I harvested tomatoes, an Armenian cucumber, grapes, figs, peaches, and a Kaho watermelon from the garden this past week.

I saved the seeds from the watermelon to plant again next year. I also planted some of them in the garden this morning.

I removed squash bugs by hand from the garden and dropped them into a bucket of soapy water.

The only food I bought this week was baking soda, baking powder, and whipping cream. I had my son bring these home from work and they were all the store brand, so I received a 10% discount.

I read three e-books from the library: The Bookshop on the Corner, The Bookshop on the Shore, and Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, all by Jenny Colgan.

I carpooled to a neighborhood meeting that was downtown at City Hall.

I tried out the YouTube music app for the second week and really like it. I was able to download several songs that I really enjoy to my phone.

What did you do to save money last week?

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177 Comments

  1. Mmm melon I could eat that now.

    We have not done much this week. It has been very hot for UK it is due to go up to 41C/ 105F we are wimps compared to some of you. I haven’t done any shopping this week. I prepared a lot of salad stuff and cooked a joint of ham from the freezer, which I bought on offer. This should last until the temperature goes down a bit. I have bread and cake for tea.

    We are watering the garden each evening so the plants don’t dry out so quickly. I am picking peas, french and broad beans, peppers, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. The flower borders could badly do with some attention. I have not mowed the lawn it looks like a meadow, very pretty.

    Thankfully the plumber came on Tuesday it was like a Chinese water torcher in the kitchen, we used the drip water on the garden .A good job done.

    Hope everyone is well
    Chris

    1. Hello from the UK,
      I’ve used gift cards to buy food this week. Been to the library and picked out books for the next few weeks.

      Im also starting a new job tomorrow which should bring in extra income. I just want to be careful that my lack of time doesn’t mean I spend more. I need to stay organised so that the extra money is well used.

      Today I did my volunteering at the local charity shop this means I get 50% off anything in the shop. I always look for things that are on my list. I keep a list for charity shops and car boot sales just in case I come across something and stops the impulse buying. Today I found a bag with water bottle holders on the side and it should be perfect for picnic.

      Im still working on communication with my husband about money. Especially impulse buys.

      Ive been and got a tonne bag of wood off cuts from the local staircase makers for £20. Every now and then I get these and squirrel it away for winter. Hard work loading the car then unloading and storing it but worth it. Good exercise too. Gas/electric is going up 65% in October so while I can get prepared I will. A friend also had some wood that she offered. I will use the electric saw to cut these down. So far about 1/2 of our wood stores are full.

      Im enjoy the sunshine, feels a little like being on holiday. Lots of ice in water and cheap easy meals. Mainly sandwiches though if Im honest but making sire nothing goes to waste.

      Have a lovely week everyone.

      1. Vicki, I can’t imagine such a steep jump in gas/electric-and all at once. Great work stocking up on wood to help heat your home. I know that many things are going up in Canada too and families are struggling with increased bills for many things-but 65% for essential utilities is staggering. Wishing you the best with your budget.

      2. Hi Vicki
        Ouch! Our electricity tariff is fixed until September but I know there aren’t many cost-cutting tariffs on offer and there probably won’t be come September when our deal ends. The price cap increase we’re all facing is eye watering. We are also expecting to use our wood fires more.
        I expect you know the website moneysavingexpert, I read every week, particularly Martin Lewis’s advice on electricity prices and when/ how to take action.
        Hold hands everyone, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  2. I’ve been dropping into soapy water the Japanese beetles and Junebugs. The squash bugs just get squished. It’s amazing how 26 years of life on a homestead will change you! I canned yellow squash and tomatoes, and did stewed tomatoes this time, which I think will make a nicer sauce. I also canned the tomato juice. Another day, I blanched and froze lambs quarter. Cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow squash, tromboncino, eggplant, blueberries, a very few blackberries, parsley, oregano, basil, the first green beans and lambs quarter were harvested. At Aldi, I bought a pineapple for $1.49, which is the cheapest I’ve seen in a long time. I keep looking for the .99 pineapples I read about people finding, but never see any in this area. If I did, I’d try canning them. My husband was given a large bag of local sweet corn, and froze most of it, after enjoying several ears. We got rid of our two “extra” roosters, after my husband listed them free online. A woman and her small son came to pick them up, and though we didn’t ask directly, we believe they will be additions to their farm nearby. Though, in these times, I couldn’t begrudge anyone wanting to put food by, I’m hoping they’re living their best lives, with a flock of their own. I dehydrated the cut off tomato tops from canning for suet, and a few mushrooms that needed to be used, to add to the soup mix. I planted the ends of one celery, and four lettuce in the garden. We did a project we’ve been talking about for some time, which is making holes in a large piece of styrofoam that came with something shipped here for the pots, and floating the pots in our pond for lettuce. It supposedly keeps the lettuce cool enough to be happy during the summer, and the water has enough nutrients in it to help them thrive. I planted four pots to start. If they do well, we plan to add more. We’d read about it in our of our magazines, then had a neighbor say it had worked well for him at their previous home, so we decided to try it. If there’s any time to be creative, it’s probably now. I cleaned the chicken coop, and cut spearmint and southernwood sprigs to place in the coop and nest boxes. I continue soaking scratch grains overnight for the chickens, and giving them a mixture of banana peels, and whatever else I have that day. While braiding onions on the porch with the pups, I saw a green snake fall from the roof. It took me a minute to realize an anole lizard had it in it’s mouth. They battled for two or three minutes before the anole let the snake go. I figure the snake had probably gone after the anole, and he was having no part of it! We had guests on Sunday. They appreciated the photos of the garden I shared on social media, and asked if they could come out. I was gifted a piece of a new to me herb, called papalo. It’s sometimes compared to cilantro, and has a strong scent and taste. I’ve got it in water, to see if it will grow roots. I was also given a bag of worm castings, an excellent gift for a gardener. Cucumbers and tomatoes were shared. My husband sowed carrot seeds. To the lovely Canadian reader who shared about the free HP papers, mine arrived today. Thank you so much!
    http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2022/07/summer-canning-lettuce-experiment.html

    1. Cool idea on the lettuce! Hoping it works well for you and filing this idea away in case we ever have a little pond.

  3. At about 8:30 on Monday morning we dug up and loaded our trailer with these lovely paver bricks (which actually match some we have previously used for a walkway and had been hoping to make another walkway) compliments of generous friends who were remodeling. It took 3 loads but we are over the moon to get started getting these used up!
    First link is one of the 3 trailer loads. https://pin.it/76DdiOR Photo #2 is the area that previously held those paver bricks. https://pin.it/5O6SDw3
    We finished and were home to rest up by 4 PM. (We had 2 stops on the way home with the final trailer load- Dairy Queen and JoAnn fabrics!😉)

    Decided after a day outside on Monday, with a good bit of lifting and walking, that I would rest some muscles and stay inside.
    So I spent the day canning- 11 pints of pickle relish from our garden’s cucumbers and 29 pints of green beans from our garden! ( I used green beans that were all from our garden, but most had been bagged and frozen and were taking up valuable freezer real estate! 🥴)
    So, even though it wasn’t a day building new walkways, I feel like my time was not wasted! https://pin.it/235sDkQ
    Wednesday saw me finish the T-shirt quilt top for my Houston granddaughter who will be leaving to start BYU-Idaho the end of August. I will back it with Minkee- https://pin.it/3NPUxDt. Here is the backing I chose: https://pin.it/6h3i6BU. I had to buy it because of the size of the quilt but I did get it for 50% off!

    On Thursday, we went to our friends’ home who are downsizing to a condo. They had previously given us and our daughter’s family tons of canning jars, lids, wheat, beans and other food storage and our son-in-law had fallen in love with their grow towers. They had told us they would be selling them and our son-in-law told them he wanted to buy them (without knowing the price). They sold him the 3 towers on Thursday for $100 total!! They included boxes of nutrients, seed starters and several boxes of “extras”! He is over the moon! Our friend picked a batch of green beans but left everything planted in them in tact for them to continue grow!! We used our trailer to carry them back to their house! Here’s a similar tower. Note the cost, even on sale for $200 less than normal: https://pin.it/57Wbvob. They saved over $2000!!

    In my Use it Up mode, I found a dinner recipe that we tried and enjoyed- Cheesy Quesadilla Casserole- https://pin.it/5Ldm85H. It used up (from my fridge) some home canned Rotel and corn tortillas and (from my pantry) home canned pinto beans and DIY taco seasoning mix! And Hubs liked it enough for me to add it to our “Repeaters” Pinterest board! ❤️

    On Saturday, we were going to a baptism so I made cookies to take- Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal cookies- https://pin.it/2TThFfm .
    https://pin.it/LB3q38S I also made 4 dozen peanut butter cookies. It’s so convenient to have ingredients stored in my pantry! ❤️
    We got takeout egg rolls that night but the restaurant was out of sweet and sour sauce so I made our own from a recipe I’ve had for years! https://pin.it/72vVAo2.

    Today I made a loaf of bread in our breadmaker using some potato flakes from our food storage! It makes a 2 pound loaf which slices up beautifully and is just the right size for Hubs and me to enjoy without it going bad! I put ingredients in around 7 AM and by 10 AM a nice warm loaf was coming out!! 🎉🎉 And I didn’t have to do anything once I dumped ingredients in!! Now, to get even lazier, I’m making up a bunch of Breadmaker Mixes so the only thing I will measure in the future will be the water and the butter! Thanks to Pinterest, I have several different varieties to make the mixes!! Lazy and cheap! That’s me!! Lol!!

    The prices on things keep going up although gas seems to continue it’s downward trend- We filled up on Saturday for $4.06/gallon here in town! We had some more gentle rain this morning which is perfect for our gardens! So far, in July this year, we have received 5.6” of rainfall. Our average total for the whole year is 64”. We are grateful for it and wish we could somehow share some with you, Brandy, and your other readers who are in drought areas.

    The world looks crazy these days so we are going to focus most on little things we can do to be more thoughtful/sensitive of others who are going through their own personal (often unseen) challenges!

    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. Hi GardenPat,
      Would you please share your bread recipe that uses potato flakes?
      Nothing better than homemade bread!
      Thanks in advance !
      Sue

      1. Sue- I’d be happy to! Here is the one I used in my Breadmaker : https://pin.it/10L88hq. I don’t keep bread flour so the conversion is for every cup of All purpose flour, add 1 teaspoon of gluten. So in this recipe, I add 4 teaspoons of gluten to the dry ingredients along with the4 cups of all purpose flour.

        If I’m making bread, not using a breadmaker, here’s a link to my favorite whole wheat sandwich bread which also uses potato flakes: https://youtu.be/TwaJss5AQKg.

        Let me know how it goes!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

  4. Wow Brandy that watermelon looks delicious-and I don’t even like watermelon-lol! Small savings this week included stocking up on several dozen large eggs for $2.69 each-which is the best price I have seen here in quite awhile. Due to a scanning error at the store I was able to purchase 2 cans of tuna for .50 per can.
    Not so frugal-My back is acting up so headed to physio-I do have partial insurance coverage towards the cost. My DH will drop me off to save on the parking charges-and to visit an elderly relative in the nursing home close by during my apt-saving money on gas by combining trips.
    On Sat DH and I headed to the mountains and took advantage of a free provincial parks admission day-took our own food/drinks so only OOP was the gas. We spotted 6 different grizzly bears within an hour of leaving home-that experience was priceless to me-especially given we cancelled any other more costly summer vacation plans due to illness.

    1. That’s amazing to see so many grizzlies. They must have decided to give the park visitors a treat on free park pass day! I am content that I have seen one in the wild, and got to watch it for a good length of time. I’ve travelled a lot, but that was one of the most exciting things ever.

    2. I am greatly envious of your grizzly spotting adventure. It is the prime time to see them
      as the buffaloberries are ripe beside Highway 40.

  5. We have continued to get enough cucumbers to eat fresh and yesterday had our first garden tomato! Delicious! My husband continues to stalk to mark-down meat clearance at our local Shop & Save, and he found 2 pound packages of kielbasa for $2.99, which is a good price for us. He bought 5 packages for us and to share with our children who live on their own. We stayed the weekend at a cabin, but brought food from home and cooked. I redeemed another $25 Amazon gift card and used it to purchase my brother-in-law’s Christmas present. Last year we finally started just picking one name per person to buy for – this lets us get a nicer gift for each person and still stay under budget. We don’t exchange gifts on my side, although I would like to get my great nephews and niece a present this year. My husband keeps buying me short-date yogurt, and I keep trying to eat them up… He’s so happy when he finds them that I hate to tell him to stop, but I’m getting a little tired of them.

    It doesn’t seem like we are doing much to be frugal or to save. We are paying all our bills and saving for vacation and the holidays, but that is about it. I feel like we are in a rut. I don’t feel like I have any super frugal tips to share or anything that deserves a woo-hoo. Does anyone else ever feel that way?

    1. I feel the same way sometimes. Hanging laundry, washing on the cold cycle, rarely eating out, shopping sales aren’t Woo-Hoo moments. But we are putting extra to our mortgage every month. So when we pay off our mortgage early, that will be a Woo-Hoo moment.

      1. We also pay extra to our mortgage every month, and I do get a thrill watching the balance go down! Thank you for reminding me of that simple pleasure!

    2. Does your husband buy you Greek yogurt? If so, try Googling “2 ingredient” dough. Super easy and you can make so many things with it.

    3. Regarding your yogurt issue, instead of just eating “as”, you could use in baking, in salad dressing, etc. In other words, repurpose the ingredients.
      I have learned to do this a lot to make sure that I am not wasting anything. The internet is a great source for thee kinds of situations.
      I hope this helps.

      1. It is the flavored kind, but I have seen where someone spread it out on wax paper and froze it then broke it into pieces for a cool summer snack – I may try that!

        1. I’ve scooped it into an ice tray, froze, then pop outl and put in a ziploc bag for smoothies . My husband is bad about buying markdown ones also(not always flavors I like so smoothies they go in)

        2. I was just going to share that I put yogurt in the freezer for a frozen treat. It works for coconut milk yogurt as well.

    4. Alice – I commented on this feeling of not doing anything particularly note-worthy to share here once before. I think that is especially true when you have been frugal all your life. But, I also think we often overlook the things we do that really make a difference simply because they are so familiar. Little things do make a difference and sharing them inspires others. I am glad you and all the other readers here comment so faithfully and enjoy reading all there is to share. Have a lovely day!

    5. You can freeze yogurt. Hubby used to do it all the time so he could pack them in his lunch and said most times they were still icy. Daughter does it also because she likes frozen yogurt instead of ice cream

    6. Alice, don’t feel bad about mentioning the normal stuff. It motivates me to see that other people do things like burying food scraps in the raised bed….plus, there might be someone new reading who didn’t know your everyday tips before!

  6. Doesn’t the watermelon look interesting. The same taste, I wonder?
    I’ve had a sore foot this week from tendonitis, so I haven’t been out spending money. I probably have another week to go before I can do any errands. That leaves me with a week of grocery money left over unspent when my pensions come in.
    I used a t-shirt to wrap up ice cubes to ice my foot. Easy to shape around angles and soft on my skin. I used a scarf left over from my city work wardrobe in place of an ACE bandage. The cat was intrigued by the fringes on my scarf, though gentle with my sore foot.
    Canada’s central bank raised our prime interest rate by a full percentage point this week, a few weeks before a loan I have renews. That is on top of two other increases. It’s not a huge loan, so I can deal with it okay. What amazed me, Brandy, was the weekend after the rise, three high-price lake cabins near me were sold by one agent in the one weekend! I understand why people were trying to sell, to consolidate real estate holdings to their city homes. I imagine the people buying were selling more expensive city properties and getting rid of mortgages for retirement, but who knows how much money is also around in senior business people’s accounts. Though prices seemed high to me, maybe there are deals to be had.
    A neighbor brought by a few pieces of rhubarb cake, I thought to be kind, but I suspect checking that I am able to take care of myself. She was looking around the edge of the front door quite a bit. We are long-term neighbors, but do not know each other at all well, so it feels intrusive. I got my garbage wheely-bin down to the curb for pick-up this morning, at least.

    1. The buyers would have already locked in lower rates for those houses. Some people are locking in interest rates for a loan for 6 months now.

  7. What a great short grocery list! The main comment here is even with thoughtful spending, they are constantly needing items from the grocery (mainly due to the grocery not having the items previous).

    I bagged the grass clipping while mowing and am using the clippings in the beds in leu of mulch. Just a thin enough layer to help with the weeds and feed the beds.

    Waited for an online sale to replace wardrobe staples.

    Picked green beans and a cucumber from my garden. I hand pollinated the veggie plants in hopes for more (squash). I had missed digging up a potato last year and this year it gave me 6 potatoes.

    Hope everyone has a calm week!

    1. J, for a lark one year, and to see what would happen, I planted a sweet potato that had sprouted on the kitchen counter. It provided sweet potatoes for several years!

  8. For the very first time in my life I used a food pantry. I was so greatful to receive a large box of plums, another large box of apples, some sweet potatoes, two gallons of milk, and a case of grapefruit juice. This was a real blessing for me as my sister has moved in with me from another state and, due to long Covid, is unable to work. I have dehydrated some plums to use in fruitcakes and other baking in the fall and winter and am making plum jam and jelly. I will make dried apples and applesauce, freeze some of the milk and make some yoghurt, and enjoy the other food and drinks also. I have been very, very reluctant to do this in the past because I know there are people that need things more than I but realized that now, being on a fixed income with another person to support, I am now one of those people. I continue to make do and mend, waste as little as possible, and be content.

    1. After paying taxes for many, many years, I am so glad to see that money being spent for people who really need it (in food shelves or any other kind of help) as opposed to some of the many questionable ways (in my opinion) it is being spent.

    2. I am a long time food bank volunteer in the PNW. I just wanted to tell you that I am very happy you visited your local food bank. I know people can feel awkward about using these services, but if it helps: please remember that you are also helping the people around *you*, by diverting food waste. Rotting food is a major source of methane, and the people who use food banks/pantries rescue a LOT of food that would otherwise be thrown away. (Particularly in the summer, when food banks tend to fill up with TONS of produce that needs to be used up ASAP.) So again, I’m glad you went, and thank you for doing your part to help the planet!

      1. I have read that some recipients of food bank food often can’t or don’t or don’t have facilities to cook, so they are more interested in getting meals or ready-to-go foods rather than ingredients. Is that your experience?
        Also, they are often used to preserved foods, so fresh green beans, for example, do not taste right to them, because they are used to commercially canned ones?

        1. In a discussion with our at-the-time school superintendent about food needs in the student community, we were discussing the backpacks of food sent home each weekend with students and she said they often bring back potatoes because they don’t know how to cook them. Also, Mac and cheese because they don’t have a microwave. I firmly believe we need more classes in schools that teach basic cooking and frugal ways.

        2. I think what Heidi Louise wrote is now quite common of free lunch programs. When I was involved in a community garden for a dozen years, I would pick the abandoned plots in the summer (student gardens mostly) and take hundreds of pounds of veg to the local St Vincent de Paul lunch program. The director and staff were always appreciative for fresh ingredients. After 11 yrs. or so, the kitchen director and crew retired, and the new people didn’t have the skills or knowledge to do the same, so the program switched to canned and frozen foods. I believe that currently, the lunch program is a “boxed” one.

          1. I have taught in 2 different middle schools over the past 25 years. We give food backpacks to many students weekly, and during Covid we offered a bag of weekend food to anyone who wanted them. Many students go through the bags and take out what they like or can easily prepare on their own, leaving items that require other ingredients or are difficult to make. If you check the bus stop after the children leave, there would be a dozen cans of spaghetti sauce, for example. They want things like Easy Mac or canned ravioli instead. I have been on home visits where we took children a gallon of milk, but they did not have a refrigerator to store it. They throw out SO MUCH food on a daily basis at breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria (it’s free to all students at the school where I currently teach). It makes me so sad and frustrated! In the past we could store leftovers and any student could come take extras, but no longer allowed to do that with Covid precautions. My son’s elementary school had a school garden but students wouldn’t take the vegetables, and the adults didn’t want to take away from the families who needed them. It’s hard to have a one-size-fits-all solution. I wish we could bring back classes and programs to teach children (and parents!) how to cook from scratch, how to use ingredients instead of packaged convenience foods, and how to make do with what they have.

        3. I can only speak for my area, but that’s not my experience. My local food bank is very large and busy, and serves a wide variety of people. Our clients (many of whom have young families) LOVE fresh vegetables and fruit, and there’s an entire group of volunteers who just focus on rescuing fruit/vegetables–removing rotten fruit, repackaging it, etc. We also have a kitchen, and volunteers who prepare sample foods using whatever we have in abundance. This is particularly helpful when we’re overflowing with a particular ingredient. (For example, we might be giving away not just one container of arugula per household, but as many as they will take. In that case, the kitchen will try to make arugula into a variety of dishes, and then offer samples and recipes to people waiting in line.) We do keep a stash of no-cook foods for people with no access to stoves or refrigerators, and there is a separate program in the summer that brings lunches for kids in low-income apartments, which frequently hands out simple packaged foods for kids to take home to eat later (or share with older siblings who might be embarrassed to be seen getting a free lunch), but the vast majority of our clients want the same “normal” food as anyone else.

          That said, this type of food bank (a “grocery store model”) takes an ARMY of volunteers, and includes everything from drivers to gleaners to the floor staff. If you live in a more remote area, or your local food bank relies on federal goods rather than locally-sourced foods, you’re going to get REALLY different stuff. Also, we always try to mindful of the fact that not everyone has access to a variety of spices or cooking oils–those are items that are almost NEVER donated, and they make a huge difference in how the finished product actually tastes!

    3. It’s wonderful you went. My granddaughter used to work at one (now goes to it as a client) said it was horrible to know there was people that didn’t come for what ever reason and they had to throw food away. My mother and Pop worked one also. Made the same comment.

    4. Deb, fixed incomes don’t go as far anymore, and definitely not when you have another person to feed. What a kindness that you are caring for your sister! Years ago, I used the local food bank to help feed my children. I, too, felt reluctant to do so but, looking back, realize that they are there for just this. You are using what you picked up in very wise ways and being a good steward of what you have and your situation. God bless you.

    5. Good for you! I know in the past it’s been hard for me to ask for help, but it’s there. Here’s an idea – at our local food bank, they’re always looking for volunteers to help. And if someone volunteers 10 hours per week, they can take home a box of food. I did that at one point in my life. Some how ‘working’ for that box of food helped my attitude. Before covid, I too had to start using the food bank as well and could not do the volunteer time any more. It helped a lot and I was so grateful for it.

  9. That melon looks absolutely delicious! Perfect for a summer day.

    Our major frugal action has been finding online replacement dishwasher racks. Both were back ordered but the top one arrived and is installed by my husband with the help of a YouTube video. Under $100 for each one and that seems to be all that is wrong with the Bosch dishwasher that came with this house 5 1/2 years ago. I think it is 7 years old based on the serial number. The water here is extremely hard (we added a water softener) so happy to keep it out of the landfill as the racks were quite rusty.

    We had a third unexplained middle of the night power outage. This one was 3 hours so no food lost. It did cause me to figure out what we need to get through one that lasted several days. I was pleased to see we have quite a bit on the list and made my priority shopping list for the most important missing items. My older son was quite helpful in thinking about what was essential and what would make us more comfortable which will spread out the spending.

    This is the first week I have noticed significant price increases at the grocery store. Of course few sales for quite a while but the full price amounts had stayed pretty much the same for what we buy until now. I used a can of pumpkin from the cupboard, part of a jar of applesauce and the last bits of pecans and almonds to make 2 dozen muffins this morning. I plan to make cranberry ones tomorrow to use up an open bag of cranberries passed on by a son. Nice for breakfast and snacks.

  10. What a lovely colour the water melon is. I’m in awe how you cope in hot weather. We hit 35C in our garden today (not use to heat in the UK) so I’m up early watering and taking the dog out early to avoid the heat. I harvested peaches, strawberries, black and red currents, and gooseberries. Had to freeze some of the fruit as I couldn’t preserve them quick enough. I also picked mange tout, super plants they just keep producing. Cut the last of last years pak choi and chard.
    Repaired 2 pairs of trousers and I’m working on making a top smaller, fingers crossed I get the shoulders to fit properly.
    Only buying essentials but I have bought items for my daughter who has been unable to get basic items like oats and garlic pure, where she lives.
    Thank you for your posts they are always encouraging.

    1. I had to look up “mange tout.” In the US, we call them snow peas.

      Brandy, I’d love to have a piece of that watermelon! Wow! What a lovely picture.

  11. Hello!

    I found several good coupon-app deals at a local grocery store, so I added quite a few items to our pantry. I also received 9% cash back through Upside at the same store, and I submitted the receipt on Ibotta and Fetch as well.

    I received 19 cents a gallon back from Upside on gas purchased at the cheapest station nearby.

    We’ve had such excessive heat in our area that my larger tomato varieties aren’t ripening. This happens to me almost every year, despite the varieties supposedly being high heat tolerant. I pulled them from the vine and placed them in a bag with a banana (as recommended) but it hasn’t worked.

    I discovered a persimmon tree along a creek that runs behind our house. It currently has green fruit, so I will keep an eye it.

    My children play with several neighborhood kids who are constantly getting new toys……it’s REALLY extreme! Many of these families are lacking things they could really use, so I’ve had many discussions with my kids lately about wants verses needs, and saving for things we feel matter much more. They save their own money, but we don’t want them spending it on junk. I took them “shopping” at Grandma’s over the weekend. They got to borrow some toys, and my daughter was given a cute bag with miniature perfume samples. My 6 year old now says he is saving his money for “ big ticket” items and experiences only. I think they are starting to get it a little bit.

    I’m currently reading “The Foundling,” by Ann Leary. I had been on the waitlist for it quite a while, it’s supposed to be a “gripping page-turner.” So far, it’s very good. The book is inspired on a true story about a women’s mental asylum in the 1920’s where two orphan friends reunite, but one is an employee, and the other is a patient. The latter is hoping to escape with her friend’s assistance. I’ve also requested several other books mentioned on this blog, so thank you all very much!!

  12. This summer we have had record hot temps and terrible forest fires and no snow. This week it cooled down to the 60s duirng the day and high 40s and low 50s at night, plus rain for several days. We are thankful for the break from the heat and the diminished fires. This week we started really harvesting from the garden, so only purchased milk and a head of lettuce (because all greens bolted in the heat). I sold two things on eBay, where I don’t list unless I try to sell locally at first and cannot; this week $120 in pocket and clutter out. A friend wanted to go out to dinner but we convinced her to come for a BBQ with each of us contributing food, saving us both money. Had a date with the husband that consisted of going to Costco and having enough samples that we were fed and only bought ice cream cones for dessert. After not having samples for over a year, they seem to have doubled up on what they offered—one stop at each table filled us up! And while we were there we found dog food for cheaper so that was our only purchase. Biggest savings was that husband replaced the glass in one of our windows that had cracked during last winter’s coldest days. It is in the garage and the only single pane window we have so we took the opportunity to replace it with a triple pane. Our garage is connected to the house and the furnace is located there. It is unheated except for what the furnace puts off while heating the rest of the house, so it gets pretty cold in there when it is 40 below zero outside, and having a better window will reduce heat loss. We do block that window with styrofoam during the coldest months; sine the sun is only up for a few hours anyway the garage doesn’t get much light during those months anyway.

  13. I got a free bottle of melatonin at CVS

    The only thing I purchased from prime day was a $12 fire stick for the living room tv.

    I made it through the Autobiography of Captain Janeway, Hearts of the Resistance, and started Caste on Audible

    I cut up and froze 2 mushy peaches for smoothies

    We got takeout for sons birthday. He really didn’t want to go out any where, so I just picked up Chinese food and had cake at home. Hubby found a gaming monitor he had been wanting for half the cost on Marketplace. He did have to drive an hour, but saved a ton.

    Kindle had the second Outlander cookbook for $1.99

    Hubby found mangoes for .38 each.

    I found tennis shoes for myself for $20 off

    We’ve been staying home, minus for therapy appointments or taking the boy to work. It’s just too hot to go do anything. I’m dreading the utility bill though.

  14. Mm, watermelon is so good right now! Brandy, you may already have mentioned this, but have you read “84 Charing Cross Road” by Helene Hanff? I first read it as a teen and still enjoy re-reading it. Another book I enjoyed a lot is “An Innkeeper’s Diary,” by John Fothergill. I’ve been told that the Fothergill book was an inspiration for John Cleese’s comedy series, “Fawlty Towers.”

    I also harvested figs from my trees, and have been eating them up. They are so good. I have to be careful when I pick, because the wasps think they are very good, too.

    My mesh delicates laundry bag developed a hole in the corner, so I sewed the corner back shut on my machine. The bag had been free to me, but that’s no excuse not to maintain it.

    I used my homemade mix to make a fresh batch of ranch dressing.

    I’ve been inspired by the canners here to pull out my pressure canner and put up a few things. I canned beef stew this weekend. It will be nice to have some things on the shelf instead of in the freezer.

    I picked up some mechanical pencils on a back-to-school sale to replenish the supply at the house.

    I’ve started drying my shower walls with an old worn hand towel after each shower, just a quick rub down, really. I find it makes cleaning the shower a snap, and I use much less cleaning solution. I hang the towel on a grab bar to let the towel dry between showers and toss it in the washer when I do a load of towels. This works better in a house without kids, of course.

    I put more vinegar in my rinse aid dispenser in my dishwasher. This may not work well in really hard water, but it works well for me. I haven’t bought a bottle of rinse aid in years.

    1. Oh, Jo, I love that book, 84 Charing Cross Road! A good memory of enjoying it.

      I just finished The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle, and enjoyed a great deal. Now I’d like to read Spuds, Spam and Eating for Victory … rationing in England during WWII. I recommended it to my library as they don’t have it now. They often buy the recommended books and let you know and you’re first in line for it. I had recommended The Persian Pickle Club from the comments here and they purchased it. I’ll start it this week.

  15. Not related to frugalness at all but Brandy, thank you for sharing that Jim Gaffigan clip on your Instagram the other day about how hot it is in Las Vegas 🙂 We drove through Vegas (had to stop and get gas) on our way home from Utah back to California and oh boy, was Nevada hot! I showed the Gaffigan clip to my husband as well and we had a good laugh 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!

    1. It’s so true! The part about hearing the sun actually feels like a real thing; my son, who works outside, was nodding in agreement.

      1. The Amish in this area making comments about hearing the sun, especially when making hay. Our Amish neighbor was in the hay field behind us at 3 am. Made sure we knew he would be there in case our dog started pacing or barking.

  16. That melon looks delicious! And it is really so clever that you plan to always have something ready to be picked in the garden — really paying off for you!

    My frugal week:
    Made my favourite Easiest Pizza Dough in the History of Ever (www.http://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/)to make pizza, using whatever I had in the fridge (olives and discounted shaved ham from FlashFood) and basil from my balcony garden.
    – I picked basil, chives, raspberries, and green onions from my balcony garden, and lettuce, green beans, and snap peas from my little plot at my parents place, as well as service berries and mulberries. I really appreciate Brandy’s earlier advice to grow lettuce. I’m never successful with it, but I sowed heavily this year and that seems to have made a difference. Plus, I’m repeatedly sowing, in hopes of having a long harvest period.
    – I wanted to make egg salad sandwiches (with homegrown lettuce, and discounted bagels from a previous flashfood purchase) but ran out of mayo, so I made my own. Not perfect, but good enough.
    – I baked a cake using up some of the self-raising flour I had and haven’t used in a number of months. I halved the recipe so that I wouldn’t need to use as many eggs. Then I topped it with leftover buttercream that I had in the freezer from I can’t even remember when. Turned out great! Saving small bits of food can add up — I only had maybe 1/3c buttercream in the freezer, but it covered about half the snack cake (my daughter was excited about cake with icing and happily decorated it with sprinkles) and the rest was fine to eat without icing.
    – combined a walk to the pool with a picnic (homemade pizza, berry fruit salad consisting of mulberries and service berries, and the aforementioned cake) and a stop at an air-conditioned library. A completely free and fun outing, and one I try to do at least weekly.
    – I also baked vegan brownies and made oatmeal cookie dough to freeze
    – utilized the public library a lot: visited two locations in person, plus I used the digital app a lot, AND I got a free family pass to the textile museum in Toronto, which has some family friendly exhibits, and can be used at any time in the next three months. I’m hoping to pick up a free pass to the Art Gallery of Ontario soon too. Plus, I put myself on the waiting list for access to a free Provincial Park Pass, which I didn’t even know was available. I am number…4000 and something on the waiting list, so I anticipate a few years wait. But it will give my girls a chance to get a bit older and they’ll get more out of it when it does become available, so it’s really not a bad thing.
    – I’m learning how to do couponing in Canada, with minimal effort. Basically I’m collecting a stockpile of coupons via sites (websaver, gocoupons, save.ca, etc.) or tear pads in stores, and then I look on the website Canadian Savings Group for a great deal, as they do all the work of matching sales and coupons for you. Cashback sites like websaver are also handy, as that particular one deposits right into your paypal account right away (or at the latest, once a week), whatever the amount saved (as opposed to an app like checkout 51 where you have to reach a minimum). This is how I plan to deal with inflation in the short-term.
    – I gave two servings of a beef vegetable curry to a friend (in a recycled container) as it was too spicy for my husband (and I’m a vegetarian). She appreciated it as she always has rice in the freezer (she’s Japanese and says that wrapped well, ‘sticky rice’ will stay fine in the freezer) so it makes for an easy dinner for her on a weeknight.
    – I sold a kid’s bookshelf using the Karrot app
    – redeemed legeropinion.com points for $20 to my paypal account
    – I did an online survey and got $2 in an Amazon gc, and got a $5 gc to a grocery store in the mail from a cereal promo. Small amounts, but it all adds up!
    – cherries were on sale for $3.99/lb so I treated myself to several bags, and stocked up on chocolate chips and a few other things as my grocery bill was a bit lower with my husband being out of town for the week. So I spent the same amount as usual on the end!
    – I took advantage of a promo to get a free fries from McDonald’s, and another promo to get a half price pizza at Domino’s.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Margaret,
      I appreciate and wholeheartedly salute your comment about your DIY mayo — “not perfect, but good enough.” That’s how so many endeavors turn out around my house! 😊

  17. I found out about Audible and we downloaded it to our phones and were able to listen to “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” on our trip. It was the only audiobook of the series that didn’t arrive at our library by the time we left. Last week was extremely busy trying to put up food I didn’t want to waste or die off in the garden. I harvested dill, lavender, thyme, basil and washed them, let them air dry and froze or stored dry. Chopped up a bag of organic celery sticks from Costco and froze them on cookie sheets and then vacuum sealed them for the freezer. Each bag will make a soup pot. Saved the ends for bone broth. Made 22 half pints of apricot jam with 30 apricots I got at Jewel for $2.99/lb. This was cheaper than driving to Michigan for the apricots. Also canned three half pints of mulberries I picked at my cousin’s. Not my favorite but my son and friend love it, so they will be gifted to them. Chopped up leftover pork chop and froze for stir fry later. Froze a serving of taco meat leftover, which I will combine with small diced potato and carrot per your suggestions here.
    Shortened two pair of summer pants from Costco for myself and reattached buttons on a shirt and a pair of shorts for my husband.
    Previously cut my husband’s hair. I used to do all the kids’ haircuts, and have done my husband’s for years.
    Used canning pot water to water my tomatoes, and we had received solid rain on Friday, but I wasn’t going to waste it. The rain perked up my veggies. My poor beans can’t catch a break this year…they have become bunny dessert. When we get back, I am going to plant again (should get a crop end of September at the latest, fingers crossed), and fence them in. Right now, they are keeping the bunnies from eating my first ever celery, which is buried behind the dill. Somehow they have missed it and I am hoping it stays that way. Has anyone had luck growing parsley in a pot? They seem to be enjoying that as well. Corn is in and when I get back, my sister and I will be buying bags full and freezing it. That’s quite a messy job, as most of you know, but I did peaches last year and have plenty, so this will be the dreaded job this year.
    Thankful for the time you spend doing this blog, Brandy. It is my place to come for comfort and wisdom. From all the reading I do, I am well aware of what is happening and what is coming, and this blog helps me prepare and be more aware of my resources and fight waste. Very thankful for all the bounty and blessings.

  18. I’m going to need to grab a watermelon next time I’m out- sounds delish!

    Last week my family was gone on a trip to the Lake. The trip is paid for by my Grandma including money spent on gas and food 💜 While I stayed home I spent a lot of time cleaning and decluttering the house- free exercise and now I really don’t want to bring more into my house 😂(future money saved).
    I also subscribed to Acorn TV for 99 cents each month (for 2 months). I set a reminder to cancel before renews.

    Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe 🤩

  19. I harvested tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers from the garden this week. A gallon of squash and zucchini went into the freezer as well as a half gallon of diced green bell peppers for use in recipes throughout the year. I pulled a loaf of zucchini bread from the freezer for breakfast and snacks this week. I admit that I have never frozen a baked good before and I always though they would taste awful after being frozen. I threw my assumptions out the window last week and froze 3 loaves and they are fantastic! This opens up a whole new world to me – I know I am very late to the party on this 🙂 Our green beans are growing well but as our temps are well into the 90’s I am not seeing a lot of my plants set fruit and ripen as quickly as they would be doing in lower temps. I am watering the garden well and fertilizing and feeding it to keep things going and growing in the hopes that we will have a more abundant harvest once temps cool off a bit.
    I pulled the last half ham from the freezer and cooked it for my family. We ate a ham dinner, sandwiches, breakfast burritos and more. I froze the bone for a bean soup I will make in the fall. I canned 6 more quarts of pickles. If anyone has any tried and true easy pickle recipes please pass them on as I have more cucumbers than I know what to do with coming out of our garden.
    I cleaned out my son’s closet and chest of drawers and pulled all the clothing items that no longer fit him. He will be attending a new school this year so we won’t need the school uniforms that he used last year. I contacted the parent of one of his friends and gave them to her so that he son could wear them as he is a bit smaller than my son. I pulled several items that I purchased from the church consignment sale last year that will fit him for this year. I opened a credit card at a store that I shop at for my son’s clothing and used the new account to save 40% off my purchase. I divided my purchase into two separate orders in order to be able to utilize the rewards $$ they sent me and saved an additional $15 off of my purchase. I paid the balance off right away. He needed shoes as well and the store we regularly purchase shoes from was offering a buy one get half off of the second pair deal. We purchased his shoes there and used a coupon that we had to save an additional $25 off of our purchase.
    We used a new credit card that offered a $200 bonus for signing on and 0% interest on our recent road trip. I paid off the balance when we returned and used my reward to purchase a food dehydrator, some freezer containers to hold soups and sauces and two shelves that we will use to help organize the pantry and cabinet under our kitchen sink.
    I cleaned out my pantry and organized my shelves to take inventory of what we have on hand, what is needed and what we need to use up. I planned meals around the results of this project. I will also be taking an inventory of our freezer this week to ensure that we are avoiding food waste. My zinnias are beginning to flower and I am so very excited to see them. We kept lights turned off, combined laundry loads, paid off two credit cards, filled up our tanks @$3.78/gallon, ate at home and gardened/watched movies/played outside/played games for fun. I ordered many of the seeds I will need for my fall garden and will be mapping out my plan for planting in the next couple of weeks.
    Have a blessed week!

    1. I don’t make pickles so can’t offer recipes, other than a note that my Grandmother was a very energetic pickle maker. If she didn’t like how they turned out, she would combine different spices and can the same cucumbers over again.
      Grandma never saw a recipe she couldn’t improve on with additional ingredients, so her food seldom tasted the same as it had the time before.
      Zinnias are wonderful! I have two blossoms this year from seeds, more than have ever survived in my yard before.

  20. The watermelon looks divine!
    In the past weeks, i’ve harvested lots of lettuce and radishes. I pulled the squash and zucchini for lack of growth and planted beans instead. The beets are stunted in some areas and not one carrot came up with store bought seeds and new soils. Those seeds will be tossed. I cut lemon thyme and made some infused honey for the cold and flue season which seems to be any time of the year, now. I made chive vinegar, froze store bought peppers and basil. I was gifted ten pounds of potatoes that we are working our way through. Laundry is hung to dry. (Yay!) We’ve discovered mice in the pantry area of the basement. This has been fun re-cleaning everything i had just reorganized. Apparently, they have a taste for my expensive, organic pumpkin seeds. Note to self; be quicker in re-packaging to glass! I continue to save as much water as i can think of saving. I mended a favorite jacket, pair of short pants and a towel. A recent trip to Meijer saved me 22.00 with store coupons which never happens anymore. I need to keep on top of checking out the shopping web site. No apps for me. We’ve received three Menards rebates which we’ve used to buy more mulch and seeds for more rebates. When we’re done with that craziness, i’ll get food or cards. My husband has started building our second shed to house the new-to-us snow blower. He’s using gifted materials as much as possible. It will still be pricey but much needed.
    Wishing you all a peaceful week ahead!

    1. I remember a poster from a few years back (sorry, I can’t remember her name but she was in Alaska) who had mice pop seals on her home canned goods! Since then I’ve been a bit paranoid about storing my canned items in the basement – we have many, many mice and chipmunks that still get in to our house even with cats.

      1. I had to reread that as I starter to read that you had “mice pops” 😆

  21. That Koho Watermelon looks so pretty. I’ve never heard of it before. Did you like the flavor of it?

    *I’ve been picking zucchini and green beans from the garden. I never know what to do with all the zucchini. We like it okay, but I dislike freezing it. I’m thinking I’ll make a bunch of zoodles to freeze for this winter. I’ve pinned recipes of zucchini on Pinterest for other ideas. But it gets hot and I just lose my enthusiasm a bit for it. I wish my fruit was as prolific. 🙂 The green beans I’ve been keeping in the fridge in a bag. I’ll freeze them as well. We added more soil to my potatoes buckets and I hope there are lots of yummy potatoes growing in those 10 buckets. My lettuce is gone with the heat, but I’ll start up again as the weather cools off again. I’d like to do a fall garden with broccoli, lettuce, etc. My husband increased our watering time in the garden to combat the heat.

    *We celebrated my son’s birthday with a dinner at home. I made his favorites and we gave him a card and a small amount of cash. I did buy pies for dessert, but everything else was stuff at home. I found some Black Cherry Jello on clearance for 80c for the big box. I made a jello salad and used 1 container of black cherry greek yogurt mixed with the rest of the water and topped it with bananas that needed to be used. I had rolls from the clearance rack in the freezer. I heated those up and we had them with butter and homemade raspberry jam. I used cucumbers and carrots with leftover ranch dip. I made guacamole from the last 2 avocados I got on sale. We did a crockpot roast and mashed potatoes. My husband makes the best gravy. We had fun talking and celebrating him. We also went around the table and said what we loved about him. That’s my favorite tradition.

    *I was happy with my grocery shopping. The total came to over $250 but with coupons, sales, clearance items it went down to $116. So I went over $16 – but they had milk on sale that I want to freeze and the pies I bought were part of that. I’ll make up for it next week because I don’t have much to buy at all.

    *I babysat my granddaughter for 2 days. We went for a walk, ate meals and snacks at home, played in the backyard and in our home. It was a lovely time and I enjoyed every minute.

    *My husband went out to dinner on Tuesday. The restaurant had a deal for Taco Tuesday and we used our gift card to pay for it. We brought home our rice and beans for our daughter to eat – that’s her favorite. We still have beans from the meal. I will turn those into bean and cheese quesadillas for one of our dinners or lunches.

    *We also went to see Top Gun Maverick on Tuesday. That is discount movie day. We paid $10 for our 2 tickets and received 2 free popcorns with our tickets. We brought water to drink. It was fun to watch. My husband is a pilot and it’s fun to hear his commentary on the flying. We both got popcorn butter on our clothes and used Dawn to get it out.

    *I washed our bedding, did loads of house cleaning, paid bills online, combined errands and filled up my tank with gas and used a 50c/gallon coupon. I filled up in the morning and try hard not to drive in the heat of the day. It’s so hot here! Nothing compared to Vegas I know – but anything over 100 degrees is hot. Our local roads have been buckling in the heat. I don’t have an issue if I got out in the morning and can get safely back home again.

    *I got a free stroller from my Buy Nothing Group to use for my granddaughter. I’ve been watching for awhile and nothing popped up. I posted a question asking if anyone had one to give away. The one I got is FILTHY – but I’m thrilled. I will scrub it down and clean up. I’ll leave it outside to help sanitize. My husband can fix the small issue it has with opening/closing. It sticks a little bit. But it’s in good shape and will be so fun to use on walks with my darling granddaughter. People can be so kind in sharing.

    *On Prime Day, I didn’t buy much. I bought one shirt my myself and mascara. I didn’t see anything else I needed. Hope everyone else who shopped found some great deals!

    *Today is my husband and I’d 30th wedding anniversary. We went to breakfast and spent $9 using coupons. We’re going to dinner tonight and using one of gift cards we bought on Black Friday last year. We will come home and watch Blue Bloods. We bought each other a card and he got me roses that were discounted at the store. He put them in a vase for me because I don’t like doing that part. I like that it is simple and that it doesn’t cost much. The best part is that he has the day off and we get to spend it together.

    *Have a wonderful and frugal week.

  22. That melon looks delicious. Our growing season is so short, melons are very difficult to grow here.
    I did have my first harvest. I picked broccoli, garlic scapes and a small amount of chard – and using snow peas and chicken from the freezer made a stir fry for dinner. Also used some spaghetti from the pantry to have with it. YUM!!
    I weeded, and weeded and then weeded some more. Four rows of onions, two rows of white beans, three rows of black beans, two rows of chard, and then a bed of basil and one of garlic and beets. It was hot and dirty work. Luckily I have my foam pads to kneel on in our rocky soil. I can tell I’m getting older. I used to be able to do all that weeding in a singe day. It took me 3 days to do it this time, but get it done I did.
    I made a rhubarb crisp. What I thought would be our last one for this year, until my DH came home with rhubarb given to him by a friend.
    I made a batch of cauliflower/broccoli soup – using cauliflower and broccoli from the garden and broth from the freezer.
    Took some more salsa from the freezer that was made last year.
    Worked 3 days and took breakfast and lunch all three days.
    Our Fred Meyer store (Kroger affiliate) had two pound bricks of Tillamook cheese for $5.99 each, with a limit of 5. Couldn’t pass that up. Also had 1/2 gallon jugs of milk and orange juice for 99¢ each. Found a bag of 8 plums in the “old produce” bags for $1.00. They were a fine.
    Washed two loads of laundry, and hung over 1/2 on the line.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful and fruitful week.

    1. This is a small watermelon, so it doesn’t take as long to ripen. Baker Creek has several kinds like that.

  23. I have never eaten a yellow watermelon. Does it taste like a pink one?
    My sister was going away for the week. She asked us to watch her dog 2 months ago. She always offers to let us watch him at her house, so we did this time. She said to invite friends of ours that she knows well. So we went Saturday to Tuesday. She lives on the water, has a beautiful in ground pool, a fire pit, a pool table and a view that is amazing. We made up a menu and brought everything with us. We only left her house to walk her dog. Otherwise we swam, played games, talked, laughed, cooked and took naps. It was what all of us needed. The last few years have been very hard on our friends (cancer, job loss) so they don’t get to go on vacations. They came with us last year and this year to my sister’s house and really appreciate it. My kids stayed home and took care of our house and dog. We brought my sister’s dog home with us when we left. She picked him up yesterday. Hubby and I made a big breakfast as a thank you. My friend has lots of extra veggies from her garden so between the 2 of us we sent my sister home with lots. The trip only costed us gas, tolls and I splurged on steaks for one night. I made brownies, potatoes salad and chick pea salad at home and brought it all with us.
    Our oven broke. Hubby ordered a part and thinks he can fix it. Just waiting for the part now. We have been grilling, using the stove top, toaster oven and crock pot to get by. I made biscuits on the BBQ. They came out great. The brownies in the toaster oven were a little well done but still got eaten.
    D’s mom is still cleaning out. She gave me 2 packs of brand new underwear, cloth Easter napkins, a space heater, protein drinks, birthday crown, banner and plates that we will use for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. She gave me lots of fresh parsley, 2 zucchini, a yellow squash, 2 eggplants and a cucumber. She is a little overwhelmed with everything coming out of her garden.
    The A/C in my car stopped working. It cost us $600+ to get it fixed. I help an 86 year old lady or I may have waited. I can’t drive her around in 85 degree weather without it.
    Parts of the garden are doing great and others aren’t. I have been doing Marviene’s bucket of weeds a day. The cherry tomatoes are coming in nicely. I am still waiting for the big ones. I finally have a few baby squash, waiting on those. The peas are winding down. We only have baby lettuce right now. I should have planted a week earlier to keep it continuous. I started picking lots of purple string beans. The green ones are a week or 2 behind. I have gotten several white eggplants but no others. The cucumbers are finally growing. This was my 3rd planting. We are sharing wine berries with friends and neighbors. I cut up holey socks that I use as ties for my plants.
    I garbage picket a very pretty basket, 2 board games, dog clothes (I will sell), several books, and a projector.
    A friend of Hubby’s at work called him and asked him if we like clams. He said yes. The next day he brought Hubby a huge bag of them. I cleaned then and made linguini with clam sauce for dinner. It was delicious. His wife didn’t want all that he caught. We were happy to take them. We share our garden produce with this friend regularly.
    I brought several bags of items to a church that has a thrift shop. I bought a smaller crock pot for $5(mine broke last year) and rose salt and pepper shakers for $1.
    Hubby and I got lunch with a Panera gift card that I got for Mother’s day. We drank water with lunch.
    In the mail I got 3 20pks of HP paper free and a coupon for a free can of baked beans. Hubby got a $5 check for a class action lawsuit and a refund on a medical bill that I had to make several phone calls about.
    I was near Target so I stopped in for 4 more boxes of ice cream pops. They only had strawberry again. I gave 2 boxes to my neighbors who love everything strawberry.
    A friend and I were talking about ways to save money. I offered her one of my bread machines to see if she likes it. I also gave her 2 packs of beet seeds from $ Tree that I had. She said she will be checking out your blog.

      1. Thank you. I got a job again so I stopped. I think about starting it again but I have a mouth and try not to get in trouble if you know what I mean. I really like how Brandy’s blog is so heart warming and friendly.

  24. What a beautiful melon! I love that color. We’ve got 4 melons in the garden that are no bigger than baseballs, but they’re always delicious if tiny.

    I haven’t commented in a few months, but I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. Our frugal things this week –

    -Some ladies and I had a grown-up hand-me-downs party along with a playdate for our children. A neighbor had given me about a bushel and a half of pretty tops and dresses, far too much for me, but just right to share among friends. We had a good time recommending things for each other to try, and everyone went home with a good bundle.

    -We ate mostly from the garden, freezer, and pantry. We baked a big batch of bread on a cooler evening. We ate arugula, lettuce, parsley, raspberries, and blueberries from the garden. I’m really liking the Australian Yellow lettuce variety we got from Fedco last year – it does very well in the heat. I even found one plant that overwintered in our greenhouse from last summer and is still good tasting.

    -We played soccer with homeschool friends in a free weekly playdate. We did buy enough soccer balls for our kids to be able to all do drills, but it’s better than having to pay for the classes as well.

    -I did a bunch of decluttering and cleaning – free except for the time.

    -I cut hydrangeas and lilies for the house.

    -I paid a bunch of bills and did some paperwork right away to save on mental effort of remembering and also avoiding late fees.

    -We continued giving the boys Suzuki piano lessons at home. I play a bit, teach singing for my job, but my mom is a piano teacher and coaching me on how to teach piano. We found some nice resources, including a lovely guide by Carol Bigler. I have lovely memories of being at a teacher conference with my mom when I was 8, and participating in a lovely masterclass with Ms. Bigler. Piano lessons are expensive for big families, and it’s so nice to be able to find the resources to teach our own kids, at least at the start.

    – I’ve been polishing my skills in keeping home nice even when feeling draggy (happily expecting a baby). Keeping on with the routines I know work for us, using crockpot dinners, taking small moments to rest, definitely help keep us from giving in to take out or food waste.

    -I requested a bunch of lovely childrens’ books through interlibrary loan for our homeschooling. Jean Lee Latham’s books are getting hard to find in our area libraries, but they’re lovely. We’re reading Drake and Man of the Monitor.

    -I did order two more drop cloths to cover our living room sofas. Four years ago, I was so tired of our ratty upholstery and baggy slipcovers that I reupholstered our sofas with drop cloth material. Now they look reasonably tidy and live with a drop cloth cover over top of the upholstery, so I can wash them easily. If I have two more covers, I can swap without ever having the sofas bare – a dangerous thing in a house with four boys under 8!

    Thank you, Brandy, for all the beauty and good ideas! This blog is very special.

  25. That melon is beautiful! We enjoyed our first new potatoes from the garden. I had to pull up a couple of volunteer potato plants that were crowding my green beans, so we ate the potatoes that came up with the plants. We continue to get almost daily rain, so the irrigation remains off, which will be a big savings on our water bill. We also enjoyed carrots, green onions, bok choy, cabbage, lettuce, arugula and fresh herbs from the garden. I made a batch of homemade bagels. My husband was in great need of new boots and found a pair on sale on Prime Day and ordered them. Friends invited us to go jeeping with them in the mountains. The wildflowers were so beautiful. We do not own a Jeep, and in the past we have paid for a guided tour, but it was so much nicer to go with our friends. We gave them a bunch of garden produce as a thank you, which they were delighted to have.

  26. A few weeks ago, I received a bouquet of yellow roses as a gift. I allowed the roses to dry and this week I clipped the dried blossoms off of the stems and put them in a wooden bowl in the entryway where they can continue to be enjoyed.

    I collected lupine seeds to use in a new garden bed I’m planning.

    I inventoried my refrigerator, planned meals for the week around what I had, and then stuck to the plan.

    So far I haven’t had to use air conditioning this year. I know this isn’t possible for many people but in my area it gets cool at night even when it is hot during the day. By letting the cool air inside overnight and then avoiding heat generating items during the day, I’m able to keep the house cool and my electric bill manageable. Anything that is electric and running is putting off some amount of heat: lights, computers, TVs, etc. so my goal is to reduce the usage of those types of things. I let my hair dry naturally instead of using a blow dryer and did some of my cooking outside. You don’t have to have camping equipment or a grill to cook outside. I remember my mom using her electric fry pan on the porch during the summer when I was younger. If you have an outdoor outlet, you can use a slow cooker or Instant Pot or even a toaster oven and keep the heat outside.

    I foraged wild blueberries. Wild blueberries are tiny and take longer to harvest than cultivated blueberries but in my area they ripen earlier than the ones in my garden so it extends blueberry season and adds to the harvest.

    I harvested the first ripe tomato from my garden. Yay! I also harvested shallot greens, lettuce, Swiss chard, raspberries, lemon balm, and a single strawberry. I delt with cabbage caterpillars on the collard plants.

    The brand of peanut butter I like went on sale at 50% off making it the lowest price I’ve see in a very long time. I purchased a year supply.

  27. Thank you for another lovely post. I find your graceful, frugal lifestyle very inspiring and I notice that, unlike other money-saving blogs, you don’t share hustles to make money or how many freebies/ deals/ cheap stuff you got. I wonder how you do it!

    We needed a few things and I wanted to wait for Prime Day to buy those at a better price. I didn’t buy anything just because they were on sale.

    1. Farhana,

      I have found that those things don’t always save me money and they certainly don’t save me time and gas.

      I think sometimes the simplest things are the cheapest, such as buying dried chickpeas (in bulk) and cooking them from scratch rather than trying to find sales on canned ones or on premade hummus.

      These types of things seem to save the most in the long run.

      1. Brandy!! You are so correct! People think they are saving money by buying on sale with coupons for processed foods. In most cases making them homemade is even cheaper. I love this site because people here get it! Plus it is such a positive site! Thank you for continuing to put the time into it! I wish I could help you out more. I rarely order from Amazon. But when I do I go they your site.

  28. I never have been a fan of the heat. Even when we lived directly on the beach , I avoided it. I really didn’t spend any money this week. I contacted a company about a product I bought that definitely was not properly manufactured. I redeemed two coupons to replace the item. I enjoyed the new Darling Dahlias book with a free trial at Scribd. I have washed a new package of Paw Patrol underwear for lil Henry and have observed they have small holes in them. That’s a first. I will document w photos and send an email to Hanes. The quality of items appears to be declining . I enjoyed a lovely visit with my father. I also bought him a third book. My small recreational budget for the month is gone. I will continue to stay home and stay on budget. I’m doing deep cleaning and parting with items I don’t need. I met a flea market person who will be coming to pick up my items. I’m working hard on not driving . We have a lovely thunder storm pounding down right now. We have turned the AC off and I hope to have a reduction in my bills next month. I find with sugar cookie gone ,we use way less water , AC and toilet paper ! I’m thinking a bidet is in our future. I am so proud that I avoided any shopping on Amazon for their special shopping event.

  29. I read “The Bookshop on the Corner” by Jenny Colgan this week too and loved the charming descriptions of Scotland! I am in search of more of her titles from the library.

    I am using up bits of things: q-tips to scrape out the last bits of a lipstick that I love. I made a vegetable pasta dish this week and used the remaining liquid from a jar of preserved lemons and the flavor was amazing! In another pasta dish I used the remains of sundried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes that had gone wrinkly.

    I baked bread and vegan banana bread with very ripe bananas.

    I finally replaced the zipper in a thrift store skirt I bought several years ago. The zipper went out about two years ago and I had a replacement on hand. Finally had my sewing machine out to work on a costume and took the twenty minutes needed to pull out the old zipper and sew in a new one. While my machine was out I also made a pillow and did some mending for my husband.

    I submitted receipts to Southwest airlines after my husband’s luggage didn’t arrive and he had to buy some replacement clothing. I hope they reimburse us.

    I was delighted to open my gas bill for the last month and it was less that $10. I am only using gas right now for the dryer, on demand water heater, the dishwasher and the stove. Of course it will be much higher in the winter.

    That’s about it. Trying to stay cool and thrifty.

  30. Picked and processed tomatoes, okra, peppers, and peaches.

    Cleaned the garden of weeds and debris and started the process to prepare for fall crops.

    Made two dozen buttermilk biscuits and a large peach cobbler.

    Bought jams and canned veggies from an Amish website.

    Went and looked at farms in a rural area. You could have bought two farms for the price of one today three years ago!

    Ate at a local barbecue restaurant. Expensive, but very good. Nice to take a break.

    Read about world drought, food shortages, farmer’s uprisings and future projections. Immediately lost myself in a good book! Jesus take the wheel!

    Many blessings to everyone on this site, especially Brandy! How lucky are we!! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

  31. I wanted to share with the readers that I recently learned that the leaves of all squash plants are not only edible, but taste delicious. Smaller size leaves are best as they are most tender, and can be chopped and sauteed in olive oil, or simmered as other dark greens. There are many recipes on the internet. I never knew this! I would imagine that they can be chopped and frozen for use in fall and winter as well.

  32. Brandy,
    Your photos are beautiful as always!
    I’m finding it very difficult to be frugal and save money as prices rise constantly. I managed to find a few frugal wins. The sun normally strips my hair of all color as quickly as five minutes. This is very annoying in the summer. I find myself having to color my hair several times over the summer. The salon that cuts my hair introduced me to a leave-in spray, all natural product. This has been amazing. I have not had to color my hair once all summer and in fact it is healthier than ever. It just takes a quick spray each morning and my color stays even when spending all day outside in the sun. This is a money saver but more importantly to me, it is a time saver and healthier for my hair.
    I was in need of more jars for food storage and Dollar General was having a two for the price of one sale so I got two jars that are perfect for storing flour. My grandson loves to wear sports jerseys and would wear them everyday to school if he had enough of them. He likes, hockey, football, soccer and basketball so I was able to find an official NBA jersey in his size for $2 at goodwill so I will save that for back to school. He is very excited about my find. I’m sorry to say my garden has been a complete bust this year due to the weather but I am trying to seed save where I can for next year. I did get enough strawberries for a batch of jam and I also dried some for future use. Not sure if I will get any raspberries or not- too soon to tell. I’m also experiencing a lot of loss due to bunnies and deer. There were two huge deer right near my patio the other day just happily munching away on my apple trees! I have fencing around them so they just eat down what is growing above or through the fence which is still very damaging to the tree. I really concentrated on finding ways to cool my house without air conditioning this summer. I am using heavy drapes in the living room and dining room and umbrellas outside my family room window and the patio. The drapes were a very minimal cost but the umbrellas were a bit of an investment but the house is staying very comfortable and we have not used air conditioning or even a fan yet this summer. The umbrellas are really good quality so they should last for many years. The patio is now very usable and we are enjoying having dinner out there where before we just walked right pass it and into the house because it was always too hot to use. I am hoping this change will result in reduced utility bills for many years to come.
    Wishing everyone a great week.

  33. Brandy, that watermelon looks yummy. I have watermelon planted. It is just blooming. It is behind, we may not get any before the frost.

    -I made a couple of pot holders for a gift. We spent the weekend at our daughters camper with their family. They also provided all the food. I made a set of pot holders from a clearance fat quarter ($1)-there were campers on the fabric. I already had the thinsulate. So very little out of pocket. I also hemmed some curtains for her.
    -Creative leftover use: Leftover smoked sausage diced up and fried with onions and green peppers. Added to scrambled eggs. Leftover grilled sirloin steak, sliced thinly, added onion and pepper slices and cooked. Put on buttered and pan browned hotdog buns. Melted provolone cheese slices over top for scrumptious sandwiches.
    -Pulled all the spinach. Blanched and froze 6 quart bags. Pulled all the kolarabi and made into sticks. We have a huge amount to eat up. It keeps well (like carrots) and the grand kids will be here next week. They will eat a lot of it.
    -My beans are coming back where the deer feasted and they are blooming. Cucumbers and tomatoes are setting on. Potatoes are blooming. Weeds and mosquitoes are also coming on. Weeded lots this week with lots of mosquito spray needed.
    -Dehydrated oregano, sage, parsley, mint, and thyme.
    -Made 2 quarts of horse radish pickles from already canned dills. We love them! Pour off the dill brine and remove the dill and garlic. Add 1/4 c horse radish to the jar and a sweeter brine. Let sit for 3-4 days and new pickles. I could eat a jar in one sitting.
    -No groceries bought this week. We only needed milk and my daughter sent home a gallon with us.

    Have a great week!

  34. Just home from a wonderful and exhausting 4 days with family. I stayed for free in my older daughter’s room-she’s in Africa for work. Downside is the house is old, no insulation, and it was 109 outside every day. And they only have window AC units. Each night when I went to bed I turned on the bedroom AC unit and it was 93 degrees INSIDE. So my frugality cost me some sleep!
    But I think it was worth it.
    I’ve had several things sell on eBay, which always motivates me to list more.
    IKEA is on my way home from seeing family, so I stopped to do a return, and also to do a “buy back” on one item. IKEA is making efforts to be more sustainable and they will buy back certain products (used items). I had to fill in a form online, and then was emailed a QR code. It all went just as they said. I received store credit for the buy back item. I will certainly do this again.
    I bought corn flakes for my husband at Aldi for $1.43 for an 18 oz box. My husband doesn’t ask for much, but he does love his cereal! We don’t have an Aldi anywhere near us, but I stop in if there’s one where I’m visiting.
    I brought home empty strawberry baskets. They are so useful for putting over seeds to protect the little seedling from the birds. While I was away a friend invited us to pick blackberries. My husband went and came home with 10 baskets (the little green ones that berries are sold in. In England we call them punnets, but I’m not sure what word is used here?)
    I received a paper sorter that hangs on the wall, and a step stool for my grandson, both from Buy Nothing group. I was looking for both of these things.
    Blessings to everyone!

  35. We continue to make all our food from scratch. We have been experimenting making low fat whole grain crackers. After about five attempts I think my husband found a recipe that we both like.

    I have been doing lots of sewing. I finished a summer dress that only cost me $5 with discounted material. It is funny because we were in town one day and my husband said that I should get some new summer clothes. We went to H&M, Macys and Anthropology. I ended up not getting anything because I felt like everything was somewhat poorly made for the prices they were asking. I guess I just like the stuff I make better.

    I have been drying herbs. We are having such a cold summer that I am not certain my tomatoes will produce very well. Great weather for lettuce and chard though.

    I discovered that we can get a free membership to a local fitness club (which has a pool) and it is only two blocks from here. This was through our Medicare supplement plan. I started taking an easy aerobics class at our senior/community center – also only a couple blocks away. We are continuing our nature hikes every day.
    This next thing is a frugal fail to a certain extent. We love our place – a great water and view of the mountains at a low price for our area. Unfortunately we were naïve and didn’t look into our HOA enough before we purchased. Our realtor never mentioned there is no property manager and the entire place is managed by the owners. The houses are all plopped on a large grassy area with trees and creek running through – quite lovely. A yard maintenance crew comes once per week to mow, prune, edge. The HOA is $430 per month and now they are talking about raising it soon. Recently each household was told they needed to give the HOA $4,400 because they were under the amount they were required to keep as a balance. Which we gave them but what I object to is how much we are badgered for other things like contributing money for plant replacement and mulch in the public areas. Sorry about this complaining but I would never again buy into a place like this. In retrospect there are so many questions that I wish we had initially asked. At least homes here sell quickly if we ever get tired of it!

    I just watched Persuasion for free on Netflix which I thought was pretty good. Am continuing reading the Outlander books which I downloaded from the library onto my Kindle.

    Guess that’s it for this week.

    1. My husband and I bought a condo and the HOA is managed by the owners. Make sure you attend board meetings and perhaps join the board. You will get a better idea how your money is spent. And if the assessment was planned before you made the purchase that might be the responsibility of the previous owner and should have been disclosed in your contract paperwork. Maintaining a property takes work and I am grateful to live in a community where many residents step up to make the property beautiful and managed.

  36. I have found a new cheap meal for dinner. 3 cups white gravy with pepper and sausage flavor and mix in a pound of ground beef. Add the gravy meat mix on top of toast. We purchase the ground beef on sale and get the bread and gravy mix at a discount store. The six of us eats dinner for $5. Average dinner is $12.

    Trouble shooting why our garden is our cherry tomato plants are only producing 5 tomatoes each. It is in a raised garden bed and I soak each plant nightly. A friend suggested more compost. I have some I bought at the store so I am going to add that and see if it helps. It has been an interesting summer having days and days of 90+*F when we usually get around 7 days a summer that temperature.

    1. How are you doing with pollinators? For some reason we don’t have nearly as many bees this year. A friend showed me that you can pollinate your tomato plants yourself by just flicking the blossom with your finger. Worth a try.

    2. Maybe you can try pee as fertilizer if you can overcome the yuck factor. There’s a lot of interesting stuff regarding it online 🙂

    3. I grew up eating something similar, but we always called it SOS. Haha. My mom would brown and season the ground beef, then mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup and some milk (or something just flour and milk, if things were really tight), and serve over toast. We also sometimes had it over egg noodles or white rice. One of those childhood meals that sticks out in my memory because I loved it. I think your sausage gravy version would be delicious over biscuits!

      1. Yes, SOS. I think it was awfully common back in the day. I think soldiers might have named it SOS but I have nothing to base that on! Okay, I looked it up. It was a military food. Lots of times they put chipped beef or ham with some sort of gravy. I should make this more because it’s a pretty quick and easy meal!

        1. SOS is short for “sh– on a shingle.” (I can’t believe someone else hasn’t mentioned this already! What a polite bunch we are, LOL). I believe the name was coined by soldiers during WW2, but I may be wrong on that. Originally, it referred to dried beef (it comes in jars) in a white sauce, served on toast. It gradually morphed into a description of any meat in white sauce. During WW2, a lot of meat–dried beef, corned beef, the ubiquitous Spam, etc.–was exported from Argentina and Uruguay, which were neutral countries, and sold all over the world. Canned meat was especially important to the military, especially the Navy. The military didn’t have pre-made meals then. Every outfit had company cooks who made do with what they had, and most of it was canned and heavily salted.

    4. I grew up eating something similar, but we always called it SOS. Haha. My mom would brown and season the ground beef, then mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup and some milk (or sometimes just flour and milk, if things were really tight), and serve over toast. We also sometimes had it over egg noodles or white rice. One of those childhood meals that sticks out in my memory because I loved it. I think your sausage gravy version would be delicious over biscuits!

  37. That watermelon looks amazing – I’ve only ever had yellow watermelon once and it was delicious.
    I remembered to write things down this week as I always seem to forget things until I’ve posted my comment! 🙂

    .Returned two items to the drugstore (unopened makeup in a colour that I no longer use) and received a GC for $25.
    .Returned an item to Kitchen Stuff + for a refund of $8
    .Used $10 in Loyalty points
    .Cashed in a jar of nickels and dimes for a total of $31 plus.
    .Added a lot of non-food items to my pantry – all at sale prices, soap, Vit. D, panty liners and cotton makeup pads.
    .Added some treats to the pantry – candy and chocolate cookies – all on sale.
    .Got a loaf of very expensive sourdough bread for half off! $4 per loaf instead of $8!!!!
    .Got 10 large stalks of rhubarb (which has been ridiculously expensive), cooked it up and got it into the freezer
    .Mixed dried milk with regular to stretch it since the milk that I buy is $4 per litre!
    .Took some cooked chicken out of the freezer and used up some frozen veg, added a can of cream of chicken soup and made a big pot of chicken & veg soup – not sure why I felt like soup when it’s over 30C but I’ve enjoyed it.

    Did an inventory of the freezer over the weekend and found that I have about 120 portions of proteins in there! In a small top of fridge freezer! I did a quick check of the pantry and figure that I easily have 180 portions in canned meat and seafood, pasta, rice and beans for 300 meals – 5 months with both lunch and dinner – something I rarely eat – and this doesn’t include meals that I could make with cheese and eggs! Nor does it include the longer term items that I have stored separately! This is why I am now concentrating on buying non-food items and treats! The only proteins on my list are fish & seafood – only have 4 portions in the freezer and would like to add to this.

    I really need to get eating a lot of these items over the next few months so regular shopping will be kept to dairy, a bit of bread, fruit & veg.

    .Sticker shock really hit me today. My favourite bacon is the President’s Choice thick cut, old fashioned bacon – I used to think it was pricy at $10 per kilo – then it went to $12 but I would stock up when it went on sale for $10 – today it was $17 per kilo!!!!! That’s in barely two years! I’d better really enjoy those last few pieces that are in my freezer!

    Stay cool everyone!

    1. Margie, I just found out that COBS bread has an app, and if you download it, you can get 6 free buns, but only this week as they celebrate the 1st anniversary of the app. I thought of you! Can’t remember if you use a cell phone, but if you do, might be worth it to take advantage of the promo! COBS bread is so yummy, but not something I usually buy due to the cost.

      1. Thank you for this information Margaret but I am still using my old “dumb” phone (although it actually worked during the recent Rogers fiasco)!. But – I will probably look to get a Smart Phone come the Fall – reluctantly. Friends have advised me to wait until then as there are usually good deals to be had when the kids start going back to school. After that I will be checking out all those Apps that you have mentioned as you certainly seem to be on top of the all – I had no idea there were so many options here in Canada.

  38. I bought a couple blouses at a thrift store on our anniversary. I love that my husband wanted to take me to a store to get me some clothes. I didn’t want to break the budget so we went to a couple thrift stores. I think he was thrilled that I found some nice things for a fraction of an expensive store and I was happy! Because everything is going up except our paychecks, saving is a bit harder to do. We are using food in our pantry and freezer for the most part. I want to use things before they expire. This will also help our budget. We are trying to use what we can in the fridge including leftovers. My son is also doing a good job not asking to go out. He likes our cooking anyway! I’m going to have to make some oriental dishes. He really enjoys that as does my husband. I’m working at no sugar and low carbs. I really like fresh veggies, but we need to use the veggies in the freezer. So we will be doing that. Although we will use what we have in the garden as well. We are doing the ordinary things that we usually do. Turn off lights, turn up the air when not at home. Using cloth napkins and I have cloth handkerchiefs now. I love the women’s ones and my husband likes the men’s. I have yet to give my son his. I want to wash them before he uses them. I need to wash all of them first. Evidently they get softer with more washings. I am going to save some for presents soon. I have a niece that would love them, at least I think she would. We have utilized libraries for entertainment. My husband and I like to go to the library and read for a date. Sometimes we will read poetry to each other or just share whatever is interesting that we are reading. It is a lot of fun! It is free entertainment! My grandchildren love the library as well. My son enjoys getting movies from the library.

    1. I checked out some French books from the library. I am going to study and hope to take the Praxis test in French. I’ve passed the test in English. However; my BA was in Romance language with emphasis in French education. So I want to pass the French test. Then I want to study Spanish and try to pass it. It has been awhile since I have studied these languages so I believe it may take some time. But I enjoy languages anyway . My minor was in English. I also have hours in drama and speech; possibly enough for an endorsement. Anyway, I just want to keep up my skills so I will have options if I need to get a higher paying job. With prices of everything going up, I may need to do something else.

      1. What a great way of planning ahead Tammy. When you have another language it really opens so many other opportunities. Good luck to you.

        1. Margie from Toronto,
          Thank-you. I am hopeful that I will have the chance to travel someday and use the languages. For now, I will study.
          Tammy

      2. Tammy, that sounds like a good plan! Before I broke my arm and tendon, I enjoyed
        learning new Italian vocabulary and grammar on free Duo Lingo. Ann

        1. Hi Ann,
          Thank- you. I was studying on Duo Lingo as well. I studied several languages. But now I think I will concentrate on one for awhile. I’m sorry you broke your arm and tendon.
          Tammy

          1. Hi Tammy,

            thanks! I am very grateful for what I can do, although I will always have some range of motion limitations!

  39. I took our propane tank and had it filled. We have 6 extras as safety for if natural gas or electricity is turned off.
    * I got a huge cooler, the width of my SUV. My husband needed it for when he gets a deer, but I am picking up 16 bushels of shelled and quick frozen vegetables on Thursday.
    * Harvested squash, cucumbers, green beans, and okra, and 3 tomatoes.
    * We finally got a little rain and it filled my 2 rain barrels.
    * using warm up water for container plants
    * bathed the dogs and groomed with shears.
    * a quilter told about titanium rotary cutter blades, so I ordered a set off Amazon
    * I finally went to our library for a card. We moved in the end of 2020 and I just never went in. I checked out 5 audio books for my car ride to Texas.
    * I’m sitting in a hotel now, making my way to Texas. My aunt passed away so I am going alone from Alabama. I had to meet daughter to get my grandson back to her, which was 3 hours out of the way. So, I drove 10 hours today and was already tired, so stopped and have about 5 hours tomorrow. We have enough points for my hotel the next three days with Hilton/ Marriott. Free breakfast is included. Gas at home was $4.13 and I stopped in Mississippi at Sams and it was $3.75. I have a cooler of waters, some cheese crackers and bars, and downloaded podcasts, music, and have the audio books.
    *Husband replaced brakes himself on the truck. He bought locking lugnuts for his truck since it isn’t always in the garage.
    * I took out 6 gallon bags of boiled peanuts and canned them. I have atleast another 12 bags in the freezer.
    *I agreed to host our ladies Bible Study weekly starting in August. I won’t have to drive that way and it will force me to clean really good. I love having people over.
    *We celebrated our 34th Anniversary this week at an Italian restaurant. I got Chicken Parmesean and it came with 2 pieces of chicken. I had half of one for dinner, the other half for lunch, then my husband ate the other piece today.

    1. I live in Mississippi. Boiled peanuts are one of my favorite snacks. I think you either love them or hate them. My daddy is in heaven now but he used to plant peanuts each year just so we would have plenty to boil. Sometimes green ones are hard to find to buy.

      1. My husband’s uncle gets 30 lb sacks near Laurel for around $30. They were $50 at the big market in Birmingham. AL.

        I just got shelled and quick frozen peas and beans from Mayders and Tayders in Seminary, MS. $45 for 2 bushels. I am canning them.

    2. Happy Anniversary! Where did you get your rain barrels? I have been thinking about adding a rain barrel to our yard. Thank you!

  40. Lovely melon!
    -I hand-pollinated tomato blossoms on a sunny warm day last week. The plants are healthy (so far), but the cool weather seems to have paused setting any fruit. I hope this helps.
    -I harvested zucchini. Finally.
    -I made and canned raspberry jam. Last year the raspberry harvest died on the vine due to weather, so this year I made enough to last if I can’t get raspberries next year. I do an old-fashioned jam with just raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
    -My husband’s side business had an in-person conference on Vancouver Island. Instead of taking the car onto the ferry, we went as foot passengers and took a taxi on the Island, saving $100.
    -We went to a free “opera’s greatest hits” concert in an outdoor park.
    Brandy, the real estate market here continues to slide. I have two relatives who put up homes for sale 2 months ago; neither has sold, both have no one coming to look, both have dropped asking prices drastically. In case you were keeping an eye on real estate in other jurisdictions.

    1. I have been, actually. I read a ton of news articles on it each week. It’s happening all over–just some places faster and harder than others.

  41. I am sorry to report that it took few weeks for me to get over the disappoinment regarding my garden. June was really cold (10C/50F) and it rained almost every day. My ”garden” was flooded. Very, very few seeds germinated even in the pots I had planted… Now I am back on my feet and more determinated then ever to make my ”garden” into a real garden in the future. Instead of whining and complaining, I disinfected a (plant) dryer my husband had found in a trash 2 years back we lived in a town. Someone had discarded it just because the lid was broken (we assume, it came without a lid) but I hava a metal tray that fits as a lid. I turned my eyes into edible weeds growing on our property, and dried a nice amount of nettles and lady’s mantle for winter ”greens”. I dried yarrow as well. I harvested cherry tomatoes of a plant I got for my birthday.

    1. Sorry about your garden Miriam – I always feel so sorry for gardeners who work so hard and then weather of one extreme or the other seems to do them in. But good for you for being so resourceful and foraging for the edible greens and for your determined attitude.
      That’s what I love about people here – things may be tough at times but everyone just seems to carry on as best they can instead of whining about things that are out of their control. And Brandy – you set the best example of all.

      1. Carolyn, you are welcome! The ones growing in shade are ”juicier” and tastier, those that grow in full sun and drier places turn out strong and bitter. It is good for ladies’ symptoms, including menopausal ones.

  42. Your watermelon looks delicious! We rarely get yellow watermelon in these parts. I’ve been staying home due to it being my normal school holidays. As a result, I cook a lot more and I’ve caught up on some house cleaning and decluttered a bit. Saving is pretty easy when you stay home.
    *The dishwasher broke and I’m not buying a new one. Money saved!
    *I’ve line dried the laundry almost everyday.
    *I made bread, banana bread, Bread & Butter pickles, and pickled beets with the leftover pickle juice.
    *I found over ripe bananas on sale that make fabulous smoothies and get frozen if I don’t finish them before they get bad. Then they end up in more smoothies.
    *I had bought some tomatoes that ended up being a bit yucky. Instead of throwing them out I chopped them up and froze them. I also kept the tops to feed to the guinea pigs.
    *All the greens that were going wilty got soaked in water and fed to the guinea pigs. No waste!
    *I’m doing a personal pantry challenge to use up everything in the pantry and freezer before buying more.
    *I found out I’ve been given extra work for the upcoming term. That will be an increase in income.
    *I’m still picking up online work part-time to build up some savings and vacation fund.
    *I cleaned out the fridge and threw out everything that needed to go. It’s amazing how nice my fridge looks but also gives me a better idea of what I actually have to eat.
    *I made my son a mug cake with homemade cake mix instead of buying one. I used sprinkles gifted by a friend who was moving.
    *My son wanted to make chocolate truffles because he saw a youtube video. I didn’t have any sweetened condensed milk but I had the ingredients on hand to make some. The truffles were fun to make and they tasted OK.

  43. What a pretty and delicious-looking watermelon!
    I bought a lot of things from Amazon on Prime Day. I learned last year that many items are discounted, some with coupons or flash sales. I went through the list I keep on my phone of things to buy. I was able to restock cold and flu liquid and capsules, acetaminophen, tall kitchen trash bags, concentrated laundry detergent, KN95 masks, pink sweetener packets, and canola oil for less than my go-to prices. I bought a power strip (1/2 price) with plugs and USB outlets but no surge protection because I wanted one we can use now to limit phantom energy drain but also be able to use on a cruise in 2023. For less than my target prices, I also found sunglasses (dark, polarized, wide enough for my face—2 for $10.39), a navy cotton v-neck tee and same in chestnut—2 for 7.75), small gold hoop earrings (gift) and car windshield sunscreens that my husband had on his wish list. I had to stick to my list and resist a lot of tempting deals. I noticed that Amazon Fresh had deals (hummus $1, sliced cheese $1), but I had already grocery shopped. Next year I will look to see if the grocery deals make it worthwhile for me to arrange an Amazon Fresh delivery that week instead of my usual ShopRite or Stop and Shop run. Brandy, I hope you get credit for Fresh purchases—I have only used the service a few times but I click on your link before I shop.
    We had lots of rain yesterday. Everything has been a little dry here although nothing like the droughts others are experiencing.
    I continue to try for zero waste and to be a better steward of our resources. I’m grateful for this blog and everyone’s good advice and great attitude.

    1. Thank you so much for using my links! I need the credit more than ever right now and I appreciate it!

  44. Thrifty surprise this week: Surprised to receive free tickets (100.00 a piece) for seats to an outdoor concert, by way of our daughter’s friend, who works for our national football league. It was a beautiful night with a breeze, even though it was hot and humid, with a gorgeous sunset.
    Thrifty actions: continuing to eat salads and cold noodle bowls with our lettuces/bokchoy from our garden. Peppers are abundant…the tomatoes are not doing so well right now. Currently reading Kristen Harmel’s The Book of Lost Names.

  45. It has been very dry around here lately. It rained a little yesterday, which was great. The plants all really needed it.

    This year, we are trying an experiment of NOT growing our vegetable garden and comparing the costs with going to a local farm and a farmer’s market for our produce that we would have garden grown. I am not sure yet how it will all play out in the end, but right now, we are a little ahead. We are considering our saved labor at $15 per hour because that is what the farm is paying their workers. We also, of course, didn’t buy any plants or seeds or trellises, aren’t watering, etc. We don’t have to think about a neighbor checking the garden if we are away. And we are only buying what we need of produce…to eat now and to freeze, can, preserve.

    We will need to see the final results before deciding but I think our vegetable gardening days are likely finished. I will probably plant some herbs among my flower beds in the future because I do miss the convenience of having herbs ready to pick as needed.

    Other frugal things:
    I have been waiting to see if I get a code for Shutterfly for “unlimited free book pages” so that I can print out the book of my daughter’s childhood art work. I did get a code! Now I will get the book for under $20 with free ship, 40% off and a few other codes that can stack. Usually they send out these “unlimited pages” offers a couple times a year, but it is not predictable as to when, so I will make the book and then wait.

    I brought several things to the thrift store to donate and did not go in to shop. I do need some drinking glasses, especially smaller ones that are good for juice, because several have broken lately, but I knew if I went in, I would be tempted by many things. This shop has discount days at the end of the month, so I will go then and see what I see. I actually love to use a jam jar for a drinking glass, but not the rest of the family.

    My neighbor and I did a trade. She gave me a pile of magazines and I gave her a bouquet from my garden!

    1. That’s a fantastic idea to price check. With our drought we’ve gotten no where in our garden this year.

      I was excited to get a box of 10lbs of ugly tomatoes for $6 at the farmers market this morning. So I’m roasting while cooking ribs in the oven. I found the flavor was more intense this way than simply using for sauce and freezing was easier.

    1. I spent yesterday cutting up peaches and figs from the garden plus baking bread after posting and didn’t get to read the comments.

  46. I found horned worms on my tomato plants which are now struggling to recover. Fortunately, I’ve been watching them daily and was able to get rid of the worms and destroy them. Fingers crossed that I shall get tomatoes eventually.
    I cut more coleus from the original plant and potted up new cuttings of same into another container.
    I made two loaves of bread this past week, one oatmeal raisin and the other plain white.
    I went to Kroger to take advantage of some sales on milk and butter this week. I picked up a couple of items off the bakery clearance rack and then my husband, who is automatically drawn to pre-formed hamburgers, said that he’d found burgers on sale. They were $3 for 10 burgers. I picked up two packages.
    My freezer is at full capacity now. I feel that I need to stop purchasing for a while other than fresh produce or pantry storage that I find on good sales. I want to spend the rest of this month and perhaps next focusing on things we seldom use or that are nearing expiration.
    I used bananas that were quite ripe to make a Banana Poundcake. I thought twice about it because it requires five eggs, but I make mine in loaf pans so I can put one in the freezer, share part of the second with family and went ahead with the project.
    We cancelled two small life insurance policies. We recently purchased a larger policy and decided to let go of the other two. That saves us enough to cover about half a year of premiums on the new policy.
    I planted more basil seeds after I found a stash. It’s coming up very nicely and will be ready to harvest in about three weeks.

  47. Last week I was with my son at a music camp each day so by the end of the week I felt really behind. A quiet weekend and week will have things caught up!

    I didn’t grocery shop at all last week. I will have a bit larger shop this week as I am trying to stock up on things when there are sales and am moving to only shopping every two weeks. I am trying to shop and be out of the house less moving forward and this is definitely one of the ways to do this.

    The zucchinis are finally starting in our garden so I will have them to harvest soon. The strawberries finally finished producing but we got a huge crop this year and I have lots in the freezer. They are everbearing plants so we will see if we get a fall crop. There is still rhubarb and I will harvest more of that again soon. I was gifted five blackberry stocks which I have planted and am watering generously in the hopes of adding blackberries to our harvest next year.

    We have been blessed by our buy nothing group again these past couple of weeks. I have received a carton of cottage cheese, some treat bags for chocolate making, some cat toys, a bag of yarn, a bag of ladies clothing in which I found a dress, a shirt and some tights that worked for me and a popsicle mold. A lady from our church whose husband died recently gifted us four garbage bags full of sweaters and shirts for my two guys. They are like new and just lovely. They will be outfitted well for many years to come.

    I have dried all laundry outside and borrowed books and DVDs from the library. I trimmed my sons hair myself.

    Hope everyone is managing to stay cool.

  48. Hi Brandy and everyone
    The watermelon looks juicy.
    This week we picked blackcurrants, plums, raspberries, French beans, broccoli, courgettes, cucumbers, gherkins, potatoes and lettuce. The cutting garden my husband grew for me is going really well and I picked rudbeckia, larkspur, dahlia, zinnias and cosmos for the house. We gave courgettes to a friend and received grapes from another friend. I pickled the gherkins and froze some of the produce.
    A friend passed on a magazine she knows I enjoy.
    I used a coupon for £2 off my Lidl grocery shop. I bought a few more tinned goods for the larder with spare money I didn’t spend on fruit and veg.
    I helped prepare and serve strawberry cream teas for 100 at a floral arranging demonstration hosted by my local floral group. I received leftovers to bring home- two plated up teas, six scones and a big tub of clotted cream which we enjoyed with guests who stayed for a few days.
    The Proms classical music concerts have started and we watched one on TV. We enjoyed it very much and think programmes like this are well worth paying the TV licence fee.
    The UK set a new record today for hot weather, over 40 degrees. I know many of you face this often. Phew!
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. We do, but we have central air conditioning and ceiling fans.

      The fewer errands run, the better, though. Driving in this heat is exhausting. It was 45° on Sunday.

  49. The watermelon looks delicious! Very refreshing in the hot weather I know you are having.
    *Much of this week was spent in preparation for my sons and I to go to the beach with my in-laws. My husband’s side of the family have been going to the same beach the same week for over 50 years. My FIL is one of 14 children so there are a lot of people to catch up with. My husband is not going as he has to work and he is happy to stay home and take care of the animals and garden. The only costs to us will be gas to drive there and I am so glad gas prices have been going in a positive direction, at least at the moment. Thanks to Jessica, another reader here, I gave the app Upside a try and got 25 cents off per gallon bringing it down to $3.65/gallon. Haven’t seen those prices in a long time.
    *As usual, we focused on eating from the garden, pantry and freezer and I put together things to take to the beach. We all bring food and share in the cooking tasks which makes it frugal and fun. I planted more cucumbers and lettuce where other earlier things had finished so all available space is in production. I have been freezing much of what comes out of the garden for later use.
    *I gratefully accepted canned goods from a neighbor in exchange for eggs from my chickens. This has been a great way to continue stocking up as I haven’t found many good sales lately other than an odd B1G1 sale here and there. We did find pork butt for 99 cents/pound which my husband smoked. We put what we didn’t eat that day into the freezer. We eat little meat (I was vegetarian from age 11 until a few years ago and my husband did not eat meat for many years) so limiting or eschewing it altogether is not a problem and has always been a way to save money – even more so now.
    *I cut my oldest son’s hair and trimmed my bangs.
    *Gladly picked even more blueberries from a neighbor’s 40 year old bushes. She offered me some volunteers from her bushes and some 5 year old bushes they have on another property that no one is picking from. I will wait till the beginning of September to move them to our house. We have been picking lots of black raspberries and blackberries from our property and enjoying them for breakfast every morning.
    *We mowed the lawn of a family neighbor who kindly pays us. My son is watering a few potted plants my mother has at her house here in the mountains. She pays him to water and deadhead them and he has been very responsible about doing so. I taught him how to fertilize them so they will be full of blooms when she comes back up next week. He enjoys making a bit of money and is already a very good saver. My oldest son continues to mow for a neighbor and has become more of a saver than in the past. I think they do hear our discussions of being good stewards of money and will avoid the pitfalls I saw many of my friends get into (fingers crossed!)
    *Mending clothes is a weekly thing. We work hard and expect a lot from our clothes and it pays to keep them in good condition.
    *My current read from the library is “Bullet Train” by Kotaro Isaka. Apparently, it has been made into a movie which will be released soon. I just started it but am so far enjoying the intrigue and suspense and a departure from things I typically read.
    *Wishing everyone a lovely week!

  50. I am currently on little 4 day vacay at friends’ university area condo. It is only one hour from my home but it much more of a city (with restaurants and stores) than the rural area where I live. My friends are very generous in sharing and will not accept any $ so I always stock the place up with paper products and leave a gift card I know they will enjoy. They don’t even like accepting that but I insist so as not to be total mooch. It is over 100 degrees in our part of MS but the place is so well insulated most days all I have to do it get it cool and then keep ceiling fans going. The complex has two great pools if I can only remember where in my car my swimsuit is from a previous trip. One of the best parts is their unit has full size washer and dryer so I do laundry the last night and come home with all clean clothes. Take my own towels and bed linens so I don’t have to either leave theirs dirty or stick around on last day waiting on laundry to wash and dry. They usually the condo mainly when attending college sports activities and I am not a sports fan so I am able to borrow it during non-sports times.
    Unlike a lot of contributors here I rarely cook (never ever cooked for first 60 years of my life and then covid so I had to start when we were home-bound) and I would never in my life have a garden. I have lived on a cotton/soybean farm the majority of my life and would hate every minute of planting and maintaining a garden. But even though I am not a cook or gardener I am a heck of a shopper. Have already started Christmas and Birthday shopping with tons of items from Target/RiteAid/Kohls/JCP for 80/90/95 % off (plus senior discount of additional 10% off on Tuesdays) at a local liquidation store. The % off gets significantly larger the longer the items are in the store and I have figured out a way to check their prices from home and also stop in every time I am in town (local for me is 17 miles away, no stores in my immediate area. I have to admit I buy a lot of stuff for myself (I love Target jewelry and nail polish) but the majority is to give others. Just started a new journal (purchased for 95% off at above mentioned liquidation store) to know what I bought for each person, what I paid and most important where I have stored it.
    Thanks to the contributor who mentioned postage increases a few weeks ago. We use 15-20 stamps each month to pay bills for our farm and I am a big sender of cards. Until I read it on here I wasn’t aware of increase so I went to USPS on last day and stocked up for a few months saving $4.
    Ongoing frugal efforts are buying the great 50 cent and $1 greeting cards at $Tree and DollGen, and the library. The library is such a great resource. My 85 year old mom reads an average of 6 books a week. All for free checked out from library, or free from library swap rack or 25 cents from sales tables in our library branches. Since covid I rarely go to movie theater and our library system always has the newest releases on dvd. Some aren’t quite as entertaining as they would be on big screen but they are free and safe. I did go to see Top Gun Maverick at theater and it was fantastic, can’t even imagine it at home on my bedroom tv. I will probably go again before it moves away from theaters. I waited until it had been out awhile and went to a random Tuesday afternoon showing and it wasn’t crowded at all. I live with my 85 yo mom who cannot get vaccine so I am still very cautious about trying to prevent covid. 4 shots so far and still wearing my mask any time I am in public. It’s a pain but she is still healthy so it’s definitely worth it.
    Ya’ll stay cool and keep saving money. I love reading everyone’s weekly adventures in frugality (is that even a word?)

    1. I have watched many of Exploring Alternatives’ videos and they are all so inspiring. Thanks for sharing this one. 🙂

  51. I had a recipe that called for 2lbs hamburger. I still has quite a bit of ground sausage left from when we had a pig butchered. I substituted one pound of hamburger with sausage and it was delicious. I also substituted chicken thighs for chicken breasts in a recipe.

    I got my son a play kitchen from a Facebook group. The kitchen sells for $400 new and I got it for $100. It was missing one basket and a couple of food items. But it had all the appliances with it, several food items, pots and pans, etc. It will be a christmas present for him.

    I purchased a few items from target. The next day I saw that some of the items I purchased were 50% off. I called customer service and they refunded me the difference. It ended up being about $40 worth of money back – definitely worth my time!

    We picked three zucchini, 3 bell peppers, and two yellow squash from the garden.

    We picked about a half of a butter container full of blackberries. We will eat some of the blackberries fresh and freeze some to use later. There are still many more blackberries on our vines.

    I dried about half the cilantro that is in our garden. It’s getting too hot for it here.

    I froze enough chopped rhubarb from our patch to fill a gallon freezer bag.

    I got free popcorn at work. Once every few weeks our bosses pop popcorn for us. Because I had the popcorn, I did not eat the pretzels I had brought in my lunch.

    I used coupons and extra care bucks to get one family size bottle of conditioner and one small bottle of shampoo for $1.38.

    Awhile back, I bought a big bag of frozen cinnamon rolls at our local food warehouse store. The bag was $7.05, but was 50% off. I’ve made breakfast for my family 5 times so far. I think there is enough for one more breakfast. I didn’t think $3.52 for breakfast for 3 people 6 times was too bad! That’s about .20 per person per meal! And it’s convenient! I’ll definitely buy more the next time I see that deal.

    My mom, my sister, and I went to the movies. We went in the afternoon, so tickets were half price.

    I noticed that the interest rate on one of our savings accounts had increased quite a bit. We have two – one for sinking funds and one for regular savings. The one with the higher interest rate had a lower balance. I transferred the difference over so that we had more money in the one with the higher balance.

    I picked up 6 books from the library. One was a 5 Ingredients or Less Slow Cooker cookbook. I found quite a few yummy looking meals. Since they had minimal ingredients, they seemed like they would be budget friendly. I am enjoying using my slow cooker in the summer to keep the house cooler. I took photos of the ones I thought I’d try.

    I stayed under budget on my recent grocery shop.

  52. 1. I went to a free screening of “Mrs. Harris goes to Paris”. The theatre was a bit run down but I enjoyed the movie. I think you (Brandy) & Winter would enjoy it as it is about dress making & couture clothes in Paris.
    2. I went to a neighborhood where there are lots of mango trees. Sadly many mangos were just rotting on the ground. I found 6 or 7 near the curbs that the birds had not pecked on. They are tasty, free, and on my meal plan.
    3. While I was out foraging I saw many boxes of China on a curb for trash pick up. The maker is Johann Haviland & the pattern is Moss Rose. I tried to give them to several young women to no avail. I saw sets of this pattern on eBay for 300 to 600$. I plan to take a sample to a vintage china shop to see if I can sell them. If all else fails I will donate the dishes to a charity.
    4. I’m on a weight loss diet & this surely saves $.
    5. I had a house guest who left me a Publix GC. It was much appreciated. She also paid the tab for my salad & iced tea one evening for supper.
    It is hot in Florida but not as bad as my home in Texas. 108 F (42 C) in Dallas area yesterday. I know not as torrid as Las Vegas but bad enough.

    1. I saw the previews for that movie! I will watch it later this year from home.

    2. Hi Texasilver
      I have the book Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, Paul Gallico is one of my favourite authors. He wrote other Mrs Harris books, Mrs Harris Goes to New York etc and was a prolific author. You may know his best known work The Snow Goose set in WW2. My favourite works of his are the children’s books Manxmouse and Thomasina.
      I look forward to seeing the film.

      1. I remember going to see the movie “Thomasina” as a child. I think it was a Disney movie. I didn’t realize there was a book it was based on. (My grandmother hated cats. I surprised she took me to see this movie! Myself I love cats & have one.)

    3. Paul Gallico is one of my favourite authors — I especially love the Snow Goose.
      I enjoyed Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.

    4. For unwanted china, silverware, estate jewelry, or crystal you could try selling it to Replacements, Ltd. The website is http://www.replacements.com You can go to the “Sell to Us” link and there are step-by-step instructions on how to do it. You can look up the china pattern in their inventory to see if they carry it, and then fill out the form for selling. They check their inventory of that pattern, and then reply back to you if they are currently purchasing pieces in that pattern. They send you an “Offer to Purchase” email, which you can accept or not depending on the price they offer to pay. It really depends on how much in demand the pattern is. The pieces must be in excellent condition. You pack it up (they have videos how to do it correctly) and ship to them. They do a quality inspection of the pieces, and will let you know in an email if they accept the box, and are sending the check. I did this with a set of silverware I received as an inheritance from an elderly relative. I used a lot of bubble wrap! But the whole process was very easy because of all the instructions and videos on the website. My mother purchased pieces of her wedding china from that company several times when a bowl or something broke and she wanted to keep the set intact.

  53. Hello àll!
    Nothing much to report as church was the total of my going this past week! My husband picked up milk for $1.29 per half gallon.
    I do want to ask a question about Kroger markets. Our store is starting something called BOOST. Essentially, you pay a yearly membership for certain things. There are 2 tiers, if I recall. Has anyone looked into that and what was your impression? I wonder if it’s going to be helpful to all or primarily people that buy brand name extras.

    The heat is our headline. I have no energy to do much of anything. I have fantasies of jumping into Lake Tahoe lol! If you’ve ever been in there, you know how cold it is!! Alas, a cold shower will have to do. I get so droopy that I tell my husband that I must have some illness to blame for my lack of energy. And then he says I say this every July and August and the illness magically vanishes when the temps drop in September. I think the obvious answer is a summer home in Nome, Alaska. Or maybe even further north…. I wonder if Santa runs a summer B&B.

    All my reading is the same as last week. In my Foxfire book, I’m reading about families now. I finished the sections on faith, skipping the Snake Handling and Handling Fire sections for fear of nightmares! It’s been a very interesting book.

    I wish everyone a good week!

    1. Debby, I saw the ad for BOOST, we shop at Kroger often. We aren’t getting it because we do fine with pickup orders and shopping in store. However, I can see how it would be super helpful for someone who was unable to get to the store. I would have loved having the free 2 hr. delivery when my kids were babies and it was such a hassle to go anywhere!

    2. Debby – Glad you are keeping up with the Foxfire books! Thought you might be interested in this what appears to be a made for TV movie. It brings out elements from the books but has a storyline of its own. Can’t believe I had never seen it! John Denver is definitely part of my childhood soundtrack. 🙂 Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzZb2-MuHpM

    3. I would try first to sell it locally, either on craigslist or Marketplace. Replacements doesn’t pay very well and you still have to pack it, even if they tell you how.

  54. I didn’t know that YouTube has a music app. So handy! Your watermelon looks so interesting. I have never seen one that color. Your other post about the birds enjoying the lettuce seeds inspired me to let mine bolt. They are super tall now, but none of them have developed seeds yet.
    –I was planning to pick up my mother last week to bring her to TN to stay with me for a few days. She requested a week off work to do that. However, after we had my in-laws and husband’s niece at our house for most of June, my mom decided not to come visit, in order to give us a break. At first she asked me to come up to stay with her for a few days, but then she said not to even do that. So I was able to avoid the cost of driving 12+ hours roundtrip. I miss her, but was also grateful not to travel. She is going to try to come visit over the holidays instead.
    –I ordered custom shirts to gift to my friends to commemorate our girlfriend trip. Sent the shirts last week and was tempted to spend the money on cute mailers/wrappings but decided to re-use mailers I already had at home. The girls loved the shirts!
    –I did surveys on receipts, earning codes for free sandwiches and other items. These come in handy when we’re on the go. I submitted my receipts to rebate sites like ibotta and Fetch. Those of you who submit receipts, have you tried Receipt Hog app? It is the same concept as Fetch. If you are interested in joining, my referral code is desk8584 and will earn you 5 spins on the rewards wheel.
    –Completed a grocery store survey, received a case of water in exchange.
    –I earned $2 with survey questions through an app.
    –I paid $1.50 for books at an estate sale, sold for $8.
    –The last pack of Swiss Cake Rolls in our box had only one cake in it, instead of two. What a disappointment, ha! I emailed the company, and they promptly sent me a check for $2.49 to replace the box. I thought that was pretty nice.
    –I did not like the underwear I bought last week at Kohl’s. They shrank in the wash and were so uncomfortable! They were the same size I normally buy, but a different cut. Unfortunately I’d already thrown away the packaging because I did not anticipate that it would be a problem. I emailed Hanes and they kindly sent me a replacement pack, which just arrived in the mail today — but UGH it’s the exact same style instead of the exchange I requested! So I am thinking I might be able to take the new pack back to Kohl’s and exchange for my “regular” style. In both cases (the cake and the undies) I would let that go and just be annoyed by it. But in this time of rising costs, I felt like it was necessary to call attention to quality, as a means of good stewardship.
    –Wanted to try making some homemade salves and sprays using plants and herbs from my garden. Found one of the “weeds” growing in one of my unused containers, haha! The leaves needed to be dried first, so I put them in a paper bag and kept the bag in my car for a couple of days. They dried very well, no need for the dehydrator. They’re now infusing in oil. I ordered the witch hazel needed for the bug spray via CVS, using reward points. I used herbs from the garden including lemon balm, mint, rosemary, and basil to steep in the witch hazel. That will be ready to bottle up in a couple of weeks.
    –The rest of the garden has been suffering from the heat. I picked some green beans, grape tomatoes, squash, ground cherries, and peppers. My son assembled my metal raised beds, so I need to get those filled and planted this week.
    –Planted new seeds in one aerogarden to start for my fall garden. Crazy to think it’s already time for that!
    –Purchased a few things at Kroger that were on sale. Challenge butter $2.79/lb, organic mushrooms clearance $1.09, mozz cheese $2. Got a few free items shipped free from CVS (2 boxes of bandages). Went into CVS to get the free ibuprofen, and used rewards to buy 2 additional boxes of pain relievers for my daughter to take to college. Paid $2.84 OOP, earned $5 reward.
    –I went into Walgreens to buy eyebrow pencils and a case of water bottles. On my app, there was a $2 coupon on the eyebrow pencils, but it did not apply at the cash register. The cashier was completely unhelpful about it, and was annoyed with me for asking her to check it again. The coupon did not say “online only” or anything like that, I still don’t know why it wouldn’t work. There was a line growing behind me so I put back the items, went to my car, and placed an order for the exact same items on my phone. The $2 coupon came off the total.
    –Worked on cleaning out one of the deep freezers, to organize it and make room for more food. I still have hopes that maybe the fall the garden will produce enough to freeze.
    –One day I ended up batch cooking 5 different meals without planning to do that. Once I got started cooking one thing, it just snowballed into getting a bunch of things prepped or frozen for a future meal. I’d bought some discounted organic chicken thighs ($1.19/lb) but the label didn’t say they were bone-in. I’d planned to cut the meat into small bite size pieces, and it took forever to get it off the bones! I almost threw out the bones, then realized I could boil them to make broth (thought, “What would GardenPat do?”) I froze the chicken chunks for future teriyaki chicken. While the bones were boiling, I got a slow cooker roast ready to put in the next day, and cooked the filling for a cottage pie…freezing half for a future meal. Took half of the ground beef and made sloppy joes from a Pioneer Woman recipe. Then I cooled the chicken broth, which ended up having a lot of meaty bits, and froze it for a future pot of soup. So 5 different meals were made over a long morning. I was so exhausted after that, I ended up taking a 3 hour nap. haha
    –Made a double batch of zucchini muffins on that same day, they were gone within hours. My son can eat 8 muffins in a sitting, and has several sittings a day. LOL He has already asked me to bake more.
    –Suppers this week included BLTs, cottage pie, teriyaki chicken, sloppy joes, roast beef, and smothered chicken. I froze any leftovers that didn’t get eaten.
    –My son is 13 and wants to have some spending money of his own. I’ve been paying him to do some projects for me (such as assembling the raised beds). It helps both of us, so win-win.
    –My mom sent money for the kids to get new clothes and shoes for school. They wanted to go to a Knoxville mall to shop, so we took a nice day trip. They combined their purchases to get a deal on shoes, buy 1 get 1 half off, plus I had a $15 off coupon. My daughter got several clothing items on clearance sale, including a couple of pairs of jeans for $10 — originally $70. She still has about half of her money left. My son spent every penny of his on shoes, a watch, and baseball caps. He had some buyer’s remorse after buying the expensive watch, so it led to a good conversation about spending. We’ll see if it impacts his next purchase.
    –We went to Sam’s Club for some items and got snacks at the cafe. We haven’t eaten there in a long time. I was so impressed with the way they’ve kept their cafe prices low. For example, I got an amazing brownie sundae for just $1.50. My husband commented that next time we’ll plan to have lunch there; we could feed the whole family for cheap.
    –Hope everyone has a great week!

    1. Diana: I live in Knoxville. I will watch your posts carefully from now on and see if the deals you find might be ones that would benefit my family. I will try to remember to post any bargains that I run across. Never know! 😊

    2. Dianna- If I have done/said anything that has been helpful for you, I am humbled! When Hubs and I got married 51 years ago, I was total without a clue as far as cooking, gardening, household maintenance, budgeting or finances and pretty much any other independent living skills. My parents offered me lots of opportunities to learn, but I was not interested and knew that those would never be skills that I would need in my life! 🥴🤔🤪🤪🤪🤪
      I was fortunate to learn from so many people over the years and still am learning so much even at my “advanced” age! And Hubs has been such a great partner as he’s learned and used many of those same skills! I think that having 11 kids in 19 years gave us “on the job training” for trying to stretch our money and preparing for life’s unexpected hiccups!!

      Gardenpat in Ohio
      HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    3. Well now I want ice cream sundae from Sam’s. I once called and complained that some of my mini-Moon Pies were smushed. It was a box of 6 from the $1 aisle at my local Piggly Wiggly. About 1/2 were smushed. The company sent me a huge carton with boxes of every flavor they made (some I had never heard of) and some coupons to use at grocery for free boxes. I gave Moon Pie’s to everyone I knew. Did not buy them for a long time after that since we had eaten so many.
      I love that you had a weed growing in your homemade salve.

  55. Brandy, that watermelon looks delicious! One of my favorite fruits & hits the spot on a hot summer day. I’m in NE Ohio. We get a lot of rain but when it’s warm, the humidity is something else.
    **been staying home a lot with gas prices as they are even though they’ve gone down quite a bit in my area
    **made chicken noodle soup & vegetable soup in my Ninja Foodi. I brought the soups for my lunch at work since the cafeteria isn’t open at night. The Foodi an air fryer/instapot combo in 1. Paid $200 for it in Dec 2020. Best $200 I’ve ever spent. Only have the 6.5Qt as it’s just my husband and myself so it’s big enough for us.

    **Our local library is undergoing a huge remodel & has been closed for awhile. It’s reopening next month! Plan to get a library card once it does.

    **packed all my lunches for work. Even bring my own beverages although bottled water & milk is a available but I drink soda. Zero sugar Cherry Coke is my fave.
    **binge watching shows on Hulu that I get for free through my cellphone provider-Verizon Wireless. Also get Disney+ free as well as ESPN+
    **enjoyed my Good Housekeeping subscription that I get free from Recyclebank.
    **saving money for our vacation to Myrtle Beach at the end of next month. My in-laws gifted us a week of their timeshare as our wedding gift from last year. I turn 50 next month & will be celebrating it on the ocean. Invited my friend & her husband along as it’s a 2 bedroom suite. They are covering food & adult beverages in exchange for the accommodations. We are driving down. My car is economical on gas. Plus we can make stops along the way such as visiting my husbands brother & family who live outside of DC.

    Hope everyone has a good week!

  56. Enjoying these warm summer days.
    Took our trash and recyclables to the recycling center. We found treasures; a rubbermaid box of “Beautiful” quality toys like Melissa and Doug. Found a like new stainless steel pan with a lid for that my husband cleaned and it’s shiny and clean. It was sad that others didn’t donate these and boxes of other things but it was our lucky day.
    I appliqued a flower design I cut out of fabric on an apron to cover up the promotional lettering. That apron has been on the to do list forever and was a “free” high quality apron that I got for free at a work event.
    I repaired a mattress pad and several dish towel hems.
    Last week enjoyed a “Garden Walk” that was organized in our neighborhood by a volunteer and we got to see 3 different gardens. We all gathered with our chairs at the last garden and enjoyed lively conversation and the beverage we choose to bring. Great way to continue to build community at a “no cost” no stress event for all who want to join in. There were 20 of us and lots of laughing and garden stories.
    Have a good week and Brandy thanks for the “community” who have provided for all of us. I read and have learned so much here.

    1. Your Garden Walk sounds like so much fun! I would love that–just not in the summer.

  57. I stayed home, Hubby did some hauling jobs and made sure we didn’t need anything that he could do while out on the job.
    I’ve been trying to only pull meat from the freezers and limit what I pull from the pantry for fruit and veggies. I’m grateful Hubby is no longer picky. Both his parents are picky.
    I am dealing with tomato bottom rot but caught it before it got bad. Green beans, banana peppers, etc. is coming on at a steady rate. Lettuce is gone, core rotted between the heavy rains and the hot sun.
    I’ve been readying from my kindle using kindle unlimited.
    An old friend finally paid us back a loan . It definitely allowed me to put most of it back to pay for big things we were saving for and allow to stock up on some of the pantry like pasta. Hubby suggested I look to see if there is a attachment for my kitchen aid mixer that makes tube pasta. Since we now have speltz available when flour is hard to get I could make more pasta at home beyond noodles and lasagna .
    Blessed be everyone. Prayers for peace and a break in this heat.
    https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2022/07/done-this-week.html

  58. It has been so hot and windy here! My garden is struggling. I put my plants in so late due to the cold temperatures that I am not sure what I will get. The rabbits decimated my bean and corn rows. I decided not to feed them by replanting so will most likely just purchase from a local farmer. I have potatoes growing nicely. This will be my first real crop. I have squash, grapes. tomatoes, and cucumbers trying to produce before the frost comes on. Our family took a week vacation before our berries were ripe. The weather was so hot and dry that my blueberries dehydrated right on the bush! I picked and stored them. I will plant a fall garden next week. Hoping to get some lettuce and cool weather crops before the frosts set in. For our vacation we stayed in a hotel room that had a full kitchen. I saved nearly $1,000.00 by cooking all of our meals instead of going out to eat. It was nice to get away. Next week my children will show and sell chickens for 4-H. This is their main earning event for the year. They tithe and then are expected to save at least 50% of the earnings. They most often save much more. I am now focusing on getting clothing and shoes for my children. I will also purchase more canning lids. School will start before I know it. I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. My high school student was amazed that I had never read either book when I was in school. I continue to turn off lights, combine errands or stay home, cook our meals, and not buy wants. On prime day I did buy replacement toner cartridges for my new (to me) laser printer. They were on a super deal and I should be set for a year or more. This fall I will be working on reducing the amount of stuff in our home. It is a never ending battle. I am grateful for all that I have been blessed with. Having an attitude of gratitude makes all the difference in these challenging times.

  59. Forgot to mention this yesterday — last week or maybe 2 weeks ago, someone commented asking about an ereader. For those who want to read ebooks but don’t have an ereader, you can read Kindle books on your computer/laptop. https://read.amazon.com

  60. Brandy, this week my children and I looked at current pictures of Lake Mead. How devastating! I can’t get the drought situation there off of my mind. I don’t understand how it all works. Is there a back up plan? Is the general public deeply concerned over this? You have talked in the past about how often and when you are allowed to water. Are you able to water your garden at all now beyond the water that you “catch”? Would a garden be able to grow at all without watering? Your blog is a blessing to me!

    1. Even cactus must be watered here.

      Is there a backup plan? No. Where would the water come from? More restrictions are being made to slow the water usage in California and Arizona.

      Further cuts were announced in Las Vegas. All new homes are not permitted to have any real grass whatsoever (since April).

      All grass in medians, businesses, and HOA maintained areas must be removed by December 2026. Many places have already started to do this.

      Is the public concerned? Some people are; some people are not.

      Nevada has had strict restrictions on water for years. More worrisome is the lack of restrictions in other western states, especially where food crops are concerned.

      All water used here indoors is cleaned and reused. We have had water reclamation for over 20 years.

      All water used outdoors is strictly regulated with fines for water waste.

      1. I live less than a mile from Lake Michigan. You can’t go very far in any direction and not hit some type of body of water in Michigan. Even with all that water, I have been really working on not using as much and reusing rinse water or the dogs nasty slime water to water garden plants (We have a wet mouth Great Dane – any one who has a big jowled dog will know what I mean when I say slimy water). There may come a time when even we will have to ration water.

  61. As none of my pants will stay up, I shopped around online. I don’t even really know what size I’d wear now.
    I’m not keen on knit pants or elasticized waists but since I’m really not going anywhere, they will be comfortable
    for wearing around the house this winter. They were $14.99 plus gst tax. I also got a pair of linen blended pants for $29.99
    but still good price. I hope they fit — it’s smaller than I’d normally get but one of the commenters said they fit her and she was 5 pounds lighter but two inches taller than I am. If they don’t fit, I’ll keep them until next summer. (Mark’s Work Wearhouse). Mark’s also has buy one get one free on some items. When I have a bit more time, I will look at my present pants to see if I can make them smaller. I’m happy that the jeans I bought 5 years ago that were too tight now fit but are also too big. I bought them for $20 but noted the same brand is now $120.00. I have several lengths of beautiful fabric and I’ll probably make or have made some of them up.

    Because the weather is so lovely, I am sitting at my patio table and (finally!!!) trying to finish the 7 photo albums (2100 photos in total). They have quite a few genealogical comments in them. I’ve been printing them by hand into each album. I hope to get them finished and mailed off to cousins in about 2 weeks. This project was greatly delayed by my broken arm and tendon but I am grateful that I can print again.

  62. I just had to share. We were thinking about steak and knew that we did not want to pay the money to go out. So we went to the grocery store. Steaks were $57 dollars for three steaks! Next to the steaks were pork chops at 1.99 a lb. I could get 6 pork chops for $6.48. That is what we did. I lost my appetite for steak! The pork chops were a treat. I breaded them and added paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper then baked them. I don’t see myself buying steak for a long time. The prices will have to come down. I’d have to work almost 6 hours to buy 3 steaks! Now I am determined to eat what we have in the freezer and utilize those dried beans, peas, and lentils!

  63. Last week Miriam in Finland wrote about drying lady’s mantle for eating in winter so I decided to try the lady’s mantle growing in my garden. I tried it raw and cooked and found the flavor very nice. I’m very happy to be able to count this as another perennial vegetable in the garden.

    I harvested raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, greens, and herbs from the garden.

    I purchased a marked-down bag of lemons and limes and ended up with more than I could use in the week so I juiced them and froze the juice in individual servings to use later.

    Each morning, I moved the coffee made in an electric drip coffee maker into a thermos. This saves on electricity and contains the heat.

    I made a batch of garlic scape & basil pesto based on a recipe I found online. It was intended to be a pasta sauce but unfortunately it was way too strong for my liking. Rather than throw it out, I portioned it into tablespoon spoon size servings and froze it. Now I have garlic and basil flavoring to add to other dishes.

    I vacuumed out my car using my own hand-vac rather than paying to use a vacuum cleaner at a car wash.

    I had a couple of frugal fails this week which got me thinking about some habits and practices I’ve let go over time and need to reinstate.

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