I froze peaches from the garden.

I gave my husband, a daughter, and a son haircuts.

My husband and I went together to buy the maximum of two 18-count eggs for $0.84 (using the app coupon) at Albertson’s so that we could each buy two. This was a loss leader. I am seeing fewer of these types of sales but I am grateful for the ones that we do see.

I read several e-books from library books, including A Ration Book Dream and A Ration Book Christmas. My library only has these two books but there look to be about five in the series. They talked a lot about food in Britain during WWII. I also read Churchill’s Secret Messenger, The Woman with the Blue Star, The Secret Messenger, and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris. The last one was recommended to me by a friend who came to visit this week that I have not seen for 21 years.

My husband went to a different steel company and was able to buy scraps for a small project, which he made, costing us less than the full sheets from another company. We didn’t need a full sheet and it would have been a waste of money and supplies.

What did you do to save money last week?

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179 Comments

  1. Your creativity and positivity is inspiring, Brandy!!
    I saw that sugar was on sale at Kroger’s for 97cents/4 pound bag with a limit of 5. So I spent $3.96 for my 20 pounds of sugar to add to my pantry!
    I’ve harvested 3 more quarts of green beans and frozen them as well as about 6 quarts of blackberries from our bush this week. About 15 cucumbers, 6 big tomatoes and about 3 pounds of cherry and pear tomatoes! A very good week indeed! https://pin.it/2BubkWs and https://pin.it/BVuhah1 (underneath those tomatoes are another 7 cucumbers!!)
    I canned another 6 pints of sweet pickle relish using about 4 cucumbers, onions and peppers from the garden because we can’t keep up with eating all of these!
    This time of the year for us- late summer- is the culmination of all the gardening work we do in the Spring!
    On the business front, I’ve am just about to finish quilting a king size quilt today and still have 9 lap size and 1 more King size quilt here waiting to get quilted!
    My daughter/business partner is coming down twice a week and will continue to do that indefinitely while we have the volume of quilting work jobs on hand! That will give me time to focus on other things I need/want to do while letting her earn wages from the quilting she will do! Win-Win!
    The income has allowed us to hire out some bigger projects here at the house without going into our savings! (Basement cleanout with dumpster and fence painting most recently!)

    There are 4 babies due between September and November that I want to give baby quilts. So I went to my gift cupboard and found these 3: https://pin.it/6fF0xGK and https://pin.it/td0qSPO and https://pin.it/6x6MJKU. I saw a photo on Pinterest of a quilt and there was no info about it so I took out scratch paper (1 sided printed already) and sketched out a pattern. This is how my sketch looks: https://pin.it/4TUMQgF and this is how the quilt top looks: https://pin.it/5DPrJYg. I have a really nice pantograph that I will use to quilt it up that should elevate the simplicity of the quilt to something more intricate!

    I love being able to give gifts that don’t require running out to the store OR spending money that I may not have available!! A couple years ago, at a baby shower, as I saw gifts that were more than I could have spent, I was so humbled when the new mom opened my quilt gift and told everyone there how thrilled she was to get a “Pat Lewis” quilt! It made my heart sing because it’s not always about the money but also about the time and love invested!

    Dave and I worked on laying more of our free brick pavers in the patio area. He laid, measured, leveled the pavers (using a level, guide string and rubber mallet!) while I cleaned off brick pavers and carried them to where he was working. Then I shoveled and carried buckets of sand over to the patio so he could smooth it under where the pavers would be placed. So basically- he was the craftsman and I was the day laborer!! Lol!! https://pin.it/5nHS88K and https://pin.it/fdrVNQZ

    I also transplanted my pea starts along the wire fencing around the garden perimeter. They are looking terrific and I’m hoping for a nice harvest!
    I weeded and cleaned out areas of my raised beds where needed to discourage bugs.
    Stiff and sore, but totally satisfied with a week of work and fun with Dave and also my daughter, Alisa!
    Thanks for inspiring me to use what I have to create useful and tasty things!!

    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. Gardenpat, your patio looks great! Hubby and the kids did ours like this ten years ago. Hubby is now laying pavers along all the garden areas to keep the grass out. He has the guide string, level and mallet too! I always find your posts inspiring. I am 62 and wonder where you get your energy!

      1. Laura S- Thanks for your kind comments! I’m 69 and I work in spurts- early in the morning until lunchtime. Slow down a bit after lunch but after dinner, I’ve been known to nod off around 7 pm for about an hour and then I can work inside until 11 or later.
        As Hubs says- “We can still do the work we used to when we were in our 20’s and 30’s. It just takes us 3 times as long and then we need a few days after to recover!,” lol!

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

        1. Mornings are my best energy time. I make it until about 3:00-4:00 pm and then I slow down. Often nod off after dinner while watching That Girl. I have been forcing myself to keep going the last two weeks because of all the canning that needs to be done, but there are just some hard days where the next day I am just pooped and do much less?☺️

    2. Your food preservation efforts are truly inspiring! Thanks for sharing. I’ve also found that handmade/homemade gifts are increasingly a rarity at events like baby showers and bridal showers. And yet a handmade gift is always so appreciated! And yes, they cost a bit a of times but far less from our bank accounts!

      1. Tracy- We are trying really hard to make use of the abundance we’ve been blessed with and not to waste any of it, if at all possible! We may be in the middle of a big City and on a small residential lot, but we’ve found so many possibilities to use it to become more self reliant.

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    3. Pat, Alisa is my sisters name! We don’t see that much and we pronounce it “Alyssa” not A Lisa. Which is how almost everyone says it. When she was born in 1979 my mom had to have her birth certificate re-done 3 times because they kept messing it up. Her middle name is Beth so one version that came back was “Elizabeth Beth”!

      1. Jenn in Indiana- Our daughter’s name is pronounced Ah-Lisa (Alisa) and people never pronounce it correctly, it seems! And our poor daughter, Tisha, has not only had her name mispronounced constantly, but they always ask what Tisha is short for! Nothing! Her real, full name is Tisha which is not a shortened version of anything else! 🥴.

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    4. Gardenpat, when my late mother was in the palliative care unit we were given a homemade quilt like yours to comfort her (and me also, as I stayed with her the entire time she was there). The ladies who volunteered gave one to everyone there, such a kind and useful gesture and now it is home with me and treasured. You are right, “the time and love invested” elevates the simplest gift.

      1. Laura in Sidney- Since I bought my longarm machine, I have been blessed to be able to donate my quilting services to some quilts for Mothers Without Borders, a non- profit that donate quilts wherever there is a need, both in and out of the U.S. (https://pin.it/6ouswES and https://pin.it/3E15vu4) as well as a comfort quilt for an 8 year old in our area whose mother passed away from cancer. Another mom from the class organized the class members and teacher to make blocks and she sewed quilt top. Then I quilted and bound it. The class presented it to the little girl when she came back to school. https://pin.it/1cVKzCO.

        I have felt honored to be asked to donate my services to such worthwhile causes.

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

  2. How lovely that you got to see your friend! And those peaches look beautiful.
    My friend and I split a box of peaches. They were much more expensive than I have paid before, but they were maybe the best peaches I’ve ever eaten. We ate some fresh and I canned 7 pints.
    I made a batch of yogurt and homemade sandwich bread.
    I harvested all our onions – 100 onions! That is enough to last a year for my husband and myself. (We just ate the last of the onions from last year.) I dried most the tops and ground them into onion powder. I made a second batch of refrigerator dill pickles. We enjoyed green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs from the garden.
    City Market had sugar for 99 cents a 4-lb bag, limit 5 bags. I purchased 5 bags.

    1. Could you please tell me how long your fridge dill pickles last? I was told only two weeks or so, which would mean they would go bad since we eat pickles but not THAT many! I have some Mrs. Wages Kosher Dill powder I got from our Buy Nothing group and want to use it…Thanks for any info.

      1. The rule of thumb for refrigerator pickles is two to three months, though we have eaten them at Christmas. I find it takes two weeks for them to pickle properly. Hope this helps. 😊

  3. The peaches look so luscious! Ripe peaches have got to be my very VERY favorite fruit!!!

    *We took our own “Back to School” pictures. Or in our case, more accurately “Back to Homeschool” pictures. They aren’t fancy or perfect, but my daughter and I made complete fools of ourselves and dissolved into peals of laughter while we were trying to get them. In the end, she was thrilled—and if a 17 year old is happy, I’m good!!!
    *I picked probably the last of my garden tomatoes. I have loved the flavor of the variety I planted this year, but they have not been the best at “keeping.” I still want to grow this type again next year, but might try and squeeze in another type as well.
    *I received a free $5.00 coupon in the mail from Staples. I used it to purchase 20 notebooks for .25 cents each. We do not use these very quickly, so most will join the stash of other school/office supplies on our shelf in the basement. That way, during the school year when we run out of something, we can “shop” from our supply in the basement instead of paying full price at the store.
    *I received a coupon for a full size item from Bath and Body Works. This is the first time ever I have gotten a full size coupon from there, and I greatly enjoyed going to the store and smelling all the smells to pick out a shower gel for myself. It felt like a real luxury!
    *I found a book I wanted at the thrift shop for .50 cents, and two small bowls for just .40 cents each.

    Lots of pictures and more on my blog at: https://chickadeecove.blogspot.com/2021/08/frugal-friday-week-of-august.html

    Looking forward to reading what everyone is up to!
    ~Susan M. from Chattanooga, Tennessee

      1. They were! I posted them on my blog at the link above. My favorite picture I am carrying my daughter piggy back. Considering the fact that she is now 17 years old, let’s just say it has been a few years since I have given her a piggy back ride, and I didn’t realize how heavy she would be when I came up with that (not!) brilliant idea!!!

  4. I made chicken with vegetables for my son. I then made rice and turned it all into a chicken , rice, broccoli, carrot and cauliflower casserole with cheese. I brought home the leftovers for supper this week and will cook some dried beans if I run out of the casserole. I went shopping at Aldi for apples, dried mangos, and cheese. I spill everything on my clothes at work, like I am three yrs old….lol, so I tend to eat cheese sandwiches, with an apple, and carrots for lunch. I walked at park. I keep the air on 79 if I am home and 83 to 85 degrees if I am not home. Since I work away from home, it definitely keeps my electric bill low, even though rates seem to keep going up. I got my tires rotates, oil changed, and a filter put in at dealership since I travel two hours a day for work. Driving small cars help but still, gas prices vary between $2.67 to $2.97, depending on which city I am traveling in at the moment. I am still paying a lot more for gas this year than last year. Also, paying more for electricity, and more for food, so I am trying to keep costs down. It seems to be a losing battle. Dog was bitten by a snake it appears. They are out in full force this year, I don’t know if it is the incessant rain or the Cicadas, which snakes, especially Copperheads, seem to love. Dog will be ok. My wallet from vet bills is not…sigh.

    1. I often spill on my clothes when I eat too. At home, I wear a bib apron when I cook….and I keep it on for meals. 😉

      I paid 3.99 for gas last week (Seattle area).

      Glad your dog is ok.

      1. Back in the day I had to wear an all white nurses’ uniform. How I stayed spot free at work I’ll never know. Now it seems I spill food on my clothes or uniform with ease.

    2. That’s so funny! I’m so messy when I cook that my husband and I were just joking about it yesterday morning….that putting the apron on was only going to do so much…it would soon be soaked and I would need another one, and on it went. I have been canning like crazy and always get myself wet and messy, and it even gets messy under the apron. One apron on a busy day is rarely enough:).

  5. That’s wonderful your husband was able to buy just the steel he needed. With my husband and I in metal fabrication, we know how much the price of steel has increased this year! Good for you, for getting a better price, and no waste. The ration books especially sound interesting. Thank you for sharing what you’ve been reading. I’ll check to see which of them my library has. I picked up The Paris Library, but am finishing up Little Heathens first, a depression era book. I picked up more walnuts and pecans last week, thanks to comments here. Last week, I harvested tromboncino and yellow squash, eggplant, a pepper, yard long beans, tomatoes, elderberries, apples, pears, figs and hazelnuts. Warm up water and dehumidifier water were used to water plants and for flushing. Laundry was hung on the line twice. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/08/august-garden-harvest.html

      1. I checked Little Heathens out on my Libby app last night. I read 4 chapters and had to tear myself away to go to bed. 😴

  6. Great deal on the eggs, Brandy! I’m glad you were able to see your friend. I hope you are finally over whatever only it is you had.

    It was a good week here, hot weather and smoky skies notwithstanding–
    * We were the weekly winners of the Special Olympics Idaho truck raffle and won $1,000! We never win anything! Of course, we’d bought $1,000 in tickets, so we broke even–but still! We won!! We plan to use the prize to buy $1,000 more tickets. Our purpose in buying the tickets was to support the program and help assure the success of this big fundraiser. (My husband and I volunteered for 15 years and our daughter participated in SO). Never occurred to us that we might win something. If we win the Toyota Tacoma (haha), we aren’t giving it back!

    * I spent some time organizing my kitchen drawers. I had drawer organizers from other houses, but I didn’t think any of them would work in my limited space. They did! Cost: $0.

    * We special ordered a new sofa. We are getting a sectional and the one on display had the return on the wrong side, hence the need to order. Plus we could choose the fabric. The store’s best offer was higher than what I thought it was worth, even with upgraded fabric. I didn’t want to walk away from the deal because I wasn’t sure I could do better elsewhere, plus this is the only piece of furniture we’ve ever bought where my husband and I agreed 100%. I asked the manager to split the difference, and he did! Saving: nearly $250. I’m thrilled to be buying furniture made in the USA from a local family-owned store.

    The tomatoes finally started! (about a month late). I had problems with my drip irrigation this year and there aren’t going to be many tomatoes, but there will be some. We had several dinners with fresh tomatoes, and I canned 4 pints. Every jar sealed–pop, pop, pop, pop. I reused lids for all four jars–it’s the third time for each one. Lots of green tomatoes still on the vine.

    My daughter went to a luau last weekend. We used to keep a costume box. A week ago, I couldn’t have told you where it was, but I happened to spot it in the garage a few days ago. I dug through it and found the aloha shirt and a couple of flower leis! Even better–my daughter had a couple of dresses that disappeared when we moved. They were in the box! And they fit her better now than they ever did! She really enjoys wearing dresses to church so this is a real find. I re-stitched the sleeve hem on one of the dresses.

    I needed about a cup of pinto beans. I would have opened a can if I’d had some. I cooked a whole pound of beans and froze what I didn’t need for the recipe.

    1. I like to cook a whole one or two pound bag of beans and then I freeze one cup portions. So nice to get our and add to soup, burritos, chili, or whatever I need.

  7. I see much less of the loss leader sales, too, sadly.

    I picked grapes off of my vines before the rains of TS Fred knock them off or the wild animals can take them. The grapes I picked are just on the verge of being fully ripe, but are already sweet enough to use as is. I left plenty of greener ones on the vine; hopefully I will get at least some of them as well. I crushed and cooked the grapes to strain juice, which I will probably make into jelly. Another option is homemade jello, since I keep plain unflavored gelatin at the house.

    I mended one pair of shorts and hemmed another pair that I bought at Goodwill.

    I used my crock pot and toaster oven on our screened porch to avoid heating up the house.

    I did routine maintenance on my clothesline – I scrubbed off the mold/mildew that always appears on the lines in our hot, humid summers, and tightened the knots.

    I finished another library book and just got notice that The Kitchen Front is now available.

    I sliced up a stained tee-shirt to braid a few at-home use headbands for me.

    Some of my well-worn napkins have developed holes, so they went into the rag bucket, rather than throw them out.

    I hope everyone in the Gulf area avoids bad weather!

  8. Brandy, your peaches look so yummy.
    I saved money this week by cooking from the pantry, freezer and garden. I made salmon burgers, homemade noodle-roni, focaccia bread, homemade pizza, tacos, burgers and fries, frozen blueberries with ice cream, garlic toast from leftover homemade bread. BLTs with tomatoes from the garden. Ate snow peas and cucumbers from the garden for snacks.

    * I stocked up on dishwashing soap and bar soap at the Dollar Tree. When I finally went grocery shopping, I was able to stay under budget for the first time in over a year!!! I used the Kroger Buy 5 sale to stock up on block cheese. It came out to be $4.99 for a 2 pound block, and I had additional coupons off of that. This saved me over $3.00 a block from the regular price. Although I have tried to lower our cheese consumption, my husband and son still use a lot of cheese.

    *School is starting here in 2 weeks, which means fees upon fees upon more fees. I was happy to see that each high schooler is being given a laptop for the school year. Also very happy to see that there is no school supply list for high school this year. Most work will be done on the computer, and any additional supplies will be provided by the school. The ID card will be free this year, also. This will all help out so much.

    *Just starting to research WA State Homeschool Law and Requirements. I want to be ready in case I need to pull my son out of in person learning. His anxiety level about going back to school is very high. I’m hoping to be able to find a reasonably price High School curriculum that I can purchase if I need to.

    *Hope everyone is staying cool and having a wonderful week!

    1. As you are doing your research I’m sure you’ll run across this but, if you withdraw your child from the local public school you’ll also have to file your intent to homeschool with your local school district office. Make sure you request a copy of that ‘intent to homeschool’ for your own record keeping.

    2. I would be interested in what you find out when you research inexpensive education options. My granddaughters stayed for a month this summer. They were doing Ixle math as a summer vacation thing to do. My daughter said it cost her $8 per month per girl; she restricted the girls to working on it for only one hour a day because she said last summer they started out the summer by doing Ixle math a lot and then got tired of it and didn’t want to do it anymore. Ixle has other subjects also, and there is a quantity discount for signing up for more subjects. My granddaughters tried out Khan Academy, found it kind of boring, but I did use it to explain exponent notation once. They read free books online at Open Library while they were here, too. They are going to be homeschooled this year. They went in person last year with masks and social distancing, but they said it was hard to have a conversation with anybody that far apart. The previous year they had classes on Zoom after January. They have pen pals they write to and text to.

      1. Elizabeth, our school district uses IXL for many math assignments. It was ok for grade school and middle school math, but we found it very difficult to use for high school math. We actually like the Kahn Academy much better, as it really takes the time to teach the kids how to do the math and work the equations and also shows clearly where the mistakes were made. The progression of assignments makes sense with Kahn Academy, as the kids learn a math skill and then build upon it.

  9. I wasn’t feeling all that well this last week, with arthritis triggered by wet weather, allergies from forest fire smoke, an upset stomach, and some struggles for mental health. Because of that I didn’t get much done, though I am rested now and feeling better. I did make blueberry muffins with blueberries from this season, and a pot of chicken broth using bones from the freezer, so I’m having soup each day. I’ve also added a new easy breakfast to my menus, which is yogurt with blueberries. I used lemon yogurt.

    I’ve gone over the limit of my grocery budget for the month, mostly to take advantage of some sale prices. I bought two packs of coffee for $6.88 instead of $7.98, two large cans of salmon for $4.88 each instead of $2.88 best sale price for a small can, and $2.50 for a litre of canola oil (about a quart), when the normal best sale price is $2.99. I also got potatoes and small turnips. This is the seccond time this year I have been able to get turnips. Last year I didn’t see them one.

    I’ve been reading a book about Mexico by Paul Theroux, On the Plain of Snakes. It is interesting, though somewhat depressing. I was interested because this was a trip Theroux did in his 70s, when others felt he was too old to be doing adventure travel. I needed to read about someone in his position just going ahead and doing what he wanted to do. It is taking me some time to read it, though. I needed to renew it after three weeks, because I was only halfway through it. I’m usually finished a book I am enjoying in just a few days.

    With Labor Day fast approaching, I am writing lists of what I realistically can get done while the weather is good that will make the biggest difference. I am quite happy with how much progress there has been so far on my yard and pantry though I am not in prepper territory.

    1. Elizabeth,
      If you like books about older travelers, you might enjoy the “Creaky Traveler” books as well as The Girls With the Grandmother Faces!

      1. Yes, I agree. I think that’s why I’m finding it so interesting. He also gets local people to say what’s on their minds. I’ve read a couple of his books before, but I’ll have to read some more when I finish this.

  10. I’m always so excited for this post each week. Thanks to Brandy and all for contributing!
    I picked up some books that I put on hold at the library and am enjoying those.
    I watched the Anzac Girls on Amazon Prime. It’s an historical drama about nurses from Australia and New Zealand serving in World War 1, and I really enjoyed it.
    Meals included haystacks, corn dogs and salad, pasta with red sauce and leftovers.
    I still spend some time every day finding something to clean and something to declutter.
    My 19 year old son who struggles decided on his own to apply to the local community college! He starts next week. I’m grateful he found a less expensive way to explore if college will work for him and trying to figure out what he might want to do. I’m trying to be realistic about what might happen, but excited nonetheless. He will still live at home.
    Hope everyone has a nice week!

  11. Your peaches look wonderful! I bought some today and hope they will be delicious. Honey $1.99, noodles $.79, cheddar blocks and shredded cheese $1.88 were the sale items. I also found tortillas with $1 off coupons, making them $.50 each for 4 packages. I came home and picked kale.
    We went to the Jersey Shore to visit my uncle and cousins. I marvel now that my uncle built their house and we’ve been visiting 60 years. We brought steaks to grill and bought Jersey sweet corn and tomatoes there. One of my cousins baked some of my aunt’s favorite recipes. It was a great trip!
    I went into the city with my sister to see a play. Seats were 2 or 3 together staggered rows. I hadn’t been on the subway for over a year. Everyone on the trains and in the theater wore masks. It was wonderful to be out. I will probably be home now until September.
    Thank you for this great forum and all your good advice!

    1. I’m amazed that you can buy honey for $1.99. The regular prices now are between $9.99 and $14.99 Cdn. for a 1 kg. jar (2 lbs.). There was an on-sale price of $8.99 for liquid honey, but it had nearly completely crystallized in the jars. That wouldn’t have bothered me at all if the price lowered to reflect the quality of the product…but no. It remained at that price then once the sale was done, jumped up to $10.99 a jar. Needless to say I didn’t buy any. Just a few months ago that brand of honey was $7.99 for the regular price and tended to go on sale for $4.99 a jar. I had some in my pantry so didn’t bother to restock it then. Now I’ve been searching for some at a decent on-sale price and I’m really having a difficult time. This past week, I was happy to find a flyer deal for the 1 kg. jar for $6.49, but when I got to the store, there wasn’t any left. I got a raincheck but I wasn’t given a guarantee if they’ll even restock that brand again. Well, my search continues.

      1. As a beekeeper, I feel compelled to jump in and comment. Honey found in grocery stores, particularly for rock bottom prices, can be mixed with corn syrup or other additives. It may not be 100% honey. Just be forewarned when looking for cheap honey. I will also say that it takes the beekeeper quite a bit of work to bring the honey to the table (not to mention the work the bees do) so I personally feel this is a case of you get what you pay for. Beekeepers who are dedicated to the health of their bees would never be able to sell it for $1.99 a jar. Also, honey that has crystallized is perfectly fine to eat and, in fact, some people prefer it that way. If it is not to your liking, you can simply heat it by placing the jar in a pan of hot water for a few minutes and then stir it up. Never get water inside a jar of honey as it can mold. That is really the only way to spoil it. Honey has been found in the tombs in Egypt that is still perfectly edible. Treated well, it will never spoil. I often trade honey for other items with neighbors so, if honey is something you would like to have, I encourage you to find a local beekeeper, befriend them and see if you can work out a trade of some sort. You would get a wonderful product, would be supporting a local person, and maybe make a friend in the process. Best of luck!

        1. So nicely said. Agree 100%. Thank you for helping the honeybees and for providing a environmentally wholesome product for your community.

        2. We have regularly been buying 5 lbs of honey at the Amish bulk foods store for about $15, up until a few months ago. Last time I was there it was about $22 for 5 lbs IF you could get it. I won’t be surprised to see it’s gone up even more. My daughter has been buying 2 lb jars instead of 5 lbs at a time. I still have half a jar but usually would have used most of it by now. With my husband being in the hospital for 10 days and then going to rehab, I’ve been too busy to make my usual granola. I’m missing it and when I get caught up I expect to make a double batch every other week, at least. Now we are looking for a new memory care facility as he is finished with rehab and walking well again. Hoping for a bed in our first choice but it depends on another family accepting a change, so I can’t depend on it. If not, I have a couple others in mind but it will take a few more days to do the paperwork etc. The responsibility for the bill is mine as of Wednesday, but it barely matters as we pay privately anyhow. It’s probably a bit more expensive so I will be moving him as soon as possible. I should know by Monday, one way or the other.

  12. Hello Everyone!

    It’s peach season here, too! I canned 14 pints of peaches from our trees. It’s the first year we’ve had a crop and they’re delicious, especially the white peaches. I had a heck of a time getting the bird netting off to harvest them. However, it successfully kept the birds from getting to them. 👍🏼 All the peach skins were fed to our hens. After the fact, I watched a You Tube video of how to make peach jelly from the skins. I might try that next year. 🍑

    I made apple filled oatmeal bars as a snack for my kids. I used last year’s canned apple pie filling in the center. I need to use it up because canning apples and pears are next. I’ll focus on canning fruit in extra light syrup rather than desserts this year. I bought more mason jars from Walmart to process the fruit. Those seem available whereas canning lids are not in my area.

    I made two loaves of a sandwich style wheat seed bread this morning. We had homemade chicken noodle soup made from roast chicken that we saved in the freezer. I made quinoa salad, a cucumber-tomato salad using my garden veggies, and some pork chops. All meals were made at home, as usual.

    The pork chops were $1.29/lb. at Lucky. I bought about 10 lbs. While at the store, I found mild Italian sausage on a manager special for $1.99/lb. (from $4.99/lb.). I vacuum sealed everything and put it in the freezer for future meals.

    I started a little Christmas shopping. I keep hearing about Chinese port closures and a backlog of ships at port. I have a Christmas fund that I put a bit of money toward each month in preparation. Dave Ramsey calls it a sinking fund.

    Have a blessed, beautiful, and healthy week! 🍐

  13. I loooove the pictures of your peaches, Brandy! So inspiring to realize you grow them in the desert!

    My frugal week:
    – Made my yummy Produce-Packed Fudgy Banana Bread (http://approachingfood.com/produce-packed-fudgy-banana-bread/), using zucchini I got in a discounted food box.
    – Made zucchini and cinnamon pancakes (buttermilk pancakes with shredded zucchini blended in)
    – Made Creamy Banana Oatmeal, enriched with powdered milk (rotating my pantry storage) and using frozen banana (bought discounted and frozen)
    – Picked cherry tomatoes, lettuce, snow peas, chives, and hot peppers from the garden
    – Redeemed loyalty points for $10 off and combined it with a sale on detergent
    – Redeemed air miles for $10 off groceries
    – Redeemed sb for $10 to my PayPal account
    – Baked two loaves of Irish soda bread (slices so well for sandwiches, and tastes good even on the third day) and a chocolate snack cake
    – Sewed the eyes back on one of my toddler’s toys
    – Utilized public parks and pool (using the reservation system) for free summer fun for my toddler
    – Made taste-safe slime using pantry ingredients for my toddler

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

    1. Margaret, did you move from your condo? If not, you are getting a surprising amount of stuff from your balcony garden.

      1. Hi Patsy! I’m still in my condo on the weekends, but stay with my parents who have a house during the week, as my husband works from home and can’t get any work done with a toddler and an infant in our small condo. It’s not easy to be apart, but the silver lining is that my kids ate getting a lot of time with my parents (and my parents get to see my kids grow up) and they have a large backyard and garden for my toddler to play in. While I am growing raspberries, tomatoes, basil, green onions, and chives on my balcony this year, my daughter can also pick peas, sunflowers, cherries, mulberries, apples, pears, lettuce, parsley, green onions, carrots, and hot peppers from my parents garden. She especially enjoys picking and eating the snow peas! I have such fond memories of eating garden fresh produce as a kid, so I’m glad my daughter is getting the same experience. Plus, it’s significantly cheaper than store-bought!

  14. Yum, peaches! That’s a great price on eggs. How nice that you got to see your friend.

    It was very hot in the Seattle area for a few days, but it should be cooler for a couple days. It’s nice to have the windows open.

    Did lots of food things this week. Refilled smaller jars from bulk supply: coconut oil, ghee and dried beans. Made deodorant and face scrub. Cooked a large batch of pinto beans and froze 3 quart bags after we ate some. Got a pound of peaches free at our local coop. Made a bulk batch of meatballs. Took a few things from the “extra” box at my CSA.

    I shared last week that our new washer and dryer were unable to be installed on the first try because we needed a plumbing repair. The plumber came and fixed the issue, which ended up costing $1000 (ouch!). Thankfully, the delivery service was able to come the next day to deliver the washer and dryer. This whole thing was quite an expense (especially since we are living off savings at the moment). But I am so grateful to have a washer and dryer that work again! Plus the washer can do larger loads – I have a whole stack of blankets and comforters that the old washer could not handle (it had been dying slowly for a couple years). So I am working my way through all of those things that need to be laundered.

    I recently made a dark blue sleeveless linen top. Unfortunately, I got two small bleach stains on it when I was cleaning my mom’s toilet. The stains were close to the neckline, so I covered them up with small blue buttons, adding a few extra to make a decorative pattern. It actually looks really cute, and I can still wear the top.

    Performed vacuum maintenance. Cut all the threads out of the brush roller, rinsed the filters, and even cleaned the cyclone (I had never actually done that before). Watched a youtube video to figure out how. Yay for a clean vacuum!

    Am close to finishing a project I have been planning to do for a couple years. I have a thin quilt from when I was a kid, and the backing was getting shredded. Added a layer of new batting and used an old sheet as the facing. Then did a rough version of hand quilting to attach all three layers together. The last step is to attach the binding to the edge. Already had all the supplies except hand quilting thread, which was bought at Joann’s with a coupon. It’s turning out really well. And I will get to use my old childhood quilt again, which makes me happy.

    Hope everyone has a great week.

    1. Hi Tina, I recently read a blog about tie dying clothing that has become stained or bleached. That it can artfully hide imperfections. It sounds like the buttons did the trick, but maybe this could be another idea for the future.

    2. Tina, I wish I had a dollar for every time I have splashed bleach up onto a pair of pants, while I was scrubbing something. I just did it again a year or so ago. I’m 72 years old. When WILL this lesson sink in? 😀

      1. I don’t even use bleach and yet have managed a few stains–it’s in a few other products. I must have poured some into the washer at one time or another because I have a pair of underwear that are ombre spots now when they used to be solid colored. I do have a bottle of bleach but I only use it for white cottons (not many of them left) and I only use it in the basement when I do. It amazes me what we can find to stain ourselves with.

  15. Your books sound fascinating, Brandy! Thank you for the recommendations.

    Here is what we did to save money:
    * I stayed home a few days to avoid driving and to accomplish more at home.
    * I read a few free ebooks on Kindle. They really inspired me and encouraged my faith.
    * It was a joy to take walks most days. The weather has been beautiful, and it’s great to get fresh air at the same time.
    * I took natural remedies each day for health maintenance. It is more frugal than to pay for expensive medical treatments down the road.
    * We ate one cucumber (more to come!) and plenty of dill from our container garden.
    * It was a joy to listen to audiobooks from Librivox.
    * We gratefully ate all meals at home to save money and to stay as healthy as possible.
    * I made homemade lemonade from scratch using ingredients I had at home instead of purchasing ready-made lemonade from the store. It had less sugar too (I actually used maple syrup instead of sugar.).

  16. Hi Brandy and everyone
    You and your husband did some great money saving together this week. The book titles sound interesting. I have just finished reading Make Do and Mend which is a reprint of the wartime pamphlets issued to help families stretch their clothing coupons, mend and reinforce clothes, remodel adult clothes for children etc. I already have the book Eating for Victory which reprinted the cooking advisory pamphlets about how to make carrot jam, Woolton pie etc. They are both fascinating.
    We’ve been away for a few days to a wedding so quite a spendy time but a few money saving efforts took place.
    We took reusable water bottles and snacks for the journey. We were given some flowers to bring home from the wedding.
    We picked plums, tomatoes and dug potatoes from the garden. I used 2 leftover limes to make a cranberry and lime cake. I used a chicken carcass to make nearly 3 pints of stock for the freezer.
    I bought a brand new linen tea towel for £1 in a charity shop. I have enough linen tea towels bought this way to make bundles for gifts.
    There was a deal on the tea I drink and a good price on caster sugar so I stocked up. We prefer homemade soup but I do keep a few tins of soup in the larder for emergencies/ illness etc and I found a good quality brand reduced from £1 to 50 pence a tin so I restocked.
    Stay safe everyone.

  17. *I made a baby afghan to donate, using yarn that was given to me.
    *I was given grapes, corn, and a loaf of homemade bread.
    *I harvested tomatoes, basil (enough for a couple of batches of pesto for the freezer) and peppers from the garden.
    *I found blueberries for $1.97 for a 18 oz. clamshell. I bought four with plans to freeze them.
    *I found corn for 6 ears for $1. It still have a lot in the freezer, but couldn’t pass up that deal. So I bought 6 ears and cut the corn off the cobb and froze it. The corncobs went into the freezer for making vegetable broth.
    *From my mother’s estate, I took paper towels, envelopes, aluminum pans for sharing food, and colored markers.
    *We went to a free outdoor concert put on by our symphony. It was truly wonderful!
    *Went on a hike with friends.
    *Took a free online training class on how to put together a course to teach through our university’s continuing education program.
    *I received notification that my application to receive more training on working with adults was accepted. I will get $200 for taking the course and they will help me find a place to teach!
    *I am grateful for this community of caring and conscientious people!

  18. Your peaches look yummy!
    I’ve been turning up our air conditioner to a higher temperature to use less energy. Turning off lights when not in use and turning the temperature higher when not at home. When we got the electric bill, it was lower usage than last year. But it was still expensive. We have done a lot of cooking at home. My husband made carrot apple soup with cinnamon yesterday with Salmon patties. I had leftover carrot soup today. I am making things with beans often, lots of Indian Currys. Today we will eat Dal Mahkani with black urad dal and kidney beans. We picked our corn. I need to freeze what we won’t eat right away. That is a job for later today. We enjoyed going to see a lavender farm and bought a few items, lotion and soap and lip balm. It wasn’t frugal but it was fun and I bought items I would use. The frugal part is that we did not spend the night anywhere. We came back home to sleep. We are seriously considering growing lavender. I’m growing a little bit. But we may grow more. We also ate at a little Swedish restaurant. I bought side dishes and yellow split pea soup as a meal and loved it! The soup was wonderful with dill and a bit of sour cream. It was much cheaper than buying an entree and I actually bought what I wanted. I love beets and had a beet salad and a potato salad with sour cream and dill. I’m glad we got away for a day and didn’t worry about anything. It was a much needed break. Breakfast was a sandwich in the car. Dinner ended at McDonalds with the grandchildren. It was good to see them as well. We are frugal on most days so I don’t feel bad about having a day out. We did not over spend. Usually I feel guilty when I spend money. But I was so glad for the mental break, now I can get back to business of being frugal again. Lavender is a very calming essential oil. I enjoy the smell of a lot of essential oils but Lavender and geranium are two favorites. I got a book from the library on foraging.

    1. Tammy, it sounds like you were in Door County, Wisconsin. They have a lavender farm and there is a famous Swedish restaurant where the goats are on the roof. I love that place! Lavender is very calming. I’m so glad you had such an enjoyable trip!

      1. Laura,
        Door County, Wisconsin sounds nice! Goats on the roof, what fun! We went to Bennington, Ks to a Lavender Farm. Then to Lindsborg, Ks to a Swedish restaurant and to visit the little shops. Lavender is calming, I agree!

    2. Hi Tammy,

      I had a pot of lavender from last year. Usually it doesn’t overwinter here but lo and behold it came back again. I’m about to harvest it.
      Your day out sounds lovely and special. Ann

      1. Ann,
        I have a pot of lavender too. I guess it does better in the ground. It was a special day. A much needed break.
        Tammy

  19. So glad you got a good deal on eggs and metal!
    We hosted a birthday and had to accommodate a GERD friendly diet. So the mister and I tried a few simple recipes and were A. Very happy with the taste. B. Very happy that they were frugal to make. We also had been sleeping better which leads to better decision making skills 🙂 I ordered a GERD cookbook using Bing points converted into Amazon GC.
    I took a collection of used holiday/birthday cards and repurposed the cards into new cards, journal art and gift tags (by cutting them up).
    I bartered garden veggies for home grown fruit.
    I’ve been able to visit discount groceries again and am thankful for the savings.
    I hope everyone has a calm & restful week!

      1. No one has responded yet, but I will tell you what I learned when I went to the Mayo Clinic for esophageal issues about 5 years ago. A low acid diet, which you can find online, will help A LOT. Beans and legumes are good. I find I can eat small amounts of tomatoes and oranges, but orange juice is way too concentrated, and grapefruit is problematic. Be very wary of deep-fried foods. I discovered (to my surprise) that bread is very hard to digest. The most important thing for me is to stop eating the moment it occurs to you that maybe you shouldn’t be eating this. I am not kidding, this sometimes happens when the food is on my fork and halfway to my mouth. Surprisingly, I’m rarely hungry after this. And, if I am, I can eat more later.

  20. I bought the haircut kit on Amazon that you recommended (thank you!) and have plans to start using it soon. My mom gave my youngest a haircut while I was out doing a photo shoot this last weekend (otherwise, I would have started with him!). I feel completely intimidated about starting, but thanks to everyone’s encouragement on here, I know I’ll figure it out after a few times. (Although if anyone has a good YouTube tutorial on cutting both boys’ hair and girls’ hair, I’d love to see it!)

    Because our kids tend to waste most of their food at restaurant, we fed them in the car this last weekend with sandwiches made at home and then got takeout for my husband and I as a special treat when we went out of town. Everyone was happy and we saved around $10 doing it that way (and my husband was especially happy because we can hardly eat out at all where we live since he has celiac and we have very limited options out here in rural country).

    We harvested green onions, carrots, and tomatoes from our garden, and we’ll be harvesting the first of the zucchini this week (which we got in the ground super late but is still looking like it will do great!).

    My husband finished putting in our new LVP flooring a couple weeks ago—a huge task that’s taken him months to do, but we saved SO MUCH MONEY by having him do it himself rather than hiring it out. It looks amazing, and now he has another skill he can use again in the future!

    My oldest goes back to school this week, and it’s her first year going full-day (as she’s entering 1st grade). I just bought a reusable lunch bag for her so we can save money by her taking her lunch every day (and save money from having to buy disposable lunch bags). It feels like school starts super early here in our new town, but she’s excited!

    1. You might check. All of the public schools around here are offering free breakfast and lunch to each and every student.

  21. We took a trip to Kroger for their weekly digital deals. We spent $39 and bought 20 lbs of sugar, 90 eggs, 5 packages of hot dogs, 5 lbs of breakfast sausage, and some coffee creamer – no secret that the coffee creamer was the most expensive item purchased. We also restocked AP flour, cocoa powder, and some spices.
    We harvested lots of green bell peppers and banana peppers from the garden plus some basil. I see a large pot of stuffed pepper soup on our menu for this coming week. Additional rain and remnants of a tropical storm set to blow through our area tomorrow have put off seeds being sown again this week. I did finish pulling the rest of the field peas from the garden as they are done producing for the season.
    Batch cooking has become my new Sunday ritual and the best thing I can do to fight the take out monster when we are in the middle of the week, exhausted and going through carpool, homework and the everyday run of a household. I made a batch of walnut muffins (thank you Brandy!!) adding in some golden raisins that needed to be used, I also cooked a batch of creamy tomato soup, pork chops, a pot of beef stew, confetti corn, and steamed cabbage. I also made a batch of sausage balls for easy on the go breakfasts.
    We received what I hope will be our largest electric bill for the season this past month. I am officially ready for fall.
    I hope everyone enjoys the week ahead!

    1. My largest one will be the next one. We run the air conditioner here until mid-October.

  22. Your peaches look juicy! My peach tree has done well this year. I have shared 10 peach cobblers with others, and my family is still enjoying the last dozen fruits simply sliced.

    I have read for several years (followed on a few different platforms) and tremendously enjoy your photos and content. I also love to sew, garden, read and love languages! I teach students from around the world as well as homeschool my own. I have not ever commented, and my husband has asked me, “Why not?”

    Thank you for such a lovely place to visit each week!

  23. I have been eating peaches all week also, but I have to buy them at the farm stand. The best place charges $5.95 for 6 good sized peaches. I stopped at another stand where she was charging $4 for 6 peaches, but they were smaller and dead ripe. I’ve eaten them and they were delicious but I think the larger ones are better.
    Red grapes were on sale again for $1.49 a lb and I got one lb even though I still have a few left from last week. They had enormous cantaloupes last week but this week’s were more average size (I might even finish it) for $2.50. I like cantaloupe and blueberries combined but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to eat all that so I didn’t buy blueberries. I have frozen ones but that doesn’t work for me.
    My husband was released from the hospital and is doing quite a bit better than he was, although he was a bit grumpy yesterday. We visited and took him some more clothes. He has been admitted to a rehab facility where he will be getting physical therapy twice a day to work on his walking. He is walking independently but is quite unsteady. He can spend up to 100 days in rehab if he makes progress and then will need a bed in a different unit–at what level of care we won’t know until after therapy. The facility where he is now has both memory care and skilled nursing, and I hope they will have a bed for him when the time comes. It is about 12 minutes from our house instead of half an hour. It seems more friendly and they are certainly more communicative. My daughter and I like it much better. The staff is friendlier and it seems like there are more things for him to do if he wants to participate.
    I have made some progress on the house in the past week but am now looking for help with the weeds in what was formerly my gardens. I cannot keep up and I’m going to need some help before the summer ends. I need to find a company that will do a good job. Last year my daughter’s friend did a lot for me but she has now moved to Florida.
    I did find pork chops on sale this week and bought some and froze them. Brandy, you are so right about loss leaders disappearing. I have not even bought any some weeks and a couple weeks bought only 1. 77 cents for a 1 lb box of pasta isn’t going to draw huge crowds, but I did need one kind.
    I finally made a batch of brownies which I have been craving, although it’s the only baking I have done lately.

  24. Those peaches look delicious. I have not written for two weeks. We are busy at work and busy in the garden.
    I worked 6 days in the last two weeks. Brought breakfast and lunch both days.
    Had popcorn for a snack once a week.
    Made popsicles a few times. They are so good after working in the garden.
    Made a total of 5 jars of dill pickles with cucumbers, garlic and dill from the garden.
    Made and bottled batch of refrigerator pickles with cucumbers and onions from the garden. It made 4 pint jars. I have another batch in the fridge now. They have to sit for four days, being stirred once or twice a day prior to bottling.
    Dug 3 hills of potatoes, and made rosemary roasted potatoes with the last ones we dug. Some of these are big enough, I will make baked potatoes on Wednesday, when it gets a little cooler.
    Made broccoli soup with the spears I picked from the garden, plus some 2 year old chopped broccoli from the freezer. Made bacon, onion and cheese scones to go with it, using some of the 77¢ for 8 oz. pepper jack cheese that I got a couple of weeks ago.
    Made a zucchini and onion quiche. Used herbs we have grown in the garden and dried to season it. It used eggs given to my DH by a friend, and part of a block of cheese I got a couple weeks ago for $3.99 for 2 pounds. It was very tasty.
    Made 4 loaves of zucchini bread, and gave one to a neighbor family that just moved into the neighborhood.
    Got 4 pound bags of sugar for 97¢ each. Got the limit of 5.
    Also got Jimmy Dean sausage for $1.99 per pound, with a limit of 5. One package is enough for 3 pizzas. Each pizza lasts at least 2 meals for the two of us.
    Got another 4 cans of tomato sauce – the big 106 ounce cans. they have gone up 20¢ in the last two weeks.
    Picked basil, and dried 10 trays of it. Also picked onions as needed for recipes. We won’t have to buy onions now until next May or June, as we grow enough.
    Picked cucumbers – both for pickles and for eating, zucchini, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beets, carrots, yellow summer squash, and bell peppers.
    Our eggplant is a beautiful plant, but there is no fruit forming. I doubt we will get any this year, as it is about 6 weeks till our potentially first frost.
    Bought a Kohls card at Safeway, to get double reward points, and then used the card to get new underwear that was on sale for 25% off. Also got $10 in Kohls cash.
    I hope everyone has a fruitful week.

  25. Pretty peaches!

    I made salsa with extra tomatoes. I only had to buy a Mrs Wages season mix, as I already had jars and lids. I ended up with only 2 quarts(and one has already been consumed, lol).

    Entered receipts on rebate apps.

    My mom sent over hand wipes, candy, ice cream, rootbeer, TV dinners, cereal, powdered milk, and bread.

    A local store is running coupons good for certain weeks in August. This week, I got a case of water for .99, lofthouse cookies for 1.99($1 cheaper than Walmart), and babybel cheese for $4.50(just .47 cheaper than Walmart but I’ll take it, lol). All limit one though.

    I straightened up my school supply shelves. I shouldn’t need to buy anything, unless the 14yo has something odd on her list(which, high schools here don’t give out until school starts).

    I finished and returned the last two books I had checked out. I have a big list of ones I want to read, but I also came across 4 books here I haven’t read. I’m going to finish them first before I get any more from the library.

    I listened to(and finished) an audiobook taking and returning from dropping off the 14yo at my mother in laws for a few days. I have another short one picked out for when I go get her.

    Cleaned up my dry goods storage tub(hubby still hasn’t finished my pantry 🙄). I found two opened boxes of fettuccine, so I used them for dinner instead of the new box. I also found several snacks that made the 14yo happy.

  26. Hi Brandy,
    I hope you’re feeling better. From your shopping trip it sounds like you’re out and about this week finding savings. I absolutely agree with you about loss leaders, they are less frequent lately. I too make sure to go to the stores when I do see them. I have also been more prone to stop at Aldi when I pass one by as they mark down dairy and meat items. We have been lucky on a few occasions with mark downs which really do help the budget.

    The last two weekends we finished landscaping the yard at our second house. The house which is almost 70 years old had never been landscaped with a border or bushes. Although the plants and mulch cost money, us doing the work saved money over hiring it out. It really gives the house a final touch. My son and I put in a lot of work to make the yard happen, a neighbor also came and helped us last weekend for two days. She was a complete blessing, as is my son. I met with realtors on Friday and hope to have the house listed this week. I’m excited and nervous. I have now bought two homes, but have yet to sell one. With all the work focused on the house I have taken a break from grocery shopping and know staying at home and doing our own work is a huge savings and great place to be.

    I hope you and everyone else who reads your blog has a great week!

  27. That is a beautiful silver knife in your photograph of peaches. It is so elegant with its curves.
    On the frugal front:
    1. I’m using a free pet visit coupon to take my cat to see the vet at Banfield Animal Hospital. (If your pet is a new customer the 1st visit is free with their online coupon.)
    2. I won a movie ticket, popcorn, and a drink on MyCokeRewards by entering the codes inside the bottle tops of 20 oz drinks.
    3. I split a taco meal w/ my sister. I used points on an app to get the meal. We did buy 2 90 cent drink refills & 4 soft tortillas for 1$. We took home the leftover beans & 2 tortillas to a make 2 bean burritos.
    4. I took my sister to Sams to get her dogs medicine. It was 1/2 the cost that she paid at her vet.
    5. Got a free large iced coffee at Panera. They are running a 3 month free coffee subscription. I haven’t decided if I will keep the subscription after the free period is over.

  28. Thank you for the book recommendations, they are always appreciated!
    I did some returns while at my parents 2 hours away, to save the return shipping fee from 2 different stores. Never fun but I love the refund! A neighbor offered some river rocks, we’re making a “dry creek bed” at the end of a long planting bed, next to the sidewalk. My mother sent home half a watermelon with me.
    I called about a discount on our roadside assistance, and was given a $30 credit towards renewal. Not bad for a 5 minute phone call.
    Worked a sub job today, always glad to get those.
    Spent a good bit of time altering a pair of Old Navy linen pants, but they are a vast improvement and I’m happy I did the job. Made a peg bag for a Buy Nothing member. Received things for our grandson-2 wooden puzzles and 2 books, as well as a real leather Banana Republic purse for me. It needs a little TLC, which I looked up online.
    Happy week to all!

    1. I love the book recommendations too! I started keeping the library tab open when reading the comments so I can place holds before I forget the titles.

      1. I’ve been doing the same! I have so many on hold that now I just “mark” them so I can go back periodically and order them. My copy of “The Kitchen Front” finally arrived – after waiting months – and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The book suggestions here are always terrific.

  29. Brandy, I hope you’ve recovered from the bronchitis.

    This weekend we bought a used front-load washer. Ours had very temperamental electronic controls although it still worked. I miss the mechanical controls because they didn’t go bad. Anyway, we’re on a email list for a demolition sales company that allows you to buy items from houses that are going to be torn down. He does high-end sales. We bought both the washer & a dryer although we don’t need a dryer: he required getting both, so we picked them up in our pick-up and put the dryer on CraigsList. We need the plumber to come put new spigots on, but the price was extremely reasonable and it’ll be nice not to fight with the washer.

    I sold via CL a dwarf mulberry tree that I’d ground-layered from my plant, as well as clitoria, false roselle, turmeric and Surinam cherry plants. I made cuttings of a false roselle stalk the iguanas had bent and broken for future sales.
    Someone put out a small tumble composter for the trash and we picked it up to use for fruits and veggies because, for the first time ever, we’re having trouble with rats.

    I got more okra from my huge plant and cooked chaya. The charity we volunteer for had organic limes and lemons which they don’t use, so I blended them up in the Vitamix and strained the pulp out. I keep the juice in the refrigerator and mix a bit with water, ice and stevia to make ades. We also got broccoli from them and Gary made broccoli “wings” which are delicious.

    I ordered some bulk items through Azure.
    My dear friend, a holistic vet with whom I used to work as a homeopath until he closed his house call practice ordered some prescription eye medications for our cat. Drops that cost $7 dollars would have been $45 from the pharmacy or the veterinary ophthalmologist! I find that an unconscionable mark up on top of the steep consultation fees.
    I hope all of you have a good week.

  30. -Deals for the week were: unadvertised store special-country pork ribs for $1.09/lb. I bought 2 large packages for $4.50 each and it made 6 meals (4 ribs each package) added to the freezer for us. So that comes out to $1.50 a meal, plus we will have leftovers for pork sandwiches, pork pieces with sauerkraut, or tacos. Also sliced Bonguards American cheese (3#) for $7.98 (divided into packages and froze)and black grapes for $0.79# to can into juice. I also hit the jackpot in the meat department Saturday night. In the clearance cooler I got 3 racks of pork spare ribs, all marked down to $6.00 each. They had been previously marked $24.00 each. Also two Tbones marked to $5.00 each from $18.00. So $116.00 worth of meat for $28.00-75% savings!!

    -Meals: Monday-home canned tomato soup with cheese tortellini and vinegar cukes; Tuesday-pork chops with boiled potatoes, home canned green beans, and Kansas cucumber salad; Wednesday-pork ribs with fresh sauerkraut, leftover green beans, boiled potatoes, and Kansas cucumber salad; Thursday-(hubby’s Bday)-ribeyes bought on clearance a few weeks ago for $5 each with vinegar cukes and salads; Friday- leftover pork and beef steak with fried potatoes leftover from boiled ones and leftover green beans; Saturday-Chicken Parmesan with angel hair pasta and sourdough bread; Sunday-Mac and cheese with brats

    -I had a jar of peaches break in the canner. The good thing is that it cracks and the bottom usually falls out. The peaches were floating on top of the water, so I salvaged them and put them in the refrigerator. I also had a about a quarter cup of the peach raspberry jam left after canning a batch, that also went in the refrigerator. All week for breakfast I had Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of the jam mixed in and a few slices of the peach cut up on top. Then a sprinkle of granola (Brandy’s recipe). No waste of the bits and bobs left over.

    -I had half of a five gallon bucket of apple drops from our trees. Cut them in half and made the water and cream of tartar mixture. Got that poured over the cut apples. They will sit 36 hours. The cream of tartar helps to pull out the juice. I will sweeten and can it. I canned 5 quarts of juice. I almost have another 1/2 bucket of windfall apples and will start another batch to work and then to can.

    -I picked 32 jalapeños and made candied jalapeños. I canned 6 half pints and 3 half pints of brine. Can’t wait for the 4 weeks for it to infuse the flavors so we can open a jar.

    -I also canned the sauerkraut that was in the crock. It was done working and yummy! I canned 17 pints. From first tomato picking I canned 9 pints of pizza sauce. And 10 quarts of grape juice was also canned.

    -Harvesting from the garden-last of the cabbage, jalapeños, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, and some small snacking lunchbox peppers-red and yellow.

    -I made two 8×8 pans of apple crisp. Used 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 apple slices. I gave one away to a friend who was batching it for the week. His wife was out of town. He told me he ate it 2 nights in a row for supper! And it was the best apple crisp he has ever eaten. Of course, I had to confess it had zucchini in it as well as apples. The look on his face! But he said well you can make it for me again!!

    -I was given 2 dozen regular pint jars, 2 dozen wide mouth pint jars, and 1 dozen wide mouth quart jars. Got to love free!!

    -I helped clean out a house after a friend’s aunt died. I received a set of 7 hand embroidered flour sack dish towels, a set of 8 Budweiser wildlife beer glasses (from the 70’s or 80’s), a set of 4 Minnesota Vikings engraved stemless wine glasses, a brand new in the box pampered chef stoneware sheet pan, brand new in the box air fryer, and a North Face raincoat with the tags still on. These will all be used for Christmas gifts.

    -I also got 2 jadeite FireKing bowls, a smooth small one and a larger rippled one, a clear refrigerator covered dish with raised ivy design, a set of green depression ware salt and pepper shakers, several cookbooks, and a 9×13 Pampered Chef stone ware pan that I will keep for myself. It was 3 days of hard work but worth the time for what I received. Bartering my time for gifts.

    -Have a great week!

  31. A friend told me two chicken restaurants she visited last week ran out of chickens. I wonder if chickens are going to be scarce as well as tomatoes.

    1. Beef and pork it seems may become a bit cheaper this fall I am being told by my local farmer friends as many of the farmers are selling off more stock than usual because they won’t have the grain to feed as many animals due to the drought. But then that makes less meat in the following year and rising prices. For me that means a stock up now of what I can and next year less meat in meals and more meatless meals if this comes to fruition.

    2. My Asda supermarket which was owned at one time by Walmart, had no chicken at all on there web site. It was all labelled as out of stock, which meant there was no chicken in any of there stores. I did manage to get some from Waitrose.

    3. Tyson recalled 8 and a half million pounds of frozen chicken in the US at the beginning of July because of possible listeria contamination. Between that and feed prices for chickens going up, it will take the system some time to absorb that loss. Chickens are fast to raise, though, so it may not be a long-term shortage.

  32. Our garden is doing very well and we have harvested five large zucchini and lots of so far. There is a lot more to go so we are hoping for some warm sun to get ripening. There have been very few good grocery sales recently and we are so well stocked up that I have spent less than $20 the whole month. Because we currently have no income, I have been using money from returning alcohol bottles and cans that were gifted to us from our local buy nothing group to buy the few things that we need. It has been a challenge for me to stretch it as far as I can!

    I hope you are feeling better, Brandy. Have a lovely week one and all.

  33. My daughter and I carefully packed her belongings and moved her to her new apartment. We moved using two vehicles and avoided renting a moving truck. She had a friend come move her very heavy king size mattress for her. Friends are priceless. I collected multiple items from my home to furnish her new place. I went to the Amazon return center on $7.00 day, $1.00 day and $50 cent day. I bought her several items. Curtains. Laundry room shelving, mixing bowls, and several storage baskets. I had several nice items picked up dumpster diving at Kirklands prior to them shutting down. Kitchen and front door rugs, artwork ,candles, and a package of flatware. She bought pots and pans. She is still in school, but has a salaried position now. She has grown into a lovely woman. I used swag bucks to buy another gift card that will be applied to my coming vacation. I’ve paid $600.00 in fees using swag bucks. I bought my daughter a box of freshly meals and went through swag bucks. These go in the freezer so don’t require cooking. I get my money back plus $5.00 profit. I love swag bucks. I went out to the dumpster and brought a good deal of boxed goods that were passed on to a fellow diver. We have worked out a nice system. We each go locally and meet in the middle to share. I brought home , eggs, cheese, almond milk, spring mix and spinach. I didn’t spend much this month. Gas is 40 cents cheaper , across the state line. When I go to the Amazon store, I fill.my car up over there. I’m finding that groceries are cheaper there. I’ve started checking the online grocery deals and picking up good buys there.

  34. Hello,

    My youngest child will be starting Kindergarten this year, so I decided to pick up a part-time job. The pay is low, but I can set my own schedule, which is what I need.

    We rarely go out for dinner, but we went to a Mexican restaurant over the weekend. My kids often fill up on chips and salsa, so we decided to try splitting a kids meal. It was more than enough food for them, and we saved around $8.

    I took the kids to Barnes and Noble to pick up their free books for the summer reading program.

    I ordered more Panera cards during their 20% off promotion. Its nice to have these on hand for last minute birthdays, teacher gifts, etc., saving me time and a trip to shop for something. They always seem appreciated. You can order up to 4 with free shipping.

    I have been stocking up on flour. I ordered some from Target to complete an order. The bag they sent me was expired. They sent me a free replacement, but I will also use the expired bag since it isn’t too far past the date.

    Fresh Thyme had a $10 off a $50 purchase in their app, so I used it. While I was in the store I registered for a gift basket they were giving away. They called me later to say that I had won. I have also won several other small prizes in sweepstakes that I have entered this summer.

    Getting ready to do my fall garden planting tomorrow!

    Have a good week everyone!

  35. I am returning books to the library tomorrow and I will be looking for those books.
    My sister came to pick up her dog and she ate lunch here. I made BLTs with lettuce and tomatoes from the garden. I saved the bacon grease for soups this winter. She brought ice cream for dessert. She also brought me a container of tea lights that was missing 2. She didn’t like the scent. My daughter and I do. I gave her a bunch of crafts and games to use when her friend and kids were going to visit this week. She will give me back whatever didn’t get used. I get the crafts on sale and clearance. She also brought me a metal tub of flowers from her yard. They were amazing. I sent her home with lots of garden veggies.
    Hubby built me a new shelving unit from materials we already had so I am rearranging the big pantry. I have found a few things that are just expired so they were all brought upstairs to use right away. I still have more to do.
    We had rain several days and it cooled off so I decided to bake brownies and GF blueberry muffins. They were a hit.
    Aldi had grapes for 83¢ a pound and eggs for 46¢ a dozen. I also found 2 carts so another 50¢ into the change jar.
    Hubby and I went peach and nectarine picking. They cost more then the store but they taste so much better. I am going to make a pie when it cools off again. Hubby asked about wood for the smoker and the owner gave us a huge branch that broke off in a recent storm.
    I cooked a bag of pinto beans in the crock pot that I had gotten a while ago on clearance. I used a leftover chicken breast that I had BBQed and shredded it to make chicken tacos. With home grown lettuce and tomatoes and a pot of rice we had dinner. I froze enough beans for 5 more family dinners.
    Hubby fixed an edger that he found in a garbage pile. He had to pay $8 for a part. We are giving it to our daughter that got a house last fall.
    I went out to lunch with P’s daughter(my friend). She insisted on treating me. I brought home my leftovers.
    Hubby and I went to a garage leftover free giveaway that I found on Craigslist. We got a gas can, 5 balls for the dog, several wrenches, a metal cutting disk, and a dual action sander.
    Have a wonderful week everyone.

  36. Brandy: I hope you are well. Hate to be sick in the summer!
    I read today that if you store your fruit in egg cartons in the refrigerator, it will last for a much longer time. Anyone tried that?
    My garden is almost spent. It always makes me sad when the growing season comes to a close. Something magical about it!
    I am reading THE WARSAW ORPHAN. Very well written, but the subject matter is beyond comprehension. May need a psychiatrist when I finish!
    Stay safe out there!

    1. It helps keep the fruit from touching one another. It works well for figs as they are small.

  37. Happy Monday friends!

    Last week was a rough one! My car died after 19 years in the family leaving me stranded while dropping the kids off at day camp. Thankfully we have free roadside assistance from our insurance saving us money in these situations. The car wasn’t worth putting money into so we sold it to the junkyard.

    Our truck needed some basic work last week as well. The mechanic recommended taking it to the dealership for this particular repair so we did. Well they broke something and said it wasn’t their fault and we would have to pay to have it fixed. This didn’t feel right and I said so. After a few phone calls and being treated like a pest the manager said he would split it with me and quoted me $600 ($300 each). This still didn’t feel right to me so I called another dealership and they said I absolutely am not responsible to pay for their mistake. I called back and told them that. He finally said they would cover the cost. We will not return to that dealership after being treated so poorly. I am glad that we didn’t have to pay! The frugal lesson for me here is if it doesn’t feel like they are being honest call around for quotes to make sure they are being fair.

    I am reading lots of books from the library (I love all the recommendations!) and eating out of our garden too!
    Have a good week everyone!

  38. We are happily drowning in peaches here, too. Not ones we grew as they do not do well at our high elevation but they have been gifted to us by a friend who lives off the mountain and has wonderful peaches available to her and which she, fortunately, likes to share with us. We have been eating them daily and putting many in the freezer. I have also traded our chickens eggs for fresh sweet corn and canned goods from friends and neighbors. I sold $74 worth of items in my friend’s booth at a local antique mall. A fun hobby that helps with things we need. I cut my husband’s hair as well as my oldest son’s. I love doing it out on the porch where the consistent breeze just carries the hair away – no sweeping! We continue to work on our house projects and are making steady progress. I feel I have really become a pro at spackling nail holes in trim. I don’t even want to think about how many times I have done this in my life. But, it is a good skill to have that many do not have the patience for, I am told. I saved $38 on my recent grocery store trip between coupons and sales. Best deals were things like bananas for 19 cents a pound and a 1 lb package of turkey deli meat for $2. I do think that prices are going up overall and some shelves are starting to look bare. As far as reading is concerned, I have enjoyed many of the recommendations I have seen here – please keep them coming! I finished The Last Bookshop In London. It was a very enjoyable read with characters you come to care for and enough heart ache and joy to make it a good story. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield. I mentioned it last week, I believe. If you enjoy folklore, mystery, beautiful imagery and language and a story that just feels like it should be told around a fire on a cozy evening then this is the book for you. I am definitely going to read her other two novels as they sound just as good from the descriptions. I am currently reading The Paris Library and enjoying it. My favorite part so far is one of the library patrons belief in “bibliotherapy” – the idea that there is a book for every ache or woe one could have. I believe that thoroughly! I am still waiting for The Kitchen Front – sigh. Brandy’s readers are far and wide, I think.
    Have a lovely week, all!

    1. I, too, am on a library list waiting for The Kitchen Front. From the description of books you love I think you should try A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Reilly. Takes place in Medieval times and is the first of a great trilogy. I think that I have read it five times!

  39. Amazing Peaches. We can’t really get peaches here on Guam but I literally have Mangoes falling off the trees. So I switch out many peach recipes and use Mangoes instead. We were supposed to get hit with a tropical storm today. So I’ve been harvesting as much fruit as I could so it wouldn’t get damaged by the wind. I harvested 40 starfruit which I will use to make a pepper jelly. They don’t have alot of flavor but are similar in texture to a bellpepper but sweet. I’ve harvested in two days about 200 mangoes. As they ripen I will peel and chop and freeze. From there I can can Mango jam and Mango Salsa. I can also use them in smoothies, cakes, breads cookies etc. The Mangoes are Manilla Mangoes very thin skinned. The bruised ones are getting fed to my very happy chickens. The skins go into the compost. I moved my dragon fruit pots with trellises into a safe location so the winds wouldn’t tip them over. Tomato and Avocado season are done now so I’ll be using canned tomatoes and frozen avocadoes until December. A pint of tomatoes at the grocery store here is $9. Wing Beans and Long Bean harvest is on so lots of stir frys and quiches. The Long Beans freeze really well. We demolished two bathroom walls and removed the toilets and sinks ourselves. Our plumber is running new vents, sewer pipes, and waterlines to our new second floor bathroom and the pipes are between walls. By doing the demolition ourselves we saved over $1000. During the construction work I pulled out stuffed butternut squash shells I had frozen, Ricotta ground beef stuffed shells, and pizza dough I had made up previously. This made for hearty meals I could quickly prepare without the temptation for eating out after long days of demolishing things. I have to thank you again for the link to the cotton faux wrap dress. I’ve purchased 4 now and where them to official events here for my husbands command. I wore them for our Liberation Day ceremony, Our visiting British Navy cocktail party, and a visit for a brunch with the Chief of Naval Operations Spouse. Everyone asks where I got the dresses. I send them your link. So Thank you from many ladies here on Guam.

  40. Such beautiful peaches! Absolutely mouth-watering!

    I am so used to doing things frugally (and I don’t can produce or grow much more than perennials) that I often have trouble thinking of things to contribute. So I am making a point to think of things I do do.

    My husband is recovering from knee surgery, using equipment we have from the past, including my Dad’s walker, some hospital room supplies, the last of a decades old roll of bandage tape, etc. I am quite creative in making dressings out of the medium sized self-stick bandages by putting two together to make a big enough one. The sheets covering the recliner and couch he is using are all from yard sales: vintage yellow floral, orange-and-white striped the seller used for a Halloween tablecloth, and startling jungle print. They cheer me up; not sure about the patient.

    I think my grocery store has slightly changed the layout of the ads to cover up that there are fewer loss leaders, though they also are running large “Help Wanted” ads on the front page as well. Most all of the stores and restaurants in my small town are trying to hire, which I remember when I am impatient with checking out. Coupons are starting to show up in the Sunday papers again.

    I found pre-cut apple slices on clearance sale (what decadence!), which were much cheaper per pound, and had no core waste to add to the price. So I bought some, washed them, sliced them smaller, with peelings, and made apple crisp.

    As we sorted through my parents’ home, my sister took the dresses we wore in high school that my Mom had carefully saved, along with some of Mom’s even older clothing, and found a vintage store that took them. It was fun to see my sister’s piano recital dress from almost fifty years ago on the store’s facebook page! This undoubtedly made more money than we could have at a yard sale, and hopefully moved the clothing to people who will enjoy them.

  41. Canned 23 jars of rhubarb sauce, which we use like applesauce. Sometimes we mix the two but not often. The rhubarb grows free in my yard but apples cost me, so we have learned to switch to the free food! A friend from out of town came to visit and left several packages of nuts that she did not want to pack for the return home…I added it into homemade granola. (She also left Twizzlers and I LOVE them and never buy them, so I have been rationing them out to myself. Luckily, my husband does not care for them!!) Used the library. Sold several items on Craigslist, decorative items that were given to me after a friend’s mother died, but they were not in a style I would ever use. She’s been gone several years now, and my friend has since moved, so I did not feel it was disrespectful to find them homes that would appreciate them. I used to collect typewriters but decided enough was enough, so I am keeping only my favorite one and have sold the rest. These were antiques, not electric ones, and I made over $500 in selling 8 of them. Two more to go and they are the most valuable ones. Ate all meals from the garden or freezer.

    Thanks to the person who recommended Words on Fire. I quite enjoyed it, even though it was a young adult book.

  42. Hi Brandy,
    Hope you are feeling better. Last week, our Kroger affiliate here in Phoenix (Safeway/Albertsons) had a $50 off if you spend $50 coupon that showed up on their Just For You site. I claimed it and saw it posted to my account. My husband also did the same. It was due to expire in November so I didn’t rush 🙂 Next day it was gone, from the website and both our accounts. I read a comment on another frugal blog, she added the coupon and then went immediately to the store. They honored it but had to do the credit manually. So it appears it only existed for a short while until they figured out their mistake 🙂 I feel bad for myself that I didn’t rush to the store, as well as for the poor person who mistyped the ad at Kroger. I imagine he/she had an unpleasant day. Anyway, two days later, both my husband and I got $5 off $5 coupons put into our account, with an Ooops, we made a mistake, comment. I did pick up the eggs when they were on sale!

  43. This week I have been recovering from medical treatment so have gotten around to reading a bit more as I’m needing to rest.

    All washing has been line dried, meals cooked from scratch, electricity use kept to a minimum, all vegetable and fruit scraps buried in the garden and minimal car use. I ordered some books from the library too.

    Meals have included meatballs with pasta, tomato feta and cucumber salad, sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, toast with avocado, boiled eggs, cheddar cheese, fruit smoothies using overripe bananas, thai chicken curry with vegetables and rice, wheat biscuits and oats for breakfast, bananas, green apples, strawberries, watermelon, pizza and chocolate chip biscuits.

    No grocery shopping was required this week.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

  44. Brandy that is wonderful you were able to get so many eggs so cheaply and we too are noticing the good grocery specials/promotions are getting less and less here too in Australia. That is wonderful your husband was able to get steel so much cheaper from a scrap metal for a small project he had. The rations books would have been interesting to read and hopefully they were based on historical incidences somewhat 🙂 .

    We have been working last week on going through the walk in pantry/freezers and doing an inventory of any gaps and filling them with a few grocery shops. With prices rising steadily here and I would say likely more still we thought it prudent to buy the groceries we needed at existing prices. Raw sugar has gone up $1.01 per 3 kg bag, full cream powdered milk gone up by $1.80 per kg and meat is going up significantly as well as fuel here.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $158.30 in savings last week :).

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

    In the home –
    – We deep cleaned the lounge room, moved all the furniture and vacuumed everything to get rid of the dust and damp dusted and put everything back. The room smells so much fresher now with far lest dust and dirt.

    In the gardens and property –
    – Sprayed weeds in the lawns.
    – I weeded one garden bed and planted more carrot seeds and thinned out and transplanted beetroot seedlings growing too close together.

    Purchases –
    – I put in 3 grocery orders and saved $109.73 in total by using 3 x $20 off promo codes, $10 off WW rewards $, saved 3% off or $9.33 by using our RACQ e-gift card, and buying half price chocolates.
    – From IGA I purchased 8 x 4 pk long roll (equivalent to 6 standard rolls) of toilet paper for $1.25 ea pack or .12c per 100 sheets and buying 2 x 1kg packs of bacon for $7.95 ea saving $38.10 on usual prices.

    Hoping everyone has a wonderful week ahead 🙂 .

    Sewingcreations15.

    1. The writer grew up as a child during WWII so they are rather accurate.

      As I went to the grocery store last night, I couldn’t help but think about the HUGE variety we have in stores now that wasn’t available to people to purchase even prior to the war.

      The meals that she mentions sound very unappetizing to me: organ meats, potatoes, carrots, cabbage—on repeat. I looked around at the spice section and the aisles with food offerings from all over the world and thought about recent shortages versus empty stores that didn’t carry 1/3 of what we have available now. I have seen photos of my great-grandparents’ grocery store from that time and it’s amazing how much more we have to choose from today.

      1. I shared a photo of my pantry on a frugal living group I am in. The majority of the people are British. I had over 90 comments where they commented my pantry is the size of their local store. It is amazing how much we have available, 10 feet of aisle just for tomato products, whole aisles of cereal. I know in Germany cereal will be in a space about 5 boxes wide. I have 2 missionary friends that come home on furlough and say they are too overwhelmed trying to shop with all the choices.

        1. The cereal choices in France and Switzerland were tiny; it was around 4 boxes of Muesli. People don’t really eat it much, especially in France. Bread and cofee or hot chocolate for breakfast are standard.

          The bulk section in Winco is larger than several of the stores I shopped in France and Switzerland.

      2. When my father brought over relatives from Lithuania, this would have been in the 1970s, they wept when they saw the grocery store. In fact, they thought it was a “for show” store that was set up to fool visitors into thinking that these many choices were available to anybody. And that was before all the choices of items seemed to explode. I have to say, I get weary of seeing so many varieties of every single thing. Do we really need that many choices in peanut butter or cereal or shampoo?

        What I remember my family eating was head cheese (although I refused to, even as a child. It meant I went to bed hungry because you ate what was served or got nothing to eat). I still think that quivering gelatin of brains and hearts and kidneys is disgusting. I know it developed because people starved and needed to find ways to eat every single thing they could, but I still can hardly stand to look at it when I see it in an ethnic market. These days people take great pride in their own ethnic foods, but there are some foods that are traditional in my culture that I am very happy not to have to eat anymore!

        1. My mother always said we had two choices: take it or leave it. I learned to eat some things I didn’t like and other times I went hungry or just wasn’t quite full because I didn’t want part of what was being served.

    2. Hi Lorna

      Where did you get the $20 off grocery coupons from?

      I’ve also noticed meat prices increasing a lot, especially lean mince meat. I also think we are getting a smaller quantity, with 500 grams labelled as an estimate only.

      The best meat purchase I’ve done lately would be Woolies cooked chooks, right before closing they were down to $3 each. I grabbed two!

  45. Those peaches look sooooo delicious! Well done on the eggs, such a good deal!

    Our run of bad luck continued (seriously, we can’t make this stuff up!) when the specialists couldn’t diagnose my daughter correctly and her condition deteriorated badly, and she went almost completely blind. Eventually a second MRI was ordered and that revealed a clot (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis). Folks, 20 year olds shouldn’t be having strokes! COVID19 is truly awful. She is slowly recovering and her vision is expected to fully recovery but will take some time. We’re thankful for insurance to cover the hospital bills, and to finally see our daughter improving, but in 2 weeks we saw our medical savings budget entirely depleted with uninsured costs and co-payments.
    The sales prices on food items are not what they used to be, and increases in fuel, electricity and water are adding up too. Our monthly income has dropped about 15%, so the margin we previously were comfortable in is eroding. Rather than fear, I am enjoying the creativity of finding ways to stretch the budget and as the one who essentially controls the day-to-day household expenses, leaning into the process with intention has given me a wonderful sense of purpose.
    I’m stretching meals with extra vegetables from the garden or that are routinely inexpensive from the store. We regularly make up an entire meal from small portions of leftovers that have collected over a few days. I’ve got lots of Swiss chard, cabbage, lettuce and broccoli coming out of the garden, carrots and beets will be ready soon too, with more chard, lettuce and cabbage as well as tomatoes, cauliflower, onions, green onions, and eggplant starts almost ready to go in. I collect a few bags of horse/stable manure free from nearby stables whenever I want, and the pet bunny provides lots of manured hay and straw for mulch, and with the rich compost we get from our 2 worm bins, I’m working the soil extra hard to help raise a healthy summer garden (for free). I will continue to grow greens on the pavement verge outside our property; I don’t know how many folks are harvesting from that little area but the food is definitely picked there on an almost daily basis. Our peach tree has many tiny peaches and our mulberry tree is sending out green shoots as the warm weather starts. There are many heavily laden lemon trees in the area that I hope to glean from soon (we have an active community online group and I will ask there who is willing to let me pick). I hope to make a freeze several liters of lemon cordial to see us through the hot summer days. Oranges are nearing the end of season here and I hope to make a few batches of marmalade.
    I’ve become more strict with combining errands to reduce fuel usage.
    I continue to use my considerable stash of yarn and fabric to make clothing for the children.
    We continue to catch water and use it in the garden, and find tiny ways to use less water and electricity.
    I love this post every week. I always look forward to it!

    1. I love what you say here about enjoying the challenge of making ends meet as expenses go up and income is down. I grew up surrounded by people and books that admired resourcefulness like this during the Second World War, and during the Great Depression.

      When you speak of harvesting lemons, here in northern Alberta, Canada, all of the lemons I buy at the store at this time of year have a little South Africa individual sticker on them. It amazes me that fruit travels so far to grace our tables.

        1. It is also why I enjoy these time-period books. They are so encouraging and resourceful, and I find many ideas to apply in them. I am so thankful I found this group of like-minded souls. Thank you Brandy!

    2. Tracy, I am so, so sorry about your daughter. Is she the daughter that just got married? I can’t even imagine what she and the rest of the family have gone through. I hope and pray her recovery continues well. Good for you for continuing to live frugally and to look for more ways to stretch your income. This is how I have tried to get through tough times, too…and it really does help. Being productive and controlling what you can control will make a huge difference in your mental health, not to mention your wallet. ((( Tracy & family )))

    3. So glad to hear that your daughter finally got the correct diagnosis – it must have been very frightening for all of you. I hope she improves quickly and that you all get a bit of a break!

    4. I love your perspective! Creativity rather than fear. Good for you! You are a wonderful example and inspiration!

  46. *We haven’t stopped this week!
    * My son and DIL were in town and left Monday. They bought a car here so canceled their flight home and drove from Alabama to Pennsylvania. We gave them our cooler and 2 packs of frozen bacon, venison, home canned beef stew and green beans, frozen peas and butterbeans, and corn, toilet paper, paper towels, and snacks.
    * My green beans had been producing slowly, and leaves were eaten alive and had holes all in them. I cut down so they will regrow and I can get on top of what is eating the leaves.
    *I started seed pots of broccoli, cauliflower, beets, spinach, collards, and lettuce.They all came up and I am going to repot in paper cups.
    * I got 8 cutting from two different variety of hydrangeas and dipped in rooting hormone and have them rooting. I will be able to plant them in the yard as soon as they root for a few weeks.
    * Zinnias and sunflowers are growing. I harvested all the Shasta daisy heads from spent flowers and saved the seed. These are in my porch planter pot.
    * I bought 5# of cheddar blend, and 5# of mozzarella and portioned them out and sealed with my food saver to freeze. I bought pepperoni at Sams and also froze it in small quantities.
    * A while back I bought cherries at Aldi and forgot we had them. I pitted them and then life exploded so they are still in the refrigerator. I plan to just freeze them today. A few are not bad but going soft, but most are still perfect. I think I will chop a few and can try an oatmeal muffin or bar with cherries in it, then use the rest in a crisp.
    *My birthday and my dogs 1st birthday was the 11th. I took the dog to the big park downtown and walked around the pond with dozens of koi fish. It was over 90 in an Alabama wet heat day, we even had heat advisories, so I didn’t stay as long as I planned. The dog didn’t even want to play ball.
    * My son and daughter came and we went to a Mexican restaurant for my birthday. I got fajitas. They are so good at this place, and I had 2 lunches from leftovers. My husband got me a new phone holder and chargers. My daughter and son in Army got me a head planter. My other son got me wine and paint tickets. My other son and DIL gave me an Amazon card.
    * We went camping Friday. It was our first time out with our new to us camper so we found a place just a little over an hour away. We used America the Beautiful pass to get it half price, and stayed on Smith Lake in the Bankhead National Foresr. We took kayaks and hiked. We drive 17 miles and visited Natural Bridge, we had to pay $7 and it was just about a mile and a half hike, but we had never seen this attraction in Alabama. There are a lot of waterfall hikes in Bankhead Forest, but I need to get out and exercise more before most of them, so we left it to do another visit. My husband fished, and we did a lot of trail hikes. My husband showed me how to do hook up and I am learning so if he is ever hurt I can set up or unhook and then want to learn to drive with the travel trailer. I cleaned the TT at camp before we unhooked from their water, and got it ready for our next time out.
    * We have a family member that died from Covid on Friday morning. He had been in the hospital 2 weeks. I started taking Zinc on Monday. We drove home from camping, my husband cut the yard, I bathed the dog and washed clothes, then we turned around and drove 5 hours to my daughter’s house and spent the night. It is about an hour from there to the funeral. We wore masks and didn’t hug, but did squeeze hand of his widow and kids to show love, then sanitized. People have no sense. One family member came up and I said I wasn’t hugging so we greeted then he fist bumped my husband. Then said he thought he had built up antibodies, but had been sick with Covid for 8 days at home. I watched my husband go pale, look down at his hand and take a step back. We ran to the bathroom and washed and sanitized after that. My husband had told me he thought it rude not to hug and after that got the message, although he had not been hugging. 2nd story- I was sitting next to husband’s aunt. She asked to borrow my phone to call her sister. She had a kleenex she had been wiping her tears and snot. She got makeup on my phone screen and started wiping my screen with the nasty tissue! Ha, I had a kleenex in my hand and took it back without touching the phone. After service I went to bathroom and took a paper towel with soap and wiped my phone, wrapped it in another one and then sanitized it in the car. People are so clueless!
    * We did find Kritter Sitters in the town and they watched our dog for 4 hours for $10. We were going to have to take him opposite direction to stay at the aunts house then go back opposite way after funeral.
    * We stopped at Conecuh on the way home and got 5# bacon. They raised their price so much I only got one pack. Usually we get 4 packs. It was $8 a pound, but the best bacon, we won’t even eat another kind. So, I told husband he is on bacon rations. Instead of going crazy eating 3 or 4 pieces it will be an add on to an omelet or just a piece.
    * I just want to mention that we were able to turn right around after camping and go 5 hours to a funeral because I try to keep everything prepared. Our suits and clothes are pressed and ready. I had frozen red beans and rice, lasagna, soups, and other meals I could pull out and eat. I keep snacks I gathered for the car ride: nuts, Kind bars, chips, oranges, apples, and peanut butter. It saves us the running around in what feels like a crisis time ironing clothes or eating out.

  47. 8.9.2021
    -Daughter participated in a sleepover marathon(three homes in three nights). Made homemade pizzas- a big hit! Cooked breakfast and snacks from what we have on hand
    -Line dried all clothing and linens. Including the towels and sheets used for our airBnB guests!
    -Used dish water on all potted plants. The four discounted ferns that I bought in March have survived the Texas heat thanks to this!
    -Harvested a zucchini, basil, lavender and green onions from our tiny kitchen garden.
    -Made a pot of rice to use all week. Makes putting dishes together easier when we are considering going out. Plus, my 16 year old uses it almost daily with pre-cooked chicken for lunch
    -Worked on crafts from my “free projects” list. Am using up quite a bit of materials. I hope to sell the finished items soon.
    -Completed a service project with my 16 year old son, his girlfriend and my husband. We assembled “birthday party in a box” for our church’s food pantry. We placed a birthday card, package of balloons, package of candles, box of cake mix, icing w/ sprinkles, plates, napkins and forks all in a 9×13” disposable cake pan with lid tied with ribbon($8 for each “party”!). It was so fun! Our pantry coordinator was thrilled to distribute them and said that she’d welcome more.
    – Watered porch plants and kitchen garden with dish water
    – Cleaned fridge, freezer and pantry. Organized and inventoried everything. Made & froze pesto, pasta sauce, black beans and broth. Made a zucchini bundt cake and mini muffins.
    – Organized my food storage- jars, lids, rings, ziplocks, etc
    – Rented our home via airBNB for the weekend
    – Sold thrifted items for a profit: $300
    – Went on a trip for our anniversary. Paid cash for everything. Brought drinks, snacks and shared meals at a few restaurants. Thrifted for school clothes, etc at tiny town benefit stores.
    – Not frugal, but manageable- we had to replace our 1.5 year old kitchen faucet. $300 down the drain so to speak- thankful for our savings for little emergencies like these.
    – Made all meals at home from items pantry, freezer and fridge
    – Inventoried our school supplies box before shopping for this year’s supplies.

  48. -Had a Hallmark $4 off coupon that expired on August 15 but no way I was gonna be near a store (70 miles away) by then. Remembered HM offers free shipping for crown rewards members so on 15th I ordered $6 card and used coupon so card was only $2 and is being delivered today.
    -Still finding 95% deals at local TarJay liquidator. Got my mom a gorgeous cheetah print blouse for $1-s/be $20 retail plus tons of stuff for gifts/happies.
    -need to buy one more batch of stamps before postage increase. I send lots of cards and use lots of postage. Most farm bills are still paid by mail (15-20 bills per month).
    -cooked tons of meals with $2/lb fresh ground beef. Told the mom I was tired of ground beef and we weren’t having any more any time soon.
    -youngest nephew bought his first house. Mom and I gave him tons of household stuff we had bought in advance plus some cash to use to stock his kitchen or help with appliance purchases. House warmings are a thing here but he probably won’t get to have one due to Covid. Once he moves the 6 minutes to his new home my sister will live alone for first time in 58 years. She has never lived alone in her life. Think she is looking forward to it.

  49. It has been an expensive week but mainly because we have been busy and I relied on convenience. One frugal win I was proud of was outfitting my youngest for her ballet/tap class. I had one leotard that still fit from last year and found three more in a bag my sister passed down to us that is filled with various pieces and sizes. I had one pair of pink tights left from a three pack I purchased for her last year. I found tap shoes that looked brand new at a thrift store on 50% off and Tax Free weekend that fit her perfectly. And I ordered ballet shoes from Amazon, they were too big and when I went to return them, they refunded me and let me keep them! I went to our storage box of shoes to grow into and found a pair that had very little wear that fit great! So all in all I spent $1.50 in outfitting her for dance.

  50. Brandy, I just wanted to let you know that as my laptop slowly dies it chose YOUR blog to disconnect from. For some time now the error message is that your page can not be found. However, I found that if I go to Facebook, open up your page, then jump to your website, then jump to the blog I can still read it. How is that for a dedicated reader? 😀

    Am buying a new laptop this week.

    1. I don’t know why!

      We have been having a similar issue with the local school menu website. My husband typed in the exact address and it said it was malicious. Then it said it didn’t exist. When I have copied and pasted the URL from the site to tell to other local families on FB it shows it as not existing.

      I will check and see if I need to do any updates on the back end.

    2. Our laptop was doing that for a while and I found a cord we used at times had a small kink. I straightened it and everything is O.K. now. Our phones are slower with messages and texts at times but getting better. Sometimes we receive them twice. It may be the load of work at home and school restarting on the towers.

      1. This is embarrassing but I don’t know exactly what you mean by clearing the cache. Could you give me a bit more instruction? Thanks.

    3. A computer defragment may also help. We did that routinely on our old computer and the response time and running updates improved so much.

  51. I wear a dish towel tucked in my neckline when I eat at home. You are not alone in spilling on work clothes. I did that a lot.
    Our gas in the Denver metro area is $3.69.

    1. A friend of mine used to say she could make a fortune making attractive bibs for grown-up women to wear when they were eating! There’s an Etsy store in it, I am sure.

      1. I made my daughter a bib to wear over her prom dress so she wouldn’t get dinner all over her dress. I used a pretty dishtowel, then affixed safety pins to ribbon that matched her prom dress (she had it braided into her hair, and we had plenty left). She requested extras to share with her friends.

  52. Thank you for the book listings-reading more than ever as a form of recreation/entertainment. Pretty Peach Picture! This week one thrifty action we implemented was to price a heart scan my husband needed. He found one for 100.00, in a city we would travel through, on the 3 hour journey, to granddaughter’s birthday gathering….instead of the going rate of 1200.00 in our local health hospitals/clinics. This helped immensely on monies that would have had to be taken out of our HSA to pay for it, after insurance.

      1. Scan was done at Orlando Health Hospital. He has also had the low priced scans at IU Health in Indianapolis, when visiting family in Indiana.

  53. As everyone does, I hope you are feeling better, Brandy. A quiet week for us, which is good at times. All meals eaten at home, except one (mine – lunch with a friend outside in a nice breeze, for three hours!). I’ve tried several new recipes from BudgetBytes and each one has been excellent, and will go into our monthly rotation. The ones I’ve made have been easy enough to modify them to vegan if needed. My husband took the leftovers for lunches. My tomatoes continue to produce; only a few more left to go, though. Waiting on my yellow bell peppers to turn yellow. I’m leaving in a few days to drive some furniture cross country to my sister’s and am hopeful that my garden and pots get enough watering if no rain.

    I colored my hair and it’s a color that I’ve used before but this time – wowsa – it looks rather auburn. Only $8, so no complaining, and will ask my husband to cut a few inches off my hair before my trip. I cut his as well, so will see if he wants it trimmed up before I head out. When we first got together, his daughters were shocked that I’d ask him to cut my hair. It’s just a bob, so hard to go wrong. Apparently I’ve had the same style forever…

    Bought a few sheets of stamps before the rate increase but now not sure that spending that much to save $0.60/sheet was that wise on my part. I write about three letters a week.

    I am still reading The Kitchen Front. My sister found A Ration Book Christmas and has ordered it for me as my library didn’t have it. I am looking forward to that series. Jotting all the suggestions in a notepad. Thank you!
    Fun to see another “new” to commenting Bonnie here! Seeing my name was rare. 🙂

    1. I agree with you about the stamps. It doesn’t seem like a good use of my funds. Plus if I had to make a special trip and stand in line…no way.

  54. You photograph the most gorgeous still lifes – I just want to grab and enjoy a peach. It’s so good to reconnect with old friends – I’m sure you both had a fun time catching up!

    Spent the early part of the week doing some major non-perishables stockpiling shopping. At BJs purchased: 3 Bounty paper towels – the 12 triple rolls is equal to 36 rolls bundle which is now $29.99 from $26.99 several months ago – this was a big price jump even by using the $3 coupons in the BJs book; 2 Lysol wipes 5 packs for $14.99 each less 2 $0.75 manuf. coupon ; 2 Lysol spray 3 packs for $12.99 each less 2 $1 manuf. coupons; 2 Kleenex tissues 8 packs for $14.99 each less $3 coupons off each; 2 Cottonelle ultra comfort t.p. 36 giant rolls is equal to 114 reg rolls for $21.49 each less $3 coupons off each; 1 Bounty 800-count paper napkins for $9.99; 2 (one pack is for DD) Dixie 10″ 154 count paper plates for $15.99 each less $5 coupon when you buy 2 — I only buy these as they are super strong holding up to 2 lbs of food and are cut resistant and microwaveable and come in handy when we have many guests and eat outdoors; 2 Glad 13 gallon tall drawstring kitchen trash bags 150 count for $16.49 less 2 $4 coupons; 2 Scotch-Brite heavy duty non scratch scrub sponges 21 count for $12.99 less 2 $2.50 coupons; 2 Softsoap liquid hand soap refill 2pack/64 oz each for $9.49 each less 2 $1.50 coupons; 1 Tide free & clear laundry detergent 1.62 gallons equal to 158 loads for $24.99 (I already have one as backup in the cleaning/paper goods pantry and 1 in my laundry room that is currently being used. I use woolen dryer balls. I think we are set with paper goods and some cleaning products for a long time! 3 pkgs Dove sensitive skin beauty bars 16 count for $15.99 each less 3 $3 coupons. Bought 4 cases of 40-pack 16.9 oz Poland Spring spring water for $5.59 each less 2 $2.50 coupons and 2 boxes of six-count gallons Poland Spring spring water for $6.79 each (at the grocery store this is $1.50 for 1 gallon) — this is in prep for hurricane season. Also bought bananas; a box of mangos; 32 oz packs of organic spinach and organic mixed greens for $4.99 each. I love that our BJs let’s you use a coupon for each item if a coupon is available; can also use manufacturers coupons combined with their coupons too. I typed up the quantity and prices as I’m curious to see what others pay for these items. I’m brand specific as I know what we like and what works for us – I’ve tried different brands and generics and those just don’t work for us. I do use cloth napkins and cleaning rags also to clean with but I still use paper towels and napkins as needed. This has all been budgeted for and is not a $ hardship. Had to trade suvs with DH for the day as all of this would not have fit in my Rogue but his Expedition is perfect for big shops. One of my besties went with me and she bought similar, but less quantities and we helped each other lifting the packs of water as they are very heavy!

    At the grocery store the loss leaders were fresh pineapple for $0.99 each and cantaloupe also for $0.99 each. The grocery stores here are well stocked with paper goods, cleaning supplies, sodas and chips and other junk food, but many shelves that contain real food are skimpy in their stock. I am particularly concerned about frozen veggies. I only buy Picsweet frozen vegetables as all the veggies are grown and processed in the U.S. however, the selection that the store carries are less and less each week. In the past 5 months they have not had edamame (soybeans) available at all. The price has also jumped from $1.49 a bag (on sale for $0.99 usually) to $2.09. I would willingly pay the higher price if they had the items available. In speaking with store personnel, it is not the store not wanting to carry the brand, it is that the producer does not have a supply. I do not buy Birds Eye as reading the pkgs, most of their veggies are from China, Mexico, etc. I did buy the store brand frozen edamame (grown in the U.S.) for $1.99 a pkg – I bought 10 pkgs to have on hand. I like to serve edamame as a side dish or on salads cooked and dressed with extra virgin olive oil, a little pepper and salt and chopped parsley. There was also a sign by the ice cream cases that due to production issues, some flavors may not be available – a first for this. Also went to super Walmart, where again, lots of paper goods and junk food, but shelves containing healthier food not as well stocked. And they had no packages of sliced real cheese! Their entire dairy section was pretty bare. This is a first for me at that store as it’s usually well stocked.

    At Staples, they are having back to school sale – each year we donate 4 backpacks full of supplies to an organization that collects them to distribute to the needy. Backpacks were 50% off, single subject notebooks for $0.25 each, 24 pack crayola crayons for $0.50 each; crayola colored pencils and crayola markers for $0.97 each; erasers, glue sticks, rulers etc. to fill the backpacks and some for grand kids to have here for them when they visit and some for us. I use the notebooks to jot down notes, ideas, grocery lists, etc., and colored pencils to sketch design ideas. The limit was 30 on the notebooks and various limits on other items. We bought the limit for each item and also received 20% off our order. DD took the filled backpacks with her to donate. Her family is also donating 2 filled backpacks. School starts after Labor Day here.

    At Macy’s, Lancome is having a special – with any $39.50 Lancome purchase, get a gift makeup bag of their products valued at $121.00. I use Lancome products, so this was a great deal. I also purchased several shirts, 2 pairs of pants and a summer dress on clearance for me and 2 dressy shirts for DH also on sale. I’m reading Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde. If you like puppies and finding love in unexpected places, this book is for you! Thank you for the book recommendations, I don’t know how you can read so many in a week with all that you have to do!

    1. The Lancome deal is on Macy’s website as well here

      I thought I would share for those who can’t get to or don’t have a Macy’s near them.

      As for the reading, I didn’t get much else done . . .

      1. Hi Brandy. It’s very thoughtful of you to link the Lancome deal. What I particularly liked about this deal is that the “free gift” contains some of their best skin care items and is a good way to try these products without spending a small fortune on them. I pray that you are over the bronchitis and back to your usual good health. With 7 kids still at home and 2 of those being toddlers, I think what you accomplish on an ordinary day to run your household without utter chaos is extraordinary!

  55. There were some days of adjustment between adding a new medication and then going off another which made my stomach queasy when I went to bed and not feeling exactly right for a couple days. Then we had storms predicted almost every afternoon. We got a lot of thunder and lightening and a fast shower, but no rain most days. One afternoon we finally had long streaks of lightening and a hard, windy rain for a while. The power went out for about 4 hours. I didn’t go to the Farmer’s Market as I didn’t think I could can or freeze anything between me and the weather.

    I did small things that I could walk away from it needed. They included:
    –Deleting items and files on the computer that were no longer needed making updates, etc. faster.
    –Moving things to thumb drives.
    –Getting clothes ready to sew.
    –Refilling low items to get rid of excess packaging.
    –Arranging pantry items and items in the kitchen that had been returned to the wrong place so they are easily found.
    –Doing some paperwork so it could be shredded/filed.
    –Disposing of mail that was no longer needed.
    –Moving plants around to get more light.
    –Eating odd and ends in the freezer to clear it out more.
    –Cleaning odd things.
    –Catching up with a cousin I have been meaning to call.
    –Making a mental list of other small things that I should do.
    –Watching you tube videos on some things of interest.
    –Reading up on Medicare related coverages. I am like some of you, the more I read the more questions I have.

    I made the Cabbage Rolls and we liked them so much I didn’t freeze any this time. We just had several meals with them. DH and I went to Aldi for some things and I loaded up on fresh vegetables and fruit. We went to Kroger one night and bought three of the 3 lb. rolls of hamburger and eggs. I went to CVS and got the new BP monitor and some items for DH and used another 30% off coupon from the mail making my total without tax less than the price of the BP monitor and received $6 in EBs. The new BP monitor is much easier to put on and use. I am going to try and find a new home for the other one.

    All in all it was a good week to get odds and ends done. I should schedule a few hours an afternoon a week for more. I have some pictures to frame, etc. that need to be done for our enjoyment. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Linda- As to Medicare coverages to see what is best for you, may I suggest what we did. We asked friends who gave us the name of a local independent agent who did all the comparisons between companies and plans to see what was best in our specific circumstances. It saved us SO much time and confusion and we discovered that our coverages are incredible (no co-pays for any medical) and premiums are reasonable but we aren’t lured into a plan that offers “free” perks but would leave us responsible to pay more out of our own pocket for visits, procedures, etc!
      Just a thought.

      Gardenpat in Ohio
      HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

      1. Thank you for the suggestion Pat. That is the type of plan I want. I have trouble finding someone within a few years of my age to talk with about things like this. They are either old enough that they are in grandfathered plans that have changed or too young. Mostly, like frugality, having a head for business is something rare in most friends. I did think of someone this morning who may be helpful. I hope so. I have a few months to go but DH should be about ready to sign up and he seems unconcerned. I read to know as many questions to ask about my circumstance and any changes I see in the future as possible.

        Your Cucumber Cabbage and Ham Salad was enjoyed by all.

  56. Well my DH is getting his new hip today-I was allowed to stay until they took him to the OR and then can return later-closer to when they discharge him. Big day for us. DD flew in last night to help take care of him. I stopped at Costco this morning and they seem fairly well stocked-picked up a ready made meal and a salad as that will be easier for the next couple of days-certainly cheaper than takeout. We have tons of apples on our tree-DH harvested many and we will share some with others too. We finally got some rain yesterday-about 43 mm which was sorely needed. The crops are looking terrible in our area and I really feel for the farmers.

    1. How exciting that your husband’s big day has finally come! I’m glad you’ll have some help as he starts to recover.

      1. Thanks everyone-I was able to bring him home after 12 hours and he is doing great. He had an anterior incision which I highly recommend-only about 4 inches on the front of his thigh. They don’t have to cut muscles so it is a quicker recovery. He is out walking around the block, able to do stairs, shower etc. Such a blessing. Ann if you send me your address via Brandy I would be happy to drop off some apples for you.

  57. August 25 is a Fee-Free day for all U.S. National Parks Service sites, no charge for the places that normally charge an entrance fee. There are six of these during the year, this one in recognition of the National Parks Service Birthday.

  58. I have been reading Mini Farming Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham.

    We had to put our oldest dog to sleep, he had cancer. Has been rough. I then had to call the vet about the youngest dog as her allergies went nuts and she is itching herself raw. He asked if we still have the steroids from Wilbur. We did. So he told us to cut them in half and give that to her. Has helped a lot and wasn’t a waste of meds which I was to drop off in the box at the Sheriff dept.

    Hubby picked up 2 large cabbages and 8 cucumbers for me to can mustard relish and cole slaw. I finished canning dried beans with water not broth (21 quarts and 45 pints of different dried beans) and 4 quarts tomato juice as the Amish neighbor gave me 5 tomatoes bigger than softballs.
    https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2021/08/rough-week.html
    Blessed be everyone…

  59. Does anyone else here cook with an ancient pressure cooker? I have a Presto model 604 from the late 1940s-early ’50s. One day this week, I was unable to bring the pressure up. The pressure relief valve looked wonky. I decided I might as well replace the ring, since it was pretty ancient. I bought a kit that included both ring and valve at Ace Hardware, marked $13.99 but rang up on clearance for $1.50. I was pretty happy about this until it occurred to me: why are they clearancing it? Is Presto discontinuing parts for older cookers? Still don’t know for sure, but I checked Amazon, and this part is out of stock and they don’t know if they will be getting more. Not a good sign. If you cook with an older model, you might want to look for a replacement ring and valve ASAP.

    1. https://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/ may be where you can get your answers. They sell all kinds of parts and that is where I ordered a ring for a 70’s model I had. If you don’t see your part call them. Sometimes the part number has changed as they use the same parts on newer models and go by that.

  60. Hello all, A week in which I’ve kept grandchildren for only hours at a time rather than all day has meant I could get outdoors and weed the flower beds. They look so much better and now I can see how very much taller the Gardenia has grown since spring. I harvested seeds from the Touch Me Not impatiens and I’ll bet I have four or five packets worth of seeds now. Some of the seed pods were exploding in my hands as I plucked them from the stems. I potted up more Christmas cactus pieces and some African Violet leaves that had broken off from my big plants. More plants for me to wander what to do with, lol.
    In the kitchen I’ve continued to practice my challenge of not planning meals and using fragments of foods that were about to expire, were leftover, or which had suddenly gotten ripe. We’ve eaten well and it’s only now that I’m starting to slow down. I may reach my limit on these bits and pieces but we’ve had some interesting meals over the past 14 days and it’s been a huge boost to my grocery budget. I made banana doughnuts using doughnut pans and my favorite banana bread recipe. I did a pantry and freezer inventory this week so now I know where my low spots are in stock. I ordered paper plates, 12 inch rolls of heavy duty aluminum foil, and slide lock bags this past week. These were items I was having a hard time finding in my stores here.

    We are hanging on tight after our financial hits in July and doing all we can to put back monies spent. We’ll get there yet but even holding steady is progress this month.

    Envious of all of you with peaches. Season has just ended here in Georgia and it will be next year before I can eat a good fresh peach once again.

  61. I am so sorry for what you say, your bad luck . . . and so glad your daughter will regain her sight. What a scare! Was this blot clot the result of a vaccination? We are considering whether we should get an additional immune booster.

  62. I am so jealous of all the people who are gardening; I know you are working so hard, but it must be wonderful to have fresh from the garden food. For me these have not been unusually frugal weeks, just the regular things; making 100% whole wheat bread with fresh ground wheat for a $1 a loaf saves quite a bit because my husband likes toast so much; charging the phone in the car while driving saves a tiny amount. My husband is working on a vintage:) Troybuilt rototiller, trying to get it running. He has been watching YouTube videos about it. He and our son made home repairs that would have been expensive, if we had hired someone to do it. I found out Medicare will pay for a replacement CPAP machine because another insurance source paid for the first machine which is now being recalled. If Medicare had paid for the first machine, he would have had to wait five years from the first purchase for Medicare to pay for a replacement. Staying at home because of the Delta surge saves money. I like to watch Craftsy. I tried a couple of new recipes. Craftsy has a $3 deal for their premium memberships in case anyone is interested. I had planned a free museum visit and picnic for the first full weekend of the month for week before last with Bank of America’s free Museum’s on Us program, but I postponed that. Maybe later.

  63. A couple of weeks ago, I bought 9 liters of peaches. They were from Ontario and small. They were delicious. They were too small to blanch and peel so I just washed them, pitted them and placed halves in ziplock bags. I also froze blueberries. This week, Superstore has its really good price on blueberries — it’s $3.84 per clamshell (I think 3 liters) — on sale from abut $5.84. Superstore also has Catelli pasta sauce on sale for $0.87 cents (usually about 2.50 per jar). Also until tomorrow, Superstore has President’s choice vegetarian lasagna (1.13 kg) on sale for $5.97, usually $9.97 so I’m stocking up a bit. My friend was going to get me the above but just arrived saying she couldn’t (personal reasons) so I’ll wait for another sale.
    So much for stocking up!

    There is such a thing as poetic justice. One of the experts who promised to write a short submission for our book and agreed to do so last February finally told us he just couldn’t do it. That left us high and dry because other experts don’t have enough time to step in. Anyway, then it dawned on me that we had taped a talk on the same subject by the person who can’t do it so I transcribed it, wrote the section myself quoting him, then sent it to him and asked him to read it. Hopefully this works… it would be poetic justice and get us out of a bind!

    We had sent a chapter to an expert in another province after he said he would read it. Two months later, he has just replied saying that he likes it very much and that it will make a fine addition to the book. It is nice to get positive feedback from someone who knows the field.

  64. I wanted to add that on the 11th it was my birthday. I found my birth father through Ancestry and had not heard from him. I have spoken to my half sister and my birth father’s brother. Well, he called on my birthday and we had a nice chat. I had resigned that he didn’t want to have any contact with me, so it was good to hear from him.

    It is neat how I found him. It was 3:00 one afternoon and I got the idea to join the FBook yardsale site for the town I knew my birth father was from. I then put a post saying I was looking for my birth father. A teacher from that town messaged she had the paid Ancestry account and access to more info to search. That. ight she looked at my matches, all 1st and 2nd cousins and traced my tree to him. She had it between two people the next morning at about 11 AM. Then we found an obituary for his aunt that verified another match as it confirmed him. We had his brother, and sister info so I messaged them. Which led to my half sister. I then paid and sent a DNA kit to BF and it came back confirmed, but it took him 4 months to contact me.

  65. Hello friends! It has been a fairly average week for me in regards to frugality, while the current state of the world has my anxiety through the roof. I try to focus on the things I have control over, and limit my exposure to media/news. It’s not perfect, but it alleviates some of the panic.

    Frugal accomplishments for the week:
    -Reading library books. If I am not out in the garden, cooking, sleeping, or working, I have my nose in a book. It definitely helps keep me calm and that is worth it’s weight in gold.
    -Preserving garden produce! I managed to save some bean pods from my Dragon’s Tongue beans in hopes that they will be able to provide me with plants again next year. This is a new experiment for me so fingers crossed! I also pulled out my cucumber plans as the heat we have had in the PNW just decimated them. I pick tomatoes daily and will can a batch of stewed tomatoes this weekend. I also accepted a 5 gallon bucket of apples from my neighbor that I used to make applesauce. I was a little heavy handed with the cinnamon in the recipe so it will all be used for baking.
    -I work from home and have no left the house in 4 days. Tomorrow I have to take one of the dogs to the vet but this was planned for and is an expense I am content with. These dogs are just my life and their health and wellbeing is so important.
    -I baked a few times this week (another sign my anxiety is creeping up, daily baked goods!) I don’t like to eat much in the way of baked treats, but I enjoy the process of baking and sharing with neighbors. I will also freeze some for future use (muffins for breakfast etc.)
    -Tonight’s dinner will be garlic herb cheesy bread (think pizza with no sauce) that I will make from scratch. I will have some green beans on the side that were given to me by a neighbor who had more success with their plants than I did.

    Thank you all for being a source of support and community for me. I have a number of health conditions that mean I basically have been a hermit for the better part of the last 18 months. It gets rather lonely and knowing there are people out there who share similar interests is such a joy to me. I re-read old posts and comments every day. I am always learning something new and it really brightens my day when I often don’t get to see people very often. Thank you again.

    1. Just wanted to send hugs and encouragement you to keep going and finding joy in your garden and life. I saw dragons tongue beans at the produce stand. I should have bought some to try.

    2. Morgan thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts on the last months during COVID, I am hoping you are doing better, this is a kind- calming blog come here when things are overwhelming

      1. Thank you Pam and Holly for your kind words. This blog and this community have definitely provided such comfort during these very strange times.

  66. Brandy, I am hoping that you are recovering from bronchitis; it can be a nasty hanger-onner. Like you, I harvested peaches. Unlike you, I went to an orchard that we love and has very reasonable prices. My husband and I picked almost 100 pounds of peaches and I canned 11 quarts of peaches (there were 12, but one broke in the canner) and 23 half pints of peach jam. We also picked up blueberries and I canned seven quarts of pie filling, 18 half pints and two pints of blueberry jam. Following many here, I am up to my eyeballs in canning. I also canned turnips (9 pints), green beans (11 pints) and, for the first time I canned chicken soup and ended up with eight quarts! Next on the list is jalapenos; my plants have oodles on them and I need to do some now, so more will grow. In the past, I would pick all the fruits/veggies to be canned and it would sit for a week or more. This year, I am doing them the day I pick, or they ripen (the peaches). Also shopped our local Hy-vee, using sale papers from other stores since they price match, in order to get $.25 off a gallon (up to 20 gallons) this week, along with other sales and ended up with $.68 off per gallon. Gas is $3.29/gallon, so this will help immensely. Last week we filled up our tanks on the 13th because they had $.13 off per gallon. The food shortages I read about here and in other publications have moved me into high gear in preserving our garden produce and watching the sales (though I dare say many of you are leagues beyond me…I’m just getting started with apps, including Ibotta). My daughter and her husband moved in with us as they need to find a place closer to her new job (and there aren’t any currently) and didn’t want to start a new lease and be stuck. She needs to be within 30 minutes of work on her on-call nights, so currently stays with her brother in that area for those nights. This has changed our eating habits quite a bit as my SIL is a chef and they eat very healthy. It forces us to have regular meals…sadly, I got out of the habit when the last child left and we spent more than normal eating out. Glad that is over. My oldest daughter lives in BC. She and her family have been evacuated as the White Rock Lake fire is out of control and within a couple of miles of their home. They started moving important things out when the alert came in almost three weeks ago. Luckily, they have a wonderful place to stay, at his parents’. The smoke has been horrendous and I wonder how many will end up with long-term lung issues. We also welcomed a granddaughter this month, so that is truly a blessing. I truly admire all of you for your consistent attention to savings and using up what you have. I have not been as consistent, but find with the uncertainty in this world now, the old ways of living are coming back to me in force. I am so thankful I taught myself these skills. This is my favorite place to come and read! Thank you!

  67. Dear Morgan,

    I know how you feel! Except for 4 times I haven’t left home, either, during the pandemic.

    My neighbours have kids at home so I’m not in their same social circle. Yet strangers have been so kind to me, over the internet, and I find joy in that. We are lucky to have yards and gardens to tend. And it’s my best policy to take one day at a time and follow my mother’s mantra, “Don’t worry until you know you have to worry”. I hope the dogs are all right! Ann

  68. Thanks Jennifer! Yes, I found that, and I will also have to file one with the state. In Washington State the letter of intent has to be filed with 14 days of the beginning of the school year or beginning of a new semester. So, I think I will loss credit for a semester if I pull him out of school mid-semester!

  69. Hi Brandy,
    You might like the book, Heartaches & Christmas Cakes by Amy Miller. It’s set in WWII, in a coastal town in England. It’s about a family bakery & the rationing & goings in during the war. There are 3 books but this is the first. I listened to it on audiobook. I really enjoyed them.
    We are currently in strict covid lockdown here in Eastern Australia (NSW). We live in a small rural town but this Delta strain is causing havoc. Hoping to be out of some restrictions in a month or so.
    Hoping everyone is safe & well.
    Amie

  70. Congrats Brandy on your new granddaughter. I am sure you also enjoyed the cooler weather in Idaho for a change. My accomplishments this week are small-looking after DH after his hip replacement-although within about 24 hrs he could look after himself so not too big of a task. He is recovering at top speed. I also stripped our apple tree of 100+ lbs of apples-I gave some away-some are in the fridge and I made and froze several containers of apple sauce so that come winter we will have a taste of summer. DD is here for another week so we are enjoying spending time with her-I am also enjoying 2 weeks off work. We have had plenty of rain lately which helps make up some for the dry summer-I know our lawn is greening up again.

  71. Hi Brandy,
    I hope you are fully recovered from the illness. Congratulations on becoming a grandmother — how exciting! Ann

  72. I’ve been really out of this loop lately, as my table has been literally buried under produce, as has more tables outside on the covered porch. I’ve needed to get busy canning and preserving every day all week, or have needed to wash, label, and put away jars. I have applesauce and salsa to still make in the next few days, but am gaining on this project.

    I’ve also noticed the same rising prices as the rest of you do. I’m seeing loss leaders here in our part of Oregon, and some are spectacular. Other prices are going up. There are supply chain issues happening. My brother-in-law went to what used to be Cash and Carry (new name, can’t remember it) and many, many shelves were bare. He was told that so many in the warehouse were sick with Covid that it was shut down, so where he saw was what there was, for at least 2 weeks. I think having a large supply will be important this winter, if these kind of things continue. Whereas I don’t actually feel like our area will run low on food, as so much is grown around here, I feel as if the prices could continue to be driven up by the shortages in the area where food doesn’t grow as well or suffered a catastrophe. It only makes sense that they would sell it for what the market will bear, where ever that is. So, our abundance will likely be shipped elsewhere, I’m thinking. Time will tell.

    In the meanwhile, we are preserving like crazy. I’m canning more than normal, since we ate so much last year. We were given coolers full of corn, by 2 different people, making a total of 5 coolers full. That’s a lot of corn. We canned quite a bit, made corn relish and froze a bunch.

    Your peaches are beautiful! I’ve done my main canning of those with an earlier variety (New Haven), but worked up a bunch of Improved Elbertas into peach salsa and peach pie filling this week. My sister’s orchard is now finished producing for the season, so that job is done.

    I’ve grown more cucumbers than every before, so made all kinds of pickles. The zucchini has been eaten, dried and made into relish. Tomatoes were picked from my garden, and given to me by 2 different people, so I canned whole ones, made sauce, pizza/pasta sauce and have a huge bowl to make into salsa soon.

    Pears were passed on to my by my sister and I’ve canned and dried them. Her neighbor gives her several boxes each year and she shares.

    We’ve purchased 2 boxes of Gravestein apples to make applesauce out of, but I still have to work on that.

    It seems that so many things are early and came on all at once. Boy am I going to take it easy in October! Usually, I’m still finishing up. Here’s hoping:).

    Pictures of some things are on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

    I’m the first to admit I haven’t blogged as faithfully lately. It’s not possible with the hours I’m spending canning. But, later, I will just sit back and eat it and read blogs, and write, and read books, and …….

    I’m getting a hint that you have a new grand-daughter from the comments. Congratulations. You’re going to love this new chapter in your life:)

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