I harvested spinach, lettuce, and Meyer lemons from the garden.

We made lemonade with our lemons.

I received a free kumquat tree from a friend. I purchased a pot for it at Sam’s Club, which has inexpensive pots in the spring. I bought a few more pots there as well. She also gave me two lilac bushes and a boxwood plant.

I purchased some new to me blouses, skirts, and dresses for $3 to $10 each at the thrift store.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. New plants are always a hopeful thing. And some edible with some beauty is a nice mix. Last week, I reupholstered two bar stools. I had gotten extra fabric when we had our couch reupholstered last year, and used that. She actually gave me the extra fabric for free, which is quite a bit, as she said it wouldn’t be enough for anything else. Last week, I harvested lambs quarter, lemon balm, thyme, nettles, parsley, oregano, asparagus, kale, and peas. The lemon balm, thyme, nettles, and some of the oregano were dried. I made suet for the birds. Our granddaughter was in a choral concert, and we enjoyed seeing that. Ends of GF bread were added to a pan in the oven, to dry for bread crumbs. I made sloppy joes with some of the lentils I recently canned, and couldn’t tell any difference from cooking them from scratch in the recipe. I was asked if they were mushy, and they weren’t, so I’ll be canning more in the future, to have ready for quick meals. All the bedding, and pillow and mattress covers were washed, and dried on the line, in anticipation of changing from winter flannel to summer cotton sheets. I mended our mattress cover, possibly for the last time before it needs replacement. I went by Hallmark, where I got a free card and used a $4 off coupon. I also submitted the receipt through Swagbucks, giving me the equivalent of $7 back. So, for just over $9, I was able to get six high quality cards, most for upcoming birthdays. I was very happy to find the organic celery price lowered at Harris Teeter, from $2.99 to $2.69. It wasn’t a sale, just the current marked price, and I’m hoping it will last a while. Just the celery purchase alone saved me over $37 for the week, over Food Lion prices, plus I got an additional 5% off my order for seniors day. It really does pay to know your prices. I then did a stock up at Dollar Tree, finding toothbrushes, cotton swabs, scrubby sponges, lentils, and parchment paper. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it here, but my husband bought school bus, which we’re turning into an RV, to see more of this beautiful country. I’m posting about our progress with that on different days. While it won’t be cheap, making a DIY RV is significantly cheaper than buying one, and it will have our style and personalities in it. We’ve been enjoying dinners on the porch, a simple pleasure. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2023/05/lentil-results-some-upholstery-and.html

  2. Favorite frugal efforts for the past few weeks –

    – We are preparing for the gardening season, planting seeds outside for cosmos and zinnias (which we gathered last fall), kale, and lettuce. We transplanted onion starts and impatiens we began from seed indoors. We also planted onion sets we purchased from a local Amish nursery at an affordable price. We just finished up the onions we harvested last season from similar sets – saving at the grocery store. We have more veggie starts to transplant, but we’re still experiencing cold nighttime temperatures here in NE Ohio. My husband converted several horse watering tubs sitting in storage in our barn loft to use as planters.
    – Recently, we replaced carpet in two rooms after shopping around for the best value/price. We waited for understandable reasons until our beloved elderly therapy dog finished his life with us.
    – We were able to provide a precious gift for our daughter and son-in-law: a long weekend of babysitting their three young children (ages 7, 4, 1) while she accompanied him on a business trip to the Bahamas. We spent a lot of time playing outside here at our home (almost 10 acres of hobby farm) with bikes, Nerf guns, 4-wheelers, STEM projects, etc, and a couple of day trips to the Cleveland Science Center and Lake Farmpark. We cooked all meals at home or brought picnic lunches. Many sweet memories – they are growing up so fast!
    – For Mother’s Day, I sent a personal, handwritten card to my mother and stepmother who live at a distance. For my MIL, my husband asked specifically what plants she really wanted and we purchased those for her gift.
    – I have been gathering items for donation at the nearby American Cancer Society thrift shop. When I dropped off these things, I poked my head in and saw all clothing was 50% off. Nice! I picked up three shirts that I can wear this summer. I have also been shopping yard sales, looking for very specific items only. There are definitely more things going out of the house than are coming in. As seasons of life change, household and personal item needs change. I find comfort in organizing, decluttering, and tidying my home.
    – My husband has been taking leftovers or sandwiches or tuna and crackers to work more faithfully, as opposed to frozen meals which have risen in price recently. This is a big savings over the cafeteria meals many of his coworkers purchase. I also carry my lunch to my part time job.
    – I accepted with appreciation some odds and ends of produce from a friend going out of town on vacation.

    I’m thankful for the inspiration and encouragement I gather here, and I hope that each reader will have a terrific week

    1. Sending hugs and love to you over the passing of your beloved dog. Life is just better with sweet fluffy babies.

  3. Brandy, of all the pictures you’ve posted of your garden, I think I like this one the absolute best. It reminds me of a cathedral. So beautiful.

    My only frugal accomplishment all week was to sell a trenching shovel for $15 on FB. However, my son is here–came in Friday night to surprise me for Mother’s Day–and he is keeping his eye out in the garage for stuff we’ll never use again. Of course, if he sees anything he wants, he is welcome to it, but perhaps he’ll find stuff to sell. This is more decluttering than making money, but hey, making money is never a bad thing!

    I planted one of my raised beds last week with butternut squash (which I hope will grow up the fence of the dog run) with Swiss chard and spinach around the edges. I probably could plant the other raised bed now, except I am working on getting the patio set up while the kid (OK, he’s almost 45) is here to help move the heavy stuff. The lettuce is doing fine in the flower bed. I used your jar trick as a mini greenhouse on several of them and it made a difference.

    I had a lovely Mother’s Day with both of my kids here. My son and DIL gave me a pair of pruners I wanted and my daughter bought me a pink rhododendron to replace one that didn’t make it through our long, cold winter.

    One of your readers asked for the recipe for Miracle Spray, which I published in response. However, I forgot to add, don’t wash windows and mirrors with it. That little bit of eucalyptus oil smears!

    Best wishes to you, Brandy, and to everyone here!

  4. We cut the boys hair (four boys) and my husband’s hair.

    I printed graduation announcements for my oldest. I used photo paper from dollar tree, a free template from Canva, and printed them at home using our hp instant ink subscription. It cost me under $10 for 50 announcements.

    Accepted clothing for our girls. The lady who works at the toll bridge in our little town knows we have a big family and passes along things her daughter and granddaughters get rid of. She doesn’t know my name and I don’t know hers but she always thinks of us.

    I made mother’s day lunch (on the Friday before) for my mom and mother in law using items I had on hand. My husband made a gift for his mom and I made something for mine.

    I finished planting the garden seeds. Then, we had a day of a slow, drizzly rain followed by days of sunshine. Almost every is coming up! I am so excited for fresh produce!

    I didn’t buy many groceries since there didn’t seem to be any good deals. I’m including canning lids and garden plants, seeds, etc in my grocery category of spending so it looks like I’ve spent quite a bit this month. But I felt like it was the only way to honestly account for our homegrown food costs and how they affect our yearly spending.

    My husband is laid off again. He spent most of the winter laid off, went back for about a month and now the truck he drives is in the shop for an engine overhaul. So back to barebones budgeting we go. On the upside, we’re getting lots of little jobs taken care of including getting the last two bedroom windows installed.

    When we went on on our oldest son’s senior trip a couple of weeks ago we had to switch hotels because the one we booked was so dirty and disgusting. We’ve been fighting to get a refund and Wyndham finally approved a refund for two nights. We’re still fighting for our security deposit since we were only there for 20 minutes and we couldn’t have possibly made it any worse than it already was! Wyndham said they will mail a check and we should get it in 2-3 weeks.

    I need new black flats, but they’ve almost doubled in price at Walmart since last year so I’m holding out. I have looked at all the second hand stores in town but eventually I’ll find a pair!

  5. Your garden is looking lovely! I’m glad you found some clothes at the thrift store. I did the change over from winter to summer clothes, washing, mending and organizing what we have. Some went in the donate bag, a few were washed to sell on eBay, and one already sold this morning. I love the freshness that comes from looking after what we have.
    I ordered $100 worth of cat litter and received $30 back (promotional offer).
    I sold some extra veggie starts.
    I’m behind in my garden due to family circumstances, and am trying to catch up now. We lost our apricot tree to the cold/wet weather. I’ll replace it with a fig tree, I have a cutting already rooted and growing. I’m also digging some swales (low lying areas) in our garden to better channel the water of the heavy rains we’ve had the last 2 winters. This will allow the water to sink where I want it, and keep it away from the trunks of my fruit trees. I’m also eyeing which of my food plantings are doing particularly well (berries and grapes) and expanding my plantings of those. They both can be propagated at home so no money spent!
    I cut calendulas and brought them in to decorate the table.
    I’m harvesting kale and lettuce, listening to a free audiobook, and putting listings on eBay. Keeps me busy!

  6. A few frugal accomplishments from last week:

    *organized my downstairs pantry. I’m making an effort to fill in any holes and keeping aware of sales and best prices.
    *on sale: lemons, mangoes, sweet onions, and potatoes at grocery store my husband works at so his 15% discount lowered the prices even more
    *made banana bread with some ripe bananas
    *saved some ribbon and a cute box for future gift giving
    *saved pickle and applesauce jars for storage
    *my mom gifted me her spare kitchen compost bin (we have a tumbler outside but excited to have a small one for indoors-especially for winter!)

    Have a great week ❤️

  7. I’ve been getting my clothes organized for the summer. With a couple of hot spells a few weeks earlier than usual, and with the possibility of wildfire evacuations, I needed to get caught up on laundry and do my seasonal changeover. I’m making progress. I’m also taking the chance to make my laundry system a little more streamlined, to help me stay on top of this.

    A group of friends of my sister-in-law, who passed away this winter, held a memorial hike in British Columbia, where she lived. I’ve been part of an e-mail group of her friends since her last few days, and this week, there were many e-mails related to the planning. One of the people who couldn’t attend (there are a few of us who are far away or physically unable to keep up) asked if someone could Go-Pro the hike, which wasn’t possible, so an e-mail request went out for people who went to take photos of the hike, the scattering of her ashes, and the lunch afterwards. Many photos of the event flooded the e-mail list. It was a very overwhelming series of e-mails related to someone I knew for more than 50 years. I remind myself that every person who e-mailed wanted us to know that we were included in this memorial, even though we weren’t there.

    It will have to be quiet for the next couple of weeks until my next pension income comes in. I am just focusing on getting things in better order, with a hope of enjoying some quiet activities this summer. Our local farmer’s market opens this week, but there won’t be local vegetables until the end of June — unless people get away with planting in this unseasonal warmth.

    1. What a beautiful way to share the memorial hike with those who couldn’t attend. Tearing up a bit reading this and sending you and all your sister-in-law’s community a cyber-hug.

  8. The flowers in your white garden are stunning, Brandy!

    The nighttime temperatures have finally gotten high enough to plant here (outer-ring suburbia of the Twin Cities, Minnesota) so I spent a lot of time this weekend planting seedlings in the garden. I planted seedlings for tomatoes, winter and summer squash, cucumbers, and peppers. I also planted seedlings chamomile, two perennial flowers and many annuals. I have seeds for peas, beans, radishes, carrots and beets that I’ll plant later this week. I have a few flower seeds I’m going to try too. I’m always so excited to get out and dig in the dirt this time of year!
    I harvested rhubarb from my family heirloom plant and picked my first bouquet of flowers (daffodils, dwarf iris and lily of the valley).

    The children had Senior Prom this past weekend. My son wore clothing he owned and my daughter bought her dress for less than $100 online and then she and Grandma altered it to fit and added a layer of sparkly net over the skirt to have the dress my daughter wanted at a fraction of the cost of purchasing online. She wore jewelry she already owned and a pair of Converse high-top sneakers that match her dress – she has foot issues and heels are not comfortable right now. They went with groups of friends and each bought dinner out with the friend group – one group splitting 2 gourmet pizzas six ways for a total cost of $8 + beverage for each person and the other group taking part of a family style meal which cost $10 + beverage for each person. Both chose water to drink. They had a wonderful time!
    We had my parents over for dinner for Mother’s Day rather than going out to eat. My husband and I spent $20 for nice fish fillets for all of us and we used frozen broccoli and the last of the winter squash from last year for sides. I made a rhubarb pie for dessert – wonderful!
    My daughter’s boyfriend gave her a large potted plant for her birthday (he took her literally when she said she wanted flowers for her birthday!) that is decorating our front step. It looks lovely and we don’t need to buy anything this year for the step now.
    It’s the last week of the semester at the University where I teach, so I’m grading like crazy. Summer session starts soon and I will be teaching, so that will bring in some extra money for us this summer.
    I’m sure we’ve done more this past week, but I’m not thinking of anything else right now.

    1. Brandy your photo on Instagram today is absolutely beautiful. Blessings to you and your family. Sugar cookie requested a day out. We don’t go out shopping anymore because we simply don’t need anything. Most our needs are met buy dumpster diving. I still find it hard to believe that we do this , but it is such a blessing. We enjoyed a hotdog lunch at Sams Club for $2.95 total .That’s the least expensive lunch for two people . I used my Healthcare benefits card to purchase $22.00 worth of marked down items at Kroger. Fancy pasta sauces were marked down 90%. This is one of the few items I can’t keep stocked up. We made a trip to the thrift store. We bought 7 items for $32.00 . Three of our items were new w tags , so that was a bonus. I haven’t been out of bed much. I’m extremely fatigued and out of breath w any movement. My doctor called me in a 90 day supply of a med that she doubled. I explained that this way I only paid $5.00 for the entire prescription. I’m happy that she cooperated. At one time I paid $150.00 for a 30 day supply. I love that my insurance agent makes sure we have the best Medicare policy. I’ll be see the cardiology dept. on Friday. I made one trip out to go dumpster diving this week. I found a dumpster full of frozen food still frozen. I took a few choice items and had to leave the rest. My freezer is full and I had to rearrange the entire freezer to add the few items I retrieved. At 3 AM , I had no-one I could take food too. My refrigerator was basically empty. I filled it full of cold case items. Lots of dairy .I then was blessed with lots of fruits and vegetables. My favorite items this week came from a box from Burlington coat factory. I have 6 bottles of Dreft baby stain remover. Not something I would have bought , but happy to have. There were two packages of water hose nozzles. This is something we didn’t have but also am happy to have found. There were several porcelain items but I dropped the box. It was huge and I had to wrestle it out the dumpster door. They place all their items in a cardboard box and tape it shut. It makes it easy to identify but they normally are heavy. These boxes are like surprise packages. I have a couple contaimers of chopped green peppers ,onions and Roma tomatoes. These are prepped and ready to use. I’m thinking a green pepper casserole is something we are going to try. We have a horrible thunderstorm going on. I think me and my puppy are going to snuggle in bed. I hope everyone has a great week.

  9. Lovely photos as usual

    I have done out my summer cloths, I don’t need anything this year and probably won’t need anything else for a few years.

    It has rained a lot this week but I have managed to plant leeks to go in once the broad and field beans have finished also french and runner beans. I have sown basil, beetroot, lettuce, cabbage and kale. I bought some more pea seeds for successional sowing. I transplanted lavender and evening primrose which have self seeded in the drive. I saw a slowworm ( a legless lizard) when I was looking for pea sticks, they are supposed to be good in the garden eating pests. While in the garden I am kept company by a baby Robin, a family of Bluetits in the nest box and a family of Starlings in the hole under next doors gutter.

    We have been grocery shopping prices continue to rise, food inflation is now 19%. No offers or yellow stickers this week.

    We have booked a hotel in Cambridge, I also booked advance rail tickets for £26.40 instead of the usual fare of £84 using our disabled rail card. We will use the bus for free while we are there using our seniors bus pass. Our daughter will stay at our house while we are away.

    I have read 1 book from the library and 2 books from BorrowBox using my library card. I managed to get all laundry dry on the line choosing my days. We walk locally for exercise if the weather allows. I can clean the house now the road works have finished.

    Have a good week everyone

  10. First off, I’m a new Granny again! My eldest daughter had her third child last week. A little boy she named Freddy, after her hero Mr. Rogers. He is darling. We can’t wait to get out to Utah to squish him! We are very thankful he is here and both he and Mama are safe and well. *We had company for dinner a week ago Sunday and served burrito bowls. For dinner the next day, I combined all the components and we had burritos. There was still some rice and chicken left over, so I froze them for soup another time. * When my daughter was putting by freezer meals for after the baby was born, she gave me an idea, new to me. She purchased a tray of boneless skinless chicken (not the bags that are frozen). She put a meal size serving of them in a freezer bag and added some marinade. Then she froze them. When she wants one for dinner, she thaws and grills or bakes on a sheet pan. She made all her own marinades, but I bought one bottle of teryaki marinade and a bottle of garlic parmesan that I found at a good price. One night last week, I thawed a couple and baked on a sheet pan with a cubed sweet potato and it was delicious. I was excited to get a new idea for an easy, cost effective meal. After cooking dinner for 34 years, I sometimes feel in a rut or run out of ideas. * My brother was ill and I wanted to send him a card. I have a friend who makes beautiful handmade cards. I try to save the front, decorative part of the card and I reuse it by taping it onto some white card stock. She had sent me a really cute one I repurposed for him. I always give credit to her when anyone comments on a card I send, but she works so hard on them and they are so beautiful, I feel it is a waste to toss it, so I reuse it! * Our ladies group at church had a gardening class last week. I went, enjoyed it and was surprised to find out they had purchased a tray of herbs for us to take home! Since there weren’t very many in attendance, we each got two! I got two new-to-me herbs: chocolate mint and pineapple sage. The class finally inspired me to finishing up planting my seeds. Many have come up. They are still indoors due to weather, but it’s always a thrill to see some green sprouts. I can’t garden in a big way anymore, but enjoy some planters on the deck. * I finished a set of embroidered pillowcases and started another set I found in my closet. * I received some lovely Mother’s Day gifts, including yarn (yay!!), books I’d wished for, bath bombs and a candle for my tub time. Everyone was very practical (which I love) and lovingly thoughtful and I felt overwhelmed and so thankful for the good people in my life. * I hope everyone has a lovely and frugal week!

    1. Congratulations on the new grandchild!

      Re: the handmade cards, my sister makes them, and I re-purpose them to make bookmarks, with her permission. I can’t stand to throw them away either.

    2. Congratulations on your new grandson, Becky! So glad Freddy and his Mama are doing well. <3

  11. Last week was an odd week for us. My DH is suffering from allergies, so that puts a crimp in what he gets done.
    I went to work four days and brought breakfast and lunch all four days.
    I had my annual physical, as well as blood test, mammogram and bone density test. My insurance should cover almost all costs for those.
    Got my $50 in OTC products that I get quarterly from my Medicare Advantage plan.
    Planted a bed of snow peas. It’s a little late, but we’re trying.
    My DH had his 71st birthday. We just celebrated quietly. Both our sons called to wish him happy birthday.
    We went to church with eldest son, his wife and our granddaughter on Mother’s Day. They were having a baby dedication ceremony. then went to lunch with them and her parents, who were also at the church service.
    Washed two loads of laundry, and about half of them were dried on the clothesline.
    Got three free bread bowls after church on Sunday. They were having a giveaway. I waited till close to the end, so others could get them first. Will be making soup this week, so that should be good.
    Hope everyone has a good and productive week.

  12. Hello!

    —I found a few good finds at the thrift store: a large framed print for our bedroom ($20). I had been looking for something for a very long time. I also found a transport wheelchair for my mother for $30. It was in excellent condition, and retails for $250. I also found some packs of party paper plates for 30 cents each. I don’t use paper products ordinarily, but these will come in handy for birthday parties, etc.

    —I have been harvesting lots of strawberries from our patch, and clipping peonies.

    —Winnings and freebies: I was chosen to receive a nice queen size air mattress as part of a review campaign. This will come in handy for future camping trips. I was also chosen to participate in a Blue Bunny ice cream review campaign. I will receive coupons for 6 free cartons of ice cream.
    I won a free new release book from a library contest. I received a free Mr. Clean magic eraser in the mail from Proctor and Gamble.

    —I pinched back zinnias and decided to try rooting the tops in water. I have plenty of seeds, but I figured this would give me a jump start if it works.

    Wishing everyone a great week!

  13. Quilting finished on two more client quilts so that order was picked up. https://pin.it/5qIJ0vd and https://pin.it/5OYMJI8. Now I’m just finishing this panel I quilted up for another client and will sew overlapping backing to it, insert pillow form and have it ready for pick up tomorrow morning. https://pin.it/1WpyYf1.

    In between little bursts of rain, we have been continuing with our brick walkway, only using bricks we already have. It is just one row away from joining it to existing walkway. Then we will just replace any crumbling bricks with new ones. https://pin.it/40AJYbJ

    One of our recently married daughters is moving to Houston and she and her husband are consolidating households. So the family tradition of sharing/trading within the family is in full swing. Our youngest son, who is moving into his first apartment on his own “shopped” at his sister’s condo and came home with a new sofa, a futon for the 2nd bedroom, end tables, coffee table, an instant pot, pots and pans, a toaster, spices and all kinds of treasures to help furnish it! He gave her son, his nephew, who will be leaving for college out of state, a dorm fridge. Another daughter is giving the college bound nephew a small microwave (which is allowed). In our big family, this is how it works with clothes, furniture, appliances, household goods, surplus seeds/plants
    for garden and even cars have been passed back and forth through family. It really is our own little “village” economy and it really is a money saver!

    Hubs and our youngest son who stopped over cooked dinner for me for Mother’s Day- Chicken Spaghetti which has been put into my “Repeaters” board on Pinterest for its ease to make and tastiness! They used our home canned chicken, home canned salsa, homemade taco seasoning and cooked spaghetti noodles in Instant Pot ! https://pin.it/33bbALh. A fast and inexpensive main dish using food from our pantry!

    Our water barrels, https://pin.it/2KoLbn0 , are full from the rains and ready to use to keep my garden watered without using our City water.

    We bought 5 twenty-four packs of bottled water on sale at Krogers for $2.99/pack this week for our Church’s Memorial Day BBQ on the 29th. Those are perfect (imo) for events like that where there are lots of people. We will use the same kinds of water packs this coming Sunday when we host a family BBQ/going away party at our house. We buy these when they are at a good sale price and use as part of our water storage. They are so convenient for big gatherings, but we also use them when we are traveling which keeps us from buying it on the road or buying soda on a trip. At a recent rest stop when we were traveling, bottled water was available in a vending machine for $1.50! Compare that to my just over 10 cents per bottle! Great savings! Plus I am always rotating my water storage!! And I reuse the bottles in the garden to water individual plants!

    Fewer things bought at grocery store these days, more living on what we already have or what we get on major clearance. I suspect many of you are doing the same.

    Hope everyone is not only surviving these challenging times, but finding ways to thrive!!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. 1. We, too, like the cheap bottled water. I keep a Mio bottle in my purse, and the kids like to add the concentrated lemonade drops to their water.
      2. Hope your daughter likes Houston! It’s an inexpensive place to live, with lots of free/low cost activities for families and kids.

    2. Gardenpat, I just have to say I love how your big family shares and helps each other so much! It really warms my heart to read this and see how you are your own little community!

  14. Hello, frugal friends from rainy southwest Virginia. This past week Mr. Fix It and I did the following:
    *I planted more greens, herbs, flowers and sweet potato slips in the garden.
    *It has rained twice so I have not had to water much.
    *I received a Panera gift card and a gift card to the local nursery for Mother’s Day.
    *Mr. Fix It fixed our Bosch dishwasher for $91 for the part. He also fixed the garage door opener wall switch for $30.
    *My neighbor gave me 5 sweet potato slips which were planted immediately into my garden.
    *I received a free bottle of water at cardiac rehab.
    *We received a $23.80 refund from my bypass surgery adventure. So far insurance has covered almost all of my $500,000 bill…thank God!
    *I collected 10 worms after the rain earlier in the week. I put them in my compost.
    *We contested our property tax a few weeks ago. We heard back this past week that they lowered our rate by $200/year.
    *I found a few good clearance deals at a Kroger near me. They are renovating and had a bunch of random things on clearance. I bought name brand almonds (1# bags) $2.50. I bought 6 and shared with my family. 80 count boxes of monk fruit sweetener packets usually $5/box for $1/box-bought 8 boxes and shared with my diabetic daughter, Burt’s Bees pediatric cough medicine with manuka honey $3.80…bought 2. Jello .37/box-bought 2, kosher chocolate chips .62/bag-Gerber baby food shelf stable dinners, normally $4/dinner were $.75/dinner. I bought 3 and donated them to the food pantry. These also gave me a $1.50 coupon off my next shopping trip. I got marked down whole wheat bread for $.64/loaf-bought 2 loaves. I had an e-coupon for .60 off a loaf, so one loaf only cost me .04! I only had room in my freezer for 2 loaves. They also had Hawaiian rolls marked down to $1.26. I bought a pack for sandwiches for our upcoming trip to Alabama.
    *I saved $9.50 with coupons
    *I organized and inventoried our pantries. Now I have a good idea of what is needed (not much) and what needs to be used up.
    *ate all but Mother’s Day lunch at home.
    *Used all leftovers.
    *washed laundry in cold water and hung most on the line outside.
    *used cloth napkins, rags, and hankies.
    *made a real effort to monitor our water and electricity use.
    I am sure there are other things but that’s all I wrote down. Looking forward to reading others’ frugal experiences.

    1. Marley, I’m so happy to hear insurance is covering most of your medical costs and that the property taxes were lowered. I recall you mentioning that bill recently. Yippee for the $200 drop there!

    2. Marley, I’m giving you the Tightwad of the Week award for collecting post-rain worms! (I hope I’m allowed to do that, Brandy lol). That is the epitome of a true tightwad. Bravo!!

      I also hope you’re feeling good.

  15. Got a free Mcchicken that was offered in the app

    Sent in for $57.66 in Menards rebates

    I guess my mower is dead. I borrowed my neighbors and filled up the gas tank when I returned it. They said I could borrow it whenever I need it, so I might do that until I find one for a good price. I kind of want reel mower to not worry about gas or electricity, so Ill wait to find one on sale.

    Received a $1.50 promotional credit from Amazon for no rush shipping

    Found 5 dozen eggs at one of our stores for $4.70 each box. We purchased 3.

    1. Hello, April,
      We’ve used the reel mower, in the past, as has our son. The blades need to be very sharp for it to cut properly and not have to repeat the mow back and forth. If you have any hills, you will get a definite workout. Best to you,

    2. We briefly had a reel mower, or push mower. If your yard isn’t completely level, it will be harder to push, and they are harder to push than gas mowers anyway. So plan to be strong!

    3. We have been so happy with our reel mower. It’s much easier to mow if we remember to sharpen it yearly. I hope a good deal on one comes your way. 🙂

  16. Hello Everyone…was excited to find out this week that I was chosen to do a long term survey study for health. For completing the study, I will get $180 in amazon gift cards. We dog sat for one of the managers at my husband’s work. She brought such joy to us this week. We spent a quiet Mother’s Day at home as I was not feeling well. My husband surprised me with a box of my favorite K-cups from Whole Foods :). Other than that, not much went on. Have a great week everyone!!!

  17. Gas was $2.88 gallon non University town, $3.09 to $3.19 further South. I shopped at Aldi for fresh vegetables. Washed clothes in bathtub and hung them up.
    I am running the fan at the work house. I never repaired the air conditioner last July after the lightning episode. It got up to 94 outside yesterday. I was still ok but if the heat index goes up I will have to rethink this. I tolerate heat well into the 90’s if there is water and shade.

  18. Brandy every year I dream of coming to your garden tour…

    My family needed allergy medication and I found a box of Claratin in the clearance bin for $4.17 (after digital coupon) for 70 tablets.

    I shopped at multiple stores to find the best deals I could on grocery items including BLSL chicken breast for $1.99/lb. , pasta $.39/lb , pita bread $1.20, bag of oranges $.99, 3 hhead cauliflower for $.99 and more…

    I wore a beautiful floral dress for Mother’s Day service at church that I had gotten for $1 at the goodwill.

    Packed breakfast and coffee for a day I was out all day and ate a marked down salad kit from Kroger as my lunch.

    Found a skirt I had been wanting last winter marked down to $3. And it was in my size!!

    Thank you all for sharing too.

    1. Kim, your skirt will be a wonderful thing just because of the double pleasure of getting such a bargain and having waited. It reminded me of a little thing I watched play out years ago when I had to go to the mall once a week to meet up with my son’s recruiter. I’d sit outside on the seating about a fountain and people watch. For weeks I watched same girl, an employee of a neighboring store, routinely go into the same store, head straight to a rack of clothing and pull the same dress over and over again. She’d stand and admire it, hold it up to herself in the mirror, look at the price tag, drop her head and put it slowly back on the rack. This played out for weeks. I suspect she went to ‘visit’ that dress she so loved on every work day.
      One day I watched as she did all the usual things: pulled the dress from the rack, admired it,went to the mirror and held it up before her, cocking her head this way and that. Then the final thing, she looked at the tag. Only this day she stopped, stared and then wiggled all over. The dress had been marked down to her budgeted amount at last and she fairly ran to the checkout with it. I was so glad I got to see her lovely little waiting story play out.

      1. Terri,
        I love that story. It reminds me of so many blessings. I too have found things I really wanted at much reduced prices or even at thrift stores. What a nice story to share!

  19. Your white garden is so beautiful – love seeing pictures as things come into bloom!

    We hosted Mother’s Day for my mom. I had asked earlier in the month whether she wanted to go out to lunch or have a cookout, and she didn’t want to deal with potential crowds, so she chose our place. My husband smoked turkey breasts (which we stocked up at the holidays and froze) and I made coleslaw; she brought potato salad, deviled eggs, and pasta salad made at home, and my stepdad asked for chocolate creme pie so they brought that. One turkey breast was lunch for everyone plus leftovers for them, and the other was made into enchiladas (with sauce, cheese, and tortillas I already stocked) – that is dinner tonight and later this week for my family. In the oven right now, actually! 😀

    As gifts, we had gotten her a candle on a Bath & Body Works free coupon when Christmas shopping and I had it tucked away, and a puzzle from a local indie bookseller (who gives a discount for paying cash vs card).

    My husband built a trellis for our dragonfruit cacti so they can start vining – we had to buy some wood, but figured out the longer lengths were a better deal. He asked for it to be cut so it would fit in the car, and the first two cuts were free. We were supposed to be charged $0.50 a cut for the other 3 cuts, but the gentleman cut one slightly crooked and wrote all the cuts as no charge! The top of the trellis is a heavy wire shelf left over from a rolling can rack for food storage; my folks passed it on as unneeded after their move, and we found a creative way to upcycle it.

    The usual Kindle Unlimited borrows (including one trilogy that was “okay”, but the third book was nowhere near as good as the first two, so I was happy to have not paid for it separately) and big bags of library books.

    Last week was finals at the college, and now my son has a few weeks off before summer term, so “future frugal”, we’ll save some gas. Used Kroger points to fill up prior, so now my full tank should last almost til Memorial Day weekend, when I can use another $1 off/gal code for some travel.

    Made some needed purchases at REI using my 2022 dividend, $20 off the total.

    Used some of our cistern rain water to soak coconut fiber for the vermicomposting tubes in the tower gardens. I got the worms at a discount – I received a coupon for Mother’s Day of a code for 500 free red wigglers with a minimum purchase; when I went added my first 250 to the cart, instead of buying 2, it offered me the option to add a second bag of 250 for $5 less – which I had planned to order two bags anyway (500 worms per tower). Then it offered me discount coir bedding (which I also planned to order), so I added that and met the minimum to use the coupon code, at less than I’d originally planned.

    Over the past few years I’ve learned that the Origins brand of skin care works best for me, but it’s an investment. When we have lived at larger bases I could get it there, which saved sales tax and a few dollars. We are now retired near a much smaller base, which doesn’t have an Origins counter, so I have to order online or drive an hour each way to a larger base (which negates the savings). I was getting low on cleanser and out of moisturizer, so was using up a sample that I don’t really care for until we happened to be in the city – but received a birthday month coupon of $10 off $50 and free shipping. I was able to restock and the system offered me the opportunity to select 4 sample size items, so I chose products I like but don’t “need”. When my shipment arrived, they had added a fifth sample that wasn’t an option – a fun treat and now I know that product works for me, if I can’t get certain others in the future.

    Hope everyone has a lovely week!

  20. Brandy every year I dream of coming to your garden tour…

    My family needed allergy medication and I found a box of Claratin in the clearance bin for $4.17 (after digital coupon) for 70 tablets. Also found 1 lb boxes of brown sugar for $.31/each

    I shopped at multiple stores to find the best deals I could on grocery items including BLSL chicken breast for $1.99/lb. , pasta $.39/lb , pita bread $1.20, bag of oranges $.99, 3 hhead cauliflower for $.99 and more…

    I wore a beautiful floral dress for Mother’s Day service at church that I had gotten for $1 at the goodwill.

    Packed breakfast and coffee for a day I was out all day and ate a marked down salad kit from Kroger as my lunch.

    Found a skirt I had been wanting last winter marked down to $3. And it was in my size!!

    Thank you all for sharing too.

  21. I saved money by gradually doing the raking and yard cleanup over about 5 or 6 days. I bought some
    bedding-out plants on sale at Co-op. Then a friend showed up and gave me several other bedding out plants.
    My plum, sour cherry, pear and apple trees are in bloom. Sometimes they bloom when the weather is too cold for
    the pollinators and no fruit results. This spring, the weather is warm (hot) and the blooms will be pollinated. Fingers crossed we don’t get hail. I am planting carrots, cabbages. I’m using old organic potatoes that have sprouted as seed potatoes. I have some flower seeds that I will try.
    I collected some delicata squash seeds. I’m not sure they will grow but if not i’m not out of pocket. I am trying to get the outdoor work done in case we get smoke from the forest fires and can’t go outside. Co-op had a good price for Campbell’s chunky soup – I bought a few cans to start restocking my pantry. Fresh local aspaagus is just coming on the market – it is not inexpensive but will be a folate-rich treat. I received a small but greatly appreciated refund.

    1. All your flowering trees must be beautiful. I noticed my caragana bushes by my front window were covered in bees yesterday, so I think you’ll be fine with having pollinators this year. I didn’t even realize they were far enough along in the season to flower. Today I realized my lilacs are starting to bloom too, several weeks early!!! They’re my favorite.

      1. I hope to go outside tomorrow and take photos of the apple blossoms. The smoke was better here today. I’ve been thinking of you and sending prayers your way about the smoke and evacuation possibilities. I’ll pull the hose around and water the fruit trees.
        There were no apple or pear blossoms last year but this year they are loaded. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the apples (apple crabs) so beautiful. I sent you a message last week but you might not have seen it. Ann

  22. This payday my husband and I had lots of overtime. We are hoping to save part of the extra money for our vacations this summer – we are going to my hometown for a day trip, a 5-day trip to the mountains, and our annual 7-day trip to the mountains. We always bring our own food to the mountains but do like to eat out once. For the day trip to my hometown, we are going down for a family reunion just for my grandparents descendants, which may sound small, but they had 15 children, so there is easily 125 with kids, grandkids, great-grandchildren, and spouses. Since we have to drive 3 hours, I volunteered to bring pop and water.

    My husband has been wanting an electric lawnmower both for ease of mowing and also for the savings in buying gas. Things kept coming up, so we kept putting off buying one. Last week, someone was throwing one away! The only thing wrong with it is that they broke the handle and was missing one battery. A friend at work welded the handle, he bought a new battery, and he has a perfectly running electric lawnmower!! I needed a new table for our porch as the one that I’ve had for years (an unused side table that I painted white with leftover spray paint) had seen better days. So also last week, he brought me home a sturdy little table! My son-in-law sanded it, painted and polyurethaned it, and it suits my porch perfectly for the cost of the paint and polyurethane. I call those God Moments; when I want something or sometimes even need it, and it just shows up in our life.

    My mom was a wonderful crafter. My favorite doll was Raggedy Ann that she had made me, so for my daughter’s first birthday, she made her one, and it was my daughter’s favorite. I’ve been sad thinking my future grandchildren wouldn’t have anything made by her. An ex-girlfriend of my brother and my second cousin have both sent me dolls that my mom made. I so appreciated these lovely gifts.

    My husband was away at a work weekend for a Boy Scout camp on Friday night until late Saturday evening. I made me a pot of chicken Alfredo on Friday and ate from it for three meals. 😂 Thankfully, I enjoy leftovers. The chicken was on clearance, so for much less than one serving at a restaurant, I had three meals.

    I joined a postcard exchange in a reading group I’m in on Instagram, and I used cards and envelopes I made from an old children’s book and added some actual vintage library cards and stickers I already had. It was fun for just the price of stamps.

    My son found a job with benefits working in his field! It’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s decent, and he doesn’t have an extravagant lifestyle. I am so happy/proud!!

    He has been borrowing my car until he gets a few paychecks to do some work on his vehicle, so I have been walking to work. I think I can actually walk there quicker than I can drive, it keeps me from stopping every morning at the convenience store, and gives me free exercise, which I definitely need!

    1. I still remember the year my mom made Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for my sister , me and all our cousins. Everyone loved them! They were really special! I love thinking about it. My cousins named their dolls after my mom. I thought that was really nice!

  23. All the photos you share of your garden are beautiful but that first one? So pretty! You really have an oasis in the desert.
    *I have now added vocal choir member to my list of activities in addition to bell choir member at my church. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time and, I admit was intimidated by this particular choir. They are outstanding and many of the members are professional musicians of one sort or another (while I studied music as a child and adolescent, a professional, I am not. 🙂 ) However, I finally decided that if the director asked me, she must think I could do it, so I did. Everyone has been so welcoming and encouraging and I have loved every minute of rehearsals and singing in the services. Just another opportunity to receive music education for free and a reminder that taking risks often yields wonderful results.
    *We did paid yardwork for a family member and a neighbor. We are putting that money aside in a fund for our animals yearly vet bills. We used to have that practice but it went by the wayside a couple of years ago. It really helps to have that money there when needed and not have it come out of the household budget.
    *Sold eggs to neighbors and gladly accepted empty egg cartons.
    *Set aside some things of my husband’s uncle to sell that we will not be able to use as well as cataloged some more documents in the family archives. We moved my husband’s grandparents vintage dresser and mirror into our bedroom. It is exactly the size we have been looking for for a few years and had not yet found. That it belonged to his grandparents makes it so special. My oldest son said recently that our house is like a museum of our family and he is right though there are no velvet ropes keeping anyone from touching anything. 🙂
    *My husband’s uncle was a very prepared person, which we knew, but have come to appreciate more through this process. This week, I went through all of his first aid/medical supplies. He had enough for about 4 families, at least. This prompted me to reorganize first aid kits we carry in our vehicles and the ones we have in each bathroom. There is still a lot remaining which will become overflow stock in a closet. A bit of insurance that feels good to have on hand.
    *Ordered needed supplies from an on-line framing store using a discount code. Was unable to find what I needed locally and searched until I found the best price on-line. These items will be used to properly and safely frame some antique family photos and documents. I have watched several YouTube videos on what needs doing and am looking forward to tackling these larger projects than I have done in the past. At the end, we’ll have some more priceless family memories to add to our collection.
    *We are still eating items brought for my youngest son’s birthday party on 04/29. Only purchase this week was milk and some cheese.
    *Got more seeds in the kitchen garden and been harvesting lettuce, kale and spinach. Put down saved cardboard for lasagna method in a new border in what I call my secret garden. Will add perennial flower seeds there. I have been expanding this garden a little at a time over the past 4 years and it has the wild meadow look I like with some structure (things I have made out of branches and vines from the woods) and cultivated flowers (most which I have been given) mixed in. It is wonderful to have places to tinker and let your creativity go where it likes.
    *Got a bunch of mending done which required the sewing machine. I do a lot of mending by hand but, every now and then, the machine is required and I try to do that all in one go. Pretty meditative work, really.
    *A large portion of my husband’s uncles belongings were books and I have been enjoying reading through many of them. The latest ones I have been reading are two volumes called “The Lost Ways.” A bit like the Foxfire books, of which I have almost 3 full sets from various family members. Always something to learn. Here’s a link if anyone is interested: https://www.lost-ways.net/index.php?split=173&ADID=590227727693&tid=mdEEEgoogleSSSntEEEgSSScidEEE9781534314SSSadidEEE590227727693SSSlocEEE9010192&gclid=Cj0KCQjwsIejBhDOARIsANYqkD1-mdvF5QuglfGC_D33C3qtc3IgVg52DTScsIU_6ToS1b_wesrB5A8aAmMCEALw_wcB
    *Looking forward to hearing from you all! 🙂

    1. Mountain Mama Dawn,
      As someone who couldn’t hold a tune if someone else sang it for me (LOL), I am so impressed by your selection for the vocal choir. I’m always grateful to enjoy when others have musical talent and share it. Congratulations!

    2. Dawn, I sang with a college choral choir for a few years of specially performed programs. Most of the choir members were professionally trained and understood terminology. I decided to just speak up and ask for an explanation of musical terms I didn’t understand. When the professor leading the group made a snarky comment, I quietly told him, “I’m not a professional. I just love to sing and have sung all my life, but I don’t understand these terms. I’ll step down if that’s an issue.” He immediately softened his attitude and was much kinder, often offering up an explanation of terms I didn’t understand. For my part, I kept a tiny notebook to jot down terms he used and what they meant and then marked those on my sheet music as well. So don’t let it intimidate you and don’t be afraid to ask…

      1. Terri – Fortunately, the intimidation was really all in my head. Everyone has been wonderful. One woman, (one of the professionals) told me her husband has been saying she needed to get me to join the choir for about a year now. She told him, “She’ll join if and when she is ready.” She told me he never compliments anybody which I can believe. 🙂 And all of the musical terminology and techniques have come rushing back pretty quickly – just something you don’t think about as much when you are singing in the congregation, in the shower, or out in the middle of the woods, as I tend to do. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement!

    3. My church has a professional choir on a Sunday – along with a congregational group who join in once a month. This past year we also started a Community Choir – both members of the congregation and many others who are not affiliated with the church. They gave their first performance this past Thursday evening and it was wonderful. There are around 45 members and given the reaction of the very large audience, I suspect they will have even more signing up for next season! Many of them were very nervous as this was their first time performing but they did a fabulous job and most importantly, they really enjoyed themselves so I hope that you do as well.

  24. We had bought a ham after Easter for about 70% off. We ate some and froze some and we will eat navy bean soup with the ham bone for flavoring. We have been careful to turn off lights when not in use. We continue to use cloth napkins and hankies. We wash full loads of laundry and dishes. It sounds like you got a great deal on clothes at the thrift store. I may also go thrifting to find some new to me clothes. I’d like to find some dresses and maybe some blouses. I need to go through what I have and get rid of what I don’t wear. I definitely have some favorites. I have been getting clothes catalogs and have been so tempted to buy new until I think of the price and how long we work to buy things. I’m hopeful that I can thrift instead. Our electricity bill went up by 11 dollars. We will continue to use electricity as little as possible. We have enjoyed fresh air when opening the windows instead of using the air conditioner all the time. We picked asparagus and ate it this week. We still have a bit of lettuce growing on the window sill.

    1. I found a Talbots rose sweater that I really wanted last season at Goodwill today, in my size! We also got it and the other items 15 % percent off because my husband is a veteran and it is Tuesday. We got one item at 50% off because of the color of the tag! I got two brand new with tag on them slacks and some blouses all at the thrift shop. I was very happy today! I didn’t own any slacks because I haven’t wanted to pay full price for them. The new tag said 70 dollars each, but I got them for about $5 or $6 a pair. Now I just need to find some dresses for summer. If I find something nice and a good price, I will buy it. If not, I’ll wait.

      1. Hi Tammy,

        great bargains! The asparagus is just starting here. I hope to splurge on it and freeze some. I think of you and your asparagus! Ann

        1. Hi Ann!
          I want to freeze some as well for soup in the winter. I love asparagus soup! I hope you get lots of fruit from your fruit trees! That would be nice.

  25. Brandy, what lovely roses! I hope you are able to maintain your garden with the weather being in the 90’s there! Well I have become obsessed with what can be made from fig leaves! I made fig leaf syrup- recipes can be found online. It is a simple syrup where you add fig leaves to simmer. Delicious! It has a butterscotch/chai flavor. Can be used in many ways. I also dried fig leaves to crumble for tea. It smells amazing. Also, I added a big leaf to a pot of rice in my rice cooker for flavor and nutrition benefits. I also tried a recipe for loquat upside down cake-they are plentiful here. I gratefully accepted many nice produce items from our local produce swap on Saturday, and I contributed sweet pea bouquets, nasturtium seed packets (using Brandy’s seed packet printable), limes, salad greens, and air plants.
    For Mother’s day, we made banana foster pancakes at home (semi-cheap and delicious) and then went to the beach with homemade sandwiches for a picnic and a walk. I have been adding my own free compost and worm castings to my garden. I just need to keep at it every day so that we have plenty to eat from it this summer. I am trying to dry something every day to store for winter. I pulled some really big onions and put them in a garden shed to dry for a couple of weeks but am not sure if that is the proper procedure. Thanks everyone for your comments!

  26. Ahhh, the white flower varieties are just stunning. I used to have what I called a “moon garden” – all white flowers around our back patio and they seemed to glow on nights when we had moonlight. Now we’ve changed the landscaping, and I miss that. Perhaps I can recreate in pots. I have yet to start those plantings yet – we just cleared our last frost date.

    Frugal choices this week were to use an old rug under our new one instead of buying a rug pad as I wanted to do. A good cleaning first and it feels fine. Last year we spent January through August clearing out my in-laws home after they passed mid-January. All of our home projects were postponed then, and so we’re tackling them this year. My husband has been refurbishing an early 1800 bureau to strengthen it and I’ll use in another room for gifts, tissue/gift bags, ribbons, grandkids clothes and various items I have stowed here and there. He has also been building a permanent structure off our patio for his parents’ wooden swing. It’s bare bones and that’s fine – he’ll add a roof (canvas) with the ability to adjust it to add more sun protection. To have this made would have been a fair amount.

    Most dinners were made at home with two exceptions – I met friends for a lunch midweek and then we treated one of his daughters and grandson to MOD Pizza on Mother’s Day. She drove over to surprise me for a fun evening. I meet friends for lunch every couple of months, and I try to order something that I cannot (or do not) make myself that is inexpensive. Meals at home in addition to salads and baked potatoes with a vegan cheese sauce included homemade pizza (before the surprise meal), chili, chickpea salad and baked beans, portobello mushrooms with bruschetta atop fettucini aglio e olio, strumboli with vegan spicy sausage crumbles and sauteed onions come to mind.

    Committing to spending more time using a Babbel gift from a friend last year that I’ve let free months pass while I felt I couldn’t focus well on the task. This month I’ve been getting more activity on our exercise bike and walking when mornings are still cool.

    I finally ordered memorial cards for my brother’s passing, after clearing it with my sister-in-law … it’s been three months and I do want to share to those who have requested them. I signed up for Zazzle’s plus program to get free shipping with a 30-day free trial. I did this yesterday, then today received an email that said in 7 days I’ll be renewed. I emailed them and asked why 7 and not 30 day period. They did get right back and say it should be 30; disregard. Just a note to beware on any promo timeframes. I marked my calendar to cancel within this 30 days (though it’s saved me $10 so far and comes with a $10 gift to use – I’ll try to use that as well before cancelling). It’s not like shutterfly for me; i don’t use it often at all.

    1. Claus Dalby has a very famous white garden, and it is all in pots! You can definitely make one in pots

  27. I borrowed some cold weather clothes (jackets, pants, thermals, socks, mid-layers) for myself and my family that we will need to use for one week.

    I stocked up on clearance items at the grocery store, getting lots of meat for 95% off.

    We are continuing to eat mainly from our harvest of fruit and vegetables plus what fish and crabs we catch locally. We share our harvest with several families.

    We bike where we can, go to the library, don’t have air-conditioning, our electricity account is in credit, line dry all washing, reuse and recycle, don’t have TV subscription services or the latest gadgets and choose free local activities.

    My contract at a higher pay level was extended out a few months, meaning I will continue to receive an extra 20% pay (approximately).

    I realised there was something I need so added it to my very short gift ideas list. I always get asked for present ideas for my birthday and Christmas.

    I saw a campground I would like to go to advertise a sale, so will have a look to see if we can get a low cost holiday. We have a tent we can take.

    Have a great week.

  28. Hi Brandy and everyone
    How nice to receive plants from your friend, I hope the kumquat will fruit for you.
    Beautiful photos of your garden.
    I was lucky at my flower arrangers club and won a fabulous arrangement in the raffle. The scent of lilies has filled the ground floor this week. I also picked bearded iris, snapdragons, tulips and other cottage flowers from the garden. I picked purple sprouting broccoli and mint. I have had a slightly upset tummy and fresh mint tea has been helpful. We sowed seeds for calendula, 2 colours of cornflower, godetia, zinnias, painted sage and more beetroot and planted out runner beans and French beans.
    I received £2 cashback on a purchase.
    I took potato salad to a family BBQ and brought some leftovers home. Our grocery bill was lower this week because of leftovers from the coronation weekend. I didn’t use the surplus money for stocking up as we have car expenses this month.
    Inexpensive meals were leek and ham quiche, jacket potatoes with grated cheese and salad, ham salad and I batch cooked cottage pie which will save energy this coming week.
    One of my best buys was a pack of ham offcuts, they are so much cheaper than sliced ham and I inspect the packages for the best cuts ( often there are lots of good slices in there). A little bit of ham added into omelettes, quiches, stir fries etc makes them tasty.
    I received a small increase in my occupational pension. I would like to increase my savings ratio a little but the cost of living has increased so much I wonder if it would be better to keep the extra available. Something to think about.
    Stay safe everyone.

  29. We bought two, new, used cars but we keep driving our old ones. The new ones are more gas-efficient. We have 5 drivable cars right now but only 3 adults at home. It seems like insuring and continuing to pay insurance on the old ones would be more expensive but somehow my husband thinks it’s better to drive them into the ground. I do have to say that he’s very smart about such things and I trust him. (We have been very frugal over the years making it so that we could have 11 kids, 7 adopted, sending some to boarding school and helping with college etc. Our house is paid off etc.) We could have purchased nicer, newer cars but somehow I didn’t even want that when it came time. Why pay more for insurance, taxes etc?

    One big treat for me last week was a salad made from lettuce and radishes from my little ones’ garden. They bought seeds at Menard’s for 10 cents a packet (!!!) and then grew that and other things are growing too. I let them get the seeds for fun but I never dreamed we would have food from it! Our gardens are struggling with the third year of drought…a lot of the fruit we have is barely hanging on. Only a handful of strawberries came up and the blackberries and raspberries are struggling as well. I’m trying to baby them along to keep some of them for better years. When I think of the year I canned 40 quarts of strawberry jam I can’t hardly believe it. I wonder if I will get to make one batch this year.

    I continue to shop for my family at garage sales. It’s hard because May is SO busy but I know it’s important to go now because I know I will look up in June (when it’s hot and life slows down) and they will be all over. My 23-year son asked for dress shoes that work for dress or casual. I collected several pairs for him to look through. Nice shoes like Sperry’s etc. One pair I don’t think will fit him, but I think they will work for my son-in-law. I think I will pay for baggage for his flight tomorrow as I can send many clothes and books to my grandkids, daughter and her husband and even two other daughters who live in that town. I may make granola, zucchini bread and cookies to send along if he has room and if I have time. (I wanted to send them all care packages so I think this will work to pay for his luggage costs. Plus, he can get the stuff there faster on a direct flight.)

    I bought a very nice skirt at a thrift store for $2. It is actually big for me. I am chubby so this is not usually the case but I like that I can (hopefully) alter it with a little elastic. It fits well except for the waist and I like the idea of elastic because I like having a little give when I sit. I’ve been collecting elastic in the past year or so because it seems helpful if I want to alter clothes for the kids. I save those little button elastic things out of old old pants and I found some for just a quarter a packet last week. My daughter bought me some Aveeno lotion for a gift and I like it very much but it’s now running low. It’s quite pricey. Happily, I found some at a garage sale for $2. I would have not paid that much but I knew I liked it and it is mostly full and pretty good.

    Have a good week everyone.

    1. A comment to Liz-
      The beauty of your heart and the wisdom of your husband brought a tear to my eye. Your family sound precious to you, and your generous heart to love, rear and support them is an ideal to be emulated.
      Thank you for sharing exactly what you wrote.
      It encouraged me today and is a true reminder of the sacrificial acts of motherhood and fatherhood and the lineage of our love extended through the generations of our families.

  30. I’m still waiting to see how much my lemon tree is going to recover from almost a week of hard freezes at night this winter. Thankfully, I still have frozen juice from the previous year!
    Your garden is just lovely, Brandy. And useful!

    I had a 2-hour each way trip for an appointment Friday afternoon, and I took a cooler with ice packs and snacks so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy anything, since I ate lunch early before I left and my evening meal was going to be late.

    I’ve put a library hold on a book suggested to me here so I can read it before I decide whether to buy it for a grandchild as a present.

    I batch cooked in the oven again this weekend. As the weather heats up, I will use my oven less and less, so I try to always cook several things at once when I do. My pressure cooker, slow cooker and toaster oven take over in summer, and I often use the toaster oven and slow cooker on the screened porch. I used gift cards earned from surveys to buy the pressure cooker and the toaster oven. My slow cooker is the old-style dial model, so it was inexpensive to start with.

    With my husband’s many health issues, we started carrying some debt again. I’m working hard at paying debt down, and one should be done in two months. I will apply that money to the next debt, Dave Ramsey snowball style, to help pay it off faster.

    I think I say this every year, but I’m so glad I chose to plant perennials. The burst of flowers and foliage without much effort or cost every spring and summer is so satisfying. I’ve worked more native plants into my yard as well, and they are basically carefree, no matter the weather. What’s interesting is to see that some natives performed even better after our harsher winter this year. Evidently, some of these native plants like a little cold weather.

    I get a lot of use out of my big wooden drying rack in rainy weather and when I wash a load in the evening after work, but I’m thinking I would like a rolling rack for hanging some items to dry as well. I try to use my electric dryer very little. However, I am waiting to find a rack used, on clearance, or even better, free. In the meantime, I continue to use my shower rod for hanging items inside.

    And, as usual, pack my lunches, cook from scratch, eat at home, and combine trips as much as possible.

  31. Oh my goodness, I love your new garden acquisitions!

    What I’ve done recently:
    Planted my garden. Went back to the guy I bought tomatoes from to trouble shoot the problem I’m having this year. He’ll replace them if they don’t turn around as he hasn’t hardened it off.

    We are going camping over memorial day weekend. Instead of a busy campground, we are going to a scout camp. Less people and more family friendly. Plus boating and other activities are included and is only $45.

    Ushered at a local theater and was able to watch the play. Volunteers also get a parking discount downtown and that was nice!

    Made chicken broth and a bunch of quinoa for easy lunches. I will pull asparagus from garden to toss into it because we only get a piece or 2 at a time.

    A friend took graduation photos and we used a 50% coupon to do announcements. I’m pulling together leftover plastic ware for use at graduation party before buying more. Will be shopping memorial day sales for party food.

    Going on a business trip. Admit I have a diet coke problem. Will bring a 6 pack instead of buying at hotel.

    May in Indy means high gas prices due to all the indy 500 traffic in town all month long. Doubling down on carpools and stacking errands.

    Went downtown for a networking event. Shocked to find parking costs have doubled since the holidays. Thankfully I don’t go there often.

    I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

  32. It was a fairly quiet week as I continued with the decluttering and Spring cleaning! Took out a buggy full of garbage and recycling, left a bagful of household/kitchen items in the laundry room for anyone to take and then took in another buggy full of books, Cd’s and DVD’s to the church for their upcoming sale – such a relief to get it out of my small apt.

    I am reworking an IKEA bookcase that I thought was past it’s prime – but when I took another look saw that it was salvageable – although I will need to buy one or two new shelves. That will go in the hallway and I think that I will use it for the books that I haven’t read as yet and for my library books – that will keep them front and centre so I don’t lose track.

    I only bought a few groceries this week – bagels (on sale) – milk (up again in price) -some fresh veg (always costs more than I’m expecting) and some breakfast sausages at 30% off. I also bought another container of my favourite hairspray at 50% off – with what I have on hand this will do me into the Fall – that’s why I didn’t buy more. I also shopped for my volunteer group and for my friend who has had a Covid relapse – I am owed about $55 from both so I will get that back in a week or so which can then go for a few extras. Milk, butter and cheese are all back up in price and many of the items that I now get at “half off” are actually at the price I paid regularly about a year and a half ago! Our latest inflation figures came out this morning and after a couple of months of lower rates they are back up with a vengeance!

    My theatre group got our next year’s subscription moved to a better day and time but it is costing us another $50 each so that has now been paid. I had to pay back $145.00 on a pension overpayment so that has been done. I also arranged to have more tax taken off at my PT job so that should help for next year’s payment.

    I used up some pantry items that were nearing their BB (or just past) to make a 3 bean salad which I have eaten for a few days. I also used a can of corned beef and a can of cubed potatoes to make a corned beef hash which has also been eaten over a few days (with an egg added each time). Now I am back to using up some salad greens with a different protein each day for a quick and lighter supper. I am finding that the new pantry setup is making it a lot easier to rotate through items as they are much more visible.

    My only social event for the week was meeting up with three friends one afternoon for coffee and a few “TimBits” – I treated (cost me about $11) but we take turns. Otherwise I took my yogurt and fruit to the office and enjoyed a free coffee there a couple of times. I have been watching season 9 of “The Brokenwood Mysteries” on Acorn – a bit like a New Zealand “Midsomer Murders” and I really enjoy it – reading more library books – and just a couple of short walks this week. Hoping to get further afield once my friend recovers from Covid as she is the driver and loves to find new trails to explore.

    Enjoy your wonderful, fruitful garden Brandy and your new clothes!

      1. Congratulations. I had a feeling that might be what it was. I hope Winter, dad, big sister and baby are all doing well. You have had a very busy month.

  33. I have been cleaning out all the areas of my life that have gotten cluttered: closets,junk drawers,medicine cabinets and freezer! That is liberating.it reminds us of how much we already HAVE and that we do not need “more!”

    Some weeks I am tempted to skip meal planning, there are just the 2 of us.And those weeks I end up running out to the grocery too many times, or asking husband to go get takeout. I am becoming more diligent about planning out a whole week. AND I need to use my freezer items.
    This weeks plan:
    Monday: Spaghetti and peppers and sausage (1 sausage link, sliced and browned,mixed with red bell peppers and served over rotini feeds 2 of us with leftovers for lunches.

    Tuesday: Cajun shrimp and grits : ( uses shrimp on sale from freezer) Salad of radishes,cucumbers and green onions

    Wednesday:Sicilian Chicken, chicken breasts with a raisin,tomato yummy sauce, over brown rice, and green beans

    Thursday: Arroz Amarillo and refried back beans with a large green salad.

    Friday: Oven fried fish, carrots, orzo with feta cheese sprinkles and green onions

    Saturday: Pozole,using small amt pork meat from freezer and hominy .

    Sunday: Linguini and clam sauce, garlic bread, asparagus.

    When I have a menu and do ONE grocery shop for the week, the freezer gets used up, I feel lighter and ready for the week, and I have more time for other things since dinner is already decided!!

  34. I didn’t go to the store but had Hubby stop for milk.
    We ate asparagus (again) cherry tomatoes (Amish lady started them in Jan) and rhubarb from the gardens. Strawberries and blackberries now have blooms.
    I have the gardens planted, should be seeing radishes, scallions and lettuce in a couple weeks as long as the temps don’t drop into the 40s again. Our weather can’t make up it’s mind.
    I turn the furnace down to 60 as 7 am and don’t turn it back up to 70 until 8:30 PM. I have been using the air fryer, grill and the microwave for meals most the time.
    Hubby was given a gift certificate to our favorite pizza shop from a ex co worker that we helped. Hubby went to order our standard pizza when the manager corrected his order to a deluxe minus green bell pepper and add black olives. We don’t get banana peppers on it but I have that at home if either of us want it that bad. Saved $10. She also gave him 2 free small salads as who ever took our order should have offered that option. He watched her put a sign that said ASK US how to save you money on your order. We added leftover meat to the salads the next day for our supper.
    Prayers for peace
    Blessed be

  35. Hi Brandy, beautiful pictures of your garden. I am always impressed by your ability to grow so much and so well in the desert. We are still in our dry season before rainy season here in SWFL. My son and I recently installed a small butterfly garden to our side yard. It is between two trees and gets shade for a good portion of the day except for when the sun is directly overhead. We have had a lot of success with monarch caterpillars. I hope to expand my yard to have more plants that attract other butterfly varieties over time. My son and I have also set up an area for another garden bed tucked away under our sea grape tree which makes it very well shaded. I’m hoping that the dappled sunlight will allow for vegetables to grow. I plan on looking to get good soil for half off at Lowes slowly over time. The Lowes stores here will mark ripped bags of dirt and mulch to half off, the store employees place the bag in a larger bag so transportation isn’t too messy. It brings the price back down to a price from a few years ago, which is nice, even if the acquisition is slower than I prefer. I enjoy the cost savings.

    This past week in the grocery category, I was able to acquire a free 2 ltr of Winn Dixie brand soda as part of their rewards program. I picked out root beer which was a treat for my son. I stopped drinking soda in November, so we buy this very infrequently. I watch a few youtubers who still do couponing, and rebate matchups. I was able to get four tubs of Edy’s icecream for free after digital coupon and ibotta rebate at Publix. I also bought 2 bags of Babybel cheese on bogo sale with ibotta rebates for $2.50 each. It was a nice treat. A neighbor also posted on Facebook that she was giving away a box of free shelf stable items. I asked if I could have them and was delighted to find two bags of rice, two lbs of spaghetti, and several canned goods. This was a nice addition to our pantry. On Sunday I visited Aldi, a discount grocery, I was able to buy two packages of chicken for 50%. This will make several meals for us over the week as there are only two of us. One package was chicken thighs which I usually dont purchase. I have them marinating and will bake them off as a chicken teriyaki which is a new recipe for me.

    My girlfriend who is also losing weight but a bit smaller than me gifted me another two bags of clothing. I feel very blessed because she has given me a great deal of clothing that is work appropriate, in good condition, and thankfully fits me.. I sent her a photo of me in an outfit and told her thankyou recently. I am trying to think of some way to thank her that she would also accept.

    In addition to my full time job I continue to work part time for DoorDash, this is the 5th week doing this. I am trying to find a balance between working too much and working during times that are more beneficial. I find it is best to work during peak hours, of course starting earlier in the week allows you to accumulate more so there is less pressure at the end of the week for getting to a higher earning statement. When I went out last night I noticed that several people were also doing this as I could see the mapping app on their phones. I worry that our country is getting to a very unaffordable place for many people. I work fulltime, and now part time, and have another small stream of income; I have even had adjustments for cost of living through my full time employer, however any gains have been compromised by the rise in costs in food, gas, and utilities. I have a lot of days where I feel discouraged. I am trying to get past this and pay down a few debts we had. I guess, I never thought I would find myself in any amount of debt again and I’m heck bent not paying 30% on credit cards for years to get out of it. And, my debt was medical and mechanical mostly, some related to family events that have been out of my control. None of it is going on vacations, eating out, or buying luxury items. Perhaps that’s the exhausting part for me, I am paying for services, the services are just too much for me to really take care of all at once. Sorry for venting a bit here.

    I hope that through my persistence I will be able to take care of this financially and successfully get out of this sooner rather than later. I hope you all have a good week. I appreciate reading positive things that everyone write each week.

    1. You could something for you friend as a thank you. I love when people cook for me. Maybe bake her some cookies or some other treat.

    2. Hi, Ashley,
      Debt is a huge life suck! It sounds like you’re doing everything you can to stop the bleed. We were there at one time, too. Slow and steady wins the race! Keep the faith!

    3. Hi,
      I really felt for you as I read how hard you are working and how conscientious you are about getting low-priced food. I admire you for trying so hard to live debt free. With costs of basic necessities going up so fast, it is hard to put much into savings to cover those services that are too costly to pay for out of one months’ income. I used to just about panic when I realized how little I had to make stretch so far. I hope this is a temporary situation for you.
      Elizabeth H.

    4. Ashley I totally understand, I am a nurse and have always worked more than 1 job until the last 4 years- now I do only 1. We are not living lavishly, no vacation, no expensive hobbies or anything luxury- just work, routine maintenance on house/ yard, gardening and seeing our family and yes we also continue to need to stretch our budget and money

  36. -I live 17 miles in country but a Dollar General recently came to our rural area. Saw on Freebie Guy Insta where they were having a 50% clearance Fri-Sun. My sister and I went and got a few things. Then on Sunday the store workers were given the directive to “get rid of all this stuff”. My cousin happened to be in there and called my sister so we went back. I love the decorative cardboard boxes. Most I paid was 85 cents and that was for $9 retail. I bought a ton to use as pretty storage for myself and as gift boxes for happies and birthday gifts.
    – I have a Diet Coke addiction and am paying $5 a 12 pack. DollGen had sale plus digital coupon (3/$10) so I paid only $3.33 and then was able to buy twice using both mine and my sister’s app. That is still more than I would have paid a few years ago but if you gotta have them you gotta pay whatever.
    -Bought tons of leftover Easter candy (expiration date of Nov 23 or even 2024) for only 10 cents per bag. Same size bag of Reese’s and Hersheys Kisses and other name brands are $4.49 at my grocery. I’m giving bags of candy to everyone I know. Take a few for staff each trip to library.
    -Found out nearest neighbor (2 cotton fields over from us) has K5 graduate so I was able to put together great happy bag for her graduation with purchases I had in stock from 🎯 liquidation store. Some art supplies and a couple of toys/books and some jewelry.
    -Took magazines and books to the free table at library
    -Needed several birthday and graduation cards. Found great Hallmark ones for .50 and $1.00 at Dollar Tree. While there I got some Prang brand colored pencils (pack of 50 for $1.25). They are currently at WM for $16. I love giving art supplies to kids. Will combine these with some $10 but I paid .50 art paper pads as kids’ happies.
    -Congrats on new grand baby. Precious picture. I am a child free person but my sister says being a grandma is the greatest.

  37. Hosted a Mother’s Day picnic lunch with some dear friends who are soon moving to California, my husband smoked clearance ribs I bought previously and froze, I made macaroni salad, green beans, and sliced a watermelon.

    Spent two hours decluttering our closet and pulled out 43 items of mine to donate! Husband and the boys pulled out a giant box of toys from their room to donate as well, now they (3 and 6) can much more easily clean up their own room.

    Ordered a second pair of shoes as part of the 5 year pack I purchased in the fall (You pay $500 upfront for a pair of shoes every six months for 5 years, a total of 10 pairs of real leather, fair trade shoes). I have used both of the first two codes, so my husband is already browsing for his pair, come this fall.

  38. My dad gave me 4 puzzles that he completed.
    I listed several more items and one sold right away.
    I had to renew my library card so I borrowed more movies and books. My daughter returned them for me because her apartment is near the library. I also went online to the library and reserved several museum/park passes to use over the summer. They go quick.
    I won 2 tickets from Verizon to see Empire Strikes Back with a live orchestra. Unfortunately Hubby can’t get the day off so we gifted them to friends. They are very excited.
    We have been working on the yard and gardens. Hubby got 2 truck loads(so far) of free compost from our town. I even planted some plants already because the weather has been so nice. I love this time of year when I can keep the windows open.
    My father in law dropped off a potted fig tree that he had. It is a white one. Now we have four fig trees.
    My daughter and I saw a huge(all over the front lawn) free pile. An older couple was downsizing from a huge house into a condo. They were putting everything out that they didn’t want. I grabbed a desk chair, a guitar, a keyboard, and so much more. My daughter grabbed some stuff too. I told my son and he stopped by after work.
    I found 2 stools on Craigslist for free that my son liked. They were all wood and just needed to be tightened which he did.
    The thrift store had a nice Keurig for $5. We have been living without one since my son moved out. I knew I would find one sooner or later.
    My 2 youngest came over for Mother’s Day. With Hubby’s help they did all of the cooking and cleaning for the day. It was beautiful out so we spent most of the day outside.
    Just wondering if anyone is having a hard time finding Kosher salt? I opened our last 1 pound box and have been looking for it. Wondering if it is just by me or all over.

  39. Yesterday I was waiting at the airport for my late flight. I got talking to one of my seat mates. He told me some tricks about flying on Allegiant. (I use this airline to fly down to see/tend my grandchildren.). He said that it is cheaper to book two one-way flights rather than a round-trip flight. Also, he said that there are always $20 off coupons available online. If you book two one-way tickets, you can use $20 off each flight. He also said that on minor holidays (like President’s Day) that all their flights are $5 each. He suggested checking the airline’s social media accounts. He flew from Provo, Utah to Mesa, Arizona for his brother’s wedding. He paid $50 total for his round trip.

  40. I’m waiting on my Meyer Lemon to flower here on Guam. I am getting lots of calamansi. Looks like a lime and is a cross between an orange and lime flavor. Just reviewed my monthly Amazon subscribe and save. So many products have gone up again 10%-15%. Being here on Guam we don’t have many other choices. I’ve started substituting in so many categories. Catfood- I’m scouring deals to buy cheap chicken or when I have the opportunity I’m still butchering wild chickens to subsidize the catfood cost. Body wash my husband has horribly sensitive skin so changing for him isn’t really an option but for myself I started making my own to cut our bodywash use in half. I think I finally cracked the homemade dishwasher detergent I added Oxy clean to it. I walked past the deli counter yesterday and couldn’t believe I use to buy deli meat every week. We’ve been off deli meat for 5 months. I meal plan to make sure there’s always leftovers for his lunch. I couldn’t turn down two more meat deals this month. They were both bulk purchases and I had to cut them up myself. But we ended up getting NY Strip Steaks 19 pounds for $3.99 a pound and a chuck roast roll 27 pounds for $2.99 a pound. I cut that up into Denver steaks, sierra steaks, roasts, stew meat, and my own ground hamburger. My husband has been building me a new chicken pen for mother’s day. We only had to buy the wood $75 I was able to scrounge the brackets, screws, hinges, and wire and paint from things I already had, savings $250. My wild hens are giving me 5-6 eggs a day. With this new pen I can put 12 in there. Hopefully upping the egg count. Egg prices are coming down now that the new hens nationally are up and running but their concerned the egg industry could be hit again this summer by bird flu and we’ll be looking at high egg prices in the Fall. I taught a condiments class last week at USO and it went really well. The ladies were surprised how easy it was to make Mayo from scratch. Also the homemade chik fil a sauce was a hit because we can’t get it here. I also showed them how to make homemade hot dog buns and hamburger buns as we come into grilling season. I’m teaching a canning class tomorrow night Mango Jam so I’ve been getting up at 5:30am to beat the chickens to the Mangoes that fall on the ground. I’m getting 6-8 a day.

    1. Natasha, your classes for military families are exactly what I would love to do for young low-income families. I think I need to look around for an organization that would like to sponsor. One year I made a flyer about what to do with a whole Thanksgiving turkey and the local food bank (not here) passed them out. Also, I love that you caught wild chickens, thereby getting laying hens, and that your husband is building a chicken house for $75!

  41. Lovely photos, again! And a lovely photo on IG too!

    *We went to babysit grandlittles again, to help out when parent job schedules conflicted with existing child care arrangements. It is fun, but tiring — and guestroom mattresses play havoc with our backs. I miss them, but it’s good to be home again.
    * I made iced tea (from teabags, not powders) to drink instead of sodas, and gladly showed my son-in-law how. He’s a soda drinker, but wants to cut out that habit to put the extra money to stretch the grocery budget for their family.
    *The library in my daughter’s town had a gardening swap table to which she brought seeds and some houseplant starters. There wasn’t much she wanted for herself in exchange, so she told me to choose a plant for myself. I chose a fine cherry tomato plant to bring home, free to me!
    *I went to a garage sale there too and found a new-looking “family” jigsaw puzzle for $3 (new is $25). A “family” puzzle
    is one picture, but with large easy pieces on one side, medium sized pieces in the middle section, and tiny pieces in the last third. This allows younger children to do these puzzles alongside their older siblings and adults. I’ll do the puzzle myself this week to make sure all the pieces are indeed there, then put it away as a gift, likely for Christmas.
    *I am using up my home-canning, which is good; but, I am wincing at the likely costs for replenishing these foods as this canning season gears up. Just as my grumbling was getting into full swing, I read some news articles saying that the UK has had food prices double over the last year! Well, it’s not quite that bad here (in Canada), so I was reminded to count my blessings.
    *I used the Libby app to read books while away from home. All on my phone so no packing of physical books was required.

    Have a great week!

  42. Brandy: your new Granddaughter is precious! Babies are the best!

    Heard from all the children on Mother’s Day which is always wonderful and affirming! ❤️

    Sam’s is no longer carrying Aquafina water, which is a bummer! We need to get a purification system, but can’t seem to find one we like. I do love having the bottles, though my inner latent environmental hippie doth protest!!

    The rabbits have stripped the leaves from my pole beans! I am so frustrated! I really try to live with the animals—and I have a fence! The rest of the garden is doing well. Are having lots of rain and warm weather. Could do with a bit more sun.

    Still being successful with the zero percent food waste. Making do with the supplies we have on hand for the moment. Am hoping there will be sales due to Memorial Day!

    Turned the air conditioning on—Mother’s Day. The longest that we have ever made it. Our rule is May 1st, which was grueling some years. Very pleased.

    Reading Charles Frazier’s latest book, The Trackers. Great author.

    Hope everyone is happy and healthy. Onward, y’all, by all means!

  43. Beautiful Flowers. I love your garden. You have inspired me to grow flowers I can cut and that will grow back. This week we planted more iris tubes from a friend that is moving yard. I got a knock out rose bush for Mothers Day. My seeds that I planted for wildflowers are coming up. We have several squash blooms, a tomato and bell pepper bloom. Exciting times in the garden. We went to eat with friends from church and they paid for our meal. Unexpected blessing. We have several budget meetings planned at work, so free lunches. On my yearly evaluation was given a 51 cents an hour raise. I was so excited, as I have one credit card debt that I am trying to pay off. On my evening walks a bunny has been joining me. It is wild, but it will go a few feet on the trail with me. We went to a homecoming for my husband’s family and I got to meet several of his relatives and we had a pot luck lunch. My niece got me a gardening book for Mothers Day and I love the pictures. We have been so blessed by others and the beauty of nature.

  44. A free kumquat tree! Fabulous!

    My frugal accomplishments for the past two weeks:
    – I made mini pizza muffins (sort of like these pizza scrolls http://approachingfood.com/cheesy-pizza-scrolls/) for my daughters. They freeze well and my daughters adore them.
    – I price-matched, shopped sales, used cashback apps, and online rebates when grocery shopping, as well as printed and manufacturer coupons. My best deal was getting a box of crackers for free plus overage.
    – I combined a sale and a coupon to buy a container of almond milk for half of what I would pay for cow milk, so I will use that for baking and such to stretch my regular milk.
    – The next week, I used the milk when making a double batch of freezer pancakes (borrowed my mum’s griddle to do so) as well as when making a batch of eggless vanilla cake batter (which I turned into a dozen cupcakes and a cake)
    – I bought a box of apples and a tray of chicken legs from FlashFood for $7.50 total. I asked for a refund for the box of apples, as they weren’t good enough quality, but tried to salvage what I could and froze it sliced.
    – I baked a tray of lemon squares, using bottled lemon juice instead of fresh. Turned out great. I doubled the crust and froze the extra half.
    – The next week, I unfroze the crust, added in the frozen apple slices from my flashfood box, sugar, cinnamon, flour, and a crumble, and turned it into a Dutch style apple taart.
    – I walked with my youngest over to a church rummage sale (didn’t pay transit fees) and looked around but didn’t buy anything as there was nothing I needed (I keep looking for a glass butter dish). Then hopped over to a local cemetery and went in search of the deer who l know live there. We found them, much to my daughter’s delight. It was a lovely outing, and didn’t cost anything except the $2 I spent on a hotdog for my daughter at the fundraiser. I packed drinks and additional snacks for both of us.
    – I made Brandy’s black bean burgers, using the huge stash of homemade bread crumbs I have, and froze the extras. So much cheaper than buying veggie burgers for the freezer! Thanks, Brandy! Combined it with a sale on brioche buns and last week’s discounted vine-ripened tomatoes for a delicious meal!
    – the next week, I made sheet-pan nachos for dinner, and crumbled some of the black bean burgers over them instead of meat for the protein. The smoky flavour complemented the nachos perfectly. I ended up having 3 unexpected dinner guests, and they all loved the nachos which I had made with a bag of tortilla chips from the dollar store and whatever I had in my fridge (grated cheese from a great – ha! – sale, leftover black olives from a pizza two weeks ago, the last of a jar of jalapeno peppers, halved baby tomatoes that were starting to get wizened, the last of a jar of salsa, and high fat yoghurt instead of sour cream)
    – I ran out of bread, so baked a large batch of dinner rolls, which made for great sandwiches.
    – I borrowed my mother’s large griddle, and made and froze several batches of my toaster pancakes, for quick weekday breakfasts (http://approachingfood.com/sour-milk-toaster-pancakes/)
    – as usual, I took full advantage of all the programs offered by our library, including borrowing paper and e-books, requesting books from the library system to be sent to our branch, attending free programming (musical education and social interaction), playing with toys for my youngest (gross motor skill practice) as well as drawing with free colouring sheets and crayons (fine motor skill practice).
    – I used the TooGoodToGo app to buy a box of mini cupcakes for $7.99, as a treat for myself as well as a treat to meet my eldest with when she stepped off the school bus (and for her to offer to her friends). These mini cupcakes normally would be several dollars each ($2.95, I think), so it was a huge savings of money.
    – I took advantage of the complimentary daily two hours of wifi in the common area conference room of my condo on several days, when I needed to be in virtual appointments or meetings, but also wanted to be away from my condo proper as it was too noisy with the kids there.
    – I needed to buy a new swimsuit for an upcoming trip, and found a 3 for the price of 1 sale, so was able to buy a swim top, bottom, and shorts, for the price of one of those. At the checkout, the cashier realized that the shorts shouldn’t have been included in the sale, but she honoured the price since it was a labelling error.
    – I bought a kite for $1 a few weeks ago (all the other kites were $3 but this specific design was labelled as $1, and when it rang up as $3, the cashier honoured the $1 price), and that has gotten quite a bit of use and lots of enjoyment by my kids, who love to use it in the park around the corner. Lots of young neighbourhood kids are also entranced by the sight of a kite.

    I know I did lots more, but can’t remember any other frugal accomplishments off-hand. Looking forward to learning from everyone else in this wonderful community, as always. Brandy, thank you for all the work you do; you are appreciated!

  45. Our week was spent moving our two daughters back home from college for the summer. I. Am. Tired.

    A neighbor watered the veggie seedlings and porch flowers while we are out of town. Having neighborhood friends to exchange favors, equipment and the occasional egg or cup of sugar has saved all of us so much over the past 20 years.

    Used an inexpensive timer to turn on and off the grow light for HH’s veg starts while we were out of town.

    Stayed at our older daughter’s apartment while packing up both daughters to move home for the summer.

    While at the university, we attended a double header baseball game for the cost of one game. We purchased very inexpensive tickets online for half the price of the box office.

    We enjoyed free admission to the University Museum. We particularly enjoyed a piece called The Diver by Jere Allen.

    When moving out of the dorm, it wasn’t surprising, but was difficult for me, to see so much waste. The university did a nice job of communicating with students how to donate used dorm items, books and food but with limited time, vehicle space, and energy many things get tossed. I rescued shower curtain hooks, Swiffer pads and small food storage containers. We also donated items not needed any longer to the Salvation Army and Goodwill. If on a tight budget and need household supplies, head to a local university during move out week!

  46. Brandy, your garden is so lovely always. Thank you for sharing all your hard work. Also thanks for all the commenters for sharing their ideas and accomplishments. I think it was in 2021 the someone shared her ideas saying she had different ways to save. Great extra ways. Maybe she can write an update for us so shake us out of frugal habits we do without thinking.

  47. Hello Brandy and fellow fugalistas 🙂
    Brandy, your white garden is so beautiful. It’s amazing that you’ve been able to coax an oasis out of the dessert ( with much planning and hard work). I know the Nevada climate makes gardening a continuous battle. Thank you for generously sharing wonderful photos of your garden with us.**
    Each garden zone has its challenges. This week, I’m battling the clay “gumbo” in the Arkansas delta. It is sandy as well as clay and must be amended each year. One savings this week was $10 off a snowball vibernum bush. I planted it yesterday and added a bag of garden soil, purchased last year, as well as a new bag of worm castings. I hope the plant likes it’s new home. I’m trying to do a “moonlight garden” ( all white) on the north side of our house. I 1st heard of, and saw this @ the historic Thomas Edison house in Florida. Seeing photos of your white garden inspires me even more. The moonlight garden lets those who come home in the evening enjoy the garden too.**
    One unexpected savings is due to letting last year’s basil go to seed. I was weeding my raised bed and found 6 small basil seedlings, so I replanted them. I hope they “take” as basil starter plants cost $4 each here. Dill over-wintered and I’ve been able to harvest and dry a large jar already. We enjoy it in potato salad and a fish sauce I make.**
    We traveled to the beach for a race my husband partipates in with some college classmates. It’s a mini reunion he looks forward to each year. I packed lunch and drinks for the trip, as well as supplies and food for the condo we rent. We hosted everyone for breakfast in the condo. High protein waffles and turkey bacon. I brought along my waffle iron to make the waffles. It was a big hit. It was so nice for them to have extra time to visit without having to quickly vacate a restaurant table.**
    After our travels, it was time for an oil change. I hunted for my 10% off coupon. Our new to us Corolla needed coolant flushed, synthetic oil change, filter, and brake fluids done. $540 later, I was happy to have a coupon. I also refused the dealer changing wipers, cabin filter and scrubbing battery terminals as these are small tasks we can do ourselves. I use the dealer for work as the small local garages have not done well in the past.
    Thank you Brandy for sharing your beautiful garden with us. I appreciate all your hard work maintaining this blog. The peaceful community you cultivate here is such an inspiration and “happy place” for me each week. Please everyone remember to go thru Brandy’s Amazon links when you order so we can help Brandy defer blog costs. We can show our appreciation in this small way 🙂
    -Ellie in AR

  48. Last week we went to the cabinet warehouse and ordered cabinetry for the kitchen renovation. I was pleased I could not only get countertops there but we found a cabinet and counter for the bathroom reno as well. When we got home, my stove vent was busted, so we’ll be ordering a new one when we get a new sink ordered. The contractor said everything is two months out so we should be able to get it all in and get started around end of July. The greatest concern to me was how I’d cook without a kitchen for two weeks and then where I’d cook, but I’ve now got a plan for all of that and it feels like the right decision. On our way back we spied a sign saying we were near a state park I’d always wanted to visit so for $5 each we visited there. Then we drove back homewards and stopped to have a picnic lunch at a lake that was half way home. It was a lovely day.

    I got a new Stitch fix box. I get these about every three months. I had one blouse I didn’t like and one I was unsure of. I love the pattern but the style seems a bit fussy to me. However, I made up my mind to ask my daughter if she liked the one blouse I didn’t care for. Told her if she’d take it I’d keep the other. There’s a certain point where if you send back just one item then you’re likely going to pay as much or more than keeping it all. I find overall that it’s a very satisfactory way of getting clothes that fit. Everything I’ve gotten has lasted well and often can be mixed and matched with what I’ve already bought.

    Did not go to the grocery store last week except to pick up a Rx and fried chicken for Sunday dinner. And that was really all I bought there except two can openers. All of mine went kaput two weeks ago.

    I have baked bread, meatballs, spaghetti sauce for the freezer, muffins from a slightly bruised banana, all our meals and put up leftovers for future meals in either fridge or freezer. I dried celery leaves, made good use of the preheating oven to make croutons from bread end pieces, as well as a loaf of bread.
    I have taken time to plant all the plants I bought, snipped a few pieces of easily propagated plants to fill in planters, found seeds hidden in a spot and planted all of those. A friend kindly shared iris and lenten roses all of which are now in the ground. I weeded in increments (thank you Marlene…she will live on and on with us courtesy her bucket a day method!).
    All in all, it’s been a productive week!

  49. Our gas prices have gone up again. It’s over $4/gallon. I’m combining trips and staying home as much as possible. I did have to drive for over an hour to help my daughter with cute grandkids one day last week. But other than that I’ve only done local errands.

    I picked irises and tulips from my flowerbeds to give to my mother. I used a small vase I had on hand. I stopped by her place on my way home from helping my daughter to help save on gas money.

    All our meals were made at home except for our date night. We made baked tacos, spaghetti casserole, pancakes, eggs & toast and BLT’s. One night I was home alone and had toast with peanut butter, carrot sticks and a glass of milk. It tasted so good to me. My daughter has been taking leftovers for her school and work meals. My husband has been making sandwiches to take to work.

    I’ve been able to get free car washes because of my daughters job. We’ve had lots of dirty storms lately because of all the construction going on. I will take every drop of rain that comes our way. But I do like a clean car and free works for me. Plus a quick vacuum each time.

    I’ve been reading library books. I haven’t found another author that I love yet. All the library recommendations are authors I’ve already read. I wish my favorite authors would write faster :). I’m grateful for my collection of books I’ve loved on my bookshelves. Every time Audible offers me a free trial offer, I’ve used my credits to purchase my old familiar favorites. I really like to listen to them while I drive. Reduces my anxiety and helps me focus.

    I’ve been sharing my leftovers with my college kids when they stop by our home. It’s a great way to share home cooked meals and keeps food from going to waste.

    My husband mowed and edged our yard. We used the clippings in the garden to keep the weeds down.

    I’ve been washing our clothes on cold, exercising at home, drinking plenty of water, taking shorter showers, having quiet time on our deck, using food we have at home instead of going out, taking time to breathe and remembering to be grateful every day, and enjoying my quiet time. I love to have our windows open and hear the birds and enjoying spring flowers. I find a love a quieter, simpler life. And my twinkly lights at night.

    Have a wonderful week.

  50. I’ve decided to stop buying sympathy, get well and other cards. I decided to simplify and just mostly have blank cards. I do already have some thank you notes and I might still buy birthday cards but otherwise all will be blank. I only buy cards at garage sales and thrift stores anyway. Mostly at garage sales. My top price is about 10 cents or so depending on my desperation level. We were once on our way to a priestly ordinations and I had forgotten to bring a card to write so we stopped at an estate sale a few miles from the church. I think it was half off day and we bought a slew of cards. Of course none of them were so specific as an ordination card (or even blank) so we dug in and found a silly anniversary card. I wrote it and turned it into a joke. I don’t know if the priest enjoyed it but it’s such a happy memory of mine. We thought we were hysterical. It was a fun challenge to run into that sale with the goal of buying a card. I do find that at sales I can find packs of cards from sweet, older ladies with frugal souls. I have even found them completely free at sales before. (Probably some younger family member couldn’t imagine anybody wanting them.) I suppose this hint is more of a time saving one than a frugal one but I feel like saving time is important in my frugal journey.

    My son was supposed to go to a wedding in a different state. He couldn’t make his flight because he got terribly sick. Since he was in the wedding he had to be there. I wish he had listened to me, and gotten one on Southwest airlines. He did say he was sorry for that so maybe the lesson was learned to listen to mom! 🙂 We like Southwest because of the free checked bags, direct flights to my daughter’s state, but mostly because of the fact that you can change your flights. Once I changed my flight about four times when my daughter’s baby kept not coming. I did spend like $50 that time but that’s not bad. Anyway, this was costly with my son because Delta was willing to change the flight for some smaller fee (I thought I read $75 but I’m not positive because they never would say and in the end it didn’t matter.) After one hour of dealing with them they said their were no flights available and it would be $800 to upgrade and get on a flight! Never mind! So we got a Southwest flight for $400 for just the one way. Ouch. But it could have been worse. The thing we forgot to do was to check about what to do about that original flight as he did not check in since he was sick. He was still planning to take that flight back home. When he tried to check into Delta he found that it had been canceled. He contacted them and they put him back on it thankfully but we realized that if something like that ever happens that you need to contact the airlines even if you sick etc.

    Have a good week, everyone. I am so inspired by your frugal ideas.

    1. I have sent blank note cards for years rather than buying an event specific card which can get expensive, I just write a personal note inside and I think people appreciate that. I get most of my note cards at tag sales, I believe people are not writing notes much so they are getting rid of what they own.

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