Scepter D’ Isle Rose

It was a humid week; I collected water from the a/c throughout each day and used it to water the pots in the garden. I also used shower warm-up water and water from rinsing produce in the kitchen sink to water the pots.

I harvested basil from the garden.

I used the free Hoopla app to read a couple of books that were not available through the library through the Libby app but I could get through the Hoopla app instead. They were just okay; I wouldn’t really recommend them, but it was a bit of free entertainment.


Lilliput White Zinnia

I added more songs to my YouTube Music playlist. It still amazes me that I can pick whatever songs I want to listen to without having to buy each album or single like I did when I was a teenager.

My husband gave one son a haircut.

We had meatless meals throughout the week, including several salads (green salads and caprese salad), bean chili, spaghetti, and tomato basil soup. Several of these made enough for leftovers, so I didn’t have to use the stove several days, saving gas to cook.


Luminosa Pink Zinnia

I purchased two pairs of leggings for my granddaughter on sale for 25% off. I bought a lightweight long-sleeved t-shirt for myself and one for a daughter on sale for 30% off. I can wear this in the fall to work in the garden and will gift the shirt to my daughter for Christmas.

I came up with a plan to use several picture frames that I have and haven’t been using above my desk. I found some old postcards and stamps that I had purchased in France over 20 years ago to put in them. I am still searching for one more thing that I bought years ago (some beautiful Arabic calligraphy that is translated below it into French; I tore apart the house looking for it); I hope to find it, but in the meantime have figured out a postcard from Geneva, Switzerland that I can put in its place. I haven’t put the frames and artwork on the wall yet, but I arranged it all and took a photo of what I want; I will start measuring and get them hung soon. My father offered me some hangers and I will ask him to cut a couple of mats for me as well from his scraps.

I stood outside in the driveway late one night and watched the thunder and lightning storm overhead that only gave a few drops of rain. It’s been years since we had such a beautiful storm; the news says that we’ve had the most rain in 10 years. The storm was right overhead and I was thinking I should probably go in soon when my mother drove up, rolled down her window, and told me to go inside! I laughed so hard!

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  1. Seems like this has been another week of putting by. I gathered up some of our tomatoes and was able to can 7 pints of salsa using the recipe that Hubs really likes: After blanching my tomatoes to have skins easy to peel off, I remembered seeing/reading about dehydrating tomato skins and then grinding into powder. I had about 3 dehydrator trays- (they don’t look very appetizing! ) and this is what I ended up with (a small amount in a half pint jar) LITTLE bits are still little BITS!! In our faith, we have a Scripture that says: “ Out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” I think by doing little bits, that by the time I’m finished with my tomato canning, that jar and maybe more will be filled!

    On Flashfood, I found sunflower kernels and freeze dried chopped jalapeños. I bought both- the sunflower kernels cost $2/pound and I got the freeze dried jalapeños for $2/jar which contained 22 jalapeños per jar! I also got sirloin pork chops for 99 cents a pound. That was the extent of my grocery shopping this week!

    I used the partial can of blueberry pie filling that my granddaughter and I had previously used to make a mini blueberry pie for her sister when we had extra pie crust dough. I found a recipe for Blueberry Cheesescake Chimichangas : What a delicious way to use up that pie filling and some more of our clearanced tortillas!! Really simple, really delicious!

    I also got some shredded zucchini out of freezer to make space as well as rotate and found a recipe for Pineapple Cranberry zucchini bread – It used some of my home canned pineapple chunks that I blended to make crushed pineapple, craisins which I have tons of after finding on clearance a year ago, shredded coconut a friend gave me from an auction (20 pounds!) and chopped walnuts I bought on sale a couple months ago. So definitely a Use It Up recipe for me! I actually got 3 loaves from the recipe. A showstopper!! 😍😋

    On the quilting front, Quilts #261 and #262 (same pattern, made by 2 sisters) were finished-
    Then Quilts #263 & #264 (same patter, made by same 2 sisters) were finished-
    I also finished quilt top (all made from scraps that I am donating to auction for Pelatonia for cancer research- I hope to get it all quilted by mid-week.

    A friend at Church knew that Dave had inadvertently sabotaged my garlic crop when he was putting in new block sides on one of our long veg beds by digging up all the dirt that help my garlic seedlings and piling it out of the way. So she gave me a gift bag today with a pint jar of honey from her bees and a paper bag with some beautiful garlic heads that I will break into individual cloves and plant on Sept 1 for next season! What a sweet surprise!! 

    Our meals have been easy and we’ve been able to use what we have at home. I’ve done some reorganizing of our pantry shelves to make space for some of the new additions.

    Our weather has cooled down so we’ve done some grilling outside. I’m grateful for the little $3 hamburger Press & Grill. I can make up 6 burgers at a time and then flash freeze them for grilling later. Sure saves over the cost of pre-made patties !

    We continue to find little ways here and there to save. I can see how it all adds up! We’ve been watching Foyle’s War, a British tv series that takes place in England during WW2 and have come to realize that our situation is not nearly as dire as what they lived through. Gives us more of a perspective! Hopefully you and your followers can continue to find positive things to focus on during these times!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Gardenpat, do you waterbath your pineapple? I’m growing pineapple here on Guam. Right now it’s just enough to eat each month but I’m hoping to grow more in years to come. I have a waterbath canner but I haven’t been able to get a pressure canner sent to the island yet. I love your comments. Also have you tried Zucchini fritters? I have made them with my grated zucchini and their quite tasty.

      1. Yes, pineapple can be waterbath canned. The Ball canning book okays it. 1/2 inch headspace, 15 min for pints or 20 min for quarts. I use a very light syrup.
        Home canned pineapple is delicious!

      2. Natasha Luckett- Pineapples can be water bathed. Here’s a link to canning instructions that I found years ago when I started canning pineapple- It is really easy and I just can them in water with no sugar added. The water takes on the juice flavor that way.

        Good luck with your canning!! You will love the fresh taste that the home-canned pineapple has!

        I’ll have to try zucchini fritters! Sounds good!
        Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. What do you use the hydrated tomato skin powder for? Just curious, as I’ve never heard of it before 🙂

      1. Peggy G- the powder can be used just like regular tomato powder- here are a few (25) ideas:
        I was excited to find a practical way to use them rather than tossing them to chooks or composter!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    3. GardenPat – Your bit of Scripture reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa “Do small things with great love.” I think most of us can relate to that sentiment. Thanks for always generously sharing your successes here. 🙂

      1. Mountain Mama Dawn- I think too often, with the concept of wanting it all right now, that little efforts may be scoffed at. But in reality, (imo) those little efforts, done again and again become a habit/routine and can add up to something pretty amazing while instilling an understanding of working for a goal.

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  2. I loved your mom telling you to go inside! You’ll always be her little girl.
    This week my husband pressure-washed all the rugs. This is the best way we’ve found to clean them. We have hardwood floors and a lot of rugs, plus big mats at every entrance. The pressure washer does a great job of getting out the dirt and dog hair without harming the rugs. He also split some more firewood.
    I harvested a bunch of fireweed leaves and fermented and dried them for tea. This makes a great caffeine-free black tea substitute. I mix it with dried mint from my garden and enjoy it all winter.
    We enjoyed onions, new potatoes, chard, our first tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce from the garden.

    1. We too have large mats in our mud room. I have hosed them off before but never thought about using the pressure washer. Thanks for the tip. I will be trying that.

      1. We hang them over the porch railings and by the next day they are dry. (But I live in Colorado, which has very low/no humidity.)

  3. So glad you got some rain!
    *ate lunch at my mom’s when visiting plus she sent me home with a few candles
    *went to Barnes & Noble with my daughter and found several books I was interested in: reserved them all from the library instead of purchasing
    *ordered as many used rental textbooks for my college girls as able to
    *redeemed a BOGO Starbucks coffee coupon
    📍Grocery store: I found marked down roast, chicken, Rice Krispie cereal (75 cents a box!), bacon, and milk. They also had a great sale on hamburger. I redeemed my $2 store rewards off the total.
    📍Buy Nothing Group: 2 bags of grapes, some peaches, onions, carrots, and small potatoes, strawberry Yankee candle

    Take care everyone!

  4. It was a great week in Houston!
    I took the kids to a free church event, where they had inflatable water slides, hot dog lunch, and at the end, an ice cream truck came by and gave out snacks (paid for by church). What a treat! The kids wore themselves out on that water slide, and they enjoyed the delicious goodies.
    I bought very little for back to school, as there wasn’t much we needed.
    I sold several things on facebook marketplace.
    I bought a 4 year old electric oven/range from a facebook group. It was listed at $100, but I expressed concern to the seller that I couldn’t test it to make sure that it worked (it was stored in her garage). She told me to take it for $50 to get it out of her garage, and she would give me the money back if it didn’t work. Hooray! Great deal! I am fixing up an old house in a nearby college town and have been able to replace the 1980s and nonworking appliances for very inexpensively. This set is dark stainless steel, so not an exact match to the SS vent hood, but the handle and knobs match, so close enough. And, it works! I drove very slowly with the back hatch of my old minivan open, as it was too tall to close. At least we got there safely, albeit slowly.
    I filled up with gas at Sam’s where it was the cheapest.
    I wrapped a gift from my gift closet for one son to take to a birthday party.
    Next challenge: finding a babysitter for a few hours on Mondays this fall while I teach an in-person class at the college. Baby is 4 months and really easy, but it’s hard to find part-time care. I’m spoiled with all these other online classes I’ve taught since Covid started. Wish me luck!
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

  5. I love the image of you watching the thunderstorm, and also the laughter from your Mom’s comment. You grow the prettiest zinnias! Last week, a small bouquet was cut, to enjoy in the house. I dehydrated tomato tops, which will be turned into powder, once more are collected. I harvested basil, and made pesto. Sweet potato and a few buckwheat leaves were gathered, and added to smoothies. I harvested spilanthes, lemon verbena, thyme and stevia, and dried them. From the garden, we harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, yellow, cucuzza and tromboncino squash, butternut and other winter squash, green beans, cantaloupe, honeydew, apples, figs, and pawpaws. Apple Cinnamon Zucchini muffins were made with tromboncino. I made them GF and vegan, and they turned out well. A bread end was dried for bread crumbs. After a soap delivery, I went by Dollar Tree, and picked up parchment paper, scissors, wax paper, gift wrap, tissues, and a few more packets of seeds for my Garden sets. I was happy I’d purchased scissors, as my kitchen & garden pair broke at the handle over the weekend. I canned another round of tomato paste, ending up with another pint. Though we’ve been having cantaloupe pretty much every day, and have shared several, we still weren’t keeping up. I researched, and tried dehydrating some, and made salted cantaloupe jam, which is actually pretty good. We’re not so sure about the dehydrated melon, or how we’d use it. All laundry was dried on the line. Just about every day, we’re picking cow peas, and shelling them. I cut a watermelon that was found chewed off the vine, a lovely yellow one, which was perfect. Dear friends invited us to their lake house, for some very needed down time on Sunday. Cucumber salad and cantaloupes were brought to share.

    1. Perhaps you could candy the cantaloupe I see that there are a number of recipes online about how to do this

    2. During the summer the kids loved the melons cut into chunks that we froze. I also made cantaloupe popsicles from a recipe I found in a magazine years ago. Very yummy.

  6. Brandy your comment on the post cards reminded me of our first trip to France in 2000. We went to St. Paul du Vence (spelling?) in the south of France. I found 6 black and white post cards dating back to I think the 1930’s showing what it looked like then. I was thrilled to find them as they were exactly what I was looking for. I framed all of them in black frames and really enjoy looking at them.

    1. Brandy, you are an inspiration to me. Here I’m 60 years old, and trying to figure out how to save, and live with less, to be honest it is a bit overwhelming, however every time I stop my self from buying something I don’t need I feel good not just about my self but about helping our mother earth.
      I have started cooking more meals, which helps me save money.
      I also thank everyone for their comments, I read them, and find great tips.
      With Kindness,
      Angie from California

      1. Angie, with prices where they are at now, it’s overwhelming to the rest of us, too. Just keep trying.

      2. Angie I am 65 and still learning so many things here and as Brandy said we are overwhelmed at times – especially as situations shift like sand under our feet. This is the most supportive, smart, kind group and everyone is sharing and supportive
        Keep up the good work and reading all the great posts here
        Best of luck and wishes to you

  7. It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Included in that was a trip to my mother’s house to continue the clean-up and preparation for sale. I was over there for 3 days. It was exhausting, but good to get some more things done. We rented a small truck and brought back some furniture that had been my mother’s grandmother’s and some made by my father. We cleaned and went through more paperwork, including my parent’s and grandparent’s high school and college diplomas.
    A co-worker gave me 3 jars of canned cherries. One rainier, one bing and one maraschino. We are only opening one at a time. I wanted to save them for a time when we don’t have fresh cherries, but my DH wanted to try them.
    A different friend gave us 12 heads of garlic. This was great, because we use a lot of garlic, and ours did not do well this year.
    I made a batch of zucchini cheese muffins, and dried the rest of the zucchini I had shredded.
    Picked zucchini, onions, chard, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, our first big tomatoes, basil, thyme and rosemary. Dug two hills of potatoes.
    Dried 10 trays of basil and 4 each of thyme and rosemary. I did this twice. Once each week.
    Froze 15 cups of cauliflower, 22 cups of broccoli and 16 packages of green beans.
    Made cauliflower soup twice with homegrown cauliflower and onions and broth from the freezer. I need the room in the freezer so that is helpful.
    Had our first BLTs of the summer.
    Made coleslaw and potato salad to go with our Sunday BBQ of ribs. Also made chard with garlic.
    Made homemade pizza and stir fry – both with lots of veggies.
    I was absolutely exhausted after doing everything at my mother’s house and then coming back and doing the garden. It was worth it though.
    Every morning I say a prayer that I will have the energy to do what needs to be done that day. So far, the prayers have been answered each day.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful and productive week.

    1. Nancy, when you mentioned the zucchini cheese muffins you made, I immediately thought of a recipe I make that I could add shredded zucchini to. It’s a copycat Red Lobster cheddar biscuit recipe. I don’t have the link (you could Google copycat recipes), but it’s basically a biscuit recipe (flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, butter/oil) where you add shredded cheddar cheese, parsley, garlic powder, and a handful of chives or green onions to the batter, use chicken broth in place of the milk. Then you brush on melted garlic butter on the tops after baking (425 degrees for 15 min until tops are golden). It’s a soft dough that you just drop by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. They freeze well too. I am going to try making these now with a little shredded zucchini in the batter, so thanks for the idea.

  8. I also watched a lightning storm this past week that passed through northern Utah! It was so amazing. We also had a HUGE boom sound that happened last week. It was discovered that it was a meteor from the meteor showers. We also had a huge wind storm. It was quite a week for weather. I am so thrilled with the 2 separate rainstorms we received. It is so needed here. My plants are struggling so much.

    I got a free drink from a local drink shop, candy bars on clearance form Kroger (50c). I got a box of Jasmine rice for 70c on clearance. I went to the library several times to pick up books. I bought one book from their clearance shelf for $1. My husband and I went to dinner and also took another daughter out to celebrate her beginning nursing school. We used gift cards for all of that. They have a combo meal that includes a drink, chips & salsa and the main dish. The restaurant gives us a to-go cup with a free refill of our drink to take with us. We eat half our meals and then take home the remaining meal, chips and salsa for other meals.

    My daughter needs to eat low fodmap so we are going to another nutritionist to help with a new diet plan. Thankfully our deductible was met earlier this year. The food is definitely more expensive. I have been pinning things from Pinterest, using the official Monash app (downloaded several years ago). We also purchased a cookbook and she has been trying homemade recipes. I ordered some supplies from Fody Foods and was able to use a coupon code for basics. I also bought some pasta sauce at Kroger that was low Fodmap and on the Ibotta app. I found Prego spaghetti sauce for sensitive stomachs that is also low fodmap. I have gluten free pasta. We will figure this out. She can’t have garlic or onion at all – it causes a trigger. But I can make olive oil that is infused with garlic myself at home. She can use that in our cooking. I’m so grateful for the information that is available. And that there are doctors that can help us. My daughter has made brownies and french toast from her cookbook. Both have turned out really well. We planned out meals for this week that we can make together and that she can eat.

    We hosted a family dinner on Sunday. It was so fun. We provided hamburgers and hot dogs & buns. Our kids chipped in and each brought a side dishes, dessert, relish plate. We squished 10 people and a granddaughter around our table and really enjoyed our time together. My granddaughter is 18 months old – she had fun emptying my purse and the drawer by my nightstand. We took a family picture together in our front yard. We also took a walk around our neighborhood after dinner. My daughter and son in law announced that they will be having another new baby next March. We’re so excited for another grandchild. It was fun family time.

    I had grown a very mild chile pepper in my garden. We picked about 20 and I wasn’t sure what to make with them. I thought about it for a few days. I pulled things out of my fridge and made stuffed peppers using sour cream, diced ham, diced onion, garlic, W sauce, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, S & P. I hollowed out the peppers and stuffed them with the mixture. I then wrapped them in some pre-cooked bacon strips/bits that needed to used up from my freezer. I baked them in the oven while my daughter baked brownies. They turned out soooooooo good. They were gone in 5 minutes. I was planning on serving them for our family dinner but my husband, son, daughter in law and myself ate them before the others came. No guilt here.

    I’ve been watching closely for closeout deals on clothing/shoes/etc. I’ve been able to buy my daughter 2 sweaters and 1 cardigan for $20 total. I bought a pair of clearance HOKA shoes for myself. They weren’t as cheap but I got free shipping, 30% off retail and went through Rakuten. They are the only type of shoe that helps with my foot issues. So any type of sale is a blessing.

    We picked green beans, peppers and tomatoes from the garden. I chopped and froze everything.

    Have a great week everyone.

    1. Amy S, my daughter also must eat low fodmaps. It developed after an infection she had a few years ago, either the infection itself or in reaction to the antibiotics she needed. It was a relief to find something that helped stop her abdominal pain. The good news is, after a few years of faithfulness, she can now eat a bit of onion (and other triggers) without illness. Good luck to your daughter too.

        1. Amy S, not really! She took out library books, then did an elimination diet and added food groups back til there was a reaction. We cook and eat at home from scratch, so onions/garlic, cauliflower, etc just were eliminated from recipes, or served on the side for the rest of us.

  9. That is so funny about your mom. Once a parent, always a parent. I remember one day visiting my parents with my adult children. I was taking them into the ‘big city’ and we gathered up and went out the front door, and my dad stood in the doorway and called after me, “Do you have your wallet?” My adult kids laughed and laughed. I told them that my dad still “parents” me and I’m 49, so they shouldn’t judge me too much when I still “parent” them a bit (a range of ages in their 20’s).
    • It has been such a busy week. I’m preparing for our grandson (15 months), son and daughter-in-law’s visit, which includes toddler proofing the house. I have used gift cards earned with points to buy some cupboard locks, cups, spoons, plates and bibs. I’ve borrowed a high chair. A neighbor loaned us a small slide and I got a water table from Buy Nothing group. So we’re set for this visit and any future ones!
    • I am giving away zucchini and cucumbers as fast as I can. So far I’m keeping up. I harvested peaches, raspberries, collard greens, kale, chard, lettuce, tomatoes. I dealt with the massive amount of gleaned apples, drying 2 batches (9 tray dehydrator), making 2 apple crumbles and 6 pints of applesauce, as well as half my fridge full for eating fresh! I blanched and froze several pounds of green beans. I also started a batch of apple cider vinegar with the apple peels and cores. I dry apples with the peels on, but I peeled the apples that went into applesauce.
    • I redeemed 2 glass milk bottles at Wholefoods, got $5 from Play it Again Sports (used sporting goods) for a pair of softball cleats I’d picked up for free, got $14 from Plato’s Closet (clothes consignment store) for clothes I’d picked up for free, and took our other glass bottles to the redemption center.
    • Sewed a gift bag from yellow linen for an Etsy order that was a gift being shipped directly to the recipient. It’s an extra I like to do if I can. The buyer mentioned that the recipient likes yellow and I had the perfect sized scrap.
    • My biggest savings this week was getting 10% off the installation of our kitchen countertop, because I paid cash. They didn’t volunteer this fact, I asked very pleasantly. I was so pleased.

    1. I’ve been to the store twice without my wallet in my purse. It never hurts to ask!

      1. sounds familiar… Hubby always asks if I have my purse (emergency meds in it) I now ask if he has his phone as he is self employed and never carried a phone at the factory. Amish neighbors have told us that more than once they forgot their wallets when going to town. Not a pleasant thing since it takes them at least 30 mins. to take the horse and buggy to town and then have to turn around and come back and then go back again. E said he changed horses LOL.

    2. I make about 24 pints of applesauce every year. I use a Victoria strainer, it makes it so much easier. I just quarter my apples, no peeling, no coring; cook them till they are soft and then put them in the Victoria strainer, which is hand cranked. It removes the seeds and peels and purees the apples into just the right consistency for apple sauce. I usually don’t add sugar to them and just can them up according to the Ball water bath directions.

  10. Glad you were able to get some rain, such as it was!

    My frugal week:
    picked collard greens, swiss chard, green onions, green tomatoes, and chives from my balcony garden
    – I ripened the tomatoes slowly by putting them beside bananas in a brown paper bag
    – I used the greens to make a sheet pan sausage and veggie roast, using discounted onions from a previous flash food app purchase, discounted acorn squash from a last chance rack a few weeks ago, a leftover cheese-stuff hotdog from my fridge, and some seasonings (oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, black pepper). Yummy, and it was made with whatever i had lying around.
    – made curried Cream of (Acorn) Squash soup (www., using some half and half cream I got free
    – baked banana muffins for kids breakfasts using a lone over-ripe banana
    – ate lots of sandwiches using homegrown lettuce and homegrown tomatoes
    – cancelled a planned overnight trip to meet family and was able to get a full refund on the hotel stay, thankfully
    – added some nearly expired instant coffee my sister gave me, to my almost empty jar for baking.
    – borrowed e-books from the library
    – amused my daughters with lots of youtube (paw patrol, paw patrol fanfic, etc.)
    – rinsed out my daughter’s milk cups and used the rinse water to water my balcony garden, especially the tomatoes. I remember reading a tip about that here, and it does seem to perk them up slightly. Plus, less water waste!
    – a friend ever so kindly gifted me a gc to ubereats, and my daughters and I ate the dinner I ordered for four meals
    – I ordered a custom t-shirt from Sticker Mule using a promo for only $12.50 Cad incl. shipping ($9 US). I’ll give it as a b-day present in a few months.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

  11. Beautiful photographs!
    I received a $50 Amazon card for a Crowdtap survey which I used right away for a grocery order on Amazon Fresh.
    I still went to the grocery store this weekend and it was nice because I bought manager special reduced meats—4 top round beef pieces, 2 Italian sausage packages and some boneless pork ribs. They were each between $2-$2.70 per lb. I also got some Ibotta rebates—Lysol wipes and then a few items we will bring on vacation to cook in the condo. Normally I wouldn’t buy packaged macaroni and cheese but a loss leader with 3 $1 off coupons and 25 cents back on Ibotta, they came out to 15 cents a box (for Cheetoh’s brand which I hadn’t seen before). Cookies and crackers also had sales and rebates. I ended up with $8.80 back which was nice because I haven’t been using Ibotta and I didn’t want it to lapse and start charging me.
    Our weather has been perfect these past few days so no air conditioning and sometimes, I didn’t even turn on the fan.
    My husband had lost a few pounds but didn’t try on his summer clothes when he got them out. His elastic waist shorts were fine but the dressier shorts were comically large around his waist and he cinched them in with a work belt. 😝 I ordered him new shorts from Kohl’s along with some sports bras for me. I had noticed a code for $10 off $50 back to school clothing and even though my order was 50-70% off clearance items, the code was accepted. The $60 and change order was reduced to $50 and a few cents so we also got $10 Kohl’s cash. If I stop when I have an errand nearby, I will spend it but otherwise it will go begging because I can’t go down that dangerous path of spending more to save $10…then getting rewards and spending again.
    I walked to the library Saturday which was the first time I have gone in person since 2020. I took out a couple of books and got 4 free at-home Covid tests.
    I made banana bread this morning before it got warm here. I had leftover vegetable soup (which I make in the crock pot in the summer) for lunch and reheated corn tortilla, chicken, tomatoes and bean casserole for supper so it was an easy day.
    I did a load of laundry and hung it to dry.
    Wishing everyone a great week!

    1. Oh my gosh, that getting rewards from a favorite store and feeling obligated not to waste that ten dollars. I am so there. Especially at Macy’s. I used one this summer on sale tank tops, which at least I will use, and another one on earrings, although with tax I still owed $4. But I have used that $10 reward money and started an entire shopping cart of “wants.” Sigh! I know they have my number.

      1. Me, too, Anne and Kat…the Kohl’s cash is something that I find that I spend too much time on some days. Now I have a few items that I use regularly that are $5 (Burt’s bees tinted lip balm is a fave or the Ghirardelli choc bars and save for gift bags), so I can zip in/out and pick up free items.

  12. * I cut my husband’s hair
    * I harvested cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, and jalapeños. I canned 5 pints salsa, 3.5 pints pureed tomatoes, 2 half pints pickled jalapeños, and 8 pints pickles. I sliced and froze a bag of okra. I dehydrated all the tomato skins and then powdered them and filled a punt jar with tomato powder. Oh, I harvested a zucchini. My plants have flowered and not been making any zucchini, so I almost missed this one.
    * My son’s girlfriends parents came to Alabama from New Hampshire, so we had them all over Sunday night. I had a busy Sunday and choir practice right before, but picked up BBQ pork and then made potato salad, fried okra, squash fritters, purple hull peas, and we already had homemade peach ice cream.
    * I bought a couch off Marketplace. It is a vintage wood framed sofa that was recovered in natural linen like fabric to look French. I am putting it in my bedroom. It was $50, and when I picked it up she had a bookshelf for $20 that I bought and put in the guest room with quilts on it
    * I have been cleaning baseboards, lights, under furniture, and washing fabric things. I also organize a drawer or cabinet each day.

    1. Holly, the bookcase and quilts are lovely! A lot of people I know from all over (here in Illinois and my daughter in Kelowna, BC, along with others) are saying the same thing about their zucchini this year. Mine certainly isn’t producing like it usually does, though I am getting some from the one plant.

    2. I like your new chair and shelves. What great buys. It looks like you have a talent for decorating. (I saw your post previously; I think it was at Christmas time, and it was nice, too.)

  13. I love the postcard idea. I belong to postcrossings (it’s free) I exchange postcards with people around the world like mini penpals and I’m always looking for new ideas. I love Monsoon season in the desert. Not so much here in Guam. We get about 80 inches of rain between July and December. We spent last weekend pressure washing the green mold off the sidewalks, driveway, patio, and especially the roof. You have to do it 2 to 3 times a year here. Especially the roof. The mold heats the roof up and drives up power bills! I’m ready to harvest my first 2 dragon fruit off the plants I transplanted last year. My husband built trellises for them based on a dragonfruit you tube video. I also have a pineapple ready to pick soon. I start pineapples by twisting the tops off the ones we’re ready to eat. They take about a year to grow so we are at the point where we’re getting 1 pineapple a month. My starfruit are still going strong. The chickens get several every day and I’m going to make half pints of starfruit pepper jelly this week for gifts for Christmas. I’m teaching another class this week at the USO on base to young military spouses. Last month I taught them how to extend the life of their produce. This month is frugal school breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. We are still having severe shortages at our commissary here. We still haven’t seen frozen chicken breasts or thighs in 2 months (we don’t get any fresh chicken being overseas). We do have wings and drumsticks though! I finally harvested Cassava leaves last week. I cut the branches and hung them from the fence to dry even in rainy season they were dry in 2 days. I put them in Paper bags and stored them in an unused bath tub. I am mixing in the ground up leaves with my chicken feed to give them extra protein and extend the bag of feed each month. Lay feed is up to $37.50 a 50 pound bag here. But a dozen eggs is $8 so I’m still making out. The chickens get all the scraps in the house. I’m digging up the cassava root for people use this week. It’s quite large. I’m going to try a Cassava cake and maybe even making my own cassava flour. We’ll see! Our local navy exchange store (like a mini walmart) had several Lodge cast iron pieces on clearance more than 50%. I also had a $20 off $75 coupon. So I bought 4 pieces to add to my collection for less than $50. I was able to get a round vegetable grill pan, pie pan, the wedge cornbread pan and the corn bread pan in the shape of corn. These will be used forever in our house. I have several pans I inherited from my father and grandma that have been in use for more than 50 years. I use two of them daily. Have a great week everyone!

    1. Natasha – Your posts remind me so much of my mom, a military spouse, who always made things work no matter the situation (and still does!) We only moved twice in my childhood but one of the moves was to Panama and I remember my mom learning how to work with the local food supply and helping other families make the most out of their situation in what seemed like a very foreign place to many. I have a lot of respect for military spouses. They embody the “Bloom where you are planted” maxim so well. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. 🙂

    2. I really enjoyed your post too, Natasha. My husband was in the military many years ago and we lived in Germany. I loved living there. I don’t think I would enjoy the weather in Guam but I envy you and anyone else when they talk about all the fruit available to them in their own yard!

  14. -So pleased about your rain and lower temperatures for a few days!
    -I was away from home last week babysitting 3 littles so their mom (my daughter) was able to take on a few work shifts. It was fun, but tiring! It was interesting seeing what grocery prices were in another town, and I consulted with my daughter about items that had a considerable price difference; I’ll pick them up here and transport them to her on the next trip.
    -Grocery prices continue to rise. So-called “sale prices” are actually just the price before the amount goes up. My price book has been very helpful, albeit slightly depressing, in keeping track.
    -My little vegetable garden limps along. It has been worthwhile financially, but there will be no bonanzas as there just hasn’t been enough warmth and sunshine to really do well. Mind you, a blogger in Australia said green beans there were $60/kg (abt $30/lb), so even my small amounts are important!
    – I bought garden fertilizer to store for next year as our govt has decided fertilizer causes weather issues and is working to restrict it.
    -Blackberries are beginning to ripen and can be foraged for free. Plenty of blackberry jam and pie filling is on the agenda!

    1. I am seeing the same price with sale prices here. They are what used to be full price just last year.

    2. Elle: I did the same with fertilizer. It is $15 more per bag than it was last year! I worry about our farmers. I love them all so much!

      1. Cheryl, my husband and I are retired orchardists, apples mainly. It is not an exaggeration to say that restricting our fertilizer application would have put us out of business completely. Fertilizer makes marginal land arable. What our govt is doing is very scary.

  15. I’m so glad to hear you had record rain! I saw news video of flooding on the Las Vegas strip though. 😳

    This week I finished a second nightgown for myself made from some eyelet in my fabric stash. It turned out very nicely. I’m currently working on a linen jumpsuit from a pattern. I did order the fabric from I am on their email list and have ordered sale fabric combined with 20% off coupons, which makes it quite reasonable compared to JoAnns. I hope to have the done by the end of the week. Sewing is time intensive but it saves money and is higher quality in materials and workmanship. I find it very satisfying.

    I went to Costco for the first time in 2 months. The diced canned tomatoes are $0.05 less each at Costco than at Walmart. That’s $0.40 less per 8 pack.

    I’m at 1 month post surgery. I’ve begun walking on the treadmill and doing light barre exercises (no abdominal work). I’m astonished by how much muscle, stamina, posture and balance I have lost during 2 months of illness and recovery. 😳 I added in some balance exercises as well and I’m already seeing improvements in all areas after only 5 short exercise sessions. The body is incredible and will adapt to the demands placed on it! I’m using equipment I already have such as a balance disc, pilates ball and light hand weights. Slow and steady!!! 🐢

    We had the usual savings from our kitchen and garden. Cooking and baking from scratch as well as eating vegetables from the garden leaf to savings. I found some hot dogs in the freezer and made pigs in a blanket with homemade biscuit dough. I prefer biscuits to store buns any day! I also made granola and vacuum sealed the extra jars.

    I finally felt up to coloring my hair. I was overdue! Our son will be heading to college out of state very soon. We shipped some necessities directly to his school mailbox to save on sales tax, to free up space for the car ride and weight for gas mileage. It all adds up!

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone! 🌈

    1. The flooding was very short-lived and gone quickly. It only affected a couple of intersections and casinos.

        1. We didn’t get that much rain, but it’s at least something. What we need is snow in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

    2. Julie, abdominal surgery isn’t for sissies! It’s a tough recovery. Yes, while you lose a lot of build up, you should find that you recover better and faster than if you weren’t previously exercising. Plus, I found that I regained my exercise loss pretty quickly.
      I was in the hospital a week+ after my surgery and the nurses were joking that I should win a cross country medal. I dragged my butt and IV stand all over! Keep up the good work!!

    3. I was using a walking app when I started back after my bowel resection. It was so funny to look at it because it showed exactly my path and the 2nd half the line was all wobbly. My core had enough midway and I would start slouching and also was wobbly. I looked like a drunk, lol. Glad you’re getting better and active. It will come!

    4. I was in the hospital for several months and very ill but somehow in my head I thought I would be just as strong as before. I decided I did not need the beside commode so I stood up to walk to the bathroom and promptly collapsed on the floor in a big heap. My legs were like rubber! Why I thought I could walk across the room by myself when I needed help to sit on the commode and then get back up and into bed is a mystery. I commend your efforst to build strength. I am afraid I had about a two day pity party before I decided to start working on rebuilding myself.

    5. Julie, so glad to hear you are recovering. I hope the rest is a breeze for you. Great idea about the hot dogs with a biscuit. I don’t like regular buns so I will be trying this.☺️

    6. Julie, I hope your health continues to improve! I was in pretty good shape when I had my first child; had been doing Pilates for about a year before that. Well, I was on bedrest for 6 weeks then had an 8 week recovery from my c-section. I was shocked at how atrophied my muscles became in that time…I still don’t feel like my stomach muscles ever fully recovered! I think I remember you saying that it was abdominal/intestine surgery? Hoping you feel better every day.

  16. Hubby wasn’t in love with his new gaming monitor, so we returned it

    I saved some jars from pickles and olives

    Used a coupon for $15 off oil change. Sadly, it was still $2 more than what I paid for the exact service 5 months ago.

    I got 11 packs of Halloween napkins for .25 each from my friend that buys pallets.

    Used 20% off Jimmy John’s order

    Found out I could put my book for my class on my payment plan so I didn’t have to pay when I picked it up.

    Hubby made a shelf for the bedroom (pretty much L brackets and a piece if wood)

  17. I love seeing all of your beautiful flower pictures.
    -We have finally had some rain as well.
    -Zucchini is coming in strong. We had zucchini tomato casserole, zucchini lasagne, zucchini muffins with extra for the freezer, and froze zucchini. Made some spaghetti sauce from the tomatoes. Eating fresh cucumbers and lettuce daily. I shared some muffins with my parents, and they brought over rhubarb bread.
    -Picked up 10# of blueberries on sale, will freeze in batches. I wanted to make sure the peaches in the store were freestone for canning, so I only bought a few to check. Planning on going back to the store for more peaches. Trying to use store coupons, ibotta and sales to stock up.
    -I’ve been falling off the bandwagon and have bought several fancy coffees out, after pretty much cutting them out. I need to stop, for my waistline and wallet.
    -Using free printable to help my kids with their alphabet and we were gifted new books from family.

  18. Hello!

    I watched several of Jim Gaffigan’s comedy routines last week on YouTube. I think he is so funny! I also follow/watch a few frugal channels, and listen to music. I love YouTube for so many things, actually!

    I made pizzadillas last week for one of our meals. I have made pizzas many times using tortillas as crusts, but never thought to make pizzadillas. I used mozzarella, green pepper, black olives, and red onion. I served them with marinara on the side. I also made another simple meal, lemon linguine, which is one of our favorites. It’s just lemon juice, parsley, garlic, milk/cream and Parmesan.

    I made some starts of my Chinese evergreens with hopes of giving them as gifts. I also picked up a pretty book on candle making at the library. I used to make my own candles years ago, and I think I would enjoy it again.

    I gave the kids back to school haircuts. They head back this week and I am THRILLED!

    Have a great week!

  19. Food preservation is at its peak. I must have harvested 7 or 8 large zucchinis this last week and it’s just me here. I have dehydrated some, shredded some and sorted in freezer bags for zucchini bread with blueberries and lemon. More will be done in the next couple days.

    I have harvested herbs which I have frozen in olive oil- Basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage (gifted to me) and tarragon. Some of them will also be dehydrated. I made sage butter, for the freezer. I also harvested potatoes for the food bank and save the tiniest potatoes (smaller than a dime)- they still taste great, which would not be suitable for donation but still good enough for me.

    Lettuce, Swiss chard, mustard green seedlings are growing, and I am harvesting coriander seeds as they dry.

    Blackberries are abundant and free, so I have made blackberry jelly, and saved the pulp and seeds, spread onto parchment paper and dehydrated that. It resulted in a bark, which is slightly sweet, great for snacks, but can also be pulverized for blackberry powder, when sieved, with the seeds that can be used in zucchini bread for a bit of extra fibre.

    I have chicken broth in the instant pot tonight using scraps I have been accumulating in the freezer and chicken bones found at a local store; it smells great, and nothing is wasted. I should be able to can a few pints from that, and use in my carrot-tarragon-ginger soup tomorrow.

    I will be making bread instead of buying a loaf to go with the soup.

  20. Brandy, I love a good thunderstorm too! The rumbling is soothing to me, but in Minnesota we have to be careful because it might be accompanied by a tornado.

    -I inventoried and organized the upright and chest freezer. I found 2 ziplocks of tomatoes from last year. I combined this with a few fresh ones and canned 5 quarts of spaghetti sauce, plus we used another quart for supper. I also found 2 gallons of applesauce in the freezer. I canned 5 pints and 4 three quarter quarts of this. We are almost out from last year and I had about 40 pints. This year the our trees have very few apples. Apples tend to produce every other year. Seems 3 of the 4 trees produced last year. I may have to buy some apples. I do know of one place I may be able to pick some for free. I will put out the word I am looking for apples and see what happens.
    -I plugged in the small chest freezer to make sure it is working well. We will be getting 1/4 beef this next week from a local farmer and it will go in this freezer.
    -I dug 3 hills of red potatoes. Got 7#! It will be a good potato year!! Still have 9 hills of reds and 12 hills of russets.
    -We are slowly getting tomatoes, what we don’t eat fresh, I will freeze in bags until I get enough to can a batch of something.
    -I keep my empty jars in our outside shed stacked in totes. My husband built me shelves to stack the totes on instead of just stacking the totes on them selves. Much easier to see what I have and to access them. He used all scrap lumber that he had to do this so no out of pocket cost.
    -Creative leftover use: I cooked one pound stew meat that I chopped into smaller pieces with a can of cream of mushroom soup, 2 T onion soup mix (I buy this bulk), chopped onions and a can of mushrooms in the crockpot. When it was done I took a third of the mixture and added 1/4 c sour cream and we had this over rice like stroganoff. I took the second third the next day and warmed it up and served over potatoes, the third portion, I added some cubed potatoes and carrots and the rest of the leftover corn. I made 2 pie crusts and made 4 mini pot pies. We ate two baked and I froze the other two for another meal later. Four meals for the two of us from 1# of meat.
    -I made a tote bag for groceries out of a large quilted table runner (42 x 18 inches) I bought at a garage sale for $1. The handles I attached were canvas webbing (belt kit with 3 different patterns) I bought at another garage sale for sixty cents. I used one and have 2 more for different bags. It took a half hour to do this and $1.20 later I have a cute and sturdy bag. And the nice thing is it is washable.
    -We’ve had rain twice this week, an inch each time. Usually by this time of the year the grass is brown and crunchy. Not this year- green and growing. Hubby is mowing every 5-7 days. So saving by not watering the garden but using gas for the lawnmower. I love the smell of fresh cut grass, so there is that!
    -I helped serve and clean up a brunch at church. I came home with a dozen breakfast sausages. I made 3 packages of 4 for breakfasts for us. I also brought home 2 sticks of butter.
    -Canned 8 pints of gluten free tomato soup (plus I had enough for a bowl of soup for lunch one day)and 1 pint of green beans. My green beans got eaten off by the deer again about 10 days ago. They are jumping my 5 foot garden fence. They were back again last night, the dog was barking and my hubby went out with a flashlight and scared them away. Hopefully that scared them enough to stay away. I have lots of little beans on and they are blooming and I need to can green beans!
    -Only groceries this week were 2 gallons of milk, some cinnamon raisin bagels on sale $2 (now a bag of 5 instead of 6), and a gallon of ice cream. The ice cream darn near gave me a heart attack. It was $8.25. It was hubby’s Bday and he only wanted ice cream, no cake. And even though it was a crazy price, going out for ice cream is $10 and it is gone. At least for that price he can have it a bunch more times. Although I told him, enjoy because unless it is on a good sale this is the last for a long while. We may have to dust off the ice cream maker and make a batch from scratch.
    Have a great week!

    1. I find it is more expensive to use my ice cream maker, sadly! And I have also stopped buying ice cream now most of the time though it is our favorite dessert.

      1. I gave our ice cream maker away recently. It was expensive to make the ice creams I made, the drum took up valuable space in our freezer and I found I really wasn’t using it anymore. I am happy with my chocolate “nice” cream or fruit sorbets and smoothies which I can make in the blender whenever I have a hankerin’ for a frozen dessert. (Almost) instant gratification!

  21. This was another super busy week in our home as we checked more items off of the huge to do list we have made to get the final items completed following our move in March. We have a much larger home so I am making use of all that we have and when I purchase items I am choosing timeless pieces and looking for sales. This week I found a print that I have wanted to buy and a metal hanging at Hobby Lobby. One was marked 75% off and the other 50% off. I bought both and spent less than the cost of one at regular price. I needed linens for a bedroom and towels for a bathroom. I found these items at deep discounts on clearance from TJMaxx.
    I harvested a large batch of jalapeños from the garden which I will pickle this week. I froze the remaining yellow squash and shredded enough zucchini for 15 loaves of bread from our garden. I harvested tomatoes and the final cucumbers and made a warm lentil salad with basil, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. I also pulled the first of what I hope will be several quarts of field peas from the garden. Our peppers are really enjoying the temps being below
    90 degrees and are showing by producing lots of fruit. I have frozen some and used some fresh. I use a lot of different kinds of peppers in my cooking so being able to grow these is a big money saver for us.
    I pulled squash, zucchini and cucumber plants that were spent and broke up the ground where they had been to prep for fall veggies. I don’t plan to plant a huge garden but I will plant a few things to try and help with grocery expenses.
    I pulled bananas frozen some time ago and made two loaves of banana bread – one swirled with Nutella. I also cooked up a large batch of chicken noodle soup using carrots that were well past their peak and some leftover green beans. This will easily feed us lunches and several dinners this week.
    I cleaned out our inside refrigerator and organized it’s contents. I scrubbed the guest bath and pulled out all of my flower vases. I harvested several batches of zinnias and I have them in every room
    Of our home. I love having a clean home with fresh flowers all around…it is inexpensive and brings me great joy. I enjoyed free music on Spotify while cleaning and organizing.
    I gifted a neighbor some of our banana bread and a pint of the fresh cherry jam I made and they sent me away with a quart of giardeniera, a quart of honey from their bees, and some red snapper from their trip. It is such a blessing to have likeminded neighbors that we can share with! We share gardening tips and canning recipes and it is fun.
    I love the idea for the postcards Brandy! I have a whole book of them from a trip to Europe and have never had a way to really display them. This idea would give me wall decor for my guest room
    At no additional cost using frames I have on hand.
    Enjoy the week ahead everyone!

    1. You must have so many zinnias to have some in every room! I should try to grow enough to do that next year!

      1. I highly recommend planting zinnias if you want to fill the house with flowers! I plant a large bed of zinnia seed each spring, and I have many vases of flowers nonstop throughout the summer. I also tell all of the neighbors they can come and cut bouquets anytime. They’re such cheerful flowers!

        1. I have many in the garden and this year I planted more than ever, but several have died for no apparent reason and others never germinated. I buy them in bulk. I don’t know why they are having such trouble this year. I have a few but not nearly as many as I expected.

          1. a big tip is to pinch them off when they get a few inches and they will bloom out and produce branches rather than a single stem. I love mu zinnias. And the flowers last so long once cut.

            1. I do this. The odd thing for me is that so many plants have been dying this year. I have never had an issue before and I can’t see any logical reason as to what is happening.

              1. Brandy, if it makes you feel any better I usually grow tons of zinnias with little effort. This year I had about 6 grow. I blame it on the heat and other weird weather. I had trouble with my green beans as well. I got about a fourth of what I usually grow. I have heard many a gardener say the same thing.

              2. Brandy,

                My carrots that were planted 2 months ago are now only an eighth of an inch in diameter — so thin really they almost don’t have a diameter. My chard germinated but only grew an inch and a creature (squirrel???) dug most of it out two nights ago. I think in our case we had a late, cold spring followed by hot dry weather.

          2. I have grown zennias or over 40 years, they are my favorite flower. I gather the seed heads in the fall, store them in a paper bag and resow in the spring. My original investment of buying zinnia seeds has certainly paid off, I had hundreds this year! They look like the zinnias my grandmother grew

            for over 40

      2. I planted the zinnias in all three flower beds that line the back of our home instead of putting in bushes. They are growing so wonderfully it is hard to believe! The more I cut them, the more they grow. I bought seeds from Johnny’s this year and plan to do the same next year since they are abundant and will return year after year. I am finding that the cut flowers are lasting 1-2 weeks inside as well.

        1. I once worked with a young woman who was a newly divorced single mom. She lived in a small trailer and didn’t have much, but her home was kept so beautifully. Every year she planted zinnias all around her little house. She saved every flower head in a big paper sack and the next year planted all of those seeds. She had hundreds of flowers and after that first year, never bought seed. (She also reupholstered thrift-store furniture and the art on her walls was all pictures from calendars that she framed in thrift-store frames.)

  22. I asked my hubby if he could build me a potting bench using a piece of counter top and some free pallets that we already had, and he did! I absolutely love how it turned out! I have it in our basement next to my shelving unit that I have lights on for starting my garden plants on. In the past I have simply used the floor to do my potting on, so having this bench will be so much nicer. I am wanting to try growing lettuce and spinach inside during the winter time. I also want to try growing the micro tomatoes inside this winter. Does anyone have a seed company that they recommend? I know some have been suggested here before, but I failed to write down the names!
    Frugal fail—I was testing out some old lettuce and spinach seeds I already had, just to see if I could get them to sprout before I bought new seed. My cat used the new potting bench to leap up onto the top of my plant shelf, spreading my dirt where I was testing my old seed everywhere! This cat has never bothered my plant shelf and seedlings before, but of course he has never had a lovely potting bench as a take off spot either! I could have absolutely skinned him alive I was so miffed with him! It is a good thing he is so absolutely adorable—I am convinced God gave him extra cuteness BECAUSE he is such a mischievous pussycat!!! Of course, I love him dearly, way more than my ruined seedlings, but I am still trying now to plan on how to outsmart him! It probably won’t work, but I do have a few ideas to try for “Round two!”

    -Susan M. in Chattanooga

    1. I think Territorial Seed Company gives you the most seeds for your money. I buy most seeds from them.

      1. Yes, I buy from Territorial also. I just placed an order with them yesterday. ( I have noticed that, like everything else, seed prices have risen.)

  23. We froze 20 quarts of corn this week. Plus we ate about 2 dozen ears ourselves. My dad always plants a huge sweet corn patch and shares with his friends and family.

    I managed to get some gas for $3.68. I also got $1.50 worth of points back on my purchase with fetch rewards and upside.

    I got two cucumbers for free.

    I added another piece of bread to my bag in the freezer. When it gets full, I’ll use it for scalloped pineapple, squash casserole, or French toast casserole.

    I froze two bananas that were going bad. I’ll make banana bread with them sometime.

    I stayed $2 under budget on my grocery shop.

    We had a free family fun day. We played in the creek for 5ish hours with my sister and her family. We packed lunches and set up our canopy for shade. The kids had fun and we didn’t spend a dime.

    I have been working on improving my online store. I’ve added some new products and worked out getting my products on multiple platforms. I hope my hard work will pay off. So far, I’ve only invested about $5 on this process. But it has taken a lot of time.

    Something ate a bunch of our peaches. I was so sad. They were almost ready. Then overnight they were gone. We were able to pick quite a few green beans and a few peppers this week. More green beans are coming. I canned 7 pints of green beans and 4 quarts of tomatoes. We have frozen almost a gallon bag of sliced peppers.

    I found a Halloween costume for my son at Goodwill for $1.99.

    I picked quite a bit of basil. I made 7 jelly jars of pesto. My husband isn’t a huge fan of pesto, so I make small enough jars to just make a couple lunches for me. I also have to two big bundles hanging up to dry.

    Our apples and pears are just starting to get ready. We picked 4 apples and 6 pears after church yesterday.

    I had been wanting a new shower curtain for awhile. I found a beautiful pale pink one on clearance at Walmart for $17. It’s perfect!

    I read several books from the library. One is a great Bible study book. It’s called Woven by Angie Smith. I have completed her “Seamless” Bible study, too. I really like her writing. I read Woven once, taking notes as I went. Now I’m reading through it again just to take it all in one more time.

  24. Stayed home a lot last week, which was good. My husband was out of town, so I didn’t cook very much. I did make a pot of goulash (that isn’t my husband’s favorite) and ate that for several meals, and froze some of it for use in soup later. It was delicious and reminded me of my folks, who have both passed. *My husband was traveling for our 33rd anniversary, so we waited til Friday night and went out to dinner as our gift to each other. It was a nice restaurant that we go to once every couple of years because it isn’t budget friendly, but we had allocated for it and really enjoyed ourselves. Our waiter was the husband of an old friend of mine and he gave us free drinks (pop) and a big piece of chocolate cake for free. We brought some of the food home and our son had a whole meal of it. * Did grocery pick up and stayed within the budget, but boy…I’m getting fewer and fewer bags of groceries each week! Still avoiding snack foods and eating more meatless meals. I did get 5 pounds of hamburger this week and separated it into 10 – 1/2 pound packages for the freezer. I bought a bag of lentils to try tacos with or at least to cook and add to the hamburger to make it stretch. I’d like to make this meat stretch until mid October at least* Noticed our freezers are pretty full, so will concentrate on using up this food before buying more, unless there is an incredible deal. * Finished the last Christmas afghan * Read another library book and requested a couple more. I am still part of the library outreach program because of my mobility issues, so the books will arrive in the mail. This is such a blessing! Since I joined the outreach service, I’ve read 26 library books (about 10 months)* It has cooled off here so we have had the A/C off for the last few days and it is wonderful!! * Hope everyone’s week is happy, healthy and thrifty!

  25. Even though we have been careful our electric bill went up. I think next month will be worse because our air conditioner has been running a lot. We will see. In the meantime, I turn off lights when not in use. I have a single bulb on in the evening. My husband has helped me process peppers and okra for the freezer. We don’t have a lot. But every bit helps. We picked kale and made a salad. We are trying to use everything or freeze things before they go bad. I used ground turkey in place of burger. It is cheaper and it tasted great with tomato sauce and Italian spices on it! We try and eat before we go somewhere. We utilize the library for entertainment. I picked basil. I make coffee using less. My family is just as happy. We pay bills before they are due so as not to incur fees. We use our grocery bags for liners in the small trash cans. I’m considering using them for the daily trash as well and take it out every day. I’ve done that in the past and although it requires more effort it makes so I don’t have to buy trash bags. We also reuse our Aldi grocery bags for groceries. We wash full loads of laundry and dishes. I take quick showers on a cooler setting. I use cloth instead of paper products for most things. My mom made two sets of napkins for me. We love them and use them daily. We use our soap until it is gone. I add water to our lotion container. I cut open some products like toothpaste or lotion to use the last bit. I look up ads on the internet before I go to the store to get an idea of the sales or prices of things then I am on the lookout for other store deals. Someone gave us some potatoes last week and we have been using them in our meals. We got tires for my husband’s truck from someone local and probably will do the same for my car before winter. We will probably get our septic cleaned before winter as well. And we will need to pay taxes in a few months. And we have other bills as well. I’m hoping we don’t need more propane for winter. So we are being very careful with what we are doing. I’d like to save if we can. I am considering ways to make extra money. Winter is coming and my husbands work comes to a stand still during that time. I think I am going to go back and read your words of encouragement Brandy. I am going to work on things that are free that bring me joy. I have also been planning meals ahead of time. It makes me feel good to know that we will be fed and that my family will enjoy the meals that I make for them. I’m so grateful to God for what we do have.

  26. Hello and best wishes to everyone here! Brandy, mind your mother, LOL!

    A friend and I went to see the Broadway roadshow of “Come from Away,” the musical based on the book about the 7,000 airline passengers on 38 airplanes that were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on 9/11. The ticket cost $82. We saved money by leaving our husbands home! Being able to afford experiences–I’m not much for buying stuff–is why I am frugal.

    I made menus last week and followed them! We ate one meal “out.” We stopped at an in-store deli on the way to a state park and bought fried chicken for a picnic. We have a $10 state parks pass so no admission fee. We’ve used it a couple of times this year so it has more than paid for itself (day use admission is $7 car).

    I read two books from the library. We listened to a book in the car on our way home from our son’s about 10 days ago. This was the first time we used the free Libby app. Brandy, our library doesn’t have Hoopla. Is there another way to get it? I understand their book selection is much bigger.

    I placed phone orders using my husband’s and daughter’s OTC benefits. I ordered a grab bar for the shower.

    In the “spend to save” category, I bought $90.00 worth of merchandise at Rite-Aid.
    * $53.17 was for OTC products paid for by my United Healthcare medical plan.
    * I earned $4 in bonus bucks for two packages of Scott’s 1,000 Sheets that were a pretty good sale price to begin with.
    * I earned $15 in bonus bucks for spending over $60. I will use the bonus bucks to buy nail polish and blush for my daughter’s birthday next month.

    1. I don’t know. Maybe you could sign up for another nearby library card online and use that? I used the Hoopla app and entered my library information.

  27. Went to the store only for milk, the rest of our meals were from the garden or cupboard. Tons of zucchini so I canned zucchini relish and made and froze 10 bags containing five zucchini taco shells each. Gluten free, freeze beautifully, baked not fried and use a lot of zucchini. At one point I ran out so I grated some fresh carrots and used that. I don’t like those as much but I needed another half cup of shreds and carrots were at hand. Really, I went no place this week and just harvested and put by for the winter. I will thank myself in a few months!

    1. Mable thanks for the recipe, these look intriguing. And this time of the year, zucchini is not in short supply.

  28. Brandy: Your flower pics are stunning as usual. So gifted!

    Went to the Farmer’s Co-Op today. Bought fertilizer for next year($15 more per bag.). Don’t like what I’m hearing from Farmer’s. 🙆‍♀️ Also bought some potting soil and bird seed. They did not have oiled sunflower seed, which I have always bought for my Cardinal families. Said it was $19 last year; $39 this year, so they refused to order it. The most daunting thing was the galvanized wash tub I needed to wash my dogs in. Last year they were $40; this year $100. They refused to order those also. We all need to pray for our farmers. They work so hard for so little. I have such admiration for them!

    My herbs that I planted are growing quickly. Also, I planted a few fall crops: onions, carrots, cabbage & Brussel sprouts. It will be a stand off between me and the rabbits, I’m afraid!

    Hershey has put out a statement again that Halloween Candy will be in short supply this year due to supply chain issues and lack of products. Bummer!

    My granddaughter is getting married in October on the Carolina coast. What to wear? October is a tough month there, because it can be very hot or quite cold. You just never know!

    We are changing our Internet/Cable provider. We will save $150 per month and get a $300 gift card for signing up!

    Hope everyone has a safe and thrifty week! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

    1. I sometimes wonder if companies put out “there won’t be enough” statements in the hope to push people to buy more right now?

      1. Totally agree! When I read that, my first thought was to buy it now….but it would be eaten before Halloween! I’ll take my chances…..

    2. Hi CherylB. I live on the (North) Carolina coast and you are quite right-one never knows quite what October will be like. We had high temps last week (93-94) with terrible humidity and triple heat indices, and today’s high is 80 which is shocking for August. Since August has been so odd, October may be equally questionable this year! I live in the Outer Banks which is a big wedding destination.

  29. We have not done a lot this week. It is very hot at the moment for the UK. All my flowers are dead as it is now 12 weeks since we had rain and I am watering my trees which are stressed and veg with waste water from the kitchen etc. A lot of trees will die this year. I remember the 1976 drought , we planted our back lawn in March and the seed eventually came up in September.

    We have not bought anything this week, we are eating for the pantry , freezer and garden. I am harvesting, melon, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and potatoes from the garden but although I am watering the beans and they are flowering they are not setting it’s probably to hot. We are forecast a storm tomorrow but they often go around us .

    I am drying tomatoes on a south facing window ledge, I will finish the off in the dehydrator if necessary.

    Stay we everyone

    1. Chris, you must be in one of the areas under the hosepipe ban. I don’t think it’s everywhere in the U.K.; I think it’s mostly in the south.

      Put buckets in your showers to catch warm-up water. You can also plug your shower, if that’s an option, and bail that soapy water out with a pitcher or buckets after your shower and use it to water trees and bushes.

      Likewise, put bowls in your sinks to capture water from washing your hands and use that.

      I hope you can keep some plants alive.

      1. We don’t have a hose pipe ban. Our water company put in extensions to the reservoirs some years ago begin the driest part of England. We are 35 miles from London on the coast. I am trying to keep the water bill down. Our shower is on the 1st flour so we use the shower water for flushing the loo. I also have bowls and a couple of dustbins out in the garden and it’s raining. I feel like doing a rain dance and it’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow.

  30. Brandy, thank you again for your wonderful phtotography! You make the less obvious into a focal point; you capture how God ”wastes” beauty; I mean, even every miniscule detail is so wonderful! Thank you for showing it to us. – – – Last week meant the second nettle harvest as the nettles I had cut down were tall enough to be harvested again. As I cleared more (waist high) overgrown nettles on our property I found a white currant bush among them, loaded with ripe berries. What a gift! And, my husband was able to sold one ”car”(it didn’t work) that was taking space on the yard. Woohoo!

  31. It was our turn to get the lightning and rain/hailstorms, I guess. Today it started in mid-afternoon and pelted the fifth-wheel (we live in a fifth-wheel) so hard that I had to yell to be heard by Husband. The wind was banging around a lot, too. Then it rained…and rained…and rained. Lots of flooding all over the Denver area. I was glad we’d stayed home — and paid extra for a roof this spring that’s guaranteed for the life of the trailer.

    I also laughed about your mom! Mine would have done the same. I have a vivid memory of Husband at his college graduation, standing outside in cap & gown…and his mom saying, “Shouldn’t you have your coat on?”

  32. I was playing around one day and looked up unclaimed property in PA, and I found 2 claims in my name. Hmmm, how could that happen when I put in a change of address form when I moved. Submitted for the claims, they’ve been approved and almost $300 is on its way to me. I then clicked on find money in other states. I also searched my maiden name. I found money in CT from over 30 years ago!! I submitted for the claim and it came back with an address. Yep…..that was me!!! It hasnt been approved yet, but it may take 90 days. Its only $43. I waited 30+ years, whats another 3 months. I was having problems with my 10 year old hp wifi printer. I needed to scan documents for my claims and I was getting messages that my printer wasnt connected. I almost said the heck with this and went and bought an uptodate printer. I saved money by calming down and downloading a new driver and got it working again. I had a $120 credit on my visa card for a few months now. I had made a payment and didnt realize it hadnt cleared my account yet, and then requested to use my rewards to make the payment, original payment cleared, giving me a credit. I used the credit to buy some meat. We got the list of items my daughter needed for school. I went to office depot with a 20% off coupon, found the items and price matched to target, and then used my existing rewards to pay for the items. No out of pocket costs. I went into dollar tree looking for something that was on ibotta. I didnt find it, but I did find lots of “multi-pack” brand name things that can be used for school lunches. $1.25 at dollar tree versus $4.99 at Publix, big savings!! Cant think of anything else out of the ordinary that I did.

  33. Brandy – I so appreciate your captions under your flower photos. I have been making notes of the varieties of flowers you grow that are different than what I have in my garden (especially the zinnias.) Always fun to learn and dream of next year’s garden.
    *My youngest son attended a VBS with the church of a friend last week so free fun at a beautiful camp just for the cost of gas. I did a few errands in that part of the county while there and, even better, had a little time each day to sit on the grass under the shade of a tree by the river and read. Just glorious! I finished “Bullet Train” which was a page-turner and full of I-didn’t-see-that-coming moments. I can see why it has been made into a movie. I also read “Raft of Stars” by Andrew J. Graff which was wonderful. If you have boys, were a boy or a tomboy growing up (as I was/am) this story will really resonate with you. It was so good I wrote down a quote or two from it in my quote book which is my highest praise. Now, I am onto “Lilac Girls” as recommended by so many of you. Thank goodness for the library and inter-library loan. Not sure what I’d do without it.
    *I found a few needed things at thrift shops while in town – a very well-made desk lamp for my youngest son for $7, some salad plates (I seem to use that size a lot) for 50 cents each, a pair of pants for me for $3 and a new-with-tags jacket for my oldest son for $4. I also found an odd item I had been looking for for a while – divided plates. I think they must have come from a hospital or nursing facility and am not sure who might buy them but I needed them for our foster kittens. The separate sections are perfect for feeding litters of hungry kittens and I was thrilled to find them, even more thrilled that they were $1 each. They have already more than out-earned their purchase price. There have been so many times in my life when I have had something I needed and found it with patience and perseverance and this was one of those times.
    *We continue on our mission to get the interior of our house painted. This week, we finished my youngest son’s room and the hallway between his room and my older son’s room as well as the ceiling over the stairwell. I was reminded of another of our frugal tenets – buy the best equipment you can afford and take very good care of it so it lasts. My husband is a stickler for buying good quality paint brushes and rollers. There is nothing worse than having to pick little bristles of cheap brushes off your wall as you paint so we buy the good ones, clean them very well and use them until they die. Works for us. We also installed a ceiling fan in our youngest son’s room. My husband must have spent a few hours researching best prices on the fan we needed (another frugal tenet – research!) as it is an attic bedroom with sloped ceilings and an exposed beam so required a extra long down shaft and angled cap. He found a good deal (with on-line code) to LampsPlus. Their CS and online tools were very helpful so I recommend them if you have such a need.
    *We continue to eat from the garden, freezer and pantry with only a small grocery shop for milk and cheese.
    *Sold eggs to neighbors.
    *Prepared and froze items from the garden for Winter use.
    *Dried all laundry outside as possible.
    *Discovered that a routine medication I have been buying from an on-line pharmacy went up from $10 for a 90 day supply to $27! Called a local pharmacy and found they will fill it for $10 so had the prescription transferred there. Another frugal tenet – constantly compare prices and never assume it will remain the same, especially these days.
    *Received my order of mite treatment for my honey bees. I saw that, just a few days later, many places were sold out. Another frugal tenet – plan ahead, again, especially these days. It is interesting to see how the shortages and supply chain issues affect things you wouldn’t even think of. Looking forward to getting in my hives this next week and harvesting a bit of honey which we sell and give as gifts. Then, treating them for mites which is essential to helping them successfully survive the Winter. With beekeeping, as with gardening, you are always thinking ahead which fits in well with a frugal life.
    *Wishing everyone a lovely week! Thank you all for your continued inspiration. 🙂

  34. My biggest frugal accomplishment was setting up a replacement washer for the one that started smoking last week (something went wrong with the control board and the entire laundry room was filled with black smoke – thankfully we were downstairs near the laundry room when it happened!). In all of the years we have been married, we have never had to purchase a brand new washing machine – we’ve always had one either in a rental or in a house that was given to us. Several years ago, our neighbor had given us his washer when he upgraded to a new set (our previous one had died), and then shortly some friends gave us a matching washer/dryer set that was even newer, so suddenly we had two used washers. Our friend who helped bring the 2nd set asked if we wanted to get rid of the first one, but because it was working, and we had space, I opted to keep it in the basement as a backup. Last week I was very glad to have that second washer. After dusting it off and hooking it up, it churned along as if it had never been set aside for almost 3 years :). We’ll see how long this one lasts, but it at least gives us time to research our options if we do end up needing a new one.

    I also accepted three large bunches of basil from a friend that she had placed in cups of water. I left one on our counter and less than a week later the basil is already rooting in the water, so I will probably plant some to make more basil plants.

  35. Hello all!
    No progress with anything around here as the COVID bug found us. It’s about day 10. Husband is back to work, but I’m still coughing a lot. I have asthma so even a good allergy attack can keep me coughing for a week. At least I got some sleep last night. It’s supposed to be cool tomorrow morning and I’m looking forward to opening every window and getting rid of all this sick, creepy air!! Yuck!!

    Had to smile at your music comment, Brandy! Remember the famous ‘mixed tape’? In my circles, the gift of a mixed tape was major! It took so much time to make that it was only for someone really special. It was fun to listen to, to see what songs were on them.

    I’ve always been a postcard lover. It started with my grandpa sending me one with the ever famous and elusive creature of the southwest….the Jackalope!!! My grandma left me her hutch and my dad made a clear cover for the counter on it. I have my Jackalope and dozens of postcards displayed underneath it. I think it’s plexiglass. You’ll enjoy seeing them everyday. I do!

    I wasn’t even up to reading so I’ll skip my usual list.

    1. And now you can just make someone a playlist and share it with them! Such an amazing thing.

  36. I laughed about your mom, too, Brandy. I find myself doing the same thing to my grown kids.

    It is sweet to read of you doing things for your granddaughter. I know you are still busy raising your children, but grandchildren are such a delightful bonus, aren’t they? I want to be clear, I am not one of those who says, “Who needs kids now that I have grandkids?” I care very much about my grown children! Hence my comment above :).

    Our high heat with daily heavy rains has finished my cucumbers. They never did well this year, pollinating poorly and the fruit rotting, yet this is a variety I’ve grown successfully before. I pulled them up and will seed a fall crop in a different spot in my raised beds. Still, my squash is producing and my okra is growing happily, with new pods to harvest every day. A bonus with growing okra is the large, gorgeous flowers they produce.

    After very poor production last year, the wild beautyberries seem to be putting on more berries this year. Simmered in water, the resulting “tea” makes good jelly. The leaves (rubbed on the skin ) are a natural mosquito repellent. To top it off, they are ornamental when in bloom or fruit, so I encourage them in my yard. They are native, so they require no care. I will be roaming the yard with a bucket as soon as I see the ripe, bright magenta berries.

    Instead of purchasing special light fixtures or sensor add-0ns for my existing light fixtures at my entry doors, I put in dusk-to-dawn LED bulbs. I turn them off when I’m home for the night and they don’t come on when it’s daylight, plus they are LED, so their electric usage is miniscule. They are very helpful when leaving the house early for work and getting home at dusk or dark, though, and will be especially helpful in the short winter days, so I turn them on when I leave the house each morning.

    I cleaned a few more items out of a closet. I hope to have a yard sale when the weather cools.

    I took advantage of some reward points (earned almost a year ago) and a sale at ThredUp to get a few needed items.

    I saw a 35% off sale on mineral makeup that I order online, and ordered a product I was running low on. I had been waiting for a sale, hoping I wouldn’t run out first.

    Continuing with eating leftovers for lunch, drying on the line or a rack, and cooking at home. I’m making a greater effort to turn off lights and watch my water usage these days.

  37. I just wanted to thank you, Brandy, and all your readers who share their lives in the comments section. This post is a highlight of my week, something I always look forward to (although some weeks I forget in my busyness). In a world of hardness and difficulty right now, these posts are a shining light. Thank you!

  38. Grateful to be relatively untouched by the inflation as we buy so little gas or groceries.

    Keeping lights off and ac a few degrees higher than usual. Eating cold meals for lunch (and often) dinner. I have managed to pack my breakfast and lunch every day and eat dinner at home all but 3 nights. I ordered Door Dash once and had enough for 2 nights delivered. The other night I went out for pasta and used a gift card I had been given. There was a special at the massage studio – buy $100 gift card, get $130 so I bought 2 which should hold me to the next sale. Trying to avoid spinal surgery or medication.

    Deli meat and even family sized bags of healthy chips/popcorn are not cheap. I may need to reevaluate my lunch choices – soup and bread will work once the temperatures drop a bit, but I just can’t do it when it’s 95+.

    Did some mending. Organized and tossed items. Was gifted some saw blades, 2×4’s, and 2 sheets of bead board.

    As I have to wait an additional week on a plumber, renovations targets have shifted slightly. End date for phases 1+2 (laundry room, pantry, loft, hall, bathroom, 2 closets) is now October 1 and I should finish phase 3 (master bedroom and master closet) by November 1.

    I found the perfect handles for the (salvaged) laundry room cabinets on Etsy. Not the cheapest option but I am supporting an artist. Decided on a design change to the bathroom to make use of 2 sheets of beadboard paneling given to me by a neighbor. Now I won’t need to buy paint for the bathroom. Still trying to find a bargain on just the right wall tile for the bathroom. I will check the architectural salvage place again, but I am getting discouraged.

    1. I don’t like soup when it’s 110°, but it is what I have the ingredients to make, so we have had that along with salads.

  39. Since the book is done, I was able to take my computer into the Apple Store to have a new battery and a new keyboard installed. This will cost about $250. I had a quote from another company for $750. That was because they would have to buy the keyboard. In order to replace the battery, Apple has to replace the keyboard anyway so the keyboard is at no cost. I believe that I mentioned this before but that is quite a substantial savings. I am treating myself to reading a book for the first time in a couple of years, other than material that was necessary for the book we wrote. As mentioned before I bought this book Madame Fourcade’s Secret War as a Remaindered bookFor 899 reduced from $27. I am finding it quite spellbinding. She was a beautiful young woman who was the leader of the largest spy ring in occupied France. It feels strange not to be online in the evenings, not to be able to watch TV online, or even to read my emails. I could have read my emails had I had the foresight to sync my cell phone with my computer but I have not done so. Apple gave me some very good tips when I was in the store. I then went five stores up in the mall to the eyeglass store.A selection of frames was on sale for 70% off. I am tempted to get a back up pair for $100 total. There are many chores that I’ve been neglected here and I am beginning to try to catch up with everything. I am totally revising my diet and nutritional needs. I will be incorporating more grains but specifically Farro, and pasta made with red lentil and chickpea flour. This is to increase nutrition. trace minerals and fiber. I am also tired of eating high sodium soups, part of the canned goods in my pantry. I discovered one store that has not raised the price on my favorite canned lentils from $1.39 per can to $1.79 so I will really be stocking up on them. I have now frozen eight jars of peaches. I still hope to buy some more peaches. Instead of ice cream. I am going to try making frozen yogurt by using a little skyr and lots of peaches. Someone up above wrote that their peaches were mysteriously disappearing. I might be able to shed some light on this. I foolishly left out a bag of three nectarines for ripening out in the sunshine. The bag was actually tied and I began losing nectarine by nectarine overnight. The culprit turned out to be a squirrel. I only caught him when he was halfway across the yard carrying the biggest peach. Well I hope he/she enjoyed them! My hummingbirds have migrated. I will fill the feeder one more time for those passing through then call it quits for the year. I decided to go ahead and make up my note cards and Christmas cards early this year in case the store raises the price of printing them. If I order 25 cards, the price is a dollar per card. The price for a single card is about five dollars. I worry that with the cost of paper, the price for 25 cards may go up. Also I will not have to go out in the dead of winter to pick them up. In the past, I have split a package of 25 into four separate packages and given five or six cards as a gift to friends. My SIL loves that as she can use them for thank you’s, birthdays. It becomes a rather inexpensive gift. I was lucky and was able to get four beautiful hummingbird photos, something I have tried to do for a few years now. If the bird is out of feeder often it just flies away quickly but on occasion a hummingbird will approach a port feared back up, however, go forward, back up and repeat the whole process. When it does that one can predict where the bird will be and therefore have much better chances of getting great photos.

    Again, I greatly enjoy your photos Brandy. I loveThe David Austin roses especially. I got their free catalog and it is like a book on roses and is very beautiful with great photos. It makes great winter reading.

    1. I have meant to tell you congratulations on finishing your book! What a nice thing!

      1. Thanks, Brandy! When I was picking up my laptop today from Apple,
        I showed the store associate the book online on my computer and I felt excited
        for the first time.

        1. Yes, congratulations on completing your book. That has been a labor of love for you for a very LONG time! You definitely should revel in its successful completion.

          1. Hi Lynn,
            Thanks! We learned a lot about overcoming obstacles from having the research notes locked in the museum for four months, to realizing proofreading is better done when a strong change in eyeglasses prescription is not needed, to having printing paper trapped in the Port of Vancouver by covid labour shortages, and then by floods, to confronting the rising cost of everything that was budgeted for. On the plus side, an unexpected blessing was/is that the research was done in every province, down to Montana,
            and even in Oxford. Due to covid closures of archives, archivists were able to help us more. During normal times, we would have either had to go ourselves or hire a researcher to look for us, although sometimes archivists were able to help the queue of questions. We would never have been able to afford either the time or money required to go cross country. Meanwhile several sections of the book were rewritten when newly digitized materials became available. We made lots of friends and discovered an incredible collegiality among professional and amateur historians. And now for the next while, we can enjoy summer/fall.

            1. Ellie’s friend, it sounds like there were some silver linings in your many “clouds”. I remember you commenting on some of the obstacles. But, you persevered, and came out with an even better product! Y’all should all be proud!

  40. Sorry for the typos. I am dictating this on my cell phone. What it should have said about the hummingbird is that sometimes the bird will approach the feeding port, feed, then back up, hover, then go back to the port, and repeat the whole process several times. When that happens, one can predict where it will be hovering. The chances for good photos then goes up. Finally, one of the hummingbirds did exactly that and stayed at/near the feeder.

  41. I’ve been trying to use things in my freezer. I just want a little space…but everything I manage to make ends with leftovers that go right back into the freezer, so it’s full as can be! This is not a horrible problem to have but it always surprises me that it works out so. I’m not mad about having it work out this way at all. It’s a blessing!
    I went by Kroger to take advantage of the butter and cheese sale this past week. I insisted we walk down the aisle where I’d seen the 29ounce cans of diced tomatoes and they had lots left. We got 2 cases of them for 50c a can. I am so pleased to add this quantity to my pantry. It did precipitate rearranging the pantry and looking for new places to store other items to free up the space but well worth it.
    Have already previewed this week’s Kroger sales ad (comes to my inbox on Tuesdays) and I don’t see any reason to stop in this week. Which is fine, considering how full the freezer is!
    My dil brought over some cucumbers from their garden and I put up 2 jars each of sweet bread and butter and Kosher dill refrigerator pickles.
    I made stromboli instead of pizza this weekend, which was better two days later than it was the day I made it (leftovers naturally). One thing I hadn’t used before was a substitute for ricotta of equal portions cream cheese and sour cream, just a few tablespoons of each. It was an excellent substitute in my opinion, admittedly I have limited experience with ricotta cheese as I seldom will purchase it due to cost. I’d have not used cream cheese either but I purchased it for just 89c at Aldi last month, so it was affordable.
    I have been looking hard at prices from every venue lately. It’s convenient to use Amazon Prime for much of my purchases (we pay for it for the tv anyway), but I want to insure I’m getting the very best prices on every item I buy.
    I went over my supplies to note how much I had of items and whether or not I could let renewals slide. I found I really needed only one item at this time and saved nearly $100.
    I managed to mend my newly made slipcover so that the tiny tear doesn’t show. As well, I was able to piece out the shortage on one edge that prevented a straight hem. I literally have just teeny scraps of fabric left now but the slipcover looks well enough and should be good for a few years.
    We were unable to buy new blades for our mower (everyone seems to be out of stock) so John used his grinder to put a new edge on the old blades.
    I put two quarts of peaches up in the freezer from the last purchase I made at the peach shed. John asked me to make a peach cobbler as well, so I did that. I had one serving of vegetable soup leftover. I added all the bits of leftover veggies from side dishes into the soup and made it stretch to two generous servings.

  42. We just finished a week of having our 5 year old granddaughter stay by herself with us for the first time. Since she has asked for “adventures” (after so much of her life being during Covid who can blame her!) her Dad brought her to us via a 9 hour train ride. We used the 2 folding tables we store under a bed to set up a craft/drawing/painting station and a puzzle/Lego/project station. I found 300 and 500 piece puzzles at the Friends of the Library store for $1 each, family contributed some art supplies to add to ours, a friend gave us a small Lego kit and we were all set. That plus our 6 month old puppy kicked things off well. All the usual kid stuff of making a blanket fort, baking, reading library books, swimming in the HOA pool, etc. We splurged on tickets to an all youth cast outdoor performance of Little Mermaid Jr, went miniature golfing and to the arcade, took her out for 2 meals (pizza and burgers per request) and for ice cream twice. Papa flew with her to take her home. Bonus is that he is staying to visit at that end a few days. That is why we are careful with our money!
    We continue our other ordinary frugal practices. Higher grocery prices seem to have finally hit here about 6 or 8 weeks ago as I’ve seen a significant increase in our monthly costs, but gasoline prices has dropped a bit.

    1. Sounds like you ‘ve made some very special memories for all. It is hard to be far from loved ones but you really made the visit count.

  43. Where/how do you store your pantry items? I, and my mother before me, used the garage, but I think our weather it finally getting too hot for that as I’ve had spoilage. Not sure about flour and the like in so much 100F days. Also, how many refrigerators and/or freezers?
    I’m feeling like I need to completely rethink pantry storage, and feel we haven’t seen the last of shortages, but I have a small house without a basement. I’ve looked at you pantry posts, and I have that type of set up in my garage, but don’t know what to do about so many hotter days now. I worry thing will go bad. Since you live in a high heat location, could you share some ideas and tips?

    As for saving money, I upcycled some neighbor’s foxtail fern trimming left in street for trash pick up. Made a huge arrangement out of them that now graces the front walk. I’m going to see if I can save the seeds to grow my own as it would be outstanding filler in floral arrangements.
    Thank you for all your information, I look forward to each and every one of your posts.

    1. We built insulated walls in the garage and we have a window a/c unit installed on an inside wall (that goes into the garage) to keep the pantry cool in the summer. High heat will destroy your food.

      I have two fridge/freezers and an upright freezer.

      I have neither a basement nor an attic.

      1. Thank you! The wall ac unit in the garage is a great idea! I put in an insulated door, but you’re right, I should the walls!

        1. Maria,
          I took a closet in our house to use to store food, since it is dark and cool. Other people have said they store food under beds. Also, the coat closet in our house, near the back door, had been changed so that there were shelves for storage, so I store food there. I only store non food items in our garage (we live in Phoenix and it is far too hot most of the year in the garage). Not sure if any of these ideas will help you.

  44. Gas was $3.32 on last Friday in college town (Ttown, which is the nickname for locals, it stands for Title Town) and $3.55 two hours further south in same state in the small town where I work during the week. My power bill at work house was $36, bc I only run the fan at night the four nights I am there. I am still refusing to fix the air… I am a stubborn old woman…. Lol

    1. Ha, as an Alabama girl and fan, Roll Tide, I always thought T Town meant Tuscaloosa Town. But I guess we do have quite a record of titles 🙂

  45. My daughter cut my son’s hair. My daughter and I did our dog’s ears and nails. My son did an oil change on my car. The garden is still doing great. I made the first pot of sauce with our tomatoes. I froze enough for several more meals. I made fried eggplant with it. We have had more meatless meals lately due to all of the garden produce. No one has made any negative comments so that is good. I was given a free gallon of whole milk. We usually drink 1% so I watered it down. D’s mom keeps giving lots of her garden produce to me. She is a little overwhelmed and tired at this point. I am happy to take her extras. I keep sharing with friends and family as I see them. A customer brought a case of ginger ale with lemonade into my son’s shop. My son was the only one who liked it so his boss told him to bring the rest home. Picking up grocery’s for a client, I got a small hummus for free. The windows have been open most of the week. The weather has cooled off and is lovely.

  46. We had a super busy week helping with VBS at the church every week day last week. I managed to freeze some beans and do one batch of sweet pickles. I weeded and harvested in the garden for 6 hours one afternoon when it was cooler and cloudier, but have so much more to do, like always. Never a dull moment around here.

    One of our daughters is staying with us for a little while because she’s moving out of one place and hasn’t found another one that suits her needs yet. She baked cookies, blueberry muffins, and home-made pizza one day when she wasn’t at work. Yum! I could get used to being spoiled like this.

  47. We have been having autumn-like weather with warm days in the low to mid-seventies & lows in the high fifties. It was 58F Sunday morning and again this morning. Hopefully the big boy & early girl tomatoes will continue to ripen. I’m glad Brandy you received some rain and got to enjoy a storm. We had a thunder storm Monday night into early Tuesday and heavy rain Thursday morning so the gardens did not need watering until Sunday; containers are watered daily. Our area is doing well as far as rain but some areas of NJ are very dry but not in drought. Harvesting lots of zucchini, cucumbers, cherry/grape tomatoes and green beans; several lbs of early girl and 2 big boy tomatoes; 2 cantaloupes.

    Gifted to friends/neighbors most of the veggies as I didn’t have time to process them. Went to visit my parents for 3 days. Brought my mom 2 lbs of her fav cookies I made with the pine nuts I bought at BJs recently. Also 2 peach pies I made with peaches I bought at $0.89 lb. Mom is a good cook but an awful baker and loved her special cookies which she shared with everyone – next time I will need to make at least 3 lbs so she can actually get to eat more than 2 cookies. We canned lots of tomato sauce – our annual family canning event with my mom, dad, her sister, my uncle, 4 cousins and a bunch of their grandkids. One of my cousins orders the bushels of roma tomatoes ahead of time and the day before our big can-fest we go pick them up. We have a fun time and end up with a delicious product that we all share. Also celebrated my mom’s 77th birthday a week early. Have been trying to get my mom and aunt to write down old family recipes as they both cook by “eye” and add a bit of “this and that” and don’t follow any. My mom’s sister in law (an excellent baker) taught me how to bake many years ago – she too cooks/bakes the same way. It’s a struggle to get any recipe written down. Parents sent me home with several lbs of figs and kiwis. Figs are $7.99 for a 12 oz package and kiwi (large sized) $3.99 for a 4-pack here.

    At supermarket: Palmolive dish detergent 20 oz, on sale/digital coupon for $0.99 limit 4. Bought 4 of the pure & clear unscented ones for the pantry; nice peaches $0.89 lb. purchased 8 lbs; boneless center cut pork chops $1.99 lb; boneless chicken breast $2.99 lb. Was gifted sea bass from one neighbor/friend and more bluefish from another. Gifted tomatoes/green beans/zukes & cukes to them.

    For any Target shoppers, this week receive a free $15 Target gift card when you spend $50 on select household essentials with Target Circle. Eligible items include trash bags, dish detergent, disinfecting wipes, paper napkins etc., long list. offer expires 8/19. I purchase these items at BJs or Costco in bulk so did not make a trip to Target for this offer.

    As a master gardener, I would like to share with my fellow readers/posters who live in the Garden State (and for gardeners anywhere on the East Coast) the spotted lanternfly is now in all 21 counties. It finally made it here at the beach – it was spotted on several beaches in the last 2 weeks – brought by some traveler from another county or state. The spotted lanterfly is native to China and Vietnam and was first found in Erie, PA back in 2014. Probably stowed onto a container from China and/or Vietnam. It is invasive & feeds on more than 70 plant species including grapes, apples, peaches and hardwood trees (black walnut, maple, etc). We no longer need to report sightings to our County Cooperative Extension offices since it is now through out the state and are to continue to kill them. Please read this article from Rutgers University (our county cooperative extension offices all are under the Rutgers University agricultural umbrella) which gives lots of info including color photographs of the various growth stages of this pest. It has no known natural predator but some researchers believe that the praying mantis may help with its control.

    As a volunteer with The Friends Group of my local library, I would also like to share with my fellow Garden Staters – you can now borrow an Ipad from your local library to use for telehealth appointments, health research, etc. This is a program sponsored by NJ HealthConnect and NJ Library system. Here is a link for more info and to find participating libraries in each county.

    Thank you Brandy for maintaining this blog and allowing us to share information with each other.

    1. I have mental pictures of East Coasters working off their aggressions by smashing spotted lanternflies. I hope progress can be made against them quickly! It is good for people and unfortunate for it that it is so distinctive in appearance.
      On a happier note, a predator of Japanese beetles, called a “winsome fly”, has been identified in the States.

  48. Hello, frugal friends, from the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. We returned from our trip to Alabama to beautiful weather. The temps are in the low to mid 70’s so we turned off the a/c and opened windows. I was able to work in the vegetable garden for 2 hours this morning. It was such a nice feeling. I harvested eggplant, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, zucchini, and peppers. I planted a few carrots and greens for the fall. Hopefully Mother Nature will water the seeds while we are gone. I got quite a bit done but still have more to do before we head out west in 2 weeks. I also made sourdough English muffins and sourdough bread today. My husband fixed one of our ceiling fans for $7. We thought we might have to buy a new fan ($200) but Mr. Fix It took care of things. While traveling we used our T Mobile .25$ off per gallon perk as we filled up on gas. Our car gets excellent mileage so we only had to fill up once going down and once returning. We brought our own food and water for snacks and lunch/dinner. We took my MIL out twice. One restaurant gave us a 10% military discount when they noticed my husband wearing a Navy hat. We used senior discount at the hotels and all the hotels included a breakfast. We did free activities with my MIL such as swim in the hotel pool and walking on the pier. She is not up to much and too much activity or stimulation really upsets her now so we kept things short and simple. At one restaurant my husband and I found $3.47 in change sprawled around our parking space! By the looks of the coins it had been sitting there a while. We parked a little out of the way towards the back of the lot. As mentioned, we are getting things done before our next big trip so we are also being extra frugal the next 2 weeks so we can enjoy ourselves traveling. Natasha, I love star fruit! You are so lucky to be able to grow them. Guam gave me many opportunities for which I am very grateful.

  49. Hi everyone!
    So nice to hear from all of you, such an encouragement every week. Long time reader, but have only made brief comments here previously.
    I found some gleaned sea buckthorn berries from last year in the freezer and decided to make them into syrup, which is very nice to drink when diluted with sparkling water. We keep the syrup in the freezer, and have found out that it is very nice to eat as sherbet ice cream as well, so we save some for dessert on new years eve. The left overs from making the syrup is very healthy and tasty, but filled with kernels. I’ve read online, that you can dehydrate it and make it into a powder to use on porridge, salads etc. So I looked for an old electric coffe mill, that have been sitting at the back of the cupboard for at least 15 years! Still working! And the powder tastes yummy! I plan on making powder from dried lemon peels as well.
    I’ve been gleaning and dehydrating cherry plums – I have a manual machine, that can remove the stones quickly, just a little tabletop thing, but saves a lot of time. I made jam with the leftover stones – a lot of fruit was still attached to them, and I got one and a half glass full. I will also make jam from some of the rest and try fermenting some – I’ve never tried that, and I’m very excited!
    I’ve made pesto with carrot greens and roasted sunflower seeds. I prefer to roast the greens before use, I think it improves the flavour.
    We bike a lot in my family, this week I biked to all my appointments, and me, my husband and my son biked 10 miles to my FIL’s birthday. It’s a very nice ride on paths with no cars along a lake and through a forest. We don’t have a car, so we saved about 15 dollars on train tickets. We do all shopping on our cargo-bike, its a 3-wheeled bike with a box in front. They are quite expensive, but we bought ours secondhand, and it has saved us so much money over the years. We have transported our son when he was younger, we can shop big amounts of discounted groceries and we have transported the most unlikely things like artwork, Christmas trees, building materials etc. on it. My husband has made a kind of rack from scrap wood for it, so we can transport even larger things.
    The price on electricity has gone mad here (Scandinavia), about a year ago it used to be around 2 to 2,5 kr./ kWh (0,27-0,34 USD/kWh), but now it is at least the double, and in peak hours it can be up to 8,5 kr/kWh (1,16 USD/kWh). We are very aware of when we use the oven, dehydrator and other things that use a lot of eletricity. We have only used the dryer a couple of times the last 6 months.
    I’m worried about winter, we have district heating, but I still have a feeling that things might get difficult. I’ve looked for a second hand woodstove and try to convince my husband that its a good idea to have a backup just in case. But it’s expensive to get buy a stove, get a chimney installed and everything. My FIL and MIL heat their house with gas, so it’s even worse for them.
    I’ve met a woman locally, who is very interested in fruit trees, and she visited me the other day and gave me some very useful tips on how to prune my apple- and plumtrees. She didn’t want any money, so I gifted her an appletree I grafted last year, and it was just the right variety and rootstock that she wanted to give her mother as a gift!
    I’ve used hedge trimmings as ground cover to reduce the need to water the garden.
    I bought a second hand book with magic tricks as a Christmas gift for my son and a sweater for myself.
    I collected seeds from my tomatoes.
    I harvested cucumber, tomatoes, green beans, arugula, apples, zucchini, parsley and chicory salad from the garden. It’s been a cold spring and early summer, everything stopped growing and the slugs were about to win, but now its warmed up, and I can harvest green beans every day. What a joy!
    I would like to start canning, but unlike US, it’s not common here, its hard even to find a big enough pot to can more than one glass at a time. But I found a used pot this summer, and might try to give it a go. The glass jars in Europe are very different from your Ball jars though (glass swing-top), and its almost impossible to find the out how much time I need to boil them to can safely. Does anyone have any experience on this? Any advice is welcome!
    Have a nice week everyone!

    1. Cam, if you can get a copy of the Ball Blue Book, it will tell you how long to process each type of food. Try amazon or bookfinder dot com for a used copy. Get the latest copyright you can find. The times don’t change often, but if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.

    2. Cam – I hope you will continue to comment. This is such a wonderful community! My grandmother was Norwegian and I still have 3 great aunts and some cousins living there. Mormor passed away 3 years ago and I miss her terribly. That part of the world is near and dear to my heart so I would especially look forward to your comments. Thanks for sharing your stories and successes with us. 🙂

      1. Aww, thanks Mountain Mama Dawn! I sure will try to comment again. I’m sorry about the loss of your mormor, grandparents can be such a blessing. We live in Denmark, but Norway has a big place in my family’s heart, it’s such a beautiful country and we have all been hiking in the norwegian mountains at some point in our lives.

      2. Aww, thank you Mountain Mama Dawn for your kind words, I will sure try to comment again! I’m sorry about the loss of your mormor – grandparents can be such an important part of your life, and it’s so hard when they are no longer there.

    3. Cam, they have the Ball Blue Canning Books on eBay. It tells processing times for fruit, veg and even has some recipes to try.

      1. Maxine and Sherri: Thanks for your recommandation, I will sure try to get the Ball canning books. I bought a copy of USDA ‘The complete guide to home canning’ a while a go, but lost my courage, as there were different times for different sizes of jars. We don’t have the same sizes in Europe, and I think the jars are a lot heavier with thicker glass, so I guess they will in them selves take longer to heat up. But maybe it doesn’t matter?

    4. Online canning resources are available through County Extension Agencies and the National Center for Home Food Preservation; general google searches will turn up a lot of resources. They work under the USDA, (U.S. Department of Agriculture).
      Extension Agents work out of agricultural colleges and universities. Their recommendations are research-tested for best and safest practices.

  50. I’m trying so hard to be grateful (and not cranky) about all of the garden produce. It’s always overwheming. In some ways, these are some of the hardest/busiest weeks of the year but I know I will appreciate it in the winter when things are mostly prepared. Usually, we make salsa (my husband…he’s amazing…he will can about 50 quarts at a time. I can’t do that) and I made spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, tomato soup etc. But this year I think I will just do tomato sauce. He will still do salsa. I’m chopping up the onions and the peppers for the freezer, pickling a lot of hot peppers (pickling a lot of things so I can do miscellaneous bits of this and that.) Anyway, it seems like streamlining it makes more sense. I might have an extra step or two when I need the sauce but it makes it more versatile and is much easier at this point. Another thing about the canning is sometimes (every year) I just have to let it go. We give a lot of produce away but when I can’t preserve everything it can always be chicken feed and compost.

    I ventured out to the store. It was not great. Even a few weeks ago I found several good deals on meat but not this week. The one thing I found was pork roast for $1.49/#. I think they said it was “on sale” for $2.49 and then this was reduced. I remember buying it on sale for $.79 not that long ago even less before that but anyway I found the two smallest and bought them. (It’s no less per pound for the smaller ones but I figure I won’t miss that little bit of meat whereas the money adds up. Maybe that’s silly but it works for me.) Anyway, I was surprised to find sour cream on sale and half and half but when I got there the sour cream was “select varieties” except there was only one select variety and it wasn’t the one pictured in the ad I don’t think and the half and half was gone. We have chickens so I haven’t looked at eggs recently and I was shocked at the price. (By the way, I hear people say that they are going to get chickens because eggs cost so much. Ummm, don’t people know that chicken feed expensive plus all of the equipment is more costly too? I don’t think chickens are a great deal for eggs but I like them, I do like the fresh eggs, I like that the kids have to learn to care for them and I like how they compost stuff for my garden but I don’t think they are a huge money saver.)

    Have a good week everyone. I hope you realize that what you write does effect what I research and buy and even sometimes what we have for dinner.

    Oh speaking of which. When my family goes camping I am left home with one older son (last year and this.) We bought Chinese food last year. I almost never do that with such a huge family…even with my husband it’s just so costly and honestly our homemade food is better usually. But this year I bought some on-sale prepared steaks (wrapped in bacon) at our more trendy grocery store. It was NOT cheap costing more than $5 for the two steaks but it’s such a treat and I realized it would be cheaper than take out. We are looking forward to it with some great side dishes. Yum. (Shhh, I bought one more package and threw it in the freezer for a date night or something special.) This was lavish for me. But that’s why we are frugal, right? So we can be lavish once in awhile.

    1. Tomatoes can be frozen whole if you want to put off canning until the weather is cooler. A bonus is that the skins slide right off when you defrost them. Just wash the tomatoes and plop them in a ziplock.

      1. Oh thank you! It’s a good hint. I love this tip and do it every year at the end of the season. Unfortunately, my freezers are so packed. I am having struggles with them as they are full of on sale meat and a lot of garden produce. I do need to stop shopping and start working my way through all of it. 🙂

  51. Oh Miss Brandy, you are more than welcome to some of our humidity, lol! I would gladly pack it up and ship it out for free if only I could. It is oppressive at times. I remember my late MIL, on her first visit here years ago, saying she felt like she was being smothered when they got here. And breaking out in a sweat before you can dry off from your shower is always a lovely feeling. 😉 😓😅 Enjoy the extra humidity while it lasts, hopefully you’ll have plenty more!

  52. I saw an article about Banana Peel Flour, which was a new idea to me. Scrub and blanch the peels, dry and powder them, then use with other flours for baking, thus adding nutrients and fiber.
    (More research is needed on whether the peels contain pesticides and other toxic substances).

    1. How interesting! I recently read about zucchini flour, which I thought was fascinating. It’s similar in how you wrote about banana peel flour: you dehydrate it and then mix it with regular wheat flour. Something to do with any excess zucchini!

  53. Brandy,

    I love what you did with your postcards. I was given 50 black and white early postcards of the mountains. A different friend used to pick up little cards for me on his trips around the world as did an “old” professor of mine who would send me a postcard from wherever he was on sabbatical.
    And I picked up s0me beautiful hand-coloured postcards of Siena, Italy on one of my rare trips.

    I am inspired by what you did to do something similar! Thanks for the ideas…

  54. Your flowers are just beautiful! You did a great job on the photography of them as well. I always enjoy your garden pictures. Thanks for letting us enjoy the beauty.

  55. Brandy,
    I loved reading about you watching the storm! I love to be in the rain as long as it is a warm rain. Storms can be fun to watch. I love it when it rains and the sun comes out and then a rainbow! When I was young I ran winter cross country, so I would run in the snow. My mom always worried I would catch pneumonia. I loved running back then, in all weather.

  56. Loving the tips on postcards! We find a special to us on our vacation, date them, when we get home we write a special memory of our time there on the back. We keep them all in a photo album. Great souvenir!

  57. I just heard that there will be a huge tomato shortage soon…I guess a lot of the canned tomatoes are processed in California and they will be hit hard if I understand it correctly. We only buy tomato paste from the store, and I bought a lot of that last year but it makes me realize that I should go out and pick more tomatoes and can more tomato products and be grateful that we are able to do this. We were visiting a friend today and she had loads of tomatoes on the plants. (This was before I heard that rumor.) She said, “I know. I should can them.” It’s so overwhelming especially if you have a large family and/or homeschool but this was the incentive I needed to go pick and process more tomatoes. (Yes and freeze them if you have room.) Or stock up if you normally buy them.

      1. Oh wow. I didn’t know that. Are you able to grow them there? It seems like they would like the heat but I don’t know what grows in different places.

  58. It’s Sunday and I’m just now getting to read your post — it’s been a crazy week! Will you please post a pic of your picture frame project when you finish? I’m so curious! Very cute that your mom caught you out in the storm and fussed at you to go inside. Ha!
    –We’ve had several meals that went from freezer straight to oven (many one-bag leftovers that were stashed over the spring/summer), which was very helpful. I was thankful that we had them in there to grab.
    –I made slow cooker roast beef and realized I didn’t have any carrots to put in with it. Then remembered that I had a few carrots in the garden left behind from the last harvest! There were just enough to put in with the roast. And it was delicious! I love how good homegrown carrots taste compared to the bagged baby carrots I usually buy. As a side note, I plugged in the slow cooker without realizing that the outlet needed to be reset. Around midday my daughter noticed that the roast was not cooking. She plugged it into a different outlet and we let it cook extra long. We were able to eat the roast the next day. I was a little worried about food poisoning, as the meat had been sitting in the slow cooker for several hours, but we were all fine. I don’t like to tempt fate, but also hated to throw out the entire meal!
    –My son wants to have control over the clothes we buy these days; he never cared about clothes before. He specifically wants sports shirts — NBA players, MLB, etc. but likes to be able to pick them out now. I was able to find some for him online and used coupon codes to bring the prices down. Guess my days of finding him clothes at yard sales are probably over.
    –We gave our daughter a new laptop for her graduation gift in May. Last week the Wifi card on it suddenly died. Thankfully, I’d bought the extended warranty for the laptop. Best Buy fixed it at no cost, and it was ready for her within about 5 days.
    –Recently I made the comment that our umbrellas keep going missing. Last week we got caught in a heavy, unpredicted downpour during one of my son’s football scrimmages. It only rained for about 10 minutes, but we got drenched! Since then I’ve been on the lookout for umbrellas at weekend sales; so far I’ve purchased 4 and 2 were brand new. Spent $12 total.

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