I harvested spinach, green onions, lettuce, snow peas, and cilantro from my garden.

My son is now in charge of the clearance markdowns at the grocery store where he works. The store is being rearranged and they are marking down everything that they don’t have room for while they build new aisles. He let me know after work that he had marked down three carts full of mostly toothpaste. We were very low on toothpaste, and I was able to get several different kinds for our family (some as low as $0.68 a tube!)

Later in the week, he also picked up some pot pies that were on clearance for $0.25 each.

Because I went to get the toothpaste, I also looked to see if there was any meat on sale that I hadn’t seen in the ad, and there was, so I was able to get pork shoulder roast and bone-in chicken breasts on sale.

My husband returned from out of state (giving me the use of the vehicle with better gas mileage, or I would not have gone), and I was able to attend a private rose garden tour at Huntington Library by their head rosarian, arranged by Grace Rose Farm. The normal tickets cost $25 to attend; the ticket was only $19, and we received a bouquet of roses from Grace as well (her bouquets sell for $100 to $169). Though the gas was not cheap, I was thrilled to go back when the roses were in bloom. I drove there and back in one day. The best part of the whole day, besides seeing the garden, was that I made a new friend from the group, and to me, that is priceless.

The weather was cooler than normal last week. Usually, I have to run the air conditioner by now and water more this time of year. I opened the windows each morning to cool down the house (and as a bonus, got to enjoy the birdsong!), and I was able to skip watering my potted plants one day where I would have watered them (at this point I am watering them three times a week, but last week it was only twice). I continue to use shower-warm-up water to water some of my pots, and I also used any water leftover in glasses at the end of the day to water plants (we use one glass for the whole day to reduce the water used for the washing of glasses).

We celebrated a child’s birthday at home very simply, with ice cream and homemade Rice Krispies treats (I used the store-brand of rice cereal).

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I have planted all the potatoes and sown peas, leeks, courgettes ,french and climbing beans, cabage and lettuce. Cut lawn twice to get it under control and composted the cuttings. I also picked stinging nettles to make plant feed. I mulched the field beans. Tried to get the scale insect off the citrus.

    By picking my days I have managed to dry washing outside on the line , I washed bedding ,towels, bath mats and rugs as well

    Went to local town to get a new mop and milk bottle holder now most shops in our area selling this kind of thing have closed the park and ride and bus pass.

    I have spent days doing our accounts and tax. Glad it’s done. Spent a few days on medical appointments.

    Made Bakewell tart , treacle tart and mincemeat tart as I have flour that needs using. Used my bus pass to go to the bakers, I am going to make a sourdough starter as this will be cheaper than using the baker although I may need to get bakers bread for hubby as he is not keen on homemade bread.The council changed my dustbin as it cracked, for free. I am reading Greta Thunbergs new book from the library app, it is hard going but worth reading. Also I am reading Tim Spectors new book on gut health and diet. Cut hubby’s hair

    Used coupon for matzos and pasta. Yellow sticker pain aux raisin ,Raspberries ,grapes and croissants.

    We recorded the Phantom of the Opera using Sky Arts which was free on Freesat and watched this will the Coronation was on . We are not interested in the monarchy.

    Have a good week everyone

  2. Wow, those roses are fabulous! I can see why you went back, Brandy.

    Our weather became more humid and warm this past week, but I am keeping the a/c off as long as I can.

    I harvested and dried some herbs. I will also cut and freeze some parsley this week.

    I sewed another gift bag, this one for birthdays. I use these with family – we always reused the paper gift bags amongst ourselves anyway – a cloth bag will hold up longer and the fabric was on clearance.

    I’m starting to see some vegetable seeds sprouting, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I have success with these plants. The pressure from bugs and fungal disease is very intense here in spite of our efforts.

    I signed up to borrow an electric pressure washer from the library. It’s booked until September, but September is still plenty warm for pressure washing, so I booked it then.

    I mended some linens and consigned others to the rag bag.

    I’ve learned to carefully check every bag of fruit that is sold already bagged, as carefully as I can through the windows or mesh in the bag, which isn’t always easy to do. I’m glad I do this, because I found a moldy piece of citrus fruit in a bag as I was about to check out. I had decided to give it one more look before I put it on the belt.

    I washed all laundry on cold and hung it outside to dry or on a rack inside this past week.

    I found one of my favorite soaps on 30% off sale, and bought a few bars.

    I hope everyone has a good week.

    1. I, too, check pre-bagged fruit–and I try to squeeze the onions to make sure all are firm.

      Brandy, I’m glad you could get away for a day to see the roses in bloom. Food for the soul! Beautiful pictures, too. And how handy to have an “inside man” at the grocery store!

      This week–
      * I made a batch of Miracle Spray for cleaning.
      * Fifty years after inheriting my mother’s pressure cooker, I’ve learned to cook potatoes–and I’ll never do it any other way again. Five minutes @ 15 lbs. Five minutes!
      * I gave away a dwarf pear tree that wasn’t doing well here. The only place I had for it was too wet. Another friend divided her perennials and gave me 4 new plants. (Perennials = the gift that keeps on giving). I planted all 4 and it rained for the next two days! They settled in beautifully.
      * I shortened two pairs of capris. Being able to do my own alterations has saved me a fortune over the years! And, once I get over dreading it, it isn’t a bad job.
      * I bought a whole boneless pork leg for $1.79 lb. We’ve enjoyed several meals of roast pork this week, froze enough pulled pork for another meal and froze enough uncooked pork for quite a few future meals.

      TerriC, in response to your post late last week–Under federal law your grandson is eligible for special education evaluation and services (if needed) from age 3 to 21. Your local school would be the place to start investigating his needs. Best wishes.

        1. This is an Aussie recipe. I converted the recipe from metric.

          1 cup boiling water
          Additional 5-1/2 cups water
          2 tablespoons washing soda (Arm & Hammer in the laundry aisle)
          1/2 cup vinegar
          1/4 cup Dawn or other dish soap
          5 teaspoons eucalyptus oil

          Dissolve washing soda in boiling water. Add remaining water and vinegar. Gently stir in Dawn, running your finger around the measuring cup to get it all. Gently stir in eucalyptus oil. This cleans well without the eucalyptus oil, but it does make a lovely smell and a little extra cleaning and disinfecting power.

  3. Hi Brandy and everyone
    The roses look gorgeous, how lovely to receive a bouquet too on your rose tour.
    Your son’s employment at the grocery store is so handy!
    It has been a busy, social and happy week culminating in the King’s Coronation. We had family and friends come to stay for the long weekend so I was prepping bedrooms and food beforehand. It wasn’t frugal but there were a couple of things I could do to cut costs. We joined with more family to watch the Coronation and I took along potato salad, gammon and brownies as our contribution to the buffet lunch. I had been given a bottle of champagne at Christmas which we took along for a toast. There were lots of leftovers which we split up and we have enough food for lunches and dinners for most of this week which will save my energy, electricity and slash grocery spending this week. So maybe it wasn’t as expensive overall as it seemed.
    The next day we attended a sea swim ( wearing fancy dress tiaras and crowns) followed by a picnic and I took a pan of pigs in blankets as our contribution. Again there were lots of leftovers and I brought home scones, jam and clotted cream. We didn’t buy any decorations. Every time there is an important event I buy a newspaper and store it away, we have a wonderful resource of history now. This time a daughter bought the newspaper for me for the archive.
    One of my husband’s gardening clients gave him some flag iris offshoots which are now in our pond. We also received rhubarb and picked lettuce from our own garden. Many more annual flower seeds have been sown.
    Our SIL asked for Lands End t shirts for his birthday so I waited for the best discount and bought them just in time for his birthday.
    Stay safe everyone.

      1. It was great fun Michelle! I cried a little during the Coronation service because I miss Queen Elizabeth but most of the weekend was full of joy.

  4. I’m sitting in the shade outdoors while my grandson sleeps in the stroller. What bliss!
    I’m helping my DIL while son is away on a training course. I drove down and brought all my food for the trip. I’ll also be able to go to my daughter’s wedding dress fitting.

    I sold a few extra veggie starts.
    I’ve done paid admin at home for summer school.
    That about it!
    I hope everyone is doing well and I appreciate the community with you all.

  5. This week, client quilts have been coming in and so here are the first 3 finished and picked up: https://pin.it/3clnfgk, https://pin.it/7zDal40 and https://pin.it/3mM4guW. We still have 4 more in the queue so it’s good that my daughter/business partner and me each have a machine to use at our own homes! Business slowed for a while but that gave me timed to prepare/plant garden! Now it seems to be picking up a bit!

    The garden is almost all planted up- we put tomato towers up surrounding each of out Tom plants. All my chives (over a dozen more clumps) have been given away via FB Marketplace now and we’ve met some delightful people that we might not have otherwise! I planted the chive I was going to keep in a big pot outside. I’ve decided that’s what I’m doing with all of my herbs so they don’t take over veg real estate!

    Hubs is overseeing the Memorial Day BBQ for our Church Ward (congregation) so I found ground beef (about 25 pounds total) on sale at Flashfood this morning for $1.82/ pound rather than $4.49/pound. I will use my Patty maker and flash freeze them into burgers. This has saved our Church budget well over $50 and even more if we had bought premade burger patties!! I bought a burger maker years ago on clearance that will form 6 burgers at a time and then I flash freeze them. Quite a money saver!

    Since I was already at Meijers picking up Flashfood ground beef, I shopped in the regular part of the store to get 16 Oz carton of strawberries, 16 Oz carton of blueberries, 1 package of Hamburger buns and 1 gallon of distilled water for Hubs CPap. The total should have been $10.36, but because of sales and coupons it reduced to $3.52! But wait, that’s not all! I had a $2 gift card from Meijers as a refund a month or more ago! So my out of pocket was $1.52!! And I’m eating a bowl of blueberries with milk at lunch time! Tasty? Yes!!! But would I have paid their “regular” price of $4.29? Never!!

    We are continuing to upgrade the landscaping and garden beds in our yard and Hubs was able to use grey blocks that we took out from our veg garden to create new stairway from laundry room door down to courtyard/pond outside. He wanted to make a wrought iron railing for the sides of pond that would have been “only” been about $550 at Home Depot and we could pay it off in a year with no interest. I said no and that there might be other possibilities for cheaper sources. Had him start looking on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, Freecycle and Habitat for Humanity’s 2 ReStores here in town. He started thinking and designing and discovered 4 tall wrought iron corner braces for a former gazebo years ago. He got all excited and out came the graph paper! He and I are thrilled at his designs and he’s already starting to put them together. He said he would still need the little base pieces to anchor them. At HD and Lowes, they were almost $50!! Then, he started to think outside the box and found plumbing ones that will give it a Steampunk look for $6! It may have been faster to spend the $550 but I can see already that he is deriving more enjoyment from designing this himself with recycled bits!!

    We have no gas bill again this month and still have a credit of about $300, so I imagine we may not have to pay for natural gas until August when they start their new year for our level pay plan! Our electric bills are down again this month because we have been trying to cut back. I budget $200 but I can’t remember when we’ve had one that high. This month, it was $126 which we are happy with.

    It’s been a week to adjust and find alternatives that will work and I’d like to think that doing that mental work might keep my old brain more active and agile and forestall the Alzheimer’s that will surely find me.

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Pat isn’t it wonderful to not have to pay a gas bill? Mine was super low last month and this month was also 0 balance. This warm winter in Ohio has certainly helped. My electric bill was pretty low we have been on the Budget Plan withAEP for years but they raised it from $114 to $268 a month so we cut it off and are doing pay as you go none of my bills have even came to the $114 a month actual usage this year and we’re not using electric as much since husband retired in March doing laundry is rare now once or twice a week and no ironing anymore. Good going on resisting the temptation to buy a ready made kit for such a high price and thinking outside the box, it can be done and is as you said much more fun to create yourself.

  6. I’ve been reading this blog and the comments very closely lately out of necessity. Many tips are so so helpful!

    We are a one car family and have been for the past almost four years. It saves so much money. Less on insurance. And less on taxes and registration. We combine errands as much as possible and watch gas prices closely. Fortunately my husband is able to leave work to bring our girls home from school when they are done with their classes. He is honest and clocks out for this even though he’s not required to. He saves his lunch hour to be during that time as often as possible. I don’t mind being at home with our youngest daughter who is homeschooled completely. I know some people would feel trapped but I like our home.

    We planted a garden last week but the weather didn’t cooperate so we will try again after my middle daughter graduates Sunday.

    We continue to hang clothes out to dry or put them on the drying rack if it’s raining outside. Every penny counts and clothes last longer this way. Our autistic daughter doesn’t like line dried clothing but we figured out that if she uses fabric softener and then line dries, her clothes are tolerable to her skin.

    We have been eating primarily at home. I made brandy’s white bean dip Saturday night and it was so good. I served it as a sandwich spread topped with lettuce and tomato on toasted bread. So good! I also made brandy’s creamy chicken enchiladas. I put chopped jalapeños in them and they were good as well.

    It’s been very hot here the past few days but we are getting by with ceiling fans. We don’t plan to turn on the air conditioning until July. Then we will set it at 82 so that it won’t come on except during the hottest of days. We’ve found that opening the windows in the morning cools the house down just fine. We let the inside temperature equalize with the outside temperature and then shut the windows. It stays fairly comfortable most of the day. Fortunately we are expecting cooler weather for the rest of the week.

    Hope everyone has a great week! Take care!

  7. Hello!

    —Nice clearance finds, Brandy! I found large bundled bags of bell peppers on clearance last week for 99 cents. There was absolutely nothing wrong with them. The produce guy who was standing nearby gave me a look of “congratulations!” I used them in pasta salad, veggie pizza, and unstuffed pepper skillet. I eat a lot of peppers for vitamin c, because I can’t eat much citrus.

    —I bought and planted an additional dwarf apple tree. My husband and I do not buy gifts for each other, but I will consider this a Mother’s Day gift.

    —I received a $5 off a future purchase coupon at Aldi. I’m not sure why they were distributing them.

    —My mother gave me a nice Ralph Lauren robe and a pretty decorative trash can she didn’t want. She also gave me another plant start and I plan to turn the trash can into a planter.

    —I used my homemade carpet fresh (baking soda and essential oil) to vacuum out my van. It smelled so good afterward! I was chaperoning a school trip, and the van interior was I need of a good cleaning.

    —I won $20 in Venmo through an instant win sweepstakes.

    —I’ve been clipping lilacs and other flowers for bouquets. We’ve also started picking strawberries.

    —I’m currently reading “All the Forgivenesses,” by Elizabeth Hardinger. I downloaded the audiobook “The Power of Vulnerability,” by Brene Brown.

    —I found old, stale marshmallows in our pantry that I revived by adding a slice of bread to the bag and letting them sit for a few days. They are soft again, and I plan to make Rice Krispie treats. I use the store brand cereal as well!

    Have a great week!

  8. Your beautiful flower photos are always such a treat to see, Brandy! I feel like I travel with you to these lovely places…including your yard! * I made rice for a stir fry and knew I needed rice for burrito bowls later in the week, so I made enough for both meals. For the stir fry I used one small round steak I got on sale awhile back in a three pack. I froze them separately and used one in this. It was nice to have something a little different. The stir fry fed us two dinners. * A dear young friend of mine had her second baby, so I brought a dinner over when I went to meet the baby. I made a big batch of chicken salad and split it between her and us. Her older boy is only a year and a half, so I knew he wouldn’t eat the chicken salad, so I sent along a few dinosaur chicken nuggets in a baggie for him. He was excited. I felt a little cheap for not sending the whole bag of nuggets, but I needed some for our grandchildren later in the week, so I just sent a few. Our half of the chicken salad fed us for three more meals. * For fun, my husband and I went to Grandparents Day at our Clementine’s preschool. My new wheelchair came in handy! We got sprinkle donuts, which was very exciting for Clem! And me! * By far the best and most money saving thing that happened last week was our son, who lives with us and has struggled in the past, passed his first semester of the accelerated nursing program he is in!! (It’s a two year R.N. program). He wasn’t that confident that he’d do well on the final and if he failed, he’d have to repeat the semester. No shame in that, of course, many people do repeat, but that would cost him another $8,000 in tuition, so we are so relieved for him. His hard work (and his mama’s feverish prayers) paid off. We are all very relieved and happy and thankful! Only two more semesters to go! * Otherwise, I keep on with reading library books, knitting and crocheting. I was feeling like I wanted something new to do, and remembered I had started embroidering a set of pillowcases years ago. I found them and am starting to work on those again. Apparently, I wanted to do a lot of pillowcases because I found three other sets as well! I have four daughters, so I think I might be working on these for Christmas gifts! Sometimes, I thank my old self for these nice surprises! Everyone have a lovely week!

    1. Congratulations to your son – that’s awesome! Such a difficult field to learn and understand, way to go on the finals!!!

    2. Congratulations to your son! Nursing school is hard! I well know as I’ve been an RN for 26 years now! Good luck to him

  9. It’s been a very hectic week. My husband and I had 2 out of town training events. One night we splurged for a hotel room, which coincided with my birthday. We were able to get a discounted room for the conference. We got free tickets for both events, which are normally over $1000 each and we learned tons of great information.
    Other than a planned meal out, covered by a friend, I managed to throw together dinners all other nights. It helps to keep some easy meals on hand like frozen pulled pork and premade burgers. I didn’t have time to make sourdough and even bought some grocery store bread, for the first time in months.
    I did harvest our first asparagus from the garden. I used up some frozen pumpkin to bake chocolate pumpkin muffins and frozen zucchini to make “lasagne” with sourdough bread crumbs and clearance cottage cheese.
    We are now out of state on another trip. Hotel was covered by my husband’s work, although we had to pay for plane tickets. It’s somewhere new to us so it’s fun exploring a new spot and getting some sunshine. I ordered groceries which helps save on meals out and brought some food from home. Trying to avoid the consumerism coming from every inch of the hotel.
    I was planning on joining a new gym so I can start swimming, but with all the travel I keep postponing and just running and using hotel gyms. It works for now.

  10. Had a better week this week. I went to work 4 days and took breakfast and lunch all four days.
    My DIL was going to a church retreat this week. she runs the sound, so has to get there early. Even though she could take my granddaughter with her, there was a two-hour time period between when she was leaving and my granddaughter was able to go. Of course I can babysit for those two hours. I had a lovely time with a lovely little girl.
    Cooked a batch of home-grown pinto beans in the Instapot. Then made them into refried beans. Unlike your family, we like ours really smooth, so save some of the bean water to mix in and used the immersion blender. Then fried them in some bacon grease we had, and added salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and salsa till it tasted right. the only problem with the way I cook sometimes, is I am never sure I can recreate the recipe, since I go by taste when I cook.
    Had bean and cheese burritos on Friday for lunch.
    Had popcorn and apples for dinner twice.
    Made chicken fajitas using chicken and peppers from the freezer, onions still from our garden last year, and fajita seasoning mix my sister gives to me.
    Made chili, using beans from the freezer previously cooked (black and Italian heirloom beans). These were previously grown in our garden. Used some of the homemade tomato sauce I canned last year.
    Made baked potatoes. The DH likes them with chili, I like them with broccoli and cheese.
    Cut DH’s hair.
    Received 4 free covid tests in the mail.
    Best deal of the week was shredded cheese for $4.99 for 2 pounds. I got one bag each of mozzarella, medium cheddar, and cheddar jack.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.

  11. Gas is $2.88 in University town and $3.29 further south. My son completely took apart the lawn mower and finally fixed it, we hope, for the summer. I am eating cooked dried beans, fresh turnip greens and radishes, along with the greens from the radishes. Pimento cheese sandwiches were for lunch this week.

  12. Northern central valley is still raining. Wow. I I have been working diligently to restore the xeriscape I created two summers ago in the midst of the drought. I removed all lawn from the front, put in a dry river ( the big rocks were put in by a company) and lined the river with drought resistance potted plants and colored ceramic globes. I have no green thumb. Color is tough to come by. I have a small budget to replace the plants I kill. They usually make it about three months. Sigh! All the rain we got finally grew two small trees into an arch as I hoped. I found a discount 25 inch high turquoise bird bath. That means I won’t have to sacrifice another large plant there anymore. A life saved.

    I saved food from three Teacher Appreciation buffets. I focused on the fresh fruits and veggies since they are so expensive.

    Speaking of teaching: I found a new great choose your adventure simulation site for historical time periods. thought it might be good for homeschoolers: https://www.mission-us.org/. Two other play programs for review that are invaluable are: https://www.blooket.com/ and https://jeopardylabs.com/. An absolute crucial part of my geography classes is https://www.seterra.com/ which are geography games.

    1. Mary Ann, I’m the same on plants. I try and try and the poor things meet the same fate with me. There was a joke in my family if someone needed a plant killed off, just let me touch it, lol.

  13. Brandy, that is so lovely that you could see the rose garden, and that you made a new friend! Beautiful photos of roses.
    I tried to save money by raking my own lawn. There are so many spruce cones on the trees that have yet to fall so I may be doing this for quite some time! Our week of lovely weather is over; we are supposed to have 3 or 4 days of rain. It is very welcome and I hope some falls in the norh where there are many forest fires. A friend gave me some bedding out plants. I would never have bought what she gave me but still I’m grateful. I got them all planted yesterday just before the rain. And fingers crossed that the deer don’t eat them!

    I enjoyed watching the Coronation of King Charles III. The royal family channel on You Tube also had the pre-coronation concert so it was great listening to the classical music and hymns. I have always loved Handel’s Zadoc the Priest so was glad it was used during the coronation. It has been used for every British coronation since it was written in the 1700s. Then a friend sent me a link to BBC radio 3 so I can just listen to the coronation music. Last night I watched the Sunday evening coronation celebration concert and enjoyed hearing Bocelli and Terfel sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. All free!

    I’m not buying many groceries this month but did get some ground beef on sale. And I’m trying to restock my pantry with Heinz baked beans that are on sale.

    I am going to try growing mimulas from seed. They love the shade so there’s plenty in this yard for them. I have some other flower seeds still that I will try. And I’ve found my vegetable seed from last year so I hope to try again.

  14. Your photos are beautiful and I am glad that you could get back to Huntington Gardens to see the roses in bloom.

    I got my garden planted last week. It’s in a small area with other community gardeners. The night I arrived to work on it, I was alone, but before long, other gardeners had arrived. One woman had her mother and two sisters with her. Her mother didn’t have much to do, so she graciously helped me weed my plot. Another sister helped me turn the soil and add mulch and fertilizer. Their kindness saved me hours of work!

    A local thrift store for craft items was closing. They were charging $15 a bag–you brought your own bag and it could be as large as possible. I filled a shopped bag 3/4 full and bought knitting books, a little yarn, handfuls of embroidery floss, some thread, a remnant to make a skirt from, two blank notebooks, old film movie reel containers, two antique wooden shoe forms, some topographical maps, and spools of ribbon. This has been a wonderful store, both to purchase from and to donate items to. I will miss it!

    I walked to my local Macy’s department store to pick up a new packable straw hat (we are able to go out of town this week). My other one had been crushed to death! I found one on sale for $12 and was happy with it. On my way out I was chatting with a friend who works in one of the departments. She alerted me that the Karen Scott line of clothing was no longer going to be carried at Macy’s and that everything was marked down. I like plain t-shirts for summer because they go with skirts and pants, and needed a white one to replace what I already have. While I could have purchased lots of patterned ones, I ended up buying white, black, navy, and yellow. The shirts were $3.33 each. They also had capri pants and long pull on pants, but I didn’t buy more because I really didn’t need them. So my wardrobe is set for summer at an affordable rate.

    I also started another knitting project from my stash and read books from the library.

    Now that the weather is warmer, I am hiking once a week with friends, while still keeping up water aerobics and yoga.

    Enjoy this beautiful time of year, everyone!

  15. I don’t get around to posting often but I read every post and many of the comments. I grew up in SoCal so I really have enjoyed your photos from the Huntington Library and Descanso gardens. One of my favorite places is the Oak grove in Descanso, so peaceful!

    In the last month, we have had some frugal wins:
    *my husband purchased some tools for work he needed to do on an engine, he mentioned the work he was going to do to a neighbor and the neighbor offered to help and brought with him the tools for my husband to borrow. My husband was able to return his unused tools to Amazon and get $80 back.
    *My parents flew in for a visit and as a thank you for all the cooking I did, bought us a stag horn fern to hang on our porch. I have wonderful memories of feeding my grandma’s stag horn fern banana peels. Her fern was older than me and when she passed 5 years ago, her long time neighbor took it because my parents live 30 minutes away in too hot/dry a climate for a fern. The neighbor sends my mom pictures of it from time to time. I’m so thrilled to have my own!
    *I picked up some extra hours at work because my boss and I enjoy completely opposite work tasks and I always offer to take on the things she doesn’t like to do. I also received a raise last month. I work for her but also have clients of my own and gained a new client last month.
    *I cashed out $25 from the Upside gas app, $15 to Amazon from Fetch app, and $28 worth of free groceries at Winn Dixie from their points system. I used the $28 to purchase ingredients for a fruit tray and s’mores for a neighborhood farewell party this past weekend – an Army family that has become a wonderful part of our neighborhood is moving away as he takes over a command in GA
    *Our twins are playing tee ball in our local little league and all players received 2 free tickets to a Miami Marlins vs Chicago Cubs game. We had to buy 2 additional tickets at $5 each for our older kids and paid $26 for parking. We told the kids ahead of time we would buy them each a hot dog and if they wanted something more, they needed to bring their own money. The older kids had grand plans until they saw the price of the treats and decided not to buy anything. We stopped at the grocery store on our way home and they bought themselves a treat there for much less and had extra to share. The Marlins won the game and it was good cheap family fun!
    *Our twins attend a charter school and as a part of the program, they go on a field lab each week at no cost. Today they went to Everglades National Park to hike and study alligators. Next week they go on a dive boat out to the reef for snorkeling, I’m hoping to be chosen as a chaperone for this one (it’s competitive as you can imagine).

    Wishing everyone a lovely week!

  16. Last week we got most of the summer veggie garden in. We bought many starts at a local greenhouse since we don’t have space to start our own, but each plant only ended up costing about 40¢. I’ve been working on accumulating canning lids as I can afford them. I got 9 dozen last week. A friend gave me horehound seeds and 6 tomato plants. We got free sawdust to put in the walkways of the garden. I went to a local church rummage sale and got an armload of dresses for my girls, a cookbook, 2 movies and a toy for $3. I also found markdown tortillas and marshmallows. The tortillas were 32¢ per package. I bought 38. The marshmallows were 20¢ per package and I bought 17. Our homeschool co-op has dinner together twice a month. This meeting’s dinner theme was ham. I bought one before Easter for 29¢ per pound. And I got another one before Easter for free. I took them both for the meal. It was nice to have thought about it last month since it allowed me to provide the main dish for 35 people so inexpensively.

  17. How handy to have your son in charge of clearance items. I’m glad you were able to get great deals on some items. The Huntington gardens look lovely, and I can imagine how you enjoyed that. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary over the weekend, and went to a nearby botanical garden on Saturday. Last week, I used our broccoli in pad thai for a dinner, and opened a jar of our pear sauce with honey. I dried all laundry on the line. Our crowder peas were used for another dinner, and frozen kale, baked sweet potatoes, and a beet was used in apple beet salad. I finally caught up on canning broth for a few days, using 9 gallon bags of veggie scraps, which made a bit of room in the freezer. I requested two books from the library, and picked them up while I was nearby. I transplanted tomatoes from the little starter cubes to larger pots, and we started hardening off the larger ones I had transplanted prior. All were fed with the nettle and comfrey tea that was started two or three weeks ago. A batch of suet was made for the birds. With three different wired ribbons that were thrifted, I made a spring mailbox bow. I enjoyed a thrifting day with friends, and am happy with what I found, which included a wicker laundry basket, heavy pottery dog bowl made in England, two canisters to turn into compost crocks for my shop, some sewing supplies, and a wood and fabric laundry hamper. Asparagus and lambs quarter were harvested. The ends and skins of aloe were blended with water, and used to feed some outdoor plants. While attempting to gather eggs, I found a rat snake in the chicken coop. My husband grabbed it with a feed bag, and we relocated it, but not before it had eaten several of our eggs. Country living is always an adventure! https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2023/05/early-may-on-homestead.html

  18. I finished 3 audiobooks in the last month…The Bone Witch, Uncharted Waters, and The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague. I’ve started listening while I walk my laps after work.

    Since I work in a school, I was able to get a free Chikfila chicken sandwich and free soda from McDonald’s on Teacher Appreciation day

    Earned $12.75 in Amazon shopper panel rewards

    Since it was staff appreciation week last week, there was breakfast brought in twice(bagels, donuts, fruit, yogurt, drinks) , and lunches three times(sub sandwiches,
    Mcalister’s, then bbq lunch, with all the sides and lots of desserts), then on lunch worker day, we got flowers, $5 sonic gift card, muffins, cookies, and tons of cards from the kids.

    Hubby found a ham marked from $60 to $25. He smoked it, then we cut it up for various meals (beans, steaks, sandwiches).

    Used points for breadsticks on a night I ordered pizza

    The teen and I went to a local Arts festival. Admission was only $5 each. I hadn’t planned on buying anything, but she was under orders from hubby if I found something I like, she was to get it. Well, I have a new Halloween picture. I told them to consider it a Mother’s day gift. Aside from ice cream for the teen, and two bags of kettle corn to bring home, that’s all we purchased (we brought our own drinks since it was outside)

    Spent $60 on groceries…that included qtips and super glue(two items we ran out of). Thanks to the addition of the ham, I might be able to stretch not buying meat through next week.

    We purchased a new bedroom window ac unit, and some work things my husband needed at Menards and will be receiving $27 back in a rebate.

  19. Oh i managed to do the same thing at my local stop &shop..i found body wash for about 68 cents each.i purchased about 25.i volunteer with kiwians and we were collecting for a youth shelter and i gave some to family and friends..
    I was sssoooo happy to find that deal.i dont have alot of money to donate but i coukd afford this

    1. Diana, I want to thank you and other Kiwanians for all of the good things you do for developmentally disabled people. When my daughter was in school, she spent a week for several summers at Camp Kiwanis at Mt. Hood, Oregon. Many good memories of this wonderful program. Now, at 46, she is a member of AKtion Club, the program you sponsor for people with disabilities. She is the sergeant-at-arms and wears her Kiwanis pin proudly! A few weeks ago, AKtion and Kiwanis had a joint service project to clean a small warehouse for a local organization serving veterans in need. The members of the two clubs paired up with each other and my daughter felt so happy and useful afterwards. Kiwanis is a truly wonderful organization!

  20. What beautiful photos – so glad you were able to enjoy a wonderful day! And how handy with your son working at the supermarket – great buys!

    I have done a lot of work in my apt. this past week – moving furniture means that cabinets and bookcases had to be emptied, moved, cleaned, the contents cleaned and refilled! Exhausting and I have not quite finished! My plan is to have what I need most. close to hand so that I can see it, use it and return it to where it belongs most efficiently. I have also decluttered more bits & pieces and donated more books & DVDs – I need some breathing space!

    With all that work I didn’t have a lot of time to cook so I used up a lot of odds and ends from the freezer. The one thing I did make was some chili – I cooked a pound of ground beef, added a can of lentils, took out 1/3 of the mixture and added canned tomatoes and then popped that into the freezer to be used in a pasta sauce later in the month. With the rest I added corn and a can of vegetarian chili plus tomatoes and made the chili. I served it over rice – ate two servings – took one downstairs to a friend who has Covid and then froze 3 servings for later.

    Bought very few groceries – just milk, English muffins and some fruit & veg. Spent no other money last week aside from one coffee. Took snacks and my water bottle to the office – did three loads of laundry and hung them all up to dry on racks. Enjoyed watching the Coronation, the ball games, Youtube history documentaries and reading my library books.

    Hope that everyone has a wonderful week.

  21. I made my first batch of soup with leftovers from the fridge. This is big as I am not comfortable cooking without a recipe! I had broccoli, a bit of rice, one baked potato, a bit of kale, some cherry tomatoes, celery, and a handful of ground beef. I made a beef stock and tossed everything together. There was not quite enough rice, so I cooked up some barley and added that along with seasonings. My husband loved it. I will keep track of the bits of leftovers and make soup weekly. This week I also made homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner per my middle son’s request. I have started asking each child what they would like to eat. I have so many picky eaters that they look forward to their choice day. (They do not ask for expensive meals. Usually kid friendly ones.)

    I am trying to look to future needs. My middle son will eventually need a man’s large coat. I ordered one on clearance from Aeropostale. By shopping during clearance sales I am saving on things that they will need in the next size up.

    Our cold weather has caused planting to be late. Farmers in my area are just now starting to plow. Typically fields would have been sown a few weeks ago. When good weather moments have occurred I weeded the garden, uncovered the strawberry beds, and planted 2 mulberry trees that a neighbor graciously gifted me. I have 2 elderberry bushes (“sticks”) that I will get planted this week as well. Hopefully over the weekend I can direct sow lettuce, broccoli, peas and beets. I am already looking to reserve fruit from the Amish sellers this summer. I will be able to get cherries, peaches and apples at a reasonable price. My 2 peach trees are blooming as well as a cherry tree. My new apple tree is just now leafing out. I am working on canning chicken while it is still relatively cool outside. Having meats ready to serve from a jar helps me make quick meals during track and soccer season.

    Brandy those roses are breathtaking. I love roses and am trying to keep two rosebushes alive in my sandy yard. Our local library has been giving away seeds and I picked up some flowers to start a pollinator garden. My daughter and I will be working on it together using rocks and flowers and a water feature. Wishing all of you ladies a happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for positive, helpful tips on keeping a frugal home.

  22. Hello Everyone!

    Such beautiful flowers! 🌹 Awesome deal on the toothpaste!!

    This week I finally got some gardening done. The unusually cool and wet weather pushed planting back an entire month. I’ve filled 2 entire green bins with garden clean up and I’m still not done! I stopped by Home Depot to pick up some raised bed amendments. I was shocked to see the price of veggie starts at $5.77!! They had one rack of smaller starts for $3.33 each if 3 were bought. 😳 I save a bundle starting my own seeds. It’s a savings of about $450-$800 (depending on size) for what I just planted.

    I was able to harvest cabbage, beets, carrots, lettuce, leek, and chard. I dehydrated sliced celery from spent plants and we shredded the celery root for salad. I’m trying to incorporate the veggies into meals such as soup and sides.

    I’ve been listening to an audiobook on Hoopla while working in the yard. It makes chores fly!

    This week I’ve made strawberry muffins using some withering fruit and apple pancakes using wrinkled apples. In addition, I baked 2 loaves of sourdough sandwich bread and cookies.

    My husband finished flooring a large bedroom and added baseboards. Our only cost was for materials. It’s so nice to be rid of shabby carpet!

    I recently drove by Shasta Lake and it was full!! 💦 Have a blessed and beautiful week!

    1. Yes the new price of plants is really high everywhere!

      My FB memories came up today showing me ripe apricots. But they are not even ready this year. Everything is very behind. So grateful for all the rain though. California feeds the nation in so many crops.

      1. I read recently that the tomato crop will be low and much more expensive this year due to all the rain in California fields. If folks find deals on canned tomatoes and their products (ketchup etc.) buy them now if you can afford and have room to store.
        I do hope the same situation doesn’t happen here in Canada.

      2. And the price for garden plants was shocking as well! Have other areas been receiving weekly grocery ads in the mail? This is the third week that I haven’t received those. It makes it much more difficult to shop for sales! I’m wondering if this is another way for stores to save money and increase consumer spending. Has anyone else experienced this?

        1. My son said they will no longer be sending them out. They want you to look them up online or on the app.

        2. Fred Meyer (Kroger) stopped newspaper advertising a few months ago. The rest of the stores in my town still advertise, except for Winco, which never has run weekly ads and seems to run on a different calendar.

        3. We haven’t seen grocery ads in the mail for months here.
          I usually buy plants from the farmers market. It’s about 1/2 the cost as garden or grocery stores here. Also, talked with the guy I bought tomatoes from, since this year’s are yellowing after a week in the ground. Forming relationships means they’ll help take care of you. Started a lot from seed with various levels of success.
          Got a lot of free seed from a county plant sale. $2 entry fee and got 10 packs or so of free seed!
          Found a strawberry plant hidden under a bush! I thought they died year’s ago so moved to my raised bed.

        4. Most stores here have stopped sending out flyers for grocery stores. I sign up for emails online with the store sites. I like having them come in so I can plan what I might purchase. Sometimes, just seeing the ads convinces me I don’t need a thing, lol.

  23. What beautiful photos of a beautiful garden! I love to visit gardens – public or private – as I always learn something and can come home and see my gardens in a new light.
    *My family and I did paid yard work for a neighbor who has been experiencing health issues for quite a while. She most recently fractured her wrist so much of gardening is not possible for her now. I am so glad we could help and the money comes in handy. She has cultivated a lovely cottage garden over the years and has given me many cuttings and transplants. After we work, she usually shows me some part of her garden and tells me a story of where the plants came from. Like me, she has a lot of “friend” plants and ones she has rescued from various places so we are kindred spirits in that way. We also did paid yard for some family members and enjoyed a meal at their house afterward.
    *Worked in my garden setting out starts and planting a few seeds. Much left to do but got a great start on things. We had chilly and extremely windy weather the first part of the week so getting a calm, warmer day to spend in the garden was heavenly. I made an obelisk structure out of branches to put in the old galvanized washtub I rescued from a dump site the week prior. It will be a nice spot for a climbing vine and all free.
    *I split another bee hive which represents a savings of about $175 compared to the equivalent amount of purchased bees. They are all doing well and spending time in my apiary is very relaxing (many people think being surrounded by tens of thousands of bees sounds anything but relaxing but, trust me, it is. 🙂 )
    *My sons attend a weekly community youth group in the nearest town (about 25 minutes away.) They get to spend time with friends and are fed supper at no cost. It has been a nice group for them to be a part of with some friends from our homeschool co-op as well as the chance to meet other kids.
    *Our foster kittens had their 3 rd round of shots (supplied by the Humane Society) and we were re-supplied with some canned food. Every bit helps so we can continue to foster – something we are very passionate about. I also gladly accepted some donated canned cat food from a family member who can no longer owns cats herself but wants to help. We are grateful!
    *Our homeschool co-op is on a break for the summer as far as classes are concerned but we are planning some more social gatherings and field trips. We all try to plan things that are free which makes for a fun and creative exercise. I have been planning some days at a local lake to swim and fish and others are planning hikes and other events. It does help when groups you are a part of have similar values surrounding what constitutes a good time (i.e., it does not have to cost money.)
    *One of our hens is broody (sitting on eggs) so we will see if we have some chicks in about a month. We typically have purchased (or been given) chicks but will see how this goes. Purchasing them from a source which sexes them ( a somewhat complicated process that is not 100% accurate all the time) can most of the time limit the issue of having too many roosters but we shall see. We have a very nice rooster who is more than happy to be the only one but have had more than one in the past that get along with each other. In any case, it is a lovely thing to have a broody Mama to care for the chicks. We have put chicks under a broody hen (not her own) when the timing has worked out and it is so sweet to see her just accept and love them from the first minute. I could watch them all day.
    *No grocery shopping last week and making plans to get back to shopping only once or twice a month which should be easy with the garden coming in. I got a little off that typical plan with holiday celebrations last month but still came within our budgeted spending so all is well. I just prefer limiting my shopping trips for gas savings and my mental health. 🙂 I know it may sound silly to those living in cities or large towns but I breathe a sigh of relief every time I turn onto our gravel road and hear that crunch under the tires that says home. I love people but am really a homebody at heart and love nothing more than being here in my sanctuary. I imagine some of you can relate.
    *Nothing too earth-shattering to report but, as I have said before, it is often the everyday things we think aren’t worth mentioning that really make all the difference in the world when living an intentionally frugal life. I am grateful to all who take the time to share their victories both big and small. You all inspire me! 🙂

    1. I used to live in a city. Now I live in the country, and I love it! It is so beautiful. I love the sounds of wildlife; birds, frogs, crickets, and listening to the wind blow through the trees. During the summer we have had fireflies light up the night sky. On a clear night we can see the stars twinkle in the sky. I love the sunrises and the sunsets in this peaceful place. I definitely understand the feeling of comfort when returning home.

    2. TOTALLY understand and agree with you on being a home body
      For me its coming up my hill from the road but I can understand the crunchy sound of stone

    3. Mountain Mama Dawn, I remember those walks and talks in the garden with my Granny. Or going on drives with her and she’d say, “You see that mound of thrift? I gave that woman a slip years ago and look at how it’s grown.” Now I wander about my own yard and remember the friend, now dead, who gifted me the starts of antique roses that bloom fragrant and deep blood red every spring. They came down in her mother in law’s family. There are iris from my Grandmother, and from a friend whose mom got them from HER grandmother’s garden. My garden is not my own. It is a garden of every woman who has given me plants and a connection that exists for years after. I wonder if passalong plants are as important elsewhere as they are in the South?
      I too live in the country. Far Lost is what my husband who grew up in West Palm Beach calls it but I am like you. The moment we turn into the road, I know I’m home and burdens just run down my back like they never existed.

  24. We’ve been so blessed with many rainstorms and slightly cooler temps than normal. It’s been wonderful to open the windows during the day. We had two days of 90 degree weather and I did use the a/c. But other than those two hot days we haven’t needed heat or a/c which saves money. If needed we’ve used ceiling fans.

    I lucked out with finding ground beef on clearance. I bought 4 packages that were 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 lbs. I cooked it all up and froze it to help with quick meals. I put 3/4 lb in each bag. Butter was on sale for 2.99 lb but I found it to be cheaper slightly at my local Sams Club. I bought 4 packages for my freezer.

    I was able to buy Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and mushrooms on clearance. I cooked them up when I got home and we’ve been eating them with our meals. I made homemade cheese sauce to use over the vegetables if someone wanted it.

    I’ve been reading lots of library books. I finished, and enjoyed, Paper Cuts by Ellery Adams, Anne Hillerman and Amanda Flower, Because I Could Not Stop Death. I ve also downloaded several free books offered through Bookbubs daily emails. I also got some books from my local Buy Nothing Group.

    I framed different crocheted doilies that I’d received for free. I arranged them in the frame and put the picture in my guest room for decor.

    Have a great week.

  25. We have spent the last two weeks at home in bed. I’m not sure where my complaints have come from but believe I will make some appointments with a few specialists. My copay is so cheap it seems silly to not utilize the benefits. I must remember to stay proactive with my health. Sugar cookie enjoyed bits and pieces of the English coronation. We have traveled into the city to visit my college daughter. I used this drive to stop at a couple of my favorite dumpsters. I’m weak but didn’t want to miss any opportunities since we were already out. My favorite grocer provided me with a frozen case of assorted Chinese food. I knew my daughters freezer should be empty and indeed it was. The children will enjoy this food. My daughter has had some life-changing problems and money will be an issue for awhile. I raided the Aldi’s dumpster and picked out a lovely selection of produce. I retrieved a large Orchid that’s decorative vase was busted. My daughters living room is full of them and they are gorgeous. She worked a buffet at work and brought leftovers home for our dinner. This is a rare treat from an upscale restaurant. The best part about having problems is that we know how to be poor. My favorite item I brought home was a bag of Stevia . I hope everyone is enjoying good weather. One day its not and one day its cold here.

  26. We have been plugging along trying to be frugal still have some fails but keep trying. As some of you have read my husband is in the final stages of his cancer and home now, when he wants something special to eat I buy it regardless of being frugal so when he ask for pizza this week we bought it sadly his appetite is not what it use to be he ate a couple slices and didn’t really enjoy it I’m not sure if it is the cancer/meds or leftovers from Covid but nothing taste good to him but my home canned applesauce or apple slices, ice cream, sweets but I surely don’t want it on my conscience that if he wanted something he didn’t get it so the leftover pizza he tried again and ate another couple slices today and I’ve had it for lunch 2 X so it didn’t go to waste. I have been working in my yard prepping for planting yesterday I planted 3 pots of Chives seeds ( pots were given to me free from Lowes last summer that they were throwing away) they are square shaped so they fit nicely together. I have 2 larger ones also square that I plan to plant herbs in. My kale that reseeded itself is huge and beautiful it called Thousand Head kale that I bought from Baker Creek last year. I also planted Horehound at the end of last week it has many medicinal purposes. I also discovered that a weed that grows in my yard every year and even in my pavement Dead Purple Nettle is a edible plant and has medicinal purposes which I plan to research on how to process it. One thing I read is it helps with headaches. I replanted my cucumber seeds today only a couple came up from my last planting of the seeds either the seeds were to old or the cold/warm weather we’ve been having in Ohio was not to their liking. I put down weed barrier cloth yesterday and today covered it with mulch I got on sale ripped bags $1.75 each to hold it in place and prevent the mailman from tripping on the cloth as he sometimes likes to take a short cut to my mail box. I then put cinder blocks along one of my handicap rails and put dirt in them and tomorrow will feed them with sugar snap peas. This handicap ramp was put in improperly does not meet ADA standards and they had to put up a second one ( a whole nightmare story but I am making the most of it that I can for now till I can afford to have it removed (cement ramp) so my sugar snaps will grow up a plastic netting I put up and used bread wrapper ties to keep it in place). It will also make it less of a eyesore. As with Garden Pat sometimes you just have to think outside the box. We continue weekly to use our wonderful library for books and DVD’s such a huge blessing. I canned applesauce this week we ate a lot of it before I could get to canning it but still got 4 quarts put back I made it chunky which was more resourceful than wasting a lot of pulp. I also canned kidney beans ( this was actually last week since this thread was posted today Monday) 2 jars did not seal so we used those and made a big pot of chili which was wonderful. I hope to Can more beans this week before our electric is raised 30% in June by AEP I have a electric stove. I have been using cash everywhere I go lately to help be more mindful of my spending.

    1. You are certainly keeping yourself busy and I hope your garden provides a bit of distraction from your husband’s illness. I agree that trying to provide whatever he craves is a great kindness – please remember to be kind to yourself as you look after him. Thinking of you.

    2. AnninOhio,
      I would buy my husband whatever he wanted too. You and your husband were in my prayers today.

    3. I have no words just kind thoughts for you as you go through each day and I hope your husband will be enjoying anything you bring him during this time
      Nothing is more important as this precious time together

    4. Treasure every moment, Anna, and absolutely give him what he wants. The day at the hospital that my mom was being sent home on hospice care, she said she was really craving a cold Coke and a Hershey bar. It was the only time in my tightwad life that I didn’t hesitate to drop $5 in a vending machine. I smile at remembering how she smacked her lips and proclaimed them delicious! Peace to you.

  27. Glad to hear you enjoyed your solo outing at the rose garden. An outing after a spouse returns from a business trip is always fun and deserved!

    I thawed some frozen bananas to make muffins for grab and go breakfasts.

    HH cooked a beef roast that was nearing its expiration date faster than I could muster the energy to prepare it. He rarely cooks, but when he does, it is usually to lightened my load which I truly appreciate.

    HH traveled for business several days this week. Rather than cooking for one each evening, I made a batch of rice bowls using the left over beef roast and an assortment of produce and sauces on hand. Even though the rice and beef base was the same each night, the different veggies and sauces provided variety.

    I disposed of a Li ion battery for free at local hardware store.

    I purchased my hanging flower baskets and patio pots at Costco this year. Their prices are excellent. While there, I ate lunch for $1.25 in the food court.

    HH and I went out for dinner with two other couples. We all carpooled in one vehicle.

    To avoid food waste, I blanched vegetables, sautéed mushrooms, baked banana muffins and stored it all in the freezer before going out of town.

    We packed snacks and drinks for our road trip.

    We set up an inexpensive outlet timer to control the grow light HH uses for his vegetable seedlings.

    HH purchased and applied the spring lawn treatment rather than hiring a service.

    Hope everyone has some frugal fun this week!

  28. How fun to get to go on a rose garden tour and get free roses. Your son will be a big help on the budget with those markdown deals. We have had rain the past two nights on our garden and I think are plants have double in size because of it. Everything is so pretty and green. A friend that is moving gave me some iris tubes to plant in my yard. They will be so pretty next year when they bloom. I am working on my yard a little bit every day to get it in shape. We went to my great-nephew’s first birthday party and he has grown so much in the two months that I have not seen him. He did not like the cake, but loved the fruit. He is not walking but very close. We have meetings and work, so we are getting free lunches. We love going to our grandson’s tball games every week. They are so funny. We had all of my husband’s kids, my sister and her husband and my husband’s sister over Sunday afternoon for a fish fry and we played games in the yard and sat around and talked. Family time is the best to get to share what is going on in their life.

  29. Hello, frugal friends from beautiful southwest Virginia. This past week we did the usual frugal things but I was able to get two really good deals: ribbon and a doll. Our Walmart is renovating and had a bunch of craft supplies and toys on clearance. I found small spools of cloth ribbon for .10 and .25 a spool. I got 5 spools to use with my doll clothes Christmas project. As part of this project I buy an 18″ doll each month. I found one of these dolls on clearance marked $15. The regular price is $26 each. This particular doll had her hairstyle a little messed up but I knew I could fix it at home. When the doll was rung up the price was $7.50! Come October I will have 10 dolls to donate along with a wardrobe and small doll quilt for each doll. I am using up a lot of my scrap fabrics, buttons, ribbons and trim. Making the clothes has been a lot of fun. Our electric bill was well below what we were expecting. This cool weather has allowed us to open windows and turn off the heat. A friend with chickens gave us a dozen eggs which are much appreciated. The price of eggs has gone down considerably but they are still twice what I paid a year ago. I have been able to harvest asparagus and greens for salads. I have planted more salad greens, green onions, kale, and chard. I hung a large load of laundry outside. We only needed a gallon of milk at the grocery store. I wish everyone a blessed and frugal week.

  30. Lately, I’ve had my mouth open with the rise in cost of things. I went to Aldi the other day because it seems to be cheapest milk. Recently, I had bought one gallon of milk at Trader Joe’s because I was there and we were out. Sadly, it was $3.89 which seemed high to me for local milk price. But I bought it just to limp along. Ugh. It went bad and was so gross. We live out of town a bit so going back was a pain. I combined it with other errands. I went ahead and returned it and got my money back and headed to Aldi. I don’t go there much these days because we really have a lot of food stock up and still canned food from the garden etc but since I was out and needed milk I got some. (And Aldi as many of you know will refund the price of something that’s gone bad AND give you a new one so I’m not worried about their milk going bad as much.) Anyway, I walked around Aldi just dying at the prices. Chips! Woah. We rarely buy chips but sometimes we do as a treat. I only bought one bag and it nearly killed me. I’m talking about potato chips. We actually usually eat a lot of corn chips with our soft tacos and other meals but even those are crazy expensive. Aldi was having a sale on some so I bought five bags. I used to buy concentrate orange juice from there. It creeped up from like 95 cents to $1.49 but we couldn’t even find it the other day. Juice is also a treat. We only have it on Sundays and in little tiny juice glass or if we have sore throats. I have many in the freezer but wow. Then I also had something in my car on Amazon. I think it costs around $12.50 but two or things days later it shot up to around $13.50. I couldn’t believe it. We did pay to have the extra fancy Sam’s card (Gold or whatever it is. ) It only cost $17 because our membership will soon expire but we got free shipping on a trampoline which would have cost $117. Now I think I should see what else we might need shipped to us while we have that deal. I think Brandy bought tomato paste that way. We went to many garage sales. It’s a lot of work but I know it saves lots of money. Now I’m looking for shoes for my son-in-law. My daughter is frustrated with how quickly they wear out when she buys them new so I’m going to try to look for some quality ones that are used. I buy all of my kids clothes and our clothes at garage sales mostly. (I did buy my two daughters 6 Old Navy dresses that were $8. I got socks for my granddaughter which were on clearance and put me over the top so I could get free shipping. My girls at age where dresses are harder to get than they used to be so I was happy to buy these new.) My son is going to a wedding soon and I hope he can deliver a lot of these garage sale items to my grandchildren. Oh and I’ve been buying plants at garage sales. I’m not so good at growing things but I’m trying and I find that plants at garage sales are cheap or sometimes free. Plus, there is no tax. I went to a “plant sale” and got advice from the lady about where to plant the plants etc. Have a good week everyone. The roses are so beautiful, Brandy! That looks like a fun trip.

  31. Sounds like you had a wonderful time at the rose garden.

    As far as saving these week, I direct seeded more watermelons, cantaloupes, okra, pumpkins, beans and peas. It looks like I need to re-sow some cucumbers and squash that haven’t germinated yet.

    I was able to harvest some green beans, bell peppers, shishito peppers, 1 cucumber, and 2 cherry tomatoes from my earlier planting. I’m doing more succession planting this year to try to extend the harvest.

    I had to have an abdominal ultrasound to check my gall bladder at the out patient clinic this week. My insurance co-pay was going to be $459, but I asked what the cash self pay rate was and it was $204. Needless to say, I went to self pay route. It won’t go toward my deductible, but if I don’t need my gall bladder out, I likely won’t meet the deductible unless emergency strikes.

    Added a few bathroom drawer organizers to my Amazon cart, but promptly deleted them. I discovered if I’d just use up some of my toiletries and cosmetics I won’t have to worry about organizing as many. I did order a few organizer bins & containers for the refrigerator as we’re trying to combat food waste and a little organization will help in that area. I redeemed Discover card cash back to pay for the refrigerator organizers.

    Trying to stay out of the grocery store and only buying what is on sale that I know we’re running low on. This week they have $4.00 off a $20 fajita meat purchase, so I’ll go in for that since that makes it 20% off .

    Have a great week!

  32. Sounds like you had a great week!

    Last week:
    *used up leftovers (and made sure to be grateful instead of blah about it)
    *planted herb, vegetable, and flower seeds
    *paid an extra $100 toward mortgage
    *kept adding to my compost tumbler and used collected rain barrel water on plants (wish I could share with you Brandy!)
    *stocked up on ground hamburger meat ($2.99/lb)
    *large packages of blueberries were $1.99
    *my mom gifted me with a $15 Starbucks gift card she received and won’t use

    Have a great week ❤️

  33. I made a couple of more trips to buy groceries. I got sugar and salt to help re-fill my pantry after the winter. Last year both were in short supply because of anticipation of shortages (!!), but this year there was plenty of selection and no particularly high prices in the small sizes I was buying for a one-person household. I just have a few more things to get for this re-stock but they can wait till my next round of pensions in a couple of weeks. I got fresh Brussels sprouts for 99 cents a lb. They had been priced at $3.99 and not sold, so it was a local store special. I got two kinds of shredded cheese at 4.29 a package. These are normally more 6, 7 or even 8 dollars a package. One package is a Tex-Mex mix, the other an Italian mix. I don’t have cheese very often because of price, salt and saturated fat, but I’ve come across a few recipes recently that don’t use much, so I bought a couple of packages. There were supposed to be whole chickens at $1.98 a lb, but there weren’t any in two separate visits — lots of chicken pieces, but not very good sale prices. I have plenty of protein in the house, so I could live without.

    I went to the pharmacy to pick up my medications for the next three months. The locum doctor who responded to the fax from the pharmacist is OK with 3 month prescriptions, so I didn’t have to talk anyone into it this time around. I went to the pharmacy on a Tuesday, when there is 20% off for seniors on anything that doesn’t have a sale price. I was able to get good prices on toilet paper, ibuprofen, and digestive enzymes. (I want to try to introduce beans back into my diet.) I also popped over to the bank, which is across the street.

    That’s all the shopping I need to do for another two weeks, except cat food and cat litter.

    I’ve been keeping a close watch on wildfire reports since there are a number of evacuations here in northern Alberta. My immediate area has now had a couple days of rain, and there have been no fires nearby. The seasonal wind has been very strong, but blowing the closest fire away from us rather than towards us. There are possible thunder storms (and lightening strikes) in the forecast for a few days, and then a few days of very hot weather, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on things. I will put together a bit of an evacuation kit. I can’t do everything they recommend, but what I can do will help if it ends up being needed. I am determined to keep my stress level as low as I can, though, since we may have a very long summer ahead of us if the weather continues as warm and dry as it has been the last few weeks.

    I watched some coronation coverage, and some YouTube videos of three Overlander types who go camping together in remote sections of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. I’ve also read a couple of mysteries from my Kindle Unlimited subscription, which I play on my laptop.

    1. Hi Elizabeth M

      You’ve been in my thoughts because of the wildfires. Relieved to hear thewind is blowing them away from your location! fingers crossed! Ann

  34. I haven’t been to the Huntington in years, but your pictures are a vivid reminder of those wonderful visits!

    Harvested radishes, sugar snap peas, cilantro, strawberries and our ever first peaches. I pulled a truly enormous cilantro plant that had gone to seed and set it aside to dry for coriander. We’ve had a few rain showers and I’ve been thrilled to skip watering the garden.

    Gave 3 haircuts at home. We’re feeling the end of the school year approach and homeschool activities are winding down. The change in seasons is always a nice opportunity to reassess our plans and budget. I supervised the kids in cleaned out closets and drawers. A few items were passed on to the next child or packed up for winter storage. I’m also revisiting menu planning; in the summer months we tend to gather for potlucks and picnics 2 or more evenings per week, so we do more batch cooking and no-cook meals. I cancelled 2 auto-charges for services that I don’t need anymore.

    I know it’s only Tuesday but I’m looking ahead to a frugal weekend at home, continuing to organize the house and school materials and prepare for summer. Cheap, relaxing and rewarding!

  35. Where are the Honey Bees? We purposely have not cut our property to allow the clover to be there for them. It is to the point that I could put on a Pith helmet and go on Safari! Hopefully, they’re just behind like everything else! No bees, no beans!

    In an agricultural report that I read recently, it said that planting was behind in the states and to expect a lack of fruits and vegetables and very high prices until things catch up. Sigh. 🙆‍♀️

    Put in more green beans and lima beans today. Put cages on the tomato plants. Also planted Sunflowers along my eastern fence line. Harvesting lots of spinach and radishes with romaine lettuce about ready to pick.

    Doing tons of yard work, especially with my flower beds. Everything looks anemic this season. We have had so little sun.

    Thank you for the comments about my husband and sons. Hopefully, we can get answers and plans soon. 🙏

    Think I’ll make my Grandmother’s Chocolate Cake. Find that chocolate makes even the most frightening times better!

    Hope everyone has their prayers answered soon. Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

  36. What a beautiful rose garden! I love seeing your pictures Brandy!

    This week for fun we drove with the windows open after it rained during sunset to a lake and listened to the geese on the water. We enjoyed feeling the fresh air blowing in as we drove. The sunset was beautiful, so colorful! It only cost the bit of gas to get there and back. It is just a few miles away.

    I got to teach my great nephew piano. This week I told him I will also teach him the ukulele, which I am really just learning myself. I am happy because it will encourage me to practice as well and learn new skills.

    I really enjoy reading cooking blogs and watching cooking videos to learn new recipes. This week I enjoyed reading Living On a Dime. There are some good recipes there. Of course, I enjoy Brandy’s recipes as well. I enjoy thinking about how much money I am saving us when we cook at home. I cooked asparagus soup this week as well as roasted asparagus. We had Italian chicken with marinara and mozzarella on it. I got Yukon Gold potatoes for 98 cents for a 5 lb. bag. I roasted some potatoes this week. I microwave one for a quick meal on another day. I made chili with beans and leftover hamburger from spaghetti that I had cooked the previous day. I only used half of the noodles so not to wasted the ones we wouldn’t eat. We can use the rest of the box later. I made peanut butter and cocoa oatmeal with bananas and strawberries one day and with blueberries on another day. I saved the oatmeal to have as a snack. I make my oatmeal without sugar. It satisfies me for a long time and I feel good! We had veggies and hummus one day. I’m not losing much weight, but I feel good. One day I just ate cucumbers with sour cream and dill for dinner. I was hungry for veggies. Another day, I had lentil soup with spinach from the freezer that I had previously cooked for breakfast! I definitely noticed that when I cook at home, I feel good. Both physically and mentally. I am happier. I like eating healthy and saving money. I want to save for winter, taxes, and our next vacation!

    My son was able to fix our toilet when it wouldn’t stop running. I was so happy that I asked him if he could fix it because it made him so proud to fix it! Also, the handle kept falling off. Finally, my husband figured out a way to make it stay on. Permanently, I hope. Nice to have men that like to fix things around! I know that saves a lot of money!

    We have some tomato starts that are slowly growing. I look forward to getting them in the ground. I picked asparagus even though it wears me out. I’m hoping by the end of summer I will be in better shape. If I do a bit more every day it should help.

  37. Hi, Good to hear from everyone.
    I did a good cleaning of the main floor of my house since I invited friends in to a Coronation Watch Party. We discovered that the streaming service from our winter place works here at home so we could time delay the viewing. No more getting up at the crack of dark. I asked everyone to make themselves a ridiculous fascinator and wear it and to bring some little thing to eat. I made two kinds of scones (blueberry lemon and cranberry orange) and we had them with double cream and strawberry jam. There were sausage rolls, fruit cup, orange juice, Prosecco to toast the new King and of course tea and coffee. We had a lot of fun watching.
    Every year as we do the drive home from the South I admire the Redbud trees. I priced one for here and it was almost $400! No thanks. My sister in law is going to dig some of the volunteers from her garden and give them to me. I’m not sure if they will grow or not so don’t want to spend a lot on a tree.
    I did buy pansies and some lettuce, spinach, kale and swiss chards starts from a local store. And bought the annual lavender from a grocer. I barely got the lavender planted and the big bumble bees were at it. Haven’t seen a single honey bee yet. I planted some of the lettuce among the deck flower planters. The rest went into the front garden. I’m busy digging out lemon balm and feverfew volunteers. i put them in the leftover plant pots and hope the neighbours will take them away for their own gardens. Next up will be lupines and cone flowers that seem to self seed easily. My ladies mantle and the wild ginger didn’t come back this year. How disappointing.
    I’m trying to really use up food in the house and do less grocery shopping. I cooked a cottage roll and we had a boiled dinner. Then I used the cooking water and leftover veg to make split pea soup. The leftover meat has been eaten for dinner, lunch and now what is left will be turned into ham salad. I used to use the ham salad as a filling for crepes. That may happen again. When I was at costco I did buy a rotisserie chicken and that fed us several meals. I used the jelly that appears when it cools in the pea soup as well.
    When I cleaned out under the kitchen sink (something had spilled but it makes the house smell nice) I found a couple of articles we never use. I put them on the front garden wall as free and they disappeared quickly. I love sharing things others might use.
    I put my indoor orchids on the front porch for the summer. One of my hanging planters is crushed so i’m taking the chains off it to use on a wind chime to hang up.
    I made a couple of oriole feeders but the squirrels are attacking the one in the back garden.
    Our plastic storage on the back deck must have had a branch fall on it over the winter as there is a hole in the lid. We have repaired it with some clear silicone and glue. It’s not pretty but it will keep the rain out.
    We are going West to see my eldest son’s family over the Mother’s Day weekend. It’s the GS’s birthday and his confirmation. There’s also a big used book sale happening; very exciting. Then it’s home and the next weekend is traditionally open the cottage weekend. My youngest son is going up while we are out west to take off the shutters and take some of the stuff stored inside to the outside. That will help a lot as it means we only have to get the pump and plumbing going and do a bit of tidying up.
    One of my friends who was travelling home from the South brought be 3 packages of flour tortillas. I can’t get the size here and the price is really cheap. I love them for all kinds of things including for hotdogs as I find the buns too much bread.
    I’ve downloaded a couple of books to my iPad from the Library to read on the airplane. The last couple of books I got from the library weren’t all that great and it’s not often I don’t finish a book.
    My DH and I had a late breakfast date the other day at the restaurant at the end of our street. The sun was out and we sat on the patio even though it was a bit chilly.
    Other than that, for entertainment I watched Queen Charlotte on Netflix. And we’ve been watching our favourite hockey team in the semi finals….but that’s nerve wracking. I’m not hopeful they will advance. Oh well, there’s always next year.

    1. What do you mean your annual lavender? Does it die on you or do you just add one every year?

      Anya the Garden Fairy has tutorials on making a lavender hedge from cuttings. She is in the UK. I have watched her tutorials on Instagram.

      1. There are certain lavenders that won’t over winter here and I use them in planters. I do have some perennial lavender that is spreading nicely. My favourite is Hidcote.

    2. Patsy, and here my family always just went to the woods to dig up Chinese fringe trees, dogwood or redbuds to place in the yard! I can’t imagine paying that much for a Redbud when they literally grow wild…But then a friend who lived in Riverside California told me that they paid exorbitant prices and spent long months nursing Honeysuckle trying to get it to grow. Here it’s liable to take over! I hope your trees from your friend’s garden do well for you. I think the Redbuds are the loveliest in the spring, too!

  38. Brandy,
    In some northern climate zones, lavender does not overwinter. I was thrilled when a couple of years ago a potted lavender did come back. It made it through one winter but not through the second winter. There are a couple of newer varieties that I think might ave a chance of surviving.

  39. Our weather has begun to get warm and humid, so we have had to turn the air conditioner on and close up the windows. It does not cool down enough overnight to open the windows, but we certainly enjoyed it while that weather lasted! We turn the air up higher when we are away and turn it down some (and use ceiling fans) when we are at home.

    I found so many grocery bargains the last couple of weeks. We bought pork butt roast at .97 cents/lb (twice!), boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.77/lb, and grass fed 93% lean ground beef $3.99/lb. We now feel like we are completely stocked up on meat for a good while, which is great with the way inflation prices have been going lately. Also, butter $1.99/lb, Pasta Roni .06 cents/box, Kraft macaroni & cheese boxed mixes .29 cents/each, flavored sparkling mineral waters for .09 cents/each (my husband enjoys these instead of soda), glass cleaner for .88 cents, Colgate toothbrushes & toothpaste for .69 cents, and a free 12 pack of toilet paper with grocery rewards. Several of the deals were not for items we normally eat or keep at home, but we were able to share with others. I have been doing store pickups for the loss leader sale items only, so I don’t spend extra inside the store, and am able to make sure I get the sale price or the reward discount before I check out online. We are working to cut extraneous spending, so every bit helps.

    We have been cooking and eating almost all meals at home. We have perfected our method for homemade pan pizza in a cast iron skillet, so have been enjoying that each week instead of takeout or frozen pizza. I sometimes make pizza dough at home, but we also like the frozen Aldi pizza dough. Other meals included pulled pork bbq sliders, pork carnitas for tacos & taco bowls, salmon tacos with rice, chicken tikka masala, Greek chicken wraps, avocado toast, and a few others I can’t recall. We both drink coffee at home, and on workdays, I come home at lunch to eat. My husband usually skips lunch or takes something light.

    Other frugal bits: I am working on cleaning and reorganizing my closet. I sold a pair of shoes (new in box) I had never worn. Gave away some boots that did not fit right. We use the least expensive dry cleaner in our city, but their prices have increased significantly. We have both been re-wearing work dress pants when they are still clean, in an effort to save on dry cleaning costs. We quickly steam and refresh items in our dryer for a 2nd day’s wear: put item in dryer with a clean wet (wrung-out) washcloth and 1 dryer sheet (if you use them). Run dryer on high for 10-15 minutes depending on clothing weight & wrinkle level, immediately remove item, shake wrinkles out, and hang. I have been cold water washing items that can handle it and still look nice, rather than send them to the cleaners. Used leftover melted ice from a cooler to water plants. I know I have some unopened seed pods for my Aerogarden, this week I plan to dig them out and start them.

  40. Dear Brandy,
    Your water conservation technics have inspired me. We live in a county neighborhood and on a community well that is a commercial privately operated well. The water quality was so poor (very high mineral and particulate content) we had to install an expensive water purification system in our home. The monthly cost is double what we paid when we were on municipal water service.
    So I’m on a mission to use our water intentionally.
    I’ve saved $30 a month using your water saving strategies. My husband is dubious but he is coming around especially with our garden watering needs.
    Blessings Susan Durham County North Carolina

  41. This year, we decided to focus on experiences rather than gifts for my son’s birthday. We went to a town about 2 hours away and stayed in a hotel for two nights. We went to the zoo, aquarium, children’s museum, and a show. I used credit card points to pay for the hotel. I bought the show tickets months ago with cash back we had saved up on the credit card. We only ate one meal at a nice restaurant. We packed snacks and drinks – the zoo has free admission and lets you bring outside food in. We ate breakfast at the hotel each morning. We were able to pay for about 1/2 of the money we spent while on the trip with cash back as well.

    I made a huge turkey. My family ate sliced Turkey with whatever random sides I could make from stuff in the pantry for 5 days. I made a turkey pot pie that fed us for days 6-7. Then I made another batch of the pot pie filling and froze it to be used another time. I also put 6 cups of chopped turkey in the freezer. My turkey tetrazzini recipe takes 3 cups for a 9×13 pan – so I should be able to make that twice!

    We have had a couple meals of asparagus from the garden.

    I had been saving my money for awhile to buy or build a pergola. I finally had enough. I went to amazon to buy the one I had been eying and saw that it was on sale – saved $50 + free shipping! I have some hand me down, free patio furniture to put under it. We currently have no outdoor space (and haven’t since we moved in 6 years ago!) so I’m really excited for this!

  42. All the usual things here: making bread, being sure to check fridge frequently for things that might have got lost, putting leftovers to good use or freezing for future meals. I potted up everything I’d bought save three tomato plants. I am almost thinking I’ll just go get dirt from the ditch, mix in compost and see how they do in that. This year, I hope to grown more than tomato plants. I’d like to get tomatoes as well! My son had some volunteer white eggplants come up and has offered me some of those starts. I’ve planted flowers, herbs and tomatoes, a rogue potato that sprouted and will plant those egg plants, too. I’ve made up my mind to do whatever I can. I’m not pressuring myself. Taking care of a 3 year old full time at my age is not easy but I can do the odd thing here and there and manage life well enough. I just won’t allow guilt to enter in over the other things I might neglect.

    We went to purchase cabinetry and counters for our kitchen and bath renovation work. I am over the moon with how wonderful the items looked in store. They had EXACTLY what I wanted set up as a display kitchen, same counter, same cabinets. I was able to look over the cabinetry that was marked as clearance pieces and they are so very well built. It will be a true upgrade for us and should vastly improve the usability of our kitchen.

    I found a girl with a doctorate in behavior studies who specializes in Autism on You Tube and have listened to several videos. At her urging, I went online to the CDC to see what the milemarkers for grandson’s age group should be and discovered that while he’s slightly behind on some 3 year old things, he’s also already mastered some 4 year old things. This made me feel a great deal better overall. I’m finding her information useful but her delivery is a bit dry and tedious.
    My focus over the next few weeks will be to make ahead as many entrees/casseroles, loaves of bread, etc as I can to see us through the actual renovation process.

  43. Unlike Brandy my garden seems a week or two ahead. DH is cutting the grass for the second time which is a week ahead-also my crab and my apple tree are blooming and they only just leafed out about 10 days ago. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s. I bought a hanging basket of begonias the other day at Costco for 17.99 vs 49.99 at the garden centre-glad I shopped around. I would rather have a hanging basket to enjoy all season than cut flowers to enjoy for a few days on Mother’s Day. There is still the danger of frost for the next 10 days but seems unlikely this year with gorgeous temps which are 10- 15 degrees above average-yea!!
    My sister, myself and my daughter are leaving on 2 cruises a month from today. We have cut corners where possible by taking just carry on luggage etc, prepaying shore excursions when more economical , buying a senior’s train ticket etc. Still I don’t think France, Iceland or Ireland can be describe as budget destinations! All paid for and budgeted for spending money along the way.

  44. OH MY GOSH you got to go to Grace Rose Farm?!!?!!? So fabulous! I’m sure it was so lovely.

    1. I didn’t. I met with Grace at Huntington Library. Perhaps one day I can visit her place.

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