We harvested artichokes, parsley, green onions, Swiss chard, lettuce, tomatoes, and lemons from the garden.

Our elderly neighbors had their first garage sale in preparation for an upcoming move. We helped them with it, bringing over our tables and my parents’ tables, setting it up, making and putting out signs, and listing it in several Facebook groups online and on Craig’s List. They had never been to nor had a garage sale before, and they earned $600 before the weekend was done to use towards their moving expenses.

My parents, who live around the corner, came over and helped too.

We both tried to buy a few things from our neighbor’s sale, but she wouldn’t let us pay for them. My parents received some potted cactus that they had long admired as well as some potted succulents. My mom received a couple of blouses.

I received a potted succulent, a dresser that I put into my closet (I swapped a cabinet with three drawers and doors into her sale), some mini muffin pans, a pump, a couple of large glass storage jars, and a vase.

Red Drift Roses

I met two readers this past week. One came to the garage sale. Another came with her family after camping for three weeks. She gave us her leftover food and ice, along with a propane camp stove, some propane, a large plastic storage box, and a cooler. We gave the stove to someone who is starting to work on preparedness (we already have a propane stove). The ice went on the grass, and we enjoyed the leftovers. We will use the other two items.

My husband used the gas points for April to receive 70 cents off per gallon of gas.

We had a simple birthday party for a son. We had brownies with cookie crumbs and gummy worms on top along with some ice cream. He had three friends over and they played outside on the trampoline, on the merry-go-round, and the swings. It was really easy and I don’t think his friends missed that we didn’t hang up decorations or have party games or goody bags; they all wanted to stay longer to play at the end.

Earth Angel Rose

The high winds that have continued for over a month have kept the temperatures lower than normal. I was able to hold off on turning on the air conditioner until Friday, which is a couple of weeks later than usual. I continue to open the windows in the morning to cool down the house.

Fair Bianca Rose

On May 1st, we are permitted to water more days a week. I only added one extra day for now and will only add more days as it gets hotter, saving both money and water, which is so important in our dry climate. I also adjusted my irrigation clock to water earlier, as it helps reduce evaporation–and is also the law. Watering outside of the assigned times and days will result in fines.

What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. Just 3 days after I cut spinach, lettuce and kale from the garden, , one of my daughters came over and I cut another batch the same size as the first photo and was able to add some Sis’s chard as well! It’s now been 3 days since that and I will be cutting another batch to again fill the basket!! The rain we’ve been having has really been a joy for my garden!! This week will be warmer and dry, so I will plant some more thins in the garden, especially now that the final raised bed repairs are completed!!

    Hubs discovered that if he goes to Lowes nearest us early on Monday morning, taking the trailer, he can get several bags of soil, amendments and mulch for half price. Apparently, with all the customers on Saturdays and Sundays, many bags get broken. Our trailer is getting a real work out and is proving it’s value to us!!

    I gave away over 25 strawberry starts that I had left over from overwintering in my veg garden in plastic cups. This was after I found new places in my yard to plant over 70 starts that I had overwintered. Those 70 plus the others I already had in containers and beds are currently blooming and I’m hopeful that we will get a nice harvest! I have 9 designated strawberry beds that have been filled! It was a joy to share the extra plants with family and friends! Seeing the prices in the garden centers locally, I know we could have sold the extra starts for a tidy sum, but it really felt good to share freely!

    Quilt #248 is one that I chose the pattern, picked out fabrics from my stash (no real yardage, just scraps of each fabric). Then I sewed up the quilt top and quilted it on Lenni, my longarm machine and this is what I got:! Not bad for scraps, imo! I will bind it today and it will be ready to gift to my daughter for her wedding in 3 weeks! If I had bought the fabrics for the quilt top, it would have needed over 20 yards! It also would have cost almost $200 for the quilting (at my standard quilting charge.). So I saved $400 easily by doing it myself and using what had on hand!

    My friend who alerts me to clearances at her Krogers also volunteers as a “food soldier” locally which means that she delivers donated food to low income individuals/families in need. It includes many kinds of food, including fresh produce. She, sadly, has had experiences where people tell her that they really don’t like some types of produce and refuse it. So she has to take it back. They also run pop-up food giveaways that she works at which run for 2-3 hours. Sadly, at the end, there is often a lot of perishable food left over. This is not highly blemished or rotting food- just produce that no one particularly wants. The managers of those popups have no way to hold the perishables afterwards so they have let her take it home. She then tries to distribute it among friends that might use it. She called me and brought over (7 large) cabbages, (2 heads) cauliflower, (8 pounds)sweet potatoes and (10 pounds)apples! We called a student couple who are expecting their first baby, a one income family with 6 children, a single mom with a teenage son at home and shared some of this with them! We also sent them home with fresh eggs from our chickens. They were grateful and we still had enough cabbage to shred and make into 60 egg rolls, 16 runzas and a big batch of cole slaw! With leftover sweet potatoes, we are making sweet potato fries using our clearanced air fryer we got at Krogers for $20! And Hubs eats cauliflower every day so we kept both heads!

    It’s kind of shocking to me with the cost of food, the shortages, etc, that there is still so much food that would otherwise would be wasted! This same friend of mine told me that she saw over 20 dozen cartons of eggs in the locked dumpster at her Krogers and when she enquirer was told that those cartons each had 1 egg that was cracked or broken, so their policy was to dump the whole carton (that still had 11 untracked/unbroken eggs)! Dumpster diving is not allowed there and there is a lock to make sure it doesn’t happen. I don’t know if I would dumpster dive, but it just is a real shock to see the wasted food, especially in these times!! 😱😱.
    I have recommitted myself to minimizing food waste here at home! We have a good compost going on here for the garden and our chickens tend another “compost” system where we feed them food scraps into a recycled sandbox that we cut the bottom out of. They eat the scraps, we add a bit of soil, they scratch around in it (basically turn our compost over and helping it break down) and within a short time, we have a rich, uniform compost! And the chickens give us eggs (4+ dozen a week) and compost for the garden too!! They earn their keep! I saw this poster from 1918 about chickens- I know it’s not possible for many people who would like to, so we are really grateful that here in the heart of our city, near Downtown Columbus, Ohio, that our local government has been forward thinking enough to allow it legally with a permit!

    We have eaten homemade beef and bean burritos that we had in the freezer, so I will be bulk cooking/assembling more today. They are so handy to just take out of freezer and heat up!
    I was going through my pantry inventory and saw 7 half gallon jars filled with Minute Rice instant brown rice that I vacuum sealed 4 years ago. I thought I would probably need to empty the jars but at least I would have the jars to reuse. At the last minute, when I opened the first jar, I cooked up a small amount. I was shocked that it was not ransom and tasted perfectly fresh! So I added some as a side dish to our teriyaki pork loin I made in crockpot!

    As I look at the way some people are trying to stock up and be more mindful of what they can do, I am grateful that we have implemented habits over the course of many years, a little at a time, that help us feel at peace. It has been fun to discover all those new ways to save money and become more self reliant that you and your readers have shared!
    I now make my own pie crust and ricotta cheese!!
    Who knows what new ideas you will all give me this week!! Thank you, Brandy and your readers for all the encouragement and inspiration!! It means the world to me!!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. If distribution of the leftover perishables gets to be too much she might check into food pantry fridges. Memphis is nearest city to me and during pandemic some volunteers set up fridges in different spots of town just for perishables and restaurant leftovers. They are really being used and continually stocked. If your friends Kroger is near a big city they might also have these pantry fridges.

    2. Dear Garden Pat – what a good thing that your friend and you have done – passing along all that food that would have gone to waste! The egg situation is shocking – why can’t common sense prevail? A broken egg is one thing but couldn’t the other have been repackaged or at least sent to a food pantry or soup kitchen? I know that the store needs to protect themselves but it just seems such a shame…. Your chickens certainly do earn their keep! My sister was telling me today that my niece is thinking of getting chickens for the backyard – she has a few acres so plenty of space for them. I think my sister is a bit nervous as she and my BIL have a house on the same property and she has a feeling that “grandma” may end up on chicken duty (and even though she has lived in the country “sort of” for many years) she is a city girl at heart! 🙂

      1. Margie from Toronto- We lovingly refer to our hens as “chickens from the ‘hood” because we are smack dab in the middle of the city with old Victorian homes that are all placed close to their neighbors! Our “girls” adapted quickly to the sounds of the city- ambulances driving by with sirens blasting as they drive to the hospital that is 5 minutes away, fire engines, police cars, City transit buses and school buses all going down our street. Nothing phases them! Lol! They bring us a measure of joy (along with nice compost and fresh eggs! 😉)!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    3. Kroger stores have “Grade B” egg cartons with their name printed on them. The cartons also say they are “medium or larger” eggs. All of the ones I’ve bought have been large…and larger! Why your friend’s Kroger does not do this, I can’t say. Our local Fred Meyer, which is owned by Kroger, sometimes packages the good eggs from cartons where one egg has broken as Grade B and sells them for about half-price. (Grade B eggs are not lower quality eggs). It is true that they are not supposed to sell cartons of eggs where there has been a broken egg, but our state (and I’m sure many others) allows them to repackage the good eggs as Grade B. Maybe it is illegal in Ohio? Fred Meyer doesn’t do this consistently, though. I would guess that it’s easier to throw away the eggs than to repackage them. Not saying it’s right, but it’s probably the reason.

      1. Maxine- Doesn’t seem to happen here, although you are across the continent from me! In all the grocery store chains I’ve been to here, I’ve never seen eggs sold as Grade B with assortment of size, etc. Maybe it’s just an “out West” thing. 🤔🙁. Interesting.

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    4. GardenPat – I love the chicken poster and have seen similar ones many times. I have had chickens all my life and can’t imagine living without them but am saddened that they are illegal in many communities. In the past, chickens and gardens were a normal part of everyone’s life even if they lived in town and, of course, many towns had communal grazing areas for dairy cows and other animals and beekeeping was much more commonplace. I am puzzled by HOAs and other legal restrictions that prohibit vegetable and fruit gardening, composting, chickens, etc. I know we can’t turn back the clock completely but I can’t imagine why a community would want to outlaw the very things that make people able to care for themselves and their neighbors. I guess I just don’t think that chickens and gardens are “unsightly” or “lower property values.” In fact, town and suburban neighborhoods have enormous potential for being very self-reliant due to close proximity of others and communal spaces. Perhaps a silver lining of these times will be a reimagining of what constitutes a healthy and thriving community or neighborhood. As much as I love my rural life, I know it is not desired or practical for everyone but everyone should have the right to take care of as many of their most basic needs as possible. And now I will step off my soap box! 🙂 Thanks for getting me thinking (which can be a dangerous thing!)

    5. I had fun trying the ricotta cheese recipe you shared! I think I saved about $1 over store bought, but the enjoyment of making it myself is an added value for sure.

      1. Emily- Besides the savings, I was happy to know that because I have milk, white vinegar and salt here in the house that I can make ricotta cheese without having to leave the house!! One of the reasons I love to store “ingredients” !! That makes my pantry more versatile!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. I gave the recipe to my DD who love ricotta and she’s been making lots and shares it with me. She likes it on a slice of bread with a bit of honey on top.

          1. Patsy- That’s great to hear!! I’m glad someone else is enjoying this recipe too!!

            Gardenpat in Ohio

            1. I’d love to see that recipe, too. I’ve been busier with the outdoor chores and haven’t been able to keep up with reading comments recently!

    6. I know with one of our Kroger stores here, they do not have the staff to do markdowns like they used to. This store, although always hiring, hasn’t been able to find enough staff.
      I’m sympathetic, but I understand. It would take a lot more time to repack, reprice, and reshelve eggs than it would to discard them all, especially when the store is running on a skeleton crew already. I miss the markdowns, but I understand they have to prioritize the more essential tasks.

      1. Katrina – Thank you!! I hope she loves it, too!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  2. We also had high winds in storms two days, and pea-sized hail with one of them. Though a few plants were broken, thankfully nothing in the garden was damaged. Last week, I harvested asparagus, kale, parsley, cilantro, mint, lettuce and nettles. A batch of nettles was dehydrated, and a jar of glycerite was started with the other batch. Oh, I did also begin picking peas, but only two, three and four pods at a time so far. Banana peels were chopped and dug under a rose bush. I’m enjoying The Forest of Vanishing Stars from the library. I’ve begun spring cleaning my studio. Some things were set aside to give to our GD, and a box of things will be donated. Winter and summer clothes were swapped out. Plantings last week included lettuce, parsley, cilantro, mullein, and black hollyhocks. I also transplanted volunteer sunflowers. I cut the last of the butternut squash in storage, kept one bag out for a squash crumble, and froze the rest. I hope all the Mamas had a lovely Mother’s Day.

  3. Here in north central Texas we have had a lot of hot, dry wind plus a drought also. (How I loath hearing the wind howl at night when trying to go to sleep.) I thought of Brandy when I saw the metal armillary sphere on the Downton Abbey series. In Downton they often show the sphere in the garden near the abbey. Hers looks very similar.

    1. My urban foraging has been fruitful. I found a garden hose on the curb in my neighborhood. Then I found a pair of metal patio chairs in another location. They need to be painted as they are faded. I gave these to my sister. She needed both for her backyard.
    2. I cleaned out drawers & donated clothing to a local mental health hospital (for the patients).
    3. My friend gave me a pouch of laundry detergent pods as she did not like the scent.
    4. My sister gave me a pr leather of sandals she never wore & a box of generic Raisin Bran.
    5. My husband cooked a large pot of greens from his garden. I don’t care for them but he likes them.
    6. I made a large pot of chx veg soup with ingredients on hand for my dear friend who had back surgery.
    7. I took some unneeded hygiene items to the food bank.
    8. I took some pet items to the local humane society. They use old towels to bathe the animals. Old bath mats or small rugs can become a pet bed.

  4. I hope everyone here has had a wonderful week. What beautiful delphiniums! I have never had any luck with them…but I will continue trying! It’s cold and rainy here, so not much gardening is happening yet.

    Last week was definitely not frugal–my dishwasher died. Yes, the one that is less than 4 years old and cost over $150 to repair the door about 8-9 months ago. This time, it doesn’t drain. We don’t do dishes every day during the first part of the week when DD is living with her other family, and it was a real stinkeroo when we discovered it. DH had a liquid transfer pump, bought on a whim at Harbor Freight for about $10 and never used, and it was just the ticket to drain the unit (I had to breathe through my mouth the whole time).

    We decided to replace the DW because we can see the handwriting on the wall. (Don’t forget the microwave! Both of these were General Electric, and don’t forget that either!). My son has a digital membership for Consumer Reports and he gave me his log-in to compare machines. The top 21 highest-rated machines are all Bosch or Thermador (made by Bosch). Yes, the entire top 21! And the #1 rated machine is the cheapest $649 Bosch machine. (The more expensive models wash the same but have more features). Needless to say, these are hard to get. Lowes, HD and Best Buy are all out of stock, but a local store was able to get one from the warehouse in Spokane and we will have it Tuesday (now to get it installed). I am so bummed by appliances. In addition to the GE microwave and DW, my 4-year-old Maytag washer periodically quits mid-cycle and has to be reset! (My last Maytag went 29 years without a repair). So, this time, I did something I have never done before–I bought a 5-year extended warranty for $249. If we don’t use the warranty in 5 years (haha), we get the total amount back in the form of a non-expiring store credit. I figured we can’t lose…but I’ll bet we do, LOL. Modern appliances are crap!

    I bought $85.94 worth of vitamins/supplements using the OTC benefit of my Medicare Advantage plan. I have United Healthcare, which gives me $175 in benefits every quarter on a prepaid debit card. I can use it at retail drugstores and take advantage of sale prices–which I did. We are set for about 6 months at $0 cost to me.

    I saved about $11.50 on a tank of gas with .70 in fuel points. I will no longer receive big fuel points because I am no longer taking the expensive osteoporosis drug that gave me the discount. (I’ll miss the fuel points but not the meds). Today I saw that gas in my community is $4.24 gallon–the highest it has EVER been.

    1. I hope your Bosch lasts for you. That’s the one that flopped for us and I don’t want to buy that brand again now. We always avoid GE for the same reason.

      1. Yep! I wondered if I should have added that for your benefit, but decided….naw! LOLOLOLOL

        Brandy, I had a Kenmore at our vacation home that was made by Bosch. I didn’t like the way it loaded, although in the 6 months that we lived there full time, I got better at it and liked it better. This one loads better. I don’t have very high hopes for ANY dishwasher (why I bought the extended warranty) but I figured Consumer Reports testing was my best chance (but not a guarantee) of getting a reliable machine.

        Now that we are dinging GE, I recall that someone else here (Julie in CA?) had terrible luck with a GE stove. Wish me luck–mine is still working!

    2. I have had washers that are electronic and they go out quickly. I bought a used machine that has dials and no digital. The mother boards go out quickly on the digital washers.

      1. Our appliance repair man told us unless we had a whole house surge protector most of our appliances will die in 4 yrs. Just because we don’t see or acknowledge the surges, our mother boards do. I had my propane stove repaired twice and clothes washer twice. Our electric company did come out and did some work (we are on the end of the line) and gave us a credit on our electric bill (totally unheard of) We got a Siemens FS140 It protects from EMPS and CME lightening through Amazon. Our electrician had to install it, he gave us a discount as he was looking for what to buy also.

    3. I bought a Speed Queen washing machine as it is made in the US, all metal parts and has a 25 year!!!! parts warranty.

      BTW my Bosh dishwasher is over 10 years old and still works like a dream.

      1. I gave up on the low water washers too. Nothing would get clean. Ended up having to use warm water or wash it again. We bought a Speed Queen and love it. I can wash my Queen Bed Spread in it. Stainless steel tub, parts made in USA.

  5. you’re having weekly birthdays lately 🙂 Glad you are able to celebrate each one and make them special.
    ***I went to Sam’s to stock a fee things and get gas for $3.66. Gas has ticked up after that so I am glad I am full and don’t drive much. I got a rotisserie chicken and made chicken salad for lunch, then used a stove top stuffing I got on clearance at Aldi and made a casserole with the chicken, stuffing g, cream of chicken soup, and broth. I had three cup portions to freeze. I froze the carcass and put water in the container and fed the dogs the “broth”. I will use the container for a greenhouse. I picked up Boston Butt and boneless loin for $1.99 each. and used half the loin and the Boston B to make canned 6 pints spicy pork, which makes carnitas, 5 pints Pulled BBQ pork. and 8 pints pork and gravy. I got a package of drumsticks for $.99 to portion out and freeze.
    *** My husband power washed the porch and patios, cushions, grill grates, and trash can.
    ***I rescued my husband’s shampoo from the trash can. There is a good 2 Tbsp in the bottom. I don’t fight it anymore, he is a product of his mom and thinks it ridiculous to worry about that amount. So when his new bottle is used a little more I will put in his new bottle. I have added water to my shampoo and have washed 4 times already.
    ***We stocked 5 gallon jugs of oil for our cars, enough for the year.
    ***We went to Lowes to get cattle panels to trellis mu tomatoes along the back fence. I don’t think what we got is cattle panels. It is a 100 foot roll of 6 foot wire grid. We had T posts so put them in front of the fence and attached the wire stuff to the tposts. We planted my two cherry trees in the large pots on the back patio. And we planted 4 blueberry bushes. We surrounded them with wood stakes holding black netting to keep the dogs out..
    ***We went to eat after church at a great Mexican restaurant. My son gave me a lavender topiary plant. My daughter gave me a Sedum plant. The others called and have sent things but they haven’t come yet.
    ***My daughter loves a quilt I made so I went to Joanns and used coupons to get a Grey material as the background squares. I am planning to make this for my daughter’s birthday.
    ***I have stocked freezers and panteies, so I just try to add to it each week. I added a large container of oil, 6# spaghetti noodles, 4 boxes shaped pasta, Raviolli, Canned tuna and Chicken from Sam’s, dishwasher pods, 2 cans pumpkin ( not pie, pureed pumpkin I can use to bake with), Bisquick, peanut butter crackers for camping.
    ***My daughter drove an hour and a half to take her state Dental Hygiene boards. I made her a goody basket to encourage her, she was so nervous. I put cookies, goldfish crackers, Pringle, take 5 candy bars, smarties, hostess cups, and a Starbucks card. I went in the dollar store to pick up some items and they had Frosted Flakes with cinnamon basketballs in a buggy for $.25. They expire next month. I got one box to let my husband try. He said they were OK, but not worth going back for more.

    1. Holly, cattle panels are rigid 16 foot long wire fence sections. Depending on the height of the panel and spacing of the wires they’re intended for cows, hogs, goats or a combination of different animals.
      But, they have 101 household uses, I’m arching some hog panels between raised beds to trellis tomatoes this year.

    2. Sounds like you got horse fencing that comes in a roll. Might be a bit stronger as horses mess up fencing more than cattle. We used cattle panels though Hubby wishes he had used horse fencing on the one side of the pond as when our Amish neighbor puts his horses there, they played with the fence so we got a solar electric fence. Works well.

  6. Gas was $3.69 in college town to $3.99 two hours away from college town. It will go up soon bc of Memorial Day, I think. Had a huge rainstorm last week and it washed my car. I took a washcloth after storm and rubbed the car down. The mulberries are starting to come in, and I will spread old sheets under the tree this afternoon. I bought ground beef on sale at Target for 20 percent off of $3,21, and made hamburgers, lasagna, spaghetti, hamburger rice the last couple of weeks. I washed out my court suits in the bath tub and dried them inside. I am stocking up on ketchup, soy sauce, mayonnaise, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, etc. I bought fresh squash at the farmer’s market when I went to walk by the river. I bought spinach, strawberries, and cheese the last couple of weeks also. Groceries are high but I continue to not eat out, and bring my lunch every day to save money. I bought bananas at 49 cents a lb and take one to work every day. My air is still off despite it being in the high 80’s, 90 on some days. My child mowed my lawn with a lawn mower he bartered for.

  7. We went to our son’s for the Mother’s Day weekend. He took me to 2 Goodwills in his town, as per my request. One of them was having a half off everything sale. I got 3 new shirts and my husband got 4 new shirts, all were needed additions. We ate every meal at his house (including ice cream treats) . He loves to cook and I prefer food made at home. I picked out a potted flower that I can plant at home rather than cut flowers that will be thrown away eventually. It was a lovely weekend.

  8. Very beautiful pictures Brandy. Last week I canned free produce I was gifted.. corn, carrots and potatoes for my pantry. My peas and green beans are sprouting beautifully. I planted more seeds today green beans and cucumbers. I found chicken leg quarters again Saturday 49 cents a pound bought 40 pounds to Can and freeze. My dogs get a quart a day of these so it’s more economical short term to just freeze some for them but for our long term storage I Can these every chance I get as we only eat poultry and fish. We continue to get free DVD movies from the library and enjoy watching them in the evenings instead of the news. We are investing in a second DVD soon for husbands bedroom he has cancer in both hips and it helps him to lay down instead of sitting up so much after working all day and then coming home and sitting in his office chair. We have a small couch in his room that I can sit on while watching movies with him.

    1. Dear AnnaInOhio,
      I am so sorry your husband is ill with cancer. I admire his courage to keep working through this and your support of him.
      I hope someone from a bye nothing group or free Craigslist gifts you another DVD player.
      Prayers and blessings,
      Elizabeth H.

  9. The drift roses look so regal in that urn. I’m glad you were able to help with your neighbors.
    For Mothers Day we made tea cup gardens using old mismatched tea cups, moss from our yard and divided succulents and trinkets from our homes. The only oop expense was charcoal to add to the soil. We served light bites and homemade rhubarb cake with fresh whipped cream. The cream was free.

    I tried a vegetarian Rueben sandwich – the meat was swapped with an avocado. Delicious! The meat was not missed.

    Gas prices are still rising every other day. My only driving is to my parents so I have been trying out the food and other stores along that drive to save on needs.

    My sister in law brought over 2 Clematis and some ground cover from her yard that are very appreciated.

    Hope everyone has a calm week!

  10. Your garden just gets prettier and prettier. That delphinium is the most beautiful shade of blue.
    It gets harder and harder to come up with interesting things to write about here. So much of frugal habits are little things we do all the time without thinking. But, writing it down helps me appreciate the little habits that add up to a lot.
    The weather warming up means fewer fires which saves wood and more laundry hung outside. Nothing like the smell of bed sheets dried in the Spring sunshine.
    I planted tomatoes and basil in the garden and started some more lettuce seeds. We filled our two newest kitchen garden beds with downed limbs to nourish the soil, absorb and hold water and to reduce the amount of soil required to fill them. My boys had fun searching through the woods for the biggest branches and sawing them up to fit. All the other garden bed inhabitant are growing by the minute. We had strong rain and hail over the weekend. Fortunately, we read the weather report shortly beforehand and rushed out to cover all the beds. It helped to save all that hard work and all the plants came out just fine.
    I cut up old T-shirts to use as rags.
    One of our toilets required a new part. My husband researched online and discovered he could get the part delivered for less money than it would cost to buy it from the nearest hardware store not to mention the gas to drive the 20+ miles to get there. We have found this to be true most of the time and know it is just part of rural living to heavily weigh the fuel costs of shopping. We do try to support local merchants whenever we can but, sometimes, the wallet makes those decisions very clear.
    I sold $45 worth of items in my neighbor’s antique shop booth and gave her more things to sell. I am very grateful she allows me to do this as every little bit extra helps.
    All the plants a neighbor gave me last summer when she was redoing her garden are growing beautifully. When I stop to think what I would have had to pay for all those divisions and cuttings, I am amazed. Sharing plants is just one of the ways frugality makes life better – I have a more beautiful property with proven, healthy plants and a stronger relationship with my neighbor. Can’t beat that!
    My family gave me two blueberry bushes for Mother’s Day. I love practical gifts that keep on giving year after year.
    Good sales in the grocery stores are few and far between anymore. Walmart seems to be the best overall in my area with some exceptions. I did find evaporated milk at a good price as well as 4lb. boxes of pasta so those are now in the pantry adding to our feelings of security.
    My oldest son was paid by a neighbor to weed-eat his grass. Our children have all had paying jobs with us, family and neighbors since they were small (picking up pinecones for a penny each was their first job) and continue to save 1/2 of all they make. I hope this will become a lifelong habit.
    On the reading front, I am deep into the world of “Lark Rise to Candleford.” I have had this on my list to read forever and am not sure why it took me so long. Very much my kind of story and I am enjoying it immensely.
    Wishing everyone a lovely week!

    1. I will look for Lark Rise to Candleford. I just finished The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan which you may have recommended so thank you if you did!

  11. Hi all,
    I am trying to stay home as much as possible to save on gas. It helps that my husband is busy with work and we only have one car! Making the most of trips out of the house and waiting to go until I have multiple things to do in one area.

    Started using the flashfood app again. The Meijer near me has had some great produce deals via the app. I got a box of 24 bananas for $3 (12 cents a banana which is good here) as well as a box of oranges for $4. My favorite is when they have mixed boxes so you get a little of bunch of things. I’ve also gotten baked goods which are probably cheaper to make but this is such a hectic time for us I am thankful for the bargain! The app is all over the Midwest but I looked and it isn’t in Vegas–maybe one day! If you want $5 free after your first order my referral code is CORE2EJJV. I hope that is allowed Brandy!

    Also trying to make more meatless meals. Just ordered a 1/4 cow to split with my parents so we end up with an 1/8th. Hoping to make it last a year. The farmer we buy from has raised his prices twice since the new year and probably will have to again bc his prices are rising so much.

    Have a great week everyone! I hope to do a lot of work in the garden this week.

  12. I so enjoy all the photos of your lovely flowers, Brandy. We had a quiet week here doing usual things. Mother’s Day was lovely. My hubby got me some potted plants for the front porch and a bouquet of cut flowers. My son got my gift at a garage sale, which I loved as much as the actual gifts. My other kids gave thoughtful gifts. I went to the cemetery to place a small bouquet (gleaned from the one my husband bought me) on my mama’s grave then after we got home, there was a surprise Zoom with all my kids!! That was the best having everyone together, even if it was just on Zoom. I got another delivery of library books, which I am so grateful for. A friend loaned me three of her books to read too, which was kind. My daughter’s family is coming in two weeks, for a two week visit, so I made a master “to do” list to keep me organized. Part of me wishes I could hire a cleaning lady, but, if I break all the tasks apart and start now, I’ll be able to hopefully get the house ready. I realized my freezer is pretty full, so I only did a small grocery order this week…I need to start using what I have so I don’t lose any of it. Sometimes I forget it’s not just about stocking up, but using up also. I try to print some pictures every six months or so to keep my physical photo albums up to date, so I did that. I use the shutterfly app. With the app, 4 x 6 prints are free and you just pay shipping and handling. So I did that and added 42 photos to the album for a little more than $6. I finished another lap afghan for the nursing home. This one used up five skeins of yarn donated to me. I feel good that I’m working through all that yarn. Other than that, a quiet week. Hope everyone here is happy and well. Have a peaceful week, all!

  13. Happy Mother’s Day, Brandy and any readers that celebrate! We had a quiet day on Saturday to celebrate me – my husband helped me work on the two spare rooms now that the kids are both moved out. One will be an actual spare room and one will be a sitting room/library for me. We are using furniture that we already have, and we are purging things we no longer need, including 42 books that were donated to little free libraries in our town. After that, my kiddos came over, and we had dinner and a game night – just what I wanted!
    My husband has been keeping an eagle eye out for markdown meat at the grocery store, and he found some good deals this week. Three packs of BLSL chicken thighs and 2 packs of beef tips for much less than regular price. We share some with our grown children, and the rest goes in the freezer. It takes much less to feed us now that there is just the two of us, which we are still getting used to!
    I made a (if I do say so myself) delicious beef roast last week in the crockpot and had a quart of yummy broth and left over meat to put in the freezer for a future meal. I used carrots that I had cut up for my girls weekend for snacking on that didn’t get eaten.
    A frugal fail that made me mad at myself – I forgot to put up leftovers from our Mother’s Day dinner. Grrr

  14. I finally ended DSL and am, given mom’s $90/mo landline bill, thinking of going with OOMA or MagicJack or ????. It looks like for OOMA, the break-even time would be about two months. Comments, cautions about VOIP? We have a new set of mobile phones that have an effective call blocking feature (based on Amazon comments) so we basically need reliable, solid local and long-distance calling and 9-1-1 access. I turned my month-by-month purchase of Amazon Prime into a year-by-year purchase, saving $40. Given we are almost housebound, giving up Prime is not a consideration at this time. I ordered mom an apartment-sized fridge yesterday that will be about $535/plus tax, just under 14 cu ft which from experience in my former apartments, I know will be just the right size for the two us. To fit a standard 18 cu ft or larger refrigerator in the kitchen and be able to open the door fully, we’d have to take out the cabinet above it. The old dinosaur’s gaskets need replacing, an expensive job, and it is too large to open the doors entirely, which makes cleaning the bins a giant puzzle problem. And the door is cracked so one shelf has to be duct-taped in place bur my “fix” occasionally fails. The smaller refrigerator might still await assembly in China but since the old one is still keeping its cool, a wait of a month or two is not a problem. Its estimated energy cost is just $40 a year.
    I don’t think Medicare could be any more complicated than it is. My agent steered me to what is not the optimal Part D plan for me. Since I have one more form to sign and since I know a more expensive plan with the same insurance company will actually be slightly cheaper given my current needs, I am trying to see if I have to wait to change it given that coverage won’t start for more than two months. For slightly less than $2/day, I added $3000 of combined dental/vision/hearing coverage I learned about on Youtube, network totally optional and not required. 60% coverage of many things in year one, 70% of everything that will ever be covered in year two, and 80% coverage after that with a $100 deductible. I am facing a lot of dental treatment so I went with $3000 instead of $1500 or $1000. I won’t be able take full advantage of the coverage in year one but I can afford enough copays to at least break even so I will be ready for years two and three. I now won’t need to head to Mexico or to a sliding scale clinic. Getting $3850 of dental/eye/vision work for $1670 sounds like a pretty good deal to me. My Supplement Plan B comes with a lifetime premium reduction because I am living with a other person on Medicare now even though she has group coverage through another company. (Given that my dad retired in 1973, it has to be a very tiny group.) Speaking of dad, it is amazing how much mail regarding Medicare Advantage.plans he has been getting this year. Crazy. The weather outside is beautiful now and the fruit trees are blooming. One long winter that might finally be over….. Happy spring to you all in the northern hemisphere!

    1. We had ooma for many years and loved it, saving us quite a bit. We did have to replace the device once, as it had wore out, but that’s it! We did port our number, which was an extra expense. We only got rid of that system because everyone in our household aged into a cell phone (with emergency calling features).

    2. Hi, Holly,
      I’m new to medicare. I figure if you can understand even a fraction of what’s going on, you’re in a better position than the rest of us. I tried to get good information, too. But, i also don’t feel i did when it comes to the dentist, eyes and ears. The pages and pages and pages of information is mind boggling! After it’s all said and done, i’m not sure what ‘tier’ i’m on anymore. Good luck!

      1. I’ve been dealing with my mom’s insurance for seventeen years. It technically is not Medicare Supplement Plan F (It was a corporate retirement benefit.) but it seems to offer her the exact same coverage and I love the tiny bills that show up for her. Manhattan Life Dental/Vision/Hearing coverage seems to be quite straightforward. I learned of it from Chris Westfall’s Medicare Youtube videos. I’ll really know how good my dental coverage is in about 18 months. I’ve been on Expanded Medicaid and while they offered good but limited benefits on paper, finding a dentist in the network for adults was, um, interesting. There were two practices nearby and one had horrible reviews. While on Medicaid, I needed a crown which was not covered and while the dentist I went to the week the filling fell out charged no more than the University of Michigan Dental School, it was more than I could afford. I then learned of the existence of sliding scale dental clinics and that there is one in Pontiac that did not have a strict geographic area it served (I don’t know if that is true for all such clinics). The office was lovely, like any other dental office. The supporting assistants were dedicated and competent. I had to pay no-markup prices for the crown (and I think some other Holly-specific supplies) but the actual work was discounted based upon my income. But then the pandemic came and with a very elderly person in the house, I was too scared of Covid-19 to make more appointments when they reopened.
        Mr. Westfall believes Medicare Supplement Plan N is most cost effective now and in the future but I am terribly risk adverse so I signed up with a Plan G Supplement instead. I want to minimize surprise bills when I am sick and old and to have as few bean counters as possible between my doctor and me.

  15. Hello!

    —I received several nice offers in the mail last week, including a $10 reward to a local grocery store as a “thank you for your patience “ of their ongoing “remodeling” of the store. I earned 8% back at the same store through Get Upside, and also earned store loyalty cash, and 3% back from our credit card. I saw that as a good opportunity to get gift cards that I needed to purchase anyway. I also received coupons in the mail for a free container of Talenti gelato, and a free Entemann’s product of choice, among other coupons. I had a couple of free food product offers in my Target cartwheel, but they were unavailable in the store….kind of a letdown.

    —I purchased my kids school uniforms for next year at a significant discount. A few of the items have backorder dates several months out, so I can’t imagine what it will be like in the coming months. I also found some clearance school supplies at Menards.

    —We have had such erratic weather in my area, that gardening efforts have been frustrating for me. For the past several days we’ve had such extreme wind that some of my plants snapped, including a cucumber plant that was starting to fruit. We went from extreme rain, to extreme heat. I’ve moved some containers inside. I do have lots of beautiful flowers that have been unaffected, so I’m thankful for that!!

    —Our library was offering free kids books (to keep), thanks to a donation from a local corporation. My kids were excited to each get one.

    —Used the rinse/spin-only cycle on the washing machine for some clothing that was only slightly dirty. I pretreated some spots beforehand.

    —I’ve been using the sealing feature (only) on my vacuum sealer to make small packets of toiletries, etc. for an upcoming trip. I’m not a fan of disposable packaging, but this approach really frees up a lot of space in our travel bags. I also made peanut butter packets.

    Have a great week!

  16. An easier week for me personally. I was able to reduce arthritis pain with a combination of extra rest, a soak in a hot bath, staying away from many stressful videos and news stories and a smaller to do list. Overdoing things physically, stress and wet or cold weather are the worst triggers for me.

    I ordered a pair of linen pants (trousers) from Land’s End at 30% off and free shipping. I couldn’t find the exact fabric or waistband I wanted, so I will have to look further, since I need at least one more pair of pants..

    My grocery budget is used up for the next two weeks, but I have got everything I hoped to and then some in my shopping plan for the month. This morning I bought four lb of lean ground beef at $3.98 a lb (Can $), a very good price for beef here. Normally I would divide this into one lb packages for the freezer. This time I will make half lb packages, and then stretch the meat with oats, lentils or mixed vegetables, depending on what I am making. I also bought mini Magnum ice cream treats at $4.98 a box. I am not very good at making these last, but maybe I am strong enough to wait until we have some hot weather. Last year their regular price was $7 or $7.50, but this year the price is $9.96! There were other flavors and regular sized Magnums on the shelf, but I got the last two mini Magnums in my favorite flavor. Celebrating the small victories.

      1. Yes! It turned out the regular price is still $7.50 a box (Can $), but they are still very pricy.

    1. Elizabeth, I went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota last August for a second opinion on whether to have surgery for scoliosis and to discuss the severe arthritis in my back that wasn’t getting any attention from the docs because they were more interested in the scoliosis (Mayo did not recommend the surgery, at least not at this time). The doc gave me this handwritten list of medications and treatments for arthritis IN ORDER of the amount of relief for the most people. If one doesn’t work for you, try the next one down.

      Medications–Aleve (naproxen is the generic), especially when taken at night; Voltaren gel (available as generic, usually on the shelf beside the Voltaren); Rx gabapentin if you also have issues such as sciatica. Treatments–chiropractic, massage, acupuncture. Heat and cold also help. Exercise: core strengthening and stretches; injections (if and as prescribed).

      In my case, the two most effective treatments for me have been weekly chiropractic adjustments and one naproxen (generic Aleve) taken at bedtime. (And, of course, hot baths!!). I am now a lot looser in the morning (when arthritis hurts the most) and my pain level is down at least one full notch (on a scale of 1-10) on a regular basis. Voltaren does help, but it’s thin and stays wet on my back, so I don’t usually use it unless the pain is really debilitating. My insurance pays for most of the chiropractic. It does not cover massage (which I occasionally have) or acupuncture (which I have not tried).

      I am not a medical expert, but I followed their recommendations. I am not pain-free, but it is a lot better. Incidentally, the reason they suggested taking the Aleve at night is because I don’t toss and turn as much at night and wake up with less pain…plus if I take it just before bedtime, I get up 7-8 hours later and it’s still effective for another 4-5 hours in the morning when arthritis pain is the worst.

      Mayo Clinic has a book called Mayo Clinic Guide to Arthritis and the Cleveland Clinic publishes a monthly newsletter called Arthritis Advisor. Both are excellent.

      1. That’s all very helpful, Maxine. I get the best relief and fewest side effects from a single ibuprofen every day. It makes sense taking it in the evening, though, as you say. I think I will try that. I usually have it under good control, unless I encounter multiple triggers at once and ignore what I know about managing it. I can get away with one trigger but not two! I’ll check the reading too! Thanks for the ideas. It takes a village, sometimes …

    2. Ask your gp if you can add a small dose of magnesium. My arthritis has been greatly relieved by doing so. Apparently 65% of North Americans are deficient in magnesium. Don’t take it without asking your gp first.

  17. Last week was a nice week. One highlight was DS’s job offer and acceptance of a full time position with regular hours and good benefits. We will probably need another vehicle soon as DS and DH’s hours would require me to get up at 4:30 A.M. five days a week which would get my sleep schedule way off.

    Some things cooked were turkey and spinach casserole, meatloaf, vegetable meals, and breakfast sliders.

    I bought some different meats on sale at Food Lion and repackaged them by meal/s with the food saver to save space. I precooked some items and froze as well. I am more able to get the Food Saver out several times a week than I was last year which is wonderful. We had talked about getting two other outlets near the longest counter a long ago, and I think now may be the prefect time. I could cover and store the Food Saver where it is being used more frequently again.

    I saw a surge protector in DS’s room that wasn’t necessary. I looked around other parts of the house and found several more that weren’t needed (outlet close by) and gathered them all up. We talked about the energy wasted, especially with the ones with lights. Our water bill has been down two months in a row, and I gave a “Yay Team” at the table after dinner to let them know we all win when a bill goes down.

    I will be working outside 15-30 minutes a day from now on to weed, trim bushes, and catch up on some bench painting, etc. that didn’t get done last year. DS and I did 30 minutes the other day before it rained the next few days and I was pleased with how much better that section looked. The dirt we got at the beginning of last year evidently had some weed seeds in it. I used my tool to get them out, roots and all. As I was working I found some azalea starts and a pin oak that I planted in a large pot for now. I was so happy that I found the dogwood came back up that DS accidently cut down with the weed eater last year. I need to get it replanted so that won’t happen again.

    All the flowers and trees look so fresh and beautiful this year. I guess it is from all the rain we got the winter and spring of last year. I gave tall arrangements of rhododendrons to two of my neighbors and visited with them for a while. I told them to left me know if they wanted more if the rain didn’t beat them up. I think one actually wants some cuttings the way she asked if she could wander though and get some flowers. I told her she was welcome to or call and I would get what she wanted.

    We went to a Goodwill store close to where we walked that day. We found new leather belts for men for $5.99 and $3.99. DH and I picked out a couple extras for him and DS. I also found one for me in the ladies section for $1. I also tried on some shorts, tops, and a blouse. I am on the verge of going to a lower size so most things didn’t quite fit in the lower size. I did find a nice top. I will go back another day and look through the larger sizes and alter them if needed to get me through this summer. I am going to work harder on the core exercises to get where I want to be. I am finding that the changes on meals I am making have had a positive effect on me; a bonus! I saw a bread machine for $3.99 and asked for return details. I can return it within a week if it doesn’t work. I may get it when I go back.

    Have a wonderful week!

  18. Love this! My son is working with the local Land Bank here in Michigan (they take abandoned city lots and turn them into community gardens and green spaces) and they had extra apple trees! They were $25 each, and I bought two. I was nervous I’d overpaid until they arrived. They are huge! The tags showed a retail price of $65-$70 each! So excited to get them in the ground and harvest year after year.

    1. Hooray for your trees! And for the Land Bank gardens!

      The Granny Smith I purchased several years ago at WalMart on clearance finally has blossoms this year, (I got a Golden Delicious a few years ago at Tractor Supply to be a pollinator). I knew in theory that apple blossoms have a lovely scent, as it was my favorite Avon perfume when I was very little and had one bottle from a gift. They do smell very nice in real life.
      Now if I could just get the squirrels to stay out of my flower pots, I would be in good shape. I sprinkled cheap red pepper flakes on them to see if that deters them from digging there.

  19. Hi Brandy and everyone
    How nice to be given some things from your neighbour’s garage sale as a thank you for your help. Your son’s birthday party sounded lovely too.
    Our youngest daughter has been home on annual leave and she has been my money saving buddy. I need a new pair of sandals and couldn’t find the Skechers design I like ( I have tricky feet) and all their sandals seemed expensive. She very quickly found a site on the internet which had exactly what I wanted at less than 50% the usual price. I also picked her brains because I will be replacing my mobile phone soon but don’t want to spend a fortune, she has given me lots to think about and research and I will discuss it with her again before committing to anything. She is much more techy than my husband and I. She treated us to cinema tickets to see the latest Downton Abbey film which we thought was much better than the first film. There are two cinemas in town , a big national chain and a much cheaper independent, I don’t need to tell you which one we go to! We don’t buy popcorn etc. We also went to the beach for a beautiful swim and took a picnic with us.
    Our eldest daughter and son in law cooked BBQ for us all and we took fresh fruit salad for pudding. Such a social week is unusual for us.
    I have kept the grocery bill down by cooking mainly from the freezer. We picked greens, spring onions and parsley from the garden and planted out more of our own potted on strawberry runners. We received rhubarb from a friend.
    My husband dug up a big herbaceous plant (Inula) we don’t want in our border any more( the flowers are acid yellow and clash with everything) split it and potted pieces which will go to the local Church fundraiser.
    We paid cash to receive a discount for a bulk delivery of compost.
    We used a money off voucher when buying dog food.
    I decluttered and took several big bags to the tip, not frugal necessarily but making life in the house more beautiful!
    Stay safe everyone.

  20. That was so very kind of you, to help your elderly neighbors with the yard sale!

    I had not purchased any groceries except for milk for a few weeks, living off the stuff in freezer and cupboards. This week I saw a good sale for canned items, like tomatoes, and if you bought $90 worth of food, you got five gas rewards (which means 50 cents a gallon off fuel). I also bought a few of the store’s generics, which awarded special gas points. By waiting to stock up, we took advantage of good sale prices and also ended up with 80 cents a gallon off fuel. I was pretty pleased to save money on food and fuel.

    It snowed here this morning, so I am glad that I did not transplant anything yet. Instead, I have all my transplants on garden wagons and I wheel them out in the morning and in at night. This means I don’t have to run our grow lights. It is a chore but I save a lot starting my own seeds and only buying a few fill ins from the local nurseries.

    A friend was cleaning her freezer out and offered me six chicken carcasses. She kept saving them, intending to make stock but never did and now just wanted them gone. I was happy to take them—two of them had only had breast meat removed so I ended up with not just stock but a lot of chicken pieces. I used them for soup and several casseroles.

    Other than that, just the usual stuff of baking bread instead of buying it, making sure there is no food waste, using the library…

  21. The roses are so pretty. My mother loved roses but was not a gardener. My dad was; he grew lovely roses for her – white, red, pink, lavender, peach, coral and her favorite, the Peace rose.

    When I was a kid, we cut buds from our rose bushes and wore the buds pinned to our shirts/dresses to church on Mother’s Day, which was a tradition where I grew up. One wore red if one’s mother was living or white if she had passed on. My whole family wore red except for my dad, who wore white for his mother who had died when he was young. Did anyone else here do this?

    I don’t have any big frugal wins this week, but:

    I made a new bucket of laundry detergent.

    My sister sent some more coupons from her paper that I could use.

    I used “buy 2 get 1 free” coupons found in the lids of my husband’s favorite brand of yogurt. I don’t eat yogurt much, and he doesn’t care for homemade yogurt, so I just buy him a few now and then instead of making it. Since I buy higher priced local organic farm milk, it’s actually cheaper for me to buy yogurt anyway.

    I fertilized my citrus trees, as it was time to do that.

    I tried a new recipe for a dish that was just not that great, but I ate it all up anyway.

    I re-used an old spice jar and filled it with dried and crumbled marjoram from my plant.

    I found a penny.

    I managed to find the lost mates for two single socks that had been in danger of being tossed.

    I ate most of a pot of soup (this was not the “not great” recipe) and put the last serving in the freezer for an emergency meal.

    Have a good week everyone.

    1. I have not heard of this!

      But my son bought a dozen pink roses for all the young men to wear to church on their lapels on Mother’s Day. He cut them short along with some leaves and I gave him some straight pins that I had and would never use as the steel tops hurt my fingers. He pinned them on all the people he bought them for at church. I thought it was very nice.

    2. I remember it being a tradition with red or white carnations instead of roses….

    3. I grew up in Western NC. My Dad always would cut the roses for us to wear on Mothers Day. He wore white and my Mom and I wore red. I now live in Vermont and have never seen anyone do this. I was thinking on Sunday morning about my Dad doing this. Sweet memories.

    4. Yes, many years ago, this was the custom at our church. A red flower to signify your mother was living or a white flower to signify that she had passed away.

    5. Yes I was just remembering this tradition this past Mother’s Day. We lost our Mom when we were aged 10, 8, and 5 and our grandmother helped our Dad raise us. On Mother’s Day we all wore white carnations to church. I often think of our grandmother who at age 65 took on 3 young girls! I asked her to take my mother’s place at my wedding and she said I couldn’t have paid her a better compliment. I didn’t know if the tradition of the lapel flower was a southern one? or a tradition from my grandmother’s generation?

    6. We also had the tradition of wearing red or white roses to church on Mother’s Day when I was growing up. I wonder if that is still done anywhere? I grew up in S.C.

    7. Yes, we did this with the red or white flowers, depending on whether your mom was alive or deceased, in north Alabama on Mother’s Day when I was growing up.

  22. Happy Mother’s Day! You’ve had weekly birthdays lately to celebrate:)
    ***After church we went to my favorite Mexican restaurant. My kids gave me a lavender topiary plant, a Sedum plant, a pretty bouquet, and 2 have not arrived.
    ***I went to Sam’s. I got gas for $3.66 then it has been going up since then, so I am glad I went when I did. I got a rotisserie chicken and made chicken salad. I then used a box of Stove Top I got on clearance at Aldi for $.49 and made a chicken and dressing casserole. I looked and the stove top was $3.29 at walmart. I had 3 cups of chicken left that I froze in 3 bags. I froze the carcass and gelled juices from the container, then added water for the dogs to have some chicken flavored water. I will use the container as a greenhouse.
    ***They had Boston Butt and boneless loin for $1.99 lb. I used half the loin and the Boston B to can 8 pints of pork and gravy, 6 pints Spicy Pork, which makes carnitas, and 5 pints Pulled BBQ Pork. I sliced the 2nd half of the loin into chops and froze 4 meal size packages. I froze the fat to season beans, and the bone with meat to cook with beans, then I will make bone broth. I also got a package of drumsticks for $.99# and portioned it out to freeze. Chicken breast and wings were ridiculous. I guess wings are now boujee food.
    ***I have the freezer and pantry stocked but keep adding more. They are backups to my garden and backups to my backups. I added from Sam’s canned chicken, canned tuna, 6 # spaghetti noodles, salt, black pepper, oil, peanut butter crackers ( take camping), cold medicine, & dishwasher pods. From Walmart 4 boxes different shape pasta, Raviolli, dry beans, canned pumpkin which I have only seen pumpkin pie filling so I grabbed two of the pureed pumpkin to have to use in baking. Online people were talking about not being able to get the Keystone beef, and it going up in price. So I thought I’d add a couple of cans if I found it. Walmart is out of stock. Amazon’s cheapest price was $14 for a $14.4 oz can and went up to $30 a can! I will just home can some beef and pork myself, thank you!
    ***My daughter went to Birmingham to take her boards for Dental Hygiene. it is an hour and a half drive. She was so nervous. I made her a basket ( well I used a large plastic bowl from the dollar store ) filled with cookies, goldfish, Pringles, take 5 candy bars, smarties, Hostess cakes, and a Starbucks card. She said she felt she did well, but will not get results for a few weeks. She has clinical next month. When I went in the Dollar store they had a cart up front with Frosted Flakes with cinnamon basketballs for $.25. I got one for husband to try. He said it’s OK. They expire in June.
    ***My husband power washed the porch and patios, cushions. grill grates, and trash can. We put 50’of cattle panel along the back fence and I will grow tomatoes there. We planted my two cherry trees in two large pots on the back patio. they grow to 10′ so I hope they do good in the pots. We planted 4 blueberry bushes. then using stakes and netting made a fence around them so the puppy won’t dig them up. Brandy, I guess to hear us power washing makes you cringe a little. We have had 28.52″ of rain so far this year.
    ***I rescued husband’s shampoo bottle from his trash. It has a good 2 tbsp in it. I’ll wait until he uses some of his new bottle then slip it in the new bottle where he doesn’t see and roll his eyes.
    ***We bought five 3 gallon bottles of oil for our cars at Lowes and husband used his military discount on it and the fencing material. We have cases he bought earlier, but fear oil will be hard to get this coming year.
    ***My two peach trees and two apple trees have a lot of fruit. I hope I get some. We planted last year, so I wasn’t expecting much this year.
    ***My daughter is moving in this weekend. Her lease is up and she’s been looking for a house, but she is priced out of the market. We told her to come save some money and not get in another lease so she can keep looking. So here goes my water bill. Ha, when she left it went down $20 and this was years ago. I’m getting my 5 year old grandson for July. So, we are never long just the two of us.

  23. That’s so kind you helped your neighbors and they were generous in sharing what they had that you could use!
    Just a few frugal accomplishments this week:
    *accepted soda leftover from family party
    *redeemed a free 8×10 photo from Walgreens
    *made more multipurpose cleaner
    *was emailed $5 off at Panera so used when also picked up my free drink!
    *had a nice coffee visit with my sister and drank coffee she had at home
    *got my veggies and herbs planted!

    Grocery store: a package of marked down chicken, clearance cake mix, 2 Gatorades, and salt

    Hope everyone has a great week 😊

      1. It’s hard to lose neighbors like that. Hopefully you and your new neighbors become fast friends!

  24. Hi everyone! Brandy your son’s birthday party sounds wonderful. And your flowers are beautiful.

    At my request, my husband’s main Mother’s Day gift to me was to sit down and work on our budget. We found that we are running a significant deficit on paper. So that means that we are going to have to make some significant cuts in every category we can. My husband had his pay cut when he was in the hospital and not having that overtime has left us short. It will all be fixed once he’s able to start working overtime again which will be when his rehabilitation is over next month. It’s just a matter of what to do in the meantime. We cut out all the extras. We had a couple of subscription services we cut that will save us a little over twenty dollars a month. That isn’t much but will buy some gas or milk. We are spending more on gas because he has physical therapy three times a week. I know it’s temporary but it’s still stressful.

    We cooked a big pork roast for dinner yesterday and divided it into three meals worth. Yesterday we had bbq pork sandwiches. Later this week we’ll have pork enchiladas that I’ll stretch with pinto beans. And then towards the end of this week I’ll use the rest of the pork to make pork tostadas that I’ll stretch with homemade refried black beans.

    I pulled out my vegetarian cookbooks to get ideas for more frugal meals.

    We turned on our air conditioner this morning because our highs are supposed to be in the high 90s. My husband and I disagree about where to put the thermostat. He put it on 78 which I guess is reasonable. I was hoping for 80. But we don’t have ceiling fans so I guess it’s just as well.

    We are going to plant a garden this year once we get out utilities marked.

    I’ve been using the library a lot. I’m reading everything I can about how to get out of debt and save money.

    I hope everyone has a great week!

    1. The ‘Complete Tightwad Gazette’ by Amy Dacyczyn is one of the best books ever for saving money. Maybe you have read it already?

    2. Sandy,
      Dave Ramsey’s books will be helpful if you haven’t already read them. I hope your husband is fully recovered soon.

  25. We have been experiencing high winds lately as well. I find it very tiring and hope things will calm down soon.
    We collected the rest of the firewood from our neighbor and believe we have about 2 cords – a good start on the 4 cords we need to collect for next winter. We continued to eat lettuce, arugula, and bok choy from the greenhouse. I planted more lettuce and arugula, flower seeds, and potatoes outside. I transplanted some things from the greenhouse and started more seedlings. I gathered all my partial skeins of cotton yarn and made some dishcloths, which I needed, and I was able to use up all the scraps. I also made another batch of un-paper towels, from flannel and quilting cotton, since we have been making such good use of the previous ones I made. I stayed out of stores all week, which is always a good thing.

  26. Lovely photos again this week

    Here it has been a quite but expensive week. I have only bought milk from the milkman. But the power direct debit went up by £100, this cover both gas and electricity. Also I have bought ffp2 masks ready for hubby’s hospital stay to change his batteries . Although the hospital will supply them when his there . We have 2 buses and an hour long train journey to get there and that alone can cost over £100 pounds and I may have to stay there in a hotel depending how long it takes. I am looking at a rail card to keep the cost down

    I got free batteries for our hearing aids, if anyone in the UK thinks they need a hearing aid don’t go to a retailer phone your GP and ask to be referred to Audiology this way hearing aids and all batteries are free. I use 2 batteries every 5 days. DD1 and Sil have had covid again but are both feeling better now, I suppose it is to be expected when you work in a hospital.

    I boiled up a chicken carcass to make broth and used it in a risotto, I cooked at home all week. I used the virtual library for 5 books. I have used lettuce from the garden and sown some more. All washing has been dried on the line.

    We have had a little rain this week but it only 1/4 filled the water butts, but every little helps. Now all the veg plants are out of the house either in the garden or the greenhouse. I finished cutting the lawn , put the mower in the shed and the power lever fell off so this has to be fixed this week.

    Please keep safe everyone

      1. Brandy: where did you find such a wonderful man? Although, I know he feels he won the lottery with you! You both are just amazing!

  27. I’m not sure why but my contribution last week wasn’t received or posted.
    So here goes again.

    Having said that I was finished stocking my pantry, I nevertheless bought 20 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup for 59 cents per can. This week it is $1.49 and has been as high as $2 per can. This week, I bought Post Original shreddies greatly reduced (Family size). And Heinz beans. I now plan not to buy any groceries until the fresh, local asparagus is available and that will be my only treat. I hope to make some asparagus soup.

    I bought 5 geranium seedlings for $1.19. Last year, they were 99 cents each but due to the cost of fuel and transportationI cannot
    begrudge them the money. All but one of my eleven flowerbeds are planted in perennials. This saves money as they last many years. I buy very few annuals. This year I’m going to plant some from seed.

    We had freezing rain last night and then snow. Fortunately, it does not seem to have damaged the trees which in my yard are just budding out. I hope the migratory warblers that were here either flew away before the storm of safely sheltered somewhere.

    I had contemplated doing spring clean up but decided it was still too cold. glad I didn’t do it.

  28. School staff got to take advantage of teacher appreciation week last week…I was able to get a free Chik Fil A sandwich, a sandwich, chips and cookie from Mcalister’s one day for lunch , chicken, scalloped potatoes and salad another day, then a sandwich and Sonic drink, plus lots of sweets.

    There was apparently kitchen staff appreciation on Friday so I also received 2 succulents, cookies, notepad, and cheese danishes.

    I was worried about being short after quitting my home health job, but I worked 6 hours extra at my school job last week.

    We had HBO and Cinemax for free for a few days, so I recorded several movies to watch.

    The teen and I went to Silver Dollar City on Sunday. We had breakfast at McDonald’s in our city (both of us love the hotcakes, lol), then ate very little there. We have season passes, and buy the refillable tumbler(even good on premium drinks. We drank 2 frozen lemonades 😋). My teen gets a free scoop of ice cream from the ice cream shop because her name is the same as theirs. We split a lunch, then got kettle corn and taffy to go. It was a fun day.

    Frugal fails

    I had to throw out about half of a 15 pound bag of red potatoes. My husband paid $3 for them, but we just don’t eat them like russets.

    My husband got me a cake from a place I didn’t like the first time he purchased from(last October). I’m not sure what possessed him to go back there, as he recently purchased one from the grocery store that has the one I like. Now I’m stuck with this awful tasting cake I’ll have to eat, because he paid way too much money for. (Not to mention, I’ve begged him to only buy me a cupcake because no one else likes this cake but he just doesn’t listen 🤦‍♀️)

  29. We live rural. Town is 20 miles away. My sister has to go to town a few times a month for her work and she usually gives me a call and I tag along with her. She is on the clock plus is reimbursed for mileage to from work to bank. We do things together or if she’s gonna be at one stop for work for very long she just drops me at Library or my favorite store. (Today both and everything I bought at store was originally from 🎯 and was 95% off). So I get to spend time with my sister in car and while doing errands and her mileage allowance more than pays for her entire trip. I always treat for any snacks we get while out so as not to be a total mooch.

  30. We have had crazy winds in NY too. I am glad you were able to get a few free items from your neighbor’s yard sale. That was very nice that you helped her.
    We have been very busy the last 2 weeks. My sister sits on the Board of Yale Eye Center in CT. She runs a clay shooting event every May. I helped her this year and it was a lot of fun. Hubby and my son helped too and had a fun day of shooting. We went the night before and helped set everything up. I was mostly in charge of the raffles. We were treated to a wonderful Mexican dinner the1st night. I had brought a cooler with lunch on the way so I took all of our leftovers home. We had to be at the site at 7am. Breakfast and lunch were included. When we were cleaning up, I was given a case of mixed drinks, cookies, cake, muffins, 30 extra lip balms, several packs of tissues and 6 cigars. We also each received a welcome bag that had lots of goodies in them. Our only costs were gas, tolls and a tip. We stopped at a free car show on our way. We ate our packed lunch while looking around. My youngest stayed home and watched my dog and my sister’s dog. She had an end of year paper to write and didn’t want to go.
    All of the garden beds are ready to be planted. Now I just need the weather to cooperate.
    My sister’s friend gave her a bag of shoes that he no longer wears for my son. He found a few he liked. The rest I will pass on.
    The little boy that I watch and I went foraging. Wild onions are going crazy so we dug up several pots worth. He also rolled down several hills which he loved. His dad went home to visit his family. They live out of the country and he hasn’t seen them since Nov. 2019. D’s mom gave me 2 bags of groceries that wouldn’t get eaten while he is gone. I ate lunch with D every day that I watched him. He gave me a chocolate bar and a dahlia for Mother’s Day.
    My Mother’s Day was lovely. My son made me breakfast and my daughter cleaned it up. I was given chocolate and a restaurant GC. Hubby and the kids cleaned my car inside and out. Hubby then grilled pork chops with baked potatoes and string beans. We played Ticket to Ride. My oldest Facetimed with me. All of my cards were homemade.
    I have been keeping all of my boxes and bubble wrap for my friend that is cleaning out her dad’s house. They are closing at the end of the month.
    We just had oil delivered. It was $6.11 a gallon. Everyone is taking very quick showers. The heat has been turned off for the year. My youngest is still using her electric blanket occasionally. I have been shaving my legs before I get in the shower. I have never done it before but it does work. All laundry has been getting washed on cold.
    I was able to put an extra $800 to our mortgage in April.

  31. I love your Earth Angel rose and hearing about your garage sale finds and son’s party. How lovely you caught up with some readers.

    I mostly stayed at home, going fishing once locally to catch dinner and was invited to a friends house with my children (took banana bread).

    I shared some of the abundance of produce we are harvesting in our garden.

    I made dumplings, salad, quiche, falafel wraps, steamed vegetables, mashed potato and sweet potato, smoothies, oats with grated apple and walnuts and banana bread. We enjoyed waffles and croissants for breakfast too on some days, which was a treat.

    Have a great week.

  32. Hey ya’ll!

    There are these sheets that we all love, but are well beyond our budget. For Mother’s Day they were 20% off with free shipping! Hooray! Bought a set for our guest room. They were desperately needed.

    Still trying to review all the grocery adds and concentrate on loss leaders for purchases. Got some chicken breast and standing rib roast at great prices!

    Ordered a couple of tops which I needed, but the price was steep! I have found that I do better sometimes buying what I want as I tend to wear these things until they fall apart—so I do get more than my monies worth from them.

    Looks like we have a 150 old tree that might need to come down. I can’t bear the thought! However, it is close to the house and is dropping huge limbs! Cannot even begin to imagine the cost!

    Lastly, I am horrified at the shortage of baby formula in this country! How could that possibly happen? I am becoming more and more concerned about where things are going to end if we stay on this trajectory!

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

    1. I feel bad for mother’s that are trying to get baby formula as well. For anyone that has a baby and wants to breastfeed after already starting formula it is possible to relactate. I did with my first baby. He was terribly allergic to formula so I went back to breastfeeding. It takes a bit to restart the milk supply. I would contact your local La Leche League for help and talk to your doctor as well for advice to make sure your baby gets what he or she needs. La Leche League has a book about breastfeeding. I breastfed my second child. I didn’t bother with formula since my first child was allergic. I know not all women want to breastfeed and some have to work. For me, it was best for my babies and it saved a ton of money not buying formula. And it was actually easier than sterilizing bottles and making formula. I’m glad that I was able to do it.

      1. I wish I’d known about this with my first baby! She had so many stomach issues after starting formula at 4 weeks. I was not producing enough milk and didn’t think I had a choice but to stick with formula. With my 2nd child, I tried some herbal remedies and that made me able to breastfeed until he was about a year old.

  33. I love reading how everyone is finding ways to save money! Brandy I am in awe of your garden! It is beautiful.
    Last week was teacher appreciation week. I was blessed throughout the week with various snacks, breakfast items, and a catered lunch one day. I received a few gift cards and gifts from a few of my students as well. My garden is finally starting to produce and am hoping for a first cutting of lettuce in the next few days. I picked up some starter plants at Home Depot and was able to find some of the containers that had more than one plant in them. So I got 3 basil plants for the price of 1, and 2 parsley for the price of one. I have taken many cuttings from my Christmas cactus and they are growing well. I am going to use a couple of them as gifts for coworkers.
    I received a $30 credit on Instacart, I think it is from a bad order I received last week. Yes, I know I pay more for the occasional grocery delivery, it saves me time and gas money for the times I just don’t have the extra time to shop.

  34. Hello Everyone!
    Aren’t those delphiniums gorgeous? They bring a smile to my face!

    So much of how we save is repetitive. This week I’ll share a couple of new things:
    First, I made plum muffins using some whole, home-canned plums from last summer. I’m trying to use up what I have before our next crop arrives! It turned more into a puree than the cubed plums the recipe calls for, but it turned out great and the pits were incredibly easy to remove. Second, I tried a new recipe from the King Arthur website for chewy sourdough rolls. These will made sandwiches for lunches this week. Third, I discovered that Hoopla had those video courses, such as Great Courses, for FREE! I can digitally check it out and watch anything for 7 days. Programs include history, language, travel, cooking, baking, writing, etc. It’s a great resource that I’m sure some of you will appreciate. Fourth, I was wishing to read a non-fiction book that my library doesn’t carry and I didn’t want to buy. I requested that my library purchase it and they are. : )

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone!

    1. Julie – Thank you for your comment on Hoopla. I’ve enjoyed my county online library for several years but did not realize Hoopla was available until you mentioned it.

  35. How lovely that both you and your parents were able to help your elderly neighbours and that they thought of you in return. I’ve only ever done a garage sale once (went in with a friend) and it was exhausting! And another birthday – lots of S[ring babies! It’s a sure sign of a great time when the kids don’t want to go home!
    This last week was another combination of frugality and planned spending:
    ,Received my insurance refund from the dental work I had done and put it directly to my VISA payment
    .Picked up 3 prescriptions plus another epi-pen with no OOP money owed
    .Kitchen sink/faucet issue and shorted out oven all repaired by our apt. handy man. He then did a couple of other small jobs for me not on the original list so tipped him $20
    .Only bought one coffee while headed to the office last week so my allowance is still doing well
    .Only bought milk, salad fixings & a rotisserie chicken for weekly groceries
    .Found a few other items on at a good price to add to the pantry (including a can of stuffed grape leaves after you and others talking about them Brandy).
    .Accumulated $20 worth of Loyalty points that I will use to help get me through the rest of the month.
    .Aside from the chicken, all meals were cooked at home and yogurt & fruit was taken to the office on the 3 days that I went in, along with my water bottle.
    .No food waste! Stores are all well stocked but prices continue to rise!
    .Went to High Park with a friend to view the cherry blossoms last Thursday and it was wonderful to be back – we’ve only been able to view them online for the past two years as the crowds are so huge. The weather was perfect and everyone was in a great mood! They close off the park to cars during cherry blossom time so by the time we walked in, took the path down the steep hill where all the trees line the path, along the “pond”, climbed back up to the upper level and then walked out of the park and back to the subway! Over 10,000 steps – but worth it!
    .Cancelled two streaming services for the next few months – I am a baseball fanatic and there are only so many hours in the day so I will wait until maybe Nov. or Dec. before deciding if I want to bring them back.
    .New books from the library included “The Last Mona Lisa” which someone here recommended – I really enjoyed it so thank you to whomever it was!

    .Bought the white summer “running” shoes that I needed from Ecco – $250 with tax but necessary. Ouch – but had the cash
    .Found pillows on sale (big linen sale at The Bay for Cdn. readers) – original price was $48 per pillow but reduced to $16 – bought two and may go back this week for two more. These were on my Master List for items needed for my apt. so it was great to find them at such a good price.

    I hope that everyone has a great week.

    1. The cherry blossoms in High Park sound wonderful. I can’t believe I didn’t know about these when I lived in Parkdale years ago. I thought I went to every low-cost activity in the GTA when I was living there on a tiny book publishing salary!

      1. And you were so close! It is a lovely thing to do in the Spring and everyone was so happy to be allowed back amongst the trees this year. I also look for a lot of the freebies in the city and it is one thing that they do well – all the street festivals, art exhibits and things like Doors Open Toronto are returning this year so it should be fun.

        1. As long as I had transit tokens, I could always find something interesting to do on the weekend! I’ll be looking forward to reading about your adventures this summer.

          1. They were pale pink this year = it seems to vary – not quite sure why. But they have a new stand of “Magnolia/Tulip” trees that have really blossomed well this year and they are very deep pink so there is a lovely contrast. The past couple of years are on Youtube – the city sent in a drone to film them when we were locked down so you can see them there.

  36. It hasn’t been terribly frugal around here since my husband’s sudden passing. Getting his (now my) affairs in order, and all the emotional turmoil, has pushed frugal awareness to the back burner (though I haven’t lost sight of water/electric/gas conservancy, at least!). I have continued to come faithfully to this blog, though, as a haven of peace, positivity, beauty, and ideas – thank you.

    And now, a lovely thing: my niece is getting married, in my backyard! It feels like such a blessing to have something joyful to look forward to. She and her fiancé had asked us last year, and we were delighted. When my husband (her uncle) died, I wasn’t sure if they’d still want to, but they did and do. They are being impressively smart and frugal and staying within their budget, and I’m thrilled that my yard/garden can be part of that.

    They have already chosen a food truck (I had to check with my HOA to be sure that was allowed on the street for an evening), and a rental company for chairs, tables, and market lighting. The bride will emerge from one of the bedrooms onto the patio, then walk up the path through the garden to the gazebo, which is surrounded by pine trees. Her brother, an ordained minister, will perform the ceremony.

    She has chosen her bridal bouquet and the men’s boutonnieres, and the cake will be made by the bakery her mother and uncle loved when they were little. But, I would welcome frugal ideas for flowers and backyard/gazebo/tabletop décor (or anything else!), if any of you feel like sharing!

    Wishing everyone a lovely week.

    1. Ava, I’m sorry about your husband’s passing.

      Check Sam’s Club/Costco for flowers and also the grocery store florist. My own wedding flowers were all done at the grocery store.

      Potted herbs can make for great centerpieces down the center of a table, or small glass vases with one flower each, arranged in a group down the center of the table. Potted flowers from the nursery can also work too, such as potted flowers. These can serve as favors too if you want to have favors.

      1. Thank you. You and your readers were all so kind when it happened, and I haven’t posted much since (’til now) but it’s been truly healing to come to your site and read about everyone’s experiences and hints and ideas.

        I’d completely forgotten about Costco/Sam’s Club and the grocery store, for decent-quality flowers. Thanks for the reminder!

      2. When my eldest married a few years ago, the bridal flowers were done at the local grocery store at substantial savings. We made the boutonnières and simple corsages though. And for the table centerpieces, we used vintage china teacups (with a little piece of florist foam inside) arranged with baby’s breath flowers and bits of our green hedge. These were placed on 2 or 3 vintage books to give some height. Baby’s breath is very inexpensive and you don’t need much.
        I’m sorry for your loss, Ava. Virtual hugs to you across cyberspace.

        1. Elle, thank you for the hugs – always appreciated, virtual or otherwise! <3

          The teacups and vintage book arrangements sound gorgeous!

    2. So sorry for your loss Ava – but how lovely to have something to look forward to. One of the nicest wedding I attended was held in the bride’s brother and SIL’s garden – one tip – alert the neighbours so that there is no lawn mowing or construction work going on during the ceremony (the neighbours at the wedding I attended were all thrilled to help out in a small way).
      If it goes into the evening then small votive candles or the battery powered fairy lights also add a nice touch. If you use potted plants or herbs then perhaps some tulle in the bride’s colours to wrap the plain green pots that nurseries normally use….

      1. This is a great reminder! I thought of alerting neighbors so they’d be patient w/ any music or noise (or food trucks…), but I hadn’t thought that they might decide to edge their lawns during the vows… yikes!

    3. Ava, are you on Instagram? I have a couple of wedding tables that I saved including the one I was trying to describe to you that I would love to show you. If you reply to me here with your IG, I will message them to you.

    4. How lovely to have a wedding to look forward to! Such a hopeful event at a time when you are in understandable turmoil.
      You might find a garden center or florist or even a church or business or neighbor that would rent or loan potted plants to you. Our college graduation ceremonies always included borrowed/rented plants instead of cut flowers to decorate the stage. This month, the local FFA chapters are selling hanging baskets here. Cut flowers in vases can be tucked in to gardens or pots to fill out sparse areas.
      Clearly mark the way to the bathroom guests may use. Close off rooms in your house by setting a chair in the doorway or other block to reinforce closed doors.

    5. Ava, I am sorry for the loss of your husband.

      I don’t know how much time you have left before the wedding, but when friends of ours hosted their son’s wedding in their backyard, they planted only pink and white (wedding colors) annuals that year. This didn’t cost anything extra because they would
      Their perennials bloomed in the usual colors, but they added a big dose of wedding colors just in the annuals. This also reduced the amount of cut flowers they needed to buy.

      My son and daughter-in-law bought all of their flowers at the supermarket, too.

      1. Maxine, thank you for your kind words. We surely miss him.

        My niece fell in love with the large stands of yellow and orange day lilies, which I’m HOPING will cooperate!

    6. At what will be the time of the ceremony, walk through where everyone will be sitting and standing to make sure no one has too much sun in their eyes or otherwise shining on them: officiant, couple, procession, seated people, musicians, etc. Maybe some umbrellas (which would be more elegantly called “parasols”) would be appropriate.
      Or if you might need umbrellas in case of rain, borrow from a golf course or some other place that might have them?
      Also, consider if insects would be annoying.

      1. Oh – this is a great idea. They’re planning an informal rehearsal dinner (with pizza) the day before and I’ll make note about sun positions. I love the idea of parasols.

    7. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, Ava.
      Tagging onto Heidi Louise’s advice – a church may be a good source for borrowing or renting tables and chairs, as well. I agree with the recommendation for potted plants. We did this for our wedding and they looked so natural in the outdoor setting. We grouped them in two areas and the minister stood between them. That was essentially our altar with some shrubs as the backdrop. It made for a lovely focal point without a large expense. I am sure your niece’s wedding will be lovely and something to look forward to. Please let us know how it goes! 🙂

      1. Dawn, thank you for your kind thoughts.

        I love the idea of potted plants – I have a pretty gazebo and I think potted plants will be perfect for decorating the area where the bride and groom will stand.

        I can’t wait to share how things go! I hope I don’t annoy everyone with incessant gushing, afterwards! 😀

    8. Ava, I’m sorry about your husband. It’s so good that you have a wedding to look forward to.

      When my daughter got married, we got the flowers from a farmer’s market. If you have one near you that’s open, that might be a good option. For the table decor, we used bud vases with several flowers in each one. A friend from work who had flower gardens made her bouquet.

      1. Wanita, thank you so much. Yes, it’s lovely to have this joyful event to look forward to, and to remember that my husband was looking forward to it too.

        There is a small farmers market near me, on Saturdays, and I will certainly browse through it!

    9. Ava, I’m so sorry for your loss.

      Another option for flowers might be a local vocational technical high school in your area. In Pennsylvania we have them, and the ones local to me do teach flower arranging to the kids and offer inexpensive arrangements that the students can make with oversight. It may be an affordable option that limits DIY time for a busy event.

      I did make a bride’s bouquet and several arrangements last year for a casual home wedding. I used grocery store roses with multiple kinds of greenery snipped From my yard and an affordable bunch of wax flower purchased at a florist. Wax flower is a great filler and holds up well in bouquets and boutonnières.

      1. Ali, thank you so much.

        Great idea about the vo/tech school (my cousin teaches at one, in Pennsylvania as a matter of fact). I’ll look into that!

    10. So sorry about your husband.

      We used sand, seashells and votives so no flowers,
      or mason jars with votives os no flowers needed?
      we did order fans as it was July and on a beach…

      1. Jennifer, thank you.

        We did something like this for a “concert in the park”-type event at church, several years ago, and it was fantastic. I have a pretty decent selection of mason jars and plan to remind my niece that we can get ribbon in her colors, or twine, and make our own very pretty table decorations with flowers, olive branches, and herbs from the yard. We’ll see what she says!

    11. for my oldest son’s wedding we simply covered the tables with fabric from the fabric store. The original idea was to use it to make a quilt later but that hasn’t happened …. yet.
      for a take-away gift for guests, they bought cups and saucers at thrift shops, put in a teabag and tied them with tulle. It was super inexpensive. those tea cups could also be table toppers.
      The bride’s flowers came from the grocery store.

      1. Patsy, that’s a good idea. I’ve been to several thrift stores and picked up several tablecloths in her colors, for just a few dollars. We’ll see if she wants to use them! 😀

    12. I too am sorry, Ava, for the loss of your husband. I hope you find solace in lovely memories of him and your time together.

      How lovely to have a wedding. I once was recruited (conscripted) to package flower seeds in little glassine envelopes then put them in tiny wicker baskets as favours but if I were you I’d not do this (too fiddly, too time consuming). I love the idea of using vintage teacups with a little bit of baby’s breath in them. Baby’s breath comes also in pink sometimes. Once for a tea, we used small colourful watering cans with cut daffodils in them as centrepieces. We bought the green and yellow watering cans from a dollar store. I love the idea of little flower pots with plants. The possibilities are endless! Churches often have lots of spare vases on hand that might be borrowed.

      1. Thank you so much. I am blessed with many wonderful memories, and I’m so grateful for each one.

        Would you believe, my niece has said she wants to do something like what you described with the seeds! Happily, that’s something she hasn’t asked for my help on… haha!

      1. Thank you, Juls, for your kind words. Having the wedding to look forward to has been a wonderful blessing.

    13. Ava, I am so sorry for your loss. There are really no words…. I am sure the wedding will be lovely! I used to set up for weddings and everyone has fabulous ideas. You might want to consider adding mirrors on the tables to reflect light at night (candles, or fairy lights wrapped in tulle). Can’t wait to hear about the wedding!

      1. Thank you, Laura. It is really good to have the wedding to look forward to and think about.

        I love the idea of mirrors and will run it past the bride!

    14. Ava, I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. How lovely that your niece wants to use your yard for her wedding. I’m sure it will be beautiful! For our wedding, my mom grew pots of English ivy that we set out around the chapel. For the reception, we purchased a bucket of daisies that we put everywhere (even on the cake). It was inexpensive, simple, and pretty. I have a friend who borrowed/rented plants from a local nursery for her daughter’s wedding.

  37. We harvested 4 apricots from our tree (it’s a new tree), some strawberries, and a couple of cherry tomatoes. I made bread from scratch. I cut some sweet peas from the garden and made a bouquet for the kitchen. They make the house smell great. Borrowed an ebook from the library. I enjoyed watching a few ladybugs eat aphids from a few swiss chard plants that I let go to seed.

  38. I wanted falafel for my birthday lunch, and made it at home. My parsley isn’t up yet, so we bought a bunch at Safeway. It was as big as a head of lettuce, all for 99 cents! I used about 1/4 for the falafels, and about 1/2 to make tabbouleh. I still have 1/4 to use – enough for about a cup of chopped parsley. If we’re not going to use it I’ll dry it for the spice jar.

    There have been lots of Ibotta deals for ice cream lately, so I asked for that as my treat for both Mother’s Day and my birthday. We have been mindful of sales and rebates for our groceries, and then we plan our menu based on those deals. The produce sales lately, especially for fruits, have been more sparse. We opened a large (#10) can of peaches on Sunday that I had gotten about 8 mos. ago for $2 as part of a clearance. We’ll eat them different ways, I’ll use the syrup in smoothies or teas, and if we start to tire of them before they are gone I can freeze some in the chest freezer for a little while. We also have bananas, and there will be new sales Wednesday, so we’ll see if there is something then.

    I asked my husband to stop buying soda a while back (I’m the one who drinks it), and only to get it the times he gets it free with a rebate. I really like soda, so this is a change I’m not exactly excited about, but it’s better for me and even more importantly better for the environment. In the long run, it’s a change I’ll be glad that I made. I’m drinking more water and trying not to whine.

    I’ve been moving really good garden soil from my former chicken run into the other gardens, because the soil level was too high. This week my raised bed is sprouting and I’ve planted my raspberry canes so far – I should be able to get the grape vine in this week. I picked asparagus from the garden.

    I wanted to do something a little creative, so I took some beeswax I had saved from when I used to have honeybees, and I made two beeswax candles. They smell wonderful. We watched a movie, a TV series, and I read books and listened to audiobooks from the library. I bought some books at the Friends of the Library sale to mail to my mom in another state. We filled in the corners of the box with treats – some of them items my husband got free with Ibotta rebates. I also bought a music CD of my favorite musical artist, and listened to it a few times this weekend.

    It’s been very windy here, but when it settles down, we’re spending more time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.

    1. Laura, I registered at Crowdtap with your code—hope you received the points. I have earned two $5 gift cards already even though there were a lot of products I don’t buy or hadn’t heard of. The surveys are easy and quick.
      Thanks, Kat

  39. What a clever idea to put the ice on the grass! And the kid’s party sounds like a blast!

    My frugal week:
    – I made sweet potato and lentil Shepherd’s Pie ( I MUCH prefer this over the traditional version, and lentils are obviously cheaper than meat.
    – I sewed a hole in a sweater I’ve had for 30 plus years. It’s still perfect for wearing around the house when I want to be cozy!
    – I made lebneh (like cream cheese) from yoghurt, and both my kids loved it. Cheaper for me to buy yoghurt on sale and make this, than to buy cream cheese.
    – I sold some no longer used items to a kid’s secondhand store. $25 dollars back, and the items that they didn’t want, i’ll put in my upcoming car boot sale
    – I used a box from an Amazon purchase as a kids toy: first drawing on it, then building something with it, then cutting slits and holes on it and having my kids drop in cards and markers. Creative and imaginative play, and fine motor skill practice!
    – I printed off a few coupons for Dempsters bread. Now the next few loaves I buy will be much lower in price. (For any Canadians, I printed them off from I often make my own bread, but my husband needs a zero sugar bread and coupons will make that bread much cheaper, and the homemade uncrustables sandwiches that I make my daughter need store-bought bread for best results. It all helps to keep the grocery bill down!
    – I used the leftover crusts from the sandwiches to make a French toast casserole for Mother’s Day, that I served with maple syrup, sliced bananas, and Greek yoghurt. So yummy, and no one knew it was made with leftovers.
    – I ordered 7 more boxes of the incredibly priced $5 jumbo tins (like, a generous waste basket tin size) of gourmet popcorn from indigo. Shippping was free. I plan to give two containers as gifts, and the remaining 5 I will eat happily, and then hope to sell the fabulously decorated metal containers in my upcoming car boot sale. Petty sure they’ll sell because they are really pretty and solid storage bins. And if they don’t sell, I’ll use them for storage myself.
    – I met some out of town friends for a picnic in a local park, followed by playtime in our condo. I baked gluten-free pb cookies using pantry items, and pulled together the rest of the picnic from whatever we had in the kitchen. Such a lovely time, despite its simplicity.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

    1. what a great deal at Indigo’s for the popcorn tins — I would buy them just for the tins at$5
      each but they may have been cross-contaminated with some of my allergens. lots of other
      great specials – tempting to Christmas shop now! thanks

  40. Lovely photos as usual!

    We said yes to the offer of a frozen turkey breast and some thumb drives. We are being diligent about following our electricity time of use plan which has reduced our cost a bit even with prices increasing. We also got a surprise renewable energy credit from the state. I am seeing if I can get through spring and summer with no clothing purchases at all and then only replace what is too worn to wear in the fall. Besides wanting to get out and about a bit while Covid rates are pretty low here, I want to add items for emergency preparedness so that is the priority. My husband fixed a problem with our front door lock and cleaned the ceiling fans. As retirees we are glad we are still able to do these things for ourselves.

  41. -I went to the Mennonite bulk foods store I go to. I bought 50# of sugar for $30.50. The price has not changed, this is $0.60/lb. In our local grocery store sugar is $8.00 for 10#. So my savings was $9.50. I have about 25# left from my last bag but this will be used during canning season for jam, pickles, and fruit. I was also able to buy some bulk canning lids, salt, paprika, cornmeal, and Chile powder all for less than store prices.

    -I also went to the producer where I buy my sunflower oil. It is cheaper direct from the producer than in the grocery store. The price had not changed $27.50 for a gallon. But they told me it would be going up soon.

    -I got 4 asparagus plants for $2/each. They are planted. My asparagus patch is 24 years old and is declining in production. I started a new bed last year with 4 plants and now have added these 4. In a couple of years we will dig up the old one. I also dug up and split my rhubarb plant into 2 plants It was getting root bound, so now hopefully it will perk up.

    -Garden was tilled by hubby and onions and potatoes were planted. The rest will need to wait until after May 20 when it is past frost date.

    -The 2 pear trees and 2 cherry trees are putting on buds. Yeah! We planted these last spring. The deer munched on them in the fall. We had to put up wire fencing cages to keep them away. Then we had a very cold winter, multiple days below zero. But they all look to be alive. The 4 apple trees are doing well too.

    -I mended 2 of my husbands coats. A raincoat and a lighter weight spring coat.

    -I have made a list of things I need to look for this summer at garage sales. It is not very long but we will see what I find. They are starting to pop up, I am seeing signs. I did go to several on Friday on my way to the greenhouse. I got 8 pieces of clothing for $2.00 for my grand daughter, she is a misses extra small so I was glad to find these. I got a crystal bowl for $2. I will use this as part of a birthday gift for a friend along with some homemade dry dip mixes, and an apron I sewed for her. And lastly I bought 4 glass/ crystal mugs for $4. This was on my list, I needed some smaller glasses/ mugs for the grandkids. These were the perfect size.

    -My plastic piece that hold the end of the band down on my Fitbit watch ripped and came off. I was using a rubber band for the last 4 months but this just broke. My husband had a set of bands for a mens small that came with his watch and fit on my watch. So no out of pocket for that fix. I was just going to use another rubber band.

    -We are finally getting nice weather, 70’s. We smoked ribs (last package I have been hoarding from our pig) and since there was room in the smoker we did 3 boneless pork chops I got on meat clearance for $3.00. I will make 3 meals from these chops, creamy pork and noodles, garlic pork and veggie stir fry, and pork, potato, and cabbage casserole. I will slice the meat thin across the grain, freeze 2 packages and use one this weekend for one of the meals.

    -I bought my flower sets, some seed, herbs, watermelon starts, and seed potato at the Amish greenhouse I go to. I spent $80 to plant 8 large pots of flowers. The local nursery wants $50 for one hanging basket! My pots sit among my perennials and are much larger. I came home and got all the planters potted up.

    Have a great week!

    1. Julie, could you share where you find the dry dip recipes? My daughter loves those, and we used to buy them at craft shows, but I cannot find them anywhere.

      1. I have gotten most of mine from Pinterest. So easy to make. Just search dry dip mixes.

  42. Your flowers are beautiful Brandy! I always love the pictures of your flowers!

    We have been picking and eating asparagus, a lot! Veggies are growing and I am happy for that. We have tried to cook at home for most meals. But today, honestly, I was tired and uninspired for cooking at home. So I met my husband at a burger restaurant for dinner. It was relaxing and enjoyable. I will be back to cooking at home tomorrow. My mom made napkins our of flannel and we use them instead of disposable napkins. Sometime I use it as a Kleenex and throw them in the hamper to wash with the towels. We use cloth towels always. I am considering buying some paper towels for any dog issues we might have on occasion. We wouldn’t use it too often. I have some paper plates for if the electricity goes out. My husband pulled some out this week and used them. I decided not to worry about it. Neither of us really wanted to do extra dishes that day anyway. I will just make sure I have some put away as soon as I can get some. Most of the time I definitely prefer to use the regular plates and just load them in the dishwasher. I am planning some simple meals so we can get other things done. I’m thinking sandwiches, tuna, salmon patties, salads. Pre-made soups frozen in the freezer. I’l just pull it out and heat it up. Maybe fish and simple veggies to eat. I may make a meatloaf or just make burgers to make it easier or chili. All things I can cook quickly. Because I want to eat at home and don’t always feel like cooking. Yet, I know my husband appreciates a home cooked meal when he gets home. Some days I can spend hours in the kitchen, cooking elaborate meals. But my husband is just as happy with meals that don’t take as long. My son is happy with most meals as well. In fact he loves a sandwich or a quesadilla. Both very simple to make. Then I can clean house and tend the garden. I have a lot of asparagus to pick. I know that is a blessing! And I am grateful for the bounty. Having food is such a blessing. My husband and I watched a movie one day this week and ate popcorn together and ate cheese and strawberries as a date night at home. It was very pleasant! We also sat on the back porch and talked another evening and enjoyed the night air. We see deer almost every evening that we drive. we also saw a possum and lots of birds this week. And my favorite: cardinals! I’ve seen lots of cardinals this week! Nancy, our favorite chicken, got out of her pen and visited us the evening we sat on the porch. She actually has to come a long ways to see us, but I guess she heard us and came over, she goes back in readily when my husband walks her back though. Nancy followed my son as well this week, much to his dog’s dismay. Pepper, the dog, is my son’s baby and Pepper knows it. It is a position he doesn’t want to share with the chicken, Nancy. Both the dog and the chicken are hilarious to watch. Mostly free entertainment. Just have to feed the animals!

  43. I gave away many seedlings this week, some to neighbors, and some to Buy Nothing group. One neighbor lent us his electric leaf blower for my husband to use to clean the cracks in the driveway before filling them with patching cement.
    I harvested collards, kale, lettuce, a few strawberries and some spinach.

    Safeway has Dreyers ice cream on sale, $2.50 each if you buy 2. My husband rode our electric bike down to get this offer.
    I returned an Amazon item at Kohls (I looked back and I’ve only bought 5 items from Amazon this whole year-2 or which I returned) and got $5 Kohls cash which I used right then for some chocolate for my husband.

    I picked up a vintage rocking chair for son and daughter-in-law. The foam cushion for the back was fine, but the seat cushion was bad. I washed the back cushion and have had it outside for several days to dry and air (it smells good now). Home Depot sells sheets of foam for cheaper than Joann, so I’ve ordered a piece for the seat of the rocking chair. I sent pictures to DIL of decorator weight fabric that I had acquired for free and she chose one for new covers for the cushions.

    I had a super busy day today, yet got dinner on the table in 10 minutes (leftover rice and a pouch of vegetarian indian food for my husband, the very last potato microwaved and cooked with shredded kale from our garden and 2 slices leftover bacon for me). It was tasty and very frugal. Our fridge is bare now except for eggs, garden veggies and 4 lbs of cheese, bought on sale for $2.50/lb. I guess I’ll go shopping tomorrow.

    We got on zoom with our children for Mother’s Day. One is in the same state as us, one is on the opposite coast to us, and one is across the world from us. It was a joy to see them all. Our son was hired for an apprenticeship post-Marine corps, so that was awesome news for Mother’s Day. Counting the days now!

  44. Mothers Day was fairly quiet. I spent the day at my daughters apartment. I read an entire book and enjoyed a movie. My daughters were out of town working an event to earn extra money. Their 4 days was very successful , which means my responsibilities will be less. The girls surprised me with tickets to Andre Bocelli in December . What an exciting gift to receive. A Facebook acquaintance had recommended a try a specialty grocery store to dumpster dive. Saturday night was an incredible experience. I brought home 5 orchids , and an assortment of other potted flowers. They are so beautiful . I’m googling various details to see how to plant them this week. I have several succulents and violets. My favorites are the baskets of strawberry plants that sugar cookie will enjoy having. The amount of meat I brought back to my daughters apartment was phenomenal. I packed her empty refrigerator and freezer. I have separated the items and delivered them back home to my freezer and baby Henry’s house. I am seeing chest freezers for more reasonable prices right now. I believe I’m going to buy 2 more. I feel great insecurity about food and current prices. I’m rationalizing that spending $400.00 for two freezers is worth the amount of food I can put up. Honestly ,the quality of this new source of food is crazy. Chicken ,filet mignon, various pork and bacon. Easily 100 lbs. All organic , none marked down and days before their sell by date. I’m afraid being poor for so long has really affected me. But ,we eat well. And the yard will be beautiful.

    1. Enjoy Bocelli…..what a great gift! We saw him last fall. He featured several phenomenal guests that we weren’t expecting!

      I’m always amazed with your dumpster finds!

    2. Lilliana, your finds are amazing. I do believe that it would be worth the cost of the freezers since you are able to stock with free meat/food. I wish I could find a source like this. If I don’t eat organic, I have extreme gastro pain. You probably collected close to $1,000 with 100 pounds of meat. That is incredible. Good luck to you. I also feel a lot of food insecurity since I have a very tricky diet and can only eat certain things. The health food store in our area has their dumpster locked. Do you go first thing in the morning? Can you give us an idea of how to do this? I know some areas don’t allow it. I was wondering how all of that is checked out.

    3. The situation at the specialty grocery store reminds me of stories my husband has told me. One was a facility he used to work in, where kitchen employees were caught putting meat and other items in the dumpster and coming back after hours to get it. Another was a grocery warehouse in a town where he lived as a young man, and employees were putting full cases of many things in the dumpster, and retrieving them later. My husband happened to dumpster dive there, and got their haul. When someone at the store saw him, they started checking, and ended up firing several employees for stealing. It’s crazy the things people will do!

    4. Lilliana, that’s quite the jackpot! As to the meat, is it cold by you? I would worry about it being out in temperatures above normal, so how do you avoid this? Thanks!

  45. Just wanted to let everyone know that it may not be too late to subscribe to Craftsy for $2.50 for a year’s Premium membership. When I checked my email I saw the advertisement that said midnight on Mother’s Day was the last opportunity, I thought, “Oh, no.” I really like their classes and have learned a lot. Anyway I went ahead and tried to purchase the Premium membership for $2.50, and it went through.

  46. Brandy, I love your delphiniums-they are beautiful. What a lovely and healthy assortment of fruits and vegetables you harvested this week-and all in the desert too.

    We have had another very unfrugal week as I became acutely ill and spent all day Friday at urgent care-our health system is stretched to the limit and extremely busy, but I still received top notch care from a senior doctor I recognized from the news. I was so sick I didn’t mind lying there resting and waiting at all-knowing I was in good hands.

    Apparently I have pneumonia and am now feeling much better on antibiotics-there were some extra costs of drugs not covered by my Blue Cross plan-we also bought a pulse oximeter to monitor my O2 levels-only $30 and worth the peace of mind. The doc did say I need 6 weeks rest and should not be around young children in particular to avoid picking up anymore illness right now. Then another Xray of my lungs to make sure everything has cleared up completely. Which means my part time work income( childcare) has ended 7 weeks earlier than originally planned-but that is okay as we don’t rely on that for basic needs and I was retiring in 7 weeks anyway. Of course the family had to scramble for child care and I felt bad but doctor’s orders-I think the grandparents will fill in.

    Our one houseguest left on Saturday and the other two (daughter and partner will this morning)-they and hubs have all shopped and cooked as I have been ill. But of course the grocery bill has been higher than normal. Hubs and I are dog sitting the grand dog for the next two weeks-so hopefully we pass muster as dog sitters-lol.

    On one frugal note I was finally approved to receive the special govt sick benefit of $500 I applied for when missing one weeks work in Feb as I had to quarantine with mild Covid-but there were sure a lot of hoops to jump through to prove I was eligible.

    Our Ukrainian guest started work yesterday- despite the 20 centimeters of snow that fell at our house overnight and still needing to take public transit. She was told that starting in 2 weeks the employer will allow employees to work from home 2 days per week- this will save her 2 hrs per day commuting and possibly some bus fare as well. Of course there is a steep learning curve-last night I reviewed the employment contract with her-her English is excellent but we all know that even with native English most of us get lost in the legalese of so many of these forms. As soon as I see too many “not withstanding’s” etc my eyes start to glaze over. She had used google translator to understand the contract so I just reviewed some of the points with her.
    When she filled in the tax form directing the employer how much tax to take off , at first she thought she had to pay over $19,000 in Alberta income taxes. She was relieved when I explained that meant her first $19,000 of income in Alberta was tax free. Apparently in Ukraine there is no personal income tax so I am learning too. The employer must recognize the huge potential in this very bright 18 year old young woman, as they have given her an intermediate position. We expect and hope she will be successful in her new role-but it will be very hard work at first. Of course we have also advised her not to take on any major financial commitments( like a 12 month apt lease etc) until her 3 month probation is over.
    On a frugal note for her, a kind neighbour who is downsizing donated her choice of furniture for the upcoming apt move( once she saves up rent and damage deposit from her pay cheque). They even kindly delivered it the short distance to our garage in their van with our guests helping too. Talk about divine intervention-she is blessed indeed. I am hoping perhaps a friend with a truck can help us/her move it to the apt when the time comes. We also heard yesterday that two apt rental companies in town are offering a Ukrainian refugee discount so she definitely needs to investigate that more.
    Wishing everyone a frugal week and planning to get back on a more frugal track ourselves this week.

    1. Your Ukrainian friend needs to know that the first $19,000 being tax free is actually pro-rated across the tax year. Otherwise it will be a shock to her to see taxes deducted right away. She is getting off to a great start, though.

      I am glad the antibiotics are doing their job. Don’t forget your job is to get some rest! Happy early retirement!

    2. What wonderful blessings you are facilitating for your Ukrainian guest!
      Hope your lungs feel clear soon.

      1. Thanks for the kind comments above. I forgot to mention one other frugal thing-I assumed my daughters university benefit plan ended at the end of Dec when her classes ended. However when we checked online it said still active so we are thinking that must be until her actual degree is conferred later this month-so we have submitted her dental bill from last week-fingers crossed they cover part of it.

  47. Brandy, Your photo of the red flowers is gorgeous!
    My husband left for Ca. on Friday. Less meals, less laundry. We had discussed going together but i decided i didn’t need to go. He stayed with his sister so that’s a huge savings. They bought traveling food for his drive home. He picked up a car his sister was selling. She only put 1000 miles on it last year! She gave us a great deal which we paid cash for. We decided we didn’t want to pay interest to the bank. We’ll be paying ourselves back each month. His niece went on a local share app and got coolers for the drive at no cost. I’m afraid of what the cost of gas will be on the drive cross country. It’s jumping from 4.17 to 4.49 here.
    Walking the dogs this morning, i saw the last, fingers crossed, of the snow in front of the PO. Today is in the 70’s. Finally, lots of outside time!
    I weeded, moved dirt around and bagged up leaves and sticks. The city has already picked up the bags.
    I turned the heat off and opened windows. Like so many of you, our winds have been extreme, up to 40mph. I chased a rosemary plant, without the pot, across the sidewalk. Still haven’t found the pot. We’ll call that exercise.
    My husband cut my hair before he left. I helped him shave his head.
    I ordered a 25# bag of quick organic oats from the co-op. Because we made it past a certain minimum, we got an extra 15% off which saved me 7.00.
    I froze more eggs. Our egg lady says she will not raise prices, at this point. They lost five hens to predators so eggs have been a bit hit and miss til they get over the shock. Poor things.
    My husband has decided to give up sugar and dairy. Which means i have to really cut back on sugar. I don’t drink cows milk anyway. This may be tough. I gave a huge number of brownie mixes, sugary cereal and a few cookie mixes to the food pantry and a couple of neighbors. They were all happy!
    My husband picked up two ‘orders’ of food from the Feeding America truck for two people who couldn’t go at that time. One turned around and blessed me with three yellow peppers and a small squash she wouldn’t eat.
    I found a penny on my walk. My husband found a dime.
    I reorganized and dated cans and boxes in my pantry. I still have some more to do.
    I got shorts with tags, and socks with tags, from the free table where i walk on the treadmill. It always amazes me how i can’t find a pair of shorts to fit when i go shopping. Yet, the free shorts fit perfectly!
    I bought extra peppers and sugar to store. (Before my husband decided to stop sugar.)
    We face-timed with our daughter and her family. Her three year old is kindergarten ready already. They’re not sure what they’re going to do about that.
    I shared muffins and apple slice (Like apple pie but a thinner crust.) with my neighbor. I needed to make room in the freezer and find a home for all the sweets i have in there. More to go!
    Have a fabulous week ahead! I wish you all peace!

  48. The weather here has been gorgeous this week in southern Ontario! I am busy getting bedding washed and hung out to dry. I have been able to line dry all our laundry the past three weeks. This will definitely help with our hydro costs. As well, the warm weather means that I don’t need to put on the heat or the air conditioning.

    I have done well in receiving samples the past two weeks and have received 7 of them as well 8 coupons for free products. These will really stretch our food budget. I have also been using the $2 coupons for Dempsters bread available here in Canada. It makes the loaves less expensive than making bread myself. Because food has really become expensive here, I am buying strictly what is on sale and only what we will eat. Clearance racks have become my friend these days! I am also trying to earn Amazon codes from surveys and using them to buy some of our pantry staples. I am trying to have no food waste if possible.

    Car gas is now $2/liter here so we are doing very little driving and planning trips very carefully to combine errands. I am thankful we have a very small car that doesn’t use a lot of gas.

    Hope everyone has a lovely, productive, peaceful week!

  49. Your flowers are wonderful, thank you for posting them. They are so relaxing to look at! I couldn’t think of anything frugal that was worthy of typing other than one item 🙂 I took out a costco chicken carcass from the freezer and thawed it, along with a frozen bit of leftover turkey meat. I cooked the carcass in a crock pot overnight, then made chicken noodle soup (plus a bit of turkey). Made four meals for the two of us (three are now in the freezer). My husband and I were talking about how amazing it was that we spent our life, until five years ago, throwing out the chicken and turkey carcass, since we only liked white meat. Now a carcass makes four meals. Truly is amazing how just a little bit of thinking and effort can make a huge savings!

    1. Hilogene, my husband and I are the perfect fowl couple haha! I only like the white meat and he likes everything else. He will literally eat every scrap down to the bone! Not an ounce goes to waste around here. I have to wrap and freeze the carcass right away so I can make a tasty soup.

    2. Hilogene, I have to confess that I did the same thing. Like you, not anymore! Love that liquid gold☺️

  50. I haven’t commented for a few weeks but have been greatly blessed, despite my lack of comments.

    I was able to get my garden planted in the garden plot across the street from me. The water hasn’t fully been turned on, so I am watering with a watering pot for now. It’s not as large a plot as I have had in the past, but it is closer and no oop for me! I have mostly tomatoes, leafy greens, herbs, peppers, and a cucumber planted.

    I helped with a funeral on Saturday and was able to bring home many leftovers. My favorite was a ham bone from which to make soup. I also brought home a head of romaine lettuce, a cupful of potatoes and some kale.

    I’ve started another sweater which will be striped and made from scrap yarn.

    I read “Ordinary Grace” and “The Lincoln Highway,” both from the library and very enjoyable.

    I taught a class in April and will get compensated nicely for my time. One of the students brought me a bouquet of lilacs from her garden on the last day. They made my home smell wonderful!

  51. It’s been a quiet week. I was happy to stay home on the cold, rainy, windy days.
    I didn’t grocery shop since there were no exciting sales and we have enough to eat all week. I echo so many readers trying for zero food waste. I broke up a couple leftover taco shells to garnish chili for dinner and this morning for breakfast, I ate leftover dabs of salad and white chili.
    All the usual practices—hanging laundry, using washable rags instead of paper towels and putting on a sweater instead of putting on the heat.
    Wishing everyone a happy, healthy week.

  52. This has been a week of blessings for me. A friend is leaving island and she’s an amazing gardener she wants me to have all of her plants. I offered to pay her and she refused to take any money. I did giver her husband $300 and told him to buy her some nice plants at their next duty station. She has given me well over $3000 in plants. Most are in 25 gallon pots and are 3-4 years old. Two mulberry trees, Two Calamansi trees (like a lime but orange inside), a barbados cherry, a prickly pear cactus, a pineapple, plumeria, 2 varigated bouganviellas, cuban oregano, a meyer lemon, a gardenia that busted out of its 30 gallon pot. 200 Purple Heart plants that I will use to re landscape an entire hillside behind our house. 2 Mandevillas, several Amarylis bulbs, A drift red rose. Much more. I will be able to finally finish the landscaping around our new chain link fence and it won’t look awful for years to come. I still have Avocadoes and Mangoes I’m harvesting, chickens are giving me 4 eggs a day. I went to our local concrete company and ordered 3 tons of sand and 3 tons of 3/4 agregate. We’ll use that for walkways we’re pouring, my new catudio, fixing our current patio, the 3/4 inch agregate rock will fill in dirt areas under the mango and avocado where nothing else grows. Going this route saved me over $1000 rather than buying it bagged at Home Depot. I’m also excited we’re getting ready to start our latest drain spout project. Currently I have one set of roof drains that fill a 500 gallon water tank we use to water animals and plants. The second set of roof drains are going to be re routed and piped to be able to add another 500 gallon water tank. I also have 500 gallons of fresh street water on the roof that is constantly replenshed so if the water goes out. That pipes from the street to the tank and into the house water system. We are excited to continue to watch our new solar panels give us free power. We got our power bill this month and after only having them on for 2 weeks our bill went from $550 to $44. Dry season will be ending soon so it’s time to start my “fall” cherry tomatoes, okra, and eggplant. Once rainy season kicks in I’ll switch to planting mostly greens- long beans, wing beans, baby bok choy, heat tolerant spinach. Have a great week everyone.

    1. Blessings indeed!!! WOW!!! Do you mind my asking, when you say island, what island? I am curious as your season seems so different than mine; I live in North central Illinois.

      1. Hi Laura, We are on the island of Guam in the Marianas Island Chain in Micronesia. We are at 13 degrees latitude. Hawaii for example sits at 19 degrees latitude. Our temperatures range during the day from 78F-96F at night we rarely get below 75F. The big difference here is our Dry season is January to June and our Wet Season is July to December. Our rainfall averages 84-116 inches a year. 2/3 of which falls in rainy season. So our dry season is our spring/summer and our wet season fall/winter. In the dry season our big fruit trees fruit Mangoes, Dragonfruit, Starfruit, Soursop, Papaya, avocado. The wet season we usually only get bananas, pineapple, coconuts, and green papaya. For vegetables tomatoes, okra, eggplant, corn, peppers, Sweet potatoes, watermelon, zucchini, pumpkin cucumber mostly on grow in the dry season it’s to wet in the rainy season and they end up with blossom drop and mildew diseases. Our wet season isn’t as intense sun so we are able to grow heat tolerant spinach, bok choy, wing beans, long beans, bittermelon and other asian greens. Because we don’t get cool temperatures we can’t grow most North American fruits apples, stone fruits, no berries although we do grow “Barbados cherries” We also can’t grow celery broccoli, white potatoes garlic, snow peas etc. Our flowers are mostly tropical or height of american summer annuals zinnas, vinca, cannas. We do grow beautiful orchids, gardenia, bouganvilla, oxalia, hibiscus, and plumeria. Hope this helps. Thanks for the question.

  53. It’s been a cold week here and in spite of that my tomatoes absolutely insisted they had to be in the ground. I cut the tops off old water containers and used them as cloches which has worked out well so far.
    Beef pieces were on half price. We don’t eat beef often (health!) and we don’t have freezer space. But then I thought if I made beef vegetable stew, I could pressure can it. Which I did. So I have 7 quarts of ready-to-go dinners in my pantry.
    I’ve been re-reading The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency books. Very gentle evocative books.

    1. I love reading about their lives there. What they eat, grow, etc. However, I do recall a scene where a mamba?? snake is in her car engine. I was screeching while reading!! Enjoy!!

  54. The pictures of the flowers are so beautiful. Thrifty actions this week: gave my husband a haircut, used a cornstarch paste to lift dirt stains from two living room chairs, and composted all kitchen scraps into flower garden beds. Our gas prices hit 4.00 this week.

  55. I think I forgot to post last week. It was a busy one. It seems like we can go a couple of months with nothing on the calendar and then we hit a phase where nearly every day is busy and it’s all important!

    Ava, my sympathies to you for the loss of your husband. Take care of yourself.

    I saw that Cali is looking at a 42 gallon per person per day water limit. Wow. The news blurb this morning said that water usage is actually up despite all the warnings. Many of my friends have already converted their yards from lawns to dry creek beds, rock gardens, etc. Really pretty designs. One of them said people are always stopping to take pictures. They hired a landscaper, but I image most people can’t afford that and a picture gives them ideas. Brandy, do people take pictures of yours?

    My husband had a request that everyone post their general location, at the very least, lol! I read him some posts and he’s always asking where that is! Is that Canada? Australia? Etc. His dad was from Norway so I always read him Kinga’s posts. A little peek into the homeland.

    I’m switching to a more summery menu with little oven usage. It’s been in the high 90s this week so the a/c is running. Tonight I’m making salsa chicken in the crockpot. I’ll serve it on beds of spring greens. Also making some bread in the bread machine. Neither will add heat to the kitchen. It’s on the SW side of the house and already gets hot enough in summer to make beef jerky!

    Brandy, those delphiniums are so beautiful! The color is ooh la la! My friend in Montana has a huge section of them and they’re spectacular. Purple. Hers grow like crazy. I’m gonna tell her to look for your color because the combo of colors would be striking.

    Reading this week:
    On my nightstand – The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
    In my craft room CD player- Stephanie Plum #28 by Janet Evanovich
    With my Bible study- Created to be his Help Meet by Debi Pearl
    By my reading chair- When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall

    I’ll get back to listing some accomplishments next week. It’s not so crazy!

    1. The water restrictions in parts of Southern California are one day a week of outdoor watering starting June 1st. If they don’t reduce water usage enough, all outdoor watering will be banned in September.

      My brother in California says that where he lives, the water meter is for the street. The amount is averaged and then each family is charged the average! So there is no incentive to save. His wife has been fighting to get individual meters without success.

      One day a week in summer will make it very hard to keep trees alive, let alone have a vegetable garden. Grass will certainly die.

      My parents have a cactus garden and even that has to be watered on drip irrigation because it doesn’t rain here.

      I grew up in Southern California. This will be devastating. However, they like to say the drought was 3 years, then 1 good year, then 3 more years of drought. Meanwhile, southern Nevada says it has been 22 years of drought, and they started making significant changes in 2002 with strict rules, including prohibiting grass in the front yards of new homes on 2004. All water that goes down the drain is reclaimed and recycled.

      It amazes me that we sit in a better position to be able to water this summer on drip than California because we have had such restrictions for so long.

      Rock yards with plants on drip irrigation is normal at every single house here.

      My front yard is very green, but it uses less water than before when it had a kidney-shaped patch of grass in the middle of the rocks. Grass uses more water than drip irrigation.

      1. I live in S California in an over 3000 person retirement community where the homes do not have individual water meters. We pay for water through our HOA fee so are at the mercy of other people’s decisions and unable to know how much water we are using. The water shortage is a huge problem that the state hasn’t prepared for in many ways.

        1. I grew up in L.A. County. I remember drought rules as a child and commercials about saving water.

          It amazes me that California, Utah, and parts of Arizona have not had the same water restrictions as Southern Nevada for the last 20 years, despite ongoing drought.

          Now rash and harsh decisions are being made.

          San Diego is an exception as they made cuts years ago.

      2. I’m in So Cal and have not heard the order to only water once a week. I hope it isn’t so. I use less than my allowed budget of water each month. I know this from reading my bill, but I am watering three small flowered areas by drip. They would all die within a week if I switched to once a week watering. I have been building these gardens for years and have put in a lot of money.

        1. It depends on your water provider. For example, I believe Santa Barbara is exempt, but Thousand Oaks and Van Nuys have the restrictions, for example.

          And yes, a lot will die. The problem is there isn’t enough water to go around. Too many La Nina years and next to no snowpack are leading to extreme cuts.

          Here in Las Vegas, WE are paying for the DWP to build a water reclamation project for L.A. It’s part of some deal they negotiated.

          San Diego built one years ago, so they’re doing okay and don’t have the one day a week watering.

          Also, there are different rules for those who have drip landscaping.

          Check out the L.A. Times website and do a search about the water restrictions. I think they limit you to 5 free articles a month, so click carefully. I’m always reaching my max with them. They’ve covered it quite a bit.

          Here are a couple of articles:

          The first one lists cities that face restrictions:

  56. Love the pictures of the flowers, they are beautiful. You have an amazing eye for detail.
    Not much to report, hung my laundry up to dry, had two free meals at work due to lunch meetings, went to the library. I received the book that I had requested, “The Christmas Bookstore” It had a good story. This past weekend, I went to a Women’s Conference at my friend’s church, very uplifting. My sister and her husband installed my new air conditioner for my bedroom, I will be so thankful for that. They also help me put out my bottle tree and hang my wind chimes. I was able to bless them with some things from my storage shed. I was able to download the library app to my phone and downloaded some books to read. Gas prices have went up over two days to $4.19 a gallon here in West Tennessee. My two rose bushes are beginning to bloom.

  57. It has been cool and breezy here the last few days, with low humidity it has been wonderful May weather! We sleep with the windows open and it helps my sleep tremendously! The weather has been erratic so garden plants are slow in growing. I have two dozen tomato and cherry tomatoes in, a dozen peppers ( all sweet), cantaloupes haven’t come up yet, cukes are still too small to put out yet, kale is going gang busters and one bed I have left to bolt and get plants for the fall, beets are coming along , and radishes and lettuce are doing great. We are having lots of strawberries coming in, such a treat from starting with 5 plants from a friend 5 years ago. I am bringing home boxes to expand the garden, I do a lasagna method. We have been having lettuce or kale salads daily and will continue till they both bolt. I have also done lots of stir fry with the kale and put it and the beet greens in smoothies. I have chard that I have shared with a neighbor and friend. My friend gave me some dry roasted peanuts and gf snack items as she didn’t want them. What I didn’t want I dropped in a blessing box near my work.
    I am going to the beach for a three day weekend with my sister. She is treating me, as her husband won’t go and she has suffered terribly during covid with depression and the therapist told her to get out of town for a change of scenery. She can afford it and offered to pay if I would come with her. I haven’t t been in 8 years and even though rain is forecast, we will have fun. I am bringing snacks and lunches, including the peanuts snd gf snacks.
    Been line drying all laundry, my husband has been cutting his hair for our 40 years of marriage, eating at home and walking and doing weights and core at home, for exercise.

    My husband brought home some potatoes and bread from a work event. I am working hard to not waste food either, so things get eaten and scraps and skins and such get put into my garden trenches. We are working hard to eat down the freezer stuff before the produce starts coming in.

    Brandy, the flowers are sweet!

  58. I’m frantically trying to plan activities and reservations for a trip to London in June. There are a few things we’re doing that are NOT frugal….seeing “Hamilton” for one, but that’s a combined Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and 30th Anniversary gift to each other, so I’m calling it good. 🙂 I wondered if there are any readers from London who can give me some tips for activities and dining. We are staying at a very well-priced Airbnb in the Kensington neighborhood and plan to do as much walking as possible, as well as using the tube, if we’re feeling adventurous. I’d appreciate ANY London tips and tricks!

    1. I’ve looked and I’m afraid the best frugal ticket in London is fully booked for June – the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London, well worth booking in advance. The major museums are free and you’ve probably already checked out those along Exhibition Road, Kensington (V&A, Natural History, Science). it’s worth trying out some of the more unusual one’s like Sir John Soane’s Museum (also free). Covent Garden is just off the Strand, and a lovely, often crowded outdoor space with loads of buskers and free entertainment (and tourists!); you can find food for any price range.
      If the weather’s good, go to Paddington Station and follow signs to the taxi rank, from there you’ll see signs to the rear exit of the station, up a short staircase and you’ll find yourself on the towpath for the Grand Union Canal. Turn left and you’ll see where they filmed part of one of the Bourne films as well as the 2nd Paddington film. The canal will take you to Little Venice and you’ll see a couple of restaurants both on the other bank, the first is slightly pricer (still cheap by London prices) and specialises in fish, the second, is just by a bridge and is pub food prices/light bites with outdoor tables right by the canal: If you sit outside you’ll see a red brick Victorian Church on the opposite bank (the one you walked up) which doesn’t look much but do visit – the inside is utterly bonkers. It was only restored a couple of years ago and until then no-one knew it had a painted ceiling. You can wander in at any time or they do free heritage tours:
      Take a boat trip down to Greenwich and see the Old Royal Naval College, most of which is free; it costs to see the Painted Hall but on the 1st Sunday of each month a pre-booked ticket is £5.
      As you may have guessed, I work in the heritage sector so I could go on for ages but I hope these help. Have a lovely trip!
      ps Just thought, when are you coming? Are you going to be here for the Jubilee? If so, this shows the events programme:

      1. I’ve ben to the Soane Museum and it is well worth a visit. Also you could google small museums in London and get some other ideas too. While there I visited the Liberty store
        and looked at fabrics (yes, I succumbed and bought a few). We had high tea but I note now that it is very expensive.

        Mostly, we ate at wine bars or pubs.

        The other thing you might do is use London as a hub — I took an early train to Canterbury and
        walked around, then a late train back. But if you don’t want to leave London, you could take the tube to Wimbledon, take a picnic lunch and visit the gardens at Wimbledon Commons or go to Cannizaro Gardens. There is a bird watching area within the Commons as well. You can research bus, train and tube routes online.

        I agree with Margie — have your main meal at lunch. And museums do have reasonably price cafes.

      2. Fantastic advice in these comments! In London and Paris, we bought tickets on the hop-on, hop-off open-top red tour buses on the first day, just to get the lay of the land. We would hop off and catch the next bus if something appealed to us that wasn’t going to take too much time, otherwise we just made notes of what we saw that we wanted to visit for the rest of the trip. It also gave us an idea of locations, which helped to plan the next day’s visits. Our favorite London attraction was the Imperial War Museum, including the Cabinet War Rooms. That first day on the tour bus, we got mixed up in a motorcade and saw the Queen Mum! Not only that, but we caught up with her again out front at St. Peter’s! I don’t think the tour bus companies can guarantee a royal sighting, but it was a nice bonus!

    2. Susie – it depends on what you like to do – but – many, many of the museums and galleries are free of charge so well worth a visit. Most of them also have wonderful restaurants and reasonably priced, especially if you eat your main meal at lunchtime.

      My last trip to London my friend and I ended up spending the day in Greenwich – we took the tube (get an Oyster pass card) and then paid (then) about 12 pounds to tour the Cutty Sark ship – it was amazing. You can then tour all the marine museums, buildings, church, observatory etc. for free – plus there is a gorgeous park to explore and walk through. We then decided to pay to take the “ferry” back up the river at night and saw all the sites lit up for the price of the commuter fare – much cheaper than taking one of the tour boats. We got off at the Westminster stop which is right underneath the London Eye and then got the tube back to our hotel.

      Don’t over plan and try to do too much in one day. We spent one full day each in Greenwich, Kew Gardens and Hampton Court – and we needed a full day at each. Enjoy!

    3. I would recommend you google and read London Tool kit -for eg I learned there that the cheapest way to pay for the tube is to use a credit card with a wave symbol on it-rather than tourist passes-in most cases. If you like you can register your credit card ahead of time on the TFL transport for London website and check your daily travel charge to make sure you have not been overcharged. I even emailed them to contest a change-I mistakenly stepped out of the tube station briefly on a through journey and immediately went back through the turnstiles. When I pointed out to them in the email that it was an error and they could see I went right back in they credited me the difference between a thru journey and 2 separate journeys -of course it was my error and they did not have to-they were very gracious as it was an honest mistake.
      I also learn a lot by reading Trip advisor London forum . This works well for any new city you travel to-people post questions and locals or other travelers answer and advise based on their experience. Happy travels.

    4. What fun to plan such a trip! Kensington area has many tube stations. Remember that the official tube map is not to scale, meaning locations are not necessarily very far apart and might be easy to walk between. The tube is an easy system to use. Taking day trips out of the city on the train is not difficult, either.
      QE2 and I share a birthday in April, (I’m sure she knows: ha!), but her official birthday celebration is in June. She has horse parades and trooping of the colors and all such things that queens can do, June 11th, the week after her Jubilee, which Merrisjack linked to, June 2-5.
      London is third on the list of cities with most CCTV cameras, and security is taken very seriously. Follow the rules and you will be fine. I suspect Covid policies are carefully enforced.
      As you walk and explore, keep in mind that London is not based on a grid, roads and alleys slant off and are not consistently equal in width, and (I found) street signs are not as common as one would like, especially as street names change. Signs are on the corners on some buildings. In other words, if you have specific places you must be, have a good map, and if you wish to wander and see where you end up, it is easy and great fun to do that. Happy anniversary!

    5. Hi Susie
      Great advice from everyone about London so far. A lesser known but fab museum which is free is The Wallace Collection. Beautiful building and amazing eating space in an atrium courtyard.
      I echo the advice not to cram too much in, just walking around London you will see so much, the South Bank of the Thames is always lively and you will walk past the recreated Shakespeare Globe Theatre, the Royal Parks are wonderful green spaces with many interesting features, etc.
      One of my personal favourites is Liberty of London, the building is amazing inside and out and you can wander round without buying a thing. The tearooms serve a good cuppa!
      Everyone else has said how wonderful the free museums and galleries are, enjoy!
      Look forward to hearing what you did in due course.

    6. Closer to where you’re staying than my suggestion of taking the tube to Wimbledon,
      I understand that the gardens and bigger park at Kensington Palace can be accessed
      for free.

  59. Hello Frugal Friends!
    This was such a great week for us! We took the kids to Legoland in Denmark! We were planning for it for such a long time and it worked out so, so well. We managed to divide the driving by staying one night at our family’s summerhouse. Then we took a boat to Denmark(which was the biggest expense of the whole trip), drove to the cousin’s house in Odense where we were invited to grill. They were so kind to let us stay at their summer house- a little under an hour from legoland. We had food with us in travel cooler and made sandwiches to take to legoland, too (which saved us both money and time at the land). It was middle of the week out of season so we didn’t have to wait in long lines and could take the attractions many times. We had such a great time and didn’t spend any money at the park. On the way back we bought some food and plants to take home, it is crazy how expensive everything is in Norway compare to the rest of Europe.
    after coming home:
    We became a member of coop and bought a gas grill on sale. I am very happy about it.
    My bestie was going to go to a musical before the pandemic with a group of friends. Only now it was possible to see the play, but one lady couldn’t make it. I was offered to buy her ticket at a discounted price. So I am going to the theatre again! Somebody pinch me!
    We ate radishes and spinach from the garden. We had two rainy days!

    1. My daughter’s dear friend works at Legoland Denmark! It sounds like you had a lovely, lovely trip!

      1. That is so funny! I wanted to comment on your post earlier but thought it may be too late! It is a great place, I absolutely love Denmark 🇩🇰 It’s culture and people are very inspiring- how great for your daughter’s friend to live there. Is she Danish?

        1. No, American. But they are LOVING Denmark, for many of the reasons you mentioned! I’d love to visit some day.

  60. Thank you to all who post on this blog! I find a great sense of community and peace in reading the posts each week. And I continually open new browsers to follow up on items mentioned!

    Biggest frugal win was finding the game “Clue – The Great Museum Caper” at a garage sale for 75 cents. It was on my daughter’s Christmas list and it was listed for over $100 on Ebay! Garage sale season has finally begun here in Michigan! I have been enjoying Walmart pickup for groceries and am now going back to cherry picking the best deals at other local stores.

    It’s a crazy busy (& expensive) season of life, as the kiddos graduate this month. So proud of them – b0th are attending the 5th year program offered at their high school. (Free year of community college.) My daughter will have her Associates degree next May – for free.

    Take care!

  61. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your pictures on Instagram and Facebook of your garden. It is just beautiful! This week was a huge blessing in the garden, I harvested 6-gallon sized bags of lettuce and spinach, on top of what we have eaten daily. I have been sharing with friends and family. Strawberries are rolling in and the kids have been picking them every day. Three days I harvested Tatsoi and sauteed for dinner, other days we added into salads. I also cut sage, small celery stalks and green onions that were all used. I planted out more cucumber and green bean seeds as well as zucchini, tomato, and lemon basil plants I started from seed. We’ve started harvesting strawberries every day. They were just a handful a day and know we are up to about a pound! I have been able to share extra bell pepper, tomato, basil, celery and flower plants with family and friends.

    Banana peels have been kept and pureed with water they soaked in and buried around the rose bushes. I took cutting from Dahlia plants of varieties that I want to multiply in hopes they take. We added lots of things to our compost, turned some food scraps into food for our worm farm and shredded junk mail papers to add as well.

    I spent money this week that was all budgeted but with all great savings attached.
    I cut my 3 boys’ hair and one daughter. My clippers were literally on the fritz after the first cut. They have been used for years, so I started researching new clippers and found a pair of Wahl pair on clearance for $18. They were normally $59 and when I picked up and used them, I couldn’t believe the difference. What a huge savings but makes my life so much easier!

    I normally don’t wear makeup but the last couple of years I’ve developed a rash on my face. (My doctor is running some tests) It is something that I have become more self-conscious of and have been looking at redness makeup from Clinique to try out. I have extremely sensitive skin and have been able to previously use a few of their products successfully. They are expensive for a trial, so I have been watching sales. My credit card offered 24% cashback over the weekend, and I was able to use a 30% off code on their website, so I was able to get the foundation and mineral pressed powder for the cost on one product.

    We’ve been looking to replace an apple tree that didn’t survive last year. Stark Bros nursery in the next state North of us offered a sale over the weekend where some fruit trees were $18.16. I’ve had excellent success with their plants and was super excited they had the variety we were looking for in dwarf varieties. I placed an order for two trees and seed potatoes for the fall as well as a gardening apron I have been wanting. I received an additional 10% off the sale princes and free shipping. The trees were under 50% off.

    We have managed to keep off our air conditioning but with the 90s this week and 90+% humidity we have had to run it. In the mornings we open the windows until the heat of the day sets in. It is lovely to listen to the birds and get a nice flow of fresh air through the house. Thankfully with allergy shots, I’ve been able to handle the fresh air all spring this year!

    This week we went through all summer clothes and rotated winter clothing to be put away. We made a list of the items needed and I started searching for things online. I found several pieces on clearance and received free shipping. Next is to find sandals and water shoes. I have started purchasing gender neutral colored water shoes so they can be past down from my daughters to my youngest son.

  62. Amanda F. re: Makeup – I have developed rosacea over the past few years – causes a lot of redness and can be painful. Medication is helping but for foundation makeup I now use LaRoche Posay which is specially formulated for people with rosacea. It is one colour for all and has an SPF of 30 (those with rosacea need to avoid and protect themselves from the sun). While one bottle is about $35 dollars Cdn. it lasts me for a full year and is very gentle on my skin. I find it at the drugstore but more in the area where they have Vichy and those sorts of products next to the regular makeup. Just a suggestion.

    1. I am able to keep my rosacea in check by washing my face daily with Selsun Blue medicated dandruff shampoo. A bottle lasts me a long time because I only use a small amount. Just wanted to pass on that tip that I learned about years ago.

    2. Margie thank you for letting me know! That is what I have thought I had been dealing with and have even had to stop using all facial products including lotion for extended time periods. I have been extremely diligent in wearing sun protection especially this year. My doctor is convinced it is a malar rash possibly caused from Lupus. I have many symptoms, so he has been running many tests the past 6 weeks or so. I have also been watching the rash with regards to what I eat, and certain things seem to make it much worse, heat also does a great deal. I will note the makeup though, thank you. I am not certain yet if what I purchased is going to work with my skin.

  63. I love the photos in your post, especially of the roses in the big urn where you can see the citrus trees in the background. At Lowe’s today, they were selling lemon trees. I wondered if many people here in my area grow them in pots; no one I know has one.

    My garden is starting to take off now that the weather is warming up. We’ve had plenty of lettuce & spinach salads, plus shared with friends. I’ve had several snow peas, strawberries, and radish harvests. The wave petunias I started from seed look so pretty and are really filling out the hanging baskets.

    I ordered my daughter’s sheets that she’ll need for college. She said she only wanted one set so she didn’t have to store extras. However, it was only $20 more to get a split king set that came with 2 TwinXL fitted sheets and pillowcases. There’s only one flat sheet, but she doesn’t use those anyway. So this way, I have an extra on hand for her in case she needs it.

    School ends for us this week, so I bought teacher gifts: $10 Chick Fil A gift cards at Kroger to take advantage of the 4x gift card coupon. Kroger (northeast TN) had some good deals last week that I took advantage of — Life cereal for $1.79, Tillamook butter $2.47/lb, pork tenderloin $1.47 lb, and strawberries $2.97 2lb. Also bought Klondike bars for $2.47 which my family loved.

  64. Another benefit to the solar power. Our street had a scheduled outage today for 6 hours (that no one knew was happening) I was working at my computer A/C humming along and I start getting frantic messages from my neighbors asking if my power was out. The inverters kicked into Island mode and I didn’t even have a flicker. This was part of the “insurance” when we have our next Typhoon. Power can be out for a few weeks and I maintain a couple of freezers. The savings in not losing the food alone will be worth it. The plants are just amazing. She had me over again, and again I left with a full load. So excited!

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