I made and canned 5 pints of sweet pickle relish and 18 pints of dill pickles from the Armenian cucumbers from the garden. I found red bell peppers on sale at Winco for $0.79 each, which I used for the relish. I also purchased the onions at Winco.

I read three e-books from the library through Libby and Hoopla: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, The Heiress of Winterwood, and The Light at Wyndcliff. Thank you so much to the reader who recommended the author Sarah Ladd!

My new neighbor (who now reads my blog!) offered me a few things she no longer wanted and I said yes to some of them. One of them was a wooden expandable drawer divider. I had been wanting one for a particular drawer and this was perfect! I reorganized the drawer with it immediately. Thank you, Renee! She has also very generously offered to help my son learn Mandarin, which is so kind!

My husband found a way to watch college football games online for free on Streameast.

The mornings were cool, so I was able to turn off the air conditioner and open the windows between 5 and 9 a.m. each morning, saving a few dollars in electricity each day. It won’t be cool enough to turn off the air conditioner completely until the end of October.

What did you do to save money last week?

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184 Comments

  1. This week I watched a Rose Red Homestead video about canning tomato sauce. She used https://pin.it/49juIay a variety of sizes/types of tomatoes, including small cherry tomatoes, without blanching and peeling them first. My small yellow pear tomatoes have been producing more than we can possibly eat before they go bad. We have given many baskets of them to friends.But keeping the every bit counts challenge in mind, I took a bucket of mostly pear tomatoes with a few bigger red toms added in and turned them into 6 lovely pints of tomato sauce AND with the skins and seeds, I dehydrated those and filled the rest of my pint jar with tomato powder and started filling a second pint jar!! All from tomatoes that might have ended up being fed to our chickens!! https://pin.it/29m8RIg And https://pin.it/49juIay.

    I started making a new quilt to use up some of the huge amount of scraps I have in my fabric stash. My mission is to see how many quilts I can make without buying any fabric! The pattern was free online: https://patsloan.typepad.com/files/pat-sloan-summer-soiree-block-7.pdf and here are the first 14 blocks I’ve made: https://pin.it/4uNWz0V.

    I bought a box of sweet onions using flashfood for $5. (45 cents/pound) I wasn’t sure that the price sounded that great until I went online and saw that my Krogers sells them for $1.49/pound these days!! So I guess I’ll be grateful for this price. Into the dehydrator they went! 9 trays full and I took the root end that I cut off each one and put it into my fancy rooting dishes (otherwise known as the bottoms of 1 gallon milk jugs! Lol!!). If they root and grow green “leaves”, it will be a big win for over the winter inside. If not, no real loss! https://pin.it/HvbPR3Q.

    Hubs is taking some money from our savings accounts and laddering it in 3 parts- 1/3 per month into 3 month Treasury bonds so that after the first 3 months, 1 of the 3 will mature each month. As long as interest rates are favorable at that point and we don’t have an urgent need for that money, we will just roll it over for another 3 months. 3 months is the amount of time I’m comfortable with. The rate is currently 3.47% which is more than our high yield savings of 2% which it has just gone up to. I’m glad that he and our financial advisor keep track of that.

    Since I was feeling unwell the first few days last week, I’m happy with what I did get done. This challenge has me looking at things more closely before I discard them!

    Btw- for all of you with Krogers or Kroger affiliates, our sale ad coming out on Wednesday (Sept 21), 5 pound bags of Russet potatoes will be on sale for 99 cents a bag!! This is an amazing price, at least here in Ohio! So I will be stocking up for the winter!! I will keep some in our potato bins in the basement- https://pin.it/2gleSpz (Please note that we do not keep onions in the same unit. Those are in there for the photo. They have their own 3 barrel unit on the other side of the room!) . Some of the rest, I will dehydrate and some more, I will freeze as French fries. Hmmm…… Sounds like I better buy a bunch of bags! Lol! I was thinking of 10 but maybe I better make it 20 bags!

    It’s been kind of fun to experiment and research and stretch and grow these days! So many things I never knew I never knew!! It’s our creative outlet here!

    I saw this quote attributed to Thomas Edison- “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work!” Definitely words for me to ponder and think about! In one of our Church hymns it says- “There are chances for work all around just now. Opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying sometime I’ll try. But go and do something today.” I’m going to try to be more diligent in noticing and acting on opportunities! I’m sure I miss lots of them every day!

    Hope you and your readers are finding ways to save money and finding joy along the way!

    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. Wow! 99¢ a bag! Thanks this gives me time to plan ahead. I don’t have any experience dehydrating potatoes but this seems like a good time to try. How do you freeze them as french fries…?

        1. Thanks! I’ll check it out! Unfortunately the potatoes weren’t on sale at my Krogers. There actually weren’t very many potatoes at all, but I know different areas do different sales. I also noticed the peanut butter (all brands) gone but for a few jars. Weird

      1. I hope your Kroger has better quality potatoes than mine. Lately for every bag I buy I end up throwing out 1/3 to 1/2 because they spoil quickly or they are full of bad spots. My neighbor said the same. I store them properly. But maybe those were old potatoes and these are the new crop. I will certainly buy a bag or two and see what I think, at that price.

      1. Nancy- Not sure how inspiring I am but it’s fun to share ideas that we can try! Every time I watch her, I discover that there’s more I can learn to do! It’s exciting!

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    2. Sorry Pat… I guess I should have shared you could just cook them and then the peel comes off the tomatoes. If I want a “roasted tomato” flavor I toss them on the grill and then into the sauce pan. I will take cores out before dehydrating the rest of it. Been doing this for over a decade.
      Grandpa used to say, find a mouthful daily to put away. Daddy always asked what could be saved for a winter day.

      1. Juls Owings- Great idea!! Seems like this season, I’m becoming more mindful about reducing waste and getting as much value as I can out of everything that comes to us. I really thought the chickens would end up getting those little cherry and pear tomatoes because they would be like peeling a grape! Lol! But it just makes me smile to see that I could get 6 pints (so far) of tomato sauce on my shelf from those little nuggets!! And if we have one of those really cold OH winters, we won’t have to go to the store. But if it’s not a bad winter, we’re still ahead because we are saving money with this “free” or inexpensive food in our pantry!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    3. Pat,
      I have always enjoyed your comments and have learned a lot from Brandy and you. I would love to try to keep potatoes over the winter for Hubby and I. Is there a particular potato that you think keeps better? I am in NY but they usually rot for me. I do have a basement. Any help of how to do this would be greatly appreciated.

      Precious

      1. They cannot freeze. They need to be kept cool and dry. Click on my potato page under the recipe tab and I have some info there about keeping potatoes in the winter.

      2. I buy 2 fifty pound bags from a farm near buy. 1 is Harvest Gold. They are our favorite. They don’t last long stored. They get soft so we use these first. The second bag is russet. They are better for storing long term. I put them is shallow boxes that I top with newspaper. I then stack them on top of each other. I check them every 2 weeks. Any that are getting soft/bad get pulled and used right away. They get stored in our unfinished cellar. Around February/March they start to get soft so whatever is left gets made into mashed potatoes or soup and frozen.

      3. Precious- Thanks for the kind words! Looks like Brandy has you covered about potato storage on her potato page (which by the way has some really nice recipes!) Here in the Midwest, I find that Russets store best in my basement. I’ve not had good luck with white potatoes that are grown in Ohio. Kennebecs and Yukon Gold can be stored also, but my favorite will always be Russets. They seem to last better.
        They do need some air which is why we made the potato bins with holes in them. Never store them next to onions or apples because their gases interact and both will rot quickly. During the winter, we are using those potatoes regularly too, which I think helps.

        Good luck!

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

      4. Accidently, we discovered a couple of years ago that some yellow potatoes kept much better than either red potatoes or russet potatoes that we bought from the same farm. We were traveling through an area and happened to see the produce stand, so I cannot go back there, and I have no idea which variety of yellow potatoes they were. We bought some large storage containers from Costco for $6 each, and kept the potatoes in those with the lids on in an unheated garage. We had a maritime type climate with freezing temperatures outside at night but not below zero. The garage was insulated, also. I looked through the potatoes every day or so to make sure there was no rot getting started. I would like to do that again.

      5. I also live in NY (Finger Lakes area). I have had good luck storing Russetts and especially the locally grown Kennebec potatoes, a white variety. I keep them in bags and boxes in an enclosed but NOT heated porch area with a vented crawl space under it. I also keep a thermometer in that room all winter, and, if below-freezing temps threaten, I move the potatoes (and the onions, and the apples…) to a different part of the house just for overnight. (Lots of moving can go on during serious cold snaps!) It’s usually March before they start to sprout. Don’t forget to check them frequently and remove any that are starting to spoil.

        On a side note, one spring a couple years ago I had about 10 pounds of sprouting Kennebecs left from what I had bought from a local farmer in the fall. I thought “what do I have to lose?”, so cut them up and planted them in my own garden. That 10 lbs turned into 84 pounds in the fall! Bonanza!!

  2. This week I picked raspberries,cabbage,beetroot, carrots and runner beans . I am leaving the large beans for seed.I uncovered the brussels sprouts from the netting cage made to keep out insects and butterflies. I turned the compost heap to save money and feed the soil later in the year.

    I pulled out lavender from the drive where they like to germinate. These have been planted in the front garden

    I made stock from a chicken carcass in the pressure cooker to save electric I Cooked beetroot in the pressure cooker and pickled them for the larder. All meals have been cooked from scratch.

    I did out the airing cupboard and found all the spare blankets, putting away summer clothes and getting out the winter clothes.

    We went to the Optician and hubby needs new lenses so we went to the man who makes up glasses for the trade. He charges about half the price that the optician does and we will use his existing frames.

    We went into town to buy thermal underwear in Primark. The ladies vests were £11 but upstairs the mens were £6 guess which I bought. The sleeves are too long but I will take these up.

    I hope everyone body has a good week
    Chris

  3. Your relish and pickles are beautiful, as are the zinnias.
    I planted more lettuce in the greenhouse. The lettuce I planted before failed to germinate, I think because of the heat wave we were in. I’m hoping now that it’s cooler the lettuce will germinate. I harvested the last of my red cabbage. It was very small because of the heat, but I was able to use it to make three pints of Danish Christmas cabbage, which I canned. I also harvested four acorn squash from the one squash plant I was able to grow this year. I am storing these for future meals. After I harvested the cabbage and squash we were able to disconnect the irrigation from those two beds. I froze more chopped peppers. We are harvesting lots of tomatoes and peppers. I am freezing a lot of the tomatoes for future salsa. I harvested the last of the green beans. We took out the bean trellis and installed hoops and plastic over the bed. I have broccoli and cabbage that I planted late August that should make in the next month or so, protected by this hoop house.
    I baked two loaves of sandwich bread and made and froze 4 pie crusts for future meals. A friend gave me more zucchini and I made zucchini bread and shredded more to freeze.
    We spent a day in the national forest cutting a cord of firewood. This is our last trip of the year. Now we just have to split and stack all this wood!
    I admired the sunflowers growing in front of my neighbor’s house and she kindly shared some seeds with me. I planted them, following her directions, in hopes that I, too, will have a display of these wild sunflowers next year.
    I mended two of my husband’s shirts. My hairbrush had a crack down the back. I forced glue into the crack and clamped it. Now you can’t even tell there was a crack. I would much rather mend something I already own that have to purchase a new item.

  4. This wasn’t much of a frugal week because we went to Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada, for 3 days. Prices in Canada are generally higher than in the US (the economy is different) but the strong US dollar mostly made up for it. (Currently, $1 Cdn = .75 USD). Fairmont is located in the Canadian Rockies, near Alberta, and a few miles from the headwaters of the Columbia River. For those of you in Washington and Oregon, the Columbia River gets its start at the south end of Columbia Lake. It’s only a few feet wide and it’s in grassy wetlands, so hard to spot. As a former Portlander, where the mighty Columbia is deep and wide, I was thrilled to see this. I was also thrilled when a young black bear crossed the highway about 50 feet from our car and turned and stared at us when he was directly in front of us. And, because you all know by now that I am easily entertained, I got a kick out of seeing the stores our Canadian friends mention in their comments–Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Tim Hortons and even No Frills! A trip like this isn’t exactly frugal…but it is why we ARE frugal, so we can do things like this occasionally. Fairmont is 200 miles from where I live in northern Idaho. We got 29.7 mpg with our 2018 Honda Pilot–the best gas mileage ever.

    My husband accidentally left his jacket at home and it was cold at night and in the mornings. We went to Invermere, the nearest town, and did not see a Wal-Mart or anything like it. Then I spotted a thrift store! He found the perfect jacket, in excellent condition, for $15.50! It’s his new fave.

    I’m harvesting tomatoes from the volunteer plant, which I think might be a Big Boy. I also have two zukes on the vine. The mystery cantaloupes aren’t quite ready to pick, but they are getting there.  I chopped up my backlog of zukes in the mini-processor and froze six 2 cup bags. One of the zukes was on the big side, so I scooped out all the seeds first. I chopped up the rest, seeds and all.
     
    I saved nasturtium seeds for next year. (I grow the Alaska variety, which has variegated leaves and trail a bit).

    Although I used zip-locks to freeze the zucchini, I reused a lot of products as well–paper grocery sacks to line the kitchen trash, bread bags to cover food in the fridge and freezer, and I washed foil and even a couple of zip-locks. I admit I don’t wash foil and baggies if they are too groady, but these weren’t. I peeled off the label and saved a padded envelope that came in the mail. I used cloth napkins and rags for cleaning. These are all part of the usual frugal stuff for us. (The inside of my freezer looks like a recycling center, LOL).

    Ground beef was $2.99 last week–not a barnburner of a sale, but still a decent price. I bought 12 lbs. and used 3 lbs. for two meatloaves. I baked one and added the other to my stash of frozen ready meals.

    I enjoyed reading all of last week’s comments, especially Leigh Ann’s, because it reminded me to pay my quarterly taxes on time and avoid a fine!! (another frugal accomplishment).

    I hope everyone here has a wonderful week. Beautiful pictures as always, Brandy. The pickles and relish look de-lish, and the flowers are gorgeous!

    1. We use our chicken feed and dog food bags for our garbage cans. I even have our neighbor saving his dog food bags for ue! And he must buy a higher quality dog food because they are that woven plastic, not paper. I give those to a freind who makes them into grocery bags and then sells them. She also has another friend who does that for her and she ends up making quite a bit on her side gig. She is too old and stove up to work a regular job so this brings in extra income. It does my heart good to see her putting something to use that would be thrown out and making money at it. I wish the neighbor’s dogs ate more so she’d end up with more pasticized bags to recycle!

    2. Maxine, my sister was over and saw me washing out ziploc bags (not the ones with meat, obviously, though my husband sometimes takes them for his toolbench stuff) and she was horrified (and she is very frugal). She said, “I can’t believe you’ve turned into mom!” When I grabbed a bag to send something home with her, she said, “that’s not one you used and washed, is it?” Of course it was! It had previously had bagels in it.🤦🏼‍♀️ I got a kick out of a photo on Facebook that showed a stack of Wonder bread bags and the comment was, “It’s time to break out the snow socks!”, which hit home with all of us from the 50s-60s. 😂😂 I used them with my kids in the 90s-00s and they thought it was the neatest thing! And WORKED!

      1. Ha ha. We have those bags at all stages in our dirty dishes, dish drainer, near the dish drainer still drying, and in the pantry in old baggie boxes. Sometimes even I get overwhelmed with them and throw some in the trash. (Shhh…please don’t tell the kids! My in-laws gave us a bunch of free freezer bags so it’s easier to be cavalier with them! I know I shouldn’t do that. It’s usually when company is coming over and I don’t have time.) We are constantly using ones that used to say: monster cookies, pumpkin muffins, tomatoes etc all crossed out and ready for the next item, lol.

      2. My grandma used bread bags for braided rugs. I found several in the cupboard after my mom’s death. Unfortunately, the rugs were too sticky and deteriorated to use… which was sad. I loved my grandma, and would have ‘appropriated’ these years earlier!

        I remember seeing them at the front door for years, holding wet boots. And yes, I also remember seeing them used for boot liners. (Newspapers work, too, something that Bill Cullen pointed out in his Irish memoir, “It’s A Long Way from Penny Apples.” REALLY good, and lots of moneysaving ideas.

  5. Though I don’t often say, I always go through your link to make Amazon purchases. I so appreciate all the time and effort you put in here, and it’s such an easy thing to do, to help just a bit. I’m currently enjoying reading The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle, thanks to the mentions here. Last week, I prepped and froze pawpaws, and froze tomatoes. I made onion powder from dehydrated onions, and dried another round in the dehydrator. I harvested squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, butter beans, cowpeas, eggplant, peppers, pawpaws, and green beans. I made a small batch of cowboy candy with gifted hot peppers, which will be used as gifts. Sweet potato slices were dehydrated for the pups, which finally used up all of last year’s potatoes. Still having plenty of jars of canned green beans, I froze some this time, and also froze more figs and tomatoes. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2022/09/making-use-of-our-homegrown-produce.html

    1. Laurie, thank you (and everyone who does the same!) so much for this! I just got paid from Amazon (I take it in credit) and I was able to order a new vacuum this morning! We have fixed ours many times but it was beyond repair this time.

      1. I would like to remind your readers how easy it is to order from Amazon and give Brandy a commission without forgetting. I think most of us have Amazon on our Favorites list. Delete it. Then, come to this site and click on any of the thumbnail pictures at the end of Brandy’s post. Today, that would be dill pickle mix, canning tools, aprons, water bath canners and the Ball Blue Book. (I did this so long ago my picture is hobnail mixing bowls). At this point, you are “in” Brandy’s account and can search for whatever items you want (not necessarily the thumbnail pictures–ANYTHING). You only have to do this once. Now, save this page to Favorites. I named mine “Amazon via Brandy.” Simply click on this Favorite whenever you want to order and Brandy will receive a small commission for your purchase and it doesn’t cost you anything. She would never give you all the details of how to do this, probably because she doesn’t want to look grabby, LOL!

        Congraduations on the new vac, Brandy. What kind did you get?

        1. Thanks, Maxine. It is best if it is a new link every time, though, they say at Amazon. So maybe change it up sometimes so they still give me credit.

          I bought a Hoover WindTunnel. It was the newer version of what I bought years ago.

        2. Maxine, thanks for the idea about using an Amazon favorite, that way I won’t forget ;). And Brandy, I saw your followup comment, I will change it out frequently!

        3. Thanks for explaining, Maxine. I couldn’t figure out what to do when i wanted to order through Brandy’s site. I’m totally unschooled in internet how-to. Much appreciated!
          Debbie

          1. Julie, I tried to get the Canadian links to work, but sadly, Amazon wasn’t seeing any links and it deleted my Canadian and U.K. accounts. I can only receive credit for U.S. purchases at this time.

        4. Thank you. I came to her website a couple of times intending to do it, but couldn’t figure out how to do it and gave up. I appreciate this.

        1. I get credit for anything you add to your cart (and purchase within 24 hours) after clicking through to Amazon’s site from any of my links.

      1. I use Jackie Clay’s recipe below. They’re good with cheese and crackers, and with meats. I use a mix of peppers.
        COWBOY CANDY

        3 lbs. jalapeño peppers
        6 cups sugar
        2 cups white vinegar
        ½ tsp. turmeric
        ½ tsp. celery seed
        3 tsp. granulated garlic

        Slice jalapeños. If you don’t want so much heat, cut off top and cut out seeds and ribs before slicing ¼ inch thick. If you are sensitive or can’t keep from wiping your eyes (burns like crazy if you do!), wear plastic gloves.

        Add all ingredients but peppers into a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add peppers. Bring to a boil and simmer 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove peppers and pack into half-pint jars. Bring syrup to a boil and boil hard for 6 minutes. This thickens the syrup somewhat. Ladle over sliced peppers, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Wipe rim of jar, add previously simmered lid, and screw down ring firmly tight. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

  6. Could you explain about Streamcast? My husband has been looking for this. He’s familiar with Streamcast, he says, but doesn’t know how to see college ball for free. (We listened to the Michigan game Saturday, which was nice — but it would have been better to see the action.)

    Have you read THE PATRON SAINT OF BREAD by Lindsay Eagar? Based on your other book choices, I think you would love this.

    The garden is still going, thanks to the fact that we have no more grasshoppers. (The stinkers.) The second batch of greens I planted is growing nicely, and we’re getting a lot of zucchini. But the end is definitely drawing near in Colorado. I’m hoping the greens will hang in there for another month or so.

    1. I would Google it. It was streamcast.xyz one time and a different ending another time. I don’t know all the details but my husband has been able to find games from his alma mater three weeks in a row that way. It did go down a number of times but he was able to reload it and not miss much. He hasn’t watched almost any football since we were married (22 years now) so this has been a nice change for him, especially as he was an all-star football player long before we met.

    2. Cindy I am seeing grasshoppers for the first time ever in my garden. It was strange today I have a plant called a Toothache Plant it has beautiful yellow cone flowers that when chewed will numb your mouth. I noticed the leaves were moving took a stick and waved it around in the plant and there was a huge grasshopper in there. Found another one in my dying green bean plants and hope he leaves my cucumber plants that I planted for fall and finally getting some cucumbers off of for the first time this year. I don’t know what they eat or how they destroy or how to get rid of them. I’m in Ohio.

  7. This week was a little bit spendy. My birthday was Saturday. On Friday my husband took the day off and took me to Harper’s Ferry, WV. Then we went to a Goodwill in a more affluent area and had lunch out. My husband paid for this with tips from work. On Saturday, I went to a couple of discount stores with my mom and she took me out to lunch. Then, my husband and I went out for dinner by ourselves. All of Saturday’s spending was from cashing in our change jar. My mom gave me a couple of emilie Barnes books and some money which I used to buy a new denim skirt from Cato. My husband allowed me to buy a new denim overall dress as his gift. I felt very loved.

    We were given several dozen ears of corn. We’ll eat it twice this week and I froze a couple of quarts as well. We were also given some jalapenos. I plan to make some poppers.

    My mother in law is selling her house to my brother (our families have always been close) and we went to help her pack. We brought home scrap metal, a pressure canner, a space heater, and a turkey fryer, among other things. I’m sure there will be more before it’s all said and done. She is a bit of a hoarder and she’s really struggling to part with things even though she knows she can’t move with everything.

    I found some markdown chicken at the grocery store.

  8. I signed up for a year of Peacock for 19.99. I’m wanting to ditch satellite and I can watch Yellowstone on there.

    The teen made scalloped potatoes and homemade chips

    I ate breakfast and/or lunch at work most days

    I found 2 milk crates on side of road. Brought them home to use for jars

    The boy got me a McDonald’s cheese danish to try. (Save your money)

    The teen found her shoes for homecoming for $40. She managed to stay under $100 for what she needed on dress and shoes.

    I found a freezer burned venison tenderloin in the freezer. I thawed it and put it in the oven when I was cooking something else. I cooled it, then divided up between the dogs. I stopped buying moist and canned food to go with their crunchy, so they enjoyed a treat.

    Washed the dogs at home

    1. You will love Yellowstone. I was able to get a year of Peacock for free because we have Spectrum cable. We binge watched it and now I can’t wait until the new season comes out in December. For any of you who have Walmart +, you can now get Paramount + as a benefit. The prequel to Yellowstone is on there. It is 1883.

  9. Hello!

    We are having unusually hot weather in our area, so I have been line drying all of our bulk items such as blankets, rugs, etc. I don’t have a clothesline, but I use a rack and our fence.

    I started a tin to hold cracker crumbs. It’s interesting how quickly the can gets filled up, mostly from my kid’s snacks and lunch left overs. I’ve been using the crumbs quite often, for things like salmon patties and meatloaf.

    I stumbled upon an $2 Ibotta credit from Conagra Foods by signing up for their newsletter.

    Thought I would share this article on specific shortages: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/supply-chain-shortages/

    I found a very nice art print in a thrift store for $3. The only evident damage was that the frame was scratched. I brought it home, sanded it a bit, and repainted the frame a new color.

    I wanted to order some essential oils that I like to add to my homemade cleaning products. I prefer phthalate-free, natural fragrances. I remembered that I had found a line of natural products by Airwick that had made their way to Dollar Tree. I’m kind of scared to use the plug-in devices, so I used the fragrance vial portion for my homemade products, in place of essential oil. It smells so good….a light vanilla scent. I saved so much money by not ordering the pricier oils.

    Have a great week!

  10. Love the colour of the flowers and such lovely photos. I repaired 3 pairs of trousers, sewed my husbands pyjamas and re-stitched a zip back in place. I have been line drying washing and washing heavy items before our electricity prices increase. We have been lucky as I tied us into a contract 2 years ago (ends in November) so we have not seen the big price increases yet.
    I’ve been inspired by your post on aprons and looked in my fabric stash and found some colourful material, so will be sewing new aprons this week. The ribbon for the ties was given to me so these should be inexpensive makes.
    I have been shocked that some cupboard staples have increased by 20% in a week, couscous and basmati rice being just 2 . I’m making portion sizes smaller, as we don’t do heavy manual work, we really dont need as many calories.
    I’ve taken a lot of plant cuttings as I intend on only using what I have grown myself next year. I will be making a list of seeds that I have and only replacing ones that are edibles.
    Thank you for your weekly posts, I learn so much from yourself and your readers.

  11. Gas was $2.96 in University town, and $2.39 45 minutes away. I worked in a different county today so don’t know the gas price where I normally work two hours south of University town. I made a modified version of Brandy’s Tuscan soup using what I had, roasted potatoes diced, roasted onions diced, can of diced tomatoes, fresh spinach, and bread soaked in beef bullion. I took simple sandwiches all week for lunch, as always. I made hot dogs and hamburgers for the middle son over the weekend. I bought dry cat food, Aleve for son since he hurt his back moving furniture, and Suave deodorant for me, since the town where I was working had a Walmart and I didn’t have to make an extra trip. I bought little tomatoes for $2.50, 39 cent ears of corn, spinach, a spaghetti squash as well as a sweet onion, and a small bag of red potatoes this weekend at Target in University town. I think the potatoes will last me until next week, as well as the onion. Air conditioner still broken and off but it is going to be really hot this week so I will not be spending much time at home. I am really busy at work so this works out well.

  12. I think I mentioned Sarah Ladd – glad you enjoyed her books. I’ve enjoyed every single one. I love the time period it’s set in for her books. Congrats on the canning and the organizer for the drawer. And thank you for the beautiful flower pictures.

    I canned also this week from our fruit trees. I canned 16 quarts of peaches and 10 quarts of nectarines. I haven’t canned nectarines before. I asked a question on a canning facebook group. I didn’t need to peel the nectarines. Many people stated they liked canned nectarines better than canned peaches. My peaches were huge because I had thinned and pruned. I did the same with my nectarine tree but it went crazy. The nectarines were smaller. I will be more on top of it next spring. All canning recipes are from the Ball Canning Book.

    I was able to upload several receipts to Ibotta and Fetch.

    From my local Buy Nothing Group I received a beautiful farmhouse style wooden box, play sunglasses for my granddaughter, 3 Bath & Body Works pocket sanitizers that were brand new, 2 new apple iPod ear buds, 2 necklaces and 2 farmhouse style picture frames 11 x 17.

    I bought 2 new pajamas – one for me and one for my daughter- on clearance. I will save those for Christmas.

    I read several books from the library and also the Libby app. Patrice Greenwood (who owns a tea shop in New Mexico), Darcie Wilde (Rosaline Thorne series) and Margaret Scutt. I also read a book about creative stitching for mending clothes.

    My ribs are healing slowly so my activities have been much more sedentary. My meals have been very simple – eggs & toast, take out pizza, soup, grilled cheese.

    I discovered a trick to dry my laundry quicker – I think it’s been mentioned here. But I tried it and it worked really well. I put a dry towel in the dryer with my wet clothes and everything dries much faster.

    Our gas prices are still well over $4/gallon. A news report was done showing that gas prices are higher in my county than surrounding counties. There doesn’t appear to be a good reason – so I am filling up when I have errands outside my county to save money. I’m still combining as many errands as possible.

    Have a great week everyone.

      1. I know, right? I was so happy that they just need to be pitted. I’m really excited to try them after canning them. Our nectarines were really sweet this year. I’m a bit excited for next year’s crop! They were so easy to can.

  13. My computer stopped working completely for several weeks, and is now working off and on. I’ve now ordered a reconditioned used one off E-bay, so I’ll see how that works out. A very young woman (on a very young person’s budget) I met at the library told me she has had very good results with one she bought that way, and buying used is saving hundreds of dollars over buying new.
    A friend of mine stopped her car when she saw me walking home with my groceries, and offered me a tote bag full of zucchini from her garden. She also told me to let her know if I wanted more and she would bring them by. There were quite a few price increases on groceries Sept. 1, so I took her up on it. She brought me another even bigger bag. I am eating as much fresh as is reasonable for one person. The rest is being frozen and will find its way into soup or chili. My sister-in-law is in long-term care with some days of memory loss and confusion. She has a history of making great, healthy meals on a tight budget. We had a long and happy chat about our favorite ways to use zucchini.
    My sister-in-law also told me about Queen Elizabeth’s death, which had happened the day we spoke. I hadn’t heard because of my computer being broken. My SIL was born in the UK. We had a long and cheerful reminiscence of some of our favorite stories about the Queen. We have known each other 57 years, but it was the first we knew of each other’s affection for the Queen.
    I bought a bag of 15 organic garlic bulbs from a local-ish farmer, who is donating some of the proceeds through her cousin to a small town in Western Ukraine that has taken in 1200 people fleeing the war and is raising money to feed them all. I was able to pick it up at a store that sells alternative health related things that is half a short block away at this time of year when I can take a shortcut across my backyard to get there. We had a lot of trouble getting garlic at the store last year, so it is great to have a supply.
    I have started cleaning up my unfinished basement by clearing out some spider webs and spraying for spiders in one bad section around a window. Yuck. I’ve started with the worst job first.
    My main frugal accomplishment though has been to set some achievable, high-priority goals for a few months that really help me focus my spending and saving and stop me from worrying about lower priority spending.

  14. I was able to get a large container of plain yogurt and a large cantaloupe for a total of $2.34 on Flash Food- which is a very good price here. Things that we eat frequently like eggs, cabbage, carrots and apples were found on sale this past week. The cost to fill up the gas tank has dropped again. Our electric tea kettle broke and the price to replace it seemed quite reasonable-hopefully it will last. All meals were made at home-including some healthy homemade soups.

    We continue to enjoy free exercise( walking and biking) in our neighbourhood. We also enjoyed free books from the library. Free entertainment was provided by a mama moose and her baby who we spotted from our back window yesterday(first time in 21 years living in this house)!

    Of course there were some frugal fails and increasing expenses too-but I will skip those for today!

    Wishing you all a good week.

  15. Hello Everyone!
    This week I’ve been doing a lot of baking. I made a sheet cake from scratch for a family member’s birthday. I had all the ingredients on hand. In addition I baked a dozen whole wheat apple muffins, using up withering apples. I’m baking 2 loaves of sourdough French bread (King Arthur recipe) and 2 loaves of cracked wheat sandwich bread today.
    Last week I used soft blueberries (that no one was eating) for pancake sauce. I sautéed butter, brown sugar, cinnamon , dried lemon zest with the blueberries until they bubbled. Delicious! 😋 I roasted a chicken using rosemary and lemons from our garden. It was a recipe from Victoria Magazine and it was superb! Tonight I’m making minestrone soup for dinner.

    I played tennis on a public court with friends. I brought my lunch and drink so I wouldn’t be tempted to grab a sandwich out, while I combined errands to save gas. One stop was the Dollar Tree (now $1.25). I purchased gift bags, tissue paper, cards, candles and balloons. I used some leftover helium from a tank purchased last spring for graduation. I made my own balloon bouquet. The Dollar Tree is so much less than Target for comparable birthday items!

    It was windy yesterday and a beautiful pot fell over and broke. 😢 But, we got over 1.5 inches of badly needed rain last night. We turned off the irrigation system. I suspect we have a leak as our bill was higher than usual. We’ll have to investigate that.

    I was tempted to go to JoAnn again for another pattern sale this weekend. I talked myself out of it because I have plenty of sewing projects on deck. I saved gas, time, and money by resisting. We pulled out Halloween and fall decorations that we already have.

    I made some store returns on items we decided against. I ran more errands while in the area. I find I leave the house less to save gas, time and temptation. Gas prices are rising again in CA.
    I cut open a tube of lotion to use the last of it. Finally, I joined the fall Bible study at church. I purchased the book used to save $10. It’s like-new and without marks. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Guessing someone didn’t have the time.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone! ☔️

    1. I had to sigh when you referenced a leak in your irrigation system. Apparently one of our underground hoses burst and so it was like leaving a tap full on. The WHOLE summer. It was literally money down the drain. I just wish it hadn’t been $3000…

  16. My best buy recently was a gallon of white vinegar for 99 cents as I had $5 in extra bucks at CVS. I’m trying to use their coupons to add to my pantry and other resource stock ups. Free entertainment for Hubby and puppy this past week has been going to the small dog park. I also asked the vet to prescribe medication for the pup’s skin problem rather than giving him a shot which saved a lot. Sadly with our previous dog I got really good at getting pills down a dog’s throat. Just made a double batch of chili with half the amount of meat and will freeze a lot. Green lentil and carrot soup is next for freezing. I am thinking I need a new computer but am first researching how to make my really old one work better (and backing up all my files). Same old stuff of mending, using everything up, etc.

  17. I know it seems redundant but your pictures are truly beautiful 🤩 I find peace and joy looking at them.
    Our frugal accomplishments:
    *2 free candy bars when making an Amazon return at Kohl’s ($5 Kohl’s cash)
    *gratefully accepted 2 new muffin tins and 2 soaker hoses from grandpa moving into a senior living home
    *sold some color street nails I was given awhile back for $3 cash
    📍Buy Nothing Group: a new, sealed strategy board game
    📍Facebook Marketplace: I’ve been looking for some new tennis shoes for myself (been 3+ years since I’ve bought some). I was thrilled to find some adidas ones for $10- very gently used. We also were gifted 1 gallon, and 4 quarts of paint barely used- in colors we can use for projects at our house!

    Take care everyone 💜

  18. Hello! My town held a community yard sale, I spent $5.50 on 3 planters, 2 quart size mason jars, 2 books and a Snoopy thermos from 1965!
    I also helped my sister in law set up her items and she gave me 2 under bed storage containers, an essential oil diffuser, and a brand new Vera Bradley tote bag. The tote is perfect because my messenger bag I use for work fell apart. I combined CVS Extrabucks & a 40% off coupon to purchase nail polish to use as a stocking stuffer for my daughter. I found 2 unused restaurant gift cards that have $25 each on them, will save for a night out when we don’t feel like cooking. Made 2 pots of soup: chicken vegetable and black bean. Both were made with leftovers and bits of this and that, that were in the freezer. Fed my husband and I along with garden tomato sandwiches for dinners for the week. Both of my adult children live away and I have the idea to make up mixes for them as Christmas gifts. Gardenpat, if you read this, is there a book that you use as a reference for all of your mixes or can I find the recipes on your Pinterest? Matter of fact, if anyone has recipes for mixes I’d be honored if you’d share!

      1. Actually, I misspoke. The author of Little House Living is Merissa, not Melissa. Was so close to your name I got them confused. But, I hope you find some of her ideas useful. 🙂

    1. Melissa Y- Over the years, I’ve gathered mix recipes I use and put them on a Pinterest board for convenience- Here’s the link to it: https://pin.it/6tY0BSe. I also have a book from years ago- The Perfect Mix by Diane Philips. I haven’t used most her recipes (except her California Corn bread mix which is incredible), but I use her book to give me ideas on how to package these mixes in baskets, etc. with other small accessories to make really impressive gifts on a tiny budget!
      The Make A Mix and More Make a Mix books are on my shelf, well used and I still love those. Budget101 online has a ton of wonderful mix recipes! I particularly like and use their muffin mixes. Here’s a link: https://www.budget101.com/category/recipes/mix-recipes/.

      Hope this helps!

      Gardenpat in Ohio
      HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

  19. I’m always so pleased to see this pop up on Mondays! Sounds like you had a great week, Brandy. *My son had another longing to order pizza, but instead I made Italian Dunkers. I cut a loaf of french bread lengthwise, spread compound butter all over the insides (butter with garlic powder, Italian seasoning and basic) then added mozzerella, some colby and some parmesan cheese. Baked and dunked in marinara sauce. He was very pleased. The bread was $1 at Walmart. Another night it was just me at home alone, so I made myself oatmeal for dinner. * I took the time to make a list of pantry meals that I could make without any additional ingredients from the store. It was calming to see that I’m doing better with that than I expected. * I saw a Halloween decoration kit at the store to make black and orange pompoms to string together for a garland. I immediately thought that I have everything on hand for that already so I spent some time doing that this week and it turned out cute. I hung it on my mantle. * enjoyed myself watching shows and reading library books. * finished crocheting the nine winter hats for my kids for Christmas. * Hope everyone has a great week!

    1. Thanks for sharing the Italian Dunkers! I’m definitely going to add that to my meal plan! My guys will love that!

  20. Happy almost fall – September 22.

    I went through my toiletries storage. I took out all the sample sizes for lotions and sunscreen. I will use them up first. The SPF does have expiration. I kept a couple of the empty trial size screw top minis to carry some of my special hair gel for traveling.

    I stopped by Grocery Outlet on my way home from work. I had a small list of items I needed to make “Olive Garden Gnocchi” soup. I am still doing the pantry challenge and have a packet of shelf stable gnocchi to use up. I must have hit the store just right – Monday at 2:00. I found drastically reduced pre-seasoned chicken leg quarters – 10 pounds four $4.50. I bought two boxes of Post cereal for .99 each. they are funky flavors ( vanilla and caramel macchiato) but who cares. I also splurged on Cracker Barrel precut sharp cheddar cheese for 1.99 for 8 ounces. DH loves these and they are a quick snack for him.

    I read last week someone talking about coffee limit of .36 cents a cup. That sounds like a good price. I have a Nespresso machine but the pods are nearly .80 a piece which is outrageous. Grocery Outlet every now and then has knock offs that fit the machine. I picked up a bunch for .30 cents a piece. I also found two half gallon ice coffee from international Delight. .50 each. So I am set for coffee for months.

    I had a dream getaway with hubby – two days, one night in San Francisco. I used my IHG credit card points for a free hotel room. Had I paid for it it would be nearly $500 for the night. I have looked into every point program. This has by far been the most lucrative. I signed up and received a free 250,00o points. I am not sure that deal still exists. It hands down beats my old Citibank cashback which would only give about $350 for the year. Everything I buy goes on it and then it automatically gets paid off at the end of every month . I have stayed at least 10 nights for free in luxury locations. It has far and away paid for its $65 dollar annual fee. We had a wonderful time watching a SF Giants/ LA Dodger game. Our friend gifted us two tickets on row 1 behind the Dodger dugout. It was incredible to be that close. Breakfast was free at the hotel. We bought a muni bus pass to get around. I did use an Uber once and paid for parking at the hotel – $61. Altogether, it was a once in a lifetime thing. I want to remember to bless people in the same way that I have been blessed.

    1. Mary Ann, what are HG credit card points? What company is the affiliated with. I would like to check out this program too. Thanks, Penny

      1. Hi Penny,

        I think Mary Ann was referring to IHG – Intercontinental Hotel Group – it’s the hotel chain that Holiday Inn and Comfort Suites fall under. (We use them for military moves as they run the on-base hotels now.)

        I hope that helps. 🙂
        ~Melonie

      2. Penny,

        IHG includes the Holiday Inn, Klimpton, Intercontinental, Staybridge. I looked back for a similar offer of 150,000 bonus points. The ad said it was good until Dec. 1 but the link now “states no longer available.” I would wait for a similar offer. I remember now I got the 150,000 and then it allowed me to buy up some extra points. That with my card purchases totaled the 250,000. In order to get the bonus I had to spend 3,000 on the card in three months. I bought Southwest giftcards from Sam’s Club at a discount because I fly my son home from school so I spent the money in advanced for his next two year’s trips.

  21. Hi Brandy,
    I am happy you were able to open windows last week in the morning. I also was able to for a few hours but the house never cooled down much…but I love the smell of fresh air! On the frugal side, I got a Costco chicken carcass out of the freezer and made a big pot of chicken noodle soup, including one big meal for the two of us and then sent the remaining four portions into the freezer. Also made a batch of chili, another four remaining portions into the freezer. Our bedroom side AC unit is still broken, no parts yet. We ate lunch out yesterday for the first meal out this month! I was so tired of cooking and was a happy person to finally get a meal where someone else did the planning, cooking and dishes! And I could only eat half my meal, so that is what my husband had for lunch today. I reorganized our second/backup pantry (it is in my closet since that is where there was space) and it looks much better. Just starting to review the last few months of this years’ budget and starting on 2023. Have overspent this year but in reviewing what we spent, it was deliberate (for example, I heavily stocked our freezer and pantry because prices are increasing every month so the extra money spent should save me money in the next six months. Brandy, I don’t have nearly the wonderful pantry that you have, but am getting there 🙂

  22. I hit the jackpot at the thrift store this week, a brand new, in the box, never opened food saver for $15. I have been having fun using it all week. Hubby and I canned 12 pints of plain applesauce. Next up cinnamon apple sauce. I have been collecting black walnuts wherever I see them. I have gotten a large box worth so far. They little boy I watch wanted to go to the beach again. We went with his mom and grandmother. Since it was after Labor Day parking was free. We collected lots of shells. I will do a science unit on them with him. We found cactus on the dunes. D’s mom used her phone to identify that they were prickly pear cactus. We were able to collect about a dozen. Most were still partly green so we will go back soon for more. I keep work gloves in my car bag so we were able to pick them. D’s mom treated me to lunch all 3 days that I worked. She also gave me an almost full loaf of artesian bread that they paid $9 for at a Farmer’s market that they didn’t like. Clearance at Stop & Shop got me tissues for 54¢, hot sauce for 67¢ and boxed soy milk for 82¢. I went to get eye roasts that were on sale for $2.49 a pound. I bought the 2 I was allowed for the freezer. The garden is still giving me lots of goodies. I picked lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, jalapeno peppers, poblano peppers, figs and pole beans. My son took my daughter’s car to work with him one day to do her oil change. We only paid for the oil and filter cost. A friend’s mom passed away last year right around the holidays. They had a memorial for her this weekend. They had it catered and the food was delicious. She sent me home with cookies. We are getting ready incase any hurricanes make it here. Hubby filled up the 2 empty propane tanks. I have been filling up all juice and milk containers with tap water. I checked that all of our portable chargers are working and charged. Hubby filled up the empty gas can. Less things to worry about if a storm does come our way. Stay safe everyone.

      1. We even have prickly pear cactus here in the Colorado mountains! They must be very hardy. They seldom make much fruit here, but the blossoms each summer are very pretty.

      2. We have Eastern prickly pear cactus growing in our yard. It grows throughout the 20 foot pea gravel barrier that we have from our bulkhead to the rest of the backyard. It does not seem to mind the salt water when at high tide during a storm the waves bring the saltwater over the bulkhead. We are constantly battling its spread into the rest of our yard. It makes lovely yellow flowers that butterflies and bees love and tiny fruit. We have never tried to harvest the fruit as it is not worth the effort as it is so very tiny and once the skin is removed, there is very little fruit. And very prickly. It only grows about a foot tall here and at first frost, it wilts and then freezes. Because of special antifreeze chemicals in its cells, it can survive freezing temperatures. It perks up again in warm weather. It is actually invasive, loves sandy soil, and grows throughout the Shore. Here’s some interesting info on it
        https://www.fs.usda.gov/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/opuntia_humifusa.shtml

    1. Cactus outdoors in NY?! What a surprise!! My Tias in New Mexico made the most delicious Prickly Pear jelly!! I always buy some of those, pinons (pine nuts), and a red chili ristra when we pass through.

  23. We had to be away for two weeks just as my small garden was finally ripening up. I asked the elderly lady next door to water it and harvest what she could use, as well as look in on the house for insurance purposes. She was delighted as she got fresh produce (she’s on a fixed income) and, as she is very independent, she doesn’t feel bad asking us to assist her when she needs things done in her house. Win-win for everyone! (We would help her anyway, btw).
    *I picked my green beans on my return and had 5 pints of Dilly Beans, as well as 7 pints of tomatoes for canning. I dehydrated the cherry tomatoes and had a quart filled.
    *I found some meat marked down, and pressure canned 3 pints of beef chunks. From a chicken carcass, I made broth and then used it with bits of leftover chicken and vegetables to p/can 4 quarts of chicken soup. One jar didn’t seal so we had it for lunch and it was delicious!
    *I thought I had missed out on peach season here with being away, but I inquired at my greengrocer’s and was able to order 100 lbs. Plus they gave me 30% off for buying in bulk!
    * Peaches are more annoying to can than nectarines due to peeling them. I’ve done a lot of both. I find I like the peaches better in flavor slightly. Plus, the peaches stay a cheerful yellow color in the jar while the pinkish nectarines turn brownish over winter. Where I live, nectarines are more expensive than peaches too. But, for sure, nectarines are much faster to can!
    *While I was away, I used the Libby app to read some books off my phone. Thank you Brandy for the suggestion. It made it handy to have reading matter at no cost.
    *Frugal Fail: cream was marked way down so I bought some to make ricotta cheese. It didn’t set curds! Probably because my milk to cream ratio was off kilter. It tastes like commercial buttermilk, so I have to scramble to use it up in pancakes and baking. I should have followed instructions…
    * Otherwise a usual week, pausing to watch Queen Elizabeth‘s funeral on TV. I deeply admire her dedication to duty her whole life.

  24. Those beautiful pink flowers (Zinnias?) are amazing – what a particularly lovely shade of pink!

    I received an extra payment from the Govt. that I had not been expecting so that was a nice surprise. I’m putting half towards debt and using the other half for a few needed items that I’ve been putting off. After 3 weeks they finally got our elevator fixed where I live so I was once again able to do a big grocery shop to fill in some pantry gaps. I am hoping to catch up on all the laundry this week!

    I did purchase a camping stove and a supply of butane, along with another hot water bottle so I am well supplied now for any Winter power outages for both heat and light.

    I spent this past weekend on a decluttering and reorganizing binge – first the pantry – I discovered that I have much more than I thought (so much was being stored in bins) and that there are very few gaps left to fill for food. I decided to pull a few items to donate to my church pantry from some of my shelves. I also checked the dates on everything and moved about 8 cans into my kitchen to be used up over the next few weeks. I also updated my master list of items still to buy – nothing urgent.

    Then I tidied my bedroom storage closet – I’ve made up a bag of give-aways to leave down in the laundry room – tossed a few other things into the garbage or recycling and gave myself a lot more room in that closet. I have one cart that now has things carefully sorted in each compartment so that I can see what I have at a glance and access it without having to move 4 other things first! Such a relief.

    Finally I cleaned and reorganized my linen closet which also holds my hygiene and toiletry pantry. By reusing small organizing bins that I’d cleared from the food pantry I was able to do this without purchasing any new containers. In fact, I’ve ended up with a few empty ones for future use.

    The one cupboard left to go is my baking supply one – it’s about half way there. It was tiring but such a good feeling to have all this done.

    I was up at 4:30am this morning to watch the Queen’s funeral so I was also able to cook a few items – using up some of those cans from the pantry. I’ll freeze a few packs of ground beef in tomato tomorrow and can use them for various meals over the next few weeks. Tomorrow I’m going to defrost some more pork chops and I intend to cook them in some mushroom soup.

    Now, if I could be as diligent about getting all that paperwork sorted and organized, I’d feel 100% better!

    1. Margie from T.O.

      I believe it is very dangerous to use a camp stove indoors due to CO poisoning. You might like to do some research about this. At one point, I thought about doing the same but on researching this plus reading the labels on a camp stove itself, decided I should not do so.

      1. A fondue pot works great for things like canned soup. You use sterno cans….they make a “green” version, which is non-toxic and portable.

      2. I intend using it indoors only for emergencies – my dad did this during blackouts so I know how it works. I have a big window in my kitchen so would open that wide plus I have a Carbon Monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher. I watch vloggers all the time who use these for demo purposes – but like anything along this line you do need to be careful. Thank you for the reminder.

        1. The little bit of propane used by a camp stove for the little bit of time it takes to cook isn’t going to hurt anyone, especially if a nearby window is cracked. Now a propane heater left on all day or all night…that’s a whole ‘nother story. I may live fast and loose, but I don’t live THAT fast and loose, LOL.

  25. Brandy that is awesome your husband was able to find a football game, my husband faced that same challenge last week and found it through you tube from Russia I believe. Sad days when we can’t even watch our home team on regular tv. Your flowers are very pretty and good to have a neighbor you can share with.

  26. I was given 2 1/2 bushels of bell peppers last week and 30 pounds of ugly carrots. I canned 16 pints of bell peppers and 15 quarts of carrots and shared some of the fresh produce with neighbors. I canned 5 quarts of chicken leg quarters today. Some of the bell peppers I made stuffed bell peppers with last week and we had it for 2 meals. I cooked up more mixture yesterday and today made 18 more stuffed bell peppers which I precooked and put in the deep freezer for future meals. With rising cost of everything our budget is beyond super tight so husband and I are gathering all our bills and looking in to some kind of consolidation loan if we can find a good interest rate. Krogers here voted to strike today not sure how that will effect us but one of the things they are wanting is higher wages which I understand but if they get it that will mean higher prices for us as consumers. So bargain hunting and being frugal is even more important to us than ever before. We continue to utilize our library with DVD’s and books so thankful for that.

  27. I love seeing photos of canned goods – all those colors, just beautiful!
    *Sold eggs to neighbors and also traded some for canned goods. This has long been a great way for us to get a wider variety of canned goods for our pantry. We do not sell or trade eggs in the Winter as the hens slow down their laying rate so it is nice to have extra in the warm months to create more variety in our stash. I am routinely given egg cartons by friends, family and neighbors. It’s nice to realize that in the 16 years I have raised chickens, I have never had to buy an egg carton. I am happy to give people an outlet for their cartons other than the trash.
    *Sold a few items of my youngest’s outgrown clothes on-line. Every little bit helps.
    *I was asked to review an on-line course on teaching children money management in exchange for free access to the course. I am enjoying going through the videos, e-books and exercises. I feel like my boys have a good relationship with money at this point but am reading with particular interest the author’s advice for the teen years. Always good to learn and plan ahead. I have been reading this course instead of any library books this week.
    *I did engage in some other fun research this week. I have collected English ironstone of various makes and types since I was a teen. Maybe not a typical thing for a teenager but I am an old soul. 🙂 I love it and use it regularly, some of it daily. I spent some time on Replacements.com – a business in Greensboro, NC (about 2 hours away from me) that buys and sells all manner of tableware. It’s long been a great source for vintage and discontinued patterns and pieces. I took a few minutes to look up a few of my newer pieces (all sourced from thrift shops as are all of my pieces) and took note of when they were produced and the current selling price. The biggest surprise was a $1 teacup that is currently selling for $35. Fun to learn more about my collection and free since I didn’t buy anything. 🙂
    *We ate from the remains of the garden, the freezer and pantry with one small grocery trip for milk and some grapes on sale.
    *Winter prep for the bees includes making and repairing some equipment. My husband is making some solid bottoms for the screened bottom boards we use in summer. He is using all materials we already had on hand so no cost except for time.
    *Took my youngest son for a complimentary consultation at the orthodontist. He is only 10 but was recommended by our dentist to go as there are some things that might be done early to make the braces experience easier and more successful, if needed. Not only did we have the consultation but he had multiple X-rays (including one of his whole skull which he thought was really cool!) and digital impressions. I knew things had changed since I had braces but I was amazed at the technological advances. I think his orthodonture experience will be as pleasant as it can possibly be when the time comes. While I am very grateful to have had braces, I can’t say it was pleasant! I was very impressed and pleased to have such a thorough exam for free.
    *Wishing you and all the readers continued resilience, creativity and resourcefulness. There is an abundance of that here every week and I am constantly encouraged.

  28. Brandy: Yum on the relish! You don’t happen to have a good Chow Chow recipe, do you?

    Made 2 1/2 large batches of Chicken Enchiladas which lasted for 3 meals. Never get to freeze these. My son and husband gobble them up! Tried to find some affordable staples on line—did better going to stores. Planted more cabbage and cauliflower.

    Washed my two Newfies; reloaded all my bird feeders; started the arduous task of washing and air drying all our comforters, duvets, mattress covers and pillow shams on all the beds.

    Started looking for a formal gown for my Grandson’s wedding in the Spring. Thought I might find something “Springy” on sale this time of the year.

    We have a few really hot days coming up and then Fall temperatures arrive! Our air conditioner is broken and parts are ordered, but will not be here until after the heat wave! At least it’s under warranty! 👏👏

    Stay frosty out there! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

    1. Cheryl, you may want to try looking on Thred Up for a dress if you don’t mind used. I sort by quality (choosing new with tags and like new) and they have a wide range of items and sizes including petites and women’s. They also run sales regularly which helps make it affordable for nicer items.

  29. This has been a pretty productive and frugal week. We ate meals at home, using up all our leftovers. My husband found Nathan’s all beef hot dogs (my favorite) on clearance for half price – he bought 4 Packages. I used some to make an inexpensive dinner for myself, hubby, daughter, and son-in-law: pigs in a blanket and a free package of Bob Evans Mac & cheese. Everyone enjoyed such a simple dinner. I had dinner at my daughter’s house on Friday and brought the leftovers home, which I had for lunch on Sunday. I was invited to an Alice in Wonderland tea and movie viewing at a friend’s house on Saturday, which was a lot of fun. On Sunday, we picked the last of the beans. My mom canned 7 more quarts today and is sending some more beans home with my oldest brother. My hubby brought me home a cute decorative wagon to use on my porch – someone had thrown it away because it was broken, but he fixed it right up! I won three books from an Instagram giveaway. I’ve finished one more set of washcloths for Christmas, and I’ve been reading what I own or can get from the library (although I haven’t been reading much at all for me).

    1. Alice, I love a themed tea idea! I don’t know why I never thought of that!! I used to have a Valentine’s Day tea for my single and widowed friends. VD is such a bummer day for some people that i was thrilled at how happy it made them to have fun plans. We did a cookie exchange, too. I loved putting it together and decorating. And take home favors and VD cards,of course!
      Sandwiches and scones could be made earlier so the only real last minute thing was the hot tea. I usually made 3 types, iced water, and lemonade. Oh, I could’ve had fun with a non lovey dovey theme!!

  30. Your canning looks so yummy! Sounds like it was a good week! (Except for the scorpion you mentioned on IG. Eeek!)

    My frugal week:
    – baked a batch of my shortcut everything bagels (http://approachingfood.com/preservative-free-shortcut-everything-bagels/)
    – lent a friend a black top and skirt I have, to attend a funeral. Saved her from having to buy an outfit.
    – I made a pan of my award-winning healthy apple crumble ( https://approachingfood.com/harvest-apple-crumble/ )
    – baked a loaf of banana bread, using flax eggs as I was out of eggs
    – made a batch of cheddar chive biscuits with homegrown chives
    – I picked collard greens and grape leaves from my balcony garden (plus chives and green onions)
    – made a batch of lentil soup. I didn’t have the carrots the recipe called for, so I used chopped broccoli stem instead. I also replaced the chopped collard greens called for, with grape leaves from my balcony. It was so yummy!
    – took my daughter to a free (demo) music class for babies
    – used the public library a lot, for kid play, books, and e-books.
    – made a batch of meatballs, but forgot I was out of eggs, so just subbed in flax eggs. I also used homemade bread crumbs. I used half the meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs, and the other half for meatball subs.
    – I bought a tray of ground beef and a tray of pork chops for under $7 total, using the flash food app.
    – I made eggless crepes, which I used to make cheese and mushroom crepes
    – I bought 40 lbs of root vegetables for $9.50 (potatoes, onions, carrots, and beets). I sliced and froze the onions using my meat slicer. I turned 5 lbs of the beets into pickled beets ( https://approachingfood.com/easy-mennonite-pickled-beets/ ) and the potatoes and carrots will keep for a while as is.
    – some of my other good grocery deals included a 12-pack of kd for $6.99 (an easy meal for my DH to make if I get sick), a free laughing cow cheese product since I bought a pear (cashback at gocoupons.ca), brand-name cheese slices for $1.49 (sale plus cashback at C51) and a 6-pack of tissues for $1.99 (sale plus coupon).
    – redeemed SB for $10 to my paypal account, and redeemed $20 from legeropinion.com to my paypal account too.
    – a really tiny small thing, but I found that my dish soap had build up on the nozzle. Instead of squeezing out dish soap the next time I need some, I just ran the closed, soap-covered nozzle under hot water, and had enough for several sinks worth of dishes, plus a clean soap dispenser!
    – purchased stamps for Christmas cards at 10% off (Rexall)
    – cashed out $24 in cashback money from gocoupons.ca. Combining coupons, sales, and several cashback coupon sites has definitely helped me stretch my grocery budget.
    – I was able to give my mum some coupons too, and was able to point her to some especially good sales.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

  31. What a beautiful zinnia photo! Your zinnias inspired me to plant some this year, and I’m enjoying them very much. The flowers in the garden are a little sparse otherwise, and zinnias are so faithful and friendly looking.

    This week was fairly frugal. I avoided take-out last night when I wanted it very, very much! That was my best accomplishment. Instead of $55 for Chinese food, we had a good breakfast-for-dinner that our children really enjoyed. Other than that, we ate from home, ate greens from the garden, made bread, used powdered milk in our baking, and limited driving.

    I did find a wonderful barn sale at our local senior center. Wonderful fabric for $2 a bundle, the very chintz my mother had been wanting to recover her sofa and had searched for 10 years for. A rare Tasha Tudor book for $1, a game for the kids for 50 cents. These prices are much, much better than our local thrift stores.

    I always learn so much here – thank you, Brandy, and all!

      1. I love Tasha Tudor also. My daughter lives in Boston and has an office in NH, so I have acquired most of her books over the years. She was amazing!

    1. Hooray for zinnias! I’ve never been able to grow them before this year. I have been picking them as they bloom this year to encourage reblooming. My personal best is nine in a short vase at a time! and I expect to break that record before they freeze.

  32. I love the look of the plant in the urn. Very tranquil.

    Through no fault of my own, I unexpectedly lost my job last week. It was amazing the out pouring of friends and family offering to connect me to people who were hiring and words of encouragement. I have interviews lined up, so it will be okay. Glad for the emergency fund.

    Taking time to deep clean the house, do a better job getting weeds out at the root. All staying home.

    I was able to find a holiday and birthday gift by checking out the discount room at the local nursery. Items that do not sell in the gift section go to this room for a dollar or less.

    I was asked to host a small get together for the other displaced co-workers. I will make a squash soup (ingredients from my garden) and cut up toasted cheese sandwiches. I grew enough smaller pumpkins for us to decorate. Most have offered to contribute which will be a nice treat as well.

    Hope everyone has a calm week!

    1. J – So glad you have such supportive friends and family and your party for others in a similar situation sounds wonderful. Best wishes for a job you enjoy to come along very soon!

  33. We were grateful to have received figs from a neighbor. They are delicious and there are enough to eat our fill of them fresh, but not so many that I feel I need to dry them or bake with them. At this time of year, that is a blessing! We had a good day of rain yesterday which gave us about 200 gallons in our water barrels. We picked all of the ripe, or nearly ripe, tomatoes before the rain and now I have to do something with them all. I give away a lot too.
    Our internet cost went up but I called the company and they’ve put us down to the old rate, with a credit of the difference of the one month we payed the higher amount on our next bill.
    I bought a new toner cartridge for our printer from Staples. Their rewards program allow us to recycle up to 10 ink cartridges a month for the next 6 months. We receive $2 in rewards for each cartridge. My husband is a teacher and asked around at school for empty cartridges. He brought 60 home. We now will have $20 a month in rewards.
    I sold a few items on Ebay and FB marketplace. I received 6 glass jars from Buy Nothing. I gave away extra composition books.

  34. It has been quite the few weeks! My son started a new school and even though it’s a public school, it certainly is not free. We have had to purchase several things in the last few weeks. Chrome Book insurance, logo polo shirts for band recitals, private music lessons, a year book, band instrument rental fee, cross country shirt, etc. They are not kidding when they say middle school is entirely different! But we are glad to do it. He really seems to be enjoying all the activites and has made several new friends. We are also very thankful that he is getting the free school brunch and lunch everyday. It saves so much time, not to mention money. I responded to a facebook garage sale and picked up a laundry basket, practically new hair dryer, one dozen foil pans and a huge pack of swifter wet pads for $30.00. I am attending a fund raising tea party this coming weekend. I was able to make several raffle baskets using things I had on hand, while only needing to purchase a few things. Our biggest thing was definitley not frugal. We had a horrible heat wave for almost 10 days in our area. We had been meaning to have AC installed for several years but never got around to it. Well, we got around to it. We also took the opportunity to replace the furnace as well. Ours was awful but it wasn’t great either. We figured the price would not go lower, so we had everything done at once. And, praise God, we were able to pay cash! Our sister in law had had something similar done several years ago and they had to take a home equity loan out. We are blessed!

  35. Sadly, I had many frugal fails this week. It happens this time of year – all four of us have our birthdays within three weeks, and on top of that, school starts. But the last was Wonderful Husband’s birthday and I saved a bit by preordering the two books the boys and I gave him. He didn’t even know one of the books existed (it came out less than a week ago, and is a sequel to another book he’d enjoyed), so his delight in that was a win! He’d asked for steak for his birthday dinner, and I managed to find some discounted at the store (harder to do these days), and there’s enough left over to work its way into some other meals this week.

    Over the weekend we combined several stops in the same direction, saving gas. Since the last was quite near a thrift store I’d been to before, I asked if we could stop there as well. I got a couple gently loved cookbooks to peruse, a few bits of fabric, and some canning jars at a very good price. We also visited the library, checking out some bedtime storybooks, a DVD, and using their color printer for a school assignment for the six-year-old. While the boys did the library’s scavenger hunt, I got to skim through a few magazines.

    The next day, I picked as many ripe blackberries as I could off the bushes behind our swing set, and made jam. I put the aforementioned canning jars to use and eight of the nine jars sealed. I put the one that didn’t into the fridge to be used first. I’m still getting used to the Tattler lids I received for my birthday, but that’s a better ratio than I’ve managed so far, so maybe I’m getting the hang of it?

    I also picked all the remaining meat off a roasted chicken to make baked chicken alfredo, and put the carcass into a ziploc in the freezer. When I’ve got a few more, I’ll try my hand at making stock.

  36. *I made a pot of chx stock using a chx carcass & the crock pot.
    *My best best friend loaned me a formal dress to wear to her niece’s wedding in Dec. (I may have to buy a new pair of black dressy sandals. I have a pair of black heels that I wore to my last dressy function. However when I was dancing & doing the Twist I fell & landed on my derriere! (I need a lower heel.)
    *My sister gave me 10 lbs of muscadine grapes. They are in the freezer as I have to look up how to prepare them for jam.
    *I bought a coupon on Groupon to get my car inspected for 17.99 which is about 1/2 the usual annual cost.
    *I got a food item at a local taco place using reward points. I get off work late on Tuesday & Wednesdays. It’s nice to pick up something after a late class. It’s also nice to get it w/o charge also.
    *I took a load of discards to a local church for their resale shop.
    *I opened the windows for some fresh air also. However my husband burned some toast & that was the reason.

  37. Hello Brandy and everyone
    Mandarin lessons, how amazing! Your new neighbour sounds like a blessing.
    Our old kettle started to leak so we used vouchers my husband had been given to buy a new one.
    I sewed a button back on a shirt. ( small things!).
    I found a book in like new condition for 50 pence. It will be a perfect present for a friend and I’ll put some handcream with it. ( My friend and I have an agreement that secondhand is very acceptable.) Our local hospice has lots of charity shops and a big clearance outlet at very reduced prices before goods go to fabric recycling etc. I must remember to check it out more often.
    A visitor kindly gave us a jar of local honey.
    I made runner bean chutney and pickled beetroot. I froze damsons.
    We picked sweetcorn, bell peppers, apples, courgettes, beetroot, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers,
    runner beans,tomatoes and lettuce. We gave a veg box to friends.
    All the talk of lentil soup last week reminded me to make red lentil and tomato soup using
    the last of 2021 bottled tomatoes.
    Other inexpensive meals were squash, chickpea, tomato and onion curry, cheese omelettes served with corn on the cob and Asian cucumber salad and leftover chicken in Coronation chicken salad in honour of the Queen.
    I handwashed a couple of woollen jumpers ready for winter, I ignore most dry clean only labels. Autumn’s here and I’m enjoying the change of light and seasons.

    1. He says he has already learner more than he did in his college class last semester! He is very excited and is studying hard. It is good to see him so motivated.

  38. Please pray for our friend Scot who needs to be uplifted in this time.
    A busy social calendar and dear friends who all sent me home with leftovers, meant I ate well this week at no cost to me (other than wine from my cellar).
    Picked up several new dresses at clearance prices and then bogo leggings to go with them (all with free shipping).
    I lost the curtain rod holders to go with my curtains and though I’d have to buy new rods, but a helpful employee found what I needed in a set of rods that had been returned damaged – and gave them to me for free.
    Laundry room is just about finished. Just a few little items to go – then onto the hall and my husband’s walk in closet.
    A mirror with hand carving and a painted frame I had shipped from a Peruvian artist arrived broken. Took it to a local glass shop and they replaced the mirror portion for $25. Cheaper then returning it to have it repaired. It will go in my new bathroom.
    Spent a bit on new storage containers which have locking lids and will fit under the bed. This will help with our ongoing sorting and storage.
    My husband sent home 2 more giant trunks of stuff from his deployment. A good sign, as it means he should be home soon, but I have no where to put them!

  39. Brandy your dill pickles and relish look divine and well done preserving your garden produce and glad you got some bell peppers at a good price too 🙂 . What a lovely neighbour you have and that would be wonderful for your children to learn Mardarin .

    In the kitchen
    Made 4 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machines saving $16.94 on usual prices.
    We cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Purchases
    We filled up 4 jerry cans of fuel and the car and used our 4% off e-gift card and used or rewards 4c per litre off fuel vouchers to save $10.08 and bring the fuel down from $1.599 to $1.495 per litre.
    From BigW on clearance I picked up 2 pairs of Sherpa lined slipper socks reduced from $12 a pair to $3 per pair saving $18 on usual prices.
    – Bought a packet of 4 iced buns on markdown from $3.50 to $1.55 and a packet of bacon and cheese rolls on markdown from $4 to $2.88 and used a 4% off e-gift card saving in total $3.33 on usual prices.

    Finances
    Paid an extra part payment on our mortgage and are still keeping up paying double payments despite the interest rate on our variable mortgage going up 2.05% in the last 5 months.

    In the gardens –
    This week we have been working on chipping out all the crabgrass and other weeds from the back lawn and garden beds and we are about 1/3 of the way there and will continue next week. The end of October is when the risk of frosts stops here so we will be able to start planting the gardens out then hopefully.

    1. It is just one child learning Mandarin. He says he has already learned more with her than he did in his first semester of college taking a Mandarin class. He is studying hard and is really enjoying it.

  40. I, too, woke up early (here about 3 a.m.) to watch the Queen’s funeral but I nodded off and missed half of it live.
    I then searched for it on YouTube and found it on Royal Family (an official channel). Also, I watched the Committal service (available the same place on You Tube) which I found really interesting as it is the first time the royal committal service has ever been broadcast to the public. It was in St. George’s church, Windsor, which is also the chapel for the Order of the Garter so I did some research on that Order to learn more about history. I also watched a program on YouTube about the slave trade and involvement by the historic royal family in it in Britain. Now that was an eye opener but as was the complicity and involvement of African kings in selling their own people and what the long term consequences for Africa have been.

    It was a grey, mizzling day and I was tired. My recycling and composting bins had to be put down at the curb so I did that but was so tired doing it I forgot that I had left my camera on my patio table, went inside. Fortunately, I realized my mistake almost immediately and retrieved the camera. It then started to pour – I am so relieved that I realized it before the rain started.

    It was not a frugal month as far as water went. Of my total utilities bill of $250 for natural gas, electricity, sewer, garbage, recycling, composting, for water ($65), wastewater ($70), stormwater ($15), was $150.00. Wastewater is always calculated as a fraction of water on the assumption that all water used goes into sewers rather than groundwater). That is because I water my spruce and fruit trees in really well. They are an investment that requires a lot of water in a hot July, and then before fall. I don’t usually water the lawn but just the trees. The provincial government contributed $50 towards our utility bills. I have been meaning to instal rain barrels to lower the summer water purchase and hopefully I can have that in place for next summer.
    Fortunately, the extra watering happens when my natural gas and electricity bills are the lowest for the year. And I feel fortunate that there is water to buy and that relatively speaking it’s not a lot.

    Brandy, your new neighbour sounds like a Godsend – imagine free Mandarin lessons!

    I am hoping to stock up at No Frills for ten pound bags of potatoes, beets and carrots for $4.49 but the sale is over tomorrow. The good news is that my friend who shops at No Frills will be back and glad to shop there for me soon.
    I am only going to ask her once a month.

    My other friend who lives far from me brought over the ten cans of lentils ($1 a can from $1.79) for me to add to my stockpile so now I have about 40 cans. Someone here asked how to use lentils so I was researching lentil recipes. I found a great website called lentils.org which has wonderful recipes, most by Canadian chef Michael Smith.Umbrian lentils and sausage, slow chicken and lentil stew, lentil meatloaf, lentil buns (you don’t taste the lentils) etc. There are many recipes for lentils on YouTube. Someone mentioned she had tried them but they had tasted like dirt. I would just mention to those beginning to use dried lentils, etc. you should always wash dried lentils, peas, barley, black-eyed peas, etc. and have a quick inspection to make sure there are no little stones in them.

    I paid $50.91 for groceries at Safeway and saved $38.00, mostly for groundbeef, chicken thighs and an emergency stash of fruit juice (I don’t usually drink fruit juice at all but like to have some litres for emergencies).

    I am almost finished sorting my late friend’s documents outside. I hope to finish them today, then a courier will pick them up when I am ready to send them to the city archives. I will be able to resume work on my own sorting, decluttering, clean up, reorganizing etc. Things were really neglected while I was working on the book. After an unexpected further delay about the paper, the paper finally arrived for the book late last week. Delivery of the book will still be a few weeks but at least we have paper to print it on.

    I checked my carrots. The seed was planted 5 months ago. They are still slightly bigger than a hair’s width. My chard was ravaged by a squirrel that dug in the pot so I only have 2 small plants left. Most of my chokecherries were knocked off by the high winds, my tomato plants up and died (first time that that has happened), the apples, pears and plums did not bear (probably as a result of the extreme heat last summer). I have a bumper crop of spruce cones
    (probably due to heat stress) so we’ll probably have large flocks of crossbills and grosbeaks. It became dangerous to sit at the patio table as a squirrel was busy harvesting the cones high above me and dropping them, sometimes on my head. I had to rake the driveway.

    The bivalent covid vaccines are available tomorrow. I held off getting my fourth booster shot and am glad I did as I can now get the bivalent; otherwise, I would have had to wait several months before I could get the bivalent ones.

    1. I am shocked at how low your utility bills are. Just my electric bill last month was $400. Water was $200. Sewer is additional and billed quarterly, as is trash, plus we have a monthly natural gas bill. The rates of all of these have gone up this year; my gas is more than double and my electric is about 40% more. I cut my water usage by 33% but it is now up to what I paid before we did the renovation with the higher rates.

      1. Hi Brandy,
        We can’t really compare prices or what we spend because you have nine or ten times the number of people all of whom have showers, use more electricity at night while studying, and require more electricity for multiple dishwasher loads each day, much more water and electricity (or natural gas) for many more loads of laundry, more oven use etc., and you use air conditioning while I have a lot of mature trees for shade and our temperatures usually mean I don’t need air conditioning (although there were two weeks this summer when I would have loved it). Size of our houses and whether they are insulated makes a difference too.

        The only way we could really compare would be to compare rates in gigajoules, kiloWatt hours, cubic meters for water. A rough comparison would be to divide how much you spend by the number of people in your household which, for example, for water would be $200/9 = $22 which is excellent given all the added activities and not much different from my normal bill when I’m not watering trees in for the fall. And given the water needs for your garden that is wonderful!

        My lowest utility bills are in the summer (although for some reason this year natural gas prices were very high starting in April until now). Fortunately, I use almost no natural gas in the summer. Natural gas and electricity use will soar starting now and increasing in the winter. Most of us have basements that need heating. I am fortunate because I tied in my natural gas and electricity rates for 5 years although if I wish I can change at will to and from floating every 30 days but it will be a long time before I do that as I appreciate the stability of the fixed plan. Our floating electricity price is now double what I tied into last fall and expected to go higher again this fall and winter. And natural gas also is about double on the floating rate than on my fixed rate or last year’s floating rate. Our government is going to give some relief for those whose natural gas rates exceed about $6 + per gigajoule but I won’t get any help because my rate is under that. My natural gas bill in the coldest months will be about $400 per month. Again, it is hard to compare.

        1. Those are all important factors.

          We actually don’t study at night; homeschooling means are nights are free, and we seek to use very little light at night (plus we have all LEDs).

          Our oven is gas.

          Rates vary very much by location. I have another friend in a hot climate like mine who pays closer to what you pay. That’s why your numbers made me pause.

          Our electric company here compares size of the house, year it was built, and location and compares energy usage. My house consistently uses less electricity than the other houses, and even comes in as more efficient than what they consider to be an energy efficient household.

          I saw people posting their electric bills in a local group, and people who kept their homes just 8°F cooler than mine were paying double for electricity than what I pay–about $800 a month in the summer.

          I can be warmer and dress cooler in the house.

          1. That is really nice that homeschooling means the evenings are free. I am going to investigate one other measure that might result in lower heating/natural gas bills. With the fresh air intake, cold air comes in which of course triggers the furnace to heat. There is a way to heat the cold air without using the furnace. I’d really like to try it. I almost freeze during the fresh air intake cycle. I’d still have fresh air but it would be warmer. I read about it a few years ago.

    2. That was me who thought lentils tasted like dirt! It’s been so long since I made them that I don’t know if I washed them or not!
      Thanks for the lentil website! I’ll take a look there and try them again!

      1. Hi Debby in Kansas,

        Lentils really have a very neutral taste and pick up the taste of what they are mixed with. Good cooking!

  41. Love the photos!

    I was picking up some pectin at a food co-op and saw two women looking at a few bags of mandarins by the check out lanes. The 2-pound bags were on sale for $1 each, so the ladies and I each took one. They are sweet and delicious.

    I used some of the pectin I bought to make a batch of grape jelly with my homegrown grapes.

    I hand-sewed on a thrifted casual dress that had a vertical slit in the neckline, closing most of the slit. The dress was perfect for casual summer wear, except I couldn’t bend over in it without showing way too much. Now it’s just right.

    I ordered new checks at my credit union. I order the basic plain check, the smallest amount of checks, and choose the regular shipping, so that I get them for free. I rarely use checks anymore, but I still need them now and then.

    I cooked another crock pot of chicken stock with the bones from making chicken and dumplings. By cooking the stock for 24-36 hours, I get a rich broth, even out of “used” bones.

    I keep looking for ideas that will help me save money!

  42. Brandy the pickles look yummy! I just love seeing the jars on the shelf. That is food security to me.

    -Well I continue to can. I made pear slices, pear sauce, pear jam, and pear juice from my 50# of pears.
    -The garden is about done, we have 2 more watermelons to harvest. I got the green beans cut down, I leave the roots in place to decompose as they add nitrogen to the soil as they do. The beans will be dried and used for seed. I am still picking some tomatoes and they are being frozen to can later as they are limping in. The last basil plant was pulled up and striped of leaves and dehydrated and powdered. The onions have been pulled and are curing. The potatoes were dug and they are curing as well, we got about 80#. I have left tomatoes, kale, and pepper plants, will continue to pick these until frost.
    -I am done canning. I have canned 350 jars of food. The canners have been put away, I am almost out of jars. We need to start using it now to empty some jars to can some soups and tomatoes from the freezer.
    -I made a hanging garbage bag for my son in laws car for his birthday.
    -I have a lot of birthdays in September but we have kept costs down by making some gifts. I embroidered a set of seven flour sack towels with owls for my daughter. For 6 year old grand daughter I bought her a new steel water bottle and a small Lego set. My grandson also got a new steel water bottle and a small Lego set. For my husbands brother and his wife ( both have birthdays in September, we gave them a package of steak from our beef we just received, some freshly dug potatoes, and some canned beans and pickles. They loved it! A meal just for them.
    -I worked the fall potluck at church, I brought a chunked up watermelon from the garden. The church provided the burgers, hotdogs, and buns. I took home a package of hotdog buns, a package of hamburger buns and a gallon of milk. The buns went into the freezer and the milk in the refrigerator of course. The buns work great for garlic toast, French toast casserole, or bread crumbs, as well as for hotdogs and hamburgers.

    Have a great week!

  43. Hello, everyone! I wanted to pass along some information from a friend who works in the news and hears lots of stuff in advance. She said that she’s heard from colleagues that know a major US pharmacy chain is anticipating a shortage of cough/cold medicines and liquid fever reducers this fall. The shortage will mostly affect children’s medicine but there will be issues with adult liquids as well. She’s heard that the problem stems from a shortage in sucrose and supply chain issues with the materials used to make these medications. If you are running low on anything, she recommends picking some up now to have it on hand for cold and flu season.

    This is also a good reminder to get your yearly flu shot! We get ours free from our HMO but I see sales and promotions for the flu shot are starting up at Target and our grocery store.

    1. Thank you for the heads up on this, Lorin! We had very little on hand due to a move and used up what we did have when a bug hit in July. I will be sure to restock soon!

  44. The color of that flower is dazzling!

    Not a big savings week, but we moved along without a disaster so I label it successful!
    * Made 3 birthday cards and extras for our church greeting card ministry.
    * Gave my husband a haircut. I always forget to mention this and after nearly 30 yrs., it has been a great money saver!
    * I used the oven only once and it was crammed full!
    * Ate all our meals at home.
    * Did a big fall cleaning in our bedroom with husband washing walls. Washed all the drapes/sheers in bedrooms.
    * Beautified by putting up some Autumn decor. I always put a string of mini lights on the mantle from September thru February or March. It really cozies up the room and we don’t need a lamp on if we’re watching a DVD.
    As for reading last week:
    On my nightstand – Refusal by Dick/Francis Felix.
    In my Craft room CD player – The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett.
    With my Bible study – For the Love of Christian Homemaking by Mrs Sharon White.
    By my reading chair – Bloody Kin by Margaret Maron.
    Watching season 5 of Father Brown from the library.

    Keep up the good work!!! More important than ever!!

  45. Love your zinnias! Lovely as usual! I plan to plant some next year if we have water for a garden. Speaking of which, we got some surprising rain here in CA! We are in a “rain shadow” at the base of mtns, so didn’t think we’d get any, but we did! Enough to make the car look clean, and though light, but steady rain all day to make the plants happy. Still saving shower water etc as that’s only a short reprieve. *

    Have a reunion this weekend, so hit the thrift stores for something to wear. I’d lost 20 lbs during covid, but nothing more came off when actually trying later, so taking a diet break. Got a couple of tops and cute dress. We’ll see what I end up with as another heatwave is due to hit and the reunion is an outdoor picnic. *

    At the same thrift shop got some plates to add to my random vintage china collection I want to cultivate. Got 9 plates for $12 that turned out to be a near match for four I already had I love. I got another four from France that blend well for $5. A good day! *

    I’ve been looking for autumn plates to style my China cabinet for the season. Doing this seasonally makes me happy, but I’ve never had anything much for fall. This year I went on the hunt and after nearly giving up thought to try the goodwill near me that’s “not that good and too expensive”. $30 later I had six brown plates, with four Lenox winter bird salad plates to top them, four square bee designed plates to top the rest and mustard square plates to fill in around the 6 brown. All the yellow tones match. (I’m a sucker for square plates.) The center is a platter that has pumpkin designs. The cabinet is ready for autumn! *

    I also ordered some fun vintage spooky cat paper plates for Halloween for $7. Those will top some plates I already have for in the China cabinet for October, and revert back to autumn through thanksgiving. I found pairing paper plates with real ones work well to fool the eye in the cabinet and saves money. I will reuse every year as a display. *

    I found some wonderful balsamic vinegar at grocery outlet marked down from $22 per bottle to $7. It was so delicious I went back and got a case. These will be gifts for holidays and some for housewarmings coming up.

  46. Last week was an interesting one.
    I worked three days and took breakfast and lunch all three days.
    We picked our first corn from the garden. It was delicious. We also picked tomatoes, chard, onions, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers and zucchini.
    Dug another 6 hills of potatoes.
    On Thursday I left for my mother’s former house to continue the clean-out. Before I left I made taco meat to take with me and BLT pasta for the DH to have while I was gone. I took tomatoes, corn and a candy onion to the guy who has been taking care of the house. We let him live there rent free for over a year, so he is continuing to take care of it for us. Before I left he brought me two pints of honey from his bees.
    It was also my 50th high school reunion this last weekend. I only participated in the dinner on Saturday night, and dropped by the potluck picnic on Sunday afternoon before heading home. I made Almond Joy cookies to take to the reunion. Something that could be made in very little time with very few ingredients before church on Sunday.
    I spent 4 days going through more stuff in my Mother’s house. I got 4 dozen canning jars for my DIL, from wide mouth quarts, pint jars, to pint and 1/2 pint jars. Ran them all through the dishwasher so they would be clean for her. I grabbed a few remaining jars too, including a couple of half gallon canning jars that will be used for storage.
    I also found a couple of emotional things. I found the travel diary my Dad wrote during WWII. He was a member of the Flying Tigers, who flew gasoline over the Himalayas to Egypt. There was just one page for each stop on his tour of duty and/or training. He met my mother during this time, and the page from that stop was mostly about her. I also found some letters my Dad wrote to a friend while he was in the service. This friend sent the letters back to my Mom after my Dad died. It took awhile, as I was looking at a lot of things before I decided what to do with them, but I’m glad I did.
    I stayed at my Mom’s house while there. It was a mattress on the floor. At 68, I think I am getting too old for a mattress on the floor. My bed felt great when I came home on Sunday.
    My DH clipped all the dry black and white beans while I was gone. They need to dry a little more, then I will shell them.
    This week will be full of working in the garden and getting a visit from my youngest son. I am looking forward to it.

    1. I enjoyed reading about your dad’s letters and your parent’s love story. It’s nice to realize that our parents were once young and in love as were we.

  47. Does anyone know how to tell when pears are ripe? We have an acre of pecan trees in our front yard and 2 pear trees. We made good use of the pecans, trees always produce more than we can use or give away. But I moved back to my childhood home 10 years ago and have never even touched produce from the pear trees. My mom can’t even remember why they planted them all those decades ago. Yesterday as I was wheeling garbage can to road I noticed there are tons of pears on the trees but I have no idea when they should be ripe or how you know if they are.

    1. It depends on the variety of pear and where you live. Brandy is correct that pears continue to ripen off the tree, but they have to be at a certain point to pick. I grew Bartletts in USDA zone 6 and picked them in early to mid-September. (They should be ready when they start dropping off the tree). They were green and I stored them in the garage, usually with newspaper over the box. They will ripen from the top of the box down. When ripe, they were a greenish-yellow and firm, but not hard. If you wait until they are quite yellow, they will be too soft to deal with.

      1. Yes; it does still have to be the right time to pick them. That is now for us here for Bartletts, which I used to grow but no longer do.

      2. Thanks I live in North Mississippi. I don’t garden so no idea what zone. But a few of the pears are on the ground so maybe they are ready. There are tons on the tree but no one in our family really likes pears so I’ll probably only try a few and offer others to friends. thanks for the help

        1. Another way to tell if pears are ready to pick is the lift the pear up and if the stem comes off the branch it’s ready. Look at the shape of the stem where it attaches to the branch, it is a tad bigger on one side, lift going the direction of the larger side of the stem. I’ve grown and canned pears for over 50 years ( except this year as the Bartlett tree died after all these years) and this is how I pick them. Like the others mentioned pears ripen off the tree, I wait till they become yellow, yet firm. You can check the area near the stem, if it gives to pressure easily it is ripe.

  48. Feeling very thankful this week for my well stocked pantry! Four weeks ago I received a surprise medical diagnosis and needed to undergo very major surgery. I had only one week to prepare. The recovery time is 6 weeks, so I needed to have quick meals for my husband to cook. I also didn’t want my husband getting takeout on the days that I was in the hospital. I updated my freezer inventory, A DIAGRAM BY SHELF, so my husband could easily find things to cook. I made a list of all the “easy” meals that he could make. I showed him how to use appliances, like the rice cooker and air fryer. He is a great cook, but usually makes the special more expensive gourmet type meals. I have to say that my pantry has served me well the last month! I did 2 small online grocery orders for my husband to pick up with fresh produce and milk, but everything else has been from the pantry and freezer. I had a few already prepared meals frozen, but really could have used a lot more of that. I will add that to my goals for this year. My husband’s eyes have now been opened to: 1. How much planning, preparation, time it takes to shop, plan and cook everyday 2. How expensive food it right now, he couldn’t believe the totals on the small grocery orders 3. He no longer questions why I save bits of pizza sauce or taco meat to use as convenience food later, as he was thankful for those already prepared items.

    *Also happy that we were able to pay the surgery bill in full after insurance before the surgery date using our savings. The hospital gave us a 10% discount for doing that. I was also able to do that for a diagnostic test. I will be living with my diagnosis for the rest of my life and require ongoing expensive treatment, so medical bills will now be a large part of our life. While I am still unable to do much activity, I am spending my time researching and planning. I found that my insurance offers a dedicated Primary Nurse Program at no charge. This person helps with coordination of hospital visits and aftercare, prescriptions, specialists and available benefits. Through the nurse, I found out that there are many services available for me through my insurance at no cost or very little cost. I can get 6 visits with a therapist at no charge, which will be very helpful for me to adjust to my new normal. So, don’t be afraid to call your insurance company. I also found out that my husband’s employer offers subsidized childcare, tutoring, housecleaning, at home care if needed due to medical issues. If you or someone in your family have a chronic disease, call and ask what the insurance company has to offer you. Many insurance companies also have free wellness programs with no fees or copays, you just have to call and ask.

    *Ways I saved money the last few week: Didn’t go anywhere or spend anything besides small grocery orders, received free magazines from a friend, enjoyed a gift of gourmet ice cream, read library books, worked on puzzles borrowed from my mom, still getting lots of tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden, was able to gift tomatoes to a friend, my son wants to use on online graphing calculator for school instead of buying one – they are very expensive, my husband was able to fix the pedal on our exercise bike, my husband learned how to fix our toilet himself.

    *I have had to temporarily close my online business, as I am not able to do the physical work of packing and shipping for at least 4 more weeks. This is a big blow to the budget. Looking ways to make up that loss, even if it’s a little bit here and a little bit there. I always appreciate the information in this blog and in the comments. So thankful for all of you!

    1. Susanmarie – I am amazed at the level of preparedness you were able to achieve with only 1 week before your surgery. You are an inspiration! While it sounds as if you have had to make lots of adjustments, you will be well-equipped to handle them with your dedication and resourcefulness. 🙂

    2. I wish you a quick recovery. Definitely not a good kind of surprise, but it sounds like you did well under the circumstances.
      I chuckled when I read about your husband and meals. Once, when I spent a whopping 12 days in the hospital, my husband ate either hot dogs or scrambled eggs every single meal!! We lived in a tiny house with no room for an extra freezer. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything and the kitchen accidentally sent me a dinner tray one night. Husband was looking at it so longingly that the nurse asked him if he wanted it!! You never saw anyone eat hospital food so fast!! Poor guy! If I was to grow and rupture a second appendix, he’d have a good amount of frozen meals to choose from!!!

    3. Susanmarie, hope that you are feeling much better very soon. You seem to have everything possible for your family to “carry on” while you are getting over your procedure. You are a very caring and thoughtful person. Hugs

    4. So sorry to hear about your troubles but how wonderful that all your planning and preparing served your family so well. Best wishes for a good recovery.

    5. Thinking of you during this challenging time. My SO was unexpectedly diagnosed with an autoimmune disease a year ago. After finally getting a good primary care doctor who listened and then ordered tests the many questions about a lot of health issues was finally diagnosed. You are being a great patient advocate for yourself and your family.

    6. Will be sending positive thoughts to you as you recuperate. Take care.

      PS: think your “Diagram by Shelf “ is a great idea! My husband certainly could use that!

    7. Susanmarie, your positive and take charge attitude is truly inspiring as is your inner strength and fortitude at a time of crisis. Thank you for sharing your experience and how you were able to prepare your household in a very short period of time. Wishing you all the best.

    8. Hope you feel better soon and recover nicely. Just take it easy till you are able to get up and about easily.,

      I also want to thank you about asking the Insurance co. about any help they may offer. We are picking up my older brother from the hospital today. He called to have us come pick him up today when they finish all the paperwork, I asked if he was getting a visiting nurse or help once he is home. He said he didn’t know. He is over 6 feet tall, has a back brace now, because he fractured his back and his wife isn’t physically capable to lift him and after having two aneurism in her brain one that bursted, she hasn’t been as capable in lots of areas. They haven’t had him up walkng at all since he was in the hospital. This is very concerning as my hubbie and I aren’t that young either and with my shoulder injury, I’m not supposed to lift anything heavy. I’m hoping the insurance company has something to offer.

  49. My husband has had some sciatica pain for three weeks now. Our son visited us and shared some stretches that have helped tremendously with his ability to walk. So grateful for that. I made the first autumn roast chicken of the year. So good. I pile onions, apples, potatoes, butternut squash in the pan with a whole chicken to roast and baste the whole with apple cider or apple juice. It’s so very delicious! We are taking care of our 3 yr old grandson three days a week after nursery and I find it is best to have ready prepared food that can be reheated quickly in the microwave when we arrive at his house. So I spent Monday of last week planning and prepping meals. I used the leftover chicken to make a Spaghetti based dish with a Spanish chicken and tomato sauce to go over the pasta and a pot of Brunswick Stew. I’d been eyeing an electric pressure canner all summer long. A friend alerted me that it was back at a price that was half what it had been all summer long. I couldn’t quite bring myself to pull the trigger on it but kept going back to look at it and finally an app on popped up a coupon code that brought it down to a price that nearly $225 less with free shipping. I jumped on it! So I now have a pressure canner. I plan to spend some time on the internet looking up how to maximize this purchase as I have time. Again, that 3 year old, lol. He absorbs quite a lot of my time.

    1. Terri, I ended a very bad bout of sciatica with exercises I found on Britain’s National Health Service’s websites. I had had sciatica off and on for years, and after doing these exercises for about a week, I haven’t had it since. I started getting relief by the second day. Whenever I think I might be having a twinge, I do a few reps and that’s the end of it. It’s a miracle!

      The exercise involves lying on my back with my legs crossed. Then I reach forward with both arms and clasp my hands behind my legs. Then I pull my legs forward and hold for 25-30 seconds. It only takes a few repetitions at a time. I’m sorry I can’t explain this better, but if you go to the NHS website, there are pictures and a better description.

  50. Oooh…my mouth started watering thinking I was looking at corn relish at first~LOVE corn! I guess we are little piggies because there is no way I would make pints of pickles, definitely quarts all the way here, lol🐷…and there’s only TWO of us *blush*! (Plus, I’m lazy if I’m being honest, & want more bang for my effort “buck”.) Looks yummy😋.
    How is Miss Winter and that little family of hers doing lately? Hope all is well with her.

      1. Congratulations to your daughter. I am not a bit surprised as she is obviously creative and hard working. Sometimes it takes longer to find one’s niche so kudos to her for finding work in her field now. Hope they are paying her well!

      2. Congratulations to Winter! Having seen some of the clothes she designed and sewed on here, I am not surprised they snapped her up. She is very talented.

      3. I also have been so amazed at the clothing she sewed and was viewed on your site. I’m sure you are so very proud of her. But I want to give you a big salute also, because with out your guidance and sewing skill to help her on her journey, she might of not been where she is now. Congratulations to both of you!

  51. Upon first glance, Brandy, your pickle relish looked like pickled artichoke relish to me. I didn’t see your recipe under the “Canning Recipes” on your recipes link; it looks beautiful and I’m sure delicious!
    We’ve had a super busy 5 weeks with lots of birthdays in August including the birth of son #1’s second child, another boy. We’re up to 6 grands now, and this sweet healthy baby missed being born on dh’s birthday by 2 days and his own dad’s by 3 days! We also had our annual Labor Day barbecue party which took several weeks to prepare as we had extended family staying with us and many party guests. The costs for this party were 20% higher than last year’s mostly due to the price of ground beef. We plan for 100 beef patties (prepared ahead and frozen); nathan’s all-beef hotdogs which were bought on 1/2 price sale, and homemade veggie burgers also prepared ahead of time and frozen. This annual party was budgeted for, forecasting a 10% increase in costs, but it was still a bit of a shock to see how high prices are from last year.

    I had casually mentioned on the phone to my sis-in-law that we had run out of homemade applesauce months ago, so to my surprise, when Dh’s brother and sis-in-law visited us for a few days they brought us 2 bushels of apples as a gift. Son #2 and family also brought us a bushel of apples as a gift – so with everyone’s help, applesauce was made; gave most of it away to dd and son #2 for their kiddos and several jars to dh’s parents and to dh’s brother and sis-in-law. Still have a ton of apples left and more applesauce making to do. Dehydrated basil and apples; harvested mints and are air drying them.

    Last week we spent 3 days in Ocean City, Maryland to celebrate dh’s August birthday as it was biker week in OC. Thousands of Harley Davidson lovers celebrate: music acts on the beach, vendors, and of course cruising with their Harleys. Dh no longer owns his own Harley so we drove down by car and there met with several of his friends & their spouses who were gracious enough to let dh and me ride their Harleys and join in the fun. Ocean City restaurants have the best crab cakes! I’m always trying to duplicate their recipes. The beach was beautiful and since tourist season was over, practically empty. Hotel rooms are also heavily discounted. We purchased passes and got to enjoy concerts by Travis Tritt, Zac Brown, and several rock bands perform. We also visited Assateague Island State Park to see the wild mustangs roam the beach. Drove back home going thru Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, one of our favorite small towns and beach. Dh’s parents reside there so we took them out to dinner.

    One of the ladies here had asked about knitting dishcloths a while back — while we were driving to MD and back I actually was able to knit several – my fist attempt at doing so — and they came out very nice. I purchased the 100% cotton yarn – Sugar ‘n Cream brand – at Walmart as it was several dollars less per skein than on amazon. I followed the easy instructions on this site https://www.themakeyourownzone.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Knitting-Pattern-Dishcloth-3-Ways.pdf

  52. How exciting to have someone to teach Mandarin! What a blessing!
    We have enjoyed eating pickled crabapples this week. One day we were in town and hungry. Instead of eating out we went to the grocery store and ate in our car. It was a great time and we felt good! I cooked a whole chicken today that we bought at $1.29 a lb. I am going to make a chicken curry using veggies in the fridge, a chicken pot pie and chicken salad. I am going to save the broth in the freezer and also make bone broth with the bones. I will probably put the bones in the slow cooker tomorrow. Tonight, I need to cut up okra that I picked. I did not realize that deer liked okra. But they must enjoy the greenery and I saw a half eaten okra pod as well. However; I still got two large bowlfuls of okra. I made a black bean and vegetable soup using dried beans and veggies from the fridge and garden. My family loved it! We ate it for two days and still have another bowl left for tomorrow. We have been careful with our electric usage. Yet, it still went up because of added fees that have increased that have nothing to do with our actual usage. Although I am not excited about the increase, I am very happy to have electricity. Last week I bought a dress with the tags on it from a thrift store. It only cost two dollars! I was so happy that it fit. My husband liked that I am content with thrift store finds. I am. It spreads our budget so we can not only survive but do some things we enjoy. I got to play the bells at church at the bell choir practice. Our director is such a nice talented person. I’m glad she had room for me to be part of the group. We went to the library one day and read some books and borrowed movies. We continue to turn off lights when not in use. We wash full loads of dishes and laundry. We had to take my sons dog to the vet, as he was not walking. We were happy that he ended up being ok. Now he is running around and having fun! We are soooo happy that he is ok. He is my son’s baby. My husband and I love him too. He is part of the family.

  53. Pears ripen from the inside out, they need to be picked before the fall off the tree. The inside can turn brown and the outside looks fine. If they are falling off the tree they are ready or past ready. I am in central NC and ours are on the tail end of the season

  54. Oh, those pickles look so good! I use pickle juice to marinate meat and also in place of pasta water to add flavor. This week’s frugal win was finding and buying 2 Lands End dresses for around $16 each (regularly $79). I added them to my cart a long time and kept going back for a deep discount+ free shipping. I’m particularly careful about my LE purchases since they don’t have physical stores anymore and return shipping is $$. My new frugal snack is rice cakes from Sprouts. I’m excitedly waiting for our local library book sale since all of my books are from these sales. I’ll report back next with the treasure I’m hoping to find.

    1. Farhana,
      You can return Land’s End items without personalization (monograms, etc.) within 90 days of purchase for free using the form on the back of the packing slip. Simply fill it out, adhere it to your return package and give it to the postman. Land’s End sales are the best! I especially love their maxi dresses and get compliments every time I wear one. And they’re so comfy!
      I hope you find lots of fun treasures at the library book sale!
      Lea

  55. Those zinnias keep going! Blessings on your new kindred spirit neighbor, how fun!
    My neighbor brought another 5 5-gallon buckets of apples. I brought some to church for friends there, and am giving some to other mom’s in my daughter’s homeschool co-op. They are dear old friends and so generous and it is a joy to share with them. I am drying peels to make more pectin, and using leftovers to make more apple cider vinegar. The pears are still coming on and I have been making more pear jam and pear cider vinegar. I hope to make a batch of spiced pears this next week.
    I found a freezer cold pack, 2 wooden hangers and a bottle of glass cleaner in the curbside for trash pickup.
    A mom at church had a bin of lovely free books out. I got a compilation of Thomas the Train books for a grandson, a picture story Bible book, Ballet shoes by Noel Streatfield for a granddaughter and some more for other grandkids. They are in like new condition! I am scaling back for birthdays and Christmas this year. More canned items for the grown kids and books and simple gifts for the grandkids. It feels like there are a lot of unknowns out there. Working on fall cleaning, purging items and being frugal wherever I can!

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