Pink Zinnia The Prudent Homemaker

I cut zinnias from the garden to enjoy inside.

I harvested more Armenian cucumbers from the garden! I saved seeds to plant again next year.

I purchased two heads of cauliflower for $.99 a head the week before last (normally they’re around $2.49 to $3.99 here so I was very excited) to use in my mixed pickles. I was able to use up some carrots from the fridge and some onions from the pantry as well as using the cucumbers from the garden. I canned quarts of pickles. I also canned pints of relish.

I also harvested three butternut squash and a few Lemon Boy tomatoes from the garden.

Because it was quite humid, I was able to collect 3-5 gallons of water each day Sunday through Wednesday from the condensation from the air conditioner that I used to water potted plants. I can fit a one-gallon ice cream bucket under the pipes that stick out of the house near the ground, so when I go out to the recycle bin to toss something during the day, I check the bucket and empty it on the plants if it is full or close to full. I also collected shower warm-up water in a three-gallon bucket and used it to water potted plants as well.

I printed free geography worksheets for my third-grader.

I read an e-book from the library. I don’t know that I would recommend this one, as it was just okay and the ending/conclusion wasn’t there (the story just abruptly ended, leaving the reader left to imagine how it ended).

I purchased two winter dresses for myself online on clearance and also received free shipping.

I ordered some Christmas presents now, taking advantage of free shipping.

I looked over my grocery list and what I really need. I checked those things on my list for each store. I will get them when I need to go shopping again. I read the ads and there was nothing I needed this week on sale. I had hoped to buy a couple of cases of canned mandarin oranges on the caselot sale, but they were not included this time, so I did not need to go shopping.

I used some shampoo and conditioner from a hotel that my mom had given us.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. 4 days since last harvest from our raised beds and I was surprised at what we got! 😳
    Enough green beans to fill another quart freezer bag! 4 nice Lemon Boy tomatoes. 1 nice cabbage. A bunch of misshapen carrots that, although ugly, chopped up evenly in my food processor and produced 5 cups for carrot cake, muffins, etc!
    And 2 zucchini- 1 regular size although stubby and the other over 5 pounds and shaped like a football! I made 15 mini loaves of zucchini chocolate chip bread Since my pan makes 18 mini-loaves in a single batch in the oven, I looked around for something else I could make without chocolate since Hubs goes into A-fib if he has even a hint of chocolate or caffeine. I found another mini loaf recipe for cherry almond bread, using Maraschino cherries. I have had a partial jar of Maraschino cherries in my fridge for longer than I’d like to admit! 😱 But, upon checking, they were still good! So I started making that batter up. But I was out of almonds! Wait- I have pecans!! So I chopped some up and made it Cherry Pecan bread! The recipe filled my 3 open spaces on the mini loaf pan so I got that into the oven. But I still had batter left. So I made the rest into Cherry Pecan cupcakes! Oh, they are tasty! (I had to taste test one before giving any to Hubs, right? 😉) So I was able “Use it Up” with something leftover in the fridge!! Plus, the cherry jar is one I will wash and reuse in my pantry!!
    I’m pleased!
    We made some “Ding, Dong, Ditch” visits with zucchini bread, some lemon pound cake I made and some Pecan Praline Nut Mix I had vacuum sealed a while back. Since Covid closed our churches, there have been some new families move in and we thought that an “in person” visit might be appreciated. We socially distanced with masks and surprised them each on Sunday late afternoon! They seemed as excited to actually meet and visit as their kiddos were for the goodies! What a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon after our at-home church!!
    My fall garden is continuing to grow and I’m excited about my extended harvest time! I cut down a bunch of my parsley and dehydrated it to add to my parsley jar. I pulled out my summer green beans and cleared that bed so that in the morning I’ll be able to do some more fall planting!
    Our County has a “Community Green” program to encourage us to become more aware and actively using good conservation methods. Each year they have an online course you can take that teaches about water conservation and native plants. Course takes maybe 25 minutes and afterwards if you pass the quiz, you get a $50 voucher to buy native plants (perennials, shrubs or trees), rain barrel, composter or worm condo. We got ours again this year and opted for a free rain barrel that we are adding to the front part of the yard under a downspout there. What a nice use of County funds!! ❤️ I also bought gamma seals that were made for smaller 3 gallon buckets! I have plenty of recycled frosting buckets from bakery that are the right size!!

    I had some mini croissants I bought at Sams club and I used some for a simple summer dinner. It had been a busy, hot day and 15 minutes before dinner time, I remembered that Hubs and son enjoy eating dinner EVERY night! So I went down to basement pantry and brought up a pint jar of home canned beef chunks and a bottle of BBQ sauce! Put them together and got BBQ Beef to put in croissants! Added a garden salad to that and they were pleased!
    Since it was the end of the month, I was able to zero out our checking account balance and make an additional 3 mortgage principal payments. That makes 4 payments in August. We have been making 6 payments a month but we had an unexpected plumbing repair ($1500) and also a necessary purchase ($500) . We paid both on our bank credit card to get reward points, but then transferred money from savings to pay that balance off. So a larger portion of our zero out excess went back into savings!
    In going over our budget for the new month, I discovered that I was paying a big amount extra each month to pay off our Home Depot bill that has no interest due if paid off by December 2021. I decided to start paying the actual amount needed for that timed payoff instead and that is freeing up $600/month to go towards our mortgage which does have an interest rate (3.8%) ! That’s just a few dollars less than 2 principal payments!!! Yay!!🎉🎉
    I just need to bind my king size sheet of stamps quilt. Someone online that is a previous client asked if I was going to sell it. Honestly, I had seen the free online pattern and HAD to make it to use up a “few” (6300+) of my 2” scrap squares! So, whether she buys it or not, I’m thinking I will probably put it up for sale. Funny thing is, the idea hadn’t even crossed my mind! I just made it for the challenge of making it!! Lol!,,
    There is a Groupon promotional where for $60 you can get a Costco membership and you will get a $40 Costco cash card to use to purchase anything in the store, so we are now Costco members. There are some things that I will buy there to save money.
    Our Covid level has dropped down to Level 2 (of 4) and so grandkids will be doing hybrid classes to start- 2 -3 days in person, 2-3 days online from home so I just made some more masks for some of them.
    Got up early today to go to a little Mennonite store about 88 miles from me that had jar lids. No luck, but the owners made the trip worth it by their pleasant visit with me. I was able to get Clear Gel in a 50 pound bag at just over $1.50/pound which is astounding! I am using my last #10 can right now so the timing could not have been better! I also came home with amazing cheeses and meat!! And I was back home by 11 AM! The savings on the clear gel is over $65!!
    All in all, a very good week!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. You’re so creative Gardenpat. I love how you make do with whatever you have on hand. Our county has a similar program as our county extends from the barrier islands (where I live) to suburban and semi-rural on the mainland. The county cooperative extension runs the program and also teaches a multi-week master gardener course which I have taken and received a certificate for. All free with the understanding that I pass on my knowledge to better my community. We also run a plant sale featuring native plants to help our pollinators. Congrats on paying of your mortgage so quickly before you know it, you will be having a mortgage “burning” party!

      1. Mari/Jersey Shore-
        It’s really heartwarming to see so many local governments recognizing the benefits to their region if they actively encourage residents to beautify and improve their homes/yards and neighborhoods! For many years our City had a free-to-homeowners Mobile Tool Library where you could borrow tools for construction/renovation and landscaping at no charge! Part of our tax dollars at work! Definitely encouraged pride of ownership and community pride! We renovated a lot of our old house without having the expense of buying some tools that were for a specific task- like giant electric floor sander!
        We know not everyone has this kind of Government encouragement and we are grateful for the opportunities we have been given here! Columbus, Ohio- we love you!!❤️❤️❤️

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. Garden pat,
      Your mortgage payoff plan is inspiring. If you continue your current trajectory of 4-6 extra payments per month, when will you have it fully paid off?
      I’m considering doing something similar once my rental property is fully sold later this month. We will have more money to put toward our actual mortgage principal.
      Take care!

      1. Meg- We have 52 actual payments left but we are anticipating getting it paid off in full in less than 7 months! The balance is down to $17.5K! That means March 2021 (next year!) is our goal!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  2. This has been a difficult but very blessed week for our family. Friday we had to take my husband to the hospital as he started having crippling abdominal pain. Xrays and a CT scan revealed an instestinal obstruction and they began planning for surgery. On Sunday they sent him for a test to determine the exact size and location of the obstruction so they could determine if he could have laparoscopic surgery instead of a full abdominal surgery. Praise God they could not locate any obstruction and he will not have to have surgery! It was incredibly difficult being away from my husband for both me and our little boy. During this pandemic we could not visit him and I could not care for him while he was so very ill. I am so very grateful to all of the nurses and doctors who attended him and that he will hopefully be able to come home tomorrow. There are truly so many blessings to be grateful for – even during this season of such uncertainty, God is still good. From a frugal perspective our out of pocket costs will be much less without him having to have surgery -and the recovery time and time out of work will be less as well.
    I was able to can 1/2 bushel of cucumbers this week and put away 11 pints of sweet pickle relish and 10 pints of sweet pickles.
    We continue to harvest okra, green peppers, and banana peppers from our garden. All are being prepped and frozen for use in soups, stews, beans and the like.
    Our second crop of green beans is starting to produce and the zipper peas and crowder peas are coming along nicely. Now that the remnants of Hurricane Laura have passed I will be planting my seeds for the fall garden this week.
    I met with the local Master Gardeners group and discovered the reason that we are unable to grow squash and zucchini is due to squash borers – if anyone has any suggestions on what they have had success with in getting rid of these please send it along.
    We continue to work on building our food and household supply storage for the coming fall/winter season and were able to stock up on laundry detergent, pinto beans, canned mushrooms, and some spices.
    We have taken advantage of some sales to purchase some Christmas and birthday presents for our little boy as we anticipate shortages and crowds and would rather avoid both if at all possible.
    I reluctantly turned my AC up 2 degrees this week in an attempt to save. I’ve decided that I am going to move the thermostat up bit by bit to get used to warmer temps in our home and save money.
    We have had tons of rain so we have only had to water the garden twice over the last two weeks.
    My zinnias were done for the year so I pulled them up and cut the remainder to enjoy in our home.
    I dried dill, basil, and oregano from the garden & will work on more oregano and rosemary this week. Thanks for the tips Brandy – the drying rack seems to work pretty well!
    I used fall decorations that we already had on hand to decorate our home – the smell of a pumpkin candle burning is so warm and comforting.
    We enjoyed homemade meals made from our pantry all week long.

    Blessings to all of you for a good week ahead!

    1. Angie, after never, ever, ever being able to grow any summer squash due to squash vine borers, I have discovered a cure. I shared my first experiment on this post:
      It is called “Viva Trap” and it works. I have experimented with it this summer and will later share the results from my experiments on my blog. But for now, know it works.
      Also, squash from the “Cucurbita moschata” family are more resistant to squash vine borers. The vine becomes harder quicker and deters (but doesn’t) stop them from entering the vine.
      “C. moschatas” include butternut varieties, pumpkins some others. Forget “C. pepo” and “C. maxima” varieties. They get devoured by the borers every time.

      1. Jeannie and Angie- about the squash bugs/ vine borers- my cucumbers succumbed but I didn’t plant my zucchini until July and they haven’t had a problem. Squash bugs/vine borers go after those earlier plantings, so because my zucchini were planted from seed in July rather than mid May to put out plants, I am reaping a much better and longer producing crop!

        1. Garden Pat, in my zone 7a, southern middle Tennessee, USA, the borers have two life cycles. The trap is still catching them even though today is the first of September.

          1. Jeannie- So sorry to hear about your vine borers! In Ohio and Michigan, they only have 1 life cycle! Thank goodness! So once that time has passed, you are clear! My problem has been that I am impatient to get my garden moving into early production, so frequently I will buy squash plants (like zucchini) or cucumber starts and plant them in mid-May. I’ll get 1 or 2 fruit from them and then total destruction almost overnight! It happened again this year with my cucumbers, although I was able to get a better than usual harvest from them by immediately cutting out all the stricken parts of each affected plant and scrupulously cleaning that part of the garden bed.
            But imagine my surprise when the zucchini I didn’t get in the ground until the beginning of July have grown lush and prolific! That’s when I started researching more and found out that in our area, those nasty bugs only have 1 shot at my garden and it is earlier in the summer. So for my gardening, timing is everything!! Lesson learned for me!! Amazing to me that, at my age, there is still so much to learn that can improve our lives through simple, frugal acts!!

            1. GardenPat, I hate those borers and have fought them and lost for years. This was the first time I have gotten a squash crop but I was pessimistic and only planted two. Wish I had planted more because we have already eaten all of them and so none for the winter. However, I have planted more so we will see if they make it before frost. The negative is that the trap costs $15…ouch! Every year I learn more and more about gardening too.

    2. How wonderful that your husband did not require surgery!
      I watched a video in which the woman talked about two methods for dealing with squash borers. In this video she talks about implementing the methods (wrapping the vines in aluminum foil or panty hose), but there was another video recently in which she reported results and she thought the panty hose method worked the best.

      1. Cindi, I tried aluminum foil but was still “foiled” by the squash vine borers. They found small places where the foil had slipped over or they would go for the new growth that had grown out of the foil. Some of my vines are 20 feet long with many branches extending out from that. As for old pantyhose, I only wear them at funerals and don’t wear them out anymore (thank goodness.)
        I have battled hard against these horrible bugs.

    3. Angie, speaking about your husband’s experience, I’ve had several obstructions that were close to, but not complete, obstructions, so I didn’t have to have surgery but I had some miserable days. I have Crohn’s, which has caused constriction of the small intestine, thus blockages can occur. Here are my tips to avoid future hospital trips: always chew food thoroughly, don’t eat a lot of raw vegetables in a short period of time (such as big salads every day for a few days), preferably eat cooked vegetables, cut up mushrooms small even when cooked (they act as little spongy corks in the bottle neck), and if there are twinges of pain, discomfort and smaller output, start a liquid diet and continue it for 24-36 hours, then reintroduce soft foods for the next day or so before returning to a regular diet. I’m not a doctor, but this is the exact advice given to me by two experienced gastro docs, and it works for me. He should check with his doctor, of course, and follow the doctor’s advice if it contradicts mine.

      The pain is no joke! Best wishes for him!

      1. I have Crohn’s also and blockage at the Ilium is common for me… your advice is what 3 GI doctors and 2 surgeons recommended… IT does work especially if you learn to chew your food completely, put the fork down and count to 30 while chewing.

        1. Every so often I have this fantasy that all the architects and engineers and city planners in the U.S. get Crohn’s for six months. I think that would insure that future buildings and park areas have a sufficient number of bathrooms all over the place. I think that my husband is sometimes reluctant to go to unfamiliar places because he is afraid his illness will act up and there will be no facilities available. What a horrible illness to struggle with.

          1. This right here is EXACTLY why my anxiety can get out of control. People do NOT understand that when I need a bathroom it is NOW – not 5 minutes from now – NOW. I have been diagnosed with IBS and pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (which has now been ruled out by my new gastro :/). I am hoping my new gastro can be helpful because the last one just threw out the PEI diagnosis prescribed meds and sent me on my way. The new gastro is thinking possibly microscopic colitis, which is not good but at least I would have some answers!

            1. I’ve actually heard of some apps that purport to map out toilets in cities, exactly for this reason! I did a quick google, and three apps come up: “Where is Public Toilet”, “Toilet Finder”, and “Flush”. Not sure what the coverage is, but worth a look into to reduce the anxiety. Best of luck!

              1. Or you could ask my daughter, who I think has the smallest bladder capacity in the world. She knows where ALL the bathrooms are!

    4. Hi Angie,
      I’m glad your husband is okay. 🙂 Regarding squash vine borers, this is the first year I’ve been able to grow ANY squash. I found blog online recommending Bt, which I found at Tractor Supply for $10. You can spray the foliage and stems with it diluted, but this blog recommended injecting the Bt solution into the larger stems of the squash once a week through the season. I bought a small syringe and needle from Tractor Supply for the purpose. I’ve been a bit lax and only injected the vines every couple weeks, but I’ve got little cute scalloped squashes coming out of my ears, so it works!

        1. It’s the caterpillar larvae that do the damage.

          We, too, have tried wrapping the vines only to have the moths lay eggs above the wrapping, or in gaps that appeared as the vines grew. We’ve managed to save one of our three squash vines by cutting out the multiple larvae and injecting Bt in the rest of the plant. The others were too far gone by the time we could get to them.

      1. Caitlin, I tried injecting my squash with BT years ago and did not have any success. I was using a diabetic’s needle which I purchased from the pharmacy. Now I realize it must have not been big enough to do a good job. I will visit my local Tractor Supply this week and see what I can find.

        Thanks, Jeannie

    5. Re: your problem with squash borers: use a search engine on your computer with these words: inject BT for squash borers . Here are some quotes I found: “Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a strain of bacteria that is used to harm squash vine borers and other pests. Injecting Bt directly into a squash plant’s vine is the fastest way to control the problem.”
      “The Bt is injected into the stem of the squash plant at several intervals. The goal here is to get the borer to ingest some of the Bt, so you want to inject the Bt in front of where the borer is currently chewing.
      Inject Bt into the stem near the borer with a syringe. Note that once the borer is inside the squash stem, they are well protected from insecticides. Spraying Bt or other insecticides on the outside of the plant will not target borers that are already inside the stem.
      Many organic farmers use Bt spray, and it may be the most effective way to deal with borers and other squash pests. You can even inject Bt into a squash plant’s stems if the larvae have already bored into the plant but the plant is not yet limp.
      Try Bt Injections Once the borer is inside the stem they can be controlled by injecting the squash vine with Bacillus thuriengensis (BT). You can use a disposable hypodermic needle from the pharmacy (3-cc size will do) or even better a glue injector used in wood working. Timing is most important in using the injection method.

    6. We have terrible squash borers here in Central Texas. The only “fix” I have found is to grow different types of squash. I grow Tatume squash, a native variety that makes lots of vines that seem to root along the vine and are pretty resistant to the borers. I have heard that an Italian squash called rampicante is also resistant but I have not personally grown it. Good luck, those borers are so frustrating!

  3. I love reading your blog, Brandy, and also enjoy all the comments!
    I had a funny realization this week! My laptop runs photos from my desktop files as screen savers. One photo that popped up the other day was of me holding my then 2 year old grandson on my lap. I had to laugh when I realized I was wearing the same t-shirt that day that I had on in real life! My grandson is now a junior in high school! I believe that t-shirt has served me well!
    I have been blessed with vegetables from my church friends, and canned 16 pints of salsa, 3 quarts of tomato juice and 7 quarts of green beans besides eating lots of them fresh. Also got a bucket of potatoes from another friend because I loaned him a tractor attachment that helped him dig his potatoes! I had heart surgery in 2019, so I didn’t plant a garden of my own this year. I do have some lettuce and spinach seeds planted now in a small raised bed for a fall crop.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful frugal week and stays safe and healthy!

    1. Terri,
      A while ago, we were sorting through old photos and my husband picked one out of the pile, completely randomly. It was of him and his little sister, with their mother. His sister had turned her head, and his mother had noted on the back, “Of course one of us just had to turn her head…” He chuckled at his mom’s wry observation, then looked at the date – exactly 50 years ago that very day. We had quite a laugh! What were the odds?

  4. Beautiful photo as usual. I was on leave last week and it is a bank holiday in the UK today so find I can actually post ( usually it is a Sunday night before I sit down to write up everything and I just run out of puff). My most frugal accomplishment was to do with my car. I put it in for a MOT ( annual road check) and service with a well- known company. They did the service and then called me to tell me it had failed the MOT and, because it is old, suggested I scrap it. They said to fix it the costs would begin at £1400 and might be more depending on what they found! I have to say I was a bit surprised they had done the service before calling me ( won’t book a service and MOT at the same time again). I called a mechanic I know ( unfortunately he doesn’t do MOTs) and he quoted me £700. I had him do the work. Interestingly it also emerged that something else was on the fail sheet but not included in the £1400 quote ( so car would not have passed had they done the £1400+ work and not addressed that). I’m not going back to them again and will be putting my concerns in writing.

    I also did a lot of cooking last week including making vegetable stock out of sorry-looking veg in the bottom of the fridge. Fridge is cleaned out and lots of food in freezers. I stocked up on flour- managing to find bread flour for 90p per kg. That is a good price here at the moment as prices have definitely gone up.

    I used hedge cutters on my rather untidy front hedges saving myself a lot of money over paying someone. I also cut down a small tree which had self- seeded in front of a window. I think it would have cost approximately £200-300 to get someone to do the hedges and tree. I treated myself by buying a brand new dress off eBay for £10. It is still in John Lewis ( a rather nice shop) for £75.

    I have tidied by putting an item on freecycle and also listing some children’s clothes on eBay.

    I have organised Christmas presents for my mother, sister and BIL and birthday presents for my sister and BIL. With the exception of 1 item which I bought online and had sent straight to my mother I have put everything into 1 box ( including cards) which I will post to my mother. They all live in Scotland.

    I was sent a £10 voucher for dunelm ( homewares store). I had noticed that vinyl floor tiles which I have used in a bathroom previously (and been very happy with) were on sale. Using the voucher and cash back I bought enough to cover another very stained floor. To get free shipping I also bought a hot water bottle ( on sale) for my 8 year old as part of her Christmas ( it is pink and fluffy).

    I am painting some Lloyd loom furniture I bought on eBay. I ran out of the spray paint but managed to find it online for half the price it is in the stores.

    I made a mask for myself using material I have.

    On my way home from work on my last day before leave I stopped at a supermarket and found sides of salmon from the fish counter at half price. Such a treat. I was out of salmon and it is very expensive here. I love the reduced racks. I very rarely buy meat from anywhere else.

    I have managed to avoid using the tumble dryer even though weather here is not great.

    Hope this is frugal over time- rather than pay for garden waste to be taken away I have bought a garden shredder. It cost slightly more than the yearly subscription and is 1 less bin for me to remember. I compost anyway which helps the garden. I’m planning to plant vegetables next year ( did some this year but it all got away from me). If the shredder works as well as I hope then I will have wood chip for the borders. Any branches too big to be shredded will be used for kindling.

    As I write my son is barbecuing meat mostly bought on sale. We are having homemade garlic bread and will be finishing with a rhubarb pie bought on sale for 30p. Planning to use apples from our garden later to make apple pie filling to freeze. Wishing you all a good and frugal week. Thank you so much for this blog Brandy. I love coming here.

    1. Hi Sheena,
      Check out before you send anything to Scotland. We do this as my in-laws live in Kilmarnock and it nearly always works out cheaper that Royal Mail/Parcelforce. It’s saved me a fortune!

      1. Hi Kim

        Thanks for this- just checked. Very good prices and with some I can drop off whenever suits me. Looks good! I’m going to try this.

  5. When I make coffee in a pot on the stove, I often have a cup of coffee left. Sometimes I re-heat it, but often it gets dumped. At the end of last month, when I was trying to stretch the coffee I had to last, I started putting the leftover coffee in a jar in the fridge and re-heating it the next day. This month I have continued doing this, to see if I can get a package of coffee to last the month without running short. (I think of it as a lb of coffee — 453 grams — but it is actually only 310 grams.) So far, I have re-heated six cups of coffee that might have been thrown out.

    Although there were good sale prices on a third of the items I bought at the grocery store, when I went through the receipt there were 13 out of 36 items that were at least $1.00 more than I would expect to pay. Several were $2.00 or $3.00 more. Until then, I had been pleased that I checked the price of tinned corn beef, which was $7.00. I would expect this to be overpriced at $3.50. Bologna was more expensive per lb than ground beef! The other store in town has a good warehouse sale on this week, combined on Tuesday with 10% off everything. I plan to buy meat at that sale.

    I am trying to get in the habit of stretching recipes now, especially to make meat go further. I hope this will reduce the overall cost of food for me. I did buy a 5 lb bag of carrots. It used to be that that would have lasted me the winter, but I add them to so many more recipes now, that I imagine they’ll be gone in a couple of months.

    1. You might try the leftover coffee as an iced drink. We always save ours in the fridge in a jar and the iced coffee is such a lovely afternoon treat!

      1. I’ve done this, and will also freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays for use in ice blended coffee drinks. As you say, a lovely cool treat!

      2. I stopped buying nearly all luncheon type meats years ago when I realized I could buy a decent quality roast beef for less per pound than luncheon meats! I’m not saying we never have it. My husband is very fond of bologna but because we don’t buy luncheon meats over all, I buy the far better quality deli bologna 1/4 pound at a time occasionally for him. But mostly we eat sandwich fillings, sliced meat, etc. as it’s all so very much cheaper!

        Also leftover coffee is excellent for mixing up chocolate or vanilla cakes in place of liquid called for and may also be made into a yummy cream pudding. I do realize your goal is not to waste and to possibly stretch your drinking coffee further but should it ever get away from you and you find yourself with extra, these are things to also consider.

        1. Terri,
          The only luncheon meat I would ever buy is pastrami. I had been thinking bologna would be economical, otherwise why would I have had so many bologna sandwiches in my school lunches when I was a child? You are right, though. The boneless pork roast I bought this morning would be less than 40% of the cost of bologna, and much more to my taste.

          I can only hope now that I have enough leftover coffee to include it in cakes and cream puddings. There is a brownie mix in my pantry that is just waiting for it, I think.

    2. I find that coffee reheated with some milk smells like the “grand crème” I used to drink in France. Win-win, as we currently cannot travel (much). Greetings from Switzerland

        1. Also, if you are using a french press coffee maker try this: I’ve added extra water after the last cup is poured and left it sitting for a while. And, voila, an extra cup or two of coffee with no noticeable difference in taste. It’s made our coffee last soooooo much longer.

    3. When my husband was single he would make pots of coffee and keep in the fridge. He said “ It saved him time”
      Growing up our neighbors were “ Italian and would use their left over coffee for Affogato. We thought that was wonderful since our mom didn’t let us have coffee.

  6. It appeared my first try at posting this did not go through. Please delete this one if it’s a duplicate. Cauliflower at .99 is my price point too. It’s great you were able to find it for that. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it at that. I made an amazon purchase through your site last week. I canned two batches of low sugar cranberry pear jam, and plan for most of the jars to be for gifts. We still have many pears, and I plan to make several other recipes for gifts as they ripen. I canned applesauce, and a small amount of apple juice, from our apples. I’ve been excited to find caterpillars for both swallowtails and monarchs in my garden. Pumpkin Chai soap was made, using some of our pumpkin. My husband has been building an addition on to, and renovating our chicken coop. It’s more than half way done, and the hens are enjoying their new nesting boxes. I look forward to reading what everyone has been up to.

    1. Laurie, thank you for mentioning the low sugar cranberry pear jam – I went to your blog and saved the recipe – it sounds delicious and the colors in the jar are beautiful. We will be visiting my parents soon and they have lots of pears that will need to be used up!

  7. I just did my batch of errands. I got a lamp from my Buy Nothing group. I got shop cards at Costco so that I don’t have to renew my membership this year. That saves $60. I went to Joann. Fabric choice is low, the manager said they are selling what they had from February. Factories shut down in March and they are getting almost no new fabric now.
    I made pickles from a gifted cucumber. I made some more apple crumble from the free apples. This uses up the last of the “need used now” apples. The good ones that will keep are in the fridge (one entire shelf!).
    My daughter came for my husband’s birthday. She made a cake using Wholefoods cake mix and frosting mix from my Buy Nothing group. They said it was absolutely delicious. And totally free! I hung our family Happy Birthday banner for decoration. I am busy making several orders of Happy Birthday banners, some for a reader here (thank you!), one for an 80th birthday!
    Yesterday when I made my apple crumble I wanted to bake something else while I had the oven on. I have a favorite recipe for gluten free scones that I make most often. I got the recipe out and realised I was out of butter. I chose a banana bread recipe that did not call for butter, switching the eggs out for apple sauce (I’m allergic to eggs). It turned out well, I was pleased to have made good use of the oven, and also for waiting to get more butter.
    Happy frugal day to you all!

    1. That explains why I couldn’t find something I was looking for on several fabric websites. Thanks for telling us!

    2. Hi Kara,
      Would you please explain what “shop cards” are and how they let you avoid the Costco fee?
      Thanks so much!

      1. ‘Shop cards’ are what Costco calls their own gift cards. Like buying a Safeway gift card. If you have a ‘shop card’ you can go into the store and shop, and at the checkout you pay for some of the total bill with the shop card, and can put the rest on your own visa or pay cash (another reader told me this part).

        I just tried it out and you can use a shop card to buy gas at Costco WITHOUT a Costco membership. So we hope that we might make it through close to a year without renewing membership. When we run out of shop cards I may ask a friend with membership if I can go with her and buy more shop cards.

        I hope this helps!

      2. I’m not Kara but I only buy a Costco card every few years by also buying gift cards while I have an active card. You don’t need to be a member to shop at Costco and use gift cards. I buy lots of $25 gift cards and use them for years after my membership expires. If your total is over the gift card amount when paying up, you can use a credit card or cash to pay the remaining balance.

  8. Concentrated last week on batch cooking. Made several meals, including lunches ahead of time. I find that I am more apt to buy takeout when I haven’t planned ahead of time. This again is a goal that I am going to continue working on this week. My mom gave us some lettuce and apples that she wasn’t going to be able to use before it went bad. My son’s school gave him five days of breakfasts and lunches. I had signed up for a women’s conference at church. In the end, I was not able to attend. I was very surprised when they sent out the link to the video of the conference last week! So even though it was a week late, I still got to enjoy the conference. Enjoyed two magazines from subscriptions I had earned through RecycleBank. I received a silpat from one of my neighbor’s from our neighborhood buy nothing group. I also picked up two plastic cocktail shakers. We had one that recently cracked and started leaking. My husband and I have used our shaker a lot more this year. We normally don’t enjoy a cocktail at home, but have started to have one occasionally during the pandemic. We usually have one during our Friday night date nights at home. This week our date night at home will include a concert for a band we both love that was broadcast on our local PBS station. I recorded it so we can watch it after our son is in bed. I saved part of a thank you note that we had received to reuse as a part of a birthday card for my son that I am making. In addition to this week’s goal of cooking at home, I am also concentrating on using time more efficiently. I made a cleaning schedule so I do not need to clean the entire house all on one day. I am also continuing to go through everything in my house…closets, drawers, boxes, etc. I am determined to get rid of things we do not use or need. We have made several trips to the Goodwill and are planning on a few more. The more I do this, the easier it is to get rid of things. On top of my stuff, my mom is also doing her house. So she is passing quite a few boxes on to me. Our house is only so big 🙂 Have a great week everyone!

  9. The zinnias are still lovely. I am debating on adding some more hummingbird attractant perennials to my yard, as we have a few hummingbirds who are always coming to our feeders. I would like some that are native and bloom well in this steamy heat.

    I made another five-gallon batch of homemade laundry detergent. I use the pre-flaked white Zote soap that I find at Walmart. It saves a lot of time and is still inexpensive to use.

    My husband isn’t a big breakfast eater, but he’ll eat a couple of small, frozen breakfast sausage biscuits. I finally took time to make them myself. I had everything on hand, even the ground pork to make some fresh sausage. I should have been doing this all along, but had convinced myself I didn’t have the time.

    I watched a free movie on Prime.

    I purchased a group Christmas gift of several items for one set of grandchildren. I’ll add a personal gift or two for each child as well, but I still have plenty left in my per-person budget for each of them. I used money I set aside on autodraft out of my checking into a savings account, plus, all but one of the items in this gift were on sale.

    I gave myself a manicure. I just can’t justify paying for a manicure. I bought a diamond file years ago, so I don’t have to keep buying emery boards.

    A decorative cast iron hanger used outdoors was starting to rust through its paint, so I cleaned all the rust off and repainted it with rust-stop type paint that I had on hand.

    Because I have started washing the insides of my windows on a regular basis, doing a different room’s windows each week, I can now clean them with only a microfiber cloth and water and dry with another microfiber cloth, and they sparkle. It’s cheap and quick. The microfiber cloths have lasted for years; I think I have some that are 10 years old.

    I made three pints of pear sauce out of a few more pears from our tree.

    I bought five pounds of ground beef on sale and packaged it in pound packages for the freezer.

    I wrapped a birthday gift in a perfectly good used bag and added used, smoothed tissue paper to the bag.

    We had a solid weekend of rain, but at least it kept our air conditioner from running as much.

  10. I did not purchase a retirement home after an inspection revealed significant foundation problems, roof issues, electrical issues, etc. There were just too many repairs for my budget, in addition to the expense of the home purchase. Instead, in my current, paid for, small home, I had the foundation reinforced underneath with very large beams the length of my house, and house jacks, that are adjustable. My soil is very wet, and adjustments will occasionally need to happen. I can really tell the difference when walking in the house, and I am delighted. I still don’t know if I am going to stay where I currently live when I retire, it is not considered a very safe area, and there have been issues, but then where is it safe in this world? So, I spent $2,300 for the foundation work and that was a good price for this area. I ordered thermal underwear for two of my sons who need it, as well as an electric blanket for one son. My oldest said he didn’t need anything. I made mulberry refrigerator jelly, and also made homemade mulberry popsicles. I made simple pimento cheese to take for lunch at work, and also cooked several hot dogs. I finally was able to order rubbing alcohol ( it is nowhere to be found around here), and also ordered powdered Gatorade. Brandy, thank you for the recommendation of Territorial Seeds, as I ordered mustard, collard, and turnip green seeds from them. I do love my greens, but my yard is terribly shaded and wet. I think I have one small spot where they might grow. My friend said she just used a bag of Miracle Grow and stuck the seeds in it and they grew. Have any of y’all tried that? Dandelions seem to grow profusely in my shaded yard, so I am hoping the other greens take off in the tiny sunny spot, that does not go under water when it rains. We had lots of rain from the outer bands of Laura, and now it is sunny and hot again, with temps in the 90’s and heat indexes around 100 degrees. Still, that was better than a couple of weeks ago!

    1. Cindy,
      My sister-in-law uses the same technique with Miracle Grow soil. She grows lettuce and greens this way. Another thing she does is uses saw horses and runs boards across them. She then puts the bags over the boards. (2×4 boards) Then she is gardening at waist height. Her produce grows so quickly and so large.

      1. Thank you Deanna. By the way, Brandy, the latest blog post is not showing up on Facebook, at least not early Tuesday morning on my FB when I go to your FB site. I thought you might wanna know.

      2. I love the idea of sawhorses for a “raised bed” garden. Thank you. Right now I can bend down fine from a chair but I was thinking it was going to be awfully expensive to start gardening at waist level when I get older.
        Both the washer and dryer acted up this week. I called a repair shop I had used twice before to come out Monday. $79 for the first appliance and $59 for the second. It would have been another $59 to have the electric stove mom was given a decade ago into the kitchen. So, eventually, friends will move it up the ramp and into the house. I could not remember how long ago the washer was bought, the store, or how long a service contract we had. Sunday, I found the paperwork in exactly the place where I hoped it would be–a nice surprise since I definitely need to organize mom’s files. The washer was bought 4 years and 2 months ago and has 10 months left on its service contract. So I called the store and started the process for a “free” repair. In theory, that will happen tomorrow. Monday morning, as soon as the appliance repair business opened, I let them know only one appliance needed attention from them unless they were the repairmen who fulfill my service contract. But the old drier, which the repairman who showed up said had to be 40 years old, was too old for Sears to sell thermostats that fit it. For $79, I learned the dryer was dead. To add insult to injury, the repairman said he wasn’t allowed to disconnect the dryer from the gas line. Ugh. Because it would take so long to get mom out of the house in case of a fire, I think we will be hiring somebody for the task rather than diy-ing it. I’ve line-dried exclusively in the past for several months at a time. I think we’ll be doing that again for the indefinite future. We have both a dehumidifier and a box fan near the basement clotheslines. I’ll be glad when the washer has been fixed–with no additional outlay.

  11. -Went on a pet sitting vacay in nearest big city to me. It’s 65 miles away. I was there for 11 days. My pet/homeowners leave me tons of gift cards and $100’s of dollars for restaurants and entertainment. (No entertainment this time due to Covid but I usually do movies and live theater productions, neither of which is available near where I live)
    -Got takeout for all my restaurant meals and had sandwiches (they also leave grocery gift card) for other meal each day.
    -Visited some thrift stores and got great stuff. Lots of brand new things to use as game prizes for my holiday book club and cookie baking parties. I’m being optimistic that both of those will happen in Nov/Dec)
    -I have lousy country internet and they have great speedy city internet. So I spent lots of time with Netflix.
    -On my way home I drove down Elvis Presley Boulevard to get BOGO Free dozen donuts at Krispy Kreme. Normally there are hundreds and sometimes thousand of tourists in front of Graceland. Yesterday there were only 9.

  12. Good going on the pickles and relish, Brandy! I am looking for mandarin oranges, too, and they were .78 can yesterday at Winco. I didn’t buy any, but I will when they get cheaper. This is what I did last week–

    * I made some repairs to our drip irrigation system and added a few lines…which is one of my least-favorite jobs, but I did it! I deep watered my trees with the hose.

    *I’m harvesting a lot of tomatoes (including tons of cherry toms), zucchini and beets (and the beet greens!). I have a small garden and it was not a great year for me. I have a question–do those big Armenian cucumbers taste like regular cukes?

    *Last week I canned some tomato juice and made Gardenpat’s recipe for orange-coconut-zucchini bread–which is wonderful–and froze half the recipe.

    *We spent a day on the lake and river with some friends and their boat. We paid for the gas. (As a former boat owner, I can tell you this is definitely the frugal way to go!). Lunch was potluck. I brought fruit and the zucchini bread, which everyone loved.

    * I called my insurance company to see why they didn’t pay for an Rx I’ve taken for several years. I didn’t like the answer. Since no one is even sure if this is doing me any good (“it sometimes helps”), I’m going to reduce my dose from two tablets to one, and if that goes well, from one to none. If I discover it really is preventing flare-ups, then of course I will start taking it again without any complaints. I’ve never been sure it has actually done me any good, or at what dosage, so this is a good time to find out.

    * I made a gathered skirt for one of my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (girl, 10-14). I had everything I needed in my stash. I have been trying to sew something every week for the last 6-8 weeks. So far, I haven’t had to buy a thing!

  13. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Great that you could order some dresses for winter.
    Autumn is certainly here in England. Our neighbour gave us a punnet of field mushrooms she had picked in her horse paddock. We picked tomatoes, kale, spring onions, beetroot, runner beans, mint and cooking apples from the garden. I made several jars of Apple and mint jelly.
    My husband took some of our leek plants to a gardening client and planted them for her. In return she gave him a bucket and told him to help himself in the orchard. He brought home Discovery apples, two types of pear and lots of damsons. I made several jars of Chinese style five spice plum sauce for stir frys and marinades and fruit pulp with the rest of the damsons.
    My husband has been taking cuttings from lots of plants to try and propagate more free plants for the garden. I picked dahlia for the house. We have cut back all the lavender that’s finished flowering and stored it in the log shed, when I have time I’ll bunch it up for more natural firelighters.
    Grapefruit was on sale in Lidl so I bought a dozen because they keep well in the fridge. I also bought two packs of reduced yellow sticker smoked mackerel fillets.
    I sold a couple of things on eBay.
    Some friends who are moving house have asked my husband to help tidy up their garden before they go and gave us a trailer load of dry logs as a thank you.
    The deal of the week was in a charity shop where I found two brand new M & S bras in their
    boxes, exactly the style I wear, my size and cup size and good colours. They were reduced from £18 to £5 each. I have retired a couple of my older bras to fabric recycling.
    I combined a multi buy offer and discount code for 10% off and bought several Christmas presents online.
    I needed to replace my everyday shoes and like Skechers because I have problems with my feet. They are expensive but my daughter had a discount code so I got 12% off. This used up the last of my windfall extra money from my pension lump sum.
    Another TV programme you might like is a BBC broadcast of highlights from Planet Earth
    and The Blue Planet with a new musical score by Hans Zimmer. I think it’s called Planet Earth A Celebration. I’m watching it now and it’s stunning.

  14. Thanks Brandy for this blog. Since starting to follow your blog, we have implemented several ideas posted here, thank you to all commenters!
    -have been paying much more attention to fruit on sale. Eg. I would always buy bananas, as they are the cheap fruit. But currently our local orchard is selling 42cents/lb peaches. Froze peaches for smoothies & pies, as well as canned 10 quarts.
    -we’ve decided to follow advice on meatless meals, or less meat.
    -we purchased a freezer for $50 on Kijiji that I’m rapidly filling this fall.
    -paying more attention to the veggies we eat at supper. eg. We love beets, and they’re 10c/lb this time of year, and can easily be steamed, grated and frozen w applesauce for a delicious veggie side with mashed potatoes in the winter. Trying to incorporate more onions into meals, as they’re also 10c/lb later this season. Even though bought bell peppers for 57c/lb, we will try to stretch this further by using cheaper veggies with it.
    -we are now calculating how much every meal is, and trying to decide “keepers” for bulk freezing.
    -premade our favourite dry muffin mixes. I don’t know why we didn’t do that earlier, as we always have a tub of pre-made dry pancake mix. This will save me time for weekly muffin batches now that school is starting.
    -I just pulled out our $25 used 3lb bread maker. I have been making 3 loaves in the oven at a time, but recently got a bit lazy with it. The bread maker is slightly faster, as long as I make the pre-made individual dry mixes and freeze those in the freezer.
    -we had a $20/month budget for fast food. But now we’re going to see if we can do without it all together. I have our own version of “fast food” with quick spaghetti sauce mix/chili/butter chicken sauce/etc. In the freezer. Not sure why it has taken us so long to just stop eating out all together, especially since the “experience” of eating out is quite dull now with covid. If the kids want to eat out, we are trying to have a picnic on Saturday at lunchtime at the park.
    -have stopped buying individual packaging of anything. My kids like Granola bars for trips, they are really easy to make at home.
    -have stopped buying so much processed ready to eat food. Eg. Canned soup. We’ve been making in bulk now and just freezing it, and adding remaining broth to it when heating back up.
    -since no longer eating out, have been making our favourite fast-food treats at home. Eg. Tim Horton’s ice cap (really easy!) And Dairy Queen’s blizzards.
    I appreciate all the fantastic ideas on this blog!

    1. I am missing not being able to drive south into Canada and visit Pt. Pelée or on a whim decide to drive from Windsor to Niagara Falls because of Covid-19. I hope conditions improve soon so the border opens back up.

      1. I miss not being able to drive north from the Buffalo area into Canada to visit Niagara Falls, Toronto, Cottage Country, and Algonquin Park. Hopefully we can all resume our explorations by this time next year – if not sooner!

  15. I’m going to take your advice and start on Christmas presents now. We also have a couple birthdays at the end of the year, so those need to be planned for as well. We did get a book on sale for my daughter this week that we have put away for Christmas.
    We were able to stock up on some pantry items this week and replenish some of our pantry items. I have been using up some food storage items in order to stay out of the grocery stores and shop less frequently.
    I made all meals at home except one. My husband and I did go out to eat once for a date night. Our meal was inexpensive though. We went early and the restaurant was fairly empty. I also made banana bread again for breakfasts using bananas from the freezer.
    I reorganized my deep freezer so I can make sure to use up what I have. I have a lot of ground beef so I have been trying new ground beef recipes using ingredients I already have on hand.
    I have continued to use fruit and vegetable scraps, as well as shredded paper, for my compost bin.
    I continued to pick tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers from the garden. I also picked basil and am currently drying it on a rack like you mentioned doing, Brandy.
    One unexpected savings was on the dog food we buy. We order from Chewy to save money and save a trip to the store. I asked my husband to look and change the flavor of the food because I think the dogs would like a change of flavor every now and then. The same brand and type of food, same size bag, but a different flavor was less money. This will save us $12 per month. I also researched and found a different source for buying a particular medicine for one of my dogs and this will end up saving about $30 every 6-8 weeks.
    I’ve been turning the AC up one degree higher (baby steps!) than we are used to during the day and also opening windows in the morning if it is cool enough. Trying to be diligent about turning all lights off and fans off if we aren’t in the room.

    Thank you for all the encouragement and ideas to help cut costs. I really enjoy reading your blog and all the comments weekly.

    1. Yes, on comparing prices on pet needs. Our cat’s medication was half the price on than it was at the vet’s.

  16. It has been a very busy week. We moved out of our temporary rental townhouse and into our new house! Lots of work , sweat and exercise. It was a local move, so we just had the movers move the furniture. We moved all the boxes and smaller items ourselves. I got a great leg workout going up and down the steep townhouse stairs! No gym required!
    *Upon moving in, I realized that my vegetable garden hopes will probably have to wait until spring. We need to remove 7 very large rose bushes to free up space for the garden. I know a lot of people love rose bushes, but it’s not my thing. I would rather have the space for vegetables. It will take me quite a while to cut them back and dig them out! It will be my fall and winter project. Meanwhile, I will order seeds ahead of time.
    *Very happy with the storage space for my food stockpile in the new house. Although I still don’t have a traditional pantry, there is more than enough storage. Now it’s time to take inventory and fill in the holes.
    *Saving all the packing boxes and paper. I will keep a few for storage, and give the rest away on our local buy nothing Facebook group. Good packing supplies are expensive, so this is a way that I can bless others.
    *Distance learning starts in a few days for my son. He will be starting Highschool. I was able to check out a Chromebook for him from our school district at no charge. We have several computers but they don’t have cameras, and he will be required to attend zoom meetings.
    *Trying to get into a good routine with meal planning and prepping food ahead of time. It’s so much fun to unpack my kitchen items that I have not seen for months! It’s like Christmas every time I open a box!
    Hope everyone has a great week!

    1. I bet that someone would like your roses and would be happy to come get them! You might want to offer them for free. They are best moved in late fall, so that would be perfect!

    2. Congratulations on your new home! Roses can be moved at any time of the year, so be sure to list your bushes on FB on Buy Nothing. Nice if you can label them by color, but a lot of people will take them without knowing.

    3. I spoke with one of my grandsons who asked me to save all my boxes and mail them to him! lol He’d love being near someone who had moving boxes to let go of. He wants to use them to make a life sized robot. I hated explaining to him that postage was too dear for me to be mailing him boxes, even if flat packed.

      1. When I get a bunch of boxes I list them on CraigsList for free. Sometimes I even pick up perfectly good boxes people are recycling. I always have people happy to get free boxes.

  17. This week I focused on getting the seeds started for the winter garden. That was priority number one. My next project is to finish sealing the walls of the basement. I discovered a spot of mold on the concrete where a piece of plastic was touching it. I panicked, moved all the pantry supplies to a BIG pile in the middle of the floor, bleached the walls, painted on a sealant, and have been watching it all summer. No problems so now it is time to reassemble the shelves and put everything back in place, inches away from the wall, of course. I love my pantry (only people on this site would understand that comment) and having everything scrambled on the floor has been frustrating.
    I have no idea how much I have canned this year since it is scattered in piles. A complete inventory will happen later. One step at a time.
    Today I posted August’s end of the month tour of the vegetable garden, ragged and tired as it may be.


  18. Good thinking as regards the Christmas gifts! I was out for a drive with a friend last week and we stopped at an Antique barn and I was able to pick up a couple of vintage metal “posters”, one concerns coffee and the other wine and I have a friend in mind for each – so that is two more gifts down!

    I stopped in the Bay Dept. store on the way home from work one day just to see if any new stock had arrived – nothing – they are still selling off Summer items and have put out the dregs left from last Winter – no new shipments have arrived. For Toronto friends – they seem to have moved all the Winter coats and accessories to the Queen St. store – the Yonge & Bloor one is so empty I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it will be closing. The Bay now owns “Lord & Taylor” so I was very disappointed to hear that they have gone under as I love their clothes. I’ve always bought a new cashmere sweater each Fall when the new colours arrive. They had some left from last year and I had thought about buying a lovely plum coloured cardigan last year but changed my mind. They had this colour along with a few others on a table but they all seemed to be different prices. I know the saleswoman there so asked her to check. She said that the one I wanted was coming up at $129 but she came and looked at the table and said she’d sell it to me for $60 – Deal!

    Picked up a prescription and paid only $1.50 for the admin fee. Also checked with the pharmacist and they confirmed that they could give me the pneumonia vaccination if I got a prescription from my doctor. Called the office and they will fax it through to the pharmacy – there won’t be any charge and it will save me making a trip to the office – which I’d prefer to avoid.

    Take a snack or sandwich plus my water bottle with me when I go into the office – usually 3 mornings per week. I’ve got so much food in my little apt. that it would be crazy to buy takeout.

    I did manage to pick up Cake & Pastry flour, a couple of cans of PAM spray, and a lot of seafood – not cheap but I accumulated $8 in Loyalty points on those items alone. In fact, I managed to build up over $30 in Loyalty points over the past two weeks. I’m saving these for October’s shopping so that I can cut back on the cash that I use. I need some new eye glasses in the next month so need to save in some other areas.

    Had a lovely walk with two friends yesterday in one of our huge city gardens. If those in the Toronto area haven’t been to Edward’s Gardens (or now the Toronto Botanical Garden) at Lawrence and Leslie in the past few years it is well worth a visit. No bikes, no joggers and no dogs allowed. The gardens are amazing and the walk along the water is so lovely. It was fun watching all the little ones playing in the sparkling clean water and navigating the rocks to cross over and catching minnows. Because the little cafe wasn’t open (it seems to be run by volunteers & can be hit or miss) we were able to use the tables on the patio for a picnic lunch that we shared. Didn’t cost us anything as the friend who drove has a handicapped sticker – otherwise, there is a parking fee but nothing to enter the gardens and buses do stop right near the entrance.

    I got a lot of cleaning done last week – in fact, overdid it a bit – my knees are killing me at the moment but at least it’s done! Scrubbed the bathroom and washed the floors so those big jobs are done! Did 3 loads of laundry and only used the dryer for the 1 load of sheets.

    I used to purchase a monthly transit pass as I would go into the office 4 or 5 days a week. Of course, I only used half the month for March. The TTC has finally arranged to refund all of those who had bought passes for March and April. We are on the “Presto” system so it’s all logged online. They said that it might take until November to get everyone sorted but I got my $50 refund within a couple of days so that will save me some money this month.

    Looking forward to all of this week’s comments.

  19. Speaking of bras, I had a couple of underwires break this week. My husband was able though to take a good wire from one bra and replace it into another bra. My favourite style seems to be discontinued so this will keep me going for awhile. DD and 3 friends arrive tonight for 5 nights on their way back to uni, so we have cleaned, made up beds, done a Costco run and baked 2 pies( 5 star peach and apple and made 2 different homemade soups (black bean and cheesy cauliflower.). We will be moving my Mum into her new condo next Wed so it seems that the second half of Sept will be quieter than the first. I am still able to collect money from the Can govt for being out of work-I can still earn some PT income too. DH returns to work at the school on Wed so we will see what that looks like-lots of cleaning and separation protocols I am sure.

    My Mum does not want the washer/dryer that are included with her condo so we have volunteered to take them-will store until our 10 year old set breaks down. I hope everyone has a frugal week.

    1. The wire on one of my bras snapped yesterday! I knew it was coming and really, not worth replacing as I have had my money’s worth out of it. I still have 2 old ones on the go, bought a new one a month ago and will now purchase another. This brand is from England and one bra will cost me $170 plus tax – but – they are the most comfortable bras I’ve ever owned (and I am well endowed) and given that the last ones have been in steady use for 3 1/2 years, it is money well spent. If I can afford it I will purchase another one before Christmas. I shop at a little specialty shop so want to support them as they “support” me (pun intended)! 🙂

      1. ha Margie great pun! What brand do you get? I couldn’t use one at all due to my arm but have been looking around.
        Do you get it from Marks and Spencer?

  20. *I canned pears and tomatoes.
    *I made all meals at home.
    *We cleaned out my daughters room and have 20 bags to donate. That will help with tax returns.
    *I exercised at home and in the neighborhood.
    *I made more chocolate zucchini cake and zucchini bread.
    *I cleaned and organized my downstairs pantry again to keep on top of what I have in stock and what I need to purchase.
    Thank you for the inspiring post and pictures.

  21. Got a new to me car. How is that frugal? Well, we bought it used. We got the dealer to put on new tires and brakes for the price they were selling it. We paid for it cash. They gave us a free oil change coupon and my old car sold in less than 24 hours after Hubby and I cleaned it up. We also drove my last car for over 12 years and it was used also. There were a few paint chips on the new to me car so Hubby bought a paint pen for $5. You can’t tell where they were now.
    The garden is still doing great. I have been picking cucumbers, several types of tomatoes, scallions, string beans, celery, peppers, beets, carrots and herbs every other day. I got my first grapes. I have been drying and freezing produce for the winter. I have also been sharing with friends. I made a big pot of sauce with the tomatoes. More pickles were made. I think everyone is getting pickles with their Christmas gifts this year.
    Our library is open again. They are only allowing so many people at a time in. I have had no problem getting in the few times I have gone. I got a large stack of books and movies the first time I went and just keep getting more. It is nice being able to get a little of our routine back.
    Had a college book that my youngest daughter needed that my oldest 2 used. I listed her old books for sale. The college is charging us the same whether she does classes on line or in person. We chose to have her do them online. It is saving us some money since she doesn’t have to drive there and she won’t be eating there.
    My sister picked her dog up. She had found more mason jars in her cleaning so she gave them to me.
    I made a large batch of dog food for Oreo. I froze half.
    2 friends and I grabbed Panera and ate lunch in my friend’s yard. I used a gift card that I had and I drank water. We talked for several hours. It was so good to be able to hang out and laugh. I gave both of them some veggies from my garden. The hostess packed up some homemade cookies for me when I left.
    I went food shopping and hit up the clearance racks. I got 6 Progresso soups for 73¢each. No dents and they were dated 2022 so I’m not sure why they were there.
    A friend’s mom is cleaning out her basement. It is all tools and stuff that was her husband’s. I sell stuff on Craigslist, EBay and Letgo so she asked me to show her how to do it. She also offered us first dibs on anything we would want to buy. Hubby and I went over to look. Hubby found an almost new table saw and a planer. She didn’t want to take money from us but we insisted. She also had a bunch of small wooden boxes. Some were from cigars, some were from teas. They were very pretty so I took a few of them too. My friend thinks there are more somewhere and said if she finds them she will hold onto them for me. I also gave them some veggies from the garden. .
    I have been trying to declutter more. The church is not accepting any donations of used goods right now so I put the bags in my trunk. When I see a donation box, I stop to see if they are full. If not, I put the stuff in.
    My daughter has been wanting to redo her room since she stayed home for college. So we did it this week. Her boyfriend came over and helped us move furniture. She changed out a few pieces from other rooms in the house. She hung up some new paintings that she had made. It cost us nothing and it looks great and she is very happy with it. I also cleaned her carpet while we were at it.
    I am finding ways to use up the food in the house. We had some peaches that we were given to us that were going soft so I made a topping for waffles with them one morning. I made a vegetable medley with some garden veggies that were getting soft. I had a leftover baked potato so I chopped it up and threw in some scallions, garlic and paprika for potatoes with eggs for breakfast. I am being extra cautious with food waste.
    I am trying to get my Christmas shopping done with ASAP. I found a used Islanders jersey on Letgo. I know my son would love it. Hubby and I went and checked it out. The guy sold it to me for $10. One more gift done.
    My youngest was offered a cloth cooler/bench combo for free. She took it but didn’t like the company logo on it. She wanted to cover it up with something. I looked at it and it was embroided on. I showed her how to unstitch it. It took her a little while but she got it done. She took it to the beach 2 days later.
    I keep collecting wood as I see it. We filled up 2 more crates worth. It will be ready for fire pits next year.
    I cleaned out, defrosted and inventoried my chest freezer. I have enough meat for 132 meals as we eat now. We eat usually meat 1-2 times a day. If I need to stretch it further I could without a problem. I also have so much more butter then I realized. Now I need to do the other 2 freezers.
    Have a wonderful week everyone.

  22. Your mixed pickles sound great! Are those your giardiniera?

    My frugal week (last two weeks, actually):
    – I made Chunky Mango Guacamole ( on a day that I was really craving some Mexican food. Cheaper than takeout!
    – A friend of mine gave me some dresses that his daughter outgrew, and I gave him a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. We were both happy!
    – I used a 75% off coupon code to order ubereats on a night that I was under the weather. It made two meals for me, plus a meal for my mum and my daughter. I used money earned doing surveys online to pay for the remainder, so it didn’t impact my budget.
    – Using the Flash Food app, I bought pork souvlaki, sliced chicken, and diced chorizo for half price. I also bought pre-sliced apples for way less than whole apples, used them for a post-playground snack for my daughter, and then baked the rest into an apple crumble pie (
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for $5 to my paypal account, and then used it to buy 100 cellophane bags from I give a lot of baked goods as gifts, and this is much cheaper than buying them from bulk barn with a coupon, which is what I used to do.
    – I also bought a pretty shirt for my daughter for her second birthday in a few months, for about $5, including shipping, from
    – I made oatmeal pancakes, sourdough bread, banana oatmeal porridge, and lots of chocolate milk.
    – I read 10 library books using the overdrive/Libby app, mostly M.C. Beaton books. They are such easy reading!
    – I received $20 in a class action lawsuit. It was unexpected, and a nice surprise!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  23. I too have been saving warm up water and it has been very useful during heatwaves.
    The french drain is finally done. When I started it, I carefully dug up the grass in thick blocks and gently placed them in areas around the yard. A little over half survived, so that will be less replanting of grass seed for the stretch that needs replanted.
    The mister’s garage door broke unexpectedly and he called and ordered repair service, it would be a few days out and due to the age of the doors, he was quoted a large cost that would replace parts on both garage doors. Later that night he did research and “gambled” $40 and was able to fix his door and replace the same part in my door (and cancelled the service call). The doors do need replaced, but we are hoping they will last another 2 years.
    Took advantage of a great sale on durable long lasting jeans. I just need one pair. I have bought cheap or used jeans for the last 15 years, and adding up the cost, it would have been wiser to invest in good pair, so I finally did. My current pair are paper thin and won’t be useful this winter.
    Ebay offered me an anniversary coupon. $25 off of $25.01 or more. Will use this towards a holiday gift.
    Used half the grocery budget to stock up on some meat for the winter months.
    Hope everyone has a peaceful week!

  24. I harvested a bunch of zucchini, sliced and breaded it and froze it for later use. I also made a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread. We enjoyed tomatoes, chard, arugula, cucumber, onion, and celery from the garden.
    Our dishwasher died. My husband has been keeping it limping along for the past year, but it finally gave up. I know many people do not have dishwashers and do just fine, but it is one chore both my husband and I really dislike. So we purchased a new one. Thankfully, we had money in an emergency fund for this, as all our appliances are getting on in years. We saved over $200 by picking up the dishwasher at the store and having my husband install it. (And the new machine performs so much better than the old one!)
    I decided to go ahead and order all my garden seeds for next year, as most suppliers are stocked again, but may not stay that way. I was able to get everything I wanted, but will need to wait for spring for the potatoes and onion sets.
    I cooked a big pot of dried pinto beans and canned 9 pints of pintos, plus we ate some for dinner that night.
    Some of the onions I harvested last week sprouted, so I chopped them and froze the chopped onions on a cookie sheet, then put the frozen onions in a quart jar in the freezer. (If you ever have to chop a large quantity of onions and own ski goggles, I can attest that wearing them while chopping, while it looks ridiculous, does keep the tears away!)
    We split and stacked another half cord of firewood. The woodshed is full and we have all we need for this season, but we may try to cut more to get a head start on next year. The permit we have from the forest service allows us up to three more cords this year.

    1. LOL! 😂 I pulled out goggles while making pear butter. I looked ridiculous, but several times it popped up into my face.

  25. Brandy,
    Sounds like you had a good productive week for you and your family.
    I went to a grocery store I rarely frequent but they had awesome stocks of celery out front. These were locally grown and huge, beautiful stocks of celery. I bought 3 stocks and have been drying them. 3 huge stocks dry to one jar! I am also drying more onion and squash. I made an apple/pear pie and froze it for Thanksgiving and have enough apples and pears to make another one for Christmas dinner. I will have to store that one in my mom’s freezer as my freezer is fuller than it has ever been.
    I gave my utility room a fresh coat of paint using paint I already had. It looks fresher and cleaner.
    I purchased a few Christmas gifts which was not frugal but I feel it is safer for me to be in the stores now while I am healthy and there are fewer people out and about than later in winter when I may have a cold or something.
    I was given a brand new high-end kitchen knife which I was very happy to get as mine are very old and not high-end.
    My husband and I were able to spend 3 full days and nights at our beach cabin. It was a very relaxing time and very much needed. We grow a special variety of blueberry there called pink lemonade and yes they do taste like lemonade. I don’t really care for blueberries but I love these. They produced very good this year and all were eaten fresh by us and our grandson. I am going to try and find another couple bushes of that variety if possible. The berries are pink in color but the same size as a regular blueberry.
    I cut my husband’s hair which didn’t turn out that great because he insisted I cut it shorter to the scalp. It looks bad but he said he doesn’t care because it grows really fast. Next time, I will give him my usual cut which I am much better at doing.
    I was able to purchase 2 large glass jars for a very reasonable price- They will hold several pounds of rice and beans.
    Finally, I had a coupon for Dollar General for saving $5 on a $25 purchase so I used that to stock up a little.
    Wishing everyone a great week.

    1. I have seen these blueberries advertised in many garden catalogs. I just did a quick search and it looks like Burpee’s and Stark Brothers both carry them.

  26. Good going on the cauliflower for 99¢ a head. that is a really great price.
    We picked tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, green beans, chard, a few peppers, basil, oregano and parsley. Dried more trays of parsley.
    Brought breakfast and lunch to work each day.
    Made focaccia bread twice. Made baked ziti, using onions, green beans, peppers and zucchini from the garden.
    Planted a 4 x 8 bed of basil from seeds I had started.
    Clipped all of our dry bean plants. We will let them sit in the sun for a few days, just to make sure they are all the way dry. We will then shell them over a few days.
    A friend gave us purple potatoes, white carrots, russet potatoes, a lemon cucumber and 3 spaghetti squash. We don’t care for spaghetti squash, so I gave them to people with whom I work.
    Made 6 quarts of dill pickles using cucumbers, garlic, hot peppers and dill from the garden.
    Made 2 dozen zucchini muffins using my MIL recipe. She has terrible dementia. I made sure to get some of her family recipes before she was too bad, so I can carry on some of the recipes.
    Visited with my Mom through her window. Brought her some tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and 4 zucchini muffins. She always loved my MIL’s zucchini bread.
    Dried our laundry, other than towels, on the line.
    Had homemade pizza for dinner one night. The leftovers last at least 2 days. I make the DH and I each a separate pizza, as we both like very different things on our pizza. I like mine veggie heavy.
    Had BLTs for lunch/dinner a couple of times.
    We had a relatively cool weekend, but will be heating up again this week.
    We visited with my DS and his fiancée for a bit over the weekend. They are making very intelligent wedding and living plans. Our future DIL asked my DH if he would help them build and fill raised beds at where they will be living.
    Was able to get boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.48/pound at Winco. Got about 8 1/2 pounds for the freezer.
    Was able to petite sirloin steaks for $2.99 a pound at Fred Meyer (a Kroger store). The limit was 2 pkgs., so I got 2. I use this for stir fry, and even cut it up for stew, as it is cheaper than stew meat.
    I hope everyone has a great week.

  27. Brandy, great deal on the cauliflower!! I love all kinds of pickles!

    -Meals-halibut with garlic Parmesan sauce, cheesy scalloped potatoes, and corn; pizza; bacon cheeseburgers, French fries, creamy cucumbers, and watermelon; leftover pizza; hotdogs, corn on the cob, and cantaloupe; spaghetti with Italian sausage, salad, vinegar cukes, and garlic toast; and pork chops, oven roasted red potatoes, and corn.
    -Starting to clear out the garden. Picked the last green beans and removed the plants. Also did the same with zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, and kale. Pulled all the onions and placed on the deck to cure. Only things left are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and watermelon.
    -We picked our first watermelon it was very good. We have 3 more left.
    -Putting food up still continues-more beans-20 more pints, up to 102 pints canned. Last year bean harvest was awful so I planted an extra row this year.
    -Canned a batch of enchilada sauce- 12 Half pints. Froze shredded zucchini-6 two cup bags. Also froze 6 bags of kale, 4 bags of eggplant. And canned 7 quarts of dilly beans and 8 quarts of spaghetti sauce. Had 7 day sweet pickles working in the crock. Canned it-4 pints. Harvested 6 softball size heads of cabbage from the roots I left in the ground after harvesting the large head. They are looser and not as compact. Froze 3 bags chopped cabbage for soups this winter. Also dehydrated a quart of zucchini cubes (3 large zucchini).
    -Had a jar of peaches that came out of the canner cracked but intact. Saved the peaches and threw the jar. Chunked the peaches and used some of the shredded zucchini to make peach zucchini muffins.
    -Made an apple pie from apples we picked up off the ground from our trees. Just cut out bad spots. Yummy!
    -Did my monthly Costco shop-$170. A couple of items for comparison. Kraft grated Parmesan cheese-$7.99 (24 oz). In my regular grocery store it was the same price for 16 oz! Organic Greek yogurt-$5.99 for 48 oz. It was the same price in the grocery store for 16 oz. It does pay to comparison shop!! I bought lawn and leaf bags, garbage bags, chicken stock, parmesan cheese, 2 cartons of yogurt, case of hint water, orange juice, Canadian bacon, coffee, milk, avocado oil, and avocado spray.
    -I enjoy harvesting and preserving food, because I know what is in the food I preserve. This time of the year requires so much time there is little time for other things. Looking forward to winding down and spending time doing other things!! I am getting tired! We are about 3 weeks away from a frost. Going to be in the high 40’s tonight.
    Have a great week!!

  28. Joining in from Seattle area.

    I went to type this on our rather old laptop, and the keyboard has died. So I plugged in an external keyboard and now I am able use it, thankfully.

    My mom’s church was given 60 dozen eggs close to the expiration date from a grocery store. The church has a program to share food with needy families, but they could not use them all. So they were giving them away to anyone who could use them. My mom took several dozen, and gave me two dozen and my sister some as well. I love eggs, so they won’t go to waste.

    I picked a half gallon of wild blackberries from a trail near my work. We ate some fresh and I made jam from the rest (6 half pints). I bought a pound of Pomona’s Pectin in 2014, and I’m still using that to make jam. I had jars and lids on hand. Some readers have mentioned not being able to find lids, but they have had them consistently in the grocery stores here. I had stocked up a few years ago when I was doing a lot of canning, so I did not need to buy any.

    My friend gave me some sourdough starter. I am going to see if I can keep it going, and make pancakes/bread/etc. when I am able. Right now I don’t think it is too happy, but she told me what to do to fix the issue.

    Met up with two high school friends. We sat on one friend’s patio (socially distanced) and talked for three hours. It was wonderful to see them. The weather cooperated as well, which was nice.

    Thanks to the reader who recommended the Liziqi YouTube channel last week. I have really been enjoying this.

    Otherwise, I did all the things I normally do. Made meals from my CSA vegetable share, meat in the freezer, and pantry foods. Enjoyed flowers from the CSA farm. Made iced tea, water kefir and kombucha. Prepped meal parts for future use. Watched videos online and streaming TV, listened to CDs we already had, read newspapers my mom gave me, walked on trails and in parks, brought my lunches to work, read a book I already had, read blogs, and sat on the patio when I was able.

    Thanks for hosting this every week, Brandy. It is very comforting to read, and I always learn new things.

    1. Here in Minnesota there are NO canning lids! I think the whole Midwest for that matter. And people Are panicking. I am so glad I ordered mine in quantity this summer thanks to this blog!

      I think for a while it would be prudent to plan ahead For all needs, stocking up on shelf stable food and toiletries, and buy before everyone else does. I think Christmas shopping now is prudent. There may be slim pickings by the time everyone else thinks about it, or heaven forbid another shut down!

      1. I need to correct what I said above. I checked for canning lids in the grocery store today, and they were completely sold out with a sign saying they didn’t know when they’d be back in. The last time I checked, which was a week or ten days ago, there were still plenty of canning lids available.

      2. 23 years ago there were no canning lids available in our area at all. Those were the days before online shopping. Every year since, I’ve bought a couple extra boxes beyond what I’ve needed even when not canning. Am I ever glad I did now. I just never wanted to have produce and have to scramble to figure out how to preserve it again. I have some tattler lids; just haven’t used them yet.

        1. I have some Tattler lids, but they are all being used! I bought regular lids to supplement them. I also use regular lids on anything I might gift to someone.

  29. This blog is such a joy! And that zinnia is my favorite pink. Thank you, Brandy, for all the beauty!

    This week, we ate kale, tomatoes, and parsley from the garden. I have a bumper crop of fennel seed and sage that I need to find recipes for. Homemade sausage is always lovely, but pork’s pricey around Boston right now.

    My husband kept going with the wonderful home repairs – sanded and painted the handrails to get rid of the rust, and removed a rusty spot on the washing machine and repainted it. Maxine’s comment last week about having a home where things just work inspired me. I fixed a sticky door lock and did a bunch of decluttering and organizing. I’ve got a list of next small things to fix.

    Best of all, my husband splurged for my birthday and bought me a greenhouse on Amazon! For $119, there was a 10×12′ kit with steel bars, a zipper door, and a gothic roof – all good for our snowy winters. He priced many times whether it was better or cheaper to buy parts himself or a kit – this seemed like the best deal. I hope to extend our winter harvest without heat, and also use it for cold storage of winter-hardy vegetables when they go on sale. I’m binge-watching Eliot Coleman’s “Gardening Naturally” on youtube for his Maine winter gardening ideas. I’m sure it might take a few years to iron out the bugs, but I will enjoy the process.

    I’ve been finding that adding a little shampoo to an old bottle and then a bunch of water gives me better suds and stretches the shampoo a whole lot farther.

    Wishing you all a good week!

    1. How exciting about the greenhouse! That should really help extend your growing season. Keep us posted on your progress. Best Wishes!

  30. It has been a busy week for me. I am working on getting used to the computer programs for my grandchildren’s virtual school. I also teach them between lessons on the computer. Glad to have my son entertain them sometimes and my husband has been cooking and helping out in general. I hope to become more organized and make slow cooker meals that I can assemble ahead of time. Cooked many times at home when we had considered going out. It was actually more relaxing to not go anywhere and we saved money. We had a big pot of black bean soup that we ate several days. Been using things from the freezer. Eggs have been a staple in the morning. We ate burgers and salads that we had bought for 69 cents a bag. I’m hoping to pick an Armenian cucumber tomorrow and make cucumber salad with part of it and let the grandkids munch on fresh cucumber slices. Been using tomatoes. Freezing okra. Turning off lights. Turning the air conditioner thermostat up a bit to use less energy. Borrowed books from the library. Used internet for education and entertainment. Enjoyed listening to the radio in the evening with my husband. Listened to music with my son during the weekend. Didn’t shop when we thought about shopping. Instead, used what we had.

  31. Brandy, thank you for the link to the geography worksheets. Your mixed pickles/giardiniera is very similar to what my grandma canned.

    It was a health/wellness oriented week for me. DD (my stepdaughter)and I had our annual 3D mammogram – we do this together as her birth mom died from breast cancer in her early 20s. DD and her family live about 45 min from us so she & her family visited us for several days. While the men & kids went crabbing & kayaking we had our mammo and then went shopping at Trader Joes as its within 1/2 mile of radiologists. It has the best price for nuts – l lb pkgs of raw shelled pumpkin seeds, cashews & pecans for $6.99 each; raw shelled sunflower seeds for $2.99. We stocked up as we use them in salads, baking, trail mix and snacks. We enjoyed bbqing in our backyard, making trail mix and baking blueberry muffins, biking along the bay beach, walks on the boardwalk, making sand castles – so blessed to have little ones around; no swimming as rip tides high. We already have the results of the mammos – all is well. I urge your readers who have not had one in a while to get one. Our insurance covers it as preventative care at no out of pocket cost. I also had a 2D echocardiogram – had one 10 yrs ago to establish a baseline, when I had my annual physical last month my primary dr suggested I have another to update the baseline. My out of pocket cost was $35. The results are also in – all is well.

    Had my hair cut and colored; it was last done in February. Went shorter & had 6 inches cut off. I feel light & airy – like a new woman. Hair salons opened up here in late June and are limited to how many customers can be on the premises at 6 ft apart – and also since my hairdresser’s dh recently returned from an 8-month deployment in Africa – he’s Air Force – I gave her a huge gratuity to bless her. She also did a terrific job. Booked my next cut for early Nov.

    Due to the remnants of hurricane Laura we had heavy rain (1.85 inches), strong winds Friday night into Saturday morning. We had some flooding and lost power as a transformer was hit. We have a generator to run central air & fridge but this has gotten me thinking that I need to dehydrate more of our food storage instead of freezing; I have never owned or used one so will read up on them. Due to all the rain, shut off sprinkler system for several days – our system is on a well – nonpotable water – so only save on electricity cost. Thank you for hosting this lovely blog.

    1. I too am interested in dehydrating. If anyone has any kind they like, tips, videos, blogs books, etc. I would very much appreciate it.
      I did not have a frugal week or month for that matter. My credit card bills were 1/3 higher than normal. The only thing I can figure is that between buying for 3 birthdays (mom, DH, DD), buying things to sell on eBay (at Kroger) and trying to stick up on food and supplies, I went way over budget. Time for some belt-tightening!

    1. Melissa- Here is the link we used for Costco membership that costs $60 but will send you $40 Costco cash card if you opt for auto renewal of membership using Visa card. You can cancel at the end of the year without renewing for 2nd year though.

      Gardenpat in Ohio

  32. I decided to dedicate a day to investigating all my accounts and any mistakes on them . I’m still in the middle of them, but its looking like its coming to several hundred dollars. I believe I also may have been charged for two different road side service plans with the same company. I need to search for several swag bucks gift cards that have been misplaced in my Covid fog. I believe Costco owes me a promotional gift card. I’m looking for anything owed to me. I made another trip to a salvage store. This one is large and I generally try to avoid it. There are way to many temptations here. I bought long term food storage items for my pantry. These items originated from Costco and were about half price. My score of the day was items from a dollar tree store pallet. I rummaged through banana boxes and found gallons of bleach . All dollar tree items were 69 cents. It was worth the aggravation to unstack these boxes to get to the bleach. There were several older women who shared in my delight ,so we split the items. We made zucchini bread and a large pot of cabbage roll soup. As usual, we had a wide selection of fruits and vegetables from our weekly scavaging trip. I restocked my pantry with goods from the dumpster and took my pantry items and packaged them for long term storage. That sentence sounds awful but I am so grateful for all the great goods that dumpster diving brings us. I brought sugar and bars of dark chocolate hone tonight. I see baked goods for the holidays in our future. All the grocery savings the last few months and in the nearby future will cover my house taxes due December 1. Now that’s a bonus in my mind. I hope everyone is managing well. A close friend has made it home after being in the ventilator. Two neighbors are infected. Poor sugar cookie lives in a bubble. I just can’t let her out anywhere. I have bought her a Nintendo. It wasn’t a frugal purchase by no means, but she really has needed an outlet. 6 months of isolation for her. Have a great week friends.

  33. Brandy I am glad you were able to get so much water from your air conditioners to water your plants with, great bargains on cauliflower and was able to get some new dresses for yourself on sale too 🙂 .

    Our savings added up to $325.71 last week 🙂 .

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Added 3 loaves of homemade bread to the baked goods freezer drawer for days when we are busy.

    Purchases –
    – Bought 3 sherpa jackets for myself for $23.20 on eBay saving $325.71 over buying them elsewhere.
    – Bought a small e-gift card from RACQ for groceries saving $1.80 or 5%.

    In the gardens –
    – Weeded and tidied 3 vegetable garden beds.
    – Split 3 x 3 x 1 mt rows of firewood and stacked it in the lean-to shed for firewood supplies for next year.

    Have a wonderful week ahead and you will be in our prayers.


  34. I worked really hard this past week to stick to our grocery budget and preserve some food. I was able to glean a significant amount from the food pantry where I volunteer (always taking marginal produce that won’t last until clients come). I put well over 100 bananas in the freezer for smoothies and baking, canned two pints of banana peppers that were gifted, made 4 pints of roasted tomato salsa, and made 24 oz of pesto from gleaned basil and garlic. I also froze 1 quart of tomatoes. I made zucchini, banana, and flax muffins (I made them gluten free)
    I also plan to make another batch of banana muffins for the freezer for quick breakfasts. I might also make a French toast casserole for later in the week. I’ll probably add some diced bananas for sweetness, and I won’t have to add as much sugar that way. I may also add a block of cream cheese that is hanging out needing to be used.

    We continue to try to find our rhythm with virtual schooling and me teaching virtually for public school. It’s like being a new teacher all over, except I wasn’t trained for it! So grateful for my mom who is managing the schooling for the boys while I work.

    I had applied to VIP Kid for teaching virtually kids in China and finally just got the email that I’ve been accepted! It’s a tough year to do it, but we could use the additional income. My plan is to try to work Friday nights and early Saturday and Sunday mornings for teaching with VIP Kid.

    Also in the additional income category, I’m working to build my blog into something that might be a small stream of income for us. It’s very bare bones right now while I learn WordPress, but should be coming along soon. I hope you’ll stop by! My husband continues to post things for sale on eBay and Craigslist and Facebook

    We have decided to use some of the upcoming Labor Day sales to stock up on wiper blades for our vehicles, as well as maybe some personal care items if companies have good sales. I will also look for sales on meat, though those are few and far between right now.

    I’m also saving seeds from the garden including mustard greens, cilantro, peppers, and green beans. I hope to be able to collect some more seeds from the local seed library.

    We are really trying to save money for building our new house and hoping that the loan is approved this week so that we can get started before winter. We’ve been taking advantage of the local diaper bank, hand-me-down clothes, local school supply drive, etc. to keep OOP costs low and increase our savings. I love reading the comments here each week, searching for new ideas that will help us save more and for the encouragement and support.

  35. Thanks for the post and comments! It’s helpful reading them.

    I don’t have any great accomplishments this week.
    School, picking okra and peppers, preparing for oral surgery.

    Someone gave us an air fryer plus for an anniversary gift. We have enjoyed it so far. I plan to dehydrate some vegetables soon.

    I bought an item from school from a friend. It was a little more from her, but I felt was worth it. She threw in free items including goldfish crackers which I normally don’t buy. 😁

    We are busy getting ready for our mini camping trip. Doing it as frugally as possible, making all our own meals, etc.

    Have an enjoyable week!

  36. Hello Everyone,

    Our air is much better, although still hazy from the fires. I was finally able to do a bit of gardening. The smoke didn’t keep the rabbits out of the garden though. They nibbled down my bean stalks near the root As well as sugar snap pea seedlings! My husband used some hardware cloth to block openings under the fence. I saw on YouTube that rabbits hate nasturtiums. I will plant some throughout the garden and will experiment to see if it works.

    I harvested the last of my green beans since the bunnies killed the plants. I also picked carrots, green onions, cabby, cucumbers, summer squash, tomatoes, snd chard.

    I’m prepping garden beds for a fall planting. Our warm season is fall. I think I will transplant blueberries into raised beds this fall. I ordered some additional bushes that will arrive in December. I won’t want to do all that work in the rain.

    I’m working on mask making. 24 in this batch. Elastic finally arrived (I ordered it in April). I find it hard to have the time to sew with gardening and canning and working. Sewing is moving slowly! I have also noticed that our JoAnn has very little fabric. Now I know why!

    I managed to can 10 pints of applesauce this week and list some items for sale on Craigslist. I’m cleaning out my drawers and getting bags ready for donation. I have also started Christmas shopping. I think items will continue to be in short supply.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week!

  37. My car is still in the shop (and I am driving the loaner) as the warranty company is trying to get out of paying for a $4000 part, yes $4000 for JUST the part!!! The part is definitely broken and definitely under warranty, so I’m still not sure what the hold up is.

    Grabbed a 25lb bag of flour for $6 for my holiday baking. Did a spice order and chose flatpacks so it all shipped for free. I refilled jars I had or repurposed jars.

    Eating almost all meals at home. Went out to listen to a band at the VFW. No cover, bar bill less than $10. Not bad for a night’s entertainment with friends.

    Vet is coming to us Thursday. Yay! My husband will be working from home so he’ll take care of it. No need to take off or try to wrangle 3 large dogs and 2 cranky cats to/from the office.

    Hadn’t even started thinking about Christmas, but my husband and I (no kids) usually skip it and go on a trip instead. With his deployment, I don’t think that will happen this year, so I don’t know what we will do. I might see if I can pick up a last minute cruise or all inclusive to treat myself.

    1. We have a VFW within walking distance of our home. Friday and Saturday nights they have drive through or eat outside. The food is really good and they give you huge portions with a dessert. My husband and I split a meal and it is plenty. Usually $7-10. It is always cheaper than fast food and quality meals. The money goes back to the local VFW to help veterans. Win Win.

  38. I am now two weeks behind, and am looking forward to having quiet time to catch up with all of you!
    My father died last week. He had a wonderful life, lived to 97, twenty years after Mom died, in blessedly good health except the last few months. We are hearing from more friends and former co-workers than we ever imagined about what he meant to them.
    I ask delicately, but as many of you have posted of such losses, I do wish to ask: Is there anything you have found that is especially important to take care of in the next weeks from a prudent/frugal standpoint?
    Most fortunately, my parents lived their lives with care for their resources, and my sisters and I are largely in agreement with what to do. The funeral service will be small, private, live-streamed through the funeral home, and interment two weeks later for whomever wishes to attend, with no receptions, food, or other gatherings. Over the next months, often working from a distance, we will need to close up and sell his house and financial affairs.
    I am not sure when I can get back to reading comments, and thank you in advance for anything you can suggest.

    1. Heidi,

      Make sure there are no automatic payments on his accounts coming out each month, such as medications that might be being sent to him. Have those canceled right away.

      Second, I would encourage you to sell the house quickly. Houses sell best in the summer months and don’t sell well towards the holidays (no one wants to move then). The other reason to sell quickly, though, is that housing prices are expected to fall like they did in the last recession, as thousands of people are being laid off across the country. The sooner you can sell the house, the more money you will make, and it could be tens of thousands of dollars more than what it might be a few months from now. My husband just watched an hour-long video sent out by the Realtor Association here and this confirms this concern (it will also be especially bad in our valley as we have the three cities with the highest unemployment rates in the country). Don’t let the closing of the house take months, even though it’s a lot of work. Have your sisters help you go through his things quickly.

      1. If you have to, Heidi Louise, put things quickly and temporarily into storage. You need to inform various government departments that he has passed away. My condolences.

    2. So sorry for your loss.
      The only suggestion I can make is to be make a LOT of copies of the death certificate as everyone you deal with will probably ask for a copy!
      If you are looking to sell many of the household contents then a professional company may be a good choice – especially if you decide to follow Brandy’s advice to sell quickly. A friend of mine used such a company – you remove everything that you want to keep for the family. They come in and list everything for sale online for an auction. They were shocked at how much some things went for. The company takes a percentage of the money made (there may also be a flat fee up front = each company is different). My friend and her sisters said they did a terrific job and were worth the money paid as they took care of everything. If time is tight it might be something to consider if there is a company like this where you live. Good luck.

      1. Heidi Louise,
        Order the death certificates, if necessary. Find out if the funeral home will meet with you and if they will
        fill out required forms. In Canada, some funeral homes do that — is it done in the States?

        I don’t know the laws there about probate but if necessary get an urgent order so you can sell the house before it depreciates in value. Talk to a lawyer.

        1. Ellie,

          In the U.S., some states use lawyers to sell houses (especially on the East Coast). On the West Coast, real estate agents do the work; there are not both. (Of course a lwyer is needed for other things, so perhaps you meant for that). When it involves a death, in our state, it depends on the will. If there is a will, the house doesn’t go through probate. If something is not listed on a will, then it would need to go through probate. Bank accounts can be a problem if they are not part of a trust or if there is not a child on the account. My father-in-law had everything in a trust except his bank account, which the bank froze. This was a problem for paying his utilities, stopping payment on automatic orders, etc.

          1. In recommending a lawyer, I meant to get one started. Depending on probate requirements
            (ask a lawyer about that, if there are probate requirements, then how long it takes to get probate, then ask the lawyer how you can go ahead to sell a house quickly — there are ways to take into account probate has not yet been granted) If probate is required but takes a long time, see how to take that into account in a real estate sales contract.

            I cannot say what to do nor can anyone here either without knowing what the laws are in the state where Heidi Louise’s father lived. What we can say, as you’ve said Brandy, is find a legal way to sell the house quickly.

            Here a bank account is frozen except you’re allowed to pay funeral expenses and taxes. If there is a credit card account, tell them he has passed away and see if you can negotiate a settlement so interest doesn’t pile up. Everything is so complicated these days: an initial consultation with a lawyer or someone who knows the law will give you advice on probate, selling house quickly (how to do it if probate is necessary but you don’t have a grant of probate yet) , taxes, etc. It will simplify things just to know what needs to be done, what can and cannot be done.

            Also you will probably need to check his house every day or every couple of days depending on his house insurance policy. If a house is left vacant for a long period of time, most home insurance policies are void if the house isn’t checked according to the policy timeframes. If so, keep a diary of dates when you checked the house. It is another reason for selling a house quickly.

            Juls has given you a great list. SJ’s comments are right on about lots of death certificates. A lawyer can usually notarize. Others can, too. If you don’t have a cell, leave the phone connected in case you need to use it for emergencies when you are in the house. If you are alone in the house, have someone else know you’re there and when you are going to be back at your own house (a safety precaution). Have the house appraised if you will need a value for probate or tax purposes. (ask a lawyer if this is needed).

            An executor can convert a property at high risk of depreciating in value to another form. Find out from a lawyer what your duties and responsibilities are if you are an executor. If he had insurance policies with named beneficiaries (like are you named or is it left to the estate), then apply to claim the insurance (with a death certificate). This can be received really quickly if you are the beneficiary and you can use it for helping with estate costs. Keep receipts for what you spent for the estate (utilities, legal, etc.) then you can be reimbursed. Get a photocopy or a few of the will so you can show it to the bank, the registry and others who may need to see it. Some things you can do right away and must; others may take time. Good luck.

      2. First of all, I am so sorry for your loss and so glad you have your sisters and are not alone in this.
        Regarding costs:
        If you going with cremation, burying your father two weeks after the service is okay. Our local cemetery will allow you to bury cremains yourself. If you are interested in this, you will need to call and ask if you are allowed to do this. All you need is a shovel to open up the turf with one or two shovelfuls of dirt. The cost of paying someone like the funeral home people for the burying of cremains is about $200 here. You can also sprinkle ashes in various places yourself without any cost.

        Burying your father as soon as possible (like within 24 hours) makes a huge difference in the cost, if cremation is not in your plans. Costs for funerals are really high. When my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law sent her three sons to the funeral home to figure out everything. They decided “Mother needs the money. Dad would pick out the cheapest casket they have.” My husband got to play the hard-hearted one and go for all the cheapest things and refuse all the extra services, etc. His mother never commented on the arrangements, but she is equally as frugal as his father was. His father was very generous toward us and very kind to me. I miss him and treasured the scratches on the front of the piano where his logger suspender buttons rubbed when he frequently sat on the piano bench backwards. We believe we will see him again as it says in Thessalonians.

        One option for you might be to see if a local church would help you put on a funeral and live-stream it. Seventh-day Adventist churches I have belonged to have done funerals for people who are not church members without expecting a fee. My son-in-law is a minister and has conducted a number of funeral services for people he didn’t know before. He meets with the family to get to know them, get to know about the deceased person a little, and to find out the family’s wishes. Not all of the churches have the capability for live streaming though. They might be able to film it and put it on YouTube, if they don’t have the equipment for live-streaming. In pre-COVID-19 days, we even put on funeral receptions in the church fellowship hall. We considered it a privilege to be able to be there for people during a time of bereavement. In my opinion these kind of funerals are much nicer than those at funeral homes. The pastor can advise you about how to do some simple decorations at the front of the church, e.g. a large photo of your father and some memorabilia, maybe some flowers to soften the look of things at the front of the church. If you wanted to inquire about this option, the thing to do would be to contact the pastor of the church and ask if he could help you. The name and number may be on signs at the church building or in the phone book or Google might be able to tell you the name of the pastor and the phone number of the church. Chances are you would have to leave a message on an answering machine, and the pastor would get back to you because more of them do not have church secretaries.

        When my father died, the graveside service was held in unusually sweltering weather. We had an awning for people to stand under (arranged ahead of time, from the funeral home and not without cost), and we brought cold water for people to drink. It was pre-COVD, and after the service, people wanted to get together to talk. At the last minute my mother agreed to go to an indoor location with AC. My husband called his cousin whose husband pastored a local SDA church. She drove 14 miles to open the church, so we would have a place to visit out of the heat.

        My husband says, and don’t let the funeral home make copies of the death certificate because they will charge you something like $25 per copy. Get the certificate and make your own copies. You might be able to take pics with your phone for some uses. The cheapest place to make copies here is our library, but it has been closed. The next is a print shop/stationery store we have that is open. The grocery store used to have a copy machine, but it no longer does.
        Just some rambling thoughts. Best wishes.

    3. cancel all cable, phone, newspaper, leave water and electric and heat if needed ON until sold. etc. Change his mail address at the post office to yours. Call Social Security and the banks. Contact county to change the billing of taxes to your address (or siblings) and his insurance… life, home, medical. Lawyer of course. Hubby and I stripped Dad’s home in a weekend, just loaded it up and took it to our place to go through it. While we did that Brother had it cleaned and ready to show in 2 days. It sold with in 1 week but the buyer tried to drag their feet about closing but we had stated in the agreement the closing had to be in 30 days. Make sure your realtor makes it clear that closing is by a certain date or the house goes back up for sale.

      1. You guys did a great job. I love your suggestions on doing it quickly, and since you just dealt with this recently, it is fresh. Thank you for sharing.

        FYI, 45 days is the average time it takes for a house to close. Thirty days is considered a quick close! It can be done if the buyer is paying cash or if the loan officer works really fast.

        Also, houses in most cities are selling very quickly right now. It is a good time to sell and also to buy, as interest rates are so low.

      2. VA loans generally cannot close in 30 days. 45 is usually needed and that assumes no repairs were needed before funding can commence.

    4. Order more death certificates then you think you need. My father had a very modest estate. I ordered 12 certificates and needed every one of them.
      Also, shop around for a notary as prices charged may vary. Or, check at your bank – my bank at the time would notarize for free for any account holder.

    5. I agree with Brandy. Please don’t take a long time to go through and sort stuff in order to sell. I know it will be rough, but as mentioned, you can pull the stuff out and pay for mini-storage if needed, in order to put the house up for sale quickly.
      Check for any un-issued doctor or hospital bills — they can come months later, so call and let them know the bills need to go to the executor. I assume at least one of you has the right to your father’s medical records.
      Cancel all subscriptions – news, magazines, meal services, etc. If your father used senior services for anything, talk to them. Some accept donations of gently used wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, etc.
      Let the police know your father’s house is empty and ask them if they can check on it regularly.

      I’m sorry for your loss Heidi Louise. I lost both of my elderly parents at once, so my siblings and I got a hard, quick lesson in things to do and not do after the passing of a parent. I hope all of our suggestions here are helpful for you.

      1. These comments have brought up a lot of memories around my father’s passing. The hardest part for me was not knowing whether he wanted to be buried or whether he wanted to be cremated. He had left some instructions for after he passed but he had skipped this important topic. I’m writing this as a reminder to folks to help those you leave with some clear instructions about your wishes.

    6. I am a lawyer and although I do not practice this type of law, I have had to handle my mom’s death. It depends on your state’s laws, the will, etc. Everything that everyone has mentioned below is correct, depending on their individual state’s laws. I agree with Brandy, and others, and get the house on the market ASAP, and make sure the state laws are followed correctly in selling a house during the pendency of an estate. Your local lawyer should be able to help you with that. Estate bank accounts, if there are assets to be sold, are required in my state, and here, the proceeds from the sale of the house have to be deposited into that account until the will has finished probate, and then the proceeds can be disbursed to the heirs/beneficiaries of the will. That also includes the sale of personal property. Every state is different so that is why I suggest you go talk to a local attorney. If you do not know one, you can google your state bar association and call them and ask them if they make referrals. Some state bar associations do. I am like Brandy and would be concerned about the market next year, and why I think it would be to your benefit to list the house ASAP. I an assuming you are the Executor/Executrix of the will. I am very sorry for your loss.

    7. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments! I won’t take the space to sort out individual ones; know that I read them carefully. I hope they are of value to others in this circumstance, or anyone who is planning. I am using what you wrote to add details to the lists I already have.
      We are fortunate that Dad’s church was still the one we grew up in; that the funeral home has experience streaming services; that he had made a point of me meeting with the lawyer and him a few years ago; that the banker and investment person knew him well; and so on. He moved all his accounts and property into a trust many years ago, so he has no estate and it does not have to go through probate. As successor trustee, I was switched over to handling all his assets and bank accounts right away.
      The funeral home notified social security. We are still waiting on death certificates, because they have to be mailed to the funeral home instead of picked up due to covid-restrictions, even though the funeral home and hospital are very close together….We respect the covid precautions, but they sure don’t make things easier!

      1. Heidi Louise,

        Sounds like your Dad had things well under control. Great news! Good luck with everything and once again, condolences.

  39. I’m always so impressed with how careful you are with water. A good steward of your resources in so many ways!

    This past week I scraped and washed my shed and then stained the body of it. Unfortunately the gallon of stain only made it for 3.5 sides. After thinking it through, I decided to pony up the money and buy another gallon. This way I can finish the half side and put a second coat on hopefully the entire shed. “Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish,” is what was going through my head when I was contemplating leaving the half side as is to save on the cost of a new gallon of stain.

    I sent a friend a homemade birthday card. I had made a bunch of “3D” heart cards earlier this year using patterned pink card stock purchased on sale.

    All laundry was hung outside to dry.

    I took advantage of Walgreens free 8×10 enlargement offer and printed a photo I took in London during Xmas 2018 and will use as part of my Christmas decorations.

    Ordered books through inter-library loan. When I see an interesting book on GoodReads, I always check the library first to see if I can read it for free.

    Pulled out my older basil plants and made a quadruple batch of pesto. Used some in a quinoa/chicken/zucchini/tomato salad and as a sauce over frozen tortellini. The rest was frozen. In the basil plants place, I planted bok choy and kale.

    Chipmunks are eating my tomatoes. Does anyone have suggestions that don’t involve mothballs or strong chemicals? It is so frustrating as the very cute vermin only eat about 25% of the tomato, toss it in the garden and start on another one.

    I took everything out of my small chest freezer and wrote an inventory. Then rearranged the items to make more space. I also wrote down an inventory of all items on my basement storage shelves. I put everything into Excel so I can see where I have holes. I made an ENORMOUS shopping list so I know what is truly needed when I see a good price.

    1. I really have to laugh about the chipmunks eating only a bit of the tomato, tossing it and then going for another. What is so funny is that we would never let our children get away with such behaviour, but how to you explain to a chipmunk the concept of good manners and marshaling one’s resources? 😀

      1. My dad used to get so frustrated with the rabbits eating all his Spring bulbs. He said he felt as though he was just setting up a salad bar for them! And yes, the frustration was largely because they’d just take a bite out of one bulb and then move on to the next! He wouldn’t have minded so much if they had eaten the whole thing because they were hungry!

  40. Downsized after kids moved out 10 years ago into another home, in between husband’s job posts. The challenge now is selling the home we lived in as we raised our family, without spending much.
    -Used every single vase and pot; used the plants and flowers we have in our yard to fill them…even the palm fronds. Free
    -Bought a large, clearance botanical candle at Target, plus 2 dollar store candles for decor. $5.59
    -All of our bedding is white Since aqua is a an accent color in our decor, I was looking for a accent pillow with aqua. I have not bought accent pillows for a long time and was blown over with the average 20-30 dollar price tag. Found exactly the perfect matching color at the thrift store. 3.99.
    I also thank everyone for their ideas. Brandy has inspired me to cut my husband’s hair, save water from showers, etc, meal plan, and to make a list of things that you need. I also appreciate the ideas in entertainment such as the sharing of book titles, PBS shows, You tube finds, etc.
    Finally, Elizabeth has inspired me to put my left over coffee in a jar, in the refrigerator.

    1. I have found some of the cutest pillows can be made from placemats. Need of course to be the ones sewn with a front/back side. The best I’ve found have been from Target as usually sell single, beautiful and especially seasonal ones. Can be beautiful Christmas gifts and usually 4.99 or less. Just open the bottom up, stuff and sew shut. Pillow fill can come from old bed pillows, garage or thrift store pillows etc. you can also add embellishments (I added a cute bow, jingle bell to reindeer on one).

  41. It’s been another nice, frugal week!
    Hurricane Laura missed our area, but the college where I work closed Thursday and Friday, so I enjoyed a little extra free time, where I organized some hurricane supplies and reorganized canned food. I’m adding a few things to my “do not buy” list: chickpeas, barbeque sauce, kidney beans, and peas. We have more than we will eat for a long time, no matter the sale/markdown.
    I bought markdowns at the grocery store, including ground beef. Some I froze raw, some I made into a double batch of chili, using the rediscovered stash of kidney beans hiding in the back of the cabinet. I didn’t have paprika to season it with, but it tasted just fine using the chili pepper and black pepper.
    I made a lot of cornbread to eat with the chili: cheaper than Fritos, and less likely to be gobbled up in one sitting by kids who love junk food treats.
    My brother and SIL upgraded their refrigerator. Instead of leaving it on the curb for trash pickup, they gave it to me to put in the garage. I am so excited to have the extra fridge space.
    I bought a desk for my daughter on Facebook marketplace, which will be a Christmas gift from my aunt. My aunt kindly gives me money to pick out something for each child, allowing me to spend more than what I otherwise would. The desk is currently “hidden” under a makeshift cardboard cover and bedsheet in the corner of a room. It was in great condition.
    I’ve sold a few small things here and there: cash in, junk out! I did go to a garage sale, where I bought a large rug and rug pad for my boys’ room, balance bike, volleyball, and a big webbed outdoor disk swing that I’ve wanted to get for the kids. I resold the balance bike to recoup part of my spending, and scrubbed the rug in the backyard, where it dried quickly.
    I made four, $5 dinners this week. They were: chili and cornbread (beef @.99/#), chili dogs, fried rice, and French bread pizza. I sometimes find the French bread on clearance at Walmart, usually about .35-.45/loaf, which I buy and freeze.
    I am delaying a trip to Aldi, trying to make do with food here at home.
    A nearby gas station charges $ .75 for refills with their mug, which I bought at Goodwill. The 52 ounce slushy was shared among the kids, since I brought our own cups from home and divided it after I got back to the car. They were so excited! Does anyone remember the junior cone vs. banana split story from the old Tightwad Gazette? So true.
    I used credit card points to pay the car insurance, which is pretty inexpensive for liability-only insurance on a 13 year old van and 10 year old car.
    I almost bought a marked down succulent at Kroger, but didn’t. I really don’t need it, and there will be other plants for sale other places if I change my mind.
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

    1. I remember the Tightwad Gazette ice cream story, Leigh Anne. It’s a great lesson and works with adults, too. I remember when we didn’t have a DVD player and when friends would invite us for a movie it was a treat. Now everyone has streaming and no one invites people over (at least not here), even before the SARS CoV-2; we all stay at home and it’s not as much fun, or community interaction. I find that a loss.

  42. Hello Frugal Friends,

    My biggest accomplishment was having my husband fix my cell phone and my vacuum last week. Always a thrill when I think I will have to replace an item and it can be repaired for free. Like many readers here, he checked out youtube videos to find and fix the issues.
    My daughter sold 3 out of 5 university textbooks that she had purchased used. I sold a few items on FB Marketplace, but I am finding sales slow at this time.
    I gifted some baskets on my Buy Nothing Group and I was able to pick up a frame and a jewellery holder. I did a quick coat of spray paint so both items look new. I also traded some plant cuttings with another member.
    I continued to earn a few Swagbucks.
    I received a sample of Quaker oatmeal in the mail.
    I am continuing to work away at making Christmas gifts, especially at night while I am relaxing and watching tv.
    Have a great week!

  43. The biggest frugal win we had this week had nothing to do with us: ground beef was on sale this week, plus we had a 10% off the entire bill coupon from getting our shingles shot at the grocery store pharmacy. Plus, if you bought $75 worth of food in one trip, you got enough points to get 50 cents off every gallon of gas. We decided to spend $90 on hamburger, to be sure that when they took the 10% off we would still be slightly over the required $75 price for the free gas points. So, the husband goes in, picks up just over $94 of burger and goes to the register. He is fumbling around for his wallet and then after retrieving his credit card looks up to see that the total price is $31. He says something like I was sure I had enough for the $75 threshold and the clerk looks at the receipt—there were 10 packages and the charge was only $3 per package! It was a computer input error. Since it was the store’s fault, they gave him the $94 dollars of hamburger for $31! He came home, dropped off the meat and, since he had cleaned that store out of their packaged burger, went to the other store in the chain and bought another 90 dollars worth of burger, on sale already, and got to use the second 10% off coupon from the husband’s shingles shot, and the buy $75 worth of food in one trip and get 50 cents off every gallon of gas next time we fill up. (This time the meat was priced with the correct sale price) If we had bought this much burger at the usual price, without the discounts or error, we would have spent about $250 on burger, instead of $100 and change. Plus the gas savings. We have enough meat to last us pretty much for nine months, at the rate we eat it. And when I told my neighbor about our good fortune, she brought over her food saver (I have never used one) and helped me break it up into one pound portions for the freezer. I gave her one of the one pound packs as thanks. I really cannot believe our good fortune!!

  44. I have been doing my best to use up all the food that we have in the fridge, leftovers, odds and ends, etc. Result is that I had money to stock up a little for the winter, because it isn’t needed for actual day to day foods. I’ve been freezing or eating all fresh produce that comes through the door. What little we can’t eat, or won’t, goes to my son’s chickens. Occasionally we get a dozen fresh eggs.
    I had a brainstorm the other day and decided to check out the bread store. I like a good quality organic bread. It’s the only one I can eat, besides our homemade, that doesn’t make me feel sick. Well at the discount bread store the loaves go for $2.50 each rather than the $5.99 I’ve been paying at regular grocery. I was so pleased to find the bread in stock and at such a good price.
    Bought a set of Queen sized sheets today at Ross for Less. I would like to go back perhaps next month and buy another set or two. I had noted during the shut down that two of my fitted sheets elastic blew out. I was able to fix one sheet with elastic on hand but it seemed to me we would do well to have sheets ‘in stock’ so to speak to replace torn and worn out ones with.
    I so appreciate everyone who shares. I’ve begun writing down the things that will help me in future. So many good ideas!

    1. Hi Terri, What a great idea to write them down. I try to carry them in my head and it should have been a no-brainer to write them down. Thanks for mentioning it! I also have put in a stock of different widths of elastic. The lady at Hobby Lobby said there is none to be had and that when she puts in her fabric order, she only gets about 35% now (it has been getting worse and worse). I’m not surprised because we don’t have many textile mills any more. I stocked up on some ribbon on their 50% off sale, and some fabrics as well. I need to look at my threads, but I have a wide assortment (though many are from the late 80s…they don’t break like the new stuff. I no longer buy Coats and Clark’s, but buy the German one because it doesn’t split. Have a great week!

  45. I harvested 2 large zucchini from our small back yard garden. Since frozen zucchini is not very appealing to us, even grated for bread, I cut them into chunks and dehydrated them. I’ve already tossed a few into pasta sauce and they are great! I’m storing them in canning jars that I sealed with my Food Saver jar attachment. I was also able to find 4 pounds of mushrooms for $3 marked down, so I dehydrated them as well. I’m cutting herbs and drying them as also. Our space is small, so I decided that it was best for me to grow things that I would be successful with AND things that were expensive, namely lettuces and herbs.

    I needed to replace our blanket and since we are nearing retirement age, I am trying to replace things like sheets, towels and blankets so that we won’t need to when our income will be reduced. I’m being careful and selective to get the best quality for the best price. I was able to find a 100% cotton king size blanket for less than $25 on Amazon.

    I baked bread for our family and also to share with a sick friend.

    I finally found diced tomatoes! They were a huge hole in my food storage and have been nearly impossible to find. I was in the store today and they had three “cases” of 12 on the shelves. The price was significantly raised from 50 cents to 72 cents. Irritated but I bought 24 cans. I had to get them while they were available and I had the funds to do so. This is the thing that we need to remember: we may very well come to a point where the things are unavailable at any price!

    All of our meals were eaten at home, including a leftover night that we usually have on Thursdays. Tonight is red beans and rice, a favorite. It’s all pantry ingredients, filling and very cost conscious. We love it and it gets better the next day. Sunday’s big meal is lunch with our “dinner” usually being something like a salad, soup, omelette or egg salad sandwiches. My husband has finally decided, on his own, that eating lunch out every work day is expensive! He has been faithfully packing his lunch every night so it’s ready and he has no excuses. Those habits are most likely to stick when you decide on your own, lol.

    My husband and I iron/steam together on Monday night…setting up the equipment in our unfinished basement where he has his workshop area and “office”. We stream a free movie or music and do our laundry together. He suggested that we get a second iron. I stopped by DI, our favorite thrift store, and found a 1800 watt Rowenta for $4. Super excited. I failed to plug it in at the store…it has a short. Actually it is a good thing I didn’t because having already paid for it, I felt driven to find out how to repair it. Fixing it myself this weekend with tools already owned…thank you YouTube! I have a over $120 iron for $4 and some time.

    We needed to scale down our dining table situation. We were able to sell our table that seats 10…smaller house, smaller family. I found a sweet French inspired round table with 2 leaves and 4 chairs for $20!!! I painted and glazed it and it looks so nice! I’m recovering the chairs this weekend with ticking fabric and piped edges. Clothes line makes a cost effective piping cord and just the right size. Fifty feet for just around $1.75. The fabric was on for a very good price, so this “new” dining table is a great deal. We are looking forward to more space in our dining room!

    I found a moth hole in one of my favorite merino wool sweaters. I bought some BoNash powder and will be repairing the hole also this weekend. $10 to repair a $100 sweater with lots and lots of BoNash left over. I did thrift this sweater for $6 but I am of the firm opinion that things acquired through ingenuity and thrift are far more valuable than those bought at full retail!!! Also, another shout out to YouTube!

    We had a no spend week, took a birthday gift to a friend from my “stash” and we were able to turn off our AC for a day and since I’ve been working from home, I’m on my third tank of gas since March 1st!!

    Thank you Brandy for nearly 10 years of encouragement along with gentle reminders that an honorable life, lived graciously and within your means is the goal.

    Hang in there everyone!!!

    1. So glad you’ve been reading for almost 10 years! I started this website 12 years ago on June 30th. I added the blog several years later.

  46. I want to thank everyone for their kind support last week. We are completely at peace with my husband remaining home without an income at this time. There are already rumblings about parties being planned by university students and we really do not want to be in contact with folks who have not taken any COVID precautions. I am so stocked up that we need very little. I only spent $13 this week on groceries and expect to keep doing this the next few months. We sold two items on our neighbourhood buy and sell Facebook group so that money went towards groceries for the month. My mom bought a big 10lb box of peaches and gave us half of it so we’ll enjoy eating some of them and I will freeze some for the winter as well. I got a batch of pickles canned this week and my canning cupboard is getting full now. It’s a good feeling to have that security. Our son’s birthday is this month but I long ago finished buying his few gifts and we will have homemade cupcakes with my mom and his best friend. I agree with others that have said that they need to get on Christmas shopping because things will be harder to find. I think I’m pretty much done with the few things I buy and will try to get anything else I need as quickly as possible. I ordered my seeds last week with a free shipping deal and we’ll be ready for the spring in case seeds are in short supply then.

  47. For the last few weeks – I have mostly gone to work and simply returned home. I continue to help declutter my mother in law’s home after her passing. I have been taking items that we won’t use but are in good condition and donating them to others.
    My laptop speaker is of poor quality and I can’t hear movies from it even at top volume. I had been trying to price out wireless speakers but they have remained out of my price range. I came up with the idea of getting a headphone splitter -which will cost $13 at a local office store. This way my daughter and I can still watch movies together. This is affordable for me.
    The kitchen sink has developed a drip. I have been placing an empty cup under it at night and then using the water for the pets in the morning. Next week’s project will be to try to figure out how to stop this leak a la YouTube.
    Have a great and frugal week everyone !

    1. Joyce,
      Wired speakers are almost always at the thrift stores here. We find it’s no big effort to plug them in. They’d probably be less expensive than something new.

      1. Thanks for the suggestion. Theres a thrift store across the street from my workplace. Some how this hadnt occurred to me 🙂

  48. What a vibrant pink your zinnia is, Brandy! I’ve tried growing them and had no luck. I like the lime green ones, too.
    I tried dehydrating onions we were given, but no matter how long I left them in the dehydrator, they never felt dry and remained flexible. Is that usual? I can’t leave them outside to dry because of our humidity. I’d appreciate any advice from people who’ve dehydrated onions. I came into 4 lbs of organic sliced mushrooms and am dehydrating them for future use in soups. They do get perfectly dry, unlike the onions!

    After moving paint swatches all around the room we’re repainting, I chose a color. Usually I try a quart first, just to make sure, but the paint I wanted to use didn’t come in quarts. I got the gallon and even though it was exactly right, when I painted it on the wall it looked blue (was supposed to be a green shade). I didn’t want to waste the paint so I added green Liquitext artist colors until it became green enough, but then it was too dark! I used white primer, white left-over paint, and cream-colored paint and mixed part of the gallon of dark paint into that. It came out fine, but still looks blue which is really bizarre because it’s definitely NOT blue. Next coat I’m going to mix more light green in. I’ve mixed paint colors for years, but never had this problem.
    A neighbor had discarded decorative concrete plinths; I hauled them into our garage and have had them up on CraigsList forever. Finally they sold! Glad to get them out of the garage and the person was happy to have them. They were a good price, so I don’t know why it took so long to find a buyer.
    Have a great week, all!

  49. It is a joy to read everyone’s comment and glean the wisdom from all of you! The last two weeks have been picking the garden, pulling dead plants and starting seeds for the fall. The rabbits kept nibbling my baby seedlings and I realized I could put the flats up on buckets and they couldn’t reach them! We are picking tomatoes, mostly cherry and grape, and peppers. Our pear tree is going gang busters and I am drying it and making pear sauce and pear fruit leather. Someone asked about dehydrators. My sister bought me a new one as mine died, after being used for three decades. My new one is a Nesco and I love it, I would buy more trays and more of the mesh trays and fruit leather trays. I have used it nonstop since I got it. My husband brought home three bags of coffee grounds to add to my beds. I have been spreading mulch for the walking paths and love the feel it brings to a dying garden at the end of the season. We have had a ton of rain and the weeds are coming back and trying to tackle some everyday.

    At one of my jobs I was helping the mom I nanny for, sort cabinets while the baby napped. She gave me a candle that she is allergic to, it is band new. I also came home with some character birthday cups and ziplocks she was throwing out. I am not afraid to let folks know I will find homes for anything.

    A friend called and received a windfall of five cases of russet potatoes, one of Roma’s, one of bananas and fifty pounds of onions. I called and delivered to some neighbors and friends in need, as well as the food bank. When I dropped off some of the potatoes they gave me a watermelon that needed a home as it was the end of the day. We have been enjoying it, some potatoes, drying onions and making skinny monkey cookies with the bananas. I love how food is such a easy thing to share and barter with!

    Brandy, hope the week is full of more joy from the simple things in life! You bring joy to each of us!

    1. Jean, thank you for writing about your experience with Nesco dehydrators. I searched Amazon and discovered that there is a Nesco Store on Amazon! Haven’t had time to fully research, but I think I will be ordering the Nesco Gardenmaster with 5 trays that can expand to 12 trays with temperature controls for herbs, fruit, nuts, etc. It’s on sale for $104 from reg price of $160. I’m a total newbie using one so am thinking I will start with this.

      1. If it’s in your budget, buy the screens that fit into the trays. I use those almost every time I dehydrate. I have the trays as well but haven’t ever used them. Best investment in my kitchen.

  50. After two weeks in the wilderness we have finally come back home to start homeschool the first of September. I was so confused when I started to catch up on the news! The world that God created for us and the one that we are creating for ourselves really don’t seem aligned.
    We have been sleeping in the tent for two weeks, moving to a new spot every night. Everywhere we went the Nature welcomed us with ellegant refreshments: sweet berries, fragrant muschrooms, juicy fruits and fresh water. There was planty of new toys for the children (we brought home a few reindeer antlers!), lots of educational activities for the whole family, and to keep us company some endearing animals. I got a lot of inspiration as to how to be a hostess from this experience. We felt very welcomed and taken care of everywhere we went, even if we were the only humans there.
    We drove 44 hours total and I used this time to knit hats for all of us. I used scraps of wool which accumulated at my mom in law’s basement over the years. My husband will get his hat for birthday this Saturday and the kids will get theirs the 30th of September when we make a change of wardrobes to winter.
    We had some money left over at the end of the trip. We went well under budget and this made me rather pleased. I will use this money to stack up the pantry a little more. So far I managed to store about 3 months worth of food (yey!), I am now trying to build up to half a year’s worth but I am not sure how to do that in practical terms yet.
    I picked lots of herbs on our trip which will be our tea this year. We picked plantago lanceolata and alchemilla in copious amounts. They are some of my most used herbs.
    I also found rhodiola rosea and I will try making my own tincture of its roots. I will also try to plant it in a rocky spot in my garden where nothing else will grow.
    All the best to everyone.

    1. This is such a lovely post. Your language is very evocative, and I’d love to read an article about your experience this summer.

  51. We’ve been working like crazy harvesting the garden and canning and freezing all the goodies we’ve gotten! I am doing some rearranging of things to fit all our canned goods in glass jars in the pantry. I cleared out a cupboard above the freezer and stuffed it full of pasta, and have four boxes of things stored under a bed. One must be creative with storage in a small home!
    I had tried fixing my vacuum cleaner hose, but it ended up coming all undone. I was able to find a replacement on Amazon for $25. We borrowed a vacuum from a friend for the couple of days it took our new hose to arrive. The vacuum works great now!
    I found several children’s books at our used book store. I’m still looking for Little House on the Prairie books. The owner of the store said they were hard to come by used. I wish I had kept mine.
    I took two of my cats for their yearly shots. I have been taking them to a vet who works with our local animal league and is located only a couple of miles from my house. She is quite a bit less expensive than the vets in town, and I’m happy for a shorter drive with cats who tend to howl when they ride in the car. 🙂
    We decorated our home for fall using decor we’ve collected over the years. I like changing things out for the seasons.
    We’ve been mostly staying home and cooking from the garden, pantry and freezers. We’ve only needed some fresh fruit and milk from the store.
    Details and photos from our week are on my blog:

    1. I did keep my Little House books, but I also know that our public library has them. If you’re just looking to read them, that might be an option. I still enjoy them as bedtime reading!

    2. I scored a bunch of the little house books on fb marketplace. I never read them as a child and they just seemed like a series I needed to have

  52. My gardener brought me beets, onions, garlic, carrots. I think I’ll make soup
    with some of the veggies and put it in the freezer.

    The squirrels wrecked all of my cherry tomatoes by taking a huge bite from each one and spiting it out.
    They ate my blooming zucchini blossoms. All of a sudden they have discovered my
    campanulas and crop them off. They or a hare ate all my young cabbages. I might as well not have tried anything.

    It is getting colder and my yard has already had a touch of frost. The city apparently is proposing to ban bird feeders.
    I have had a bird feeder since I was 6 years old. I can understand it when bears are a problem (as in Banff or Canmore) but that’s not the case here. Every 7-10 years there is a natural peak in the snowshoe hare population. That attracts predators like coyotes and bobcats. In the winter, I can tell what creatures go towards the seeds that are dropped —
    no coyotes go to it (although they regularly come through my yard), almost never to the feeder. Over the years, I have taken photos of red-breasted nuthatch, chickadee, mountain chickadee, brown creeper, white breasted nuthatches, goldfinches, white-winged crossbills, red crossbills, house finches, blue jays, pine grosbeaks, evening grosbeaks, hummingbirds, tanagers at the bird feeders. In addition, I have seen many warblers passing through on migration. There will be a great hole in my life if I don’t have a feeder. No more bird photos.

    1. I’m sure there will be groups fighting this, including probably Audubon; I suggest you join the fray. It sounds like an easily-won fight for a great cause.

      1. yes, I learned abut it through a nature group. I can see requiring someone to stop
        temporarily if they are getting repeated visits from a huge flock of birds with a lot of bird droppings but the usual
        visitors don’t make a mess. The annoying thing is that I think the city told the stores to stop carrying
        birdseed before the city has even passed the bylaw as I can’t find any. Also, their public questionnaire
        is rather obscurely worded against or for prohibiting “feeding and teasing wildlife” on private property so a lot of
        people won’t even think it means birdfeeders.


    * a friend is selling her house and leaving town on short notice; they brought us four large boxes of shelf-stable food storage they didn’t want to move
    * the same friend also gave us several edible plants she didn’t need including baby fruit trees and herbs; I will plant most in my yard or guerrilla garden them into local parks
    * Harvested apples, slicing tomatoes, paste tomatoes, green beans, poblano peppers, Serrano peppers, a pumpkin and two watermelons from the garden.
    * Had a prescription refill delivered by mail for free, which saves a trip
    * Replaced a burned-out CFL with an LED bulb that should save us money long-term

  54. Thanks Brandy for your continued inspiration and wonderful ideas from others .
    This week-
    -Made homemade pesto from my basil and served with grilled chicken and bowtie noodles. Gifted zucchini and enjoyed it seasoned and grilled for dinner.

    -Went for evening walks, tended my “tiny garden”, and have faithfully been taking care of the flowers I have in pots. Evening temperatures have been dropping to the 40’s here in northern WI and the weather is starting to feel like Fall.

    -We continue to purchase loss leaders, seasonal produce and only the fill-in essentials. This week I experimented and made sun-dried tomatoes in the oven.

    – Frustrated with containers and matching lids (same story forever). I took a sharpie permanent marker and labled ie: all same size containers and lids got one dot, next group of same size containers with matching lids got 2 dots, and so on. I have lids in a little container and square containers are all stacked. It has saved me so much rumbling and hoping to find matching lids. I just should have done that 20 years ago-haha!

    -Save $40 on electircal bill-less dryer use, lights off, dyhumidifer, outdoor pump etc.

    -Got a nasty case of poison ivy on my arm. So thankful I had a medical mousse lotion that brought comfort-its a few years old but is doing the trick to help with itching and didn’t have to buy it.

    -Hope all are staying safe and encouraged by the blessings we do have and the comfort that can bring.

    1. Tell me about your tomatoes please. How exactly did you make them?

      We had a low the other morning of 71. It was short-lived; it was still over 100 that day and it will be 111 this weekend. My girls said it was cold!

  55. We are fortunate to have a summer place as well as a city home. This year we couldn’t go to it at the beginning of the season in May since it’s on an island and is owned by an Indian Reserve. They finally opened up for us at the end of July and we’ve been here ever since. The frugal angle is that we had to bring all our supplies, food etc. with us as we aren’t allowed to go into the village for anything. So all our meals have been eaten here, some are pretty odd and creative, but we haven’t starved. The weather is just starting to feel more Autumn like and we will head home to the city probably at the end of the weekend. Today was probably my last swim in Georgian Bay for the season as the water is cooling a bit now. It’s still 22*c but with the high winds it’s likely to start to drop.
    At home, my zucchini again didn’t set fruit. I don’t know why and I’m not sure I’ll try it again. The kale does fine, the purple beans did fine, but not the green beans. Such an odd year. I’m not sure how many tomatoes set as I haven’t been home in a long time. I’m sure the neighbours have enjoyed them.
    Here at the cottage we don’t have a tv and rarely listen to the radio. I’ve read a lot of books and done some cross stitching for gifts. We invested in a wifi hotspot so we could continue working from here when necessary. It’s not enough to do any movies or that sort of thing.
    For my birthday this year my youngest son brought up an outdoor movie projector and a sound bar. He had downloaded moves to his iPad and used his old duvet cover tacked up to the outside of the cabin porch as a screen. In the week he was here we watched 3 movies and invited neighbours over to watch as well. It was so delightful to be outdoors with friends watching movies. Son said it was worth the small investment in equipment that he will use at home in his backyard as well. My daughter decided to buy me a new fondue pot since we used to do that as a family. It was fun and we will make sure to take it home to the city and use it again. I brought my bread maker here and have used it quite a lot over the past several weeks.
    I’m hoping to be able to get a bushel or so of plum tomatoes to can when we go home. Jars I have but lids seem to be in short supply so I may not be doing tomatoes this year after all. Fingers crossed. For those with zucchini you might want to make relish with it. It’s our favourite and we often give it as gifts.
    We haven’t really been spending much money on anything over the past 6 months. Two of my 3 kids have mentioned that they want to stock up on pantry supplies soon as they expect another shutdown or at least an increase in Covid cases. I think that’s a wise idea so I will be making an inventory of what we need and use as well. One thing I want to get done soon is a dental appointment/cleaning and get my eye check done. I’m not sure the mammogram clinic is in operation yet but if it is, I’ll be booking an appointment soon.
    I’m always happy to read everyone’s comments each week. Take care everyone.

    1. Patsy – you mentioned Georgian Bay – so are you in Canada? My No Frills and the Loblaws here in Toronto have both had Bernardini(?) glass canning jars & lids. I don’t can but picked up some lids as my niece sometimes cans. Might be worth checking….

  56. For anyone in the Toronto area Longos has had lids, rings and jars this week. No Frills has plum tomatoes also. If you are coming from up north or the Niagara Peninsula back to Toronto for the long weekend just google which farms have the tomatoes this week to sell. I am canning my next 10 bushels this weekend. Tomatoes are more expensive this year, but with using the Reebee app you can find other food products on sale to maybe add to stockpiles.

  57. 1. It is very hot in north central Texas. Our electric bill was 400$ last month. So…we now turn off the AC during the day. I go to work & hubby goes to the golf course. It is around 85 in the house when I get home at 5 pm to turn the AC back on. Now that I’m not home during the day this can work.
    2. Complained about a cup of iced green tea I bought at Dunkin Donuts that was bitter in taste. The online customer service agent sent me a 5$ gift card for DD.
    3. Got a free donut at DD from filling out a customer survey on a different occasion.
    4. We celebrated our anniversary using a punch card that paid for one steak lunch at a restaurant we eat at on occasion. We bought one steak lunch & got the 2nd one free.
    5. Got a nice sized check from the supplemental insurance company my employer provides. It pays 30$ per dr visit & 50$ per day which resulted from husband’s recent hospital stay. I put the $ in the bank to use toward the husband’s major medical insurance premium that I pay each month. My school pays for my major medical but not a spouse. (Maybe retired husband should go to a job instead of the golf course.😟)

  58. My neighbour just brought me over a large box of fresh red potatoes-feels like about 20 lbs. I will share with my Mum who is moving into a new condo on Wed. We received an offer from American Express to get $5 off a $10 purchase at a few nearby businesses and have used it 3 times already for small purchases of needed items. Cashed in some loyalty pts at the grocery store this morning. This morning I also arranged for my Mum the most economical electric and internet service provider I could find for her.

    I have collected my last govt Covid payment for a total of $14,000 each for myself, DH and DD-we will not need to subsidize uni too much this year. DD and her friends will be returning to Vancouver in the next couple of days so our food budget will drop down from 7 people to our usual 2.

      1. In American dollars it is about $10,717. It was very generous of the Canadian government.
        Seniors received a one time payment of about $400. because they aren’t losing an employment income.
        We will all pay for it eventually through higher taxes but for now it kept people fed, helped pay mortgages,
        insured social order. It was well done!

      2. Yes that is for those people who lost their jobs due to Covid. It is very generous I agree. It is taxable so I will put some aside to pay taxes in the spring. Very grateful.

      3. FYI Brandy – in addition to the $2000/month for those who lost jobs – they encouraged companies to keep employees on the payroll by paying 75% of their salaries and this meant that I was still paid even though I didn’t go into the office at all for 6 weeks and since then I’ve just been doing what I can. The company had to show a certain loss so it was mostly for mid-size organizations but it meant that employers didn’t have to lay people off and then hire them back. As a pensioner who still works PT I also received a one time payment of $300 for extra costs that I may have incurred. We were very lucky.

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