I harvested figs, peaches, tomatoes, basil, lemons, and green onions from my garden.

I traded figs with a neighbor for two dozen eggs from his chickens. He had posted his request in a local gardening group and we lived within walking distance of one another. He sells his eggs for $7 a dozen!

I gave haircuts to my two youngest sons.

The weather continued with some cooler than usual days, and I kept the windows open longer in the mornings than usual and the air conditioning off a couple of days. This is unheard of here for June. My bill for this month is set to be less than last year, despite a 14% rate increase.

Also unheard of is the rain that we received. I was able to turn off the sprinklers and drip irrigation for 5 cycles. I also did not need to water my pots from the hose one time. I collected shower warm-up water and added a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the water each time and used it to water potted plants in the garden. Any water I can save is now a huge money saver with the new rates and fines.

I started some weight exercises in more earnest than I have in the past, using a set of 5-pound weights my mom gave me some time back and following some free online videos.

I read two books from the library via the Hoopla app. I can’t recommend either (they were fairly fluffy free entertainment). Sometimes, though, a little fluff is just the mood we need.

My son messaged me from work (he works at the grocery store) to tell me about some baked chicken on clearance. I bought 4 chickens (at $2.70 each) and checked out the clearance section of store while I was there, finding some other deals as well. The chicken gave us several meals and gave me more time to work in the garden.

What did you do to save money last week?

I appreciate your support of my website! As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through my links. This means that I earn a small percentage from ANY items you place in your cart and purchase within 24 hours after going to Amazon from one of my links (i.e., it doesn’t have to be an item I have linked here).  If you’re going to be making a purchase from Amazon this week, I thank you for using my links to support this site.

Similar Posts


  1. What a deal on the chicken and great trade for the eggs!

    My frugal week:

    – I made homemade pizza for my birthday dinner (http://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/). My sister came over to watch the kids for a few hours so I could get a break for myself, which was a fabulous birthday gift!
    – I baked a cake for my kids to put together for me, using bananas from the freezer, to use them up. Basically, banana bread layers, with buttercream frosting (http://approachingfood.com/best-ever-buttercream-frosting/)
    – I redeemed my birthday freebie from Starbucks, for the largest frappuccino possible.
    – redeemed loyalty points at Starbucks for a free bakery item and iced water
    – my freezer is breaking down, so I’m cooking from it as much as possible, before I lose any food. I made stir-fried veggies (bell pepper and zucchini from previous flashfood purchases plus onions bought on sale) and beef (also a previous flashfood purchase) over yellow rice (turmeric rice, I’m working on a recipe for my blog), plus homegrown green onions, all from the freezer.
    – I redeemed points from Legeropinion for $20 to my paypal account.
    – I made a body scrub from coconut oil and sugar.
    – A cashier at the grocery store, said of my shopping, “this is the most amazing thing I’ve seen all day!” Made me smile. I had combined coupons, sales, 50% off produce, and even got a package of ice cream for free (sale plus high value coupon = no $ oop)
    – I gave my father a haircut using my hair clippers, as a father’s day gift
    – I planted lettuce, carrots, and beans in my parents backyard. Hopefully it takes, and I have lettuce and beans all summer.
    – My kids played happily at my parents place, using the $3 garage sale trike my mum purchased in the late spring, and in the swing I hung on the cherry tree (second-hand purchase from two years ago).
    – I cleaned the whites of my and my daughters sneakers, using a Mr Clean eraser pad. Turns dingy sneakers white again!
    – I turned lemon poppyseed muffins from my freezer into cake pops by adding in the leftover buttercream icing from my cake. I didn’t have melting chocolate to coat them, so just used chocolate chips with a little oil added. Worked out great!
    – I gifted a few of those cake pops to a friend as a birthday token, wrapped using supplies I had on hand.
    – I made a bean salad, but instead of adding in a can of green beans, I just added in whatever frozen veggies i happened to have in my rapidly dying freezer.
    – I cut homegrown chives to add into a Greek pasta salad that I made.
    – I printed a free pass to the CNE for my daughter, from her school
    – I got a free box of smoothies from an online promo. I’ll cancel the subscription as soon as I get the box.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  2. Those were wonderful deals on both the eggs and the chicken! And at least this strange weather worked in your favour! I had to wear a sweater and even a Fall jacket most days last week – it was so cool and a fair bit of rain. This week we are back to more normal 23/24C (which is perfect) and sunshine – although more rain is predicted for next week.

    I did spend about $75 at the grocery stores this week – mostly fruit, veg, milk and bread but with a few extras this week. I am having friends to lunch tomorrow so needed a few items – especially for desserts as I just didn’t feel up to baking. The main fixings will come from the freezer so that has helped with some of the cost.

    I used a GC for some birthday card purchases and enjoyed coffee and BD cake at my friend’s mom’s 100th! Friday was a very spendy day with both breakfast and supper eaten out – I had planned for these two occasions but boy – it is getting harder and harder to justify restaurant meals! It isn’t just the increase in costs but also the fact that we are getting less for more $ and the quality just isn’t the same. It is difficult to enjoy the “treat” when you feel that you are being ripped off!

    I looked out some hair rollers so that I can stretch the timing for my next hair cut for another couple of weeks and determined that I have enough Summer things to get through to Sept. unless I see a really good sale for a few extra tops. Went through all my undies and socks and determined that I can wait until at least the Fall before new items may be needed. Did 4 large loads of laundry and only used the dryer for two loads (sheets & towels). Ate all other meals at home and only bought a coffee one day at the office. I am finally starting to see a bit of breathing space in my small freezer compartment. I am worried about the increasing cost of meats but also want to try and stock up on more frozen veg where I can as that has also really jumped in price. I am going to do a check of the pantry this week and move up any items that need to be used sooner, rather than later. I am looking at the possibility of another expensive weekend at the end of this week so I will have to make adjustments elsewhere to balance out that cost.

    The one bit of good news is that my BIL is finally making some progress after his massive heart attack. The doctors were able to finally do the angiogram and inserted a stint to reopen the blocked artery, and while he has a long way to go – they are very hopeful for a full recovery. My niece was set to postpone her wedding in 3 weeks time if her dad couldn’t be there but the doctors say he should be able to walk her down the aisle – which is astonishing to me! Modern medicine is a true miracle!

    I hope that all you gardeners are getting equal amounts of rain and sunshine and hopefully none of you in Texas or the south have been too affected by those terrible storms.

    1. Margie – Wonderful news about your BIL! Continued prayers for his full recovery. 🙂

  3. I hope you are feeling more positive this week, I am praying for you and your problems.

    We have been away in Cambridge this week this was not frugal, we bought food and took it back to our room ,I took cutlery and plates with me ,I also managed to get a very cheap rail ticket, the parking would have been £75 without the petrol against £26 for the train so it saved us £50. The train station was next to the hotel..We used our senior citizens bus passes, free bus fares after 9.30am. We took free ebooks from the library as evening entertainment. This is the first time away in 4 years, so good to be away from home but good to be back.

    Now back at home I am picking potatoes, peas broad beans, strawberries and lettuce from the garden. I also seem to have pole beans that I expected to be bush beans, I am not sure what I am going to do about this. I have so much in the garden it is becoming a bit of a jungle. We have had some rain the first in 6 weeks so I have not had to water the garden and it has topped up the water butts a bit.

    It is supposed to be dry tomorrow so I will do the washing and line dry it.
    I am collecting water from the kitchen to use in the garden.
    I managed to get a new sun hat ticket price £2.50 but at the till it rang up for a £1 so I was happy.
    I use wooden pegs and mend them when they come apart ,when I can no longer do that I use them as row markers In the garden.

    I still use a Remoska and a steamer to cook meals. I keep the vegetable water to make stock or gravy.

    Keep safe everyone

  4. This is my youngest son: Well my son lost power during the storms for four days where he lives in the southern part of the state, so he saved on the power bill. The power is currently back off yet again from another storm. But he did lose some food because he had just stocked up the day before on perishables for the month. However he grilled as much as possible and stuff the freezer with fridge items. He also saved in gas for his vehicle since he was blocked in for at least two of those days. As for me, the neighbor’s mulberry tree, the one that drops mulberries in my yard and is so huge it has somewhat expanded to my property, split in two during a storm here. The power company did come out and remove, partially, limbs from the tree to prevent further outage until they can do a more permanent trimming. My power line was all wrapped up in the tree split and they determined it was a dangerous situation. So I saved in not having to hire someone to deal with all of that. My youngest son is keeping my dog while I fly to see my daughter and her family. My middle son is feeding my cat while I am gone. The air conditioner at the soon to be retirement house (it is only 720 sq ft excluding basement) went out so that is an expense. However the part was much cheaper than a new u it and I am gone this week anyways. I don’t use air, only a fan, at my work house where I am during the week so power being temporarily out at my work house was no big deal really. At least I didn’t have four days out like my kid! All of this is about saving power but of course my kid had a little ruined food, so I guess it evens out. We just do the best we can with Mother Nature. I am parking car at airport and drive to Atlanta so as not to have to pay for a connecting flight.
    I did the math and it was far cheaper to drive and park than purchase a ticket to fly to Atlanta to then catch a plane going out West. Like I said, we just do the best we can. I have cut down on my flights to once a year while the tickets are so high.Still I didn’t see my family for the whole Covid year and a half so I am thankful to be able to go this often! I don’t check luggage and I don’t take a bag because I keep clothes at my daughter’s house. I am not bothering with flying anywhere else because of the expense and I just don’t enjoy flying anymore. My neighbor gave me fresh cucumbers and tomatoes which I gave to my son and he appreciates it.

    1. “I don’t check luggage and I don’t take a bag because I keep clothes at my daughter’s house.”
      That is clever! I am going to tell my out-of-state kid to do that to save on travel expenses. We have room to store a couple of clothes changes.

  5. Good Morning, All.

    One of the great benefits of being a teacher are the vacations. During the school, I have to balance saving with how busy and exhausted I get. I usually think of things as “Is it worth my hourly rate?” I pick and choose. During summer, I can focus on the creativity and “art” of frugality and treat it as a hobby. It becomes fun instead of a drudgery.

    Hubby and I went to our first Community Garage Sale in Tahoe Donner, California. It is a large planned community in California with VERY expensive homes in it. I don’t usually garage sale but Goodwill, thrift stores, and consignment apps are so expensive now, it is really a waste of time. It was a sunny day though, and a realty company made a digital map of 40 homes participating. I had HUGE SCORES!!! so exciting. I found a pair of jeans and a practically new Madewell dress for $5.00 a piece. Each would have been $150 in the stores. I bought a travel ski bag for $15 to visit my friend in Colorado, craft supplies for .25 cents, sterling silver and coral earring for a dollar, and, the biggest bargain of all, a sit in single kayak with paddle for $60. I have been searching for one for years now to leave out our little place near a lake. We have a double but I can’t lift and transport it without hubby who is a busy farmer. I am very excited because I had been saving up hundreds of dollars for it. So fun. The sale happens once a year so I marked it on my calendar for next year.

    I had guests at the little cabin and wanted to replace the towels. They are 50 years old – literally. They are faded, frayed, and stained. I spent two days upscaling them with binding, fabric and applique. I love them. Here they are: https://ibb.co/VmfPfVY.. I used up all my old bias tape, went to buy some more and found it would have added another $100 dollars to the project. I remembered that I had bought a special foot for my sewing machine 30 years ago that makes binding. I dug it out and watch some youtube tutorials. I love them more than if I had bought new. I felt very creative and saved enough money to buy ALL of my garage sale bargains.

    I went window shopping at little boutiques near the cabin. I bought a little handmade greeting card. I used a color copier, old cardstock and envelopes, and my sewing machine on a “vintage stitch setting” to make a knock off version. I have 6 greet cards for $1.00 a piece. Two of the cards, I cut an oval window in the front, hung my new bargain earrings in the created window, stamped the frame with a used set of 8 inspirational stamps I bought for a couple bucks and now I have two lovely gift cards.

    I am so appreciative of this community. Although I made not be at this point in my life struggling for every dollar, I am committed to good stewardship of the environment and sustainable living. Everyone here are models for sustainable living which not only help our country but the world. As a gift to you homeschoolers, I have made a google slide deck for my class on sustainable living. You may make a copy and use it for private use. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xoBxgMmzQyl6Df4c97EOwY3HB58uz2kQ9eo8MA55LFM/edit?usp=sharing.. Prior to this lesson, I use the Gapminder study called Dollar Street to give the students a sense of what p0verty around the world means. It really shows them an appreciation of living in America. Here is my slide deck and you can use it for private, home use: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/18V7pzY54cM3xjL2vn3jSN9UmwvrlmqgY6YtN-LS_EjM/edit?usp=sharing.

    Since I really don’t cook and garden, the lesson plans are my offering to this site. Let me know if you would like more of the same.

    1. Mary Ann – You had a great week! My frugal hat is off to you! 🙂 Thanks for the link for your presentation. Always looking for new things to learn.

    2. Mary Ann, the towels are exactly what I need to do with some ragged ones I have stuffed in a cabinet. I too, have a binding foot thing I bought years ago and never figured out how to use it. Yours look great.

  6. I made a pot of tomato and lentil soup. I normally like lentils on rice or in stir-fries, and don’t care for canned lentil soup. I was feeling a bit ho-hum about making lentil soup from scratch, but those were the ingredients I wanted to use. About halfway through the cooking time, I started to smell the fresh garlic in it cooking, and suddenly I was very enthusiastic. I’ve really been enjoying it, and will definitely make it again. A lot of the recipes I checked used broth or bouillon cubes, but the one I used from Martha Stewart just used water, and tasted fine to me.

    We’ve had several days of rain, and the person who cuts my lawn had other commitments on the days it didn’t rain, so I had some cash I didn’t expect to have. I bought a few groceries, but also have a little left over.

    1. Your tomato and lentil soups sounds wonderful! I posted earlier to share that I made lentils today also – we like them with taco seasoning for soft tacos. Isn’t it amazing how inexpensive they are? That one pound bag I cooked yielded 6 cups of cooked lentils – three meals for hubby and I. So happy to substitute the lentils for ground beef/chicken/turkey and still have a very tasty and satisfying meal. Have a great day!

      1. I was very encouraged. I’ll be looking for more ways to be using lentils. That being said, lentils are much more expensive here in northern Alberta than what you are paying – I think it was $4.30 Can ($3.00 US) a lb for dried lentils. Ground meat is anywhere from $3.98 a lb Can ($2.79 US) on a very good day to $5.98 a lb ($4.19 US) on a bad day. However, a lb of ground meat is 3 to 4 servings, and a lb of dried lentils is 6 servings of cooked lentils for me. In a soup like I was making either would stretch for many more meals, though. A cup of dried lentils made the 6 serving pot of soup. I could get 15 servings from a one lb bag. I don’t have much access to buying in bulk, but that would be the way to go if I could.

        The sale price on chicken thighs this coming week is $7.98 a lb !!! ($5.59 US) Meat always gets crazy pricey during grilling season, so I’m definitely looking at alternatives.

        1. Isn’t it maddening Elizabeth that Canada produces 45% of the world’s lentils and yet it costs us more! The best price I can usually get on ground beef is $5 per pound and I have a feeling that is going up so I’ll be looking for those 50% off deals!

          1. Beef is usually cheaper in the fall, after the premium prices of grilling season, and when farmers take their cattle to market so they don’t have to feed them over the winter. We’ve had pretty good prices on ground beef this year. In 2020, I only ate beef twice all year, and this year I’ve had it every month, I think.

        2. What’s up with those prices? Food Basics/ Metro in Ontario sells Divya brand lentils, red or brown for a dollar a pound in the 4 pound package. Sometimes the international food section of the store has better prices or check out the dollar stores for groceries too. Olives and maraschino cherries are cheaper at the Dollarama.

        3. Oh my, Elizabeth, your lentil prices really are higher than in my area here in Texas. Thanks for sharing info on grocery prices in your area … it’s always interesting to compare to our own.

          While looking for lentil recipes I ran across this site with some recipes that sound very tasty and could be modified to make them a bit more frugal.

          1. Thank you!! There are lots of good ideas here. I like that there are summer recipes as well as winter ones.

  7. You’re not the only one getting more rain and cooler weather. Here in Colorado, we’ve had roughly double the normal of both. (I live close to the Front Range in the Sedalia area — considered “high desert.”) The weird thing: because it’s been so cold, the warm-weather beans and squash haven’t even sprouted yet! I hope they will, now we’ve had our second day of “typical” Summer weather. Weird.
    The perennials have benefitted from all this TLC; they’re loving the extra moisture. My skin doesn’t mind, either.
    It’s been a pleasure to sleep at night, and the fields are bright green. Looks a bit like Ireland around here. Also weird, for this time of year. And, of course, I didn’t plant any cold-weather crops (peas, greens, etc.) this year… kept waiting for the weather to go back to Summer. But it never did, untiil now.

  8. I am with you in rejoicing in the wetter weather. So nice to save some water!
    It rained several days and I was able to turn off the water to the outside garden beds.* We enjoyed lettuce, green onions, sugar snap peas, and mint from the garden. I planted green beans and sunflowers.* I watched a friend’s house and watered her plants while she was out of town and she left a bunch of produce for me to take home – spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, a big sweet potato and a large jalepeno pepper, and a bunch of asparagus.* The vegetables from my friend were much appreciated, since I’m still doing my June pantry clean-out. My only grocery purchases this week were fresh cherries (on sale for $2.99 lb and a seasonal treat) and a pint of cottage cheese. (my oldest dog takes arthritis medicine each morning and the only way we have found to get him to reliably take it is to crush it up and mix it with a tablespoon of cottage cheese). *Friends invited us to the local hot springs as their guests. We had a picnic lunch on the grounds. I gave them a bag of sugar snap peas from my garden.

  9. Yay, you had a lot of good savings this week!

    We saved money at the grocery store buying chicken legs at $.69# (which came out to .25 each), Italian sausage at $1.99# (came out to .40 per sausage), Colgate toothpaste for $.59 (limit 1) and a large reduced container of spring mix salad.

    I picked spinach and basil from the garden. We have lots of blueberries growing but I was horrified to find
    them covered with spotted lanternflies. I sprayed thoroughly with dish soap solution. The New York Department of Agriculture asks us to report local sightings of this invasive insect. They also recommended adding vinegar to the soap solution so I will spray again with that.

    I received a check for jury duty pay.

    I ordered from Amazon (through the link) 3 board books (buy 2, get the 3rd free) for a baby shower and will add to the books a bib, burp cloth and swaddle blanket set from my gift stash. I ordered a set of 24 Amazon silicone baking cups to split with my sister after we talked about using them to freeze small servings of soup to add to lunches.

    I ordered wine online from Wine Insiders when I got a BOGO case promotion email. I hesitated because that’s a lot of wine, but I made a list of occasions when we would bring wine to celebrations or give a bottle as a gift as well as when we would drink it at home and then picked what I know people like or what sounded good in each case. All in, it came out to $7.18/bottle.

    My BIL came by to give us 6# of organic grass-fed ground beef which was very welcome. I sent 2 bottles of the wine I had just bought and the silicone cups home with him.

    I baked and iced a cake for my MIL’s birthday. I bought a pretty flowered plant in a big pot for her porch. I wrapped it a cellophane bag (from after-Easter sales) and white ribbon. We brought everything over with a birthday card I had bought at Kohl’s when I had a 30% off coupon.

    DH brought 2 bagels home from work—the big ones so a half-bagel is enough for breakfast.

    A friend got tickets for Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park and invited me. It was wonderful and I was so grateful. The tickets are really hard to get. I took public transportation to Central Park and the same home.

    I hope everyone has a safe and healthy week.

  10. Brandy, I just got caught up and wanted to say thank you again for all your posts and this community. I’m sorry also, that you’re going through a hard time. I’m a single mother to seven, and while not the same situation of course, some days/seasons are long and difficult. I appreciate all you do.

    On the frugal side: I have moved into my “forever” house. After selling my home at top dollar last year and living in an apartment (with 7 half-grown/grown children, it was soooo snug for that year -now some have moved out again) I have a small, beautiful, new home that is paid for. I can live on my salary (only paying property and income taxes from now on). My brother was the reason behind this, purchasing land and helping me build my home on a budget. It would have never happened otherwise. I am so much more stable now financially and will be forever grateful to my brother.

    1. Dawnelle – Congratulations on all your successes! Hope you continue to come back and share more. 🙂

  11. Beautiful pictures as usual – they bring such peace to look at each time. Thank you.

    I also was able to buy baked chickens on clearance for $2.70. I bought two and froze the meat for it except to make a chicken fruit salad for our dinner. I was able to buy more clearance items to put away for Christmas. I want to make up a shoebox size box for each of my kids and spouse of “goodies” – bath bombs, face masks, deodorant, toothpaste and brushes, etc for the women. A separate goodie box for the men to give at Christmas. I look for clearance or free things to fill them up with each year. I’m doing smaller boxes this year.

    I was given a Little Tykes kids slide and a grocery bag of quilting cotton fabric from our Buy Nothing Group. I have the slide at our house for grandkids. The fabric I gave to my daughter to practice using her sewing machine. Any fabric we don’t need we will pass on the next person.

    I made up a hamburger/refried beans/salsa mix. We used it for tostadas and nachos for dinner. I’m using the rest to make baked tacos. I will top it with Colby Jack cheese that I found on clearance for $1.22 (8 oz). I bought the 2 packages they had and shredded them at home. We used it all week.

    I finished Seams Like Murder by Tilly Wallace (it was okay) and The Antiquities Affair by Lee Kelly (really fun read and full of adventure and twists).

    I got lots of exercise by working outside and cleaning.

    Have a great week.

  12. I saved shower, bath, and fruit/veg rinse water for potted and other plants. Saving bath water is no big deal as it’s just me, and hauling it outside isn’t a problem either as my bed/bath opens right to the back yard. I hadn’t heard about adding Epsom salt but will have to start doing this. We, too, had some unusually cool days and rain, and I was able to turn off the irrigation system for several days.

    I harvested limes and a few apples. I picked roses, Dusty Miller, lavender, bee balm, and various types of mint and made several beautifully fragrant arrangements to enjoy around the house (including by my bed). The apricot tree is loaded with ripening fruit and I’m concerned about the birds getting at them before I can – if anyone has ideas, I’d welcome them.

    I picked my sister-in-law up from the airport. As a thank you, she gifted me with EIGHT beautiful sunflower plants she started from a $1 seed packet! They are spectacular. Of course, I was glad to give her a ride and didn’t expect presents, but I was surely thrilled with her thoughtful gift. She sent me home with lemons from her tree as well (I was equally delighted with these, as my lemon tree is “between rounds” at the moment).

    I picked my mother up and we combined errands, which saved us both time and gas and gave us the gift of several hours of chat and laughter. She bought my lunch and filled the gas tank.

    The locally-owned grocery offered chicken drumsticks for $.77/lb. and I bought quite a few pounds. Some I cooked, some I froze.

    I walked the dog several times at the local nature preserve (free). I enjoyed/photographed flowers and birds as we walked. I also enjoyed photographing my own garden and the birds that frequent my yard. A bluebird family has taken up residence in one of the birdhouses and the last few days have seen mum and dad very, very active, taking turns bringing food, so there must be little ones.

    I took advantage of Shutterfly “freebies” to make gifts and games for young family members I’ll be seeing next month.

    I read several free books on my Kindle and agree with your words above: sometimes “free fluff” is just what the frugal doctor ordered.

    1. I use mesh bags. Ou can use organza bags or mesh ones. I bought ones large enough for grapes and I have used those on my apricot trees too.

  13. Safeway has Planters peanuts for 97 cents a pound and 18 eggs for $2.97. I bought one of each of those.
    We started using Ohm Connect for earning points for saving electricity. Since we are fairly frugal with electricity, I figured we could earn points fairly easily. So far we have $30 and a free smart plug.
    Eating raspberries, strawberries, kale and lettuce from the garden. I do something with either kale or lettuce for the side for most meals.
    Driving the cheap car to work now that my husband, a teacher, is off for the summer. He drives farther so usually drives the cheap car. He had been riding electric bike to work every other day but broke his wrist and so wasn’t really safe on the bike. Wrist has healed, cast is off, and he’s teaching summer school online, so no commuting costs! Yay!

  14. Some of the local farmers here are selling eggs for $8 a dozen. To be fair, they are wonderful eggs: clean, huge, and very tasty, but… $8. Trading for eggs was a good deal!

    The flowers are gorgeous, as always. And I’m so glad you got the unexpected boost of cooler weather and rainy days!

    We were dry in May, but June has been wet, and is on the verge of being too wet. I hope my little raised beds don’t suffer.

    Inspired by Brandy – but sticking to a much smaller, more humble scale – I’m making a garden patch that, one day, I hope to have filled with herbs, vegetables, berries, and flowers, plus paths. I’m starting with the hard task of digging out the grass. I have no way to transport a rented sod-cutter, so I’m using a spade at this point. Two raised beds are already in the patch and producing vegetables, and I recently planted some of the berry plants I want there. It will never have the beauty or scale of Brandy’s gorgeous garden, but I think it will please me, nevertheless.

    I’m so happy that a potted plant I divided is doing well in both the old and the new pot. I am more used to killing decorative plants by accident.

    I had big plans to redo my clothes closet, but I kept putting it off. Looking at it now, as I’ve been scaling back on what I buy and how much I keep, I think I can renovate for much less effort and no money. I won’t need all the shelves and storage I thought I would. De-cluttering can truly be frugal.

    My ancient Presto pressure canner’s pressure gauge, which is the dial type, won’t go down to zero even when not in use. I looked at replacing the canner but realized the pot is still fine, and the seal has already been replaced and is in good shape. The only thing wrong is the pressure gauge, so I ordered a new one for around $20. It simply screws in.

    A recipe called for a half cup of fresh lemon juice. I thawed some free frozen juice from my lemon tree and used it.

    I used a completely worn out washcloth to wipe grease out of two pans before washing them, then I tossed the cloth. It had lived about nine lives already. Using old cloth/rags on grease is one of the practices that keeps me from buying paper towel.

    1. Jo, look into lasagna gardening for a more effortless garden area. It works beautifully and improves the soil.

      1. Linda, That is a good suggestion, but I’ve tried that in some smaller areas and the fire ants find it irresistible, so that I end up with a huge nest in what is supposed to be my “lasagna.” They are also the reason I can’t trench compost.

    2. Definitely try Linda’s idea of lasagna gardening. It can be totally free (I use cardboard boxes from Amazon deliveries and grass clippings from our lawn). If you were already planning to purchase garden soil or potting mix for the plants, you could even put it on top of your “lasagna” patch and start growing some now….something that has shallow roots like lettuce or even peas would do very well!

  15. What a great deal on chickens, Brandy! The lowest price we’ve found on rotisserie chickens is from Sam’s Club at $4.99 and they are much bigger than those at our local grocery stores (at $6.99). Only problem is, our nearest Sam’s Club is over an hour away.

    Brandy, how much water do you estimate you use with the 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts for your plants? I’d like to try that with our warm up water and our plants.

    Thank you to everyone who posts here and shares day to day frugal ideas! I may not always comment, but I read here regularly and enjoy them so much. Will try to be better about posting.

    It’s just hubby and I at home now but soft tacos are a family favorite. Today I cooked 1# of dried lentils ($1.34/pound) for taco “meat” – just added taco seasonings. They taste great and it’s nice to have the same wonderful meal with a substantial savings as well. The pound of uncooked dried lentils provides 6 cups of cooked lentils (3 meals, at 2 cups per meal) – around 45 cents per meal! A great savings versus $3.50 to $6/pound for lean ground beef, turkey or chicken (prices in area).

    I’ve also used the cooked lentils in chili, spaghetti and some casseroles with great results. Oh, and, of course in soups!

    We had a major expense when we had our downstairs central air conditioning unit repaired last month. But in an effort to avoid the expense, we did live without it completely for two weeks as the repair tech attempted to locate a needed part (rather than an entire assembly). In the end, the individual part could not be located and the very costly assembly had to be replaced after all, but it was nice to know that if we have to, we can certainly live without air conditioning and would survive even with the high humid temps outdoors. The two weeks of lower electricity usage in no way offset the repair cost, but we were glad to see the “savings.”

    That experience also prepared us to acclimate to warmer indoor temps and we now keep our thermostat temp at a much higher setting, resulting in the downstairs air conditioning unit operating much less frequently.

    A generous neighbor gifted us garden produce (corn and two types of tomatoes) and eggs from her chickens. When she sells the eggs, she asks $4/dozen. We gift items back and forth to each other and the last items she was glad to receive from us were activewear items I could no longer use.

    Our oldest son treated hubby to a particular wildebeest smoked dry sausage that we don’t buy but that he really enjoys.

    Hubby and I have started playing tennis again and have played “at” pickleball. Free entertainment and the added exercise is a bonus!

    I walk daily for one hour (indoors on my basic little treadmill, or outdoors at a local park) in lieu of joining a gym.

    We are experiencing triple digit temps and line dried laundry is drying in record time!

    Hoping everyone had a pleasant and frugal week!

    1. I usually have 2 gallons of warm-up water in the summer (my shower puts forth 1.75 gallons per minute, and in the summer, it doesn’t take long for the water to get warm). I just add a level tablespoon to the bucket and I rotate which plants I am watering with water from the shower.

  16. We are on our last day of our mini vacation. It has been EXACTLY what I needed, and I wish we could stay for a few more days! As I mentioned last week, we brought most of our food from home, and we have been really good about eating up everything. I hate having to pack food back to take home so it’s nice that we judged better this time. We have taken a few walks, played in the pool, fished (hubby fished while I read), and watched a few movies. Our kids came up yesterday for Father’s Day and brought food to grill. We sent the leftovers home with our son, and he’s going to cook us supper tomorrow by putting the leftover hamburgers in brown gravy. We usually eat out once while we are up, but we haven’t this week and didn’t even want to.

    I’m on my third book this trip, reading from my shelves. I finally read the last book in the Anne of Green Gables series, Rilla of Ingleside, and absolutely loved it.

    This pay period will have lots of overtime for me (18 hours) and my husband (10) so that will be nice come pay day.

  17. Lovely picture, Brandy! I hope this has been a good week for you and for all of your readers.

    It seems like most of my get-up-and-go has got up and went! For the past couple of weeks, I’ve mostly just done the usual frugal stuff. No great bargains to report, but no frugal fails either.

    We got a little rain one day and I turned off the watering system the next. That’s 3 days so far this season. I don’t particularly want more rain, but if we get it, I will be sure to do this.

    I get GCs from my insurance company for completing wellness activities. I always use them for gifts, either the card itself or I use them to buy a gift. A few weeks ago I received a $20 card for Ace Hardware for having a bone scan and gave it to my son for one of his birthday gifts. Last weekend, I received a $50 card for Macy’s for having a physical exam. I will use it for my daughter’s birthday in September or save for Christmas.

    I have cooked double several times (and will again tonight) to add to my stash of freezer meals. I made 3-bean salad and used 1/4 cup each oil and water instead of 1/2 cup oil and couldn’t tell the difference. If I make a cake or brownie mix, I usually reduce the amount of oil a little and use a little more water, and they turn out fine. I am having a massive chocolate craving today and just mixed up a pan of brownies. I used 1/2 cup oil instead of 2/3 c. and 1/3 cup water instead of 1/4 c. Saves a little on calories as well as ingredients.

    Some things in my garden are doing very well and some things not so well. (Isn’t it always that way?) I expect to begin harvesting Swiss chard in the next few days.

  18. The weather here has been mild enough that we have yet to turn on our AC. We open the windows at night and shut them when the temperature starts to rise. Our AC turn on point is 80 degrees inside. It may happen later this week. We haven’t had to use our heat for a couple of months either and I was delighted that my gas bill for the month was $11.82 for using the stove and the dryer.

    I spent the last two weeks at summer art workshops. Each workshop lasts a week and I have been able to attend the last few years. The workshops are 2 hours away and I was able to commute with a friend one of the weeks. I learn a lot and use the skills in my own art career. I also stay cheaply in the student dorms and bring my own food. I feel grateful to be able to do this each year and look forward to the dedicated time to create art.

    I was able to bring home a chocolate pie yesterday from church (they served pie to the men for father’s day). It was an extra one and I was delighted to receive it.

    My garden is producing herbs, which I am turning into salad dressing. I also harvested a handful of small strawberries and two Sungold tomatoes.

    I still have a lingering cough from a sinus infection that seems to flair up when I am tired. Fortunately, I do have cough medicine and drops at home so I haven’t had to purchase any.

    I hope everyone has a beautiful week.

  19. I rarely need to purchase items other than my dogs special diet food. While browsing various coupon blogs , I saw an offer for 10.00 off a 20.00 Amazon purchase if you had your delivery made to an Amazon locker. There is such locker across the street from my daughters apartment. I used each of the children’s accounts to purchase random items. Mainly really clean type products that we use for sensitive skin. I searched for quite awhile to locate products that were on sale and had coupons with them and were eligible for the subscribe and save option. I saved 85% on our orders. I got lotions ,deodorants and shampoos . I was very happy with my wheeling and dealing. One night at a local store I claimed 20 bottles of Head and Shoulders shampoo from my favorite store dumpstet for my one child. That’s quite a lot and I was able to pass some along to friends. The neighbor children are out of school and frequently play at one neighbors house. I have regularly been able to drop off cakes ,cookies and chips along with fruits for the little kids. Excess is apparently sent home to their mothers. I picked up 4 huge bags of Royal Canin dog food and passed it on to neighbors. Seems many of these families are struggling. With the children being out of school the mothers are home for the summer too. No one is working and the kids aren’t getting their usual meals from the schools. I grabbed 50 bottles of Gatorade one by one to bring home for them. These kids are simply poor and the treats make them smile. That was quite a physical workout for me digging that stuff out. I have medical tests on Monday. The anticipated bill is horrendous. I’m hoping to not owe to much with my insurance. But ,we will see. I have now gotten bags of clothes on several occasions. I believe they may be coming from a consignment store. It was my understanding unsold items were donated , but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I have several nice items. I’ve decided to list them on Facebook and see if I can start selling things. My first listing is a new pair of Nikes and 5 new w tags Carter’s sleepers. I won’t get rich but plan on using any money for home improvements. I’m hanging laundry out and keeping my AC off . I purchased a new window switch for my car. My son installed it in 2 minutes. I bought it at Amazon for $36.00 . I hope everyone has a lovely week.

    1. I’m constantly amazed and all the useable items you find – and your kindness and passing on many of them to those in need. Just don’t exhaust yourself – take care.

    2. I just saw an announcement saying our local school district was handing out both breakfasts and lunches to any child age 16 or younger during the summer break. YMMV but perhaps your school district is doing something similar. Here, there’s no pre-registration required.

    3. One of our bigger household shopping items is dog food also. One is a specialty senior food and the other is sensitive skin and stomach. I rotate between Petco, Petsmart, Amazon and occasionally Chewy to use coupons or subscribe & save deals. I’m usually able to save $20 per bag by doing this. Once I receive my order I just cancel the subscription. I do use the same email address each time (I know some people create multiple email addresses for things like this which I’m not a fan of); I figure as long as their systems allow me to do it than the company policy must be ok with it! Not sure if it would be an option for you but wanted to mention it (I will happily do the extra work as the dog food is approx $170 for two bags per month before any discounts). 🙂

    1. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It helps plants produce more branches, more fruit, etc. They don’t need much, so I am just using a tablespoon in a couple of gallons of collected warm-up water as a simple and inexpensive way to provide my plants with one of the nutrients they need. I buy mine in an 8-pound bag from Target in the pharmacy area. I have found this to be the least expensive way for me to purchase it. Depending on what country you live in, this may not be the least expensive choice, and your nursery may be cheaper.

  20. I’m happy for your rain, cooler temperatures and good bargains. Last week, I harvested lettuce, chard, thyme, oregano, rosemary, lambs quarter and peas. A new recipe for GF pizza dough was tried. I also tried a new vegan mozzarella, which wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure it added enough to justify the cost. It’s been a while since I did any baking with yeast, and both jars expired in ’22. The oldest jar was pretty wimpy, when I tested it, so I added it to the compost bin. I read one of the free books on my Kindle, and went by the library to pick up three more. Water from rinsing vegetables was used to water plants and fill bird baths. Shower warm up water was used to flush the toilet. Plastic bags were washed and reused, and laundry was dried on the line. I finished the last of setting up my sewing room, and mended a pile of items. My husband harvested our garlic, and it’s drying under the carport. He planted melon seeds, lima beans, and another round of tromboncino. I went through the last of the ’22 garlic, kept five heads aside, dehydrated the remainder, and ground it into garlic powder. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2023/06/as-spring-shifts-into-summer.html

  21. I got great grocery deals at the grocery outlet this week. My Muscle Chef brand individual frozen protein meals were $1 each (normally $12) so I stocked up. I also got free bread products including loafs of bread, breadrolls and a large cinnamin iced bun (cuts up into about 20 portions). I got heaps of tomatoes too, capsicum, lunch snacks, cauliflower, cereal, savoury biscuits and a family sized meatball and fettucine meal that I put straight into the oven for an easy dinner (and lunch the next day).

    I made and cooked hot dogs, cauliflower soup, toast, wraps, steamed vegetables, mashed potato and a chicken, potato and tomato stew. We nibbled capsicum all week with hummus. Fruit and vegetables were plentiful from our harvest and we gave a lot away. I did not get around to watering the garden this week.

    I don’t have a clothes dryer or air-conditioning, which saves electricity. I work full time so wash and hang clothes when I can. The children are responsible for taking clothes off the line and putting their clothes away. All fruit and vegetable scraps were buried in the garden. We rode our bicycles to as many places as we could, instead of using the car.

    I read Mao’s Last Dancer, and highly recommend it. It is a heartbreaking and joyous true story about hardships, persistance and love.

    I took the children to the op shop/thrift store where they bought a toy and book each using their own money. I bought them 2 jumpers and a coat, in colours that will work as hand me downs. I also found my son a pair of Adidas soccer shoes, which he needs and got 14 DVD’s (we do not have any subscription services like Netflix etc). I also found a travel chess set in a tin to take on holidays and a brand new game called Five Second Rule. Total OOP cost was $17. The coat I purchased is in stores for $40!

  22. I’m a little anxious this evening. My husband meets with the doctor about disability tomorrow. This has been such a long journey and I’d be grateful for a positive decision and closure.

    Frugal wins this week:
    – Volunteered 2 days at a local scout camp. The scouts made a lunch but there were unused items like extra tortillas and a partial pack of chocolate chips they would have to toss so took them home.
    – Made chocolate chip cookies for my husband with leftover chocolate chips and sourdough starter.
    – Received some cookies and extra tomato and basil plants from a friend.
    – Something has been eating my pea plants and we’re about done with the usual growing season so I yanked them early and planted something else.
    – Harvested garlic and onions. Garlic was a little early but wanted to make room for new plants I’d received.
    – Ordered supplies for a mozzarella making night with friends at home. Buying ingredients is cheaper than a kit for multiple people. We will have a few laughs I’m sure.
    – I’ve been using yesterday’s coffee to water pots.

  23. I continue searching for new ways to add a larger variety of food to my pantry. This week I tackled canning strawberries! Who knew it was possible? They were on sale at Aldis for $1.69 a pound so we purchased 24 containers. I have been patiently waiting for the price to drop and I think this is as low as it will go this season. They were processed in different ways. Usually, I either freeze for fruit salads or dehydrate them for snacks and then save the tops and dehydrate them to later make tea. These are the new things I tried. Waterbath canning the strawberries in Juicy Juice Strawberry Kiwi juice. How they will be used this winter is still unknown. Recipes recommend either ice cream, smoothies, or pies. I forgot to add the citrus acid so the berries turned white but the juice is very red. The other berries were slowly cooked in Juicy Juice until it became a thick syrup. I added stevia for sweetness and then processed the jars. The last of the remaining Juicy Juice was made into regular jelly. I don’t know if any of it was a success until I open a jar this winter. Waiting gives me something to look forward to when the weather is cold.
    I am harvesting more from my garden than in years past because I have learned more ways of processing the vegetables. For the first time, I have canned collards, cabbages, spinach, and beet leaves. Previously, the leaves would get big and tough and be tossed in the compost, now I pick them early while small. We were successful in adding them to soups, stir fry, and quiches. I have also cooked and frozen some as side dishes but the biggest experiment was freezing them without blanching. When thawed, I mixed them with an egg and flour and fried them into patties (the leftovers were great reheated in the air fryer). We haven’t figured out any other recipes yet. The last big experiment has been to dehydrate cabbage, broccoli, and kale leaves. I am unsure how to use them.
    The garden has been keeping me very busy but I am being diligent in my effort to squirrel away as much as possible for winter.

      1. Bama Holly, I love the name “Swamp Soup”! I checked the recipe and it is definitely something I can and will make. It would be a great way to use up the fresh greens I have in the garden now and then can the soup. I could also make it in the winter with dehydrated vegs.

    1. Jeannie, I also dehydrate cabbage and kale, not broccoli. I use the kale whenever i make soups, spaghetti sauce, that sort of thing. The cabbage is new to me this year. But, i plan on using it in soups. I’m guessing the flavor will be strong to hide anywhere else. You could probably rehydrate and make an easy cabbage roll where the cabbage is mixed into the sauce rather than rolled in a leaf. (Which is how i make it, anyway.)

      1. Thank you for the idea, Debbie! I will give cabbage rolls a try. We used to make them years ago when the boys were home because they got the tedious job of rolling them up. They made some of the strangest shaped rolls but after being fried, they were delicious.
        Thanks again.

  24. It was a great, frugal week in Houston, TX!
    I bought gas at Sam’s, where I also picked up a rotisserie chicken, stretched to cover 2.5 meals.
    I sold some things on Mercari and Facebook Marketplace.
    I was a secret shopper at a fancy pizza place, which was a fun treat for the kids.
    I watched a video on youtube to learn how to change the cabin air filter in my van. It was really gross.
    I watched another video to uninstall an over-the-range microwave, which I bought from a lady tearing down her 100 year old house to rebuild on the lot. For $20, I took it down myself and now have a newer microwave which will take up less space.
    I returned some supplies to Home Depot that I ended up not needing.
    I baked lemon bars and Texas sheet cake to take to a Father’s Day lunch with extended family.
    I’m enjoying produce from the neighbor’s garden while I water, since they’re out of town.
    I bought milk at .72/gallon, marked down but still good another week. I froze one gallon and we’ll drink the rest. Eggs are $1.49/18 pack at Kroger, so it’s nice to see that they’ve come down in price.
    My youngest daughter got a bag of hand-me-downs from a niece.
    I found adult diapers for my mom who is disabled and some good kids clothes at Goodwill.
    Fail: I listed an item on Mercari that sold, but now I can’t find it! It must have been donated. Bummer! I need to be more organized.
    We ate most meals at home from humble and unexciting ingredients. But, we’re fed and healthy, so I can’t complain!
    Have a nice frugal week, everyone!

  25. Brandy the amount of garden cleanup you did this week was very impressive! I agree with you that garden work is never done.
    I harvested zucchini, yellow squash, snow peas, blackberries, French breakfast radishes, basil, cilantro, and an assortment of peppers & tomatoes this week. I lost 3 marigold plants due to the heavy rains we have had in the last few days but everything else seems to be holding up well. We have a massive amount of green beans to harvest and I expect that it his first batch will yield 2-5 gallons at least. My cucumbers, field peas, green beans, and nasturtiums have all germinated in the second garden and I am so excited! I didn’t want to have to reseed that area or buy seedlings. The sunflowers, cosmos and coco marigolds are coming along beautifully too.
    I made a trip to Costco and Walmart to stock up on several items that we were out of. It was a harrowing experience as costs just
    Continue to rise. I keep wondering where the ceiling is. I did not purchase a lot of meat compared to what we use to buy when stocking up, but I did find whole chickens for $1.49/lb, ground turkey, pork tenderloin for 1.79/lb, BLSL chicken breast for $1.77/lb and ground beef for $3.33/lb. The staples that I purchased like rice, flour, tortillas, spices, some frozen veggies, yogurt, eggs, cheese…..I saved where I could but the prices were astronomical.
    I made a batch of tacos for dinner on Saturday and we enjoyed lunch out after church on Father’s Day and went bowling afterwards. Our local bowling alley has a special allowing kids to bowl for free this summer.
    I downloaded the Fetch app and began scanning all of my receipts to start earning points. My sister told me about this and it seems you can accumulate points for gift cards. Sounds good to me so we will see how it goes.
    I baked a batch of orange cranberry muffins to use up some whole wheat flour and dried cranberries. Thanks for sharing this recipe Brandy! It is one of my favorites!!
    Cheers to the week ahead everyone!

    1. Mind sharing the orange cranberry muffin recipe? Also Fetch is an amazing app! If you scan a receipt each day you can “spin the wheel” to get bonus points. Every little bit helps! I’ve earned over $200 in gift cards from the app over the last 2 years!

  26. Uff da, it was a very expensive week!

    We received an incredibly high electric bill from DD1’s apartment. She moved home to complete her last few credits online over the summer, but her lease runs through July. She is working with management and her roommate to rectify the situation.

    My car needed new brakes and tires. I selected the tires that were on sale.

    I had an optometry exam and purchased new glasses and sunglasses at Costco with a buy one get $30 off a second set of frames offer.

    I purchased a set of new mixing bowls and a cheese grater at Goodwill for DD2’s first apartment.

    Went out to lunch with a friend and used a BOGO coupon.

    Celebrated Father’s Day with a homemade meal and visit with both daughters on our patio.

    Visited with my mother and her husband before they returned to their home out of state. Rather than going out, we enjoyed a beautiful evening in our backyard with snacks and drinks I had on hand.

    Enjoyed an afternoon relaxing and swimming at the lake.

    Hope everyone had a more frugal week than me!

  27. This was a week of rescuing food that was nearing its shelf life. A week of repairing things with parts or salvaged items. A week of donating things we do not need to help someone who may have a need for them.
    1. I made a cold potato salad from potatoes that had seen better days. It turned out tasty & hit the spot in the brutal Texas heat.
    2. Cooked some wilted spinach to have with dinner. I made a salad for work with the leaves that were still crisp.
    3. Emptied out a small quantity of ranch dip that came w/ a veggie tray. I can use it on a salad or two.
    4. Got a gift card for Albertson’s grocery on Fetch.
    5. One of the door handles on the outside of my car broke. Hubby ordered one from a salvage yard. It wasn’t cheap but likely cheaper than a new one from the dealership.
    6. I rescued a large quantity of boxed snack cakes from a Dollar General dumpster. They are not something I should eat. They will donate to the local homeless shelter. They will accept slightly out of date bakery items.
    7. Hubby fixed the cold-water handle on the bathroom sink. He didn’t have to buy a new faucet. I think the water line wore out.
    8. 100 degrees or higher in north central Texas. I turn the a/c on 85 when both of us are gone for the day. I don’t turn it off completely as I have a house cat & he needs some ventilation. I am grateful we were not without power due to storms that some southerners suffered.
    9. I trimmed my cat’s nails & brushed him thoroughly. He is gentle and allows me to groom him.
    10. I have a load of clothes to take to the homeless shelter along with the snack cakes. I also took a load to the psychiatric hospital. The hospital will accept faded or slightly worn clothes. I just make sure the clothes are clean & without holes. (I think we can find a use for many things that are thrown away & wind up in a landfill.)

    1. texasilver – Hello, fellow north central Texan! The heat this week is terrible – especially combined with the humidity! We have been leaving our air on 78 when we are not at home for the cats, but I may turn it higher. I saw a notice earlier today that Ercot wants everyone to start conserving more because of the heat.

  28. I hope everyone is doing well.

    This past week I played the ,’Flavor Adventure’ game at Albertsons ( Safeway, Jewel and a few others.) I won $50 off a grocery order and also $15 off a meat purchase. I used the free online method to get 10 game plays daily. I used the winnings to stock up on meat & produce.

    I fixed two large area rugs that had corners curling up by cutting a 12 inch leftover peel and stick vinyl tile into 4 pieces and adhering the sticky side on the bottom of each corner of the rugs.

    I replanted basil, chard, and a few squash seeds where there were empty spots in the garden.

    I replaced mayo with plain Greek Yogurt in our creamy Greek, ranch and the broccoli salad dressings this week. Mayonnaise is crazy expensive right now and we need the extra protein anyhow.

    Everything else was much the same, hanging laundry on the line, paying bills online and on time, cooking all meals at home and trying to use up any leftovers quickly.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

    1. JB – I shop often at Tom Thumb and Albertson’s and I also play the Flavor Adventure game. At first I thought it seemed silly, but today I got 7 rewards and a $10 off coupon for about 10 minutes of time on the app while I was eating lunch. It is definitely worth playing!

  29. Hi Brandy and everyone
    I’m interested to hear that you are doing some exercises in earnest as I am too. Our doctors surgery physio referred me to a free 6 week programme ( 2 sessions a week) for people with arthritis in their knees. I am really seeing the benefit so when I do the exercises at home I will think of you working out with your weights.
    At last we have had lots of blessed rain. Our yields on some garden produce are going to be lower this year because of the cold spring and lack of rain. I picked raspberries, strawberries, peas, lettuce, spring onions, broad beans and lots of flowers. We were able to give some of the bounty to neighbours and froze some beans.
    I picked elderflowers and made five bottles of cordial using up the last of the citric acid in the larder.
    My tablet died, it doesn’t owe me anything. I bought a new one in a sale, I was able to pay for two thirds using vouchers from my consumer research panel and gained lots of supermarket points on the purchase.
    We tracked down some share dividends which weren’t coming through to our bank account and a small back payment will be received soon.
    I used a coupon for a free bakery item and a large multipack bag of crisps ( chips). I don’t buy crisps usually but the saltiness is quite nice in this hot weather. When I was about to put the crisps through the till the assistant pointed out the voucher would cover a bag of 30 packets and I had picked up a six pack. He showed me where to look for the code in future. I rushed back to the shelf and chose a 30 pack bag! Luckily there wasn’t a queue behind me.
    One day when my husband was out a daughter’s car wouldn’t start. We used the jump leads my father had given her, together with the knowledge her Dad had given her and jumpstarted her car from mine. No time delay, no expense for a mechanics call out. Skills are definitely a moneysaver.
    Stay safe everyone.

  30. I can’t help but smile at your description of the “unheard of” weather occurrences, since here in my corner of Norway we just experienced 5 consecutive weeks without rain and temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius (86 F) which I can only describe as unheard of! I was struggling to keep my garden alive as there were some watering restrictions. I even had to turn on the air conditioning function on our heat pump for couple of hour 2 days last week. The sun does not set here at this time of the year so the plants suffered a lot. I used the limited watering time to keep my veggies alive, but the grass just burned in some places!!!
    We decided to use this time to enjoy our beach where the commune installed water toys for kids (slides, trampoline etc.) we had a great time taking our lunch there and playing in the water mornings and evenings.
    I harvested 1 kg of rhubarb from the garden which I froze in slices to add to baked goods. I harvested 2 kg of radishes. We ate some raw, made Korean style pickles to eat now and Polish fermented radish to eat in the autumn. I harvested leftover spinach and lots of fresh arugula. The deer ate my green pea plants, but my son loves to see the baby deer and mom come for a visit every day and he waits for them(which stops them from eating more stuff and I put it down as nature study as he reads up on this and draws them).
    I change my electricity provider which hopefully will help our electricity bill. I thinned apples on my tree using your post from the past as a guide. I gave myself a facial at home with some samples I had sitting around. I am reading a cool book “The disappearing spoon” by Sam Kean. It’s stories about the periodic table of the elements. Super fun.
    My husband returned home after 5 weeks on the mission abroad. The same day our first rain fell.

  31. Just when I think you have posted the most beautiful photos, Brandy, you post even more. This week’s offerings are just breathtaking. Thank you!
    *And thank all of you for your kind messages of condolence regarding my dog, Zoe. I did not see them until the weekend so did not respond individually. I loved hearing about your four-legged family members and knew you all could empathize. Thank you for that. 🙂
    *No grocery shopping last week as we continue to eat out of the garden, freezer and pantry and eggs are always on the menu thanks to the girls. Our 5 new chicks are growing like weeds and we will be glad for their input into the food production here when they are old enough.
    *My husband’s aunt and her husband are moving to Vermont and wanted to give us some family items they are not taking with them. So, we went down to her house and picked up an antique potbelly stove (I think it will have a building built around it one day), my husband’s grandfather’s Navy peacoat from WWII, some of his grandmother’s china, a propane stove we can use for canning outside (it’s really a turkey fryer but can be used for canning), some clay pots for gardening, and a couple of baskets I can use in my pantry. It was good to be able to wish them well on their next adventure.
    *Seems like a small thing but I enjoyed listening to some free bagpipe music at church. The Episcopal Conference Center next door to our church hosts several gatherings during the year including workshops for pipe bands. They come here in preparation for the Highland Games in near-by Linville which are held in July. I love bagpipes and hearing the music waft over the mountain breeze is just gorgeous. I just stood outside of church on Wednesday night after choir rehearsal and again on Sunday after service and just soaked it all in. Little moments like that warm the soul and are free for the taking.
    *I continued with my framing antique family photos project using items I had already purchased and have on hand. It is so fun to get to know more of my husband’s ancestors’ life stories and to put together bits and pieces of stories I have heard for years.
    *Sold some curriculum we were no longer using. Sold eggs to neighbors and did one mowing job for a family member. All little things that add up to a lot.
    *Cut wildflowers and put them in vases all over the house. I love this time of year particularly for that reason. So much beauty easily at hand. I also have been taking the free summer mini course from Floret (I think Brandy has mentioned this before.) And, I have been going through some of the many resources sent me by a local gardening group and our ag. extension office from a free permaculture workshop I was signed up for on the day my dog passed (I missed it, obviously.) Always something new to learn.
    *My husband is teaching our oldest son how to do more of the dirt bike maintenance on his own. To back up his instruction, he uses select YouTube videos to show him some techniques. So grateful for many sources of information and learning. My younger son has become very adept at finding free on-line art tutorials and really puts the things he learns to use. He has taken some paid art classes on-line and in person, but I am glad he is learning to make the most of free resources, as well.
    *My husband made a top to go on an antique 12 gallon crock we have had for years. I have kept houseplants in it and used it to actually store food (as would have been originally intended) but, we felt it would make a great side table to his new chair. These large crocks would have had wooden tops originally but we have never had one for this crock. So, he made one out of a mix of cherry and walnut scraps he had stored away. It is beautiful and just the right height. Love giving beloved things a new lease on life.
    *Hope everyone is having a lovely week! Thank you for continuing to make this space so special. 🙂

    1. Mountain Mama Dawn, do you happen to live near Valle Crucis? My husband stays in the hermitages there for his personal retreats, he loves it there!

  32. We need rain desperately, so all of the talk on saving water that I read, even though it didn’t apply to me, is all very useful information to me now. Thank you everyone for sharing. * We had a pleasant, at-home, Father’s Day. I got my husband some flavored peanuts, which he liked a lot. I love consumable gifts. I cooked out brats and corn-on-the-cob. Funny that we had one quick burst of rain this whole month and it happened to be when I was standing at the grill. It was only a couple minutes and I was so thankful for it, I didn’t bother to run inside. lol *I’ve been listening to my favorite all-time book, Christy by Catherine Marshall. (I named one of my daughters Christy because of the book). Anyway, I checked it out on the Libby app and when I started it, Kellie Martin, the actress who played Christy on the TV show, is the narrator!!!!! I didn’t notice that when I checked it out and it is perfectly magical. I get a thrill every time I listen. Boy, I love the library! * Some meals last week included tuna and noodles, chicken and salad, frozen pizza, tacos, and pasta salad. I took the left overs from Father’s Day and made another meal. We had one brat left, so I cut it up into the beans for a version of beanie weenie, and turned the three left over buns into garlic toast. * I started another set of pillowcases to embroider for Christmas. I’ve been slowly finishing another baby blanket with my Mother’s Day yarn. * I was able to have two of my little granddaughters for a whole day last week to give Mama a break. We had a picnic lunch on the deck and they enjoyed their pb & j’s so much! Funny how eating outside can make the usual seem fun. * I hope everyone has a great week.

  33. Sharing: My daughter works at Starbucks and if you didn’t know….YOU CAN GET FREE USED COFFEE GROUNDS! They bag it up instead of throwing it away. They even put a nice sticker on it to tell you how to use it. Just ask the next time you stop by for coffee.

  34. The big news around here is my youngest daughter got engaged to a wonderful guy. We are so happy for them. He proposed at the beach with a picnic. My kind of guy: beautiful and frugal.
    The swiss chard is going crazy from all of this rain. I have chopped and frozen another gallon bag. I have given 3 friends a bag full each with also some fresh herbs and we have eaten it 3 times this week. Has anyone ever sauted it and put it on pizza? I am going to try it this week. The lettuce is still doing great. Mulberries from my neighbors tree that hangs into are yard are getting picked every day. Hubby loves them so he eats them in his cereal or plain. I dehydrated another pint jar of oregano and a 1/2 pint of thyme. Stocking the pantry for the winter. We are still getting a few strawberries. The basil is getting picked every 3 days for pesto.
    We are going to Disney in the fall. We have the money all saved up already. BJ’s has $500 gift cards for $474. I bought enough to pay for our tickets and hotel. I told our 3 kids because they are coming with their SO so they can get the discount too. I used our cashback card to pay for both. We booked our rooms months ago and with be getting a gift card for food while we are there. Every little bit adds up.
    My new job is going great. They treated me to Starbucks one day and pizza another. I pack lunch everyday that I work.
    My daughter came over Saturday to celebrate Father’s day. My son took Hubby out Sunday to celebrate. I meal prepped for the week.

    1. Hi Marybeth,
      Sauteed Swiss chard is great on pizza! I use it everywhere I used chopped spinach. The only thing is when you cook it, it gives off a lot of moisture, so once cooked, I kind of press it against the side of the pan before putting it on the pizza so it doesn’t get soggy. Then I actually keep the “juices” and put them in a soup (or freeze them for when I make soup), as there are vitamins in that liquid that I want to eat one way or another. ;o)
      Best Regards, Rachel

  35. Brandy,
    Thank you for another encouraging post.
    I have not had a very frugal week at all. I had to have a growth removed from my lower arm. I get the stitches removed today. I am not looking forward to that dr. bill at all but I’m very glad to have gotten the problem addressed.
    I got a good crop of strawberries from my garden and my daughter asked if I could please make some jam as she could really use some for her pantry supplies. I mixed in some rhubarb also from my garden. I already had the jars/lids but almost fainted when I had to pay $6 for a tiny box of pectin!! I got 8 jars of jam so that will be enough for her family and for us.
    My husband, son and SIL went fishing for Father’s Day so we have several pounds of fish in the freezer which is very nice.
    Hoping I have more frugal wins to share with everyone next week.

    1. Hi Kim: You don’t need pectin to make strawberry jam. Weigh the prepared fruit; cover with equal weight of sugar and leave overnight. Boil until it tests for jam (drop hangs on edge of spoon). I have used cornstarch to thicken blueberry jam instead of pectin. Red currants and gooseberries are high in pectin and will jell raspberries. It is cheaper to buy jam than make it with expensive fruit, expensive pectin, sugar and expensive canning jars. Try making a rhubarb jam with pineapple tidbits and an orange which has had the white part and seeds removed; needs sugar of course and boil to jam stage. So many possibilities.

    2. Hi Kim you can add a couple of peeled,chopped green apples to your strawberry jam instead of bought pectin.Green apples are high in pectin,you can also boil a pot full of chopped green apples,covered in water then strain and can it for homemade pectin.You can google the exact recipe.

  36. Blessing on each and everyone here.

    We are back to a dry spell (😂Garden Pat are you hogging the rain over there in Columbus? LOL) We watch it go south east on a regular bases. I rotate what I water to try to not water more than twice a week each area by splitting up where I water each day. The Amish neighbor is now doing the same.

    We stopped at a nursey before an appt. to look for fruit trees to replace the 5 that died last spring .They had them on sale. We bought 2 black cherry, 2 bartlett pear, 2 honey crisp apple, 2 crabapple, 2 red maples and 2 fruit cocktail … yes that was the name of them. Grafted with peach, pear and plum. For the SAME price as what we would have paid if we had got the 5 trees last spring. We were going to pick them up tomorrow but today we found out the truck Hubby wrecked end of May would not be fixed in July 20th… insurance is extending the car rental they got us. Hubby stopped in and talked to the owner of needing them delivered and why. The gentleman cut 50% off delivery. It will cover the guy that will make the deliver to us. They are going to work it in on one of the other delivers in our area. Small blessing add up.

    Meantime, Hubby is shutting down his business, Insurance paid out for the flatbed trailer that was totaled, is fixing the truck, paying the rental costs, and he sold the livestock trailer to someone close that can still help the Amish when they need animals hauled. In fact our Amish neighbor found the guy to buy it. Hubby just has to wait until the truck is fixed and the wrecker bill is reimbursed before he can shut the paperwork side of the business down. He is researching a dump trailer (one that dumps) for our firewood that we buy from the sawmill. Would be easier for us to have our own and unload as we want not unload 4 cords of wood in 1 day but crawling in it and tossing it over the side. I mentioned if we got that I could see hiring Amish neighbor’s boys to stack it. Between the 5 of them it wouldn’t take very long especially since they stack it at home.
    Prayer for peace
    Blessed be

    We are eating from the gardens, peas, snowpeas, radishes, scallions, spinach, mustard greens, different lettuces, cherry tomatoes and strawberries almost daily.

  37. Your flowers are absolutely gorgeous!
    This last week was pretty relaxing.
    I gave the DH a haircut. Our two shortest guards for the clippers – one is totally broken and the other has several broken teeth. We ordered a new set of guards from Amazon.
    Weeded in the garden. The raised bed of beets – they were rather a disaster as the weeds grew more quickly than the beets. Also weeded 7 rows of corn in the garden. We plant in hills and there are eight hills in each row. Put cages on all the tomatoes. Planted lettuce in a raised bed. Planted cauliflower and basil seeds.
    Worked two days, mainly to wrap up some tax returns and do continuing education. I have free continuing education through the end of July, so am trying to get it all in by then. The two days I worked, I brought my breakfast and lunches.
    I had a dentist appointment. Free with my insurance. Also had a dermatology appointment. I have never had one before, but I was a lifeguard and worked on farms in my youth, and I garden now. She did a whole body exam, including my part. I asked her specifically to look at that, remembering what you went through, Brandy. While I have a little sun damage, there was nothing of any concern. Only had to pay $40 for this appointment.
    Made two more loaves of herb bread. Use Brandy’s recipe, cut in half, but add dried basil, oregano, parsley and thyme. This is my mixture I have made from our garden for Italian seasoning.
    Best deals were BSCB for $1.99 a pound. Got 3 packages of about 2 1/2 pounds each. Strawberries for 98¢ a pound – got 3 and broccoli and cauliflower for 98¢ a pound. Also got one dozen eggs. They were $1.69 a dozen, but had a 70¢ coupon loaded onto my card, so ended up being 99¢ for the dozen. Hamburger 93/7 was $2.88 a pound in the three-pound roll. I had $1.25 coupon loaded to my card, so picked up one of those too.
    Took the DH out for Father’s day breakfast. Had a gift card, so no charge except for the tip.

    1. Wise to have her check your scalp. I burnt mine plenty as a child and I’m sure that caused issues.

      A few years ago, I found out that a childhood friend of mine died at age 38 from skin cancer. He was always working outside to help his family and eventually worked full-time farming. He had just gotten married less than 6 months before his death. It was very sad.

      I am much more diligent about wearing a hat now and more sunscreen than before.

      1. I’m quite fair with freckles and have had a sunburn on my part line more than once! Surprisingly painful. I am definitely much more careful about wearing a hat these days.

      2. My husband, and five of his six siblings, have had bouts of skin cancer. Both of their parents, as well. My husband wears long sleeved shirts, a hat and long pants, now. My BIL is struggling with cancer, at the moment. It’s something to take seriously.

  38. Brandy, great score on the chickens. I always buy one when I go to Costco because they are so cheap!! But yours were a better deal. And yes its like instant dinner, so many possibilities!!

    -We have been watering the garden. We are very dry here. No rain for 5 weeks, we need it badly. Grass is already drying up and crunchy here, that usually doesn’t happen until August.
    -I bought a gallon of sunflower oil locally from the producer. I go right to the facility. It is cheaper than buying it in the store. I stopped in because I had another errand in the area (next town over from me).
    -I am bringing a bouquet of flowers each week when we go to see my MIL at her memory care facility. She enjoys them as she used to flower garden. I have 2 cheap glass vases I bought at a thrift store for $1 each. I bring one full and bring the one back from the previous week to fill the next time. I have had different things blooming each week from my annuals and perennials, so no cost out of pocket. Small thing for pleasure at no cost.
    -We just finished our last asparagus as now they need to grow fronds to put back into the roots for next year. Truly a seasonal vegetable, I won’t have any fresh until next year. The store asparagus can’t touch the flavor of fresh grown and fresh picked, so I don’t buy it.
    -Only harvesting radishes from the garden, but much is blooming-peppers, tomatoes, pea pods, and beans. My lettuce is very slow, replanted 3 times and now it has become very warm. We may not get much as it may bolt, we will see.
    -I had 2 bags of frozen whole cranberries in my freezer. I canned 6 quarts of cranberry juice.
    -I made a quart jar of garlic cloves filled with honey. Now it is sitting in the pantry to ferment to be used during cold and flu season.
    -The rest of the 2# bag of organic garlic was peeled and olive oil went over it to use in cooking, both the oil and the garlic.
    -I cut down my chives (they were in full bloom). The flowers were put in jars and covered with white vinegar-this will sit for a couple of weeks and I will have chive blossom vinegar to use in dressings and cooking. It is the prettiest purple color. The rest of the chives were chopped and dried. I got 1 1/2 pints of dried.
    -I made my dandelion salve using my dandelion infused oil that sat for 3 weeks. I got 4 half pints.

    Have a great week!!

      1. I dehydrate the dandelion flowers. Then put in a jar. Cover with oil. I use olive oil but avocado or almond oil are also a good choice. Let steep for 2 weeks. Drain off oil. Dispose of the flower heads. Combine 1 oz beeswax to 8 oz of the oil, melt and pour in containers. I use the squat half pints.

        It is a great anti inflammatory for skin. Works great on bug bites, rashes, excema, etc. it has helped my grand daughters excema so it is pretty much gone. Also great in the winter for dry skin.

  39. Earned $1.20 from Ibotta

    A teacher brought a big tub of kale. I filled up a gallon ziploc bag worth and froze.

    I cut hubby’s hair

    I found marked down stew meat, chicken leg quarters , and muffins

    My mother in law came in and brought a box of raisin bran, pop tarts, pop tart bites, rice krispy treats, and individual packs of cookies.

    Ate out Saturday for Father’s day/hubby’s birthday and had leftovers the next day.

    My trash can in the bathroom isn’t tiny, but 13 gallon trash bags are too big for it. I’ve been using larger shopping bags as trash bags in it.

    Ate breakfast and lunches at work

    Signed up for the free tutoring center at my school. College Algebra is kicking my butt. (I have to pass the class with a C)

    1. April, I really feel your Algebra pain. I stumbled thru that okay, but I hit a brick wall with Geometry. I needed it as a pre-req to take College Algebra. Oh, how I suffered!! I sat it the front row, watched everything my instructor did, took detailed notes, etc. and failed my first exam. I had 3 tutors who all gave up on me lol, including my cousin who has a Masters in Math lol. He told me I was defective hahaha. I managed to get a D, but I swear it was because my instructor felt sorry for me. He probably didn’t want me miss graduating over it. I swear that I danced out of that class with my D!!!

      Good luck, I’m rooting for you!!

  40. Have read and loved your blog for years and enjoyed ideas and comments. I am a one person household in a very tiny house. I do not can or have much room for storage but love the tips from all the bloggers and try using them. One thing I did was empty my small vacuum cleaner bag and reuse it. I have to order them so stretching them out is a savings. I planted tomatoes early this year and they are ripe now. I am enjoying them in sandwiches. This will be all that I get this year because it gets so hot here. I am not driving much and combine errands to save gas.

  41. We have done most of our cooking at home using ingredients we already have this week. We took our grandkids to a toy store. We had given them a limit thinking they could buy something nice with the limit we gave them. We were all so dismayed to see how expensive everything had got. I was tempted to raise the limit a lot, but did not. My grandkids didn’t ask for me to raise the limit, but I know they were frustrated with the prices. That made me a bit sad. I think ultimately they were happy with what they ended up with. At least I hope they were. I want to plan some nice things to do with them that are less expensive. They love science. But kits cost so much now. I am going to google some ideas. My grandkids love picnics, but summer is too hot for me to be outside for a picnic. That will be something we will do in the fall. My grandson has a birthday coming up in a couple months. He loves science. I want to think of something for him that he would really like.
    My son and I have been turning off lights unless in use above us. He has been very helpful with this. I know my husband appreciates our efforts to save money. We have had family over for meals instead of going out. I think everyone enjoyed it. I know my husband said he did. We are considering posting our music on some websites for streaming and for sale instead of sending it to an agent. We haven’t had much time to work on it because we have been busy with our day jobs. We love music though and would like to have more time for it. I am still teaching my great nephew to play the piano. He loves it and I enjoy teaching.
    Our basil is coming up and my husband is still using lettuce that is growing on our window sill for his sandwiches. We let a couple plants flower and will see if we can get some seed from them. Our cilantro has flowered and I think we will get lots of seeds from the plants. It had self seeded. I didn’t have to plant any this year and we got a lot of cilantro coming up!

    1. Here are a few things that might help Tammy – there seem to be quite a few free sites that offer experiments and suggestions.
      Also – I always hated the extreme heat as a kid so indoor picnics were always fun. Maybe set up a small pup tent in the living room if you have one or could borrow one.


      Experiments for kids
      From sources across the web
      Elephant toothpaste
      Lava lamp
      Bartholomew and the Oobleck
      Rainbow in a jar
      Sink or float
      Invisible ink
      Tornado in a jar
      Solar cooker

      1. Wow Margie! Thank-you! I am definitely going to look those up! Thank-you so much for the ideas! I also like the idea of an indoor picnic.

    2. Hi, Tammy.

      Several years ago I put together science experiment kits for my nieces and nephews. I used a shoebox and filled it with items needed for multiple inexpensive experiments. Easily customizable! I recall a fizzing candy cane experiment, and there was at least one that used baking soda. I specifically looked for experiments that had cheap, easy to find, and even overlapping ingredients. Just a thought!

    3. Tammy,
      If you have a science museum or science center or fossil bed near you, a day trip with plenty of time and a small gift from the gift shop (if there is one) might be another route to go instead of a physical gift. Many places often have a discount or free day and vouchers for parking discounts. You could also take lots of photos and put together a little book of photos in place of buying something from the gift shop. Or take the time for lunch or dinner out or special homemade request to discuss what you saw and learned during the day could be fun too.

      1. Lea,
        Those are great ideas! A feild trip would be fun. And pictures are a great idea too. Thank you!

  42. One of our Newfies, Lizzy, is having surgery this morning. We are on pins and needles. Her mate, Mr. Darcy, is stressed to the Max! Pacing. Will be happy when she is back home safe and well.

    The rain has been incessant here. Not complaining. The problem is no sun. My poor plants are huge, but no blooms or harvest—except for Squash. We have tons of it and we love it! So, we shall see.

    No grocery bargains. The flyers have less items and the prices are ticking up. Not sure where meat is going to end up!

    Off to clean and declutter. Need to stay busy!

    Read another great book by William Kent Krueger, “Ordinary Grace”. Older book. Edgar Award Winner. Much like, “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

    Stay frosty out there! Onward, y’all, by all means!

  43. Brandy, you are so blessed with the cooler weather and even some rain! I must say, I am envious. I have been thinking about you and your family!

    Summer has definitely settled in here. We are seeing highs of 100+ most days now. Today is the first day of summer and this morning when I woke up at 6:30 it was already 84 outside with 85% humidity and a heat index of 95. The humidity has stayed high, which makes it extremely uncomfortable (even though 104 is uncomfortable anyway!) We are seeing heat indexes around 120, which we have not seen here since summer 1980. It is somewhat early in the summer for this type of heat – usually we won’t get quite this hot until later July or August. We have been doing what we can to try to stay cool – keeping all of our blinds and drapes closed, ceiling fans going. My husband took apart and cleaned several of our fans so they would be more efficient and clean. We keep the air on 79 while we are away during the day, and turn it down to 77 when we are home in the evenings. We are on the top floor so of course we get roof heating and it stays warmer. I am already ready for fall! Haha.

    We found some good grocery bargains last week. Chicken breasts were on sale again, so we added more to the freezer. I saw quite a bit of pork on 50% off markdown, but did not purchase any as our freezer is fairly full and we have a lot of pork already. We are limiting our grocery shopping to 1-2 times per week. Going to Aldi for most staple items as their prices are the best, and picking up other store-specific items at Tom Thumb and Sam’s or Costco. This definitely saves money over more frequent store stops. I have been playing the Flavor Adventure game on our Tom Thumb app and earned several grocery rewards for free items, as well as a few discounts. We have been cooking and eating almost all meals at home, including grilled fish tacos, grilled chicken caesar salad wraps, chicken burrito bowls, shredded pork tacos, leftover shredded pork lo mein, turkey dogs, salmon and chicken burgers. We have been using the grill, instant pot, and slow cooker as much as possible to avoid turning on the oven and heating up the kitchen. We take our lunches and snacks to work.

    I don’t feel like I have much else to report! Same old, same old. 🙂 I hope everyone here has a nice week and stays cool and comfortable!

  44. Well, it was an agonizing choice whether to go to the mountains this past Monday when the forecast was for rain or wait till the next available day during the first week of July. If I waited would there be more smoke? too hot? and there would be lots more traffic due to tourists coming in for Stampede. So I decided we would chance rain. A more gloomy day, foreboding in the mountain mist would be hard to surpass. Yet there were wonderful advantages: almost no other people braving the cold, no insects such as horseflies, wasps etc., and an easy to obtain picnic table. And so we went. We had changed our plans to do a much easier walk where I could go from bench to bench and rest. Even so by the end of the day, my knees were so painful that I could barely walk. What a lovely gift this was for me. Even though it wasn’t my favourite wild orchid walk, I was amazed at the number of orchids we did see — from Round-leaved orchids to a Sparrow’s Egg Lady Slipper orchid, green bog orchids. The Paintbrush was spectacular! After watching a Goldeneye duck repeatedly dive for insects, and after our “bring your own picnic”, we then drove down to Highwood Pass. It is the highest road in altitude in Canada. There is a rather demanding hike
    called Ptarmigan Cirque there but due to my limitations we did not do that. Instead, right next to the parking lot there is a wildflower meadow. By this time, as I’d joked about, it did start to snow. Still, I got a few wonderful photos of high altitude alpine flowers that are new to me. Other than the snow, we totally missed rain there and back, only to find that it had rained in the city. I was home by 5 and asleep by 6 and I could not walk the next very rainy day so I stayed in bed. I finished our Historic Calgary Week article which will go to the proofreader.
    We are not presenting it, only distributing it. We are sponsoring a talk. I was appalled by the gas on the reserve (and the First Nation doesn’t even pay tax on it). I have been in a bubble because of covid. I was shocked by how much building has happened in the meantime… I agree with Margie from Toronto and Elizabeth M. about the food prices, especially for meat and poultry. Perhaps beef will come down a bit after the long weekend. I am glad I have a substantial supply of canned and dried lentils and I hope to make soup. Inspired by Elizabeth M…
    There is always something. I found that I have a 3 inch hole in the very thick rubber sole of my good orthopedics shoes. I was only protected because my orthotics lay between bare earth and my foot. I’m trying to find a pair on sale online. After our extreme unseasonable hot weather, it is cold. My furnace came on in June — that was a first! I love the cooler weather…!

    1. What a lovely trip Ann – so glad you decided to go. I too would have opted for some iffy weather vs. too hot and packed with people. When I was out in Quebec a couple of years ago we came across a wild flower meadow that was all in bloom and it was just amazing – like an old fashioned quilt!
      On my only trip to Alberta I climbed one of the trails at Lake Louise from the lake up to the glacier fields and crossed a whole stretch of snow in the middle of July! Now my knees just ache at the mere thought of doing that hike again! Hope you are all recovered.

      1. thanks Margie — I am back in the land of the walking — more or less! That was very ambitious of you to go from Lake Louise up to the glacier fields. I myself would like to take the gondola up Sunshine and walk in the wildflower meadows there but I think even that’s too much as there’s at least a hill. You might like to browse photos of that meadow though. Very beautiful. The Quebec wildflower meadow sounds lovely! Ann

  45. Hello Everyone!
    On a weekly basis I’m sprouting for sandwiches and baking bread. The cost of good quality bread is outrageous right now at $6-$7 per loaf! My bread machine mixes a lot of dough, but only bakes it if I’m in a rush. I prefer the crust of bread baked in the oven.

    I still don’t have much garden produce yet. And something is nibbling my aspabroc down to nubs! 🐰 We’ll have to find and block their access.

    I’ve been rotating through home canned goods in preparation for summer bounty, although things are ripening more slowly this year. I’ve also been rotating the canned goods such as salmon by making salmon cakes for dinner before expiration. We don’t eat that often and it was a nice treat.

    Father’s Day grocery sales were disappointing. Only tri tip roast and corn were discounted. So, I now primarily shop online and pick up through Walmart and occasionally at Costco. The corn had a very strange texture. I wonder if it was due to the odd weather we’ve had this year.

    I resubmitted a car warranty extension reimbursement claim for car repairs made in January. I mailed it 6-8 weeks ago and never received confirmation. I copied originals and resubmitted online. In addition, I cut my son’s hair and made a beautiful flower bouquet from my blooming roses. 🌹 I listened to a gripping audiobook on Hoopla called Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. It was an engrossing, gritty modern twist on David Copperfield.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week!!

  46. Chick fil a app has a game going on right now. I just won an 8 count chicken nuggets. I will stop and grab it when I am over near them. It will be a nice lunch with leftover sides. Starbucks app also has a game going on. I have won stars towards a free reward. I don’t go to either often but if it is free I will go.

    1. the stars do expire so just something to be aware off. I upset some staff when I didn’t pay $7 for a drink after thinking it was going to be free!

  47. I just wanted to say hello. I haven’t been keeping track of my savings. I’ve been hard at work decluttering. So, my biggest savings is in house real estate!! We never got any kind of garden in this year. We do have lots of friends with big gardens – it seems everyone gardens here- so I’m hoping they’ll share.

    I’m enjoying everyone’s comments and tightwad victories. I’m still reading my Nancy Drews and the Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn.

    Best savings from last week… husband found a Columbia backpack on a rack at $16.99. It was supposed to be $65!!! They gave us the low price, but pulled the whole rack of them. I’m thinking someone got in trouble…. I had never heard of that brand so I thought it was just a cheapo. I’ve since been schooled by several people that said we hit the jackpot.

    My sympathies to those of you roasting in Texas. I hope you get a cooler front soon. However, we don’t want that kind of heat up here so send it elsewhere, if you can!

  48. It’s been a mixed bag around our house.
    I found some great deals at garage sales. My husband needed new dress shirts and I found tons of name brands, filled a bag for $5. I got some fleece lined running pants for winter, dress shirts for my son, puzzles for 25c and ceiling lights for $1. I curb picked some building materials that would have been over $1000, they just need to be painted and we can use them at a rental house.
    I spent a weekend visiting a friend out of town. I brought her fresh garden produce and baked goods. We splurged on eating out several amazing meals, which was a very nice treat. We have overall been on the go more and stopping to grab food, which adds up quickly. I need to get on top of those days. We have friends visiting us this weekend and an annual party at our house in a few weeks, but I’ve been trying to stock up in advance.
    We still have fresh lettuce and asparagus and mulberries are starting to ripen. We normally pick several gallons of mulberries for the freezer to either bake with or use in smoothies.
    I’m reading your book recommendation on classical education as we start homeschooling this fall. Thank you for the recommendation.
    I returned a bra that didn’t fit well. I ordered a new to me running tank on ebay as well as a book for a graduation gift. I sold a few things on ebay and marketplace. I passed down some kids clothing and shoes to friends.

  49. I have been thinking that our tourism might suffer because of our price of gasoline but then I realized that it is now a bargain for
    our southern neighbours to visit Canada as every US dollar is worth $1.32 Canadian (as of today). So for hotels, gasoline, food it’s a bargain to your us readers.

  50. Mixed bag of things here as well. Ten days ago my daughter came home announcing she’d lost her job. I was just making the final payment on the new kitchen cabinetry and since she doesn’t plan for emergencies nor life in general, I went into a bit of a downward spiral mentally. However, I’ve decided that I am going ahead with the renovations we’ve planned and she will have to be responsible for her bills and how they are to be paid.
    The day after my husband insisted we go grocery shopping. I had planned to pick up absolute needs and a few items that were especially good buys to restock pantry. Though it was a Friday, I found markdowns in the meat counter and my hubby insisted we get all of them that were reasonably priced (even clearance these days is often higher than the highest price two years ago…) I’m not sorry we added that to the freezer. It’s a bit of a security account in my opinion to have that on hand.
    Father’s Day we went to visit my son (also his birthday) and he gifted me 5 big beautiful carrots with tops attached, green peppers, cucumbers and a small eggplant. This is the same son who kindly shared his bounty from the school system breakfast/lunch program which we are still using up. Such a happy bonus to have the fresh produce on top of all that.
    I have counted 20 tomatoes at present on my three plants and have potted up the lower branches I removed from the plants to see if they might root. I also planted some sprouted potato peels and have two sweet potatoes in jars of water on the back porch to get their roots. One is ready to plant the other is lagging a bit behind. We have also had multiple days of heavy showers so watering plants is not necessary. The porch plants did need to be watered so I thought I’d experiment while doing dishes and ran water in a pitcher until it started to get hot. I got about 1.5 quarts of water before the water was warm enough to rinse dishes. I took that right out and watered two plants heavily.
    Happy to find the electric bill coming in at about $40 less. Our gas credit card was nearly $130 less than it’s been running. All savings were deeply appreciated!

  51. As a lover of books and films, I completely understand the need for ‘fluff’ every now and then. The beauty of art can be that it lightens the mood and takes you away from your thoughts and worries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *