a really interesting water-saving tip, that some of you might be interested in:
    If you use liquid hand soap, then dilute it a lot with water in the container that you use by the sink – like maybe 1 part soap to 20 parts water and then shake thoroughly to dissolve the soap. You can use boiled water that has cooled down to prevent mold. Then, when you wash your hands, just pump the mixture in your hands and rub – as there is already water present, you don’t need to turn on the water before you want to rinse of the soap at the end! You save all the water to wet your hands and while you are rubbing the soap around. If you do this every time you wash your hands it will surely add up! Especially if you have kids that turn on the water at full speed! I’ve already tried it at home and noticed that I need to dilute the soap a lot more than I thought – otherwise it takes more water to rinse it off than usual. This way, I save soap as well as water.
    It was my sons last days at school before the summer holidays. We picked him up from school and biked to the local shopping center – here he got a free ice cream with a voucher someone gave us, and we bought him sandals. As we used credit from a returned gift, they only cost us 5 USD OOP.
    We had a garden tour with 70 people attending as part of a round tour in different local gardens! People were so kind and interested, a lovely experience! Afterwards, the organizers treated us with free cake, juice and coffee.
    We were invited over to see four hens in the backyard of one of the local people we know. My son collected two eggs to take home and a lot of wonderful cherries, and they spoiled him with chocolate and homemade apple juice.
    My son has found out that he can go and play handball for free with his friends at the local sports arena outside normal training hours. They know everyone there, and the people working there seems happy that the facilities are used as much as possible.
    It finally rained after months of drought! 10 mm (0.4 inches), so not a lot, but so good to finally see some rain here, and good for the plants!
    We harvested lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, at it starts to bolt. A good tip if you have too much lettuce, is to use it in warm dishes – it tastes really nice when fried. We also harvested snow peas, the first few beans, potatoes and arugula.
    Your pictures of food are really mouth-watering, Brandy!
    Have a nice week everyone!

  23. I’d love to leave a longer comment but I’m feeling inspired by your breakfast photos. So…I’m off to enjoy an al fresco meal. 🙂 The garden calls… (Thanks, Brandy, for the inspo! Enjoy your week!)

  24. Brandy your pictures are breathtaking! Things I did to “save money”…parentheses on purpose because it feels like I spent money like a drunken sailor as my grandmother would say. Last week started off well with 3 No Spend days in a row and then…our 24 year old air conditioners were not keeping up with the heat so we had a repairman out and he recharged the refrigerant which cost over $800 but better than replacing the 2 units…hoping we get this summer out of them and can do new ones next spring.
    I’ve been purchasing lots of annuals and herbs for my yard…one benefit to being such a procrastinator is that I’m getting everything at about 50% off. I also purchased several new pots but I’ve been finding sales and also found a few at Home Goods and TJMaxx. It was time to retire some of my pots that were in really bad shape. We also applied Scotchguard to the new chair pads for our outdoor furniture- our outdoor space seems brand new now which is such a mood lifter for me.
    I’m being more purposeful with grocery shopping and meal planning because that is an area I can spend lots of money on and I truly don’t need to. Yesterday I was at Albertsons to get a few groceries and found preseasoned pork tenderloins at 50% off so I purchased 2- that took the price to $4.49 each- they went straight to the freezer.
    This past weekend my daughter and I met a friend at an outdoor venue near the greenbelt to listen to free music. It is also a food truck park and we did purchase some snacks to share but my daughter and I had picked up our “free” Panera sip club drinks ahead of time so we didn’t buy drinks. It was a very fun outing and the people watching was excellent.
    I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July weekend (for those in the US). I’m looking forward to a 4 day weekend at home enjoying our “new” space playing cards, eating food we bbq and keeping our dogs distracted while everyone around us lights fireworks (as I often say…if I only had 10% of what these people spend on fireworks I’d be a wealthy woman).

  25. The pictures are beautiful! I, too, enjoy early mornings in my garden writing in my gratitude journal and reading scriptures.

    I read “Coronation Year” by Jennifer Robson, borrowed from the library. Lovely story!

    We went to a board meeting dinner event and came home with a quart of salsa, one of guacamole, and a bag of chips.

    I am still able to open the windows at night and have yet to turn on our AC! I work in the garden, serve, read, knit, and try to keep my head above water. I am grateful for my life and being able to serve others, although sometimes I don’t do it as kindly as I can. I am working on that.

  26. The food in those pictures looks delicious! I look forward to seeing all those new flowers blooming and filling out.

    I’m starting to see tiny Armenian Cucumbers on the vine, but some have dropped off, possibly from the many heavy rains. In the meantime, my Israeli cucumbers are producing steadily, even though the rain has slowed them some.

    The okra in the garden is soooo close to blossom time. I expect it any day.

    I used a sale and a gift card to reduce the price of a manual wringer for my laundry done in the little manual washer. I have to be cautious with thick metal zippers and big buttons, but almost all of my wash goes through it, reducing the time to hang dry. It’s a surprisingly quick process to do a load all the way through hanging it, but it is hands on; it’s not as easy as throwing it in a machine and pressing a button. I like using this method, but it isn’t for everyone.

    After a few weeks of frequent, heavy storms, we are having a period now without rain but with air that has nearly reached its saturation point with moisture. Rather than lower the house a/c temperature more than normal this week for just the dogs at home during the day, I put a fan on their beds. They also have free access to outside where there are shade trees and a covered porch.

    I finally completed a gift that I was sewing.

    I decided not to buy some fabric that I don’t really need.

    I continue to cook all my meals at home, pack my lunches, batch errands, make my own kombucha, use cloth napkins and cleaning cloths, and make almost all of my cleaning solutions.

    1. I think your comments about hand washing are interesting. What kind of washer and wringer do you use? Where could one find those?

  27. Brandy, It is a great idea to enjoy quiet breakfasts out in the garden.

    To save money, I use about a tablespoon of thick (Greek or Skyr) plain yogourt on my face as a moisturizer.
    I do so about once a week.

    I asked some men who were mowing the lawn across the street if they would mow just my boulevard.
    The bylaw says the grass shouldn’t be more than 15 cm (just slightly less than 6 inches) I was getting a bit ancie about it
    – a friend who was keen to lend me her lawn mower never follows through. Anyway the men were very nice and I negotiated a price.
    It is a weight off my mind. My gardener’s daughter came and weeded the rose garden. There were many seedling trees in it and lots of grass.
    I would normally have done it myself but am just not up to it this year. While she weeded, I sorted a box of papers and we chatted. Then my friend who volunteers to do grocery shopping came by. No Frills has hot dogs on sale and several other good prices, including fresh asparagus at $3.88 per pound (it is almost out of season) although they were out of some of the items on my wish list. I am being really virtuous – no ice cream, no chips, etc although I don’t often get either. My gardener’s daughter harvested some of my rhubarb. I will put it in the freezer I think unless I make a crisp of it. Not too long ago I bought a 4.5 kg box of frozen skinless chicken breasts — a friend kept it in her freezer for me but I’ve got it now. It has a lot of breasts in it. A year ago, the same box was $12 and now it was $18.00 Still there are so many in the box that I think it is a bargain, especially since one of the grocery stores just advertised a package of 5 fresh breasts. I also bought a 1.5 kg bag of frozen blueberries (Cal & Gary, from Co-op — they are really flavourful) which I’ll really eat them fast so I can buy a box of fresh blueberries and then freeze those and some apricots and peaches. The blueberries were less expensive ($12) than an equivalent package at NoFrills. By the end of this month I should have my small freezer restocked for the winter.

    It was in many ways a costly day but at least quite a bit got done.

  28. Brandy,

    Your photos are, as usual, great! I wish I could grow what you grow. I have 6 pears on my pear tree. My cherry trees bloomed but have no fruit. The apple crabs bloomed prolifically but don’t have a lot of fruit. Anyway, I greatly admire your gardening efforts!

    1. Do you fertilize your fruit trees? They need to be fertilizes three times a year. That will help!

      1. I didn’t know that they needed fertilizing so often. I wonder what organic fertitilizers I can use? thanks1

          1. Brandy,
            Thank-you for the information! I really appreciate it. We would love to get fruit from our fruit trees!

  29. Those breakfasts look so lovely!

    My youngest son and I were traveling last week. I had a botany conference to attend on the other side of the state, so we combined it with a week-long visit with my mom, who lives in the same city.

    My partner stayed home, so we stocked up the fridge and freezer with easy food. We only have one car, but my partner was able to use their electric bike to get around. They didn’t spend any money while we were gone though, yay!

    The teen and I stayed at my mom’s, so no cost there other than providing groceries and cooking my mom and her partner meals. We also packed picnic lunches both ways and stopped in small town parks for lunches, so our only travel expenses were only gas. I met up with friends that I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic. We went on a long hike (free entertainment!) and then opted to stop by a new pub for happy hour instead of going out for a meal afterward. I stopped at one drink and we shared a few plates of half-price nibbles so it was an inexpensive outing that was mainly focused on the important thing — catching up and visiting 🙂

    The kid and his grandma went crayfishing one day, so we had a big crayfish boil/barbecue instead of a fancy dinner out for the last day. Invited fam and friends, so it was quite exciting.

    I’m glad to be home, though! I’m heading down to our community garden plot later today to harvest some vegetables. Then I can hopefully score a few grocery deals to restock the pantry ahead of July.

  30. I love summer food — not only is it lighter, but it’s so pretty with all the color 🙂 Also, I’ve never been able to get sweet potato vines to do very well for me here. I’m wondering why?

    I recently just got to bring home my baby after an unanticipated six-week long stay in the NICU after she came much earlier than planned. With all the medical bills we just racked up, it’s more important than ever for us to be in good frugal habits. Here are some of the frugal things we’ve been doing lately:


    1. How lovely to finally have your baby home! I have a nephew who was six weeks premature and so tiny – now he’s about 6’3″ – it truly is amazing.

    2. Torrie,
      So glad to hear you’re both how now – such a scary time!
      Congratulations on your new baby,

  31. A few frugal things in the last week. We went to a ‘celebration of life’ for a woman we once knew in a distant city. She was 85 and had dementia for the last five years so it was sort of bittersweet.
    We did get to travel to a city we were unfamiliar with and had discovered we had all these Marriott hotel points from previous travels. So our hotel that night and breakfast was free. Plus it was really nice to visit with people we hadn’t seen in a long time.
    At a QFC I found quart size jars of Muir Glen organic pasta sauce for $1.27 a jar, a huge savings!
    One of my grandchildren was just diagnosed as bipolar. Put on good meds and I am hoping for the best. So I am making this kid a quilt – to wrap up in and know they are loved whenever feeling down:) To make the quilt I used all sorts of leftover scraps plus some new fabric I got at Michael’s. I want to recommend Michael’s for fabric. Their cotton is about half the price of Jo-Ann’s and seems very good quality.
    I just finished two good books – “Lady Tan’s Circle of Women” and Elin Hilderbrand’s “Beach Club”. Both interesting reads and I got them free.
    We picked wild salmonberries and I made some pancake syrup with them.
    Our usual going for nature walks and that is about it.

    1. ElisaB – The quilt for your grandchild will be such a comfort. There is nothing like a grandmother’s hug. I miss mine dearly. 🙂

  32. I feel like I haven’t been so much frugal lately as trying to find frugal opportunities. I had outpatient surgery Friday, but needed to go to the er that night. Saved money by driving myself vs ambulance. Contacted several programs I qualify for re repairing furnace, who in turn are concerned about any asbestos. Will look for programs for removing, then I’d qualify for furnace. A bit concerned as we are heading into a heat wave and without the furnace working, can’t use the ac. I made banana bread from some bananas I had in the freezer. This became my birthday gift for my 89 yro fil. He has teeth issues, so it will be soft to chew. Checked out three library books, that got me through a planned power outage. They put in new poles, which hopefully will help during storm time. Never spent so many days without power here as this past winter, and I grew up in this neighborhood. Next up is filing a homeowner claim for fence/roof storm damage. There is also a fema center I might need depending on what my insurance will cover. So I’ve been busy trying to find frugal options for home repair.

  33. Hi Brandy and everyone
    The photos of your garden produce and meals look so fresh. I love to see them.
    I have picked redcurrants, raspberries, strawberries, peas, spring onions, lettuce and lots of flowers. My husband dug up some new potatoes which look good. We have given produce to friends and family and I have frozen packs of redcurrants.
    I used a 10 per cent voucher off my grocery bill and a coupon for a free brownie.
    We have been away for a few days holiday visiting gardens and historic houses in Devon. We budget for this and although it’s not really frugal we keep costs down in several ways. I booked two nights b and b in a hotel using a deal on Travelzoo.( We live in the UK). We ate substantial breakfasts so didn’t need much during the day. We strolled in the hotel gardens in the evenings, sat on the terrace and read our books/ birdwatched and watched TV in our room later on. We took our reusable water bottles everywhere with us. My husband is a student of the Royal Horticultural Society so entrance to Rosemoor garden was free for him. We are both members of the National Trust and always get our moneys worth from it. We planned visits to two NT properties instead of paying for other attractions. We went to Killerton House and Knighthayes Court but Rosemoor was the star of the holiday. We resisted buying any plants. Killerton House has an extensive costume and fashion collection and was running a really interesting exhibition about how clothes have been mended, made over, repurposed etc since the 1700s to the present day. I’m doing far more mending and making do now and it fuelled my enthusiasm. There was a ladies dressing gown made from a wartime blanket which I would have loved to have. Hmmm. Something to consider.
    Sorry this comment has been more of a travelogue than frugal achievements this week but I know that Brandy and some of this community are keen gardeners.
    Back to frugal next week!

    1. PennyP – I love the description of your recent holiday. I would have loved the exhibit on mending through the ages, too. How fascinating! Would love to hear more. 🙂

      1. Hi Mountain Mama Dawn
        If you Google Killerton House National Trust there are some photos and commentary about the exhibition and also a link to an article about the fashion collection. From there you can get to a search of all national Trust treasures, put in Killerton again and filter for clothes and enjoy! Be warned, it’s a bit like going down the rabbit hole with Alice!

    2. We have been to the UK five times and purchased a membership to the National Trust twice. It is such a value for your money and spurs you on to visit many incredible homes and gardens. I think the UK is so diverse – from the mountains in the Lake District to the sandy beaches and palm trees of Cornwall. Lucky you for having all these great places to travel!

      1. Hi Elisa B
        What a good idea to buy NT membership when visiting the UK, entry can be expensive to these properties and you quickly recoup your money if you visit several. We live in Dorset and the NT owns a lot of the beautiful coast ( Jurassic coast) so we get free parking for walks/ swims too. We also use them as rest stops on long journeys, so much nicer than motorway service stations.
        Glad to hear you have enjoyed the diverse landscapes on your visits.

  34. Your breakfasts look amazing! I love hearing about all your gardening accomplishments.

    My frugal week:
    – I combined sales, coupons, and cashback when shopping this week. I got a box of ice creams free using a coupon, plus money off milk, cheese, yoghurt, and more.
    – I replaced some light switches myself, instead of hiring an electrician, which I am very proud of. A friend walked me through it via whatsapp, and I also used youtube, and I did it! Several more light switches to replace, but I’m slowly fixing things that have been broken for a while. And saving so much money by doing it myself!
    – I cancelled the smoothie subscription I just signed up for, after getting a free box of smoothies. They had just emailed me the offer. Free is the perfect price, and could not have come at a better time.
    – my fridge died, and I had to buy a new one. Thankfully because I had been cooking from my fridge/freezer strategically for a few weeks, I was able to put everything else into coolers until the new fridge arrived, very quickly. I bought a very modest model, and I’m also very thankful for it.
    – packed lunches, drinks, and snacks on the days I worked, and walked to and from my workplace.
    – wrote thank you notes to my daughter’s teachers using cards I already had at home.

    And that’s all I can think of! I’ve been sick with shingles so haven’t had a chance to do much in terms of frugality. But it also means less spending, as I have no energy to go anywhere. Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

    1. So sorry to read that you have been sick with Shingles – you are very young for that! My stepmom and a friend have both had it so I know how painful it can be – and probably even more irritating in the heat! Hope all this smoke isn’t bothering you too much.

    2. Oh Margaret! I’m so sorry you have shingles!
      As a chronic shingles sufferer, I empathize entirely. Hopefully, you’ve been treated with an anti-viral and are on the mend. Shingles, especially on the head and neck, can cause real, long-term problems if not treated well.

      I hope you heal soon,

  35. I love seeing photos of your gardens. You’ve done a terrific job.

    I’m with Alice – I just keep plugging away at a lot of little things. I only turn the ceiling fans on when I’m in the room. Turn off lights when I leave. Turn up the AC for a few hours in the afternoon when I’m in the cooler part of my apartment. I also switch to the whole home fan at night to bring in the cooler evening air.

    I’m hanging all my laundry to dry except sheets. I stopped using the dishwasher in favor of hand washing. And, my cold water is so hot in the afternoon from the sun it’s like free hot water.

    I am however continuing to build my pantry even as I use it. To that end, I’m watching for sales and buying almost exclusively loss leaders. I also plan to the day when I can take the local grocery store survey that nets me a 5%off everything coupon. I can only take the survey every 30 days. Some items rarely if ever go on sale so I keep a list and use my 5%off coupon for those items. I’d like to just drop what I want in my cart and buy it but that’s not going to happen.

    I’m menu planning and using up every little bit of food. I’m eating 100% from home for meals. And long ago gave up purchased coffee in favor of home brew. I’m eating more bean and lentil based meals. I’m also searching out new and frugal meal ideas on social media.

    I’m a senior on a limited income but am managing. And I’m grateful for the community here and for all who share so freely.

  36. Brandy,
    Your breakfasts look delicious and so pretty!

    Our frugal accomplishments:
    *thought our dryer broke (working again for now!)- used our 2 drying racks and bought 2 more for when it breaks in future or just to use whenever
    *one of my daughters had an old phone case that is in great condition that fits my phone.
    *my dad was cleaning out his garage and gave us 2 really nice bikes
    *received 4 free cat food samples I had signed up for
    *exercised for free using YouTube
    *husband picked up sale fruit and meats at store he works at

    Have a great week ❤️

  37. I am yenning for your tomatoes, Brandy! They look so delicious in your photos. Ours have not ripened yet, but hopefully soon. Your quiet breakfasts outside sound lovely. Eggs were $1.65 here, which is the lowest I’ve seen it in our area in a long time; and butter was on sale for $2.99 per pound, so I stocked up. Have a wonderful week.

  38. -I cooked the carcass of a Costco chicken I had in the freezer all day in the crock pot. It made 3 pints of chicken broth which I pressure canned.
    -Someone brought rhubarb to give away at church. I was one of the last to leave. I took what was left. I made a rhubarb/mint simple syrup using dried mint from last year. I canned 8 half pints to use this summer in homemade lemonade or with ginger beer as mock Moscow mules.
    -We bought supplies to extend the garden fence to 7 feet. Last year the deer were jumping my 4 foot fence and feasting on green beans and peas. We put in 3 rows of electric tape with a solar control panel. So we will see how this works. We did all the installation ourselves.
    -My dwarf cherries are starting to turn. We put cover over the top to keep the birds and deer out. My husband made 6 foot tall cages from metal fencing to deter the deer. I bought a very large sheer drape at Goodwill for $6.99. I cut it in half and hemmed the ends. We put one each over the top of the two trees and used clothes pins to keep them in place.
    -I strained my chive flower vinegar and got a quart to use in salad dressing.
    -I strained off my vanilla that was steeping for about 9 mo. Two pints, enough for at least a year.
    -I peeled the rest of the 5# bag of garlic. I poured oil over the cloves. This preserves the garlic and flavors the oil, dual use.
    -The garden is doing well, we finally got an inch of rain. No watering this week. The rain was so needed, it had been at least 6 weeks since we had any. Beans, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and peas are all blooming.
    -I have been making iced tea with a combination of cinnamon tea bags (bought on clearance) and cinnamon basil, then slightly sweetened with honey. Oh my gosh it is so refreshing and good! I also did some with regular black tea and chocolate mint, again slightly sweetened.
    -I went to a U-pick for strawberries. I cleaned all of them, froze on parchment lined cookie sheets and then froze in ice cream buckets. I saved out enough to make a fresh strawberry pie.

    Have a great week!!

  39. Your tomatoes look so wonderful. I can hardly wait to pick some.
    I really need to start writing things down. This is what I remember:
    I worked two days last week and brought breakfast and lunch both days.
    I listened to books on CD while on my commute and while driving down on Saturday to seem my son, DIL and wonderful granddaughter. Spent Saturday with them, looking after my GD while my DIL did some sewing and cooking (she made a dress for the little one) and my son worked in the yard and ran errands, including grocery shopping and hardware store.
    My DH made BBQ ribs – ate on those a few days. I made a batch of focaccia bread, and then turned it into flatbread pizza.
    I weeded the snow peas and carrots in the raised beds. Weeded the onions and kohlrabi in the row garden. Must have picked off a hundred potato bugs from our plants. We don’t use sprays, so handpicking it is. I transplanted some corn from hills where too much grew to ones where either one or none grew. I try to have 3 plants in the hill. I plant 6 seeds in each using the saying my dad taught me “One for the robin, one for the crow, one to rot and three to grow.”
    Best deals were BSCB for $1.77 a pound at Fred Meyer, with a limit of 5 trays – so bought 5. Also sour cream for $1.49 – got 5, and my DH favorite cereal for $1.99 a box – got 5. I then went to Winco for somethings from the bulk section, and they had BSCB for $1.48 per pound. Bought two more packages.
    Spent time on the swing in the back of our property, just meditating and praying and thinking. It is very relaxing.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

  40. The gardens are producing and I am so very thrilled to see it. We had our first harvest of green beans this year and I froze 7 gallons! As they continue to produce, I am looking forward to having fresh green beans on hand all year round. I also harvested cherry tomatoes, sungold tomatoes, lemon boy tomatoes ( my favorite :-)), yellow squash, zucchini, blackberries, snowpeas, cilantro, basil, jalapenos, green bell peppers, banana peppers, cubanelle peppers, and giant marconi peppers. The gardens are such a blessing, both as a hobby and for the wealth of food we get from it year round.
    Our second garden space is rapidly growing and I am excited for the harvest we will have from it and that I have finally been able to plant in succession. I am hoping that this will allow me to grow and put away more of the harvest this year.
    Our HVAC’s were not maintaining temperature so I scheduled a repair visit with my provider. We were able to save 15% of the cost of labor because of our plan and we saved by making a repair now instead of waiting for it to become a more costly situation. We also changed pour filters again even though they were not due to be changed yet to help the system along through the heat of the upcoming months.
    We have begun the process of painting our home inside and out and with that comes much organization, purging and cleaning. We have rearranged furniture, shelves, closets and living spaces to better utilize the space we have and make our home a place we really love to be. Two more loads taken to Goodwill and little boys clothing to the Consignment store. This is a task that I expect will take us quite a bit of time but I am excited for the outcome and the freshness it will bring to our space.
    I agreed to take care of my neighbors chickens while they are out of town and they generously let me keep all the eggs I have collected….18 so far and they are delicious!
    I planted the remainders of the dahlia bulbs that I purchased on sale – these are a perennial so I am excited to see them grow this year and multiply over the years to come. I also purchased 3 large black-eyed susans – these are perennial and produce Spring through Fall here so a very inexpensive way to bring color to our yard almost year round.
    Grocery costs continue to rise so I have begun more dedicated meal planning and shopping with a list to try and curb spending. I am also baking more, batch cooking to ensure we have leftovers for quick meals and basing all of our meals around sale items. I am endeavoring to prep more grab and go items like bean burritos for the freezer, breakfast sandwiches, and quick breads. This is a challenge as a working mom but I am doing my best to tackle projects like these that keep more dollars in our pockets.
    Another project we have wanted to do is to add reclaimed wood to the front of our kitchen island as an accent. My husband managed to find some beautiful wood on Facebook Marketplace from a fence that someone was tearing down. The pieces were the perfect length and width, pressure treated and stained in the exact way we wanted. We picked up the wood for free so the only cost was the gas used which was small as they were located 4 miles from our home. There is enough leftover that we may be able to create some planters for our patio as well.
    Hoping everyone has a productive week ahead!

  41. Hello, frugal friends from the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. My post is for the last 2 weeks. Mr. Fix It and I went to my MIL’s 90th birthday in LA (lower Alabama). My SIL did a nice job planning the party at the facility MIL lives in. To save money we used our military discount on hotels and restaurants where we could. We took our own drinks and snacks as well as lunch for all the travel days. We used our T Mobile app discount on gas. Upon our return I bought only milk and fruit. I have not been to the store since. This past weekend was our grandson’s 11th birthday. I offered to bring the cupcakes, drinks and treat bags. I made and decorated the cupcakes using what I had at home. I mixed a gallon of kool ade and brought the multitude of paper cups we had collected on all our trips (They were in each and every hotel room) and the treat bags were small brown paper lunch bags I had on hand which my granddaughter and I decorated with stickers and drawings we made, filled with popcorn, M&M’s and a Twix bar. The candy was given to us by my BIL who works at the candy factory. Everything was well received. I did the usual frugal things like hanging laundry ( my favorite chore…so therapeutic!), doing our own maintenance around the house and yard, and using our solar generators to recharge devices, etc. Our electric bill for last month was $50 less than the month before. I am enjoying working in my gardens. My roses are blooming and my garden is slowly producing food. We are eating lots of salads from the garden. I also got enough peas and pea pods to eat and freeze. This is quite the rambly post. I did not write anything down. I will do better next week. Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, frugal week.

  42. Your back yard is an oasis in the summer heat. Here is Texas the brutal part of summer has commenced. It was 104 degrees F today. We have had some rain so things are still green.
    My frugal doings:
    1. We have turned off the a/c at night & turned it back on at 8 am for several days now. I don’t know how long we will be able to do this but for now is ok. After a quick shower & using several fans, we are able to sleep with an inside temp of 83 degrees F. I say “Save on the electric bill while we can.”
    2. The power company asked for residents to not run major appliances in the afternoon until 8 pm. I ran the washer & hung the clothes up to dry. I have also used the crockpot as it uses less electricity & does not heat up the kitchen.
    3. My husband finally canceled the cable TV. He has been surviving just fine with streaming programs.
    4. I found a pair of denim capris when I was out doing some urban foraging. I have been wanting some white denim capris & these fit nicely. I also found a good bit of clothing (that I will wash & deliver) for the charities I support.
    5. I delivered items to the shelter & to a church on my way to work to save gas.
    6. I stopped up the kitchen sink. Hubby fixed it although he had to take apart the pipes & run the roto rooter. I was scolded. I wondered what a food disposal for if you cannot use it to dispose of waste? I kept this thought to myself.

  43. Brandy, your photos! My mouth is watering!

    On the frugal front:

    We harvested lettuce, cilantro, and green beans.

    It was unseasonably warm (90F) last week in MN. We avoided using the stove or oven by enjoying sandwiches, salads and smoothies.

    I shopped at Aldi for groceries this week. The produce quality is hit or miss at the location nearest my lab. Thankfully, this week the quality AND prices were great.

    An arborist from the University of MN extension office came to our house free of charge to offer advice on how to treat the sun scald on two of our trees. As expected, one will not survive but the other should recover. He offered replacement suggestions for the dying tree. He also inspected the other trees on our property and offered specific pruning and care tips. He shared that they are finding that Autumn Blaze maples, a popular tree in our location, are susceptible to root girdling. He showed HH what to look for and how to treat it. HH really enjoyed meeting with him.

    My car would not start this week. AAA determined the battery was dead and charged it. Unfortunately, it would not start again later that evening before we could replace the battery. A neighbor lent us his portable battery charger (Have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate our neighbors? I will make some treats for our neighbor as a thank you.) The local auto parts store was running a 20% off sale on select batteries. My car has been a money pit this month. Though all the repairs were considered routine maintenance and will extend the vehicle’s life, I am ready for a break from car issues.

    I typically have excellent results when purchasing eye glasses at Costco. Unfortunately, the glasses I recently purchased were not working out for me. I took them back within the 30 days day satisfaction-guaranteed window and very kindly explained why I was not satisfied. They listened to my concerns, did a few tests and offered to replace the lenses without additional charge. I appreciate the excellent customer service at Costco!

    I hope those who celebrate enjoy a happy and safe July 4th holiday weekend.

  44. I start my day reading here to see if I can glean any way to save, to have the support of a community that understands.
    Thank you Brandy for your work and expenses to be there for us. We are here for you.

    My lettuce is running me over so I sent some over to the Amish family, told her to feed it to her chickens if she didn’t want it. Theirs is just starting to come in. Chef salads are on the menu a lot this coming week. Both of us is tired of it but it’s saving money as lettuce is cheap to grow. I will make lettuce soup for Sunday using Kevin Jacobs recipe ( https://www.agardenforthehouse.com/kevins-lettuce-soup ).We know Georgia peaches won’t be coming in as that was on the news last night of mass loss of the crop. Amish is already looking for other peaches.

    I spent the day researching which Plan D would be best for Hubby. Found Aetna is best for both of us if they don’t change before I go on. Even covered my Humira better than I was finding of me paying $12,000 is now looking to be down to $1000 for 3 months supply. By the end of next year the medical insurance change will save us almost $7000.

    We have been taking hit after hit (doesn’t it always happen that way?) financially since the accident. Finally got the last reimbursement for the wrecker bill yesterday. Hubby told me to order the rest of the garden beds as he figures if we don’t do it, we won’t have half the garden to use and growing our own is important. Reminded me to order garlic as I didn’t grow anything this year and the Amish said her’s wasn’t doing well. To list what might need replaced from dying this year for next.

    Our financial guy called us and told us they were seeing some pretty low dips coming in the stock market (they hope they are wrong) at the end of the year and going into 2024. Another friend said their guy had said the same thing , he lives in a different state. So Hubby changed how he was invested to ease how hard we get hit. On the other hand that means we pull less so lots of changes (again, some more) to redo the budget and try to extend our season. I was planning of 4 beds of late fall/early winter growing. I might add a couple beds to that.

    I went back through your website Brandy and reread everything is SAVING MONEY category .
    Prayers for peace
    Blessed Be

    1. Juls I so appreciate you sharing your financial advisor information and the update on peaches
      Thank you

    2. To Juls — I just went on medicare with a traditional supplement. I wanted to share that my supplement allows for a quarterly purchase of over the counter meds. I get $100/quarter and get to chose from a select list at a local drug store. A friend gets $250/quarter on her plan. Check and see if your hubs has this benefit. It’s often missed by people.

  45. The last photo of your breakfast is making me hungry! Can’t wait till my tomatoes are ready to harvest.
    *Lots of work done in our garden this week, like most of you. Not only does it feed us physically but it feeds the soul and is good therapy. Time flies in the garden and worries seem not so large when your hands are dirty. My boys dragged some logs out of the woods to create a border around our 3 newest blueberry bushes so they don’t get trampled on. That should work for people but not sure about animals. Our neighbors have donkeys and goats who regularly escape and come visiting. They have never damaged anything but it doesn’t hurt to make things a bit more of an obstacle. This same neighbor brought us some alpaca socks (they have alpacas, too) as a thank you for watching their animals a couple of times. They are so soft and extra socks are always a useful item around here.
    *We finished two small but significant projects. I had been given an antique wall shelf about a year or so ago from my neighbor with the antique booth. She knew I was looking for something like that and picked this one up at a thrift store for $10. It was cheap because it was in bad shape – split wood at the back, water marks on the sides and it was missing a drawer stop. It has sat on our “to be completed” table since then but we finally got to it. It turned out beautifully. We had all the things needed to repair it so it cost nothing but time. My husband does things like this during his breaks from work (waiting for someone to call him back, etc.) and I was his somewhat-skilled helper. 🙂 It now hangs in our bathroom and looks so pretty. It adds just the bit of warmth and age to a space that can look too sterile for me. My husband also repaired an antique Eastlake caned bottom chair we have had for many years. One of the pegs that holds the back onto the seat had come loose and the hole was too large for it to fit back it. He worked his magic and now it is sitting at my secretary. He is happy to have these things off of his “to do” list and out of the workspace and I am ha[[y having them in use where I can appreciate them every day.
    *We continue to do landscaping/yard work for various family members and neighbors. Good exercise, helps people and the extra money is appreciated.
    *Sold eggs to neighbors.
    *We have been eating out of the pantry, freezer and garden exclusively this month in effort to save money and to clear out some things that need to go. I did go to the grocery store once last week and realized that the “stock up” shopping I have done in the past may be a thing of the past. There just aren’t many good prices to warrant buying much more than we need. I think, going forward, it will be mostly basics and 2-5 items to replenish our stock per shop and that’s it. I will, of course, keep my eyes out for stock-up prices but I just have the feeling they are not there anymore, at least not in the sense that they once were. But, life is all about change and adapting to new circumstances. I am glad we have a stocked pantry and that it is an issue of rotating and keeping it up, not starting from scratch.
    *I took a laundry basket full of items to my neighbor to sell in her antique booth. Gradually getting things out of the closet and going through more of my husband’s uncles things that we have decided we will not use and are not sentimental items or heirlooms. A very freeing feeling that earns a bit of money, as well.
    *Made from-scratch pecan sticky buns for a neighbor who does so much for us and everyone we know. Had all ingredients on hand and woke up early one morning to make them so he could have them for breakfast. He was still in his pajamas when I delivered them and was very happy to have them so mission accomplished. 🙂
    *My oldest son helped a neighbor at her house and came home with large container each of blueberries and raspberries he picked from her garden. Yum!
    *We have enjoyed hanging out at the river with friends for free fun and companionship. Our puppy is also benefitting from hanging out with other dogs. She is quick and learning so much but benefits from the socialization and teaching only another dog can provide. When I think back to all the times in our lives when we have had struggles, animals have always been there for us. So glad we all have this chance to be what each other needs.
    *Have a lovely week, all!

  46. Your pictures are eye candy Brandy, and the food you prepared and photographed makes my stomach rumble and mouth water. Everything you do, you do with beauty.
    I look forward to reading your blog weekly, and although I didn’t comment before, I’m sorry for the disruption in your lives that the current times have caused. My husband worked away from home for four years, but he did spend two days a week with us. I know its hard, but know it can be done.
    I’m looking out my window watching some much needed rain falling, hopefully followed by warm weather and significant garden growth.
    I purchased strawberries from a local Amish family for $4.00 a quart, beautiful, fresh from the garden berries. They will become jam today.

    1. He’s been gone for 6 weeks now, and I expect it will be many years of not seeing him much at all.

      1. I am sorry you and your husband have to carry all the extra weight of the employment change each day. I know it is also hard on your children. Holding you in my prayers.

        1. It’s okay.

          I’m dealing with a lot of hard things right now. This is small in comparison.

      2. Just reading this is sad and so grateful for your sharing the struggles
        Sometimes UNBELIEVABLE the difficult things people are enduring

      3. I don’t want to pry, but this can’t be good for your family life. Is there absolutely no chance that he can get a job closer to home? And what about your realty business? Have you closed it down? I’m sure you didn’t plan on being alone with the last seven children.

        1. Anne,

          He has worked from home for 22 years. This is our new reality. We still own the real estate company but may close it this year. Our agents’ sales are down; sales volume across the country are down. When there are 21,000+ agents in a city and only 1500 home sales a month, there isn’t enough volume to keep that many agents working.

          Many people have spouses who are deployed or work elsewhere. One of my readers recently commented that her husband is a long-haul truck driver. We depend on people who are gone from home to keep the country running.

          Sometimes life has to change.

          The good thing is, he was here when the children were babies. My youngest is 5 now. It’s much easier to care for the children at home now that they’re older.

          We learn and adapt.

          Video calls are a wonderful thing.

          I am grateful that he has work.

          1. Keeping you and your family in prayer, Brandy. Thank you for all you do to continue this blog and allow us to comment to share frugal tips, even during such a difficult season of life. You are a true inspiration!

          2. Brandy, I know that I’m very late commenting and you don’t need to post it. We had a child with serious medical issues–staggering actually. Right as we learned that. my husband was laid off. It opened the door for a year for him to travel constantly. I promised myself that I would never complain. That year our medical expenses (even though we had insurance) were $60,000. For almost a decade, we had medical costs that high for several years, then $40,000 for several years. One year I remember thinking that our medical expenses would “only” be $25,000. It was staggering. I just kept going and I was so grateful for the work that he had. I had siblings that helped us financially, our Bishop helped us all the ways he could. My 74-year old mother came and lived with us about 80% of the time. We would have collapsed without her help. Even though it was difficult for him to be gone so much with a child that screamed around the clock, I knew how desperately we needed the money. I look back at that time and wonder how we ever survived. Good luck with your difficult situation. You have so much responsibility with such a large family. I appreciate what you do to keep this blog going. My husband is in heart failure and I don’t often post, but I’m desperately trying to keep costs down while our medical costs are once again very high. Thank you.

      4. I am a military brat so remember well what it is like to not have my father at home. It was not easy and my mom was wonderful at making us feel connected even in his absence – and this is before all the technology available today. I know you can do it, too. 🙂

        1. I will take any tips!

          They call his work a deployment, and is basically is.

          So whatver suggestions you have, I am open!

  47. I forgot to tell you how beautiful last week’s flower pics were. Ruffly white ones were gorgeous, but I’m in love with the Bells!
    And this week with your breakfast!! Oh, yummy! My oatmeal is looking pretty pitiful in comparison ha ha! Your yard looks really nice. Ours is looking nice, as well. However, we’re just now going into the hot temps so it’s all downhill from here.

    The last week of June is here and I still have 3 goals to finish by Friday. I aim for 10 per month of extra stuff. One might be more involved like embroidering an 18″ panel, which I’m currently doing 16 of for my church quilting group. Another might be as simple as hemming a dress.

    I’m still reading my Nancy Drews. Just finished The Clue in the Jewel Box last night and I think the next one is The Clue in the Attic. Forget Barbie having the dream life lol. I think Nancy Drew did!!!

    Best TW activity of the week was staying home most of the time. My market’s website was down so I got overcharged $12.53 . I miss the paper coupons some days.

    1. I love your monthly goals of 10 extras. I think I will keep track and challenge myself. Thanks for sharing a great idea.

    2. Debby – The Clue in the Attic is one of my favorites. And, I never owned a Barbie. 🙂

  48. Also, Brandy, I was wondering – does your neighbor with the chickens live in your development? If so, I’m surprised they let him have chickens with how strict they were with your planting. Our little city/town does not allow livestock in town at all; people have really taken notice and complained about that rule this year.

    1. No. We are surrounded by people who have horse property. I can hear roosters in the morning from my bathroom window.

  49. It was a great frugal week in Houston, TX!
    Frugal activities: was able to renew my driver’s license on a morning when all kids except baby were volunteering at or attending a free VBS. I had to do it in person (it’s been 8 years), so only taking the baby with me was such a relief!
    I stretched a $5 Sam’s rotisserie chicken across two meals for the family.
    I bought lots of loss leaders at several grocery stores around me.
    Milk was marked down to .67/gallon, so I bought all that I could fit in my freezer.
    I took the kids to the pool party for swim team, which was fun. A friend gave me some bananas leftover from the swim meet. If there are any left tomorrow, I’ll bake them into something.
    I bought a stained Lululemon long sleeve top at Goodwill Outlet. It must have cost about a quarter, it was so lightweight. Not sure if the stains will come out, but worth a shot.
    My frugal friend bought me some clearance peanut butter.
    I made meals using what we had on hand.
    My aunt and uncle are babysitting my kids this afternoon while I protest property taxes. This is my first time to do it in person, and I don’t want my crew to disrupt anything.
    I cut two boys’ hair, and took oldest daughter to get a haircut at the beauty school. It took 2 hours, but she got it washed, cut, and styled for $8 + tip. I think she felt pampered.
    We ate at home when we really wanted to go out to eat.

  50. I watered plants with free water that accumulated in our rain barrel last week. It rained every day and now this week 90 degree + and humid!
    Our county extension office offered a class in how to make them. Also, took our grandkids for a special Chik Fil A promotion of free 5 nuggets. We brought them home and ate them with our own drinks and sides.
    A woman walking by our house stopped to compliment on how pretty everything looked…and I told her that all the plants come from the neighbors who are dividing them or no longer wanting them.

    1. I once rented a house that had several flower beds that hadn’t been used in several years. At the time, I worked with a group of social workers. I sent an email to them telling them I was offering a good home to any perennials they needed to divide. The next Monday morning, I had a line-up of social workers at my office door, with bags and boxes of plants for me. The flower beds were soon full, and were very happy all the years I lived in that house.

      1. That’s amazing!

        I don’t know many people locally who garden and I am in several local FB gardening groups. How wonderful that you could get all those plants.

  51. Brandy,
    Your garden/yard looks like a beautiful park!! Our week was tree removal. We had a very large walnut tree removed. This type of walnut tree is toxic to fruit trees so our fruit orchard had not produced anything in the last few years due to this tree. This tree was also shading out my small greenhouse and my flower garden. We will surely miss the wonderful shade it provided in the summer heat but we should get some fruit next year. We will also have lots of fire wood for our fireplace for next winter or the winter after. My pear tree which is located the farthest away from the walnut tree actually has pears this year so that is a bonus. Having the tree professionally removed was an expense but hopefully it will pay off in the long run. I have been cutting my own hair for a few months now. I watched some youtube videos and got brave enough to try it. I have very difficult hair. I was paying almost $100 to have it professionally cut and I was never happy with the cut I got. I have already saved $200 and I like my hair better now than I have for the last couple years of paying a professional. I have no plans of going back to the salon and the money I save from that I am using to take our poodle to the groomer every couple months- for a very reasonable amount they cut/shampoo his hair and clip his nails. This is especially helpful to me right now since I have injured my shoulder and cannot bath him properly. I am waiting for my insurance to approve my shoulder surgery. While I wait for the surgery, I am eating extra healthy and exercising to get my self in good condition so hopefully recovery will go well.

    1. Just needed to read comments! I was gone for the afternoon yesterday and unable to check any.

  52. I harvested apricots, sweet limes, and apples. These trees were all here when we purchased this home (and were part of what attracted us to it). I’m learning to care for them as I go and feel grateful that they continue to thrive and produce.

    I continue to catch water from showers, baths, and fruit/vegetable washing, and use it to water plants.

    I decided to drag out my 35-year-old Hitachi breadmaker, which is still going strong. (The only maintenance it’s ever required was purchase of a new basin and paddle [last year]. I found the parts on eBay for $14 [for both]). I baked several loaves using ingredients I had on hand and enjoyed it so much I’ve vowed to incorporate bread-baking into my weekly routine.

    I wrote copy (several listings, plus editing a newsletter) for a Realtor™ friend. She paid me for my time and complimented me warmly on the finished work.

    I used accumulated points to send a grandchild almost everything they needed for summer camp (0$ OOP).

    The waste management company called to let me know I had an overage. Apparently, when my husband passed away, I didn’t pay the bill for several months (trash pickup was the last thing on my mind at the time). When I did pay it, I paid the overdue amount, and that amount got set to auto-pay. This led to an overage and I appreciated them noticing and contacting me. They will send me a refund, and I corrected the auto-pay amount.

    I paid off both vehicles (my husband’s and mine). I was advised to wait at least one year before making any big decisions (including getting rid of vehicles), so I’ve been driving both. It’s now time for me to make some decisions about them.

  53. -If you need glass canning jars check your local Dollar General. Mine was fully stocked. No idea of price but remember reading here that people had hard time finding any in the past.
    -Been using the Fresh Mode app from Kroger. Today I saved $5.50 off my $24 bill. Not sure how I qualified for this app as my friend who spends way more money at Kroger than I do didn’t qualify. You accumulate points and then can spend them on various rewards.
    -Still buying in-date Easter candy from 🎯 at liquidation store. They said today was last day before they flush it. (flush = sell grocery cart full of it for dirt cheap, you buy without knowing exactly what is in cart). I got 20 different bags/packs of candy for 10 for $1.00.
    -Got some $15 journals for 10 cents today at bins at same liquidation store. I love journals. Don’t really journal or keep a diary but use them for to-do lists.
    -My mother reads a book a day. Thank goodness for our library system. They don’t carry any of the books she likes but are able to get them from library system in different part of state.
    -Happy 4th of July to US readers and y’all stay cool out there.

  54. This past week my son and I traveled to see family. We drove from FL to CT. On the trip up we slept in our SUV for one night. We have recently made window privacy covers which added to our safety and privacy. We also planned out a route map of places where we could ‘car camp’ for free, mostly Flying J and Pilot rest stops that allow travelers to sleep in their cars. We stayed at a dated motel in a small town for $57 dollars one night. When arriving we stayed with a family member, then car camped for one night on the drive back. Overall we only spent the $57 on hotel stay.

    We also packed food and water and did not but out very much. This saved us a great deal of money on highway gas station drinks and snacks which always carry a mark up. For entertainment we had a board game night, went to my nieces softball game, and spent time together as a family. My son and I mowed the majority of our family members lawn for them as a way to say thank you. The lawn mower was electric and the batter needed recharged after about 20 minutes. We were persistent lol.

    We did splurge by stopping in Savannah GA on the way up and going to Bonaventure cemetery. We went on a guided walking tour and it was 100% worth it. I love history and cemeteries. The tour was excellent and very informative on grave markers as well as local history. This cemetery was featured in the 1997 film titled Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was also a book based on a true crime. I took the DVD out from the library when we came home and watched it. I am going to watch it again, there seemed to be so much going on in it.

    Upon arriving home we are getting back into the swing of eating in and shopping for discounts at Aldi, cooking, cooking, and trying to be smart with money.

    Love seeing your photos and words Brandy, as well as everyone else’s. Thank you for having this positive place to share.

    1. Ashley Bananas – I am not a city person but I loved Savannah. My husband and I went for one of our early anniversaries. And I agree Bonaventure Cemetery is beautiful. The Bird Girl statue had been moved by then to a museum in town and I made sure we saw her. Since then, I have always thought it would be fun to have a small replica in my garden but haven’t done anything about that. “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” is one of those films that I think is actually as good as the book. My parents have always been avid antique collectors and did some work for dealers back in the day. They heard about this story through that world before it even made big headlines, if I remember correctly. So glad you had a wonderful trip! 🙂

  55. Hi Brandy,
    I may have missed something but Did your husband get a job out of state or something? Why won’t you be seeing him?

    1. He did get a job out of state!

      The locations will constantly vary, so we will not be moving.

      I’m very grateful for the income. We’re doing out best to keep costs down.

  56. Found ground turkey marked down for 1.80 per pound, bought 6 pounds. My kids love turkey patties from this recipe with homemade copycat chick-fil-a sauce! https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/263628/best-chicken-patties/y. Also found chuck roasts at Fred Meyer (Kroeger) for half off. Was an unplanned purchase since I didn’t know of the sale, but bought one for next week and put in freezer. I’m sure I can get 2 hearty meals out of it. I’m feeding only 3 of my 7 kids nowadays, but they’re all teen boys/young men so they have big appetites.

    Been going to the Goodwill outlet nearby. Finding a ton of tiny toys like shopkins, pokemon, etc. that I wash and put in my prize store for my students. It’s pay by the pound so they’re nearly free. Much better than the dollar store! I also occasionally find a brand new item (ex: nail polish, notepad, etc. that I put in my stocking stuffer box.

  57. I rarely post but thought this might be helpful to others. In my county, if you have a septic tank you can take a class to entitle you to inspect your own tank. Since we are required to have our tank inspected every three years, I decided to do it. Special equipment for the inspection was simple to put together and cost less than $40. The remaining supplies were things I already had. I did it! It was not nearly as gross (or smelly) as you might think and relatively easy. It saved me at least $300.00 and I have the tools to do it again in the future. I also have a better understanding of how my system works and how to take care of it.

  58. I have had two very frugal wins by (yet again) ignoring the care labels on my op-shop finds. I found a beautiful pure wool long cardigan coat that needed a bit of TLC with the defuzzer before I gave it a gentle hand wash and then a press with a wet tea towel and it looks like a million dollars. Dry clean only – no way! Much riskier was my new sunhat – 100% polyester, and a label that firmly stated DO NOT WASH. Another gentle dip in the suds (I gave the band a good scrub) and it’s come out as good as new. I can’t begin to imagine how much I have saved over the years by washing the allegedly unwashable 🙂

  59. Hello,
    It’s good to see you are keeping busy; how could you be otherwise, but I am sorry your husband must work away from home. I like your breakfast toast idea, and what a deal to be able to trade figs for eggs again.
    For myself, I am trying to simplify cleaning and therefore buy less types of supplies and to use less electricity. Our electric bill used to be much less than $100 per month for this time of year; last month it was over $200. We have only three people using electricity now where we had five before. I dry only towels and sheets in the electric clothes dryer now; we have no air conditioning; we try to be careful about turning off lights, etc. I identify with others who are shocked by how fast and how high prices for food and other basics are going up. However, we are so much more fortunate than so many other people. We are hoping to get another year out of our old car. We debated about replacing it with a used car with fewer miles, but some say the price of used cars will come down, and then I see on the news that the price of used cars is expected to increase. I wish I knew. This week we found some bananas and apples for 25 cents per pound, so we bought 40 pounds of each. Fresh bananas usually cost 65 cents per pound. We dried the bananas and ended up with eight very full, quart-sized freezer bags. We are going to make applesauce out of the apples. We gave away most of the peaches we canned last year, and the homemade applesauce may turn out to be as popular. We also bought a few pounds of grapes for $1.67 per pound and the limit of four pounds of nectarines and peaches for 97 cents per pound. It’s nice to be able to have something different. I cut my husband’s hair, and I am studying YouTube University to try to learn to cut my own hair. We’ll see how that works out. If my hair turns out badly I can still go pay to have it cut. I bought a new pair of leather flats on Zulily for a reasonable price that are a little too big. My husband teased that I can wear some of his heavy boot socks in them this winter. I wish I had measured my foot with a tape measure before I chose the size, but I can’t remember if the size chart gave actual foot measurements. I’ll remember that for next time. The soles of my other shoes are so thin I can feel the little rocks through them, and they cannot be resoled, so I am thankful for a replacement.

    1. Elizabeth, do you have LED bulbs in your house? We barelyturn on the lights, but switching to LEDs still made a significant difference on our bill.

      1. We have a few bulbs that are LED. It’s good to know that switching to LED actually made a substantial difference. On another electricity subject–have you heard of using devices that supposedly “clean” the electrical current inside the house. They plug into an electrical socket, supposedly the closer to the power source for the house the better. Someone we know has them and says they work to lower their bill. We haven’t run right out and bought any. Just curious to know if anyone else has any experience with something like that.

    2. If the shoes are only slightly too big, I have had success with adding gel heel liners. I’ve also stuffed the toes of too-big shoes with cotton balls. They were still comfortable.

  60. Very busy week! Lots of garden activity. I spoke of my corn being knocked down by a strong storm a few weeks ago. I decided to try to rescue it. I strung cord from each side of the garden fence, picked up the corn and propped it up on the cord. Well, the experiment worked! It is now 6-7 feet tall and tasseling! So happy! Hope we get some ears! Know the squirrels hope so too! Also, my beans are flowering! Picked a large amount of squash and cucumbers and a few peppers. Hoping the coming projected storms don’t do any damage.

    Nursing my Newfie after her surgery. She has been a very good patient. Hope she has minimal scarring. Love my fur babies! Also, found Blue Buffalo dry dog food at Ollie’s. It was priced at almost half of what it cost at Sam’ plus an additional 15% off ! Definitely my deal for the week. They had the same brand in wet food.

    Roasted a pork loin that I had gotten some months back. Made a squash casserole and some peach cobbler with peaches from last year.. Am eating out of the freezer and pantry as there are no sales even with the 4th coming up. Peaches are hard to find and are costing twice what they were last year!

    Waiting for our estimate to replace all fourteen of our upstairs windows. They have to be replaced as they are rotted and basically nonfunctional. Will be a tremendous expense, but am hoping we will save money in the Spring and Fall with being able to open them for cooling and also the insulation factor in the colder months. My husband’s bonus, which we were planning on using towards this, was cut in half and our insurance doubled! So it will be a hardship.

    Have been watching multiple new series and have a stack of library books that I am trying to conquer.

    Have been thinking of you, Brandy, as I remember a friend who worked for FEMA. He was gone for long stretches for years. He made a great salary, had great insurance and was able to bank hotel and travel points. Hope it is the same for you for such a great sacrifice.

    So , here’s to America on her birthday! May she right herself and stand strong and proud forever! Onward, ya’ll, by all means! Stay frosty out there!

    1. Unfortunately, this job does not provide insurance. That would be wonderful.

      It’s very similar. He might get FEMA certified in the future but that’s not who he is working for right now.

  61. Such beautiful photos – and all those new vincas will be so lovely, Brandy!

    This week’s frugal accomplishments are mainly small wins, but even small changes add up to savings, right?

    *We live in a VERY small town with only one small (and pricey) grocery store and we only make a trip to the city every 6-8 weeks and combine errands – it’s an all day outing. No money spent on food or drinks – took drinks, snacks and lunch from home.

    *While in city, filled up on gasoline at 16 cents less per gallon than in our small town.

    *Also while in the city, noted prices at Aldi and Sam’s Club and later updated my Excel spreadsheet price book (thank you, Amy Dacyczyn!).

    *Rereading the three Tightwad Gazette books and trying some new frugal tips. Browsing through the books every couple of years always seems to yield new ideas to try. Back in the day, I was an original subscriber to her newsletter and was so sad when she discontinued it. Did anyone else here subscribe?

    *Has anyone frozen canned green beans? Experimenting with doing so. We don’t have a garden and don’t care much for storebought frozen green beans. Bought a 101 oz/6.3# can and when we have freezer space, will freeze in meal size portions (2 servings). Even if experiment is a flop, they were a great price and won’t go to waste.

    *Triple digit temps and very dry in our area for the past several weeks and we’ve kept our central air conditioning thermostat set to 80 downstairs and 84 upstairs during the day.

    *Used dehumidifier water for nonfood producing outdoor plants.

    *Kitchen warm up water used for outdoor plants.

    *Updating pantry inventory and wrote expiration dates on top of all cans. Placed those expiring soonest to front of shelves.

    *Separated a large rosemary plant, that’s several years old, into three smaller ones and they are doing well.

    *Refreshed soil in plant containers even though I’m getting a late start this year. Continuing to use 5 gallon white food grade buckets (holes drilled for drainage) and they work quite well. Lots of space for plants to grow and rocks on the bottom and the drilled holes provide adequate drainage. Also, the bucket handles make them much more portable and easy to relocate.

    *Followed Brandy’s suggestion and used Epsom salt in warm up water for watering plants. Thank you again for the tip, Brandy!

    *Darned a couple of socks to extend their usefulness. A skill I’m still practicing, but it is quite satisfying to know that a doomed item has renewed life … especially when no one can see my less than perfect stitches! Used a wooden darning egg handmade by hubby’s grandfather.

    *Relaxed my laundry sorting standards and now combine fabric types/colors. This is a cost savings due to fewer washing machine loads … less electricity and less laundry products. In the past I worried some fabric colors would transfer but have found that, with hubby and I wearing mainly dry fit activewear and very few true cotton fabrics, there is no color transfer. Also, the dry fit fabrics dry super quickly – in about half the time as cotton – on the clothesline in our triple digit temps.

    *Hubby added an additional clothesline for me under the side of our carport and it is now wide enough to hang large bedding. We live in town and have strategically placed our clotheslines (3) between carport posts to hide them from street view. All laundry is line dried except on rainy days, which we’ve not had in several months.

    *Hubby sharpened our lawnmower blades, extending their usefulness.

    *Very large 3# rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club ($4.99) was 4+ meals for hubby and I.

    *No longer purchasing printed books, except for a rare favorite. And employing “one in, one out” when I do. Accessing them in digital form and mostly free on The Gutenberg Project https://www.gutenberg.org/, other free eBook sites, or as free audio books. Less to maintain in our home (dusting and decluttering) and more portable. My joy is in the reading!

    *Convinced hubby to no longer order coffee pods for our regular caffeinated coffee. He had been doing so as a sweet gesture, knowing I love a certain cinnamon variety. I’ve found a bulk ground version that is more economical to use with our reusable cups, and will also try adding ground cinnamon to regular coffee.

    *Made big batch of marinara sauce using many garden tomatoes from two gracious neighbors, carrots, onions, pesto (gifted to us and frozen). Some for now, some for sharing, and a few batches for later went into the freezer.

    *Made Brandy’s yummy Oatmeal Cookie recipe – really tasty cookies and makes a LOT. Shared with our kiddos and three neighbors, and a portion into the freezer. Thank you for sharing the recipe, Brandy!

    *Neighbor gifted us banana peppers and they were a tasty addition to fresh salads this week.

    *My favorite 20 year old kitchen knife’s handle began peeling and flaking. Fortunately, hubby had materials on hand and added a coating to it, avoiding the cost of replacement.

    Wishing everyone a frugal and fun new week!

    1. To Carolyn in Texas — I was a subscriber to Amy’s original monthly newsletter. I read the article in the Sunday paper “Parade” section about her and immediately sent in my subscription. I had just graduated from college and credit what I learned from her in getting debt free. I still use her ‘pantry method’ of creating meal plans. I have her books which I reread regularly but also miss the newsletter.

      1. The Parade feature is where I discovered her as well .. and saw her on the Phil Donahue show on TV. Great memories!
        I really miss the newsletters too! The books are nice, but they don’t include totally everything that was in the newsletters. I really enjoyed all the success stories.

  62. I was a subscriber to the Tightwad Gazette. I started my subscription with issue #4 and ordered the first three, then subscribed until she discontinued publication. I punched and kept them in repurposed 3 ring binders so I never bought the books. I found that rereading them every couple of years did indeed teach me new tricks because my season of life had changed. If nothing else, they would give me a shot of enthusiasm when I needed it. I purged them when we downsized and moved 5 years ago and they are the one thing I really regret discarding.

    1. I bought her book The Complete Tightwad Gazette 15 years ago. Still have it & refer to it regularly!

    2. Maxine ..

      I did the same … with the binder! Had all the newsletters, the Parade issue featuring the Dacyczyns, any newspaper articles I could find, and a postcard from Amy. Mine were all lost in a move and I’ve missed them so much. The books are great but I loved the newsletters. Such fond memories of receiving them each month!

  63. We have made it to the end of June with no ac, so the power bill should be low.* Washed clothes with ivy laundry soap and line dried all loads.
    * Garden picking is slim still, just cukes, lettuce and kale. The deer keep eating the tomato tops,cukes and sweet potato plants.
    * I am sitting in the ER waiting for a bed. I have a huge raised area on my leg, looks like a recluse bite maybe,that oral antibiotics wasn’t kicking. We have catastrophic insurance so this will not be cheap.Thankful for saving year round for decades to cover these bills!

  64. I had what I am considering a banner week. I am 71 but still work part time. Everyday on my way to and from work I pass a local grocery store. It is very expensive as I live in a small tourist town. On Wednesday’s I always stop in to check the ad for loss leader items and the clearance sections. (I could not afford this store all the time) Long story short I found Land of Lakes butter for $1.49 a pound. It was not out of date either. There were 12 pounds at that price. I got all of them. Also on clearance was 3 packages of pork chops. All 1/2 price. I got them all too. I froze the butter and 2 packages of chops. We are eating porkchops 2 times this week.

  65. The photos in this post, as usual, are just gorgeous. Esp love the last two! My husband has been helping an older neighbor build a large outbuilding for about 10 days. It’s been difficult as the older guy has short term memory issues which we’re just realizing, and much of the work has had to be redone. My husband will mark where he needs to hammer or screw and he’ll do one right and then move to an end and keep going, splitting wood, etc. It’s taking a lot longer than he anticipated, working many days from 11-7 or 8. This couple is appreciative, so that’s good, but it has been frustrating as he’ll buy the wrong supplies, and slow the project down. Thankful I married a generous, patient man. I think his next project will be a Little Free Library and hope our HOA has no issue with it. I can’t imagine they’ll be anti-literacy. Well, I can imagine there may be an issue but we’ll be prepared 🙂

    Most meals lately have been homemade – Italian vegan stew, split pea soup, corn fritters (wow were they good – a yummy treat!), baked beans/impossible burgers for Father’s Day celebrated late with his older daughter, cuke/tomato/onion salad, BLTs with carrot bacon from Tabitha Brown’s recipe that was actually pretty good, Italian plant-based sausage and peppers/onions for two meals, and large salads with marinated beans and a cooked potato diced on it. I made a delicious homemade vegan chocolate layer cake for father’s day and froze some to extend the treat. I try to stay within the USDA’s thrifty level, and with just two adults (and kids and grandkids often!), it should be fairly easy. I’m sure many here are better at keeping it substantially lower than that. Love dinner ideas that others are making this summer.

  66. Hello Brandy & fellow frugalistas!

    Might I ask Brandy, what spices you purchased at the Persian store? I’m trying to do more cooking at home & have all the basic spices in my cupboard but could always use a few more to try.

    Not frugal- but more-so therapeutic—we got a puppy! I’ve always had dogs growing up & into adulthood but haven’t had my own dog in several years. So on Saturday, we brought home a 4 month old Poo-Chon(mini poodle/Bichon Frise mix). He looks like a teddy bear & that’s his name! LOL! He’s UTD on all his shots. Just have to take him to our vet for the breeders health guarantee. He’s brought a lot of happiness into our home. Especially to my FIL, who adores dogs so our Teddy visits his Papa/MeMaw regularly as they live close by.
    -making most meals at home.
    -saving money for our vacation to HI. My BIL lives in Honolulu so no cost for lodging. Just costs for plane fare/car rental/incidentals/food. I can earn that money easily by picking up a few OT shifts at work.
    -re-reading Complete Tightwad Gazette, always inspo to be found there. My copy is over 10 yrs old.

    —Air quality here in NE Ohio has been bad due to the Canadian wildfires. I’m glad I don’t have breathing issues but hubby does so he’s been using his rescue inhaler more.

    Hope everyone is well & has a wonderful Holiday weekend here in the States! I’ll be at work. 🙂

    1. Kelly,
      Do you have an air purifier machine? It’s the only thing that saved me when the forest fire smoke got bad here. Ann

  67. Your tomatoes are beautiful! I enjoy reading everyone’s contributions each week and thought it was time I ought to post what I did to save money last week:
    – finally got around to chopping and freezing some leftover celery I had wrapped in foil and a plastic bag and stored in the fridge over a month ago. This is the longest I’ve used this trick and I was amazed it lasted so long. I was going to throw it away but checked under the foil and was pleasantly surprised
    – made a whole week’s pb and j sandwiches at the start of the week and stored in my work freezer to avoid temptation to order food at work
    – used my reusable menstrual cup instead of disposable products. There was a bit of a learning curve when I first switched but I’m very happy with the functionality and the savings now. I use the talisi brand because it was the cheapest on Amazon when I was looking
    – accepted some free basil from another gardener in my local gardening group. I used a bit right away and also put a few clipping in a cup of water to try to root and grow my own. My garden is mostly in containers after we moved but I’m getting close to being able to put things in the ground again
    – made arrangements to share a hotel room for an upcoming professional conference, cutting my cost by 2/3
    – made double batches of two of our favorite freezer meals (black beans and rice and squash dal) to cut back on the need to buy heat and eat meals from the store
    – asked my Dad to take family photos for us instead of hiring a professional photographer. He does a great job and was excited to get to test out his new camera
    Hope you all have a joyful and frugal week. Brandy, you have been in my prayers. I hope you are finding comfort and peace.

    1. Thank you, Emily (and to all who have continued to pray for me).

      There have been some tremendous blessings this week.

      I’m also grateful for the reminder from a reader who shares the same faith as I do to go to the temple.

      I went yesterday, and found a lot of peace there.

  68. A question for you, Brandy – did you say that if I cut off the top of my basil plant it will grow back bushier?
    Also, for Maxine – Homes has cherries for $1.29 a pound this week. At least in Spokane.

    1. YES, it will! It will also put off flowering. Plus, you can root those cuttings in water and start new plants!

      What a deal on those cherries!

    2. I dislike autocorrect. It is Yokes that has the inexpensive cheese. Don’t know how it became ” Homes”

    3. Thanks for the heads up! Every time I see a bargain, I wonder if Nancy knows! (like the $1.47 chicken breasts). LOLOLOLOL I saw that Yokes had cherries for $1.27, but the drive to Post Falls would have cost a gallon of gas and an hour of my time and I was only buying a crate. Probably a break-even. Although if I happen to be in Post Falls before Tuesday, I’ll probably buy a few more at Yokes.

  69. Your photos are stunning, Brandy!
    I so appreciate your site and all the work you put into it.

    This summer we started re-doing our yard this summer to make it more water-friendly and to produce more food – this is something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time. The time is right and seeing all the work you’ve done on your yard inspired me to get started! Our goal is to completely get rid of the grass in the front and side yards and seriously reduce the amount of grass in the back yard.

    Still offering prayers for you and whatever you need and are going through,

  70. Hello all,
    Long time reader but have never commented. Each week I read all the comments and find them so inspiring and motivating. Had a few frugal wins this past week:
    * taught son #2 how to make marina sauce from whole tomatoes. Kids that know how to cook save us all money
    *vacuumed out my car in the driveway instead of going to the full service car wash
    *raised my 403B contribution to $1000/ month lower our taxable income (and prepare for retirement in 5 years)

  71. It’s been a week…I have been steadily fighting green horned worms. It’s usually only one every few days but even with careful twice daily checking the blame things will nearly kill a plant in a few hours time. Am trying to keep things watered now that it’s silly hot outdoors. So the garden is continuing on such as it is. Heat has slowed things down. I focus on one area and then discover another is completely out of control. Ditto for house, lol.

    This week my son brought me a bag full of produce from his garden. I put up 1.5 quarts fridge pickles up from the cucumbers, 2 quarts of chopped bell peppers, have eggplant, squash and carrots to use. I have quite an overflow of carrots at present. Fortunately my family loves carrot and raisin salad. They’re going to see that on the table at least once a week, lol. I dried the tops of the carrots and that netted me 1 pint of carrot leaves to sub as parsley. My daughter in law brought us bags from the school lunch program once again, so we stocked up this time on more carrots, orange slices and celery sticks, broccoli and broccoli cauliflower. We froze the last two items but the broccoli is cooking up very strong. Any suggestions?
    We also got cereal packets, more Uncrustable sandwiches and breakfast biscuits, juice boxes. Such a blessing!

    Talked to my contractor today and I was shorted a sink cabinet when the cabinet delivery was made. No construction will start until all my stuff is in. Cabinet company never contacted me to say that they’d missed the cabinet when packing for delivery nor any updates, so now I get to track what happened. With the amount of money in cabinets I am not pleased to have this project delayed or to find something missing and no one apparently accounting for it.

    Paid off my husband’s cell phone.

    Am still on a zero waste mission.

    My brain is tired just now and not capable of thinking of any more, lol.

    1. If you are referring to tomato horn worms, plant basil next to your tomatoes or whatever they are getting at. The smell throws off the moth that is responsible for laying them on the host plant.

      Trying to be zero waste here too. Good luck!

  72. Brandy I just want to thank you for all the years you have poured into this blog! It has given me so much hope when I couldn’t see how things could possibly work out. Your faith and the beauty your create in your life fill me with joy! What a labor of love that has blessed us all.

    This weekend I was able to get 10 pounds of hamburger into the freezer for about 2.84 per pound – a buy 1 get 1 promotion . Here in central Michigan that’s a great price. Our meat is running about 5.99 per pound for 80/20 hamburger. I also got 2 watermelons for 2.99, and because Meijer offers Mperks they sent me a coupon for 1.25 off one package of hamburger and a free case of 40 bottles of water! Plus I had a $1 off my purchase coupon. I saved 73.00 over regular prices. I felt so blessed as we have not had any decent loss leaders of late.

    I repaired several rips in shorts and shirts instead of buying new. I accepted some shirts for my youngest. I altered an outlet store couch cover to put on my loveseat to freshen it up instead of purchasing new furniture. I have an abundance of towels and washcloths, both bath & kitchen, and I am putting half in a tote to use later when the current ones become rags. I picked and pitted cherries off of my neighbor’s tree for many days. Now I know why cherry products are so expensive! I canned 6 quarts of pie filling and 8 pints of jam. So happy to have that in my pantry. I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but I got my garden in Friday, as in June 30th!! A whole month late!! We had no rain in May and three weeks into June. My acre is on a vein of pure sand with black dirt put on top 29 years ago. I have spent the last 29 years trying to amend our garden, but I know it lacks certain minerals as I cannot grow corn even if I fertilize it. During the drought our entire lawn burned up and I lost 2 fruit trees. I do not know what I will get out of the garden by the time we have a killing frost, but I just had to try. Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and beans have been planted. I will try to supplement by going to the weekly Amish auctions to get produce to put up.

    In 2008 when my husband’s building business imploded I never thought we would make it through. My husband took a job working 3rd shift and I became a “single” married woman. It was so hard in the beginning because I had to do everything alone with babies and small children. It’s been 14 years and we have made it work. I know that you will find ways to make this difficult season beautiful for your family. I pray for you. Take Care my friend!

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