Frugal Accomplishments

How We Saved Money the First Week of June

I went grocery shopping this past week, where I found several deals (including multiple prices that were unadvertised): cucumbers for $0.25 each, limes for $0.20 each, broccoli crowns for $0.99 a pound, bananas for $0.39 a pound, 18-count eggs for $0.74, cream cheese for $1 a package (this is my stock up price, which I usually only see at Christmas and Easter, but did not see at Easter this year) and boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.67 a pound.

The chicken breasts were a pound each! We cut them in half both length-wise and width-wise before cooking them; some we were able to cit into six pieces each. As the USDA guidelines recommend 5.5 ounces of protein per person (on a 2000 calories per day diet), these were much more correct for a portion size this way.

Though we are permitted to water six days a week right now, the temperatures dropped below a hundred degrees for most of the week, so I reprogrammed the sprinkler clock to water the grass for fewer days. Even a few less watering times will lower the bill and conserve water. I already water early in the morning (before daylight) and after 7:00 p.m. to reduce water loss due to evaporation.

I opened windows in the early morning on the days that were cool enough in the mornings. I find that checking the hourly weather report for the day allows me to know how many hours I can keep the windows open before it’s time to close up the house.

I harvested lemons, apricots, blackberries, and figs from the garden.

I sowed seeds for Persian cucumbers (a version of a seed that grows in Israel, which has a climate like ours, so I hope it will be successful here), New Zealand Spinach (tetragonia), and yard-long Orient Wonder pole beans in the garden.

My husband and I had a date night at home and watched a movie.

A friend who grows a garden in a cooled and shaded (with shade cloth) greenhouse texted to ask me if I would like any spinach and Swiss chard. I said yes. She brought over a bunch plus two loaves of zucchini bread. My own Swiss chard has a couple of plants almost large enough to start harvesting along with several tiny ones, so it was nice to get some before mine are ready.

I finally signed up to watch Acorn TV through our library’s website. I had seen a couple of shows advertised that looked interesting to me; when I signed up and clicked on “period dramas” there were so many interesting looking ones that I had a hard time deciding which one to watch first!

I ended up choosing the watch “The Indian Doctor”, which was a timely choice, dealing with an outbreak of smallpox in the second season (there are 5 episodes per season) that had all the issues we’ve been dealing with lately in regards to coronavirus (masks, six feet apart, food shortages, store closures, work closures, hoarding, buying from local farmers, freedom to worship/gather, not seeing loved ones in the hospital, searching for patient zero, etc). As they burned bedding that had been used for the sick, thoughts of The Velveteen Rabbit came to my mind.

I wasn’t sure how it would work; you need to sign up through the library’s website and it basically gives you a one-week pass for Acorn TV through an app called RB digital. I don’t have a Roku and it’s an app, so I ended up watching it on my phone (I would have preferred to watch it on my computer). I definitely will watch some other British television shows through this in the future, but I would prefer a larger screen if possible. (I can cast from several websites to my television, such as YouTube, but this did not have that option). I know Acorn TV is offering a free one-month trial on their website, but going through the library’s link will give me more than a month free to watch when I am able to do so.

Our largest savings this week was repairing our oven ourselves. Apparently, multiple ovens have a problem with going out after running the self-cleaning cycle. A full cycle is 3 and a half hours. I have always run it for only 30 minutes, as that was long enough in the past to clean it. This time I ran it for two hours, and the next time I tried to use it, it did not heat up. Some research on YouTube gave us a good guess as to which part to order. We checked multiple sources and found the least expensive place to order it. My husband replaced the part and it worked again! As a bonus, I got to clean the sides of the oven and underneath the oven; it’s not something that gets pulled out normally!

What did you do to save money last week?

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162 Comments

  1. Brandy, I have had appliance repair people tell me to simply not use the self-cleaning feature on my oven, because of the problems that it causes. I once had my oven refuse to unlock after a self-cleaning cycle. Like you, I actually USE my oven, daily. But it isn’t that much trouble to use a chemical cleaner twice a year and to stay on top of small messes as they occur.

    1. I’ve used the cycle for 30 minutes many times over the 14 years that I’ve owned this oven and it’s been great. No chemicals and I love that; oven cleaner makes it very hard for me to breathe. I don’t like using chemical cleaners and use them as little as possible. In the future, I plan to go back to using it for only 30 minutes at a time. I’m glad you’ve found a solution that works for you. Thank you for sharing your experience!

      1. Brandy,
        If you can stand the smell of orange oil, I find putting straight Citrasolv on the gunk and then adding baking soda to wipe it off works very well. You may need to use a scrubbie along with the baking soda and Citrasolv if there’s a lot of gunk.

        1. Citrasolv doesn’t bother me, but since it worked for 14 years by just using it for 30 minutes, I want to try that way again. I wipe it out if it’s a little something already, but if it’s a spill over in the middle of baking, I use the clean cycle.

            1. Not very often! Just when something spills over right in the middle of cooking and it can’t be fixed then before it cooks on because I need to finish cooking that item for dinner.

      2. Try Koh, No chemicals and it really works on ovens! (I am not connected with the company, I just use the product myself)

    2. I’m like you, Kristen, I never use the self-cleaning feature. I also don’t use chemical cleaners – baking soda, vinegar, and “elbow grease” (scrubbing) work very well as long as I keep on top of things. I usually soak the racks in the bathtub with a little vinegar twice a year – that gets those clean too.

      Lea

  2. Acorn tv is one of the few things we subscribe to but we’ve found that we love British/Aussie how’s so much more than our US ones! Characters seem to have more depth. Plots aren’t figured out within the first 5 minutes that you start watching! ? it’s our little treat and for entertainment budget – pretty cheap since we rarely go out for movie, etc!

    Hubs and I made our new 12 bucket container garden this week! We saw a photo and one of our friends gave us the specs for wood cuts and placement. By recycling some of our free pallet wood, we were able to cut our wood cost down to about $16 for a couple longer 2×4’s rather than $80 if we bought all new wood)! For the buckets, we recycled some of our older food storage buckets too! We may need to buy 2 buckets of the 12 needed for the project! So, now we’ve increased our gardening space plus decluttered more pallet wood from our front porch!! https://pin.it/5FhZjYJ. With the first buckets in that I planted! https://pin.it/3bvKI9w. Can’t wait to get all buckets in and planted!! This really increases our garden space without using up much yard footprint!

    I harvested a big bowl of lettuce, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, peas and chives! When I went to grocery store this week for the strawberries, I took photos of the fronts of the salad kits they had for sale. The front lists all the ingredients in the kit ! I am using those photos to DIY our own salad kits, complete with add-ons (craisins, sunflower seeds, tortilla strips, bacon bits, cheese, etc). I have pretty much all of the ingredients and can DIY the dressings that they have in their kits (Thanks to internet recipes!!?). So I anticipate some real savings over the $2.79- $4 per kit price as we make them ourselves!

    We are now shredding every paper, envelope, even empty toilet paper roll, to provide extra bedding for our worms as they need it and also as fire starters for our fire pit outside! We burn all of little scrap wood pieces that are safe to burn in our fire pit as a way to recycle them a final time rather than tossing them into a dumpster. Nice way to use them up in a method that helps us toast some S’mores and keep warm on a crispier evening! Win-win!!
    The worms are doing quite well. We are giving them food scraps (plant based) and they are making quick work of turning our banana, apple, cantalope peels into worm castings for the garden! We go out once a day and spritz their shredded paper bedding with cool water just to keep them cool on our hot days! They seem happy. We are happy!

    Strawberries have been on sale this week and will continue through next week- $1.88 for 2 pounds (94 cents/pound)! This is a price point I am happy with and so I bought 32 pounds! We already have enough frozen strawberries, jam and pie filling but I have been out of dehydrated strawberries for quite a while. So in the past 2 days, I have dehydrated 18 pounds so far! This photo is what 9 pounds of fresh strawberries look like in volume after dehydration! Just a single half gallon mason jar! https://pin.it/3K1lQFk. That certainly takes up less space on my shelf! I’ll use them in oatmeal, granola, muffin mix, etc!

    Men’s body wash and shampoo were on sale also that cost only 49 cents/bottle after store digital coupons, sale and ibotta refund! I was able to buy 22 bottles of various kinds and the very next day, heard that our Church was gathering men’s toiletries on Saturday for 2 homeless shelters run by local YMCA that had a large, unexpected influx of residents. How grateful I was to have these purchases plus deodorant, lotion, shaving cream, toothpaste that were on the emergency wish list to donate! Humbling to see the hand of the Lord guiding and prompting us to get and also have on our shelves already those exact things that were needed!
    One of our daughters-in-law has a 5 gallon bucket of assorted apples that her 5 littles weren’t eating fast enough so she asked if I would teach her how to can applesauce from them! I will be happy to teach her, but the 5 gallons should yield just 1 full batch of 7 quarts of sauce. With the kiddos (10 and under) all underfoot, I suggested that I would be happy to can it for her and once kiddos are back in school, I’ll be happy to teach her how to can! So I just have one more pot full to steam before I can start canning the sauce! Happy that she is thoughtful enough to not want to waste them! She also gave me a bag of 8 large oranges that her family decided they weren’t interested in so I will make up a batch of orange marmalade for our pantry.

    I opened my final #10 can of dried apple slices from 12 years ago. They are still crunchy and tasty so I chopped them up in my food processor and made up 6 more quart jars of Apple muffin mix for on my pantry shelf! https://pin.it/1jbU8U3.

    My mask total is now 592- up 15 more since last week. Still no end in sight in my fabric scraps! ?
    I quilted a quilt top that I made years ago so that it won’t be folded up in a storage bin with no functionality! I just need to sew on the red binding and it’s ready for it’s new home, wherever that may be! https://pin.it/4FzNzz6. I got the queen size quilt finished that I started last week. https://pin.it/5YSEd6j. Now, we are quilting a king size quilt for one of our daughters.

    We tried a new, fast to prepare recipe for dinner last night- Cheesy Chicken broccoli paninis! https://pin.it/1PY2JmK. Super simple and I made enough for leftovers and additional dinners! I don’t have a panini grill but I do have my George Foreman grill that worked just fine! Hubs and son declared it a “repeater”!!
    Our chickens are in full production mode and we are getting 2-1/2 dozen eggs per week! It’s now been 3 years since we bought an egg from the store!
    By using my bank MasterCard for my flexible purchases- (food, hardware store, gas, etc) I was able to redeem another $10 to transfer into my savings account. I make sure that the balance on the MC is paid in full every month so I don’t accrue any interest. This makes up for the fact that the savings account interest rate is 16 cents/month! Each month I am able to add an extra $10 to my savings this way!
    All in all, a productive week! S always, I learn so much from you, Brandi and your readers! Thanks for being so encouraging!
    Gardenpat- HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. Hi. I too have a worm farm – 7 years now. Just for information, you don’t need to shred the paper. I have even added a rolled up newspaper wrapped in an elastic band. After 2 weeks, I just fish out the elastic band. When going on holiday I fold newspaper the size of my worm farm and lay it on top. Wet it. That’s the worms fed for 2 weeks in an emergency. I only feed them paper when I have to neglect them. Usually, they get the leftover fresh fruit and veg.

      1. SignerJack- We use the shredded paper just for bedding for our worms. We have plenty of food scraps to give them, especially now with all the fruit /veg processing and eating we are doing these days- Apples, strawberries, lettuce stems, cantaloupe, etc!
        The worms are eating well! In fact, we haven’t wanted to overload them so the chickens have been given some and so has our compost tumbler!
        I’m curious what climate you are in. We are in central Ohio (Midwest U.S.). I’m wondering if we will need to move our condo indoors during the winter. Any advice?

  3. We often check the hourly forecast as well, for clothes on the line, and for closing windows. How wonderful you found so many good grocery deals, and were able to stock up on cream cheese. I harvested my first two zucchinis last week. While training the tomato plants this morning, I found our first tiny tomatoes, which has me pretty excited. My husband harvested several cabbages. So far, I’ve made asian slaw and started a batch of sauerkraut. Hoping to get some peaches this year, he set up netting around two of our peach trees. After it caught two birds and a squirrel in the first 48 hours, I strung bright contractors tape around them, and gathered the netting on the ground to make it less likely anything would get caught. So far, it’s working. I pulled our pea plants, made some more fresh pea soup, and saved some peas for seed. A friend shared a recipe for slug bait that was working well for her, and is much needed this wet spring. I made some over the weekend. Be well, everyone. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2020/06/spring-harvest-frugal-accomplishments.html

    1. Thanks for the slug bait recipe! We’ve been going thru one 12 oz. can of cheapest beer a night, filling the slug “party pools”. This will be cheaper, so long as I can find yeast.

  4. Congratulations on finding good sales and the oven repairs. It’s been a busy but normal week for us.
    *I made muffins and boiled eggs for on hand snacks.
    *a friend gave us a box of melons.
    *I cleaned out some closets and gave away some clothes I no longer fit
    *line dried most of the laundry
    *I baked bread
    *ive left the air conditioning off since it’s not too hot yet
    *Ive been using up our supply of toiletries instead of buying more. Although I don’t always like what’s on hand.
    *We have ridden our bikes for exercise
    *i froze some bananas and tomatoes to use later
    *i started making a sweater to ideas a gift.
    *my son had entertained himself with his LEGO and other toys. He’s got so many open ended toys he doesn’t ask for new ones

  5. Our daughter moved back to an apartment this week after 2 months at home. It was a sweet time together.
    Since the lake reopened we have been able to kayak, which we do several times a week. Good exercise, and so beautiful.
    I cooked a whole chicken in the instapot again. I love getting cooked meat and broth made all in one go. My husband made soup the next day and we’ve eaten that for many days. I have taken time while he’s been off work to teach him how to make a few things.
    We demolished our own kitchen this weekend, saving 2 days of paying the contractor. My husband is going to work alongside the contractor to get the job done faster and so we are paying by the hour, rather than a bid, We already sold the stovetop we took out, we have the garbage disposal and sink listed, and someone coming to pick up the oven for free (it has a flaw). This saves us a lot on dump fees.
    I sewed a set of mix-and-match napkins that my older daughter requested. This doesn’t save me money, but I’m happy she wants them and asked for them. I love the thought that every time she uses one she will have a tangible reminder of home and my love. And it will save her money!
    I sold a few items in my Etsy shop and have started to put a sweet little blank card ‘freebie’ in with each order. I have a couple of Father’s Day gifts in my shop too. https://www.etsy.com/shop/FabricSpeaks
    I picked kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, lettuce, zucchini and blackberries from my garden. I put up trellis for my cucumbers that I found for free.

  6. Great prices on groceries Brandy-so nice to be able to stretch your food dollars. My frugal morning involved applying for my last $2,000 govt payment and after that I believe I will be able to go back to work as the Mum I sit for will be returning in the next while once her office opens up. SIL gave me some rhubarb yesterday which is now chopped up in the freezer for winter crisps and muffins.

    The last week of June we will be going to a condo in the mountains about 3 hrs from here. I had some home exchange points to use up and also just had to pay $15 per night which I consider a bargain for a condo with a lake and mountain view. We will be able to cook etc so definitely a low cost vacation. It will be a nice change of pace and my brother and SIL will also join us.

    Last week I saw a grizzly close up from my car on a day trip to the mountains- so looking forward to seeing more wildlife.

      1. My mom cans rhubarb juice. She mixes it with apple or grape juice to add some zip. Sometimes she’ll make a punch by adding Sprite.

      2. Go to http://cespubs.uaf.edu/ and when it opens type in rhubarb. There are several publications and one of them is exclusively recipes. Rhubarb grows very well in the colder part of Alaska, so everyone I know has a patch; if you get too much, it is hard to give away! The publications are free and downloadable, so you may find some useful recipes for your rhubarb. We often just cook it up and add it to apple sauce—adds nutrients, stretches expensive applesauce (homemade but apples are not cheap here) and makes a change of taste.

      3. DH makes and cans a strawberry-rhubarb sauce – “straw-barb” for short – to pour over his oats in the winter.

    1. Wow, I! What a wonderful deal on the condo! I have been looking at all of my photos of my day trips to the mountains — I usually only go with a friend for the day. As I can’t drive, I have no way to get there! Last year, I had two unexpected day trips — one to a small mountain lodge for brunch to celebrate a friend’s 90th birthday! It was fall and the larch trees had turned golden. The other was a barter to repay the friend who took my friend and me there — she wanted me to take photos at Christmas of her mother-in-law who was visiting from Australia. I was glad to do this! It was a magical day! I will just savour those times through the photos! Have a wonderful time!

  7. We are into our second week at an extended stay hotel while our new home is getting completed. I have enjoyed the simplicity of not having so many things in my life and realize how much “stuff” I have that I don’t need or use.
    I do have some basic groceries with me and have had no trouble creating simple meals. I was pleased that I used some old Bulgar wheat and made tabbouleh. I’ve also eaten raw peanuts that had been in the freezer for a while. I am trying to creatively use what I have rather than buying anything from the store, except fresh fruit, veggies, and dairy. I also took a noodle and vegetable salad to a small neighborhood distance gathering and got rave reviews on it.
    I harvested some radishes from by garden plot.
    I read books from a free little library in my neighborhood and returned them when I was finished.
    I am in an online study group learning about Shakespeare’s plays he wrote in quarantine and watched two versions of Macbeth online in preparation for our discussion tomorrow night.
    I am still knitting on a sweater and met twice outside with fellow knitters, keeping a safe distance, to socialize.
    I worked at my part time job that will probably disappear in a few weeks because it is a contract job for the state and there are budget cuts coming.
    I did spend money this week on watercolor paints at Michael’s. My good set is packed away in a storage unit and I don’t know how many weeks before I have access to it. But I did find a simple set at Micheal’s, bought one inexpensive brush and some paper and have had a wonderful time watching YouTube tutorials and learning techniques that I didn’t know about. This has been well-worth the investment!
    I’ve gone for long walks each morning.
    Have a wonderful, safe, life-affirming week! I appreciate connecting with this circle of friends.

  8. The a/c is not working @ my house. Friday night was 90 degrees in the house. Very hard to sleep in the heat. At dawn I opened the windows & turned on the attic fan. Aaahh! Temp was 75 degrees outside & the cooler air rushed in to cool the house. My husband is away & I don’t feel at ease to sleep with windows open at night. At least the electric bill should be lower since no a/c thus far. It is hot here in Texas like in Vegas.
    Sick w/ stomach flu so little food eaten. (I thought the reason the I was hot was due to fever.) A/C man due today to fix unit. Yay!
    Finally better on Sunday. Went to A/C gym to use elliptical. A luxury to belong to gym but too hot to exercise outdoors in Texas during TX heat.
    Found a small bamboo plant in a pot on the curb. I will try to nurse it back to health. I always wanted a small potted one. (I felt like the little sick bamboo plant this past week.) I’m grateful to be w/o fever, out of bed, & feeling normal!
    Needed a new pair of athletic shoes. Researched cost & shipping but had not ordered yet. I drove by the apt. complex (where I used to live) on the way to the gym. There was a pair of Nike’s in my size sitting out w/ discards near dumpster. I left out in hot Texas sun to sanitize at home. (I have not heard of any Covid cases linked to shoes & I am a good hand washer.) I like my “like new” Nike shoes. (Found these after I was sick. a bright spot in my miserable week.) May need “shoe $” to help pay for A/C repair. LOL

  9. Brandy: Thank you so much for your blog. Even though I do not garden I love to read all the money saving hints. Strawberries are 99cents/lb. No limit so I pick up 6 at a time daily wash and freeze for smoothies. Milk $1.49 gal so I bought 5 to freeze. Pound butter $2.39 bought 5. 16 oz bag of cheese $1.88 bought 5 to freeze. Local Italian bread store one loaf for 49cents. Bought 5 loaves to freeze. Our grocery prices here in the Midwest have been pretty stable. I am lucky that Kroger and Aldi are less than a mile. I have 18 months until I pay my home off at the age of 50. Starting on a total gut remodeling of kitchen next Monday. Everything is picked out and contractor will be ready to go. Cabinets are hand made by a carpenter tongue and groove. Going to be amazing when it is done. I have waited 23 years for this. After this is done the entire upper level will be complete. I have been very blessed to be working FT as a nurse so my income has not changed. I have lived very frugally all of my life so have been so blessed financially 2 cars paid off and no other debt. It is hot here and will be until Oct. A/C runs full time. Level payment saves us so much. Been cooking from home, but we do eat out once a week. Otherwise staying home. Have a good week everyone.

    1. What a great price on cheese! I have never seen 16-ounce bags of cheese; usually, I only see 8-ounce bags. Which store had this deal? Maybe there is an affiliate store in my area.

      Edited to add: Our Smith’s (Kroger affiliate) has bags of Sargento Cheese on sale for $1.99. They are 5-8 ounce bags.
      They also have 32-ounce bags of Kroger brand shredded cheese for $5.99 on sale.

      Congratulations on your kitchen! That is very exciting!

      1. Walmart and Target in San Diego sell the store brand of cream cheese regular price at $1 a block so it may be something for you to look into. I also saw the 2 pound blocks of Monterrey Jack cheese at Costco for $3.69 each and Colby jack 2 pound blocks for $3.99 each. If you know someone with a Costco card you might want to ask them to check Las Vegas prices for you.

        1. My mom has a Costco card. I love Monterey Jack cheese; I will have her check! Thank you!

    2. I love using my self clean oven. I’ve always used it for hours. Never knew there was a problem.
      We went north and stocked up on pinconning cheese at the outlet. It was well worth the trip. We don’t go to the store has often now ..We just figure it’s for the best.
      We always have been picking lettuce and green onions out of the vegetable garden. I also added two more Apple trees this spring. Makes our total 4 apples and one peach. We have a little orchard going.
      Have a great day.

      1. I guess about 15 years ago there were some Kitchen Aids and Whirpools that had this problem. My oven was bought 14 years ago.

        1. Not bad to get 14 years with no problems until now! I love my self-cleaning oven and also only use it for half an hour.

  10. It has been the same old stuff here. *smile*
    We have stayed home except for one day. My grandson was ill (headaches and dizzy spells…doc said it is migraines) so I took him to the clinic in the next town. On our way home my car stalled and wouldn’t start again. We towed it home (saving the money of calling a tow truck). It is sitting out in the street waiting for me to buy the part to get it fixed.
    Our garden is growing. I hope that it continues to flourish. Prices for food is still awful.
    I have put in pinto beans. I read about how to sprout them here…I think.
    I have a few tomatoes that are just about ready for picking.
    Brandy, your photos are wonderful.
    I look forward to everyone’s ideas.
    Thank you.

  11. It looks like you got some great deals on produce and groceries this week! We also cut down large chicken breasts when that is how they come. When my husband purchased boneless-skinless chicken breast the last time, he found it at Cash and Carry, since at that time Costco was out. It was a few weeks ago. Anyway, I’ve come to love them because they are already cut into thinner pieces and are quite uniform in size–I think it is because that store caters to the restaurant business and it makes sense that portion-sized pieces would be what was wanted in a restaurant. Once I need more, I’m going to see if that is how they always are there, or if that was a one-time occurrence.

    We stayed out of the stores enough during May that I was able to save some grocery money. I am placing an order at Azure Standard for bulk items with that extra money. It’s not a lot, but I’m trying to keep my storage items stocked, as we are using them frequently during Covid19. The garden is starting to kick in, so I’m hoping to see a decrease in produce costs very soon.

    My sister and niece picked me a flat and a half of strawberries at a local u-pick farm. I put them with the odds and ends from my backyard patch and made jam. Pictures are on my blog: http://beckyathome.com. I was delighted to get so much jam and will simply freeze any extra berries little by little any time we get more than we can eat fresh. We use them in smoothies all year long.

    We celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday at home. What she has been asking for for many months is ear piercing. That presented a challenge as we were not comfortable with her going to a piercing shop right now. So, my husband ordered an ear-piercing kit from the internet and did it himself. He is much braver than I am, but he got the job done with a minimum of trouble. Later, when things calm down, I plan to have a tea party at home for her with some friends, as we had hoped to do for this birthday.

    We did some extra cleaning and organizing. Items for a garage sale were piling up so they were binned up and put in the shop loft for a future sale. Our covered outside porch area was thoroughly cleaned, swept and set up for canning season with the propane burners, pots, etc. The garage was worked on, but not finished.

    Rob’s surgery is still scheduled for 3 weeks from today. We start on pre-op appointments this week. We will see if they feel he is still on-track for surgery after the Wednesday appointment. Here’s hoping…..His weight is great. His legs are healing from where he knocked the skin off his shin and dropped a piece of wood on his foot a few weeks back, but not quite done yet, but he’s going to wound care twice a week and they have high hopes, and the hospitals are not full of Covid cases at this time–so we have hope, but things could change in 3 weeks. We are just going forward, praying, and expecting the best.

    1. My youngest daughter wanted that this year (she has an April birthday) but everything was closed. Glad you found a solution!

      1. I actually pierced my ears myself when I was about 15. I wouldn’t trust anyone to do it, preferring, if it hurt, to be able to stop. I put matching dots on my ears with a pen (probably not a great idea), then numbed one lobe at a time between two ice cubes, then stuck a large needle through, and immediately put in gold posts. Years later, I added a third hole, also myself, and did my friend’ s ear because she couldn’t bear to do it herself. The idea of having anyone else pierce my ears was creepy to me. Neither of us had any problems.

      1. I also had a girlfriend try to pierce my ears when I was around 16, in the mid 1960s. Supposedly the ice cube numbed the lobe. Well, it didn’t numb mine and after one ear was done, so was I. For the next couple of years I walked around with only one ear pierced, no earring, of course. Eventually I got the other ear done. Ah, crazy kids.

        Then there was the time we tried to smoke banana peels because of a Donovan song…….but that’s another story from the mists of my youth.

        1. Thanks for the chuckle, Anne!

          A girlfriend pierced my ears with the ice cube numbing trick during my teens, too. But one hole isn’t at quite the same angle from front to back as the other, so the earring on that side always turns out a wee bit. Then again, none of us is perfectly symmetrical, so there’s that modest comfort.

    2. Years ago my mom was asked by her cousin to pierce her youngest daughter’s ears. They used a very large thick needle that was sterilized and a cube of ice. to do the job! The cousin failed to mention her daughter was a hemophiliac…lol. Mama refused to let me get my ears pierced for many years but I decided on my 18th to get it done at a local jewelers.

  12. Great bargains at the grocery store, Brandy! And I love that your husband was able to fix your oven!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and ran only full loads the in washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate dinner in 5 times. We had turkey noodle soup made from home canned turkey and stock with biscuits; Ranch beans made from scratch in the Instant Pot; salmon with roasted zucchini, chickpeas, onion and red pepper; steak, baked potato and zucchini (twice.) We splurged a bit on our meals, as my son was in town and we wanted to treat him. Our trivia league has started back up, so we had dinner at the restaurant we play at to help them out and the last night our friends had us over for dinner. I brought some homemade chocolate chip cookies to that.
    • Started doing some contract work again. I got in 21 hours. Our offices are still closed, so I will be able to do this work from home at least until Labor Day. I am filling in for someone going on maternity leave and anticipate I’ll be working through September.
    • Lunches included leftovers from dinners; a turkey wrap and salads. I’ve also been hard boiling eggs for cheap and easy snacks.
    • Breakfasts have been smoothies and eggs with toast.
    • Hung 4 of 7 loads of laundry. My son was in town, so I did his too.
    • Walked for exercise.
    • Harvested a few zucchini and some early girl and roma tomatoes and quite a few yellow cherry and pear tomatoes. I love the tomatoes for snacks.
    • My daughter gave me more tea she found while cleaning out her cupboards that she didn’t want. She doesn’t really like green tea, but I don’t mind it.
    • Got blueberries for 88c a container (4) and 2 cantaloupe for 9 cents apiece.
    • Used my GetUpside app when we filled the tank of our truck and got $3.65 back. Also used my store points when I filled up my car and got $1.00 off per gallon.
    • Received a few Ibotta rebates, 3 of which on Suave body wash, which was also on sale so I paid a total of 49 cents apiece for those and a free Core Hydration drink.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  13. I am so glad you are having the chance to try out Acorn through your library. The Indian Doctor was one of the first shows I watched too, and I really enjoyed it.

    An A for frugal effort but ultimately a frugal F was that I found a jar of Knorr’s chicken bouillon powder in my northern Alberta Coop. When I got it home, I checked the label, and realized that it has MSG as a major ingredient, which gives me really bad headaches. It has been so long since I bought a new product that I forgot to check it while I was in the store. There are no returns at the moment, but it was not a total loss, though, since the next time I was in a grocery store, I put it in the food bank box. I think it will be great for someone to make soups out of many of the ingredients that come in a food bank hamper. Most people aren’t bothered by MSG, so it shouldn’t be a problem for them. I have been looking now for the No Salt versions of chicken bouillon powder, which shouldn’t have any MSG in them. I do make broth a lot, but am finding keeping ahead of my uses for broth too difficult, so this will make a big difference.

    I bought a couple of cans of lemonade concentrate at 60% off. I don’t have it often, but I’d like to have it for my birthday coming up this weekend, and for Canada Day on July 1. It will help celebrate summer, even though we don’t have warm weather just yet.

    The temperatures were near freezing last night, but the furnace stopped working. I will have to wait to get it repaired, but the forecast is above freezing for the foreseeable future. It has got up to 59 F in the house today, so I have brought out some winter clothes, zipped up my hoodie, and got some warm slippers on. I have a small space heater which I can use in the living room in the evening if it seems too cold. The important thing is that it is too warm for the pipes to freeze and burst.

  14. It has really felt like summer in Western Maryland this past week!
    -We’re going to pick strawberries this afternoon. At $1.50/lb they’re not the most economical choice, but they’re wonderfully fresh and flavorful…the ones in the grocery store can’t even compare! I’ll pull out the money I’ve been tucking away for bulk purchases and decide how many pounds to buy. I’ll also take along a kitchen scale so I can keep track of how much we’re picking. More than once we’ve finished and picked more than we meant to (meaning a bigger than anticipated bill!).
    -I canned 14 quarts of beans from dried beans in my pantry. I’m using up my older ones then I’ll restock before fall. I’m always thinking about the next time my husband is laid off (it happens for several months each year in the construction industry).
    -I canned 16 half-pints of strawberry jam. I used low sugar pectin (sweetened with a small amount of sugar and fruit juice-the juice was gifted to us). It turned out wonderful!
    -Mended a dress, an apron, a pair of pants, and a pillow.
    -Crocheted 3 bonnets. Sewed 2 needle books. I’ll list them for sale eventually. Right now, it does my mind good to keep busy.
    -Harvested a few peas.
    -Found over 50 pumpkin plants in last year’s compost pile. I’ll thin them and maybe we’ll get a few pumpkins!
    -Decluttered our family closet, taking note of things we’ll need in the future.
    Have a great week, everyone!

    1. I grew up on an u-pick cherry and peach farm and spent all my summers waiting on customers and picking fruit for orders. We call that “u-picker-i-tis” when someone picks way more than they really planned on and I cannot tell you how many times, especially with peaches since they are larger, people got an amazed, shocked look on their faces when they saw how many they had really picked. When the fruit is abundant, ripe and tasty (and at our farm they were allowed to eat while they picked), it’s very hard to stop! I still love to pick fruit. On the other hand, the serious canners would sometimes pick hundreds of pounds and be very thankful when they were done! My sister and niece picked strawberries for me last Thursday and they said the field was absolutely swarmed with people. They had to go way down on another side of another field because they absolutely had to social distance due to underlying health conditions. I think this is going be a year where people are planning to go into the winter with full freezers and cupboards, as much as they can. I’m glad you can get some. My sister paid $1.30/lb for the ones she picked, and that is considered on the low-price-point around here. I think $1.50 is a reasonable price and some places are more than that in this area.

      1. We got around 30 lbs. I was hoping for 40, but my mom came and we spent part of the time helping her get what she wanted, too. When we got to the cashier, she asked, “how many of you ate some berries? How did they taste?” My kids stood there awkwardly…we have never allowed them to taste the berries until we had paid for them! When I had a bunch of tiny kids and no big ones, of course there were some snuck into mouths. Now, though, even my 2 year old simply helped to fill buckets and never tried to eat one. The owner was amazed. She was also amazed that even with 8 kids picking, we didn’t end up with lots of unripe berries. We had a wonderful time! But, yes, there were so many people! We’ve been picking there for over 10 years and it was the largest crowd I’ve seen. It would be fun to pick peaches! Here we’ll still be able to pick cherries (probably next week) but nothing else is u-pick.

  15. Oldest had two emergency surgeries and two blood transfusions and was critical. Thankfully, he appears to be on the mend. None of this was frugal, he has no insurance, he is a cook at a restaurant, because no Medicaid expansion in this state and he cannot afford it. He had only worked a week at his new job when Covid hit and he was laid off. He had only been back at work a couple of weeks, when this happened. We are hoping he still has a job when he is able to go back to work. I am grateful to still be working and to be able to pay his lot rent, his utilities, car insurance, etc. This is why we are frugal, to help our dear hearts when they are down and need the help. I am so grateful I paid off my house and can use that money to help him. So, no, what happened was not frugal, but yes, because of frugality, I can help him. He is also frugal. He lives in a camper he bought and paid for himself, is very tight with a dollar etc. He is definitely not frivolous. I am just grateful he is alive. In other news, I had sent my daughter flour, vegetable oil, dried fruit, and canned chicken, and cream of mushroom soup. She should be fairly well stocked, in addition to the years supply of beans I had previously sent to her from Walmart. I have a years supply of beans also now, but I am lacking in several other areas and trying to stock up. I still am eating beans, of a great variety, every day. To me, it is just so simple to throw beans in a crockpot and cook them. I have to have meals I don’t have to think about. Before all this mess happened with my kid, I had made a curry lentil soup and also added coconut milk, garlic, spinach, and a little tomato paste. It was delicious and cheap. I also added a little rice to it. Beans and rice are so versatile. Just add different spices, and vegetables, and you get different flavors,

    1. Cindy,

      I am so sorry to hear about your son.

      I have found out that SOME (but not all) of our hospitals have ways for you to apply for financial aid depending on your income levels. I hope your hospitals have this. It has helped us tremendously in paying off hospital bills in the past. It has also taught us which hospitals to go to when we have an emergency.

    2. Cindy in the South: So very sorry to hear of your son’s condition! I hope he is able to recover quickly and well.

    3. Wow Cindy – that does not sound good at all!
      I hope he recovers quickly and well and is back to work as soon as possible.

      It may be worth checking out the financial aid that the hospitals have – where I live, they typically are helpful to those who have no insurance, even if it’s just a no-interest payment plan stretched out over many years. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

      Thoughts and prayers,
      Lea

    4. Glad that your son is on the mend! I don’t know what state you live in but there are some affordable options through Healthcare.gov. New enrollment periods should be open this month. High deductibles but still, for something like what your son experienced, it would be a HUGE help if he can afford the cheapest plans assuming he’s normally healthy.

    5. Cindy, any nonprofit or public hospital in the US that has had new or remodeling construction in the last 70+ years and received federal funding under the Hill-Burton Act–and that would be virtually every hospital in America–is required to provide a certain amount of free care every year. Realistically, this is given on a first-come basis. However, “Hill-Burton” are the magic words when asking for financial help at a hospital. “Hill-Burton” will likely open a conversation about other financial help that might be available. My son had a broken collarbone that required surgery. He had just become unemployed. He applied for financial aid and the Catholic hospital wrote off 50% of the balance and set up a one-year payment plan for his portion. Good luck! I would guess it never hurts to have a mother who is a lawyer!!

    6. That is wonderful news that your son is recovering from a frightening hospitalization. I second what the other comments have said about the Hill Burton Act. I have worked in health care for 40 years. Hospitals who accepted Hill Burton funds must write off some of unpaid debt as charity. I would also let it be known to the business office at the said hospital that you are a prosecutor. Hospitals bend over backwards if the patient and/or family member is an attorney. You are also a public servant. I bet you have accepted some decreased earning potential to serve the county instead of having a private law practice.

    7. Tell him to apply for compassionate discounts with hospital and all service providers for his emergency. My college aged nephew had no insurance and had a jet ski accident, emergency surgery, hospital stay and follow up. Someone told me about filing for compassionate care with hospital and all service providers. $60,000 worth of bills reduced to $500 and it would have been zero but I paid that one early worried about his credit rating a d even though he was approved they wouldn’t refund.

  16. You had another wonderful week! Congrats on being able to fix the oven 🙂

    *I also use the weather app to keep my windows open as long as possible before turning on the A/C. We got hit with a huge rain/wind storm over the weekend. Dropped our temps from upper 90’s to 50’s. Our nights cooled down to 40’s. It was wonderful to have all the rain. We turned off all the sprinkler systems. More rain is expected today.

    *I made 2 loaves of banana bread with overripe bananas. I also made 3 loaves of half white/half whole wheat bread. All meals were made at home except for our date night meal which we used a gift card. We brought home the leftovers and have been using those for lunches. I made a big pot of meatless taco soup to help with lunches during the week. Making sure the kids help us eat down leftovers in the fridge and use up every bit of food is a constant job as well. My kids roll their eyes when I come in the kitchen at breakfast and lunch and modify their choices so we can use up our fruit/veggies and leftovers.

    *I checked my garden every day and watered and weeded as needed. Everything is still growing. My zucchini plant is starting to blossom. My tomato plants are also starting to blossom. I’ve been pinching off most of the suckers that have been growing to try and improve the plant growing strong. My green onions are almost ready to harvest. I’m going to plant more bush beans in my flower beds next to the giant sunflowers that are growing. Those are in my flower beds but I figure the bush plants can cling to the sunflower stems – they’re huge!

    *Repaired by hand sewing the fringe on one of decorative bed pillows. None of the others have unraveled but one side of this one went crazy unraveling. Took me about an hour but it was relaxing.

    *Needed to string up my peas. I took 2 large handmade tomato cages that are 2 feet across and strung yarn straight across from one side to the other to make a trellis. Put the yarn every 6-10 inches up the cages. The cages are made from metal fence material and are very sturdy. I used to the metal stands from the graduation signs we were given to help prop up plants. Bent the ends down to put in the ground. The middle section is quite large and perfect for holding a smaller plant up.

    *Donated unwanted clothing and some household items to Savers. They’re the only store accepting donations right now. Use the receipt for taxes. We get more money by donating than doing a yard sale on our taxes.

    *Gave my 14 year old daughter a haircut. She has very curly hair and I haven’t cut anyone’s hair in years. I’ve been watching the stylist do it the past several times and copied what she did to the best of my ability. My daughter loves it – so I’m happy.

    *I went grocery shopping and was able to reduce my weekly bill by $50. I was so happy!!!! Put the extra in my grocery savings account to use for stock up sales.

    *Exercised for free at home by using YouTube and biking. I love the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home series. I’ve lost 6 lbs and I’m hoping to lose another 64 lbs. I had lost over 30 lbs, but had gained some back during the COVID. I’m watching my carb intake carefully and eating more veggies.

    *Borrowed books from the library and used our streaming service for movies/TV shows.

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiration!!!!

  17. I am beyond thrilled for those good prices at the store, Brandy! I did grocery shopping last week and was dismayed to how much prices have gone up on many staples. I am trying to rework a few of our “most featured” meals to reduce their cost.

    I used a store coupon (voucher) combined with a 30% sale to buy my son new jeans and boots, which he desperately needed. I sewed new pants for all my boys, and accepted hand-me-downs from a neighbor for my older daughter, who is thrilled to have “new” clothes, I’m incredibly grateful my children are not picky when it comes to accepting other people’s seconds.

    We have been harvesting lemons, grapefruit, green onions, spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, celery, herbs from the garden, and I will be able to pick a beautiful cabbage this week. My seed starts are doing well and should be ready to plant out in about 2 weeks time.

    I have been vigilant with turning off lights and keeping the heat as low as possible. I continue to save the children’s bath water to flush the toilet, hang our bath towels out in the full sunlight all day to keep them fresher for longer before laundering, and if the children’s clothing isn’t visibly dirty or smelly, they wear them for a second day before I launder them. Laundry detergent has gone up by almost 50%, and we are due our annual price increase in water and electricity this month, so saving a few wash cycles a week will add up.

    We have a fireplace in our living room. The grate had burned through and needed to be replaced. My husband went in search of a new one and the store owner offered to repair it rather than selling us a new one, which saved us a huge amount of money! And it looks like new!

    I have stretched several soups, stews, and curries to feed us for another meal (or 2) by adding more inexpensive vegetables and serving them over lots of rice. I find that I can cook with minimal meat as long as the overall meal tastes meaty. We eat oatmeal most mornings for breakfast.

    This week I want to work on preparing better snacks for the children.

    1. We also hang our bath towels out in the sun. It keeps them fresher longer. I bought a bottle of Fabric softener that was so thick I could hardly pour it out. I read online if it gets too hot that’s what happens. It said to mix it will boiling water and blend it. That bottle has lasted for months. In the future I will mix it with boiling water again. Tripled the amount and I have not noticed any difference in my laundry.

  18. Brandy, thank you for sharing your life with us. Your Family is just precious and I love your pictures. Your blackberries remind me to share with you that the Blackberry Leaf Tea is my favorite winter Tea. I rinse and drain the leaves and spread them on a cookie sheet to dry on the kitchen counter….no electricity needed. The canes you will cut off after bearing this year can be used for making tea.,just strip off the leaves. Also I enjoy strawberry leaf tea, clover leaves and blooms, violet leaves and blooms, treated in the same way. w/o electricity. Enjoy reading all the ideas. Enjoy your summer and stay safe.

  19. Brandy your sales were fantastic. We still can’t get much meat here. I check when I am in town but prices remain higher than I want to spend. Found alphabet noodles, skinny soup noodles, and small shell pasta for .33 a half pound. Bought 10 lbs. of each. Bought bananas for .34 per lb and fresh pineapple for .99 each. Bought cream cheese for .79 a package. Butter remains at 1.88 per lb. so I picked up 4 more. Bought a case of black beans for .59 per can. I purchased more strawberries at .99 per pound. I made 5 more batches of jam. With the grape jelly I will do in the fall we will be set for a year. Accepted 3 gallons of 1% milk that a family didn’t care to drink.

    Last year I gave away a washing machine to a friend. I got a larger machine at the same time. The agitator on my larger washing machine recently broke. The plastic bearings fell apart. There are no replacement parts. The upper agitator just floats around. There is no way to connect it with the lower agitator and have it work properly. This larger machine was not brand new. I got a text last night from a lady who I had given the smaller machine to and she never used it. She wanted to know if we wanted it back! I was so excited and grateful. I will just have to do more loads per day to keep up.

    Harvested asparagus again this week. Allowed some to go to seed. Putting more effort into keeping up the garden. Planted potatoes for the first time. I planted a hardy kiwi vine in my yard, We will see if it does anything. I know they are grape sized, but looking for something additional to try. With our wet May and June so far my 6 blueberry bushes are getting large. (It is hard to keep the rabbits from eating them down!)
    Purchased basil and oregano to add to the herb garden from a small local family nursery.
    We are hand watering the garden and it is a large undertaking. I may look into drip line, but my garden is about 100′ from our spigot, and I’m wondering if my well pump can manage the distance. It would be so much more convenient.
    Signed up for the summer reading program. Our library reopens this Friday with contactless curbside pick up. I will drop off the books we checked out in late February!! My hold list is really large with all the readers at my house. We took our kids to my parent’s cottage Saturday. It was wonderful to be on the water. Have a wonderful week.

  20. It was a fairly usual week around here!
    * I mended DD’s terrycloth bath wrap. The casing stitching had come out in two places, so it was an easy fix. I sewed a button on a shirt that was a hand-me-up from DS. It wasn’t an exact match, but pretty darn close (and the bottom button, anyway).
    * I got 4 lbs. of butter for 1.98 lb. and a coupon deal on a dozen eggs for .29. Although I didn’t buy any, I noticed Winco was well stocked with TP and other paper products.
    *Woo-hoo! The vegetable seeds I planted last week sprouted with excellent germination.*Another friend gave me a bag of shredded paper for composting and it is already mixed into the bins.
    * I got most of the family pictures placed on the walls of the office/sewing room. I found 3 nice quality frames at St. Vinny’s for a total of $10 for family pictures that had never been framed…including two of DH’s parents taken in 1944 and still in the photographer’s folders. (I found matching Home Interiors frames for those two and they look fab). I was able to use/reuse 3 mattes I already had.
    * I paid my bills online, plus two bills over the phone, saving time and postage–as always.* DD and I went to the $3 cinema to see Knives Out, which is a hilarious take on the game of Clue. No sex, very little cursing, and it is on pay-per-view (Netflix?) now, too. I wanted to support the local theater, which has stayed in business by painting a screen on the side of the building and using the parking lot and FM sound for a drive-in. It has been so successful they are doing it every night and selling out (30 cars) nearly every night. They are selling concessions at curbside. However, we saw this movie inside of one of their auditoriums…socially distanced, of course! The bad news–I broke a tooth on an old maid in the popcorn. I’m going to the dentist in about an hour to see what he can do (and how much it is going to cost).

  21. I killed the glass top of my mom’s stove by baking cookies on a cast iron grill in a hot oven and then setting the grill on the stove to cool. I didn’t notice at the time but I certainly did the next time I went to use the front right burner. The appliance repair person I have used in the past is not making house calls yet according to the used appliance store he works for or with because of the pandemic. Bummer. However, Mom was given an old–working at the time–stove a dozen years ago. It has been gathering dust and hogging space in the garage and has been a minor irritant of mine since then. But now I am happy we have it, especially since the granny sitter I thought I had lined up in case I needed to go stove shopping didn’t want to stay outside on the front porch with mom just inside the house for social distancing (entering the house only if a medical emergency occurred or the house caught on fire)…. and she socializes with her son the nurse who has covid-19 patients. Today I learned the power plugs on the two stoves are the same. Whew! Now I just need to thoroughly clean the garage stove and make sure it contains no mice. Today I tested my muscles and know I can move the old stove out of the house (love gravity when it is working with me) and to the road, where metal pickers will undoubtably make it go away very quickly. However, I am not convinced I can lift the garage stove up two steps onto the front porch and I don’t want to risk damaging mom’s lovely new aluminum handicap ramp by walking the stove up the ramp. Once I’ve got the stove cleaned up and ready to move into the kitchen, I’ll either be asking friends who are either a couple or a father/teen son to move it for me, at least onto the porch. The two people, since they are from the same household, won’t need to be social distancing, something impossible to do when moving a stove.

    I miss going out to shop for groceries and household necessities. So does our pocketbook. Home delivery from Krogers costs just under $10 plus the recomnended tip–and since we live several miles away from the store, I definitely feel the shopper has earned the tip. I miss Dollar Tree’s prices too–very much. Our small town grocer has had some great prices advertised–but does not offer delivery nor even trunk dropoff.

    Mom and I have been home since March 11. The only person who has entered mom’s house in the last two months has been mom’s wound care nurse. Mom is now strong enough to stand up well enough that she will be able to get in and out of the car. I have some KN95 masks and have ordered a white sunhat for her with a plastic face shield attached. She is supposed to receive it by the weekend. Next week I hope to take us both for a ride to one of our local parks for a supper in the car overlooking a lake and start shopping by ordering online and getting things dropped into the trunk. Our area was hit very hard and fast by Covid-19 but now new cases are a small fraction of what they were two months ago so we are going to get brave and start venturing out a little bit.

    I hope none of you have been physically hurt or suffered material loss by recent events.

  22. Brandy, I was given a non-smart TV so I purchased the cheap Roku at Walmart. I love having it to see movies and TV series such as “Call the Midwife.” Someone may have already mentioned that, if so, sorry. Smart televisions have made non-smart TV’s pretty cheap, as they are “outdated.”
    You certainly got some deals! I haven’t seen prices like that since, well I don’t know when.

    We were in the path of Crisobal’s bands, but not in danger, so we got a lot of free watering in our yard, but no damage. I was unable to hang out clothes on the line, but dried three loads on my indoor rack and using hangers and the shower rod.
    I wish I could open up the house at night, but the humidity is so high it just doesn’t cool off and everything feels sticky-damp. Mold is encouraged, as well. I do the best I can — during the day, the upstairs is programmed to stay at 82, and the downstairs, where my husband is, at 77 in the hot weather.
    This weekend I rendered five pints of lard and made four pints of bone broth. I bought the fat for the lard this time, as I didn’t have enough saved to render, but the fat is very cheap. I skimmed out the cracklings and crisped them in a skillet to use later.
    Our blueberries are about finished but the blackberries are still coming on, slowly. I transplanted them this past year, so they are recovering.
    I repurposed an old rectangular planter that was gifted to us with a plant in it. It has no drainage, so it wasn’t a good planter, but I cleaned it up and found it is the perfect size to hold folded washcloths for easy access in our bathroom.
    I am looking for some curtain hold-backs, but at $5-$9 each, I’ll keep looking. I will try to find some used or try to dream up a different way to hold back the curtains.
    Have a good week, everyone.

    1. Jo, this may not be your “look” but I regularly use mis-matched leather belts as curtain tie backs…if that helps!

    2. Jo, try the “trim” section at your fabric store. There are beautiful choices, all prices and you can buy by the yard. I bought the pom pom balls for one window and a bag of plastic loops for less than $2. Lasted until I changed curtains.

    3. Jo; You also might try something like “Command” stick on hooks instead of making holes in the wall. (Sound like my Dad here. No extra holes were ever made in his plaster). As the hooks don’t need to hold much weight, they might be fine, and hidden by the cloth or tieback.

  23. We had a warm week here. You can just watch the garden grow! Continue to harvest asparagus, rhubarb, and chives. Tomatoes and peppers are blooming. Something however is eating my kolarabi! I have lost 2 out of the 6 plants. My husband set a large rat trap this morning so we will see if we get anything. I canned pickled asparagus- 5 quarts.

    Meals were-grilled ribeye (in the discount bin and we always split a steak), baked potatoes and roasted asparagus; grilled pork chops, oven fries, and green beans; pheasant stir fry and fried rice, squash apple soup (from the freezer) and homemade wheat rolls; nachos, and leftovers. No food waste here-either it is eaten or frozen for later. Breakfast is usually yogurt and fruit, oatmeal or eggs. Lunches is leftovers.

    Only bought a gallon of milk and some creamer this week. Eating out of the freezer, garden, and home canned food.

    I made a meal for friends (the wife fell and broke her wrist)-squash apple soup, homemade wheat rolls, and apple bloodies.

    Did some more purging. Several more cupboards cleaned out. I have 6 boxes headed to Goodwill!

    Otherwise pretty low key-weeded the garden, mowed lawn, watered flowers, and started a flip and stitch baby quilt for my niece. She is due with baby #4 in August. I have so much fabric! Trying to make a dent in it, so someday my children won’t have to deal with it. I am going to do some more bowl cozies for my sister’s bday in July. That will be my next project after the quilt.

    My goal this year is to try and make more gifts with supplies I have on hand. I have several of the iron on patterns for embroidered dish towels that were given to me. Runnings just had towels on sale. I had 4 already, I bought 4 more. I just ironed on the designs. I have the embroidery floss, so I will start working on these as well for Christmas gifts. A set of 4 for each daughter. It is an easy project to work on in the car or while visiting.

    Have a great week everyone!

  24. When we started driving the pick-up away from the house this weekend, there was a horrible thumping and unbalanced feeling in the front. Turns out that a large chunk of tar stuff had come up from a crack in the road and was stuck to one tire, and thick enough to cause trouble.
    After husband chipped it off, I remembered that baby oil is supposed to take tar off your hands, and suggested he use olive oil. Worked great on his hands and the dull knife we used.

    I have several plants in pots that came up from seeds I planted outdoors, which is not usual for me. Very glad for the descriptions here of people’s successful gardens, so I felt it wasn’t a waste of money to try it one more time! I have been diligent about watering with water from our dehumidifier. I’m eating the leaf lettuce that I am thinning out, putting thinned carrots and greens (from very old seeds) onto my salads or into my soup-making bag in the freezer/they seem too delicate to transplant, and hoping the green onions from seed get big enough to eat soon.

    Neighbors cut down an ENORMOUS tree that shaded our yard and house. Expecting to feel it in cooling bills this summer. Re-thinking the new sunshine for the flowers on that side of the house.

    Thank you all for sharing your stories of hope and care here.

  25. Awesome deal you got on your groceries Brandy!!!! I continued to save money last week by not going anywhere. We stuck to my mealplan that I made last week. DH took oatmeal for breakfast every day last week, and I had it on a few days. I cashed in my swagbucks for a walmart gift certificate, and my points from receipt pal for a walmart gift certificate. I’ll hang on to them untill we need something, or there is an opportunity to make money. I did a walgreens deal for free suave body wash, so I moved things around and put bodywash in the soft soap dispenser in my daughters bathroom. My husband would have a fit if he saw body wash being used as hand soap, not because it suds up less but just because thats not how its supposed to be. It will save me from having to buy any until I can find another deal on it. I now have all of my credit cards balances moved around to 0% interest cards. The plan was to pay them off with my unemployment money, but thats a joke. Hopefully I can get a big chunk paid off with what I’m saving in interest. I cant think of anything else extra that I did to save money. Hope everyone has a happy & healthy week.

    1. Kim, I would love to know more about how you found 0% interest cards to transfer to. I think this might be a good solution for us. Interest adds up so quickly.

      1. Dianna,

        My husband and I both received our undergraduate degrees without incurring any student loan debt. My husband had some student loan debt from his graduate work. He transferred it to credit cards that had 0% interest and then went to 2.9% the next year. This made it easier for him to pay less interest and pay them off quickly.

      2. Diana,
        You can google balance transfer offers and find them. The offers are usually good for a year to 18 months and then you start paying interest. Im working on paying the smallest ones off first while making monthly payments on the others. When my time is almost up, if its not paid down, I will transfer it to a different offer.

  26. I’ll just share what I did today. I used a meal I’d prepped for last week and then prepared easily this afternoon for our lunch. Picked blackberries on my way back from visiting my son’s chickens and children. I took the chickens food scraps that they will eat and a loaf of homemade bread that my husband let sit too long and just wanted to go into crumbs. I’ve a quart jar of dry crumbs and another of croutons which are plenty for us too. I made a tiny cobbler when I got back home. It was delicious. I am going to make note that this is a bit late for blackberries. If I could have gone deeper I’d have gotten a few more but I had worn flip flops to walk the field path. We used up leftovers for a light supper tonight. I got perfume today that I ordered from Overstock. I’d gone to a discount fragrance place but found at Overstock I could get a bottle three times the size for the same price. It arrived today. This is one of my indulgences to have both a good quality perfume for spring/summer and another blend for autumn/winter. My tiny gardening efforts would make you all laugh, but there are blooms on my green beans plants (2 plants) and I have 2 tiny lavender stems up and one zucchini has poked it’s head out. I have six yellow pear tomatoes I’m waiting to ripen and 2 romas. The other things have been no shows or are dawdling in growth. I am counting it all as a learning experience.

  27. This week we worked in the garden – enjoying a few salads along the way. My grape plants revived.

    We were gifted with a very nice, large, expensive pool. My children are living it! We also have a pool expert that is voluntarily helping us with maintenance.

    My husband and I had a date night out using a gift card given us for our anniversary. It was our 20th. Since it was to a nice and expensive restaurant, that was a big savings.

    We didn’t really need groceries, but I used a pickup service for a few household supplies.
    Also had a library pick up service for some books.

    A great week! Enjoy this next one.

  28. I tried to post something this morning, but it told me my comment was spam. Not sure what happened. Trying again with a different email.

    Glad you were able to fix your oven. Joining in from Seattle area.

    A week ago Sunday I cut my finger with a sharp knife and had to go to urgent care. The closest one (3 blocks away) had a very long wait with a bunch of people in a small waiting room. I made one phone call and found another urgent care center 2 miles away with only 10 minute wait time. So my husband drove me there and we were in and out in 25 minutes. I didn’t need stitches, thankfully, they just glued the cut shut and bandaged it up. This was a major time savings, so I was grateful for that.

    Ways I saved in the past couple of weeks.
    – Bought three large bags of river rock ($18 total) for our patio. Home Depot staff helped me load them in my car. The patio looks so much better with another layer of rock. This improves drainage too.
    – Used many bags of frozen vegetables from my freezer. Made large batches of soup and froze them. Made meatballs to freeze. Purchased a bulk order of sausage from my local health food coop, which I packaged by two links and froze for future dinners.
    – Made rhubarb/blueberry jam from freezer fruit. Ended up with 9 half pints. It is delicious.
    – Bought a half flat of bulk strawberries (not cheap, but delicious). Ate a bunch and froze the rest.
    – Played Rummikub with my husband. Our local ice cream store is open for takeout, so we walked down there on a nice day and got some. It was the first time we had left the house together since early March.
    – Cooked an old package of meat from the freezer. It was fine but wasn’t too appetizing, so I cut it up and used it for fried rice. Tasted good that way.
    – Walked at a nature reserve. Worked out at home. Walked many laps around our condo building.
    – Used herbs and green onions from my patio garden.
    – My CSA started up for this year. Shared vegetables with my mom, and she gave me some apples.
    – Received a two year free enrollment in an identity protection company due to a past data breach.
    – Sewed some masks for myself, to wear at my work.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  29. My oven has given out too. It is a propane oven. My husband watched a youtube video and thinks he will try and repair it after troubleshooting it. We have been busy with the garden. Lots of greens to harvest as well as radishes, green onions and asparagus. I am looking forward to tomatoes. I bought chicken leg quarters for 49 cents a lb! Enjoyed a sunset with my son and husband this evening. We are entertained by my sons dog. I also enjoyed teaching my grandchildren. Homeschooling is fun for them as well. Borrowed books at the library for my grandchildren to read. I am looking forward to harvesting basil that has volunteered to grow. A couple very healthy tomato plants have also volunteered to grow. Pretty neat when plants reseed themselves! My other son came and picked asparagus. I am glad we can share some.

  30. Great bargains, Brandy!
    Our windows are refurbished and back in and now we have to fill, sand, and paint the trim and sashes. I’m painting the vintage doors, too. That will save a lot, even though we may not do as good a job as our painter.
    We had a lot of radishes and I found they taste great in a stir-fry or in soup. The bite goes away with cooking.
    I read on another blog that after you blend and strain nuts to make nut milk, you can add more water to the pulp and strain one or two more times to get all the “milk” out. We did an extra time and it worked. We save our nut pulp in the freezer and I made 3 batches of crackers from it.
    With all the rain we’ve been having, the sweet potato vines are out of control, so we used some for greens in a stir-fry. They were fine.
    It’s mango season here and I’m saving peels to make fruit vinegar. I don’t know if anyone has posted this site where I found the recipe, but I’ve found zerowastechef.com has a lot of good information. There are several lemon recipes, Brandy, if you have more peels than you need for lemon pepper.
    We went out for dinner for the first time on many, many months and sat outside with a friend. The portion on Pad Thai was huge and we brought enough back in our containers to make at least 2 more meals. I’ll add broccoli, onions, and celery, to the noodles. We prefer lots of vegetables with sauce & noodles for flavor, not just a lot of noodles.

    have a great week everyone.

  31. Those food prices are amazing! I don’t think I’ve EVER seen cucumbers or eggs priced that low, even as a child! Glad you were able to do some shopping.

    My frugal accomplishments this week:
    – The hotter weather recently has me craving ice cream, so I made Preservative-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream (http://approachingfood.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-swirl-ice-cream/). Another day I made vanilla ice cream for my husband.
    – Also this week, I made Skor Brownies, Alphabet Soup, and baking powder biscuits. I made Healthy Carrot Muffins for my work lunches for the week, and well as meatball sandwiches with leftover German Meatballs (with the exception of the biscuits, all recipes are on my website).
    – My sister dropped off some face masks she was able to purchase (as back up to our cloth masks) and I gave her a brownie (she declined more than one) as a thank you for her effort (in addition to paying for the masks, of course). As we are socially distancing, I felt a bit like I was doing some covert trade; I slid the brownie across the bench outside my condo where we met, and my sister picked it up and slid the masks across. And then we both laughed!
    – I cut green onions from my garden to use in biscuits and in potato salad, and my husband cut some onion tops as well to use in a dish he cooked.
    – Oh, and I gave myself a haircut! I have a pixie-ish cut, so I was able to just use my husband’s hair clippers on the longest possible setting to do the bottom and sides and then just scissored the top and bangs. Turned out great! We have more than recouped our costs for these hair clippers during this pandemic.
    – A question for the fig gardeners: I got a fig tree last year that was lovely in the classic long trunk and bushy top way and about 4-5 feet tall. It didn’t fruit last year as it was uncovered too late in the season (this is what the person whom I purchased the tree from told me). I was a negligent plant parent and didn’t cover while it over-wintered on our balcony in Toronto, Canada. I thought it might have died, as the twigs will snap right off, but there is a vague green ring in the branch when you look at it. Still, I thought it was pretty dead. But I just found green shoots coming from the base of the tree! Should I prune the tree to a foot above the ground or so? Or just let it grow as is? Or prune the green shoots? I know there are quite a few commenters with fig trees, as well as Brandy, so I thought I’d ask! TIA!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

    1. Figs are not grafted trees, so you can choose one of those branches from the bottom of the tree to be your new trunk. Prunt off the others and the dead trunk. Figs are amazingly resilient. I thought I killed mine multiple times in the summer when it was in a pot at my old house. I would miss watering and all the leaves would fall off. Now it’s in the ground and huge.

      1. yeah Brandi i had learned abt just how resilient fig trees are .we learned from our local nursery calloways here in tx had a planted a fig tree in a parking lot intersection n that thing was just huge with all the birds feeding off it. i mean it survived the worst place ever for planting in my opinion with all that concrete and car pollution n still gave fruit in abundance.

          1. My figs grow large with no need to thin them. I thin my other fruit trees, but my figs grow further apart and never need to be thinned.

  32. Brandy I am so glad you got some unexpected grocery bargains, blessings from a friend with produce and had cooler weather to save on water and electricity and had a wonderful date night with your husband and you earned it 🙂 .

    Our savings added up to $953.81 last week.

    As a lot of the stores are emptying of new clothing, shoes, underwear and machinery due to the affects of the pandemic I stocked up on quite a few things to last a while. We had one chainsaw that was on it’s way out so decided to replace it and have a spare too.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased 4 x 16 pce dinner sets on eBay on special for $20.20 each saving $115.20 over buying them locally. We have been running the set that we bought when we got married and they have finally given up 🙂 .
    – Bought 4 sets of leather high ankle boots for chainsawing in at super low prices on eBay saving $339.80 over buying them elsewhere. These will protect us from any possible snake bites too :).
    – Purchased 2 new chainsaws and saved $22.41 on prices elsewhere.
    – Bought more underwear on sale at Best and Less saving $45 on usual prices.
    – Bought more pairs of cushioned work socks on eBay saving $115.20 over buying them in stores locally.

    Firewood –
    – Cut another 2.5 cubic metres of firewood that we have stacked to dry for next year near our lean-to shed saving $375 over purchasing it in locally.

    An easier week planned this week to get a lot of needed jobs done around the home and taking a break from firewood cutting.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15

  33. Hello, I recieved a giftcard this week for the dutch amazon. I am thinking about buying a food dehydrater for some time now.
    But dehydrating food is not a thing that many people do in the Netherlands, so I would like to know some advice about Agood dehydrater for not to much money. I can look if they sell the brand here then. I also ordered some perranial vegetables, such as : perpetuel spinach, nine star broccoli, welsh onion, daubenton cabbage and red veined sorrel. That saves me money for not buying seeds.
    We have 2 weeks of of work next week, and instead of our planned trip to Sweden, we are staying in my sisters house not so far from our home. They have a large boat they live on most time during the summer. We do not need to pay for our stay, the money we now save is being used to redecorad our scullery (?) ( Where you come into the house though the back door).
    Stay save everybody.
    Greetings Tanj

    1. I got a Biochef dehydrator for a combined Christmas birthday present last year. It’s been great, because if I get an excess of vegetables or fruit I can dehydrate to make the food last longer until I get around to handling it. I dehydrated zucchinis, eggplant, potato, oranges, apples, and apricots last year. I also created my own onion powder and garlic powder that can be used in meatballs and other recipes, where you want the taste of onion or garlic, but not the texture.
      I’ve heard good things about the Excaliber dehydrator, but haven’t had first hand experience. The price of the Excalibur in Australia is also more than my family wanted to spend. I’ve found the dehydrator does heat the house up a bit, which wasn’t great in Summer but is lovely in Winter. Good Luck

    2. Tanja, we have a stainless steel dehydrator made in our region by a company called The Sausage Maker. I understand Excalibur makes a stainless steel model now, too, and repair parts for that company should be more widely available. Stainless steel machines are an investment in one’s health. The problem with (cheaper) plastic dehydrators is that heating plastic releases noxious chemicals, something most of us want to avoid.

  34. This week did not have anything out of the ordinary except for the purchase of clothing for me. When I pulled out my summer work wardrobe I discovered that due to weight loss many items were too big-Yay! However, that meant spending money-not so yay. Fortunately our county had some restrictions lifted and certain businesses were allowed to open so I went to a consignment shop. I spent just under $50.00 and was able to replenish my wardrobe with 8 pieces which 3 of them still had the original store tags on them When I brought everything home & checked retail pricing it was over $400.00 worth of clothes! I cannot imagine spending that kind of money on clothing. My job requires professional attire and I am fortunate to be able to purchase my clothing at consignment and thrift shops. I find many high end brands, it just takes the time to look. The funny thing to me is I receive compliments on my outfits & “style”. I say thanks & inwardly laugh because my “style” is frugal thrift store chic!

  35. It has been a great, frugal week!
    Major wins: my family now has much better insurance coverage. We are lucky to be very healthy, but our premium decreased from $1750/month to $400/month, and the deductible from $9000 to $6000, all due to employment change. This is huge! We didn’t previously qualify for affordable ACA rates, due to what is called the “family glitch” for those plans.
    On our way through San Antonio, I stopped at a produce co-op, where I bought an assorted produce box ($20; apples, peaches, broccoli, nectarines, oranges, pineapple, asparagus, sweet potatoes, baby blonde potatoes, lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, grapes). I also bought a case of 4 flats of strawberries ($20, 32#). I decided against the 40# box of bananas ($15), as I didn’t think we could eat or freeze them in time. I highly recommend River City Produce in San Antonio if anyone is local; I wish we lived closer!
    I found a forgotten small jug of laundry detergent that somehow was hidden behind some empty canning jars. One of my helpers must have put it there a long time ago, but I’ll take this nice surprise.
    I participated in two focus groups: a 12 day diaper study ($240, plus diapers), and then a one-time candy focus group reviewing different Reese’s products ($100, plus candy). Fun! I apply for a lot of these, but don’t usually get picked.
    I know a lot of kids do different camps and activities during the summer, but I’m looking to recreate some of those activities at home for my kids. There’s no way I can pay for a cooking class, but I can cook with my kids at home. My aunt is going to let me use her pool to teach one of my kids how to swim. I am hoping our libraries safely open soon, as I would love to get more reading material without so much screen time.
    We ate a lot of inexpensive meals, as usual.
    Hope everyone has a nice week!

  36. Hello!
    My frugal accomplishments are starting to sound a little dull; it is the usual stay home/no spending/no driving/ eating at home version of events! Our province is doing well in relation to Covid-19, but we are all being cautious and going out as little as possible.
    I was able to redeem some Swagbucks for a $10 gift card.
    My mother in law sent 2 big garbage bags of clothing for give away. I was able to score a classic little black dress, a blazer and some socks. The rest of the items were posted on my Buy Nothing Group and picked up from my front porch. From the same group I was gifted some cross stitch thread and fabric.
    I continued to work on some Christmas gifts I am making, using all supplies I have.
    My Jeep key fob indicated the battery was low, I have a push start so it was essential to replace the battery. I thought this would mean a trip to the dealership, but my husband popped the fob open with a butter knife and changed the battery out. He was able to use a watch battery he had previously purchased at the dollar store. Glad we tried the “DIY” method first!
    I was advised by my employer that my lay off was recalled, however, they could only guarantee me 6 hours per MONTH. I had anticipated this, and I have been on my “Super Frugal Plan” since my lay off in March. I have been working on a few side hustles to generate income as unemployment is very high in my area. I am also blessed to be a saver, and my husband does have some work now. I am thankful for this website for all the inspiration and support. Thanks to Brandy and everyone who contributes in the comments. Have a good week ahead!

    1. Kitty, I’m sorry to hear about your job loss; unemployment here is 33.5% in my city as of April 30th. I don’t know what the May numbers are, but a lot of casinos announced permanent layoffs for May 15th. I think there are a lot of people like you who are seriously underemployed now; I read recently of some airlines paying employees only 50% of their salaries. I know my brother was asked to work a week with no pay; they laid off 4 of the 6 people in his department and he is now expected to do their jobs as well. Underemployment is never counted anywhere, and that’s going to be a big problem like it was in the last recession.

      How nice to have a new dress!

      1. As I recall, your brother lives in California and it is illegal to make someone work without pay in this state. Although, I do realize he is probably worried about losing his job, but that stuff is unconscionable.

        1. They gave the employees a choice; if they wanted to keep their jobs, they take a week of unpaid vacation within the next few weeks. It’s small compared to the four others they laid off in his department, so he took the week–and made sure he didn’t answer his phone that week.

  37. Brandy, thank you so much for all the work you do on this lovely blog!! I ordered a small amount of household items on Amazon through your link. I hope that every little bit helps!
    Since the weather has warmed up, I’m making granola with my bulk purchased oats instead of eating oatmeal for breakfast. I used your recipe and it is delicious!

    I sold my 2 horses. They have gone to a good neighbor who will ride them on our local trails. Since my husband passed away the horses were not getting ridden and were just big pets to me. I loved having them, but I’m glad they will get more enjoyment out of life now! They love to get together with other horses on the trail! 🙂

    And since my farm now has no animals except my old barn cat, my grandson and I decided to get rabbits! I’m planning on raising meat rabbits. My husband and I used to raise them years ago. Our start-up costs were minimal. A male and a female rabbit, 2 cages, water bottles, feed holders and a 50 pound bag of feed. My son in law had a wooden bed frame that my grandsons had outgrown and he used that to make a stand for the cages inside the barn. He and my grandson put the cages together and set everything up. This is a good project for my grandson for the summer also! Now when these rabbits produce young ones, we will have a lot of good meat. If my grandson decides otherwise, we will have live rabbits to sell instead! Lol! Also the rabbit manure is like black gold for the garden! It doesn’t have to be composted, it can be put right on the soil!

    I am getting books downloaded to my kindle from Pixel of Ink and Faithful Reads. They send an email daily with book offers and I always choose the free ones! I have about 400 free books downloaded and I can read them on my kindle or my phone. This is through Amazon. Faithful Reads is Christian fiction and devotional books. Pixel of Ink has a little bit of everything!

    I enjoy reading what everyone does to help save money!

    1. D in Moneta
      Terri, you’re absolutely right about rabbit droppings being a good fertilizer! I raised rabbits years ago and when I fed them veggie scraps I had volunteer cherry tomatoes for years after in that spot.

  38. I went and purchased a few flowers and tomato and basil plants for our garden. I went in the morning; which happened to be when they were marking many of the plants on clearance. The squash and a few of my cucumber plants came up. From readers here I know I can plant new seeds so I did that for the cucumber seeds that did not come up. I am focusing on making sure we eat our leftovers. I bought a blender so we can crush ice and make our own fruit cycles and smoothies. We finally have the means for my husband and I to start replacing our privacy fence in sections. It has really been needing to be replaced for two years. My husband is watching you tube videos on how to do it. Lowe’s stores are low on supplies and we are having to go to multiple stores to get what we need.

  39. Brandy,

    It’s great your husband could fix the oven — it is also good you only run it for about half an hour on self-clean as it will last longer that way. It is the self-clean that wears out an oven these days. I do the same — also the temperature gets so hot that it is a worry to me.

    A friend picked up groceries for me. I got 15 cans of baked beans and of pineapple at $1 per can. I got some pectin — both regular and some for freezer jam. I got jar lids but no rims. (I’d asked for rims but my friend only picked up lids but I have time to acquire some rims). I got 2 bags of raisins for $3.49 each — they are huge bags. I’ll take some raisins as a snack tomorrow if I make it to my garden plot.

    A friend is going to drop off some N95 masks and gloves. Her sewer company has them. Then I’ll finally have hand sanitizer (made in a huge whiskey type bottle by our local brewery company), masks and gloves.

    My front loading washing machine had a problem. The clean water was backing up into the liquid detergent dispenser. I tried to see if the dispenser compartment would lift out so I could clean it but it didn’t. I did a load anyway. Prayed a bit. The problem resolved itself. I may run some vinegar through it to help it along.

  40. It is a beautiful day here. A volunteer bought bedding out plants — my theory is I only live once and I’m going to enjoy the garden and hopefully any hummingbirds that come along. I cannot get to my friends’ house who have 5 hummingbirds. There is a hummingbird down the street so I’m hoping it comes here. I’ve grown my own nasturtiums. I’m planting sweet peas. But still have a lot of pots. Some are growing veggies. Anyway, my volunteer who picked up the bedding out plants for me gave me a huge potted hanging basket as a gift! (I previously described how due to shortages I just basically told her to buy anything — I was very surprised with what came home but it is all pretty). It is interesting that none of my neighbours have thought to offer to pick up groceries for me but the strangers on the YYC free food delivery service have been so kind as have several friends. I am planning to have some sort of party for the YYC people as a thank you when covid is over. I try to ask my friends only rarely for expeditions so as not to impose on them. I will always remember covid days as kindness days. It really shows who the kind-hearted people are.

  41. I was able to grocery shop last week and picked up some BLSL chicken thighs at 1.49 a pound. I walked right by with bulging eyes at beef at 6.99 a pound.

    I said yes to a neighbor with an extra gallon of milk that needed to be used before expiration. I made cottage cheese with it to use in a dinner lasagna, reserving the whey for breakfast smoothies.

    On my local buy nothing FB page a member offered up 7.5 lbs of frozen organic vegetables to make room in her freezer, I gladly picked up from her porch.

    I rode my exercise bike in my garage 45 miles while my daughter walked 18 miles on the treadmill. Both of these pieces of equipment were acquired over the last few years from our local FB pages.

    My Husband and I had exercise dates last week, totalling 21 miles walked and jogged outside.

    I collected green onions, lettuce, oregano, chives & Rhubarb from the garden. I replanted seeds for several types of squash.

    I hope each of you has a wonderful week!

  42. Our dog is getting older and has accidents occasionally. I used our rug cleaner that we bought years ago that was on sale and I had rewards to Best Buy that Hubby had earned buying items for work. We paid about $50 for it. It has paid for itself so many times over. My daughter has used it every time she moved and several friends have used it.

    We used a gift card that we got for Christmas to get take out. It was a nice treat.

    Finally received our stimulus card. We deposited it to savings the next day.

    I have been making iced tea with all of the tea bags I have. So many of them were free from hotel stays from my sister’s work travels. I also had gotten several boxes that were going to be throw out because they were expired. They taste wonderful to me. I didn’t put sugar in it since we all like it different. Everyone makes it the way they like it.

    Hubby and I have been going on bike rides and walks almost daily since the weather has been beautiful.

    We have been enjoying the fire pit a lot this year. We have roasted marshmallows several times. All of the wood is free. When I see wood in front of homes I stop and grab it. Hubby cuts it up. My daughter and I collect sticks from the yard and put them into crates. We use cardboard toilet paper rolls with lint in them as fire starters. The ash from the fire pit goes into the compost bin.

    I made another batch of dog food. My daughter made a batch of doggie treats. She used coconut oil, peanut butter and bananas. She put them into flower shaped molds and put them into the freezer. The dogs love them. Great for hot days.

    I cut up a bunch of paper bags. I use them for fried foods. I keep a gallon bag of them ready so that no one grabs paper towels.

    I made another batch of simple syrup.

    I harvested kale, swiss chard, strawberries, mint, rosemary and lettuce. I am done buying lettuce for the summer. My garden should be able to provide me for the next few months. I froze a gallon bag of kale, otherwise everything else was eaten. I cut up old pajama pants that were beyond repair to use as ties for my tomato plants. They are all tied to their poles now. We netted up the grape vines. There are so many baby grapes on the vines. This will hopefully be our first year getting grapes. We planted them 3 years ago.

    We have been watching out meat intake since meat prices are much higher right now. I made lots of beans instead which we all like too. I did tacos with half a pound of ground beef for 4 of us and I did a double batch of pinto beans so no one was hungry. I made a chickpea salad that I put on top of a garden salad instead of grilled chicken. We all loved it. I grilled 1 chicken breast that I sliced very thin and got 5 cutlets out of. I made sauted kale with northern beans, garlic, oil and pepper flakes as a side with baked potatoes. I only severed 4 0f the 5 cutlets. The men usually have 2 cutlets but they happily had extra kale and beans. We had burrito bowls with the leftover pinto beans, rice, crushed chips, salsa, lettuce and cheese. We ate well this week.

    We cancelled our Airbnb that we had reserved for our daughter’s wedding. It was a large house because extra people were going to be staying with us. Now that it is just the 4 of us we got a much smaller and cheaper place. We were given 100% refund. My youngest daughter’s boyfriend offered to stay at our house while we are gone and take care of the dog and gardens. He was originally coming to the wedding. I canceled the dog’s boarding. She will be much happier at home. I insisted on paying him so it will still cost me but this will be much easier for me.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

    1. Your meals sound like ours! Since the oven went out, we’ve been having grilled chicken a couple of times a week ad bean burritos at least three nights a week. No one has minded at all!

      1. I started feeding the kids beans since they were young. They request beans often. If I go to long between making a favorite bean dish they beg me to make it. I make large batches of beans in the crock pot and then freeze them into smaller servings. It is so easy.

        1. My children love beans, too. But when I was a child, they were only on the menu as baked beans a couple of times a year. Now they’re a regular part of our diet!

  43. Brandy, what beautiful blackberries! I am looking forward to ours – they’re just blooming here, and strawberries are starting. I’m tickled for you about your amazing grocery deals! It always gives me a huge lift when something like that comes along.

    This week was a fairly normal frugal week. We
    *ate at home, ate up freezer, made homemade breadcrumbs for some recipes
    *made homemade tortilla chips from corn and flour tortillas. I ran out of corn and the stores didn’t have any, so I tried flour ones, thinking the kids might put up with them. They pouffed up like huge balloons and were a huge hit. Isn’t that fun when the frugal thing becomes their favorite?
    *made lots of french toast to make space in the downstairs freezer before our 1/4 beef comes. We’re sharing it with a few households and counting on it for our meat for later, but I’ve never had that much meat arrive all at once before. Anybody else buy large amounts of meat like that and have any tips for preparing beforehand?

    *enjoyed an evening of quiet when my husband took all the kids for an evening drive. Best productivity thing ever! I gardened for an hour and got so much done, and then did a bunch of inside jobs that required concentration. They got to see the ocean, which they miss, and I got to defragment my brain.
    *Using our toy library in the basement. The kids are being really creative about what they want to bring up and use. They’re saving cardboard to make a matchbox car race track. Glad they inherited the gift of frugal fun.
    *Traded some baby raspberry plants for a pair of boys shoes with a neighbor
    *read some books to my small boys and added sound effects from our piano and some kids percussion instruments. Talk about frugal magic! These were books and instruments we already had, that had already gotten boring to the boys, but did they ever make magic this time! Same book, four times, just so they could perfect their sound effects. I’ll never read “Thunder Trucks” the same way again!
    *found a wide basket in my stash and added a pair of old kitchen shears. Now I have a lovely basket for cutting flowers to arrange. It sits, ready for use, and makes me happy. I’ve been saving old glass jars from food this week, filling them with roses, and giving them to neighbors (with gloves, sanitizer, etc).
    *recalled the joys of calling friends. What a beautiful thing it is to be able to keep in touch still. So gratifying to call a friend and find they needed a lift, which they got from your call.
    *visited my mom’s garden and took rose cuttings to root. Let’s see how I do this year.

    Thank you all for the wonderful ideas. I hope you have a good week.

    1. We get a 1/4 beef every fall from a local farmer. It used to be a half, but so many of the kids are grown now. Our farmer has already contacted us, saying that they are having an extraordinary amount of interest in beef this year, and if we wanted ours, we needed to say so and they would save it for us, otherwise… My biggest bit of advice is to clean off at least a shelf and a half in the freezer, if you have an upright. The amount of room needed varies from year to year, according to the total weight of the beef, but it takes at least that much room. Then, I arrange it by cut–ground beef in one area, roasts in another, steaks in another, etc. That way I can keep track so I can ration it out so we are not eating all the hamburger up right away, etc. When I tell the meat market how I want it cut, I always insist on 1-lb packages of hamburger, even if I have to pay a little extra. In the past, some places balked at doing that, but if I allowed 2-lb packages, it was not usable for us, since we stretch meat out, not just eat piles and piles of it at each meal. The place we get it processed now does not charge extra for that, but the beef seller chooses the meat processing company, not us. Right now, I can make a 1-lb package go for 2-4 meals, depending on I’m cooking . We always ask for soup bones, so if I’m really struggling for room, I make huge pots of broth and can it from those bones. I guess I haven’t been struggling for room lately…I’ve still got lots of packages of those in my freezer:(. I use my broth so much more if I do take the time to boil those bones and can the broth rather than wait to boil it on the same day…I’m just busy a lot.

      1. Becky – how kind of you! Thank you so much for the tips. They will be very helpful. We’re in Boston, and the farmer’s in Michigan and selling online, so it’s quite a mystery. I’m looking forward to the tasty results though. I hope they send bones – the broth sounds delicious.

  44. I am always so inspired by the frugal tips here. Our last couple of weeks have been busy. Our daughter hit a deer with her almost new car, totaling it, so it’s been time-consuming to deal with insurance and hunting for another car. We are so thankful she wasn’t hurt.
    Many of our frugal activities have involved the kitchen:
    -We made homemade spreadable butter
    -We made homemade granola
    -We made banana muffins from overripe bananas
    -We pre-cooked chicken and hamburger for the freezer to save time on meal prep

    In the garden we used items we had to make trellises for tomato and green bean plants. We organized a storage space of garden items.
    In our house and storage sheds we are decluttering big time! I am donating the unwanted items, rather than trying to sell them. It is going to take me a while to get everything sorted and I don’t have anywhere to keep things for a yard sale. I am hoping whoever finds the things at the thrift store will be blessed.
    Details of our last couple weeks are on my blog: http://thebudgetinggranny.com/savings-and-goals-journal-6/

  45. I bought my son a portable projector from Amazon that connects to his phone and he’s able to watch movies on the wall of his barracks and his monitor.I paid $90 for it and it projected about an 80 inch screen on the wall.The quality was pretty good..not as good as tv but good enough. Read reviews so you don’t get a pixilated one. They had several that were less money. Too

  46. Great prices Brandy.
    I found 20 0z coconut cheerios at the dollar tree. Picked up 4, you can’t beat cereal for $1 per box. Cooked up some rhubarb and apples for a great alternative to applesauce, m m good !
    Is $ 6.99 a good price for 12 pint jars including the lids and ringss?
    Have a great week?

    1. Great scores. I got the blueberry Cheerios last year for that price. They had no limit. So I bought one to try and we liked it. I went back and got more. Check Ibotta there could be a rebate.

  47. Living frugally from Portland, OR:

    I’ve had nothing but trouble with the self-cleaning option on my oven as well, and no longer use it. In fact, we went through the same issue as you and also ordered a part after watching a You Tube video. It makes me sad because I was really looking forward to not scrubbing the oven down myself when we purchased it.

    – In Oregon we can return bottles and aluminum cans for 10 cents each. We don’t buy many bottled drinks but save them when we do and get them from neighbors, etc. I will even pick them up when I’m out – much to my teenagers’ chagrin. I returned $15 worth at the grocery store last week and immediately put it towards my grocery bill.

    – The weather is still cool here, but I’ve started hand drying our clothes after washing. My wooden drying rack broke and is unrepairable and I was going to buy another one, but I’ve found enough shelves, lines, etc. just off our laundry space (and near a large window) that I may not need to. Plus we don’t have near the laundry we usually do since we’re still in lockdown here in Portland and still not going to work, school and sports.

    – My garden has a ways to go, but I’ve been harvesting lettuce, kale and spinach daily for meals and salads for my lunches. I love it! It’s so nice to skip those aisles in the grocery store! I’ve also been eating refrigerator oats with strawberries from my garden each morning. I’m not a big hot oatmeal fan but I do love those cold oats with berries for some reason!

    Also, I bought a bucket of Kroger ice cream at half price to make strawberry (from our garden) milkshakes to celebrate the end of this very weird school year.

    – I made my brother ‘Portland Timbers’ (MLS soccer) face mask for his birthday.

    – I cut my husband and both boys’ hair. I’d never cut my husband’s hair and I was afraid of making a mistake but he was desperate for a quarantine haircut. It was actually quite easy and we decided I would do it ‘every other haircut’ once quarantine is lifted to save money.

    – One of my kids wasn’t wearing some sneakers his abuelos had sent him. I get pretty annoyed when things go to waste, (especially gifts sent by well-meaning grandparents who don’t have a lot of their own money) but instead of getting mad at him, I tried them on and they fit me just fine, so they’re mine now! I also washed a few other pairs of sneakers and bought new laces for them to try and keep them in good shape a bit longer.

    – I baked cookies for my mom in exchange for more puzzles to borrow (we’re still in the lockdown puzzle stage).

    – My oldest son had a medical emergency in our home that required a ride to the hospital in the ambulance a couple weeks ago (he is ok now). I don’t always keep the kids insurance cards in my wallet but I did have both his first and secondary cards in there that particular night, so I was able to just grab my wallet and ride with him. We are starting to get all of the dreaded bills and I was so relieved to see both insurances billed correctly, which is minimizing our expenses (so far). I was so busy/exhausted after the ordeal the last thing I wanted to do was to have to get on the phone to try and figure out insurance, so it was definitely a good lesson for me to make sure I have easy access to my kids’ cards and other pertinent info at all times.

  48. SO paid my Cc debt finally. i cannot tell u how satisfying that is to catch up. we have always wanted a simpler life both my hubby n i but being here in corporate america n trying to make some sort of life off it so our kids could have a good exposure n education is our phase now. ideally we both would love to live in a place like seychelles etc. perhaps we are thinking with a “ the grass is greener on the other side” outlook-time will tell. i did add some other categories to our savings going fwd… we do have to save for our kids’ weddings as its done culturally with us aside from a basic college education if they r going to take that route. its a lot but if u have a nos written down then it becomes actionable.
    i have saved by cooking all meals at home . my garden is giving me onions n micro-greens. my bro-in law asked me to surprise my sister with a online baby shower. it has taken me time to switch on my creativity grey cells but got the invites made today online and an itinerary as well for the zoom party. the worst thing is i think i sent the invites for approval n a lookover to my sister instead of my bro-in law. haven’t heard an update from them n am afraid to ask. lol.. i also sent my bro-in law a shopping list for minimal decor from Amazon which he can reuse for other occasions as well. i have marveled at how i have gotten custom simple birthday banners for both my kids n have reused them for their parties time n again. the kids remember that if a theme has been long-forgotten. its good to be that resourceful event-planner again.
    we saved money by eating less meat also n having rice with veggies/curried n/or fish. we also r discouraging both our kids from overdoing milk n soda. Drink more water is my motto plus both kids have some aversion towards milk consumption with increase in eczema n asthma flareups.
    my mom is a science / food science teacher for the last 40 years. i got her to give my son classes everyday over zoom for science. it should be review but he’s not good with science at all. i know they rn’t learning much compared to wat i did in the British curriculum at that age. its ironic as he is in a charter stem school here in texas. it helps that my mom has a better hold on the topics than me.
    my best wishes to the other readers here. have a lovely week.

  49. This week has been a mix…as it always is. On the one hand:-
    I swapped some of my home made cucumber relish and a mint plant I had for a package of turkey wings and 10 hamburgers.
    And I managed to replace my car battery myself, so I saved $50.00 in getting someone else to do it. (The car battery itself cost $175.00).
    The frugal fails, isn’t so much a fail but a concern. I’m a contractor and my contract finishes in end of August. There have been numerous scarey newspaper articles about Australia entering a recession (2 consecutive negative growth quarters) and that jobs will be hard to find. I’ve been contracting for about 10 years now without a problem, but I’m worried I won’t be able to find a new contract and may experience some unemployment. However in the meantime I will continue to save frantically so that I’m covered in case the worst happens. This forum is great for encouragement and wisdom.
    Be well folks

    1. Jenny,

      They decided to declare a recession here after only one quarter.

      I read an interesting article about half an hour ago. It was a survey showing how many people were affected by income loss as a result of the virus in the U.S. by state. My city has the current highest official unemployment number at 33.5% unemployment.

      The survey shows my state as having responded with 63% of people affected by income loss.

      I always say the real number is higher than the official number (unemployed or self-employed who can’t claim unemployment for one reason or another as well as those who have hours or pay cut in order to keep their jobs) but this is HUGE. Here’s the article; the charts are the interesting part: https://www.yahoo.com/money/coronavirus-american-households-112418231.html

      I think it would be good for us to all keep saving where we can.

      1. 63% is a HUGE number, and I know that you guys are suffering worse than us in Australia generally, and me specifically. 🙂 I truly hope and pray that things (COVID19 & economically) get better for you all. I am upping my savings and trying to avoid any unnecessary expenses for my specific worst case scenario.

        1. It’s really big, isn’t it? It will be interesting to see how things go, moving forward.

  50. Hello Brandy from Cyprus. We have been watching and really enjoying a British series called “Poldark”. It is really good. I hope you can find it on Acorn TV. Regards.

    1. Hi Maria!

      I have seen several seasons of Poldark as it was aired here on the Public Broadcasting System several months after airing. I did not see the last couple of seasons, however. It may be on Acorn, though. I did note that Foyle’s War was on there. I have seen all of that show, but it would be worth watching again.

  51. Both my husband and myself enjoy your blog and the supporting, informational comments as well! Thankful for this community. We are both currently unemployed. Even prior we were fugal. This new normal has us stretching our already present frugal “muscles”. This month so far we have found a way to enjoy “iced coffees” utilizing instant coffee crystals. We take them with us to a nearby park where we stay in our vehicle to watch dogs enjoying their off leash romp time in their dog park. (We love dogs!) I think is now a new normal…I cut dear hubby’s hair. Saving about $22 a month. Also planted cilantro from old seeds i had, which are growing nicely in pots near the house. Harvested rosemary, bay leaves, thyme and blackberries. My pineapple guavas are setting up fruit. Maybe the squirrels will share with me?? 😉 Started my daughter’s garden with several recycled 6pack plastic planters of spearmint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, thyme, wild strawberry all growing abundantly in my yard.. All started using home made soil/compost blend thanks to my chickens and rich soil on the property. We have too much shade now for the pumpkins and melons i used to grow. The redwoods have taken over the sun exposure. Saved about $50 burning all my private documents (2years worth) and junk mail, then adding them to my compost. Have a great week!

    1. If you use them, parsley, Swiss chard, green bunching onions, and lettuce will grow with only a few hours of sunlight a day (as little as two). That might be an option for your shady area!

      I love your idea for junk mail!

      I also like your date idea! It is too hot here to sit in the car for a short time without the air conditioning running, but in fall that would be a nice option!

  52. Sarah B. -We’ve been getting 1/2 a steer for many years. Most butchers will have it already wrapped and frozen so all you have to do is load up your freezer. Expect it to take up a lot of freezer space. (Of course, that all depends on the size of the steer and your freezer.) Half a steer usually fills most of our upright freezer but is the only way my family could afford to eat cuts of meat like steak and prime rib. One of the things I do is to sort the packages by cut of meat and store them in a container in the freezer. I have had more than one frozen roast fall out and nearly hit my foot. I simply purchased several inexpensive plastic containers that I place on the shelf of the freezer. ($1 each at the dollar store) A cardboard box will also work. I might not be able to “cram” as much into the freezer but I was willing to sacrifice a little space to avoid a trip to the doctor! ? I also suggest labeling the outside of the container for quick reference. Good luck!

    1. Kim – I totally know what you mean! Falling frozen meat really hurts! And big containers of stock, always smashing and then leaking. I started doing stock in bags. May I ask what you do? Thanks for the box idea and labels – that sounds very wise. Like the sort of thing I would have figured out the second year after wishing I’d done it all the first year:). Many thanks for the help!

  53. In the past few weeks we were gifted with some food from our daughter in law. She works at a restaurant and was able to share cheese bits, kiwi, cranberry and apple juice, 2 lemons and a 10 pound bag of potatoes. I tried to dehydrate the potatoes, but most turned black. The directions in my book said to steam the slices. I do not have a way to steam so I improvised. I guess it was not successful. There was a very small amount I kept. I realize I could have kept all of them, but no one would have wanted to eat black potatoes. Lesson learned.
    *I did the usual hanging laundry out, eating from the pantry, garden and freezer, used the elibrary, used my car just once a week and made heart healthy meals slipping in beans when possible and substituting less expensive ingredients when I could. I use applesauce to replace oil or eggs all the time when I bake. I use it in brownies, cakes, muffins, tea breads, etc.
    * I used rain water and water from the canner to water my plants in the garden and in pots.
    *We were able to keep the a/c off most of the last 3 weeks. We did have to run it a few days last week due to humidity and being in the mid 80’s. That’s hot here in the mountains. Honestly, it’s the humidity that gets me.
    *My husband cut his own hair, used his motorcycle to go to work, and did several home maintenance projects. He saves us a lot of money taking care of repairs on the cars and house.
    * I earned $20 gift card and used it to buy a few things to restock the pantry. I only paid $2.30 OOP. I have spent very little at the grocery stores. I had also earned a $3 reward at the local store and used it to buy cabbage and batteries. Very little out of pocket.
    *Walked for free exercise.
    *Crafted with my grand daughter using things around the house and yard. She is very creative. We made up a game where we took turns drawing a line on a piece of paper. The other person had to create something from the line. We used the one piece of paper and in the end had a gr at picture which we then told a story about the things on the paper. The activity was alot of fun. I have no real drawing ability but it was fun to watch her create things usng her artistic ability.
    *We walk to the bus stop to pick up the weekly lunches the school system provides. She chooses what she wants to eat that day and I send the rest home with her.
    *We used our military discount at Lowes to buy mulch. We used a little of our stimulus money.
    *We paid extra on our mortgage. We are very close to paying it off.
    *The biggest frugal accomplishment was we were able to get most of our money back on our summer trip. The wedding we were going to has been postponed until next summer. This actually works out better for us as my husband had very few days of vacation this year due to his heart attack in the fall. Next summer he should have 3 weeks of vacation so we are planning on driving out west for the wedding giving us time to explore a few other places along the way. The only thing we were not able to get back is the cost of our return tickets. American Airlines will only give vouchers. We had no problem with Delta with our outgoing tickets.
    *Bought peaches and strawberries on sale and made strawberry jam with my 6 year old grand daughter. I taught her mother how to can peaches.
    *A note to the reader about preparing for beef delivery: We buy a whole cow every year from a local farmer. The processor/butcher flash freezes the packages. I organize the cuts in dollar tree bins in the freezer. I also share the meat with our 3 adult children throughout the year. I am hoping the farmer does not have to raise his prices this year. I would not be surprised if the processor does. He raises his prices every year as he has very little competition.

    1. Just in relation to the potatoes turning black in the dehydrator this is due to oxidation and there are a number of different ways to stop that from occurring.
      1. Lemon juice or vinegar on the peeled sliced potatoes before going into the dehydrator. (Tried this and it works.)
      2. Blanching the peel sliced potatoes before going into the dehydrator. (Tried this and it works.)
      3. Sodium bisulfite diluted in water and then on the peeled sliced potatoes before going into the dehydrator. (Tried this and it works.)
      4. Adding salt can reduce the levels of oxidation and therefore colour. (I’ve not tried this one.)
      5. Some folk use a crushed vitamin c tablet (I’ve not tried this one.)

      Fingers crossed for you.

    2. Hi. I had the same trouble with potatoes my first time. An easy fix. Boil the slices for 2 or 3 mins. Run under cold water. Then dehydrate. No problems.

  54. I went outside to look at the plants. Something (a mouse? squirrel, hare, or deer) had very neatly cropped off all the leaves
    of the little harebells in the pots. Fortunately they will grow back and it’s early enough they can recover. Although the creature uprooted the jiffy sevens with the nasturtium seeds in them, it did not eat the sprouting seeds so I replanted them. I found some wood trellis sections which I will lay over the pots to protect the plats for a while. I’m hoping the deer don’t come and crop off the lower pear blossoms. It is a great sunny day for the pollinators so I am hoping the cherries and pears get pollinated today.

  55. Marley, I thought by law in the U.S. that AA has to refund your money-maybe google that or try to get it back from your credit card company if you charged it. Good luck.

    Early this a.m. I went for a quick drive to the mountains and was lucky enough to spot a grizzly bear crossing the road in front of my car-stopped to watch and photograph it for the few minutes it was in sight. Always a thrill for me. And well worth the few dollars in gas.

  56. Yes I was Ann-I live on the west side of town so it is a quick trip for me-what part of the city do you live in-as you seem to have quite a bit of wildlife around you.

        1. I figured you must be close to me! So we’re almost neighbours and you have lots of wildlife there, too. Have you ever seen the wild orchids at Many Springs, BowValley Provincial Park. It is a tradition that I go see them each spring and they are probably at their peak right now. I won’t be able to go this year as I don’t drive so can’t jump hop in my car and go alone. Nor can I go with a friend…! If you go, bear spray is highly recommended. I was just reading the bear reports for there and there’s a lot of bears…

          1. I just went there for the first time yesterday-did not see bears although signs were posted. Saw some wildflowers-but no orchids although I am sure they were there somewhere.

  57. Thank for all that you do keeping this blog going every week. I finally pay off our credit card. I took the money out of saving the card had a lot of my husband medical bills. On to the next loan. We are trying to get new to us car over next few months my husband has a hard time getting in and out of my car. Great deals on your grocery I really miss getting deal on anything, but we are doing okay have food. Thank again for all that you do and I really look forward to reading your blog and reading everyone comments.

  58. I don’t normally comment, but I cut my own hair for the first time! I have thick wavy long hair so never considered it an option, but finally decided worse case when salons reopen I’ll need it fixed. It came out fine! Better than fine! I even put in layers.

    Harvested lemons and strawberries in the garden. Found my favorite soil/amendments for half the nursery price at a landscaping supply. Trying out cilantro seeding every two weeks in a container hoping it won’t bolt. Regrew green onions from grocery ends and let a few go to seed to have on hand. Always water very early or late to conserve during the heat. Got tomato plants at the high school ag sale this year for $2 and coaxed a cherry tomato to overwinter. Cut Italian parsley from the garden. Was gifted several plant pots from a neighbor.

    Found bread flour from a local bakery selling curbside that actually saves me the gas cost of driving to the mill hours away. After teaching all my friends that suddenly want to bake bread, pulled my starter out and made sourdough loaves allowing me to space grocery trips further apart. Learned new slashing techniques to add a design. Bought razor blades to slash in the hardware section saving over half price than the beauty aisle.

    Used the phone app flip to compare store sales before shopping. Prices are definitely higher and sales fewer, but most items are back in stock.

    Got a new to me toaster oven free from Craigslist as mine finally died.

    Made a chocolate pie from scratch with pantry items. Also, lemonade from frozen ice cubes of juiced lemons from my tree.

  59. Maybe not a “savings” but a shift in finances – instead of the nice vacation I was hoping to go on, I am using some of the money I budgeted to make some house improvements. I purchased a few plants to redo my front flower beds. Doing it myself will also save a lot of money. My daughter helped me fix a few things around my house that I couldn’t accomplish by myself. I purchased bulletin board packs for my classroom at 75% off. I picked up some beads for my side business for up to 70% off. Someone at school cleaned out their supply closet and gave away all the things they didn’t want. I picked up some decorating items, metal pails and candles for free. I went to the grocery store for the first time this month. I didn’t see any amazing deals but the meat was well stocked. A family pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts was $1.99 which is much better than it was a month ago. Hoping next week will be more productive as far as saving money. Have a wonderful week everyone!

  60. Brandy, On the Acorn, sign in on your computer then keep clicking through to watch show…eventually it will list all the episodes and you can hit play from there. Blessings, Holly

    1. It worked! Yay! Thank you so much, Holly! I think I’ll still need to sign in on my phone through the RB digital app to check out the Acorn pass each week as it expires after a week. I was able to watch last night on my computer!

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