I baked French bread.

I harvested Armenian cucumbers, two zucchini, watermelon, basil, oregano, a few cherry tomatoes, and lemon verbena from the garden.

I canned sweet pickle relish and sweet pickles with the cucumbers from my garden.

I purchased a few whole chickens, some bone-in chicken thighs, and one package of bone-in chicken breasts on sale for $0.99 a pound. I was very happy to have these to add to the freezer. There are very few deals out there and we were very low on meat. I will continue to look for meat sales this fall to stock the freezer.

My son, who works at a grocery store, texted me to tell me they were clearing out the remaining school supplies at 30 cents each! I went over to his work (just 5 minutes away) and purchased colored pencils, pens, index cards, glue sticks, white glue, sharpies, and some small posterboard. I noticed 7 items rang up at full price (I was at self-check), making my total $30 higher than it should be! I had the cashier help me to adjust it so that everything was at 30 cents each. I combined this trip with another to save gas.



It is still very humid here as well as hot. I collected water from the air conditioner drip shower warm-up water, and water from rinsing produce to water pots in the garden.

I ordered three blouses for myself on clearance plus there was an additional 15% off.

I read an e-book for free through the library using the Hoopla app on my phone: You Can’t Hurry Love.

I took several pairs of sandals to a shoe repair shop (Eagle Shoe Repair at Craig and the 95 for those in Las Vegas; the official address is on Tenaya). They need new insoles but are otherwise in great condition. It’s less expensive to have them repaired than to buy new shoes, plus I really like these sandals. I wear sandals most of the year here and will still be wearing them for a couple of months until the weather cools down. I combined this trip with another errand to save gas. I’ve used this small business before and was really happy with their service.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. With lots the produce I got last Monday at the Amish produce auction- https://pin.it/4zm0tKh , I used a bushel of the tomatoes, a peck of hot peppers and also onions and a 1/2 bushel of bell peppers https://pin.it/6yxnWfF and canned 34 pints of salsa. https://pin.it/eaJ4wet . Hubs & I had figured out that we wanted 22 pints canned to add to the 50 pints previous canned that were on the shelf. So we ended up with a dozen extra! But there was a little bit leftover that wasn’t enough for a jar so we tried it that night with some chips. Oh my goodness!!! I don’t know if 84 pints is going to be enough to see us through the winter !! Lol!

    I dehydrated the remaining 18 pounds of fresh bell peppers that I had kept . Here’s what it reduces down to: https://pin.it/1j0qDgb. Just 2 quart mason jars to put on my pantry shelf!

    I was able to sell the other 2 half bushels of tomatoes and 2 pecks of hot peppers and a peck of bell peppers. By doing that, I was able to offset some of my cost while friends were excited at buying at such good prices. So from the sales of excess produce I bought, we recouped $38 of the $79 that I spent. So my cost was $41 for the bushel of tomatoes, bushel of bell peppers, peck of onions, and peck of hot peppers. So I’m very happy with my spend.

    I sold my 6 quart Kitchenaid mixer so that helped pay for the bigger commercial size Kitchenaid mixer I just bought.

    I had another client quilt come in and got that quilted in a day so she as ecstatic and I had more income. That was Lenni’s #270!! https://pin.it/4JFxb5f. I had shown her this scrap-busting easy block when I made a quilt from it: https://pin.it/6AEzEqp. You can see there are lots of variations depending on the way you place the blocks. But from each of the colored scraps, you only need a 2” x 4-1/2” piece and also a 3-1/2” square! So that means you can use up lots of small bits of scraps!!
    I needed to make up 2 baby quilts in a hurry so I started looking through patterns I had (many free online patterns) and on Saturday got this first quilt made and this morning I quilted it and will bind it yet today! https://pin.it/5FQDRfV and here’s the Minkee backing: https://pin.it/4G4lBkX. Now, after lunch, I’ll get started on the second one.

    I found this video on YouTube and since I’m about to start harvesting my red and green cabbages, this was intriguing and I’m going to try it! https://youtu.be/aU5CV-hr7mc. The idea of free food is always a positive and I will be getting another big harvest of horseradish from the cut-off tops from last year’s harvest that I re-rooted and has flourished with a huge new harvest from it this year!!

    We ate exclusively from our pantry, fridge and freezer this week. I made a Cornbread Taco Bake from Six Sisters. I substituted jiffy corn bread mix for my own DIY copycat mix that I have stored in individual jars, along with some fresh bell pepper dices, DIY taco seasoning and some precooked shredded chicken breast that I had waiting in freezer. Another night we had Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie, using precooked Turkey chunks from a 19 cent/pound clearance turkey this Spring that I had deboned and bagged in to the freezer, instant potato flakes for the mash and my. 10 cent/can clearance chicken broth! We had IP spaghetti one night. I also downloaded the free pdf for Dining on A Dime cookbook- volume 2 (ebook) using promo code DINING2. They normally sell even the ebook form for over $20! 😳

    I went to Krogers this morning to get milk. I saw that some of their milk had sell by dates that were in a day or two so I found the milk dept guy and asked if they might discount it. (Remember, I could make ricotta cheese, yogurt or even mozzarella cheese now that I have the rennet and citric acid! ) He said that those containers that were within the next 48 hours for their exp date would have to be thrown out but he could mark down the rest of it to $1/gallon!! So I bought 2 gallons of whole milk with date of Sept 11 for $1 each instead of $2.99/gallon! I bought their (limit 5) butter for $2.49 each. My price point is $1.99 and I still have some but I am going to be cautious and add to my inventory. I got 10 pound bag of potatoes, 8 ears of corn, 1 package HB buns, 5 pounds of butter and 3 gallons of milk and paid $14. I estimate my savings to be $28. I resisted any impulse to buy other things. I took photos from the Kroger shelves to show Hubs the prices on things we have on our pantry shelves to compare. We were pretty shocked! These are the days to shop carefully, I think!

    Gardening today- planting garlic and onions and harvesting tomatoes and cabbages, etc will have to wait because it’s a gentle rain that will continue all day! Good day to quilt and cook!

    Thank you for all your encouragement and inspiration, Brandy!! And to all of your readers who also share great ideas that I never had known to make my life so much nicer!!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. She is probably planting onions to over winter to be ready for harvest next year. Depending on where you are (she’s in Ohio like me) you could plant onions for green onions if your first frost date is far enough away. I would guess that Brandy could be planting onions soon for her area for green onions.

      2. Holly- Juls Owings is right! Here in Ohio, I’m planting regular onions to overwinter the same way my garlic will so I will get an earlier harvest next year! My peas, green beans and Romaine lettuce I planted a few weeks ago is all flourishing right now for a fall harvest! I am determined to try as many ways to increase our food supply using every opportunity I can! That’s what makes technology/the internet a really valuable tool to learn more ideas to that end! And, if I can’t sleep one night, I can just start reading/watching online ways to be save money, gardening ideas, DIY ideas! Remarkable times we live in!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  2. That’s terrific that you found chicken on sale. And I love the photo of you in what I assume is one of your new blouses.
    My big money-saving activities this week seemed to revolve around either food or clothing. We enjoyed Swiss chard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green beans, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage from the garden. Our peak gardening season is very short, but I have been trying to utilize something from the garden in our dinner plans every night.
    We packed a lunch and ventured about an hour and a half away to a U-pick orchard. It’s a lovely drive and after we were done we stopped in a park and had a picnic, so we counted it as a date, too. We picked 32 pounds of Gala apples, 16 pounds of peaches, 12 pounds of plums and 5 pounds of blackberries. The prices were very good – 50 cents a pound for apples, $1 for peaches, $2 for plums and $3 for blackberries (all per pound.) So far, I have put up blackberry, plum, and peach jam; apple, peach, and mixed berry pie filling; and sliced peaches. I also started a batch of apple scrap vinegar. And we are eating lots of plums, apples, and peaches at meals and as snacks.
    A friend gifted me with some yellow squash and a cucumber from her garden. Friends invited us over for pizza one night and sent us home with leftovers, which we enjoyed for lunch the next day. Safeway sent me another $10 off a $10 purchase coupon, so I used it to get some cheese that was on sale and a bottle of barbecue sauce. At Kroger I purchased a case of diced tomatoes, on sale for 69 cents a can – the cheapest I’ve seen in a while (they’ve been $1 a can.)
    I gathered up a bunch of knit fabric scraps and made 6 pair of underwear (panties). I use this free pattern: https://megannielsen.com/products/acacia-underwear-sewing-pattern. (It you sign up for her newsletter, the pattern is free.) This tutorial shows three different ways to finish off the underwear, including one that uses no elastic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8gPh3egWC8
    I use fold-over elastic I purchased in bulk, making each pair about 50 cents. These last longer than ones I buy in the store, and are a good way to use up scraps. I have an old white cotton T-shirt I cut up for the inner gusset. I also re-dyed all my husband’s black T-shirts and a pair of black pants for me. I used Rit’s “Back to Black” Dye Kit, which was $8. Two of my husband’s shirts are over 5 years old and the dye returns them to almost-new look, so well worth it (the dye does not color the imprints on the shirts.) I re-dyed 5 shirts and the pair of pants with one kit.
    I look forward every week to reading everyone else’s frugal activities — I always get new ideas and inspiration.

    1. Yes, this is the new blouse! I like it so much that I ordered a couple more the same plus one in black. It’s super comfortable and I like it in the heat.

  3. Your pictures on Instagram were lovely this week. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful aprons. It must have been apron week-I made aprons for my daughter-in-law and grandson (16 months). They match on one side and are different on the reverse. My grandson chose his own fabric for the non-matching side, he chose strawberries. Here they are: pinterest.com/pin/814096070158232507
    We house sat for friends who have a hobby farm. My husband ate fresh eggs every day for breakfast. I ate strawberries and raspberries from their garden. They also paid us, which we didn’t expect, but was much appreciated. They also told us to use their Jeep to go to the free compost giveaway in a nearby town. So we did. We got about $50 worth of lovely compost for free, and didn’t even have to pay for any gas to get there! We took our own sacks, saved from previous compost purchases.
    I sold 350 used tennis balls that I had picked up for free (on FB marketplace). I sold them in lots of 50 for $10. I probably could have sold them for more, judging by the number of responses that I had. But I was glad to get them out of the garage.
    We attended a birthday and I took a jar of flowers from the garden and a massive tomato. These were very gladly received by the woman who’s birthday it was. I brought home windfall apples from the community garden. These are not safe to eat, since they may have higher levels of bacteria, but they are totally fine to cook. I made apple crumble and 3 quarts of applesauce with them.
    After kids visiting 2 weekends in a row, we had a fair variety of leftovers. We have just today finished the last of these, which feels like a big accomplishment. It took a bit of creativity and some odd meals, plus being very aware of what needed eaten first.
    A lady on Buy Nothing was giving away 60 pounds of wine grapes (weight includes stems, and some of the grapes were already dried-they are small and have seeds so they don’t make good raisins). I picked them up this morning and am part way through making grape jelly. I’m not a wine maker or drinker, but it will make lovely jelly. I intend to use some of it for gifts this Christmas.

  4. Wow, the photos are fabulous. Thanks for including one of you! Great picture ;). I thought your bread photo was spectacular, I don’t make French bread because it is a weakness and I would overdo eating it. But your photo made me want to have some ;). On the frugal front, I finally bought a foodsaver vacuum sealer at Costco on sale…$44. I hadn’t been convinced it was worth the cost and effort. However, I have changed my mind. Hamburger and chuck roast was on sale last week so I ended up buying quite a bit and then vacuum sealing into packages and then into the freezer. It should be equal or less cost than my old method…because my old method used Saran Wrap and ziploc freezer bags. It was also super easy! One more skill! Our AC is broken at the bedroom end of the house (we live in Phoenix), parts are covered under warranty but labor will be about $300, once the parts come in…another two weeks. We also had a circuit breaker for our water heater fail, and it is an unusual design, so we will get the new one Weds, thankfully my husband will install it. And finally, apparently it is true that appliances talk to each other and plan these big group events ;). So the next two weeks will be expensive but at least we will have AC and hot water!

  5. Gas was $3.14 gallon in University town this morning and $3.49 in work town two hours south. I went into work for a few hours this morning to have peace and quiet in order to prepare for a hectic day tomorrow. I made Brandy’s Tuscan tomato soup with a few variations. I had ground beef so I soaked the bread in a beef broth, used the leftover hamburger, can of diced tomatoes with chilies, fresh tomatoes that needed using, and leftover spinach. That is what is so great about soup, it can be easily modified to what you have on hand! I must say the bread made the soup and it was so delicious! I made pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs for my middle son. My oldest son was released from the hospital this morning so he is doing better. Kidney stone…. Ugh. Hopefully, he will pass it soon. He didn’t tell me until he was released bc he didn’t want me driving up there and wasting gas, he said. He knew I would come if I knew. On Saturday, I ate snacks I made, while relaxing on my front porch during the ballgame, and listened to the roar of the crowd in the distance in the college town. I followed my many friends at the game posting it on Facebook. Cheap entertainment… lol. I started getting sleepy halfway through game and went to bed. I am still sleeping about 12 hours a night, post Covid, but was able to get a couple of slow, short walks in this weekend. It has been extremely rainy and wet here.!I still haven’t bought a new air conditioner at work house and it looks like I will be able to wait until next year I hope. I am thinking about just getting a $100 window unit. The problem with that is that the lightning struck unit is for both heat and air but I am not really worried about heat in the winter. It destroyed the plug tho so I still have to get an electrician here. Generally those roll around radiator looking electric heaters are sufficient in the winter time here except for a couple of days.

  6. I love seeing your harvest, and knowing you are harvesting that beautiful bounty in the desert! Such a perfect example of determination and perseverance. Last week, I planted lettuce and beets. I dehydrated more onions and cherry tomatoes. Pawpaws, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, green beans and figs were shared with neighbors and others. I prepped and froze 6+ lbs of pawpaw pulp. We’re looking into using it to make wine, as I have plenty frozen. I gave the dogs baths in our outdoor shower with homemade soap. Laundry was dried on the line. We harvested cucumbers, cucuzza and tromboncino squash, tomatoes, cowpeas, green beans, sweet potato and buckwheat leaves for smoothies, apples, pears, some volunteer ground cherries, melons, figs, eggplant, lambs quarter and purslane. For the first time ever, I gave up on harvesting something that’s still producing. The cucuzza have been very generous, and I typically harvest 2 or 3 a day. One or less is enough for most recipes. We’ve shared around 20 with others at this point, and some in the fridge have started going bad. I had the realization that I really prefer tromboncino, so I will continue to harvest those as we need them. The mature cucuzza may end up supplementing winter feed for the chickens and pups. My husband got the fall seedlings planted, some store bought and others I started. There are collards, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and kale. He also seeded some mixed winter greens. I explored our library website, and found out we now have the Libby app and Hoopla! I’ll be looking into it further. Eggplant was canned, and a triple batch of pesto was made. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2022/09/late-summer-days.html

  7. Hi Brandy and everyone
    You look very pretty in your photo Brandy, the soft peach colour of the scarf suits you.
    I mended a pair of woollen gloves ready for winter.
    It was my turn to provide a mid morning snack for sewing group and I made chocolate crackle cookies with ingredients from the larder.
    A friend invited me to pick dessert blackberries from her garden and I have frozen several containers. I gave her a squash in return. She is an artist and is going to paint a picture of it before eating it!
    We picked ten Uchiki Kuri squash, we’ve never grown them before so are looking forward to tasting them. We picked cauliflower, runner beans, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and courgettes. I bottled tomatoes, froze cauliflower and beans and shared some cucumbers with a friend.
    Inexpensive meals were stuffed mushrooms, vegetable curry, courgette, cheddar and bacon crustless quiche and stuffed marrow.
    I entered our electricity meter reading online. We saved £13 on electricity this month and I’m determined to keep bringing it down. We have reduced our usage for August steadily over the last four years. I am using the oven as little as possible and using shorter, cooler cycles in the washing machine amongst other measures. A few weeks ago the BBC showed the different electricity consumption for common appliances and I was shocked at how much the oven uses.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. If you can cook several things at once that helps. We will cook 15 pounds of potatoes at one time and fill the oven, eating the rest for leftovers.

    2. Penny I too have started a journal on our actual utility use each month ( we are on a budget plan so I don’t pay attention to what it actually cost but pay the budget amount) doing the recording I pay closer attention to turning lights off, limiting my dryer time, cooking in the oven, etc) and saw my bill go down by $25 over last months. Its too easy to use what you want when you aren’t paying attention till it comes time to “even up” at the end of the 12 months cycle.. that was a Ouch for us this year and made me start being more conservative. I have line dried clothes all spring and summer using my dryer once or twice a month if I had to like today it’s been raining all day.

      1. Thank you Brandy and Anna for your suggestions, reducing electricity consumption has never been more important. I am trying not to be fearful but to see these times as a challenge to be met.

        1. I’m not sure about in Britain, but in the U.S., it is often very easy to find candles very inexpensively at yard sales or thrift stores. I wonder if using them instead of overhead lights would be a significant savings in rooms where some light was needed, though not enough for reading. I have a small box of “just in case” candles for power outages, but fortunately haven’t had to use them for years. The Chapel at my former employer had a huge box of half-burned candles that probably never got re-used.

          1. Thanks for the suggestion Heidi Louise, we have lots of candles left from the days of frequent power cuts, I should use them more often.

            1. Also, (I think?), burned out light bulbs or empty sockets do not use electricity– is that right? So if one bulb is burned out, such as in a four-bulb ceiling fixture, it is using less power, though also of course is not as bright.

              1. Light fixtures do not use very much electricity if you use led bulbs. Even if you are using old fashioned incandescent bulbs, the lights are not the major power user. The biggest power users for most households are the water heater, the dryer, heating/cooling, and the oven. Please don’t create a dangerous fire risk with unattended candles or by leaving light sockets empty in the name of saving electricity. It is just so not worth it. Buy a water heater blanket instead, or adjust the thermostat (for heating/cooling but also you can adjust on the water heater too-just turn off the power first).

              2. B – Even though I wrote the comments, I absolutely agree with you. An empty light socket is frightening! And fire can move more quickly than most of us can imagine.

              3. I agree with B. I would NOT use candles (which are fairly pricey, anyway) because they are a fire hazard. Turning off lights is the best idea, although LED bulbs really do not use much electricity. An easy thing to remember is that an electric oven is 220 volts, which is double the 110 volts used by small appliances. If you are going to use your oven, fill it up! Also, dress in layers and turn down the heat. I can recommend 32 Degree long underwear sold at Costco.

          2. Candles can be dangerous for obvious reasons. I read the suggestion once to get single stake solar powered yard lights and let them charge outside during the day. Bring them in in the evening and put them in small pots of dirt or sand to hold them upright. This was a suggestion for when the power was out but you could do it daily.

  8. Made Chicken Pot Pie and Coconut Ice Cream. Put up green beans, okra and green peppers. Planted collards and spinach. My carrots, cabbage, onions and brussel sprouts are already coming up!!

    Hoping to be more creative in the kitchen as the weather cools. I love to cook and bake. It’s always nice to have nutritious meals and baked goods. However, it will not be as plentiful as in the past due to the expense. No more eating to excess! One cookie per person! 😊

    We have two large Newfoundland dogs and their kibble has become very expensive. I am thinking a large stock pot of “sale” meat and rice might actually be cheaper and a nice change for them. We shall see!

    Taking forever to get several big oak trees removed from around our home. It is killing me as they are very old and lovely. However, they are all rotted and in danger of falling on our house. The cost is unbelievable! Going to take a lot of frugalness to recover from this blow!

    I am very concerned about heating our home this Winter. TVA always has had the cheapest power rates in the country. Not so anymore. There are no cheap rates!

    My husband’s company has laid off several people. It is very disconcerting as I am seeing a trend. Blessed to have Brandy at the helm of or group to provide a place where we might all help each other get through whatever comes our way!

    Let’s all mentally hold hands and stay strong! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

    1. Cookies are SO expensive and also so high in calories! I need to only have one at a time myself 🙂

      1. I wish I had your self-restraint about cookies, Brandy. The only way I can do tht is to not bring them into the house. I can walk by them in the grocery aisle, but once they are in the house I am like a hunter going after prize game—relentless in pursuing them. My husband can take a month to eat a small pack of cookies but ice cream is his weakness, so we don’t buy that either. It makes me feel like such a failure to be so lacking in self-discipline, especially when I have great self-discipline in other areas. I do console myself that since we stopped buying or making cookies or ice cream, our food bill has actually gone down!!

        1. I have NO self-restraint with cookies! This is why I gained 25 pounds in the last two years!

          It helps that they are expensive. Then I am less tempted.

            1. The key is to remind yourself that even buying the items at the lowest price possible it costs like $15 to make cookies, and then you don’t make them. The end. 🙂

              1. What cookies do you make that cost that much to make, if you don’t mind me asking? That’s a LOT. I’m starting to think prices in Vegas are much higher than where I live after reading some of your posts Miss Brandy! Egads!

              2. It’s just an estimate but just butter alone is SO much. Then you have eggs (currently almost $4 a dozen here), sugar, flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips, which are really expensive. I usually make a double batch otherwise there isn’t enough for a big family, so it’s a whole pound of butter, three cups of chocolate chipe, etc.

              3. Have you shared the type of fabric the top is made out of and if there are other colors besides black and cream? I can only wear natural fabrics like cotton, linen& silk in our tropical climate without melting, lol! (I am of a certain age😉 and get unbearably warm very easily😓). And I wish it weren’t so but black and cream aren’t my best colors, as I ‘m very fair and they end up washing me out= #deathwarmedover Thanks for sharing this purchase with us.😊

              4. Sadly, those were the only colors, or I would have bought more! I like that there is nothing touching my neck in the heat.

                I know what you mean about natural fabrics in heat; however, some of the new polyesters seems to breathe really well, too–a far cry from what polyester was. Some of my polyester dresses are even cooler than my cotton ones! I don’t know how that is possible but they are!

              5. Even the Amish around here (who make their own butter) have went to using oil instead when making cookies. They also started diced up the chocolate chips and adding less. Went to the speltz (like whole wheat) that they grow instead of flour from the store. We lucked out, HA HA… Amish neighbor owed us for a haul, he paid it in ground speltz which is selling at Amazon for $25.99 for 5 lbs. He gave us 35 lbs. When I told him what it was selling for and he over paid us , he just laughed. Said it sure didn’t cost him that to grow it, harvest it and how it ground. Was actually cheaper than growing wheat as he planted a “hay” crop with it and has gotten two cuttings from the hay after cutting the speltz.

          1. Cookies are not my downfall, but they are my husbands. He says ” I can say none, but I can’t say one.” It is so true, if he starts on something sweet he just keeps eating it. Salty is my downfall, so it is easier to just keep salty snacks out of the house. I too have gained weight over the last two years. It’s hard. I do love to bake though and miss having a housefull in order to do so.


        2. Mable, your post made me laugh out loud!! My weakness isn’t sweets, but potato chips. I can ignore a platter of cookies, donuts, cake, etc. without a problem. But if someone told me that they hid a bag of Lay’s potato chips in my house, there would be no peace until I tracked it down!! Prize Game Hunter is the PERFECT description!! Thanks for the laugh!!!

      1. We have a fireplace. I love fires! Alas, we are all allergic to wood smoke! Get hives, eczema and asthma attacks! How did my ancestors survive? Must of had lots of animal skins or some serious alcohol(or cookies!)!! 😉

        1. Cheryl,
          Have you considered selling the wood to offset the cost of tree removal? Oak is a premium! Our neighbor had a tree trimmed a few months ago and the lowest of 5 bids was $1750! 😳

          1. The problem with the oaks is that there is very little wood left! It is truly a miracle that our home hasn’t been destroyed! The Arborist said that he didn’t know how they were standing!

      1. Unbelievable, isn’t it? My two eat 16 cups a day between the two of them. I have always told my Vet that I regret not having a horse. He told me that I have had horses all along! Especially the expense part! We’ve always had Newfies and/or Pyrs. Such blessings! Magnificent animals! Anatolians are in the Pyr family, I believe. Lucky you. 😊

    2. You might be able to offset the expense of cutting down your oak trees by selling the wood. Oak for furniture building sells for quite a bit. It would be worth it to call a lumber mill and have them give you a quote and then the tree service will cut it into appropriate length for the mill to pick up. Some older trees sell for thousands of dollars!

  9. I am always so excited to see when your new post goes up, Brandy. I look forward every week! * Decorating really isn’t my gift, but I wanted to spruce up the kitchen/dining/family room a bit (it’s one big area where we spend the majority of our family time). I found a two-tiered tray for a good price for the kitchen island (seen by the dining and family rooms). I looked at purchasing some decor for it and it would be more expensive than the tray! I decided to only decorate it with things I had around the house already. Boy, I had fun! I decided on the theme of “Back to School” for September. I crocheted an apple with leftover yarn. I remembered an old school bell that had been my grandma’s when she taught in a one-room school house in 1916, so that made it on there. I had a small old style canning jar I filled with colorful rubber bands. I took some old building blocks and glued them together for a couple little signs, finally I added a box of crayons, pencils, markers and then some faux flowers I found in the closet. It turned out very pleasing. I like it a lot. * I had some left over super bulky blanket yarn from an afghan I made that is a deep orange. I took some and made a pumpkin for fall decor. I didn’t have any leftover poly stuffing, so I just stuffed it with leftover yarn. Turned out cute.* I found a little more than half a yard of apple print material in my stash so I sewed it up into a new table runner for the dining table. * My son asked if we could order aloha bbq chicken pizza from his favorite pizza place to celebrate his first week back at school. Well, pizza delivered here is over $50 so I said sorry, no. Then after, I was thinking about that pizza and I realized I had all the ingredients at home, so I mixed up some dough and surprised him. He was very grateful. I was sure to tell him that I made that pizza for around $5. * Another meal I made was calico beans. The recipe calls for a pound of bacon and a pound of ground beef. I used half a pound of bacon and a third pound of hamburger and no one was the wiser. It still tasted great. It fed us for a few meals.* I’m trying to have at least one soup meal, potato based meal and bean based meal every week. That’s three of our meals and I’m sure to have leftovers so that takes care of another meal. * Our basement is unfinished, but our son asked if he could set up a little office down there to study. He put together a real nice space using a table we already had. He found a good working office chair free on the side of the road and added that. He took a couple posters he didn’t have room for in his bedroom to decorate the cinder block walls. I would hate studying down there, but he seems to like it. He said when he studies in his room he is too tempted to just lay in bed and nap. I was pleased to see him fix it up without spending any money. * Cooler weather has arrived so we were able to turn off the A/C. I’m so excited for autumn! I hope everyone has a great week!

    1. It can be really fun and surprising when you shop for things at home to decorate with! And the price is always good lol.
      Holiday table runners can be crazy expensive, but I’ve taken to buying 4 cloth napkins at post holiday sales and sewing them together! The one I just put out in fall plaid cost me a whopping $1.96 plus tax.

    2. Your new decor sounds wonderful. And I always make Calico beans with half the meat called for. Healthier and cheaper.

  10. I’m so happy you found a good deal on chicken and school supplies! That’s a great price 😊

    *We made a hard decision to drop youngest daughter from college (out of town). I’m sharing because finances played a large part in the decision. She dropped by the date that allows 90% refund. I’m returning all the books and dorm items I’m able to. She wanted to switch to a college at home next semester and it came down to not enough credits transferring for it to be worth paying and staying this semester. (She was so homesick). Anyway, it will be much more frugal for her to go to college at home because my dad has offered to pay a chunk of money to cover costs. Without room and board to worry about she’ll have no loans and we won’t have to pay for much besides registration and books, etc.
    *watched movies at home and read books for entertainment
    *Grandpa is moving into a retirement home and asked everyone to come by and take anything he doesn’t want: since I’ve been decluttering I only took items I thought we could really use: disposable silverware, paper plates, soaker hoses, etc plus a few sentimental Christmas items of Grandma’s (passed away in 2020).
    *I’m finding joy and contentment in looking at pretty and/or fun items when out shopping without feeling the need to own them. I can *really like* something and leave it at the store 😂
    📍Grocery store: frozen pizzas were on sale for $2.50 each

    Take care all!

    1. Marissa,
      Your family made a very wise and brave choice regarding finances and college. We had a similar situation with our oldest. She is so glad now that she doesn’t have any loans (she’s 27 now). College is one of the first big financial choice points.

    2. Marissa I have so much respect and admiration for your difficult decision on college plans, our daughter is carrying a large amount of school debt due to our lack of knowledge and the forgiveness program will hopefully wipe out 10K and we are grateful for that IF she can ever get thru to sign up
      Meanwhile they change rates and increase her debt all the time

      1. Pam I’m wondering if your daughter can consolidate her loans into one fixed rate loan. This way it will be a stable and predictable payment for the life of the loan.

        1. If a borrower consolidates federal student loans, it will be with a private lender. My daughter-in-law, who borrowed a ton of money to learn to fly helicopters, did this and thus was not eligible for the student loan forgiveness. (Only federal student loans were eligible). I don’t want to argue the forgiveness thing (I’m personally against it), but I’m just sayin’. My daughter-in-law is a first responder (flies emergency medical service out of a small town in Wyoming) and conscientiously pays back her loans.

          1. Maxine you are correct about the loan forgiveness and my daughter has been paying back her loans monthly and will continue- she is a mental health counselor with 2 master’s degrees 1 in community counseling and the other master’s in mental health
            What makes it so difficult is the rates/ fees keep changing its similar to when banks could do that with certain mortgages
            I am grateful for the knowledge sharing here, thank you

      2. Thank you for your kind words. I’m so sorry your daughter is going through all that hassle. I feel like it’s truly hard to understand it all and it’s easy to get swept up in “going away is the only option”. I truly hope your daughter is able to get it all taken care of soon!

    3. All three of my daughters left home for their first semester of college. For different reasons they all ended coming home for their rest of their first 2 years. They all ended up doing junior college and staying home. All of them went on and graduated from four year colleges and excelling. We were able to get them through with no loans and all of them have told us repeatedly thank you. They have many friends still paying off their loans, in their 40s.!

    4. The only positive from Covid is that is made Universities and Colleges diversify their programs and offer a lot more online courses. Anytime you can get your education with no student loans is a win!!!

    5. I work at a community college as a member of the faculty. I also graduated from the school where I work. My mother was a widow at age 28 with 4 young children. We all attended community college to save $. All 4 of us then went to university to finish. A good way to save $ on a degree & avoid college debt.

    6. Yes, we all want our children to have an excellent college experience, so we’re hesitant to say no to anything. Our oldest son has a gifted IQ but an indifferent attitude to education, and when he was a senior he mentioned he would like to go to a college back east so that he could ski regularly. When I finally picked myself up off the floor, weak with laughter, I pointed in the direction of the community college. It was an excellent one, by the way. He dropped out after one semester so we knew we made the right decision.

  11. I found eggs last week in the clearance section that had a sell by date in October. I opened them up, and discovered there were 16/18 for $1.24. I took 2 packages like that, and I will keep an eye out for this in the future. They were good, local eggs.

    I found lots of clearance meat and brought it home to vacuum seal and freeze. All of it looked very fresh.

    Other clearance items included a 40 count box of fruit snacks for $2, and a really cute glitter puzzle for girls for $2. I will use the fruit snacks for Halloween, and the puzzle for a birthday or Christmas gift.

    We have been content staying home. After much delay, we recently purchased our son a video game system. He saved his money for a long time. The library has lots of games, so we haven’t purchased any. I picked up the movie Nomadland, and I’m hoping to watch it tonight. I enjoyed reading the book a few years ago.

    I received a $5 off coupon for Fresh Thyme, another one for a local grocer, and my Sephora birthday offer. All were a nice surprise!

    Have a great week!

  12. Love your pictures, Brandy…but especially the French bread. Yum!

    I harvested 14 tomatoes and 3 zucchini. I am having a great tomato year, even though I only planted one plant. No bugs, no diseases! I pruned the “mystery” cantaloupes to keep them from setting more fruit and have 7 left on the vines. Most of them now have netted skin and I have high hopes they will ripen before frost. I also have a volunteer tomato coming up amongst the cantaloupes but none of the tomatoes are quite ripe yet.

    I made a batch of tomato sauce, which I froze because it contained onions. I didn’t want to be bothered with pressure canning only 3 half-pints! (pretty small batch, LOL). I used my mom’s circa-1940 “thing” to strain out the peels and seeds. It’s one of those aluminum cones on a stand with a wooden pestle.

    My husband and daughter went to a $3 movie Saturday while I played pinochle with friends.

    We took a picnic to a state park Sunday. We saved the $7 admission because we have a $10 annual pass. We’ve already used it either 3 or 4 times, so we’re money ahead. We ate the leftovers for lunch Monday.

    FYI–We have been unable to get a replacement key fob for our Honda Pilot for about a year. Couldn’t special order because chips haven’t been available. Ace Hardware advertised “up to 60% off” so I assumed chips must be coming in. Yes! They were finally able to special order, but it isn’t really a sale. They merely advertised that Duracell replacements are up to 60% cheaper than car dealer prices (this is true). Regardless, I needed it. I whipped out a $20 off $100 coupon but the cash register wouldn’t accept it on a special order, even though it was prepaid. Bummer.

    1. Your mom’s thing is a “fruit press”. They are still available in hardware stores. Good for applesauce as you don’t need to peel or core the fruit; just “press” after cooking.

    2. some companies sell it as a tomato sieve. Still can be bought today. I use grandma’s passed down through mom and then also got late husband’s from his grandmother. Not one of the kids can.

  13. Brandy, I love that photo of the bread, a perfect loaf! One of my fall goals is to start baking sourdough bread.

    Frugal living in Portland:

    *We spent $300 less on utilities annually from last year despite inflation (I only calculate once a year – should probably do that more often!) I really thought we had spent much more than last year! I have been pretty consistently hanging up my clothes to dry, showering faster, trying to use the oven as little as possible (or combining baking like you do), lots of little things that apparently added up!

    *I biked to work 2 of 3 days (2o miles roundtrip). I hope to keep this up through the year.

    *Didn’t buy any school supplies. Kids shopped out of my extra school supply drawer. They got new Nike backpacks for free through my husband’s work.

    *My youngest went thrifting for all of his back to school clothes. Thrifting (at least in Portland) is not as cheap as it used to be, but still much cheaper than buying new. He weeded out some old clothes that we divided into Goodwill donations, Buy Nothing gifts, and I took a few to add to my “working-around-the house” wardrobe. I also made some of his old tattered t-shirts in rags.

    *My mom is coming over for a Labor Day BBQ. We are using tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce and basil from our garden for our meal.

    *My senior agreed that with college expense on the horizon, he didn’t need professional senior photos, which run very high in this city. We spent yesterday scoping out some local parks for some good places to take photos, based on others we have seen online and elsewhere and I found some web resources with some tips on how to do them well. We’ll take the photos ourselves in October with the fall colors. We did this last year with my other son and they turned out well. A professional would have done better, but we were happy with them.

    *I spent part of this morning grating, measuring and freezing zucchini (from the garden) for future bread and other dishes. I caught up on podcasts while I grated.

    *I made one of our refrigerator vegetable bins into a “quick lunch” center, mostly for myself on days I work and my two kids (my husband works from home). My youngest, especially is guilty of spending too much of his extra money on fast food lunches (his school has an open campus and there are tons of food places nearby). I filled it with grab and go salads, sandwiches, muffins, cheese sticks, etc. I will try and keep it full this school year with yummy, healthy foods.

  14. This week I harvested green beans, beets and zucchini from the garden, and I’ve eaten all three a couple of times. Transferring a prescription got me a $30 gift card to a nearby supermarket. The prescription price was a couple dollars more, so it was worth moving it for the gift card. I can always move it back when the time comes. I was able purchase several items using sales and the gift card, including lunchbox items, multigrain bagels on markdown, and fresh produce, including local peaches.

    I had some time off work this past week, and used it to sort and organize a few things at home. I went through kitchen cabinets and found a few ‘treasures’ to use in our cooking this past week. It was rewarding to make use of little bits of this and that in creative ways. I also have a few things to list and sell on the local online marketplace, and many of our spaces look more open and clear of excess.

    I fixed a zipper on a lunch bag, giving it a renewed life. I refreshed my work wardrobe by getting some blouses at Goodwill. They are good quality, and the prices were quite good as well. I believe I have enough variety in my wardrobe for autumn and winter. I made some minor adjustments to the furniture arrangement in our living room, bringing in a lamp from another room and a couple of small tables from the basement – it feels more light, open, and inviting now.

    We borrowed books and movies from the library, as we very often do, and I used a library database to help my mother-in-law find a relative with whom she had lost contact. She was so happy to re-connect!

    I composted vegetables scraps for the garden and gathered some flower seeds for next year.

    1. You made really good use of your time off. It’s amazing how a little decluttering and moving things around can make a space feel better. Where in Colorado are you? I am on the western slope.

  15. I tried to only buy necessary items at the grocery store and eating more from our pantry. We went out to dinner Friday evening, but have spent the remainder of the holiday weekend at home. I also resisted all Labor Day online sales as I do not need anything. Planted lettuce, spinach, chard, carrots, parsnips and radish seeds in the garden today. I’ve been reading Elian Hilderbrand’s Paradise trilogy from the library so that was my free entertainment. I cleaned off my porch and made it a nice little retreat area for relaxing in the evenings; cleaning my porch furniture made me really appreciate what I have and I don’t need to buy any more porch decor.

  16. Brandy, great deal on the chicken and school supplies. Chicken is not that low here and more bird flu has been discovered in the Midwest, so who knows what will happen. Beef may go down a bit this fall with so many farmers taking cattle to market. They are culling herds here and decreasing their inventory so that they don’t have to pay to feed them all winter. Unfortunately cows only have one calf per year unlike pigs so I think beef will become pretty high priced and it will take farmers a while to increase their herds.

    Savings for me this week were:
    -I canned 7 pints of green beans and 6 pints of applesauce. I am freezing tomatoes to can later. I put 2 more gallons in the freezer.
    -Picking small lunchbox peppers from my garden, I half them and stuff with a cream cheese mixture and wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon. We ate 6 and I froze 12 others in 2 meals. The bacon was from the freezer that I had got on clearance a while back for $1.99/#.
    -At church we have an”Share the Bounty” table. I brought in some cucumbers and brought home a huge head of cabbage. I didn’t grow cabbage this year as I had enough sauerkraut canned. I made coleslaw, I will thin slice some with my kraut cutter and dehydrate it for soups, and chop and freeze some for creamy cabbage casserole.
    -I ordered #50 of pears from my co-op. They are $45. I will pick them up next week and can pear chunks, pear pie filling, and pear juice.
    -The oldest granddaughter came and spent a few days. She wanted to sew, so we picked a pattern out from my stash, went and bought some fabric from JoAnne’s on sale and she cut out and sewed a dress with just a bit of help. We had about a yard left over so she sewed her sister a skirt and she made 2 scrunches from the scraps.
    -I finished my second cross stitched and beaded snowman ornament and started the third. These will be Christmas gifts.
    -We took a 3 day trip mid-week to the International Peace Gardens that border North Dakota and Manitoba Canada. It was nice to get away. We had a gas card we received as a gift and this covered the gas. Hotel-we had one night free on our rewards and the second night was discounted. Breakfast was provided at the hotel. We ate two lunches out (cheaper meal to eat out). And we ate snacks from our packed cooler for supper.
    -Creative leftover use: leftover grilled steak sliced into thin strips and added to some cooked onion and pepper from the garden and served with homemade flour tortillas as fajitas. They were yummy! Also I used some leftover spaghetti and a jar of canned chicken for a spaghetti casserole that I took to a pot luck and I took home an empty pan.

    Have a great week!

  17. Dear Brandy, I enjoy you saving money post so much and get many tips. I really need your advice and methods for saving water. We live in Center rural North Carolina in a neighborhood with a community well. The water services are becoming very expensive. I have a vegetable garden with 12 raised beds. I just can’t continue to water using my soaker hoses. I want to salvage water from our shower and sinks! Can you share how you do it. I am looking at down spout collection but I’m worried about collecting water from roof with shingles. Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Drip irrigation uses less water than soaker hoses. I use a drip line that emitters inside of it every 6 inches.

      I keep a bucket in the shower to collect warm-up water. I have a pitcher in the kitchen that I put under the faucet when I am rinsing produce.

      I don’t have gutters as we don’t get enough rain here, but others should be able to tell you about collecting rainwater from your roof to water the garden.

      1. Water is very expensive where I am, too. Over the years we’ve gotten much better at saving water.
        Brandy is right that drip irrigation uses water more efficiently than soaker hoses. We have all our garden beds on timers. This keeps us from overwatering. If it rains, I run out and turn off all the timers. Mulching also helps conserve water around the plants. We collect rainwater. Since we only use it on the garden, not to drink, I don’t think what’s coming off the roof matters much. We can’t collect enough for all our outside watering, but it is a good supplement.
        Inside, we take short showers and not every day. (We take sponge baths on the days we don’t shower.) We don’t flush every time, and we have installed low-water use toilets. I use the shorter cycle for laundry and dishes — it works just as well. I try to think about reusing water when I can — use a basin to rinse vegetables, then dump the water on a plant that needs watering. When I can the big canner of water is allowed to cool, then I water plants (or, if it has vinegar in it, I use it for mopping or to kill weeds.) It can take a while, but these habits are second nature to us now.

    2. We had a 9 rain barrel set up. One open top with screen the downspout went to. All the barrels were connected at the bottom with a small piece of PVC. They all sat on cinder blocks & had spigots. It was wonderful!!! We were collecting off a flat roof. I’ve read different opinions on shingles & toxicity. You could maybe take a sample into your water department to see if yours was leaching before you make a decision?

  18. I purchased my daughter a student activity pass for $10. This gets her in to all sporting events.

    I ordered more free covid tests

    I earned a $10.50 Amazon shopper rewards. I’ll use it towards my Biotin.

    Ate breakfast and/or lunch at work

    The teen found a homecoming dress for under $45. Now to find shoes.

    We made one more trip to the water park Saturday. We stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast, then my daughter and her friend split a chicken strip basket for lunch and I had a fruit cup. We were able to get free soda and water. I washed and packed away all our swimming stuff already.

    The best news…my oven is finally fixed. Of course, he showed up at 430 on Friday and when I noticed he didn’t put the back panel on correctly, the office was closed. Hopefully, they get it corrected.

  19. Oh how I miss bread! I have been made to go gluten free by my doctor.

    I cooked three things in the oven at once this weekend to save on heat and energy. The rest of the time I have used a crockpot, stovetop or toaster oven.

    I received four gifts by mail that were ordered with Swagbucks. They are for family for Christmas.

    I used a gift card I got from a business I deal with, to get items I know I will use, such as face cream and deodorant.

    I planted some seeds for a fall garden.

    I harvested basil and stevia from my garden.

    I have been sewing on some Christmas gifts as well. I have another gift that will need to be painted. It’s sanded and ready to be primed now. I have the paint already from other projects.

    The pineapple top I stuck in the ground has taken root and put out a new top. I may not be able to keep it long enough to produce here in North Florida but it costs me nothing to try. My sister who lives in Central Florida has eaten three pineapples so far that she grew from planting pineapple tops.

    Looking forward to the comments here.

    1. My friend in Montana has grown 2 pineapples in her sunroom!! Isn’t that hilarious?! They took about 2 yrs. each, but she said they were delicious! She’s trying a Meyer lemon tree now!

      1. I don’t have a sunroom, in fact, most of my windows face north and east to keep the house cooler in summer, but maybe I could try growing one in a container and bringing it inside on the coldest days. I also have a Meyer lemon tree, but is planted outside. I think that’s so fun that your friend did that!

  20. Pretty Blouse Brandy! I love roses! This week we picked crabapples and my husband is canning today. Enjoyed meals at home. Turned off lights. We got to visit family and play a game together and talk. We have enjoyed looking at sunflowers this week as we drive places. There are sunflowers everywhere! We love it! I thought about picking some for the house. But instead I have simply enjoyed them outdoors. We picked and cut up more okra for the freezer. We used the internet for entertainment and information. I used books to study French from the library. I enjoyed playing the piano this week. I hope to practice the Ukulele this week as well. I got to talk to several family members on the phone. I am so happy to have a phone that I can talk to people I love and not pay an extravagant fee for the joy it brings! Meals we made included liver and onions, French toast , eggs and bacon for dinner, soup and salad, sandwiches, quesadillas, chicken enchiladas.

  21. Beautiful pictures, as usual. Thank you for sharing with us.

    I have still been trying to use up any little bits. We had two small bowls with a tiny bit of both kids of jelly that we made earlier in them. I finished them both off making PB&J sandwiches for my daughter and I. We have used two packs of chunked prime rib in the last week or so for beef and gravy – once with mashed potatoes for both of us and once with mashed potatoes for me and noodles for my husband.

    My daughter’s sister-in-law is pregnant, and we were invited to the baby shower. She had a baby bath on her wish list, and I ordered it off Amazon in plenty of time for delivery. Well, it did not get delivered, and Amazon told me to request a refund. I did, but by then it was the day before the party so I ran to Wal-Mart to see if they had a nice bathtub. I found a Fisher Price one, nicer than I had ordered and still priced $40 on amazon, for only $10 on clearance! I bought 2 – one for her and one for my daughter who plans to have a baby in the future, God Willing. I picked up diapers and wipes at CVS, and I got them for free with coupons! I had purchased an adorable Christmas layette set off Zulily months ago on clearance. I found a Thanksgiving shirt that will fit the baby next year as she is due the first of December. Finally I added a board book that I had picked up at a thrift store/library sale/LFL. So a really nice gift for around $25, less than the cost of just the bathtub originally!

    While I was at the baby shower, my husband and son picked green beans, tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers. They picked an entire bushel of green beans. We canned them today – 16 pints and 7 quarts for our house and my mom’s.

    As a thank you for my coworkers who have been so gracious as I’ve been working on figuring out my mother’s new normal with her health and her needs, I made them a small token. I bought small jars at the Dollar Tree and filled them with candy (now that I’m thinking about it, I could have used small half pint jars I had…), so for just a few dollars and thank you cards I already had, I was able to let them know how much I appreciated them and their help.

  22. Hi Brandy, you look lovely in the blouse :). Is it ok to ask where you got it from?
    It’s super hot this week in the Bay area and we’re trying our best to save energy and gas- for our wallets and for the climate. This entails finding parking in the shade while running errands and keeping the house cool for the first part of the day so it stays cool for the rest.
    My best frugal win was to not spend $3 for the Saturday movie deals. I didn’t like any of the movies they were showing and I preferred to not have a sensory overload for 3 hours by settling for one just because it was $3. Instead, I returned a couple of shoes that were waiting for a while.
    I had 6 apples in the fridge that was there for a very long time and no one was eating them since they shrunk! I made apple pie muffins from them and everyone liked them.

    1. It is from Banana Republic Factory. They still have it! It comes in black too and the black one is even less! With the discount today it’s less than $12 for the black one. I bought two more cream ones (same blouse) and one in black. I figure I can add a cardigan once it finally cools down.

      We passed on the movie too as there was nothing we wanted to see.

      I am happily donating to Islamic Relief USA for Pakistan. I just don’t know how we can do enough; it is still raining and the flooding is so bad there. I shared on my Instagram stories yesterday for my readers and will share again this week; Islamic World Relief is an option for those outside the U.S. The devastation from the flooding there has covered 1/3 of the country and affects 35 million people for those who have not seen. I hope my frugal efforts this week allow me to give more again in the future. The fields, orchards, and herd losses mean food shortages for some time to come, but shelter, food, and clean water are immediate needs.

      1. Ah, by the time I went to the Banana Republic website, the blouse was $40 ( eye-popping emoji here). Thank you for sharing the information, I appreciate it. Also, thank you for donating to Pakistan. The flood is devastating and there’s so much to do! I really hope people will take Climate Crisis seriously now. No amount of money can stop the rain, contain the excess water, make clean water, or create new land.

        1. Keep an eye out. I keep seeing it go back and forth and it was down to $23 the other day and the black one was $13, plus they had another 15% off on top of that. That’s when I got it.

          Karachi is a mess of its own; poor drainage has caused problems for years according to a friend of mine who grew up there and at the start of the rain (she was there visiting her parents) there was already cause for concern weeks ago because the city had not built the infrastructure needed to handle the monsoons. She was posting about it daily while she was there and it had been raining for 2 weeks before she arrived.

          I posted about it again in my Instagram stories today. I know my readers are very charitable and this is where my money is going this year.

  23. Hello!
    You found some great deals on school supplies and chicken this week Brandy! 👍🏼

    I also took advantage of the best prices from Labor Day sales at the grocery stores, although CA prices are higher. This week we bought 6 packs of chicken party packs and quarters that were B1G1Free at Safeway, costing $1.25/lb., $0.99/lb. Peaches and $2.99/lb. butter limit of 4 (which is the lowest price here).
    The chicken was vacuum sealed and frozen, along with the butter. I also used rewards to save $7 off the bill. At another store we purchased grapes at $1.67/lb. I may go back for more chicken tomorrow before the sale ends. I agree with Gardenpat that this is the time to shop carefully.

    I also took a pair of platform sandals to the shoe repair. The strap layers are coming apart but the rest of the shoe is perfect and I’m sure I can get a few more years out of them.

    I went to the JoAnn Labor Day sale to purchase a couple Simplicity patterns at $1.99 and their flannel at $2.99/yd. I ran other errands along the way to save gas. I’m sewing pj bottoms for my husband and son. Some are from novelty fabric and I’ll use the scraps to make a special quilt for Xmas. I found some other fabric on the clearance rack for 60% off and used a 20% off total purchase coupon as well. I’m definitely doing more sewing this year.

    I finally got around to canning our pears. I started with pear mincemeat because it’s so delicious in oatmeal bars! 😋 I have a bunch more to process, but I’m deciding on what to make this year. We started getting garden tomatoes finally. So tasty!

    Today we went to the county fair. They had free entry with a donation of 4 canned goods per person. I was happy to donate to our food bank! We found free parking and took water with us. Very inexpensive and nice outing today!

  24. I love the aprons you made Brandy.
    We went away last week using my sister’s timeshare to Pennsylvania. My daughter and SIL met us there for a few days. The day they left my sister came. My daughter and I brought most of the food from home/garden. We did get a few treats while away. We ate out 2 lunches which are cheaper then dinner. We did laundry at the unit so we didn’t have to do it when we came home. We had a great time.
    My 2 younger kids(21&23) stayed home because of college and work. They took care of the dogs, garden and house. My daughter put several gallon bags of tomatoes in the freezer. I will deal with them later.
    Saturday we went to Connecticut to my other sister’s house to celebrate another sister’s birthday. She owns part of a pizza place so we had pizza. She sent my daughter home with the rest of her GF pizza. She also gave me a bag of shrimp she wasn’t going to eat. We took her dog home with us because she is going away.
    I planted most of my fall gardens. I have to get garlic and horseradish to plant still. We are still eating around what gets picked in the garden. I have also been dehydrating as much as I can.
    We paid all of our bills online. We did our monthly budget like we do every month.

  25. I am VERY envious of you having a shoe repair around. We had one but he could not find anyone to take over when he grew too old and retired. It is a huge loss to thrifty sorts!

    This was another week of harvesting and processing the garden. It is in the 40s at night now and during the day in the mid 50s so the proverbial handwriting is on the wall: snow in a few weeks. I harvested 16 pumpkins and turned most of them into pulp, toasted the seeds, made pumpkin guts sweet bread with the innards and let the hens eat whatever I did not scrap out of the rinds after they were baked. It took me two days just working on pumpkins alone. I harvested just over 70 pounds of potatoes and five heads of cabbage that are turning into sauerkraut as I write this. I have been using carrots all summer, from the time they were small so my harvest of carrots is lower but I still got 23 pounds of them. We don’t eat a lot of them, mostly in meat loaf and soups, so 23 pounds is sufficient. I canned 9 jars of sweet zucchini relish and another 9 of spicy tomato jam. That was about it for the week—I miss having the energy of my youth, when I could harvest and can for 8 or 10 hours. Now 4 hours is about the best I can do most days, so I am pleased that I have put as much by as I did this week. I also made several loaves of bread, using the oven’s heat for four instead of one or two loaves at a time.

    1. Same problem here. No shoe repair place. Try a dry cleaner, I had a sandal that only needed the strap resown and was able to get it down at a dry cleaning place.

    2. My husband was in shoe repair for 20 years. I did sewing type repairs,patches,etc. He had always planned on taking over the business but unfortunately as time went on & shoes got cheaper while repair supplies steadily went up it became impossible to actually make a living off of it. This is of course just our experience in our area. I can definitely see it as a successful side hustle for someone who already has retirement coming in. We don’t regret the time though wonderful skills & a long-term study of frugalness lol.

    3. Mable, I am curious about the area you live in that snow will arrive in a couple of weeks? Also curious how you can get so many pumpkins in what, I am guessing, is such a short growing season. I, too, miss the days when I could can all day, but I am happy I am able to can steadily over many days. It brings such satisfaction to see the jars on the shelves!😊

      1. Mable is in central Alaska. So the season for growing is short but the longer daylight hours can really increase plant growth
        Also it tends towards warmer summers.

  26. It was a great frugal week in Houston, TX!
    I sold several items on Facebook Marketplace, including several Vineyard Vines shirts I bought for $2/each at a thrift store.
    I made homemade cinnamon swirl bread.
    I toasted some stale crackers in the oven to perk them up.
    I went to the salvage grocery store, where I stocked up on (expired) boxes of cake mix, muffin mixes, and cereal. I doctor up the mixes a bit to make them taste better, adding sour cream, coffee, and extra egg, etc. depending on what I have. This is also where I buy the treats and junk food for the kids, nice to have a treat.
    I saved the scraps from a $5 Sam’s rotisserie chicken to make into another meal.
    One day when we were visiting my uncle in the hospital an hour away, I redeemed the kids’ Pizza Hut book it coupons. This isn’t enough food for them, so I brought some extra snacks and then grabbed a hot and ready $5 Little Caesar’s pizza down the street, and we had our pizza party at the hospital where my uncle was. I bought gas at Sam’s, which is a little cheaper.
    I took the two youngest kids to play at a free indoor church playground (Second City at Second Baptist Church). It was fun and free and perfect for a rainy day.
    Good sales were: milk ($1.39/gallon), Blue Bell ice cream ($3.69/half gallon), corn (.19/ear), peaches (.87/#), lean ground beef ($1.99/#), and cheese (.99/8 oz). I stocked up.
    I picked up two matching Lazyboy recliners for $100. They are 12 years old, but perfect condition, as they were owned and used fewer than 10 times by an older couple who had them in their formal living room. I will sell the older chairs they’re replacing.
    Still checking the thrift stores for tap shoes for my daughter who will be taking dance this fall. I need to get down our bin of cleats for the boys playing soccer.
    I agreed to teach an additional class that I really don’t have the time or energy for, but it’s extra money, and better to not pass up work, lest they not offer it to me in the future. Baby (5 months) is starting to sleep better, and I’m going to bed with a dirty house instead of staying up late to clean. I’ve decided that I can’t have a clean house, happy children, good job, and keep all the balls in the air in this season of life, so I don’t mind letting the housework go a bit.
    Hope everyone has a nice week!

    1. Hi Leigh Ann, Not sur3 you will see this, but I saw on another site that the parents glued pennies to the bottom of a dressier pair of shoes for tap shoes. If they worked for your daughter, you could try spraying the bottom with a dark color to conceal the Pennie’s ( if it was a concern).

  27. That bread is lovely. Great oven spring! If I recall, don’t you have a solar oven? Do you still use it? How well would it work during a heatwave?

    Gas was under $5.50 a gallon today, so calling it a win. That’s almost $1.50 g drop.

    I’m very ready for fall even though it’s 104F right now. I’d saved some gnarled tree limbs from a neighbor’s tree branches that fell last year in a storm. I put some up in the house and porch this week as part of my fall decor. Have my faux crows on them. Every year I decorate with free yard waste and it looks much better than store bought, plus it composts so no need to store it!

    I bought some imprint leaf cookie cutters on clearance for $6 a set at Macy’s. Ship to store was free, so will get this week. This will make a great addition to my holiday pies. Neighbor has a different set and we share, so will be nice.

    I like to change up my China cabinet display seasonally so always on the lookout for dishes when thrifting. This year found some vintage style Halloween paper plates that will work perfect as a “stacked” look salad plate with real dinner plates in the cabinet. I know it looks good because I have some Christmas ones I’ve reused for years that match my real Christmas dinnerware, which saved me buying real dishes just for display.

    I also splurged on Halloween cookie stamps (on sale of course). They will be great for the annual Halloween party and with not finding free books to give out this year, they will at least be something extra to give out to the kids who know me. This week I found some candy at an outlet store for a good price for those I don’t know.

    I checked out 3 cookbooks and 1 on garden companion planting.

    I’m trying to insert line breaks. If this doesn’t work, could someone here please share how you are doing it? Thanks

    1. A couple of bad wind storms broke my solar oven along with sun damage. My husband has plans to repair it but right now is working on other projects.

      I bake four loaves at a time in the oven right now. Two loaves get eaten as soon as they are cool enough to touch! 😆

      1. I don’t blame them, warm bread is so delicious. I saw Jacques Pépin say for his last meal he wanted really good bread and butter. I think I agree. 😊

  28. -We harvested the first apples from our apple trees. We’ve made zucchini fritters, zucchini casserole, grilled zucchini, kale salad, and lots of green beans. Our grapes are almost ready. We picked some wild grapes and made jam. We also picked several bins of pears from a friends house, which we will eat fresh, can and make pear sauce. Also baked sourdough bread and use the ends and crusts for breadcrumbs.
    -Stocked up on butter and cheese, as well as clearanced chips, apricots, and granola bars.
    -I was gifted several bags of clothing for my kids, and I will pass along some items to friends. Also bought some shoes from a neighbor.
    -Sold a few items on FB and eBay.
    -Still using duolingo to learn Spanish. Running for free exercise, although I finally broke down and bought a water belt.
    -I searched through our business storage area and found some needed items, rather than buying more of them new.

  29. Brandy,
    I have been looking for blouses like the one you are modeling. Something like that would be perfect for our Central Florida weather. Could you possibly post where you purchased the blouses? thanks

    1. It’s from Banana Republic Factory. It comes in ivory and black. The black one is half the price of the ivory one. I have had a few ads from them on Instagram and have found a few good sales. It’s a bit more than I would normally spend, but I am so happy with this blouse that I ordered two more in ivory and one in black. With the weight I gained since covid, most of my other blouses no longer fit. This is loose enough that it works, and as I continue to lose weight again (I am making slow progress) they will still fit.

  30. Your bread and apron look fabulous! By the way I heard a tip recently regarding groceries, especially meat and cut produce: check just before closing on a holiday weekend and just after opening hours after the holiday weekend. I thought it waa a great tip, and hope to keep it in mind myself!

    My frugal week:
    – I hosted a relative having a stopover in TO, and made lunch: homemade pizza (https://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/), limeade made with discounted limes, and cheesecake. I also baked a berry crumble cake, using berry I had foraged locally. With the exception of the cheesecake ingredients (it was a special request), I had everything at home. I shared some of the leftover cake with my parents.
    – I received a settlement cheque for $8. Little bits add up!
    – I sewed my daughter another zipper snack bag using items in my sewing stash. It’s reusable/litterless and wipes clean so easily as it’s made with a kind of oilcloth.
    – I picked tomatoes and basil from my balcony garden and harvested all the lettuce from my plot at my parents. I haven’t had to buy lettuce all summer! I also picked the last of the beans, some cherry tomatoes (my youngest happily ate them all), a few small carrots, a pepper, and saved some peas for seed.
    – I made blts using the homegrown tomatoes and lettuce, plus some bacon I pulled from the freezer that I had bought on deep sale months ago.
    – I combined coupons and sales, and got sandwich bread, hotdog and hamburger buns for under $1/loaf/bag. I stocked up, as store bought bread makes great freezer sandwiches for the school year. Another good deal was where I combined a sale on those spreadable triangle cheese thingies (the name escapes me just now) with a cashback offer (buy x, get $4 off y) and even after buying the two items, had a profit. I used a high value coupon ($3.50) plus a sale, to get a bag of pepperoni sticks for $2.88, something I don’t usually buy, which I will stretch between snacks for my husband and school lunches for my eldest. Between coupons, rebates, cashback, and sales, I saved upwards of $50 this week, and am well-stocked for the first few weeks of school lunches and snacks, without going over budget.
    – I also stocked up on brand name block cheese when it went on sale. I just pop them into the freezer until I need one and then put it into the fridge for a day and it’s perfect.
    – I went through some baby things and set aside a few to sell and some to donate.
    – I made a stack of freezer sandwiches for my eldest in preparation for school lunches. I use a sandwich sealer to make homemade uncrustables, and used the crusts plus some leftover cream that I had gotten free, along with a few others items, to make a French Toast Casserole.
    – I took my family to the Textile Museum using a free pass from the public library. Saved myself $50! The Learning Hub was fabulous and my kids loved using various weaving looms, learning rug-hooking, beading, applique, and more.
    – at the museum, i did splurge and spend $5 on a stuff-this-fabric-bag of fabric notions: two balls of cotton yarn, two sets of buttons, 4 vials of seed beads, 3 wheels of fancy ribbon two of which have abc’s on them which I’ll use to wrap teacher gifts, a tatted doily which ill use as a rest for my bud vase, and 3 china thimbles (i let each girl choose one and I got myself a Limoges one), plus some larger and dull needles for my eldest to start sewing with. Definitely worth $5!
    – I took my daughter for a mummy daughter date at Starbucks to celebrate the start of the new year, and used a gc for my drink plus loyalty points to get her drink and treat.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. I’ve been to the Textile museum at least 3 times now – they always have such great exhibitions. The last time I was there – pre pandemic – the special exhibit was the Books of the Torah – all hand stitched by people around the world (of all faiths) and then put together and wall mounted as though it was in a scroll. There was a video showcasing a number of people who had participated – just an amazing bit of work! People are so creative.

  31. The produce from your garden is wonderful! I remember your struggle with zucchinis and it is wonderful to see some in your basket. Congrats!

    *My week was suddenly very quiet. I tripped and fell on the lip of our bathtub and fractured a few ribs. I tried to get by without help but my pain was getting worse. I ended up in the ER but am now doing fine and on bed rest for a bit. That will be expensive although we have met our deductible for the year. Frugally, it’s been great because I can’t drive anywhere and I’ve been reading a lot of books. Some were from Libby and others from our local library. I finished the latest by Robert Dugoni and really enjoyed it. I also read the latest book by Sarah Ladd set in Regency time period. I’ve been watching lots of Law & Order to pass time. My dog, YoYo, is also very happy to hang out with me on the bed and take naps. All my kids have been calling to check on me and it’s fun to chat. I watched a few episodes of an English mystery show on Hoopla. We take the good with the bad and make do.

    My husband came with grocery shopping and we stayed under budget. I stopped at CVS for some pain creme and was able to use coupons and combine with a sale. My husband has been in charge of our meals. He has done some takeout for us – but he always has a coupon or gift card to help. But he made chicken parmesan, dutch oven pizza, eggs and toast for us.

    I ordered some early Christmas gifts that were on clearance. The bathroom closet I was cleaning out, before I fell, yielded some finds. This bathroom is mostly used by our kids when they are home to visit. I found more shampoo, conditioner, hair products, lotion and toothpaste that had been shoved in a willy nilly way. It was good to get it organized again and in plain view. I also organized under that sink and the kitchen sink. I bought plastic shelves on clearance that I can fit under the sinks. It gives me an additional shelf to put things on and creates more room. I ordered more of the shelves to use in our upstairs bathroom and kitchen pantry.

    I took my daughter for a haircut. We went to a new salon (to us) and loved the cut she got. It’s cheaper than our other place.

    I’ve been picking tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and zucchini from our garden. Our peaches and nectarines and apples are almost ready to be picked. The only tree with a lot of fruit is the nectarine. I thinned everything out because our trees are still young but I swear that nectarine tree hid things from me. The branches are loaded and I had thinned that tree twice.

    Have a great week!

    1. Ouch that sounds very painful- I hope you have a speedy recovery. My 63 year old sister told me yesterday she fell out of the apple tree when climbing down after picking some apples. Luckily she was only bruised and a bit stiff but has decided she may be getting a little old for tree climbing!!
      I am enjoying the fresh nectarines available in our area right now-it is so wonderful that you have your own tree and can grow them in your climate.

  32. That loaf of bread looks delicious!! Are you wearing one of your new aprons? I looked on Instagram, but I get the feeling I don’t know how to access everything. I spent an hour on Saturday trying to figure it out but I gave up.

    I finally got some stuff accomplished after being sick all August. Still have a ways to go to catch up, but it was a good feeling!
    * Froze 3 lbs. of blueberries. I now have about 25 lbs. to get me through winter. I love love them with my oatmeal!
    * Added 5 meals to the freezer.
    * Played laboratory! I made laundry soap, dishwasher soap, toilet bombs, and bathroom cleaner.
    * Reloaded the pantry from the overflow pantry and took inventory.
    * Reorganized and inventoried the freezer. We will be eating A LOT of chicken for a few months!! I had no idea there was so much. Lots of cooked parts that will make dinners very easy.
    * Made a crock of chicken bone broth to freeze for good and easy soup.
    * Spent an hour per day at my desk, which was a total disaster after a month. I’m grateful I thought to pay all the August bills when hubs tested positive. So all the other mail, mostly junk, was piled about a foot deep. I also had to organize all the insurance bills and pharmacy receipts for the FSA.
    * Found eggs at Trader Joe’s for $1.99 dozen, which is almost half of what they cost anywhere else. I don’t remember posting that we got 2 fun prizes on their birthday wheel in the past several months. They’re valued at roughly $5. I got a big bag of gummy bears that will soon be a birthday gift and hubs got a bouquet of flowers. I hope they keep it for next year! We just happened to be there on my birthday and planned another trip for the Mr.’s. The trip requires a lot of self control cuz they have so many goodies, but we get several regular items for good prices so it’s worth it when we combine it with other stores nearby.
    * Had a prayer answered.😁.
    My reading list:
    On my nightstand – Refusal by Dick/Felix Francis
    My CD player is still waiting for the library hold lol.
    With my Bible study – For the Love of Christian Homemaking by Mrs. Sharon White.
    By my reading chair – Last Lessons of Summer by Margaret Maron.
    In the DVD player – Will be Father Brown season 5. Library P.U. tomorrow. Very enjoyable show!

    I look forward to seeing all the busyness as summer prepares for departure. I look forward to cooler days!

    1. Instagram is easier on a phone I think! It took me a while.

      That IS one of my new aprons. I ended up only being able to photograph one a day so I am still editing the pictures.
      I shared some pictures on my Instagram stories, which only show for 24 hours. I will have my post up soon! Just lots to do!

  33. Brandy, you look beautiful in the photo.
    I took a break from canning this week. But I gathered all my jars I had spread in the garage, pantry, kitchen cabinets, and a spare bedroom and took an inventory. I thought I was low but have about 100 each of pint, quart, and half pint, plus over 400 wide lids and 160 regular lids. I ordered 100 Tattler lids since I have had success with the ones I bought to try. I then used boxes to put like kind together and on my garage shelves made for my jars.
    ***I harvested tomatoes, green beans. okra, and rosemary. I filed 4 quart bags with cut okra and froze.
    ***I went shopping to stock some tomato products and potatoes due to shortages. I got 12 cans diced tomatoes, and ten 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes. I plan to get more and use canned tomatoes to can some marinara sauce and some BBQ sauce. I just can’t grow enough to can tomato products other than salsa and in soups and a few meals to can, as tomatoes cook down so much and you need a LOT for sauces. I got enchilada sauce, 2 BBQ sauces, and 2 ketchups also. I got 2 10 lb bags potatoes. I will can some and dehydrate some and use some fresh. I also picked up decongestant spray, Excedrine.
    ***Our electric usage and water was down, but gas was up with many days of canning. We have been putting air on 75⁰, which is very warm in humid south. I am trying to adjust to more extreme temperatures. We got a couple of rains this week, which was nice.
    ***I have been working on a quilt using my dad’s shirts. This is the 25 blocks I have done https://www.instagram.com/p/CiIv0jlpw_h/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y= I am loving it. It is amazing how fabric that totally doesn’t go together somehow makes a beautiful quilt. I had to get over matching and just put them all in.
    ***I had a haircut. The girl that has cut my hair for years moved so I had to use someone else. This made me see when my last cut was and it was in January.

    1. Holly, the quilt is beautiful! How wonderful you can create this memory! I agree with you on the tomato products; I have been stocking up as well every time I go to the store. My tomatoes didn’t do well this year, but I was able to buy 25 pounds of plum tomatoes and canned 32 pints of salsa (half mild for me and half hot for hubby). I used green peppers and jalapeños from my garden (both of which are doing exceptionally well this year). I would rather use fresh tomatoes for salsa and stewed tomatoes with the flavors I like, than cooking them down for sauce. I tried a new salsa recipe and it was fabulous! Someone recommended the book “Blue Ribbon Canning” and I used the recipe in there. It uses apple cider vinegar and it adds a flavor and depth to the salsa beyond imagining! I, also, picked up potatoes to can (a first for me).

  34. Brandy I too thought the blouse was very pretty and the scarf with pretty roses really sets it off. My frugal was finding Aldi’s had chicken leg quarters 69 cents a pound in 10 pound bags earlier in the week I had bought 20 pounds at Sav Alot at 99 cents a pound. I boiled and deboned 20 pounds of it which is now in the deep freezer. Some will be for our dogs and some will be canned. My neighbor gave me another bag of tomatoes which I put in the deep freezer saving till I get enough to make salsa with we use canned diced tomatoes along with fresh to make bigger batches. For dinner one night this week I took a jar of my Fiesta Ranch Beans added to rice with cheese and served on tortilla’s we had left overs and we had that for dinner yesterday. So 2 meatless meals this week. Saturday I was invited to a 7 year olds birthday party instead of buying something she might or might not like I gave her $10.00. She got a lot of nice gifts but also accumulated $100 in cash to buy what she wanted. It was a lovely party saw a lot of friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time. One thing that stuck out about this party is my hostess set out a big bowl to Tootsie Pop Suckers and they were such a huge hit everyone from little ones to adults were running around with suckers. Who knew? What a great idea. It was a simple menu hot dogs with sloppy joe mix melon cut up chips water soda pasta salad and deviled eggs. If you went home hungry it was not her fault. She also put on a pot of coffee for those of us who like coffee. Her son bought a large blow up slip and slide thing for his house but brought it up here for the party that kept the kids occupied for hours. Today is our wedding anniversary and I had planned to make dinner at home but we decided to treat ourselves to dinner pick up we closely looked at prices online of restaurants that were open and got baby back ribs with sides $40 total. It is our 36th year anniversary. We had all kinds of sweets here so did not order anything for dessert. Husband bought me a new stand mixer for our anniversary so I can start making breads at home. I have what is called Trigger Finger and it’s difficult at times for me to knead dough anymore so hopefully the mixer will help with that. Trigger Finger is sort of like Carpal Tunnel. We bought a Hamilton Beach brand Kitchen Aid is just not in our budget. It was less than $100 with attachments. I continue to utilize our library for movies and books and stay out of the thrift stores which is always my weakness. I continue to line dry our clothes and our electric bill went down by $25 this month. I planted Sugar Snap Peas last week they have sprouted. My kale is starting to look decent and I actually have 2 pickles growing on my fall cucumber patch that aren’t round but long like they are supposed to be. My fall green beans something is eating the leafs I’m guessing squash bugs so that isn’t working out well sadly.

    1. I asked an old friend today what his favorite candy is, and to my surprise, he said cherry lollipops!

      I think adults rarely get to enjoy lollipops! They are a less expensive candy, too! What a fun idea for a party!

  35. Love all the photos, as usual, but have to comment on the basket holding the produce. It looks similar to one I have and love. I use baskets for lots of things and they are one thing I always look for at thrift shops. Lovely and useful things are my favorite.
    *My oldest son seemed to suddenly outgrow all of his clothes. It always seems to happen overnight, doesn’t it? I was able to find him 5 pairs of pants and 3 shirts plus one pair of pants for me and 5 cloth napkins (another item always on my thrifting list) for $30. Not too bad. I did have to buy him a few new shirts since I had exhausted our thrift store options but was able to get them on clearance for $3-6 each. Another thrift store success was finding very nicely made cotton/linen curtains with a lining for $1 per panel. I planned on making them if I couldn’t find any ready made so this saves me a bit of work. They will go in my older son’s room. I am still on the lookout for curtains for my younger son’s room. Always fun to have something to look for when on treasure hunts.
    *One neighbor gave us pears from her trees and another gave us corn. So generous!
    *Biggest savings this week was a rebate we finally received from our tire purchase back in July. Living in the mountains with curvy and mostly gravel roads, our tires often wear more than the manufacturers consider normal. Our tire dealer sent our old ones in to see if they would qualify for a rebate and then we never heard anything. My husband and I both remembered the same day that we hadn’t heard anything so I called. Turns out the salesperson who helped us had transferred to another dealership and the result was the process did not get completed as it should have. So, long story short, a phone call resulted in a $380 check. Not bad!
    *My husband and older son worked together to replace the seat cover on his dirt bike which had become torn. My son got a good lesson in upholstery, the importance of caring for our things and the value of DIY. All good things!
    *I took several cuttings from my chocolate mint to plant up for gifts for friends with birthdays coming up. It smells heavenly!
    *My husband went for a wellness checkup at our primary care provider. A good thing to do for our health and required by our insurance to keep the lowest premiums.
    *Put lots of garden produce up for Winter and ate from food we had or are growing.
    *Sold eggs and gratefully accepted some home canned goods as a trade for a few dozen.
    *My parents cleaned out some things from their home here and generously gave them to me to sell. They didn’t want to do the work of selling and said I could keep the money if I did the work which I really appreciate. I cleaned and priced everything and took them to my neighbor to sell in her booth at the local antique store. I have been able to make about $50-75 per month doing this and it’s fun.
    *I am slow to finish books these days so still reading “Lilac Girls”. Glad no one else seems to need this particular copy from the library yet as I have had it a while now.
    *Have a lovely week, all!

  36. Love your hummingbird — just today I was looking at some of my hummingbird visitors and wondered if you have them in your hot climate. Do many people set up feeders for them? We had some rain a couple of times over the past week, and enjoyed watching birds splash around taking baths in puddles. My bird bath that was hanging from a tree branch got broken, and I’ve been thinking I’d like to put up another one. I just love birds.
    Yay for your full harvest basket — glad you were able to get some zucchini! That bread is beautiful; your photo looks like it could be a book cover.
    –Last week’s savings were the normal things….cooking at home, being mindful of spending. My daughter is at college most nights, so I’m learning to cook smaller amounts. Leftovers were used to make “new” meals instead of just reheating because my family doesn’t always eat it when it’s just a reheat. Leftover roast beef and carrots became a soup with diced potatoes added (the potatoes were leftovers from a ham/potato soup I made a few days before). I added some leftover teriyaki chicken to a couple of ramen packets, which my son loved. I think we have plenty of meat in the freezer for this week, so I am hoping to avoid spending much at the store.
    –My husband needed some antacid medication, so we stopped at CVS where I needed to get some things too. He got his med and was at the counter trying to pay, thinking I could just pay for the rest of the items when I was finished shopping. I stopped him, added my items, and used my coupons. He watched as the total amount went down, down, down…and we ended up paying a small portion of the original total. When we got in the car, he said “Good job in there!” He’s not usually with me when I shop, so he doesn’t often get to see me in action. Haha!
    –At the shoe store cash register, I asked the cashier to recheck the total because it seemed a bit higher than I expected. He did, and found that one price rang up $15 higher than the lowest sticker. Always good to ask when you’re not sure!
    –Bought several sale items at Kroger: cheese $1.49/bag, butter $2.49/lb, peaches .99/lb and found a .50 coupon someone left there, smoked sausage $2.49. Made peach cobbler, such a treat!
    –Submitted receipts to all my cashback apps. Sometimes I forget or get too busy to do it. Trying to make a better effort.
    –My husband needed new khakis for work and new shorts as well. JC Penney had a great sale on the exact pants he wanted, but did not have the pants in store. We ordered online and I went through Rakuten to get cashback. They did have 2 pairs of the shorts he wanted, so we got those — $29 for 2 pairs, saved $98.
    –Returned an Amazon order to Kohl’s and got $5 kohl’s cash. It was in the same shopping area so combined the trip.
    –Got 5 scarves at a yard sale for $1 total, one still has a price tag. In the fall/winter, I wear a scarf almost every day so this will help refresh my outfits. I also got some very nice kitchen towels for .25 each (always looking for those), a new copper skillet and a small mixing bowl for .50 each. At one yard sale, the lady had so much adorable home decor that I had to limit myself. I wanted it all and could easily have spent $200! I settled for 2 very cute new Rae Dunn baskets for $5 each. As soon as I got home, I filled them with snack bars and other items. They look adorable on my counter, and really tidied up the 4 boxes of snacks that were not nearly as pretty in the pantry.
    –I am starting an Apartment Box for my daughter. She’s just now in her freshman year of college, but I know the time will soon come when she’s ready for her own place. I’m buying a bit at a time when I see a good deal. We did this to prepare for her dorm room and it helped a lot. I found a new-in-box hand mixer for $3 at a yard sale to start it out. I also got her a few other items (can opener, kitchen towels) but she decided to take those to her dorm room to use now.
    –Now that the temperatures are cooling down a bit, my tomatoes are finally thriving. This year I tried a new-to-me variety called Paul Robeson. I’ve had the seeds for years but just never tried them. They are our new favorite. They’re almost fruity, sweet, and not at all acidic. My husband raves about them. I had to convince him to try them because their coloring is weird, but now he’s addicted. I think they’re actually supposed to be beefsteak slicer size, but mine are large-cherry size. Probably the crazy weather that just didn’t allow them to fully grow. I actually really like them this size, though. Still haven’t had enough to freeze or can, but we’ve been able to make salads and snack on them. We’ve also had a lot of the Sweet Million that are my go-to every year. We’re hoping that the plants will continue to produce well into October, since our first frost is usually around Oct. 15. My sweet potato plants have taken over the raised beds, and the spinach seeds I planted last week have germinated very well. I buried kitchen scraps in the raised beds.
    –We had a lovely 4 day weekend with lots of naps, family time, and relaxation. I feel very refreshed going into the first full week of September. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

    1. I LOVE that your husband was able to see your savings! That’s great!

      Heat will make tomatoes tiny. This is normal.

    2. Hi Dianna, your tomatoes sound delicious! Mine are small as well. Just an FYI, and you may already know this, if you are canning tomatoes, particularly low acid ones, make sure to add lemon juice. Many tomatoes nowadays are not as acidic as they used to be and it is very crucial to add something acidic to prevent botulism. Happy canning!

  37. I love the blouses Brandy! Thanks for sharing where you found them!
    I harvested more crowder peas from the garden, green peppers, cubanelle peppers, banana peppers, and Marconi peppers. I had planned to plant my fall garden this weekend but it rained all but half of one day. In that small window of time I managed to plant 32 fall mums and pull the remaining tomato plants from the garden so at least the space is clear.
    I took advantage of a Labor Day sale
    To purchase the mulch we need for the remaining flower beds and the fire pit area. We saved over $200 by waiting for the sale. Very regular rainfall has cut our water bill in half this month as we have not had to water at all.
    I cut more zinnias from the garden to display in the house. I also cut my
    first sunflower and my first marigold. I have been waiting all season for the marigolds to bloom. They are a new seed I planted this year for the first time and they are 3 feet tall with enormous blooms
    The size of my hand. I am hopeful that they will return next year as I am enjoying them so much.
    I am trying to cook and eat what we have before preparing additional meals in order to avoid food waste. I am also trying to use the crock pot or instant pot to save electricity when I can. I baked four loaves of banana bread using pantry ingredients and bananas from our freezer and gave one loaf to a neighbor. I froze a second load and the other two have been gobbled up.
    I am trying to add more soup to our menu as well and made a pot of smoked sausage & corn chowder and a pot of chili this week.
    I purchased a bushel of tomatoes and a half bushel of okra. I canned 18 quarts of tomato sauce – some for chili and some for spaghetti. I prepped and froze 4 gallons of okra as well. I also roasted a large batch of okra with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and it was so incredibly
    Hopefully the rain will hold off this week so that I can bet my
    Seeds in the ground. If not I may plant seedlings, let
    Them grow a bit and then plant them into the garden. We shall see.
    I hope everyone has a great week ahead.

  38. This week I have been thinking about the energy price hike. I decided because of the processing time I would make my Christmas puddings and Christmas cake before the electricity goes up again in October. I think Christmas pudding is an English dish it takes 20 mins to steam and then 1hour 45 mins the pressure cooker. Christmas cakes are a rich fruit cakes covered in marzipan and royal icing. I use 500ml straight sided canning jars to process the puddings.

    I have been working out the kilowatt/hr rate of all my cooking appliances ,then I can work out the cheapest way to cook dishes. A kilowatt of electricity is now 53p. All appliances must be full when using them. All lights are now led and turned off when not in use. The radiators have been turned down and flow temperature of the boiler has been turned down. We will put off turning on the heating as long as possible but hubby has to be kept warm. I am keeping freezer packs in the freeze when there is space if I need to I will fill containers with water and freeze them.

    I have been bottling runner beans, they were very slow to start but are now giving beans every day I am pleased I didn’t pull them out. I have been slicing tomatoes and open freezing them, when I have enough to fill the dehydrator I will defrost and dry them.

    My daughter and her husband came over, this is the first time we have seen them in 2 months as we had to shield so hubby could go into hospital. I cooked dinner from the pantry/ space under the bed and made a mincemeat tart for pud finishing last years mincemeat. Now I have the jars for this years batch.

    I have been reading library books on line. I was disappointed by Donna Leons latest book very slow. Not her usual standard.

    In the garden I am harvesting potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, peppers,raspberries and beans. I have been sorting out the greenhouse so the ripening tomatoes and peppers can make the most of the sun. I am still watering like crazy as we now have had 1mm of rain in 14 weeks. Not the usual british weather. The gnats have been eating me alive even getting up my trousers. I have been saving seeds of Holyhocks, Calendula, Ox eye daisies,Verbena, Honesty, Veronica, French marigolds and parsnips. I am saving green potatoes for seed next year.

    I have had deliveries of veg, milk and groceries from the supermarket. Some things are out of stock and prices are rising.

    Keep safe everyone

    1. I pray for you Husband to heal and the family to be safe.
      I smiled reading the under the furniture pantry. I still get a chuckle when Daughter 4 told her friend she was worried about us going hungry as she had boxed the small pantry cabinet. Her friend started laughing, he had helped move the furniture and ALL of it had canned goods or dry goods under it. He had started asking if he was moving the veggie couch or the fruit couch. Mother stored a lot of things behind doors and as side tables covered with cloth.

  39. I finally broke down and tried curbside pickup at the grocery store. I was able to easily compare the lowest price between two stores that are on the same corner. I picked up the grocery order, stopped at the other store for the 5 things, and had my shopping done very quickly. This will allow me to get shopping done without needing to take husband to work and then pick him up. (We have only one car).

    Kids decided they can handle taking the bus home from school every day, saving me a gallon and a half of gas each week.

    I bought some disappointing dress shirts from Amazon that we are returning, and we shopped Jos A. Bank online clearance instead and found higher-quality shirts for half the price!

    I hung all my laundry on the line. I waited to buy a new grill until Labor Day/end of season clearance, saving us about $50. Lastly, I found free resources to start learning a new skill (piano tuning) instead of spending $1400 for a correspondence course, or $100 for a fancy book.

    Now I just need to figure out how/what to grow living in Lubbock, Texas. I had finally started a garden right before we had to move :-p

  40. Haven’t commented personally in a few weeks although I always read all posts and comments and I have managed to reply to a few of you along the way. It has just been busy and a very up and down couple of weeks.

    Brandy, your garden and your photos are always lovely and that blouse with the floral scarf is very flattering. I often purchase multiples of things when I find something that fits and that I really like. I too tend to stick to a very basic/neutral wardrobe and add colour with scarves and jewellery so it works out well and keeps me from making extra trips to the shops.

    Some fun stuff – I finally got to see most of my family after almost three years when my sister hosted a large family reunion. I am the only one who lives in the city – the rest are in Kingston, Peterborough and Prince Edward County so I am always the one who travels. One of my brothers kindly picked me up along the commuter train route and then he and my SIL insisted on driving me home again so it saved me a few hundred dollars in VIA train fare. I also stayed at their lovely home for four days – caught up with family and a good friend who lives out that way and had a lovely time. I of course contributed to the food and took some gifts and I had put money aside for this but still came home with funds in my pocket so that was a relief. I also got to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and got to take a friend with me. I had paid for these tickets pre-pandemic and the second ticket was gifted to me by a woman in our group who didn’t fancy it so I was able to to take my friend for free. We really enjoyed it – the story moved along well and the staging and special effects were amazing. Unfortunately the friend that I took woke up the next day with a terrible sore throat and tested positive for Covid! I’ve felt fine and have tested negative each time so I hope I have dodged that bullet.

    I think I have reached the prepping burnout stage – at least a bit. I’m lucky in that the pantry and freezer are full so I have done the best I can. I have been concentrating on non-food items and have done well so far. Shoppers Drugmart had an offer on that I used to buy OTC meds and vitamins – spent $73 which was reduced to $60 once the discount was applied and then I received a GC for $10 because I had spent over $50. I plan to put the GC towards an extra hot water bottle which I will try to pick up this week.

    A friend drove us to IKEA one day last week and I bought a new reading light as I find it very dark in my living room even though I have a number of lamps! The lamp itself wasn’t too expensive but the special led lightbulb cost $10!!! I also bought another batch of tea lights! I will also be picking up a Colman Camping stove this week, along with a few containers of butane. My dad had his for years and I remember him using it indoors on more than one occasion during blackouts. I would use it near a window for ventilation and have a fire extinguisher on hand but I felt that I needed it – just in case – as I would have no other means of heating up food or water if the power goes down during the Winter.

    I have been limited in what I can do as my apt. building elevator has been out of service for almost two weeks now! Parts!!!! I am fed up as I can only do so much. I live on the top floor – 4th – so I can only carry up one bag of groceries per trip. I have RA, fibromyalgia and 2 knees that will need to be replaced so going up or down stairs is never fun. From street level my building is four stories – but – we are built into the side of a hill so B level (first basement) has the laundry room so I haven’t been able to do laundry. My storage room – which I need to return items to and get items out of is on A level – the next basement down! If I want to take out garbage or recycling I then have go down yet another flight to get to the back door as the dumpsters are in the back parking lot! I have been leaving my neatly double-bagged garbage down in the lobby on the days I go to the office for my super to deal with! One person is putting in a formal complaint to the management office today as we’ve had no update and I’ve told her to tell them if it’s not fixed by the time I get home from the office tomorrow then I am lodging a formal complaint with the city – it comes under Health & Safety and failure to maintain laws! I suppose the only good thing is it has limited my spending as I can’t carry things upstairs!

    For the UK readers – I’ve started watching a Youtube vlogger known as Prime of Midlife. She lives up in Scotland and has both good tips for prepping and dealing with your outrageous fuel bills and also has been known to go off on some amusing – but well aimed – rants. She normally sticks to under 10 minutes per video and she has gathered quite a following – you might find it fun and informative. Stay well everyone.

    Oh – I am about half way through Bloomsbury Girls so thank you to whomever recommended this book – love it!

  41. What a week we had. But first, I really like your aprons.
    Got the dehydrators working, and dried 9 trays of basil, 4 trays of thyme, 2 trays of rosemary, 2 trays of zucchini, and 4 trays of chopped onions. All of this was from our garden.
    Also picked the last of the cauliflower, some broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, cilantro, tomatoes, parsley, cherry tomatoes, yellow onions, candy onions, green beans, cucumbers, 4 hills of potatoes, peas, green beans, chard and bell peppers.
    Two different times some friends gave my DH 6 ears of corn from their garden.
    Made broth from the Costco chicken using raggedy veggies from the garden.
    On the way from my mother’s house back to Nebraska, my sister and her DH, and son spent the night at our house. They took us to dinner at our favorite little hole in the wall diner.
    We gave them zucchini, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes to take back with them.
    My other sister took me for lunch one day. I brought her onions, zucchini, basil, tomatoes and cabbage from the garden.
    I got a watermelon on sale. I had a $4.00 off any produce coupon, so ended up paying 16¢ for a watermelon a little over 14 pounds.
    We had BLTs for dinner one night and lunch one day. Another day I made a stir fry with chicken and zucchini, chard, onions, garlic, green beans, and broccoli all from the garden.
    I weeded our yellow onions. Just pulled the big weeds so they would be easier to harvest.
    I bought 25 pounds of flour and 3 dozen eggs for just a little over $15. Not sure if it was a great deal, but I was running a little lower than I liked, and I do know it was cheaper than buying whatever I will make out of them.
    Our son and DIL visited. We picked veggies for them to take home with them. They also picked up a few things I had brought for them from my mother’s house. My son wanted my Dad’s gun cabinet, and no one else in the family hunts, so it went to him. My DIL wanted a juicer/steamer my mother had. I brought that for her. I wil pick up her jars from the house when I go in another couple of weeks.
    Made a loaf of focaccia bread. It was yummy.
    We had a BBQ on Sunday. Steaks and chicken were grilled. Then DH made two salads, one with peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions and one with green beans and parsley. Not sure what he used to dress them. I made cauliflower with cheese sauce with the last of the cauliflower we picked and then Brandy’s rosemary roasted potatoes with the tiny ping pong ball or smaller sized potatoes, just cut in either half or quarters depending on their size and our homegrown rosemary. Delicious as always.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

  42. I am struggling to make enticing meals my husband can eat and enjoy while dealing with tooth extraction and denture fittings. Had my mammogram and colon test last week so ready for good news and moving on. Fall garden is coming up nicely. I planted pumpkins, beets, lettuce, radishes and peas. I am starting all my flower footings in the greenhouse and now have coleus, ivy, pothos and begonias started. I sprayed for wood borers as I believe my newly mulched areas brought them in a large number. I purchased additional stock for my pantry including canned chicken, diced tomatoes, pinto beans and rice. I was disappointed to find my 25# bag of rice only weighed 19.4 #. Our grandson took a small refrigerator for payment for some work he did. He offered it to us as he had to purchase a smaller sized fridge for our home during the pandemic. I am going to use it for my veggies and fruits.

    1. OkBarb99,
      I would email the company about the rice. That’s quite a difference; they might try to make it up somehow. Worth a try.

  43. I love reading these posts each week but haven’t done a full comment in a long time. For about 4 months, I’ve been getting ready to move from Canada back to the USA. Well, the move happened last week. I am now living in the Central Valley of California. I am thrilled to be close to family and friends at long last.

    The move was not without some hiccups. One being that Uhaul Canada lived up to its horrible reputation of not honoring reservations. So, I ended up leaving most of my pantry and camping gear for my neighbors. They were thrilled. Me, not so much.

    I have so much to do and learn – new cell phone provider instead of a landline. New entertainment options such as giving up cable TV at long last. I’m looking into streaming services for the first time as well as free TV or movies from the library. I’d appreciate advice from your readers.

    I’ve been using your affiliate links in Amazon to order some items I left behind.

    Soon, I’ll be starting to organize my new garden space. I have a little side yard off this apartment where I will be able to do some gardening. I’ve already been reading the Garden section here to get ideas. It’s currently in the triple digit temperatures so I will be on the learning curve about what and when to plant out my edibles. The space is also a blank canvas at this point in time. I will have to design and build garden beds. Some structure is in place like the fencing, walkways and a small patio. But the planting area looks a lot like Brandy’s original ‘soil’. In other words, it looks like cement instead of good garden soil. Oh — the fun to create a new garden space!

    For now, I’ll keep signing off as SJ From Vancouver BC Canada but I’m now about 1,000 miles south and inland. LOL

    1. I just moved away from the Central Valley! Gardening there is a challenge. I would suggest checking to see if there are Master Gardeners in your city. They are a great source of information that is specific to your climate.

    2. Oh my, you landed during a horrible heatwave. Find out what type of soil you have. Lots of clay here in California, but either way compost is the answer. See if your town has it for free. Often, this is through the garbage company, but not always. Stay inside for now though, it’s too hot to be out especially since you aren’t used to it. Local master gardener program is a good source for info as well.

  44. Ouch that sounds very painful- I hope you have a speedy recovery. My 63 year old sister told me yesterday she fell out of the apple tree when climbing down after picking some apples. Luckily she was only bruised and a bit stiff but has decided she may be getting a little old for tree climbing!!
    I am enjoying the fresh nectarines available in our area right now-it is so wonderful that you have your own tree and can grow them in your climate.

  45. Oh my, I love those aprons, Brandy! Prints are nice to cover the inevitable splatters that come! Every fabric is gorgeous and so inspiring!
    It has been a super busy past several weeks with church duties, family, a new grand baby and gardening. I have been making pear jam with my huge tree full of pears, these are Keizer and they are tough to peel and cut. My neighbor gave me a few Bartlett and they are a breeze to prep. I also canned 6 pints of blackberry jam. I finished the buckets of apples my neighbor gave me with applesauce and apple jam. For the first time I dried apple peels for pectin, I used it in he apple and pear jam to firm things a bit. My neighbor told me there will be Granny Smith coming on soon, so the processing continues. I picked my last zucchini, cucumbers and the peppers are still coming on along with the tomatoes. My chard is coming along with the kale. Baby lettuce is sprouting and did a second planting of beets, the first planting was a total bust.
    I found a box of diapers at the dump which fit my 2yo granddaughter. There was also a birthday bag that was in good shape with a unopened bag of tissue. The next day a neighbor of the family I nanny for, had two more birthday bags at the curb.
    We have been eating at home, line drying, staying out of stores, and trying to make do without the ac.
    Hope you all have a lovely week!

  46. I am not sure if it is a frugal fail or a frugal find. I have very short hair that is difficult to cut. It needs to be cut by a razor in many places. My stylist moved and the salon set me up with a VERY expensive replacement stylist. $60.00 a cut. I gave her four or five tries and my hair continued to look like I was wearing a giant toupee. My good friend gets her hair cut by an old friend 2 hours a way. She does a wonderful job and is $20 less. The stylist did a great job even though she had to reshape it shorter. It looks great and will grow in nicely. This means I only have to get my hair cut every 6 – 8 weeks instead of every month. My buddy and I shared expenses and lunch. She has a Costco card and I don’t so when we go together I can pick up a few things which will be nice. It is also good friendship time. I am calling it a win. Bottom line: I think I can be frugal and feel good about how I look. I can save in areas like make up ( I don’t wear anything but sunscreen and lipstick) and get a good value cut.

    One more expense that in the end I know will save money. I have an hour glass figure. If I am not careful I look 30 pounds heavier than I am. I paid an online consulting fee to download 12 specific measurements. into their proprietary algorithm. They gave me a customized manual of exact lengths for all my clothing, jewelry, necklines, and shoes to be flattering – measured from both on the body and up from the floor for tailoring. Afterward, I donated or Poshmark’ed nearly a third of my wardrobe that I never feel great in. I look at that money I spent on the wrong items and need to forgive myself. Going forward with online consignment, I’ll know exact measurements to search. A good example, I bought a dress for 80% off. It was brand new and marked XS/14. What? Well it is a plus size shop. Their XS are 14. However the shop is in Australia so the 14 is really a 10 – 12 which is my usual size. I bought the dress because I had exact measures for where the waist needed to hit me measured from the shoulder and where the sleeves should hit me 2 inches above the elbow (for my frame. ) Crazy how size works. I would much rather have fewer clothes that fit perfectly. Less laundry, save time, save money.

      1. Too funny!
        It would be fabulous if there were a standard for clothes. Maybe it’s all part of their evil plan. 🤔🥴

  47. Hello! I have not posted in a very long time but have read faithfully each week. Our garden was incredibly abundant this summer and we have frozen and canned tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, relish, corn. Our grocery bills have lowered as our son went off to law school but there is no actual savings because…law school. My office recently moved to a different floor in our building and during the massive clean out I was given items that we had too much of such as napkins, cups, paper plates and school type supplies. I have been decluttering the house and passing on items to a friend who has a selling side hustle. I don’t take payment from her but we get together for happy hour every other week or so & she treats so it evens out for us.
    I am so happy to be a part of this online community because it is a place that is always positive, kind, informative & helpful. I am going to post weekly to help keep myself accountable during the crazy times we are currently living in.

    1. Melissa – I hope you will comment regularly here. It is such an encouraging community and I say, the more the merrier. Will look forward to what you have to share. 🙂

  48. I am still recovering from bone bruise from a 30 lb. solid wood crate falling over on my leg/ankle. Left leg knee down is very colorful of sicky yellow, purple yuck. Five days later I took Hubby to Urgent care (they worried when they saw me and thought I was coming back in) for swelling of his joint at his big toe. Last time he had that he was diagnosed with rhematic fever. So he was worried. No answers at Urgent care except it wasn’t broke.
    His primary looked at it and said gout but if the gout meds didn’t take care of it he would run other tests. It was gout…. not from what he eats… but what he wasn’t eating and that was enough carbs to keep things flushed. We figured out (in doc office) that he was eating only 75-125 carbs a day. Doc put him at 225 g./ day. His issues maxed out his out of pocket for health ins. Doc said he was going to check the records to order any testing that would be due next year and get them done now.
    Our wood/coal stove that was originally supposed to come in Aug, then promised to our dealer for Sept delivery has been put off until Nov. Our dealer who is Amish, complained that he was PROMISED… so the company dropped the price by $2000 and he got that in writing. When he called to tell us about the stove, he said for us to come get our coal (we were going to get it when the stove came in) as it was going to go up A LOT with the next delivery. So we went to get it, ordered 1 ton, bought 2 with a 20 % discount because someone had ordered 4 tons and then went in to nursing home and the kids didn’t know it was ordered. Not a problem as he was finding buyers for it.
    I went to CVS. My doctor told me to try a nasal spray for my allergies instead of meds that was starting to flare my Crohn’s. I found coupons for what was on sale, added my CVS extra bucks and walked out paying almost $63 for $119 of items. We don’t need toothpaste, or hubby’s vitamins. I did get another extra buck and a coupon for the allergy spray. Since it is working I will go in and get more it it’s on sale.
    After saving for all that we wanted for “grid down” items. The finally amount to pay off the stove (when ever it comes in) is now in savings. Next is 2023 health deductible. out of pocket and then down payment to replace truck that has a rusted frame. I would like to have more in savings for emergency .
    Blessed be everyone .

  49. My husband continues to ride his bike to and from work. This has been saving so much on gas for the truck!!! I pack him a lunch everyday. I cleaned & reorganized pantries and freezers. Made inventory lists & wrote dates on packages with a sharpie so I can actually see them lol. A friend generously gave me a chest freezer so I’m happy to have one to dedicate to veggies & nuts. Still caregiver for my mom which is saving a small fortune in either in home care or nursing home. I think a lot of frugal things we do by habit & then think oh I’m not really doing anything. It’s good to really acknowledge it all!

  50. Lovely aprons Brandy!
    I picked 14 tomatoes last week! Thats not many for many of you but i only have a 4×6 area. Homegrown tomatoes are so delicious.
    I found blsl chicken thighs for$.99 lb. I picked up 8lbs even though I really didn’t need any. These days you can’t pass up meat at that price!
    I dehydrated 2 bags of spinach and have chives drying as well.
    Have a blessed week.

  51. I´ve been watching the Every bit counts challenge on youtube by Three Rivers Homestead, and it´s very inspiring and creative! I can´t remember who recommended it here last week, but thanks for the recommendation!
    I´ve volunteered to talk about dehydrating food at a festival close to where I live. This means I will get free entry, lunch and coffee/cake. It´s held by an association that promotes organic growing methods and other skills for sustainable living, so I think there will be a lot of inspiring workshops I can attend.
    We harvested tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, carrots, arugula, asian greens, beets, apples and a fig from the garden.
    I peel all lemons that I juice and dry the peels in trays at the kitchen table.
    I dried sage and hyssop from the garden.
    I´ve dehydrated carrot tops after watching the every bit counts challenge.
    My husband gave me a haircut.
    I biked or walked everywhere I needed to go.

  52. Brandy, that’s a lovely hummingbird photo! What range of lens did you use? And your other photos are lovely as well, comme d’habitude!

    I have been remembering the Queen of Canada, the U.K. and several other countries and head of the Commonwealth.. Such an incredible woman, Queen Elizabeth combined a stalwart sense of duty with graciousness and an appropriate sense of humour. She was a constant in our lives for 70 years as monarch. It is a blessing that she was able to see her Platinum Jubilee. She will be greatly missed. Long live the King!

    I will be saving money this week by buying 30 cans of lentils, now regularly priced at $1.79, on sale for 5 for $5.00. So I will spend $30.00 and save $23.00. Lentils are replacing meat for me. I will be glad to have my pantry restocked. I am looking forward to healthier living driven by financial necessity, and a return to my pre-covid diet habits (less canned foods). I also will be buying chickpeas on the same sale. I hope to make hummus on the same sale so I can eat it for lunch sometimes.

    A friend saw that Safeway had a great bargain on butter for about $2 off per pound package so she dropped by with
    3 pounds for my freezer.

    One of the best buys this week are chicken legs at No Frills, $13 for a box making them slightly more than
    $1 per pound.

    I am going to prune the two basil plants I bought and make something to freeze. I hope to carry one of the plants through the winter. They definitely did not like our extreme heat last week. I thought basil was a Mediterranean plant and wouldn’t mind such heat but it did.

    Two weeks ago, I finished washing, slicing and freezing the peaches and nectarines and they are in my freezer. I admit not all of them made it into the freezer!

    I also did a smaller amount of Italian prune plums, again for my freezer. Due to the book, I’ve been unexpectedly busy so abandoned making jam for the moment. I may make jam later by using some of the frozen fruit. My small freezer is now almost full.

    Expenses are going to be high for the next two months. I need to have my furnaces serviced (the annual servicing the warranty is valid), and my back garage door
    lock fixed. I am still working on sorting out my late friend’s documents and next week I hope to send them to the city archives. Then I have a ton of chores to do.

    The book was delayed once more due to slow paper delivery . I took the opportunity to
    read it again. It had been a real push to do the Index and I proofread it again and found several changes.
    Finally, our paper should arrive today, then it is still some weeks to completion.

    It is very quiet in the yard without the hummingbirds and without the ospreys overhead. I had hoped to see some migratory warblers coming through but was not in the right place at the right time.

    Well, on to chores…!

    1. Our basil is fine at 45°C. Just water it daily or twice daily if it is in a pot. Mine is doing really well here right now.

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