Frugal Accomplishments

How We Saved Money the Second Week of June

I harvested figs, blackberries, apricots, tomatoes, and lemons from the garden.

I mended my mattress pad where the seam had come undone in a spot.

I gave haircuts to three sons. My husband cut my hair for me.

I purchased strawberries in 2-pound packages for $1.88. I used some to make strawberry lemonade, and we ate several of them fresh.

I also purchased a gallon of ice cream on sale for $3.99 (the Kroger Party Pail from Smith’s). This is the lowest price it goes and the least expensive ice cream available; it’s really good, too! The odd thing is that they repackaged it all a few months ago to say “Low-fat ice cream” but it appears to be exactly the same product as it was before!

Our neighbor gifted us some plums from his tree.

I finally spent some time on ThredUp, making a favorites list. The store is basically an online thrift/consignment store. You can search by your size, which is nice, as well as item and color. Because I had never ordered from them before, they offered me a code (NEW) to receive 50% off on most of the items I looked at. This made several items a price that I was willing to pay ($2.50, $3.50, and $6 for most of the items that I chose).

I tend to decide that I want very specific clothing items, and then I have to search to see if they exist anywhere. While I did not find the exact items I had designed in my mind, I found some that were very close. I then narrowed down my items even further before making a final decision on what to purchase.

My husband found two Carhatt t-shirts at 25% off ($15 each) at a local grocery store that also sells clothes. He likes this brand, as it is heavy-weight cotton and lasts for many years.

I watched several episodes of The Indian Doctor for free through my free subscription to Acorn TV with my library card. Though the title implies it is all about the doctor, I feel it really is more about the women in the town. The character development of the women and their struggles was really well developed, and I enjoyed watching it.

My daughter was baptized on Saturday. The event was small–our immediate family plus two others. She wore the dress that I made for my first daughter that all of my girls have worn for their baptisms.

We celebrated afterwards at home with brownies made from scratch by one of my daughters.

The electric company predicts how much our usage will be each day and for the month based on past usage as well as predicted temperatures. With two weeks left, it predicted my bill would be $16 higher than it was last June. (The weather report predicted slightly higher temperatures here for June, so that makes sense). I worked diligently to keep our usage down by checking the hourly weather online each day and seeing which days I could open the windows in the mornings to cool down the house. I keep the air conditioner set at 79 degrees Fahrenheit and we use ceiling fans in the rooms we are in. Any mornings where it was below 79 (and not too windy–we had very high winds all last week) I opened up the house (sometimes only until 7 a.m). I turned off fans, lights, the television, and the computer when children left them on when they weren’t using them as well. I have a week left and it is now predicted to be only $4 higher than last year in June. My goal is to get it to be the same or less than it was last year by careful usage this week.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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155 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism!
    PAt my local produce market, I was able to buy a 40 pound box of bananas for $5, a 40 pound box of red Spanish onions for $10, 3 pounds of already chopped tomatoes for $1 and 2 pounds of baby carrots for $1! The smell of banana muffins, using my DIY muffin mix is permeating the house this morning! I’ll freeze the excess bananas, after I make extra muffin batter to freeze and some bread and cookies! I’ll chop and freeze the extra red onions, keeping some fresh for everyday use. I used some of the chopped onions for tacos last night and salsa verde chicken casserole tonight and will use some for fresh salads this week and the rest I will make into fresh salsa!

    At Kroger’s , I was able to buy 5 boxes of Raisin Bran, 5 boxes of Rice Krispies and 5 boxes of Frosted Miniwheats for just 19 cents/box by combining the sale price and ibotta and Kroger cash back rebates! I don’t buy cereal often, but at this price, I couldn’t resist!
    I made more taco seasoning mix and cookie mix. Those are so handy to always have on my shelves! A friend raved about an oatmeal raisin pancake recipe she tried and after reviewing her recipe, I was able to make up a jar of Oatmeal raisin pancake “mix” in a jar so that all I need to add are an egg, water and a tablespoon of butter! I do like the convenience of mixes!! https://pin.it/38hmGXA
    My apricot tree and 2 raspberry plants that I ordered online 2 months ago came and I’ve planted them now after soaking for a few hours. The tree is showing signs of growing tiny leaves, but the raspberries still look like sticks! Cross our fingers that they take!!

    I had 4 “extra” tomato plants that came back from dead in my regular veggie garden that were right next to 4 other tomatoes, so I moved those into my new bucket garden. Hubs also picked up some strawberry plants so I planted those in 4 of my buckets. https://pin.it/1dM2LkZ
    I found used food grade buckets and lids for $2 each on FB Marketplace so I bought 20 for our garden use, shop use and in the pantry.
    I also found a new in the box Presto pressure canner for $40 and bought it! Now, I already have a lovely Presto pressure canner that I use regularly, so I’m not sure what I will be doing with this one! ? I’ll check with my daughters & friends to see if anyone needs one!
    We picked up our 4 new laying hens on Saturday- 3 Rhode Island reds and a Buff Orpington. There is a lot of extra clucking in the hen house today as they settle in!
    Mask count is now 600, up 8 more since last week. 4 of those were extra ones for our son, who started back part-time at his job at the zoo.
    I got the king size quilt quilted up this week. My daughter will do the binding. The pantograph chosen was a free one online but the glitch is that they only give you enough of the panto for printing out one sheet of paper with actual size design. No worries. I printed, cut and taped together about 18 pages to make the pantograph long enough to use on this 108” wide quilt! But in the future, when I want to use it again, it will be ready to go! https://pin.it/vppUQpU and https://pin.it/hQy7iiM
    I was bored and so I used up some flannel scraps to make this baby quilt top today! https://pin.it/3FdHYK4 . I may try to get it quilted up tonight!
    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. I like to pickle any red onions I don’t need fresh. I always keep a jar in the fridge and my husband loves them – just a little adds so much flavor to a sandwich or eggs. I started with the Budget Bytes recipe and periodically I top it off with more onions and some vinegar and salt. Tastes better with age!

    2. If you have the space to store it, you might consider keeping the canner. My Amish friends keep 2 pressure canners so that they can trade out and make their canning day faster. While one canner is depressurizing, the other is on the stove canning.

      1. Ashley- Smart idea! This canner has never been used ! Still had the sales receipt from 1998 ! Still in original packaging plastic inside the box, I hadn’t considered using it in tandem with my current one to speed the processing! I always learn so much from all of you!!

      2. Love this! I only wanted a few things when my Mom passed away, and her pressure canner was one of them. I’d been thinking I’d hold on to it in case one of the younger kids in the family showed an interest, but in the meantime, I’ll use it to speed up big canning days. Thank you, Ashley!

    3. My neighbors and I can together each season. We almost always have 2 water bath canners or 2 pressure canners or 2 steamers running at all times, making it a much quicker process. So if you don’t find a new home you might want to think about running 2 at a time!

      1. I picked and canned 27 quarts and 6 pints of green beans yesterday. Today I worked on 5 dz ears of corn for freezer. Our blueberry bushes are loaded so I picked a gallon for freezer after making blueberry pancakes and 24 blueberry muffins. The bushes are still loaded!

        1. A gallon! Wow!

          I have given up on growing blueberries here. They prefer acidic soil, and we have the opposite. I have amended and tried, but they all died.

          Green beans do not grow like that here, either. In my local gardening Facebook group, people who gardened in other climates talk about a good harvest there and a good harvest in another place being two very different things. I can only imagine what kind of yield I would have in a cooler, more humid climate that gets rain and where the soil and water are a more neutral pH instead of highly alkaline, full of salts, and virtually devoid of nutrients. That is outstanding!

    4. I chuckled to my self when you said “I got bored”….my goodness, with all you do I don’t know when you get the time to be bored.

    5. I actually have 2 pressure canners and during the busy time they are both in use. Saves time to run them at the same time instead of having one come down empty it and start over. For that price I would keep it!

    6. Your quilts are beautiful! I have been sewing a lot and making quilts also. A beautiful way to pass the time and lovely gifts for friends and family.
      I did trade one quilt for some delicious preserves.

  2. It was definitely not a money saving week for us… we had our middle daughter’s 18th birthday/grad party on Saturday (our first homeschool graduate!!). This week I’m going to work on dinner menus and figuring out what produce we’ll need for the next two weeks (our garden isn’t doing well). We’ve been gearing up for the upcoming higher temps too. Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism!

  3. That is a beautiful dress. Your daughter looks so sweet.
    We returned home after 2 ½ weeks camping. We had a great time and it was a very frugal trip, as we didn’t visit any paid attractions and we took all our food with us. While we were away, the weather at home was bizarre – 85 degrees one day, then we had 3 inches of snow and frost for two nights. Hot and dry, then a downpour. Fortunately, the tomatoes and everything in the greenhouse made it through unscathed. Outside, my potatoes finally came up (a month after I planted them!) My bok choy and radishes bolted in the heat, and chipmunks ate most of the strawberries (the dogs really do a good job of keeping them away from the house, but they were with us.) My green beans didn’t make it, but my cucumbers did. My squash in the low tunnel looks fine – only one right on the edge froze and it was an ‘extra’. I intend to replant the green beans, provided my husband finds seed when he goes to town this afternoon.
    I harvested lots and lots of lettuce and gave some to friends and neighbors. I also harvested broccoli, radishes, and thinned the carrots. We have been eating the thinned ‘baby’ carrots as snacks – they are so good.
    I am still doing laundry and playing catch-up after the trip, but it was lovely to check in here and read everyone’s comments. You always inspire me.

  4. I finally learned how to load coupons into my Vons card, and saved a bunch this week. Of course my grocery bill is still insane right now, with everyone home and eating. My kids usually got free lunch at school (all students at their schools get free lunch). Plus I have a teenaged boy. He eats like an adult.

    We are staycationing this week. We misplaced the gift card for kayaking. It was too windy to go anyway. We walked on the beach instead, and found out that a friend has a spare kayak to loan us. Yay! Yesterday we paid $10 for parking at the national forest. We hiked and played in the river. We got there early which was great! The line to get in was 40 cars long when we left and they weren’t letting anyone else in. We packed water and snacks for the hike.

    Today, a hike along the bluffs (free) and down to the beach. Tomorrow, early morning beach day. We are closing the beach with free parking, and morning so that it won’t be packed with people.

    Last week we taught the kids to cook a bunch, including cupcakes.

    The teen and hubby and I are reading a book together (taking turns) for our own book club. We’ve been watching movies on Amazon.

    I baked bread last week, made lots of iced tea.

  5. Made our own hamburger buns, cut our boys hair, price matched groceries and too advantage of Amex promtions, went garage sale-ing to stock up on household items, such as kids clothing.

  6. I’m glad your daughter could have her special day, even in all the chaos the world is offering right now. Brownies sound really, really good right now…I’m sure she loved that part of the celebration!

    Our biggest news was that we spent most of the day Wednesday doing pre-op appointments for my husband and his surgery is on track for June 29, 2 weeks from today–Monday. He has a Covid19 test the day before, and it needs to be negative to proceed, but thankfully he hasn’t been near anyone with Covid, doesn’t feel sick, etc. So, here’s hoping he stays well! One thing we did that day was have a session with a physical therapist. We found there were a few things we still needed to do to get ready. So, I rearranged our entire bedroom to make it work, he got out the walker he purchased months ago at a thrift store and made sure it would go down all the halls, etc. and ordered a new shower curtain because we are going to have to tear off our shower doors and get a bench, not a seat. He’s checking to see if he can get one cheap or free at various places.

    I harvested strawberries, raspberries, snow peas, green onions, lettuce, the rest of the boc choi, and cilantro. I also finished up the planting of spinach because it was starting to bolt. I felt very happy that I got 3-4 pickings from it by picking off the outside leaves and letting the center leaves keep growing. I did a little succession planting. My garden is very full, but I was able to pull up some old plants in a couple of areas and fill them up with new seeds. I enriched the soil in those places and used the tiny tiller to till the row, then planted.

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

  7. Very sweet picture of your daughter! Congratulations on her baptism. The dress is lovely.

    We were on the road last week, visiting my husband’s hometown in eastern Oregon overnight and 3 nights at my son’s in eastern Idaho…with a stop along the way to visit and have lunch with my husband’s 84-year-old cousin. We drove about 1,500 miles. Obviously, this was not frugal, until you consider the past…
    * Gas varied from $2.04 to $2.24 per gallon. Many times, we’ve paid over $3 per gallon.
    * Until my son and daughter-in-law bought their first home last year, which is on the (vastly cheaper) Idaho side of the Tetons, he lived in Jackson, WY, for 6 years. Jackson has the highest per-capita income in the US (over a quarter of a mil per person!) and prices to match. Many times we spent $400-$500 PER NIGHT to visit, and ate most of our meals in restaurants. A guest room and a big dinner table have gone a long way toward making our visits more affordable!! Literally thousands of dollars a year.

    The frugal accomplishments were things I taught my daughter-in-law. Their “landscaping” (such as it is) was poorly done. Two shrubs and an aspen tree did not make it through the winter. She was shocked when she made her first trip to a retail nursery! I explained that the order in which you obtain plants is (1) free; (2) bought at seasonal nurseries; (3) paid for with a gift card from a retail nursery; and (4) retail nursery. The only seasonal nursery we found in two small towns was at a grocery store in the next town over. The prices weren’t cheap, but cheapER than at the nursery, and I showed her how to choose good-quality plants. I then helped her plant them, and I have no doubt they will survive next winter and many more after that.

    She wanted lilacs to screen her patio. She picked right up on free but didn’t know anyone who had lilacs (although they are ubiquitous in their area). She put it on Facebook Marketplace and within two hours was offered all the lilacs she wanted. They were located a little farther away, but we drove there the next day and the owner and her kids even helped dig. We brought them home, soaked them overnight in a bucket of water and she planted them the next day. She plants more carefully than I do! They have all wilted, but only slightly. I told her that even if they all appeared to die, to leave them alone and they would come back from the roots.

    As soon as my irises finish blooming, I promised to send her enough to plant around the edges of her window wells. Not only will they look nice, but they will provide a visual barrier to keep people from falling in. I can’t wait to go back and see what else she gets for free!

    1. I hope the lilacs make it! What a wonderful blessing! They cost $40 each here. Most people don’t grow them, so they’re not something you could easily get for free.

    2. I am with you on getting free plants! I have a few friends in the area who love to garden (they are more my mom’s age; most folks my age don’t), and they are always willing to share. The thing I love about getting perennials from them is that I know they’re tested for our area and climate, which is always a question when I purchase from Lowes or the like. I also save by planting seeds. I just filled a newly established garden for my mom with lupine and salvia, both of which I hope prove to be deer resistant as the package suggests. Planting this bank only cost a few dollars, vs hundreds it would have cost to purchase seedlings.

      Good luck to her starting her new gardens! I love lilacs and hope to be gifted a few when we get our new house finished.

  8. That’s a very lovely close up of your daughter. I began picking blackberries here last week, and we’re seeing lots of small figs on our bushes. I also harvested zucchini and yellow squash, and made several dishes with them, including a chocolate zucchini cake. Powdered milk was used for a portion of yogurt, as I didn’t have enough fresh milk. I strained jars of thieves vinegar, and saved the cinnamon pieces to reuse in future cleaning vinegar. Nettles was harvested, and a batch of tincture started. Cabbage was canned, a first for me. My granddaughter helped in the garden, digging holes for basil, parsley and swiss chard I grew from seed. Lots of weeding was done in the garden, and melons, black eyed peas and crowder peas were planted. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2020/06/small-creatures-frugal-accomplishments.html

  9. Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism. She is beautiful. May the Lord bless and provide her with the wisdom she needs to lead a life following in our Saviors footsteps.

  10. I want to pop those tomatoes right in my mouth!
    Congrats to your daughter and being able to have a small celebration afterwards!

    Where my contract hours are back to normal, there have been pay cuts and furloughs. It has felt wonderful to put a money back into savings. I anticipate a roller coaster of paychecks (hoping it is a small kiddie rollercoaster) for the next year at least.

    Been stuck on a weight plateau for a while, so I am taking to drinking more water daily (trying to drink half my weight in ounces). That dropped my weight by 4 pounds which was a delightful surprise.
    The mister and I have agreed to a house temp that has dropped our electric bill down $12 monthly. That and running the dryer only once a week has dropped the electric bill $12.
    Received a bonus from one of my contract jobs half went into savings, the other half went towards a small debt.
    I traded Hosta plants for a sedum plant.
    Took more grass clippings to make a thin layer of “mulch” in the garden bed where there are spots that nothing, but weeds want to grow to cut down on weeding.
    I am participating in a monthly quilt along – each month I am learning how to make a new block and using materials I have on hand. It has been a real treat and relaxing too.

    Have a great week everyone!

  11. I paid off 2 credit cards. It doesnt really save money, but I can use that monthly payment elsewhere. I ate oatmeal for breakfast all week. I made a batch of lentils and used taco seasonings. I made a meal plan for the week and we stuck with it. I cut up the spiral ham and we ate that for lunches. I stuck the bone in the freezer and when I get the rest of the ingredients, we will have ham & bean soup. Im still saving money by not going anywhere. I paid all bills online, saving money on stamps. I cant think of anything else. Have a great week everyone!

  12. Those are beautiful photos of Ivory! I love the dress you made for your girls and the sweet way that you did her hair.

  13. Congratulations to your daughter! She is so pretty! My oldest continues to improve. I thank everyone for their kind remarks last week. I sent him new towels, because he ruined his old ones when he bled the first time (but luckily the most severe bleeding happened when he was at the hospital), food, and vitamins by Walmart.com. I had my trees trimmed by a friend’s cousin. He was reasonably priced and I knew I sure couldn’t do it around those power lines leading into the house. I waited until after the mulberries had finished producing. My yard is still almost 80 percent shaded by the neighbor’s trees, but at least I can walk into my house without hitting a limb! I am still trying to stock up to a years worth of most foods but it is taking me longer than expected. I want to stock up enough for my kids also, in case they cannot work. I just think we are going to have shortages with all of the worker in vegetable, fruit, meat facilities getting Covid.

  14. I’m so happy for your daughter. The dress is lovely, and she looks so pretty and so delighted with it.

    I’ve run out of some staples, but overall have enough food for meals this month. Using what I have in the house means rice, pasta, and tortillas rather than potatoes and bread. I have roasted a few split chicken breasts on the bone with peppers, carrots, and half a large onion. The leftovers are finding their way into rice and vegetables dishes and soup. Bones in the freezer will make poultry broth, which will turn into chicken and pasta soup and tomato soup, using a can of whole tomatoes. A few eggs will make scrambled eggs in corn tortillas, with hot sauce. There is oatmeal for breakfast, with maple syrup for a few more days, and then cinnamon sugar or brown sugar. There are carrot sticks with three cheese ranch dressing, or glasses of lemonade as snacks.

    The furnace wasn’t working after two days of very heavy rain. The cover of the chimney had blown off, and I think the rain put the pilot light out. After a day or two to dry off, the furnace was working again. I let the house warm up and then turned it down for the summer since the weather improved. The only cooling I am using at the moment is a fan on a stand in the bedroom at night. I haven’t turned on any of the three ceiling fans or the floor fan in the living room yet. They are not very expensive to run, buy I will leave them off as long as I can. I am using daylight as much as I can for light in the house. There is still light to see when I go to bed at 10:30, and then well before 5:00 am.

    I am planning how I will stock up on food and household supplies over the summer to take advantage of the local growing season, and prepare for as few trips out in the cold and snow in winter as possible, and any possible resurgence of COVID-19. I am accepting that my goals will need to be modest with this, but a little goes a very long way. Although supplies are decent in the stores here, without any crowds if I watch when I shop, the sale prices just are not at stock-up level. At least, I’ll focus on having one extra of the things I use the most often, which will will keep me going a month extra or more. If I build that up July 1, August 1, and September 1, I can buy on sale during the fall as it is possible.

    I returned bottles and milk containers to the bottle depot for return of environmental deposits. It totaled 11.75. I took the $10 bill, and contributed the balance to the local 4H Beef Club, since most retailers are not using change. The bottle depot runs a couple of charities that you can donate to. I took the $10 to the bank and deposited it by ATM (the local banks are closed), then went to the grocery store to buy cat food. Somewhere along the way, I lost my bank access/debit card, and so I had to go home and transfer the money by computer to an account I have in a different bank, and go back to get the cat food. (Someone found the card, and it was cancelled by the time I called the bank. I wasn’t concerned about anyone using it, because there was only 6 cents in the account.)

    I am planning more healthy snacks to get in July, so I am thinking about possibilities. I am breaking the habit of going back to the grocery store multiple times, and I find that is where my groceries are short. I notice on vlogs that lots of people have a planned snack on their meal plans, so I am going to try that.

    1. Air or stove popped popcorn (bought in bulk), fruits (apples and oranges last for a very long time in the fridge), vegetables and homemade bean dip/hummus/ranch dip made with Greek yogurt, and homemade popsicles made from blended fruit are our go-to snacks for an afternoon snack in the summer.

      1. Thanks! These are all very doable. I’d like to try making some different hummus and dip variations, and I have a popsicle mold for fruit and/or yogurt popsicles. I have always made popcorn as a winter snack, for when I’m watching movies in the evening, but this is the year to try doing things differently! I’m thinking my idea of buying popcorn in bulk may be very different than yours, with just one person in the house here! lol

        1. You could just buy a 2-pound bag of popcorn at the grocery store. I buy it in a 25-pound bag for us 🙂

          When all the children move out, it is going to be very difficult to cook for fewer people!

          1. Popcorn is also great to store because you can grind it and make cornmeal. Storing dent corn takes more space and is harder to grind.
            Our family eats so much popcorn that I go through two 50 pound bags per year!

          2. Deanna, I am amazed that you can grind popcorn like that. The cornmeal must taste wonderful. (I’m imagining cornbread.)

    2. Elizabeth, I’m impressed by how calm and resourceful you sound during what also sounds like a very trying time for you. Inspiring!

    3. I also do homemade trail mixes. The nuts bought in bulk, while expensive, are less expensive and a good source of healthy fats and protein. We add air popped popcorn and a little dried fruit for sweetness. You can’t make ahead, but it is easy and the kids enjoy trying different combinations of dried fruit and nuts.

      1. Thanks, Allyson. I was thinking about that as a possibility. I will have to see what ingredients are available locally, and how it would price out.

  15. Brandy,
    Love the photo of your daughter and the dress which I am sure you probably made.
    I have been putting my celery ends in water on the windowsill and when they root, I have been planting them in my flower pots in with the flowers which adds some greenery and still allows me to cut fresh celery as needed. I cut more fresh parsley from my garden to dry.
    I went to a thrift store that is very good about keeping everything sanitized and only allowing a few people in at a time. I purchased two Christmas gifts and a nice basket to use for Christmas for $3 total. I feel like I am behind on Christmas gifts as I couldn’t go anywhere for almost 3 months and nothing was open. I am also knitting up some Christmas gifts.
    We celebrated my Dad’s 82nd birthday. He nearly died during this pandemic as he needed emergency surgery and the hospitals were full of Covid patients- it was a night mare. He was in the hospital for weeks and we had no idea what was going on and we could not visit him. Thankfully he made it through-God’s provision. I made dinner and invited mom and dad to my house. We enjoyed a nice meal and then played dominoes which he enjoys. We were all happy to be together and still have my dad with us- Praise God!

  16. It was a rough week since our dryer went out (for the last time) and the washer has been terrible (we’ve fixed both ourselves too many times), so we splurged for a new washer and dryer. We got a heavy duty one to last longer since our laundry is outside on our patio. I used the clothes line until the new dryer was delivered. I fixed small holes on many t-shirts this week to last through the summer. I baked multiple loaves of bread and rolls. I ordered some spices and herbs in bulk. My husband and kids picked the remainder of the grapefruit off of the trees and pressed the majority into juice. We also had a tech free day to give our spirits, eyes, and electricity a break!

  17. Your daughters sharing the same baptism gown is such a lovely tradition- my sister and I used the same gown when we were baptized.

    It’s been a while since I posted. We’ve gone through a lot- my SO had found a new job, but they lost it due to the riots in our city (they called in because coworkers were getting robbed at gunpoint and they didn’t feel safe- this lead to termination). They applied to unemployment, but we’re not confident that we’ll get anything, since their last claim was denied for their previous position.

    This means that we’re living off of just my income (which, as a graduate student, isn’t large). I redid the budget, but we’re in the red just based on bills. We do have an emergency fund, that could sustain us for up to a year, which I am so thankful for, but we’re trying our best to reduce expenses and increase income to avoid draining our emergency fund too much. To this point, I’ve been re-reading a lot of your posts, Brandy, to remind myself how we can do our best to keep costs down.

    I did a thorough inventory of our pantries and freezers not that long ago, and based on that, I’m going to do one last stock up at Sam’s Club for a few items (flour, beans, etc) that we’ll run out of earliest. (I’ve been trying to negotiate stocking up for a fall wave of coronavirus with our need to significantly limit spending until my SO has another job. This is essentially a compromise.) While we’re at Sam’s Club, we’ll stop by another grocery store for the few other items we need that we can’t get at Sam’s. The other grocery store has really awesome sales on produce- strawberries for 99c a lb, grapes for 79c a lb, and watermelons for $4 each. I’ll probably buy several lbs of strawberries and cut them up and freeze them (or make jam). I did also make a tentative meal plan for July, so that I could make sure I had necessary items for the meal plan without having to go shopping again, in case my SO still does not have a job.

    I tried to repair my old headset, but unfortunately was not able to do so. I instead ended up buying a new headset for $17, which is an amazing price (thanks, monoprice!), as well as a few other “home office” essentials that we have been putting off replacing. Buying them from monoprice saved a lot of money over buying comparable items elsewhere, and my past experiences with products from there is that they’re not the longest lasting products, but they’re fair quality and will last for at least a year, if not longer. (Other headsets I’ve had have lasted at most 2-3 years, sometimes less, for $50+).

    That’s all I can think of for now, other than the usual (cook at home, etc). I hope you all have a great week!

    1. Just remember, this is why you have an emergency fund–so that you don’t have to go into debt to pay the bills. It’s hard to spend it (I know!) but that’s why you have one.

      I wish you all the best with you SO getting another job and making things last until then!

  18. I’m impressed with all that you had to harvest. We have access to some property my parents own a couple hours from our house, and some of the produce we have access to on that property includes figs and blueberries. Last year we harvested a couple gallons of blueberries, then we heavily pruned the plants when my mom asked. I don’t know if we pruned at the wrong time, but this year we didn’t get any blueberries. Part of the issue is that no one lives there full time, so the birds and other creatures get first shot at it all; they seem to love figs. My brother usually harvests quite a bit of sassafras leaves from there to make his own file for gumbo. From our own garden we gathered green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and okra. We had planned to cut our cable expenses, but when my husband called them they changed our payments to reflect the savings we were trying to achieve. We are looking to refinance our house and have started that process. While we have been able to work through the pandemic, my husband has had a reduction of pay that has cut close to $1000/month in our income for the foreseeable future; we’ve had a month with our new normal and we’ve been able to tweak and adjust pretty well. If there’s more pay reduction coming it’s going to be tricky. One way we regularly cut expenses is that we do our own house cleaning and yard work, as well as appliance repair and car maintenance when we’re able. Most of our neighbors don’t, and while I sometimes long to walk into a dust-free house I’m never jealous knowing how much my friend pays for it. Meals cooked at home last week include spaghetti, clam chowder, banana bread (my kids like to make peanut butter sandwiches on banana bread), and I pulled some previously cooked and cubed turkey from the freezer and made a turkey and dressing casserole. I have one last package of turkey I’ll use at some point for a potpie. Yesterday we drove to the coast, about a 45-minute drive, and spent $0 just by sitting and listening to the waves roll in. A change of scenery for a bit was just what my senses needed. Earlier in the week restrictions were lifted and we were able to visit my mother-in-law at her assisted living center for a scheduled 30 minutes. Being able to see each other was good for all of us.

  19. The photo of the tomatoes made me wish mine would hurry up! It’s going to be a while before I’m picking tomatoes.
    Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism.
    Our week wasn’t anything remarkable. We stuck to our menu plan and our household budget well. With extra purchases for some gardening supplies in previous weeks that I hadn’t planned for, we’d been a little over. It feels good to be back on track. The more I save on household expenses, the more money I can use to pay down our bills.
    We were able to use some food that had been given to us. I’ve picked some baby greens from my little shaded garden. There should be enough for lots of salads soon.
    I’m continuing to work through the house and sheds on my mission to clear the clutter. This week I sorted through sewing supplies, a pile of projects I’ll never do, garden seeds and supplies, books, clothing and craft supplies. The craft supplies are the most overwhelming as I was a serious crafter for years, making items to sell at craft shows. I am paring down my supplies to what might be handy for the grandbabies to make things with and also to make the occasional gift or home decor item. With my clearing out, I’ve made extra space in a kitchen cupboard and will be able to store bulk food items there instead of the clutter that was there previously. So now I’m trying to find the best possible prices on brown rice and oatmeal, as those are two things we eat a lot of.
    Details of our week can be found on my blog: http://thebudgetinggranny.com/savings-and-goals-journal-7/
    Hope everyone has a great week!

  20. Our peach tree is giving us some peaches about 30 this year. Our plum and nectarine tree may only have 5 nectarines and about 15 plums but it’s better than nothing and more than last year as they grow, we just planted them all 2 years ago. My garden is doing ok, growing but it swam slowly, our weather has been weird 100 degreese for 2 days then down to 80’s -90’s and 50-70 at night. I have harvested 2 tomatoes, a handful of cherry tomatoes and swiss chard (out chickens love, love, love this stuff) so I of course seeded more and we will see how this and other new things do in the garden this year. When the tomatoes take off we should have way more than needed sonce I planted about 10 plants and then the neighbors gave me 6 more that her husband overbought and I said oh I’ll find a place ;). Our chickens have been laying 3-5 eggs a day and the other 8 will start next month or anywhere after (depends in breed and the chicken herself). We have been super lucky to have 80-90 degree temps and I haven’t had to turn on AC until the evening when we go to bed as it’s just a little too warm to sleep well. We also at this moment are down to 1 vehicle so we haven’t been spending gaa money, insurance, tages (as they were due the month it died on us and 10 000$ to fix something that may or may not work isn’t in the cards to just waste that type of cash :(. We haven’t gone on trips, we usually do with our homeschooling friends from Dec-June because everyone and kids are in school and places are quieter mon-thursdays, but of course covid shut everything down so we saved money by not doing a few trips a month. I am not looking to having a vehicle payment but its inevitable for now and we will need to replace our dead truck with another, but for now I’m holding out as long as possible. 🙂 I am also hanging clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer except for towels (don’t like crunchy towles) so that’s saving some money. I would also like to say thankyou to you because of this site and your encouragement I was able to hunker down without worry during this covid crisis, we did a last shopping trip right before things went crazy because I was listening to that inner feeling that said something’s going south, don’t listen to China denying things, and because I listened we were set and not screaming about not having things.. so thank you!!!!!

    1. Perhaps you will be able to go a lot longer without buying a new truck while you save up a larger downpayment. That should save you on interest! Perhaps you can make it for many more months or even longer!

    2. I hear you on the car payment! The perfect replacement car came along for mine this week, but we’re trying to save for a down payment on the new house (we’re building), so we opted to forgo the new to us car and keep with the plan. Since I’m not driving much, I’m hoping my car will hold out for a while longer. Wishing you the best with yours!

  21. Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism! And the dress is beautiful–what a lovely tradition for your girls.
    *My husband and I are still living in an extended stay hotel and it’s just fine for us. Considering all of the craziness in the world, we are healthy, have a place to sleep and food on our table. We are still so extremely blessed.
    *My step-daughter gave my husband a haircut
    *I harvested radishes and peas from my community garden plot
    *I spent hours watching watercolor tutorials on YouTube and honed some skills
    *I was able to work at my part time job for several hours
    *I went on a lot of walks and enjoyed eating meals outside when I could
    *We gathered together with a couple of neighbors for a Friday night potluck. I also brought a birthday cake because 5 of the 6 of us have May or June birthdays.
    *I showed my friend my sweater I knitted using scrap yarn. It inspired her to make her own. And she gave me yarn she bought in Scotland to make her now ex-husband a Fair Isle sweater. She isn’t crazy about the colors and now I can knit another sweater! The yarn would probably cost $100-$200.
    *I also went to an estate sale (I felt a bit risky going) and found a partially made sweater, the yarn, and some knitting needles and stitch holders all for 25 cents! I won’t be able to complete the started sweater, but can unravel the yarn and start over. It’s a beautiful cobalt blue wool yarn.
    *The huge loss of the week was the food that is in our freezer in our storage unit. I asked the manager if I needed to leave the light on in the unit for the electricity to work through the plug in the light socket. He said that I didn’t. Two weeks later, we went to the unit to look for something and the freezer had not been on and I lost just about everything in it! I smelled awful. I cried a little as I threw away fruit, jam, butter, nuts, and lots of tomato sauce. I didn’t have any meat stored. I felt okay saving the brown sugar, but that’s all. We had eaten a lot of the food before we moved, but it was 1/4-1/3 full. It makes me nervous with food scarcities that I won’t be able to replenish what we lost. I am hoping for a good harvest so I can start to refill it.
    I hope everyone has a good week and stays healthy.

  22. This week I painted an old TV cabinet that I found on Craigslist to close up our TV when not in use. We also caulked and painted our foundation and painted the railing on our porch (with paint that our previous owners left behind). Decided to do it all ourselves, which we questioned after 15 hours in the heat, but we did save a bundle! 🙂
    Your daughter is so beautiful! She looks just like you! And the dress is precious! Am going to check out The Indian Doctor. Always love hearing your TV and book recommendations! I’m working on a new budget tonight, so stopped by here for some inspiration. 🙂 Thank you!

  23. Hello dear friends. I can’t imagine that we have any savings going on here. The effects of the virus continue to fall like dominoes on our family. After 6 weeks , my symptoms have mostly subsided. We continue to be in quarantine . You would think that staying home would be cheap. All is quiet and we are comfortable and content. Being prepared is certainly a valuable lesson for all my children. Please take care everyone.

    1. Lilliana, Very relieved to hear from you. Hoping you and all of your family are well soon. Please keep us updated. Always enjoy your posts and thrifty hints.

    2. Lilliana, I have been missing your posts and I feared that you and your family were ill. Hope that you all are on the mend now. Take care, and post when you can. Best Always, Penny S.,

  24. Hi Brandy,
    What beautiful photos of your daughter (and she is beautiful to start with). Thank you for sharing, I especially liked the photo of her in the baptism dress, looks wonderful. I had forgotten how much I like material with eyelets 😉

    I saw a comment you made on the use of an emergency fund. I agree! It took me three years to save enough and set it aside for us to have a $1000 emergency fund, and now as time goes on, I add to it to give us more of a cushion. We have had a year of repairs this year, AC, new water heater, new garage door spring etc etc, and although my husband can do much around the house, these items were beyond him. It cleaned out of fund but thankfully we had enough to cover most of the costs. Now to rebuild.

    Staying at home for the last three months has saved us quite a bit of money. And we are used to it so find that even though we could go out to eat, or do take out, the food is better at home ;). Today’s baking was a loaf of rye bread and a pumpkin pie!

  25. Your daughter looks beautiful!
    I agree about the Kroger party pail. We love the ice cream, and use the container for a lot of storage.
    My garden is growing well, but nothing ready to harvest.
    Instead we ended up with a box of produce for free.
    We enjoyed frugal fun of walking, biking, swimming, and reading.
    We hung up more line for drying clothes!
    A friend found out I wanted to update my bathroom- the storage & decor was 11 years old- and gave me several items. I also picked up a shelf for $5, and fake flowers for $3. By using those and items found around my house, we changed things on the cheap.
    Have a wonderful week!

  26. Hello Brandy and congratulations on your daughters baptism and how lovely all the girls have the family tradition of wearing the same beautiful dress 🙂 . I am glad you were able to pick so much lovely produce from the gardens and get some new clothing for yourself at bargain prices.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $174.35 in savings last week :).

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Organising around the home –
    – Caught up on a lot of little jobs that needed doing around the home such as weeding some of the garden beds.
    – I washed all the new clothing I purchased and replaced items that were worn out in my wardrobe.
    – Any spare clothing was vacuum sealed in our storage room for later use when more items of clothing wear out.

    Purchases –
    – Bought 16 pairs of jeans between DH and I for $6.50 a pair saving $136 over buying them elsewhere. We will use these both as work jeans and to wear out on errands in the cooler weather. Spares were bagged up for the storage room.
    – Bought a 2.854 kg whole Steggles chicken for $5.35 or $1.87 kg on markdown saving $7.50 on usual prices.
    – Purchased 2 new garden sweatshirts on special for $15 ea saving $9.98 on usual prices.
    – Bought 375g of cup mushrooms on markdown special saving $2.52 on usual prices.

    In the gardens –
    – Harvested 590g of snow peas, 1 large capsicum and 200g of cherry tomatoes from the gardens saving $18.35 over buying them. We ate some fresh and either chopped or blanch and froze them for meal portions for the freezer.

    Have a great week ahead everyone 🙂 .

    Sewingcreations15.

    1. Lorna, how do you still have peppers and tomatoes? Are you covering them to keep them from freezing?

      1. Brandy a very good question since you and I have very similar climates and temperatures 🙂 .

        When we bought our home and spoke to the locals they recommended putting 50% shade cloth over the gardens for the summer when we were building them so we did a bit of research and also found it serves well for frost cloth over the gardens in the winter too to keep the frosts off.

        We had an old vineyard here with half the posts rotted so we pulled it down and repurposed the ironbark tree trunk posts for posts for the garden beds that are 7′ high over the garden beds once sunk. With the galvanised pipe and fittings we recycled those to make a roof framework and wired it to the top of the posts and over the top of that put and tie wired heavy duty chicken wire also recycled. Over the top of that we put the 50% shade cloth also tied with tie wire. Total price including tools, using recycled materials was under $40 and a huge roll of shade cloth that we have enough of to build another enclosure over a larger garden bed we have planned.

        All the gardens are completely covered both summer and winter now and the shade cloth keeps the searing up to 40 oc summer sun off the gardens and in winter stops the frost falling and rolling into the garden beds giving us a much longer growing season here being fairly much all year round. We overlapped some of the shade cloth half way down the back to stop the summer heat too.

        Everything is growing really well here in these conditions even though we have had a few frosts here already for winter. It got so cold here one day last week our toothpaste froze in the downstairs bathroom that isn’t heated 😮 . It doesn’t freeze like a block but it becomes very thick and hard to get out of the tube 🙂 .

        I hope this helps you with some ideas to make your growing season longer there too 🙂 .

  27. Your daughter is gorgeous. She looks so happy and content. I think I started reading awhile before she was born. I think I would just eat that basket of tomatoes for dinner, and call it good. 🙂
    This is for two weeks, as for some reason last week when I tried to post, it disappeared.
    I have become quite busy again. I am back at work, but am limiting my work to 30 hours a week. We are still not seeing clients in our office (I am a CPA). Everything is done via email, mail or drop off. I was off for almost 2 months, as I am considered above average risk. My employers were great, and I had a job to come back to.
    So, I brought breakfast and lunch to work all days. That is good, because there are very few restaurants open yet. I almost always did anyway, so not a lot different.
    My order for OTC items came from my Medicare Advantage plan. I can order $50 per quarter. This quarter I got 9 pounds of Epsom Salts (I will use some of it in the garden), 4 tubes of sensitive toothpaste, 175 dental flossers and a kitchen scale.
    My DH made a new 12 foot by 2 foot garden bed, and put a fence down the middle, after he filled it with dirt. I planted pole beans on either side of the fencing. Planted 2 rows of bell peppers and 1 row of hot peppers. Planted 3 hills of butternut squash from plants given to me by a neighbor. Picked lettuce from the garden 3 times. Weeded the carrots beets and kept up on the onions and garlic.
    Made a dozen hard boiled eggs for the DH for snacks and breakfasts. I did have an egg salad sandwich once.
    Had popcorn for a snack 3 times, once while watching a movie with DH.
    Made 2 loaves of focaccia bread, using the recipe from budget bytes. It only takes 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, but a very long rise time. It was wonderful. Made potato corn chowder with some of the free potatoes we got a couple of weeks ago, plus corn from our garden (in the freezer from last year).
    Made baked potatoes from some of the free potatoes we got.
    Made another batch of the focaccia bread, and turned it into focaccia bread pizza. Oh my, was that delicious – and very filling.
    Found strawberries at Winco for 98¢ a pound. Got 6 pounds. They are in the dehydrator, and I will turn it on to finish drying tonight. Now I just have to figure out Gardenpat’s muffin recipe.
    I got to see my mother twice. Well kind of. She is in a facility, but her apartment is on the ground floor. I took a chair to her window, then called her on the phone. She was able to come to the window, and we could see each other while we talked. While I know it is not a frugal thing, it was good for the mental health of both of us. She is 97, and I have not been able to see her in 3 months. This was our compromise.
    It rained most of the week and was below average temperatures for June. I hope that changes, as our garden (other than cool weather crops) is rather stagnant.
    I did very little shopping. Mainly some fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

  28. Haven’t commented in some time. It has been very hot and windy here in S. Colorado which has made doing all the ongoing sorting, cleaning of sheds much less comfortable and yard work darn near impossible except after sundown and very early in the a.m. SO is 61 and I am 67 and with osteoarthritis for both so it just takes more time for us to get things done.

    We had some extra cash – not really extra (LOL) but we decided to use it for stocking up and preparing. We bought a 1/4 beef from the local small processing plant run by a family – they did all the processing for my SO’s father and grandfather and were the place that the young family we bought from in previous years chose to have their beef done. The family isn’t certain that they will have beef by fall so SO contacted the processing plant. They aren’t taking any new customers but since we’d been customers for such a long time they moved us to the front of the line. Local farmer’s and ranchers were contacting them as cattle feed lots are full due to the backup from the Covid-19 issues. So the processing plant has become a middle-man for the farmers and customers. We were able to get a 1/4 beef for less than $4.00 a pound – that includes the cost of the beef and the processing. That was substantially less than we’d been paying the young family. We had most made into hamburger as it is so versatile and goes a long way, some steaks, stew meat, a brisket and short ribs. This should last us well over a year. We were also able to share with our friends who are dealing with big financial issues. She brought over some commodity foods that her family won’t eat – white rice, powdered milk, processed cheese and raisins – all grown and processed in the US! They should hear from the VA within the next two months on his VA disability (related to Vietnam war service in the “field”). With a little left over I ordered some chicken and fish from WalMart and put it in the freezer. We are okay on pork. I am much closer to eating no meat/chicken/fish than SO is so what we have means we are in good shape for at least six months all but beef – and that for at least year.

    SO’s cousin’s gifted us with 36 of their very fresh eggs! I had found “good eggs” at the store reduced to $1.99 and bought 2 and then had found 18 for $2.00. Egg prices are crazy here and word has it won’t be going down. I contacted our friends and are giving them two dozen and I am going to freeze another dozen and use the farm eggs. They aren’t “sized” so have to sometimes gauge how many to use for different recipes. The cousins also asked SO to go with them to a place east of us that sells used farm equipment. When they came back they fixed a tire on the 360 degree mower so we can take the tire we had bought back – and we don’t have to pay anyone to put it on. So good to have people that help!

    SO contacted life time family neighbors (new word – freighbors – not quite family but more than just acquaintances) who grow tons of pinto beans each year. They’ve been hard to find around here. So we have 50 pounds of free beans to pick up. They are the last of last season’s beans but will be good for several more years. When I make ham and beans I almost always use pintos as that is the way both of our families cooked them – guess it may be western thing. I did find dried black beans, lentils (green and yellow), garbanzos – $1.00 a pound that is what I’ve been finding here – and places that have bulk around here are bare.

    So doing a lot of stocking up. Did an inventory of the freezers and cupboards and we are really pretty well set for at least six months. I found large cans of sliced peaches at Dollar Tree – from Australia! I bought a dozen cans – that is a fruit that I like in winter (always reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder’t book By the Shores of Silver Lake – when the surveyors house had canned peaches – such a treat – it sure was for my paternal grandfather who grew up on the family homestead in N. NE). I also found large cans of Hunt’s whole tomatoes – some with red pepper and some with Italian seasons. Bought some of those as well. When I did a look at the spices and herbs I realized that I needed to replenish due to so much cooking at home. Previously I would have done a Penzy’s order, gone to Trader Joe’s or picked them up at the store. When I went to our local smaller grocery store (chain of two!) I found a back wall full of herbs and spices – large jars with their name on them. I jotted down the prices and made a comparison to online (didn’t even check Penzy’s – love their products but their price point was way beyond what we can afford). The local were so much cheaper than even going to San Francisco Herb company or Spice Sage! I bought a lot of what I know we use. I am going to repackage into smaller containers and store then out of the kitchen.

    Our refrigerator went out – the top would cool to about 50 and the freezer to 10 above freezing. It took two weeks to get a new one – we have household insurance that covers our appliances, etc. – a hold over from having rentals as it was so much more cost effective for us. They authorized a replacement of up to $2K! Holy moly – I thought that is just crazy – until we went looking online. Since we haven’t bought a new fridge in 14 years to say I had sticker shock was an understatement. Found one at Best Buy that we liked – and not a bottom freezer! The previous one had the french doors and bottom freezer – like the doors but the freezer felt like it “lost” stuff all the time. lol. So got a side by side with ice and water in the door. It is the same size but I guess due to the narrower side walls or something it just seems so much bigger inside. The one draw back is that it is stainless steel and it shows drips, hand prints, etc. Any suggestions on how to clean it – will do that at night with the nightly dishes. BTW – it was delivered free and the guys were so great.

    The dishwasher is going – leaves a film all over everything – even with Finish, vinegar etc. When the repair guy came out he said that given our hard, hard water that unless we put in a water softener (no place for one though) or bought a special dishwasher that has a water filter for hard, hard water that we probably would just have the same problem. So we are washing dishes by hand and using the dishwasher to dry them. We also put all the pet dishes in their and run a short cycle to clean them. We’ll also use it for canning – heating the jars and lids/rings.

    We are pretty much staying home. Our county and area of Colorado has not been hit particularly hard but with health issues it is just prudent. I go into town once a week at most to get milk and fresh fruit/veggies. We did both go in one day to pick up a mower that had been serviced. Picked up Mexican food – $30.00 for our order – admittedly it fed both of us for several days. Then we both went in one day – SO went just to get out of the house but stayed in the truck. This time a local sandwich place for subs and chips – came to almost $25. I pointed out that $55 was 1/4 of our now ongoing food budget (which includes toiletries, pet food, paper and cleaning products). For something we ate in the truck or took home. That led to a good heartfelt discussion about budgeting, etc. We have run out of pantry space and SO has finally agreed that we won’t look like hoarders if we put canned goods in the clothes closets or under the bed! While I don’t enjoy cooking every single day it does save so much money. The quality is better (we both were disappointed in the food we bought – especially the subs. It was Monday and we think the bread was left from Saturday so a bit dried out). SO’s parents weren’t the stock up kind – and didn’t do a lot of canning/putting up. There were two little grocery stores a mile away and they “went to town” almost every day – to visit family, go to the store, take their kids to sports, etc. So the concept of keeping six months or a year’s worth of supplies – not just food but toiletries, etc. is a new one.

    Finally – as part of the discussion I commented that I would really like a root cellar. We have a crawl space but no basement and the garages aren’t heated. So you know that old fridge? Yep – Pinterest has examples of putting one in the ground with ventilation and using as a root cellar! Cousin’s have a back hoe to dig the big hole (have rock hard ground. Critter and bug proof. So come this fall that is a big project.

    Actually – really finally – can’t tell you how much the wisdom, guidance, fellowship, kindness and grace that Brandy’s blog has helped me. I was so much more prepared – not just from the standpoint of having what we needed but from a mental standpoint. After taking a big deep breath I just exhaled and said – I’ve got this. I can do this, I have the skills and knowledge to do this. I have a group of people who are out there, that I’ve never met, that I can tap into. And this group lives a lovely life as well – putting fresh flowers on the table, making lovely things to enrich a home, creating food that isn’t just “it’s food – that’s good enough” but delicious and nutritious food that feeds the heart, soul and mind as well as the tummy. Who live the life of abundance that isn’t about money but love and kindness and goodness and yes, even fun! So thank you Brandy and thank you all. Now for yet another glass of water before I go out to the line to get the clothes that literally dried in the time that the last load took to wash! Mary

    1. Mary, I was told to use Lemon Pledge to clean stainless steel appliances, and it works! (Of course, I use Lemon Favor because it’s cheaper). You don’t even have to do it all that often, either. An appliance salesman told me this when we chose the appliances for this house.

    2. Mary, I use Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish. It has the Good Housekeeping Seal on it. It is made in USA, I order it from Amazon (I am in Canada). It really works!
      I also wanted to say that I totally agree with you on your last paragraph regarding the community here! Everyone is so positive and I always learn something and come away from The Prudent Homemaker feeling inspired.

    3. Mary: Chiming in here to also wholeheartedly second your final paragraph!
      My Mom always made a point to say she was a “homemaker”, not a “housewife.” The word “home” was very important to how she showed she loved us.

    4. No need to buy anything. Two micro fibre cloths. One barely damp – use it to remove marks. Use the dry second cloth to polish off the water marks. When I used to have a stainless steel oven hood that got awful, I used a piece of paper towel with a drop of baby oil on it. Rub it all over and any gunk or marks, grease etc are removed, then dry paper towel, shines it. Hope it helps.

    5. Mary your writing evoked so many emotions ALL positive good ones
      You said so many of the things you said hit home with me
      I come here to learn, to share but most important because Brandy has created a peaceful safe space where I find honest good people who have similar values on caring for family and so willingly offer help
      A rare zen feel, in the midst of chaos

  29. A few savings over the last couple weeks

    ~used end amounts of gift cards towards purchases.

    ~mom sent over a bag stuffed with snacks, soup, BBQ sauce, canned tomatoes, tea bags

    ~made ham and beans using ham that had been in freezer

    ~washed out food saver bag ham was in to reuse

    ~divided up and vacummed sealed 20 pounds of white rice, and 25 pounds of jasmine rice

    ~mended a pair of shorts

    ~hubby’s favorite soda was a few cents cheaper at Walgreens so I purchased it there.

  30. Beautiful little girl. Congratulations on her baptism!
    We are in a season of birthdays and what feels like not being very frugal. I am consistently overbudget with groceries these past three months but mean to draw a line in the sand and try to get through next month without purchasing more than 1/3 of my actual budgeted amount.
    I went into a discount grocery where I can pick up turkey sausage patties that we like for 1/3 the price of Kroger. I walked down the meat counter as I wandered to the egg/dairy department to price eggs and came to a halt with my mouth wide open. Cubed steak $9.98 a pound, Chuck Roast $12.98 a pound, shoulder roast $13.98 a pound. A lady standing nearby took one look at me and said “Yes, I know. I picked up a package of HAMBURGER meat earlier this week and it was $21 and not over 2 pounds. I was flabbergasted, truly, as I’d been following meat prices and this was the first sign in our area that they were going so high. I am so grateful we have plenty of meat on hand for right now.
    Did note that I can buy 5 dozen eggs at this store for barely $5.
    I picked blackberries though the season is nearly done here. I got just a cupful and then went later in the week and got that much more again. It is enough for the two of us for a small cobbler.
    I used ripe bananas to make banana chocolate chip muffins and accidentally forgot to put an egg in the batter. Turns out they didn’t need it! I’ve made a note on that recipe that in future I’ll just skip the egg.
    Big birthday month for us. We’ve had four thus far and have four more to go. My oldest granddaughter just turned 18 and though we do have a budgeted amount for all gifts, I wanted to do something a little extra for this birthday. The other presents will be from budgeted amounts as per usual.
    I found a cheaper source of the Vitamin C tablets that my doctor wants me to take (10,000 units a day) and ordered as part of a subscription service for further savings.
    I am being very careful with foods to insure we waste nothing.
    My green beans bloomed and put out tiny little beans and now are wilting away. Something is wrong but I don’t know what. I’ll replant but not in that particular spot. I harvested my first tomato. Unfortunately it was a yellow pear cherry tomato, lol. I have a few more on the vines. The potatoes are a no show but I’m taking hope since someone else said it took over a month to see theirs start.
    I found a great deal on a good name brand nail polish direct sale from their website and ordered fresh polish to replace some of my old stuff. I spent way less than I’d have spent going to a beauty supply or drug store.

    1. Terri – I read your blog as well as this one! The prices you wrote about make me feel better about the $4.00 a pound we paid for our 1/4 beef. Even if hamburger is that price it is still a better one than what we’ve seen here but the prices for steaks – crazy. We get some of the steaks tenderized for cube steaks. Meat prices are just going to be sky high for sometime to come – local ranchers are wondering what to do with their herds – many have cow/calf pairs – keep the cows from year to year and sell the calves at about 6-9 months old. They can hold on to them for awhile but not sure how hay and other feed are going to be this fall – we’re getting good cuttings here from the irrigated fields but if the heat and wind last all summer that may impact yield.

  31. Hope everyone had a nice week.
    We got to pick corn, which we blanched and froze. It will be enough for 14 meals, and we ate several ears fresh. It was delicious!
    My mom cut my boys’ hair. Her haircuts look better than mine.
    I sold a few more things on Mercari and FB marketplace. Cash in, junk out!
    I enjoyed walking for exercise with the kids.
    I bought some large shelves from an office that was going out of business for a good price. I already put one in the girls’ room, one in the boys’ room, and will probably put the remaining two in the garage.
    I bought some big, beautiful mangos on sale at Randall’s for .25/each, limit 10. They’re ripening on the window sill.
    Our neighborhood pool opened, so we enjoyed swimming over the weekend.
    My aunt kindly let us use her pool one day. She is very generous with the popsicles, which the kids enjoy.
    I found a missing shoe from one of the kids in the van, hidden under the seat.
    Taco Cabana restaurants in TX have been giving a free kids’ meal to kids 12 and under between 11 and 12, Mon.-Fri. There’s a location close to our house, so I’ve gone through the drive through with the kids several days. Chips and queso are a treat around here.
    I’ve been using up the last little bit in bottles of sunscreen, shampoo, etc. My goal is to not buy more until we use up the small amounts that we have stashed under different sinks, in bathroom drawers, etc.
    I made cornbread using bacon grease instead of oil.
    I made homemade chocolate syrup, filling up the bottle I bought a long time ago, and have subsequently refilled.
    I put a clean dishrag in the bottom of my Tupperware container of strawberries. I think that it absorbed the moisture and helped them last longer.
    An aunt gave us some eggs from her chickens. I save all my egg cartons for her. Her eggs taste much better than the store-bought variety.
    Hope you all have a nice, frugal week!

  32. Brandy.. Congratulations on your daughters baptism. Beautiful dress and now so full of memories. Garden Pat.. the baby quilt is beautiful I love patchwork quilts. As far as frugal here, staying home during the week, ordered 57 books from the library they won’t all come at once as most are out on reserve they are mystery romance novels and I read through those very quickly. I buy used books all the time but this will stretch it out so I don’t have to buy as many and can stock up more for the winter months when I try to stay home even more. I have a garden planted with: Tomatoes, Cucumbers for pickling, bell pepper, hot peppers, zucchini, Mammoth Sunflowers, Oregano, Carrots and two kinds of onions.. I’m probably forgetting something it seems I am inspired daily to plant something else.. Oh Dill lol. I planted my sunflowers Friday and some have already sprouted. The Mammoths produce a huge amount of sunflower seeds hundreds on each plant I planted 8. I will save the seeds, freeze and use in salads. I’ll leave some for God’s creatures too. Its so nice seeing the birds and squirrels eat the seeds, see the hummingbirds hanging out and the bees. I saw a video today on using Tulle netting to put over plants that you don’t want the birds to eat or other critters, they don’t like getting their feet in the netting and that includes mice and rodents. The lady provided a ebay link you can get 40 yards for $10 and free shipping. I want it mostly to keep the horn worms off my tomato plants. I shop at Menards fairly often and got a $8 rebate check back from them, I used it to buy a Mega pack of our favorite brand of toilet paper, after rebate it was around $2.00. They have been running rebates every week so I have yet another receipt to turn in for another rebate. Frugal is all meals have been from home.. I tried a new recipe today for beef stroganoff though I used turkey burger instead. It was very good. I try to add variety to meal planning so we don’t get food fatigue from eating the same things week after week. I made a no bake lemon pie today for dessert, it’s like the Cherry Delight Pies but used Lemon Pie filling. I also researched a No Bake Coconut Cream Pie recipe to try later. It can be changed up a bit to go more sugar free. I’ve been line drying most of our clothes now that the weather is warmer. Anna In Ohio.

    1. Anna, I wrapped my raised strawberry bed in nylon net (like tulle, only bigger holes and not as soft) to keep the birds from eating the fruit and to keep my West Highland terrier boy out. I didn’t get it as cheap as you mentioned, but it isn’t very expensive to begin with and I bought it last winter when it was on sale for 70% off, The berries aren’t ripe yet (very wet spring and early summer and they need some sun) so I don’t know how it will work. I have tons of green berries.

    2. Anna in Ohio. We love our Menards, and those rebate checks are how we stay stocked on the paper/household goods we do use. Our Menards is decently priced and well stocked. Hope yours is too

  33. *My son went back to school but it is only one day a week. He’s happy to see his friends.
    *My term is ending. I’m glad as online work is not for me.
    * a friend gave us a case of melons. We’d been low on fruit.
    *I went to the farmer’s market and found ripe bananas for $1/bunch. I bought 2 and made 2 loaves of banana chocolate chip bread and froze the rest.
    *I’ve been able to air dry all the laundry and it is dry in less than 24 hours with the warmer weather
    *We keep the aircon off and suffer with the heat.
    *I crocheted some mask holders for some of my son’s friends to use during class. They complain the masks make their ears hurt.
    *I’m using up the yarn stash!
    *I’ve saved all of our old, dingy, stained white and light colored clothes and I’ll take my son and his friends to the park for a tie dye party. Who doesn’t love tie dye??
    *I got a Yamaha speaker for free by keeping an eye on my local facebook page.
    *I’m trying to use up what I have in my pantry before it expires.
    *I made bath bombs with my son. He chose the colors and uses them during bath time. I also like that I can sneak in baby oil that helps his skin condition.
    *I soaked a huge pot of Butter Beans. Half got put in the crockpot and the other half made into soup. The next day I made minestrone. The leftovers went into the freezer.
    *I gifted a big bag of rice flour to a family who eats Gluten Free. I couldn’t use it up.
    *I’ve continued to declutter. A much needed task.

  34. That is a beautiful picture of Ivory. What a sweet smile! There are precious memories wrapped up in that dress. I love that. My husband’s college graduation gown was worn by our son when he graduated college. My heart was very happy (plus it saved money!).
    Our savings have centered on doing as much of the kitchen remodel as we can. And eating at home even though it’s like camp eating. Keeping on top of food waste is harder since everything is disorganized. But we are managing.
    I walk to the post office with Etsy orders. I have had some new sign-ups on my email newsletter list, which is good for growing my business. My daughter-in-law (age 25) was very impressed with the documents that I created as a free gift for signing up for my newsletter. That’s a real compliment from a tech-savvy young person. I am not tech-savvy. But here is my sign up if anyone is interested! https://mailchi.mp/ed1fdd9e0382/fabricspeaks
    I had to drive to the audiologist 90 miles away. I have a disease that is progressively taking my hearing, though I’m only 47. So I have to drive to a specialist. I drove the cheap-to-run car. I stopped for an outdoor visit with my parents, and I cut my mother’s hair for the first time.
    Greetings and thanks to this lovely community!

    1. Hi Kara, I have hearing loss too. It is hard and scary for you at times I’m sure as you deal with this progressive loss.
      I’m thinking of you. I’m glad you are able to see a specialist.

  35. What a nice picture of you and your little girl!

    We have enjoyed produce from the garden. My husband pickled radishes that I picked. I bought some beautiful clothing items from a thrift shop for fall. Growing my hair out. It doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would. Doing very little shopping. Trying to use our garden produce and what we have on hand. I have to be careful what I eat as I have diabetes. I noticed that I do best with protein and vegetables for the most part. But sometimes my blood sugar drops and I need some fruit, raisins or I will eat a sweet and salty pack with nuts, raisins and a few m & ms. I am trying to lose weight but I can’t starve myself or my blood sugar drops and I feel awful. And If I eat a piece of cake it is worse. I found that out the other day. I am just learning why I felt so awful all the time and learning how to regulate my blood sugar now. I’m interested in reading more about diabetes. I am just learning. I have read some things on the internet and hope to read more.
    I love your blog Brandy. It has helped us through when we had no income and now we are making about 60% of what we did before. But we are ok. We have learned to be frugal. We garden, thrift for clothing or other items, try to fix what we have, do most cooking at home, try to bring snacks if we go somewhere, turn off lights when not in use, open windows when it is comfortable for fresh air, find free entertainment (mostly at home these days), use the library instead of buying books for the most part, and look for ways to save. I’m so glad I found your blog. It gave gave me hope to carry me through our difficult time and made it easier to make it today. Our income was great at one point and we did not live frugally, we are actually living better now with less money.

  36. We rented a house to stay for vacation at probably 1/4 of what we would have paid for a single hotel room. The area was discounted to encourage people to come after COVID-19. We spent a good deal of money eating out after restaurants have been shut down for 3 months near us, but we had plenty of funds to do so. We brought our water filter pitcher and soda stream to make seltzer water and avoided having to buy bottled stuff while we were there. We got my MIL to water the vegetable garden while we were gone, which is doing splendidly so far. Hubby cooked meats we had in the house, 5 days worth, for our dinners this week after coming back from vacation. I was going to order him 2 collectible gifts from a website but found both cheaper on eBay, so did that. They already came. I went to the Christmas Tree Shop that just reopened in my town and got marshmallow Peeps 75% off, we have been using them to make s’mores over the fire at night—practically free entertainment and something we can do together as a family. We had our friend who does handyman work fix our bathroom fan. He works relatively cheap and was able to replace the motor rather than the entire fan, at a savings.

  37. Congratulations to your lovely daughter on her baptism!
    Last week, I pulled out the sliced apples and berries that my SIL’s mom gave us. They’d been frozen for at least 2-3 years so I was nervous about using them. I made applesauce, sweetened blackberry juice to add to tea, and blueberry syrup for ice cream. Canned about 3 dozen jelly jars, half pints, and pint jars. It all turned out great!

    My sister-in-law had a car accident this week. Someone hit her head-on while she was waiting in a turn lane at a red light. Thankfully she was not badly injured but her car was totaled and she had such a terrible day trying to get everything straightened out. She’s a newly single mom and has had just a terrible spring. On the night of the wreck, I took her & her son dinner from their favorite restaurant. The next day, she went back to work even though she was so sore and achy. I was able to make dinner & dessert for them out of my own pantry and freezer.

    I live in TN and things have pretty much gone back to normal here. It’s crazy to think that just a few weeks ago we were on lockdown, because you can’t even tell now (besides the fact that some people wear masks). Getting out of the house has been nice. I went to Fresh Market on Tuesday for their chicken breast sale ($2.99/lb). Planning to go again this week. I am also going to replenish some of the items we used up while we were in lockdown, I definitely want to keep the cabinets and freezers well-stocked in case of another closure.

    My husband groomed the dog, saving us $75. She looks great and prances around like a princess.

    I finally pulled the lettuce plants that were bolting. There are a few that are under the shade of squash leaves and still doing okay. In the newly empty space, I added some worm castings from my composting bin then direct-sowed zucchini and chard. I started basil seeds in a plastic baggie and transplanted them to a makeshift dome (a plastic cake container from the store bakery). They’re doing great.

    My biggest savings happened at CVS this week. I needed refills for my Venus razor and was planning to order them online. While I was picking up my prescriptions, I saw a coupon on the app for $4 off Venus refills. I had a $5 extrabuck reward to use, plus another store coupon that stacked. I ended up paying $3.15 for the $14.99 refills!

    I’ve come to look forward to this post every week! It makes me happy to see how others are using God’s blessings. Since I’m a new reader of this blog, I think I will go back and read as many posts as I can.

  38. It must have been the week for lilacs. I dug some from my garden and gave them to one son for his garden. I have some Iris and a Sedum to divide and take to one relative and to put some in another garden that we own. My swiss chard suddenly went mushy. I think I watered the garden and then we had a couple of huge rainstorms so maybe it just got overly wet. I took off the mushy leaves and hope the rest will produce usable leaves. I moved a couple of pea plants and one kale plant and hope they survive as well.
    We visited a friend in the country and had lunch outdoors. I took a couple loaves of home made bread and he gave us the rest of the asparagus in his garden. I’ve turned it into soup and will put it in the freezer. I made a couple loaves of bread for our own use as well instead of going to the bakery. I used up my home made yogurt and some old apples in a cake. it turned out more like a bread pudding but the DH have eaten all of it, so it must have satisfied his sweet tooth.
    I’ve dried a few loads of laundry outdoors especially towels. I love rough towels!
    Our neighbour was getting rid of a shelf and my DH took it for above a workbench. It fits perfectly.
    Your story of your girls wearing the same dress for baptism reminds me of a story in our family. My mother made a lovely peach taffeta dress for my oldest sister’s Grade 8 graduation and then the next sister wore it for her grade 8 grad and then so did I. We had my younger brother convinced he would have to wear it as well as it had become a tradition. Of course, he was horrified at the thought. We still chuckle at that memory.
    How old is Ivory now and is that a common age to be baptized? In our church we baptize babies and then at around age 12 or so they get confirmed in the faith. I imagine it is similar in your church.
    i’ve been downloading books to read from the library rather than going into stores to buy books. And now my library is opening up again for curtsied pickup of books on hold. And my book club has to chose the upcoming reading list this month ; there are too many books I’d like to recommend and I found it difficult to whittle it down to two. I hope the others pick some good things to read.
    We have had some strange weather lately. Quite warm for us into the high 80’s for a few days and then highs of only in the 50’s. It’s back on the higher side now going into the 70’s for the next week or so. At least we haven’t had to use the AC or the furnace although one day I discovered my DH standing in front of the gas fireplace to warm up for a minute or so.

    1. We are baptized and confirmed at age 8, unless we covert at an older age, like I did. I was baptized and confirmed when I was 19.

      1. so, were you not raised LDS? Forgive me for being nosy, again. I’m always curious and interested in learning about other people’s lives.

    2. I am sure you meant curbside pickup from the library. But I had a wonderful mental picture of getting out of the car and curtsying to the librarian to thank them for the books. 🙂 My mother was a librarian, and I could just see that. Such a lovely thought.

  39. What a lovely smile your daughter has, Brandy.

    I sold some more dragon fruit cuttings. Lots of rain here, so no need to water, and we’re using rainwater for washing, as well. We don’t use AC, instead we use ceiling fans and a whole house fan and the weather hasn’t really gotten terribly hot yet. We’re still painting doors and windows ourselves, making nut-milk, kombucha, lacto-fermented vegetables, sun-tea (made with mint and tulsi basil from the garden) and cold-brewed coffee. We don’t eat desserts and eat a lot of soups and salads because they’re so quick to fix. Often breakfast is savoury cassava flour pancakes, made with leftover vegetables. We try to make out own snacks, such as yam chips and fried plantain. In the summer we very seldom have people over for a meal because most people cannot stand being in a temperature of 80 degrees or over. We believe in letting ourselves acclimate to the temperatures and find the heat doesn’t bother us. Not using AC, drying clothes on the line and having a gas water heater and stove, as well as solar panels keeps our bills low. Most of our bill is the $13 penalty for avoiding a smart meter and the EMFs (I am electro-sensitive).
    Happy week to all.

    1. Hi Cara, we keep our ac up very high as well. It won’t turn on until it is 85 degrees. With cooler temps in ga, the ac has come on once and only because I caved after a stressful day at work and the humidity was just oh so high. But it only stayed on for 45 minutes, enough to take the temp down to 83. In the past I’ve worked in an office with ac and found that when I came home in the afternoon, even 79 was hot to me. Since I’ve been home sheltering in place I’ve found that I’ve gotten used to it. If I get warm in the afternoon, I take a cool shower r drink ice water. We use fans while cooking. And open windows in early morning and evening when cool to bring in cool air (we put a large fan in the window to act like an attic fan almost) my dh also has our attic fan that vents to outside running more times during the day and that helped too.

  40. Love the tradition of the baptismal dress. We have something similar with our baptisms (infantile baptism though). I especially appreciate our family traditions as we are all separated and unable to travel to see each other right now.

    Last week I went to the Dr in SLC and had to stay in a different place because the American Cancer Society closed their cancer house. I caught a slight something, but feel better now. The good news (with reservation) is that I’m in remission now. There was something found on the CT scan that the Dr doesn’t think is cancer. It will be tested in 3 months. Praying he’s correct and all is done. To celebrate, I bought a homeless couple dinner and gave them a donation. It was heartbreaking to me, but they were so upbeat and appreciated not only the food but the celebration.

    Frugally…
    *Found change twice and popped it into the change jar
    *finally made it to 10,000 steps on my walk each day (about 4.5 miles) using the free health app on my phone. Some days I have to take two walks if I’m not feeling up to one long one.
    *I’m getting stronger, but the cancer weight is still here. So frustrating! I know I’m overeating, so this week I am focusing on adding more fruits and veggies. That should help.
    *I’m resisting buying any clothing and just wearing what I do fit into. It’s not like I see anyone. I like to remind myself that my pioneering ancestors survived on very limited wardrobes, and so can I!
    *still watch, read and listen to freebies
    *I’m dehydrating banana chips and potatoes for easy snacks and baking. Unfortunately I discovered that my sealer machine isn’t working correctly. After asking if the local store had one, I have one on order. At least I received free shipping and 20% off.
    *because I believe that food will be in shorter supply this winter especially, I bought another large bag of white flour and am storing it in a mylar bag in a cool place. I don’t usually store ground white flour, but will use it for Christmas baking and want to ensure that I have it. I also bought more sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chips and canned goods. All food we eat and that will store well.
    *keeping up with the greenhouse and plants in pots. Learning lots at this climate and altitude. I can finally harvest some cut-and-come-again lettuce this week.

    Blessings to all.

    1. Trish: Even with the reservation (don’t you hate those?) it is good news! You are in remission, and getting stronger! Will continue to pray for healing, courage, and strength as you continue this journey.
      Love and grace to you,
      Patricia/Fl

      1. Thank you Patricia. I so appreciate your continual support and prayers. Trying not to be nervous as I’ve a fantastic and very smart doctor.

        Blessings to you,

        Trish

  41. Joining in from the Seattle area.

    My main accomplishment was continuing to eat down my freezer. Made a large batch of swiss chard soup using frozen chard from last year. Froze most of the batch for future lunches. Ate our frozen meat stash down to the point where I had to go buy a few meals’ worth, otherwise we would have had to eat sausage several days this past week. Now I can go over and pick up the meat that is in my mom’s freezer.

    A few weeks ago, I made a “hug suit” so I could hug my mom (it had been three months since we hugged). I made it out of Tyvek. It was shaped like a huge pillowcase with arms, with a piece of clear vinyl taped in for the face. I sewed it together (had to use a special microtex needle). It turned out great. My mom absolutely loved it, and it was so great to give her a hug. Our area hasn’t moved to phase 2 of the reopening yet, because our county’s covid cases haven’t declined sufficiently.

    My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with takeout pizza a couple days later. It was a simple yet tasty celebration.

    Otherwise, I made kombucha and water kefir, used up homemade jam from a couple years ago, read newspapers from my mom, cooked at home except for one meal, brought my lunch to work, made a few more masks for myself, repaired a shirt, and ordered a few tank tops using a discount. Also, exercised at home and outside when the weather permitted. It’s supposed to get sunny this week, after lots of gray skies and rain. I can’t wait!

    Hope everyone has a great week.

  42. What a lovely photo of your daughter! She looks so sweet and so happy to be wearing her heirloom dress! Also, wow that is a lot of blackberries for what I believe is a small number of plants! Very impressive!

    My frugal accomplishments:
    -On a particularly hot day, I made Soft Serve Chocolate Nice Cream (http://approachingfood.com/soft-serve-chocolate-nice-cream/). Easy (dump in a blender), frugal (the banana base is quite inexpensive), and can be vegan or not (you choose whatever milk you want). My daughter loves eating this ‘ice cream’ as a treat!
    -I picked some basil from my balcony garden and made Basil Mayo (http://approachingfood.com/basil-mayo/), and used green onions from my garden in several dishes.
    -For Father’s day, I ordered a book from Amazon, using a $5 gc and $10 cash, all earned using Swagbucks. I also had my daughter paint a paperweight-sized rock with colourful splashes of dollar store paint from my craft supplies, and wrote “You are our rock” on it using a metallic sharpie. Inexpensive and meaningful, and didn’t impact our budget.
    -I redeemed Swagbucks for $5 to my paypal account.
    -I redeemed my birthday reward from Starbucks for a box lunch. I ordered it via the app so that I could just pick it up from the counter so I could social distance.
    -For the first time in maybe a year (with the exception of two half-price pizzas at the start of the pandemic) we ordered takeout. We ordered two Indian entrees from a local restaurant, and I made rice at home to go with it. My husband and I each got two meals out of it. It was such a treat!
    -I picked wildflowers from my neighbourhood and arranged them nicely in my silver mint julep cup, a la Brandy, at my entryway.
    -I froze leftover smoothie in my ice cube tray one day. It makes for an easy breakfast to throw a few cubes in a jar the night before and stick it in the fridge. There’s actually a company that sells frozen cubes of smoothie, so I’m very on trend!
    -I baked bread for sandwiches for the week, and made chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies for evening snacks.
    -After two months of full-time work upon returning from an extended mat leave, I’ve had to give notice to my workplace. Our amazing childcare provider decided not to renew her visa, and in a pandemic, I am not comfortable interviewing strangers and then hiring someone nor am I comfortable sending my daughter to daycare, even if they officially reopened (toddlers don’t know how to socially distance and daycare workers can’t sanitize every toy each time a child plays with it). Despite many layoffs at my husband’s workplace, he currently still has a job, so I consider us very lucky.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone as always!

  43. It has been a pretty uneventful week. I like it that way! We are coming out of the stay at home orders but I still haven’t gone to any retail shops except for groceries. To work and back home I go. I am basically a home body so this wasn’t so bad for me.

    Did a lot of weeding in the garden and flower beds. Sewed lettuce seed for the second time. First time it did not come up. It is coming now. Tomatoes and peppers are blooming. So are the peas. Harvesting asparagus, rhubarb, and radishes. Also some onions. I plant them close together and then start harvesting every other one for green onions. Will start thinning kale seedlings this week and will add them to our salads. Canned pickled asparagus and bought a crate of apricots and made apricot jam from Brandy’s recipe. It is my mom’s favorite. I will split the jars with her.

    Went to the Mennonite bulk store and purchased- rice flour, tapioca flour (4 in our immediate family gluten free), baking powder, baking cocoa, old fashioned oats, xantham gum, molasses, white popcorn, and frozen strawberries. It is so much cheaper buying in bulk this way over the grocery stores. I also ordered 25# of flour from Sunrise Mills. Their flour is milled from Heritage wheat. I have found I can bake with this and my gluten intolerance issues are not there.

    Meals included-pheasant stir fry with chicken flavored rice; egg McMuffins and hash browns; spaghetti with Italian sausage, salad, and cheese toast; grilled pork chops, potato packets, and home canned beans (last jar); salads with veggies and leftover chopped up pork chops, and rewarmers (we don’t call them leftovers as that sounds like something you wouldn’t want to eat).

    Took 10 boxes to second hand shop from decluttering. Trying to deep clean a room a week, did the den this week. Cleaned carpet, touched up paint, shredded paper purged from file cabinets, cleaned out the toy bins. Got rid of the baby toys as the youngest is soon to be 4. Looks and smells nice!

    This week is going to be hot! Everyone stay safe and have a great week!

  44. The new cucumber seeds I planted came up! The kids and I are having fun watching the plants grow so fast! My youngest is my only daughter and she is delighted by the pretty flowers. I harvested a second round of lettuce. Strawberry, raspberries and blueberries were a great price at Meijers. I purchase some to eat and many to freeze. Due to prices we don’t normally eat berries in the winter. Next winter we will be able to! I am thankful my husband bought us a freezer chest (second hand) when we started having kids. We had to buy a window A/C unit. I am thankful we had the funds and don’t have to figure out how to live without the window A/C unit. We purchased it at a store that sells new items discount prices. We always shop the discount stores first allowing us to stretch our dollars farther.

  45. The days still tend to just slide into one another here although I do keep a checklist of things to do each day and that is helping to put more structure into my life. I have also upped the walking and find that my stamina is getting better – I did 10,000 steps on Sunday and another 7,000 yesterday so I am pleased with that. But, still need to get the eating back under control – I’m doing better but still not quite where I should be.

    I did make a couple of purchases last week – 2 fitted sheets as mine simply wore out at long last. This bring me back up to 4 sets and that allows for full loads when it comes to laundry and also means that I don’t need to do laundry quite as often (I use a communal laundry room so limit my trips). I also ordered a 4 drawer storage unit on wheels which should come today or tomorrow – I think it will really give me more storage options so I’m hoping that it will be money well spent.

    I continue to restock where I can and TP and PT were on sale last week so I took the opportunity to add to my supplies. I didn’t buy any meat over the past two weeks as I’m trying to work my way through some of the older items in my freezer but did add some frozen fish as this is something that I want to add more of to my diet. Otherwise I concentrated on using up frozen veg and eating more salads and fresh fruit & veg. I’ve got enough to get me through this week so will stay out of the grocery stores until probably next Tuesday. I am trying to limit visits a bit more as I was simply spending too much money!

    Weather has been very strange here – we have 2 or 3 days with just gorgeous blue skies and temperatures around 72F by the afternoon (and in the 60’s for morning walks) and then the heat & humidity come back and we sore to nearly 100F for a few days – and we’ve also had some quite wild thunderstorms. I have an A/C unit in the bedroom but otherwise just rely on a couple of fans. What I did do last week was do some batch cooking on the cooler days. I did a tray of chicken thighs, made pulled pork, egg salad and a chicken & chickpea curry. Much of this has gone back into the freezer as prepared meals which will be helpful as the temperatures go up again later this week. I don’t have a set meal plan but I have moved all the food that I want to use up first to the most convenient spot in the freezer and I am determined to work my way through these items before pulling out anything else. There is a good variety there so I will cycle through things.
    I went into the office twice last week and will probably go three times this week (just for a few hours at a time)just because of announcements etc and web pages that need to be updated and its just easier to do from my office computer instead of my little laptop form home. Toronto is still in stage 1 of reopening – we thought that we might move to stage 2 yesterday but numbers are still a bit too high for comfort. Churches can reopen now – with restrictions – but we are being very cautious. I have a staff meeting this morning and will get an update on what the various committees have decided to do but there is still a lot of steps to implement so no one thinks we will reopen this Sunday. Our Youtube services have been very popular so we will also have to find a way to continue with these. It’s not just a matter of opening the doors – there are so many things to take into consideration – not the least of which is the fact that many of our members travel downtown via public transit, our Narthex isn’t huge so we may have to set up some cover in the front courtyard and we are going to have to recruit extra volunteers so that we can properly follow all the rules. At 30% capacity, technically we could seat 300 – but no one wants that! I read the city’s rules and regs for places of worship last night and it’s 5 pages long!

    Brandy – I love your daughter’s dress – she is just lovely and that is a wonderful tradition for your girls. Your gardening abilities are amazing and your photos are wonderful “still life paintings”. It is always wonderful to read how all the regulars are coping and thriving and I have noticed a lot of new people commenting over the past few weeks which is so inspiring. Have a wonderful week everyone.

  46. We have 4 of our older grandboys coming for a visit. I planned meals & activities so I was not doing excessive spending. I stocked up on sale items at the grocery store & planned snacks & meals around those sale items.

    1. Hi Laura, I get mine directly from foodsaver.com I joined to earn points and just ordered 100 quart bags for $31.99/free shipping and free bag cutter. They are having a sale right now. Much cheaper than Amazon.

    2. Cabellas brand the cheapest I can find. If you don’t have a store near you check out their website. They are a sporting goods store

    3. In the UK I found them at Lidl’s. Don’t know if you have them? Incredibly cheap ( I had been looking so when I saw them in the store I realised how cheap they were and bought loads).

  47. It has been a weird weather week here in N.C. I am wearing a hoodie today as it is 55, and no need for fans at all. S few days ago it was 90 and I finally turned the ac on to 79. It is raining so will not need to water for a few days. I am picking the first squash, and still am getting kale, chard, lettuce, lamb’s quarters, beets, rosemary, basil and oregano. My neighbor gave me some squash and zucchini. I have been sharing all my greens with them. I am drying lemon balm and make a lemon balm detox drink. Doing the same with peppermint , drying and making teas for now. My husband showed up last night with two bags of coffee grounds that I will put on my blueberries and the newest bed i am making lasagna style. I hope to make it into a strawberry bed come fall. My patch is way overgrown, so I will transplant the runners. I planted the fifth attempt at bush and pole beans , a few have come up each time but so many have been eaten by the pill bugs, so I just keep trying .

    My husband replaced a rotten step with existing boards and then I borrowed a pressure washer from our neighbor to clean the whole porch, steps and landing. It is much cleaner. I am gifting them peppermint and spearmint plants, as he mentioned they would love some.

    I found organic sausage links for $2/lb and bought 9 packages. I will share some with myDIL when she comes to visit this weekend with the 3 year old triplets. She said they hadn’t had any since the start of Covid. I also found apple, oranges and lemons marked down to $.50/lb snd bought what they had.

  48. Hello! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos this week.
    We had plenty of rain this week for our lawn and garden, I have not needed to turn on sprinklers in several weeks. I weeded and transplanted in the garden, and I placed used coffee grounds around the strawberry plants. Everything is behind this year as we have not had a lot of heat.
    I made several Father’s Day cards from paper and scrapbooking supplies on hand and I listed and sold several on FB marketplace.
    I mended the edging on an area rug with fishing line that my cat had picked at and damaged. The fishing line seems to be holding and the kitty is no longer interested in the rug. (He does have a scratch post)
    I earned enough points on a survey site to cash in for a $20 Starbucks gift card. I will save for Christmas as this is my youngest daughters favourite treat. I wanted to create a Starbucks theme gift basket, so I spray painted a large left over popcorn tin white to look like a Starbucks paper cup. I cut a piece of burlap to go around the tin to imitate the paper coffee sleeve. I printed out a logo and backed it with some light cardboard. I also painted the lid of the can green. I will use this for the “basket” . She can use the can either for storage or a waste basket. My sister offered me 2 kitchen cloths that she had received as gifts with the word coffee printed all over. I rolled them up and stuck in 2 Starbucks coffee sleeves to place in the gift basket. I will also bake some cookies and pick up some of her favourite granola bars closer to Christmas and anything else I come across in the meantime. I was pleased with the results for no cost!
    I cleaned out some kitchen cupboards that had become cluttered. I had so many mason jars not being used that I packed up a box worth and listed and promptly sold on FB Marketplace. I kept some jars as I find they make great storage and use for gifting food items. And my cupboards are so tidy when I open them, happy with another win/win.
    Gold prices are up so I decided to sell some broken and unused gold items. Money in our savings account.
    I sorted out 2 bags of books and put them on my Buy nothing group, they were picked up from my front porch. From the same group I was gifted 2 bags of carrots and 1 bag of apples.
    We are still staying home, and social distancing so there is really nothing to spend money on. Continued all the usual frugal habits that add up.
    Brandy, thank you for this wonderful site, it is a wonderful community. Thanks to all who comment! Wishing everyone a lovely week ahead.

    1. Kitty: I received 2 reusable Starbucks coffee containers (with logo. Look exactly like disposable cups coffee is served in) for Christmas, which I will not use. I will gladly send them to you to add to your daughter’s basket if interested. Let me know and we can exchange info at that time.
      Be well.
      Patricia

      1. Patricia, Thank you for your kind and generous offer. Unfortunately postal rates in and to Canada are exorbitant and make sending packages impractical. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your wonderful heart!
        Thanks, Kitty

  49. The pictures of your daughter are lovely, and I love that dress.

    This past week I made homemade Worcestershire sauce and enough kombucha tea to make 13 bottles of kombucha.
    I am picking cherry tomatoes daily from my lone vine. The summer squash is coming back on again and so far, the BT seems to be keeping the borers at bay. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Before long, the summer will be consistently hot and humid, then the squash will get diseased and that will be it. I’m hoping we get a few good pickings before then. The okra is starting to shoot up and it loves heat and humidity, so I hope for a lot of pickings from it.
    I made a simple salad dressing from balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, and a touch of salt. I also make Green Goddess, ranch, honey mustard and red wine vinaigrette dressings. I haven’t bought bottled dressing in a long, long time.
    I used my last grocery gift card to save $50 off of groceries. I’ll be looking for more survey opportunities to earn more cards.

  50. I dehydrated Kentucky colonel mint, basil, dill, parsley and parsley stems (for stock).

    I grilled (in morning so it’s not hot) 3 different marinaded porkchops,1 marinade beef steak and 1 herbed turkey tenderloin that went along with the bacon (Done in oven,crispy for salads, not crispy to be reheated for meals as we hate the mess even in the oven) mild sausage crumbles, spicy sausage crumbles and sausage patties on the stove… with the head lettuce our Amish neighbor gave us and what leaf lettuce , radishes, turnips and green onions coming in I won’t be running around like a chicken with no head trying to put food on the table at the last minute.

    I ordered from Thredup as I’ve been looking for pair of black pants to replace what wore out using the NOW discount.

    Son 2 left his change bag in my car when he borrowed it and said I could have it as he didn’t want to take the time to go to the coin machine when he went to the grocery store(Daughter 4 now has offered to do it for him and give him back half the money) I ended up with almost $75. I bought Food saver bags (Amazon and Menards) 3 lbs of Almond flour and a Miracle Grow universal feeder for the pump house water hose so I didn’t have to either hand carry water or undo the hose in the front of the house when fertilizing.

    A friend that is an electrician told me to use my laptop battery instead of staying plugged in when I am using it. and then recharge when I am done as it takes at least 50% less time to charge than it does to be on it. AND THEN UNPLUG He also said anything that has a battery in it needs to be unplugged not just turned off, A laptop can use 4.5 KWH a week , That is is $3.24 a week between our 3 laptops. That is $168.48… that is more than our highest monthly electric bill during a year.On the one we use a power strip as the outlet is behind furniture since we have a whole house surge protector.

    Beautiful dress for a beautiful young lady.
    Blessed be everyone
    https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2020/06/frugal.html

  51. Brandi, I love your blog! You often mention Swiss Chard…could you advise on what variety you plant and where you purchase it from? Thanks so much!

    1. I have grown a few kinds, but Fordhook Giant is my favorite; it grows very large. I have seen it for sale from Burpee (so anywhere that carries Burpee seeds in addition to Burpe’s website, such as your local nursery, Walmart, or Target) as well as from Territorial Seed Company. It is an open-pollinated variety so you can collect seeds from it to plant in your own garden.

      1. Thank you so much, Brandy! Sorry I misspelled your name. Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism. We just had our first grandson and I am bringing the baptism gown for his christening that six of the seven of our children wore! I love the tradition.

  52. We’ve cut each other’s hair here too. We have never done that before this pandemic but now we have decided it’s time. Still learning though.
    Your daughter and the dress for baptism are beautiful!
    We have harvested a lot of lettuce and green onions in my garden. Everything else is just now coming up. I can’t wait for it all to come in.
    Have a great week Brandy.

  53. Congratulations to your daughter – I love that dress and the family tradition!

    Our garden is starting to pick up. We’ve been harvesting lots of snap peas and snow peas. Nobody wanted to shell peas this year, so we decided to pick them young and eat them in the pods. Confession – I actually don’t like peas at all but I will eat the pods raw all day long! I topped the onions and we’ve been using them as green onions. I rescued the lettuce from the slugs and we’ve been having salads. We’ve had a good strawberry crop, and have also been cutting mint for iced tea concentrate. I got some free seeds from a state gardening program so we’re trying to grow cantaloupe for the first time. I hope it works! We had a mishap with the carrots – my husband thought the babies were grass popping up so he pulled them all! So we planted more, and also planted more lettuce and onions. I’m letting a couple of onions go to seed so I can keep them for next year.

    My husband and I cut his hair (he does most of it – I do the neck area).

    I didn’t go grocery shopping (I’ve been shopping every other week now for a couple of months and I’m finally figuring out quantities so we save some money).

    Since my daughter isn’t going to any camps this summer, she won’t be getting her usual supply of “free” t-shirts. So I asked a friend who does work with vinyl to make her a few with fun sayings and designs on them. She charges me for supplies, and extra for her time, but it’s still much less expensive than buying them in stores and I help my friend out too.

    We made copycat frappucinos using a recipe we found on pinterest. I made chocolate sourdough bread – meant to make sandwich bread too but I forgot the sourdough recipe needs to sit for 12 hours before the first rise! I pickled green coriander seeds, and made Vietnamese chive oil, both picked from our garden.

      1. Hi Penny, this is the first time I’ve ever made it – I have a ton of chives so I thought I’d give it a shot! I followed the instructions on this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6YAI4hbBzA. Basically you chop your chives, layer them in a jar with some salt (I used approximately 1/2 tsp. of salt per cup of chopped chives). Then heat some oil and pour it over the top just to cover. Keep it in the fridge or freezer, not on the counter. So far I’ve only put it on rice and it is delicious! It will give a pop of flavor to lots of different things – roasted/steamed veggies, baked potatoes, and I can see it being really good in a salad dressing.

  54. I’ll have to check out ThredUp. I had always assumed the prices were higher! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were roasted chicken with green beans and stuffing, breaded pollock with french fries, cheeseburgers with broccoli and chips,
    pancakes with eggs and sausage, grilled Italian chicken thighs with green beans, frozen pizza, pork quesadillas, grilled pork loin with green beans, bbq chicken with pasta salad, salmon with roasted potatoes and broccoli, turkey tacos with homemade salsa and chips, grilled steak with baked potatoes and tossed salad, baked chicken with corn on the cob and stuffing.
    *Baked a cake with a mix I had on hand and homemade frosting from the freezer.
    *Hosted a bible study via Zoom and chatted with friends on FB messenger video.
    *Made a shortcake and used past prime strawberries mixed with sugar and 1/2 container of cool whip for dessert several nights.
    *Walked with 2 different friends, my son and my husband for fellowship and exercise.
    *Colored my hair using 1/2 a dye kit.
    *Paid bills online saving stamps and checks.
    *Ordered a gift for my nephew’s birthday along with 2 new bras, which gave me free shipping.
    *Completed a survey on the back of a receipt earning a free apple pie.
    *Accepted a free banana pudding milkshake at work.
    *Cut my husband’s and my son’s hair.
    *Used some peaches that didn’t taste great to make a peach cobbler. Baked it along with a chicken. Used a 1/2 container of whipped cream to top it.
    *Spent time in our backyard pool. For something that cost us under $100, we have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of it!
    *Waxed my own eyebrows and gave myself a pedicure.

    1. I think the prices are higher on some things than my local thrift store, but with the 50% off code I managed to score some things to what my normal thrift store prices would be.

  55. In the past week I picked lettuce, sugar snap peas, kale, arugula, strawberries, and raspberries from the garden. The zucchini seeds I replanted have finally sprouted! I cut flowers to bring in the house. I bought some strawberries since my small patch doesn’t produce enough for our family, and they were on sale, 8 lbs for under $6! I got dozens of #10 cans of wheat for free from a neighbor. Her friend was moving and didn’t want to take the food storage with her. I thought it was going to be super old, and was planning on feeding it to my chickens, but they appear to be only 12 years old. I will try grinding some and baking bread with it. She also gave me a few cans of pinto beans and dry milk. We participated in a kid activity put on by our local chamber of commerce and one of my sons won a gift card to the local grocery store! He’s pretty lucky, he won a prize when we participated last summer too. He was gracious enough to share some of his purchases and we had ice cream bars for dessert tonight.

  56. Did you do all the pintucks and insertion lace yourself? The dress is lovely. I think you might like Bernadette Banner. She has an eponymous YouTube channel all about sewing before the invention of electric sewing machines. She recently made an 1890s formal petticoat.

    1. yeah i have seen that girl’s youtube channel…love how she makes it all look easy…i am not much of a seamstress to sew a hem or a button n don’t own a machine but have wanted to…

  57. Brandy,

    Congratulations on your daughter’s baptism — her dress is beautiful as is she and she looks so much like you, too!

    The Writers Guild of Alberta has a pandemic postcard contest. I wrote a poem about what I’m feeling re covid — I’d love to win the cash prize but probably the poem is only good in my mind’s eye. I realized that I had accidentally omitted something from the book and panicked thinking that the whole layout would have to be redone. Then I further realized that I could add it to the end of one section. I worked long and late into the night to remedy it.

    I decided it is not good to envy friends who are getting daily home delivery of free gourmet meals. So I am overcoming it by cooking a special dinner dinner tonight — fresh asparagus, baked potato, chicken strips and blueberry crumble for dessert.

    I went outside today and saw spectacular flowers — the perennials I planted three years ago are doing wonderfully: Androsace sarmentosa, Veronica umbrosa, Yellow Lady-slipper orchids, Gentians, and more from several years ago. I thought it was going to be a poor year as some things didn’t make it. but some are spectacular! And the peony plants that I bought for 42 each (regular $80 each are loaded with blooms. Am still enjoying the fresh asparagus. For the first time I can ever remember, the rhubarb shot up and bloomed.

    I saved on electricity by baking the potatoes, chicken strips and blueberry crumble at the same time.

    I saved $7 per package (bought 2) on frozen chicken strips from M and M. This will be a month’s meat or may last longer. It was an expensive month as I bought several bunches of asparagus (my annual spring treat) and the bedding out plants but things are looking great — if only the squirrels would stop raiding my pots.

    1. That sounds like a perfect meal to me! And the perennials sound lovely. Peonies are one of my very favorite flowers. The abundance always amazes me.

      1. The price of my peonies should have read $2 each — not 42. They were originally $80 each. This is the year when they should really bloom. They are Itoh peonies and are supposed to have up to 80 blossoms on each plant.Ann

  58. Sweet girl in a sweet dress… made me wish to see Winter’ s wedding photos!
    I so admire you, Brandy.
    We had a missionary from Las Vegas. I spoke about your blog and asked if he knew you 🙂 He said its a big city 🙂 and that he lives in a smaller town nearby. Wants to become a smith.
    Were in East Europe.

  59. Good afternoon, Brandy!
    What a lovely baptismal tradition. Both of our babies slept in a wicker bassinette that we are saving should they choose to have children. The fun thing is we lent it out to many friends and have pictures of all the children who slumbered in it. What a treasure!
    Thank you for all the encouragement you and your readers provide. The last few weeks I have realized I can do much better. This week I made a batch of laundry soap, researched a new cell phone provider (Visible Wireless is $40 a month per line, including taxes and fees), hung several loads of laundry, started to cut up an old towel for rags because the trim was unravelling but decided to simply remove the trim, sold a few household items on FB making $65, accepted lots of zucchini from a friend and eggs from my FIL, cashed in some iBotta earnings, and ate all meals at home with minimal waste. Our big accomplishment for the week was researching, pricing, and selling an old Texaco sign that we inherited from my Grandfather. We have never displayed it and it was always in the way so we took pictures to remember it by and listed it on FB Marketplace. We had NINE buyers within a few hours! It sold this morning for our asking price…$300! The buyer was thrilled because he collects and displays all sorts of vintage signs. This makes me so happy that it will be enjoyed!
    I realize the frugal accomplishments I listed above are pretty ordinary but the truth is I hadn’t been doing much at all. Reading this blog and the comments has given me new energy to make the most of what we are given.
    Have a great week everyone!
    Susan in Virginia

  60. Thank you for all your wonderful posts.

    Shopping local saved me a little money this week. I chose a local chain of pet-supply stores instead of the national chain and was given $15 in gift cards toward a future purchase, and the guy who runs my favorite local/independent plant nursery knocked 20 percent off some plant supports I was buying.

    We’ve also been harvesting peppers, cucumbers, goji berries and boysenberries from the garden.

    1. Laura:How have u grown boysenberry and goji berries? is it from seed?i have dried ones inside and wonder if that will grow? I am in texas?

  61. Sorry the above comment from me was for Jen and not Laura…

    This week was crazy for us. I have been feeling a bit under the weather and also trying so hard to find other resources of passive income. I feel I am a bit obsessed by it all but I think this is life-the hustling.
    My sister delivered early and unexpectedly this week a whole 5 weeks early. The baby was in NICU until yesterday. SO i was alot of angst for us all. we aren’t all able to be there by her side but she was blessed that her hubby’s side of the family live a 40 mins away.They came to help with her first born who is three when she was in the hospital. Second births are much faster by far and I am sure the subsequent births are as well.
    We did the usual however…kitchen side-cut microgreens made dosa batter, saved coffee grounds and eggshells for the garden as well as pasta water and tea grounds…cooked alot of veggie dishes and my hubby does non-veg dishes for the family as well. We eat mainly fish (salmon and I became a vegetarian two years ago for religious reasons however my hubby and kids still eat non-veg. We do anyhow eat more veggies n tofu these days and I have found our airfryer a godsend when it comes to this.BTW we added our airfryer last year as our electric george foreman grill was very worn out(telfon parts were wornout and i was worried we did be eating that in our food) and we needed something to replace it. I don’t know how much electricity we use with an airfryer an hour versus using an oven for an hour which also heats the whole house in the process. Have to do the maths:) to calculate the savings.
    I have been looking at starting a blog site to restarting my event planning company. I also want to look at bookkeeping setup as well. Do any of the ladies have recommendations here?I looked at Blogger, Squarespace and ??? one more cannot remember the name .
    Loved Squarespace the most but not sure if its reliable. I think i read that it has a backlog in directing traffic to the website and something about the doman conflicts you can get into once u finish your contract with them.
    I also spent sometime looking at videos to present myself-how to dress when you are in your 40s and makeup. I don’t dwell in those areas of my life as I never had money too. With the little we have now and when i first started working presentation is so important on the job even if you are smart, people are quick to make judgement before you open your mouth to speak/have your say. However I won’t go all over it. I do think if you are with no knowledge of these areas of yourself, you educate and invest but not become obsessed with it by being in debt becos of it.I like how the MAC cosmetics has these videos to educate their buyers-useful site.
    Brandy do you even wear makeup? I know you take care of clothing n do well. Does anyone know any site to get good but cheap makeup? I know there are sites that resell cheaper stuff(authentic not dupes) because they got it originally on wholesale. Like Brandy had mentioned that Thredup has great stuff from original designers that are recycled for a price and some have original tags.
    I also spent money to do an accounting specialization and am trying to update myself. I would want an offer letter with this reimbursed from work.My idea going forward and hoping to get this to happen.
    Take Care everyone.

    1. Sheeba, WordPress is another option for your blog.

      I have recently needed to rebuild my wardrobe as I have lost weight (size 10-12 down to a size 4). My sources have been Amazon (for dresses, scarves, slips, and a few cardigans); ThredUp (for some blouses); Chadwicks’s (for pullovers, but they closed their company; I bought them after baby #8); a few pairs of khakis from Sam’s Club; two skirts from the grocery store; a few pairs of jeans from a garage sale (for $0.25 a pair); a few layering t-shirts for under blouses on sale for 50% off at DownEast; socks from Target; dresses, skirts, and blouses from two thrift stores; and a few pieces elsewhere on sale online. I would have liked to buy more from garage sales, but I haven’t found much in my size the last few times I’ve gone, and there were no sales this April.

      I do wear makeup, but not a lot of makeup. I don’t wear it every day, so what I have lasts me a long time. I have been looking to change some brand items over the last few years to less expensive brands, as several of the drugstore brands have expanded their shades of makeup (I am very fair and in the past I could not find foundation or concealer in a shade that wasn’t too dark or too orange; I still am limited in buying powder as I need a translucent powder). With the exception of mascara and concealer, most of my makeup lasts me about 18 months (or longer) per item. I do take into account the amount of product in the container when comparing between brands for price.

      I have watched a few makeup tutorials before (though not many) including some that compare makeup from different countries. I noticed that a lot of the makeup ones from the U.S. used two of everything. It was like they were wearing double makeup. It seemed excessive to me and certainly more expensive.

      I don’t wear foundation all over my face–just concealer and foundation around my eyes, powder on my face, eyeshadow (one color), eyebrow pencil, mascara, and lipstick. When you’re wearing a mask while shopping, it seems like you’re only needing lip balm/Chapstick; lipstick seems almost pointless right now!

      Ulta Beauty sells makeup, and they do have sales. I did find a couple of things there and you can order online, so if you’re far from any stores, that might be an option. The makeup brands themselves also have websites and sales, especially around Mother’s Day and Black Friday. I have ordered online that way with free shipping and free gifts with purchase. Target has online ordering but limited colors; I did recently need some new eyeshadow and the color I had bought was discontinued. I ended up researching on several different websites and went back to Target’s site (since I was ordering some other things from there already) and looking up that color specifically, I found the color I wanted because I had the name from the company’s website. There are still coupons and sales on makeup, but I have always found those items to be empty at my local stores when they have those sales.

    2. Sheeba: I hope you get to hold the new baby soon, and that all are well.
      Regarding looking (appropriately) young, I read somewhere something about how hands and necks show age. You as a 40=something might be too young for this yet. The claim was that a manicured older hand looked younger than a not-manicured hand. Fortunately, this is easy to try out on yourself if you do your nails, (or, like Brandy’s son a few weeks ago, have older sisters to do your nails for you). I have never worn nail polish, though do use the buffers that make nails shiny, from a drug store or similar inexpensive place.
      Choose necklines that appropriately cover up wrinkly necks. Wear good supportive bras. Moisturize often.
      And have clearly shaped and tidy eye brows. In movies where the girl is transformed into a stunning beauty, it always includes cleaning up her eyebrows.

      1. Sheena, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to use quality skin care products. (Having already revealed myself as a low-maintenance woman who rarely uses make-up, this info is coming from the hardcore frugalista in me).

        Take some time to read internet articles. You will find that almost all of them recommend various drug store brands (Revlon, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Olay, etc.) over higher-priced products. The reason: there really isn’t much difference in the products. Buy a small container of what interests you, try it out, and if you don’t like it, buy something different next time. Rite-Aid (and I think Walgreens) will let you return opened cosmetics if you don’t like it right off the bat, or the color is wrong. Be sure to save your receipt.

        Here is some info that might interest you–POND’S® Dry Skin Cream, which recently won the Influenster Annual Reviewers’ Choice for best “Mass Facial Moisturizer” based on consumer votes, has a rich and creamy formula that is easily absorbed by the skin to hydrate deeply while significantly reducing dryness. (I cut and pasted this from another site, but don’t remember which one).

        Pond’s! Who knew! I personally have been using Nivea soft cream, but I often buy based on price, so Pond’s may be next up. If anyone uses Pond’s Dry Skin Cream, I’d be curious what you think of it.

        Best wishes to your sister’s family, and I hope you get to hold the new baby soon!

  62. Good evening everyone! Happy fathers day weekend.
    It’s been a busy week work wise, so I feel like I didn’t get as much accomplished as I’d have liked. My big “wins” were ticking off errands and finding hand sanitizer being sold by the gallon by a local brewery. I picked up some for the school year.
    Harvested baby potatoes today to make room for beans and carrots. Easy project, i had just planted some red potatoes that had gone to seed.
    I’m learning patience by waiting for library books vs buying.? We’ve had door pickup the last few weeks.
    I learned one of my scouts families is having trouble with meals so I’m getting lunches from the school for them 2x a week until school resumes. If it helps them out it’s worth it.
    Fathers day was not overly frugal. Made a chicken pasta with green onions from the garden. Dinner was burgers, a splurge for him, since it’s been raining.
    I was blessed by a friend’s leftover lilies which are now in my yard.
    My oldest’s birthday is next week. We’re blessed to not need much so she’s getting a few things for school (it starts end of July) and some hair stuff that’s higher end than the usual budget stuff.
    My current project is getting donations together. Fabric scraps went to a mask making group, and I’m looking for a good use for my mom’s yarn as I’m drowning in it and truly haven’t had time to make anything.
    I think all my frugal attempts have been thwarted by my husband’s apparent decision to support every company on the planet right now.?
    Wishing you a blessed week!

  63. Thank you ladies(Brandy;Maxine n Heidi Louise) for your responses. I really appreciate it. I learnt a fact the other day from a video called “zig” a biography of the famous personality Zig Ziglar. Its available on Amazon Prime Video and I highly recommend it. One among the various quotes mentioned said this: 90% of people from your life don’t really care on your troubles and the 10% who do want to see if you get out of it. When i heard this I thought it was so true. I would really like to mentor the youth who have just graduated in their 20s and need someone to just “talk” to them. They feel all the pressure in the world now and really need assurances. Anyhow it looks like I have some homework to do this week. Thank you again.

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