I harvested peaches from the garden. I also cut garlic chives, basil, and mint from the garden.

I made mint tea from the mint leaves and put it in the refrigerator to drink. I had so much mint last year and never really used it; this year, I only have a small patch that I am hoping will grow larger as I now realize that I would like to use it quite a lot!

I canned fig jam and froze peach slices from the fruit in our garden. I’m still sick, so I wasn’t up to canning peaches this year. We’ll have to make a lot of smoothies!

We did some much-needed deep cleaning around the house, which was an inexpensive way to feel more content at home. I washed all the pillow covers and the couch covers in the living room. The children remarked that the couch looks brand-new!

My husband made more obelisks for our garden.

I read an e-book from the library.

I found squash bugs in my garden. Those who garden know how devastating this can be, causing dead plants in a few short days. I decided to try a new method this year, as everything else has never worked for me. I put soapy water in a bucket. I went out and picked up every vine and leaf (with gloves on) and pulled every squash bug off and put it in the bucket (they drown). I pulled off any dead leaves and every leaf that had eggs on it. I did this every day. So far, I haven’t had any eggs hatch and my plants are still alive. I will be doing this daily. I had planted in July hoping to miss the squash bugs, but it was not to be this year. I have found them every day, so they must be flying in daily, as I haven’t seen any nymphs. Hopefully this meth,od will make it possible for us to have a harvest this year! My plants are just starting to flower and I’d like to have some food from them!

What did you do this last week to save money?

Would you like to support my site?  As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through my links. This means that I earn a small percentage from ANY items you place in your cart and purchase within 24 hours after going to Amazon from one of my links (i.e., it doesn’t have to be an item I have linked here).  If you’re going to be making a purchase from Amazon this week, I thank you for using my links to support this site!

Similar Posts


  1. -This week was quite different for us. We had all 5 grandkids-ages 10, 9, 7, 6,and 4. We took them to Maplewood State Park and went camping for 4 days. We stayed in a camper cabin. We take them for a week each summer so cousins can spend time together. We made all our meals and we got creative as there is a fire ban on so no campfire. All food was cooked over the cook stove or in the crockpot. We swam, fished, went tubing and water skiing. No electronic devices so they got creative with games and they read, colored, made up and performed a play for grandma and grandpa.

    -I did pick up the lug of peaches I ordered from my co-op on the way home. We ate some fresh, I canned 7 quarts of peaches, 10 half pints of peach raspberry jam, and 4 three quarter quarts of juice from skins and pits. The raspberries for the jam were ones I picked wild on our property in July and froze.

    -I let the canner water cool over night and used it to water plants.

    -We are eating lots from the garden-cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers, the last of the snow pea pods, the last cabbage, and I finally picked a tomato.

    -The only groceries bought this week was a head of lettuce and a dozen eggs.

    -We got a tenth of an inch of rain this week, it is so dry, we are about 10 inches behind normal.

    -Short and sweet this week. Have a great week!!

  2. I’m dealing with squash bugs here as well, and today, found lots of caterpillars on the kale. The Japanese beetles are thankfully dwindling, but it always seems to be something. My husband noticed we were getting low on oats, so we ordered a 50# bag from a local co-op, which he picked up today. With all the talk of food shortages, we want to be sure to have staples on hand. In the garden, tomatoes and yard long beans are fairly abundant. I also harvest a few eggplant, tromboncino, and an occasional cucumber or pepper. The figs have just begun, and we’ve enjoyed three so far. I’m also gathering some small apples, pears, and the first of the hazelnuts. My husband found and purchased 200 canning lids on amazon (off-brand), which arrived last week. I canned tomatoes and beans last week, and harvested elderberries, which I dried. A bag of pumpkin was pulled from the freezer, and with it, I made soap, dog treats, and dessert bars. On a day my husband and his business partner were working out of state, I took some self-care time, enjoying a pedicure, harvesting a bouquet and time for some spiritual work. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/08/a-hint-of-fall.html

  3. Brandy, I’d like to first comment on two things you wrote. You are right–there is nothing like a deep clean for making things look better, and it costs nothing, or next to nothing. Also, the method you described for squash bugs is also a method I’ve heard for dealing with Japanese beetles. I think you are onto something! I also hope you start feeling better SOON.

    I spent several days last week at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for a second opinion. (I live in northern Idaho). Two doctors in different but related specialties agreed I do not need the spinal surgery that the hometown docs advise. At least, not now. They answered all of my questions and gave me a lot of good advice. The Mayo Clinic is covered by insurance and you do not need a referral. If you know someone whose case is complicated and they aren’t getting answers at home, send them to Mayo! Our travel cost was about $1,700 for two people, and well worth it.

    I paid my bills online, $aving po$tage and lots of time. This is one of my favorite frugal activities because it is so quick and easy!

    I got all 6 books on reserve at once! (Not necessarily a good thing for getting anything else done). I read The Paris Library and started All The Light We Cannot See.

    I ordered OTC products through our Medicare Advantage plans. This is a quarterly benefit at no extra charge. Between us, our family can order $150 worth of products per quarter. The catalog prices are greatly inflated–my actual saving is around $85 every 3 months. But it’s all pricey stuff that we must use all the time, and this works for me!

    I reorganized my freezer. Don’t have as much meat left as I’d hoped, but at least now I know what I’ve got!

    Our church has an espresso stand. The profits and all tips support clean water projects in Africa. When we ordered this week, the barista told us someone was “paying it forward” for every single customer! So, it was a win-win…a free iced latte for my daughter and clean water for sub-Saharan Africa.

    1. So happy to hear about your Mayo visit. It is a wonderful place and makes whatever malady you might have doable, because you know you have the right answers. My brother had a massive coronary this past week and the only reason he is alive is Mayo! I, too, have been there for health issues. Cannot say enough about how wonderful they are! Take care.

      1. This was actually my second time. They saved me a surgery about 6 years ago, too. The non-surgical option has not been easy, but it works, and nobody else suggested it. Now I have a list of treatments for this, too. It is really difficult to find two doctors from different disciplines who will work together, but Mayo does it all the time…so you really do get options. I’m sorry about your brother’s heart attack. He truly is in the best place for help. Hoping for the best.

      2. Medical treatments have come a long way in my lifetime. I wish the very best for anyone struggling. With great amazement my mothers stage 4 cancer is in remission. Ocular, breast and colon. I’m speechless. This journey has beaten me up terribly. Meanwhile, I hear mom drove her car and went shopping. There simply are no more words. Be blessed dear friends.

        1. Amazing news about your mother, Lillianna! My sister has Stage 4 lung cancer but it is a very rare and slow growing kind and her oncologists say she will die of old age long before the cancer causes her more problems…she is only 70. God is good.

        2. So good to hear this! I was diagnosed with breast cancer a week ago. Meeting with an oncologist and surgeon next week. They found mine early, so hopeful for complete healing.

          1. Peggy: Wishing you strength and hope and peace, supportive family and friends, and great health care professionals!

  4. *We drove to visit my mom for her 82nd birthday. She lives several states away, and it was less expensive as well as less exposure to illness to drive rather than fly. We brought all our own food for while we were driving. It was a 12 hour drive total, so this was all three meals of that day.
    *My brother flew in from another state to join us. This meant we were able to see him as well as my parents, and since we are not often able to travel to see him I was very happy to be able to meet up with him at my parent’s house.
    *While we were there, the electricity went out. We decided to make “lemons into lemonade,” and went to a metro park somewhat near them. We planned on taking a boat ride. When we arrived, we learned that because of COVID, they are now only operating that boat Thursdays through Sundays, and we were there on a Tuesday. On to plan “C”! Instead of that boat ride, my brother rented a paddle boat and all six of us shared the one hour rental time and we had an absolute blast! The park had boats in the shape of swans, ducks, and sea monsters!
    *While in that state, we met up with my Aunt and Uncle at a tourist town. We were able to have a nice outing with my parents, and also see my Aunt and Uncle. My mom, dad, and aunt all celebrated July birthdays and therefore qualified for a special birthday meal at the restaurant we ate at. I also have a July birthday, but have food allergies so cannot eat the birthday meal the restaurant serves. I ordered a salad and also brought some of my own food to enjoy while we visited.
    *When we stopped at a grocery store to let my mom pick out her own birthday cake (this is what she enjoys doing), we discovered the store had a penny horse and the store even gave you the penny to take a horse ride! My brother, my daughter, and myself all enjoyed a horse ride and had a blast and SO MUCH laughing! Not everything in life is perfect, but having a positive attitude can go a long way!
    Lots of pictures and more on my blog at: https://chickadeecove.blogspot.com/2021/08/frugal-friday-week-of-july-25-august-7.html
    Looking forward to reading what everyone is up to!
    ~Susan M. In Chattanooga, Tennessee

  5. Hello Everyone!

    Last week we were on vacation. Before we left I cut my son’s hair. We stayed in a condo, making almost all meals ourselves. We shopped at Walmart. Almost every item is $1+ less expensive than most grocery stores. Lunch meat is $3-5 less per pound than Safeway! In addition, our rental car was 5,000 miles overdue for an oil change. We returned it because we didn’t want to damage the car. For our trouble they upgraded us to a Jaguar SUV (woohoo! 😆) gave us a 50% discount on the rate and free gas. It was fun to drive a “fancy” car and get a nice discount. The unit had a washer/dryer. We washed clothes before flying home. PBJ and an apple were packed in our carry ons for the flight.

    We arrived home to the last of our plums and ripe peaches. I canned plums today and will can the peaches tomorrow. It’s the first year we’ve had this many peaches. I had to buy some additional canning jars. Not a savings, but reusable!

    I picked some zucchini, patty pan squash, tomatoes, lemons, cucumbers, green beans, peas and lettuce from my garden. I continue to battle powdery mildew. We still have overcast weather and and morning dew.

    Some readers mentioned Vitamin D last week. I take it daily with our cloudy skies and it keeps me quite healthy. I rarely catch my family’s colds. I have started giving it to my teens to boost their immunity as In-person school (masked) has just begun.

    I signed up for a free seed saving seminar through UC Santa Cruz. It’ll be online in a few weeks. It’s another area I need to learn more about.

    Deep cleaning really makes the home feel inviting and refreshed. That’s a big task when you’re unwell. I hope you feel better soon Brandy! When mom is down and out the entire household notices.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week! 🥒

  6. Defrosted peaches are also good mixed into yogurt. Good luck eliminating the squash bugs.

    Joining in from the Seattle area.
    Our new washer and dryer were due to be installed this week. The delivery guys came, took out the old set, and had trouble turning off the water valves (the hot water one is leaking slowly). So we need to get those replaced, and then they will redeliver the washer and dryer, hopefully this week. The plumber is coming tomorrow. So this meant I had to do more wash at my neighbor’s (who was very gracious about it). I will be glad to have a washer and dryer again!

    While putting a bag of garbage in the condo dumpster, I noticed a dusty tennis racket case on top of the trash. I took it out, and opened it to find an unused tennis racket with the price tag attached: $269! People here throw away all kinds of things in the dumpster, instead of finding a way to pass them on. (Note: I did post a Found notice on Nextdoor about a found tennis racket, just in case. No one has responded). There is a store a few miles away that buys used sports equipment, so I will eventually take it there and see what they say. And then, the next day, I found a perfectly serviceable tiny rolling carry on bag in the recycling bin. I cleaned it up and will either keep it or donate it.

    I have rosacea, and I treat it by washing my face with Selsun Blue shampoo every evening. Last week, I had a flareup, so I used this method several times a day until it cleared up. Works every time, and it is very inexpensive. I read about this method online years ago.

    Did lots of food things. Stocked up on canned tomatoes. Our CSA farm share had extra zucchini, so I took a few and shredded 7 quart bags for the freezer. Picked the weekly allotment of greens (chard, several types of kale, and collards) and blanched and froze these for future use. Purchased 10lbs of fresh tomatoes, along with some peppers and peaches at a local farm stand – the woman knows me and gave me a nice discount. Have been making gazpacho and will freeze the tomatoes we don’t use fresh. Used lots of fresh produce to make tasty meals.

    Bought a half gallon insulated water bottle at Ross a few weeks ago. I have been filling this up and taking it with me everywhere. This was a great investment!

    Otherwise, shared magazines with a friend and my mom; made water kefir and kombucha; met two friends for a walk and a cup of coffee, which we enjoyed outside; took my lunch with me every day that I was not home at lunchtime; read library books; listened to podcasts and watched Youtube; played a board game with my husband; cooked at home; and did all the stuff I normally do.

    Have a great week, everyone.

    1. Hi Tina,
      Isn’t it amazing what people throw away instead of giving to others?
      About rosacea: I had it very badly and what really helped me was taking Betaine hydrochloride. You can get it inexpensively form Freeda vitamins. I took one before a small meal and two before a large meal. There’s lots of info on line about using it for rosacea. My homeopath eventually found a remedy to cure me, and I don’t use the Betaine any longer, but before that it certainly made a huge difference for me (and others with rosacea whom I told).
      Interestingly, it seems O blood types are more likely to get rosacea.
      Good luck!

      1. Thanks, Cara. I’ll look into the Betaine. That is interesting about the type O blood (I actually have type B).

  7. I picked only two bags of figs and was bitten by so many mosquitos my legs swelled. We have had so much rain and unable to mow much. Plus there were so many wasps. I made hamburgers, the meat was $2.49 a lb, at Aldi, which is way above my price point, but I bought a lot of ground beef anyway because I wanted to fill my freezer up. I just do not know how this winter will be. I have everything fairly well stocked up food wise except meat. I walked at the local park. I used a 5 off 25 coupon for Dollar General to stock up on Powerade, cat food, and I bought some more toilet paper, I always get Scotts because we have huge sewer issues in this town, especially when it rains. My kid had a rat destroy a whole package of his tp so I gave him my extra. I used a $5 off 15 coupon for fresh food such as vegetables at Target. Our Covid rates have shot up and I just go to work, get gas, grocery store, walk at park, and back home. Not much to tell here because I just do the same thing day in and day out. My electricity has been low, $50 a month in summer, I guess the rain has helped keep temps down.August looks like will be really hot so that bill will climb some.

    1. Dish soap and water in a sprayer will kill the wasps if you find a nest. I was stung three times last year. We have at least four kinds of wasps here. The paper wasps make nests in bushes and they stung me through my gloves last year.

      1. The one thing to remember about spraying for wasps, yellowjackets, etc., is to spray while they are asleep. This means right after dusk or early in the morning. This is when they are all in the nest and (mostly) too lethargic to sting you. Yellowjacket nests tend to be up high, under the eaves. (They will also nest on the underside of just about anything, especially the stringers on a wood fence). I don’t mind using bug spray on bugs that sting, but that’s a personal choice. If you do buy wasp and yellowjacket spray, it will spray from about 10 feet, meaning you can stand on the ground and get at the ones under the eaves.

      2. Should add, I said “bugs that sting,” when I specifically meant wasps, yellowjackets, etc. I would never spray honeybees or other valuable insects. Also, if you are picnicking outside, pour beverages out of aluminum cans into glasses so you can see what you are drinking. Yellowjackets just love climbing into aluminum cans and stinging the unwary in the mouth.

      3. Hi another method of killing wasps etc if you find their nest underground is to heap fresh grass cuttings over each hole (usually there are at least 2) at dusk. It will remove all the oxygen from the nest killing all the wasps. Hope you feel better soon.

        1. Interesting. I have never seen an underground nest. I have seen four different wasps here but only the nests of the paper wasps and the mud dauber wasps, neither of which are underground. It must be a different type of wasp that makes underground nests

          1. Do to your hard soil, it would be difficult for a wasp to build underground. I am basically on a sand dune so yellow jackets LOVE to build nests in the ground. They also will take advantage of un-occupied bird houses. Bumblebees will also build underground but from what I’ve read, they prefer hollow trees/wood. I have no problems with the bees but yellow jackets and wasps I will run screaming from and have no remorse when I take them out. Bald/white faced hornets are also a problem and are very aggressive. I carried a scar on the back of my thigh for years from a bite that took a chunk out – they can sting and bite and both hurt like H^&*

            1. Africanized bees make nests underground in valve boxes here (twice in my yard, and I learned in the extension service bee class that this is common. There are not trees here unless someone has planted them and then they are not large). Birdhouses are a problem with wasps.

            2. I believe they are yellow jackets. We do not have hard soil like you. It is rocky. The puppy got stung earlier this summer because she tries to eat them. She has learned her lesson. Hubby sprays them at night time when they are in the hive. It is never the same spot. They just move around the area.

    2. I’m in SWFL and your weather sounds similar to mine. For wasps etc…I recently bought a can of spray that sprays from up to 20 feet away at Ace Hardware for $2.50 on sale. I always try to spray at night. And the cost of the spray is worth it for me. I have allergic reactions in greater proportion than typical people.

  8. My savings this week have mostly been mending and alterations. I fixed those small holes that seem to develop in women’s T-shirts and altered a pair of pajama pants so they fit better. Lots of books from the library. Lots of eating at home. Ever grateful for all I learned about sewing and cooking in 4-H as a child and teen.

    1. If you wear an apron while doing dishes and cooking, you can protect your shirt from those holes!

        1. Well it’s pretty hot here 🙂

          My kitchen does not have windows. It is in the center of the house. My husband changed out the light fixture above the sink to be one that had more lights (rather than jsut a single light) and a ceiling fan. The ceiling fan is wonderful while working in the kitchen.

          My grandmother lived in a house without air conditioning in a very humid place. She had two windows that opened upwards above the sink. She put in window fans in these windows, and they blew into her kitchen while working at the sink.

          Even a thin cotton apron can help protect your clothes. I would find a way to get a fan in the kitchen!

          1. It’s hot and humid here in Houston too, although not as bad as Las Vegas! I bought a dehumidifier last year and it’s amazing how much difference it makes and how much water is sucked out of the air. In addition, I bought one of those small, square “Arctic Air” units (they’re about 9″ cubes) and I have it on the divider between my kitchen and living room, just above the sink. For its small size it puts out a lot of cold air.

      1. Thanks for the tip-I have been having the same issue for the past couple of years and just thought the quality of clothing must be going down! It had not occurred to me to wear an apron.

    2. I kept getting those holes in my clothes, too. It made me crazy! After thinking about it, i discovered that i lean against the sink and counter while doing dishes and just about everything else. My jeans button rubs against my shirts and makes the holes. Now, i try to stop leaning, although my back can’t take me standing still for long and leaning helps, or grab the apron. So far, so good!

      1. I hate those holes in t-shirts! I bought some soft seat belt covers on Amazon for my car. I noticed that the seatbelt was rubbing right where I was getting tiny holes. So far I haven’t noticed anymore holes.

  9. Hi All,
    Peaches are great with ice cream!! Maybe you can have some of your peaches sliced up with ice cream on a hot day.
    We are in winter here in Australia & where we live it has been quite a wet winter, consequently my garden hasn’t had a lot of love since autumn! Last week I finally got around to pruning my roses & doing some weeding. Not much happening in the veggie garden. I only have silverbeet, peas & onions. All growing well.
    Take care,

  10. Brandy, please get well soon!
    I have been cleaning out a downstairs closet, hope to finish it tonight so I can put away the canning jars, clearing off my kitchen counter. I thought my hens had slowed down producing eggs, but found their hidden laying spot. Since I don’t know how long those eggs have been there, they were cracked and fed to the chickens. My two youngest hens have started laying routinely and my grandkids think the tiny eggs are the cutest thing! They are pleased to choose those tiny eggs for their breakfast or to use in pancakes.
    I follow Food Storage Organizer on Facebook and took to heart her recent post about Good, Better, Best. I’m rethinking how I use my time, how I structure my day. My little will be starting preschool 4 days a week and I want to make the most of my time. I’ve been tracking what I do with my time and writing down what I want to accomplish. I need to do some adjusting, limit the time I spend on some activities, and get rid of others that aren’t consistent with my goals. Food Storage Organizer suggested she might want to re-evaluate every six months; I’m thinking I need to review every 90 days or so.
    Have a fantastic week!

  11. So sorry to hear that you still aren’t feeling well Brandy – you always get so much done even when not 100%. Good luck with all the work to get rid of the pests – so frustrating! Gardening is rewarding but also quite exhausting – all of you gardeners out there never fail to amaze me.

    I did get quite a bit of cleaning done on the weekend, including washing the bathroom and kitchen floor. Good thing I did it then as the heat has returned – over 30C when I left this morning and feeling like 40C with the humidity!

    I also got some cooking done this weekend – I’m trying to use up a few more items from the pantry to keep things rotated. I had defrosted a # of ground beef, seasoned it, added an onion and a yellow pepper and a can of lentils and then divided it in half. One half had some tomatoes, kidney beans and corn added, along with some chilli powder, cumin and paprika to make a pot of chilli that made 4 servings. The other half had a grated zucchini and cream cheese added, along with some grated cheese and then I stuffed 4 green peppers. Eight meals from 1 # of ground beef, plus some cans from the pantry – not bad at all!

    Read 3 library books over the weekend and I’ve just had an email from the library to let me know that “The Kitchen Front” has finally arrived – I’ll pick it up on Thursday or Friday and will read it this weekend.

    I’m feeling a bit draggy at the moment as I had my second pneumonia shot this morning and my arm is quite swollen & sore and I think I’m starting to run a fever. The same thing happened with the first shot a year ago so I’m not worried – it only lasted a day or 2 and then I was fine. I was nervous about going to the doctor’s office but it was very organized, I only needed to see the nurse and was in and out in no time – plus – no cost.

    Grocery shopping last week was more non-food items that I found on sale – bottles of dish liquid, Swiffer cloths & Windex – enough now for at least 6 months & probably more. I’m trying to stay out of the grocery store as much as possible this month unless there is a really good sale – it’s time to use that pantry a bit more!

  12. CherylB:

    Made burlap half-curtains for my southern facing porch from burlap I found at the local Farmer’s CO-OP. Look amazing; allows air to still come through; and filters out a lot of sun!
    Have canned tons of tomatoes from my garden. Am happy as there is a projected shortage due to the drought in CA. Also, have put up lots of okra which is a must for Southerners!
    Am upset with my fig bushes this season. No fruit or BB-sized fruit that will never mature and ripen. Never had this problem. Always had great harvests!
    We’ve had very little rain here. All around us have had tons. We live in East Tennessee.
    Have been looking at properties to buy in another state. Cannot believe real estate prices!
    Hope everyone is well, especially you Brandy! Take care!

    1. Cheryl B- Don’t give up on your figs!! My figs have little fruits on them that probably won’t get big enough to ripen and pick before our weather changes to fall/winter.
      But in researching on YouTube, we learned that figs have 2 crops. One is called the breva crop which are tiny figs that overwintered and finish growing and ripening in the Spring. Then there is a second crop which starts and grows big enough and ripens into the summer!
      So don’t pick off those tiny figs! Look at them as a bonus gift for Spring!!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. I was looking for Fig Newton type cookies at the grocery store and didn’t see any, even generics. So treasure the figs you have!

  13. My mom sent over a cake(minus the one slice she ate), a box of peach snack cups, and several cans of v8 juice

    We enjoyed cooler temperatures so I turned off air and opened house whenever possible. Back to heat this week, though.

    Ate several meals from the freezer and leftovers. Monday I made eggrolls and had several leftover wrappers. Thursday when my husband had gumbo, I took the eggroll wrappers, cut in half, then added a filling of cream cheese and crab(both from the freezer)and made Crab Rangoons for the 14yo. I still had leftover wrappers so I cut them in small triangles and fried them like chips.

    Watched stuff we had recorded on the DVR. Over half of what’s on there has been there a year or longer . My husband swears he wants to watch it, so I’m stuck waiting for him. 🙄

    Read and returned library books on time.

    Redeemed a free pickle from Jimmy John’s.

    Cleaned out the big freezer at mom’s. Tossed a few freezer burned items, but it wasn’t too big of a mess. My small freezer here is full of stuff like broth and shredded zucchini, so now I can take some of it over there to make room for some meat.

    Took 4 bags of donations to the thrift store, 2 from my house, 2 from my mom’s. I probably won’t be as productive with it getting hot again this week, lol.

    My husband picked up a giant watermelon and a box of tomatoes from a produce stand. The 14yo put away the watermelon over the weekend, I’ll have to figure out what to do with the majority of the tomatoes this week. There’s a reason I only buy my husband a couple at a time.

    Mowed and cleaned up the yard while it was cool out.

  14. I hope you are feeling better soon, Brandy.
    This week I canned 5 pints of homemade pasta sauce.
    We got our first tomatoes from the garden – always exciting, since we wait so long for them (I started these seeds in March.) They are the largest I have ever grown – I credit the compost tea I’ve been feeding the plants with. We also enjoyed basil, onions, chard, lettuce, cucumbers, and cabbage. I set some garlic to ferment, made refrigerator pickles and made 3 pints of canned cole slaw. I bought a box of peaches and made 8 jars of peach jam. I harvested the rest of my potatoes, topped that bed with several inches of finished compost and planted peas.
    I watered for a friend who was out of town and she gifted me with four ears of corn and two heads of broccoli.
    The sheriff’s department had a barbecue in our neighborhood. We enjoyed burgers and visiting with our neighbors. We attended a free concert with friends and packed a picnic supper.
    We are attending a wedding next month and I had my husband try on his only suit. He has lost weight since he last wore it, so the trousers needed altering. I was able to do the work myself.

  15. I hope you’re are fully recovered soon.
    Our electric company was cutting tree limbs along the road. Our crazy neighbor was yelling at them that they slightly parked in front of her driveway. I gave Hubby some cold drinks to bring out to the workers. They offered to cut our tree branches close to the house. They reached up much higher then Hubby can.
    Hubby changed the carburetor on the lawnmower and put LED lights in my car(my one light burnt out).
    The garden is in full swing finally. It rained several days so I haven’t had to water. Cooking meals around what needs to be used up. Cucumbers are being given to everyone I see.
    My youngest couldn’t get a stain out of a favorite shirt. My kids all do their own laundry. I did “magic” and got the stain out.
    I love my shower curtain. It has a snap-on inner liner. I just pull it off, throw it in the white wash and hang it up in the yard to dry.
    I cashed out a $3GC in Verizon rewards and $20 in Ibotta.
    I made a fresh pot of sauce with home grown tomatoes, basil and parsley. It is the best. I cooked a 1/4 pound of ground beef with onions and garlic too. Put it on 68¢ pasta and we had dinner and lunch for the next day.
    I got free bananas when I bought Bisquik at BJs with a coupon.
    The A/C has been off most of the week. We have been getting by with the fans.
    My youngest cut my hair for me and did my eyebrows.
    We had a graduation party for a family friend. We were sent home with lots of food.
    My little cousin got married. It was a beautiful day. I got to see family that I haven’t seen since the beginning of Covid. I wore a dress that my sister gave me when she lost a lot of weight. It still had the tags on. Hubby wore the suit he got for our daughter’s wedding. I had the shoes. The kids ate the food leftover from the graduation party while we were at the party.

  16. This week, for the business, I quilted Quilts #163- #167- https://pin.it/pM7bedO, https://pin.it/6yabgRY, https://pin.it/5CN7TTV, https://pin.it/3dxWS5u, https://pin.it/412Coq2, https://pin.it/1kbwXV1, https://pin.it/jey4Ymc
    On Tuesday, my daughter will come over and we will load
    an Amish Log Cabin/Ohio Star king size quilt on our longarm and get that started for a customer. Then we will get back to quilting the other 6 lap size quilts. Just got a call and a text- today, another king size quilt top arriving and 3 more kids’ quilts tomorrow will be added into the queue!

    The garden is still flourishing and I froze another 5 quarts of blackberries (with more ripening still). I picked and froze another 3 quarts of green beans. And there were about 9 cucumbers picked with more in the garden that will be ready to pick this week. So I canned 6 pints of sweet pickle relish (Ball Blue book)! It was gratifying to know that the veg in the relish- cukes, bell peppers and onions- were all from my garden! All the bits and ends from the cukes and peppers went out to the chickens who converted it into compost and also eggs!! 😉. I planted peas and, because of raised beds and amazing Ohio weather, they were 4” tall within 5 days!! Looks like we will have a good fall harvest! Since I didn’t pick blackberries on Sunday, it’s been 3 days since last pick. Here is today: https://pin.it/4Ar1kUG! I figure that this was the equivalent of 8+ six Oz baskets at Kroger’s so a bit over $24 in berries!! So far this season, our blackberries have given us over $150 worth of berries!!! Well worth our original investment!!

    The fence painting went well last Monday with the 8 teenagers from Church that we hired: https://pin.it/2If1RQ9, https://pin.it/72tgbuR. The only problem was that it was NOT the color we thought it would be. When kids arrived to paint, I was on my way out of town to help with a funeral and Hubs opened the first can and painted a bit on the fence and sent me a photo. Neither of us were happy but we hoped it would dry less “purple”. Hubs couldn’t go back to exchange and leave kids waiting alone at our house with their “time and pay meters” going, so he had them paint. They worked hard for 6 hours!! They ran out of paint with just a little left to do.
    So the next day, Hubs went to Lowe’s that was closer to get another gallon. He took his paint chip that he got there and gave to them with the first 11 gallons! It was “Antique Burgundy”. The paint department told him that what he was given was “Ancient Burgundy” . So the original Lowe’s gave him the wrong color. He went back to the original Lowe’s with his receipt and after talking with the manager, he was given an over 25% refund in cash (not store credit! ) While we would have preferred our color, we didn’t want to have to redo the over 1500 square foot of fencing. So we saved over $150 on the paint!
    Hubs and I then painted the front fence across the side yard. https://pin.it/3MPiiDo. We were much slower and ached the next day!! We are so thrilled to see this fence-painting project done!

    When I was at Kroger’s, I found gallon jugs of Wesson canola oil on clearance for $2.59 each rather than $8.99!! I was already using my final 48 Oz bottle from my pantry and had been hoping to restock my pantry! I got 4 gallon bottles!! 2 of our teenage grandsons who live out of state had birthdays and we ended up getting them each an Amazon gift card. I saw that I could get 4 times their amount in rewards points at Kroger’s. So, my Kroger purchases gave me 80 cents off per gallon of gas at their gas station!! I waited until my gas tank was less than 1/4 and then filled up!! That was over $10 in savings!!

    Redeemed another $10 in CC rewards into my savings account.
    Little bits here and there really add up!!

    Using only ingredients from my pantry, I made 2 treats to snack on this week- the “Are You Kidding” cake- https://pin.it/6xBdXGy and homemade Payday candy bars- https://pin.it/1n4SBNI. We are grateful to have an expanded food storage pantry with “treat” ingredients that we have purchased on sale or on clearance!!

    We got some rain one day this week which was very welcome and temps were more moderate. This week will be up to 90 again most of the week and sticky. But we can’t complain. Things are growing well and we are healthy and blessed with everything we need.

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. I was so happy that our lows dropped below 84 for two days in the last week . . .

      Humidity sure helps the garden grow, though!

      1. Annie-Blake- the fence color is actually growing on us! I guess I’m happy to see one consistent, completely painted fence when before it had 2 colors of green and 1 color of brown . 😱🤪

        Plus it won’t have to be done again for a few years!! I like that kind of project!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  17. You sure are putting in the work on the squash plants! I will hope with you that you get some squash.
    Mazda dealerships are offering a free oil change to teachers. My husband had just had his oil changed but they allowed me to schedule an appointment for the free oil change in December. I was thankful.
    I picked 20 lbs of blackberries and 40 lbs of apples, all for free at friend’s houses. I put 2/3 of the apples in the fridge, we will eat those fresh. The rest had some sort of blemish and I will slice and dry those.
    My mother-in-law requested a banner for a one-time event. I made one out of cardstock triangles, pages torn from magazines (color with no words on it) from which I cut the letters she wanted and sewed the triangles together with fabric bias tape made from the legs of old cotton pajamas (pretty green with white dot fabric). A very frugal and low waste item!
    I just spread my quick-batch compost. For the cost of $3, I made 20 gallons of compost. I spread it under my tomato plants and around the fruit trees, and added more straw mulch. All moisture retaining additions are necessary here in the dry West.
    We collect about 30 gallons of warm up water a week and use it to water the garden. I removed 3 almost dead plants, potted them and put them in my “nursery” section (shade and some extra water for this section). I’m hoping they revive and I can plant them in the fall.
    O’Reillys auto parts store price matches and I saved $3 on a needed part for my car.
    Our library is doing a reading challenge and for reading 16 hours, we each get 2 free books. I logged my hours so that next time I go, I can get my freebies!
    A good week to you all!

    1. Kara, would you kindly share your quick compost recipe? I am trying to get ideas about how to start composting (other than burying scraps). Thank you!

      1. https://vric.ucdavis.edu/pdf/compost_rapidcompost.pdf

        The link above is the method I used. I used straw for my ‘browns’. Coffee grounds free from Starbucks, veggie scraps free from Wholefoods, and I bought a bag of chicken manure. I think the challenge for the home gardener is getting the volume of materials all at one time to make a big enough pile (it’s supposed to be 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall-mine was a bit smaller.) That’s why getting commercial size bags of veggie scraps from a store, and same of coffee grounds, is so helpful.

        I was experiencing the same as you-we don’t produce enough scraps to make a big impact doing trench composting (burying it). I’m aiming to make a batch of this a month

  18. -The seniors’ home repair loan was approved this week, and the funds should be transferred in a few days. Next we get the work scheduled. Rain all next week in the forecast, of course, after very little for months.
    – Covid numbers are rising quickly again in the province, and in the counties all around us, though it hasn’t started locally yet. (Maybe, we’re just not getting tested.) I’ve been getting groceries and other supplies purchased to reduce the trips I need to make later on. With another two weeks to go before next month’s pensions come in, I’ve have stayed within the month’s budget, $150 Cdn, which is half of what I spent last month. I was able to get some baking supplies this week and last, including flour, sugar, oatmeal and two very small cans of thick cream. I had to replace brown sugar with golden sugar, and granulated white sugar with berry sugar, but there is nothing I use either for that needs anything more precise than that. I didn’t buy a huge supply, since I am an occasional baker, but enough to see me to Christmas. Next month, I’ll get a little extra butter, even if I pay full price ($5 a lb), and an extra dozen eggs. I’ll replace each first in first out as I continue. I have canola oil, though, so I can do some baking again in the meantime.
    -I needed to go to the pharmacy to pick up some meds the pharmacists owed me from my last order. I remembered to go on a Tuesday, which is seniors’ day. There is 20% off anything that isn’t on sale. I got that on toilet paper, and close to 30% off on Vitamin D, which was on sale.
    -I’ve set some boundaries with the person who has been doing my yard work, to reduce the amount of unauthorized work and the frequency of visits. I hope for both less cost and stress. I appreciate his keenness, but I really do like to have the property to myself as much as possible.
    -My 91-year-old aunt has sent me her stepmom’s diamond wedding ring. She is the only grandmother I knew from my dad’s side, so I appreciate having the keepsake. I don’t go out anymore, but still like to dress up a bit for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it won’t just be kept in a safe place. Hopefully I’ll get to pass it on in good time to my niece or her daughter after enjoying it for a bit. My aunt and I had a long chat about different things, old and new, which we both really enjoyed. Another benefit of cheap long-distance rates.
    -I am working at deep cleaning in my house, also working on my couch. There seems to be no end to what is needed, but I am at least motivated to tidy up by the prospect of having someone repair and paint all the window trim and being in a position to see inside each room!
    -I roasted a big pack of chicken legs, took all the meat off the bones, and froze the bones for making stock, and the meat. With chicken legs, I normally just cook one or two pieces at a time, and don’t bother to save the bones, so this is a change in habit for me. This will make for more broth for me, since I regularly save chicken carcasses from whole chickens, and bones from breasts on the bone. I use the broth for soup, but also to cook orzo or rice. You can tell chicken is a favorite food for me!

  19. I hope you feel better soon Brandy.
    I found a case sale on blueberries for $9.99. I spent Saturday making blueberry jam. Sunday I finally made cranberry jam from cranberries from the freezer. I bought them last fall from the cranberry bog/farm near our property in Wisconsin. It doesn’t seem like it set completely. I think it will be good on waffles ,pancakes or in yogurt.
    Thanks Brandy for this wonderful blog. I’ve learned so much and look forward to reading the comments every week.

  20. I hope you feel better soon Brandy.
    I have been cooking at home with what we have. Saving a ton of money by not eating out even if I feel like eating out. I also save on gas as it takes awhile to go anywhere. I returned library books and ordered a book to read. I have also been cleaning thinking that it would make me happier with my surroundings. I have been using lavender or perfume to make me happier. Lavender is calming as is perfume that makes me happy. I’ve given my face a break from makeup a few days this week. My skin always looks better when I give it a break and just use moisturizer for a few days. I went thrifting but came out with nothing because I didn’t see anything that I absolutely needed. I have been trying to plan meals ahead of time so that I won’t consider eating out and it makes it easier to know what I am making ahead of time. My husband has appreciated having meals when he gets home as well as my son. I got some maps for free from the library and showed my grandchildren how to find cities on the map. This made them happy. I was glad they had learned a new skill. I have been drinking a lot of water filtered at the tap. Much cheaper than other drinks. I made a Oriental pork stir fry with veggies I bought for 68 cents and meat I already had. I made an Indian moong dal and lentils over rice, leftover from the freezer. I had to laugh when my husband thanked me for working so hard on the great meal! All I had to do was empty a container of frozen food I’d made previously and make some rice. I thought about going with it, but I had to admit how easy it was. He told me it was smart to save the food in the freezer for another meal. And for some reason I can’t remember anything else I made. I know I cooked all week. Soup was on the menu. Cheese and crackers, fruit for snacks. Oh yeah, I made your enchiladas with a twist. Instead of rolling up the corn tortillas I layered them with the sauce and called it Enchilada lasagna. I made a homemade tomatillo sauce The previous day and made tortilla salad with hamburger and beans and the sauce and a bit of sour cream, And cumin, paprika, garlic , onion, chili powder. We ate the enchilada lasagna for two days. Cereal for breakfast or cottage cheese.

    1. I cook them that way when I have fewer tortillas! It makes it easy to stretch them.

  21. Brandy, you can use the frozen peach slices to make pies and crumble, as long as you drain off most of the juice and add a thickener such as tapioca or flour. You may already know this. 😊 I was in the middle of canning peaches today, when the tornado sirens sounded and I was relegated to the basement for 2 1/2 hours. And, yes, a tornado hit nearby; there were multiple tornadoes in our area during this time. Funny story, on the news site someone wrote in that her grandma was canning peaches, never heard the sirens, and it hit half a mile from her (just like me). Fortunately no one was injured in any of the touchdowns. I have many, many more to can. Sigh….

  22. Sorry about the squash bugs and that you are still not feeling well. In an earlier post you mentioned that you and your husband would be traveling to see your daughter, her husband and your son in August — I pray that you are 100% healthy when that time comes. The data is in – we had the third wettest July on record with a little over 12″ of rain for the month; the average is 4.6″ of rain. Our electric bill for the month of July is nearly 25% lower than last July due to central air system not working as hard due to all the overcast and rainy days and our sprinkler system not going on on those days. However, our Early Girl and Brandywine tomatoes’ ripening has been delayed. Normally, we start picking them by the last week in July; this year I hope to gather the first ripe ones next week.

    We had company most of the week – DH’s brother and wife (who live a 4-hour drive from us) stayed with us for 3 days on their way to visit FIL and MIL; and DD and her family also spent several days with us. We all went to see the weekly fireworks show that a nearby town puts on and also enjoyed that town’s boardwalk with its shops and rides; drove to another town for its seafood festival; we all went swimming at our beach; the kids enjoyed their boogie boards; the men jet skied in our bay. DH’s brother and SIL treated all of us to dinner one night at our local family-owned seafood restaurant where I enjoyed my favorite fish, mahi mahi. The men did a lot of grilling outdoors (burgers, chicken, steak, mushrooms, peppers, corn on the cob, onions) and to feed all of us without spending too much time in the kitchen, I made a delicious BLT pasta salad – recipe is in the Aug/Sept 2021 Woman’s Day magazine – I just doubled the recipe and used cherry tomatoes from the garden and organic arugula from the farmers market; a spanakopita pie using dill from the garden and phyllo pastry sheets bought on a 1/2 price sale earlier in the year; fried green tomato blts using unripened early girls; omelets (with the free eggs from last week); mixed green salads (organic 32 oz containers from BJs for $4.99) with organic radishes ($1.69 a bunch) and grape tomatoes from garden; tomato and fresh mozzarella tray (with farmer’s market beefsteak tomatoes ($1.99 lb and fresh mozzarella logs, 16 oz, on 1/2 price sale for $3.29 and basil from garden); zucchini fritters with zucchini from garden; eggplant rollatini (eggplants from garden, on sale mozzarella). DD and SIL made from scratch pancakes and waffles and yogurt (bought on sale) topped with blackberries and blueberries from the garden. We baked raspberry/almond muffins; peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with walnuts; a triple berry tart; the grandkids made a batch of granola using your recipe (their mom supervised).

    Picked bunches of lavender (will dry it eventually), salvia, hydrangeas for flower arrangements; basil, lemon balm, peppermint, parsley, cilantro, rosemary for garnishes – all from the garden.

  23. I bought a hummingbird feeder for $5 and we finally have some Hummingbirds visiting.
    * I harvested rosemary and dried it.
    *I planted more zucchini and bush bean seeds in the garden. I had a tray of starter pellets and started broccoli, cauliflower, beets, spinach, collards and lettuce to transplant later.
    * I made another trip to Walmart getting things I wasn’t fully stocked up on. I got 3 bags of my gluten free flour, gluten free lasagna noodles, gluten free macaroni, and oil.
    * My son and DIL came to town from out of state for a wedding they were in. I had my other kids over to visit and we made steaks, baked potatoes, butterbeans, and southern skillet corn..I had a cheesecake for dessert. Before heading home my son and DIL went through our freezer and pantry and got some venison, bacon, my home canned beef stew, salsa, and green beans, and frozen butterbeans and corn. My DIL saw where I had frozen cheese in food saver bags. She didn’t know you could do that. So if you didn’t know I buy the 5# bag of cheddar and mozzarella and then make small bags and seal with food saver. I also buy the big package of corn tortillas since I am gluten free and freeze them in small quantities.
    * My birthday is this week and I had a friend that had Alabama tickets for last Saturday. She couldn’t make the concert so I bought the tickets for a night out with hubbie. We had tickets to the show in 2020 and it was cancelled. They rescheduled in 2021 for a time we couldn’t make it. This was in Birmingham which is an hour and a half away, so I was happy to get to see them before they are back in retirement. There is nothing like seeing Alabama play in Alabama and the excitement in the air.

  24. Hi Brandy and everyone
    It’s so satisfying to have a deep clean isn’t it, such a simple thing to raise spirits.Hope you are fully recovered soon.
    This week I cut lavender and allium heads to dry. I will spray the allium heads with metallic paint and use them in Christmas flower arrangements.
    I picked plums, blueberries, runner beans, courgette, tomatoes and my husband dug the first potatoes. We gifted some plums to two friends.
    I used windfall apples to make apple tray bakes, one for now and one for the freezer.
    Between us we won £100 on the government Premium Bonds. I needed a new pair of black court shoes so used some of this to buy a pair with 20% off.
    My husband was helping all day at a dog training day. He said there would be a burger van there but would prefer it if I packed him up a lunch. I made him cheese and homemade pickle sandwiches, a few homegrown tomatoes, homegrown plums, homemade cake and a flask of coffee. I don’t know if this was cheaper than a burger but he thought it was much nicer.
    I am experimenting again with shorter, gentler programmes in the washing machine, I think some of the programmes are thrashing our clothes. So far everything is coming out clean and I’m happy. Shorter programmes and lower temperatures should lower our electricity bill.
    Yesterday was our 35th wedding anniversary. We have postponed a nice meal out until the end of the week when we travel upcountry for a wedding and will be staying in a hotel.
    Sending good wishes and sympathy to all those affected by the fires and smoke in the US.
    Stay safe everyone.

  25. Working from home during lockdown so have just stayed in, aside from one grocery shop where I spent $129 on two weeks of supplies. It is more than we usually spend. I bought a few treats which increased the cost but when in lockdown it’s good to have some different and ‘fancy’ food.

    We are renovating our walk in wardrobe in our bedroom which is a big project for my husband. We price shopped and couldn’t find anything cheaper than Ikea’s PAX. They even have a design program we used. You put in your room dimensions and then build your wardrobe, shelving, drawers, doors etc. It was fun!

    Line drying all washing and putting all fruit and vegetable scraps in the garden.

    Meals this week included cauliflower soup, lentil soup, sausages with mashed sweet potato, peas and gravy, spaghetti, avocado on toast, sandwiches, toasted cheese sandwiches, kaleslaw and cherry tomatoes, bananas, green apples, strawberries and steamed vegetables with salmon and rice. We also made chocolate brownie and chocolate chip cookies.

    Have a good week.

  26. Squash bugs are a pain. The first year I got them, I thought they were lady bugs at first and unfortunately, that also led to a disappointing garden year. Glad you’re on top of it!
    I need to get up 2 hours earlier M-F. Staying efficient by packing my lunch, picking out what to wear and setting up everything I need that day the night before. Things aren’t forgotten, needed and I’m staying on time which saves me any unplanned expenses.
    I hope everyone has a great & calm week!

  27. I hope you feel better soon, Brandy!
    We harvested green beans, tomatoes, jalapeno and banana peppers, basil, parsley, and zucchini this week.
    We used a rebate check at Menards to buy a free standing shelving unit to finally organize our pantry in the basement. We also will receive an 11% rebate for the purchase. It is a pleasure to have our food and non-food items so easily accessible now.
    I found some good-as-new cotton sheets for half price at the thrift store, along with some books and fabric to make some curtains.
    Meals this week using our garden blessings were sauteed zucchini, green beans cooked in bacon fat, tomato pie, pizza, and pico de gallo.
    We bought a flat of canned 128 ounce pureed tomatoes for 87 cents each for our pantry. We use them for making spaghetti sauce.

  28. Sorry about your squash bugs. I hope the process you’re using ends the problem. I also wish you well—it always seems worse to be ill in the summer.
    I continue the frugal habits I have been working on. I used leftovers, read e-books, paid bills on time and picked kale, lettuce and tomatoes from our yard.
    At the grocery store Saturday, I saw that canned vegetables and beans which were regularly $.50 and $.55 had all gone up to $.75 a can. Milk, 1/2 and 1/2 and eggs had already increased. The lowest sale prices on meat have all gone up $.50 to $1/lb. BSCB are still going on sale for $1.99 every other week or so. I am glad Brandy has been educating us on this blog about what to expect. I am so happy to have started a pantry and to see it well-stocked with the food we eat. My husband still teases me about expecting a zombie apocalypse but he is starting to appreciate being able to find everything he wants in our pantry. I plan to keep the freezer full and continue to stock up on sale items that we use.
    We went a week without turning on either the downstairs air conditioner or the bedroom air conditioner. That’s very welcome in August which is usually our highest utility usage.
    I am starting to look at our water use—I have the DEP app and can see daily amounts. We’ve had anything from 87 gallons to well over 200 gallons per day 😳.
    Hope everyone has a healthy and happy week!

  29. Brandy praying for your health.

    I have started listing the big bills on a separate sheet and posting it by the budget that is taped to the wall at the calendar. It has really helped Hubby stay focused.
    Every single thing was listed and deducted from the budget this past week.
    We ate from the gardens and our Amish neighbor’s garden as her’s is being bountiful.
    We made a list of what we felt was needed in the pantry.
    We have had several big issues come up and I am thankful we had a good savings even though I don’t like it as low as it is going to be . A blown tire on the work truck (full load on trailer he hauls but no one hurt and no damage), Hubby clipped a car with the trailer in a parking lot (over $1000 damage to other car, nothing to trailer). Work truck on recall for exhaust. Wilbur, our 13 yr old boxer is still fighting bronchitis. I am almost over bronchitis. AND our Amish neighbor ran completely out of canning jars. I sold her the last of my regular mouth quarts (she doesn’t use pints at all) and half of my wide mouth quarts. Her husband had already been to town looking for jars, bulk store said it’s on back order. Hubby found some on line at ULINE.COM…. Expensive with the shipping …. but at least jars are on their way as I am not half way through canning.
    Blessed be everyone

  30. Brandy – I hope that you recover soon and feel better. I will be praying for you!
    We have had a good week but a tiring one. I continue to stock the pantry as we see numbers rising and who knows what is coming this fall and winter. I added several things to the pantry including oats, rice, brown sugar, cocoa, several pounds of pasta in different shapes, all purpose flour, several spices, and TP/Paper towels. A friend gave me several containers of broth that she bought during the Pandemic but hasn’t been able to use. I have been working my way through it as the cartons will expire in October. They have been a great blessing to us since my little boy started kindergarten last week and refuses to eat the school lunch. He loves soup and several other dishes I can use the broth to make and send for lunch for him.
    Our freezer is well stocked and we will eat strictly from the freezer and pantry in the next couple of months in order to make room for hams & turkeys when they go on sale in the fall. I did quite a lot of batch cooking this past weekend and was able to freeze chili, meatloaf, and bbq pulled pork. I used a portion of the remainder of a can of tomato paste, the last of a batch of pinto beans, home canned tomatoes and home canned tomato sauce to prepare the chili. I used the last portion of tomato paste and leftover beef broth in the meat loaf. I used home canned pineapple in its juice to make a batch of sweet and sour meatballs earlier in the week. I made a double batch of pumpkin muffins from a can of pumpkin that was one month past its best by date. I made a batch of scones using a can of roasted green chilies a neighbor gifted us, leftover shredded cheddar, and heavy cream that was approaching its expiration date. After browning the bacon I saved the drippings and sauteed a large batch of spinach with garlic and onions.
    We have made several attempts to get fall seeds sown in the garden but it seems that we are interrupted each time with large down pour rain showers. The rain is of course a blessing but not a good set up for sowing seeds as they will get relocated if they germinate at all after heavy rains. I am determined to get this stuff in the ground so I will keep trying until it gets planted.
    I reorganized my sons room and moved the furniture around to create a better space for him as well as more storage. I cleaned out the toy room and donated many items and purged those things that had been broken. He was very helpful in getting this accomplished and is enjoying the organization as much as I am.
    I am hopeful that apple season will be plentiful this year. We typically drive to a farm a couple of hours north of Atlanta and purchase several bushels of apples to eat fresh and can. I was shocked at seeing apple prices of $2.98 – $3.98 per pound for apples last week in the grocery store. Normal prices when we purchase bushels are well under $1/pound even after you factor in the cost of the journey.
    I hope that everyone enjoys a peaceful and productive week!

  31. Hello Brandy! Hope you are feeling better. As another reader posted, you accomplish so much even when under the weather. As I was reading through everyone’s comments, I was astonished at how industrious folks were. One important frugal rule of thumb for me is to avoid spending money on items that don’t mean much to me so we can have funds for the important (however that gets defined) things. In the past two months, as the economy opened up, we have gone out for lunch or dinner a few times. We used to go out once or twice a week. In our area, at mid range restaurants, dinner for two with tip now is $50! So prices are definitely higher, and the last two times, on the drive home, my husband and I commented that it just wasn’t worth the money. The portions are too large and we pick unhealthy choices ;( A girlfriend said the same thing, and wondered if we all just got out of the habit of eating out or if prices really did climb. I continued to fill small holes in my pantry, one more Sam’s club trip this afternoon and we are set. I also printed out ten recipes in the past week so will be trying new ideas and see what works ;). Happy august to everyone!

  32. I do hope you are feeling better, Brandy.

    I’ve been doing deep cleaning this week myself. I’ve pared down so much and it makes it easier to clean the house, especially in the dusty desert.

    I’ve been reading e library books (Klara And The Sun is quite good) and working on my garden. The recent rains helped the pineapple guava bushes and I see fruit. The plants are on a drip line but it really takes good rains to produce fruit. I have a horse trough of herbs on the side of the house along with a rogue tomato plant that produces tiny, intensely flavored tomatoes. We didn’t plant it, but it’s the hardiest tomato I’ve ever seen. The pomegranates are coming along nicely. The few discarded arms of Peruvian apple cactus that I found on the street during brush pickup are rooting nicely. And one cactus I call “snake” produced a lovely flower and now, a fruit. They are good, just infrequent. I’m interested in growing more edible cacti and I have blue candle cacti that produce berries along their arms but they aren’t old enough just yet.

    I gave my husband a haircut and goodness, a sharp pair of scissors and a good tutorial on You Tube has gotten him several compliments on his haircut. We were just hoping for passable/decent when I first cut his hair but it’s been a little morale boost for me when people say they like the haircut. And it was free!!!

    I hope everyone has a good week and I sure enjoy hearing about all the ways people are saving money and what’s growing in their gardens.

    1. I have heard people here say that Peruvian Apple Cactus tastes even better than dragonfruit.

  33. It was a good, frugal week in heavenly Houston!
    I used the coupons for free personal pizzas from the Pizza Hut Book-It program, and the kids enjoyed pizza for lunch before going to swim in my aunt’s pool. She is always so generous to let us swim, and always has popsicles on hand for the kids, which they love.
    Another aunt and uncle babysat the kids so I could get a root canal done. Dental insurance paid for a little bit, which helped. My aunt and uncle kindly cooked the kids a big breakfast, and let them gather eggs to take home.
    We went with neighbors to see a $1 movie at the movie theater. It was not a new release, but we packed our own snacks and had a lot of fun. It was a nice way to escape the heat!
    Apparently when I bought my new phone (old one not repairable), we got a free year of Apple TV. The kids set it up, we’ll just need to remember to cancel in a year.
    We’ve been swimming a lot at our neighborhood pool.
    I sold a few more items on FB Marketplace and Mercari.
    I mostly only bought loss leaders: .97/# strawberries, .99 cantaloupes, .97/# broccoli, .87/# grapes, plus filled in with some basics from Aldi.
    My friend went to Costco for me and bought 10, $25 gift cards. I will use these for gas and to shop, since I don’t have a membership.
    I mowed the front yard first, since I knew I was low on gas. I finished the front yard right as the mower died, so at least it looks decent, even though the backyard is still a jungle.
    I cut all the hair that accumulated around the roller of my vacuum cleaner, and it works much better now.
    I gave my boys haircuts and clipped everyone’s nails.
    Not glamorous, but we ate a lot of leftovers and sandwiches, as it’s been so hot and I haven’t felt like cooking.

  34. I think I’ve saved more money this week by telling my grandchildren no. No…I am not buying that for you. We need to save some money not spend it on “frivols”.
    School starts next Monday and for the first time ever all of the kids will receive free lunches. With a 14 year old still in school this is very helpful. He will be eating breakfast and lunch at school instead of here.
    My garden is still limping along. I get a few things from it, but not what it should be.
    My onions were only 5″ around. The tops had all dried out and fallen over. These are the yellow onions that are so big and beautiful in the farmer’s market. I am thankful I have anything, but still disappointed that they didn’t do better.
    One tomato plant has 1 tomato on it.
    The garden has really been pathetic this year. The plants have grown well and produced poorly.
    Having not left the house this week there isn’t much else going on.
    I have accepted free food a few times.
    I hope you are feeling better soon Brandy. Are your children feeling better yet?
    Thank you for all you do for us. I appreciate your updates and have passed them on to family and friends.

    1. The children are all better and I am mostly better, but I still have a lingering cough. My husband got it after I did but he is recovering much more quickly.

      1. You might try some Manuka honey (strength more than 16) for the lingering cough.
        Some years ago,, one of my doctors had bad bronchitis and months later could not get over the cough.
        I told him Manuka honey had helped me so he tried it and end of cough. It can be expensive but worth it.

  35. Coupons in the Sunday papers are slowly starting up again. Musselman’s applesauce and related products had a coupon and have a promotion going to send in four UPCs for a free Spyrograph, (the classic toy). More info on their website.

    1. I remember Spirograph! I just looked and it was first sold in 1965. I was a child then so it must have been the “new” thing. LOL

  36. During these dog days of summer, I rearranged the living room, fireplace mantel, and brought two backyard pots of flowers to the front porch, to give everything a different look. Meal planning has helped our budget immensely. After the kids had moved out (empty nesters) I had gotten away from it.

  37. Mint is one of those plants that’s usually easy to grow and produces large quantities, but has limited uses. I used to use it in Mojito drinks, but I don’t drink alcohol anymore. I guess I could make a non-alcohol version that would just as tasty. I would love to hear others ideas for using mint and other herbs/produce that grows abundantly. A few years ago, when I had tons of parsley, I learned to make Chimichuri sauce that is delicious on meats and uses lots of parsley.

    1. Mint ice cream (I have a recipe under the recipe header) and mint tea are great options. If you like miny jelly, you could also do that.

      I love parsley in tabouli. I cannot grow enough!

    2. I have a batch of mint planted right by a water spigot in the garden where it gets lots of water and does very well. I like to make mint syrup for sun tea with the mint leaves. I go out to the mint patch with a pair of scissors and a small bucket. I cut off about 20 stems that are a foot long. I bring them in the house, wash them off, strip the leaves off, and compost the stems. Then I make the syrup: Add (1) cup water and (1) cup granulated sugar to a small saucepan (simple syrup recipe). Whisk to dissolve the sugar and bring to a slow simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add (1) cup roughly chopped mint leaves and continue to simmer 15 minutes. (I usually just move the pan to a back burner turned off or onto a hot pad/trivet on the counter, put on a lid and let the mint leaves steep in the syrup overnight.) After the mint has steeped, remove the mint leaves from the syrup with a small strainer and funnel over a pint mason jar. Store the mint syrup in the refrigerator in a sealed jar. It will keep up to a month, but I use it up way before then. I add 1/4 cup of syrup to a quart of sun tea. This recipe is easy to double or triple if you want to cut a whole lot of mint and use a quart mason jar. Also, when the mint is going crazy, I will cut stems, wash and strip all the leaves, and lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper from a cereal box. The flat cookie sheet goes into the freezer for 24 hours, then I pick up the paper and slide all the frozen leaves into a large container for the freezer. In the winter I can still open the container and grab a cup of leaves to make the syrup anytime I want. In the late fall before the first hard freeze, I cut all the mint stems down to about an inch or two from the ground and process the leaves for the freezer. I scatter a couple handfuls of compost over the stems in the ground and cover the whole thing with leaves or small tree boughs for winter protection. In the spring when the snow melts, the mint patch gets going again pretty fast.

    3. I love mint in a Thai beef salad. Or with chickpeas cooked in olive oil and some fresh garlic.or just mint and chickpeas cooked in olive oil.

  38. -I normally do not eat leftovers but this week was different. I helped my sister make two pans of King Ranch Chicken Casserole and brought some home for later. The mom and I ate it for 4 straight days, it was as delicious on day 4 as on day 1 but I don’t want any more for awhile. Local ground beef is $1.99 a pound so several meals using it.
    -Still having luck at my local Dirt Cheap with Tarjay liquidations for 95% off. Plus an extra 10% on senior day. Decided yesterday that I had been up and down each aisle several times over last few weeks so there probably wasn’t anything else left that I’d be interested in and I probably wouldn’t go back for a week or so. Wouldn’t you know I found some 95% inventory that I had never seen before so now I’ll probably have to go again next trip to town just to check things out.
    -I don’t enjoy yard sales at people’s homes but love them at churches. Local church had one with tons of inventory since cancelled in 2020. Got up way earlier than I normally would on Friday morning and was one of few customers at opening. Checked our 3 separate times and got great stuff. Including some brand new Cocomelon (no idea who that is but know it’s popular with little kids) interactive toys for 98% off retail. My mom reads the local weekly county newspaper and keeps her eye out for this kind of yard sale for me.

  39. Brandy, I hope you feel well soon and get your energy back!
    * A woman in my yoga class has too many beans in her garden, so I was able to take a gallon-sized bag home with me.
    *My knitting friends and I got together to organize and label all the cowls that were knitted and donated–nearly 800! We had a potluck lunch. I was able to bring home the extra zipper bags that were headed for the trash–a few quarts and gallons, and several large ones to store my wool yarn in. I got my knitting drawer organized with them when I got home.
    *I finally pulled out the vegetable scraps that I had been saving in the freezer and made two batches of vegetable stock for the freezer–total of eight 2 cup containers. It’s a cheap and easy way to add flavor to soups and only takes the time to put scraps in the freezer, then cook in the crock pot.
    *I harvested tomatoes, some grapes, chives, basil, and a few peppers from the garden.
    *While cleaning my mother’s home, I brought home some bleach, peppercorns, thank you cards and aluminum pans that no one wanted.
    *I found blueberries for $2.97 a clamshell, so I bought two to freeze.
    *In 2015, I made fruit syrups from the peels and pits of peaches and pears when I canned them. (Boil the peels and pits in a bit of water to cover. Cook out the flavor, strain, then add sugar to taste and cook until thick, then process). I have seven jars of the syrup that I haven’t used, so I found a plastic squeeze bottle and poured in the contents of one jar. I am using it to sweeten my tea rather than the bit of honey I usually use. I have enough syrup to get me through the winter and it’s not going to waste!
    *Made two loaves of bread and shared one with a neighbor.
    *The nights have been cooler, so we are able to open our windows (despite the smoke from wildfires) and cool the house down by nearly eight degrees each night. That means the AC doesn’t come on until late in the afternoon.
    Have a blessed week!

  40. In preparation of a very hectic week this week, I spent the weekend shopping, cleaning and making meals ahead. I made a large batch of pancakes, egg salad and poppy seed chicken. I returned three items from back to school shopping with my oldest after I went through her closet and we decided she didn’t need as much. I also returned a backup cell phone charger as I found a three pack for cheaper. I spent less than $20 on groceries for the week as I am trying to use what I have on hand and went couponing and combined it with some Ibotta deals. I got two bags of JoJo’s hawaiian bites, two energy bars, mini muffins, apple cinnamon Chex, a bag of Pullups, Cheddar Cheese Crisps and Haagen Dazs ice cream bars all for free. While not completely nutritious, these make fun treats for my girls and myself! I purchased loss leaders at one store – eggs for $0.69 (limit two) and 3 lbs of grapes for a total of $0.99, plus a gallon of milk because it was $0.80 cheaper than Walmart. I sold a large outdoor item that came with the house that I have never liked and made $50. I have started a Christmas envelope and have decided to put any funds made in there. While I can find gifts fairly inexpensive for my girls, the cost of teacher, babysitter, neighbor and family gifts add up quickly. I found out our school district is doing free breakfast and lunch again this year, while my 1st grader doesn’t eat school lunch everyday, this is a great help! I asked advice from family members about selling some jewelry that I never wear and just sits in a drawer. My sister recommended taking it to a gold buyer which is perfect because I have a few pieces that are broken or missing a piece and not wearable. I asked for a quote to trim two large holly trees, the hedges and small bushes leading to our front door – he came back at $250!!! I went to my neighbor and asked to borrow the tools to do it myself this weekend. I have priced hedgers and will hopefully be able to save up the cash so that the next time they need it, I will have my own. My neighbor cuts and colors my hair, she is licensed and does it out of her home and is cheaper than a salon here. She had to reschedule my appointment twice and when I tried to pay her, returned my money because she didn’t feel right about me having to wait so long to get it done. I picked up three brand new pairs of shoes for my daughter’s from my buy nothing page. I love my group – I have received so many great items from it! I hope everyone has a great week.

    1. $.69 for eggs is amazing. Also- your idea about saving now for Christmas gifts for the ppl in your community is a GREAT idea.

  41. Good couple weeks here. Our travelling to see our kids is done for the summer, so we are just home now. Love seeing the kids, but travelling wears me out.

    My husband cut his hair. After he does this, I clean up the back of his neck for him. He loves the money saving part of this but mostly he loves the time he saves by buzzing his hair whenever he wants.

    Was able to stay under food budget again this week (yay!!). Due to what I’ve read here I added extra tomato products and baking ingredients to my order. Honestly, I’m excited for fall…I cook better in the fall and winter. Plus I can’t wait to turn off the A/C.

    I like to hand make an item for all the kids, the in laws and grand kids for Christmas each year. Sometimes I make them all the same thing…last year it was hand knit socks. This year I decided to ask what they wanted. A few wanted afghans, a few dishcloths and towels for their kitchen, then I had requests for a pair of socks, a beanie, a pair of mittens and a sweater. I’m finishing up some lap blankets I promised a nursing home for Christmas, but then I have to get busy! I found a sale and free shipping at Joanns so I bought the first bunch of yarn. Waiting for another sale to buy the last of it. It will be fun, economical and keep me out of trouble! I added if anyone didn’t want something homemade, I’d give them a buyout of $25. No one took the money. That was gratifying to me. I’m glad they still like what I make. Keeps me useful.

    Our church had a Giving Tree this week for school supplies. The lists were on paper apples! So cute! Each apple had a supply list for kids in families that need some help. I grabbed an apple for a junior girl. I asked my son and his girlfriend to help me by doing the shopping (I’ll pay). They were excited to help do something kind and are doing it on their date night. Even though the back to school sales aren’t as good as years past, I’m grateful for the sales and the ability we have to do this. I was pleased to see every apple was picked!

    I spent some time cleaning and organizing too, and I agree it helps us be more content at home. As I did this, I worked really hard to find things to donate. If the item isn’t here, I don’t need to clean it, right?? I mentioned my son went through his clothes a couple weeks ago…he finally took some to Plato’s Closet and they gave him $62! We donated the things they didn’t accept.

    Picked up more library books. Boy, I appreciate the library so much.

    I enjoy hearing about all the gardens and canning! Keep up all the great work everyone!

  42. Brandy- I love these every week. My sister and I turn to you for inspiration. Thank you. I hate to hear that you’re sick for a second week.
    *Hosted 10 kids- instead of buying pizza, I cooked BBQ potatoes and used items on hand. Got lots of “thank you”s and compliments- phew!
    *Last week I organized the storage shed and sold items. I made $1300. I surprised myself!
    *It’s been an expensive summer for house repairs. We’ve had a ton of airBnB bookings, which we anticipated we’d use to pay for our cabin’s kitchen renovation. Time to look for inspiration and tighten our belts. Summertime is always so excessive- $, food, no schedule, etc.
    *I made jalapeno jelly and paired it with a sweet wine for a “sweet and spicy” birthday gift for a friend’s 40th birthday
    *Kids attended a youth group party for free
    *Spent $20 for a CPR/babysitting group class for my daughter. She has so many babysitting bookings already!
    *Took wine and whiskey that we already had to surprise my husband at a very expensive lodge where he was staying for work. We stayed the night for free. I brought my own snacks and breakfast.
    *Instead of buying a new outfit for a party, I used a gc to get my nails and toes manicured. I felt like a new woman! 🙂
    *My husband cut his hair and I helped with shaving his neck
    *Repurposed a king-sized coverlet to sew two twin coverlets and a pair of shams
    *Salvaged 20 greenery garlands to dry and 17 strings of battery operated fairy lights. These were from a wedding at our home(along with our airBnB site, it’s our side hustle- haha). I’ll use the greenery to make wreaths to sell.
    *Took the kids thrifting for back to school clothing. Spent less than $20. The kids were very happy.
    *Made a list of projects that I can complete for free. When I’m tempted to go out and spend money, I’ll tackle one of these instead.
    *Made coffee and all meals at home.

    1. Rachel…I enjoyed reading your old fashioned skills of jam making and sewing the blanket…alongside a little wine and whiskey.

  43. Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great frugal week!

    My garden is finally producing well. I bagged shredded zucchini for the freezer, blanched swiss chard, and ate lots of veggies this week.

    My car finally gave up the ghost and we decided not to replace it until next spring. This will save on insurance, maintenance, and registration fees. It will take some planning but we can make it as a one car family!

    We went to an outside retirement party across the state and were able to stay with family to save on hotels.

  44. I have to share something I found out a while ago. Starting tomorrow I will take an 81mg aspirin instead of Eliquis! I am so excited!

    I had two afternoon appointments and ordered my glasses. I had to start the lowest dose on a BP pill, but I do not see those numbers at home. I go to my PCP soon. I asked for a recommendation to buy a new BP monitor. He suggested one from CVS with cuff ring that you put your arm into. I need to call in a couple months if it is not at a certain point. I was sleepy taking it the first couple days, but normal now.

    We also went to see MIL and she gets so excited to see us all, but DS is a special excitement for her. DS’s personality and close proximity have endeared them to each other. She just lights up when she sees him. Having dementia, she thinks he has suddenly grown up though she remembers him going to college. The mind is funny.

    I went to the Farmer’s Market and got 2 large cabbages. Between those and the 1 very large one from the week before I have cooked and frozen 7 quarts. I also got some large tomatoes that needed more ripening before canning. I got some squash to eat and peppers. I need to check how much frozen squash I have. Still hoping for red peppers and corn soon. DS and I went to Aldi for some items and picked up 4 trays of canned goods that we need for cooking that are not cheaper anywhere else for pantry stock. We looked at some shelving at Lowe’s for bins to be stored without stacking. This was a long ago plan and would be helpful for pantry stock also.

    My vacuum cleaner has gone on permanent rest. A piece broke a while back which could not be replaced or glued and we prop it when stored or lay it down if we could not prop it when using. Then last week the brush roller decided to drag. DH has glued other places and replaced belts so we got our monies worth a long time ago. We don’t have to buy another as we brought home my brother’s vacuum when he died. It is self propelled, has more settings, and a long enough cord when plugged in the hall to reach the whole main floor.

    I cleaned out some files and papers we no longer need and shredded the contents. I love simplifying my life.

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Re: BP issues – you may have “white coat syndrome” at the doctor’s office and that’s why your readings show higher than at home. My doctor knows what I’m like so they put me in a room, hook me up to a machine that automatically takes my BP 6 times. They leave me there in the quiet and when they come back – the difference between the first reading and the last is markedly different!! At home I’m also told to disregard the first reading – wait a minute or two – and then take it again.

      1. Margie, my husband has white coat syndrome and my late mother did. We always have to convince new doctors that he does NOT need bp meds, and in fact, when one doctor insisted on giving them to him, they made him pass out. Now they all know to take his bp again after he’s been in the office for a while and had time to converse pleasantly with them. Just doing that brings down his bp markedly. At home, his bp is actually low. When checking it at home, I always suggest keeping a record to show to doctors. Some monitors will keep a record automatically.

        1. I accidently left my paper at home where I had recorded by BP at home, but knew the range enough to tell him.

          Well, I tried out the new BP monitor and did it several times. The last time was 114/66 and the old machine was 111/65. This has not been as hectic as some days but that is quite a drop from low 130s/72-74. He set my goal at 130/80 as he said a lot of people pass out at 120/80. I never had trouble and am fine now. I am going to take it 2-3 times a day for a few days to check the average. According to the new BP monitor chart this is normal. Mine has never been this low as far as I know.

      2. Thank you for telling me your experience; it’s helpful. I wondered about that too. The new blood pressure monitor will verify if my readings are different. There were times I took it twice and it was lower.

      3. My dr and dentist know me well for “white coat syndrome.” LOL! Normally my BP is below normal, but for the first 10 minutes of those visits, it always reads high. They usually wait and take it again toward the end of my appointment and it is in my usual range.

        I also had problems with a certain type of birth control hormone causing high bp (all the time), and I had to stop taking it. Some decongestants (esp pseudohedrine – Sudafed) can also temporarily raise blood pressure because they tighten/narrow blood vessels.

        1. I am thankful White Coat Syndrome was mentioned on the blog so I had heard of it before. Thank you for the info on the medicines.

          1. Thank you. I didn’t know that but it makes sense. I am seeing that I tend to be more like my Dad in health issues which gives me an advantage he didn’t have.

    2. If you only take your blood pressure medicine once a day, try taking it at night. Being a little sleepy will work to your advantage. That’s what I do.

      1. I do this, too, but for a different reason. I take two meds (one for BP) that are taken every 24 hours. Theoretically, it shouldn’t matter what time of day you take it, as long as the doses are more or less 24 hours apart. I have found that I am much more compliant about taking meds just before bed than in the morning. In the morning, I have a million things on my mind and am more like likely to forget. At night, I have nothing else on my mind (except getting to sleep). This has worked very well for me for over 5 years.

        1. Maxine and Patricia, according to a 2019 study taking it at night is recommended so BP will be lower when you wake up (usually a high point) so I will change mine. The statistics are staggering about preventing heart problems in the morning. Doctors should be mentioning this by now. There are several articles and each one has different points about the study. Thank you both.

          Maxine, something about your writing reminded me of a conversation between DS and I regarding a thyroid prescription that he was told to take in the morning and eat an hour later. I decided to google the best time of day for thyroid prescriptions and a study said that his particular one is best taken at night at least 3 hours after eating. It’s absorption rate is 3 hours and items like coffee, soy and other things can prevent full absorption in the morning. This should change his life. Thank you.

  45. I love mint tea made with homemade mint! It’s pretty invasive, so I’m pretty sure you’ll have tons soon, Brandy! Also, hope you feel better soon. I used to always get bronchitis any time I got a cold and it really wears on one, especially someone as busy as you are.

    My frugal week:
    – Used up some of a can of pumpkin puree by baking pumpkin cinnamon buns (http://approachingfood.com/pumpkin-cinnamon-buns-and-why-insomnia-makes-me-a-good-cook/)
    – Made coconut oil and sugar body scrub
    – Baked banana snack cake topped with chocolate buttons, to use up some discounted bananas
    – Made pumpkin pie pancakes with homemade pumpkin pie spice mix
    – Baked Irish soda bread twice. It slices really well!
    – Picked cherry tomatoes, snow peas, mulberries, raspberries, hot peppers, and green onions from the garden
    – Planted more green onions
    – Bought cheese on sale, grated it, and froze it
    – Baked mini chocolate cakes to give as gifts
    – Used up some super cheap zucchini (grated) in a casserole: panko crusted penne in Swiss cheese sauce.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as usual!

  46. I had great success one year against squash bugs by packing dirt around the stems of the plants up to about 2 inches from the ground. I had a bumper crop that year when the rest of the community gardeners squash plants succumbed. Some people wrap the stems with foil too.

  47. Not too many frugal accomplishments this time around but I continue to do my best 🙂
    We went to the library after church one Sunday and because this library is not in our city, I packed a lunch before we left so that we could eat in the car after church on our way to the library. No stopping for any fast food.
    Made black bean hummus and also pumpkin bread from scratch.
    Found a few shirts at the thrift store for me and my oldest daughter.
    Cancelled a credit card that we had paid off. When I was talking to the card representative on the phone to cancel the card, he actually offered me an incentive (his words, not mine) to keep the card: if I charged $1500 to my card, he would give me $100 back! Uh, no thanks! I know it is his job to say these things to customers on the phone but good grief, that is just awful! I hope people don’t actually take him up on this “incentive” when he offers it to other callers. Cancelled the card and glad that is all over with 🙂

  48. I found myself unexpectedly toilet training triplet 2 year old boys this morning-they had been away last week and apparently while at the cabin they had enjoyed peeing outside on the rocks. So I set up the 2 potties in the kitchen and of course they were racing to get 2 of 3 bottoms into them quickly-I also set some jujbes in view but out of reach and explained they would get one if successful. Well I handed out 13 jujbes so I call it a success. Big brother was also there cheering them on. Might as well follow their lead!

    Going away this weekend and then my DH gets his new hip next weekend so DD will also be coming home to help him recuperate-it will definitely be a busy time. I imagine the 2 weeks will be quite frugal as other than medical apts we will mostly be home. Plan is to get a couple of meals in the freezer ahead of time for the first day or two.

  49. I was dropping off a load of discards at Goodwill on Monday morning. I was approached by a young man riding a bike wearing nothing but shoes & boxer shorts. He wanted to know if I had any pants in the bag. I had no pants but I gave him a white tee shirt & a long sleeved flannel shirt. He put on the tee & tied the shirt around his waist to cover his boxers. I also had some Nutrigrain bars in my car (which I give out to people on the street corners w/ the cardboard signs of hungry, etc.) I gave him a box of these. He thanked me & pedaled away eating one of the bars. (The GW attendant was standing w/ me during all this so I did not feel in danger.) The event put my problems in perspective for the day.

    1. Yes, perspective indeed. Thank you for your kindness. I know that clothing kids can be expensive but I know that a lot of them do not have access to launder those.

  50. I’m sorry you’re still not feeling well. But I love the things you’ve accomplished. I’ve been doing some deep cleaning as well. My home feels so much better.

    * We spent the entire last week in Oregon for a family vacation. And it was wonderful. We brought food for breakfast, lunches and dinners. My only request was to have clam chowder at Mo’s in Newport. I loved every bite. We had cereal, pancakes, eggs & bacon for breakfast. Ham or peanut butter jam sandwiches for lunch. Dinners were meatless taco soup, bbq beef with instant mashed potatoes and beef, bean and cheese quesadillas and nachos. Our activities included visiting various state beaches, the Heceta lighthouse (paid $5 for parking) and wandering the coastal towns. We loved watching the sea lions several times, saw 2 whales and some seals. We saw starfish, anemones and crabs. We loved the waterfowl swooping among the waves and the ducks just floating along in the bay. I saw blue jays! We don’t have those in Utah. We bought ice cream cones for a treat one day. I had brought plenty of treats from home. We love to be on the water but didn’t want to pay for a tourist boat. We rented a small crabbing boat to drive around the bay. We took walks and went for drives. We collected seashells. I like to fill a small glass jar with our shells and then label where they were found and what year. The ocean was lovely.

    * I paid bills online while we were out of town. Any purchases we made were made at local thrift stores or used book stores. I found two large books with 6 stories by a favorite author. We used gas buddy to find the cheapest gas prices. We brought our own water bottles, camp chairs and beach towels. We also brought a small cooler to store our lunches. The house we stayed at had a washer and dryer and we used that to wash clothes on our trip.

    * One of my kids picked up milk, grapes, berries and bananas for us so we didn’t need to go to the store for a few days. I gave him several freezer meals that were in his grandmas freezer. He’s a college student and likes quick meals.

    * I checked our garden when we got home. We got 10 green beans, 40 sun gold tomatoes, 10 Roma’s and 4 cucumbers. Those will be our veggies for the week.

    * Wishing you all a wonderful week of frugalness.

  51. I didn’t do this, but my parsley plant did — after well over a year, it started bolting and turning yellow. I didn’t want to cut it back because it was hosting butterfly larvae. By the time the butterflies were gone, the plant toppled over, and I pulled it up, to find a baby parsley growing quite nicely under it, so I still have parsley.

    I bought school supplies during the back to school sales and tax free weekend. They will be used as small gifts.

    I received a wrong item on an order, and instead of just accepting it – it was $10 – I am returning it. It will take a little time, but I won’t have an item I don’t want or need, and be out $10 to boot.

    I returned a re-usable plastic container to my farmer again, when picking up my order. I return them whenever I have one, and they will sometimes provide me with a freebie in my order in appreciation.

    I am still using the blackboard I bought at a thrift store to record my deep freezer’s contents. It’s so easy to change when I add or subtract contents. I use an old worn out sock as an eraser and a box of chalk I got for 25 cents. The chalk has lasted me several years so far.

    I do the usual – leftovers, packed lunches, thrifted clothes, clothesline, cook at home. It all adds up.

  52. I have been enjoying your blog with the wonderful, motivating comments, as well as your website (gorgeous photos!) for a while now, and thought I’d like to join in the conversation :> All breakfasts, lunches and all but one dinner were homemade; we splurged and enjoyed a Thai meal out after using part of a gift card at the movies for a Saturday matinee. My husband loves taking in the leftovers for his lunches, so that is very helpful to the budget. I’ll be going out of town to visit my sister in about a week, so I’m trying to freeze extra soup portions for him to be able to just thaw/heat and have a dinner/lunch option ready to go. I found a few new-to-me vegan recipes on BudgetBytes and both were superb, and cheap. Since going vegan in early spring, we’ve both lost a fair amount of weight, and have been lucky to get into clothes we’d saved that we used to fit into (!), while donating the larger sizes. I’m struggling between frugality and minimalism – I want less in closets, kitchen cupboards, but battle in my mind about parting with some things “in case I need it” but also know that I am fortunate to have great neighbors who would not hesitate to lend something, nor would we, so I shouldn’t hold onto so much.

    I appreciate all the alerts to the price increases as it helps me stock what we’ll need. Thank you. This past week I bought extra canned tomato products. I don’t can (and are about even with the critters on how many tomatoes I’m getting off my plants and how many they’re scoring). Our stores have been out of cat food at times – empty shelves from top to bottom on the brand ours like, so ordered a box of 60 cans from Sam’s and it arrived, packaged wrong, with several cans popped open and the stinky wet food on the other cans. I cleaned them off and threw away the split ones, then called their customer service to alert them that it will continue to happen unless their packing department changes how it puts it in the shipping box (put in sideways but the “this side up” arrow faced the wrong direction, so any impact will pop the cans). The rep taking the call said they had many complaints like that on all their canned goods, and would resend me the items. I said no, only a few were broken and no need to spend all that money, but they did. So now we’re stocked up on cat food and some will be donated to our local humane society. That was much appreciated.

    1. I also noticed that canned cat food was scant on the shelves at Dollar General. I thought I just looked for it when the store needed to restock. The next week I went to a different store & saw the same. I have a large sack of kibble but I suppose I need to stock up on the canned food when I can find it. I only have one cat but I want to be able to feed him.

      1. My store was very short on cat litter. I don’t know if it was in between shipments, or if this is a bigger problem. It would be very difficult to work around for me. There was plenty of wet and dry cat food on the shelves, though.

  53. Hello Everyone! It has been quite a while since I posted, but have been reading everyone’s comments every week! This week was the last week I picked up the free breakfasts and lunches at my son’s school. School starts this week, so he will be getting breakfast and lunch at school everyday for the school year. There are some items that he doesn’t like and said he wanted to bring lunch from home. We agreed on a compromise. Our district posts the menu online. Will look at it and see what they are serving for the next day. If he doesn’t like the entree, he can bring a sandwich from home. On the days he does that, he will still get in line to get the milk, the fruit and the veggies. Otherwise he will get the full school lunch. While I’ll be glad to not have to drive to the district to pick up the lunches, I will miss the farm box they provide each week. It had beautiful fruits (including cherries!) and vegetables that we enjoyed all summer. I ordered an engagement gift online for a friend of mine’s daughter. I used a coupon and got free shipping. When the packages arrived, I also received one shattered item and one dented box for another. I was really disappointed, as I ordered online so I did not have to go to the store. I called their customer service. They could not have been nicer. They told me to dispose of the shattered product and then gave me a full refund for both items! I noticed on my cell phone bill a late fee. I contacted the carrier and had them reverse the charge. I also cancelled the insurance for my phone, saving $8.99 per month. We did enjoy a weeks vacation for my cousin’s wedding. Since my parents were unable to go due to health issues, they covered our entire trip, including lodging and meals! As my son was in the wedding, it was not inexpensive nor frugal, but I would not have changed a thing. We had not seen our family in two years. We went to a local lake with the family. I was going to get my son stand up paddle board lessons, but one of my cousin’s taught him in five minutes, no lesson needed! He then used their extra board saving us the cost of a rental. We did a rare order of a pay per view movie on Disney+. We normally wouldn’t pay for something like this, but we really wanted to see it and we are still not going to the movie theater. Our family member shares their subscription with us and won’t take any money, so we treated them for the movie as well. I went to Costco the other day for my parents. I was shocked at the rising prices; I had not been to Costco in several months. While I was there, I noticed that some of shelves are bare again, I’m assuming people are stocking up due to the surge in cases in our area. I picked up what my parents needed and also a few things for us, which they paid for. We enjoyed several weekend dates at our neighborhood pool. We packed and brought food with us. My husband barbequed chicken which we enjoyed that night and for several more meals. We also saved some & froze to give to my parents. My husband likes using their grill there as it is under shade and then we use the propane there instead of charcoal at home for ours. We are waiting to see how much longer they are going to be open this season. Happy Week Everyone!

  54. Brandy–Please take care of yourself so that you feel better soon!
    Last week we had one day at 90 degrees. Yesterday was rainy and 60. We are beginning to feel fall is here in Fairbanks. We were dry, but have had several good rains which helps with all our gardens. We have beds in our front yard. It has been interesting to watch people walking by this summer, checking on the progress. The flowers have been spectacular this year! We have 2 plots in the community garden and another one which belongs to our son. Husband and grandson (10) planted potatoes for him in that plot and filled it with more potatoes and a few odds and ends. We bring extras to church and ask for contributions to World Hunger if people want to make a donation. Those who do not garden are thrilled to get fresh vegetables. One woman has so enjoyed kohlrabi this year!
    I have done a couple of batches of green and yellow beans in my dehydrator. I’m planning to especially use it for celery as we ended up with 36 plants which are over a knee high! I use this a lot during winter for soups, stews, and pilafs. It is another way go get more vegetables in our diet.
    My husband went to the store to use a $10 off $75 coupon yesterday. I had him pick up canned tomatoes and he found 2 cleaning items on clearance. Because of what I have read here, I’m trying to be especially careful to have items that may be hard to get this year ahead in the pantry. It is normally difficult to buy some things here, especially if there is a problem with a supply barge. Fairbanks is the end of the supply chain for many items especially for the remote villages. I buy things that are on special to keep our costs down. We have a small bedroom in our basement that is our pantry.
    Thank you to all who participate in this blog! We are all stronger for the information shared here! Brandy, thanks for continuing to maintain this blog. I’m limited in mobility, but my friends are all here sharing! I feel better about winter, just knowing what may be in shorter supply and also sharing this information with other people. Blessings all.

  55. I had 1 doc appointment and my surgery last Wed and Thursday. Both went very well and I don’t know who let me know their experience about the knee arthroscopy but I wanted to say thank you. You were so right and my knee is already feeling much better. I just need to be conscious of not overdoing it. However, I have now developed shingles (trust me, you do NOT want them) Since the pain was in my left shoulder blade, I was sent to the ER as it was possible it was a blood clot. Nope, “just” shingles – the rash only appeared after the ER visit – the pain has been unrelenting. Hopefully the meds will shorten it’s duration and lesson the pain. They also found some other things when they did the CT scan so now I will have more follow up appointments. Frugal wise:
    *ALL meals were cooked at home but I need to do better at making them actually balanced meals. I have food texture/aversion problems so eating anything that causes a gag reflex (which is most veggies and almost all fruits unless the are blended to baby food consistency) is challenging. It is something I have dealt with my entire life. And no, smoothies do not work for me.
    *We filled up on gas at $3.29 here in our town – where we needed to be for the doc appointments, gas was .10-.12 cents higher.
    *I clipped all our dogs nails myself.
    *Made a new vinyl covered bed for the pup’s crate. He decided that pulling stuffing out of the old comforters was too much fun to resist.
    *Fed all the leafy scraps, bread ends and pulled weeds to my quail to up the nutrition in their eggs.
    *Used 2 containers of slightly different color – one’s gloss, other is satin) white paint (who knew there were so many versions of white?~!) and painted the walls by the back door that get soooo filthy from the dogs coming in and shaking off.
    *We were able to turn off the air for a couple days – the heat has been in the high 80’s with really high humidity.
    *We have had storms roll thru for the last 4 days so I haven’t needed to water anything but the mosquitos are making it very uncomfortable to be outside for any length of time even with bug spray on.
    *My husband rigged his recumbent bike for me to use so I can hopefully build up the muscles around my knees with out the stress of walking on it.
    *Listed more things on marketplace. Some are things I really like but just don’t have any place for in the house – and I don’t need any more clutter to clean around.
    *Snipped some peppermint and put it in alcohol. Hopefully, by Christmas I will have some extract to give as gifts.
    *I pulled all the tomatoes and peppers in my bucket garden. It is too late in the season and some have not grown or flowered. I am going to try starting some perennials and maybe a couple cold weather crops (carrots, cilantro, lettuce, kale)
    *My husband has a 3D printer as well as a resin printer. He just finished printing a hydroponic tower for me. We put it on top of a big water cooler jug (multiples were here when we moved in) and already had a small pump. He wants to try ever bearing strawberries and our daughter wants basil. I will probably try something easy like lettuce to begin with. It can be outside at this point but for the winter I will need to find some LED grow lights for it.
    Hope you all stay healthy and safe!

    1. Dear Melissa,
      I’ve never commented on this blog, though I have been reading for years and really enjoy it!
      When I read that you are going through Shingles, I knew I had to send up a hello and “You can do this!”
      I also have Shingles right now (on my back and abdomen) and wow, it hurts more than I ever imagined! It feels like electric shocks! Thankfully, my husband recognized pretty early what was happening and I am faithfully taking the ten days of meds (five times a day!) and am about halfway through. Just take it step by step and don’t forget to do the cold compresses as they really do help. Sending up a prayer for you! Best Regards, Rachel

  56. Looking for some help with my garden. The weather where I am (Highland, CA) has been hot 100+ for over a month so my peppers are suffering. I tried a new spot this year where they get a lot more sun than previous years so the peppers are very small, almost stunted in shape. They are in a raised planter bed. Next year I will put them back to the original ground area up against the garage where they don’t get so much direct sunlight. Yesterday I noticed a ton of ants everywhere on the poor plants. I did spray them with water last evening hoping to get rid of any aphids if that was what was causing the problem. But those little guys are swarming again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It’s been the year for bugs here. A few weeks ago I pulled up all the bush/pole beans and all the pickling cucumbers because of spider mites. My tomatoes are still surviving but it’s battle.

    1. Ants are repelled by peppermint oil. I use it in my house wherever I see them, but I use it straight which might harm your peppers.Maybe make a diluted solution with a little Safer’s soap and spray the pepper plants, or put some on cotton balls and leave around the plants.

  57. -We’ve been enjoying a lot of fresh produce from the garden. We made stir fry with lots of veggies, salads, and cleared out old freezer zucchini to make muffins. I unthawed salmon which ended up smelling funky, but I still cobbled together dinner. Other nights we decided not to go to events last minute, and grilled burgers and made sheet pan nachos, resisting takeout. I was also given pears by a customer. I will be canning green beans tomorrow as they are overtaking my refrigerator.
    -Only got take out coffee once in 2 weeks, this is my weakness. I have an espresso machine and fancy syrups so I just need to plan better when I know I’m going to be working a long day.
    -I was running low on body wash and lotion, and I found several new unopened bottles at a property.
    -Cut up old towels and clothes for rags.
    -One of our businesses is setting up for a community yard sale. I’m taking a lot of stuff from my house over to sell and declutter.
    -Moved my daughter into her own room. I’m moving around decorations so not buying anything to make a “nursery.”

  58. Margaret in South Louisiana

    Brandy —
    You mentioned a week or so ago that you bought ears of corn at a good price. This corn and pasta dish is delicious. It uses pantry items and fresh corn. Pureeing part of the corn makes a creamy sauce. You can always leave out the red pepper flakes and use a different cheese (Parmesan is expensive). Make corn stock with the corn cobs for soup later. This is a recipe by Melissa Clark.


  59. This week I collected seeds from my zinnias, cucumbers and two types of beans I allowed to go to seed so I could collect them. I cleaned out the tired plants and replanted for fall. My dragon tongue bush beans are already several inches tall. I also planted several other fall items and am trying to get a jump start on lettuces and broccoli by planting under my bean a-frames.
    My aunt had an ankle replacement so the children and I picked a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the garden for her. It meant more because they were grown in our garden and handpicked by the children. Plus it saved us $40+ on ordering her flowers.
    We harvested more tomatoes, cucumbers, okra beans, chard and New Zealand Spinach. My father brought us some sugar pumpkins he grew. My sister dropped potatoes from a friend’s garden as well as two large Snapper fillets and a small package of chicken thighs she defrosted before they decided to go camping. I made them for dinner and had enough leftover fish for two salads and one more meal of chicken.
    Since we haven’t been going into the stores, I really miss the loss leaders and have to pay more attention to what I am spending. Deals are still to be had but harder to find. When I place online orders, every pick-up they are out of items, lately a lot more! I was able to find a good deal on olive oil that was marked down online and was able to get several containers, saving $18 on 3. I ordered a few school supply items we needed when they were on sale and tax free weekend. Thankfully we didn’t need much.
    Otherwise it was a normal week for us. Made homemade gluten/dairy-free bread. Made all our meals at home. Enjoyed games we had at home, played in the sprinklers and worked on small craft projects with the kids.
    I really hope you are starting to feel better!

  60. Brandy, so sorry you’re still not feeling better. Being sick in summer always feels worse to me for some reason. I’m wondering if your squash bug strategy is still working? I have tried picking them/eggs off, but it usually doesn’t last long for me. The foil trick doesn’t work for me either — but next year will try the hilling-up of soil to see if that works. I read that doing a late July planting can help so gave that a try this year. Birds ate all the seedlings I’d planted, but after re-planting using clear berry boxes over the seeds I finally have a few new plants. Fingers crossed.

    The tomatoes have been pretty much neglected but they still keep producing. I put several gallon bags of whole tomatoes in the freezer. Made a beef-zucchini casserole using the last of the zucchini from the plants I pulled up. My family LOVED it, even the picky eaters. It tastes a lot like lasagna. Here is the recipe: https://leslieblythemiller.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/cheesy-beef-zucchini-casserole/
    Instead of Italian tomato sauce, I used regular tomato sauce and added a packet of Italian dressing mix.

    Last week was students’ first week back at school. We are going full-time, face to face, with no masks. I wonder how long that will last. It has been wonderful to have the students back at school. Thank goodness I had some leftovers tucked in the freezer. That got us through a couple of nights so we weren’t tempted to drive thru. Finally went to the store on Sunday and refilled the fridge. Saved about $18 through Ibotta on things I was already going to buy. I get the bulk of our groceries through Walmart pickup (all pre-packaged foods, just not meat and produce.) I love that Ibotta now shows which items have a rebate directly on the search page. So much easier than trying to remember each offer. Also took advantage of some of the school supply sales for my classroom. I teach in a low-income school and most of the students don’t have supplies; if they do, they don’t replenish when they run out.

    We closed on our house last year on July 31 with Rocket Mortgage. It was our first time not going with a local bank. Last week, they called us to offer refinancing packages that could lower our (already low) interest rate, save time on the loan, plus several hundred dollars off the mortgage payment. No out of pocket risk as they pay for everything if it doesn’t go through, and it’s rolled into the package if it does go through. They are suggesting that our house is now worth $45K more than it appraised for last year. We considered waiting since it’s only been a year, but you never know how long the market (or economy) will hold out. With a daughter starting college next fall we decided it would be good to free up some money. So we started the process — basically just submitting some easy uploads — and are hoping it will go through.

    I enjoy reading everyone’s comments each week!

    1. These were planted late on purpose but they have found me anyway. Last night was the first night I have found nymphs. I went back to spray after removing leaves with eggs and bugs and to my surprise, I found about 20 more bugs and MORE leaves with eggs! Sometimes there were only 3 eggs on a leaf, so now I see how I missed them. I will be going out again every night. I hate doing it but it needs to be done.

  61. Hello Brandy and ladies, I see that we are all stocking up for winter and all that may come our way these next seasons we are as well. Mom and I have been canning up the meat in our freezers, picking free fruit for jams and jellies. So far we have 40 jars of jelly/jam and 60 jars of various meats including hamburger, pork, chicken, turkey, meat balls, and ham. we have tried a few jars that did not seal in the canning process and oh it was so good! Today at Kroger we picked up 4 pound bags of sugar for 97 cents limit 5! That is an amazing buy that will help us do more jam and jellies to sell at bazaars this fall. If you haven’t gotten your sugar yet it might be worth looking to see if this deal is offered in your area 20 pounds of sugar for less than $5! Anyway we saved money this week by eating at home, purging and cleaning the house and closets, picking FREE fruit from neighbors trees and bushes (with their permission of course) and picking vegetables from the garden. Our family has a large community garden that we all help with. This year we will have a lot of green beans to can as my cousin sowed 5 – 12 foot rows !! I see a lot more canning in our future LOL…have a great week ladies and I am praying for you all to be well and safe Love Gaila in the NW

  62. We were out of town visiting family for part of the week. It was an expensive week… as we needed to stay in a hotel and have a rental car. We saved money on the trip by eating the “free” breakfast at the hotel and using a gift card from 2 years ago to cover our lunches. When we arrived at our hotel, we immediately went to Walmart and stocked up on water, snacks, bagels, veggies. ***I always bring along ziploc bags in my suitcase. That way I can buy large bags of pretzels or other snacks and package them in smaller bags to bring along on sightseeing, car rides, plane ride home. I also bring a few plastic bowls in my suitcase for eating in the room. We carried our own snacks on the plane both ways, and I utilized any spare room in our luggage to bring pre-packaged treats and candy that I had been buying on clearance…that way we could have fun treats without spending any extra money. We returned home around dinner time after a long day of plane and car travel, I just put some rice on and grabbed garden veggies for a stir fry. Easy and cheap! Everyone was happy!

    *I harvested zucchini, beans, cilantro, basil, oregano, snow peas, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. (So thrilled to have cucumbers, as I didn’t think the plants were going to give me anything!) Something (I think the bunnies) have eaten most of my pumpkin plants. Going to replant. It might be too late to have them for Halloween, but maybe Thanksgiving it if stays warm this year.

    *I was able to share Zucchini, Sugar Snaps, Beans and Tomatoes with my Mom.

    *I made bread in the breadmaker as soon as we got back from the trip. We also made pizza with homemade sauce and crust.

    *After reading some articles about the food supply chain and talking to some friends over seas about shortages, my husband and I have agreed to set aside some money to stock up in the next few weeks on the items we use most. We are stocked well compared to most people I know, but we have some areas of concern, so I will be taking stock and doing some shopping next week.

    *The smoke here is awful! Hope everyone is staying cool and safe!

  63. Brandy,
    I am praying for you to feel better very soon.
    I have had a good, productive week. The thing I am most excited about is that we sold one of our vehicles which will save on license tab fees, insurance, maintenance costs, gasoline and time washing it! Because used cars are in high demand right now we got a very good price for it so that was a wonderful blessing.
    I have gotten two free books from the local library summer reading program. The first book I selected was a hardback children’s book that looked brand new. It was a great story and my grandson and I both really enjoyed reading it. The artwork in it is wonderful as well so it is now on display in the room he plays in at our house. The other book I selected was one for myself which I am saving to read this winter.
    I am very excited that I was able to purchase two (new to me) barstools for my kitchen at a Habitat Restore. I have been wanting some new ones for a couple years because the ones I had were looking worse for wear. To be honest the last 4 years have seen extreme wear from my grandson. I found two really nice quality, almost like new condition barstools for $20 for both of them. They make the kitchen and adjoining dining room look so fresh and clean. They were the perfect color as well. So pleased!!
    My sisters and I are hosting an 80th birthday party for my mom. We invited a few of her friends and we are having lunch at a winery on the coast. As a little gift for each guest, I am taking seashells (I already have) and filling them with saltwater taffy and tying up with cellophane. This is a special event for us as we haven’t dined in since covid. We reserved their entire patio so we will be outside with no other guests. The last year and a half have been very difficult for my mom because we almost lost our dad, her husband to a very severe illness and now he has just finished his radiation treatments for yet another illness. We felt she needed a special treat so we are splurging on making her birthday special.

  64. Here’s what I do for the dreaded squash bug. I water around the plants, then wait about 10 minutes. Since they bury themselves in the ground around the plants, the water makes them climb out onto the stems. Then I knock them into a bucket. I also check for the eggs, but getting the full grown ones is important.

    1. I water on drip irrigation on a timer, so I don’t have to go out and water by hand. I have been picking them off by hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *