I harvested tomatoes, parsley, grapes, and green onions from my garden.

One of my tomato plants, where the tomatoes were just ripening, died suddenly. I picked off all of the tomatoes, pulled the plant, and planted Beit Alpha cucumber seeds to replace the dead plant.

I transplanted some of the sweet potato vines that I was growing from cuttings into the garden.

I fixed five leaks in my drip irrigation. Two I had cut accidentally while pruning; the other three appeared on their own. I also helped my new neighbors with their irrigation.

We celebrated the Fourth simply at home, sharing a meal with my parents who live next door (I brought the corn that I had bought for $0.05 an ear). We sat in front of their house and watched fireworks. So many people set them off nearby, and this year there were two neighbors only a couple of blocks away that had spent quite a bit of money on fireworks, so we saw quite a few!

I read two e-books from the library: Lilac Girls, a WWII story based on true accounts, and Life’s a Beach, a fun read.

My husband gave me a haircut.

I spent time organizing. It cost me nothing but my time.

I did no shopping.

What did you do to save money last week?

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158 Comments

  1. The flower arrangement is so beautiful.
    A very large tree branch from a Manitoba maple fell into my driveway during a storm. The person who cuts my lawn volunteered to bring his chainsaw over to cut it up and then haul it to the bush on his rural property. He refused extra payment. Very kind.
    There was too much rain one day for the two village outdoor staff to mow grass, so they were sent out to prune hedges back from the sidewalks bordering houses, and haul them away. The sidewalks had been overwhelmed with green growth. It saved the workers being sent home and losing pay, but what a long day it must have been for them. Fortunately the day wasn’t too hot or too cold. This saved me several hours of clipping and bagging branches myself.
    I’m receiving two quarterly tax rebates this month, one for GST, a federal sales tax, and the other for a federal carbon tax. Both are going into savings.
    We also have a temporary provincial rebate on electricity that is supposed to begin this month. It was going to be $50 a month for three months, but it has been extended to six months now. I think I will set aside the money in savings and use it towards my heating bill this winter. July is the month I use the least electricity, since I don’t have AC. This and a couple of other programs are intended to help with inflation, which the provincial government can afford because of increased royalties on fuel and natural gas.
    There have been some good grocery sales on canola oil, bleach, frozen vegetables and pork. Canola oil was down from $5.50 for a one litre bottle to $3.50. I’ve got what I need for some months to come.
    Although we had drought in the south of the province and dry conditions elsewhere coming into the farming season, it has rained almost everywhere repeatedly, so soil moisture and subsoil moisture have recovered now. Crop conditions are ahead of our 5 and 10 year averages. We export a lot of grains and canola, so this is good news all round. That’s also why canola oil was on sale.
    The rain has slowed down how often the grass can get cut, so I’ve had an extra $50 this month I could spend on something else. I bought some things I needed at the pharmacy. I’ll also get some vegetables at the farmers market, and put a little money into the community.
    The pharmacy and doctors’ office are both short-staffed. Getting my prescriptions normally takes one call and one trip on foot to the pharmacy. This time it took two calls and three walks to the pharmacy, and I still needed to wait half an hour while the prescriptions were filled. One walk for each errand is good for me and I enjoy. Three make me stiff and sore. I did buy Epsom salts on the third trip there to soak my feet with!

  2. Brandy, what is the green bell-like flower at the back of the arrangement? It is very unique and quite beautiful! Thank you!

    1. It’s called Bells of Ireland. I grew them from seed that I purchased from Eden Brothers.

    1. I just use the Libby app on my phone, which is a free app. You can connect to your library through it.

    2. I won a free Kindle paperwhite at library summer reading program a few years ago. I love it. It’s a reader only. Does not have apps and tablet like features. Does have dictionary and highlighting. You can buy books or download from your library. Think some are included on Amazon Prime Days. If you want a Fire tablet with apps some of those are dirt cheap at Target and Amazon for a couple of days.

    3. If you are looking for an e-reader device- Amazon Prime days are Tuesday and Wednesday this week and the kindle is usually on sale. I read a ton on my phone but I’m finding that it is a strain on my eyes so the Kindle is definitely better for this. The app that Brandy is referring to is free and can be loaded on any tablet (but not a kindle) or smart phone.

      1. I have the Libby app both on my smart phone and my apple IPad. So it does work there.

      2. You can check out books in the Libby app and then mark that you want to read it with Kindle and it will send the e-book to your Kindle to read.

    4. If you do get a Kindle, you can still use the Libby app with it. I have the Libby app on my phone and I can send the books from the app to my Kindle in two easy steps. Makes for great free reading, and they also have audiobooks!

  3. Thanks to a tip from Garden Pat I was able to find chicken leg quarters at Aldis this past week 59 cents a pound I bought 30 pounds cooked them today and will can them in the morning. I was able to hang 2 loads of clothes and towels on the clothesline today it’s 88 F here today but rain coming in tomorrow so I try to wait on doing clothes till I can hang them outside to dry and not use my clothes dryer. We are still going through the freezer meals our friend dropped off several weeks ago that were free so that’s been nice for me not to have to cook on the weekends. Still getting DVD’s from the library and books to read. I can not even tell you the last time I was in the thrift store to buy anything at least 6 months since I get all my dvd’s and books at the library now.. love our library system it’s so awesome. Our lawn service quit on us and we have not been able to find affordable help since then so I have started mowing and weed whacking myself. I have health challenges with Osteo Arthritis so I just said “I’ll do one section each day, it takes me 4 days at one hour or so a day but I am doing it and just knowing my limits. Savings? $120 a month. That money is being tucked back to pay for our Triple A auto insurance at the end of the month $171.00 ouch! but I’ll have saved most of that money by doing the yard work myself plus it is good exercise for me. All meals from home.

  4. I love seeing the Bells of Ireland (the green parts) in your photos! When I was very little, I sort of thought they could really ring and had some kind of connection to fairy creatures.
    Hornet/wasps had started a nest between our back screen and interior doors, coming in where the screen door has a gap at the top. The nest was still tiny and I didn’t want to have to buy a giant bottle of spray for it. Husband sprayed them with WD40, which he read online will sort of stun them. We finished them off with a flyswatter and a broom.
    Grocery store had toilet paper on clearance for half price, a good quality brand, and I bought two large packages. We are stocked up on most non-grocery items, though I continue to watch for sales to stay ahead.
    Fortunately have been able to open windows the last two days, and very fortunate that rain is in the forecast.
    Husband has started making scones and we bought a pastry cutter to make mixing easier. He had made some with grated almost-frozen butter, yet that is fussy, and this works as well. It is just a little too big to fit in the crowded kitchen utensils drawer without causing a jam, so it will be kept with the beaters in my mixing bowls with the mixer. Not a money saving move, just something practical in the ways we all do things to make our homes simpler.
    Happy Anniversary to you and your husband, Brandy! (You and I have similar birthdays and wedding anniversaries, though I am a decade or more older, so I remember yours).

    1. Heidi, I store all my measuring cups in my mixer bowl to save space, too. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who uses that empty space.
      And Happy Anniversary!!

  5. I was able to attend three potluck events this week, bringing cobblers that I made from home, and eating a variety of other foods in exchange.

    I went on three hikes, two of them more than 5 miles, and enjoyed beautiful wildflowers, lakes, waterfalls, and streams and conversations with friends.

    It must be summer because I went to three outdoor concerts this week as well! Two were free and one I had to buy a ticket from a friend who had an extra one. But it was an artist that I love so I was happy to. I brought stuffed peppers to share as our dinner, rather than buying something at the venue.

    On the garden front, I harvested some lettuce and mint, but not much else right now. My plants aren’t thriving right now so I need to either fertilize or come up with another plan.

    I started an emotional resiliency class at church yesterday. I think it will be a good learning experience and help me focus my energies.

    And the usual–knitting, reading, reusing plastic bags, saving warm up water, keeping the house at 79 degree and opening the windows at night.

    I feel abundantly blessed and grateful for what I have.

  6. How nice that you could watch your neighbors’ fireworks from the comfort of the yard! What a nice, relaxed fourth of July.

    My fourth was quiet. I spent some time doing things I wanted, like sewing some new napkins with sale-bought material.

    I harvested marjoram and the first handful of okra. I hope to get plenty more of the okra, as it’s supposed to produce heavily. I also picked elderberries. Some I am dehydrating to make elderberry honey and some berries I am using fresh to make a tincture. I’ll combine those to make an elderberry syrup for dealing with colds later on.

    I use high proof grain alcohol to make tinctures and I also use it to make a food-safe disinfecting spray for my kitchen, in a “Thieves’ Blend” mixture. It’s much cheaper to make my own.

    My icemaker stopped making ice. Following a tip we got years ago, I propped a hair dryer to blow on the spot where the water line comes in to the ice maker and let that blow for about 15 or 20 minutes. I transferred the freezer contents into another refrigerator first. The water line thawed out and I have a bin full of ice cubes, now.

    I made a full-sized meatloaf and will eat about half of it as lunches and dinners. I’ll slice the rest and freeze the slices individually for easy meals later.

    I used a $3 coupon that my sister sent me to purchase nutritional drinks for my husband at the nursing facility. He struggles with appetite at times, but he can always seem to drink these. They are expensive, however.

    I cut open an empty tube of facial sunscreen and scraped out enough for a few more uses.

    Brandy, your flowers are lovely. Thanks for those pretty, calming pictures.

  7. Hello,
    Tomorrow is Amazon Prime Day so I have a reminder to click on your link and then shop.
    I too have been planning meals around sales, freezer and pantry items. Ground beef and pork were on sale with extra digital coupons. We will eat burgers one night and then spaghetti with beef sauce, enchiladas, BBQ pork and pork stir-fry. The spaghetti, enchiladas and BBQ pork are already cooked with doubles added to the freezer. We have lettuce ready but still have to buy extra for daily salad. Shredded cabbage and shredded carrots were both marked down which inspired me to buy egg roll wrappers. I have wanted to make these and never tried before so fingers crossed.
    I have checked out and returned books without finishing them on the library app; every book has been a little violent. I look for the books recommended here but most are not available, although I have a couple on hold.
    I have been hanging laundry to dry.
    We have 2 window air conditioners which we are only using occasionally and are relying on oscillating fans when we can.
    We’ll be going to the Jersey Shore next week for 4 days. There’s nothing like a summer trip to the ocean!
    Wishing everyone a good week!

    1. Hi Kat! We will be in Cape May in two weeks! You are right…nothing like summer trip to the ocean!🥰

    2. Live in NJ and the shore is great in most spots! One thing we say here when you’re from NJ is “we’re going down the shore” when we’re going, instead of “to the shore,” just a Jersey thing. Hope you have a great boardwalk where you will be and enjoy the nuisances of the beach and sea!

  8. Our neighborhood had a parade on the 4th. We have our grandson visiting so decorated his bike. I quickly cut triangle pieces of fabric with picking shears for our two dogs to make bananas. We decorated our four wheeler and I rode it with one dog, and a little 2 year old girl got tired and rode the last half around the neighborhood. One of our neighbors buys fireworks every year, I am talking he has pallets lined up like a city show. It is really good. We’ll, at the end the cops showed up and said if they came back they would take the fireworks. So we went home and grandson did sparklers and bottle rockets we had. Our neighborhood had a pool party also. I made a peach cobbler to share.
    * I went to a ranch 40 minutes away and bought 40 lbs of ground beef. I have been torn, whether to look for a sale or support the local farmers. I paid $5.65 a lb, which is high to me, but in the end I want to know what is in the meat and keep someone local in business. There was a house near the ranch with a small stand out front and I got 2 baskets of yellow squash for $5. He had okra, but they were all very small. So I passed on it. I harvested green beans and 2 okra pods from my garden.
    * We normally have some of the highest levels of rain in the US so to say it has been a month with no rain means it is very unusual, hot, and we need rain! We got about 10 minutes of rain one day while it has poured to flooding an hour south of us. I have switched from expecting more than a few meals from my garden this summer and looking for produce from farms around us to put up. I will be planting a fall garden and hope it does better than summer.
    * I have been using my bath water to water plants, plus warm up water.
    *cut husband’s hair
    * I’ve been sweeping the main areas daily rather than using the cordless vacuum..
    * I dehydrated 4 trays of peppers. It is a mix of jalapeño, chili, and pablano.
    * been taking grandson to our pool.
    * I thought it was funny: my husband took grandson to Publix to get milk and ham, because my grandson will eat ham and is so picky. They came back with Doritos, Ranch doritos, powdered donuts, 2 boxes little Debbie’s, icecream, and no ham. I asked him if he just got in the store and was in a sugar trance or what.
    * took dog to new vet for 2nd visit there. It is 15 miles closer and cheaper. I ordered heart med online which is cheaper.
    * ordered progressive glasses and sunglasses through Zenni. I haven’t gotten them, and am new to progressive lenses, so I hope they are good. I paid $129 with shipping both pair. People seem to get better deals, so I am. ot sure if I got the best deal, but it is cheaper than at the doctors office. We have insurance I will use then turn over to our flex account.
    * I took car and had tires rotated and balanced, which was free, but we waited an hour they were so busy. He showed a chart where my tires are the least amount of wear on the chart and I haven’t put many miles on in 2 years. Ha, can we say stay at home wife who doesn’t have a life?
    *Brandy, I picked up Lilac Girls at the airport right before boarding a few years ago. I love learning history I didn’t know. I pray we do not experience such things in our world again.

    1. This current war has already had a number of them, sadly. It was very sad to read them.

    2. My son is always wanting to go shopping with his grandpa, my dad! It’s amazing what lands in the cart when they are both unsupervised….hahahahaha

  9. Hello!

    I found lots of clearance food items at Aldi last week. They had great clearance prices on non-food items as well, but I didn’t need anything. I’ve never seen that many markdowns on food….I went on a Thursday afternoon. Perhaps it was a random thing, but I think I may try again this Thursday.

    My kids received books from Barnes and Noble for their reading program. They also completed our library’s program and were given several good coupons, which included free kids meals at one of their favorite restaurants. I completed the program as well, and they gave me several vouchers for credits to my rewards account (totaling $8) at one of our local grocery stores. I was thrilled!

    I rehabbed a desk chair for my daughters room by repainting it and reupholstering the seat cushion in a color matching her room colors. I had all the supplies on hand……$0 spent.

    I won a water bottle in a sweepstakes. I noticed it was $20 at Target. One of my kids will use it. I also received a L’Oréal sample in the mail.

    I read and enjoyed Joshua Becker’s book “Things that Matter.” I have been following his blog for years. He writes and speaks about minimalism.

    Target is having their sales to compete with prime day. I ordered several items that were on my list (no impulse buys!) at significant savings! A pair of pants that I needed for my son were 50% off, plus an extra 10% off my total purchase with a cartwheel offer.

    Have a great week!

    1. Hope your children develop a love of reading from being in the reading program…I too was in a free reading program at our city library when I was a child and have nice memories, hope your children will too!

      1. Thank you, Chris! So far they are off to a good start. They also completed a “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” program. So many wonderful opportunities available through the library!

        1. Wow D, 1,000 books before Kindergarten! What a fantastic program. You really have such a great library! Do you see a difference in your children compared to others who have not been in these programs?

  10. My husband was not feeling well so this week we stayed home and ended up watching a lot of movies because he didn’t feel up to reading; when he is sick, he likes having me around. Not that he doesn’t like having me around other times, but when he is sick he really likes it when I find ways to be in the same room to keep him company. I made good use of the movie time by knitting a gift and mending a whole pile of stuff that had been making me feel guilty for about two months! We watched The Railway Children for free through Amazon. We don’t have Prime but you can watch it through their Freevee program. If you have not heard of it, the story was based on a book written in 1908 in England and concerns the hardships and adventures of three children who go from wealthy to poor and have to move from the city to the country to survive. It was made in 1970 and the mother in it is now playing the head sister in the PBS series Call the Midwife. It really is a sweet film and suitable for the entire family. The sequel is being released this week in Great Britain and I look forward to seeing it someday.

    Ate all our vegetables from the garden. My greens have bolted and though I have reseeded, it will take some time to harvest them. Instead, I am using young leaves (when they are still about the size of your hand) from my pumpkin plants. There are lots of recipes on line, but I use them in any dish where I have cooked greens (they are a bit kale-like in toughness when raw)–soups, stir fries and so on. They are nutritious and I grow a lot of pumpkins so have plenty of the young leaves available. I try to use as much of every plant as I can, to make the maximum, money saving use of my garden!

    Made good use of the library, for books and the leave one/take one puzzle table. Traded a bag of magazines with a friend—years ago we realized we liked the same magazines so we divided them up and each get three and then trade them.

    Some milk was going bad, which rarely happens here, but I used it to make a chocolate cake. Sold three things on eBay. The rest of my life was just the usual things like being careful about using water twice (such as saving the water from cooking vegetables and using it to water my potted plants), not wasting food and batching errands. And I tried to remind myself every day to enjoy the summer to the fullest because in six months we wil be buried under snow and temperatures might be as low as 40 below zero!

    1. Found The Railway Children as soon as I read your comment and am watching it now. Thanks so much, Mable!

    2. thanks for mentioning the Railway Children. It is also on YouTube so I’ve been watching it there.
      What a lovely story.

      1. There was a staged version of The Railway Children a few years back in Toronto and what they did was erect a large tent over some existing railway tracks at the Railway Museum area – we sat on either side of the tracks and an actual train ran in and out of the tent – it was an amazing production!

    3. Edith Nesbit also wrote other books for children as well as The Railway Children. The BBC made programmes of some of them which you/ children might enjoy if you can track them down. I think they did ‘The Phoenix and the Carpet’ and ‘Five Children and It.’

      1. PennyP – My children loved the Edith Nesbit books you mention at the end of your comment. Never thought to look for television programs of them. Thank you for mentioning it! 🙂

    4. There is a later version of The Railway Children in which Jenny Agutter (Call the Midwife) plays the mother. She played the oldest daughter in the original film.

  11. Beautiful arrangement! Glad you were able to harvest some grapes. Mmm!

    My frugal week:
    – i picked green onions, chives, basil, and cilantro from my balcony garden, and lettuce, snow peas, and the first green bean from my plot at my parents place. I also picked mulberries and lots of service berries, both of which I froze. I gave away a container of lettuce.
    – I baked a batch of vegan brownies, using flax eggs.
    – made blender pancakes (http://approachingfood.com/sour-milk-toaster-pancakes/) and froze the extra for easy breakfasts in the future.
    – I’ve been using warm up water each day to water plants on my balcony. Not necessarily frugal, as water is included in my maintenance fees, but a good habit to get into and to teach my kids. Plus good for the environment!
    – My husband wanted to go to Swiss Chalet so we went for lunch. We ended up skipping dinner at home, as we were still full so it was essentially two meals for the price of one. My daughters shared a kids meal, and I took home the leftover chicken, which ended up making two more meals for each of them, a total of 6 servings from one kid’s meal. (I mixed chopped cold chicken and mayo to make a basic chicken salad.) So, while eating out isn’t frugal, we managed to maximize the value!
    – I bought a pair of reading glasses from the Dollar Store. Cheaper than the pharmacy and def cheaper than the eye dr, and good enough to help me out until I can check my eye dr coverage on my insurance and schedule a proper exam.
    – Took advantage of EarlyON outdoor programming several times, including the ‘special event’ of a fire truck.
    – Took my daughters to the local outdoor pool. Free summer fun! I combined it with a picnic (homemade pizza and brownies, and homegrown snap peas) and a stop at an air-conditioned library.
    – Used the flashfood app. Less than $15 bought a LOT of deli-sliced black forest ham, a 6-pack of bagels (50 cents is equal to my cost for homemade, but saves me time), and a box of produce that included apples, onions, a pepper, potatoes, a mango, a cucumber, a pear, an orange, an eggplant, and two plantains. I turned the potatoes into potato salad, and made fruit salad (mango, pear, orange), and veggie sticks. My husband made fried plantains (so good!). I used the onions, pepper, and eggplant to make a curry using a bottle of curry sauce my mom had given me. I also made shaved ham sandwiches with garden-fresh lettuce on toasted bagels.
    -baked two pizzas using my homemade dough (http://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/), homegrown basil, and whatever I had in the fridge and freezer (olives, veg pepperoni, leftover chopped ham).
    – baked a loaf of soda bread so my husband had bread for sandwiches
    – redeemed SB for $10 to my paypal account
    – printed out some coupons for my mum and myself, and learned about the Canadian Savings Group (a GREAT Canadian saving/couponing website — highly recommend to all Canadian readers).
    – I bought 7 boxes of cheez-its/crackers for $1 total! It was $2/box, plus I had $4 in manufacturer coupons that I printed out, plus I did digital cashback for another $4 directly to my paypal account, plus I got $5 back in loyalty points. I normally don’t buy these products, but at 15 cents each, I’ll stock up for school snacks.
    – I found while watermelons for $3.44 each, so bought two and told my mum who also bought one.
    – I also bought a white grape vine for $16.99 that’s quite long, for my balcony. I have a large container so I just repotted the chard seedlings from that container into other containers, fitting them in here and there, and planted the grape vine in the large container beside the wire trellis on my balcony wall. It’s wonderfully green to look at, plus this year I’ll be able to harvest grape leaves, and hopefully grapes next year. I also bought a 4 pack of collard plants for $1.15 total, and planted those too. It’s taken me years, but I’m slowly learning what will grow on my balcony. I can’t wait until my raspberries and tomatoes ripen!
    – I redeemed AirMiles for $10 worth of groceries

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Margaret your comments reminded me of two things… 1. Eating out these days for lunch is so much less expensive than dinner menus with about the same servings and same menu! Also like you we bring home leftovers and essentially end up with two meals for one dinner out. You did really well to get two more meals from leftovers! 2. I, like a previous commenter wear bifocals but if any of you like to lie in bed and read you know how darn hard it is to focus with bifocals whether you lie on your back or side to read. I buy the dollar store glasses in my ‘reading’ prescription strength and never have trouble focusing. I also don’t make my ‘good’ glasses go all wonky from lying on my side reading.

      1. Terri,
        That is a good idea to get dollar store glasses for reading! I’m going to try that. I have progressives I got from Zenni. I have a feeling glasses dedicated to reading would be very nice. Like you said easier to focus. I’ve seen them at dollar tree before. I’ll have to check next time I’m there.

  12. Watching some of the grandchildren, while their parents are on a trip. Some of the cost nothing activities we are doing together is building/painting (all left oversupplies) individual birdhouses for their backyard ( moving neighbor gave us huge bag of bird seed) and they are making their own bird identification books. We are also looking forward to the Full Buck Moon this week and star gazing.

    1. “If the Moon Came Out Only Once a Month”, a charming poem by Cathy Ross, is a thought-provoking meditation on appreciating what is around us. A google search will find it.
      It seems especially appropriate with the photos in the news today, from the most powerful satellite ever launched. Amazing to think that will someday be old news.

  13. We did a few things to save money this week. We harvested jalapeño peppers, basil, and sage from our garden. We have tomatoes on our plants but they aren’t ready yet. Though I suppose we could make fried green tomatoes if we wanted to go with our beans and cornbread. Yummy! We planted more item in our garden last night: some zucchini, pumpkin, watermelon, cantaloupe. We also transplanted our strawberries out of a pot they had grown too large for. I’m getting ready to start some seeds inside for our fall garden. It’s far too hot to plant them outside right now.

    We hung most loads of laundry outside. We are talking about building a more permanent clothesline outside. Right now our clothesline is on the patio. It’s just some paracord strung across the beams. We also have a drying rack we use for some items.

    We got a few items at the store this past Saturday. We bought one pork butt at 1.49/lb and 3 packages of bacon at 3.99 each. We also got some good deals at Aldi. Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries for 1.99 each. Strawberries for 1.69 each. The strawberries were kind of high but we are craving fresh fruit. So I splurged. Groceries are so expensive! So I am planning a huge fall garden. We will have a bigger space next summer once we have a couple of trees taken out. But for now we will just work with what we have. My husband is recovering from Covid pneumonia and is almost done with physical therapy so we’ll be saving on gas and he’ll earn more at work because he won’t be leaving for appointments.

    I hope that everyone has a blessed and productive week.

  14. Those flowers are so lovely! The combination of zinnias and bells of Ireland is such a good one. I don’t have any flowers here yet. The beans I planted are coming up, so now it’s a race with the weather to see if the first frost will hold off long enough for them to produce (our first frost can be anywhere from early September to early October). Two of the four squash I planted are also up. We are eating lettuce, carrots, chard, bok choy, green onions, and cabbage from the garden. I have dried a bunch of herbs – mint, lemon balm, thyme, and oregano. Regular rain continues, so the irrigation to everything but the greenhouse is turned off, a wonderful blessing. My friend trimmed my hair for me, saving me a trip to get it cut. My husband changed out a bad electric plug for her while she cut my hair. We attended a concert in the park with friends and took a picnic dinner.

  15. I charged my computer at work several times – meaning I didn’t use my own electricity.

    We picked a few more blackberries. I froze them along with some of the ones from earlier.

    When my husband was in a neighboring town for work, he noticed that their gas was .40 cheaper per gallon than in our town. He filled up the car while he was there. He didn’t need much gas, but it at least topped him off at a cheaper rate.

    I got another .70 on upside and about $1.00 worth of points on Fetchrewards.

    I did not grocery shop this week. One of the meals I had planned went farther than I anticipated, so I should already have the ingredients for a few meals for next week.

    My parents accidentally bought 1/2 lemonade + 1/2 tea mix rather than just lemonade. They didn’t want it so they brought it to us. I don’t like it, but my husband has been enjoying it.

    Just when I thought we were going to need to water the garden, we got a thorough rain. It’s been hot here the last few days, but the storm finally cooled it down a bit.

    We cleaned our air conditioner filters to help them run more efficiently.

    We carpooled with my parents to a visitation and a birthday party. They drove both times. We bought them dinner after the visitation. My parents often treat us to dinner or ice cream, so it felt good to return the favor for once.

    I added a piece of bread to the bag of stale bread bits in my freezer. I will use it for scalloped pineapple or French toast casserole in the future. I got that idea from another person on here a few weeks ago. I thought it was great, as the heels often go uneaten around here.

    We went to an event that we had been planning for. We spent $54 for me, my husband, and my son to attend and eat while we were there. We went on a day when admission was reduced. We tried to be careful about our food choices. We packed snacks and water in the diaper bag, which was good because my son just wanted to eat and eat! Overall, I was happy. It was one of those special things and, even though it wasn’t necessary spending, it was worth it. My son had a blast.

    We got 7 ears of sweet corn for free.

    I got two packages of paper towels for $10. They were usually $8.97 each. We don’t use a ton of paper towels, so these should last us a year.

    Gas dropped about .80 here in the last two weeks. It’s crazy that I think getting gas for $4.29/gal is a good deal.

  16. Hi Brandy and everyone
    It sounds like you had a lovely Fourth of July and enjoyed the fireworks in the neighbourhood.
    Lovely flower photos as always.
    We are under an amber heat warning in our part of the UK, some areas are in the low 30s and due to get even hotter. We are in the mid to high 20s. We swam a couple of times in the sea and stayed inside most afternoons to watch Wimbledon on the TV with a long glass of cool homemade elderflower cordial to hand. We garden first thing in the morning. As the sun moves round I close curtains to shut out the heat and in the evening I open all the upstairs windows and we take a cool shower and lay down still damp and let evaporation cool us down. It is very unusual for homes in the UK to have Aircon, our house stays fairly cool if I keep the sun out.
    We picked/ pulled from the garden – courgettes, redcurrants, raspberries, radishes, beetroot, carrots, potatoes, broad beans, lettuce and a few plums. I picked cornflowers for the house.
    We gave boxes of veg and flowers to two neighbours and a friend who came over for a cup of tea.
    We eat plenty fresh and I froze raspberries and broad beans and made raspberry muffins.
    Inexpensive meals this week included courgette, onion and blue cheese quiche which fed us for two days, another ‘ hot’ salad topped with some bacon bits and hard boiled eggs and eggs, chips( fries) and baked beans one night when I was too tired to think about food.
    I used courgette to pad out bolognese sauce and was able to freeze leftovers.
    I received a bouquet of flowers from a friend.
    I used money off coupons on a couple of items in my Lidl shopping.
    Our grocery bill is a bit lower because of the homegrown fruit and veg so I stocked up this week on tinned soup for the winter. We prefer homemade soup and I try to keep some in the freezer but if we are struck by illness or other adversity this winter I think it would be prudent to have some tins on hand.
    I am reading books lent to me by a friend, she has some of mine to read.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. Oh Penny- thanks for the bringing back a great memory! We are from England and my Mum often used to make us fried eggs, homemade chips(fries) and baked beans for dinner-and we 5 kids all loved it!! I still make it very occasionally. She always said it was a filling, nutritious and cheap meal she could serve our active family of 7 .

  17. Those bouquets are beautiful! I recently signed up to help with flower arrangements at church. Yesterday was my first time contributing flowers for the space behind the altar and a smaller arrangement on a table at the entrance. I collected Queen Anne’s lace, yarrow, daisies, white aster, cosmos, red clover and assorted greens from my property and made the arrangements in vessels owned by the church. I enjoyed doing it so much as they are much larger arrangements than I usually make for myself so a bit of a creative challenge. No cost to me and I was pleased to hear that others liked them, too. I will be doing this again at least twice more this summer so it will be fun to see how the arrangements change with what is blooming. *We have been looking to replace our kitchen table for about 6 months. I check thrift stores, antique shops and FB marketplace fairly regularly but just hadn’t found what we wanted. My parents knew of our desire for a new table and offered to buy one for us (whenever we found one) for our anniversary back in April. We were so pleased to find not only a lovely table that is in excellent condition and just the right size but 6 chairs for sale. It was a bit of a drive but a lovely one and, since what we were purchasing was a gift, we could afford the gas. We all enjoyed a nice drive early Saturday morning that took us around a near by lake in a direction we had never been so it was a bit of a fun adventure built in. The older woman selling the furniture was as sweet as she could be and we chatted for quite a while and enjoyed discovering many things we had in common. She generously gifted us several cans of her homegrown produce and offered us breakfast! All in all, a much more satisfying (and frugal) experience than just ordering something online or in a retail store. We will enjoy our new furniture for many, many years and I always appreciate my parents’ generosity and approval of practical gifts. 🙂 *The charger for my notebook computer suddenly stopped working. I remembered my husband had saved one from his old notebook and, fortunately, it works with mine. I try to remember these kinds of situations when I am tempted to get rid of everything I am not currently using. Things that are easy to store or expensive to replace or when you need them, you need them right then are worth holding onto. It is an art to balance how much extra is just right and not too much. We discuss that often and usually feel we have it pretty well in hand. *I traded eggs with a neighbor for more blueberry picking. I kept some fresh for eating now and froze about 2 gallons. We are welcome to keep picking as long as they last which is so nice. The blueberries added to the black raspberries and blackberries we have mean we are happily full of berries these days. My strawberries are still producing, as well. *I found some milkweed and borage that had grown in the middle of some of my garden paths so moved them to areas they won’t be tromped on. Free plants! *I finished caulking and painting the casing for my laundry room door and we will hang it and put on the door knob this evening. All materials and hardware had been purchased long ago so nothing out of pocket recently. We keep chipping away at our numerous projects which feels good. *My youngest son has chosen to switch martial arts disciplines. I am glad he was able to decide what he enjoys best and that he is eager to learn more. The frugal side of that is the new location is closer to home, saving on gas, and the monthly dues are $10 cheaper. He also was able to take advantage of a 2 week free trial to be certain it was the right choice. *I cleaned out the chicken house and put the litter into the compost which will give us more (free) nutrients for the garden next year. *I sold eggs to neighbors. *I did have to purchase some frames for my bee hives as all of the equipment I had on hand and refurbished this spring is on the hives already. I used money I made selling some items in my neighbor’s booth at the antique mall to pay for them. So, no money from our household budget and, in financial terms, a trade. *Grocery shopping was very minimal – only a few items that were on sale and when I was in town already for another reason. We are still primarily eating from our pantry, freezer and what we produce ourselves. *One big but necessary expense this week was tires for my vehicle. Not many frugal options to be found but we will be getting a rebate (between $200 and $300) as the tires did not last as long as they are intended to last. This typically happens for us as tires just wear more quickly when being driven on gravel and winding mountain roads. So, that helps some and safety is worth spending wisely. *On the reading front, I have been enjoying “The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill” by Julie Klassen. It was recommended here so thank you! I am enjoying it so much I am sure I will read more of her novels soon. *Wishing everyone a lovely week! Thank you for the continued inspiration!

    1. I hope nobody minds a couple of my comments here!
      *I loved The Innkeeper series and her other books, as well.
      *We have a box specifically filled with cords, chargers, etc. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve found something compatible in there over buying it.
      *In the same general area, I found 3 airline headphones still sealed in plastic for a dollar at a church rummage sale. We are still using them 10 yrs. later! We were so excited they fit our things!

      1. I love your comments, Debby. Thank you! I love that we are all so like-minded here and appreciate these little successes. 🙂

  18. Brandy,
    Your bouquets are beautiful 💐

    Thank you to everyone who reached out with flea advice! I love that this group is so helpful and encouraging ☺️
    Last week I spent a lot of my free time reading -free entertainment! I also spent a lot of time cleaning (trying to keep flea situation under control)- free exercise!
    *I was gifted a dozen farm fresh eggs from my daughter’s boyfriend’s mom.
    *We had another few days with rain! Skipped watering a few days and have more rainwater collected.
    📍Grocery store: found some marked down meat, nectarines, and ketchup on sale
    📍Buy Nothing Group: cat gravity water bowl
    📍Facebook Marketplace: $5 new in package comfort wrap (goes over shoulders- can heat or cool), $5 for 3 2lb bags scentsy winter apple bath soaks (each bag is usually $12) -we splurge on baths often here

    Hope everyone has a great week ☺️

  19. In order to “use it up” as well as rotate things through the freezer and pantry, I found this recipe for Blackberry Dump Cake: https://pin.it/EAYUwZE and here’s my photo (notice how “someone” already took a sample before I could snap a photo! Lol! https://pin.it/2kW8G05.

    I had bacon in the freezer (bought on sale for $2.99/pound quite a while back) so I tried my hand at oven-baking bacon for the first time! I’m converted! So simple to do! https://pin.it/2AVXycE. I got 5 pounds done and bagged up!

    My friend who works at Kroger’s texted me to say that they had just put 28 Oz cans of diced tomatoes on clearance for 50 cents each. She didn’t think I would need/want any because I can tomatoes and keep a good supply already. She was right. But, I did text 2 of my daughters- 1 who was at work and the other who lives an hour away. They both wanted some,so Hubs and I went over and picked up the 36 cans they wanted. I looked and their normal price is $1.59 per can so they saved $1.09 per can ($39.24 total!!)
    They also had crunchy taco hamburger helper on clearance for 89 cents/box. Take a look at what the box of HAMBURGER Helper says at the top!
    https://pin.it/6lYagbo. It tells you that you can substitute black beans for ground beef in the HAMBURGER helper to be more economical and keep people buying it!

    In my “use it up” mission, on Wednesday I used 8 cucumbers from the garden to make 4 pints of home canned pickle relish. Hubs hoped there would be more ready to pick soon. https://pin.it/6evzZPt

    I tried out my op shop bread maker and the bread turned out great and is a perfect size for us to use up without it going bad!

    And before I could pick green beans from garden on Friday morning, the rain started coming so I had to go inside. But not before I picked 12 cucumbers, 1 yellow squash, 2 zucchini, 14 yellow cherry tomatoes and some kale. 🎉🎉🎉 https://pin.it/2xRw9g8. And on Sunday night (2 days later), I picked another 4 cucumbers, 1 yellow squash and 2 gallons of green beans! Looks like I will be busy on Monday (today!)

    I’m thinking we will harvest figs this year! This is just 1 of over 20 branches of my gig tree, loaded with little figs!🎉🎉🎉 All from a little $6 carton at Sam’s Club a couple years ago!! ❤️❤️❤️ https://pin.it/9XloMie

    I also used up a clearanced packet of apple cinnamon muffin mix that I have in my pantry and instead of milk, I added the final bit of home canned applesauce from a quart jar in fridge and a sad looking apple, that needed using, chopped in food processor and came up with 6 muffins 15 minutes later! 👍 https://pin.it/3nwGHWC

    I got this client quilt, #256- quilted and trimmed this week, a patriotic Ohio Star and Stripe. There was a patriotic panel that she asked me to center on the backing. https://pin.it/4jR5N5i and https://pin.it/6WpJcox.
    Here’s the T-shirt quilt started on my design wall for my granddaughter in Houston. She will leave for BYU-Idaho in August and saved Buc-ees T-shirts to make a warm quilt for the weather there. I will back it with Minkee. https://pin.it/4U6ZFTE.

    We have been abundantly blessed!

    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. I agree– oven cooked bacon is simple and much less fuss than pan frying and turning! I line the pan with foil and use it again to make croutons.
      I have also made bacon in a George Forman Grill– there must be millions of those in the back of U.S. cupboards. Let it heat up thoroughly before putting the bacon in.

      1. Heidi Louise- Great minds must think alike! Lol! I have used our George Foreman grill to cook up bacon too! The reason I’m so chuffed about using a cookie sheet (yes- lined with foil!) in the oven is that I can cook more bacon in one batch! Good idea about the croutons!

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

        1. Yes, I like cooking a lot on one sheet.
          I suppose the George Foreman grill could be used outside to keep from heating up the house, but why tantalize the neighbors with the smell?

    2. Oven-baked bacon is the only way I do it anymore. I used to use cooling racks on top of a cookie sheet, but now I have a big mesh-type pan (came with my new oven) on top of a cookie sheet. Makes it so much easier to save the grease, too!

    3. Try baking sausage if you haven’t. Its more tender and juicy. It is one of those things my son says, “Why haven’t you done it that way before?” I wish I had thought of it myself. I was going for freezing multiple meals with time saving and ease. He keeps telling me things taste better and I agree!

      1. I agree, Linda, with baking sausage. My father used to buy a large amount from a country store. He would then bring it home and bake it. Once cooled, it went into the freezer in a bag. He could remove one, two, twenty pieces when needed. Not only was it delicious, but convenient and time saving as well!

  20. I redeemed points for a free Starbucks drink

    Used a bogo code in the app on McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches

    Purchased 2 packs of marked down cupcakes(4th of July colors)

    We were running an errand one evening and hubby stopped by Dunkin Donuts about 15 minutes before they were to close. We asked if they still had donut holes(it’s always hit or miss that late), and she said yes. She said if we wanted them, she’d mark them way down since they would have to just toss them. We ended up with about 50 donut holes $2.00. 😁

    I had a free small popcorn on my Regal Rewards so it only cost $2 to upgrade to a large. We got that plus a drink for under $10.

    My husband finished a job and the lady sent him home with 2 zucchini. I love produce season, lol.

    Our neighbors gave us a watermelon

    I picked and dried sage, oregano and lemon verbena.

    Hubby upgraded his phone(because his old one was acting weird, probably dropped it too many times). With his trade it, it only is an additional $12 a month, plus we get AMC+ free.

    My teen came home with several leftover snacks from staying at her grandma’s.

    I’m tackling movies on my to watch list while I’m still off work. I wish the mail ran faster so I could get through the Netflix dvds faster.

  21. That floral arrangement is beautiful! I love the Bells of Ireland tucked in there! I saw that you were perusing hankies on Amazon. What a beautiful collection and very reasonable in price. I always had those when I was young. My grandma gave them to me. She was the glove and hanky lady!

    Low accomplishment week here. Too hot. I must be getting to the age where it is starting to affect me. I’m all but wiped out in the afternoon. The heat and humidity combo just sucks my energy.

    *Biggest savings compared to vast majority of our town?! Spent ZERO on fireworks. It sounded like WW3 outside. We sat inside and played on the Nintendo Wii!! The old old one.
    *Had a bunch of bananas turn overnight so I made 4 loaves of banana walnut bread the next morning. Used the oven, but it was full!
    *Lots of produce on good sales yesterday after church so we bought a bunch to freeze and fill salads. Paid for them with a surprise refund check from an overpayment.
    *Line dried clothes all week, caught water, and little driving.
    My reading…
    On my nightstand – Midwest Living magazines (I’m waiting for a book from library)
    In my craft room CD player – First Family by David Baldacci (Still!)
    With my Bible study – Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George.
    By my reading chair – The Foxfire 40th Anniversary Book. Faith, Family, and the Land. (Foxfire is a school’s magazine started in 1966. It includes history of Appalachian people and their lives and traditions.). Many have heard of it. I hadn’t and it was recommended on another blog. It’s very interesting.

    1. Debby – I hope you are enjoying the Foxfire book. I have 2 entire sets – one from my grandfather and one from my husband’s uncle. I was raised on those books and love to hear of others’ interest in Appalachia, the place I love and call home. Keeping those traditional skills alive is now more important than ever. 🙂

      1. I’m really enjoying it! I’ve always enjoyed stories of the olden days. I also find my emotions swinging like a pendulum. Grateful that I don’t have to walk a mile to church one way and then sad that I’ve been so spoiled to feel this way. The whole story behind Foxfire is great. I think that was such an incredible opportunity for the HS kids. I saw that they’re still publishing twice per year. And yes, timeless lessons.

        A confession from this girl raised in Los Angeles. I’ve always heard of the extreme poverty in places, including deep in the Appalachia’s. Hard to imagine or compare to where I lived. Yes, it was poor in places, but with many opportunities. About a decade ago, my husband and I drove through the Ozarks. In my whole life, I couldn’t imagine such poverty. A rickety one room shack was the best home I saw. I saw several half cars duct taped together for a house. The lucky ones had half cars taped to half a small trailer. No loo in sight, outdoor cooking, clothes laying on shrubs. Nearly everyone was barefoot in November. All this was in the midst of the most beautiful fall foliage is ever seen. Sorry to be so long winded, but as I’m reading Foxfire, I imagine some of the same. Am I wrong?

        1. Debby – I appreciate your comments. One of the best things about travel is it exposes us to situations outside of our own experience. I lived in Central America for 2 years when I was young (my father was in the Air Force) and my idea of poverty was shaped very much by seeing families living in pallet and tarp houses next to dirty creeks. On my way to school, I often saw children with no clothing. When stopped at a stop light, children would run out from the alleys and attempt to wash our windows in exchange for money. “Rich” people there (who would have been considered middle-class here) had bars on their windows and concrete walls with broken bottles attached to the tops surrounding their homes to dissuade robbery. Poverty has long been an issue in Appalachia but I somehow have never seen anything here that made as much of an impression on me as that time in Central America. I guess that variety of poverty was different enough that it has stayed with me much like your trip to the Ozarks must be different from what you have seen of inner-city poverty.
          I think all regions have their reputations, rightfully earned or not, that certainly do not encompass the entire culture and history of the place. Appalachia is no different. I can only speak to my small corner of it but there certainly is a rich mixture of history, folklore, ways of speaking and of living that are as unique as our mountains, some of the oldest in the world. These mountains do give us a geography that allows only so much development, travel and industry – common indicators of economic success. It is interesting to me that I have heard more than one person visiting here comment that they have always heard of Appalachia’s poverty but felt that it was more beautiful than most places they had been in the world. Poverty is only pretty and romantic in novels. But the idea that one can be poor on paper and very content, faith-filled, grateful and enjoy life in a beautiful place is very real here. We live in an area that many people pay a lot of money to visit but there is a toughness, resilience, and inter-connectedness to those of us who live here that might not be if not for the struggles we face. I had to laugh at your comment of washing draped on the bushes and kids barefoot in November. Both of those things regularly happen here! 🙂 I can see how it might look and it does not mean, in our case, that our kids do not have shoes. 🙂 But, I understand your point and I am glad you had the chance to experience something and be so thoughtful about it. Another wonderful (if, unintended) opportunity in this space is a chance to learn from each other and have our views expanded on all sorts of topics. And, I think I have beat you in the long-winded department. 🙂 Many blessings to you and yours!

        1. Hey, Alice! We are in the NW corner of NC at about 3500 elevation. Bet it’s beautiful where you are today!

          1. Hello to my fellow North Carolinians, Alice and Mountain Mama Dawn. Sending greetings from the NE corner of NC at 7′ of elevation! 😉 It’s a beautiful beach day here today.

  22. My car let me sit. Looks like it is a transmission issue. Any mechanic in my tow area (through AAA) is booked until the end of July. We are expecting the worst and set a ceiling on what we will pay to get it fixed or just use for a trade in. This car in the last 6 months has cost more in repairs than the cars’ value. Every year previous it has had a major expense. I’m really not looking forward to either scenario.
    One day I window shopped on Amazon for tees for my family for Christmas gifts. Seeing the cart total reinforced the handmade gift route. It’s usually what my family does (homemade gifts). I’m glad online shopping offers me the cart total so I can sit and pause before saying yes.
    Watered my garden with reclaimed drinking water (even from the cat bowl) and warm up/rinse water.
    I enjoyed my first cucumber from said garden.
    I mended pants for prob the last time, but know I’ll easily get the remainder of the year of use out of them.
    Currently reading and enjoying the book The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.
    Hope everyone has a calm week.

  23. Gas is $3.92 a gallon in college town but $4.47 two hours south of college town! I stocked up on tomato soup since middle son will eat that. I made potato salad, coleslaw, ate watermelon, tomato soup, and grilled cheese, hamburger rice, butter peas, hot dogs, and wilted spinach this week. I got back to my house that I occupy during the work week and the plug to the air/heat is fried. So no air for me this week, or until I get an electrician here. I have propped open the back door to let the breeze, what there is of it, inside the house. My neighbor chopped up her front tree and whomever she had doing the work tore up my front yard by apparently dragging the tree through my yard. Debris is everywhere. I texted her and she apologized but said nothing before my discovering it this morning. Oh well, her husband, who mows my yard, will have to deal with mowing the yard and fixing all of that. Otherwise, it will tear up his mower. It was kind of irritating to discover this at 6 am this morning. We had a huge rainstorm in college town so that was welcome because it has been so dry. I guess I will keep working as long as I can because it seems like some extra expense pops up. That is life. I am grateful to still be able to work though, even if I am tired.

    1. is college town TTown or AU?
      I saw all the rain south of us. Every system goes around us in north alabama, and we have had .37 of an inch in the last month. That did fill my rain barrel half way, so I can water with that.

      1. Ttown… lol But my uncles went to AU and my daughter went to LSU on full scholarship. Youngest son went to AL in TTown so I have to say Roll Tide now! Niece went to Georgia so I suppose we are a SEC family! I was the oddball, I got my first BS from BYU… lol.

    2. And to think we were rejoicing when it dropped to $5.29:). It’s always more here than there, lucky for you:). I think it might even have dropped below $5, to 4.99 in a couple of places. At least it’s going in the right direction at last.

      1. You are so right Becky, at least it is heading in the right direction. But I have not seen a decrease in food prices yet… sigh.

  24. Such beautiful flowers!
    • My husband found free wood that matched our vintage baseboards. He cut all of the fiddly pieces that had never been installed, painted them, and borrowed a neighbor’s nail gun to install them.
    • I used the last of the pieced fabric to make one more clergy stole, which I’ve listed in my Etsy shop.
    • Today I picked up free used tennis balls listed on FB marketplace. Apparently they sell on Ebay. I picked up about 200 and have listed 2 boxes worth already. I also sold 2 end tables on FB marketplace for the same price as I had paid for them new. They just never looked right in my house. I would have kept them if I hadn’t been able to sell them for what I had paid.
    • We are eating tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and kale from the garden just as fast as we can. I dried some chopped kale, which turned out really well, so I will do that with some more. This is the first summer that my kale hasn’t bolted or become aphid infested. Clearly the insect netting and shade cloth is working well. It means we have more vegetables than I thought we would! We are so thankful.

  25. -We had a quiet 4th, we arrived back from the lake on Sunday so we really weren’t interested in going anywhere. Had a quiet day. Listened to several programs on the radio. We had smoked ribs (leftover from Father’s Day) from the freezer, potato salad, Cole slaw, and pickles. Continued to unpack and wash clothes and get organized for the week.
    -Creative leftover use: When I made the strawberry jam, I put the strawberries in the blender, my hubby doesn’t like chunks. I then rinsed the blender with water and used the strawberry water to make strawberry lemonade. Leftover frozen pulled pork in the freezer. Enchiladas made using home cannned enchilada sauce. This made 2 meals.
    -Picked strawberries at a you pick place, enough for a fresh strawberry pie and to make a couple batches of strawberry jam. Cost was $30. Picking my own was $2/#. If I bought prepicked they were $4/#, so I saved $30 by spending an hour doing this. Pretty good use of an hour. Canned 8 1/2 pints of strawberry jam
    -I was given about a dozen frozen bananas with the skins on. I put them in my freezer and will wait for a cool day to make banana bread. That should make 4 loaves. I will gift one back to the person who gave me the bananas and keep 3.
    -it was hot and humid here this week. We got more rain, about an inch. We really don’t need it. I did get out in the garden every day for 30-45 min early in the day. Weeds keep growing. We harvested kolorabi, spinach, kale, beets, and onions. Lettuce should be ready soon, not sure how much we will get if it doesn’t cool off.
    -Groceries bought were: 2# of cherries at $1.99/#; limit 2#, watermelon $3.99, grapes $0.99/#, clearance chicken legs and thighs $2 for 4# pkg x 2, clearance cheddar brats $2/pkg of 4 and #5 bag of potatoes for $0.99/ limit 2. I will can the potatoes.

    Have a great week!

  26. We also had a simple, at home Fourth. I will look up the books, and always appreciate your sharing of what you read. Last week, parsley and basil were harvested and frozen. Swagbucks points were redeemed for a $25 gift card. After an appointment, I shopped on senior day at Harris Teeter, getting a 5% discount. The pieces that hold the lid on our wicker hamper fell apart, so I cut strips of leather, from a nice sized piece I thrifted for $1, and used these in place. Laundry was dried on the line. I attended the local arts guild rummage sale with my sister, and didn’t see much that I could use, but came home with three sets of lovely Irish linen napkins. Afterwards, I ran by the library and the P.O., where I bought stamps before the increase. We harvested cucumbers, lambs quarter, yellow squash, tromboncino, eggplant, a cabbage, blueberries and a few blackberries, and ran the string for the butter beans. We were blessed with 2 ” of rain, which was very much appreciated. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2022/07/summer-light.html

  27. Brandy,
    We have two large spruce trees in our front border bed that screen the street from our house. Almost overnight they got some kind of disease and now both trees are dead. This is a huge disappointment as it will take several years to get new trees to grow as large as these were. I am praying it will only affect the spruce and not take out every tree on our property.
    For my mom’s birthday I decided to do some yard work for her instead of buying her something she doesn’t really need. My husband and I removed a rotting tree stump from her front yard and also removed a rotting wood planter. It was full of flower bulbs so I made sure I saved everyone of those. We made a new planting bed for the flower bulbs and I did purchase a new dahlia plant to put where the stump was. It turned out really nice and she was thrilled to have the free labor and a project taken care of. We are going to a family gathering this weekend. We will bring a cheese, cracker and smoked fish tray for the meal. I was happy to find two boxes of snack crackers for the tray for .79 each! I am not happy about buying gasoline for a 10 hour round trip but my husband’s family rarely gets together so we hate to miss it. I went to Target and purchased two sets of crayons, markers and colored pencils for .50 each. These will be 2 Christmas gifts for a total of $3. While there I also saw they had their fancy brand of cleaners on clearance. I purchased the dish soap and spray cleaner for less than $2 each. I will put some of my knitted dish cloths with these for another Christmas gift. As you can tell, I am a practical gift giver.
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  28. It was a good start to the week! Whilst walking to work on Monday, I received a take-away coffee and two lots of donut sandwiches – comprised of bacon with fried egg between donuts. I took the bacon and egg out of each donut sandwich and used it in two vegetarian wraps I had bought with me for lunch. I took the four donuts home, cutting them in half and freezing them for school lunch treats for my children. I don’t drink coffee, however, a colleague started work that morning, returning from maternity leave, so I gave her the coffee as a welcome back to the office gesture.

    I also got one more donut sandwich the next day, doing the same with everything as I did the day before.

    We went to beach for the day and gratefully received lunch, of which I bought home a small amount which fed my children for dinner the next day (I just added some steamed vegetables).

    We are enjoying eating lots of passionfruit. I partially read a library book. We harvested fruit and vegetables, rode our bicycles, went fishing and ate and froze the fish we caught, line dried all washing, cooked all food from scratch, my children played outside multiple times including with the neighbourhood kids and we went to the park playground.

  29. The past week has been a blur! I love summer but the busyness makes me tired!

    I planted some more pea seeds in the garden along the fence. One day I WILL learn to grow them well! I harvested pickling cucumbers, dragon’s egg cucumbers, beans, kale, lettuce and a jalapeno. I planned out what I’d like to do for a fall garden after we dig the potatoes.

    We attended a family reunion and swam for free at a community pool. There was a town fair/car show in that area (where hubby and I grew up in PA) and we enjoyed walking around looking at the antique cars and tractors and watching the tractor pulls. Admission is free. Everyone got a snack courtesy of my husband’s grandma. She mailed us a check to do something fun with the children. At the end of the evening, they have a very nice fireworks display. So, apart from grandma’s gift, we had a very full day of fun with no money spent (except fuel).

    I found a few meat markdowns, but nothing amazing.

    Two separate people gifted us money unexpectedly this week. Both said they knew how hard times are right now and that God laid it on their hearts to help our family. It’s a very humbling thing to accept money from someone… I tried to turn it away, but neither would hear of it. I hope someday I’m able to bless someone else the same way! Between the two gifts it was $260 (this didn’t include the money from my husband’s grandma). I set the money aside and will use it to purchase food when I see really good deals.

    I went to a church rummage sale and clothing giveaway. I picked up 30 clothing items and 6 pairs of shoes at the giveaway. I purchased 15 books, a lamp, a cake stand, a picture frame, and a brand new face painting book amd paint kit (I’ll give it to a daughter for her birthday this month) and spent $5.

    We were able to get our logs delivered for firewood. It cost $250 and will heat our house all winter. Considering what it would cost to heat our house with oil, I think the wood is a great deal!

    1. How wonderful you were so blessed! One day, you will do the same for others. I was in your same spot years ago and now it has been my blessing to do for others. It is very humbling, but you are also giving a gift to the giver by allowing them to give from their heart.❤️

      1. And my friends tell me they’re building more and more homes in the Santa Clarita area! Nuts!

  30. I’m glad you had a wonderful, quiet holiday! We too watch our neighbors fireworks. Everyone around our home sets off fireworks. We enjoyed the show as well. We BBQ’d steaks from our freezer, baked potatoes, watermelon and corn. Popsicles for dessert tasted great on that hot day.

    *I got sick right after our camper trip. I suspect a bad cold and it was a very quiet week since I didn’t start feeling better until Sunday. That saved a lot of money since I didn’t go anywhere except to take my daughter back and forth to work. I cancelled my appointments and re-scheduled. I’m so grateful that I had medicine at home. I’m so grateful I had heating pads and ice packs. I’m so grateful for my Law & Order DVDs and my book collection. I’m so grateful for my food storage. And I’m so grateful my husband went to the store for me and bought milk, popsicles and nectarines. I’m also grateful to be feeling better.

    *I was blessed by my local Buy Nothing Group and porch pick up. I received 20 free tulip bulbs that I put away to plant in the flowerbeds this fall. I received 3 new (to me) books by Lawana Blackwell that look brand new, 8 different sized and colored doilies that I can use for crafts/framed/gifts and a beautiful clock. The clock was posted and no one claimed it for a few hours so I asked for it. It was perfect for my craft room and reminded me my religion’s temples. I picked it up and put it up. I was surprised to hear it played music when I put in new batteries. I was getting messages offering to take the clock if I didn’t want it. There were 10 people begging for it. I looked the clock up and it is a Seiko Memories In Motion worth about $300. I’ve never heard of it, but I’m enjoying the soft music on the hour. I can change it to play Christmas music this winter. It has 3 different settings.

    *I’ve ordered books from used book sources that I love to read and slowly been building up my collection.

    *I’ve spent time in my craft room making more Wedding Cards for all the wedding announcements we’ve been receiving. I wrapped gifts and then used one of my wedding cards. I’ve used up all the wedding gift stash and haven’t found much to replace it with yet. I do have a small chest of drawers filled with things that I will start going through and making up more gifts.

    My husband and I did our date night at home since I was still sick. But he picked up chinese takeout and shared our meal. It made 4 additional meals for both of us. My daughter and I existed happily on the takeout, soup and grilled cheese and scrambled eggs the rest of the week.

    Have a wonderful frugal week.

  31. Beautiful flowers! These last few months have not been frugal at all, but have definitely been enjoyable. We were able to pay cash and buy a used car from a family member for $5K less than posted blue book. This will be my primary car. We have been looking for a used car since the beginning of the pandemic, but haven’t been able to find anything that we liked or trusted. I continue to shop for my parents and they continue to pay for our groceries. I still get sticker shot every time I go to the store, so I only buy what is absolutely necessary. We have enjoyed several days at our neighborhood pool. We bring our own food and on occasion buy treats from the snack shack. They have a lovely 4th of July bbq for members and guests. We enjoyed hot dogs, tri tip sandwiches, watermelon, chips and drinks. The week before that we went on vacation to Lake Tahoe. It was expensive but very much needed and appreciated. Our room was right on the lake. Our room had a kitchenette, so we were able to make the majority of our meals, only eating out one dinner. The room had coffee and then there was a breakfast room that had coffee, hot chocolate, tea, warm danish and instant oatmeal. Since the pool was only open part of the time we were there, they offered free paddle boards rentals which we took advantage of; it is usually $25.00 per hour to rent. We made reservations for next year when we checked out, saving 25% off of our stay next year. A family member who lives up there part time met us and took us to lunch and a round of mini golf. We also met up with another part of the family at Donner Lake where they have a cabin. We enjoyed the lake with them all day, including one family member who took our son wake boarding out on Donner Lake. They later invited us over for dinner. Since have spent quite a bit these last few months, we are going back to budgeting and saving mode. Per Brandy’s recommendation, I started listening to The Kitchen Front audio book while I am in the car; I reserved it free through the Libby app. I ordered a mop off of Amazon when they had a $15 off $50 coupon. I included two boxes of gallon zip loc bags to my order in order to quality. I choose delayed shipping and got $4 in digital credit to use. We went to a family bbq about an hour away from us over the weekend. The hosting family sent us home with left over chicken, sausages, corn and watermelon. Enough for at least three more meals for us :). Since we will be traveling again towards the end of the month, we are committed to not buying any food and instead eat out of our fridge, freezer and pantry. Have a great week everyone!

    1. It’s sounds like it was frugal in many ways which helped you pay for the fun things! That’s why we are frugal so we can put the money towards what we value! 🙂

  32. Last week, I prayed over my ice maker and it’s now working.
    My wonderful husband looked up how to fix a Bosch dishwasher door that falls suddenly and concocted a fix in his shop, saving us ordering the $57 part.
    I won a $20 reward on Safeway’s flavor adventure game, on their app, using the free entry method. I used that credit to buy fresh produce and milk.
    I set my alarm to open windows when the outside temperature was lower than our inside temperature.
    I read library books and exercised at home.
    I returned sheets to JCPenney via mail that were not the quality I wanted and after careful thought way too much money, I instead purchased a new set on ebay and put the difference in our savings account.
    I continue to only drive 2 times a week, combining everything into those 2 trips. It’s been 3 weeks since I filled up and hope it’s another 2-3 weeks before I have to fill up again. If I make it through July with no gasoline purchase that envelope money will go directly into savings.
    Moved our emergency fund over to Discover Savings account which has a .011 percent yield, about 15 times higher than our bank.
    I collected what the rabbits & slugs didn’t from the garden. I cut chives, green onion, rosemary, rhubarb, lemon balm & Swiss chard. I’m awaiting the blueberries and blackberries, this year’s erratic weather has set them back about 3 weeks.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week full of blessings and moments that remind you just how much our Father loves and cares for us. We are in this world but not of this world and he has a plan so we will fear not.

    1. Jen B.,
      Thank-you for the words of encouragement! I try to remember that God knows every hair on my head and not to worry. But sometimes I need reminded. I love the Youtube group Sounds Like Reign. My favorite is His Eye is on the Sparrow and Give me Jesus. She does a beautiful job singing.

  33. What beautiful flowers! * We were able to have two dinners of leftovers from our 4th of July picnic and another day of leftovers from another meal I made. Felt so grateful for that, especially not having to cook. *Some meals I made were stir fry (with leftover angel hair pasta and chicken I’d frozen), tacos, and pasta. * finished another library book. * Installed the Libby app to check out an audio book from the library for our cross country trip to see our out of state kids and grandkids next week. * Kept under the grocery budget by using up all leftovers, buying fewer snacks and generally eating less. *Feeling a little stuck as I keep brainstorming Christmas, but I’m keeping at trying. *I wanted some new yarn to take on the road trip to go with some I already have in the stash. I did curbside pickup to avoid temptation, and bought only what I needed for the project. There was a sale and then I had a 20% off total purchase. *I hope everyone has a great, safe and frugal week.

  34. Those flower arrangements are so beautiful Brandy – just gorgeous! So glad to hear that you had a lovely 4th of July.

    It has been a relatively quiet couple of weeks with not a lot of spending.
    .all bulls paid online for the first of the month
    .transit pass topped up
    .cash envelopes stuffed and put away
    .3 loads of laundry done – only 1 load went to the dryer
    .minimal day to day shopping, some fruit, veg, rolls and eggs
    .pantry additions included organic rolled oats and shredded cheese = both at over a $1 off per item with my Loyalty card, large cans of beans for $1, hot dogs that were at 50% off and UHT milk (which is currently priced at about $1.50 less than it has been for the past couple of years!)
    .continued to eat from the pantry and freezer – with the heat and humidity it has been nice to heat up something quickly in the toaster oven when needed.
    .I helped at a funeral reception last Friday and was able to take home tea sandwiches, raw veggies and strawberries for my supper.
    .made a pan of baked oatmeal using up the last of one bag of oatmeal and some almond milk that I’d bought when a vegan friend visited – it was delicious – I froze the last of the almond milk to use later.
    .did another pantry reorg on the weekend – rearranged things using the containers that I have moving items that I use most often to the top of the container stack. Also checked through the cans & packages and moved a few more things into the kitchen to use up over the next few weeks.

    You may have heard about a major glitch with our TV and Internet/Cell connections up here due to a problem with Rogers Communications. My Internet has been fine since Saturday but my TV is still acting up so I will be calling them tomorrow – I will be looking for more than the general refund to be issued without us having to apply. This affected both home and office last Friday – but I have a land line with BELL and my cell is with another company so I was able to use it when others couldn’t. Many ATM’s and card machines were also affected but I always keep some cash on hand and luckily had taken out the money for my haircut a few days before (I like to pay cash for the cut and for the tip).

    “The Brokenwood Mysteries” have returned on ACORN – a New Zealand Midsomer Murders type of show – so I have enjoyed that for entertainment.

    Stay cool everyone – hope there is some rain for the gardeners.

    1. Margie, I mentally collect typos as they can be hysterically funny. Yours was “All bulls paid the first of the month.” I pictured a long line of Texas longhorns lined up at your house. You could probably stick the moneys owed on the sharp tips of those monstrous horns. “NEXT!”

      1. I hate to admit it but I greatly enjoyed the typo! I too had a similar image but thought the bulls should give their
        social insurance numbers before being paid! I thought thy might be Alberta bulls migrating to Ontario–refugee bulls!

  35. Watched our town fireworks. We contributed as we can and we invest in our city. The good part is we always sit in our yard and have a spectacular view. Our grandson loved it. My daughter came and worked from my home last week. This week she is on vacation here. We are eating healthy and my garden is not keeping up. Got some veggies from our community garden though and that helps! I dehydrated some carrots, peppers and herbs. We visited a nearby Texas city and went to Dillard’s closing sale. Good discounts and we both came away happy. Also visited ALDIs which is a treat. I purchased four raised beds from Walmart that were reduced. Now that we are at midsummer I keep an eye out. I am moving my garden closer to the house for ease of watering for me. I also bought an air filter on sale as we are really fighting allergies. My husband will have lower denture made and we will save 20% by paying cash. I have repaired m6 retractable clothes line and will start hanging out clothes. When we take down swimming pool I will use it for various projects. Seven year old has outgrown and I am not up for maintenance. We will visit the nearby city activity center next year. When family departs I will get on my last of projects: assembling aniseed beds, cleaning out my greenhouse, painting bathroom and some fun embroidery projects.

  36. Brandy always good to get those repair jobs done that need doing on your drip irrigation system and that you gave service to a neighbour to show them how to set up their drip irrigation systems too 🙂 . Nice to get out into the gardens and do some planting to create more food for your family and to harvest wonderful produce and herbs from your gardens.

    In the kitchen –
    – Baked 2 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machine saving $6.98 on usual prices.
    – Cooked all meals from scratch.

    In the gardens –
    – Harvested the first ever crop of 1.5 kg of navel oranges off our small tree saving $6.50 on usual organic supermarket prices. We made them into a lovely juice and had some whole.

    Purchases –
    – Filled up some empty fuel jerry cans using our 4% off e-gift card and used our 4c per litre rewards fuel vouchers reducing the fuel from $1.965 to $1.837 per litre saving $19.08 on usual prices.
    – Bought $50.89 in groceries before discounts and used our 5% off e-gift card, bought on half price sale bottles of coca cola, moisturiser on sale, harvest long life tins of meat and vegetables on sale and used our $20 off Rewards dollar to save 56.28% or $45.31 on usual prices.
    – Bought 2 lamb leg roasts on markdown from Coles bringing them down from $13.50 to $7.72 and then used our $10 off flybuys dollars to bring the cost of the lamb down to $7.79 kg.
    – From a discount store 70% off closing down sale we purchased 2 packets of C4 25 pack envelopes reduced from $4.99 to $1.50 ea and 7 x packets of 6 blank craft cards and envelopes reduced from $2.50 to 0.75c per pack saving in total $19.23 on usual prices.

    Hope everyone has a frugal week ahead :).

  37. Hello, frugal friends. We finally got some decent rain here in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia. I didn’t have to water my gardens for 2 days. So nice! In other frugal things:
    *I harvested zucchini, lettuce, onions, 2 more strawberries, another 1/4 cup of blueberries, tomatoes, green beans, turnips and my first poona kheera cucumbers, an Indian cucumber with a mild flavor and pretty light yellow color. We adopted 2 of our 3 children from Poona, India, so I thought it would be fun to grow something with this name. They are quite delicious.
    *I keep my granddaughter most days during the week. This week she decided our project would be to re-do her dollhouse we made a couple of years ago out of a cardboard box. She is quite creative using whatever she finds laying around the house. My job was to make a new blanket for the doll’s bed. I keep a bag with bits and pieces of fabrics leftover from quilts I make. I was able to create a doll sized quilt in just a few minutes. We both had fun.
    *We watched free movies on Tubi and Pluto tv.
    *I used boiling water to kill off weeds around the gardens and walkway. This is something I learned here on this blog.
    *Used the online library to read books recommended here.
    *Stayed home a couple of days this week to save gas as I had to drive to Roanoke to pick up my grandson in order to take him to church camp (about 45 minutes each way).
    *Cut my dog’s hair.
    *walked for exercise.
    *Enjoyed sitting on my back deck watching the deer, bunnies, and the neighboring farmer baling hay.
    *I did a pantry/freezer inventory to help with meal planning.
    *I canned 21 pints of blueberries which I picked at a local farm.
    *I canned 10 pints of green beans from my garden.
    *I turned the a/c up a degree to help lower the electric bill.
    I want to chime in regarding eye doctors not giving prescriptions out. My eye doctor retired and referred his patients to the only other eye doctor in town. In his letter he stated that this new eye doctor will charge $45 for prescriptions for glasses. My sister had told me about her eye doctor doing the same thing across the state. I am struggling to understand how they can justify doing this. Isn’t it part of their job to write prescriptions for corrective lenses? To me this is shameful. My insurance will not cover this charge. So sad that this is what the world has come to.
    And on that note…I wish my frugal friends a week of blessings and good weather.

    1. Hi Marley,

      I looked up online The Eyeglass Rule in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 16, Section § 456.2, Separation of examination and dispensing. I hope it’s okay to quote it here. The rule states,

      “It is an unfair act or practice for an ophthalmologist or optometrist to:

      (a) Fail to provide to the patient one copy of the patient’s prescription immediately after the eye examination is completed. Provided: An ophthalmologist or optometrist may refuse to give the patient a copy of the patient’s prescription until the patient has paid for the eye examination, but only if that ophthalmologist or optometrist would have required immediate payment from that patient had the examination revealed that no ophthalmic goods were required;

      (b) Condition the availability of an eye examination to any person on a requirement that the patient agree to purchase any ophthalmic goods from the ophthalmologist or optometrist;

      (c) Charge the patient any fee in addition to the ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s examination fee as a condition to releasing the prescription to the patient. Provided: An ophthalmologist or optometrist may charge an additional fee for verifying ophthalmic goods dispensed by another seller when the additional fee is imposed at the time the verification is performed; or

      (d) Place on the prescription, or require the patient to sign, or deliver to the patient a form or notice waiving or disclaiming the liability or responsibility of the ophthalmologist or optometrist for the accuracy of the eye examination or the accuracy of the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another seller.”

      Maybe if the provider you’re dealing with sees that you are aware of this federal regulation (applying to all 50 states in the US), the provider will give you the prescription to which you are entitled.

      I am not saying this as legal advice but just trying to be helpful. As consumers, sometimes we need to advocate for ourselves and part of that could include submitting a complaint to the FTC if you are not successful in getting your prescription.

      Maybe your provider, in good faith, doesn’t know what’s required and it could be a teachable moment which benefits you and all of their customers. Good luck!

  38. I’ve been very sick. So the only place I’ve been to is the doctor and pharmacy, saving money on gas. I was glad the doctor let me go home instead of sending me to the hospital, which she was considering. The only purchase I made was for handkerchiefs online. Those will save us money in the long run. I also plan on giving handkerchiefs as presents. All meals were made at home. I have been happy to have canned soup and soup that I had previously made and froze. Convenience foods have their place. My husband cleaned house and did all the cooking over the weekend. My husband bought tires from a local store saving money. We will probably buy tires for my car from the same store once we have saved for it. We are keeping track of everything we spend and hope to save. All bills have gone up. I’m glad we have electricity. I feel for those without it. I turn the thermostat to a warmer setting during the day, to save money on electricity and to do my part not putting as much pressure on the grid. We also turn off lights. I love sunlight during the day anyway. The only light on in the house is the one at the table where I am sitting this evening. We use cloth napkins, cloth towels instead of paper. Honestly, this week I wished I had paper everything, because I wasn’t up to doing anything. I thought I had plastic wear for emergencies. But realized I only had plastic spoons. I know this makes me sound really lazy. But as soon as I am better, I am going to the store and buying paper plates, plastic utensils and paper towels for the next time I am sick. I like using cloth towels and regular dishes most days to save money. But when I am under the weather, it would be nice to have those things. I will have to put them away so our family won’t use them until we really need them. On a positive note, my husband has really helped me, and even my son offered to help do dishes and picked up dog treats that I spilled by mistake because I was dizzy. They are good guys!

    1. Tammy, I’m sorry that you’ve been sick! When we have friends over to swim or when we’re sick, I pull out my hidden stash of paper plates, plastic cups & forks. I have to hide them because my family would use them all up in a couple of days!

      1. Dianna,
        Thank-you. Yes, I had paper plates and plastic wear and even paper towels. But I didn’t hide them. So they got used. If I see a sale I might buy some. But I realize I got through it without. Mostly because my husband helped me.

    2. Brandy, today I was thinking of the story you posted, “When Queens Drive By.” So I got out of my pjs and put on a dress and makeup, cleaned the kitchen and made a nice dinner. My husband was so happy. When he came home from work and saw that I had makeup on and a dress he asked me if he was taking me somewhere. I told him that I dressed up to see him and we were having dinner at home. It made him very happy! I love that story “When Queens Drive By.” I am feeling better. I decided I don’t really need paper plates and plastic wear nor do I need paper towels. I hope to keep eating from what we have and save for tires and anything else that might come up. I decided I am going to pull out my china more often and my fancy cups. I can make it a celebration at home. Happy Anniversary Brandy! Our anniversary is this week as well!

      1. Tammy,
        Great comment, and thank you. I had forgotten about Brandy’s link to “When Queens ride by”. What a wonderful story, and your use of that idea really got me thinking. So often I get so wrapped up in my life that I forget what a difference I can make for my husband with just a few moments of thinking. Thank you.

        1. Hi Hilogene in Az,
          I love that story “When Queens Ride By”. It is easy to get wrapped up with life. You are right, it is amazing what we can do with just a few moments of thinking. I like to tell my children and grandchildren, and niece and great-nephews, etc. people I care about that I am happy to see them when greeting them. I noticed that my sons and grandchildren and husband for that matter are happiest when I stop what I am doing, look them in the eyes and listen to what they have to say, even when I am busy. So I make an effort to do so. I’m not perfect by any means, but those are things I try to do. I love Brandy’s posts on Encouragement. Especially “When Queens Ride By.”

  39. We enjoyed a nice 4th with our son and family from Alabama. We enjoyed several no cost and low cost activities while they were here. Visited our fish ladder, and saw fish! I was able to get a large box of flat rocks to paint, plus paint from my Buy Nothing group. We spent a lovely afternoon painting. I also had found a adult coloring book for .99 at a local thrift store, and used colored pencils we have collected over time. Taught two of our three grands to play cribbage. Purchased the boards at a local thrift store. A friend had a beautiful lavender farm that we drive to and enjoyed lavender lemonade and her amazing views. Meals were all from home and included homemade pizza, a favorite and one that is easily customized to each persons tastes. Lunches included a small assortment of frozen appetizers, along with my version of McDonald’s chicken wraps. We had a frozen bag of breaded chicken strips and made the wraps with tortillas that I buy in bulk from Costco and pre-cook in batches and freeze. I added some Rays chicken sauce, and it was deemed very good! Again we were able to customize. Even snacks were homemade bagel chips and breakfast was special cereal that I brought on sale in anticipation of their visit. My grands also love fruit, so we had a 20 # watermelon to eat on from a sale at our Kroger store. Overall we had a great visit! Only real fail was the expensive cherries I bought thinking they would enjoy that we are still eating 🙂

  40. I had the most wonderful breakfast meeting today. Some years ago, I was researching my family’s genealogy. I used a computer at the LDS
    family history library. Most of the research we already had but I was just using the computer program. So one day I entered my great grandparents’ names. I was quite surprised to find them. I realized it had to be a relative of my great grandmother. I contacted Salt Lake and got the person’s name who had entered and sealed their names. Subsequently, she came over and stayed with us for a visit. She passed away last Christmas. It is one of her sons and his wife who came from Oxford, England to the Stampede for a day, then to Banff, then on to Victoria. So I took them out for breakfast just at our cafe in the park on an outdoors patio — I did not have anything to eat mainly because of a sensitive stomach. They obligingly wore masks as did I. England is having a seventh surge of covid with new variants that attack the lungs. My cousins said that everyone on the plane and in the airports wore masks. I was socially distanced from them. It was really a lot of fun and interesting meeting
    them. My great grandmother is their great aunt and their great grandmother is my great aunt. I think that makes us third cousins but am not quite sure — help anyone? Not frugal at all but a lo of fun.

      1. Hi Bama Holly,

        Thanks for your suggestion. What you didn’t know (because I didn’t mention it)
        is that the cousin who just visited and I are the same generation. I consulted an expert in
        consanguinity questions and he confirmed true third cousins. In fact, we might be fourth cousins
        but I have to contemplate it a bit more.

        When my great grandparents left Wales with their 7 sons, they sold their house and business to
        this cousin’s grandparents and his mother was born in the house. I am grateful to the LDS family history centre
        because I would never have met them otherwise. When I first contacted the mother, she said all of the old family photos had been destroyed
        during WW II but was thrilled when I said my great grandparents had brought many to Canada and I had high quality copies made and gave them to her. Now this time,, my cousin showed me photos of his mother in the house our families shared.

        thanks again

  41. Love those zinnias! Your flower arrangements has all of my favorite colors in it.
    –We had thunderstorms and rain almost all of last week. I did not get to work outside at all, but ran out a couple of times to check the plants. The garden gave us some more ground cherries, a few squash, lettuce, and a handful of tomatoes. I am really impressed by the cherry tomatoes that have grown in my hanging baskets around the deck. I am planning to really max that out next year! We’ve enjoyed bouquets of hydrangea, gladiolas, and daisies as well.
    –I bought several sale items at Kroger. My son can eat an entire frozen Red Baron pizza by himself, so I bought the limit of 5 ($2.99 each). I might go back tomorrow and get more using my husband’s Kroger card….we go through a lot of those pizzas.
    Other deals included cereal (HN Cheerios $2.49, Captain Crunch $1.99), Honeycrisp apples $1.47/lb, baby carrots $1.19/lb, oatmeal $1.69, grapes $1.39/lb. Used gas rewards to fill up….seems crazy to rejoice at $3.99 per gallon.
    –I was so proud of my daughter for her spending on her 2-week overseas trip. She returned last weekend with almost half of the spending money we sent her with. The 2 souvenirs she chose for herself were practical items — a pair of pretty earrings, and a set of earbuds she could use while on the train/bus between destinations.
    –I had $43 in rewards to spend at the local greenhouse. I was tempted to focus on quantity ** they had $1 4-packs of annuals! But I decided to spend it on something I would not normally buy for myself. There was a beautiful hammered copper hanging planter for $49.99 that I admired, but that price makes me choke. Since I had those rewards, I bought it and placed a potted philadendron inside it. It’s hanging in a corner of my dining room and makes me smile every time I look at it! I love that it’s something my family can enjoy for many years, instead of annuals that would last until October or so.
    –Finally returned a gift from Mother’s Day. My husband and kids got me some clothes…thoughtful, but not my style. I knew I would never wear them. Returned it for a Target gift card.
    –Bought hardware cloth to put under my new raised beds, using a Lowe’s gift card I also got for Mother’s Day.
    –Last week when I kept recycling my Kohl’s cash, I received another $10 reward. I redeemed it on a clearanced pack of undies (of course I looked for a bonus pack…got an extra pair free) and also used a 25% off coupon which took the total down. In order to use up the entire reward, I added 2 Godiva bars. $1.10 out of pocket for 7 pairs of panties plus chocolate.
    –I received coupons for some free items to sample. Also got 2 Crest Whitestrips free in the mail.
    –Received a book I won in a giveaway (The Kingdoms of Savannah).
    –My daughter is headed to college in August. I want to make her a sort of advent calendar for her first week — something to look forward to each day. Everything so far has come from sales or freebies. This week I got a new-in-box Dr. Teal’s lavender lotions gift set for $5 at an estate sale. The other days I have so far: 2 Essie nail polishes (got on clearance 77 cents each), Chick Fil A gift card (someone gave it to me), lip gloss (got in a beauty box), pair of cute boutique socks (got at a yard sale, brand new, for 25 cents). I will keep looking for more items.
    –Heads up for those with CVS nearby. They are sending a freebie on the app every day until July 23! Today’s was a 60ct pack of melatonin. I had to go in store (it was unavailable to ship when I looked) but was driving past CVS anyway, so it was an easy stop. To make sure I got the right product, I clicked on “Shop This Deal” link in the app and was able to see a picture of the item. I also checked to see which store locations had it in stock to make sure I didn’t waste a trip. I will only go get the freebie if it’s something I want AND I’m already out. You can find a list of all the daily items on several websites, here is one: https://thefreebieguy.com/free-items-at-cvs-from-july-10th-23rd/

  42. The neighbors who set off fireworks all day long in the past has moved . It was a very pleasant and quiet holiday at home. I redeemed a $5.00 code for a Redbox movie. A man at the dump gave me a rolling ice chest. I spent $3.00 at the carwash washing the mud off of it. It looks brand new. My freezer space is reserved for meat. Once a week I can buy 20 lbs of ice for $1.00. That is a welcomed treat. I redeemed a coupon for a free chick til a sandwich. I.purchased a small lemonade and I enjoyed an inexpensive lunch. I am spending my time while my daughter is away , cleaning. I find that I can get so much more done with her away . I have made several donations and have gotten rid of tons of stuff. I’m very impressed with my progress. I saw a movie at the theater with my $5.00 movie pass from Peacock tv. I was disappointed. Its been quite awhile since I’ve been to the theater. There was little to no AC. Perhaps this is a budget cut. The popcorn was cold and stale. The soda flat. I don’t imagine I will be treating myself again. I have come to like streaming new movies at home. The new releases are good for viewing for 48 hours v and that gives my kids all the option of logging in and watching. My goal is to continue spending very little.

  43. I have finished mending hubby’s pyjama trousers, this means this makes 3 pairs he can use. I continue to knit my cardigan. Reading library books

    I have made another coconut cake to finish the out of date coconut. I am making yoghurt again as the fruit is being harvested. The raspberries are not doing very well this year they are very small and not many of them. I have cooked all meals from scratch and I am stretching the meat with veg and beans. During this hot spell I am plugging in the Remoska and pressure cooker outside

    We have a dripping tap in the kitchen, I have tried to put in a new ceramic insert but I can not reach the tap to turn off the water so the plumber is coming on Tuesday, while he is here he will service the boiler and put on a new thermostatic radiator valve. Meanwhile I am collecting the drips in a bowl and using the water for hand washing and then my pot plants.
    We have started to empty the workshop, we will sell what we can and scrap the rest. I think it could take several years.

    I am now harvesting potatoes, lettuce, beetroot, french beans peas and broad beans. I have pulled out the finished beans and sport potatoes, then sown more carrots, lettuce, beets and parsnip. I will cover these in the autumn.

    My daughter and granddaughter have covid thankfully hubby had not seen them for 2 weeks before the symptoms showed. SIL and grandson are alright so far. We are keeping away from people as the number of cases are going up again.

    We are spending much of our time outside. The laundry has been dried outside too. We are wearing less so there is less laundry to do.

    Stay safe everyone
    Chris

    1. My raspberries are very scarce this year, as well. Last summer was a record-breaking heat wave here in our part of Oregon and many of the new canes that should have made this year’s fruit died. I’m enjoying every berry we do get, and notice that the canes are growing vigorously now for next summer’s crop, thank goodness. Normally, I’ve been told we have a very similar climate to England, just not last summer.

      The blackberries suffered because of last year, as well, but I still am going to get some, just not a bumper crop.

  44. I harvested parsley, sweet limes, and several varieties of mint. I used the mint in tea and ice water, and as bouquets around the house (beautiful and refreshing). I harvested a dozen+ tomatoes, and there are dozens more ripening. This particular plant has been amazing.

    I caught water from shower warm-ups, rinsing fruit/vegetables, and AC condensation, and used it to water potted plants and roses. I cleaned out the fountain and used that water as well. On the advice of several fellow readers, I purchased Creating an Oasis With Greywater and am looking forward to reading it for ideas.

    I’ve made a concerted effort to run appliances only during off-peak hours, and run them on the shortest cycles possible. I rarely use my dryer except for towels. I prefer to hang as much on the clothesline as I can. Everything smells so good, and I always think of my grandmother, and helping her hang the laundry on the line on her Pennsylvania farm (well, she let me believe I was helping, anyway… 😉 ).

    With my niece’s permission, I offered many things we used for her wedding (unused bridal runner, tablecloths and table runners, glassware [that had been given to us]) to my pastor and his wife, whose grandson is getting married in their backyard next month.

    I combined errands whenever possible to save on gas. When I have to buy gas, I pay cash at Arco, which is enough less per gallon to make it worth the slight extra effort.

    A family friend is clearing out her mother’s home in preparation for selling it (her mother has moved to an assisted living apartment near her). After her children had chosen everything they wanted, she invited my mother and I to go through the house and choose items we liked or could use. I chose a number of pretty and unusual baskets, some Hallowe’en decorations, a heavy-duty shredder, an electric tea kettle (one of my children had been wanting one), and a gallon of Palmolive dish soap.

  45. Made chive butter for the freezer. I made YouTube video on it last year and many friends said they didn’t know you could!

    Cut the girls bangs after weeks of wanting. I cut layers into mine.

    Dried mint. Made lemon balm lemonade.

    A few weeks ago I made mint extract- we tried it and wow! Much stronger than store bought. ..possible Christmas gifts!

    Homemade peach ice cream.

    Read books from the library and picked up the NEW Downtown Abbey movie – movie night soon!

    My husband changed the oil in the our big van – big savings for our passenger van… I need to figure out good collection of oil system or container./

    Made sourdough bread, Taco salad, broth, chili, rice casserole .

    1. Hi Faith,
      Just curious if there is a resource for learning how to make the mint extract and other extracts? Would like to make some baskets with homemade goodies in them. The extract would be perfect!
      Thanks!

  46. I look forward to your gorgeous flower photos each week. Stunning. We returned from a nearly two week vacation visiting my brother in Florida, and while it wasn’t a frugal trip, we drove since that was still cheaper than us flying and renting a car. We brought our food for the trip down, hotwired hotels for there/back drives. After a week with him, we had reservations at a beach resort that was very affordably priced and the room was a suite, coming with an up/down washer/dryer, a full kitchen stocked with everything you’d need. They only asked if you used anything, to run it through the dishwasher before you left. We were able to shop and prep quick inexpensive meals there. The cost of food, though, was much more than here at home. Splurged on a Thai dinner out. That’s always much better than I can make.

    Almost to the end of the in-laws’ house cleaning/clearing. I hope DH will get it to the realtor today. Anyone interested in the property will be mainly buying it for the huge garage for auto repair, etc. The house is 120+ years old and really needs to be brought down to the studs; barely livable now. I hope it sells quickly “as is” and is one more thing off his plate.

    Planted more tomato seeds and the seedlings are sturdy and ready to go in large pots. Had to buy more soil for that and it’s on clearance at my Sam’s Club now, so my procrastination before the trip saved me money. My Thai basil is puttering along, though tiny. I won’t grow that again, unless it bursts forth in the next month.

    We ate out at MOD Pizza the other day, bringing half of each of ours home for add’l meals, one was free with rewards and $2 off the other one through their app. As plant-based eaters, finding a restaurant is harder, so that’s good for the wallet. But here, my husband piles on the veggies that we don’t have a home on the ready for his pizza and we both look forward to this non-greasy treat. Also nice to not have dishes! Speaking of which, he was able to repair our dishwasher one last time, I think, and that’s been a help.

    Gardenpat – In reply to your note that your area Meijers are spot on with prices, that is very good to hear. Thank you! Perhaps I need to drive farther away to one south of us and see. I remain so frustrated/irritated by that because at SOME point, they should get it right or it seems intentional. It’s never an item ringing up for less, that’s for sure.

  47. I spend time each day rereading on this blog to stay focused on keeping the cost down and for the support of others THANK YOU BRANDY.
    We cut the grocery budget down to less than $50 a month until at least Sept if not the rest of the year.
    We did the normal routine, no AC unless temps are over 85, fans on only if we are in room (Hubby has taken to reading his tablet at the dining table when I fix supper so not to run the fan in the front room also). We combined errands etc.
    I changed one annual doctor appt to Sept as we will be at our limit for gas budget this month with other appts.
    I defrosted and inventoried our 4 freezers. I need okay… want chicken breasts, thighs and wings and turkey. We will see if we get that. I have other wants…LOL
    We cut the budget due to large amounts going out on NEEDS. Hubby’s saw he cuts our fire wood can’t handle what he is cutting (hard wood like honey locust and oak) so he found a used buzz saw with guard for $900… new is around $2000 plus. We have wood/coal HECO 520 cook stove coming in next month along with 1 ton of coal. ($8500), we have chimney for said stove coming in ($2000) , we have propane preorder ($2500), and we have batteries to order for the solar pump for the well ($2000).All that was good BEFORE the stock market took a dive. We can still do it, just cut the budget so we don’t have to pull more from the IRAs. As our SS goes towards medical and mortgage.
    https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2022/07/changing-focus-on-groceries.html

  48. It has been a mixed week of saving and spending at our house. I did manage to find some deals.
    – stocked up on 6+ months worth of our favourite coffee-that by some fluky combination of a sale price plus loyalty points turned out $2 cheaper per large can than my previous stock up 6 months ago!! Even though I think the cans were marginally smaller it was still a much better price than I was expecting to pay.
    -Flash Food app-large box of apples for .37 per lb and large onions for.33 cents each( which I chopped and froze)
    -decided to wander through our nearby expensive grocery store last week-across the road from where I usually shop. Surprisingly I found milk (with a week until the expiry date) at half price-4 litres for $3, less than 1/2 price yogurt, 1/2 price fresh fish etc. Since it is so close and I have the time I will wander through looking for reduced stickers a bit more often. Hard to predict when a store might be overstocked and mark things down accordingly. Like many of you we will be eating more plant based foods as, even on sale/markdown, meat and fish are still very expensive right now.

    On the not so frugal front
    -my husband purchased some new blind cord to fix the blind in our bedroom. Unfortunately, while attempting to fix it, he broke 4 of the slats in the blind. He then attempted to glue the slats but after 21 years in the sun they were brittle and kept breaking. So off to Ikea where thankfully we were able to find a blackout blind for the bedroom. Certainly though the prices were much higher than I expected. Walmart had very few blinds and even Ikea had a limited selection in the size we needed-no doubt due to global shortages of various items. Perhaps we can return or repurpose the roll of blind cord!
    Unfortunately we have 6 of the same blinds on one wall of the open plan main floor of our home-they are of the same vintage and face the SW sunny side of our house. This wall includes one short window over the fireplace and a door out onto the deck so I am now on notice that next time we dust those( or even look at them the wrong way-haha) they might start snapping. They have already been glued a few times when a slat fell on the floor and shattered. Not the type of blind I would choose in the future!!!
    Anyway even though I am now keeping an eye out for 6 matching blinds or curtains we will continue to repair the main floor blinds as long as possible. Reader suggestions re frugal blackout blinds are welcome!

    Today we have a heat warning-a high of 31 C/88F is expected-which I realize would be a cooler day for you Brandy! Few people have central air conditioning here and if the house does not cool enough by bedtime we will run the portable AC in the bedroom-and gladly pay for the electricity! Up until last year I did not need AC as our evenings generally cool down enough to cool the house. After an unusual one week heat wave last year in the mid 30’s I decided buying a portable AC and running it on the few very hot days was a worthwhile investment.

    Our garden will not be providing vegetables this year as I was too ill to care or plant at the beginning of our very short growing season. I especially enjoy reading about what everyone is harvesting. I am however still thankful for the two branches of apples now forming on our tree( compared to every branch being loaded last year!) As well we have Saskatoon berries starting to ripen-if the birds will leave some for us. Hopefully there will be raspberries a bit later too. I continue to enjoy reading about everyone’s frugal savings-usually they involve planning and persistence in researching or finding a good price at a store or online. Or sometimes we just get lucky and see a great markdown at the grocery store- or find just what we wanted at a garage sale. Or a gift, often used, from others. In many cases I am in awe of the ingenuity, talents, skills and creativity of many of you in repurposing items etc. Thank you Brandy and everyone for the blog and your comments! Wishing everyone a good week.

  49. Any great deals on Amazon Prime Day today?

    The rabbits are destroying my garden. Have eaten most of my beans! 🤬 On the upside, the new cucumbers coming in are not bitter!

    Got several gorgeous and delicious South Carolina peaches from a roadside market. Plan to go buy more and make all things peach related!

    Reading several books and watching FX’s “The Old Man”. Most excellent. Try to catch it.

    Have to have several trees and branches removed. The expense is depressing. Another budget adjustment in order!

    Food continues to be very expensive. Most everything we are eating is from scratch.

    Hope everyone is enjoying the summer even with the excessive heat! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

        1. Yes I usually work evenings and when I am off I just wanted a new show to enjoy, so far the old man is worth watching! Not much is these days 🤭

  50. We were able to watch our neighbors fireworks on the 4th. We had our celebration on Sunday, and just relaxed on the actual holiday, since I had to go to work the next day.
    Found a gift card from Arby’s while going through my mom’s stuff. I would give her one every birthday and Christmas. There was just a little over $3.00 left on it, but used it to pay for a little over half of a 2 for $6.00 special. Plus got the senior discount.
    Had Bath and Body Works gift cards from when they were buy 2 for at least $75 total, and get $10 off last winter. Went to the 75% off sale and used the $50 one for a whole bunch of body wash for under $4.00 each. I use this as bubble bath, to make foaming hand soap and as gifts.
    Got 4 more cantaloupes on Tuesday for 59¢ each, before the sale went off. Gave two to my son when he came up on Wednesday.
    Made a batch of chow mein using a bag of the 99¢ coleslaw I purchased and pasta, meat and other veggies from storage.
    Got a chip fixed on my car. We were pretty lucky and decided to buy a new car in March 2020. They had exactly the car I wanted in stock, and though it was olive green, we decided to not wait for the color I wanted. Glad we did that.
    Made broccoli cheese soup from home made broth from the freezer, broccoli from the garden some of the free onions I got last week, and cheese from the fridge. Only had to buy a pint of cream. That is lunch this week.
    Found plums and nectarines for 99¢ a pound and got some for the DH.
    Worked three days, and brought breakfast for 3 and lunch for 2. Had Arby’s the other day.
    Dried clothes on the line. Only one load in the dryer this week.
    Worked in the garden. I had 14 cucumber seedlings one evening, and the next day there were only 4. Something is eating them. Also, something is eating some of the feathery tops off the carrots.
    Weeded the carrots and green onions. Picked broccoli. Got another rosemary plant, when they went to 40% off. I am putting this one in a pot, and hope to pull it into the shop to overwinter it. They will not live through our winters.
    Things are actually starting to take shape in the garden, after a long, wet and cold spring. We had our first 90 degree day, and two more this week.
    Hope everyone has a fruitful and healthy week.

  51. Such beautiful flowers, Brandy!

    For the past 3 weeks, I have been making a big summer salad every weekend. Last week it was black bean and corn. We are really enjoying this and it simplifies meal planning on the weekends.

    My husband and I both have Covid. Since he has underlying health conditions, we called urgent care before going. He had tested positive at home, but we ran out of tests so we weren’t positive about me. They told us the protocol was to go to the emergency room if you have a positive test. We both went, both tested positive. Mike is in the 5th day and I’m in the 4th, and I’m happy to report it has been more like a moderate cold, and we both are improving. I slept all day yesterday, though. What has really helped has been the meals I’ve made and frozen. Annabel, who hosts The Bluebirds are Nesting…on the Farm blog, is big on preparedness at all levels. She did a 30-day preparedness series last fall and having 7 meals on hand was one of the suggestions. I had a bad cold last month (worse than the Covid, TBH) and the two illnesses so close together really impressed upon me the wisdom of her advice of having food on hand in case you are sick.

    We have been planning to go to eastern Idaho at the end of the month to celebrate my son’s birthday. Whether we will be up to the trip by then is questionable. I ordered a fancy socket set on Amazon through Brandy’s site and had it sent to my daughter-in-law (I’d planned to buy it locally). I ordered on Prime day–no special savings on this item–and used $16 worth of credit card points.

    I have been reading 4-5 library books per week. JenG in Portland, I got On My Own Two Feet, Beverly Cleary’s second memoir, and was thrilled to learn she lived in a co-op dorm at Cal-Berkeley. Thirty years later, I lived in a co-op at the University of Oregon and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week that does NOT include Covid! So far, we’re OK.

      1. Co-ops were invented at the University of Idaho in the 1930s and spread to many other campuses. They were available through the 1970s or so but have mostly died out. At the University of Oregon in the 1960s, there were four women’s and two men’s co-ops, all housed in former fraternity or sorority houses that were rented or owned outright. Each house employed a cook and housemother and the residents did the housework. They were democratically run and the house manager (a student) assigned jobs for the entire school term based on the residents’ schedules. Some of the jobs, as I recall, were Breakfast Prep (done the night before), dishes for all meals, bathrooms, vacuuming, etc. Our houses were spotless, we ate well and no one worked very hard–typically 3-4 hours per week. In 1964, the dorm cost $725 per year and a co-op cost $425 year. Tuition was $270 per year, so you can see this was a huge saving–more than the equivalent of a full year’s tuition and books. For many of us, it made the difference between being able to go to college and not. Co-ops typically had very good grades (mine was #1 on campus, through no help from me). Tastes in housing have changed a lot, but if co-ops existed today, there would be a lot less college debt! Plus, it was a blast!

  52. It was a great week in Houston, TX!
    Although I made some frugal, homemade desserts to take to a July 4th potluck, my youngest daughter threw up in the driveway as we walked up to my friends’ house. I explained what happened, left the desserts, and we went back home. We were all disappointed to miss our friends, bbq, and giant inflatable waterslide, but that’s how these things go sometimes, unfortunately. We passed around some type of mild bug, and I was thankful for our empty ice cream pails (kids call them sick buckets) as people living here outnumber our two bathrooms by quite a few! I’m feeling better now and baby never seemed to catch it.
    I did go to the store one day, but didn’t buy much. We needed more crackers, but I saw they had 5 oz tuna packets for .25/each, so I bought 50.
    My college has a classifieds page, and I bought a Glock 42, with about 75 rounds, from someone who graduated the year before me. He gave me a good price. This is a great size for me, and I’ve been wanting something additional for personal protection, outside home. Crime in the city is a real problem, and is something I will definitely not miss once I eventually move.
    I printed some coloring pages and sudoku pages to keep the kids entertained.
    I took snacks and drinks with us to our neighborhood pool.
    I gave two boys and one daughter haircuts.
    I moved some things around to clear off our kitchen counters. I have a very small kitchen, so it gets cluttered quickly. This made a big difference with minimal effort. Now to keep it cleared off and not be a dumping ground…
    I took the kids to swim at my aunt’s house, where she gave them popsicles and ice cream. She is so generous to always have treats, and they love going over. My aunt is elderly, childless, and widowed. She grew up in a big family, however, so she really loves all the commotion, activity, and noise when my kids are there. I’m sure she’s also glad to see us go, too. 😉
    I bought a large lot of American Girl doll stuff for $80. This seems like a lot, but I will be able to sell the dolls for more than that, plus my daughters will get to pick out some of the clothes and accessories to keep.
    My summer class is almost over. I actually prefer teaching in the summer; more of my time is spent interacting with students, less with the community college bureaucracy than during the school year.
    Hope everyone has a great, frugal week!

    1. What a great deal you found on the tuna-so healthy and versatile and such a reasonable price. I bought 9 cans the other day for .99 cents each- which is the lowest I ever see them here.

  53. We didn’t do anything for July 4th. I was asked to watch my grandson and agreed so that my daughter could go spend the day swimming. After she picked him up we cooked steaks indoors. It was too hot to grill! John and I enjoyed our cut priced steaks (picked up from clearance) and each saved half. He had his second portion the next morning with fried eggs. I saved my other half and made us an easy supper Friday night of Baked Potatoes and a steak and blue cheese salad. I ended up keeping Caleb two more days. He was running a low fever in the late afternoons only. However, I managed to save myself a trip over to his day care to pick him up. I was called by nursery in the late afternoon. I explained how far away I was, that it would take me 45 minutes to arrive and his mom, who works in the same town would be able to leave work in 60 minutes. Nursery agreed that he might stay since he wasn’t showing viral or cold symptoms, just the low fever.
    Easy meals were on my radar last week. I made my own ‘hamburger helper’ type meals twice using browned ground beef, pasta and seasonings. It was a help for sure and tasted awesome. We had real rain last week and that brought in slightly cooler temperatures as well.
    I shopped my house late last week and planned to remove the curtains in the guest room because they don’t go with the room very well. I peeked into the music room, a space I seldom go into since my husband claims that as ‘his’ and noted he had a pair of panels that match those in my living room. I’d determined I needed three panels at each window and thought I was going to have to buy new curtains. No, I won’t! When we take those in his music room down to put up the others, I’ll put the up in the living room. No new purchase required.
    I cut open a toothpaste tube and am getting more mileage out of that. I also have turned a pump bottle of lotion upside down to get the last of that out. I am always shocked at how much product is remaining in these supposedly ’empty’ containers.
    I cleaned the kitchen deeply this past week and decided to move a chair that is really too big for the sitting area I have at one end. I moved a smaller chair from the living room there and that looked so much better. Then I had to rearrange things in the living room to accommodate the larger chair. Having realized I’d not have to buy curtains for living room, I felt safe in ordering a pretty ticking fabric to recover my wing chair. That will refresh it nicely. The new fabric cost a lot less than new drapes. I’d been keeping my eye on my tomato plants and noted that I had horned worms eating the leaves. I was able to save the plants and get them picked off and destroyed. I have three tomatoes right now and plenty of blooms. I rooted another few stems of coleus. As the plant starts to look leggy, I pinch off a few more sections and stick them in water. It’s giving me lots of extra to plant around the various pots and beds and is an easy and economical way to grow more. I also pinched back basil and mint and am trying to root those as well.

  54. The pretty handkerchiefs in your links reminded me of when one of my daughters was young. I had some stained handkerchiefs like those; I cut them up and put together a patchwork quilt and pillow for her doll bed as a Christmas gift. So pretty!
    Besides the usual things: we froze some salmon this week. Not sure it was truly frugal. My DH’s stepfather turned 90 and was a fisherman in his youth. He is too frail to be on a boat without assistance and his sons have issues with him. So his two stepsons kindly took him salmon fishing. So per pound the fish was expensive! But we couldn’t eat golf balls had this been a golfing trip instead, so I just need an attitude adjustment!
    A daughter works at a local grocery store and warned me that new price stickers were being made up for all the shelf stable items in the store, so to stock up quickly. We did, with her employee discount. Sure enough, two days later, prices were now 20-25% higher. Officially the food inflation rate is 10% in Canada, but all the prices I track are up 20% at least, up to 50% for a few; I noticed two pounds of fresh lemons jumped from $4 to $6 this week! By the way, chickpeas are in our news as the latest food to anticipate shortages and price jumps.
    Have a great week!

  55. Over the 4th of July weekend, we had 3 parties. 2 were at my house. The actual 4th was at my sister’s house. One was a 90th birthday for my mother-in-law, one was for my 1 and 2 year old grandsons and the 3rd was a 4th of July celebration, plus birthday for my mom. After all of that, I was pretty tired. I spent this week cleaning up, using up odds and ends of food that was left over, working and playing with my grandsons. It turned quite warm, so the pink kiddie pool on my deck got lots of action. Us adults were kind enough to scoot over and let the babies in part of the time……ha, ha! I actually did dip my feet in a couple of times!

    We didn’t need many groceries, as the garden is starting to produce more and there was a lot of food left over from the parties. We picked up butter for $1.99, milk, and some strawberries for 99c/lb. Again, these are California berries and not super soft or sweet. I was surprised at how many got eaten in spite of that, and I froze the rest for jam making later on. It’s nothing a little sugar can’t fix!

    I picked broccoli and froze the rest of the big heads. I will leave it for a while since side shoots usually form. We have baby cabbage and broccoli plants my husband started, waiting until a spot opens up in the garden. That will be after I pick the rest of the peas and pull the vines. Not long.

    I weeded when I could. Every little bit helps. I harvested peas and snow peas (Maestro shelling and Oregon Sugar Pod II), cilantro, an incredible amount of lettuce (for me and I shared), a few tiny Glacier tomatoes, artichokes, and raspberries.

    We took the babies to the beach on Saturday. It was fun. We had a good day with them.

    Pictures are on my blog http://beckyathome.com

  56. We celebrated the 4th at home with an unconventional dinner of roasted pork tenderloin and German potato salad. It was very tasty and we enjoyed the leftovers for several days after.
    I harvested loads of yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, and a variety of peppers this week. I canned 6 quarts of dill pickles and we have enjoyed tomato and cucumber salad throughout the week. We have eaten squash and zucchini as a side dish with our meals and I whipped up a squash casserole for us as well. I visited a local farm on Monday and bought a half bushel of #2 peaches. I used them to can 18 pints of jam and we ate some fresh as well. The jam was delicious on top of oatmeal and yogurt! I also picked up blackberries while we were there as they were 50% off and I froze them in gallon bags for use later in the year.
    We needed to take some furniture to my great aunt down in Miami and priced out the most inexpensive options. We ended up having a hitch installed on our vehicle and renting a covered trailer to take it to them. My great Aunt fed us two dinners and we chose a hotel that allowed us to bring our two dogs and provided free wifi and breakfast. Bonus is that we now have a hitch on our vehicle so if we need to pick up supplies for our yard/garden we can do it ourselves
    And save a delivery fee which these days are quite large.
    I am ordering seeds for our fall garden this week and am beginning to make plans for what we will plant and what might work best in our space.
    All of the zinnias, sunflowers and marigolds that I planted last Weekend have begun to germinate and I am excited to see them
    Come to life and bloom. Our yard was hydro seeded last week and I am So glad to say that the Bermuda grass is already starting to germinate. Judging by this happy news we should have grass instead of mud in our backyard in about 2 weeks.
    We received a large completely
    Unexpected financial gift this week. We paid off both of our credit cards as we had to use them recently to finance a couple of things for our home…like gutters.
    I harvested 6 large zucchini’s when we got home and used them to make 5 large loaves of zucchini bread. I will deliver one to a neighbor and put the rest
    Into the freezer.
    I have one large bed left on the far side of our home. I have been debating for many months on what to do with that space and have decided that I will use it to grow veggies. It gets good light throughout the day so I am hopeful that I can use it to grow peas and spinach… or lettuces that are a bit more delicate. This will also give me a start to our fall garden.
    Have a great week all!!

  57. This past week was hard hitting on the car fund….I’ve decided to switch mechanics again as my car left with off alignment and the horn no longer works. I plan to make these repairs at a different shop, and then take a long break on fixing the older vehicle until something major or a re-occurring maintenance like an oil change is needed. I’m also considering letting go of the older vehicle, but something keeps drawing me to keep it….

    On the frugal meter we stayed home for 4th of July. I made crock pot ribs and easy sides like chips and pickles, plus a strawberry shortcake. We invited two next door neighbors over and played cards afterward. It was a nice easy day and evening in. We also watched fireworks in our neighborhood. There were less this year perhaps due people having less discretionary funds.

    My son and I continue to maintain our own yard, which is hard in Florida due to the Summer rains it needs persistent mowing and attention to weeds. We also started removing mildew on our drip edge and hurricane shudders. Something most people pay for but we can do our selves. We got about half the job done in less than two hours. Now to find another late evening time without a rain storm to go finish!

    Life is good. Hope everyone is having a great week.

  58. I thought I commented on Monday but not have submitted — if you have CVS near you, check the app daily through July 23. They are giving a freebie each day. If you have the extra care pass membership, you can even have the item shipped free.

  59. Last week I posted that our backup freezer died and everything was lost as it had been dead for several days when I discovered it. Well, a neighbor who has a rental had the renter die and is not planning to rent at this time. He is getting rid of a 7 yr old fridge/ freezer and has offered it to us! It is newer than our 20 yr old in our kitchen. It it is stainless and our appliances are white so we are putting it in our basement where the other on was. Hopefully we can get it this week. With the 10 gallons of apples they gave us I have been making applesauce, apple cider vinegar( 2 gallons),and making fruit leather. At this point I think I will be drying lots of fruit and veggies, I don’t have enough of stuff to can but drying will give me the long term use.
    Our garden is not producing as it should be despite applying amendments and such. I have pictures from previous years and there was an abundance and this year is very poor. I hope it turns a corner soon. We are getting lots of rain now, so it isn’t dry in the least.
    We are continuing to walk daily for exercise, line dry, eat at home, consolidate errands, read library books and eat from the pantry for the most part. This week I bought cheese at $3# which is rock bottom now, and $2 worth of fruit.
    The flowers are doing well, so at least I have lovely arrangements to bring beauty indoors.

    Things are getting more precarious in the world, each day. This site, Brandy, is a calm, sweet spot to be reminded that we are stewards of our own little sphere! Thank you for the ongoing work you pour into the site!

  60. I have ordered a wireless Epson Ecotank printer for less than $250 which will result in cutting the cost of printing per page to a tiny fraction of what I’ve been paying for my old HP printer. I wish I knew how to have it alternate between ordinary ink and sublimation ink easily. But, so far in my life, I’ve rarely worked with iron-on transfers so I’m not going to worry about trying sublimation ink.
    Just now, I ordered via walmart.com a roll of 100 Forever stamps for a fraction of their usual cost, $35.36. Since I hadn’t gotten around to ordering the Forever stamps from the post office before the rate increase, I am very happy.
    My sister, driving from near Escanaba to Minneapolis Monday, called me worried about the weather they were driving into. The first storm looked like there were lots of areas of small rotations in it and she was wondering if she was seeing a shelf cloud. She got through that storm which was not severe warned despite the weather forecasters saying gusts could be above 50 mph (not what you want to hear when pulling a travel trailer but at least they were driving into the wind). Thirty minutes later, they were in a second thunderstorm which was severe warned. I didn’t think her weather would impact us. I mistakenly assumed the storms would go through northern Michigan. Hah. We supposedly had less than a 2% risk of a tornado. I heard distant rumbly thunder and decided to look at the radar around 11:40 p.m. What’s that red on the radar just to the west of us? I quickly gathered our purses, cell phone, Kindle, my shoes, a throw for mom, and pushed her in her wheelchair into our very small bathroom. I got her in sideways and was wishing we had put in a pocket door instead of hanging a double drape when we took down the regular door to make the bathroom wheelchair accessible. The tornado siren very nearby started blaring and blaring. At midnight, the tornado warning ended. It was an EF-0 tornado, with a path 7-9 miles long but only 400 ft wide and maximum of 65 mph winds. A tree did a number on the roof and dormer of one house, nine trees were downed in one hard-hit yard, a roof of a barn was pulled off , and a greenhouse and a barn of a horse farm that is also a wedding venue were badly damaged. The owners of that wedding venue are also owners of the historic Holly Hotel which suffered significant fire damage that made the national news a few weeks ago. The nearly 70-year-old owner said he’d never filed an insurance claim and now he has two in one month. The tornado came within a mile of our house. 20/20 hindsight, I think the rumbles I heard were from the tornado. The authorities think there were no injuries because of the tornado. But I gave my mom’s shin a big skin tear when I was trying to get her out of the bathroom right after the warning ended. Her wheelchair and the toilet handicap arms frame had gotten entangled. I did not realise her leg was part of the entanglement. Oh, it bled. And since she was wedged in, it took a while to get her into her bedroom and her injured leg elevated onto her bed. Thankfully, she is not on blood thinners and once her shin was elevated, the bleeding quickly stopped with just a bit of pressure. It is going to take time to heal. I just hope that the wound won’t get infected. After I got mom’s wound wrapped, I called her doctor’s practice to ask for a visit from a woundcare nurse. But after I changed the dressing today, I called back to say I think things are under control but asked if the doctor wanted me to continue to use triple antibiotic ointment-and asked when the doctor’s next visit will be. With previous skin tears, mom’s doctor at the time said to use it while a wound care nurse said don’t.
    I ordered a steam cleaner during the special sales this week but after I spoke with my sister I had second thoughts. I was able to cancel the order before it shipped.
    We’re getting the yard next to mom’s house de-jungled soon and two dying trees in our front yard removed. The weed trees got away from me after I hurt my back and hip. It didn’t help that I did not know how to identify two common invasive bushes and trees. I have a feeling the tornado will delay our job by a bit. It is a small enough job (although it is all we can afford right now) that it will be done after a big job is done in the neighborhood. I think this will be phase one of a multi-year job of getting the trees in mom’s yard into excellent shape.

    1. So glad your house was not hit by the tornado! Sorry to hear of the poor owners of the Holly Hotel having their house damaged as well. I grew up my entire childhood in Holly, and even ate at the Holly Hotel once when as a teen I won a writing contest. I cried when I heard of the fires there a few weeks back—so many family’s livelihoods were in the businesses that were burned in the nearby arcade.

  61. Hello, it sounds like your garden is still hanging in there in spite of the heat–110 sounds really awful. Is the air dry; is there any wind? Summer finally started for us, after a very rainy June, the last couple of weeks. We had one 93 degree day. Something ate most of the leaves off of the six tomato plants. So far we have harvested three cherry tomatoes. We are cooking more of the staple items we have on hand and buy sale items like so many other people. I did have one notable savings though. I went to the store late one evening and noticed a produce worker picking up and putting down mesh bags of nectarines. I went down another aisle but came back through later to find that he had put all of the bagged nectarines on the $1 rack. There were 6 or 7 nectarines in each bag, and they were not ripe or bruised. Another employee asked the worker, “What’s wrong with these?” He said there was nothing wrong with them; they just had to “pull them.” After the employee took what she wanted, I took seven bags full. I felt selfish taking so many, but there were quite a few bags left. At the checkout they scanned at $6.97 per bag. The attendant changed the prices for me, so I bought between 40 and 50 nectarines for $7. I put them in the bottom drawer of the frig. to keep them, and I have been taking out a half dozen to ripen in a brown paper bag. They ripen nicely in the dark with the bag closed up. They should last into next week. Our children are here reroofing our house–a huge savings for us. Before they came my husband put together a list of shingles and other materials. He shopped by phone and online and found that Home Depot had the best prices. He wanted 50-year shingles, so we won’t have to do the roof again. Then when he went to order and arrange for delivery, the Home Depot employee said it was a big enough order he could submit it for a contractor’s discount. We ended up saving 15% on everything. We charged it to a credit card that will give us 5% back. This is just a huge blessing for us. Our local builders supply had the best price on lumber. My husband had to buy a few 2x6x10 s and found they cost just under $21 each. He said they cost about $2.50 each when we built the house. Our income has certainly not gone up by that percentage in that amount of time. Another small thing I did was to use Knorr’s vegetable soup mix for a base and add the leftover vegetables from the week plus a can of drained kidney beans and chopped onion and celery to make soup for supper one night. We had that with homemade bread from fresh ground wheat. It tastes so much better is so much less expensive than store bought. I am hanging most of the clothes to dry except for towels and sheets. I have an extra shower rod over the tub/shower that I use most of the time that I can roll back out of the way, but with company I didn’t do that. I am taking an online class that saves money on gas, if I were to have to attend in person. I am hoping I can get a decent paying job next fall when I finish this. Best wishes to everyone.

    1. Any wind is hot and dry, like an oven.

      But last night we got some humidity. The a/c has started to drip water on the side of the house.

      That and a few passing clouds may be all we get this year of what should be rain in the next few days. We need rain.

      1. Yes, I remember the first time I woke up to dew on the ground; I thought it was disgusting. I was so used to the desert. I didn’t know what mold and mildew looked like. I had only read about it on cleaning product labels. It would be nice to have something in between soggy and parched. I can see why you are transforming your backyard into an oasis. It must be looking nicer and nicer.

  62. Time seems to be moving at a rapid pace here. DH and I are doing a bit of a remodel/update on a bedroom at the summer cottage. We finally took down the bunk beds after 35 years. The beds will be stored for a child should they want them. The crib finally got tossed in the trash. DH rewired in order to put in an over head fan and light and then did a coat of primer over the old panelling. My job is to pry up the old stick on floor tiles and then put down upgraded flooring. We’ve decided to get a different panelling rather than painting. It looks like white bead board. I’ll move our double brass bed into the room and I’ve order a new bed for us from Ikea. We also ordered another bed from Ikea for one other bedroom since the current bed is awful to sleep on. We feel pretty fancy getting all this done in order to please adult kids, their spouses/girlfriends and assorted children.
    I bought a pressure canner over the winter and I finally worked up even courage to use it this week. What was I afraid of? So far I’ve done chickpeas(2 different varieties) and baked beans. DH wondered why I would bother doing it so I explained the cost of a bag of dry beans was equal to the cost of 1 can at the store yet it would yield at least 7 pints of processed beans. And the cost of food has significantly increased. I know we can afford it but I feel if I just go ahead and buy things, it sets a bad example for those that can’t afford to do the same. Plus making my own is healthier as I don’t put in salt so we can get our BP lower.
    Milk, eggs and dairy are all going up this year and meat is already sky high.
    I’ve been reading lots of books from both the library and friends. Lately I’ve been reading “The Palace Papers” by Tina Brown. Yes, it’s about the Royals but it’s not gossipy. Quite interesting.
    The lettuce is about done in the garden now. I will have to re-seed it soon and plant beans and peas while it’s still fairly cool. I have harvested herbs and dried them like winter savoury and oregano. I still have to do the mint, lemon balm, sweet cicely and sage, chives, cilantro and dill as well as rosemary.
    I won’t do pickles this year as I still have enough relish and canned tomatoes. But I will need to make some freezer jam soon before the strawberries and raspberries end. And I just used the last of the garlic scape pesto so I’ll have to make another pesto batch soon with my basil. I keep it in the freezer in one portion sizes.
    We bought folding muskoka chairs made from recycled plastic this year and I put 2 together this past weekend. Two more to go this weekend. And I took back a new patio umbrella since one of the support arms broke. It got replaced no problem.
    The first farmers market was this week so I got some fresh beets, green and yellow beans, mushrooms, cherries and some gooseberries. It’s my first time with gooseberries so I think I’ll make a small batch of chutney. The beet tops have been washed, chopped and are in the fridge to eat this week. I must admit I felt badly throwing out the stems. I mean, we eat the stems of swiss chard so wouldn’t these taste the same?
    I had a bit of leftover ham in the freezer from Easter. This past week it served as a dinner cooked with pineapple chunks, then some breakfast meat, then a sandwich or two and finally ground up in the food processor with onion, celery and green pickle, mixed a bit of mayo in and it’s been into 4 more sandwiches and there’s still a bit left. Amazing what you can do with a bit of leftover meat.
    Our winter house has sent us two months of really high water bills. Since we turn the water off to the house there’s no way this should be occurring. We called and the County is going to inspect the new meter. I’m sure it won’t be resolved quickly but at least it’s a start.
    Gas prices are bouncing around a bit here. This week they’ve been hovering about $1.85/litre but Sunday i got a fill up for $1.77/litre. And I just read it’s going to drop 9 cents a litre by Friday so I’ll fill up again at the cheapest place I can find.
    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments. Stay safe everyone.

  63. Saw a sign on the door of a local (middle Tennessee) Burger King offering 8lb bag of ice for $1.00! Don’t know if this is nationwide or not.

  64. Last week I posted that our backup freezer died and everything was lost as it had been dead for several days when I discovered it. Well, a neighbor who has a rental had the renter die and is not planning to rent at this time. He is getting rid of a 7 yr old fridge/ freezer and has offered it to us! It is newer than our 20 yr old in our kitchen. It it is stainless and our appliances are white so we are putting it in our basement where the other on was. Hopefully we can get it this week. With the 10 gallons of apples they gave us I have been making applesauce, apple cider vinegar( 2 gallons),and making fruit leather. At this point I think I will be drying lots of fruit and veggies, I don’t have enough of stuff to can but drying will give me the long term use.
    Our garden is not producing as it should be despite applying amendments and such. I have pictures from previous years and there was an abundance and this year is very poor. I hope it turns a corner soon. We are getting lots of rain now, so it isn’t dry in the least.
    We are continuing to walk daily for exercise, line dry, eat at home, consolidate errands, read library books and
    The flowers are doing well, so at least I have lovely arrangements to bring beauty indoors.

    Things are getting more precarious in the world, each day. This site Brandy, is a calm, sweet spot to be reminded that we are stewards of our own little sphere! Thank you for the ongoing work you pour into the site!

  65. You have inspired me with your flowers. I went to gather what I have today and it was a pretty pathetic amount but I put them together in kind of a wild arrangement and I kind of love it! I am going to keep trying…to keep planting and learning and growing. I put a row of red zinnias down between my dying off potatoes and I’m so excited that they are flouring and the color will be so fun in my green garden. My kids and husband all went and got free subs the other day thanks to somebody who commented on it. I’m not really grocery shopping much these day but working through our freezers and fridges. I figure we might need to not be running all of them as energy costs skyrocket. Maybe we can sell one or two. My husband bought a part for our ailing dryer. It’s a propane dryer. It’s so humid here right now with rain often that it’s more of a challenge to dry clothes on the line. We did fill up our propane tank when prices were lower and it should last us a year but I was thinking that I should challenge myself that we only use half of it. I don’t know; it’s hard with other people. I had decided to put our lasagna in the oven and since we had company we had homemade bread sticks too and my husband put them in our other electric oven. I guess I need to talk to him about how I was going to try not to be so wasteful. Actually, it would have been fine to slide the breadsticks in after the lasagna because it always needs to sit awhile afterwards. I want to get the family on board with saving my energy but I need to plan way ahead. I did all of that in the heat of a blistering hot day. Really so much is about communication and planning. My husband is really good about things like cars. My son was in a wreck and my husband has been so frugal about fixing it and fixing my car too. He uses Rock Part Autos a lot because they are so cheap. The kids enjoy the car magnets they send with purchases. The garden is sure producing a lot. We made pickles and I want to make refrig. pickles too. Have a great week everybody!

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