I cut basil and flowers from the garden for an arrangement.

I didn’t buy several food items after seeing the prices at the store. Instead, we can just eat more of what we have. Like many of you, I am finding the quickly rising prices rather disheartening, and I am making adjustments to our meals: more soups, homemade bread, more beans, and significantly less meat.

I did purchase bone-in chicken leg quarters on sale for $0.99 a pound. I haven’t purchased meat in months, and have very little left in the freezers. Meat sales have traditionally been September through December, so I try to eat down the freezer this time of year in order to buy meat on sale in the fall.

I used the free Hoopla app and tried to listen to an audiobook! My son bought me earbuds a few weeks ago and I was able to hear a bit here and there while I did other things. I would have preferred to just read the book, but that was the only copy available. I did find it very difficult to listen to an audiobook; I will not likely try another one for some time as I am still trying to get through this one. I did find I could listen to music; interruptions from family and my concentration work better with music than an audiobook.

My metal watch band got caught on my purse strap, which is unraveling along one edge. My husband was able to mend the watchband for me and bend it back in place. I cut off the unraveling edge of the purse strap.

I hung a postcard that I had from 22 years ago from Bangkok in a frame that my husband no longer needed (from downsizing his office) in one of our bathrooms. 

I purchased a few blouses online on clearance.

I purchased fabric on sale for 40% off at Hobby Lobby and began making three new aprons. These aprons will only cost $6 each. I shared the fabric in my Instagram stories last week when I was ironing it; I’ll share the finished aprons in an upcoming post once I have finished them. My other aprons have worn out and it is time for new ones. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and wearing an apron protects my clothing.

I made pita bread and French bread.

I cut and dried oregano, lemon verbena, and basil from the garden. I cut several Armenian cucumbers from the vines in the garden.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I would love your pita bread recipe, Brandy!
    I was able to use more of the tomatoes from our garden to can 17 more pints of salsa on Wednesday. That makes 2 dozen pints of salsa that we canned from this year’s tomato harvest so far! https://pin.it/6RqrAcF. We love salsa and use it regularly so we are excited to add these to our pantry! I, of course, dehydrated the tomato skins and ground them into powder and my jar is now half full!!

    Today, Monday, I went out to cut some chives for a recipe and noticed more big tomatoes that needed to be picked. I weighed them and got another 3-1/2 pounds! At today’s grocery prices, the would be about They run between $1.39 for little ones to $1.99/ pound for the big beefsteak tomatoes like mine. So another $6 (averaging price) saved from my 99 cents for 4 tomato plants! And it’s been raining off and on the last two days so water was free! Otherwise we’ve been using our rain barrels!

    I finished the donation quilt I made for Pelatonia for their fundraiser. https://pin.it/2aQ10pg. 3 more client quilts came in for this week.

    Made blueberry cheesecake muffins that I had in my pantry as a clearanced mix. I added 1/2 chopped apple to the batch! https://pin.it/1ARxv7d.

    I found 3 gallons of chocolate milk and 1 gallon of whole milk and 1 gallon of skim milk each on clearance for $1. Their best sell date was Aug 30!!😳 2 gallons of chocolate milk are going to 2 daughters for their kiddos! The whole milk will be used to make ricotta cheese.

    I also found another 12 packages of wide noodles on clearance for 49 cents each. We now have a year’s supply plus enough to share with some of our kids.

    The friends who sold our son-in-law the grow towers and gave them and us wheat and other food storage and canning jars gave us a couch and loveseat the other day which we used to replace the old ones that were in our playroom for the grandkids. We have now decluttered and this room is becoming more of a den/reception room to read, watch tv and visit. We had already gotten rid of the old set which were beyond repair. Used our van and trailer to transport the new (to us) furniture home. Our daughter & SIL came down after their 3 kiddos got on school bus to help load and reload them. It was a good trade because they will borrow our van and trailer next week to pick up 2 cords of firewood they bought for the winter.

    I baked 12 dozen cookies (3 varieties) to take to 2 new move-ins into our congregation for both the new families and use those who volunteered to help unload their furniture for them. Another batch went as refreshments after a baptism at Church on Saturday. Hubs loves the new Blackberry oatmeal cookies, using blackberries from our garden: https://pin.it/1ugXl1A. I also made Almond Joy cookies: https://pin.it/tZyeYxQ and also No Bake Peanut Marshmallow White Chocolate Clusters- https://pin.it/1utuR5n. All were a big hit. Only using ingredients already in my food storage!

    I had some leftover ham slices in fridge so I chopped them up in food processor and made Ham and Cheese Scones- https://pin.it/57kFns4. Rather than scallions, I cut some of the chives in the garden. I didn’t have fresh buttermilk so I used my buttermilk powder I bought from Azure Standard last month. It only took 2 Tablespoons of the powder! So good!! Another tasty way to reduce food waste! I will also make some ham salad spread for sandwiches.

    Our weather is cooling a bit and air con units have not been turned on for over a week. We are happy to be able to open our windows to let the fresh air in. It’s around 60F degrees at night. We are starting to feel that “nesting” feeling that motivates us to make sure everything’s ready for whatever the winter may bring!

    I hope you continue to find joy in your life and also that your readers are able to do the same!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. I looked up the recipe for the almond joy cookies. That is my DH’s favorite candy. Our 47th anniversary is tomorrow, so I think I will make him some tonight. Thanks for the link.

      1. Nancy in Eastern Washington- These are SO simple to make, too!! Happy anniversary!! 47 years is quite an achievement!! 🎉🎉🎉

        Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. April- Here’s what each of the 4 cookie trays we made up looked like- https://pin.it/4n6hygJ

        Actually the peanut white chocolate marshmallow clusters are no bake! You melt white chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave or double boiler on stove or in a pot within Instant Pot liner (like a double boiler)! Those are one of Hub’s favorites! 😉❤️

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  2. Your pita bread looks fab! Thanks for sharing the picture. Had you made it before?

    I harvested my first tomatoes–8 so far, with 3-4 almost ready to pick. I replanted lettuce and bush beans for a fall garden and they are already sprouting! I talk about a fall garden every year, and this year I actually did it! We are about two months out from our first frost, so keep your fingers crossed!

    I made menus last week. We shared a Panera salad when we stopped for lunch one day after an appointment, but all other meals were cooked and eaten at home. I used up leftover roast pork in shepherd’s pie. I cooked double one night and froze a meal for later.

    I read a book from the library and have a reserved book ready to pick up today.

    Last week, I told you about buying $90 worth of merchandise at Rite-Aid for $14.83. This week I went back with a $5 register receipt coupon and the $15 in bonus bucks. I bought two bottles of nail polish and a pair of earrings for $10.43. This is my total cost so far for the beauty box I am assembling for my daughter’s birthday next month. I also have some bath bombs that will probably find their way into the box. I get it that this is all a ploy to get me back into the store to buy something I don’t need, so I usually don’t do this stuff…but this one paid off bigtime!

    I also bought a Duracell battery deal at Office Max for 100% rebate in their rewards program. I will use it for more batts the next time they run the rebate, which is pretty often.

    I hope everyone here had a fun and frugal week!

  3. I totally understand using an apron. It saves my clothes and Hubby’s too. He wears one when he BBQs.
    We are in drought conditions in NY. I have only been watering the garden and our fruit trees. I have talked with several friends about ways to reduce water uses. Hubby and I are now looking into get water barrels that would be hooked up to our gutters. Even if all they get used for is watering the garden, it will help. We are supposed to get rain this week.
    I made several jars of pickles and pickled beets. Pesto was made, used for several days and then frozen into cubes for the winter. I reduced the nuts by half and no one noticed a difference so I will go even less next time. I do add some carrot tops to stretch it out.
    We had our first chicken brushetta pizza of the summer. It would cost $35 to buy it locally. It was delicious. We cook it on the BBQ to not heat up the house.
    I don’t know if I mentioned my daughter cut my son’s hair. He was very happy with how it came out. He can be picky about his hair.
    My daughter and I cleaned out our pantry in the kitchen. We pulled a few items to use/eat right away. All spice jars got refilled from the basement pantry. It looks so pretty.
    Several friends have given me garden leftovers that they weren’t going to use. I am always happy to take them and find ways to use them.
    I lent my friend my dehydrator.
    Hubby fixed a friend’s blender.
    I won an $8 GC from Dunkin Donuts. That will be a fun treat.
    It has been a year since my best friend’s dad died. She had a small memorial for him. She sent me home with bagels, cream cheese and watermelon.

    1. Marybeth, that is wonderful that your husband fixed your friend’s blender and you loaned out your dehydrator. I wish we had Repair Cafes all over the US like in England, where we could get small appliances and other things repaired instead of sending them to the landfill. Many of us can fox certain things (especially with YouTube) , but we all have things we need someone else to fix. It is also nice to be able to share equipment with others so we all don’t have to get the same equipment.

      1. Thank you. She knows Hubby is a Mr. Fix it. Her husband is a wonderful man, but he has trouble changing a light bulb. We share lots of items with friends and neighbors. Why should we all have to buy and store something when we can share.

  4. I picked and dried basil and oregano from my garden. After it is dried, I rub it through a wire strainer that I have before storing it in jars ready to use in my cooking. I have also picked and dried spearmint and lemon balm to use in herbal tea, but I am not sure if I should crush it small before using. Can anyone advise on how to use dried garden plants in herbal teas? I am assuming I don’t want to rub it through my small mesh like I do my basil and oregano, but rather keep it larger? What do the rest of you do with plants grown for herbal tea? I have never grown and dried anything for making my own herbal tea before, so am not sure what to do. I do have a loose tea “spoon,” not sure what to call it but the little container that opens so you can put in a teaspoon full of loose tea.
    The battle with my kitty has continued, to try and keep him off of my indoor plant shelf. I tried several things to persuade him to stay off my shelves, to no avail. The fun of digging in my dirt and messing up my seeds was too great for him to resist! Finally my husband suggested we use some screening that he had left from replacing the screen on our screen door. We used duct tape to tape a piece of screening along the top edge of my plant shelves, letting it hang down like a shower curtain. So far, it is working! I am ready to try planting more seeds now!
    Hope all had a good week!

    1. Don’t crush them or you will have a horrible texture in your tea. You can use your spoon or a tea ball and just pack it full of dried leaves. Mint doesn’t need much but lemon verbena needs a fairly full ball, as does hibiscus (I use two balls per pitcher of hibiscus tea, which I let cool before refrigerating).

      1. Thank you, Brandy!!!
        I am glad I waited to do anything until I heard from someone who has made their own herbal teas before!!! Do you ever mix plants for your own herbal tea? Or just use each plant separately?

          1. Thank you! This makes the most sense to me. At least until I know what flavors I like—maybe after I have grown a lot for tea I may venture into mixing, but I would rather try one plant and know if I like it!

        1. I make an herbal tea from Sweet cicely, Lemon Balm and Mint. I dry each herb separately, then mix together in a bowl and then I put a couple of TBSP in a tea ball or bag. I have a whole container of filled tea bags (you can buy them online) so that I can use them easily.

    2. Susan – I agree with Brandy on keeping the tea leaves larger. Otherwise, they seem to float out of your spoon or tea ball into your cup. This time of year, I just snip a sprig or two off the plants and pour hot water over them. So, you can enjoy your tea plants fresh now and dried later. I sometimes make my own mixture right when I am making a cup but do not make mixes ahead of time. I find it fun to concoct a special brew each time. It’s also fun to add dehydrated fruits to teas, too. Enjoy! 🙂

        1. I like orange slices with cold rosehip tea. It’s about the only fruity tea i drink. Otherwise, i’m all about the green tea with jasmine.

    3. Susan, I have found that putting the dried herbs in my food processor grinds them very small or not, depending on how long I process them. I make my own poultry and pumpkin pie seasoning, as well as just single herbs.😊

    4. Another thing that helps with herb teas if they have “floaties” is to strain through a cloth. I use a small mesh strainer, but with our daughter who can’t stand the texture of anything, I use a small mesh strainer and a thin cloth like muslin, etc.

  5. It has been shocking to see the prices and for some reason, this week’s grocery options really caused me alarm. I’ve been so appreciative of your black bean burger recipe. I had found another in a plant only cookbook and combined the two recipe concepts in order to make about 10 patties that once baked are easy to freeze. I’ve added one red beet to my recipe and these really act like burgers for my vegetarian husband. Once frozen it’s easy to take them out for an easy meal. Dollar Tree sells brown rice and bread crumbs cheaper than my Kroger affiliate, so that is where I pick those up.

    Thank you for inspiring us all to embrace a frugal lifestyle, whether our of necessity or to just use less.

  6. Brandy the flowers are so stunning!!

    Items that helped me save money this week:
    -Canned 4 half pints candied jalapeños, froze 6 packages chopped and blanched kale, dehydrated one basil plant, canned 2 pints of green beans, and canned 8 pints of diced tomatoes.
    -We got our 1/4 beef this week. This is grass fed organic beef-#200 at $5/pound. A bit up front but it will help the bottom line as this will last for the next 2 years.
    -I did some shopping- one thrift shop I bought 2 shirts, one short sleeved for summer and a long sleeved one for this winter. Both designer brands. I paid $8.00 for the two with the senior discount. I also bought a pint jar for 25 cents, a Pyrex 1970’s glass container with a vegetable motif on the lid for $3.00 (I use these in my pantry), and 2 packages of assorted cotton fabric for $2 each.
    -Second thrift shop I bought 2 pieces of cotton fabric, 2 yards of a fall print for $3.50 and a Halloween print (1 yard) for $1.75. I also got a small heavy Longaberger casserole with lid for $5.00 and a fall place mat for $1.00.
    -I went to Maurice’s, I had a $20 off of $60 coupon, a $10 birthday coupon, and a $15 coupon for opening their credit card. I bought a pair of jeans and an olive green sleeveless dress for $26.00. Jeans were regular price $70 and dress was $25 but on a 50% off sale. I love this store’s jeans, I rarely buy them because of the price. I look for them in thrift stores. I paid the credit card bill before I left the store with cash in hand. I opened the card awhile ago because when you use the card you get an additional 10% off (even on clearance merchandise). Then I pay it off before I leave the store. They allow you to do this. So it is a win, win.
    -Creative use for leftovers-made quesadillas with thinly sliced leftover grilled beef steak. Had a jar of tomato soup not seal, even though it was hot we had that with cooked cheese tortellini in the soup and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Used a handful of leftover oven roasted potatoes in scrambled eggs along with onions and cheese.
    -I did not plant any zucchini this year as I had plenty in the freezer. I was missing having some fresh to fry up in butter and to make ratatouille. I traded a neighbor some cucumbers for her small zucchini. Her cucumbers aren’t doing well and she hadn’t gotten any yet, so it was a good trade.
    -We had pop up showers on Friday afternoon and evening. Hubby and I went for a drive to check the wild plums and an apple tree we knew had apples. God blessed us with a full double rainbow touching both ends to the ground. Plus it was brilliant and we were in awe!
    -We picked two 5 gallon buckets of apples on Saturday from a tree on a wildlife management area we checked previously. They are nearly perfect. Very few bug marks. And you just have to love free. I will be canning apple pie filling next week.
    -$40 spent on groceries. I shop twice a month, a big shop at the beginning and a restock of dairy and produce mid month as needed. I got milk, lactose free milk(grandkids were coming), a watermelon, lactose free ice cream, gluten free lasagne noodles (my granddaughter requested lasagne), a block of mozzarella cheese, fresh mozzarella to go with garden tomatoes, head of romaine, and butter on sale for $2.50/# (limit 2). It sure adds up, sure glad for the garden and preserved food. I spend $100 at the beginning of the month and & no more than $50 mid month. It is getting harder to stick to this amount but I am determined to make this work.
    Have a great week!

  7. What an absolutely beautiful flower/basil arrangement, Brandy. Just gorgeous! * Stayed within the grocery budget. * Started another afghan to donate to the nursing home using yarn that I already had and knit two more dishcloths (using donated yarn) to couple with dish soap for the food shelf. * Finished two more library books and listening to another one on the Libby app. * I found joy in staying home. Contentment is a gift I don’t take for granted. Grateful I could hunker down at home last week. * Got our first cherry tomato from our deck plants. It was delicious! * My 10 year old purse and wallet have slowly fallen apart and I’ve had enough comments about them that I decided I better replace. My old body would have loved thrift, garage sale and sale shopping looking for the best deal, but this body doesn’t allow that anymore. So, I spent some time online and found a purse and wallet that I liked that were within my budget. Thankful to have found something, and for online shopping. * Hope everyone has a beautiful week.

  8. Your arrangement is stunning! Flowers bring such beauty, joy and warmth to a home. 😍

    I’ve been keeping the refrigerator emptier in attempt to eat what we have and not waste. It helps when the refrigerator isn’t jam packed to see what’s in there and use it. It definitely helps!

    I used some wrinkling apples to make whole wheat apple muffins, browning bananas to bake a banana coffee cake and pears from our tree to bake a pear tart. In addition, I baked two loaves of sandwich bread. For our son’s last Sunday dinner before leaving for college I made his favorite lasagna. I only had to buy the ricotta. I gave a jar of homemade granola and a card from my stash to a friend who had a death in the family. Kind gestures can be thoughtful without costing a lot.

    Last week I picked up my Azure order. I divided the larger bags and vacuum sealed and stored the items. I’ve been ordering from them for over 10 years. Some items are not available from time to time so I’ve started ordering in advance of running out. Sometimes it takes several tries. I noticed that imported gallon jugs of olive oil are up $30!!! I bought a different brand instead. They sent an email about grain harvest and prices this year which I found interesting. https://www.azurestandard.com/healthy-living/davids-corner-sowingandharvesting/

    I finished my jumpsuit and it looks great! I’m planning to make some novelty fabric pj bottoms for my husband next.

    I received my bill from 3 ER visits and my hospital stay. I’m not sure if it’s inclusive of everything yet, but so far it’s $14,000. I’m thankful for our insurance which will cover the majority of it. Phew! 🤑

    Thanks for all the encouragement regarding my road back to health and fitness. I use a workout playlist on the free Pandora app. It’s not expensive to be healthy, it just takes consistency. I’m already feeling the difference with my stamina. 💪🏼 And it is, however, extremely expensive to be unwell!!

    I checked out a new release book from one of my favorite authors, Linda Castillo, called Hidden One. She writes (not too grisly) murder mysteries series solved by a formerly Amish police chief in Ohio. I signed up for author alerts and put it on hold immediately.

    I also cut my son’s hair before he leaves for school and I waxed my own eyebrows. I canceled Prime.

    Does anyone have a home recipe for oven cleaning? My husband dropped a homemade pizza (cheese side down) on the oven door. I’d like to clean it off without buying stinky chemicals.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone! 🌻

    1. I find that Simple Green and baking soda make a pretty effective oven cleaner. I just spritz on the the cleaner and then sprinkle on some baking soda. I let it set for 20 mins of so and then scrub with a damp scrubby sponge and wipe it all out with a wet rag. Some stubborn spots may need done twice but it’s inexpensive and no harsh fumes. I use the same method for my ceramic top stove and it doesn’t scratch the top.

    2. I have used successfully cleaned our oven using that orange oil cleaner from the 99cent stores, called “Awesome” cleaner. It’s supposed to be all natural. It’s packaged in a spray bottle and is yellow in color. It works amazingly well and cleans even our baked on things in our oven (I spray generously, after wiping out any crumbly stuff, and allow it to sit for a short bit.). Hope this is helpful.

    3. I use baking soda and vinegar to make a loose paste and then coat the oven. I leave it for a few hours or overnight – spray it with more vinegar and then wipe clean. It is messy but it works and no harsh chemicals. I find that wetting the paper towels (or newspapers/brown paper bags) that I use to wipe up really helps.

    4. I guess it depends on how dirty the oven is. My son-in-law told me recently that using the clean cycle on self-cleaning ovens is a reason the control panels go out. I kind of winced because I was considering using it on my oven, but now I’m thinking I may go back to my old way of doing things, and that is to scrape out the worst of the burned on food with a plastic pancake turner/spatula, and then use the shop vac to vacuum out the loosened stuff. Then I put on a rubber glove and use an SOS (soapy steel wool pad) on the still stuck or greasy spots, and then wipe the inside of the oven with a old washcloth wet with dishsoap suds.

      My favorite oven did not have a self-clean feature. It had a really nice light, and I could lift the door off to clean the inside. But I almost never took the oven door off to clean because it never got that dirty. After our main meal when I washed the dishes, I checked the oven and wiped out or spot cleaned with an SOS pad any stuck-on spot. The oven was always clean that way. I used an old pair of scissors to cut off a small piece of steel wool pad to use and left the rest of the pad dry and unused. Then I threw away the part of the SOS pad that I used. I didn’t like soggy, rusting steel wool pads left around.

      I use the “checking” method for cleaning my microwave, too. If I see something that needs wiping up, I do it when I wash dishes. I cover things while they are cooking, so it doesn’t get very dirty. I did clean a microwave that was very dirty at someone’s house where I was housesitting, and I put a glass of water inside to cook for a minute or so to loosen the crud before I wiped it out. I don’t know how to steam a regular oven without heating it up. I suppose if you had a steamer, you might be able to use that. Maybe a steam iron would work, if it has a shot of steam feature. I’m just speculating. Let us know what you end of doing that works the best.

      1. That is exactly what ruined my oven! We tried replacement parts and it never could work. We ended up having to replace it.

        My new oven is enamel inside and it says to only clean it with soap and water! I was rather surprised!

        1. I had an enamel oven and it cleaned like a charm. I would put a bowl of ammonia in the oven for a few hours overnight if I had burned on spots. In the morning, it would just wipe out with soap and water. It was so easy. I had no idea that they had ovens with enamel these days. Thanks for letting me know.

          1. Thank you for telling me. I have ammonia and didn’t think to use it on the new oven like that (I have used it for other things). Thank you so much!

          2. This sounds logical. I used to put the oven racks in the bathtub with old towels under them to keep them from scratching the tub and run water in to cover them and then drizzle ammonia into the water. Running the water (and opening the window and turning on the fan) first keeps the fumes down. Ammonia fumes are bad, and I suppose everyone knows better than to mix ammonia with chlorine bleach. That’s a quick way to ruin one’s lungs.

            1. I rarely cook and have never worn an apron. At our annual holiday cookie day years ago I hurt my girlfriend’s feelings because I refused to wear an apron in the group photo. I felt bad until I realized she had also hurt my feelings by giving me a gift she knew I would not like and would never use. I think I re-gifted it to a cousin who loves to cook. Hurt feelings long since over.
              Frugal vacay staying at friends’ college town condo. Great library here with 25 cent sales table. Got 16 in perfect condition board books for my sister’s new 3 month old granddaughter. I think some were brand new and had been donated by local book store. Plus 3 great thrift stores here. Plan to visit those tomorrow. I live rural, 1 mile from nearest town which has no restaurants or stores and 17 miles to nearest grocery and a few restaurants. To be on vacay less than an hour from home staying in really nice place for free with access to great restaurants in all price categories and tons of shopping is a real treat. I am so grateful to my friends of 40 years for sharing. I was able to arrive early and meet a repairman here saving my friend a 4 hour round trip to condo simply to meet him. As I was leaving home I stopped at local liquidation store. I love love love nail polish. Bought 55 bottles of $10+/bottle polish for $19. Got a few duplicate shades for aunt who also loves it. Will throw in bag with her other birthday happies in Nov. All brand names (I hate cheapo nail polish) that originated from drug store with initials RA. 55 bottles for less than retail cost of two made me a happy shopper.

        2. I’m sorry you had to replace your oven, but that’s interesting that your new one will clean with soap and water. I like that idea.

            1. It may be that you can forestall the spillage problem by putting something under baking pans that have something that might spill. For example, when I bake pies that I’m pretty sure will boil over, I set the pie dish on a cookie sheet to bake it. It seems easier to soak a cookie sheet in a sink of water than scrub the oven. A piece of foil underneath a larger dish might help. I have seen people put a piece of foil in the bottom of the oven, but I think it affected the temperature, but I’m not sure. What I really like is not having a big cleaning project, like cleaning the oven, the microwave, the fridge. I am working on getting in the habit of cleaning one shelf in the fridge once a day when I wash the dishes. I bought plastic shoe boxes from The Dollar Tree to put the permanent residents of the fridge in. I have one bigger box I use for salad greens, etc., so when I want to make a salad, I can lift out one box. I do still have a couple of items in the crisper drawers, but I use that for on sale fruit that I want to be able to keep a longer time. I still have a problem with the leftovers issue, but the whole fridge situation is getting better. With everything in plastic boxes, I can just lift out three boxes and clean the refrigerator shelf. I check to see if anything in the box needs to be thrown out or wiped off. I look at the inside of the box and see if it needs to be cleaned. But it is so much faster; the fridge is cleaner, and I don’t have a big project to look forward to. Other places I check and give a quick wipe when I wash dishes are around the refrigerator door seal and the outside of the fridge, around the door of the dishwasher, and the insides of the pans under the burners on my electric kitchen stove. It sounds like a lot, but it is really mostly checking with little wiping. It’s just a little thing, but it is helping me. I like to think I never clean the stovetop, the microwave, the oven, the fridge; I just check them:)

              1. I did put a pan in the other day; I forgot to line it with foil, so thank you very much for that reminder.

      2. I had heard the same thing about the self-cleaning feature from my appliance repairman (he came out to replace an igniter and we were just talking). When I ever get a new oven (which I hope is not something I will have to do for a very long time), I will look for an enamel one! Just a tip…we cut all our SOS pads in half for regular use. It doubles the amount you get without having to throw a whole one away because of rust.

      3. Elizabeth, I totally agree about the self-cleaning feature breaking the control panel! In our old house, I never had trouble with my oven (less than 4 years old) until I used the self-cleaning cycle for the first time. We did not have to replace the oven, but it definitely made it wonky after that. At our new house, I used the “cook time” feature — which turns the oven off after a certain time — and a day later the oven gave an error message that my husband looked up online, it said it could not be fixed (and was dangerous to use). So we had to get a new oven. Might have just been bad luck both times, but since then I have been careful not to use those automatic features.

    1. Me too Cindy!
      I attended a choir rehearsal the Saturday before – over 700 of us singing for 6 hours during a heatwave in a smallish venue – I caught it there I’m sure. Infected my eldest son and DH so we are now being looked after by my 18 year old son. He’s doing a great job!! Fingers crossed that I’ll test out tomorrow and get back on my feet. I’m exhausted though, I have to nap after having a shower so I’m going to take it very slowly. No long Covid for me thank you very much. No money spent here either.

      1. Oh dear, hope you feel better soon! I am so tired and had a very sore throat and headache for several days.

  9. After searching three thrift stores for clothing for myself, I finally just ordered some blouses online. I didn’t spend much. My husband is constantly telling me to buy some things. It’s just hard for me because I don’t like spending a lot of money, and most of the colors that are popular and available right now look terrible on me. In the past when I have really splurged on something I like, I usually somehow end up ruining it. I’m using a tip someone mentioned to me, which is to mainly buy printed tops because if you stain them, or they show a lot of wear, it’s less noticeable. I do prefer solids though.

    I have so much basil I really need to get busy and do something with it. I usually just dry it, but I’m wondering about freezing it? I’m trying so hard to stay motivated in the garden! I started two more Chadwick Cherry tomato plants that I’m going to try growing indoors this winter. I have a room that gets little use, and I think the conditions will be good. I will supplement with a grow light if necessary, and I always hand pollinate for good measure. I’m hoping it works!

    Wishing you all a wonderful week!

    1. D, have you tried wearing scarves? In the fall/winter, I wear a lot of scarves which cover any Oops stains in my tops. Blanket scarves are my favorite because you can position it to cover a bad spot. I have purchased several at yard sales for a quarter up to $1. My husband teases me because I always tend to drop food on my clothes.

  10. This month, we moved to Texas. Thank goodness for savings because it was expensive. To save money we only brought what would fit in one relocube and our car, and are being very careful in deciding what we left behind is worth replacing.
    I had to buy a new washing machine and fridge, but did not purchase a clothes dryer (our last apartment had the w/d included). Instead, I used some leftover cord from a cub scout project to string up a clothesline in my backyard. I spent $8 on clothespins, instead, and I find it absolutely delightful to hang clothing outside.
    We’ve had lots of rain this weekend, so I was forced to figure out how to line-dry clothes inside. I genuinely enjoy the creativity of frugality.

    1. I find that purchasing clothespins from The Dollar Tree is much more frugal and at a hardware store (Ace). The pins from Dollar Tree last just as long as the more expensive ones do.

    2. I hang all our shirts in hangers and used to hang in the doorway from the molding above the door, or a shower rod. I now have a rolling rack in the laundry I hang items in.

    3. I hang clothes on hangers, too. I put them in the dryer for 5 or so minutes to loosen up the wrinkles, and then I hang them up. That way most things like knits turn out nice enough that I am happy with not ironing them. Some smaller things I clothespin to hangers. Then I hang the hangers on a shower curtain rod that I roll back against the back wall of the shower when I’m not using it. The tub/shower surround sticks out from the wall enough that I can rest the ends of a shower curtain rod on it. Too much weight will bend the rod though, so I have to be careful about that.

  11. Gorgeous bouquet! I think this is my favorite you have shared yet.
    *I feel like I should just copy and paste my comments from the whole month of August as I don’t feel like I have been doing anything different. This is due, in large part, to the focus we have placed on finishing our son’s bedrooms. All things take longer than you think they should and this project is no different. Our sons’ rooms are on the attic floor of our house so there are lots of angles to deal with as well as a central beam across their ceiling which needed trimming out. But, each day we get one step closer to finishing and it feels great. Still have been able to continue on with materials and supplies we purchased quite a while ago minus some paint which we purchased in the 5 gallon size and with a coupon to save money. I hope, by next week, I can report that my children’s rooms and their hallway are done and I can move onto the stairwell. I actually like doing this kind of work (minus how long it takes) but it also helps to think of the $10,000 interior painting quote we got when we first finished the house. We knew all along we were going to do it but wanted to know what someone would charge. I just keep thinking “That’s at least $1,000, there’s another $1,000….” Motivation comes wherever we can find it. 🙂
    *Still eating out of the garden, pantry and freezer. No grocery shopping this week.
    *Sold eggs to neighbors and did paid yard work for one of them.
    *Sold $74 worth of items I was no longer using in my neighbor’s booth at a local antique store. Glad to have this avenue to move things along to others who will love them and have more space. 🙂
    *I stopped by an estate sale while on another errand and had a great time. I have gone to estate and tag sales all my life (my parents used to work for an estate sale company as a side job when I was growing up) and my house is full of either inherited pieces or things from those sales. This one was unique. It was run by the children and grandchildren of the couple who had passed away and they walked around telling people stories about the couple. They started the sale with a prayer saying they hoped everyone would enjoy the items they bought as much as their parents had. I thought that was so sweet. It just made the treasure hunt that much more fun. I found a small metal storage container (the kind that holds nuts and bolts and that sort of thing in a workshop.) I love to use these to store sewing notions and my boys like them for all the little things boys collect. It is in great shape and only $2 – a steal. But, the best thing I found was a 1930’sish era Italian made Nativity set. A little backstory – I have a Nativity of that kind and era that I love but have never had any camels and am missing one Wise Man. It hasn’t been a big deal, we just add other figures as we see fit. Our Nativity has had robots and LEGO figures among others over the years. But, I have been on the look-out for these missing pieces for years. I was so excited when I saw this box in the garage (I always find the best stuff in garages and workshops. Anyone else find this to be true?) Best of all, there were not one but three camels and all the other figures so I can have extras or replace ones in the future should they get broken. The Nativity is really a big part of our family’s Christmas tradition. We put the stable, the animals and the empty manger out the first day of Advent and Mary, Joseph and the donkey start out in another part of the house. We move them a little bit each day until they arrive at the stable on Christmas Eve. Then, Baby Jesus is put in the manger on Christmas Day. The Wise Men (and, now, the camels!) start their trek around the house then and show up on Twelfth Night. Then, the Holy Family leave the stable and begin their Flight to Egypt. So, you can see it is a pretty important and involved part of our Christmas holidays and has been a great way for us to remember that it is a season, not just a day. Now, you might be able to appreciate why finding those camels was so exciting. I figured most of you would appreciate this frugal story which shows that special things are out there if you are willing to keep looking and have patience. And that little things like an $8 box of vintage Nativity figures can make someone so happy. 🙂
    *Still reading “Lilac Girls” from the library due to all of my continued work on the house. Enjoying it and glad for the recommendation I got here.
    *Have a lovely week, all!

    1. Thank you for sharing your find to add to your Nativity.
      Nativity sets have a special place in our family’s liturgical celebrations as well.
      I have a tiny set hand painted in Mexico from my high school Spanish teacher the year I served as her teacher’s aide.
      A few years ago, my eldest daughter traveled to Mexico and saved her purchase for me until Christmas: a hand painted miniature Nativity set. It was a lovely, heartfelt gift.

    2. Hi Mountain Mama Dawn. Our family follows the same traditions with our Nativity set as you, though I will say it sometimes “bugs” my husband that the manger remains empty for so long! I have a Fontanini set I love that I purchased a few decades ago from a discount store. My wise men travel and arrive on Epiphany as well, though I haven’t had my Holy Family flee to Egypt. I may have to add that part of the Christmas story as well. That’s terrific that you found the pieces you needed to finish your set, with some future replacements as well.

      1. Lynn – I have to give my youngest son credit for the Flight to Egypt part. I never did that as a child but I love that he really wanted to continue the narrative. I bet your Fontanini set is beautiful. I know someone who has one (I think) and it takes up a whole table behind their sofa. It is a real show piece. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

        1. My Fontanini set is the older, smaller version with just about 11 pieces. I use it on my sideboard. Those larger ones like you describe are lovely, though my little set suits me just fine. However, I wouldn’t mind finding some camels like you did. I’ll have to be on the lookout!

  12. Hello! I also have had to change my food shopping to accommodate higher prices.

    I ate all meals at home, cooking them from scratch ( not processed foods).

    I began working from home 4 weeks ago and save so much money! I filled up my gas tank a couple of days before I switched to home worker and still have just under a half a tank! I don’t need to buy special “work food” ( to accommodate short breaks and company rules). I can wear my lounge wear rather than work clothes. I save time by not having to commute an hour a day. I have more energy to get things done around the house and exercise. I never want to go back to working on site!

    I harvested oregano, basil, and thyme from the garden.

    I updated my vehicle insurance to not commuting for work and saved on my car insurance. I received a refund since it was already paid for for the year.

    My health insurance reimburses for gym memberships. I made sure to send in the form to get my refund.

    I cashed in a few stocks I had to pay on a large medical debt. I had been wanting to close this account anyways before I lost all my money. I’m not very savvy when in cubes to the stock market.

    I won a $20 gift card to a local restaurant.

    My daughter and I ate a picnic lunch outside at home one day.
    Have a great week everyone!

  13. I got Covid so that saved $ as I had to self isolate & stay at home. I’m grateful my husband did not get infected from me & that my illness was short lived. I’m also glad the sickness was early in the month so that I am well to start the fall semester.
    I start a part time teaching job this week.
    My husband found about a dozen wrapped rolls of toilet paper in the road. Likely they fell off a truck supplying businesses w/ TP.
    We have been eating from the freezer also. I also have a stockpile of toiletries bought on sale.
    Got my Covid booster & influenza vaccine this week. Vaccines were free.
    Found a 16lb sack of premium Iams dry cat food marked 50% off at the grocery store. Sadly no “human food” marked 50% off.
    I took the remnants of a stick deodorant & melted it in the microwave. Then I added the liquid to my almost full deodorant stick. (I’ve noticed the cost of toiletries have also increased.)

  14. Brandy, the high prices are worrying. We can expect another 30 to 40 percent increase in food prices overall in September/October, and more down the line.

    1. I knew they were coming–but wow, that’s soon! I think they will double from where they are now.

  15. It was another great, frugal week in Houston, TX!
    I pre-made pb&j sandwiches by the loaf for lunches, snacks, and second breakfasts. Goodness, these kids can eat! So thankful for healthy, growing children.
    I do not escrow property taxes, so I checked to make sure that I’m on track for the end of the year, as I move money to savings monthly. We are blessed to not have a state income tax, but our property taxes are high. I prefer this; I can (and do) choose to live in a cheaper house to lower the property taxes I pay, but I wouldn’t choose to make less money to pay lower income taxes.
    I organized some, but not all, of the kids clothes.
    I found an inexpensive, well-made dresser that I wanted, but eventually chose not to buy. The baby doesn’t need his own dresser yet, and with better organization, I can make do with what I have.
    I gave two kids hair cuts.
    We ate lots of meals that didn’t necessarily go together. Spaghetti with a side of pineapple, type meals.
    One son is learning to play the recorder and can now play “Hot Cross Buns.” As a treat, I made some for the kids.
    Frozon pizzas were BOGO free; I bought 4 to have on hand as a last minute, just in case meal.
    Have a nice, frugal week!

  16. Not so much saving money as finding lower cost options and not eating out because I was sick this week. Skipped the grocery store too.

    Lucked into a special-order return cabinet that was exactly what I wanted for the laundry room. Original price $842 – I paid $157.

    Bathroom tile searches continue… I got a whole box of specialty trim tile at the architectural salvage – originally $30 for each tile– I paid $10 for the box of 30. Also picked up the last 2 boxes of a $220 a box mosaic tile to intermix– I paid $50 per box instead. I still need a general field tile. Found a lovely vanity lamp at Habitat $15 – the one I had been eyeing for that space was $250. Found a perfect glass shower door on clearance for basically the price of a rod and nice shower curtain.

    Picked up metal legs for the new (gifted) nightstands for $10 each. Gave the old ones to a neighbor. Still haven’t found a headboard.

    I picked up 20 5-quart plastic boxes to continue the organizing and found a box of name labels in my closet at work to label the pantry and the plastic boxes with. There are big bags of trash from my cleanout awaiting the dumpster that comes this week. Also coming this week is the plumber (for a gas line) and while, neither is cheap, they are necessary.

    1. I know you might need more than this (tile) but I sometimes see it on Facebook Marketplace and/or craigslist. We found enough to to the whole backsplash of our very large kitchen so you never know.

  17. Beautiful flowers! And that bread looks delicious 💜

    Was a hard week (dropped daughter off at college) and definitely not the most frugal. Ways we did save:
    *drove daughter to college and came home the same night (no hotel cost)
    *received free t shirts at college
    *split my meals eaten out or on road in half so went further
    *read a few library books
    *was gifted an extension ladder from my dad (was on my husband’s wish list)
    *was treated to lunch by my dad after church
    📍Grocery store: Spent $46.77 for groceries this week. Trying to use up what we have in the pantry and freezer.
    📍Buy Nothing Group: A bissell crosswave (it’s been on my wish list)!

    Take care all!

    1. Our son works in research and design for Bissell. He got us a Crosswave – used it once and I pitched the mop 🙂 I LOVE it. Cleans our ceramic floors in a much shorter time and they feel cleaner too. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats and no grass in our backyard so the floors get very dirty, very quickly.

  18. Staying home a lot is a real money saver! My husband and I do have library dates,occasional lunch dates with a coupon, and we walk our local parks, we have 3 within a short distance. We swim in our own pool, I make nice dinners and play music to match,sometimes (Dean and Frankie on Italian night..) I read a lot. (Free books on cloudy library and actual books from library.) We play cards and rummecube. Occasionally, I meet with girlfriends on my block for happy hour in our own backyards with trader Joe wine.. no bar and grills for us!! Food: I cook most all our meals at home.That has got to be the biggest money saver ever.When we both worked (pre retirement) we ate out more often and I can see now how much money it saves to skip that for the most part! I love my own cooking! Groceries: the prices are getting scary. I have a freezer full of meat from prior sales and we eat a small amount.. usually stir fries or just small portions, like one small chicken thigh each ,with lots of brown rice and veggies.. I have many vegetarian cookbooks and am now cooking many more lentil,bean and rice meals. Soup and bread meals. We also love quinoa, a nice high protein grain. I want to Learn how to bake my own bread.. will be looking up some of your recipes. Love your blog and all the comments too!

  19. For those of you struggling with drought, I so wish I could send you some of the buckets of rain we have been getting here in Georgia. It has rained at least once a day for well over a week now and everything is saturated. I had hope to go on with the garden and be able to sow some seeds for fall crops, but the rain has kept me from being able to do so. I don’t know if anything that we have planted now will survive the near constant rains but we shall see. I have managed to harvest crowder peas and have almost half a gallon in the freezer. I also brought in several peppers of all varieties, some basil and a few tomatoes. The zinnias are continuing to grow and I am cutting them almost daily – especially with all the rain we are getting. I am hopeful that they will last well into the fall as I am enjoying them around the house so very much. I also love watching the frequent visits to the zinnia beds by hummingbirds and all manner of butterflies.
    We continued to hang pictures around our home and empty boxes this week. It has been quite the task. I have been working to incorporate items that we already had on hand but did not have space to display as well as display practical items as well. I find home canned jars of fruits and vegetables quite pretty so I have mixed in some with stacks of china and crystal and my cookbooks. It sounds odd I know but it came out looking quite lovely. I looked at Pottery Barn and found some linen curtains that I love but the cost was outrageous so I found knockoffs on Amazon and will make them work. I can outfit the whole house for what I would have spent at Pottery Barn for the dining room alone. I will be logging in through your site once I get ready to purchase Brandy! I am still measuring and planning on the colors that will work for us best.
    I baked a double batch of blueberry muffins using berries that I froze this summer and made a large pot of spaghetti for us as well. Oatmeal cookies were baked to use up some oats and some raisins languishing in the pantry. I washed a whopping 10 loads of laundry yesterday combining all I could and washing everything except our towels in cold water. Unpacking and organizing makes for a lot of laundry! I took the opportunity to use some old Ball jars to store my Oxiclean and other laundry supplies in while I was already in the laundry room. I cleaned out my inside fridge again and worked my way through half of the outside fridge as well. My husband repaired the column on our front porch – it needed some additional support & we took another load of broken down cardboard boxes to the county recycling center. We also took several items from our garage to Goodwill. I added bananas that were well past their prime to my freezer for bread making in the future. I packed lunch for my son to take to school instead of paying the crazy prices for a school lunch that he won’t eat.
    Enjoy the week ahead!

    1. Angie, I live in the NW Atlanta suburbs and echo your sentiment about the rain. DEFINITELY wish we could send it to Brandy and others out west! It’s been such a gloomy, wet summer, and we’re having the problems affiliated with too much moisture (mold, damping off seedlings etc). Also haven’t been able to hang laundry outside much this summer! Thank goodness for indoor drying racks!

    2. Also in GA…. I have nearly 6 inches of water sitting in my garden right now. I was going to plant the fall/ winter garden, but now I don’t know if it will ever dry out enough.

  20. I’m still recovering from COVID. The cough is what has wiped me out. I suspect my asthma greatly aggravated it or vice versa because my husband has been well for a week. I sat out in the sun yesterday for about 40 minutes and it felt so good. I’m a big believer in the healing effect of the sunshine. Not a lot accomplished on my own, but my husband helped me play catch up with the laundry. Yay! He also vacuumed and mopped the whole house. Yay! Recovering in a messy house is even more depressing so bless his heart!

    I can’t remember if I posted that I finished The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle. My favorite part was that it was based on a real story! I found it very predictable, but it was an enjoyable read. I haven’t pulled out my new reading adventures yet so my CD player is empty, no Bible study companion book, and no afternoon book either! I am reading a Dick/Frances Felix book called Crossfire. I loathe horse racing, but the books are good mysteries. I’ll hopefully list some new books next week. Oh, we’re also watching Father Brown from the library. I’m so glad they’re carrying British shows because American TV is dismal at best!

    We desperately need rain here in Kansas. I almost fainted when I opened our $200+water bill for July. Even more disheartening is that the lawn looks TERRIBLE! It’s half brown and crunchy. I think we’re just keeping it alive. It’s already time again to deep water the trees. We have 11 big ones and it takes half the day and a lot of water.

    Brandy, I so agree with your reaction to prices at the market. It’s going to be a very Soupy fall and winter! We’re still eating salads and sandwiches, but I made a crock of Mac and cheese. Loaded fried rice is on the menu this week, as well as stuffed baked potatoes. I make a chili type topping that makes them very filling. Besides using the cabbage for the rice, I’m going to make Bierocks. They’re a hand pie stuffed with cooked cabbage and ground beef. Really stretches the meat.

    I loved your floral arrangement! Are those the zinnias you were all talking about last week? I want to plant some! What month should I set the reminder to do that? The only flowers I’m getting right now are very sad hydrangea!

    1. Zinnias like the heat, so you want to sow seeds in the garden after your last frost date in the spring. I usually wait longer because I have other flowers growing in those beds, so I plant once the spring flowers are done.

        1. Debby, I am in Wichita. Zinnias LOVE Kansas. The do take a little water, but really not very much. And they bloom most of the summer and fall. You will love them.

      1. Does anyone have issues with deer eating zinnias? I love the flowers, but we need deer proof here for sure.

        1. Yes lol I planted huge beds of zinnias this year & it’s been quite the smorgasbord for the deer! I will say though they have been careful not to walk through the beds but stay on the paths.

    2. Debby I plant my zinnias when I plant my garden after first frost. They start blooming mid July and bloom until frost. Even with harvesting lots for the house. I plant the tall large ones. One package of seeds brings much beauty!

    3. You might try Manukah honey for your cough. As long as you aren’t allergic to it, it works wonders. It has a unique antibacterial property.
      It’s a bit expensive. One of my doctors had had bronchitis and couldn’t get rid of a cough. I suggested he try it and it worked like a charm.
      Buy the highest factor number that’s available. Also ask your gp/family doctor if you can try a magnesium supplement (low dose) for your asthma.
      I took it for my broken arm but found it greatly helped my asthma. 65% of North Americans are deficient in magnesium. You don’t want to take too much but ask your doctor.

  21. Brandy, I wish I had your creative ability. I have lots of zinnias and basil growing in my garden but my arrangements never look like yours. You excel at everything you do and I enjoy the visual fruits of your labor.
    Thank you for this blog. I’m in my 70’s and have been gardening and living sustainably for the past 50 years, but I always learn something from the people who comment.

    1. Linda, there are so many beautiful flower arranging how-to videos online for free! A YouTube search should yield you some!

      I took a floral arranging class in college. However, the style of floral arranging has changed, and I prefer the new styles and shapes of arrangements that I see now. I follow several professional floral designers on Instagram whose particular styles I love. I have found that I can recognize their work when seen on Pinterest or elsewhere and not labeled as belonging to them; their styles are that distinct. While I don’t grow enough flowers to make the styles of my favorite floral designer, I can do much with what I have. Seeing the work of others helps to inspire me.

  22. I am subbing in the school office today. I make a small part time income from doing subbing, Etsy, ebay sales and sewing. My goal this year is to make enough to earn the 4 credits for social security. My husband is a teacher in CA and teachers here don’t pay into SS. So I would have none through him. I won’t receive much from SS when the time comes, but it all helps. The income also goes towards qualifying for disability, should I ever need that.
    We continue to be overrun with zucchini and cucumbers. I was able to send produce home with my son’s family. I sent apples, peaches, zucchini, cucumber, 4 baskets of cherry tomatoes, and green beans. Also zucchini cake. I have to really watch the fridge for leftovers that need used, since it’s crammed full of produce. I had a little bit of food waste last week.
    I used Swagbucks to purchase 3 needed items online.
    I met with a lawyer for a free consultation. Our will, trust and POA need updating. I try to keep those in good order. We will pay for the actual work.
    I found rechargeable AA batteries at Harbor Freight. We bought a charger that can be plugged into our solar light with USB port.

    (Brandy, I’m not sure if this posted before. If it did, please delete the repeat! Thanks)

  23. Hi Brandy and everyone
    I look forward to seeing your new aprons, I wear them a lot at home too.
    Not much to report this week as we’ve been on holiday in Scotland and attended a nephew’s wedding during that time, not frugal but we tried to keep costs down. This is the second wedding in two weeks! We attended them both because we are very fond of both couples.
    We filled reusable water bottles every day when travelling or exploring the area.
    We used a Wild Swim book to find a safe and accessible place to swim for free in the River Earn.
    We cooked all but one evening meal in our holiday accommodation.
    We wore clothes and accessories we already owned for the wedding.
    We helped decorate the wedding venue the day before the wedding. In the evening a pot luck supper was held. We took potatoes and tomatoes from our garden and a big bag of pasta from home to our holiday cottage. I made potato salad, pasta salad and tomato salad as our contribution to the supper.
    Hope to have more frugal achievements to report next week.
    Stay safe everyone.

  24. I just finished an audio book I got when I traveled. It took a bit even in the car alone to quit wandering off in my own thought and pay attention. I found I have to be still to pay attention. I listened to The Nightingale.
    ***I made dog treats with peanut butter. I wanted to fill the oven when I baked so I got out bananas from the freezer and made banana bread. I substituted a banana for one egg in the dog treats and they came out perfect. The dogs love them. I had peanut butter that was oily even if I stirred it so I was wanting g to use it in baking.
    *** Eating from the inside freezer I used 1. taco meat and beans plus leftover rice and made a taco casserole with tortilla chip crumbs 2. frozen chicken and a stir fry kit for stir fry 3. corndogs and French fries. I have a list of 3 more meals
    ***I organized my sewing room, moving school supplies and odd craft things out of main drawers. I found a lot of things I was able to consolidate, like crochet hooks that I put in a zippered pouch.
    ***I heard potatoes and onions are the next item to be in short supply. I picked up 30# of potatoes. Today I am canning Breakfast in a jar, which is ham I had in the freezer, potatoes, peppers and onions. I am also canning quarts of potatoes. I got some beef bones out and let them simmer in a roaster 2 days. I plan to do some beef canning and will use it as the broth.
    ***I sowed green bean seed.
    I’ve harvested zucchini, tomatoes, okra. All scraps go in my compost bin and husband adds wood dust. All canning water and veg soaking water goes in the garden.
    ***I made a trip to get some stocking up holes plugged. I got socks for exercise and underwear. I got dry milk, potatoes, oil, vinegar, 10# sugar, vitamins C/D/ zinc, cold medicine, Tums, benadryl, can carrots, big bag chocolate bars, syrup, 2 mustards, 10 spiral notebooks, 2 spaghetti sauces, coffee.
    ***Sold camper mattress, table, end table.
    ***filled up at Sams for $3.36 a gallon

  25. I’m following the advice of our local extension office for things to plant for a fall garden on their month by month planting calendars. The plants that can be directly seeded in August in my area are – none. I can start planting seeds in September, though. I’m not growing tomatoes or any of those plants that one would typically start indoors and transplant, since I shouldn’t eat most of them. I have all the seeds I will need for fall.

    I’m canceling an every-two-month delivery service for frozen dinners that are appropriate for my food limitations. It’s wonderful to have them handy in the freezer for those days when plans fall through or there aren’t enough leftovers, but it’s just too expensive to keep using the service anymore. I will have to work hard to make sure I have my own frozen options on the ready, which means some days will be dedicated to cooking and putting up meals. That’s hard to do with my schedule, but it will be worth it.

    Inspired by Brandy, I dug out an old sheet set that I kept because I liked the print and will cut out and sew a new apron for myself from the best areas of the sheets.

    It didn’t help me personally except to de-clutter, but a family member was pleased to accept a small piece of furniture I no longer was using.

    I bought a wedding gift with a sale and additional discount from my bank, getting it for less than a third of the original price.

    Heavy rain is predicted for later today, so I brought my old rain shoes with me to put on if the parking lot is flooded when we leave work, instead of risking my good work shoes.

    I made another batch of toilet bowl cleaner – water, vinegar and a dash of concentrated dish detergent – and put it in a recycled all-purpose cleaner pour-top bottle. Since I do a quick swish of my toilet bowls once every day, I don’t need a strong commercial cleaner.

    I exchanged the water in the outdoor fish tank, and used the old water to water my raised beds, flowering plants and new fruit tree.

    Brandy, the flowers are as lovely as always.

  26. I’d always listened to music while doing chores, but have recently put my phone on the kitchen windowsill to listen to podcasts or YT videos during days spent preserving the harvest. I’m enjoying them, but like you, I think I miss a lot. I’m sure I couldn’t follow a book, with so many other things grabbing my attention. Last Monday, figs and pawpaws most needed attention, so I canned vanilla fig preserves, then pawpaw butter. These were set aside for gifts. Several cucuzza squash were grated, and frozen in 1/2 cup pucks in muffin tins, to use in recipes over the winter. I canned Cantaloupe Vanilla Jam by Food in Jars for the first time, and it’s delicious. Knowing I won’t have all the fresh produce coming in to use for chicken mash during the cold months, I’ve been gathering some things to supplement their diet, as I’ve been doing this summer. My husband had two large bags of cereal he no longer wants, being he can’t have milk (& doesn’t care for plant milk), and I can’t have gluten, so I’ve saved them to crush up as part of their mash. When he organized our seeds, he brought me a basket of corn cobs we’d saved for seed. As we’re not planning on growing corn any longer, and I can’t eat it on my current lifestyle, I’ll grind the corn for the chickens. I’ve also found homemade bread crumbs in the freezer, from pre-GF days, so they will also be used. We’ve left a couple vines of tromboncino to ripen into winter squash for them, and quite a few are already huge and turning color. Much of the year, I can also bring them various greens, and I’m thinking of collecting some of the numerous seed heads of dock on the homestead. I feel better knowing if there are supply chain issues, or the price of their feed becomes too much to bear, I have a number of foods to give them to at least stretch any bought food. I tried making “zucchini chips” with cucuzza for the first time. They tasted nice, with salt, dill and lemon juice. A mandoline was recommended for cutting, but they were tissue paper thin once dehydrated, and stuck to the trays. I welcome suggestions. Sweet potato leaves were harvested to have in my morning smoothies. It’s a super easy way to get in more leafy greens, and is not even noticeable. My niece and sister have both recently expressed interest in learning to can, which really excites me. My sister came and spent the day today, and learned to can stewed tomatoes. I sent her home with lots of garden goodies. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2022/08/alternatives-to-chicken-feed-new-jam.html

  27. Brandy I love audiobooks but I only listen when I’m doing tasks while others are occupied – driving, cleaning, but of course your littles will be interrupting even then nowadays!
    Speaking of audiobooks we listened to a free one from Hoopla while driving home from taking our youngest to college yesterday [she talked the WHOLE way there LOL!]. I was surprised and pleased we could download it while on the road!
    Groomed the dog at home, in sections over the past week. So much hair!
    I followed your suggestion to put ‘dormant’ orchids in the bathroom to take advantage of steam from showers – one has a new leaf! Another is reblooming from the stalk – I brought them both out now that they’re more active and put one to sleep in there that had finished flowering a while ago
    Grocery prices are shocking indeed, but milk is still much cheaper than yogurt so I’ll make some more tonight!

  28. I saw the first photo and thought, is that basil!? How pretty! I’ll bet it smelled nice too.

    I used to make pita all the time, when my children were little. I think I’ll have to revive the tradition.

    I’ve continued to catch water everywhere I can think of – from showers, rinsing produce, from the air conditioner (the days have cooled so I haven’t been running it, which is a relief) – and using it for free flushes and on potted plants and flowers.

    I use the quick wash setting on the dishwasher, and dry almost all of the laundry on the line. I’d like to figure out how to route the water that drains from the washing machine so it can be used to water plants and trees.

  29. In the last two weeks I
    – used Hoopla to watch an episode of a mystery series I enjoy.
    – attended a free class on pressure canning meat. The instructor also had seed packets left over from another event and encouraged us to take some home. I took four – 3 packets of flower seeds and 1 packet of strawberry seeds.
    – foraged wild blueberries and harvested the remaining berries from the garden. I added one bag of blueberries and 1 bag of mixed berries into the freezer.
    – found two items at a thrift shop that were on my list for an emergency kit I’m building for my car.
    – got a full refund for some organic garden fertilizer I ordered online that was marked as delivered but was not actually delivered to my house. The company then sent me a smaller size for free.
    – harvested tomatoes, collard greens, swiss chard, lettuce, onions and shallots from the garden.
    – dried herbs from my garden in stored them in repurposed glass peanut butter jars.
    – packed a lunch for long drives and events when I would be away from home at meal time.
    – skipped shopping at the grocery store and made meals from food I already had on hand.

  30. I’m looking forward to seeing your aprons! They really do save clothes. I’m thinking of making some for Christmas gifts this year.
    *celery was cheap, so I dehydrated enough for the winter when it gets expensive.
    *we ate green beans, zucchini, and tiny tomatoes from the garden. Not enough to preserve though, sadly.
    *baked bread and also blueberry muffins, using the berries that were getting soft.
    * made iced tea to drink. I then decanted the tea into tall bottles with vintage-looking wire bales to hold the top on. Looks very elegant and much nicer to take with us on outings.
    *bought and froze pork on sale. My sister’s farm friends say that animals are being culled ahead of winter due to anticipated high feed costs, and there may be supply issues as a result. Does anyone know anything about this first hand?
    *flour has now doubled in price since January! I’ve been holding out replenishing my pantry, but now I wonder if I should just go ahead. There have been no sales for months and months, just increases.
    *husband trimmed my hair. (But he won’t let me cut his, haha!) I dye it at home.
    Enjoy the last weeks of summer, everyone!

      1. Thank you, Brandy. I read your link, and the Azure Standard article Julie posted. The grains situation does not look good what with war and weather. I think I had better buy more flour before the situation deteriorates further. I store it with bay leaves in 5gallon pails with gamma seals, and have not had any issues.

    1. My mom made my husband and I two aprons a piece last year for Christmas. We were so happy! We use them every time we cook, and I wear them when cleaning (and eating – I’m a messy eater!)

    2. I know some of my family that raise beef cattle aren’t getting their new ones they usually would because of the cost of the feed and lack of availability. It will definitely make meat higher in costs next year as a result because so many are being forced to make that choice.

  31. That pita bread looks great. Is the recipe on your blog? I didn’t see it.
    I worked three days and brought my breakfast and lunch all three days.
    I dried 4 trays of shredded zucchini and 6 trays of sliced zucchini. Dried 10 trays of basil.
    Picked a huge amount of chard. My DH cut it up the way we like it. I made chard with olive oil and garlic twice, and also put some in the freezer for gnocchi soup this winter.
    Picked 4 gallons of green beans, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers and zucchini.
    Dug 4 hills of potatoes and harvested the garlic. The potatoes did great, the garlic not so much.
    Made BLTs for dinner twice. On mine I put sliced cucumber instead of lettuce. Prefer that crunch.
    Had popcorn and fruit for dinner one night when I was exhausted from working in the garden.
    Blanched green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots Pulled corn and peas from the freezer and thawed in cold water. Mixed all together and made homemade mixed veggies. Great for soup, pot pies, other casseroles, or just eating.
    Froze green beans and cauliflower separately also
    Made cauliflower soup and chow mein.
    Gave son and his wife veggies from the garden, except no potatoes as my DIL is allergic.
    I have three people staying with me early next week, so took the bedding off the beds in the guest rooms and washed it and dried it on the line.
    There were really no good deals at the stores, so did very little shopping. Too tired anyway.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

    1. It’s not, but I will try to get it on there.

      The sales were awful last week here as well–not really sales at all, save for the tail end of the one with the chicken.

    2. Nancy love the idea of cucumbers on BLT’s or should I say BCT’s? I have plenty of cucumbers right now and no lettuce. And I love cucumbers. Will give this a try.

    3. Just finished my supper of bacon, avocado and tomato sandwiches – just delicious! Best tomatoes I’ve had in years – so sweet! The bacon is my favourite thick cut brand – on “sale” for $13 per kilo as opposed to the $17 per kilo it was last week!!!! I bought 2 kilos. I cooked up enough for a couple of more meals and the rest has been portioned up and double- bagged for the freezer! It is going to have to last until New Years at that price!

  32. That flower arrangement is so beautiful!
    We had rain almost every day this week, which cooled things down until it’s beginning to feel like fall. It will be here before we know it – in the mountains above us, the aspens are starting to get hints of gold. We cut another cord of firewood in the national forest. This gives us the four cords we need for this winter. Our permit allows us another two cords and we are hoping to cut these and get a head start on next year, but it depends on our time and energy. (We still have to split and stack 3 cords.) City Market (Kroger affiliate) had Colorado peaches for 99 cent a pound. I purchased 13 pounds and canned 9 pints of peaches, and made a big peach cobbler. I also put up three jars of peach peel jelly. I pulled all my onions and hung them in the woodshed to dry. I ended up with over 200 red, yellow, and white onions. I purchased a dozen ears of corn and we ate some and I canned 5 and 1/2 pints of corn. I had a lot of small potatoes from the potatoes I dug two weeks ago, so I washed them, blanched them, and froze them with olive oil and herbs, to roast for a quick side dish. I had enough for four meals. The rest of the potatoes are in a cardboard box in my cellar, which is dark and cool all year round, though I will probably use them all in three months or so. I’m grateful to have these, as potatoes have been absent from stores here, and when I do find them, if I purchase a bag, I end up throwing a bunch of bad ones out. I have talked to others who have had the same experience. We enjoyed our first green beans from the garden, as well as chard, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage and onions. My husband repaired a ceiling fan for friends. The wife works at the local hot springs and they gifted us with four passes. We will wait until cooler weather to use these.

    1. Great idea about the smaller potatoes. I never know what to do with them. They are such a pain if you wait until later when the skins get tougher, but I hate to waste them. (I compost them but still I’d rather eat them.) Thank you.

    2. I’ve frozen mashed potatoes and fully cooked sliced au gratin, scalloped etc. Never thought about freezing the potatoes either. Thank you for the how to on them.

  33. I am buying 4 PC lasagnas and beef stroganoffs for the freezer — they are at Superstore (and more varieties at No Frills) for $5.88 each (reduced from $10.88 each. I will bake them then freeze individual portions of them. I am also buying cheese on sale (1 kg block for $14.99, reduced from $18.99). I will shred it and put it in small bags in the freezer. I am buying 900 grams of whole wheat couscous for $3.79. I bought new potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli and beets from the Farmers Market. I had to return some medical equipment to a clinic which was two blocks from the market so I could stop on my way home. I am waiting for my favourite Italian prune plums. At Safeway, I am buying the little cans of chicken and turkey (good for sandwiches, salads) for $1 each. As mentioned before, I will be stocking up on my favourite lentils, $1.39 the old price still in effect at one store as opposed to $1.79 everywhere else. The “friend” who used all my steaks from her freezer has of her own accord bought replacement ones so I should be receiving those. I wouldn’t have minded had she asked or said she needed them. Anyway, it will be nice to have them.

    It has not been a frugal week — I had to go to have a monitor installed on Friday, it was $100 round trip, then today I had to return the monitor, again $100. I at least would have coped better but the monitor fell off an hour after it was put on me so the test was no good. For a different reason, I had to go by ambulance to hospital Friday evening. It is free if you are over a certain age. We of course go to the hospital assigned to us and I ended up going to the farthest hospital from me. Getting home by cab cost another $55. So I am broke again. There was a long wait both for the ambulance (wait times for ambulances are unprecedentedly long) and in the ER waiting room (at least I was triaged by the paramedics, although they didn’t wait with me for which I was glad) but the upside is that I had a great ER doctor and I’m home again. I managed to read a whole book (A Bookstore in Berlin) while I was waiting. I’ve been taking it easy. And trying to get chores done.

    1. Just a note about the Superstore specials. The website will say for example, Chicken Lasagna $5.88, limit 2, Vegetable lasagna $5.88, limit 2, etc. but what Superstore does is if you buy 2 of the Chicken Lasagna, at 5.88 each, the store then charges you $10.88 (regular price) for the 2 vegetable lasagnas. Same goes for canned soups. This is not the first time this has happened to me and as far as I’m concern ed it is misleading advertising.

      1. Thanks for the tips on the pricing Ann – you really do have to read the fine print these days!
        Sorry to hear about the trips to the ER but glad to read that you are safely home – hope you are feeling better – if broke….

        1. Hi Margie,

          thanks for the wishes! Unfortunately, Superstore does not say in fine print or elsewhere that the limit applies to all the items in a certain class — just a limit on each particular item. If I did my grocery shopping in person, I would complain. I may write a letter.

  34. I find I pay attention best to audiobooks while driving. It’s strange walking around the house listening to them, so I save them for when I’m in the truck.

    Speaking of audiobooks, I finally finished The Terror. I also finished Choice, and started Home Fires(taking the teen to my mother in laws, then picking her back up helped)

    Not a lot happened last week. Back to work kicked off with an all day meeting on Tuesday. I did receive a reusable bag with pens, notepad, coffee cup, and lots of snacks. We were fed lunch, and had plenty of sodas and sweets.

    Since the teen was gone, we ate dinners she isn’t particularly find of(or there were just small amounts of in the freezer)

    Hubby came home with two rotisserie chickens one night. We ate one, then I used the meat off the other for chicken and dumplings. The carcasses went into the freezer to be boiled into stock when I have the time.

    I have green onions regrowing in a jar of water. I trimmed them up, placing the pieces in the refrigerator to use.

    The teen made a batch of cinnamon rolls at her grandmother’s house to bring home since the oven still isn’t fixed. They were delicious.

    My coworker and I dumpster dived on some of the stuff teachers tossed. I ended up with 2 plastic crates(she took home 2 rolling drawer carts, several small baskets, and a carafe)

    1. Most of my drives are only 5 minutes away, so I have time to listen to 1 and a half songs in the car. If I had more time, I think audiobooks would work there.

  35. * My Cempazuchitl Marigold seeds are sprouting from seeds dropped last year. Having a hard time in this heat keeping them watered as it means misting them several times a day with the hose.
    * Have a dripping faucet which means hauling buckets to water outside a few times a day as I don’t want to waste a drop. Still waiting to hear when new plumbing will get scheduled.
    * Discovered my pharmacy delivers for free, so saved on gas.
    * Found the new book on companion planting from someone I follow online at the library, which I was very pleased by and hadn’t expected.
    * Been making lots of taco salad, which I love and stretches ground beef pretty well.
    * Unfortunately when I was sick w covid a part of the yard went to weed which grew quite tall and are dry now. I’ve decided these can be put to good use cut and repurposed for fall and Halloween decorations.
    * Gave myself a manicure with polish I got on Black Friday sale two years ago. At the time I got colors for every season, so set for Fall and holidays.
    * Put new sheets on bed I got on sale half off last year.

  36. In checking my finances this week ,I saw where several automatic payments had not posted. I’m told there were glitches. That’s a first in several decades. All late charges were refunded. Honestly ,it seems more shady than not. After about 20 years ,I have bought new pots and pans. I used a 40 % off Kohls coupon on a sales price . the brand Tramontina that are suppose to be good. Looking at them , I’m not impressed. Googling reviews I see they last about 2 years . There’s no way ! I saw a set of stainless steel for about a third of the price and think I may exchange them. I guess I’ve gotten an average of 20 years on my last two purchases. Our gasoline has dropped to $3.15 which is a huge blessing. I found several Carter’s baby sets marked to $7.00 at Kohls. That’s about 75% off their listed price. I bought sugar cookie 4 items to give her new baby cousins at Christmas. The girl and I are going on our cheap cruise at Halloween. I have waited to buy our airline tickets as I wanted the cheapest fares possible. I managed to snag two round trip tickets for a total of $155.00. Thankfully the sardine can airline is only a hour flight and comfort is manageable for such a short time. My birds are starving. They are going through my supply of bird food way to fast . Sugar cookie said she was going to put some peanut butter out for them. ( we easily have 100 jars. None of it recalled ). I’m going to Google and see if berries and fruits are anything they will eat , as we have access to tons of it. This week a dumpster was full of cold case items. I got them immediately after being disposed of. I brought home tons of butter ,yogurts, cheeses ,cookie dough ,whipped cream in can ,and more than I can remember. It was all very quickly claimed by friends. I’m most excited about the Ricotta cheese. I’ve never bought it due to price. I look forward to using it. Another evening we got a case of Kleenex and a case of aluminum foil . We rarely need to purchase anything. Sugar cookie suggested this about 2 years ago now. Its been an eye opening experience and a huge blessing. Honestly , the few times I go in the stores , I simply can’t pay the asking price. I guess having to be frugal so many years has simply made me stubborn. I hope everyone is doing well.

    1. Lillianna,
      About pots and pans-I’ve been using my grandmother’s Revereware set of pots and pans for 18 years, and I know she bought them in the 60s and 70s. They have lasted so well and I often see them at thrift shops-it may be worth looking!

      1. My son is still using the Revere pans my MIL (his grandmother) bought in 1947! I used mine for 35 years. When I replaced them, I bought a heavier stainless steel with aluminum bottoms and plain stainless steel handles. I have had them for 19 years and I am still very happy with them. I wash them in the DW. The handles of Revereware fade/discolor in the DW. That isn’t the reason I replaced them, though. Mine were from the ’60s and ’70s and not as heavy as those from the ’40s. A few had warped, plus I always felt compelled to clean the copper bottoms. Looked great but just another chore, IYKWIM. Farberware are about the same quality as Revere but no copper bottoms to clean.

      2. Merry, I look for them at yard sales. I have some of my mom’s, and my original set from 1980. When I have needed a lid replaced, they sent me a whole box of pots and pans bc they didn’t have just a lid. I can tell you that they are much thinner than the ones I have and the ones my mom had. Old ones are the best.

  37. Homemade pita is so yummy! My eldest loves watching it puff up in the oven! We’re also eating down the meat in our freezer (my husband and kids, at any rate), and I’m looking for sales.

    My frugal week:
    – i made pizza using zucchini (https://approachingfood.com/zucchini-provolone-pizza/) but replaced the provolone with swiss, as it was cheaper)
    – redeemed $20 to my paypal account from legeropinion.com
    – picked beans, chives, green onions, collard greens, basil, and 🍅from my garden. I had enough beans to share with my mum.
    – made green tomato salsa using tomatoes grown on my balcony. I was going to buy some tortilla chips to serve with the salsa, but decided to just used the pretzel crackers I already had at home. Worked out fine!
    – combined sales, rebates, cashback, and coupons when shopping.
    – borrowed physical and e-books from the library
    – used soy curls as a meat alternative. I love them, plus they’re shelf-stable and significantly cheaper than meat.
    – made more pizza (such an easy inexpensive meal for my family) using basil from my balcony
    – took my kids to a new playground
    – I added water to lotion bottles to get the last out
    – made maraschino cherry and chocolate chip shortbread cookies using cherries given to me from my sister and discounted chocolate chips
    – I signed one of my kids up for an outdoor music class (a splurge, and I’m grateful I could work it into the budget) and a free cd is part of the package. My daughters already listen to the songs on the cd for free on the free version of the spotify app, so instead of having the cd mailed to me, I had it mailed to a friend. Her kids will get a gift, and it won’t cost me anything extra.
    – I printed out a few coupons for my mom when I came across ones that I knew she’d use, and she gave me some banana bread
    – i made ice cream sandwiches using homemade cookies
    – I got a set of free wallet print from walmartphotocentre using a promo code. I will tuck these into letters or cards that I send relatives.
    – redeemed $40 in Shoppers Optimum points for groceries, including watermelons for $2.88, sliced cracker barrel cheese for $3.44, and a 6 pack of tissues for $2.88 less a $1 off coupon.
    – I made mock tuna salad using chickpeas, and turned it into wraps, using baby chard from my balcony garden as baby greens. Really tasty!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

  38. We were on vacation last week, but we did save money. We own a timeshare, so it is cheaper than if we just stayed somewhere and had to pay regular hotel prices. It rained almost every day, but it would be pretty before or after. We played in the pool, went for walks (found a new-to-us trail that was beautiful), read, watched movies. We went one day to a small tourist town, and I picked up a few stocking stuffers for my kiddos. We brought most of our food from home, especially the meat. We are meat eaters and usually have meat at every meal, so that saved us as we usually buy on markdown or sale. We brought garden produce from home, too. We only ate out once, for breakfast our last day there, and honestly it was a disappointment! I would have rather eaten in the condo. We used ziploc bags of ice to keep our leftovers cold on the way home, and I saved the ice and are using it in our drinks at home. We brought home some peaches that we had cut up but didn’t get eaten, so I added some sugar and froze those for a snack later. I’m doing an unofficial freezer challenge to try and use up stuff from our freezer in preparation for hunting season. Does anyone else love a good pantry/freezer challenge?

    I sold 4 items that my daughter had left behind when she moved out (almost 2 years ago! LOL) – I made her $17.50 and gave items a new home. When we were dropping off those things, we put a stack of unused coloring books in a little free library at a low income housing complex along with a nice box of colored pencils. She found 5 of the Boxcar Children books – a favorite from her childhood that she wanted for her future children’s library.

    My mom was back in the hospital, but was released today. I planned on that being the case, so I went in early, therefore I was still 15 minutes ahead even after taking time to go pick her up and take her home and settled in.

    We pulled off the last of the corn and put away 27 more ears – these went home with my children. We canned 8 pints of green beans. One didn’t seal – the lids were all new and Ball brand, but that one seemed to have “lumps” around the edge. Did anyone ever have that happen? We dug about ten pounds of potatoes for my daughter and her husband and picked a few cucumbers and tomatoes.

    I read books I owned (I got through 5 on vacation) and continue to work on my dishcloths for presents.

    1. Usually those lid lumps are because the ring was a bit too tight and venting the jar contents couldn’t happen properly.
      But, I do notice many many people have this happen more often with the new Ball/Bernardin lids than the older lids. I don’t think they are made as well.
      (I myself do not trust the seal when this bump happens. I refrigerate the jar and use it promptly.)

  39. I love homemade pita bread! I have been discouraged too at high prices in grocery stores that seem to go up every time I visit. But, I also see God’s provision in the little things – I have not put a lot into my garden this year (we have an ongoing renovation that needs to be finished) and a friend listed 3 bunches of fresh basil for free on a local group. Our next door neighbor planted some of the tomato plants that I started and has been giving us tomatoes because mine didn’t do well this year. Then, his new stove went out, but he was planning on baking a turkey and a ham and so we offered to let him use our oven. He told us to take all of the breast meat from the turkey because he didn’t like white meat. I weighed it – it was over 2 lbs cooked!

  40. Looking forward to seeing the aprons! I have kitchen aprons that I love but would like to make a few gardening aprons.

  41. I just love that arrangement at the top of your post! Sometimes I use herbs as fillers for my bouquets, too. I often use basil and rosemary in mine.
    –I feel like I singled-handedly stimulated the economy last week. My daughter moved into her dorm on Tuesday and we had a lot of last-minute expenses with that. Two very late nights with son’s sports had us eating takeout supper at 10pm. Sheesh! Hopefully this upcoming week will be calmer.
    –My daughter’s dorm room already had a fridge and microwave provided. That wasn’t made known on the room info list, so it was a nice surprise. We already bought both for her, so we took the unused mini-fridge to my husband’s office. He’s excited that he’ll now be able to have cold drinks and snacks at work. We will put the microwave in the basement living room so houseguests and the teens can use it when they’re downstairs.
    –A few weeks ago I started cabbage and spinach in Jiffy pods. Last Sunday I set them outside to start hardening them off…and forgot about them. Remembered on Friday afternoon when I finally got to step out to the garden again. They were dried up and shrivelled. Poor things! So I’ll replant this week, hopefully there’s still enough time before our mid-October frost to get them going.
    –I used Kohl’s cash to buy another pair of jeans for my son. I don’t mind the cycle of buying & getting Kohl’s cash, CVS extracare bucks, etc….in fact, I appreciate it. I just keep a list of items I need to buy anyway, and use those to get it (things like toothpaste, bandaids, socks, etc).
    –My son’s wrestling club explained that Venmo charges them a $2 fee for payments, which I didn’t realize. They asked parents to cover the $2 if using Venmo. To avoid that fee, I started paying cash.
    –Found some good items at an estate sale including a new-in-box Pampered Chef mini-loaf pan for $10.
    –My son’s trombone needed a repair, so we took it to the local music store where we do all of our band business. They are so great. They had on-hand the part they needed and didn’t have to order it, so they didn’t charge us for it — just for the repair. Very grateful! We love supporting local small businesses.
    –My dog has been on a thyroid medication since summer. It makes such a difference!! She’s like a puppy again. The medication is expensive though (around $47 per month). I looked online and couldn’t find the exact same medication, but finally called and spoke to someone at Chewy. She connected me with a pharmacist who told me what we needed to get. It is only going to be about $3 per month! We would pay whatever necessary to make sure she has the medication because it just helps her so much, but I’m thrilled to find it at such a steep discount.
    –I frequently buy things for my classroom out of pocket. It’s inconvenient and frustrating to get the school credit card to make my purchases. I also hate to wait when there’s something that would make my life/my students’ lives easier. It’s a bad habit. My husband discouraged me from doing that this weekend, saving me from a $50 purchase (I needed some big storage tubs to hold the 85 enormous math workbooks we have this year). I was able to get the card today after a couple of tries, and went right after school to get the items I needed. I spent almost all of my classroom budget, though, so I’m sure I’ll be buying stuff on my own again shortly. Funny that I’ll scrimp and be frugal at home but tend to splurge on things for work.
    Hope everyone has a great week!

  42. My husband made manicotti today, using basil from our garden. We talked and I cleaned while he cooked. It made for a very enjoyable evening. We had a salad with it using ingredients from our garden and lettuce that we had from Aldi. I froze some okra this week that I had cut up after my husband picked it from the garden. We did the same thing with some peppers and I may freeze some tomatoes if we don’t think we will eat them in the next few days. I think we will be happy to have them this winter. I made split pea soup without meat this week. We bought some peaches from a local store for 98 cents a lb. and they were amazing! I hope to go over my seed collection and see what we can plant soon for a fall garden. I may do that this evening. I have not been buying much other than food. I am going to be on the look out for a set of king sheets for our bed. We need a set or least a bottom sheet. I am looking for a good deal. I am cooking more soups and beans as well. If is cheaper and healthy! I enjoy eating more veggies. It makes me feel good! We made barbecue chicken legs this week and it lasted us for 3 days. It was nice to not have to do serious cooking everyday! We had a Kale salad one day using Kale from our garden. I made fried okra with okra from our garden. A couple from church gave us some potatoes and we enjoyed them over the last two weeks. I boiled them, fried them, and put them in a soup. So they were used for several meals. We still haven’t bought tires for my car yet. But will probably do that very soon. Oh, I did buy a pair of glasses from Zenni for both my son and myself. My husband got a boot repaired a couple weeks ago and it is still working. Much cheaper than buying new boots! They weren’t very old but the sole had come apart. I’m still using the shoes I bought a couple years ago. I’m hoping that they hold out at least until next spring. If I see a sale before that time, I may get a pair of comfortable shoes to wear. We continue to turn off lights, wash full loads, and use the library for entertainment. I read ads online, hoping for a good sale.

    1. I wanted to chime in that I had bought king sheet sets at Kohl’s, their Sonoma brand, and both sets basically shredded a year later. So beware if you see a deal on them. I was so frustrated. The pillowcases remained ok, but the flat and fitted sheets nearly disintegrated. Never have I had that.

      1. Bonnie,
        Thank-you for the tip. It would be frustrating to purchase sheets to have them shred apart in a year. I have to start looking for sales. I did look a little bit. But, everything seems so expensive!

        1. Tammy, I find my sheets at Home Goods. I really like the ones by Kate Spade because they are comfortable and last well. I think I paid $59.99 for a king sheet set.

          1. I wait for Lands End to have their 60 or 65% off sales. Usually around Thanksgiving. Their sheets wear great and don’t unravel or shrink.

      2. My brother bought us some beautiful sheets that I thought were really high end. They were costly (to me, lol) and they were sooooo comfortable and lovely…however, they didn’t last but a year and a half or so…they literally shredded to bits. I found some better ones on craigslist (I think…used for sure) and they seem better. Even though I don’t like having two sets of sheets if I find some other used ones I will buy them. I’m finding that used things are often better. I like my older appliances. I don’t have the issues that people do with their new ones. My family all made fun of my microwave. I think it was $5 and it elderly but worked fine. Some person we don’t know who it was bought us a new really fancy one. It’s nice but I’m skeptical at how long it will last. We’ve had it about 10 months and I’m already starting to have issues with it.

  43. I cannot get into audio books myself (and I don’t have many family distractions!). I just love to have a book in my hands.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your aprons! I have sown so many aprons in my day that I have lost count. I try to coordinate them as much as possible with whatever I happen to be wearing that day since I wear them most of the day to clean, cook and garden. Yes they do save our clothes-I learned that the hard way and now, it’s rare that I am caught around the house without one on.
    I’m hoping for some great sales in the upcoming months. Fingers crossed!

  44. Your flower arrangement is breathtaking, Brandy! You have so many talents that would transfer to employment should the need ever arise!

    Not much to report. We have been sick with something mysterious the past 2-3 weeks. Not COVID, thankfully. Trying to get our energy and focus back.

    Have managed to keep the garden up and use/freeze the veggies. Surprised that it is still producing with this crazy weather. Fall crops are growing. So far, no rabbit raids!

    Hope everyone has a positive and productive week! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

  45. Your basil and zinnia arrangement is beautiful, Brandy! I love my zinnias and basil so much. They just give and give and give some more!

  46. Grocery prices have been frightening at times this winter. In Australia the simple iceberg lettuce was selling at over $12 (AUS). Over the last two weeks the price has fallen which is good to see. I am always trying to find some bargains.

    I am an apron girl as well. Once I embarrassed my daughter as I had forgotten to take the apron off before driving to the supermarket. They do save clothing and they last so long.

  47. Like the rest of you, I’m trying to reduce food waste and stretch meals. I just listed to “Under the Median” on YouTube. They had some very interesting ways to stretch bits of leftovers into meals again. Here’s the link if anyone is interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAfjEKtZqpY My neighbor just brought me some large stalks of amaranth. The stalks are taller than I am. I’m going to cut the leaves off. We tried some that she gave us a few days ago. We’re using them like lettuce. I’m also going to pull them off and freeze, then freeze dry them. I saute veggies to go with our breakfast and I’m sure these would work. There are a lot of greens on them and the leaves are beautiful.

  48. Beautiful flower photos, Brandy! I love zinnias, but forgot to plant them this year. However, I have a profusion of bee balm that self seeded from one lone plant last year.😊 Brandy, I looked twice in the past on my library’s website for Hoopla and no such luck. When someone mentioned it again last week, I decided to call and, what do you know, they have it, along with the Libby app. I’m very excited about this. I have been borrowing books from the library instead of buying them (after cleaning out a stack I bought that I either didn’t read or like…grrrr I am mad at myself for this). I read “The Irishman’s Daughter”, which I loved. Now I am reading “The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle” and have two others in the wings. I figure if it’s something I will read over and over after borrowing it, then I will buy it for my shelf. I downloaded the newest update on my iPhone (the one that addresses the major security issues). BIG MISTAKE! My phone started acting goofy and now I can’t even get or make phone calls. After the apps started going crazy, I called Verizon and asked about the cheapest phone…$549! He said that anyone who has a 7 phone will receive a notice and their phone will be replaced for free from Verizon by the end of the year bc Verizon will no longer support 7 phones. However, since I hadn’t received my notice yet, I would have to pay the money. Well, I went into the store for help in transferring data and they determined I needed a new phone, but because it wasn’t due to physical damage, it was free with our phone insurance! And I will get a new phone by the end of the year to replace the new 7 phone which will arrive tomorrow. I know this isn’t last week’s savings, but I won’t remember next week.😂
    We have been eating up all the leftovers. I found large avocados on sale, so I bought ten of them, scooped them out and sliced them and vacuum sealed and froze them. My niece gave me three grocery bags full of green beans (all three of my summer sown crops were eaten by rabbits, and I just planted for fall and we put up a fence, which we haven’t had to do in all the years past) and I canned them up. Have been keeping the AC higher, but it has been so humid that I haven’t opened the windows yet. Someone mentioned checking unclaimed property and I did…found some money under my husband’s name. Also found some under one daughter and one son and notified them of it. I love all the tips here! Happy saving!

    1. What type of recipes do you use the frozen avocados in? I purchase Wholly Guacamole and freeze it, but have never frozen avocado by itself.

  49. This week has not been frugal with traveling to a family reunion and then working on clearing out a home after a death in the family. I did cut my husband’s hair. On the way home we stopped at every orchard and fruit stand we saw and came home with five pounds of tomatoes that we bought in spite of being over $2 a pound, one small cabbage that cost $2, and one head of lettuce that cost $2. The prices were horrible, higher than the grocery store. My husband says we have to eat; just pay the prices. But he didn’t mind when I wanted to stop by a Territorial Seed store. So we’ll see how it goes. I am thinking about buying some bagged Miracle Grow mix, slitting the plastic bag, and planting the broccoli, kale, cabbage, and lettuce plants I bought at Territorial into the side of the bag. I got some seeds for some pea pods that produce in 30 days. I’m not sure how to do this, but I think it’s high time I learned.

    1. Maybe so; I am searching but I don’t see it!

      Update: It just showed up when I refreshed the comments! That was odd!

      1. Hey Brandy not sure if you have a butcher in your area but around here (IL) once we let them know we actually cook& enjoy the organ meats we have been given pounds of free liver,heart, tongue,& oxtail. Except for the liver noone can tell once it’s incorporated into the dish. I regularly use heart in your minestrone recipe & it is delicious! Just an idea! I looked at the meat prices today at Kroger & almost couldn’t believe it.

        1. My m0ther used to make an oxtail stew that was delicious. I had a British grandmother who used
          to make tongue – and I loved having sandwiches with it. It is tricky preparing it as you have to remove the little “spurs” (for lack of a better word. I also used to make a chicken liver dish that was greatly loved by my fellow students. The only problem with chicken livers is that I believe they are really high in cholesterol.

  50. My husband had dental surgery last week but has faced some complications. Groceries have been expensive as I have purchased some convenience foods and pre made jello and pudding as he had a hankering for that. I have since made some to be prepared. I saw this morning that vanilla wafers were $6.00 a box! I can make those as well. I have seen articles advising that both tomatoes and rice will be in short supply. Hard to feel prepared when the list seems now to be everything.

    1. When I went to purchase vanilla wafers last week, the Nabisco brand was just shy of $6.00 a box, at my local Piggly Wiggly! I purchased another brand that was about half that cost.

    2. About the tomato shortage. I saw a tomato farmer in CA interview on the news. He said because of the drought he lost a high percentage of his crops and that CA grows the majority of tomatoes for the whole US.

      I picked up several cans of store brand diced tomatoes to use on tacos and salads if there is a shortage or the price gets too high. I will drain and freeze the juice and have, albeit soft, cooked diced tomatoes on my food. My garden didn’t do well this year, have enough to eat fresh, but not enough to can.

  51. This week the only good deals I found were 18 Oz. Blueberries for $0.97 limit 1.
    3 ( 1.5 quarts ea.) store Brand ice cream for $4. Chicken leg quarters for $0.92/pound. 8 Oz. Pkg of store Brand cheese $0.74 (limit 2). 5 lb bag of honeycrisp apples for $5.99. I also redeemed a free coupon for a 12 Oz. Mayonnaise made w/ avocado oil, it’s shelf price was 11.99 on sale 🤥 for $9.99. I bought a 1/2 gal. of Silk next milk to use in smoothies, only b/c it was on sale for 3.99 and an Ibotta reimbursement for 4.99. I picked up BLSL Chicken Breasts for $2.79/ pound, the least expensive option I’ve seen in months . The grocery prices are hair-standing outrageous. I roll my eyes at any news article that mentions, ‘ the possibility of an upcoming recession,’ thinking to myself how out of touch one is that doesn’t know bone deep that we’re in one currently.

    Other frugal attempts were collecting zucchini, blackberries, blueberries, chives and green onion from the garden. I used blackberries in our smoothies most mornings just blending the berries with water first then straining to remove the seeds before adding yogurt, ice, frozen banana and protein powder to finish blending.

    I hung sheets over windows that recieve direct sun (those with blinds and/or curtains or not) this layer keeps our indoors temperature 4 degrees cooler.

    I have finally made it a habit to manually turn off the power to the dishwasher,  for the longest time although the load was finished it would remain powered on and it never occurred to me to turn the power off unless I was wiping down the front of it.

    Keep on keeping on!

  52. Hello all. I join the rainy Georgia brigade here. We’ve not had quite as much as those in the Atlanta/North Georgia area but there are daily showers. It’s made planting fall crops nearly impossible. I did manage to get some flower seeds at Dollar General and planted some of them last week. Just zinnias and impatiens but thanks to the muggy weather and lighter rain we’ve had, they have already come up. I picked my first zinnia this morning and there are buds on the older plants that have taken forever to mature enough to bloom. I made muffins with ripe bananas. I do this sometimes instead of making banana nut bread because I can freeze muffins and take out two or three at a time for us. I ended up keeping my grandson at his home two days when he was sick. I brought home several landscape blocks from that yard to use in my own yard (they aren’t wanted over there). I took lunches from the freezer for the two of us to eat and when I came home I was able to make quick meals using food I’d stashed in the freezer a few weeks back. I did not go into the grocery at all last week. John ordered mower blades online since we couldn’t buy them locally. He also ordered and replaced my kitchen sink faucet. I made my own brownie mix and made us a pan of brownies. When my sunflowers started to dry up from my bouquet of last week, I cut off the heads which are still bright and pretty if withered and used them to decorate the kitchen sink shelf.

  53. Most of my frugal week was spent finding recipes for my daughter to try for her Fodmap diet. I searched on Pinterest and Google and found 3 really good sources that gave explanations of serving size, ingredients that could be used in what amount. I printed off recipes that we tried and liked and put them in a binder with my other recipe books. Protein and potatoes are very low Fodmap and can be used in many things. I’ve been hounding the marked down meat every time I’m in a grocery store. I found a beef roast for $10 and a whole chicken for $3. I’ve cooked both of them up and shredded the meat. The chicken carcass will be used to make low fodmap chicken stock (no onion or garlic). I will freeze the stock and use it for soups for her this winter. I’m so grateful I know how to make stock. This week I’ve made her GF mac and cheese with a leftover hamburger chopped up and added for protein. I showed my daughter how to re-hydrate the pasta by dripping water on the pasta before heating up in the microwave. I also told her to fill a small cup with water and put that in the microwave while heating. It will add additional moisture. I bought more pasta sauce for her that is low fodmap and received cash back on Ibotta plus the store sale. I have a years supply of that for her. Slow but steady wins the race and helps keep my daughter healthy.

    For entertainment, my daughter have been watching Harry Potter movies. We’re up to the 6th movie. I haven’t watched them in a few minutes. I’d forgotten how creepy he who shall not be named is in the movies. We pop popcorn and snuggle on the bed and enjoy our time together. We’ve also gone for a few small walks.

    My daughter started school and before it started we went to her room and put together a weeks worth of outfits for her to wear. We added shoes and jewelry. I’ve been helping her with her hair when asked. A page on Instagram for curly hair helps me with different style ideas. We’ve been very blessed by finding lots of school clothes for her on clearance/sale. Even Amazon has had amazing deals on sweaters that she can wear this winter. We’ve incorporated lots of things from last year. The scarfs that aren’t fashionable anymore are being repurposed into belts or tie backs for her hair.

    I worked in the garden and picked many, many tomatoes. They’re Marzano and Roma – so not very big from my garden. I also picked more green beans, 1 zucchini, 1 cucumber and jalapeño peppers – a million of those it seems. I want to make low fodmap tomato sauce and paste from the tomatoes. I might try some low fodmap ketchup as well. I will freeze it because I don’t know how to can that in a safe way. I also picked 2 tiny eggplants. My garden isn’t amazing this year. It’s been dry, hot and then also cold with rain storms. But I will take each and every rain drop because of how dry it is here where I live.

    I spent time with my granddaughter. We had free fun by going for a walk in her stroller and going to a park. Her kisses are payment enough for me. Plus a cuddle.

    Amazon Prime has all the The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies. I’ve never watched them before and am diving into those movies.

    I took a very large load to our local Deseret Industries. Free stuff I have collected plus items from our home. I made sure to get a receipt for taxes. Those donations have saved us in taxes every year. If people in my neighborhood have things they are getting rid of and no one else wants it – I will take it and add it to my donation pile.

    I’ve offered veggies from our garden on our local neighborhood page a few times and no one has wanted the produce. I’ve been really surprised!

    Have a blessed week everyone.

  54. A woman from our church blessed our family and another family by inviting us to come pick and take home the peaches from her tree. Then another friend volunteered to help me peel and slice the 13 quarts of peaches we brought home. I have a toddler and baby at home so this help was very much appreciated! We had her family join us for dinner at our home after we were finished prepping all the peaches for the freezer. We were blessed with peaches and a day of sweet fellowship with friends.

    I planned on ordering various supplies from Bob’s Red Mill to make the gluten free flour mix I use to make my son’s bread, pizza, and other baked goods. I held off placing the order because I didn’t want it to ship when I wasn’t home and in the meantime the company stopped their direct online sales. I called the company directly (since I had a coupon for 20% off) and they suggested I go through another online vendor. Surprisingly the vendor they recommended had lower prices already and offered a discount on your first order. I ended up saving more than $40 over what I initially planned to spend.

    I am grateful that I have the time and skills to make the gluten free foods from scratch that my son needs. I am also thankful for this blog and the money saving hints fellow readers share.

    1. Lisa, would you be willing to share the gluten free flour mix that you use for baking? I’m just getting started on this journey and would love a recipe that someone has had success with. Thanks.

      1. Hi Patricia,

        I’m not Lisa, but I make my own GF flour mix. My first cookbook/recipes were from Cybel Pascal. I continue to make her mix. I don’t put it in a plastic bag as so many suggest; instead, I have a lidded container/canister that I reuse (no washing or holes in the plastic bag, plus, no waste in terms of plastic). The key to making a good mix at home is to make sure you have the most finely ground flours you can find. This is especially true with rice flour (brown, especially). You also have to include a proportion of starches. I have found potato starch and tapioca starch in Asian and Indian grocery stores, which are often less expensive. I do recommend Bob’s Red Mill as a place to start with pre-mixed options. If using Xanthum gum is not a problem, it really helps the texture of baked goods. In addition to the above starches, I also use cornstarch; and sometimes, arrowroot. My other go-to flours are buckwheat, garbanzo bean (chickpea), sorghum, and oat. Occasionally, I use millet. Very seldom do I use the nut meals (allergic to almonds) or coconut flour. If I find a recipe I want to try and it calls for a flour/starch I don’t normally keep, I’ll look for it in the bulk bins and simply get what I need.
        I hope this helps! Good luck … it’s definitely a journey, but your tummy will thank you.

      2. Patricia
        When my son first went GF, I used a bread recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring for Tom’s Sandwich Bread and it was my first amazing GF bread loaf https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/sandwich-bread/.
        I have since moved to a loaf from Faithfully Gluten Free that we love https://www.faithfullyglutenfree.com/gluten-free-millet-sandwich-bread/
        Also Alergey Free Alaska has some good recipes. My favorite GF cookbook is the Healthy Gluten Free Life by Tammi Credicott https://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Gluten-Free-Life-Delicious-Dairy-Free/dp/1936608715/ref=sr_1_1?crid=BK8FBNLGKEJ6&keywords=the+healthy+gluten+free+cookbook+by+tammy+credicott&qid=1661867169&sprefix=The+healthy+gluten+free%2Caps%2C302&sr=8-1

    2. Lisa- I have a Gf son as well that I bake for. I have found that our local Chef Store carries the Bob’s Red Mill 25 lb bags for the cheapest price anywhere – and no shipping because I just go to the store to buy! I also source other things from Azure Standard. Hoping you might have a Chef Store in your area.

  55. Your arrangement of zinnias, roses and Thai basil is exquisite Brandy and the pita looks yummy; I too look forward to you sharing your recipe. Harvesting lots of cherry/grape tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, a few peppers, 1 cantaloupe, 1 honeydew melon, 6 huge ripe big boy tomatoes; basil, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, peppermint used fresh and to dry. Picked the semi-ripe big boy and early girl tomatoes ahead of the storm that was forecasted for this Monday as we did not want them to split. We received over 3″ of rain early Monday morning plus a downpour that afternoon so I’m glad we did; they are currently ripening in the sunroom. I have pots of parsley growing year-round for our use in the sunroom and on the kitchen windowsill. I plant bi-annually 2 pots of parsley outdoors for the Eastern black swallowtail & Eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies; they lay their eggs and the caterpillars feed on the leaves leaving just the stalks. The caterpillars stripped the parsley leaves last month; new growth is now appearing. The caterpillars are cute to look at and see their growth and development; the 2 older grandkids enjoy seeing them and at the same time are learning about nature.

    Last Wednesday we enjoyed, along with several of our friends, for free at one of our county parks an Elvis impersonator who performed Elvis’ top hits; he was very good. They have food trucks there so one can buy food/drinks but we all brought coolers with food and drinks which we shared. I made to share a cold salad using quinoa, our cherry tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash (given to me by a friend) and zucchini bread. We enjoyed Rod Stewart’s concert at Hard Rock Casino Hotel Friday night. He appeals to every age – from the 20s to the 70s were there – and at his age, he’s still rockin’ and did a terrific show. We stayed overnight at Hard Rock – I had booked a room with a king bed. When we checked in, they upgraded us to a suite with an ocean view. We are not highrollers nor regular guests (last time we stayed overnight at HC was early last December to see Mannheim Steamroller who performed at Caesers) so this was unexpected. We had dinner at one of their restaurants and then went to the casino floor for a bit of gambling before the show — for a summer Friday night it was not as crowded as one would expect and several sections where the dealer tables are were closed off. After checking out late Sat morning we went to the casino floor again for a little bit of gambling (as we couldn’t leave with any money in our pockets, lol) and again not crowded. Hard Rock and Borgata are the two best casinos in Atlantic City and to see this is a little disheartening. The boardwalk and beach did have a nice crowd. I don’t know how often you are down at the Vegas Strip Brandy but I’m thinking it may be the same as AC.

    For the past several weeks have been shopping Staples, Walmart and local supermarket to buy back-to-school supplies to fill 5 backpacks (for first and/or second graders) that we donate each year. Walmart was the best priced for 1-subject notebooks, crayola crayons, crayola colored pencils, and washable markers; also erasers, loose leaf paper, #2 pencils, elmers school glue and gluesticks, index cards, rulers, pencil cases, etc. The supermarket for composition books at $0.50 each; Staples for the backpacks, 1-subject notebooks and pocket folders. I did not make any special trips to these stores, I shopped when near their locations. Also bought for our own use too. Dollar Tree at $1.25 is now the most expensive. DD took the filled backpacks with her and she will donate. School starts after Labor Day.

    My friend who has huge gardens on the mainland gave me a large sack of zucchini and yellow squash – she has more than she can keep up with – and bunches of “baby” sunflowers (Jerusalem artichoke).I kept some of the yellow squash and a bunch of the sunflowers; gifted the rest to our local librarian and her staff (I had told my friend I would do this and she was fine with it as she also lets me cut various tree branches from her property – such as holly, maple, oak – in the autumn/winter months to bring to the library and for my use too). I gifted my friend 2 zucchini loaves and 1 doz apple cinnamon zucchini muffins and a bucket of seaweed that I collected at low tide off our bulkhead. Was also gifted 2 types of fish from 2 neighbors/friends and a bowl of mission figs from another neighbor/friend. I gifted to them peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and walnut banana muffins using bananas that over ripen so quickly. It’s good to have neighbors and friends who enjoy sharing their bounty! Wishing everyone a good week.

    1. So, most people who live here avoid going to the Strip unless they work there. I have seen a lot of memes about it, lol.

  56. Like everyone here, we are trying to use up food and avoid spoilage. To that end, I used a container of aging cottage cheese, a couple of eggs and some dry parmesan cheese to make stuff shells for supper. I had an open box of shells that needed to be used. It fed DH and I last night and there’s two more pans that I can drag out of the freezer another time. I used my home made spaghetti sauce that I had made with excess canned tomatoes and It was delicious.
    Today I made pesto before my basil plants decide to give up the ghost. Again I used the dry parmesan cheese even tho’ I know it’s better with fresh cheese. But it tastes fine to us. It’s in an ice cube tray in the freezer at the moment and I will decant them into a ziplock bag when they are solid.
    Other things made were date squares (one of my favourite things), ginger snaps, jam squares and mini tarts using Saskatoon berry jam. Today I’ll be doing Banana bread to use up some frozen bananas and I’ll make some rolls of chocolate cookies to slice and cook later on.
    I had a lovely visit with my sister and her husband who came to stay with her son. We hadn’t seen each other in many years partly due to the pandemic. Nephew’s house is fascinating as it’s geothermal and very modern.
    I had an endoscopic procedure done as my swallowing issues seemed to be returning. The doctor stretched my esophagus a bit…who knew you could do such a thing. I have to take a medication every morning now and it seems to be working. He also found I have a sliding hiatus hernia and said certain things will make it hurt like chocolate. No more chocolate for me…it’s a disaster of epic proportions for sure. LOL
    I had a drug reaction to an antibiotic for the first time ever. I’ve notified my pharmacy and the doctor of the reactions and won’t have that one again.
    The other day I did a run to Costco and saw they had Queen size sheet sets on sale for under $40! I bought two sets to give as Christmas gifts.
    My DH and I are going to spend all of next week up at the cottage. Hopefully we can get in some boating before we take the boat back to the Marina for the winter months. And I don’t think I’ll have to take much in the way of food up there as it’s the time of year we start eating down the reserves. It may make for some ridiculous side dishes but we won’t mind.
    I’ve got a pile of books to read and some cross stitching to do up there. And I’m going to try my hand at a painting experiment called “a dutch pour”.
    I don’t have much room left in my little downstairs freezer at the moment so I can’t buy anything at the stores. We have some meat, fish etc. so I don’t really need much more.
    Take care everyone.

    1. Brandy, if you do not want this on the blog please forward to Patsy.

      Patsy, if the medication you are taking for swallowing is a prescription that starts with an O make sure you read the leaflet that should be packaged with it. If not, google side effects (vitamin) for it. That medication is not for long term use. If you have hypothyroidism there is also a relationship to that too. If you do not know have your TSH checked and if is higher than 4 and you have low thyroid symptoms you should be on medication for that so other vitamin deficiencies and health problems can be avoided. Have a healthy, frugal life.

    2. Patsy, I have a hiatal hernia and I also need to have my esophagus stretched every two years or so. (Note to others–that’s not as grisly as it sounds. It is done during an endoscopy while you are sedated and you don’t feel a thing, either during or after). If your doc didn’t mention it, you might want to try a low acid diet. I no longer drink citrus juices, but I can usually eat small amounts of the whole fruit. Bread is also very difficult to digest. Mayo Clinic told me chocolate is OK if it doesn’t bother you…and it doesn’t bother me! Sorry you are having to go through this.

  57. I bought over 50# of peaches on sale at Kroger- they initially rang up at the wrong price, so I had to wait while they fixed it, saving over $100. Spent an afternoon canning in the heat but it will be worth it! Also made refrigerator pickles. Enjoying fresh tomatoes, kale, zucchini and cucumbers from the garden. Our Concord grapes are about ripe, so I need to get bird netting out ASAP. We baked sourdough bread several times.
    Not the most frugal week. We went to the zoo, kids enjoyed it but once a year is enough for me. Lots of appointments and traveling so we ate out a bit, but got to try lots of local restaurants and food we can’t get at home. Also took kids to free splash pad and a friends pool.
    Using duolingo to continue with learning Spanish. Also used hoopla from our library for 2 books.
    We have a single solar panel, and I’m researching the best way to use it as a small backup power source. It should be enough to keep the fridge going or to at least charge a phone and a light if we lost power, which I believe will be become more common. It is currently hooked up to one piece of equipment outside which we don’t need anymore.
    My husband cut my sons and his own hair. I know your family has done this for years, and I didn’t expect it to ever happen, but none of them have had haircuts in the salon since covid. They realized they could do it at home for free and often looks better than paying for it.

  58. Read today that grocery stores in the UK are doing away with expiration dates on food with the explanation that unless it has mold on it, it is safe to eat. Anyone from the UK know about this? I have seen several products lately here in the US without expiration dates which would not have happened a year or two ago. 🤷‍♀️

  59. p.s. I have been water-glassing eggs because we just have so many. I kept doing it and felt pretty confident that it was a good way to preserve eggs. Then something started smelling so I looked at the eggs. One batch seemed a little more cloudy than the others but didn’t smell. (It might be the potatoes which I need to go through soon. There is nothing like a smelly potato. Plus, I don’t want to lose other potatoes…well, the only thing worse that I can think of than a smelly potato is a smelly egg. Okay spoiled store-bought milk. That’s pretty bad too. Anyway, I digress.) Anyway, one egg in the cloudy jar was a bit above the water line so I pulled it out, the shell was hard, and I cracked it open. It was perfectly fine. It made me so happy. Now I’m back to water-glassing eggs again. They were taking over my counters but when my panty space started getting overwhelmed with food I began to put them in the bigger cupboards in the lower cabinets against the wall. I am so happy with this as a storage space. It gets my big jars off the counters but it also helps things from getting lost in the cabinets.

  60. Hello Everyone…it has been quite the few weeks! My husband, son and I were off prior to school starting because we had colds. We originally thought it was Covid, but thank goodness it was not. Although everyone thought it was and offered “are you sure?” Yes, quite sure! Didn’t really have much of an appetite so we basically ate what we had on hand. Glad to say we are all back to normal now. My son has started middle school, so that is a new experience for us. He also has band class which he is enjoying very much. We were very lucky that he was loaned an instrument for the year as opposed to us having to buy one. There is a $100 “fee” but we are more than happy to pay it. The cost of a new instrument is $1300.00. I don’t think we realized when he signed up for band all that was involved on the parent end. We are looking forward to making new friends with all of the other parents. They have several events and activities (including a trip to Disneyland) throughout the year. It’s our understanding that we will able to volunteer at many of these events to earn points to off set any costs. My co-worker the other day gave me a bag of clothes that her son outgrew. There is a perfect pair of black slacks that appear to be new in my son’s size. They are a little big in the waist, but they will be perfect for his band performances, which require black slacks. She also gave us a new in package long sleeved button down shirt and tie and a pair of snow gloves from a high sporting goods store. I did go to Costco the other day to stock up on items. It had only been like a month or so since we had been there. I almost died when I saw the price of meat! I swear things were at least $10 to $20 more per package all across. So we ended up not getting any meat and stocked up on dry goods only and a few vegetables. A few days later, I did find pork loin chops at Safeway for 88 cents per pound. They only had one package left, so that’s what we bought. The prices at Safeway had also increased astronomically. Things we wanted to buy we ended up not buying and again bought the bare minimum. We have been enjoying several nice days at our neighborhood pool. We are also planning for a trip to Southern California in November. We have been putting money aside for a couple of months and are proud to say that we’ve save enough for the trip plus some activities and treats! We are very thankful!

    1. Peggy, I’m so glad your son is enjoying band! I’m a 6th grade teacher, and both of my children are in band. It is a great activity for kids. My daughter stayed in throughout high school, got to travel to several places, and made lasting friendships with her band buddies. The trips and instrument costs are money well spent. I hope your son continues to enjoy it.

  61. Hi everyone,
    My garden continues to struggle. I pulled maybe 1/2 pound pound of tiny potatoes from my potatoes in a bag experiment.
    Bugs got my cukes and squash plants.
    My Chinese red noodle beans are doing fairly well despite the heat so lots of stirfry in the future. I’m saving seeds for a few friends.
    Apples are ready on one tree and were falling so it’s applesauce time. Shared a box with 3 friends too. It’s nice to pay forward.
    Used my freelance check to buy items for some overdue repairs and replace a couch that was broken (no one wants their butt falling through!) Found an excellent deal and ended paying less than the sofa bed I bought 15 years ago.
    Melted down some broken candles and poured new ones in those yogurt glasses. Will donate to the theatre group fundraiser.
    Debating whether to buy more “ugly” tomatoes at farmers market. I can roast and freeze but I don’t have the confidence to can.

    1. Robbie, canning is intimidating until you do it a couple of times. Tomatoes are waterbathed…most fruits are. Maybe join some canning groups on Facebook and just read the posts to get more comfortable. I was the same way when I started, as are many others. It’s time consuming but not difficult once you get past that first couple canning experiences. Good luck!

    2. Robbie, I learned how to can by watching YouTube videos. Melissa K. Norris has a free video series that explains it so well, I felt comfortable trying it after watching those. I looked back on my email to try to find it, I think this might be the link –> https://melissa-norris.mykajabi.com/offers/DbjXiKqz/checkout
      If you subscribe to her newsletter, she often sends out free courses you can join that show you how to do other things like bone broth. I have learned a lot! It is so rewarding and fun to can your own food. I hope you try it!

  62. Brandy, the flowers are beautiful, I grew zinnias this year in a few pots and my garden, they are suppose to help keep bugs away. I haven’t grown them for over 20 years. I grew the miniature ones back then.

    Thank you for posting the article about the beef herds. I didn’t have anything to water bath from the garden & our new fruit trees were replanted last fall so I won’t get any fruit for a few years. We planted fruit trees over 35 years ago and they had seen better days, so we removed them. But I also pressure can meat, so my plan is to keep a sharp eye on the meat prices and pressure can more of it, even though I still have quite a bit of it stored. I keep an eye on my bags of beans so if need be, I can those up too before they get to old. Pigs and Chickens have big broods, but cattle only have 1 calf, so it could take years before they recover.
    I saved money this last week by using my toaster oven instead of the regular oven to bake corn bread and Bacon Cheese muffins. Also to help keep me from having to turn the AC on earlier than needed. Since it’s just the two of us now, we don’t have to do laundry as much and wash on cold water, we did all over errands in one day saving gas. I made more dinners that I can make homemade TV dinners for the freezer, saves me a lot of work and elasticity when I make 2 casseroles at a time. I also made several meatloaves at one time in the oven and froze them.

    I’ve been de cluttering, which isn’t saving money, but will save me time not having soooo much clutter in every room when we clean. Our youngest grandkids had outgrown the plastic play slide climbing thing and helped haul it out to the street hoping someone would be blessed with it and someone did come and take it. That made me happy. We bought it 20 years ago for our older grandkids, so it got many years of good play out of it.

    I too have seen the prices of food go up, I used to keep a price list, but now that has flown out the window. The prices change weekly on everything we buy. We do have a good variety of things we have purchased, so we try to only buy what is on sale now to replenish our stores. Even though eggs are so much more expensive now, they still are a cheaper source of protein for the two of us, so try to incorporate that into out menu.

    Wishing all of you well and praying for all those with larger families to keep doing your best to stay afloat.

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