I didn’t water on Monday two weeks ago, one of my permitted watering days, because the ground was still wet from the storm we had. Any water saved is a huge savings. I also adjusted my sprinkler clocks to the new watering days (the permitted days are reduced on September 1st).

I collected several gallons of water a day from the air conditioner drip and used it to water pots in the garden. I also used shower warm-up water, water from rinsing fruits and vegetables, water from steaming vegetables, and water leftover in drinking glasses to water potted plants in the garden.

I paid a little extra on my mortgage payment. I found this great calculator to see how much more I would need to pay off our mortgage per month in order to reach our goals. While I can’t yet pay the amount I’d like to pay to meet our goals, I now know exactly how much that is, and I also know what difference my extra payments are currently making (both in time on the loan and in interest savings). I tried typing different amounts into the calculator, and it was both encouraging and discouraging at the same time, but it also made me even more determined to keep working to pay off my mortgage as early as possible.

My girls heard that a local boutique store was going out of business and they wanted to see what they could find. I bought two dressy dresses (one navy and one pink) for myself from their bridesmaid section for $15 each (originally $78 and $72). They are perfect to wear as a guest to a wedding or another dressy event.

I found a black dress to wear to church in the winter for $35 at Ross. I like it so much I will probably wear it during the week, too.

If you are looking for garden pots, this is the time of year where Home Depot puts their pots on clearance. I purchased a large pot for $40 off and a giant white bird of paradise for $30 off. I will grow this indoors. A friend of mine has them in every room in her house and they are stunning. I attached some felt pads that we already had to the bottom of the pot.

What did you do to save money the last two weeks?





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  1. What a deal on the dresses! That’s an amazing price for formalwear.

    I love mortgage calculators. I once won a free Excel spreadsheet that allowed you to plug in all sorts of numbers and variables with all your debt (not just a mortgage), and it’s been a great (and motivating!) tool to have. I know what you mean though that it can be both encouraging and discouraging–that’s often how I feel when I actually sit down and calculate our financial goals! We started paying extra on our mortgage almost right after we moved here in 2020. We’ve obviously had to put a pause on it since my husband lost his job, but as soon as he has his next one lined up (which could even be sooner than we thought, if a pair of final interviews that he’s had come back with job offers), we’ll start really going for it again. I can only imagine the relief I’ll feel when we no longer have any kind of mortgage payment!

    Here are my own frugal wins for the week:


  2. I am glad you managed to get some dresses at a reasonable price and are able to manage your watering.

    We have been away so before we went I mended hubby’s cardigan, washed the dressing gowns and bath robes as the weather was good and I wanted to dry them outside. We always wipe down with flannel or small piece of old towel to dry off so we get less damp towels . I picked 20 cucumbers and froze them for cucumber soup. I picked all the beans, carrots, tomatoes, peppers and raspberries .I cut the lawns hopefully there will be only one more cut.

    We went to Leeds a city my daughter used to live in. We used our bus passes and disabled rail card .We had a hotel where we had a sofa and fridge. We catered for ourselves only having 2 meals out. Unfortunately the city has lost a lot of shops and the indoor market is a shadow of its former self. While there we went to York, a city I love, by train, we would have stayed there but the hotel would have been £400 more expensive. We also went to Harrogate by bus. Harrogate has the most wonderful gardens, if ever you are in the UK and can go there go to the valley gardens, it is all free. Dinner on the night we came home was homemade shepherds pie and veg from the freezer, ready in 30 mins.

    Now we are home I have done all the washing and it is all out on the line, picked 2lbs of raspberries, some over ripe but they will be used in yoghurt. Picked some more beens, peppers, carrots and tomatoes. The squirrels have cut the heads off my sunflowers and taken them away, this has happened before, it gives a new meaning to a take away. I found that while we were away our greengrocer has stopped trading, so now I have got to look into my options, I find supermarket veg is poor quality and does not last.

    Keep safe everyone

    1. Hi Chris,

      Could you share your recipe for cucumber soup, please? I find it interesting that you freeze cucumbers for it.
      My sympathies about the thieving squirrels. They got my pears, small apples and even my green tomatoes, but to lose the
      sunflower heads, that is really egregious! Ann

      1. Cucumber soup not tried it yet as I have been away but with 20 cucumbers every other day I will found at tps://www.loveandlemons.com/cold-cucumber-soup/ hope that helps Chris

  3. It sounds like you got some great deals on dresses. The soft pink roses are lovely. Last week, while walking with the pups last week, I gathered chanterelles, and added them to our sloppy joes one night. Laundry was dried on the line. Chanterelles gathered later in the week were dried. Tomato paste was canned, likely the last of the season, as the tomatoes are slowing down. I bought more garbanzo bean flour, and tried a recipe for GF tortillas. They’re a keeper, and much better than any store bought ones I’ve tried, not to mention much cheaper. I’m happy to be able to have tortillas again. They were used for bean burritos, and your spanish rice was made as a side, both of which used our tomatoes and onions. Almost all of the basil was harvested. Most of it was chopped, and frozen with water in ice cube trays, to add to sauces. The little bit remaining was made into pesto. I don’t often think to mention much of the usual things we do, such as using homemade soap and deodorant, using cloth napkins, putting kitchen scraps in the broth bag or the compost bin, and shredding paper and thin cardboard for the chicken’s nest boxes or compost. During the week, cucumbers, figs, yellow squash, pawpaws and tomatoes were harvested. My husband has been asking for fig bread, and some was made for him on Friday, with extra to freeze. It was such a gorgeous day, and the first day we were able to leave the house open all day. It’s the first time it was cool enough I could think of baking something. The beginning of cozy season. Saturday morning, we harvested the sweet potatoes. My husband then mowed the same area of the garden, tilled it, and planted collard seedlings. He also transplanted volunteer kale seedlings I’d marked in the garden. Stinging nettles were cut back, to encourage another harvest. On Sunday, our dinner was totally homegrown, with one of last year’s sweet potatoes, last year’s frozen collards, and canned crowder peas. Our onion, garlic, homemade broth and red pepper flakes were used for seasoning, so only the olive oil and salt were not produced here. It’s always a great feeling, when we can accomplish that.

    1. Hi Laurie:
      This year I have a bumper crop of collards which I have never grown or eaten before. Any tips on how to prepare them? Thanks! Rita

      1. Rita, take your collard greens and roughly chop them after washing. I like to leave the stems in but some folks cut out the center stem. Anyway, I stack 4-5 leaves and cut once down the middle, right through the stem, then slice into about an inch wide strips. Boil water, which has had bacon grease, bacon or ham broth added. Add the greens and cook to the desired tenderness. They will cook down a lot, so I don’t use much water. For a real southern taste treat, sprinkle with pepper sauce when you serve them.

        1. Thank you, Sendee. I am imagining how they will suit to be simmered in a salty ham broth. Your directions were precise and helpful!

      2. I have one kid that cooks them with a smoked turkey leg and another one that does it with pig hocks… low and slow according to both of them. Mother would cook them the same as other wilted greens (https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/all-about-collard-greens-handling-preparing-and-storing#:~:text=For%20best%20quality%2C%20avoid%20brown,benefits%20as%20fresh%20collard%20greens.&text=Wash%20your%20hands%20before%20handling,with%20a%20pinch%20of%20salt.)

      3. Rita – I don’t want to answer for Laurie but we just use collards like pretty much any other green – we remove the stem (giving those to the chickens) and put them in all kinds of soups and casseroles. They usually grow well in a variety of places so it’s a good thing to have in the garden. And I think they are pretty, too. Have fun!

      4. I’m not Laurie but I live in the south where collards are ubiquitous, so:

        Most here cook them long and slowly, often in a crock pot, with water and a piece of pork/bone such as a pork hock or ham bone. Some add a touch of red pepper and some add a dash of cane syrup (molasses) to cut any bitterness.

        My own favorite way is how a co-worker of my husband told my husband he likes them cooked – washed, shaken free of most of the water, and sautéed until tender in a large pan with a little bacon fat or oil of choice, with some minced garlic, salt and if desired, red or black pepper.

        They can also be shredded and used in place of kale in dishes such as soup.

        1. Thanks for the good information, Jo. I have so much of it and doubt that hubby will eat it so I’m experimentally drying some in the attic (dark, breezy and warm). I’ve seen it in gardens in the south in winter so I expect it will stand up to cool temps for a couple more months here and I can try it several ways as suggested.

          1. Rita, I grew up eating collards cooked as most have shared. I started cooking them myself in the past couple of years and the recipe I found uses chicken broth, some vinegar (I’d say a 1//4 cup or so), a bit of liquid smoke (Just a wee bit!), hot pepper flakes and brown sugar as well as salt. I absolutely LOVE cooking them this way. I put mine in a crockpot that I plug up on my back porch. A neighbor shared that she did this whenever she was cooking greens as they can smell a bit unpleasant cooking, but my word they are delicious.

            1. Thanks for sharing, Terri! I love the sound of this recipe without meat. Good tip to plug in outdoors…I’ll try the open garage (until my husband realizes my plan haha). A fair amount of broth?

  4. The flowers are beautiful as always. We have had hummingbirds back at my hanging pots. My husband pressured washed our front porch, the swing and rocking chairs. I have repotted my Aloe Vera plant into a larger pot as it had outgrown its current pot. I have decorated my porch for fall. My husband and I have been getting up at daylight and walking every morning. We find that we have more time in the morning than in the evening to get this done. I have found different flavors of candy corn and I am loving trying the different flavors. My husband had to have oral surgery last week, he has another scheduled for October. We went to a softball tournament last Saturday. It was fun, cheap and pleasant sitting and watching the games with friends. My new health insurance started a program that if you are diabetic that your testing supplies are free and they also gave me a blood pressure cuff as well. My prescriptions are higher but this will save some money. My work is having a training session tomorrow and lunch will be provided. Loving the cooler temperatures and weather.

  5. This is my frugal Disney list since we just got back from a trip with the whole family.
    I bought gift cards at BJ’s to pay for the trip. They are a reduced price. I put them on my cash back card so double savings. We pay the CC off every month. We (7)all brought reusable water bottles. Disney has water filling stations so we saved hundreds on water. A water bottle is $4 and it was in the 90s the whole trip. I brought a small cooler as my carry on bag. I brought hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, grapes and apples. In our suitcases I packed bananas, peanut butter, granola bars, muffins and Ziplocs. Muffins travel well in sneaker boxes. Bananas were $2.25 at Disney compared to 19¢ at Trader Joes. The kids put together a grocery delivery. Hubby and I got a loaf of bread. We only did 3 sit down meals. I brought the Ziplocs with me. Extra rolls, chips and fries all were taken back to the room. Quick serve meals, Hubby and I shared or I got a kids meal. My favorite kids meal was grilled shrimp(6) with rice. I took an apple juice as my drink (for breakfast) and apple slices. My 2 daughters also ordered kids meals several times. Hubby has an allergy and one of his meals came out wrong. They gave us back double the price as an apology. His allergy wasn’t even what was wrong, they gave him the wrong side which they told him to keep.
    We had to take connecting flight to get home. I made PBJ(jelly from food court) for our trip home and packed it in the cooler with leftover snacks. Our second flight got delayed so we were very happy to have the sandwiches. Hubby’s brother drove us to and from the airport. It is 15 minutes from our houses, we live 5 blocks from each other. Hubby drives them when they go away. No need to hire a car service or pay for overnight parking.
    My sister watched our dog for the week. We watch hers all the time because she travels for work. Her thank you was a bag of garden produce when we dropped her off and picked her up.
    The garden exploded while we were away. I asked a neighbor to water my garden while we were away if needed. It rained 4 days so she didn’t have too. We shut off the hot water heater while away. I washed undergarments in the hotel bathtub. Less to pack. We brought a fan/mister that we got at Disney about 20 years ago. It just needed new batteries. We all brought rain gear and we needed it. The only souvenir I bought was a card game in the Star Wars section. It is a lot of fun and we play games all the time.
    I uploaded all of my receipts to Fetch when I got home.
    Off to process all of my garden goodies.

    1. Marybeth,
      Does your family stay in a Disney hotel?
      It’s hard for us to find something that accommodates our group, for a reasonable price, and still allows early park entrance. Last trip we all squeezed into a Drury Inn room (free breakfast and supper) since they’re a Good Neighbor hotel, but wondering if there are other affordable on-site large family options I don’t know about?
      If you see this and get a chance to reply, thanks!

      1. We stayed at Caribbean Beach on Disney property. We booked it last year with a special they were running. You got $100 per night per room. We got 3 rooms. We haven’t done a family vacation in 10 years so we did spend more then we normally do. We are debt free except mortgages and that goes for our kids as well. My 2 daughters did most of the planning. We didn’t use the early entry. Hubby does like to go back to the room and take a nap. Staying on property makes it easier for him to do. Disney is not a cheap vacation.

      2. We love Disney and with 5 kids it is near impossible to find a cheaper hotel. We purchased a camper and now stay at Fort Wilderness. Each site holds up to 10 people. You can also rent a camper as well.

  6. You have been a real rockstar with your water conservation, Brandy!! Well done! And I know that every little bit of extra principal you pay on your mortgage really does add up into a real savings towards paying it off completely! You can do this!! We are all cheering you on in your frugal efforts!! You inspire us all!!

    Got caught up on quilting for clients- https://pin.it/2TgwW0r.
    These 5 client quilts were all made from fabric panels that she cut apart and added to. It was a reminder to me that I have some fabric panels in my stash that I’ve never known how to turn them into something a bit more special! https://pin.it/3Jlz7TX, https://pin.it/7gfj6dZ, https://pin.it/4XGtl6G, (you can see my quilting the meandering bats on the backing: https://pin.it/2m3FncG, https://pin.it/2tB2SXk, https://pin.it/3CqeqZd.
    This quilt was made by a client from tossed away quilt blocks and thrift store clothes: https://pin.it/5Iyruc3. Even the back is pieced from scraps: https://pin.it/6IasIiT. Great reminder to me that it is possible to be creative just using what bits I already have in my stash! The same principle applies to food in my pantry, etc!
    My daughter who makes purses had her first craft show over Labor Day weekend and wanted a way to display them without investing a lot of money. Hubs came to the rescue! He took the 4 wrought iron corners from our old gazebo and a scrounged from the alley wrought iron corner shelving stand and a metal trellis (again being tossed aside in our alley) and bought a can of Rustoleum. He made two shelf units from the gazebo corners by cutting wood that he had saved from our old piano . Added lighting we already had behind them and I think it looks pretty good, knowing he had just 2 days notice to design and create these! https://pin.it/7aVrfbL.

    The friend in a nearby town that previously had given us 2 van loads of canned and dry goods that her son got at a food auction (just past their sell date) called me on Labor Day weekend because she had another load. She had taken/given as much as she and her family/friends could use so she offered me the rest! It took us 2 trips but we came home with: Applesauce- 760 cans, Pancake syrup- 48 (24 Oz), Chili with beans pouches- 24, Corn 158, Green beans cut 120, Sweet potato 48, Spinach 24, Spaghetti sauce 5 jars, Sweetened condensed milk 2, Chicken with rice soup 24, Chicken noodle soup-72, Apricots- 13, Peaches -10, Mandarin oranges- 6, Pears- 2 and Skippy peanut butter- creamy- 20. What a blessing! We called 10 families/friends and it was all distributed. It felt so good to share this with other families who have children/teens at home who are trying to keep up with inflation!
    The funny thing was- this time the sell by dates were all 2024! To see over 1100 cans/jars of food going out our door to benefit others was a real joy!

    We have still been harvesting from our garden. The weather this past 2 weeks has definitely changed to fall. So we are “squirreling away” as much as we can- limiting our spending, preserving and stocking up as much as we can because we know that winter will come. Trying to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way, even when it comes at an inconvenient time. (Isn’t that the typical timing of “opportunities “? Lol!

    I had lots of 4 Oz containers of cherry yogurt in the fridge so I found a strudel muffin recipe that used sour cream so I made an even exchange for 2 cartons of cherry yogurt instead! Oh, my goodness!! Yum!! https://pin.it/57lLa7J

    I also got about 7 pounds of 80/20 ground beef for $1.82/pound instead of $5.69/pound! Who can pay $5.69/pound? 😱 https://pin.it/6sJqPiJ and https://pin.it/22VnSKh. So grateful! I’m using as one of it in a new to me recipe for Salisbury steaks in the crockpot! Also bought 3 beautiful top round roasts for $2.99/pound and one will go in crockpot tomorrow!

    We noticed that our Ivy covered wooden arch at the entrance to our house was leaning precariously toward the sidewalk https://pin.it/mHuGp5H, so we hired 2 friends (both young fathers) that we knew would appreciate being able to earn $100 each for a couple hours of work. The $200 we spent was worth it to have them do the heavy work and ride with Dave to dump to unload it. If we had hired a company to do it and carry it away, it would have cost well more than that!! It won’t be until Spring when we rebuild it but that gives Dave time to get out his graph paper and plan and design a new one over the winter when we are stuck inside!

    We still have a $200 credit on our gas bill coming into the heating season and our level pay is half the amount it had been last year. Our electric bill was lower again this past month ($130) even though we had been using our window air conditioners. That’s good because our new assessment on our house for property taxes tripled over last year (which had been double what it was 4 years ago!) Sadly, our homestead exemption is a flat amount rather than a percentage of the valuation. But, we are still blessed more than so many others because we still have “wiggle room” that we can pay the additional property taxes. I worry for those who are just realizing that costs are continuing to rise with no end in sight and have not started preparing for it. They are the ones that we keep extra in our pantry for so that we can share.

    Times are crazy these days, we are being stretched so much but through it, hopefully we will all find opportunities to add to our storehouses and become wise and provident stewards.

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Thank you Pat for your weekly comments. I really love how you always take s pleasant look at life and try to help others out as much as possible especially with the great blessings of food or a bit of extra work. And your quilting is lovely too.

      1. Natasha in Canada- Thank you for those kind words! We find ourselves, at this time of our lives, being more comfortable financially than we ever dreamed we would be after raising 11 kids. Don’t misunderstand- we won’t be going out a buying a brand new car or buying luxury items . But we have enough for our simple lifestyle and to share with others. We remember “getting by” but not having extra “just in case”! So, when we see opportunities to obtain and share with others to keep them from being as overwhelmed by inflation, then we can show our gratitude by sharing.

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. Pat, we are DREADING the upcoming assessment amount. We know it’s going to be a humdinger. First, they sent a letter. They only send letters when something is major. Second, they’re holding public hearings in several cities around the county. That has never happened, which means they’re expecting it to be ugly. I suspect it’ll be more than $1200 per year, which is ghastly IMO. I’ve done some figuring so I’m expecting the worst, but hoping I’m wrong.

      1. Debby in Kansas- They estimate that our property taxes on our house will be 60%- 80% higher for 2023 .From $2354/year up to somewhere between $3677 and $4064 a year in taxes! And yes, I know that many people probably have much higher taxes than we do, but to put it into perspective, in 2019 our home was valued at $128,900. For 2023 it is valued at $317,800! And, yes, according to sales comps on our block, our house could sell for well over $400K. What crazy times we live in!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    3. Yikes, Gardenpat! I feel your pain on those property taxes! Ours went up another $500/year. In 2011, they were $4100. We live on a standard size lot in a subdivision in a rural community in north central Illinois. Now they are over $9000! This is insane! And it isn’t due to improvements to the house either.
      On another note, my best friend and I went to a quilting shop yesterday. I have never seen so many fabrics (or machines)! And such great quality. I have been disappointed in many of the prints at Joann’s as they are literally printed on one side and white on the other. The fabric isn’t as high quality as it used to be either, so I prefer Hobby Lobby. But this shop was paradise for a quilter or sewer. I don’t quilt, but my friend does. In fact, I accompanied her to a huge quilting show in Madison, WI, two weeks ago. I did buy some fabric to make something😂😂😂 because I just couldn’t resist! A friend of my friend has been donating fabric to a charity shop she helps run so I am going to have to check that out. I’m sure I need another bin of fabric! (Like a hole in the head!) I had been telling her about Lennie and I showed her the quilts you just posted. She loved the panel quilt idea! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pieces with us!

      1. Natasha in the ATL:
        Crockpot Salisbury Steak
        What you will need:
        • 2 lbs. ground beef
        • 1 pkg. onion soup mix (I make my own and have it on my shelf.)
        • 1⁄2 cup saltine crackers, crushed
        • 1 egg
        • 1⁄4 cup milk
        • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
        • 1⁄4 cup flour
        • 2 (10 oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
        • 1 pkg. brown gravy mix, prepared according to
        package directions.
        Mix the first 5 ingredients and shape into 8 patties. Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan. Dredge the patties on both sides with the flour. Put Brown in the hot oil on both sides. Place the patties in a crockpot. They can overlap. Combine soup and mixed gravy. Pour over patties.
        Cook on low for 4-6 hours, until the patties are cooked through.

        As a kid, tv dinners just came on the market and I used to love the Salisbury Steak . This took me back to that time!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  7. The roses are as lovely as always, Brandy. How wonderful that you’ve had that much rain!

    Your boutique item reminded me that when one of my daughters married, she ordered a pretty wedding dress online ($500) from a site that accepted returns. Then we heard a bridal boutique that we knew about just across the state line was going out of business. We hurried there and found her a truly lovely dress selling online for $975 (we checked) selling for just $100. She got a return authorization and refused shipment on the other dress, so we saved $400. Compared to the dress online, we saved $875!

    I hemmed an unraveled seam on a sheet.

    I found inexpensive curtains to replace some the sun had ruined, but they were a few inches too long, so I hemmed them as well.

    I was trying to think of something different for my porch fall décor when I remembered a stoneware pickling crock that I received from my parents’ estate. Filled with fall flowers and leaves, it looks just right on my porch. I don’t go overboard with decorating the porch and do almost nothing at all in the spring and summer, but fall is my favorite season – cool weather at last! – and of course I love to decorate for Christmas. I try to use things I have and can be reused year after year. I also use things from my yard.

    I save the water from my dogs’ water bowls, which I replenish every day, and water potted plants with it. I save warm up water for other potted plants or flushing toilets.

    I enjoyed putting together a puzzle bought cheaply at the thrift store.

    I was pleased to be able to pick a few more squash from my plants before I pull them up this weekend. Fall planting is about to start.

    I changed my own wristwatch battery using the tiny screwdriver from an old eyeglass repair kit to open the back. It’s tip is just skinny enough to catch the miniscule edge on the back and flip it off.

    I also changed the battery in my vintage looking Kit-Cat clock. The back doesn’t hold the batteries in very securely, so I put a piece of cardboard in before snapping the back on again, and it holds the batteries in place. It’s certainly better than throwing the clock away. I asked for this as a gift one year, because we had one in my childhood bedroom.

    1. Brandy, I appreciated your 9/11 IG post. The O’Neill Brothers are from my tiny hometown so to see their music credit was a nice surprise. I believe they would be delighted that their music accompanied your message of love.

      On the frugal front:
      I requested multiple quotes for seal coating our driveway before scheduling the service saving $20.

      We cooled the water from the water bath canner and used it to water the flower beds.

      We harvested more tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. HH pickled red and green jalapeños to use as Christmas gifts and made jalapeño poppers.

      I borrowed the neighbors trimmer to edge along the curb and driveway.

      My coworkers brought more pears to work. I made two dozen pear muffins to share with the team.

      The cilantro went to seed. I cut back the dried stems and stripped the seeds directly into the garden bed.

      I trimmed my flopped false sunflower and made two small arrangements for my home.

      I purchased quart Ball jars at our local Ace Hardware and saved $3+/case over big box stores.

      HH filtered the tomato pulp leftover from salsa making and froze the resulting tomato juice. I will use it to make Mexican rice, chili, etc this fall and winter.

      HH divided our Stella D’Oro daylillies. He replanted some of the divisions right back into the same flower bed and others in an empty area where we removed a dead shrub earlier this summer.

      I collected seed from my Husker Red penstemon plants and sowed them behind the daylillies.

      HH relocated several volunteer Siberian iris plants to a better location.

      I received a BOGO Qdoba coupon from my sister and used it when running errands after work one evening.

      I bought several bags of clearanced, overly-ripe bananas at the local grocery store and baked banana chocolate chip muffins to freeze for future grab and go breakfasts or snacks.

      DD1 had a parking mishap and damaged her car. We did not want to file an insurance claim. We were able to decrease the cost of the auto body repair by working with a trusted shop owner who was willing to discuss multiple repair options and search for salvaged doors. It took several months and not every scratch and ding was repaired, but we were able to reduce the cost by $2100. We were both very pleased with the results.

      Looking forward to reading about everyone’s frugal feats!

  8. I hope you have a wafting scent of roses in your yard! So pretty!
    I received an unexpected $50 refund from a medical facility I last visited almost three years ago, probably when they charged me a copay they shouldn’t have. Glad they finally updated their account on me. This was on top of an unexpected few hundred dollars back from my insurance company from last year’s premiums, which arrived last week.
    Weather has been so comfortable we have had the AC off, good for electric bill. I need to vacuum the furnace filter soon to be ready for colder weather.
    An old large brick house I’ve always admired down the street from us is currently for sale. We don’t have a need to move and don’t need twice as much space, but I am imagining what it would be like to live there. I am trying to focus on what I think I could do in that space, (like have dedicated closet for holiday decorations and a craft room), so I can then try to create those things in our current house.
    I continue to make slow progress in clearing out the tubs in the basement, currently going through my son’s toys, (he’s over 30), for a yard sale or donations. I found an anonymous quotation on Facebook I hadn’t heard before, illustrated with a picture of two hands holding red-orange leaves. It is appropriate to what I’m doing this autumn: “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.”

  9. I hired a private contractor to put in my windows and we shopped for windows today at Menards Hardware where they are giving 11% back rebate. So far I have bought 2 windows will need more.. spent $400 on 2 windows got $46 back in rebates, those rebate checks will go to buying paint for my 2 bedrooms that are being rehabbed, new windows all through the house and the 2 bedrooms are having new drywall installed that will then need painted. I took a friend to lunch this week, used my Amazon Visa card earned points by using my card that I can spend at Amazon, came home and paid the card off. I also used my Amazon at Menards today and will get points on Amazon as well. I used my Amazon card at the cemetery this week to pay for me and husbands burial plot and all the services needed to put us in our final resting place ( preplanned for me) and again points go on my Amazon account and I paid the card off within 24 hours. So making this card work for me and building up rebates and points. I pulled a pack of pork sirloin and a pack of boneless chicken thighs from the deep freezer thaw and canned up 13 pints of meat yesterday. Still using the library for books. I also found apples 3 pounds for $1.99 at Aldi’s bought 30 pounds and will be canning those in to applesauce this week.

  10. Those water savings are wonderful! And how satisfying is it to pay down the mortgage!

    My frugal accomplishments:
    I made little cakes and delivered them to friends’ kids as birthday cakes.
    – I redeemed $10 in loyalty points for groceries
    – Friends gave me tomatoes, basil, and a bag of children’s clothes. I love my community!
    – I made basil mayo using the gifted basil (https://approachingfood.com/basil-mayo/)
    – I made banana nice cream (a variation on this one http://approachingfood.com/tropical-coconut-banana-nice-cream/) as a post-school snack on a hot day. Bananas from the freezer, and powdered milk, since I’m rotating my food storage. Nutritious, cooling, and a ‘treat’.
    – I made homemade mozzarella, using powdered milk. Not my favourite, but my eldest daughter enjoyed it. I’ll use the remainder on homemade pizza with leftover frozen pesto sauce.
    – made apple pie using this crust recipe (http://approachingfood.com/preservative-free-vodka-pie-crust/), but made it with plant butter (inexpensive) and vegetable shortening my mother gave me, plus apples frozen from a flash food box months ago. Served it when babysitting.
    – I sold another item on FB marketplace, and bought a gift for my daughter’s upcoming birthday with the proceeds. The gift was on sale too.
    – I set up my daughters with recycled materials to do art, mostly paper wrapping or perfect condition paper packaging from my workplace. Free art supplies!
    – My Costco membership will end at the end of next month but I know that one can use gift cards twice a year at Costco, without having a membership, so I bought two gift cards in the smallest denomination. I’ll get two for my mother too, for which she’ll reimburse me, and since we always shop at Costco together, we’ll be able to shop there every three months for a year, saving me the $60 yearly membership fee. $60 might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but all these savings definitely add up.
    – I used the TooGoodToGo app, and bought a box of fancy mini cupcakes for $7.99. A treat! My eldest loved sharing them with her friends at the school bus drop-off (and I enjoyed several myself).
    – I sold some outgrown kids clothing and toys to a second-hand kids shop.
    – I visited my parents and they sent me home with a whole basket of homegrown tomatoes. So delicious!
    – I combined coupons, cashback apps, sales, and price matching when shopping. My best items were a free loaf of raisin bread (BOGO coupon), and a free box of crackers with a 50 cent profit (high value coupon plus cashback online). The following week, it was 13 packages of kids cheese (each little package has 6 individual packages) for FREE (sale plus coupon). I had a number of coupons left so I left them on the shelf where the sale items where, and hopefully others can benefit. I was pretty thrilled with the free cheese!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. In the USA, we can use Costco gift cards as many times as we want. I just give money to a friend with a membership to buy me a bunch of gift cards at a time and I can shop there anytime.

  11. Unfortunately, my dad was rushed to the ER and then transported to another hospital an hour away (passed days later). While each day was a roller coaster of emotions, I packed large amounts of water and snacks to stay hydrated at least (there wasn’t much of an appetite). I filled my gas tank at a certain gas station that offered $2.99 a gallon to help stave fuel costs.

    In between waiting for news and quiet times, I turned to this blog for comfort. As much as I wanted the world to stop – your comments brought the minor distraction needed.

    After his passing, we gathered at my parents’ home and helped my mom. We removed items not needed and donated them to a local charity shop. If there were items we could use, we were given permission to take them. My dad was an avid woodworker and was going to teach me to carve. I will use YouTube tutorials and his tools and carry out the carved learning item he had picked for me to do.

    Funeral wishes/costs were kept low, as my parents remained/remain frugal ever since their marriage many decades ago.

    The next several months/year(s) will be challenging for my mom as she learns to live without her best friend. I have left my job to be there as she needs; I am grateful my household has been practicing good spending habits to allow this. I have even entered a line item titled Mom to take her out on day trips and such.

    We will be okay and thankful his mind and body are now at rest.
    Hope everyone has a calm and productive week.

    1. J,

      I am so sorry to hear about your father. You and your mother are in my thoughts.

      I well understand the peace and comfort this online community provides. When I lost my husband two years ago, this blog and the comments were my haven in the chaos.

      All the best to you and your family.

    2. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad dying, it is so difficult on your family
      I think the woodworking is a wonderful tribute to your Dad

    3. I am so sorry to hear about your dad, J. Praying for peace and comfort for you and your family. God bless you for being there for your mother. Like others, this blog brings me great comfort when my world turns upside down. Thank you to Brandy for this community.

    4. So sorry for your sudden loss. I think the beautiful quote Heidi Louise shared this week could be comforting in times of grief, “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.”

    5. J, I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. How kind and loving to add outings with your Mom into your budget. She will appreciate that time so much.

  12. When I was paying extra on my original mortgage, I found that when the mortgage renewed, the bank had left the amortization the same so it wouldn’t be paid off any sooner, but just have smaller payments. I had to ask at each renewal date to make the mortgage shorter. I’m sure you know to watch out for this, but it took me by surprise. Any payment, no matter how small, makes a difference, so congratulations!

    I had a few things I was thinking of selling on the local Facebook page, but I didn’t really want to attract anyone I didn’t know to the house. Someone I know and trust posted a request for exactly one of the items, and was handing me cash at my door within a few minutes of our connecting by direct message.

    I used most of the money for groceries. That included a 5 lb pack of medium ground beef for $2.88 Cad a lb ($2.00 US). I haven’t seen beef at that price in years.

    A few days later a friend called. She and a family member had ordered a cow for the freezer, but it was being delivered early, before they finished the half cow they got last year. She asked if I would like some beef for free! I was thinking it would be ground beef, but it is mostly grilling steaks (New York striploin and ribeye), and an outside round roast. 10 lb of meat in total, all wrapped in small packages, manageable for a single person household.

    A neighbor stopped by with a former neighbor, bringing leftover crudites from a birthday party. I had many days of snacks, mostly baby carrots and grapes and a few other things. There was celery too. I don’t like it fresh or cooked, but chopped it up and put it in the freezer to use for starting soups, along with chopped onions and carrots.

    I filled out a survey and have been given three free one-year digital subscriptions to magazines like Good Housekeeping.

    I’ve been doing without on a couple of things. I’m finishing my second month in a row without coffee, and my second week without ibuprofen. I’m managing arthritis with Voltaren rub on my knees if they’re really painful, and a bit of massage, hot baths, and rest. Some fall cleaning is keeping me mobile enough that the joints loosen up as I go along, if I don’t overdo it. Voltaren is not a cheap substitute for ibuprofen (twice the price), but I did have a tube in the house.

    I’ve been doing a little online grassroots activism, so that life is not all about food and money, and we’ve had a recent success in getting the price of TB testing lowered for poor countries. One person working among many thousands writing emails, but still satisfying.

    1. Elizabeth M.
      That is a great price on the beef. The reason in part is because Alberta farmers are culling their herds. The extreme heat in the summer means the wheat and other crops were not as plentiful so the farmers are culling the herds as they don’t have feed for so many.

    2. Elizabeth M.
      That is a great price on the beef. The reason in part is because Alberta farmers are culling their herds. The extreme heat in the summer means the wheat and other crops were not as plentiful so the farmers are culling the herds as they don’t have feed for so many. Now is definitely to stock up on beef in Alberta. What a windfall for you to receive the beef from friends. As to arthritis pain, I found peppermint cream that I had from years ago really did the trick but I would ask a gp first about its safety. congrats on helping to get tb testing price lowered!

      1. I think the same has been happening with pork, at least with the large pork producers that grow their own supplies. It is too expensive to feed them and keep them warm over winter. The local Coop had a couple of great weeks of pork loin and ground pork at $1.99, but it wasn’t worth the cost of a cab ride over there to get any. It hasn’t brought all pork (or beef, for that matter) prices down, though. They’re pricing ham and sausage like gold at my store, as a scarce commodity!

  13. A very busy two weeks here. Mostly garden, but other things too.

    Week 1 –
    My new stove was delivered and installed on Tuesday, September 5th. So, on Monday and Tuesday, the kitchen got a really good scrubbing. While they had the old stove out, I swept and mopped the floor where the stove goes, as well as washed the walls and the vent fan. The new stove is great.

    Garden – Picked zucchini, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, candy onions, beets, chard and lettuce.

    Preserving – Chopped onions, garlic and cilantro for salsa. Mixed in with the tomato/p0pper base and added other ingredients, and froze 18 containers of salsa, plus gave one to DH’s sister, one to friend, and kept one in our fridge. Yum, sooooo good.
    Made up a batch of Italian seasoning mix. Picked 36 ears of corn. Cooked, cut off the cob and froze 14 packages, with 2 cups in each package. Picked an additional 40 ears of corn. Cooked and cut off the cob. Made up 12 1-cup packages for DH’s sister, and 16 cups for us. I now have enough corn in the freezer. Shredded zucchini, and put in 2 cup packages for the freezer. This is for bread during the winter.

    Cooking – Made 2 loaves of zucchini blueberry bread, Italian sausage and gnocchi soup, BLTs, BLT salad, a large baked ziti – actually made a 9×13 pan and an 8 inch square pan. Had popcorn for a snack one night.

    Gifting – Took my sister some corn, tomatoes, onions and beets when I drove by her house when I went to stay with my DIL and GD while my son was on a men’s retreat with their church. My sister gave me a bag of cotton yarn and also gave me 3 bags of yarn for my DIL. She went back to work full-time (teaching at WSU) and no longer has time to knit or crochet. She does not find it relaxing like I do. Took my son and DIL corn from the garden, the 9×13 baked ziti and a jar of Italian seasoning mix that I made using herbs we had grown and dried.

    While with my DIL and GD we went to the county fair. My GD loved the sheep, goats and bunnies. We only stayed about 2 1/2 hours. Considering she is only 8 months old, she did really well.

    Week 2 –

    Garden – Picked thyme, basil, tomatoes, peppers, 2 heads of romaine, cucumbers, red cabbage, green cabbage, corn, carrots and a gallon of snow peas. This is the first picking from our third planting of snow peas.

    Preserving – Finished one planting of corn. It was kind of old, so froze in containers for soup during winter. Made tomato basil soup. Put 21 cups in the freezer, and 7 cups in the fridge. Picked, cleaned and dried thyme.

    Cooking – Made garlic cheese spread – great on crackers. Made nachos for dinner one night. Made cauliflower soup, suing cauliflower from the freezer. Had chef’s salad for dinner a couple of times.

    Gifting – Gave tomatoes onions and peppers to one friend. Gave tomatoes to another friend. Gave DH’s sister, the corn and salsa as well as some onions.

    Other – Cut DH’s hair, made a batch of “cream of” soup mix, Washed bedding, including our comforter, hung on the line. DH got his “free” $50 OTC for the third quarter from his Medicare Advantage plan. Stocked up on vitamins we were low on.

    This has been a wonderful year for our garden, for everything except green beans and cilantro. Everything else has been banner crops. I am glad I mostly retired at the beginning of August. This has given me time to do everything with the garden. I will be working January through May only from now on, and on a year-to-year basis.

    Hope everyone has a good upcoming week.

  14. Again, your photographs are breathtaking, Brandy. How nice to get some new dresses at such wonderful prices. I have a wedding to attend in October for my nephew and ordered a new dress for it. It came and fits nice. I just need to hem a bit. It was $40, which I didn’t think was too bad for a nice dress that I will wear often. I rarely buy new clothes, so it’s always a little nerve wracking for me. I’m thankful it worked out. *Been keeping up with menu planning and cooking good meals from home. We have been utilizing leftovers by having them again later in the week, using in a different recipe or freezing. *I finished a crocheted blue baby afghan for the gift closet. Bought the yarn on sale plus 20% off. I like to have four blankets in there at a time, then when a new baby is born in the congregation, my husband can grab one when he makes a visit. Two were used last month so I’m replacing them. *The kind friend who works at Hobby Lobby and donates yarn to me when it is clearance (plus her discount) gave me two BIG plastic bags full of beautiful yarn last week. She will never take any money. She knows I am careful to only use her yarn for items I donate. I always take pictures of the donations before I drop them off, once or twice a year, to share with her. I never expect it, and it is always such a nice surprise. *Otherwise, it’s still reading library books, watching shows we enjoy, and spending time with the family for fun. Football season has started so we are enjoying games that are on broadcast tv or amazon with prime. * Temps have cooled so no more A/C and we are enjoying the open windows. Fresh air is such a gift. * I hope everyone has a safe, peace filled and thrifty week!

  15. My money saving wins have mostly been food related recently as I’ve been putting a concerted effort into spending less on food for the month of September. Gone are the canned flavored seltzers, as well as any meals with expensive ingredients. I’m a good cook, so there’s no actual sacrifice. It helps that my daughter works at an extremely fancy grocery store and brings me occasional free treats that they give to their employees. Yesterday was a fruit tart that was still less than 24 hours from having been baked. Not sure why it was a freebie, but it was a delightful dessert to eat after our lentil soup.

    Of course I blogged about everything here:


  16. I spent a lot of money — believe it or not on squash. My friend was going to the farmers’ market and asked what I’d like. I said squash without remembering to say “small” or “medium”. She bought bowling ball-sized squash and nearly bankrupted me in the process. I will definitely be eating healthy foods for a while as she bought me honeycrisp apples, fresh garden peas, sweet carrots, etc etc. Today my other friend went to No Frills and bought me butternut squash for half the price (99 cents per pound), beets for ten pounds for $4.99, russet potatoes ten pounds for $3.99 (one of the cheapest prices I’ve seen. I had stashed some chicken thighs in her freezer so she brought those down to me — they were a buy one get one free special a while ago. I also stocked up on toilet paper and paper towels, shampoo and soap. Soup was on sale so I stocked up. For the next three weeks, I don’t plan on buying any groceries. I also plan on starting to make my own lower sodium soup and keeping the canned soup for emergencies. unfortunately, I have several repairs that need to be done around the house.
    My best purchase was a new copy (paperback) of The Gown. It centers around the lives of two embroiderers who were making Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown. It is fiction but there are true historical facts that it is based on. I really enjoyed reading it and finished it within two days. It normally sells for about $21.99 but amazon.ca has it on sale for $4.99. I bought two copies – one as a Christmas gift. I’m not sure why this very popular novel was reduced that much. I bought another book, although I don’t want to be distracted by reading it yet, but it should be good for a cold winter’s day. It is Killers of the Flower Moon. It is about to be made into a movie.
    Brandy, I enjoyed watching your discussion on gardening in the desert on You Tube.

        1. I don’t have a channel. I was the guest on a podcast that was also on YouTube. The podcast is called Desert Garden News and it’s the September episode.

    1. A friend of mine picked up a spaghetti squash last week and didn’t realize that the price was – per pound! When she got to the cash and was told that it would be over $5 she put it back! She did better tonight as we went to an Eastern European supermarket and she got a giant cabbage for $1.49 – we will split it!

  17. Pretty sure I’ve forgot a few things I’ve done the last couple weeks, it’s been crazy around here.

    I had stickers already to price my yardsale stuff

    Picked up a $6.99 pizza from Papa Johns 😋

    I only made 14.50 at my yardsale 😭. Had lots of people, no one was buying. I started listing big stuff on Marketplace that day. Since I was outside most the day, the teen cleaned the living room and kitchen, then I read half a book while sitting.

    The money I took out of the bank for change, I made sure to deposit back on Monday so I wouldn’t lose or spend it.

    Sunday I sold a truck light bar for $50 on Marketplace

    I opened a Capital One 360 account. After 2 $250 deposits, I’ll earn $350. Since our school district cut out annualized pay, this is where my summer money will go.

    Ate most breakfasts and lunches at work

    The teen brought home some tasty treats from her cooking classes at school…English muffins and pork potstickers

    Been attempting to not so much at the grocery store, but it hasn’t been working. Grocery prices are nuts and we aren’t buying as much as we once did.

    Traded my neighbor some ribbon and burlap for a mum. Her family owns a farm and they do a big festival in October. She’ll use what she got from me to decorate there and I’ll use the mum is to decorate here, lol.

    My teen killed my succulent (on accident). I put in fresh soil and transferred my aloe to that pot since it was bigger.

    Bathed and clipped dog toenails ourselves.

    Made sure to eat everything up or freeze leftovers.

    Put some sturdy boxes on the curb and posted that they were there on Facebook. Saved space and a trip to the recycling center.

    Cleaned out the vacuum and it’s filter.

    Try to get all the laundry done in one day. I usually wash twice a week, Saturday and Wednesday.

    Made sure charger cords are unplugged when not in use

    Had to replace my phone case. Since my phone is almost 4 years old, didn’t spend a great deal of money on one because I feel it’s going to need replaced (battery dies quick)

  18. That looks like a massive bop! Thank you for the reminder that I need to replace mine, it didn’t survive our Texas freeze in 2021 (sadly, I’m still seeing evidence of that freeze in the local plant life-or what’s left of it-on occasion). I kept hoping it might come back, and then over time it has just slipped my mind. They have such gorgeous and unique flowers!
    Have a great week everyone!

  19. Brandy, I cut back my watering by half two weeks ago to harden up the grass and plants for winter. It saves on the water bill and conserving is the right thing to do. We will be turning off the water in October.

    We paid off our last house in 7 years. A 10-year mortgage was the shortest we could get so we amortized it to pay in full in 7 years. We wanted to own the house free and clear by the time my husband turned 60–and we paid it off the day before his birthday!

    I have been focusing on my challenge to spend under $300 month on groceries and save $125 month actual cash “in my pocket.” So far this month, I’ve spent $223.19 on groceries and I’ve bought a LOT of meat. I have put $251.53 “in my pocket” with coupons, canceling subscriptions, an unexpected refund, money saved by booking car and motel through the AAA travel agency and OTC drugs from an insurance benefit–plus I found a penny. Also, a friend surprised me today with a $100 GC for helping her family when everyone had Covid. Her generosity made me uncomfortable but I was polite enough not to refuse it.

    A friend and I are going through Flylady’s first book together. No, I am not subscribing to the e-mails! I haven’t shined my sink yet but I am wearing supportive shoes. So far I’ve started morning and evening routines and I’m decluttering.

    Best wishes to everyone here!

    1. My husband is already 60, so our goal is a bit further out, but I am hopeful that we can cut the time down.

    2. I thought shining my sink and putting out fresh dish towels each night was silly. Until I tried it. What a difference it made in my life! I did adapt the sink cleaning routine to a good scrub with dish soap, rinse and then spray with window cleaner and wipe dry. YMMV.

      1. SJ – I so agree about shining the sink and putting out fresh dish towels at night. I call it “putting the kitchen to bed” and it does put a nice finish on the day – very satisfying! 🙂

    3. Hey Maxine, I closed a bank account where the “bonus” interest rate was 0.02% and moved it to my main bank where the interest is 1.5%. Should have done it sooner. The interest for one month was 4 times the amount that I received all year. The old bank sent me a check for $0.01. When I deposited it (of course I did, why let them keep it) I told the teller the check would have been bigger if they paid better rates.lol They did try to temp me to stay with a larger rate. But I thought why didn’t they offer it before.

      I’m at a certain age where I want to get rid of items instead of collecting them. Especially after the last 3 years dealing with my parents estate. I’ve always been good about getting rid of stuff but a lot has been hanging around and needs to go. I’ve also decided not to replace broken items unless they are really needed. We just replaced our window ac using credit card points($400 gift card). Most gc’s are for stuff we don’t need and they quit offering grocery gc’s so it just accumulated. My kitchen aid mixer, which I really like is breaking down. I won’t replace it, using it until it stops working then dig out the hand mixer. No money spent and less stuff.

      Groceries are higher but it’s no excuse to be rude. I was checking out yesterday and a woman behind me kept telling the teenage cashier how expensive their store is, how they need more help, how she prefers to shop somewhere else. Then she tells me I shouldn’t be sacking my groceries. It was crazy and rude, no point in that behavior. I did wonder why she was there though and if she was in a hurry they do have self checkout. I could have told her that I bought the sale items and stocked up on other things which gave me a 20% discount. But I could tell she was the type not to listen. Plus I was in a hurry, the reason I was sacking my own groceries. This is a good reminder to me to be patient, grateful, and share a bit of kindness.

  20. Hello everyone,
    My conference was great, and I made sure to submit my expenses to get reimbursed quickly and not track up interest. I won $100 from a door prize, too!
    We have had a long day. My husband had a nerve block and an MRI (2 separate trips, sigh), and I had to work and get kids to school and work around that. I decided to get papa murphys for dinner since it’s $10 night and we can get leftovers out of it. I also piggybacked a work photo and a pharmacy trip while I was at appointments today. Tomorrow we go back to the hospital for another appointment, and then it quiets down some, I think.
    We looked at schedules and made choices to save sanity and gas. Boy Scouts is on pause until soccer dinners end because it made the evenings too hectic. Said no to a night at a friend’s a I needed to recharge.
    My daughter’s second weekend of shows came and went. My son and I volunteered shifts instead of driving back and forth. They always need the extra help and then I don’t need to buy more tickets.
    We also visited a upick farm nearby while waiting for one show. They had raspberries still and so I’m making my grandmother’s dessert for a treat.😋
    Going to farmers market over lunch hour tomorrow with a work friend instead of eating out.
    I wish you all the best this week!

  21. What a great deal on dresses! And I’m excited for you to be able to pay off your mortgage at some point. I never want another mortgage payment in my life. Knowing we own our home is all kinds of comfort for me.

    We had a family dinner and had everyone help with food. We did hamburgers and hot dogs. I made peach crisp – one regular and a smaller gluten free one – from our peaches from our own peach tree. I made another peach crisp the week before with our peaches. I thinned the tree 3 times and the peaches we ended up with to pick were the size of softballs and so sweet. The skins were all that lovely shade of red/pink.

    I canned 15 quarts of peaches for our food storage. I used to can 150 quarts of peaches every year, but with just 3 of us home now I don’t need to can as many each year. Plus I still have jars from the previous 2 years. We didn’t get much from our nectarine or apple tree. We are debating about pulling those trees out because they don’t produce much. I only picked 10 apples and both trees are several years old. Last year we didn’t have any apples – which I expected. But I had hoped our harvest would be bigger this year. I didn’t thin the apple tree at all.

    There is a case lot sale coming up and I’m going to be checking prices to see if there are any good deals.

    I picked tomatoes and cucumbers from our garden. The cucumbers were made into refrigerator pickles. The tomatoes were used for the family dinner. I peeked at my peanut plants and potatoes and there seem to be a lot under ground. Excited to harvest those soon. I’ve never planted peanuts before.

    I continue to read library books, exercise at home, watch shows, be careful grocery shopping and combine errands. Gasoline is still around $4.50/gallon. I save up gasoline points to get the best price when I do have to fill up my car. Everything is so darn expensive! I’ve noticed that the clearance prices at the grocery stores are still very high. I used my CVS care pass to stock up on facial tissues. It helped to have the sale of $3/$10. I should have enough for the winter/cold season. Right now we are using them for seasonal allergies.

    I was able to pick up 6 free toys from the local Buy Nothing group for my grandchildren. They were cute little Disney O Ball Gripper toys that are perfect for little hands to hold. I thought they were adorable of Winnie, Tigger, Mickey & Minnie and Monsters Inc. My grandkids had fun with them. My granddaughter played in our kiddie pool and played with toys that I picked up for free/sale while she played in the water. She loved sliding down the kiddie slide into the pool. I also got the pool and kiddie slide for free from the Buy Nothing.

    I was concerned to read about how OTC cold medication is shown to not be effective in treating colds/illness. Did anyone else read the news reports? I want to have medication on hand for winter – but my local pharmacy was saying that some things might be pulled from the shelves because of the report. I’m concerned about how best to prepare for cold/flu season. Any thoughts?

    We continue to use discounted gift cards to go out to eat. A friend gave my DH a $50 gift card to a restaurant for helping them learn how to use a camping trailer. DH taught them how to hook up, winterize and de-winterize, maintain, etc. The person had never camped before and was quite overwhelmed by all the new information.

    I had been gifted 3 kitchen hand towels that I didn’t need. My college student happily took them home with them to use. I went through all my gift stash and organized everything to give for Christmas. I don’t want to overbuy – as I have been known to do. I’m making up a list of what I have on hand to prevent that from happening again. For my older/married kids we usually give a small cash amount and then things to stock up for their homes – deodorant, razors, lotion, hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, dish and laundry detergent, etc.

    I cancelled shipments from Chewy for dog food and treats because I had enough in stock at home and didn’t need the extra at this time. It’s hard to time the deliveries just right for the pet food. I always want an extra bag on hand in case of emergencies, but those scheduled deliveries don’t always work.

    Have a great week!

    1. The behind the counter cold meds still do work as they are different. For example I always get the generic Sudafed from the pharmacist for congestion and before I get on a plane.

    2. Hi Amy
      Some suggestions for cold treatments. I hope I’m not teaching grandma to suck eggs but someone might find this helpful. I bought a small tub of menthol crystals from the pharmacy, drop a couple of them on top of a bowl of hot water, put a towel over my head and inhale. This clears the sinuses and ‘tubes’ enabling clear breathing. Before sleeping we rub Vicks vapour rub on our chests and put a dab under our nose to help stuffed up airways. Paracetamol for head pain/ muscle aches and to reduce temperature. Honey, lemon and hot water to soothe a sore throat. Lots of fluids and rest. I have cut up a flannel sheet into squares as hankies which are much softer on a sore nose. You can dissolve soluble aspirin in a small amount of water and then gargle to help a sore throat. We keep an OTC cough medicine in the house to reduce night time constant coughing and enable some sleep, I buy a cheap one, I don’t think the branded expensive ones are any more effective.
      I’m not a health professional and everyone should use their own judgement.
      Hope this helps.

    3. The cold meds that are being pulled contain the ingredient phenylephrine, which the FDA has determined, after decades of them being on the market, as not to work. According to Business Insider, the following will be removed from the shelves:
      Advil for Sinus Congestion and Pain
      Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion for Sinus Pressure and Nasal Congestion Relief
      DayQuil for Cold and Flu
      Flonase Headache and Allergy Relief
      Mucinex Maximum Strength Sinus-Max Pressure, Pain, and Cough Liquid Gels
      NyQuil Cold & Flu
      Robitussin Nighttime Severe Multi-Symptom Cough, Cold + Flu Syrup
      Sudafed PE Sinus Congestion
      Theraflu Daytime Severe Cold Relief Berry Burst Flavor Hot Liquid Powder
      Tylenol Sinus + Headache Non-Drowsy Daytime Caplets for Nasal Congestion, Sinus Pressure & Pain Relief
      I have read many people saying these work well for them? I bought several boxes of the generic label of Nyquil capsules as they work really well for me when I have to use something (very rare). Mucinex gives me nightmares. Anyhow, I hope this helps.

    4. Mullien tea or elderberry syrup are good for colds. You can get the mullien at Mountain Rose Herbs. I’m not sure but I think you can buy elder berries there also.

  22. The best deal in Western Canada this week for potatoes is Walmart at an unbelievable $1.94 for ten pounds! Walmart hasthe same deal as no Frills on squash at 97 cents per pound. Other stores are charging $1.99 per pound

  23. Wow! Great finds on $15 dresses. 👗 I’ve been doing more sewing than shopping lately, but it’s difficult to even make one for $15 these days.

    My grandmother had a birthday. I baked her a cake which was both a frugal win and fail. The first attempt resulted in a brick since my baking soda was old and I forgot to add sugar. 🤪 Attempt #2 turned out perfectly. I took it on a gift wrapped piece of cardboard and it looked quite pretty.

    We’ve been doing yard cleanup as well as attempting to block holes underneath fences to keep out the rabbits. I planted 144 plugs for my fall veggie garden. Some seeds were old and I planted multiple seeds to hopefully increase the germination rate. 🤞🏼

    It feels like fall is early this year. We typically have an Indian summer. I’ve barely gotten any ripe tomatoes. Usually fall is tomato season on the coast. Even so, we’re using up the garden produce in meals.

    I signed up for an author alert through my library last year. A new book has been released and I placed it on hold. I’ve also been listening to audiobooks through Hoopla.

    I went to Costco and noticed Quaker Old Fashioned Oats are up $2/10 lbs. I canceled my Azure order this month and have replaced items with less expensive versions (from other stores) to save.

    Other savings: home hair color and pedicure. Ordered shoe and textbook rental return.

    Thanks for the life insurance tips. It seems that the best rate for us is through the same company.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week! 🫖☕️

    1. What is up with Quaker?? (I know – their prices, that’s what’s up! Ha, ha.) A 42-oz ’round’ was nearly $10 at my local grocery! I bought the store brand (same size, $4.00).

      1. Hi Ava! The price of cereal, in general is outrageous! $6-7 a box! No way am I paying that! We don’t eat very much of it as we like protein for breakfast, and I will often have homemade soup or leftover dinner. However, I sometimes like it in the evening. Luckily, our Meijer and Jewel have had some amazing cereal sales the last couple of weeks ($1.99/box for some, $2.99 for the family or giant box). I was able to get Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, and Cocoa Pebbles (my weakness) for great prices. To my surprise, I found the large box of GrapeNuts and Shredded Wheat Biscuits at Menards for much cheaper than the grocery stores, especially the Grape Nuts! Who would have thought! Anything pumpkin flavored will go on sale after the season and then I might buy one or two boxes. In the meantime, to satisfy my pumpkin tooth, I will make pumpkin pancakes or bread.🎃

    2. Yes, here in the Bay Area I keep waiting for the heat, but without ac now glad it hasn’t hit. We use to have our company picnic every year on sept 30 and it was always the hottest days of the year. I’m grateful it hasn’t been an overly hot summer.

  24. I picked pears from a friends house, brought home several crates full. I’ve been busy canning, and will save some to add to applesauce and apple cider. I may go back for more, I hate to see them go to waste, and we’ve been sharing them. Our grapes are ripe, which we eat fresh, make juice and wine. I rescued some flip cap style bottles, and will try using them for bottling cider this year. We’ve had tomatoes, kale, beans, peppers, apples and one zucchini.
    I made sourdough, pear oat bars and pumpkin muffins. Used up some gifted walleye for a fish fry one night complete with homemade fries and Cole slaw. I’m trying to use up some of the random pantry items we’ve accumulated. We had various canned soup dinner after a long day plus garlic bread from end bread pieces in the freezer. Adding in small bits of gluten free flour into our baked goods to use it up. Froze some canned cherries and have been adding them to smoothies, along with some chocolate protein powder that isn’t my favorite. I’ve been finding organic milk on clearance and made yogurt.
    We ordered from our favorite seasonal BBQ restaurant, it’s something we only do once a year. The person ahead of us was impatient and left without half of their food and the staff gave it to us. We had tons of leftovers. We shared ribs with family. We have gotten lax about ordering coffee out so time to pull back for money and calories. Hosted a friend for dinner instead of going out. Packed a lunch for coop field trip although we did go out for ice cream.
    I returned an Amazon order to kohls. I found my parents some dress pants they needed, and they paid for new clearance shoes and an outfit for my son. I also returned something to Home Depot and picked up an order to save a little time. I passed along some outgrown kids clothes to friends. I feel like I’m in decluttering mode.
    I sold a few items on eBay and listed several more things. I also sold an old mower on marketplace and bought some used fixtures.

  25. 1. I found a large number of sacked chips & other snack food items in a clean bag sitting on top of cardboard in a dumpster. Many were still in date until Nov 2023. I will donate the in date items to the local food bank. The slightly out of date items I’ll offer to the local 12 Step Group. I also found a 4 pack of Ensure slightly out of date. I am going to try it in a smoothie w/ a little fruit added. We will see how it tastes.
    2. Got a free loaf of bread at the senior center.
    3. There was a bag of clothes left at church from a 12 Step member. I got a pair of lightweight pants that are cotton w/ a bit of stretch. They fit nicely. Some of my pants are too big in the waist from my weight lost. Nice to get a pair in my size for free.
    4. A man at church gave me a huge avocado from his tree. I’ll have avocado toast on my free bread.
    5. Took 4 bottles of Ensure clear (that I foraged) to the senior center. Not a version that appealed to me. A man snapped them as soon as I put them down.
    6. Used the weight machines at senior center. If you live in my county & are a senior you get a free membership. I can walk for free but I need weight training to maintain strength.
    7. Possible frugal fail: I cannot find anyplace here in South Florida to get a cheap TB skin test. Mine is expired & I need it for my part time job. They are 125$ or more. The Public Health Dept here does not administer them which I find very strange. I’ll wait until I return to Texas where I am familiar w/ how health related things are done. I’m not paying 125$ for this test that I know how to administer & read!

  26. Mother Teresa said “do small things with love.” All the little intentionals we post here remind me of that saying. Sometimes, though, attention to the larger things is important as well. So, after meeting with my retirement advisor, I have finally decided to make this year my “victory lap’ as a teacher. I can make a big jump of money if I stay another three years but I feel in my heart it is time for me to move on. Thank goodness I have no credit card debt and a low mortgage so I have this option.

    I thought I would write a little bit about my plan in case anyone is in the same life space:

    1. I have a small lump sum (26,000) that I can take as a lump or a $173 life time annuity. I discovered the 6% rule. Here is the math. Take your monthly pension offer and multiply it by 12, then divide that number by the lump-sum offer. if the number is larger than 6%, take the annuity. In my case the number is nearly 8% so I am taking the monthly.
    2. I intend to live off the pension without withdrawing from the 403B for at least 7 years. This will give that money a chance to double ( which is historically what the stockmarket has performed at.)
    3. I have health insurance for my spouse and myself until 65 ( a district benefit.) I will have to pay for my son who is in college. His college has a nice low cost plan.
    4. I will be retiring at 70% income which is often quoted as a goal but no social security ( California teachers are prevented from taking any social security even if my spouse passes. I have to be prepared for it.)
    5. I will not let my credentials lapse so I can always go back part time.

    I am excited but sad to miss out on the students who could have been in my life if I stayed longer. I know, though, that I will find fulfillment in my new life as well.

    1. Hi Mary Ann,
      I am a retired California Teacher. Please contact Social Security to see if you get any benefits. It is true that California is part of the Windfall Provision Act, but I was fully vested in SS from a previous job and I get a small amount. It’s worth a phone call!

  27. Kroger opened a new store so a friend and I went and were one if the first 100. We got a bag filled with sweet and salty bars, peanut butter, chips. breakfast bites. Mac and cheese, cookies. cascade pods, chocolate pretzels, taco kit, dates, nuts. Then we got to get a loaf of bread, doughnuts. eggs. breakfast sausage, fresh salsa, cherry tomatoes, a basil plant free. I got a pork butt roast for $.99 a lb. We smoked it and I froze 5 bags of smoked bbq pork after eating it 3 days. I got 18 eggs for 99c. I will freeze them and rotate out ones in the freezer. using them in baking and breakfast casserole. I got half gallon milk for $1.29.

    I harvested kale, tomatoes. purple gull peas, basil seed, and peppers. I bought mushrooms at Aldi and I am dehydrating them and the kale leaves I harvested. I sowed a 4×8 bed of green beans, and lettuce in a pot. I’m doing one thing a day.

    At garage sales I got canning jars, 3 cookbooks- 2 are Mexican cook books and one is the best of Southern Living. Last week I got one from Cades Cove, Alabama Farmer Association cook book. Yellow Farmhouse cook book, and Church Potluck recipe book. I got a quilt top with 40s fabric for $2, a sifter, pastry blender, glass juicer, and 3 milk glass pieces, and two Alabama football sweatshirts, a a big metal bowl for canning for $1. Oh, a lady had Feltman Brother infant dresses 25 cents and I bought 17 dresses, a pair of red infant Converse, a lacy bonnet, and an embroidered bib. I’ll add them to my Feltman Brother dresses for if I ever have granddaughters, or they can be doll clothes. I had to rescue them for $5! On Etsy they start at $20 each.

    I embroidered 7 quilt squares for a friend and she gave me a Christmas Jelly roll of fabric. At church Bunko I won a Yeti type tumbler. I used my rewards at Chicken Salad Chick for a free large container of Sassy Scotty. I have $69 store credit at Dillard’s from 2020 where I returned a mother of the bride dress ( you couldn’t try on then) I can’t find anything to buy! I may try to sell the card online for $60.

  28. This month we are working on saving as much as possible to meet a financial goal. We took out a little bit of cash for food items we were out of and avoided using debit cards. I think it made controlling spending easier. In spite of trying to do an extreme frugal month, I did buy a couple of plastic drawers at a thrift store for $3 each for organizers in a linen closet. A few months ago I declined buying some clear plastic drawers that I really liked in a discount store because they cost over $16 each. The ones I bought do not have cute little shiny brass knobs, but I think they will work fine. Maybe I can learn some way to dress them up a little; who knows. I am in the process of saving a bit of money by painting the trim on our house. I still enjoy painting. Your water saving comments made me wonder if your two youngest children are still young enough to enjoy bathing with swimming suits in a wading pool with shower warm-up water from older family members. If the water sat all day in the sun, perhaps it would be nice bath water by evening and afterward could still be used on plants. Some people we used to know had a well that produced very little water. They said they tried to always use water twice. The woman said she mopped the kitchen floor with the water she washed dishes in. That thought kind of turns my stomach, but each to her own, I guess. One thing you probably would abhor doing would be to wash your clothes with a wringer washing machine, but that would save on water. I used to watch my mother wash that way when I was too short to see over the edge of the washtub while listening to her deliver seemingly endless lectures on wringer safety. I suppose I wouldn’t wash with a wringer washer unless I were threatened with a complete loss of water service, if I didn’t cut my usage. It’s great that you can get so much from the AC units for plants. Maybe there will be lots of snow in the mountains this winter, and the reservoirs will fill up. It could happen.

    1. I have a front-loading washer that uses very little water per load, and I wash full loads. I chose it to save water. It uses an amazingly small amount of water, and I have used a wringer washer before. I think this actually uses less!

    2. I kind of liked washing with a wringer washer! We pumped the water into a stationary tub and reused it for several loads. Of course, I was a kid then. That and a clothesline were all we had when we were growing up.

  29. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Congratulations on paying a bit extra off the mortgage, every little bit is worthwhile. I hope we will see photos of you in the new dresses. ! I hope your daughters found bargains too.
    This fortnight I mended two tunic tops and cut my own fringe.
    I bought a brand new skirt in a charity shop ( which now makes a complete outfit with the new charity shop jumper I bought recently) total £11. I also bought two cute Christmas fabric fat quarters for 50 pence each.
    I picked and dried bay leaves. We picked/ pulled parsnips, french beans, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, potatoes and flowers and gratefully received an aubergine and pears from clients. I froze apple sauce and tomatoes.
    The pelargonium cuttings we took have rooted well and the little plants have been useful gifts for friends. The plant is Attar of Roses and when you rub the leaves it releases a lovely rose scent.
    I used a 10 per cent coupon off my Lidl grocery shop and stocked up on shampoo and toothpaste. I’m still buying white eggs which are slightly cheaper.
    Inexpensive meals were mushroom omelettes, several quiches using whatever bits and bobs were in the fridge and smoked mackerel salad. I used overripe bananas to make banana and chocolate chip loafcake which was our contribution to a communal picnic.
    I washed our bed cover in the bath, pummeled it to get rid of as much water as possible and line dried it outside.
    We met family in London for a weekend. This wasn’t at all frugal but we set money aside for holidays. We visited the Victoria and Albert Museum ( free), the National Portrait Gallery( free) and attended evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral ( free but we made a donation ). The sound of the choristers and organ playing in that magnificent space was balm to the soul. We used public transport and carried our water bottles everywhere. We travelled up and back using our seniors Railcard which gives 30 percent off the railfare.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. One of my daughters bought a hat and they both bought bracelets.

      I have an event coming up and I am still deciding what dress to wear to it. I might wear one of these or I will wear another dress that I have. I like that I have a choice.

  30. The rain from Tropical Storm Hilary soaked my yard and garden beautifully and allowed me to turn off the sprinklers for a week. Hallelujah! I continue to use shower warm-up water, water from rinsing and blanching fruit/veg, etc., to water potted plants and flowers. I also collected many gallons of water from running the air conditioner, which went to potted plants and roses. I have been doing this ever since I read about it here, and it’s made a real difference. Thank you.

    With the help of my son and a spoonful of peanut butter (to keep her distracted from the scary water), we bathed the dog in the back yard. She is a Vizsla with large, hard nails and I’m afraid to trim them myself but I was able to find a groomer minutes from my house who does this for a very small fee (plus a tip, which I’m glad to give). Their salon is open and all groomers and animals are in view at all times, which I appreciate.

    Another son worked for two days on his friend’s parents’ ranch. He came home bearing bags and bags of all kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers (including Armenian cucumbers, and I immediately thought of this blog), peppers, zucchini, patty-pan and English squashes, figs fresh off the tree. Such bounty! It’s all going to good use, whether immediately for meals or blanched and frozen. (I ate most of the figs standing at the sink. <3 )

    I baked bread quite a few times, which was greatly enjoyed except for the one loaf that didn’t rise and baked in a lump. I cut it into small squares and used it as dog treats (the dog loves bread more than just about anything…??…).

    I dried almost everything on the clothesline. I read somewhere recently that one of the greatest household "energy hogs" is the dryer, so I felt good about my habit of using the clothesline whenever possible.

    I picked roses and mint for arrangements around the house.

    I rearranged some furniture and potted plants in the back yard, to make an attractive tableau when viewed from the front. It’s interesting how good it makes me feel when I pull into the driveway and glance over at the new arrangement. It didn’t look bad before, but this just looks nicer.

    I re-read “10 Ways to Add Joy to Your Life When You Don’t Have a Penny to Spare”. I was encouraged to do a great deal of cleaning-out and going-through, and I made a number of trips to the local charity whose thrift store I like to support. In addition to the tax benefits, I was actually surprised at how much better I felt seeing space on shelves and in closets, etc. It really does help.

    1. Ava,
      Maybe it’s something in the air but i’ve been purging, too. It really does feel freeing. I’m working my way through my dresser, at the moment. I’m kind of afraid of the (dreaded) sock drawer!

  31. I am doing lots of cooking. I plan meals ahead of time every few days. That helps me keep on track and helps us use what we have. I continue to use cloth handkerchiefs and napkins. We are carefully turning off lights and I am turning up the air conditioner a couple of degrees. I am glad it is getting cooler at night these days. Our electric bill was more than it ever has been this month. I noticed our usage wasn’t a lot but there were added things on the bill to pay. We live in a. very, very small house, but our bill was $200 dollars. We will need propane before winter. Our water bill was cheaper. We were happy about that. We are spending more in the grocery store for most things it seems. We prefer to shop at Aldi or the local grocery store that is inexpensive compared to the other grocery stores. My husband bought me two books for my birthday; The Herbal Kitchen and Rosemary Gladstar’s medicinal herbs a beginners guide. I am enjoying both of them.

    1. Tammy, Our electric bill this month was higher than ever before. I knew rate increases were coming a few months ago as our provider warned on our bill’s tiny note section that there would be three incremental rate increases over three months. (They were hoping to not shock everyone all at once). I anticipated/calculated a few months ago that we would spend over $450 more a year in electrical costs if we kept our energy use the same! This last bill was significantly more than expected though! It was 36% higher than the same month last year for the EXACT same electrical usage!!!! In addition to raising rates they raised the monthly cogeneration Purpa fee which we can not opt out off. Our provider also charges us a monthly “empower” fee which we cannot opt out of either that helps fund state required “free” energy saving devices like lightbulbs. The shock of going from $186 to $250 for the same usage in a year is real! My mother-in-law suggested I write my representatives. Without sitting down to do the precise math again I’m guessing our anticipated yearly $450 increase will be closer to $600-700.

      1. Hi Lisa,
        6 or 7 hundred more is a lot! Ours will be a lot more this year too. It is definitely getting harder to save for a rainy day! Everything is more but our pay. Thanks for writing!

  32. Beautiful flowers as always, Brandy. Bird of Paradise remind me of my grands. They had several in their backyard.

    Thank you for that calculator. We’re looking at the same goal and this will come in handy. The depressing part is that our property taxes are already more than our mortgage per month. Paying off the mortgage won’t be a huge reduction. It’s still better to be done with it, but I suspect that the amount were paying for both right now will be what we’re paying in taxes alone by the time we get there.

    I’m painting wood luminaries for my husband’s coworkers for Christmas. They’re moving along well. I bought them 20+ yrs. Ago when I was doing craft faires, so there is no OOP now. Im also working on Thanksgiving cards. I decided to send those this year, instead of Christmas. My goal is to finish it all by Halloween.

    Reading a Mitch Rapp book by Vince Flynn. CIA stuff, very good. I also removed about 6 books from my reading shelf for donation. They’re by a popular writer but I stopped reading about halfway thru her series. Her writing just got too gruesome and I decided to be done with them. They were all given to me by my MIL so I didn’t pay for them.

  33. -I have not posted in 4 or 5 weeks. My life has not been my own! I am not complaining, however everyday is harvest and preserve. I have canned over 800 jars of food, froze many other things, and dehydrated many things as well.
    -I canned salsa, taco sauce, sloppy joe sauce, BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato juice cocktail, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, dill pickles, apple juice, apple pie filling, apple slices, green beans, pickled green beans, chicken broth, pineapple zucchini, candied jalapeños, pickled jalapeños, corn, corn relish, pickle relish, zucchini chow chow, and
    -I froze shredded zucchini, diced peppers, diced onions, diced garlic, and . I made fermented sour kraut and hot pepper sauce.
    -The onions are pulled, hardened and stored. Half of the potatoes are dug and are hardening in the shed. The other half will be dug later this week. I have some small onions left.
    -I dehydrated many herbs- basil, cinnamon basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, chocolate mint, parsley, thyme, oregano, and sage. I also dehydrated raspberry leaves for tea.
    -I cleaned and inventoried the freezers as I got a 1/4 beef and needed to fit that in.
    -I have 2 apple trees left to pick. We already picked the Zestar and McIntosh. We have the Honeycrisp left. I gave given many apples away as they were loaded this year, all 4 of them.
    -So I am finally winding down, the pantries and freezers are FULL! But it will sure be nice the eat this winter. I still have tomatoes in the freezer and want to can some soups and meals in a jar, but that will wait until November. I need a break and I need to empty some jars, I am almost out.
    -We are right at our average frost date but no frost in the next week or so. Trees are just starting to turn lovely colors and we finally had a 1/2 inch of rain. So that makes 2 inches for June-September. We are very dry here in central Minnesota. With leaves turning and grasses all dried out, our fire danger is very high. Praying for more rain.

    Have a great week!

    1. Congratulations on your Herculean effort, Julie! 800 jars is a massive accomplishment… I mean, I am proud FOR you! 😊 I have canned over 300 jars in the past four months out of my gardens, and I am quite exhausted. I am sympathetic to how much more so you must be. Well done!

    2. My frugal hat’s off to you, Julie! That amount of canning is a huge accomplishment. I love looking at shelves full of home-canned foods – so pretty. And fun to think about all the good eating you’ll do this Winter. 🙂

  34. Well I have not had a frugal week at all. We had the plumber in to fix a dripping tap and of course he noticed another problem or two. Kerching, kerching! Fortunately we have money in the budget for unexpected repairs.
    Speaking of dresses I was able to buy 3 dresses on summer clearance at Kohls for $38.00 and I have been enjoying wearing all of them. Sometimes on a hot day a cotton dress is the best thing. My sister came over today for a Scrabble tournament-clearly she is the better player but we have a lot of fun playing anyway.

  35. We are shortly moving into our new permanent home and I am planning how we can grow lots of food in our new garden, as we will be able to plant trees and perennials for the first time.

    Brandy, how did you decide what varieties to plant in your garden? I am so overwhelmed by how many there are! What did you look for?

    1. My goal is to always have something ripe in the garden. I have different varieties of fruit trees: for instance, I have peaches that ripen in May and another kind that ripens in July. Under my garden tab, there is a post on choosing fruit trees.

  36. It has been quite the few weeks! Definitely not frugal, but manageable. Our son needed two root canals and our dental insurance for the year for him was already maxed out at the cost of $3K. Glad we had the savings to pay for it. Now on to Phase II for braces at a cost of $6K. We had to take an unexpected trip to SoCal. We were lucky…the hotel had breakfast included and our family invited us over for a steak dinner; it was delish! We had not had steak in so long. We took our son to the newly opened skate park in the area where he skated and scooted for three hours! We also attended an at home wedding reception for a family member. They had so much food that they sent us home with enough left overs (tri tip, chicken, pasta salad and veggies) to eat dinner all week and also to freeze several more meals. After a particularly bad couple of days, our dear friends sent me a lovely flower arrangement which I have been enjoying all week :). It came in a great container which I will save and use. Is stopped by the Goodwill and picked up three pieces for Made in Portugal for Pottery Barn pieces in the burned orange color for a steal of a deal; Fall is my favorite time of year and it fits my decor perfectly. I went to Costco and Trader Joe’s for my mom the other day. I have not been in a few months. I could not believe how the price of food has increased so much in such a short amount of time! I picked up what my mom needed and then a few things for us….putting several things in my cart and then putting them back. I came back and told my husband, time to tighten the budget even more!!! An unexpected blessing was a trip to our church food pantry. We had not gone in several months, but decided to go this month. They gave out chicken, canned salmon, milk, eggs and endless fruits and veggies. If anyone has any tips for store celery in the fridge and any ideas of how to use 1 doz green bell peppers for a family that doesn’t like them, please share :).

    1. Hi Peggy: With celery and peppers you have a start on a delicious Chinese style dish. A couple cups of each sauteed with about a cup of chopped onions after browning some chicken or pork shoulder strips. Simmer a while in chicken stock. A teaspoon of soya sauce and enough water to dissolve a couple tablespoons of corn starch will thicken the liquid nicely. Serve with rice of course.

  37. Hello Frugal friends – this covers the last several weeks. Joining in from the Seattle area.

    I have continued furnishing my new apartment with frugal finds whenever possible. I found an oak two-drawer file cabinet for free on Nextdoor. It’s not in perfect condition, but it works fine for my purposes. I found a kitchen table at the thrift store that was the size I wanted, and I had a 30% off coupon so the total was less than $10. It didn’t fit in my car, so my sister was kind enough to come pick it up for me. I will return to her the very large table she gave me when I moved in – I decided it was too large for my space, and she has another use for it, so that works out well. A picture frame that needed a new look was painted with a can of spray paint I got for free, also on Nextdoor.

    I looked for used shelving (online and at thrift stores), but the items I found would have been difficult to move, and they were almost as expensive as buying new. So I ended up ordering a 4 x 4 cube storage unit from Ikea, and chose the least expensive shipping option. My sister helped me put it together. Today I drove to Ikea, thinking I would purchase another smaller shelving unit. However, when I got there, I realized that it would not actually fit in my car. Oh well. I got 5% off my in-store purchase plus free coffee (thanks to Ikea Family) and they will deliver it to my home at the $19 delivery rate. My goal for this month is to get everything organized in my apartment so I can move everything out of my storage unit by the end of the month.

    A few weeks ago, my sister and I picked around 50 lbs of Italian prune plums from a friend’s tree. I canned 15 half pints of jam and 17 pints of whole plums. We ate a bunch fresh as well. When I moved out of my former residence, I was unable to take my many canning jars with me (I did take a few) but thankfully my large stash of lids and rings came with me. I had to buy some half pint jars (the cheapest I could find around here was $16 for 12) and some low sugar pectin (I already had a bunch of pectin but it got lost in the move). I shared some jars with my sister. This fruit will certainly be enjoyed during the winter!

    I’m still picking up my vegetable share at the farm, which continues through October. Blanched and froze greens and yellow and green beans for future use, and shared a bunch of things with my sister too.

    Cooked at home for all meals except one meal out with friends (planned expense). My sister’s birthday was last weekend, and she originally wanted to get takeout to eat with my mom (who lives in an adult family home). I offered to make lunch and bring it up there instead, and my sister was fine with this idea. I made individual salads, green goddess dressing, deviled eggs and ham/cream cheese/pickle rollups. We ate this with crackers, and everyone loved it. The cost was way less than takeout would have been. Her birthday present was a $1.75 pair of small metal tongs that I got at Daiso (Japanese discount store). I have the same tongs, and my sister liked them when she was visiting. She loved the present. Her card was a 50 cent card from the dollar store.

    My new city has a hotel pool where city residents can swim for free. It’s a 10 minute walk from where I live, and I have gone swimming there twice. It’s fun and the pool is very nice. I also worked out at the gym and walked on the trail.

    Hope everyone has a good week.

  38. Such beautiful photos as always. I look forward to them and your posts. Thank you for mentioning it’s a good time for new planters. I really need one for a miniature lime tree and the prices seemed unreasonable when I last checked. The tree is unhappy in the plastic pot I put it in. Turning and staying yellow. I used the advised well draining potting soil and a citrus fertilizer, so my only guess is it’s unhappy in plastic, but I really don’t know. *

    I took a carload of items to goodwill. Many were dear things and I handed them off reminding myself they will be helpful and bring joy to their next owner. *

    Purchased a $5 rotisserie chicken at Costco and took all the meat off. I’ll make an enchilada casserole and meat for several meals from it. *

    My friend is coming tomorrow for several days to help declutter in prep for downsizing in the next year. We are planning to do this every six weeks or so over the coming year. She’s a good friend! *

    I got basil and parsley plants at Trader Joe’s today. Not sure they will take this late, but will try. Italian parsley is my new favorite for a quick marinara sauce. Both of mine in the garden died. *

    Wore a new to me black dress for a funeral I got at a charity shop for $7. *

    Thank you Brandy for your what a baby really needs post. I reread it and planned a baby shower gift from your recommendations. And of course used your links to purchase! *

    Borrowed a tens unit to help with back problems, all it cost me were batteries. *

    Prices continue to go up so rapidly it’s shocking. Paid $5.40g for gas at lowest in town Costco. I’ve managed the last few months to filling up only once a month by grouping errands and sticking to it, but each time it’s gone up at least 35 cents a gallon. * I returned several glass milk bottles today for $15. This was at Whole Foods because they carry milk in glass. I planned to treat myself with their curry chicken salad, but was stunned to see a small 4”x4” container priced at $14! So that was a no go. *

    I watched a YouTube video on mending sweaters and managed to fix a cardigan moth hole with no visible stitches. *

    Costco was out of oxiclean that’s on sale, but got a decent price at smart and final. I use it to bleach my old stained (1959) kitchen sink. Growing up we used powdered cleanser that wore it down. Now I fill to brim with hot water and use a scoop of oxiclean overnight to brighten it back up.

    Been doing my normal cook from scratch/no eating out save the rotisserie chicken I got. Watering barely enough to keep plants alive, I almost killed mint and it’s basically a weed! Use towels vs paper towels, wash and save foil, only do full wash loads, if it’s yellow let it mellow, etc. Managed to get old blood out sheets and yellow stains out of a tablecloth I’d only used once. I used stain devils remover I got years ago, but hadn’t tried. Was shocked how well it worked. Both items hadn’t gone through the dryer, but stains were old. They fully came out! *

    I hung and stored folding chairs from my rafters in garage, then used the bottom chair rail to hang up items on hangers to dry in garage. This is nearly right above the washer, so I can unload and hang without even taking a step. *

    I hope everyone has a great and frugal week!

  39. Lovely photos!

    We attended two local family events, receiving lunch, sweets, drinks, craft, rides, entertainment, tote bags anda few little toys. All free.

    We ate lots of fish from our freezer that we caught locally and chicken and vegetable curry I bought at the grocery outlet. Cooked spaghetti bolognaise and had it for dinner for two nights. Remainder bolognaise was frozen to take on upcoming holiday. Going with a friend so accommodation costs were halved. Will take all food with us and activities for the children will be free.

    I reused and recycled. I buried all fruit and vegetable scraps in the garden. I harvested fruit and vegetable and shared it with friends and family. I line dried all washing. We bicycled everywhere, no car usage. We kept electricity and water use to a minimum, remaining in credit with our electricity provider and well below average water usage for our household (about 60% under).

    I made almond macaroons as a birthday gift for a gluten free friend, tying them up in a pretty bag with ribbon.

    I saw Christmas decorations for sale in Target and was surprised, considering it is only September. It made me think about Christmas and how we wished to celebrate this year. I think ‘simplicity’ is going to be the theme.

  40. Quaker buys their oats from Canada, it’s a direct buy, those farms only grow for Quaker. I can tell you that the oat crops here in northwest Ohio have been more plentiful than normal this year but Canada is dealing with wildfires so that’s going to raise that price. If you eat a lot of oats you might find it cheaper to find a bulk store (Amish/Mennonite/ homesteader type) for oats. Do not buy feed store oats, they have hulls your body will not digest.

  41. No savings these last wk. Medical bills are through the roof. I transferred the extra cash to the money market to pay for them after I put them on the credit card for cash back. One medical issue after another. Hubby went in Friday to Urgent care, transferred to ER, transferred to different hospital for heart surgery on Saturday at 7 Am. The ambulance ride is over $1500. Cardo doctor came in on his “day off” to get it done. Hubby had was is commonly called the widow maker BUT he has a heart deformity that SAVED his life. Now he has a stent and 3 areas the doctor said will always be watched. They took him off one heart med and put him on blood thinner (was on that for 2 years when he rheumatic fever at 16) and his primary is running an EKG every 2 weeks to look at lowering the last med he is on that is for his hand tremors. It’s causing a extra beat every 4th beat but they want to see if the heart smooths out first. He came home on Sunday feeling really good. He is back to seeing a Cardiologist.

    On Monday I called my GI due to Crohn’s going nuts, had already had it flaring for 4 wks. since Hubby’s dad was diagnose with bowel cancer (surgery went fine and he is home recovering, bowel cancer runs in family). Was having nocturnal explosive diarrhea. Was the first time in a decade I was told I couldn’t get in …until Thanksgiving weekend. To go to the ER. SHOCK … Come to find out in the ER that office has been hit with 2 PA’s and 1 doctor out on maternity leave and then covid went through (not surprised about that) as it’s on the news about the positive tests and hospitalization rising due to new strain. I have follow up tomorrow due to a cancellation due to covid. They told me to wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer with me. I think I will wear medical gloves and take the Lysol also so Hubby can spray me down before I get in the truck LOL. But still probably will have him spray me as we did that when Covid first hit and neither of us or any Amish around us got it as they were using Lysol also.

    Property taxes doubled, so did the farm insurance along with Hubby’s truck insurance since he just wrecked his truck. He took the money from he got from the insurance for the trailer being totaled and paid his truck off. He closed down the business and is closing the business credit card. Bank told him that would cause a drop in his credit score. The only loan we have is our mortgage and we aren’t concerned with the credit score. We don’t buy new cars and it’s going to be a long time before we take out a loan for another one. We have another truck but it’s not trust worthy to go more than just to town for 5 miles or around the block for a ride for the dog Charlotte.

    I use Dave Ramsey’s mortgage calculator as you can use your current mortgage instead of original mortgage. When we got our new loan, our banker told us he got us a 30 yr so we could make double payments and pay it off in 15. He had found the payments for the 15 was going to be more than just paying extra. Said that doesn’t happen often but will sometimes on farm loans. He showed us what it would have been at 15. He used Dave Ramsey’s calculator also as the bank’s would only do original loan amount.
    Stay safe
    Prayers for peace
    Blessed Be

  42. I accepted some food from my mother in law and a neighbor.

    Our church held a tent revival last week with free dinner after the service. Our church is 16 miles from our house, but the revival was only 3 miles away. I volunteered to be in charge of the food, so I cooked for about 100 people for dinner all last week. It was a lot of fun! When I submitted my receipts for reimbursement, the treasurer said I spent less than half of what he expected it would cost. My cost ended up just over $1/plate. I could have done a lot better a couple of years ago, though. We also provided bottled water which counted in that total and is crazy expensive! I served sloppy joes, macaroni and cheese, and carrots and celery with ranch on Monday. Tuesday was pizza casserole, applesauce, and a roll. Wednesday was hot dogs, chips, carrots and celery with ranch. Thursday was soup, chicken and rice soup, and a roll. Friday was pulled pork sandwiches, leftover hotdogs, and calico beans.

    Our family ate at the revival so we saved money there, too!

  43. I am, once again, struck with the feeling that I would love to send all of you in dry climates some of our extra water. But, one thing I have learned from reading this blog for many (many!) years is that basic frugal principles apply wherever you live and the creativity comes in applying them to our own personal circumstances. I always, always learn something here and am most grateful to all of you! 🙂
    *The cooling temperatures mean less need for fans running in the afternoon which, I am sure, saves us a little bit. We usually only have one fan running in whatever room people are in on the hottest days (and, by that, I mean 82 degrees – that is hot for us as most summer days stay in the 70s.) So, not a big expense but one we don’t have when the weather cools down. We are in the 60s for highs now and it is lovely.
    *We’ve planted a few more things in the kitchen garden to overwinter like lettuce, spinach and Swiss Chard as we harvest everything out of the other garden. Lots of preserving and putting up going on and it is satisfyingly productive. I feel like my bees storing up the last bits of nectar and pollen for the Winter. One of my favorite things is to watch them go in and out of the hive which they seem to do with more urgency this time of year (and they can be a bit more temperamental when I go into their hives, too!) as they know their days are numbered. The bees working now will not be the bees we see in early Spring but they are spending the last bits of their lives preparing so the next generation will live through the Winter and carry on. Rather than being sad, I think it is a beautiful thing that the bees know their job and do it willingly and with industry. I remember to thank them each time I see them.
    *Not frugal for me personally, but was able to connect a neighbor with a member of our homeschool co-op who was selling a washer/dryer set for $100. These neighbors really needed new ones and it was wonderful timing that this Mama was looking to move along this set. A little thing but grateful that God puts us in the right place at times to at least connect people who can help each other even if we are not doing the helping directly ourselves.
    *Taught an introduction to maps class in our co-op. It was great fun! I have a strong belief that all books, whether fiction or non-fiction, and regardless of the age intended, should have maps in them. I mean, all stories or events take place somewhere, right? It just helps you feel a part of the story or the events described within. So, my class discussed the history of maps, the different types, the basic elements found on most maps and then, they just let their imaginations soar creating their own maps. It was such fun to see some children carefully recreate their own homes and property (lots of cute drawings of cattle and chickens and all sorts of things) or go wild and create completely imaginary places with floating cities and magical creatures. We had an abundance of large paper on hand (some of which came to us free from my husband’s uncle) and we asked everyone to bring a paper copy of a map and their favorite drawing implements so no cost to anyone. I had such fun picking out books with maps from our personal library but had to stop myself before I brought everything we own. Made me grateful, once again, for this wonderful community we are a part of and that creativity continues to be the driving force rather than money. I also planned an afternoon at a local park which is on a river and we all had fun tubing and enjoying the last days of summer-type fun – all FREE!
    *My oldest son has moved into small men’s clothing – sigh. 🙂 Which means he is rapidly outgrowing everything he owns. Found him 2 pairs of pants at Goodwill this week for $8. I also found a beautiful tablecloth that has a very Scandinavian-type print on it for $3. A little thing but it makes me smile.
    *Sold an item which had been given to me for free but I could not use for $40 on FB. Also sold $70 worth of items in my neighbor’s antique booth.
    *Sold eggs though this is slowing down due to the time of year and the chickens molting.
    *We are taking care of a neighbor’s animals one day a week for the next 8 weeks while he goes out of town for a class. He has chickens, ducks, geese, goats, donkeys, alpacas and a llama so it is great fun to go play with them all. He insists on paying us and offered us the chance to pick out a few of their chicks when they get a bit bigger. My boys are very excited about that – they would be gladly paid in baby chicks any day.
    *My youngest son just started music lessons with a local organization called JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) which has chapters throughout the region. He is playing the ukulele and loves it. He is interested in also learning the guitar but we thought this would be a lower frustration instrument to start with (plus, the beginner guitar lessons for this session filled up instantly) and, so far, so good. The lessons are very reasonable – $75 for almost 4 months of weekly lessons – and a minimal fee for instrument rental. The lessons also take place in a historic building in town which is fun to visit.
    * Our church hosts a huge fair in October every year which is one of our biggest fundraisers. We have live music, all kinds of food (apple cider being pressed, apple butter being stirred in copper cauldrons, homemade jams and jellies for sale, baked goods, etc.), activities for kids like pumpkin bowling and a juried arts and craft show. It is a BIG deal and takes lots of planning. We volunteer on one of the food tents every year but last week we went to help pick up and load the hay bales from the field that will be used as seating for the music venue. It was made even more fun this year as we used my husband’s uncle’s truck we inherited this Spring (which has a longer bed than our truck) so it felt like he was with us – he loved that sort of thing. We are grateful to have things of his we can use ourselves and use to help others.
    *On the reading front: If I like an author, I feel duty-bound to read all of their books. 🙂 So, I am on book 4 of the Inspector Gamache mysteries by Louise Penny (BTW, SO sad the Three Pines series will, apparently, not return for a second season – it is so good!) and “Crow Planet” by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (who wrote “Mozart’s Starling.”) Thank you, Lord (and Benjamin Franklin :)) for libraries!
    *Hope everyone is feeling a change in the air and feeling inspired to try new things. I appreciate you all!

  44. I was considering buying a discounted gym membership but then decided to keep up with my walking and to add some arm exercises with some unused weights that I had “lost” in my closet.
    I am hoping to be in a position in 6 months time to switch to part time work. I have been steadily paying off my credit card bill and student loans. I guess I will see how things stand for me after the holidays.
    The biggest thing that I need to do is stay.out.of.stores ! – this is hard for me but working on it.
    Wishing everyone a peaceful week.

  45. It’s been a very odd summer with weather very hot early and then not hot enough later on. Add to that all the cloud cover from wildfire smoke and I think it has affected crops. the upside is we have not had to run our AC very much at all which is a good thing as the lower unit is broken. (note to self, schedule appointment to get it fixed before next season). And we still have not turned on the furnace or fireplace.
    The downside, at least for swimmers, was that the water in Georgian Bay did not warm up very much. It didn’t stop us from swimming but that water was brisk. It is good to have it cooler for fish spawning. We were the recipients recently of some fresh Pickerel and it was delicious.
    I signed up for a biweekly veggie box from the farm where my DD goes riding. I haven’t been super thrilled with the assortment but I’m trying to encourage a young man who is farming. I mean, there’s only so many giant zucchini I can handle. I’ve shredded a lot and put it in the freezer and I tried a new recipe, Zucchini Bread Jam. It’s pretty tasty. And I made Chocolate Zucchini Brownies. My DD and I also processed 2 bushels of plum tomatoes into pint jars. We do whole tomatoes and not Pasata.Those will last us two years so we don’t have to buy canned tomatoes. If I get any more tomatoes in the veggie box I’ll make some salsa.
    I’m trying to be more mindful of the environment so I’ve dug out our cloth napkins again. I think I will make more using a great retro 1970’s sheet. Some might be Xmas presents.
    We spent a lot of time at our cottage even when the weather wasn’t great. The couch and love seat in the main cottage are 40 year old Ikea and needed new cushions and covers. We cut up a foam mattress for the cushions and used a pair of plain cream coloured curtains to cover it all up. It works …. good enough for a summer place. We finally got around to getting new windows for the log cabin that is also on the property. We have a local man installing them for us and trimming them out.
    We refuse to have internet, tv etc at the cottage so it’s truly a respite. We read tons of books, play games and do jigsaw puzzles when the weather isn’t good enough to just be out of doors. Have you all played Taco, Cat, Goat Cheese, Pizza? It’s hysterical.
    I’ve re-ordered all my medications on the pharmacy website. It saves standing in line especially now that the pharmacists are allowed to look at sick patients for minor ailments. I’m waiting to get the latest immunizations when available.
    We had lots of family visits over the summer months and we did our annual baseball outing. Unfortunately the Jays lost but it was $1/hotdog night so it was a cheap dinner.
    Two of my kids are displaying remarkable thriftyness. My DD is chopping and processing lots of veggies for her freezer to use over the winter. She’s never really done this before. And the youngest son’s car needed a repair that was going to be somewhat costly. He thought seriously about simply scrapping the car but then decided to get it repaired, save a bit more money, order a new vehicle near the spring. And since he works downtown he’s been taking public transit and finds it very relaxing.
    I sat down with a piece of paper and pen as I was reading all the above comments and made a list of all the meals I could make with ingredients already in the house (or minor additions from the grocers). I’m quite pleased that the list came to at least 30 meals. And I could make those with leftovers for lunch and more meals or freezer assets.
    I’m going through recipe clippings I’ve had piled up and culling those I know I’ll never make. The rest are sorted into categories like veggie meals, beans, salads, etc. I’ll file them in my recipe boxes and go through them again in a year to cull those I haven’t used. It’s time to get this place in order.
    I was allowed to finally do my interview for my Nexus card. Such a simple process and the card arrived within a week. That will make crossing the border faster and I won’t have to take off my shoes at the airport anymore. And in the mail today we got a payment for a class action suit settlement that we had no idea we were a part of. Now to decide how to spend that whopping $2.01! I hope the cheque doesn’t bounce.
    We need to replace our living room furniture here and we’ve been looking. Right now there’s a sale at a good shop so we might be in luck. Yesterday I rearranged what we have now to see how something else will fit.
    With Fall coming , my circadian rhythms are out of whack. I need to get out for more walks so I sleep better at night and wake at a decent time in the morning. I think I get a little depressed when the sunset comes so early.
    Oh well, at least it’s time for my favourite dessert….baked apples. I make one most nights in the microwave as a treat.
    Looking forward to hearing about everyones week(s). Patsy

  46. What great buys on those dresses Brandy – so nice to know that you are doing a little something for yourself! Mom’s often forget to do that sort of thing.

    Reading about all the canning that so many are doing at this time of year makes me exhausted! You are all remarkable people. As a single person living in a huge city without even a balcony means that my life is very different from most of you – but – I still learn a lot and I love reading about all your accomplishments.

    I added more store bought cans to my pantry, taking advantage of some sales. However, the one thing I’ve noticed that seems to be in short supply is canned vegetables. My local No Frills had hardly anything in stock last week and I checked out two much higher priced supermarkets as well and they were almost as low on stock with very little variety! I will be trying to take advantage of Loyalty point offers for frozen fruit & veg over the next week if I can make some more room in my small freezer compartment. All items bought over the past few weeks have gone into my long term storage as I try to use up things from my pantry. I will rotate in from long term when we reach the New Year. I also managed to use up more meat from the freezer – had a friend up for dinner on the weekend (had stuffed peppers) and I’ve got a couple of more friends coming for a cooked lunch tomorrow and I have made shepherd’s pie with ground lamb that I got on a great deal a couple of months ago.

    Peppers were on sale over the past couple of weeks so I have frozen many to use over the Winter.

    I enjoyed a lovely lunch at church last Sunday as we had our welcome back BBQ – we managed to feed about 200 people. On Tuesday night I enjoyed coffee and treats while volunteering and on Wednesday I was treated to a lobster roll for lunch. The Blood Donor clinic was set up outside and had caused a bit of an issue with our parking so they invited all the staff to come for lunch. Some local restaurants had sent over food for the volunteers and we were able to join in. I have put their new literature encouraging donations into both the hall and the narthex of the church so hopefully that will encourage some more people to donate.

    It was my birthday last Saturday and I have been treated to lunch on the day – breakfast this past Monday and I am being taken out this Saturday (it’s a surprise) – family plan to celebrate with me when I go down to visit next month.

    I turned in an expired epi=pen at the pharmacy and was able to pick up a new one (no cost) so that is sorted. I don’t use many OTC meds due to allergies but I do have a couple of items on my list to restock over the next couple of weeks. I also need some extra toiletries, some new makeup and some vitamins so a good chunk of next month’s grocery budget will be on non-food items.

    Good luck with the final canning and getting those gardens put to bed – try not to exhaust yourselves.

    1. Hi Margie! I found it interesting that you found peppers on sale. I live in Illinois and green peppers, in particular, did not do well this year. Apparently, the heat up and then cold spell early on had a detrimental effect as green peppers use early pollinators (according to a vegetable farmer I know). The other color peppers did fine. My own green pepper plants were a disappointment this year. I don’t know if you have a small spot in your place, but when I lived in an apartment years ago, I bought a small chest freezer for extra space and it was well worth the money I was able to save on stocking up. I always enjoy the posts of Canadian contributors as my eldest daughter lives in BC, her SIL lives in Calgary and her two BILs live in Toronto. I can relate to much of what you and others speak to as I hear it from them. Have a wonderful weekend!

      1. Green preppers are usually the cheapest here but not this year and that is interesting.

        I would love to get a small chest freezer but honestly – the only place I could put it would be the bedroom! Also – I live in an older building and I’m not sure if the wiring would take it with all the other stuff that I have. But – I am still thinking about it.

    2. We have a warehouse sale here in northern Alberta that includes lots of canned vegetables. Maybe the 2023 crop just hasn’t got to your stores yet through their warehouse system. I know many of our canned vegetables are grown in Ontario. It is possible that they are selling the leftovers from 2022, though.

      I haven’t seen any peppers on sale this year, so enjoy the supply you’ve put away! They are $7.00 for a 2 lb bag of mixed colours.

  47. Hello Everyone,

    I have been and on again-off again reader for several years, but rarely (if ever?) comment. I have learned so much though, so I thought I might give it a go. I live in rural Maine, and fall is definitely in the air here and the garden is nearly done.
    Our summer was unseasonably wet and cold, and the garden was slow to come, with multiple plantings. I had a goal to put up (can or freeze) 50 quarts. I know that’s a small amount for many of you, but it’s just hubby and me, and I do it more for fun than need. This week, I froze 3 pints of shredded zucchini, 1 quart of corn, 3 half pints of green tomato relish and 4 pints of peach jam–and with that I reached my goal! I still have apples to process in October, so I will exceed my goal, which makes me happy. We also have 12 butternut squash and 3 spaghetti squash to harvest and store.

    I taught a first aid course, for which I will be paid, picked up some produce and chicken from a local food pantry to distribute through my church, foraged some oyster and chanterelle mushrooms, made a menu for the next several weeks trying to use up what we have, and have walked everyday as exercise.

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Tricia, this is a wonderful community! So happy you chimed in! That is quite a lot of canning and it’s so nice to taste summer during the winter. My daughter and her husband were working a travel job in Greene from November 2022 to August of this year. They could not believe how wet and cool it was! I think it’s amazing you got any produce! Have a great week!

  48. It doesn’t sound like a frugal thing to do, but I applied for a credit card with a company that offered me the opportunity and was approved in a matter of days. The ‘reward’ was a $125 gift card to Amazon, which I then spent on items we’d had sitting in our car waiting until money was available to get them. The credit card I already have is paid off monthly. I’ll just be switching to the new one and paying it off monthly now.

    Our weather finally cooled down to less than 90F and I planted a few things in my potted garden for fall/winter harvest. I was so happy to finally have it cooler than 100, so I could safely sow the seeds.

    Came across two weeks of really good sales at Kroger and our local grocer so I restocked our freezer with meats, got peanut butter to store in the pantry. I also purchased some pizza sauce and tissues from Amazon for a great price and put both of those bulk orders in the pantry.

    A great sale at Old Navy, too, where I was able to buy my great grandchildren’s birthday/Christmas gifts saving nearly 150% off regular costs.

    Our electric coop refunded us about $90. I put that aside to pay for our first propane fill up that should be next week. Our house insurance went up about $500 for the year. I was expecting this and had set aside more each month but not quite enough. Fortunately, we had some additional income this month that I could apply to that so we’re back on track with paying it in full here when it’s actually due.

    With the increase in income, I also opened a small savings account and set some money aside in that.

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