My husband and I traveled to see our children in Idaho for the weekend (Friday through Monday).

We flew the least expensive airline option there.

Thanks to a suggestion from my readers (this is why I read every comment; I always learn new ideas from all of you!), we rented a car from Turo. It cost 10% of what it would have cost to rent from any other rental company in the area (about $250; anywhere else the least expensive option was $2500!!! Most car rental places didn’t have a single vehicle available to rent). The car got good gas mileage, so we only used 6 gallons of gas.

We found a hotel at a decent price that also included breakfast. I would definitely consider staying there again when we go back up for graduation.

We ate two meals at a restaurant and picked up some ready-made sandwiches, plus a salad and a microwaveable pasta meal at the store there for two other meals (the hotel had a microwave downstairs). We ate two meals with family.

Most of our time was taken up with family events. In April 2020, my daughter had been planning to be married in the temple. When Covid shut things down, she was married in the park (with just an officiant and two witnesses), with plans to go to the temple when it opened back up.

We had my daughter’s endowment session at the temple on Friday. She was sealed to her husband and to their three-week-old baby at the temple on Saturday, and the baby was blessed at church on Sunday.

My husband and I spent some time on Saturday afternoon exploring the River Walk in Idaho Falls. This was absolutely beautiful. The city parks department has walking trails and have planted trees, grass, a myriad of different perennials, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches along the trail, which borders the Snake River and many waterfalls. I loved the fruit in between all the flowers, just there for people to pick!

It was so beautiful that we returned there on Monday before our flight left and enjoyed lunch in the Japanese Friendship Garden on a small peninsula in the river (there are walking bridges to the island) while enjoying watching the water from the waterfall.

Before we left, my husband cut my hair and I gave a daughter a haircut.

I cut apart and combined two slips into one to work for a specific dress that I had ordered to be a new temple dress. In the temple, we wear all white. Though the dress was lined, it was still very sheer, and the slip combination was perfect for my needs.

Strawberries were on sale at Albertson’s for $.97 a pound (limit two pounds per trip). My husband was that way twice during the sale and stopped in to get strawberries twice. I made chocolate-covered strawberries one day, and crepes with strawberries another day.

I baked four loaves of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I made these 100% whole wheat this time, using wheat that I ground at home, and substituted home-canned applesauce for all the oil (a trick I learned from teh comments). The bread is very moist with applesauce instead of oil, the calorie count is lower, the nutrition is higher, and I am able to use up some much older jars of applesauce.

Sunflowers growing wild alongside the road

I read seven e-books from the library. I would recommend all but one; these are the ones I liked: Chasing Shadows, The Four Winds, The Last Bookshop in London, While We’re Far Apart, The Girl You Left Behind, and The Girl From the Channel Islands. The last book is based on a true story. The author also wrote a movie about the author’s family members and their experiences on the Isle of Jersey during the German Occupation called “Another Mother’s Son” that I am planning to watch soon (it’s free on YouTube movies).

What did you do the last two weeks to save money?

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204 Comments

  1. So glad you were able to go up to Idaho for Winter’s sealing! What a special time! And to cuddle that new little one- priceless!!

    More new quilts (11 of them) got quilted up this past 2 weeks- #168- https://pin.it/2nOjImw, #169- https://pin.it/ttOc181 , #170- https://pin.it/2HrEUPS (this is the scrappy one I made to give as baby gift), #171- https://pin.it/X7Lv3yf, #172- https://pin.it/3sGzhRK, #173- https://pin.it/7jBDBSV, #174- https://pin.it/2JNYALe, #175- https://pin.it/5YqKkkR , #176- https://pin.it/2jCEqy3 , #177- https://pin.it/1epk5py and #178- https://pin.it/2eVE2Gk and https://pin.it/5WbzCfr.
    Just the final king size quilt to load on! That will catch us up on orders! My daughter/partner came down twice last week to quilt up the 5 quilts with photos. That gave me time to work on other things!

    On the grocery front, I was able to buy (5) two pound blocks of sharp cheddar cheese for just $2.99 each, Oscar Mayer deli sub kits with smoked Turkey and ham (enough for 6 sandwiches) for $1.99 each, which were terrific since we made an all day road trip to Louisville, KY on Friday! We made sandwiches and put them in our cooler, took 8 (16 Oz) water bottles from our basement storage, and snacks again from our storage so we didn’t need to buy food during the 12 hours we were gone and, in fact, had food leftover when we got back!

    I found a 4 pound bag of sugar on clearance for 79 cents, 3 boxes of creamette medium shells for 49 cents ( but with coupons, I made 18 cents and got them for free!)! I also bought 3 eight ounce packages of Hormel Natural choice deli ham for 49 cents each after sale and ibotta (saving $7.50!) I don’t buy deli meats because of the expense but at those prices, we will enjoy them!! Then this past week, I got two All laundry detergents and 2 types of Snuggle dryer sheets for 49 cents each (regular $3+) . Although I have ample detergent in my storage, when I see it for that price, or free, I will still get it to add to my storage! We will use it or give it to someone who needs it! I also got Kroger butter for $1.88 and a totally free 48 Oz carton of Kroger ice cream, using Kroger digital coupons!

    No other grocery shopping needed last week! I cherry-pick the loss leaders and sales on things that we will use and use those to replenish our reserves.

    The weather has alternated between a few rainy days and hot, sticky ones. Hubs has continued working on our patio pavers and when he was under BBQ serving counter to lay some, he realized that it was stuffy and the sun was beating down. So in true McGyver style, he took a box fan from the attic and an extension cord to front porch and a blue tarpaulin to build his own air conditioned “fort” as he worked! https://pin.it/6l53ivt and https://pin.it/oc5b8ks. It’s getting closer to being done!! The stacks of paver bricks are diminishing!! 🎉🎉 Now he’s using his angle grinder with a masonry blade to cut to fit all those odd shaped pavers to fit our area! https://pin.it/72ejHeA He is amazing!!

    I harvested the last of my green beans and cleared the plants from the garden to make room for planting onions. More tomatoes/blackberries are ready to harvest today!

    Daughter went to Amish produce sale and bought me 5 dozen ears of corn- $3.50/dozen. Not excellent price, but the corn is local and just beautiful. I will blanched and shucked the ears and froze it into 15 quart bags (with 4 cups of corn in each bag!) to use until next summer. So another one of the veg I like to keep a year’s worth will be checked off my list!

    I redeemed another $10 in cc rewards for our savings account. Seems like a small thing but so far this year, it has added $190 to our savings! Knowing that our other High Interest savings account has only yielded $36 in the same 8 months (which is infinitely better than the 64 cents in interest for the same time span on the account that I’m adding rewards $ to! ) It really pays to look around!

    Our college granddaughter who was living with us through the summer for her local job has left for school. I was able to give her a gift bag with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste and laundry detergent to save her some money when she gets there. I saw that I had accumulated a lot of each of those things free or 49 cents but that now, as empty nesters we don’t need as much on hand! Our youngest son stopped over and I sent him home with the same items to save money for him and declutter for us! We considered this a Win-Win!!
    Well, it’s not too hot and steamy yet, so I’m out to do my garden chores!

    I’ve found that if I focus on my little part of the world, I can find joy, give service and appreciate the abundance of blessings I’ve received! Troubling times in the world, but I can do my part to be kind and see positives in my sphere!

    Gardenpat In Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. Your closing is beautiful. You are very right that we can all find joy and make the world better just by focusing on doing what we can in our part of it.

    2. Thank you for the gentle reminder Pat! I love that you remind us all to seek contentment and joy in our own tiny world despite the troubled one outside our doors.

      1. Marybeth- Ohio is known for all it’s cornfields so this corn was so local that it had just been picked that morning!! ❤️ I was actually nibbling the bottom few kernels off each cob that were left after I cut the rest off to freeze!! 🤪🤪 So delicious!! 🥰😋😋

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    3. I sure hope your talented daughter also continues her education. I married into the faith and my husband although college educated could not support our family and i always had to work. This was hard in a time when working mothers were rather spurned by the powers that be. SO I raised my daughters to all get good educations, marry late so they could support themselves and a family if need be. I did not allow them to go to church school for this reason. I wanted them educated not married. I am so happy you got to go and watch the blessing and the sealing. You are a grandma what a wonderful thing.

      1. I have a degree from a church school, and I know many others who finished and received their degrees as well. My husband wanted a wife who had a degree, too.

  2. I am SO glad you were able to take your trip to see your family! Beautiful grandchild, and nice trip savings with the rental car as well!
    These past two weeks I:
    *Accepted a free orchid from a friend who could not keep it due to her cat insisting on eating it.
    *Enjoyed music that my daughter and niece played at church. They played harp as well as viola, and it was lovely even if I am the mom saying that! If anyone would like to hear their pieces, I recorded them and you can listen to them from the links here— https://chickadeecove.blogspot.com/2021/08/frugal-friday-week-of-august-15-21-2021.html
    *I mended washcloths.
    *Returned shoes I purchased for my daughter that did not fit well.
    *Used some peaches that were on the mealy side to make peach jam, and it turned out great!
    *Went for a free bone density test thanks to my husband’s employer. I am on the university health insurance, so whatever health incentives they offer to their employees are usually also open to me.
    *Put the word out that I am looking for odds and ends of baby colors of yarn for the baby blankets I make for charity. So far, no local friends have any but I am hoping I can find some donations!
    *I put several items back, deciding not to purchase them.
    *I am trying to start more spearmint plants.
    *I started some collard seedlings.
    *We took a trip to an apple orchard and purchased two bushels of apples at a much less cost than fresh apples at the stores.
    Pictures and more at my blog here:
    https://chickadeecove.blogspot.com/2021/08/frugal-friday-week-of-august-22-28-2021.html

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments!
    -Susan M. in Chattanooga, TN

    1. Can you share the orchard that you purchased your apples at please? I have been looking for a place that isn’t too far from Atlanta to purchase them since a late season frost hit North GA this spring and hit the apple crop pretty hard. Thanks!!

      1. Angie, the orchard I went to was Apple Valley Orchard in Cleveland, Tennessee. But I will say that this year they lost most of their apple crop due to the same late frost you mentioned. I asked about the apples I purchased, and they had bought them from another orchard in Virginia. This made their prices, even for the seconds, higher than I have ever had to pay before. But it was still less than the fresh apple prices I am seeing in the grocery stores, even at my Aldis!

    2. My saying is “I can’t have nice things, I have cats”. We currently have 3. Anything that is special is inside cabinets with glass doors! And when I bring in plants for the winter, I have to cage the plants or the cats eat them to nothing (except my citrus – those thorns are wicked and the cats don’t seem to like the smell)

      1. My 17 year old cat”Fat Cat”is terrible around plants… she will chew them to bits! She’s not much of a jumper anymore so plants stay save if they are up high. My other cat “Trouble” will leave most plants alone, but she has a thing for one of my large potted succulents. She doesn’t eat it she insists on sitting on top of it… it looks quite uncomfortable!

      2. Melissa,
        I COMPLETELY understand about cats VS nice things!!! Our current cat is really doing a number on our furniture, in spite of having plenty of scratching posts, etc. But he does leave my plants alone (so far!), so I have to give him credit for that! And I, too, have a few plants in cages, as I needed that for my last cat!!!

    3. I love on your blog where you talk about saving money by NOT buying something and making do with what you already had. I’ve had a couple of those instances lately myself and it’s good to know that a bit of patience and creativity can really make a difference to our bottom line.

      1. Thank you, Margie!
        I still purchase many things that I do not NEED, but am trying to be more deliberate and really think through more if I can use something I already have to do the same job!

      1. TruDee,
        So far, I have just been making my baby blankets out of regular worsted weight, NOT baby weight, though I would of course use whatever I have on hand. The regular weight is easier to find inexpensive at places like Walmart, and I also have a local thrift store that I have managed to find some at. So I am trying to use what I have already, or can easily purchase to supplement the yarn I already have.

  3. What a beautiful trip! Thank you for sharing, and congratulations to all!

    The latest Inspector Gamache book came out last week: “Madness of Crowds” by Louise Penny.

    1. Thank you for posting about the latest Louise Penny; I have reserved it at my library and look forward to reading it.
      And, Heidi Louise, whenever I see your name I am reminded of and still chuckle about the “fishy milk” comment you made a while ago. I would like to share with you that we have been gifted many blue fish the past several weeks and I have “marinated” some in milk as had been suggested by another poster to help with the “fishy” taste. As an experiment, I did pour the resulting “fishy milk” into a corner of one of the raised beds where I have zucchini growing along with dwarf french marigolds around the perimeter. I don’t know if it enriched the soil, but the zucchini are producing abundantly and the marigolds also survived the experiment well. We do get a lot of rain here so I’m sure the “fishy milk” was well-thinned by all the rain.

  4. Congratulations to Winter and her husband on their sealing as well as their new little one! And this is your first grand baby! How exciting! What wonderful photos you posted, thank you. Your trip to Idaho looks so interesting that I will investigate us taking a visit up there. On the frugal front, we had a large National company replace some older windows…yet we still had water leaking along the wall. After much investigation it turns out the installation they did was poor. We had to hire another company to reinstall the windows ($600). I contacted the original company and insisted on a reimbursement, and they agreed. I don’t have the check yet but I expect they will honor their commitment. On another topic, we have internet service through Cox communications and each year they raise their price…triggering me to call them and ask for a better rate…I get transferred to “retention” who offers a better rate. So I did that in July. August bill arrives and it is at the higher rate, so I call again. After three calls for them to figure out what they did wrong, they said the offer I had been given in July had expired. My head almost exploded ;). So I politely asked the call center woman to see what offer she could make now. Sigh. She offered me a $4/month better deal than my 2021 rate, at 500 mbps rather than 150 mbps, guaranteed for two years. So sometimes it pays not to get hysterical ;). It all worked out, but some days nothing is easy. Congratulations again!

    1. A cold front came in and the temperatures dropped from 90 to a high of 54 right before we went. It was so nice to have temperatures HALF what they are here! I had a hard time packing because it is hard to imagine November temperatures in August 🙂

      I have more photos to share of the river walk in Idaho Falls that I will share in a post in this week. It was really beautiful.

      1. Your husband looks very dapper in his dress clothes! A nice photograph of the 2 of you.
        My goddaughter just had a baby 2 weeks ago. Her mother has been living with her to help her with newborn care. (I don’t have children so I am useless when newborn care is concerned.) I would guess Winter has missed having her experienced mother close by. A nice picture of the new family also.

        1. She is doing really well! As the eldest of nine, she is well prepared when it comes to taking care of a baby! Her mother-in-law has been there for quite some time as well.

  5. Hi, Tip for saving $ in Idaho. Broulims (bro- lims) grocery stores have a yummy deli section- fried chicken and my favorite sugar cookies. (And they are some of my favorite friends. 🙂 )

  6. What beautiful pictures of your daughter’s baby! I can almost smell the baby’s head through the computer. Is there anything better than the sweet smell of a new baby? It’s one of the best simple joys in life.

  7. Beautiful photos. I guess I better Google “Idaho Falls” to learn more!

    Recent savings:
    * I’ve been able to use our e-cargo bike for all but one school run since the new year began. The children enjoy it, and I get fresh air and exercise. I just need to keep an eye on the tires before doing a fully-loaded three-kid morning run.
    * Chicken thighs were marked 70% off (resulting price: about $2 for a pack of 12) by the manager at our Smart & Final on Sunday so I bought two packs (but it made me wish we had a bigger freezer so I could take them all).
    * I went to the Arco station to get gas; their prices are usually 20 to 40 cents cheaper per gallon since they only accept debit cards.
    * Harvested apples and aloe vera from the garden.
    * Roasted a kabocha pumpkin I harvested in July.
    * While at a park for a birthday party I noticed someone had thrown out a nice insulated grocery bag with a zipper (from a food delivery service). I trash-picked and now use it to keep freezer items cooler on the way home from grocery shopping.
    * Got .50 BYO bag credit at Whole Foods
    * Downloaded The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe as free ebook as a benefit of Amazon Prime to use as a read-aloud for my 8yo.
    * My husband and I watched the second season of the ensemble series Modern Love on Amazon Prime as part of our membership benefits; he enjoyed and is going back to watch season one.
    * Someone put all their bird seed and bird feeders out by the curb, marked FREE. I took the seed home—this will be a good supplement for our chickens and help stretch our current stock of feed so I don’t have to buy more as soon.
    * Took transit to my daughter’s doctor’s appointment for free versus driving and paying $14 for parking.

    Congrats on that beautiful grandbaby and so glad you got to see Winter and her family.

    1. We also have a cargo (e-bike) and it functions as our second car. I love it WAY more than driving our car. I love not having to fill it up with gas and worry about the environmental impact of another car on the road. It is so much fun and we’ve saved so much money with it!

      1. I love that bike so much. Our first cargo bike was stolen out of our garage last summer (sad face) but I couldn’t face returning to school commute with just the car. We upgraded to an “e-bike” this time because the kids have only gotten bigger and we have further to go now and I haven’t regretted it for a second. It’s also my favorite means of grocery shopping, curb shopping, scavenging, running to the hardware store, delivering kids to parties and the park, etc.

  8. I live in Idaho Falls! I’m so glad u got to enjoy our beautiful snake river flowers and park. Its one of my favorite places to go. On my Lunch break I take my meal and my crochet and enjoy the beauty of it.
    I saved money on my Birthday trip this weekend. Me and the husband went on a road trip to where ever the road took us. Well 1500 miles later we had a blast!! We went to museums and parks. and went on small hikes. Stopped in Moscow Idaho to see Mary Jane’s Farm. It was closed but I did get to see it. I got to see her jersey cow that is just precious. We stopped at the farmers market there and bought cheap healthy snacks for the rest of our trip. We stopped at Lewis and clarks trail and I found wild blackberries. so I picked those for snacking on. They were very good!! We actually slept in the car the first night at a beautiful rest stop. all of the hotels were booked lol.. I woke up early and enjoyed the outdoors and crocheting until the hubby woke up. It was so nice I actually suggested we do it again. We got a hotel the rest of the trip but we did download a app that saved us a bunch of money on the hotel. We had lunch at a little restaurant in a very small town. and as you walked out you could have as much squash as you wanted. So I took 2 small squash and chopped them up for a snack for later on down the road. I stopped at a few thrift shops and found some fun treasures. We just had a blast even without a plan.
    Thank you for always sharing your life with us! and teaching us that life can be fun and simple.

  9. Congrats on the grandbaby! That is so wonderful.
    It’s been a good week in heavenly Houston.
    I filled up the van using a Costco giftcard, where gas is cheaper than surrounding stations.
    I stumbled on Toll House chocolate chips for .49/bag clearance. I bought 30 bags for myself, then went back a little later for the remaining 24 bags for my friend. They’re good until 2023, but I’ll freeze them. Maybe they don’t usually carry those?
    I also bought marked down bacon for $2.49/package. The packages were only 12 ounces, but it still seemed like a decent price, as bacon is getting expensive here.
    I made an apple pear crisp out of some old apples and pears, and we enjoyed it for breakfast.
    I cleaned my vacuum cleaner, and it works much better without the long hair wrapped around the rollers.
    A car wash near us was having a grand opening, so I took the van through (it was free for the weekend). The kids were mesmerized, as they’d never been through a car wash before! I usually just wash it with the hose in the driveway, but not often enough.
    I found shoes and cleats in the next sizes up from the hand-me-down bins, which is always a money saver.
    I made a homemade banana pudding to take as my contribution to a family birthday meal. Most others bring prepared food, which is fine, but that would get really expensive, really fast for a big family.
    My daughter redeemed a free pizza slice coupon for a school award that she won, and kindly shared bites with her siblings.
    My dad adjusted my oldest son’s bike, where the chain kept coming loose. Hopefully the chain will stay on better, now.
    I made grilled cheese sandwiches at home when I really, really would have liked to have bought fast food for everyone.
    I did free exercise videos on youtube.
    Hope everyone has a great, frugal week!

    1. What a find on chocolate chips! That’s an item that I am getting low on and I am looking for an affordable way to stock up.

  10. Congratulations to Winter and her family. Your grandchild is delightful. Grandchildren are one of the very best blessings. I am so happy that you were able to share some time with your family in this Covid mess.

    I was blessed with my second granddaughter two weeks ago and all the while there were anxious moments due to the Covid situation in Australia.

  11. Thank you for sharing the books and movie. I’ve already added one book and the movie to my list. I’ve never been to Idaho. It sounds and looks like you had a beautiful trip. With figs coming in well, I made fig jam and fig bread, besides enjoying them fresh. Yellow squash is bountiful right now, so I made soup to use a good number of them. I researched and found vegan squash casserole recipes today, and plan to try a couple of them. Four trays of lamb’s quarter were dehydrated, along with a chanterelle mushroom. Zucchini orzo was made with a tromboncino. A few late spears of asparagus were harvested. Concord grapes were gathered, which made several jars of juice. I found out the discount grocery is phasing out food, but while there, I got organic and natural peanut butter 2/$1, organic beans .60, and organic soup for .40, which I occasionally use to begin soup if I don’t have any leftovers to use in it. Making a purchase for our small business, I noticed a banner for $25 off while in checkout, and backed up to order one more item to barely get to the needed amount, which gave me close to two items free. I mended quite a few things, while enjoying the a/c on a hot day. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/08/late-summer-days.html

  12. Congratulations on the new beautiful grandchild! Winter and baby have lovely dresses! Speaking of dresses, I love your dress! Did you order it or use a pattern and make it? As for me, my five month old fridge quit working and all the meat was partially defrosted. I cooked it up quickly and decided that I would use it to make dog food because it was a lot of chicken. The dog was happy. The good news is that my middle handyman son got it working again. The place where I bought it was so rude when I told them. It is working fine now. I did my usual apples, carrots and cheese sandwiches for work. I walked an hour at the local park. We received about five inches of rain from Ida, but no damage like last fall when Zeta dropped the neighbor’s tree on my house.

    1. I bought my dress online from Adored Vintage.

      The hard thing is that this is a small business and the owner buys small quantities. Pieces sell out within hours. I am on her mailing list and know that if I see something I like, I need to buy it right away. Most pieces run small (she has different suppliers) so I have found that I need to size up. She also has very limited sizing: small, medium, and large, which is more like extra small, small, and medium.

  13. We missed you last week, Brandy! So glad you got to go to Idaho to see your kids, new granddaughter and attend the temple ceremony. I’m glad Turo worked out for you. We’ve reserved a vehicle for a trip in November.

    Last week was difficult, especially for Americans. Praying for better days ahead for everyone.

    The heat broke about 10 days ago and temperatures have been in the 70s and, occasionally, low 80s. Most of the smoke from the fires has left us. We also got 1.32″ of rain over two days, which was huge. The weather isn’t a frugal accomplishment, but it’s been super welcome!

    Since I actually kept track of frugal accomplishments, this report is for two weeks–

    * I can hardly believe this–I won $1,000 for the second week in a row in the Special Olympics Idaho truck raffle! Not bad for someone whose only other win was a parakeet at a rabbit show in 1954, LOL. We bought another $1,000 worth of tickets, because as my husband pointed out, we bought the tickets to support the organization, didn’t expect to win anything and we’re still working off the original $1,000.

    * I bought five 4 lb. bags of sugar for .97 each. I normally buy a year’s worth of sugar at the fall baking sales, but between inflation and supply chain issues, who knows? So, I am buying what I can, when I can.

    * The Franz bakery thrift store here closed about two years ago.  Recently I learned they opened a store close to me, but in kind of an out-of-the-way location. Last week I stopped by for the first time and stocked up. Many items were 50% or less of store prices, the exception being sliced bread. Their bread was about the same price as the private label brands that come out of the same bakery. I’ll definitely be going back…if only for the raisin bread, LOL.

    * I harvested more tomatoes and canned 6 more pints = 10 to date. Reused lids again, some for third time–all sealed.  Also picked zucchini and some Swiss chard. Lots of green tomatoes still on the vine. A few weeks ago, I reported here that there were big dried-up, tan/brown splotches on the chard leaves–looked like some kind of scald. I never did ID it and didn’t know what to do. I ended up removing the affected leaves…which was just about every single one. Big surprise–there are new leaves, and except for a couple of small spots on a few, they are perfect! I have a tiny garden, and only a little chard, but at least I’ve got some!

    * I was Mrs. Fixit one day. I replaced the rubber ring and pressure relief valve on my ancient pressure cooker and replaced the male end on my garden hose. Both simple fixes that I had been putting off.

    * A friend of mine gave my daughter two brand-new tote bags she had received as gifts and didn’t need.

    * I read 3 library books over two weeks. The Girl from the Channel Islands is available at several libraries in my area.

    * An Aussie blog I follow, The Bluebirds are Nesting on the Farm, is doing a 30-day preparedness series. (It’s not serious prepper stuff, just commonsense things to do). #2 has been the hardest–producing 7 ready meals for the freezer. I’m not a big batch cooker, but I don’t mind cooking double…and I actually do like having a few things for when I either can’t cook, or don’t feel like it.  So far, I have frozen 6 meals and I’m cooking double again tonight.

    * As a result of this series, I did a little research online and discovered tri-fuel generators. We’ve never bought a generator because we don’t truly understand how to use one and thankfully wouldn’t need it often. Also, gasoline and propane fuels would not work for us. But the “tri” is natural gas, which should work. I bumped into tri-fuel generators on sale for $800 at Costco. Not only is the price right, but they are in stock! The kilowattage is a little less than what we wanted, but a friend who uses one of the same size in his RV says it should be sufficient to run our refrigerator, freezer and the fan on our natural gas furnace. We bought it! Our friend is coming in a few days to set it up so we can try it out and decide whether it will work–we’ll return it if it won’t. (Note: if anyone else is interested in generators, Costco has two different models on sale through this week. The tri-fuel generator is $100 off whether you buy it online or in the store. The store price is $100 cheaper than online).

    Brandy, you’ve mentioned that you have wide feet. So does my daughter. I found a big selection of wide widths at the Women’s World website, which is mostly for plus size clothing. They have deals and coupons. My daughter got two pairs of dress shoes with low heels for around $25 pair. If you find shoes you like at their site, also try Googling the brand and style name or number. (You might find a better deal somewhere else, or get a coupon or deal from them).

      1. Woman Within is also a site with a lot of wide shoes. Not as inexpensive as that, but very good quality and not overpriced.

        1. I APOLOGIZE! (Pounding my head with my hand). I meant “Woman Within” and I typed something else. That’s the site where we got the good deals on shoes.

    1. Maxine,
      Thank you for the generator information! We live in hurricane country and have natural gas. Getting a permanent generator set up is a pain because of permits. I will check these out!

      1. Cara, my reading indicated that the hose is plugged into the gas supply where it enters the house. You will need to buy a special hose to do this. However, our friend says he should also be able to connect it at the furnace, which is in the garage right next to the freezer. Then we would run an extension cord into the house and plug the fridge into one of the generator outlets. At least, that’s the plan! I’ll let you know if it works!

          1. Thanks for the reminder! That’s what I love about the comments here. We have CO2 detectors in our house, but not the garage. Since the generator will be there, I’ll have to buy another one.

  14. This hasn’t been a very frugal week for us. Week before Last week was our yearly vacation at our timeshare – it’s about $430 a year for maintenance fees once you purchase it, which is great. You can’t stay anywhere for that price. I did hit some county libraries that I had never been to and found 12/13 books in a series that I had been wanting – all hardback and barely read. I bought them all, even though I knew that I had a couple at home. I offered those up on paperbackswap, so I will get a book in exchange.

    However, on Wednesday of vacation, we were in a car accident – a girl pulled out of a side road and totaled our car. Thankfully no one involved was badly injured, so that is what we are focusing on. We were able to find a replacement car, but are still waiting for our check from the insurance – we were just 7 payments from having our vehicle paid in full.

    1. I am so sorry!

      My parents bought a new truck a few months ago. They went on vacation when they had had the car just over a week and the same thing happened to them. They were in another state and weren’t sure how they would get home.

      BEing so close to the ned on your payments–that is so sad! I wish you all the best in finding a replacement!

  15. I realize Winter would like to keep her privacy, but you must have been bursting to tell your readers of the baby’s birth. The first grandchild is such a miracle, and it’s your mother’s first great-grandchild. It rather looks like the little one might have her father’s coloring. Did you take any photos of your son and would he be willing to have you publish them on your blog? It’s quite all right if he doesn’t want that.

    1. It’s actually my mother’s second great-grandchild, as my younger brother became a grandpa 6 years ago.

      I did take a photo with my eldest son; I just didn’t publish it in this post.

  16. Beautiful pictures and what a precious grandchild.
    A) At work (university), they had planted ground cover crops including sweet corn. I got a total of 13 dozen ears. I blanched and froze 2.5 dozen ears for later on. Gave 2 dozen to single mom with 3 boys next door, 2 dozen to a friend, 2 dozen to postal clerk, and then to 4 others each got 1/2 dozen. If I get another batch, I hope to cam some corn. Again, I will share some.
    B) Sales are slow on ebay, but I did sell an item on local FB buy/sell site.
    C) Have been eating garden produce. Sharing there as well.
    D) Trying to use some of my older meat in freezer. Made mom a hamburger with potato salad as her side. I made myself a burger patty but used a small container (3 tablespoons) of leftover beef gravy thay I had froze, heated in microwave and put over patty. My side was sliced sliced cucumbers that I had in vinegar/water/sugar mix.
    E) Dehumidifier running in basement and using that water to water outdoor plants.
    F) My sister’s ex buys, fixes houses. He has given me a lot of items the people leave behind. I got 4 boxes filled with books. I am going through each one slowly. Pulling out what I want to read and listing on paperbackswap the other books.

  17. I was so pleased, Brandy, that your plans worked out and you were able to see your older children and your brand-new grandchild. Winter must be over the moon with happiness.
    I went to the local farmers’ market week before last. This is one of the things that I really wanted to do after things reopened. I bought a kilo of green beans, and a large head of broccoli, a jar of raspberry jam, which is all I’ll use, and some bacon and asiago cheese biscuits. Two markets have merged for the last couple of years, so I saw vendors I hadn’t seen before except at holiday markets. There wasn’t a big crowd, but it was fun to see vendors, people I knew from working at the library, along with some neighbors. It is only open a couple of more weeks, when our growing season ends, so it was a good chance to go.
    I’ve frozen the green beans, along with some extra cauliflower.
    After checking the preview of this last week’s grocery flyer, I found there weren’t many specials I wanted, so I went back and bought a little more from the previous flyer, including another litre of canola oil, and a 2.5 kilo bag of flour (5.5 lb) to put in the freezer. When I bought a first bag of flour this size a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t want to buy a bigger bag, because it takes me a year to use a larger bag, and my baking becomes pretty stodgy using flour that old. This way, I can keep the second bag of flour fresh in the freezer. It was an amazing $2.99 compared to its usual $4.98 price.
    I wanted to get a curbside recycle tub to put out bottles for our municipal recycle pick-up. I used to return these to the bottle depot to collect the deposit, but without a car, I haven’t been able to. I had planned to go to a hardware store where I would need to take a taxi or seniors’ bus. Instead, I ordered one at a hardware store I can walk to. It was to be delivered there. They had a $20 minimum, so I needed to pick another item that was at least $4 and lightweight. I picked an 8 x 8 baking pan, which I’ve been wanting for some smaller recipes. My village utilities bill charges me for the recycle pick-up whether I use it or not, so there is no additional cost for this recycling pick-up. The pick-up service company donates the bottle deposits to community services like the library, so the deposits don’t really disappear.
    The next day, I saw the same store had a vacuum advertised at 40% off, saving $60. I’d need to take a taxi to go get it, which reduces the savings by $20, but that was true no matter where I got it. Both orders arrived the same day, so I used a taxi to get them at the same time. I really like the vacuum. It is lightweight and I think I will be able to use the tools better because I can get the machine around the house easily.
    I’m cutting back trips to stores and offices starting this week, because co-vid numbers are so high again. I did quite a lot of my September grocery shopping in the last half of August, so that will help. The grocery store is very busy, but it is also very well stocked, so no worries there. I did get the last 1 kilo (2.2 lb) bag of popcorn though. We are a more experienced group of pandemic shoppers than we used to be and know exactly what will best help us through long periods at home!
    I have a couple of no-cost projects in mind for the winter, including improving my fitness and mobility, and getting rid of things I no longer use. I have a goal of what I would like things to be like in the spring that will help keep me motivated.

  18. I am sick this week. But on the road to recovery. Ear infections aren’t fun. I haven’t had one in years. I tried that garlic willow oil. It definitely helped the pain and I know it was making it better. But, I ended up getting on an antibiotic as well. I’m still using the oil in hopes of kicking it quicker with both. I am cooking rosemary white bean soup right now. I am so looking forward to it! Yesterday my husband cooked chicken with Italian herbs from our garden, Alfredo noodles and a salad. We made a smoothie with frozen fruit that we had on hand, some watermelon from 3 years ago! It was fine. Blueberries when they were on sale and a banana. We definitely need to use up what we have before we refill anything. Or rotate at least. I like fresh vegetables and fruit, but we will need to use what we have frozen. I’m just glad to have it on hand. My husband is doing projects around the house. I am cooking at home. I am playing harp or piano for entertainment and sleeping a lot this week.
    I have been using up tortillas that we have and froze the rest before they went bad. Prices are so much more, even sale prices. So I am being very careful to use what we have before we buy more fresh stuff. I am using beans often in our menu. It is economical and healthy. Soup is also on our menu often. I love soup, so that works well. My son loves my homemade soups as does my husband. Our okra has started producing. Honestly the garden hasn’t done as well this year. But I am happy to have it anyway. We ate a watermelon from the garden. It had blossom end rot, we just cut that part off and ate the rest. It tasted good. I enjoy reading on the internet and getting books from the library. We took our grandchildren to dollar tree to pick out a toy for $1. I have turned up the air to a higher temperature to save money. I also use the window light when possible. Turn off lights when not in use. We have noticed that being at home can be very relaxing. Oh, We went to an outdoor concert that was free. My harp teacher played the harp, her husband played a drum and someone played a clarinet. It was so enjoyable! They even gave us popcorn and had water for those who wanted it. It was very nice! I’m thinking about pulling our my clarinet sometime and playing it again. I need to buy some reeds for it. It has been so long since I played it. I also have a guitar that I would like to play again. And my husband had bought me a banjo for a very good deal. I’ve never played the banjo, so that is new entirely. For now though I am going to concentrate on the harp and the piano. When I have some time I hope to start some other instruments. My grandson is playing the recorder. The fingering is the same as the clarinet. I thought it would be fun to pick it up again so I can play it with him and help him if he wants help. We bought a recorder for my granddaughter because she wanted to learn too. I was teaching them a little bit of piano. Music is fun!

  19. Congratulations to all! What a beautiful baby.
    I got to hold my cousin’s great granddaughter in July when they were visiting. I had not held a little baby in so long and it was wonderful.
    Congratulations again!

  20. Congratulations to the whole family on the new grandchild! So happy to hear that you enjoyed your well deserved break so well and still managed to save money.
    I have been concentrating on restocking the pantry with both food and non-food items but I have also been really careful to collect as many Loyalty points as possible and to combine those offers with other bonus ones. I now have nearly $50 worth of Loyalty points accumulated. I have done my major shop for upcoming Sept. so just a few dollars needed for milk, bread & some fresh fruit & veg. I’m going to use the Loyalty points for some extras, reduced meat or for loss leaders. I also cashed in a jar of coins that I’ve been saving for about 18 months (not as much in there as there would be normally as I’ve been using my debit card more) – but – it was about $50 worth of nickels, dimes & quarters and it filled the pantry with lots of extra teabags, pickles, Miracle Whip, relishes and crispy onions for casseroles so I am now well stocked.
    From the drugstore – all toiletries are up to date and I’ve started replacing things like Tums, Polysporin, vitamins and eye drops.

    I finally had my appointment with my ophthalmologist and it was good news/bad news. The cataract in my left eye has grown a bit but it is still a watch and see situation. I thought that I would then have to go to my optometrist for new glasses but I was told not to bother for now. I have a very complicated and expensive prescription and the tiny change would hardly be noticeable. I will wait until after next year’s appointment, see where I stand with the cataract and then get new glasses (and that point the lenses will probably be a bit scratched anyway). This appointment was all covered – and at the moment our optometrists are in a battle with the provincial govt. about who pays for eye check ups so this gives me more time to see if this gets resolved so that there would be no cost to me.

    I have checked a couple of clothing sites online just to add a few basics but no one seems to have a lot of stock. Everyone seems to have Small and Extra Small only – and I need a lot bigger than that so that saves me money. I will just buy some socks and try for a couple of white shirts then call it a day and wait and see what happens in the New Year. I’m only going into the office 3 days a week so one pair of dress pants and two shirts per week will be fine. I’m only in for about 4 hours at a time and it’s not as though I’m doing anything strenuous.

    Meals have been mostly sandwiches and salads at the moment. It has been VERY hot & humid (we were under a heat alert for over a week) and I normally run out of cooking steam around this time of year. The weather is to cool by this weekend so hopefully I’ll get back to proper meals within the next couple of weeks. I’d like to do some baking to use up a lot of dried fruit & I miss soups. One thing I must do is go through all my dried herbs and spices and top up jars from my backup supplies and then see what I need to buy.

    I have made a few trips out with my friend – we drive – find new walking trails and just enjoy all the beautiful gardens and green space in the city or very close by. My friend drives so I often take a treat and/or cold drinks so that we don’t have to spend a lot when we are out. We might split a sandwich or pick up a slice of pizza each and it’s a nice, cheap day out. I finally got to read “The Kitchen Front” and it was worth the wait. I also read “The Lost Apothecary” and the latest Donna Leon, “Transient Desires”. I have to get to the library by the end of the week to pick up another batch of holds that have come in. I’m also working my way through Elly Griffith’s “Ruth Galloway” mystery series – thank God for libraries!

    My church reopened yesterday – first time in a year and we had about the usual number for an August Sunday. We asked people to pre-register just to speed up entry for contact tracing – social distancing & masks in effect and it seemed to go well. The big test will be Sept. 12th when we see how many return after Labour Day. We are going to continue to produce a weekly online service (not livestream – a Youtube video) and I checked the number of views this morning to see if there was a big difference but the views are up to about 200 at the moment so it doesn’t seem to have made a big difference. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out as we move into the Fall. It looks as though my province will finally issue a vaccine passport for those fully vaccinated (well over 70%) so it will be interesting to see how this effects religious services. The passport is something that is wanted by the majority here so hopefully it will help to convince people to come back to in-person services as they should feel more comfortable being indoors with others.

    I am looking forward to hearing how everyone is doing this week – and if anyone is in a state affected by Hurricane Ida – I hope that you are all safe.

    1. We are having the opposite problem here. I have even looked online. My daughter cannot find what she needs in a small size in the style that she likes.

    2. Margie from Toronto,
      I had good luck getting white blouses in a larger size from the Bay online and at sales prices.

    3. Hi Margie! I thought of you today when I used my Optimuum points card! I’m not sure if this is Canada wide or specific to Toronto, but I found that I could add a coupon (via the app) for a free bottle of Tide detergent and a dozen PC eggs to my card, and get them FREE from Loblaws. I know stores in the States often have free items, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in Canada, so I thought I’d mention it in case you or another reader wanted to take advantage of it too. FYI, the app says it’s a 1.9 l bottle, but it’s a typo, as the bottles are actually 1.09 l, and that’s what scans through at the cash. Thought I’d pass on the info, as that’s $13 saved!

      1. That’s very thoughtful of you Margaret but I don’t have a “Smart Phone” for those apps. You do seem to get some great deals with it though! I have a lot of allergies and Tide is something that I cannot use – I’d be scratching from now to Thanksgiving! 🙂

  21. Brandy what beautiful pictures!! Congratulations on your first grandchild and Winter’s marriage…so many wonderful reasons to celebrate.
    We have had quite a busy two weeks in our household. Hurricane Ida is bringing more rain and wind to our area although nothing compared to the amounts the storm brought to the coastline where the storm came ashore.
    I received $75 on a gift card from Cigna for preventative medical exams we had this year. I requested an Amazon card and will use it to purchase some books that I have been wanting to read as well as some needed toiletry items for our pantry.
    I found a great sale on a few pantry staples that I have been looking for and purchased alphabet pasta, star pasta, egg noodles, ditalini, brown sugar, and french’s fried onions from Walmart. This was my first time ordering from them and I loved the ease and the prices. All of the above only cost me $48 and it was delivered to my door.
    My family loves to eat chili in the cooler months and I love the ease of using canned chili beans in my chili. Since I was not willing to pay over $1/can I broke out my crockpot and four cups of dried pinto beans along with some water, spices and tomato sauce I have the most delicious chili beans ever. I put six quarts into my freezer and they are ready for the fall.
    I continue to cook from our freezer and pantry trying to make room
    For turkeys and hams to come. I used three more quarts of chicken broth that was nearing its end date and we enjoyed several soups and some chili. I was delighted to have made a vegetable soup almost entirely from veggies we grew in our garden. I used up some whipping cream to make a pound cake recipe and gifted one of the loaves to some friends of ours. I roasted a chicken using a recipe for roasted chicken with a lemon pan sauce from Cook’s country that was divine. I baked a batch of double chocolate muffins using the last of chocolate chips in a bag and several pantry ingredients.
    I made a batch of your blueberry muffins this week as well, my son says that they are very yummy by the way!
    My husband went to the dermatologist to have a spot that looked like a pimple on his ear looked at and was diagnosed with stage 4 skin cancer. He will have to have surgery on September 9th and possibly some treatment after that. Please everyone…if you have a freckle or a spot that doesn’t look right, don’t put it off…go see a doctor. I am praying for a miraculous outcome.
    I am so grateful for all of the planning and preparing skills that this blog has taught me. As we prepare for my husband to be out of work for a bit it is less of a stress than it otherwise would be if we had not taken steps to get ourselves ready.
    Blessings to all!!

    1. I had surgery for skin cancer a few years ago. I hope all goes well for your husband!

  22. I’m so glad that you and your husband were able to see Winter and her husband and spend time in the temple!

    * I made two batches of vegetable stock using bits from the freezer, corn cobs, and vegetables that were getting worse for the wear. The stock went into the freezer for use in the fall for soups.
    *I found some beautiful raspberries at the farmer’s market. While not cheap, I bought a half a flat, made a batch of freezer jam, and froze the rest.
    *I froze four more clamshells of sale blueberries.
    *I found corn 1/$1.00. I still have some in my freezer, but at that price…. I bought six ears. They weren’t very tasty, but into the freezer they go!
    *I found 5 lbs. flour for .50 cents a bag. They were set to expire in October. I only bought two bags as I already have a lot. They also went into the freezer. Like Gardenpat, when I see a bargain or practically free, it’s hard to pass up.

    *I found natural toothpaste for $1.00 a tube and bought six.

    *I went to a knitting retreat at a friend’s home an the mountias nd participated in a potluck. I shared the exprsne of gas with friends.

    *My husband and I were able to go out of town for a week as well. We stayed in an AirbBnb and cooked two meals and day and snacks where were staying. We did enjoy dinners out. I was able to hike, bike, walk, and do yoga while there, all for free.

    *My friend invited me to pick peaches from here tree. I picked a small box full and will make peach salsa and peach jam, some of which to give in her return.

    *I worked on a knitted blanket as a gift, read , watched season 10 of Vera on cable at the place where were staying.

  23. Beautiful photo of you and your husband Brandy. Congratulations to your daughter on the arrival of their baby too.

    We finally sold our car, getting $500 more than what we paid for it three and a half years ago.

    My contract is also finally coming to an end, meaning from next week I will receive 17.5% less pay.

    I booked a camping holiday for next month and we will take our bicycles and swimming costumes.

    We finished installing our walk in robe with IKEA PAX. We have waited over 12 years for this so it is a blessing to be able to be more organised and have an opportunity to declutter.

    I don’t have any television subscription services, but have heard a lot about the Bridgerton series. I borrowed book one from the library and read it.

    I used up extremely overripe bananas in smoothies and popsicles.

    I took my children to the doctor with no OOP expense and was grateful for their expect advice.

    Have a wonderful week.

  24. My car has been “parked up” for a month or so. My oldest child bought a new radiator and her husband put it in yesterday. He took the time to teach my youngest grandson what he was doing to fix the car. This cost me nothing and I had a wonderful visit with my daughter, Dawn, and her husband.
    We got 2 boxes of Farm to Table food. One box for me one for my daughter and her children. This is free. All you have to do is live her and go pick it up. We got apples, tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, a watermelon and a bag of walnuts.
    My daughter, Lyric, made a cake for my youngest grandson’s birthday. She is a professional baker. We haven’t made or bought a celebratory cake in this house for years.
    I’m teaching a quilt sew along. I have drafted the pattern and used only fabrics I had in my stash. I will be selling a kit for this item in my Etsy story…hopefully.
    Brandy, your grandbaby is lovely. I just want to smooch her little face. Being a “mom-mom” (my daughter, Windee’s 2 kids call me that) is the best ride in the world.
    Congratulations to all of you.

  25. Congratulations to Winter and Kade! I’m grateful you and your husband were able to be there with them. The baby is beautiful! Brandy, you are a young grandma as was I. I am so blessed to have my grandchildren while I am young enough to keep up with them, well, most of the time. There are days when they totally wear me out. You’ve given me another spot on my bucket list to visit; Idaho Falls looks so pleasant.
    Thank you for all the book suggestions. My granddaughter starts preschool on BYU campus and I will remain on campus for the 2 1/2 hours four days a week. I want to spend that time reading things I like as well as visiting the museums, bookstore, and library.
    I canned peaches and nectarine jam at my home and spent Saturday teaching my sister-in-law to pressure can chicken and helping her with peaches. She’s so pleased to have the chicken for quick and easy meals. Their family members have lots of food sensitivities so she decided it was time to can some of her own food so she can help keep them healthy. I like knowing what’s in my food. I took fresh eggs and a loaf of whole wheat bread along with some nectarine jam for our joint canning adventures. My great niece was very pleased that the jam was pink, her favorite color!
    Here’s to another fantastic and frugal week!

    1. Campus there is so beautiful, and they have added so many more beautiful things since I left! I love the fountain that was put in after I left. The Museum of Art is wonderful, as is their garden, and the cafe has wonderful food. There are always wonderful rotating art displays by the students along the walls on each floor of the center of the HFAC. I had a large number of classes in that building and always enjoyed seeing the artwork.

      The Bean Museum is fun, especially with a pre-school-aged child!

      The library reconstruction was finished the day I graduated, so I never got the light-filled addition under the lawn, but we went there and it was beautiful! There was a museum display in the library as well that was free.

      There was just so much to enjoy there!

  26. Congrats to the whole family. So wonderful you got to see Winter and her little family and enjoy some nature in Idaho.

    Had a busy and productive couple of weeks. We have been having some cooler weather in the Seattle area which is nice after all the heat.

    Did lots of food things to save money. Opened a large package of sliced ham from Costco and portioned it out for later (put parchment in between each serving). Cooked a huge beet from my vegetable share. We ate half and I made a pint of refrigerator pickled beets with the rest, using up a bottle of vinegar I’ve had for a while. My sister met me at the farm when I picked up the weekly share, so I shared my greens ration and flower share with her, as well as some of my vegetables. She just got laid off so she was happy for the food. She had picked blueberries and shared some with me, along with some half used bottles vinegar that a friend who was moving had passed on to her.

    Went to a local farmstand I frequent. Because I am a regular, the woman who runs the stand offered me 20lbs of organic tomato seconds for $1.25 a pound (regular price $4 a pound). This was a great deal, and the tomatoes were in good shape. Ended up canning 15 pints, using jars, lids and citric acid I already had on hand.

    Cut end of season blooms from my hydrangea plant and brought them inside. Shared some with my mom and another friend.

    Bought the e-book A Ration Book Dream (which Brandy mentioned last week) on Amazon for my Kindle. I had a dollar credit so it was only 99 cents. Really enjoyed it. None of the books in the series are available at my library, so I requested the next book via interlibrary loan.

    A few weeks ago, I found a brand new high end tennis racket that someone had put in our condo dumpster. Was able to give this away to someone who could use it.

    Bought a nice lined skirt at Goodwill for 6.00. It said Dry Clean Only on the tag, but it wasn’t wool or some other non-washable fabric, so I put it on the short cycle in my washer. This worked out fine and the skirt looks great. There were a few other items at Goodwill I liked, but the prices were quite high. So I didn’t buy anything else there.

    Started working on birthday gifts for my sisters. They are twins and their birthday is next month. For one sister, I made her a small (15 x 18 inch) quilt that I quilted by hand (I’m a beginning quilter). I made her this quilt because she no longer has her childhood one, and she mentioned one day she was sad about that. So I made this little quilt in the same color scheme. The fabric was purchased at a local store but I used batting I already had. It turned out really nice. I asked my other sister what she wanted me to make for her, since I have to mail it. She said she’d like a small drawstring bag. So I made two in the color scheme she requested. I bought fabric and drawstring, but I already had some cord locks on hand so I used those. I really enjoy these small projects.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  27. Sounds like a wonderful trip, and congratulations to your daughter and her beautiful little family <3

    Another baking hack I've used throughout my life (courtesy of my mother) is to half the fat and add an egg, which works for nearly any baking recipe. If anyone's curious, I did a blog post with more specific examples and how to apply it in different scenarios:

    https://www.toloveandtolearn.com/2017/10/11/how-to-cut-the-fat-of-almost-any-baking-recipe-in-half/

  28. What beautiful photos of you and the family. I must get current ones of my children all together. I managed to buy 45 lbs of chicken breast and organic grass fed ground beef for less than $2.00 a pound. I made a couple trips to the outlet that sells Amazon goods. I bought many needed items. On 3 dollar day ,I got a new in box tv wall mount and a bathroom fan. I bought several new in package pillows and queen size duvets. I’m really enjoying this place. I found 2 bottles of seventh generation laundry detergent 66 loads and then found two more bottles of 100 load refills. This sure has stretched my budget. I’m hoping to find my children many lovely Christmas gifts this year.

    1. Lillianna, can you please share more about the Amazon outlet store? I looked up and couldn’t find anything where I live. Thank you, in advance.

      1. The ones here have Krazzy or Liquidation or Liquidate in the name. And Deals, that’s another popular word. And Cheapskates and Outlet.

  29. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos from your trip and of your family. Your grandchild is so beautiful. Congratulations and blessings to all. I’m sure you must be so excited to be a grandma for the first time and entering a new stage in your life ! I was 44 when I became a grandma (step DD married at 20 and had her first child at 22) and although I was happy and excited, it took a little getting used to being thought of as a “grandma”.

    Visited my parents for our annual tomato canning event. My mom, her sister, several cousins, my sis-in-laws and I canned a total of 250 quarts of tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and salsa. This was over as 3-day period using 6 different stoves and bushels of pre-ordered tomatoes and peppers from a local farm (we had to pick up). We had a glorious time washing, chopping, processing, etc., and catching up on family gossip while various-aged grandkids and great grands “helped” and hopefully learned too. We used basil from my mom & aunt’s gardens. We split the cost of the produce and divide among us the canned products. Also came home with lots of goodies from my parents’ & aunt’s gardens: about 10 lbs of pole beans, 6 eggplants, several lbs of kirby (pickling) cukes, 4 cukes, a dozen kiwis, a brown grocery sack of zucchini and 2 fig trees (Mission and Italian Honey) that my dad has grown for me in large Home Depot buckets from cuttings from their trees.

    Returned home before tropical storm Henri hit which brought us over 5″ of rain over a 2-day period. The day before the storm from the garden I harvested 4 bell peppers, 3 zucchini, 3 eggplants, 2 tiny cukes, a handful of ripe early girl and heirloom tomatoes plus several large heavy still not quite ripe ones due to the expected heavy winds from the storm, a pint of grape tomatoes, genovese basil, flat leaf parsley; we also went to BJs and bought more spring water: 12 gallons and 2 of the 40 packs; 8-pack cans of Goya kidney beans and chickpeas (with their coupons on these items they are much less expensive than the grocers) organic spinach; organic spring mix and one of their fresh-roasted chickens. They had pkgs of mini loaves of corn bread displayed near the fresh roasters and I was tempted to buy a pkg but instead made skillet cornbread at home. We enjoyed the chicken, fresh green beans and corn bread for several meals. Froze green beans and zucchini and pickled the kirbys; made chicken noodle soup; minestrone; ratatouille; stuffed eggplants; 6 loaves of apple/zucchini bread with chopped walnuts (gifted 3 loaves to neighbors); blueberry muffins; broiled salmon; baked cod along with baked potatoes — lunch and dinner meals are all accompanied with steamed fresh veggies and with a fresh green salad and even though I’ve been really trying to grow lettuces this year, I still need to supplement with store-bought greens. Most of my lunches at home are usually a mixed green salad with raw or steamed veggies and 2 protein sources – usually chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, boiled eggs, various cheeses, left over baked/broiled chicken or fish. DH usually eats out for lunch with perhaps once or twice a week coming home for lunch. If I’m home, I usually prepare something he likes, if not, he happily eats leftovers. A good buy at the grocers: 16 oz pkg of egg noodles for $0.79 – bought the limit of 4.

    I pray that all your readers in Hurricane Ida’s path are safe; it will come to us on Wednesday as a tropical storm with lots of rain.

    1. WOW! That is a lot of canning! How wonderful!

      Five inches of rain is more than we get in a year here. That’s a lot.

      1. Hi Brandy – the canning was a lot of fun and “many hands make quick work” as my grandma used to say and was shared among 8 families. Back in the day when my grandmas and great grandmas were alive (my great grandmas lived to their late nineties so I remember both very well), canning was a way of life and their pantries were full of canned eggplant, peppers, onions, beans, tomato sauce, giardiniera, etc. Plus pears, peaches, cherries, applesauce, and many varieties of jams/preserves ranging from fig and all sorts of berries. All home grown. They also made their own wine, tinctures and medicinals with homegrown herbs. they cooked everything from scratch. They all owned a lot of land (hundreds of acres) and had wonderful large vegetable, herb and flower gardens. They did hire help to maintain the gardens and orchards. When I reflect back, I marvel at what they accomplished and all the hard work they did for all their kids, grand kids and great grands to eat healthy. The interesting part is that they were quite wealthy though not showy (my great grandfathers and grandfathers were successful businessmen and they owned horses and homes at the beach and in town and left an inheritance to their children and their children’s children as the Bible says) and did not need to do it for monetary reasons and could have afforded store bought. They enjoyed eating fresh and knowing where their food came from. They were excellent teachers too and passed on their skills to their children and grands. My cousins and I have given a lot of thought about keeping up with the yearly canning ritual once my mom and aunt go to be with the Lord (mom is 75 and her sister is 73) since it is a lot of work, expensive, and we the younger generation live quite a distance from each other (I have a 3-hour drive each way to my parents’ house). The Lord willing, mom and aunt will live to 100+ so we will do this for a long time to come.

        As for the rainfall, we average 60 inches a year. This year will probably be higher as in July we had about 12 ” (mostly due to tropical storm Elsa) August a little over 10″ (due to tropical storms Fred and Henri) and the first day of Sept thanks to tropical depression Ida over 3″ We are in the hurricane/tornado alley so we get lots of rain. Our grounds are totally saturated, the NJ peach crop was very poor this year due to all the rain and flash flooding has been a constant all summer. We were lucky with Ida as 4 to 6″ of rainfall had been predicted for our area but the storm veered away from the barrier islands and coast towards the mainland instead and western and northern NJ got the brunt of the rain – up to 11″ in some towns in a few hours with major flooding and many people trapped in their cars with water level rising to their car doors. So far, one person has drowned while being trapped in their car but there are likely more. Ida is gone, but the flooding will continue as the rivers crest. The airport, due to major flooding had to close. I sometimes wish that there was a magical wand and we could share all this excess rain with those in drought.

  30. It is just lovely to see your grandbaby, Winter and her husband. I have had a great deal of admiration for Winter and her accomplishments (and steadiness) over the years, and have wondered how she was doing. When she started featuring ‘pregnant’ items on her sites, I figured something was up… has she finished university? Or planning to go back?
    Ezrom has the same vigor and innovativeness that Winter has. Would love to hear how he’s doing, as well.

    Brandy, would you please consider again posting monthly “what I plan to buy” and “Goals” posts, besides the weekly check-in? I really miss these, and you were so regular for so many years. It would be especially helpful, now your family seems to be changing. A lot.

    1. She doesn’t have a website and I never mentioned her pregnancy so I don’t what you are referring to.

      She will graduate in April with her husband. She has 22credits and an internship left. The tricky part will be finding a place in town to complete her internship as it is a small town.

      My third child, Ezrom, just finished his GED last week and plans to get a job and start community college classes.

      My buying has changed a lot since Covid; I have found that I can no longer count on seasonal sales in the same way. The grocery ads have gotten slimmer and the sales are fewer. I am having to see what sales come up and plan from there.

      My goals lists–I have had so much to do and am finding that lately I am accomplishing very little of it, so I would have the same things on the posts every month! I am hoping to have more energy when it cools down a bit, but that hasn’t happened lately. We are still working on the garden makeover. There have been several issues with it. The big one right now is that plants are not growing. The topsoil mix from the nursery has changed and is now more sand than anything. I will have to dig down at least eight inches, add HUGE amounts of manure, and then try planting again.

      I also hope to paint all of the steel pieces that my husband is making and to paint four benches.

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. I really appreciate it.

        I was referring to Winter’s Pinterest account. (I must be a follower or something.) She’s posted some interesting fashion pictures…but when her emphasis turned to pregnancy, I started wondering.

        Thank you for the updates, too. And if you get time and the inclination — I’m still here, wondering about your monthly purchases, goals, things like that. Thank you, Brandy.

    2. Cindy, I, too, wondered if Winter’s Pinterest pins were aspirational only or the indication of a little one on the way. Now the mystery is solved, and what a beautiful baby!

  31. Congratulations on your beautiful grandbaby, Brandy! What a love. And what a wonderful thing to be able to see your daughter and her family for such an important time. I’m so happy for you that it worked out.

    Today, I gave haircuts to my husband and my three oldest boys. 40 minutes! I may not be good, but I’m fast. Hopefully, I’ll keep improving.

    I sorted through my fabric and sewing gear, found many new treasures I’d forgotten about, and happily received a bunch of cotton from my mother. I’ve enjoyed making skirts for some young friends – we made a little sewing circle time for an outside visit. We plugged the sewing machine into an extension cord, put it on the patio table, and turned out two cute polka-dotted skirts in an hour! I hope to make them matching scrunchies.

    I am also hoping to learn how to make flannel pj pants and knit pants for my boys. I would be bankrupt if I bought new ones every time they put a new hole in the knees, and my patching skills are still improving. I recently learned the trick about doubling fabric around the knees when you make pants. Does anyone have any tricks they love for making little boys’ pants survive at least a few months? We do a lot of tree climbing.

    We have been eating a lot of popcorn for snacks. So cheap, so good.

    Partially frugal – we invested in some more shelving for our basement that will hold toys and art supplies more efficiently, and then we moved upstairs a bookcase that can now hold…books! Golly, who would have thunk it? Books on a bookcase fit better, and that’s a good thing, with all the lovely books we’ve inherited.

    I got a huge bunch of books on interlibrary loan – Rumer Godden’s The Kitchen Madonna (https://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Madonna-Rumer-Godden/dp/1932350233), Hannah Fowler (https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-Fowler-Janice-Holt-Giles/dp/0813108101), the Prisoner of Zenda (https://www.gutenberg.org/files/95/95-h/95-h.htm). I’ve been enjoying a bunch of booklists including Theresa Fagan’s “A Mother’s List of Books.” So many that I hadn’t run across! Our own library is too modern to include some of these treasures – I hate to think of what they’ve gotten rid of! – but I can find them elsewhere in the area, thank goodness.

    I ordered chalk, notebooks, and pencils from Target and was really pleased at the quality of their notebooks for .69. I do a bulk order of these kinds of supplies and use them for presents and our own needs. I refuse to buy school supplies any other time of year! We’ll just go without, if we can.

    Meat has been surprisingly cheap here in Boston. Chicken breast or tenders or roast for 1.97/lb regularly or less. We’re eating out of the garden – lots and lots of arugula! The garden is sprawling and needs editing. I’m giving bouquets away to get plants back to an acceptable size, which is fun.

    Wishing you all a safe, cool, and frugal week!

    1. Hi Sarah
      I enjoy Rumer Godden books too. My favourite is The Greengage Summer and I enjoyed Kingfishers Catch Fire, Breakfast with the Nikolides, Coromandel Sea Change and her account of her childhood in India with her sister, Two under an Indian Sun. Her most famous book Black Narcissus is my least favourite, too dark for me. I haven’t heard of Kitchen Madonna so will look out for it.

      1. Thank you PennyP! I will look for these others. I prefer cheerful books when I can find them, so thanks for the tip about Black Narcissus. The Kitchen Madonna is very dear – an uncommunicative little boy who warms to the new family cook, finds her sad about missing her old icon, and decides to paint one for her.

  32. What a precious wee one!

    I sold an item on Marketplace for $5

    Redeened coupons at a local store for the following:
    1 dozen eggs .69
    1 half gal ice cream .99
    10lb chicken legs and thighs for 3.90
    Loaf of bread for .79(white bread but I can deal with it)
    Free 1 lb hot potato wedges(Saved $3)
    Individual cream pie for 1.79(Saved 1.10)
    Big bags of tortilla chips for .79(was able to get 2 of those, 1 of everything else)

    I received an email that 3 free magazine subscriptions are included with Kindle Unlimited

    My mom sent over sandwich meat, cookies, air freshener.

    Finished 2 more audiobooks.

    Brought home cookies from my book club meeting

    Returned 2 clothing items that didn’t fit the 14yo promptly for a refund. It wasn’t anything pressing so we’ll find replacements eventually. We got away spending little for back to school…she did get new underclothes and socks, then a few shirts, a pair of shorts, and a pair of leggings. The zipper on her 3 year old backpack busted, so we ended up having to replace that at the end of the first week.

    I purchased her an activity pass for $10. It let’s her into all the games all year saving a ton of money.

    My husband grilled 2/3 of the bag of chicken, then I saved the rest to fry another night.

    Watched stuff on dvr, Netflix, disney plus, and Hulu. The 14yo and I were excited we got to watched Cruella finally this weekend.

    The 14yo brought home her snack leftovers from staying at my mother in laws.

  33. Congratulations on joining the ranks of besotted grandparents! Beautiful pictures.
    This week I picked up a dozen free donuts from Krispy Kreme. This is their birthday reward. We served these along with homemade brownies, homemade chocolate zucchini muffins, and grapes, for my husband’s birthday celebration with our daughters and neighbors.
    CVS app has a coupon for $7.98 off 2 Colgate toothpaste. I bought 2 for $3.99 each, so the 2 of them were free!
    I sent an email to a local ice cream place, politely telling about the poor service and wrong orders at our visit yesterday. They kindly replied and will be refunding our bill.
    DSW is collecting new and used shoe donations and they apply $10 credit to your member account for each pair donated in August. I have donated 2 pairs so far (they will give credit for up to 4, I’m just not sure if it has to be 4 separate times, or if they will take 4 at once). Tomorrow I will go with 2 more pairs, to see if I can donate both. Otherwise I’ll at least get credit for one pair. I also have my birthday reward of $10, so I will have at least $40 credit to put towards a needed new pair of shoes.
    Ebay sales have picked up all of a sudden. I haven’t sold anything in a while, and all of a sudden 3 things in a row have sold. Unexpected and very nice!

  34. Such a beautiful baby. I’m glad you posted pictures of them on your blog. I don’t have Instagram and miss alot of pictures. Idaho is a beautiful state. My husband and I traveled from West Virginia to the West visiting Army friends in 2006. We visited friends in Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Idaho. Our friend lived near Boise. From there we went to Yellowstone. One place in Idaho we enjoyed visiting was Craters of the Moon Natonal Monument Park. It was very interesting. If you get a chance you should read about it.
    I have a question about substituting applesauce for oil? Do you use the same amount?
    I can’t think of any frugal things we did this week. My husband needed something from AutoZone so I bought a gift card to there at Krogers to get the fuel points.

    1. I used the same amount of applesauce for oil. The first time I tried it I substituted part of it. The next time I just went ahead and used it for the whole amount.

      1. I used to do this with pancakes, then one day forgot the oil AND the applesauce. I haven’t made them with either since then. Shhh no one has noticed yet.

  35. I am happy for you to get to spend time with your daughter and family. I saw your videos of the falls and they are so pretty.
    * I drove 50 miles to a farm in Tennessee that advertised corn for $4.50 a dozen or 5 dozen for $15. I asked if I could get 8 dozen for $3 a dozen and he said yes. As I was paying another worker loaded it in my car and I heard him tell him to fill the crate. I paid $24 and when I got home I had 11 dozen. So I got it for $2.18 a dozen. I spent two days shucking, cutting off the cob, milking the cob, blanching, and bagging to freeze. I got 20 quart bags.
    * My son that is stationed 2.5 hours away came home a few days. I had my other two that live in town over for supper. I made King Ranch casserole and a lemon pound cake.
    * My hydrangeas are all new this year, so I don’t want to cut too much, but I cut about 20 flower heads and have them in 3 trays around on tables to dry. They look pretty with the colors faded. https://www.instagram.com/p/CTANttMn25g/?utm_medium=copy_link
    * I harvested tomatoes and okra. I pulled green bean plants.
    * Our area has a really bad army worm infestation. We had to buy stuff to treat the yard, they were everywhere. I don’t like treating, but it was bad.
    * My husband built the first of 3 garden boxes on my hill. We have the wood for 3, but it is over 90⁰ in humid Alabama and then the hurricane Ida storms are coming in, so hopefully this weekend. Eventually we will have 24 boxes, but will have to add a little at a time. It was $200 for the wood for 3. Here is a photo https://www.instagram.com/p/CTGTdJWn6Xu/?utm_medium=copy_link.
    * My daughter and I attended a paint and wine event my son gave me for my birthday. We painted a wine bottle. It was fun to be with her.
    * I intended to go shopping to continue to stock all I can, but never made it out this week. I have pantry and freezers full so I have food, I am just trying to stock all I can, trying to get a year supply of food, medicine, toiletries, cleaning products, office supplies, sewing notions. Another area is medical….getting appointments for things now. I got an appointment to have the dog neutered and chipped. I am getting my eye exam and new glasses. I also heard things like tires and car parts are harder to get so if you have any car maintenance it is wise to do it now. I am also looking at clothes to make sure I don’t need anything. I have underwear on my list. I need winter socks to wear with boots. Other than that I am pretty set.
    * I cleaned out my wallet I haven’t been using since the pandemic started, I quit taking my purse shopping so I won’t have to put it in the buggy and get germs on it. I found a $6o Costco card, and a card with $68 from my daughter that gives plasma- they give her a $200 visa every time she gives plasma and I buy it from her so she can use the money for bills. I am thinking I may start giving plasma, it takes a few hours, but for $200! I think it is every 6 months you can donate, or sell it to them.

    1. My son-in-law donates plasma twice a week.

      He needs to be well hydrated to do this, so he drinks water constantly. Je just keeps a water bottle with him at all times.

  36. Brandy,
    Such wonderful Blessings you have shared. I know you were thrilled to see your children, your daughter’s husband and meet your sweet grandchild. Are you lucky enough that two of those young people graduate at the same time?

    This week I sewed a doll’s arm back on, repurposed a container to package a baked Birthday gift, collected Nasturtium & Swiss Chard seeds. I used Basil, Oregano, Rosemary and Carrot Tops all from the garden to make pesto and used that as a delicious pasta sauce. I made BlackBerry and Cream Cheese croissants for breakfast, using some of our blackberries. I was also able to harvest a few small squash, zucchini, green beans, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, blueberries and many herbs.
    I used the online order and drive up and go for the first time at Safeway, I had a $10 promo code. Their prices are exorbitant but I made the minimum $45 order up by mostly loss leaders and bone in chicken thighs at a good price. On a side note, someone else picking out produde for me is not my favorite thing.
    I was particularly anxious one day after hearing news, one way I get through stress is cleaning (and praying while doing so). I made up a paste of homemade brass cleaner and polished all the brass doorknobs on the entrances to our house, organized under my kitchen sink, and dusted.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week and takes time each day to marvel at your many Blessings.

      1. I had leftover dough in my freezer and that I thawed out and a bounty of homemade blackberry jam, so yes this time it was incredibly easy. A very easy edition would be store bought crescent rolls, a small pat of cream cheese, a 1/2 tsp BlackBerry jam and 2 or 3 blackberries rolled up in the crescents.

    1. I wish I had the urge to clean when I was upset or stressed out. Would my house be clean! I seem to lose all energy.

  37. Brandy how lovely you were able to have a get away together and witness the endowment, sealing and blessing of Winter and husband’s baby 🙂 , how very special. Also congratulations on becoming a first time grandmother I am sure you will love it. How beautiful the river walk at Idaho Falls.

    Our savings added up to $2719.42 last week :).

    In the kitchen –
    – We made 3 loaves of wholemeal white bread saving $10.47 over buying them locally.
    – Made all meals from scratch.

    Purchases –
    – From the Men’s Shed we purchased a near new soil leveler for $20 saving $24.95 on buying it new.
    – Also from the men’s shed we purchased a lovely antique 8 – 10 seater solid oak 2.4 m L x 1 metre W extendable dining table for $60. I have looked online and pinned the age of it down to the 1800’s or similar to the Windsor or Hampton style tables. The top does need restoration and varnishing but the rest is in perfect condition and we know we can do this restoration with little cost. Looking up information on this table online we saved $2440 or more going on the prices I a saw on similar tables.
    – We decided with DH’s tax cheque to purchase 2 x 3 and 2 x 2 sliding door wardrobes from Fantastic furniture and have now assembled them and put our clothing in them. They look so nice and everything is far more organised and neat than using clothes hanging racks.
    – From Godfrey’s we purchased a carpet shampooer which was the last in stock demo model and saved $50.

    In the home –
    – Before we installed our wardrobes we deep cleaned the bedroom by damp dusting all the skirting boards, window sills, furniture and underneath and vacuuming the room. We did also give everything a good clean afterwards too. It smells so much fresher in the bedroom now.
    – We shampooed 2 rugs and the rest of the carpet in the home with our new carpet shampooer saving us $189 over paying a carpet cleaner to do it for us and that was even including the cost of the 5 litre bottle of carpet shampoo we purchased.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15.

  38. We also have a cargo (e-bike) and it functions as our second car. I love it WAY more than driving our car. I love not having to fill it up with gas and worry about the environmental impact of another car on the road. It is so much fun and we’ve saved so much money with it!

  39. Such beautiful photos of your trip and the sealing! Congrats, Brandy!

    I don’t know if I have any great savings tips anymore, it seems to be always the same things, but I learn so much from this blog and want to contribute and support it.

    Living frugally in Portland:

    *I am trying to keep up with my producing garden! When we had our 3-day stretch of 110+ days I was convinced my garden was a goner, but it seemed to thrive through our super hot summer. I planned ahead a little better this year, making sure I grew things in batches according to what we actually eat. One batch is pico de gallo: tomatoes, cilantro, onions. Another is spaghetti and pizza sauce: tomatoes, onions, oregano, basil (I’ve frozen a ton of this in quart baggies to use through the winter) and another is dinner salad: lettuce, spinach, kale, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes. I also have SO much zucchini. I froze loaves of regular and chocolate zucchini bread and when I got sick of baking, I grated, measured and froze individual baggies of zucchini to make fresh bread, cake and muffins through the winter. I planted a lot of flowers but only my sunflowers came up.

    *I learned that our district is providing lunch to ALL students this school year. Maybe other districts throughout the country are doing this as well? My kids are not big school lunch fans, but I’m headed back to work so I’ve told them they need to make their own lunches from whatever we have on-hand or get a hot school lunch. It feels so good to be relieved of the chore of making lunches every school day!

    *I had my kids (teen boys) go through their drawers to get rid of any clothes that were stained/torn or too small. I took a few of their t-shirts and a pair of barely worn sneakers for myself (mostly to workout in), then together we surveyed the rest and took the best pieces to Buffalo Exchange for store credit. With the store credit they bought new (used) clothes for school. The prices are a bit higher there than a typical thrift store, but they have great brands and styles. I picked up a beautiful flannel shirt for myself for $8. It will be perfect for autumn in Portland.

    *My kids and husband attended a minor league baseball game with comp tickets from a friend. I stayed home and had my first night alone since probably before the pandemic began. I told my husband it was the best night of my life, lol. I did get a start on weekend chores and hung up laundry to dry on the line, but also read, ate some chocolate and took a fun evening bike ride.

    *I had wanting a new pair of white sneakers to start the school year (I work in a school) but instead I searched up instructions on how to properly clean my current white sneakers (organic cotton white Nikes) and replaced the laces.

    *I found a carabiner in our garage and rigged it to the outside of my eldest son’s school backpack to hold his face masks (schools have a mask mandate here). He has autism and tends to lose such things, so I’m hopeful this will help keep me from constantly buying him new masks.

    * Other son is playing Ultimate Frisbee and is supposed to bring discs to practice. I found some among my Buy Nothing group rather than buying them new. I also needed a baby book for a baby shower I am attending and received a great Sandra Boynton book, very gently used, from a neighbor. I gave away some fresh zucchini and a birthday banner to my group this week.

    * Both kids received their student body cards that act as their city bus passes this week. This is a huge savings to our family for our kids not to have to pay bus fare as we only have one car and the kids depend on public transportation and their bikes to get around town independently.

    * I also enrolled my youngest in a clinical study (with his permission) which we hope will eliminate his potentially fatal peanut allergy. He will be paid to be part of this study. We agreed together to put the funds towards a high quality laptop that he can use through college.

    * I created a spreadsheet that shows all of our job benefits and perks, as well as info on how to access them and when/if they expire. We are lucky to have some good ones, but I always worry about forgetting about them and not taking full advantage. I think the spreadsheet will help.

    1. On a blog that I read, a mom mentioned buying mask lanyards on Amazon for her kids that have a safety breakaway. Not sure teens would like these but they would be great for younger kids who lose masks!

  40. Hi, what a beautiful granddaughter you have! What a nice surprise for us! Thank you for sharing the pictures. I will keep Turo in mind, if we ever go anywhere again where we need a rental car. The last two weeks for me have been about finding things to cook that I have all the ingredients for without going to the store even once. The Covid-19 surge in our county has been really high. I found out today that a number of the few doctors in our small town that has a hard time even getting doctors to live and work here are sick with Covid. I also found out that a number of people who had just tested positive for Covid were seen at the county fair. Maybe that helps explain why the hospital is practically full; Med/Surg and ICU are all for Covid patients, and five people died there last week. General surgeons are the Covid doctors; there are no surgeries. It’s a good thing the county got a refrigerated truck to use for storing the dead because the funeral home is full. One tip I picked up was that a nurse who cares for Covid patients every day and cannot take the vaccine because of anaphylactic reactions takes the usual vitamins C, D, and zinc daily but also goes home after her shift, takes a hot shower for five minutes and then turns the water to cold for a minute. She is careful with her protective gear, and she has stayed healthy so far. I have been staying home cooking, so I thought I would share what I found. I found a wonderful recipe for vegan french toast that uses chia seeds at minimalistbaker.com/basic-vegan-french-toast. I ground the chia seeds in a small electric coffee grinder that was very inexpensive when I bought it years ago. I use it to grind flax seeds for a toast topping that has walnuts in it. The chia seeds were some I had in the freezer from a wonderful sale I found some time ago. They are super nutritious, and I love that I can make such healthy as well as tasty french toast. I used my usual home ground, homemade Prairie Gold white whole wheat bread. For toppings I served the usual peanut and applesauce and then I drained the light syrup off a can of apricots and whizzed the apricots in the blender for another sauce topping. I also served slivered almonds and unsweetened coconut shreds for garnishes. Another recipe I found that we really liked was a Red Lentil Soup from healthyfitnessmeals.com/red-lentil-soup. I left out the pepper, cumin, and tumeric, and it tasted great. I like that red lentils are so quick cooking; the soup took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Another recipe that was a big hit was a stir-fry recipe from noracooks.com/vegan-stir-fry. I didn’t have all the vegetables the recipe calls for; I used what I happened to have which was carrots and some yellow onions and sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange, and green), peppers that I happened to find on a good enough sale that I had actually bought some. (I found that they keep pretty well in the crisper drawers of the frig.) I don’t usually saute things in oil, so I left out the olive oil. I usually sweat vegetables, in that I use a tiny bit of water instead of oil to cook them in a frying pan instead of oil. That way I can cut unhealthy fat and cut calories, as well as expense. I didn’t have any fresh garlic, so I used powdered. I didn’t have any chicken seasoning, but I have been trying a suggestion from my daughter which is to use a combination of onion powder and nutritional yeast flakes (that I buy in bulk at Fred Meyer or WinCo) whenever a recipe calls for “chicken” seasoning. A vegetarian “chicken” seasoning is a common ingredient in vegetarian recipes. Often that kind of seasoning contains a lot of salt, and the sodium is not healthy. Also, I think the yeast flakes and dried onion powder combo is a less expensive option, and I avoid paying for expensive salt. I forgot to use the nuts and sesame seeds, although I did have some on hand. (I especially like to use sesame seeds in cole slaw that has just shredded green cabbage, sesame seeds, and a dressing made from a little Miracle Whip salad dressing, honey, and lemon juice. I love the wonderful minerals the sesame seeds add.) For the stir fry sauce I used up some low-sodium vegetable broth my son left here, Bragg’s Aminos (which I always use in place of soy sauce), water, agave nectar (which is lower on the glycemic index for our resident diabetic), and cornstarch. One member of our family cannot eat spices and hot peppers because of digestive issues, (they are not good for me either) and we can certainly do without the oil, although it probably would add some flavor and smoothness. I didn’t have as many Soy Curls as the recipe called for, and I think it was fine. If I had had more different kinds of vegetables, I think leaving out the soy curls would be fine. I think the Butler company that makes the soy curls is still a small family-owned company, and I like supporting them. The soy curls are extremely light weight, and I order them and have them shipped. They are okay occasionally, but I don’t use them that much. I keep them and everything else like grains, etc. that have fat in them in the freezer to at least try to slow down oxidation because of the unhealthiness of oxidized fats, especially in processed foods like oatmeal . . . Then I ended up with leftover vegetables from several meals and a little leftover Spanish rice, so I cooked some more carrots, onions, and potatoes and added the leftovers. I used a packet of G. Washington broth (something I’m looking to find a substitute for because it has MSG in it) for seasoning. I made what we call chapatis to go with it from whole wheat flour, salt, and water. I stir up the dough, roll out balls, and cook both sides of the flattened dough in a dry frying pan. My son pronounced it “tasty;” my husband fortunately will eat most anything I cook. I wouldn’t cook so much and try new things, if he had not been so encouraging over the years. Anyway, this is probably more than anyone wants to read, but it is my attempt at saving money and staying out of the grocery store because of the Covid surge. Hope everyone has a healthy and safe week. Best wishes and congratulations to your children on their precious new one. Elizabeth H.

    1. I also try to cook/saute things in water or broth instead of oil. Started doing that when I discovered that one TBS of oil = 120 calories! That equals 45 minutes on the treadmill for me!

  41. Congratulations on the birth of your grandchild. Absolutely precious! And the photos of your family and Idaho are some of the most beautiful you have posted – and that’s saying something!
    On the topic of reading, The Kitchen Front, at long last, is on its way to me – finally! I am sure it will be worth the wait. I read “If I Were You” which was an easy read but dealt with themes of betrayal and loss in a way that really made you think “What would I do?” I like books like that. I slogged through “The Invisible Bridge” which was a tough read for me just because of where my head is at the moment. If you are able to concentrate a bit more than I can at the moment, give it a go. It is beautifully written.
    We are harvesting sweet corn which always makes the summer for me. My grandfather would have been 105 today and we always celebrate his birthday with foods he loved. He grew up on a farm in Ohio and always had a large garden so corn, beets, potatoes, and apple pie always make me think of him. We will celebrate with my parents tonight.
    My recent grocery trip was made $34 cheaper by utilizing sales and coupons.
    We continue our project of finishing the interior of our house and got my husband’s and my bedroom painted this weekend – a tough job since the windows needed to be taken apart and all metal removed so the raw wood would be sealed. Fortunately, in the future, that won’t need to be done again. It is nice to sleep in a room that is so fresh and bright. I am looking forward to putting up some of my favorite art in there – a series of prints of bird nests from a book my grandfather had. My uncle, who runs a frame shop, framed them for me years ago and they have been in a box in the closet since we move 3 years ago. Putting them back up will be like being with old friends again.
    Made a triple batch of Brandy’s laundry detergent – still the best homemade version I have tried. I prefer it with Ivory soap but have used pretty much everything and anything I have had on hand.
    Continuing to make sure we eat what we grow and use up food we have stockpiled.
    We did not harvest honey from the bees this summer as we still have quite a bit from last year. I always think when that happens that we are going to have a rough winter or a late Spring so they will make use of all the honey.
    We continue to earn a bit of extra money mowing for neighbors. That has helped off-set the cost of vaccines for the kitten we found this summer who is such a love. We all adore her.
    I have given a few more things I will not be using to my neighbors who have a booth in an antique shop – helps me clean out and earns a bit of extra cash that I can use for things like curtain rods and other things I am needing as I finish this house.
    Thinking ahead to Christmas and deciding what gifts I will be giving. We give practical, usually homemade, gifts so it takes a little planning ahead.
    Hope the coming of Fall is a joy and a blessing to all.

  42. What beautiful photos! Winter’s baby, your granddaughter!, is so lovely — imagine having all of that beautiful hair at birth. She is so sweet and beautiful. And it was nice you could attend the sealing ceremony.

    I was wondering how your son is doing? It must have been really nice to see him, too.

    I met “I”, who dropped off some of her delicious Norland apples. I decided to just enjoy them fresh and not make a pie. Thanks again, I.
    It was lovely to meet you.

    This was the first time my pear tree has had large pears (thanks to Brandy’s tip of thinning the little ones out). I was going to pick them the next day but found on the next day that every single pear (about 10 big ones and 40 small ones at the top of the tree) was gone. The evidence points to a squirrel as one of the pears was still on the tree, half-eaten plus a deer could not have stripped the high pears. It was my only fruit tree here that bore fruit this year — my sour cherries, plum and apple trees had nothing.

    I have been restocking my pantry. I lived off of it for the past month because my volunteer grocery shoppers/friends were out of town.
    It was good to do that as it meant I could refresh the supplies. I bought 3 cases of 12 cans each of Campbell’s cooking soup, usually priced at $10.98 or slightly more, for $5.88 per case. I bought 20 cans of Campbell’s Chunky soup for $1.68, normally $3 or more. I am not fond of the saltiness of canned soup. It will be for emergencies. My favourite lower sodium soup (Campbell’s rustic hometyle lentil soup) seems either to have been discontinued or for other reasons is just unavailable. I used to love Primo Soup that was made by a small Quebec company. There was a corporate merger and I’m not sure what happened but now it’s difficult if not impossible to find it. However, on their website (still under Primo), they give the recipes for their soups! I’ve found that PC Blue menu beef broth has very little sodium and costs $1.18 each. I will start using that to make my own lower sodium soups. I bought a large bag of zucchinis for $2.48. I plan on making a few veggie casseroles and a vegetarian lasagna. I also restocked a few of the Classico pasta sauces on sale. I also bought two bags of oatmeal on sale. I bought two kilogram bags of cheese for $12.98 each, usually $17.98. I put one in the freezer.

    My window washer has finished repainting the southern side of the house. It had faded. A window sill still needs work but I think it will have to be done next year. Although we matched the blue, the front door turned out to be much more vibrant than planned. I may replace the old door sometime soon anyway. His price was very reasonable and much less than a professional painter’s but the quality of his work was equivalent.

    It is time to get the yard ready for winter. I will be pulling some of the plants out of pots. Only one of my tomato plants had any tomato plants to speak of. Once again the most expensive tomatoes. Most of the perennial beds will not be cleared out until spring. It is good to leave the dead stalks until then as they act as mulch. My window washer/painter moved a trellis for me from the front of the house to the side and in between two other trellises — the two clematises will have more trellis support. So this summer, my rock garden dry bed was finished, except for planting.
    The garden fence was restained, the house front was repainted. I love painting but can no longer do it with my injured tendon. The house number was put up on a birch stump so it’s visible from the street.

    Three old pallets will be given to a friend who’d like them as well as old National Geographic magazines and a very old Britannica Encyclopedia.
    We are still working on our book. I can hardly wait to finish it. I’ve done house-related things but have a lot more to do.
    I took a day off and watched birds. There were hundreds of Franklin’s Gulls overhead, a pair of Flycatchers in my woods (stopping over on migration), a Swainson’s Hawk circling overhead. It seems as if there was a nest of woodpeckers nearby as there are about 4 tiny Downy woodpeckers. The usual winter visitors are here — there are lots of spruce cones on the ground and it is the first time I’ve seen Chickadees getting the seeds out of the cones — I’ve watched Crossbills doing this but not Chickadees. All in all, it was a very productive birding day. Between the extreme heat and the forest fire smoke, it feels as if we had no summer at all so I’m hoping that we have a great Indian summer, a couple of months of lovely weather before the first snow but that is probably hoping for too much.

    A friend stopped by and we had a lovely chat. Everyone seems to be feeling pressure from all directions. It helped me to finally see a friend outside. Bon courage.

    1. Hi Ellie’s Friend – as you mentioned that you cannot find your fav canned lentil soup, I would like to share with you one of my favorite home-made lentil recipes as it is hearty, easy to prepare and freezes well. I use red lentils and store-bought low salt vegetable broth or homemade veggie broth, have also added diced potatoes and have at times substituted swiss chard for the spinach as I will buy what is freshest/lower cost at grocers as I have not yet tried to grow those greens in my garden (scroll down for recipe, there may be an ad or two sorry about that). If making a batch for the freezer, I would not add the spinach until reheating to serve as it only takes a minute for the spinach to cook.
      https://www.thekitchn.com/lentil-soup-recipe-23004361?utm_source=pocket-newtab

      Your birding day sounds fun. We have many different species here as many stop on their journey from north to south. The goldfinches are happily eating the seed pods on my coneflowers, hummingbirds love the butterfly bushes and crepe myrtles (as do the butterflies), chickadees, cardinals, bluejays, robins, cooper and other types of hawks, etc.; the egrets and blue herons feed off our dock and swans and mallards and those dratted canadian geese (I know you are Canadian – not to insult you – but they do not migrate back to Canada, they poop all over, are much larger and more aggressive than our native mallards and teals and have taken over/destroyed their nesting sites) are in our bay and on our dock and bulkhead which they poop on. Perhaps you might enjoy the birding site from Cornell University, my dad’s alma mater. It is free, and you can enjoy various bird cams from around the world:
      https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/

      1. Mari – Our Canadian Geese are a bit of a pain! They often don’t even bother migrating south for Winter anymore – they are so well fed here – and Toronto Winters are milder than the rest of the country so they are indeed a bit of a pest!!! There are many parks here where you really have to watch where you walk because there is so much poop! There was a beautiful pond area at a university I used to work at and we often got requests for wedding photos – we warned them – but some just didn’t believe how bad it could be – many a pair of beautiful shoes were sacrificed to the geese!

  43. I meant to mention to some of the Canadian readers that the Bay is having a sale. Some of the Lord and Taylor things are on sale. As I have changed sizes (downward), online I bought a $45 blouse for $14.99, and a Calvin Klein blouse for half price. Elsewhere I finally found a front closing bra made by a small Ontario company for $19.99 — needed because of my injured tendon. Civilization returns! Ann

    1. Thanks for the tip on the Bay sale – I own a lot of Lord and Taylor clothing so will check it out.
      I also picked up a bag of that shredded cheese at No Frills – I repackaged it in 1 cup servings and got it into the freezer. I bought the Mozzarella but will watch for this deal again and buy the mixed cheddar next time.
      That is so annoying about your pears!

      1. The cheese at No Frills isn’t the same brand as at Superstore but the deals are almost equivalent price-wise.
        A friend told me that the cheese deals at Costco are even better.

  44. I love the pictures and learning how you saved money on your trip to Idaho.

    It has been a while since I have commented. A group I am in asked what do you do for rest time and I replied read this blog! My best friend’s parents live 1 hour 30 minutes from our house. They have a decent size garden. They were on vacation for two weeks when crops were ripe. They offered for my kids and I to go pick produce! We were able to get bags and bags and bags of apples. Those we have been eating morning, noon, and night and making apple sauce. We also got banana peppers, green beans, and tons of cherry tomatoes and some regular size tomatoes. We ate most of the food fresh and some of it was used to make soup. This was such a treat. The only thing we planted this year was 4 cherry tomato plants and 1 regular tomato plant. The regular plant will give us 1 tomato. The 4 cherry tomato plants is giving us less than 50 tomatoes. I have got research to do for next year on soil and fertilizer.

    Our family is in a wonderful homeschool group that has members from 5 counties. I am in the central part of KY where I can get to most events driving 5-30 miles one way. To save on gas our family focuses on the events that happen closer to home. This is a huge savings since our vehicle gets 11-13 miles a gallon. I feel so blessed we have a handful families who live less than 5 miles from our house. And other friends who love driving to our house and hanging out for games and movie nights.

    I grew up eating cereal every morning for breakfast. Not my 4 growing kids. They eat oatmeal most mornings and sometimes we eat scramble eggs. My husband bought a box of cereal (generic brand discounted even more at a discount store) as a treat for himself. He asked our 8 year old to get the cereal and my son’s reply was a question “What is cereal? What am I getting?”
    Last week we made a trip to Bargain Hunt. A store that sells everything discounted prices. This time I found shoes for one of my kids and myself and V8 energy drinks for my husband and special snack treats.

    1. I love it!

      We don’t buy cold cereal either. When we were getting the school meals, it was a treat for my children. My husband enjoyed a couple of bowls of cornflakes at the hotel! I haven’t bought cold cereal for 15 years.

  45. So happy for you Brandy. It must have been lovely to see your kids again after so long and to welcome your beautiful new granddaughter to the family. She looks so perfect. Looking forward to more pictures of Idaho. I’ve never been there before.

    My son finished his GED this month. That’s two kids done with high school and one more to go. He is working as a cook in a nursing home and planning to start college soon. I don’t know if he will go the junior college route or focus more on CLEP tests this year to make his money stretch further. He came across a nonprofit called Modern States that offers free professor taught prep classes for CLEP exams. They will even pay some of the test fees, potentially making your first year of college free. Has anyone else heard of this? I think it could be legitimate, they seem to have at least one special arrangement with Purdue in Indiana.

    My older daughter graduated from junior college this month with high honors. She had to defer nursing school because of lockdowns and money, but she plugged away online this past year to finish the associate of arts degree. Last week she started nursing school at the private college and hopes to finish with a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree in the next two years. We will see how it goes. Life seems so unpredictable these days. I’m so very proud of her. She’s worked very hard.

    I guess I also feel a little vindicated. Is that wrong? We had so many family and friends that were less than supportive about us homeschooling. We also had many uncertainties at different times wondering if it was the best thing for our kids. It’s not for every kid or every family. We tried to take it year by year. But it was almost like baking a cake that doesn’t come out of the oven for 20 years. You get the best ingredients you can find, follow someone else’s directions, listen and love your kids as much as you can and hope for the best. At least that’s been my experience.

    We continue to pay down our debt as we can trying to create more cash flow and directing that extra money in to some kind of savings or asset that might endure the price increases and inflation that seem to be headed our way. I hear a lot of conflicting opinions and advice about what the next few years might be like. I’m not sure what to believe, but it can’t hurt to have less debt, or to try to stockpile some non perishable food. So that’s what we’ve been doing. Paying off car loans, closing old lines of credit, refinancing the house, anything that might make our financial ship tighter or more seaworthy. We’ve been a one income family for over 20 years. We’ve always made it work, but we have almost nothing for retirement and I worry about my husband losing his job or getting injured and being unable to work. Sorry guys, this is getting dark. Moving on . . .

    Do you have any thoughts about extra income Brandy? I know you don’t want to monetize this blog, and that you had some other ideas you were working on. How have the lockdowns affected your photography business? Garden Pat seems to be thriving with her quilting business and excellent side hustle skills. We’ve tried a few small businesses, but none of them have been profitable. My husband did do some work on the side for his brother, but that ended and never made more than $8000 per year. Does anyone have any stories or resources to share about working from home?

    1. My third son just finished his GED last week! We are celebrating with him tonight. He plans to go to the community college for the first year at least. He is trying to get a job now and I am hoping he will start at the community college in January.

      I know how you feel about homeschooling. I have found that thanks to Covid, the comments towards homeschooling have mostly changed. Instead of, “I could never do that” or “I could never be around my kids all day” (which I find sad), I now hear, “You’re so smart to homeschool!” “Oh, that’s good that you homeschool!” It’s been such a complete attitude shift and I feel so much less judged by people now.

      I do make a little money from my blog via Amazon, but I have considered making some changes to make more. The hard part is my time. Though my one son has just finished his school, another child has started, so I am still teaching five children at home, and it is taking up most of my day. I am struggling to get many chores done at home right now as I prioritize my children’s schooling.

      Lockdown prevented me from working as it was non-essential, so I was not allowed to work in the spring. Getting business is the hardest part. I have decided to try for one more year, for now, and see how it goes. Finding clients is a lot of work, and business licensing and other expenses are at least $1500 a year, let alone equipment.

      Once your debt is paid off, you can work towards paying off your home early. Having a paid-off home will be a huge help in retirement age. I had hoped that my photography business would enable us to do this, but the income isn’t there yet, and my time to be able to work is very limited.

      I think having multiple streams of income is wise. Even small helps add up!

      Having a well-stocked pantry helps too, especially as prices go up.

    2. one area you may be able to start bringing a small income is selling books. You may find homeschooling books cheap and flip those.

      * I kept a small income going when I find very cheap items at thrift stores garage sales, or from the curb and resell them. Some I paint and totally redo, others it is just a matter of staging it when you take a photo to resell for profit.

      * I had a booth at a local antique mall and a woman would bring home baked cinnamon rolls and breads on Friday and she had a baker’s rack in the kitchen of the store and people would come for 5he weekend and buy them. She became known to have them.
      Another friend made cinnamon rolls and rented a table at the Saturday Farmers market and made a lot that way. So, it only required Friday baking and Saturday selling.

      * I have baby sat for kids after school in the neighborhood from when they got off bus until parents got home. I was also available when there was a holiday the parents didn’t have off work.

      * pet sit, house sit, water gardens while people are away, offer to shop for elderly people.

      * I used to cross stitch for a shop in exchange for supplies and framing of my projects. They displayed the ones I did for them as examples. * I bought a smocking pleater and would pleat for people that wanted to smock, but didn’t have a pleater.

    3. Stacy, Brandy and others who have talked about business and mentioned me a couple times. Here’s what I can share. Having 11 kids, people around us assumed we didn’t have money for a lot of things (we didn’t) so because they knew us, they offered paying side jobs- usually one-offs. We cleaned up after construction crews for a builder friend (Got to take home free lumber scraps besides money!), done yard clean-up, worked in vendors’ booths at craft shows (our kids, because pay was better than working in our family booth!🥴), did handyman jobs, car repairs, sewing alterations and upholstery, just to name a few.
      The thing is, word of mouth traveled that “the Lewis’s would probably do it!” for many odd jobs.
      I’ve quilted for years- first out of necessity when we moved from desert Southwest to mountains in Southern CA where we got lots of winter/snow. Then I discovered I loved it! Friends, again because they felt like I might not be able to buy lots of fabrics or because they knew I had a motto- “No scrap left behind”, started giving me all their “leftover” fabrics from a project they finished. So my stash started growing exponentially. Word got out. There are times I will be gifted fabric/other things we can’t use but we still thank the giver and pass along the things we don’t want.
      Hubs and I took the 12 week Creating and Growing a Business self reliance class offered through our Church. It is available online free to anyone, member or not. That helped us a lot!!
      My daughter and I found a longarm machine for quilting. I had previously, over the years, had 2 others- a “short-arm” from quilt shop and a mid-arm I bought used from out of state. Neither had been a good experience and were not working more often than not! So we did massive research and found a used, reliable and durable machine- not the biggest, not with computer, but one where they give free classes on how to use, maintain and even fix any glitches yourself.
      We started quilting our own UFO’s and then those of our family members to increase our confidence. We talked about and showed photos of what we were doing. Mentioned it in conversation if someone would ask what we had been doing. No pushy hard sell at all. And people started calling. Friends, family, people we knew from social media and then it started snowballing.
      Here’s a video from a couple of woodworkers Hubs likes to follow. I think their ideas can be translated into any kind of business you might have.
      https://youtu.be/MRmd-GW_1c0

      Hope that isn’t too wordy and that it might give others some ideas!!

      Gardenpat in Ohio
      HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

      1. Gardenpat, many things landed on our doorstep as well because they knew we had a lot of kids and didn’t have a lot of money. Our kids were offered a lot of odd jobs (that their kids wouldn’t do) for the same reason. Built a good work ethic and skill set, as well as appreciation. ❤️

    4. Yes, I am very familiar with CLEP tests. I would advise looking into CLEP testing without paying for the classes. Anyone can buy CLEP materials to prepare for the testing and most state colleges/universities offer proctored testing. I passed many CLEP tests without studying the materials because it was what was taught in high school. It is a great way to save money while getting college credit for classes because CLEP tests are inexpensive. https://clep.collegeboard.org/

    5. I love your analogy of home education like a cake baking for 20 years. Neither of my children have ever been to school and I can relate to your sentiment. My children are 9 and 10 so I love reading the experiences of families who are further along in their journey. Best to you and yours!

    6. I don’t think it is wrong at all to feel happy about the success of your homeschooling! And I understand only too well feeling judged! My own mother has been less than supportive over the years, making little comments such as how nice it would be for my kids if they could have someone other than only their mother for their teacher, etc. I am even a trained classroom teacher with a Masters degree in Education, and she still made negative comments! Well, our oldest is currently half way through a Ph.D. in Biology, and has already earned an undergraduate degree and a Masters degree in Biology—and he has cerebral palsy as well as learning disabilities. Then last year, our youngest took the ACT exam and scored a 35 out of 36–thus earning a full ride scholarship to the expensive private Christian university where my husband teaches—and she was only in 10th grade! You can bet I finally felt “justified” in our homeschooling!

  46. *Earned more credit card reward points, so our balance is almost $600! We are saving up for a Disney trip next year, so we ear marked these funds for that purpose.
    *Found large mixed media journals for $2.50 in Target’s clearance school supply section.
    *My daughter is getting a $150 bonus from her college for being vaccinated.
    *I bought the ebook versions of some literature books our library didn’t have for our homeschool year. The savings on ebooks versus paperbacks can be really substantial sometimes.
    *I found like new jeans for my husband for $10 at the thrift store. This brand sells for $30+ so I thought that was a good deal.

    https://thethriftyeducator.com/2021/08/31/frugal-things-33/

    1. Elizabeth, I jumped over to your blog and absolutely laughed out loud when you included “eye-rolls and their cousin the long sigh” under “What’s Saving Me”. TRUTH, sister! *high five* (I might add their auntie, the facepalm…)

    2. Hi Elizabeth,
      Since you are saving for a trip to Disney next year, you may want to start looking for Disney t-shirt and other items at garage sales, Target and the Dollar Tree. They are SOOO expensive in Disney.
      There are lots of blogs with suggestions for saving money at Disney; just Google it.😊
      I watched several vlogs that helped me to decide what were must sees, and what in park treats I wanted to try. One great tip was to bring a refillable water bottle. I am so glad we did as bottled water is very expensive. I also learned that each walk up restaurant will give you a cup of ice water, @ no charge, if you ask them.
      Watching vlogs and planning our trip was part of the fun for me. I hope enjoy it too.

      1. Thanks Ellie! My best friend is a public school choir director who goes to Disney every other year with her students so she has been a wealth of info. I am amazed at how expensive it will be! She recommended All Ears as a blog to follow for tips on Disney. I hope we can balance being somewhat frugal with making sure the kids get all they can out of the trip because it’s their first time. My daughter is 17 and my son is 10 so they have been waiting awhile for this trip and we are calling it my daughter’s graduation present/senior trip so the hype is building.LOL

  47. So delighted to see this joyous update on Winter, her marriage and her little family. Congratulations to all on the birth of the beautiful little baby.

  48. Hi Brandy and everyone
    It has made my day to see your photos, you and your husband looking so well and happy, Winter and her husband and baby ditto and the adorable close up of the baby. Joy unbounded. The park looked like a lovely place to spend time too.
    Last week my grocery bill was substantially less than usual so I stocked up on cleaning materials that were on a deal. I also found grapefruit at a reduced price. There are some significant gaps on the supermarket shelves.
    I had my free NHS eye test ( over 60s and children) and happily my prescription has remained the same for 2 years and I don’t need new glasses. The optometrist checked my two pairs of glasses and said they were in good condition and nothing needed tightening up.
    I bought 10 plain calico shopping bags for £1 each. I appliqued a Labrador onto one which I will use for my daughter’s birthday gift bag. I am trying to move away from one use disposable wrapping but fabric to make gift bags is expensive, even charity shops have raised their prices so the calico bags are good value.
    We attended a family picnic on the beach and took homegrown tomatoes, homemade coleslaw and shortbread as part of our contribution. Leftovers came home for several lunches.
    I made vegetable soup again with a chicken carcass for stock.
    Our son in law went sea fishing and brought us over some black bream and one daughter brought over leftover uncooked burgers from her work barbecue, together with a big bag of chopped onions which I portioned out and froze. We gave them some of our tomatoes.
    My husband is president of our local agricultural show society and we spent two days fulfilling our duties at the show. We received free coffees, lunches and Pimm’s each day and I was given a bouquet of flowers.
    My husband planted Brussel sprout plants, more kale and purple sprouting broccoli.
    Over the last two weeks we’ve picked and processed/ frozen/ eaten, broad beans, runner beans, beetroot, Swiss chard, potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, crystal lemon cucumbers, cooking apples, a few plums and blueberries and our neighbour kindly said we could pick the pears from their tree, which I did ( they don’t like pears).I picked dahlia and sweet peas for the house and roses which I am drying for rose tea as an experiment.
    Stay safe everyone.

  49. Hello Everyone!
    I’m commenting a day late as I was busy canning 24 pints of pears from our tree yesterday. 🤪 I’m so glad you had a wonderful and thrifty trip Brandy. Your grand baby is beautiful! I look forward to the day I have some myself. 😍

    Last week Safeway had $0.99/lb. pork sirloin roasts on sale. I bought 3 and froze 2. I’m still trying to get the best deals to keep my freezer and pantry full by watching the weekly ads.

    We’ve had lots of garden produce such as lettuce, beets, turnips, green beans, cucumbers, etc. In addition, we’ve been eating fresh pears and apples from our trees. I pulled out some expired veggie plants and will amend the soil for fall. I already started fall seeds indoors.

    I filled up my gas tank at Costco. Prices have risen to $4.06/gallon. We have been researching and pricing new mattresses for a year (to replace an 18 year old one! )..We finally purchased one from Costco. Their prices and return policy can’t be beat. We did negotiate on one at a local mattress store but decided on the Costco one instead. For those unaware, mattress and box springs are price negotiable. The salesman did say prices will increase next month and box springs are harder to find due to supply shortages.

    I’ve been wanting to learn tennis. I signed up for Tennis I at the local community college. It’s 2x per week for a semester. The cost of this class is equivalent to one private lesson in my area!!! I’m using my daughter’s tennis racket (purchased used from her coach for $25). I thought I would mention this inexpensive option to gain new skills as our parks and rec department haven’t reopened classes yet. I noticed the CC offers home ec type classes (no longer offered at public high schools) such as baking, culinary and personal finance. It may be of interest to dual-enrolled teens.

    My husband is having a milestone birthday soon. I asked all his friends and family to send a photo and birthday message. I assembled them into a book using Shutterfly. I also had a photo printed on canvas for my grandmother’s birthday. I utilized every available coupon to save 50% and get free shipping. I think it’ll be a cherished gift for each of them!

    Have a blessed and beautiful week! 🍎

    1. Julie, just wanted to reinforce having teenagers take personal finance and cooking classes whenever and wherever you can find them. Community college is an excellent suggestion. My son took personal finance classes for 9 weeks in high school, and I sat with him EVERY NIGHT to make sure he got it! Yes, he did! Nearly 25 years late, he not only balances his checkbook every month, he checks it nearly every day online! LOL! I taught him to cook during his senior year in high school. He didn’t marry until he was 39 so he really appreciates that one, even though he really wanted to hang out with his friends at the time. He has learning disabilities, so I focused more on basic cooking skills than on following recipes. He did graduate to recipes, but give him some ingredients and he’ll come up with something good!

  50. Congratulations on the birth of your grandchild! I look forward to your posts each week. We were also blessed with our 2nd grandchild last week. Fortunately she was born before Hurricane Ida arrived. Our son & his family live in Louisiana and stayed at home to ride out the hurricane. They had no damage to their property, but the electric grid is expected to be down for 3-4 weeks at least.

  51. Brandy, that trip sounds so beautiful! I’m glad for you!

    I think we’ve had our final cold snap (in South Africa) and the weather is warming up nicely. I have several seedlings ready to go into the vegetable garden – very thankful for the little greenhouse my husband gave me for my birthday for starting seeds! I’ve been harvesting Swiss chard, lettuce, cabbage (red and green), celery, carrots, and a few beets too. Since tomorrow is the first official day of spring, the children and I will spend the day planting those seedlings (including lots of tomatoes) as well as beans, cucumbers, squash and zucchini, and getting more seeds into trays for bell peppers, eggplants and chillies (we’ve been waiting for warmth to plant these). Several of these are seeds I saved from last year, saving me quite a bit. I also have beautiful compost from our worm bins to enrich the soil for planting – not only is this free, but it is made using organic waste that would otherwise go to the landfill.

    I bought some more yarn and fabric at a sale last week, and sewed shorts for my boys. I didn’t really need more yarn or fabric, but it was a good sale, and one of the ways I plan to keep costs down as prices rise is to start making more clothing myself. I also accepted a bag of clothing my niece and nephew had outgrown, which included a few pairs of shoes in good condition in my daughters size.

    I found a good price on butter and bought several blocks. I pass right by a store that has an “end of day ” shelf for bakery foods every Monday afternoon. I pop in and check it every week. They often have garlic bread marked down, I buy and put it in the freezer. It’s nice to have but expensive if purchased at the regular price. Even though the weather is warming up, I’m still serving soup quite regularly. It’s inexpensive and healthy, and I make a large pot which then serves for several meals. As often as I can, I double or triple a meal to keep extra meals in the freezer. Life has been so busy, and quite stressful at times, and having meals on hand is a huge blessing.

    Ive been delighted to watch my newly married daughter adopt thrift and economy in her own household. Her and her husband both work full time, so they make good use of their slow cooker and bread maker (the first things they listed on their wedding registry!), and take leftovers for lunch. Even though it’s just the 2 of them, they buy some things in bulk at a nearby bulk foods store, preferring to eat more of the same things or find ways to store it in their little apartment rather than spend more. It’s heartwarming, really.

    Thanks everyone for sharing. Brandy is right, there is so much to learn from all of you!

  52. Idaho Falls is my hometown. I grew up here on a potato farm west of town, moved away for a few years for school and after I was married and the returned when we started having children. I recognized the falls/river on your Instagram post. It is a beautiful city and beautiful area this time of year. Hope you make it back here many times. I am very grateful for where I live. Congrats on your expanding family!

  53. Congrats to all on the beautiful baby! I bet you were so overjoyed spending time with your kids and new grandbaby.

    A few things that I did frugally last week included:
    1. I sat down and reviewed the toll costs from Home to Work. Either way I go I must take a toll road for part of the trip. I determined a route that cut the tolls in HALF for the day and was only a few minutes longer. This saves $2.34/day which for the month of August would mean a savings of $51.48.
    2. I have ramped my couponing and Ibotta savings back up. I only purchase items that I will use, get for free or are moneymakers. I have started watching some of the couponers on Youtube and have subscribed to a few more couponing instagram pages. I scored a lot of great deals in the last week.
    3. I also decided last weekend to get to selling on FB Marketplace again. I made $133 on FB and $115 on ebay, two of the items were pricier items. I plan on spending part of Labor Day weekend decluttering certain areas of the house and listing more. This brought my two week selling total to $388, all but $40 went into my Christmas envelope. Whatever I do not use on Christmas will go towards HOA dues that are due January 1st.
    4. This one is a Frugalish win. I took my girls to see the Paw Patrol movie as a treat, my four year old has never been to a theater. We went to the matinee. I packed their water bottles and bowls to divide popcorn in. We ran into Dollar Tree before hand to purchase a treat each and then only spent money on popcorn at the theater to divide amongst us.
    5. Both girls came down with colds the following day (thankfully COVID negative) and so we spent Saturday going through the clothes I put up for fall/Winter. I have a very short list of things each one needs because I have more than enough in each of their sizes. These clothes and shoes have come from hand me downs from older cousins, items picked up from my buy nothing group, amazing items from thrifting and purchases from sales. I am always buying ahead. What I didn’t anticipate was a change in “style” from my six year old that now has an opinion. So a lot of it was vetoed, which is fine because it will be saved for her younger sister and kept nicer.

  54. Congratulations to your family-beautiful pictures of your family, grandchild, and Idaho Falls. Thrifty action this week ( for all those nearing retirement age) was listening to MedigapSeminars.org, before registering for Medicare and supplement programs. A former neighbor who retired from the insurance industry, told us about these seminars and they were very informative before making decisions.

  55. What a beautiful picture! Looks like a blessing for the whole family. And you are grandparents! Welcome to the club!

    -Harvesting and canning continues. I did order and buy a 1/2 bushel of small cukes this spring. They just came. I made 2 ice cream pails of vodka refrigerator dills and I have 2 crocks of sweet pickles started. It takes 7 days to get them all completed. I canned 21 pints of sweet pickles. I canned the remainder into 5 quarts of dill pickles. I canned 8 more quarts of apple juice from wind fall apples. I also froze 3 pints of bell pepper strips.

    -Another tub of tomatoes picked. 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 8 pints of tomato soup, and 12 pints of salsa were canned and some tomatoes were ate fresh.

    -Pulled up the bean plants and peas. Harvested dried pods for seed for next year. I grow a green bean called Jade. I love them they tend to get longer if missed picking them and stay tender. Only thing left in the garden is tomatoes, cukes, peppers, and watermelon.

    -I made banana bread from frozen ripe bananas in the freezer. We ate this for breakfasts this week.

    -Deals this week was butter 2-$4.00. Bought 10# to restock. Never thought I’d see this price again! Corn on the cob 4-$1, bought a dozen to eat. Nothing else for good deals and only milk and creamer bought besides the butter and corn.

    -I helped with a funeral meal. I brought home a quart container of Sloppy Joe, 1/2 jelly roll pan of frosted sugar cookie bars, an 8 pack of hamburger buns, and a 1/2 pan of Rice Krispie treats. I froze half the sloppy joe and 4 buns for later and we ate the other half and 4 hamburger buns in 2 meals. This will create 4 meals for us. For free. We ate the Rice Krispie treats and I froze the sugar cookie bars.

    -Meals were: Goulash, lots of vinegar cukes; porcupine meatballs, 5 bean salad(remainder of the beans from the garden), Kansas cucumber salad, Sloppy Joe’s, fried walleye, grilled brats, spaghetti with fresh sauce, BLT’s and of course leftovers.

    -We were given a picnic table with a plastic top and benches. Very sturdy and in great shape. We have one, so we gave it to our daughter. We even hauled it out to her in the back of the truck. She lives 1 1/2 hours away but that way we got to see the grandkids and we had a nice visit.

    Have a great week!!

  56. Congratulations to your daughter on her baby, and to you on becominga grandmother! I hope she’s recovering well. And I’m glad you were able to visit your kids and have a vacation. I hope your son is doing well too.

    My frugal week(s):
    -made Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (http://approachingfood.com/pumpkin-spice-pancakes/) using homemade pumpkin pie spice
    – picked cherry tomatoes, snow peas, hot peppers, apples, and pears
    – made Texas Caviar (aka corn/bean/tomato salsa) using homegrown hot peppers (http://approachingfood.com/salsa-smackdown-pistol-packin-texas-caviar/)
    – made bean soup of out the leftovers from the salsa (http://approachingfood.com/easy-portuguese-inspired-bean-soup-with-kick/)
    – baked a chocolate snack cake and a batch of monster cookies
    – baked two banana bread loaves and gave one as a hostess gift 
    – baked several loaves of Irish soda bread for sandwiches 
    – made two pizzas using my homemade pizza dough (http://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/) and homegrown basil from my volunteer basil plant
    – gave my father a hair cut
    – made bubble solution for my daughter to play with several times
    – prepped lunches (hot mains plus salads or steamed greens) for my husband for the week
    – made kale sour milk pancakes (my regular pancakes plus a few handfuls of freezer-burned kale blended in. Added nutrition, plus no food waste, and no difference in taste) 
    – earned some money from ad revenue on my blog. I’ve set it aside to reinvest in my blog at a later date. 

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  57. I had heard of Idaho Falls but never seen it until you started posting on Instagram last week. It is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on the family: new baby, Sealing in Temple, son graduating…That’s a lot of happenings in a short span of time!
    I have overspent on my grocery budget this month but I’m not sorry about it in the least. I’ve stumbled on some amazing deals. Last week I went to the only ‘discount’ grocery we have near us. It’s ‘cost plus 10% and that’s not always a great price. I went alone so I was able to really concentrate in price comparisons. I found, quite by accident, two rolling racks of produce that had been marked down to 50c or $1 and I bought all the items we would use including collard greens. I haven’t cooked collards in YEARS but they were so good! and 50c! It made the equivalent of about 2 cans or more for us. I will however, do as a neighbor suggested and cook them outdoors in my crockpot in future if I find such a good buy again.
    I went into the store to purchase boneless skinless chicken breasts and happened to find a package of name brand that was even less than the sale. I have used/frozen all of the purchases I made that day. Also stocked up on some canned items to add to the pantry.
    Then on Saturday, my daughter and I went out to pick up $1.88lb butter at Kroger (limit 5 with coupon) and I found an air fryer for her for $60 which was a much nicer one than I’d considered earlier in the week from a store flyer. This was something she wanted for Christmas so I went ahead and got it.
    I had to buy a new phone as mine was dying and found a discontinued model for $63 and no need to change our phone plan in anyway which is awesome since we are grandfathered into an unlimited data plan for internet and tv.
    While in Target, an end cap was filled with tomato and pinto bean products so I grabbed several of those and put them in the pantry.
    All that said, the butter was the ONLY item I picked up after viewing this week’s sales flyers for four stores. I’m trying to really stock up my pantry even more deeply and looking everywhere for bargains, clearance items and unadvertised sales to do so.
    My daughter bought two gallons of paint to paint her bedroom. She rents the house from us and I took the money the paint cost off the rent, as she’s actually done me a huge favor in making this improvement. One gallon wasn’t needed and was also not tinted properly. She was going to take it back but I really liked the color and brought it home to use in my bathrooms.
    I placed an order for cosmetics last month and have had to be very diligent to get answers as to why I’ve not received it. I’ve been upset over this as the company didn’t reply to emails at first and the charges have gone through my cr card. They will not do anything due to their policy that once an item is fully paid for they don’t try to remove charges or reclaim money spent. I kept contacting the company and finally have gotten a reply and an answer of why I’ve not received anything. I’ll likely have to continue to be diligent to get this pushed through but I might end up with my items in the end and not just lose funds.

    1. Terri: You might also contact your credit card company and see what they can do to get money back.
      Or you might tell the cosmetic company you are doing so.

    2. Terri, you can contact the credit card company and tell them this and have them remove it as a disputed charge. The company will get 30 days to respond satisfactorily and if they don’t, the removal becomes permanent.

  58. Hi Brandy! I’m so glad you had a wonderful time with your family in Idaho. We have always loved to travel to Idaho Falls and I recognized it right off from your pictures. We have good memories of time spent there in Idaho. And congratulations to your daughter and husband on the birth of their sweet baby and temple sealing.

    *I’m always trying to figure out how to use up little things of leftovers. One thing that is always left over are the small tortilla chips. We’ve used them in to top our taco soup or chilis. But I also like to use them as a crust for quiche. I pound them up in the chip bag (just the small leftover bits) and mix them some butter to form a soft crust that I press into to the bottom of my baking dish. I top with our favorite quiche recipe that also uses up a few bits and pieces. I’ve done my quiche crustless as well. I’ve used other chips bits as a crust for my quiche and pot pies. I’ve done this for years and thought the idea might help someone else.

    *I made 2 loaves of banana bread and put them in our freezer for future use. I made bread in our bread machine for dinners. We had 2 dinners with extra invited guests. I didn’t need to run to the store to buy anything. We served moose steaks, bbq chicken, homemade bread or banana bread, jello salads from our pantry, fresh vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes) from our garden with homemade dip, homemade cookies and peach cobblers. My daughter also has been making smoothies for breakfast from the fruit I’ve frozen over the past year. I’ve been finding blueberries on sale and freezing them for use this winter.

    *I’m still getting produce from the garden – cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans. My peppers are still growing and I have a few cantaloupe that I hope will ripen before the weather changes. I’m freezing my green beans. I haven’t had enough tomatoes at one time to can. My peaches are starting to ripen – I had enough to make a small peach cobbler. I’ll be canning and eating 🙂 the rest of the peaches. I picked up a 40# box from a local source of Oregon pears. They are ripening in my garage and will be canned for our storage.

    *I found 3 pennies on the ground at a local store. I picked them up and put them in my savings jar.

    *We bought extra food storage at a local bishops food center. We bought oatmeal, dried carrots, peanut butter (that lasts 3 years), flour, dried apple slices, instant potatoes and rice. We bought 1 case each and it had 6 #10 cans in each box.

    *Case lot sales are starting this week. I’ve been reviewing the sales ads to fill up some holes in the pantry.

    *I was able to get 4 mouthwashes and 1 toothpaste for $2.95 with coupons and sales at our local Kroger. I also got free water bottles. I tucked all of these into our pantry for future use. I also was able to buy 3 large tubs of licorice for $2/each. I will keep these in our pantry for future use.

    *I deposited a $14 rebate check into my grocery account. I had also earned $20 in credit from my local credit that I put back on my shopper’s card. It discounts on my next shopping trip. I’ve earned gift cards from Ibotta and Fetch.

    *I scheduled a small surgery for my dd. We have met our insurance deductible this year (because of our darling grandbaby!). I want to get the surgery done this year since it will be covered 100%.

    *I have been watching sales closely to help build up my dd’s wardrobe. She attended a school that required uniforms and is now in a school where no uniforms are required. I was able to get her 4 shirts and 2 dresses (for church) at deep discount. She’s not concerned about labels (and I’m not either).

    *We treated ourselves to 3 dinners at a Cafe Rio. We had bought gifts cards last Christmas time at discount. We earned 3x points on our purchase which also equates to free meals. We used our gift cards to pay for the meal. We earned 3 free meals with our purchase with our points.

    *I’m reading books from the library, exercising at home, enjoying my 2 month trial of prime channels for 99c for entertainment, trimming, pruning and weeding my yard. We saw a hummingbird! Our air quality is still horrible from fires. Our city removed our parking strip grass (for free) to promote water savings. We will be filling it with gravel that our son can get us for a deep discount through his work. My husband salvaged the sprinkler heads. We will use those to replace other heads that break in the future.

    *We enrolled my daughter in CE classes at her school for $35. She will be able to earn college credit at her high school.

    Have a wonderful week everyone! Stay safe <3

  59. Hello Brandy,
    Congratulations! I wish you and your family all the best, especially Winter and the new baby- so adorable. If you don’t mind my asking, what it’s meant to be “sealed to her husband”. Is it a religious ritual? If yes, which religion? Thank you.

    1. Yes, it is religious. We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here is a brief overview of what takes place inside our temples, including temple sealings (also called Eternal Marriage).

  60. I meant to mention that some of the books discussed here are on sale at amazon.com. The Girl From the Channel Islands is on sale for $10.
    I think it would cost me quite a bit to get it shipped to Canada. Our local bookstore, Indigo, is having a sale — different classes of sales prices.
    I’e been thinking of Christmas gifts — gradually 2 a month and on sale. Ann

  61. Congratulations to Winter and her husband on their new baby and the temple sealing! Congratulations on becoming a Grandmother – such a special time.

    How lovely that you and your husband were able to have time with your grown children and together, just the two of you. I hope you were able to enjoy every minute of the time!

    I hope your oldest son is doing well at University and congratulations to your other son on his GED! So much happening in such a short time – what fun.

    Thanks for sharing all you do. I so appreciate it.
    Lea

  62. Congratulations with the birth of your grand daughter. How special! Your daughter looks very happy.

    Currently between houses. I am moving from two rooms in a students home to a small little house with front and back garden for myself. Its a bit on the expemsive side but the best place I could find. So I am going to follow all comments and tips and tricks from this website I have been following for many years.

    My front garden has a light buxus hedge which needs lots of trimming. Its very low ro the ground actually. So far letting it grow does not seems to work to make a bigger and higher hedge.

  63. I’m behind this week, but I wanted to stop in long enough to say that’s a gorgeous baby, and the falls are beautiful as well. Thanks for the happy-making pictures!

  64. Brandy, so happy you were able to go on your anniversary get away at last, see your children and grandchild, and attend special services for your daughter’s family at Temple. I think it was wonderful that you and your husband got to spend some quiet time together enjoying nature and some meals. The trail and falls were beautiful. I especially enjoyed seeing so many Black-eyed Susans as they were profuse along roadsides here when I was young. We have an especially sunny side on part of our yard that I think would be perfect for some. I didn’t know how much I missed them until I saw your pictures.

    The last couple weeks have been busy in various ways. I had a yearly checkup in which my doctor seemed very impressed as different areas were better from last year in my lab report. He pointed out several including better good cholesterol and said sugar was real good. I wonder if some of these usually get worse with age or changes I made on my own really made that much difference. Either way, I am happy that he was so excited about them. And, yes, I agreed it was time to schedule the colonoscopy. DS and I had a cleaning dental appointment. DH’s was cancelled by them a couple months ago and never rescheduled. I asked if they had something that week available as he was on vacation. Someone cancelled as I was talking to the receptionist and he was able to go that afternoon. My glasses came and they had to be sent back as the bifocal line was too high for the smaller fames. We could tell what happened, and I hope they are right when I get them back.

    DH was able to get a lot of his Mom’s remaining papers gone through which helped get the load off him and out of our house. He also found something that after some phone calls will enable him to move forward in other ways. Some mail has also prompted him to action regarding Medicare. I told him he needed to make his own decision and do some reading as our situations are different. I did tell him one advantage I like of one secondary insurance after talking to someone I knew and verifying some things with another person that had the same insurance. He did some things around the house (and would have painted some if the humidity had been lower). The light above my kitchen sink went out and it was replaced with one that is shorter with LED lights. The light is brighter and area covered is larger which I really like. We also took some additional measurements of things we want to store on shelves and of the room we are using and went back for measurements of two different shelves. We are going to mark in the depth to visualize how they would fit and get some. The boxes for the ones I want we can carry in the car with the seat down. The larger ones will have to be delivered. I am getting excited about them as it will be better organized, easier to get to things, and a frugal use of space. I am more excited right now to find someone locally that is licensed and insured to haul off some large things. After agreeing on a price I made an appointment for this week. While he is here DH is going to talk with him about hauling off some things in MIL’s house. We have been talking to DS about what size bed he wants in the larger bedroom so we can get a new mattress and box spring hopefully during labor day sales. We have extra bed rails and foot and headboards so there is no expense there. I plan to list some things on Craigslist this week.

    I told a guy at the Farmer’s Market that I would buy some tomatoes on Wednesday from him as I could quarter them to roast which seemed easier than the ones I canned earlier that were so large. He didn’t have any full boxes and I asked how much he wanted for everything that was on the table. He said $6. He put them in a box he had and there was at least three quarters of a box. We used some and I canned 10 pints of roasted tomatoes. I liked roasting them as the air did not have to run as much as there was less humidity. No ice was needed as I put them directly in the jar when they cooled a little. There was less time working with them, less cleanup, house smelled wonderful, and I could do something else while they were in the oven. We got corn on Saturday and while DH and DS were shucking it I shortened the handles of the bags I bought for the freezer. While DH started water for the cooler for the corn DS and I did as quick as possible a division of things in the freezer. DS went upstairs and switched out or got some things from freezer or refrigerator that belonged in a particular bag we were doing to get the most of it downstairs. An inventory was written down and left on top to change as needed. I will type a better sheet for us to write on later, but I am happy with what we got accomplished. We took things upstairs to freeze or put in a drawer that was put on freeze mode until I could use some things and then moved them to the freezer. I repackaged some summer sausage separated by twos into gallon bags to take up less space. We used a few things the next couple days and were able to fit in the rest in the freezer after I pulled some things out to cook. Now I need to get the upstairs done. I also froze or used some other smaller bunch items that I bought at the Farmer’s Market such as plums for making jam later. I saw a you tube video a long time ago of preparing corn for freezing in a cooler instead of in a pot to get more done at a time. There is still a lot of boiling water but the excess moisture is outside when you raise the lid to put it in or take it out to put in the ice cooler. Then you have to pour out some and refill with boiling water. Since we all three worked together we got around 10 pints (not sure, in different places upstairs) quicker than usual. I hope to get more. Since we ran late on movie night I got some chopped ham out and made ham salad for rolls with fruit and vegetables. We were tired but happy to get it all done. We watched Knives Out on Sunday night which was a mystery.

    Our cooking was a little different the last two weeks. The first week we ate did some quick things like soup and sandwich a couple nights since I was canning tomatoes and freezing other things. We ate leftovers a few times. DH was on vacation the second week so we got a couple premade things (salads, calzones) at the stores a couple nights after we walked and picked up a family bundle meal one night. Since we stayed home that was our way of doing things a little different like we would on vacation to give us all a break to enjoy each others company. I did make GardenPat’s Cucumber, Cabbage, and Ham salad. She was right, it made a lot, but that worked to my advantage and we loved it. I also baked some bacon for breakfast and added to sandwiches or hamburgers. I made muffins and a breakfast casserole with smoked summer sausage instead of regular sausage. We all liked the flavor the smokiness added. We also had a meal with fried okra, radishes cooked in butter (first time), leftover mashed potatoes and broccoli, cucumbers, and everything buns with butter broiled.

    We did a little stocking up at Kroger and bought a few extra things like Tillamook cheese. We haven’t had it yet but I am sure it will be wonderful the way its been talked about here. We also used another 30% off coupon at CVS for DH’s supplies. This time we bought 3 items, one less expensive and saved enough to almost pay for a more expensive one. I hope they keep sending two a month. Then we used all the EBs that were near expiring for some bee balm for me and 4 BOG1 free candy bars for a treat and paid 73 cents. We bought 10 pkgs. of wipes at the Dollar store. At Aldi we got 8 pkgs. tissues and 2 flats of vegetables for stock.

    The couple days we did a slow down must have done us good. This week is starting out strong. I will have to write things down daily to keep up. I hope this week is going well for everyone also.

  65. Lovely photos! The Riverwalk looks amazing. My husband and I just used Turo for the first time a few weeks ago. Though I was using it as a 30th birthday gift to rent a particular car on his “bucket list” of cars to drive. He’s a car guy, so he loved the gift and got to drive the nice car for a couple days without us having to buy one 😉 But we had a great experience and will for sure use Turo again! We also started using Airbnb a few years ago when we travel places. We’ve gotten to stay in some great places with great customer service for less than a hotel would have cost.

  66. Sorry for yet another message. I just learned that here natural gas prices are going up — apparently
    because internationally coal-generated electricity is switching to natural gas generated electricity so the price of natural; gas is going up.
    I have tied into a 5 year contract (although because of the plan I’m on I can switch to floating every 30 days).
    Over the summer, electricity went up to 12 cents per kilowatt hour. I am on a fixed rate for 2 more years and am toying with the idea of
    closing that plan and going for a 5 year plan for slightly more.

  67. First time commenting! I’ve read for YEARS (I remember sweet Marivene and her weeding one bucket at a time every time I go outside to pull weeds in my yard ☺️)
    Just wanted to thank you all for your helpful comments over the years and thank you to Brandy for all the encouragement and inspiration! Also Brandy, congratulations to your whole family on your darling new grandbaby!
    I’ve never posted because I didn’t think I have much to offer but I finally decided that I can celebrate my small victories with you all:
    *read “Frugal Accomplishments” every week for inspiration
    *made multipurpose cleaner using water, vinegar, and blue Dawn
    *stocked up on sale grocery staples and made many meals at home
    *returned items bought on impulse and making myself wait a day before buying something because often decide I can get by without
    *we are enjoying pumpkin banana bread from freezer for a sweet treat
    *was gifted a plant and cute fall bowl from my mom plus she treated me to lunch when I took her to doctor appointments
    *looking for gift items for Christmas ahead of time so can get the best price

    Hope you all have an amazing week ❤️

      1. Brandy,
        Thank you for the link that explained sealing. I am of a different faith and didn’t quite know how to look it up. Sounds really lovely. How fortunate you and your husband were to be able to be there for such an important weekend.

  68. A tip given from a friend of my husband that was a cook in the service. If you have a cake or brownies that are too thick or hard after baking use 1 less egg next time. If it is too crumbly add an egg the next time. I have been thinking about baking a pound cake I haven’t baked in a long time. It was delicious but always thick when slicing. I thought of his tip and wanted to share.

  69. So very glad to hear you got to go on your trip! Winter is beautiful as ever and her baby is so very precious. I really miss hearing about her. When the baby is a little older maybe she can start her own blog. I’m sure she has lots of wisdom to share. I am so happy for you being a grandma- what a blessing.
    We had our 8 yr old grandson for two days this week. His parents are both teachers and had to start school a few days before he did. One day we took him to a park with a large pond and playground which he thoroughly enjoyed. He and our dog played and played. The next day we drove to a state park which had a lake. He did some fishing from the dock and we took a hike and had a picnic. He loved it so much he didn’t want to leave. The only cost was the small amount of gasoline as we used our small economy car. The state park was very quiet with only a few other people there. I really enjoyed the peace and quiet and the beautiful location. Spending one on one time with my grandson was truly a blessing.
    My sister, my husband and myself are painting all the white trim on 5 buildings on our parent’s property. When elderly and living on a fixed income, it can be really expensive to hire out and even more difficult to find trust worthy help so we volunteered to be their free labor. They purchased the paint and feed us well. We should finish the job this weekend. So far, it looks really nice. I think the parents enjoy having our company.
    Many of our schools here in Washington State have already started and I know some people in this blog community home school so I am wishing everyone a great, safe school year.

    1. Public school started here three weeks ago. It’s funny how different areas start and end at different times.

  70. Congratulations your sweet new granddaughter. So glad you had a great trip, Brandy.

    I wanted to mention my son in law’s experience with Turo. He had a Tesla for a couple years and signed up with Turo. Renting the car out for four days a month paid his whole car payment! More days than that were income for him. Recently he read that Tesla’s are really back ordered and used Tesla’s are selling really high. On a lark, he listed his and immediately someone offered him cash, $8,000 more than he paid for it two years ago, even though it had close to 70K miles. Wowza!! So he made money owning that car.

    It has cooled enough here that we have been able to turn off the A/C, which has been wonderful.

    I’ve finished 10 of the 14 crocheted lapghans I’ve promised to a nursing home, using donated yarn. That has been my entertainment lately, as well as reading books from the library and watching old shows I love.

    Working hard to stay under the food budget and doing pretty well. Meals have included: crockpot creamy chicken over rice, tostadas, bbq chicken quesadillas, naan pizza, spaghetti and salad.

    Every time I want to post, I think none of our stuff is very exciting. Most is what we don’t do. We mostly stay out of stores, trying not to buy things online, don’t drive very far in order to save on gas. We have eaten out a couple times….boy that adds up! We are committed to doing that anymore.

    Hope everyone has a great week! Reading all of your posts is a highlight for me.

  71. Congratulations on the new addition to the family! How wonderful that you were able to travel for their special day. Beautiful pictures!
    I’ve been working more hours. It doesn’t give me a lot of time to get much accomplished but i do what i can. I still save wash-up water, dehydrator water and water barrel water. Even with that, out water bill was double for two months because of the dry conditions. Hopefully, we’re done with that since our small garden is about finished. Yay!
    A friend of a friend had us over to pick raspberries and blackberries. She was happy to see us leave with buckets of fruity goodness! So, so blessed with the bounty! Most went into the freezer until i get some time. I made two batches of raspberry, white chocolate muffins for a thank you. I also made some raspberry syrup that i need to deliver to her. I left the seeds in and i’m wondering if i should make some without the seeds.
    We were too late to order a half pig but the same person had a quarter beef cow that needed a home. So, we bought that, instead. There wasn’t a square inch of space left in the freezers. I canned several batches of chicken, beef and ground beef to make room for the new beef. It worked out to just over 4.00 per pound which is a great price for these times! Prices on meat is getting crazy high!
    We bought 6 dozen ears of corn from two different stands. I’m canning it as i write this. I gave a half dozen away and got 18 pints from the rest. This is my first time canning corn. (As well as the meat.)
    I needed more canning jars and happened on a 20% off sale at our co-op. I bought just one. I ended up still needing more and found them at one of our hardware stores for cheaper than the other store, which was out of stock, anyway. One store had wide mouth lids while the other had bands and lids. I didn’t need either as I’d put the word out and got several boxes of both sizes over the weeks. Slim pickin’s, though.
    I look forward to reading the rest of the comments! Stay well, everyone. And, congratulations, again, Brandy! Being a grandmother is the best!

  72. Due to an unexpected decrease in my income, I’m cutting corners everywhere I can. I called the internet company and cancelled my landline and while looking at the bill, realized I had some kind of TV package that I don’t even use. Cancelled that also. Saved $46/month that I was basically wasting between the two. Called car insurance and found a program that my drivers can do (an app that tracks driving speeds for 3 months somehow) that will potentially lower insurance. With my 5 young drivers + myself, we will all be doing this. I hope it helps.
    I made spiced plum syrup (4 pints) from plums given to me that were really ripe. These will be Christmas gifts. I shopped at Winco (cheapest store around here by far). I slashed my grocery budget by half in order to make it (even this prob will need to be lessened). I made every meal, and made extras like breakfast sandwiches “to go” in the fridge for the big kids, a sheet cake, bread, breakfast cookies. I sold some of my homemade greeting cards to a little market nearby that buys them, making $87.

      1. Thank you Brandy! This blog has been encouraging for years- now it will be even more important. Thank you for all the work you put into it.

    1. I don’t know if this is an option for you, but this week we saved money by dropping two kids off of our car insurance. Maybe some of the young drivers you mentioned could get their own insurance policy or not continue to drive your vehicles at least temporarily. We have found that our insurance agent is very responsive to our making policy changes on short notice, in the middle of the billing cycle. For example when our son was moving, we called the insurance office and had him put on our policy and took our pickup out of storage for him to use while moving. Then we called and put the pickup back in “storage,” which lowered the car insurance cost back down. Our insurance company allows people to do this twice in a year; they used to not care how often this was done. Another thing we do is when our vehicles get so old that they are not worth much money, we do not keep insurance to have them repaired if wrecked. We keep the liability of course. We did increase the medical benefits that might be used in the event of an accident finally. We have wanted to increase that for a long time, but just didn’t feel we could afford it. We also keep towing and glass coverage which is low cost and has paid for itself. We seem to get rocks hitting our windshield and cracking it fairly frequently for some reason. We have also paid our car insurance on a monthly basis instead of every six months at different times in our lives when we had less money, but we have tried to set aside money every month in savings, so we could pay the insurance when the six months bill came. Insurance for car, house and health add up to be major expense for us. I suppose everyone faces these same challenges. Best of luck with your cost-cutting measures.

      1. Thanks for this Elizabeth. I actually was wondering if we could have his insurance placed on hold while at school. I’ll email our agent. And yes, car, house, health- and food are my 4 big ones, and like you said, probably for everyone. Thank you!

  73. Hi Brandy and community,
    I have been reading this blog for years but never posted before. I find myself in turbulent times that I am not accustomed to, and some days I am feeling so down. I lost my well paying job early this year and have not been able to find a suitable replacement. Due to always being a good saver, I am no where near destitute but I worry a lot about what will happen once I exhaust my savings and well stocked pantry and I still have not found employment. The reason I am finally posting today is to thank everyone for their contributions, be them saving ideas or uplifting thoughts. I was worried last week when Brandy did not post (must not have registered with me that she won’t be posting due to travel!) because I find such comfort in Brandy’s posts and ALL the comments following it. So, from a lurker, thank you, you are helping so many without even realizing it!

    1. Danielle,

      I’m sorry about your job.

      There are a lot of food pantries since last year, including many mobile food pantries. You may want to start picking up food from them. It will get you something fresh as well help you to stretch what food you have to last longer. In my area, there are multiple places where you can pick up on different days of the week. If you are in the U.S., there are also commodities, which are basically a once-a-month food pickup that includes meat, beans, and other items. Do an online search for commodities for your state. I know people who pick up from both places as well as local gleaning groups, and have planted what gardens they can as well to keep food on the table.

      1. Brandy, thank you for taking the time to reply. My son’s school offers free lunches for all students through the school year. Though I have always packed lunch for him, he started getting lunch there. I can see the menu online and together we can decide which days he wants a packed home lunch and which one he gets from school. This should help with cutting expenses. I am going to remove extra insurance on my car and only keep the needed one. I have already called the insurance company earlier in the year, to have them reduce my rate due to not commuting any more. I have a garden that currently has long yard beans producing, mainly because it’s been unbearably hot to work outside. I plan on planting a Fall garden soon. There are some other things in my life that I need to sort out (toxic people) so that I can focus on doing what’s best for us. I have started cooking more lentils and beans. I absolutely love your blog, as well as your resilience and sunny disposition. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Can’t wait for every Monday to read your posts!

      1. Barbara,
        Thank you for posting that website. I plan to look at that, and I passed it on to someone I know is struggling because of unemployment.

      2. Hi Barbara, thank you for the link. I did check on that earlier and it seemed to me that I did not qualify based on too high of an income before I lost my job. Even for ACA I have issues qualifying because it’s based on my prior years MAGI, which is too high. Aprreciate all input from you ladies.

    2. Dear Danielle,

      I sympathize with you and have known hard/difficult times myself. I’m not sure what is your living situation but perhaps you could take on a boarder, rent a room. I was just thinking of doing that myself. It would pay a large share of property taxes. I make a habit of reviewing my internet/tv/telephone plan. I discovered recently that a friend is paying triple what I pay. I don’t have all of the tv channels in the world but enough…And I phone and ask for advice on how to save money and whether I qualify for any discounts or loyalty plans. I also phone my utility company — sometimes you can save a lot of money by having a fixed term (this can be complicated so it’s best to really study the plans) for electricity or natural gas. I had tied into a fixed 5 year plan thinking electricity would go up. I pay 6.59 cents per kilowatt hour; this summer it went up to 12 cents then has fallen back to 10 cents. If you get into trouble, don’t hesitate to phone the company and say you’d like to make a payment arrangement — it is better to avoid this. I have read that people in my location are having trouble paying their utility bills. The companies here will work with you. It will not affect your credit rating if you make an arrangement. Always be nice to the person at the company (I’m sure you would be) but it is amazing how far it will get you. Companies in these hard times would rather help you than lose your business.

      I like the suggestions recently made here. You could do grocery shopping for seniors, be a paid companion, take them to doctors appointments.
      Babysit kids whose parents need your help.

      If you need to retrain to do some other job let me know (through Brandy). My ladies club has grants for women who need to go back to school to be retrained. I don’t know what kind of job you have had but if a change is necessary, then contemplate where your talents lie. I’m sure you have many talents but some may be hidden, just waiting to be discovered. Think about your job– what were your strengths? How can you build on them? Develop new ones.

      Make a plan that you will do something to cover basic costs of living so you don’t have to deplete savings — or as little as possible. There are people who need your help. It is amazing how one thing leads to another. I know it is hard not to feel down but make a plan — go out for walks, pick up library books, volunteer somewhere. Watch free movies on YouTube. Discover how much in our world is interesting AND free.Take this time to pamper yourself with lovely but inexpensive things. My family has experienced what you are going through several times. My best wishes to you. Ann

      1. Hi Ellie’s friend. Thank you, these are really good suggestions. I have though about taking on a renter but honestly I am scared of doing that. I paid my house off early so we have that going for us. I am a single mom to a middle school boy. I have a PhD, lots of skills, but the industry I work in has been badly affected by the pandemic, and at this point, with climate change, I no longer believe I should go back to it. So I am trying to get certified in something I already do buy don’t possess the certification, so that I can spin that experince and orient towards other industries. I have done Shipt and Instacart for a couple months and am actually tutoring as well. I enjoy tutoring very much, Shipt and Instacart were not the best. I am on top of my bills. Have no debt. My worry is not finding a job soon enough and exhausting what we have. I had to get a new phone for my son so that added another expense, and his extra curricular activities add up to a lot. I feel that he doesn’t deserve for me to pull him out as he is a good kid and he’s benefited immensely from these activities. What I have found is that, as I opened up, people have been willing to help, in small ways: give us a small piece of equipment he needed for one of his activities, fix something that broke in the house for free etc. I am not one to sit and wait for others to give, I am a hard worker so it’s hard for me to ask for help and receive it. I have always been a “do it myself” kind of person. Thank you for all the advice and encoragement! It’s good to open up a bit and not feel judged.

        1. Hi Danielle,

          There is an organization called P.E.O. that has a grant for women who need to get recertified because of a change in life circumstances.
          I don’t know which state you are in but you could look up P.E.O. International online , go to Projects, look up Program for Continuing Education (PCE). You would need to be enrolled in a program and within two years of completing it. One of my friends went back to school and became qualified in online education and paid for it with a P.C.E. grant. She had sent out 150 job applications without getting a single offer or even interview. Once she had her certification, she had job offers. It’s a grant of up to $3,000 based on financial need. Your plan to get certification sounds good. Best wishes, Ann. If you need more info ask Brandy to give me your email, if you wish, or she give me yours..

    3. Hi Danielle, I wanted to tell you not to give up hope. I left a full time career of 13 years 5 years ago and worked multiple part time jobs until obtaining fulltime work in my new desired field with the county I live in, which has amazing benefits and a pension. While it may not seem like an obvious way to go, there are many part time jobs that start at $15 an hour and have sign on bonuses at the moment that could continue giving you a stream of income until you find what is ultimately right for you. If you have great work experience you may also be a shoe in to grow in other fields. Some places that start a $15 near me for part time are Costco and Target. I have also watched television advertisements that say Amazon starts at $15 an hour. Another high paying sector job is the marijuana industry – I know it sounds strange – but hear me out, you can basically work retail and they often pay a higher rate because they can only hire people without a criminal record. A friend offered me $18 an hour to work the retail end of a marijuana shop she manages a few years ago.

      Anyway, don’t be afraid to branch out! You can make it through this!

      1. Thank you Ashley Banana for your ideas and support. Yes, at some point I will likely find a new job. It’s days when I get rejected for yet another position I applied for that get me depressed and demotivated. Setbacks due to a broken windshield or some bill that came in higher than expected, or another ‘optional’ school activity that came up and costs money. I have high hopes that solving a personal situation will bring in the mental space I need to buckle down and get the certification I need to get. I continue to read and apply to my life all the ideas that are relevant to us, from Brandy’s blog. All the interviewing and networking are so draining, as I am an introvert. Thank you for your advice. Not laughing but I am not sure about the marijuana one.

  74. Thank you Brandy for sharing your beautiful family with all of us.💖 I have been a silent reader of your blog for a long time.🥰 Your blog has kept me inspired through some challenging times and I am so appreciative for that. I am sharing frugal accomplishments for the last couple weeks.
    **Garden: I purchased matching pots on clearance at HD for herbs and small citrus trees. I also purchase soil ammendments I use reduced price as well. I was at big box store when they took down the seed displays and I was give some seeds free.🙌🏽
    **Food and Grocery: I prepared all meals at home except one. I found canning jars at Target. I ordered online and picked up curbside. I ordered my Sam’s club online and picked up same day as Target to save on gas and time.
    We are eating a lot of vegetables from my garden and fresh fish we have caught and frozen.
    **Home: I save on electricity by only turning AC on in house in afternoons when temperature rise inside to 80F if needed, until then, ceiling fans keeps my house very comfortable.

  75. It sounds like a beautiful trip, and what a lovely photo of a new branch and generation of your family!

    It’s back-to-school around here. I am in-person with students this semester, and it was joy to see them stream in on Monday!

    That being said, it’s often a time of year of expenses with fees to be paid, shoes that fit and such.

    My eldest daughter, a senior at a state university, called to share her U bill with me. It includes tuition, fees, room and board for the semester. It was $60.

    I consider this a tremendous frugal accomplishment, a joint venture. She took to heart the lessons of hard work and good effort, earning some amazing merit scholarships.
    She also made a mature decision to forgo a semester abroad ( with all its unknown challenges) to work as a Community Advisor and earn her room and board.

    I am taking this lesson to heart as I encourage my high school junior to prepare for his college placement exams. His effort could lead to less college debt.

    We have a college junior attending out-of-state as well. Though also hard-working, his bill is not $60.

    Nonetheless, his work study job is not providing enough hours to cover his rent. While going over his budget with us, my husband told him, “You don’t have a spending problem. You have an income problem.” Our son then went out and pursued a higher paying job off campus with more than double the hours.

    I am proud to see the mature, young adult decisions being made. Thank you for letting me share my joy.

  76. I sure enjoy the book recommendations! My money saving thing I did this past week was I booked a airline ticket using points and was able to attend a wedding in Idaho Falls. I think I would have been so excited if I had run into you! Not sure if I would have the courage to say anything to you though. 🙂 I’ve been weeding three raised bed garden boxes and I’m almost finished. My garden this year was an epic fail due to the deer eating nearly everything I planted. I plan on putting a fence around it and try again. I sincerely appreciate your encouragement.

    1. Best of luck with your fence for next year! I nearly gave up on my garden due to deer and groundhogs eating everything one summer, but my husband built some simple fence panels and I bought deer netting for the un-fenced parts. Now we’re back to an enjoyable and productive garden. I hope you will be equally fortunate.

  77. Hi friends! So lovely to see you all every week.

    I feel like it hasn’t been a particularly frugal week, but let’s see what I can come up with……
    I made all meals at home except for one. I have Crohn’s disease which means I have some pretty specific dietary needs, so cooking for myself is almost always the goal. I had a very stressful day of work on Monday and was in tears by the afternoon, compounded with a lack of dinner plans lead me to order food for dinner. It cost more than if I had cooked myself, but the one meal I stretched into 4 additional meals so that lessened the blow.
    I did laundry in off peak hours and then hung everything to dry.
    I dropped off library books and picked up a few more. The Kitchen Front was finally ready for me to pick up and I am very excited to read it after so many of you recommended it!
    I have been watching the Great British Baking Show (on repeat, again hehe) on Netflix. It always encourages me to try baking new things and making treats at home is definitely less money than buying them out.
    I pulled the last of the viable tomatoes from my garden and pulled out the plants. I have planted beets and peas and I’m hoping they come up for fall *fingers crossed*. I am still getting carrots, beans, and the potatoes are all ready! I planted a whole bed of tomatoes from a bag of taters I got at Winco in the spring for something like $2. I think I will have enough potatoes to get me through the end of the year! Fun and productive experiment.
    We have had some incredible weather here in Portland OR this past week. I was able to keep the windows all open to air out the house. It even got down to 48 at night! I was chilly! It was amazing hehe.
    A neighbor in my local Buy Nothing group offered up asian pears to anyone who was available so I went after work last night to get a bag of them. Tomorrow I will prep them and can then for eating during the winter. This is my first year doing much canning and I have really enjoyed it. It’s a lot of work, as it’s always just me, but because it’s just me I don’t need quite as much as a larger family would need. It makes me happy to see my shelves filling up with things that I grew or got for free.
    I re-enrolled for Imperfect Produce delivery. I had stopped for the summer because of my abundance in the garden. With the delta variant and me being immune compromised, it’s best for me to stay out of the stores. Having produce delivered weekly will save me money in the long run.
    That is all I can think of for the week. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and can eek out a little more summer fun before fall takes hold.

  78. Hi Brandy, Congratulations on the new soul in your family. Children are a blessing, and I can only imagine how much grand children are too. congratulations on to your daughter and her son in law on this new addition and chapter in their lives. As well as your son who finished his GED. Watching your children accomplish things and grow is a highlight of being a parent. Something I have always admired about you is your ability to balance the difference in ages of your children, as I imagine they all have different needs and goals with their ages varying. I often read your posts and think, wow, because you cover so much with great grace.

    In my life things continue to move forward. I listed my second home for sale about two weeks ago with a relator couple but ultimately dropped them. I was disappointed because there were a handful of leads that I had given them that they did not follow up on by calling the people who were interested in the property. A gentlemen who came to the house several times and I gave them his number and he theirs. A friend of a friend who wanted to see the house but couldn’t get a hold of them….sadly I let them go. But perhaps that was meant to be. I showed the man who stopped by a few times the house and he made an offer the next day. It is pending with earnest money and we are waiting on an appraisal as the next step.

    I am taking a break from heavy duty grocery shopping until the house sells. However, I still buy small things that we tend to buy on a weekly basis like fruits or dairy items. I mostly shop at Aldi, a discount grocer, and have noticed the commodity prices are going up. Some examples….their brand brownie mix was .85 a box, now .98. Their brand soda was 2.35 a 12 pack, now is 2.85. I know, not very healthy examples, but ones I remember. I am nervous to see prices continue to grow, and sales continue to dwindle. Winn Dixie near me has been able to get me in more with door buster prices on items, however the door busters have limits. An example is I was able to get .75 off their brand pasta which was on sale for $1 a lb, so .25 for a lb of spaghetti. Great sale but only one box. I still bought this and a few other things. I have also taken to walking down the isles and seeing what is on clearance, as they put shelf tags on. I have gotten refried beans for .15 a can name brand. Pasta sauce again a name brand for less than $1 a jar after clearance and an ibotta rebate. I’ve also kept my eyes on ibotta for free items. They seem to do a free item a week, and as long as it’s something we will genuinely use I get it and let the amount in my account there grow. I have also started sing ‘Fetch’ an app that you upload receipt to for grocery, retail, and restaurant. For each receipt you get points and the points have a system where they are worth a dollar amount for a gift card. I read about this on a couponing site, readers there suggested just letting your points add up until you had a birthday, holiday, etc and then cash them out at that time. So not huge savings or rewards, but I am going with the idea that a little bit adds up over time.

    Hope you and everyone else has a wonderful week.

    1. I also shop at Aldi and did so even before I lost my job. I too have noticed their increase in prices (like everywher else). It’s one of the reasons I am so stressed. I can budget carefully but have no control on price increases. So there will be less to get with the same money. I don’t like the insecurity.

  79. WOW! I looked at Turo in Myrtle Beach where we are currently vacationing… A 2015 Toyota Siena is going for $348 a day! We have a 2021 convertible Mustang for a week for less than 3 days on Turo! Thru Budget, we usually use Enterprise. Don’t think that is a good deal?

    1. It is going to depend where you look and when. It would have cost us $2500 for one driver for the weekend through all the rental places in town for a car. Instead, we paid $250 for the whole weekend. Where were were looking, there was nothing less. Always shop around.

      1. I can not imagine $2500 for a week! We rented a BMW in Phoenix AZ for 5 days for much less that that! We were just flying fancy free since we were not paying for it! It was way less than that amount!
        But..there is no way I would pay $2500 a week for any automobile.

  80. I enjoy reading all of the comments this week. Especially the ones on side jobs.
    Brandy, how nice to see your family growing and flourishing.
    I am focusing on being more intentional this month with my money. I am calling it “Slow Spend September”.
    I am revamping my diet with the help of a dietitian and am trying to get the biggest nutritional bang for my buck. Learning new things all the time.

  81. Brandy, I’m wondering how to find your Amazon affiliate link. Internet ignoramus, here. I need a big, flashing arrow or i’m lost. Insight would be much appreciated. Thank you!

      1. Thanks for the reply, Brandy. I still don’t have them so maybe it’s my ipad? I also got booted from the mailing list so had to look you up. I can’t comment except on a very few blogs. Maybe i need to go poke around my settings and see if i inadvertently pushed a wrong button. Thank you for taking the time to help!

  82. It brought tears to my eyes to see Winter married with a baby and what a gorgeous baby. Hope all is well Brandy. I only just realised I am behind and you have not posted. xxx

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