Grocery Shopping

July’s Garden Harvest and Shopping Plans

Fig Tarts The Prudent Homemaker

This month from my garden we’ll harvest grapes, grape leaves, figs, Swiss chard, herbs, green onions, a few tomatoes, and a few peaches (from the tree in my white garden). 

I’m taking care of a friend’s garden and chickens for two weeks this month, during which time we’ll harvest cucumbers, tomatoes, and a few possible other items. We’ll also 11-14 small eggs to bring home every day. 

I’m able to increase my budget for the month to $400, so I will stock up on some items.

I’m trying out Sprouts for the first time. They’re a bit further than I normally drive to go shopping, as I usually stay within 1 to 2 miles of home to do my grocery shopping (except for one trip to Sam’s Club, a whole 5 miles away).  They have cherries for the unbelievable price of $0.95 a pound; I’ve never seen cherries priced this low in my life, so I am definitely planning a trip.

Here are my planned sale purchases from the current ads, all of which are incredibly low prices right now:

 

Sprouts:

Cherries $0.95 a pound

Corn 6 for $1

 

Albertson’s:

Whole chickens and chicken thighs $0.77 a pound

Boneless pork sirloin chops $1.47 a pound (I have never seen them this low)

Sour cream $1 a pound

Whipping cream $1 a half-pint

 

Target:

Diapers. There is a spend $100 on diapers get a $30 gift card deal this week. I buy the store brand in the bulk boxes. These will last me a few months.

 

And what I’m planning from Winco, Walmart, and Sam’s Club:

 

Winco:

Potatoes

Vegetable Oil

Ground Almonds (a small amount for a dessert)

Onions

Bell Peppers

Spreadable margarine (3-pound tub for $2.27)

Milk

Lettuce

Carrots

Great Northern Beans

 

Walmart:

Mrs. Wages Dill Pickle Mix

Spray oil (I use my refillable sprayer for most cooking, but I found it doesn’t work well in the waffle iron)

BBQ sauce

 

Sam’s Club:

Tomato sauce in a #10 can

Popcorn 50-pound bag

All-purpose flour 25-pound bag (I will buy 100 pounds)

Mozzarella cheese 5-pound block

Mozzarella cheese 5-pound grated

Goat Cheese

Feta Cheese

Toilet paper

Pinto beans 50-pound bag

 

I’ll also look for a sale at Smith’s on ice cream in the gallon-sized buckets.

 

Pickles in Process The Prudent Homemaker

I plan to make dill pickles and sweet pickle relish with the cucumbers we’re picking from my friend’s garden.

I’ll make pasta salads, Caprese salad, corn and tomato salad, grape juice, smoothies, popsicles, rice and beans, tomato pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, pork chops with fig sauce, stuffed grape leaves, tomato and cucumber salads with Italian dressing, grits with fried eggs, fried potatoes with fried eggs, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, cherry clafoutis, Pavlova with cherries, brownies, and more this month.

 

What sales are you looking for this month? What do you hope to harvest from your garden? Do you have any favorite frugal summer meals?

 

 

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89 Comments

  1. The main shopping goal is to buy blueberries when they come in season, to freeze in 2 cup portions for use this winter. They are starting to come in this week, weather permitting, so probably next week or the week after they’ll come into the stores in flats. I use the blueberries in cereal and in muffins. If I can afford it, I will also freeze raspberries. There are two places to do u-pick nearby.

    I am watching out for sales to help build my stock to cover August and September. Milk products and chicken are on good sales, so I got several pounds of butter for the freezer, and will buy some cheese and chicken as and if the cash becomes available. If my budget allows, I will take advantage of other sales to stock up on a few items. There seem to be more sales this year than usual in the summer. It just depends on how much I am able to earn each week on transcription, and whether there is anything left over after the bills.

    Produce from British Columbia is now in at very reasonable prices, so I am enjoying summer menus based on them. I also found a bag of 5 avocados for $1, which is a big treat to include in salads and omelettes.

  2. Wow — those are some awesome prices. Definitely worth a little drive for those cherries!
    Local corn should be ready by the end of the month. the past two years the sale price has been 7 ears for $1. I bought 21 ears last year and still have about 1 cup left in the freezer, so I’ll repeat that amount this year. I’m going to be in the nearest city with a Costco later this month, so I’ll stock up on some things there.
    I have lots of green tomatoes, but don’t know when they’ll ripen.

  3. Cherries are selling for a great price here also. I’m canning cherry juice as I write this. With any left over juice I’ll make jelly. At the moment we have lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, and cauliflower ripe. Our gardening season is just getting started.

  4. Our garden is progressing nicely. Green tomatoes are on the vines, small peppers on the plants and flowers on the cucumber, melon and squash plants. Blueberries are producing now! We picked 6 quarts yesterday. Most of our garden of kale, spinach, carrots and beans will be producing next month and the fruit trees, bushes and strawberry plants won’t be producing until next year. Plan to make pickles, can salsa and tomato sauce, as well as freeze vegetables. Our chickens have just started laying, so 2-3 eggs a day so far. Frugal planning in our garden and orchard will cut our grocery bill with healthier choices and I plan to sell fruit jams with the honey from our hives from the honestead and at craft fairs as my side gig.

  5. I eat tomato and mayo sandwich on white bread during the summer…almost every day. I sometimes add vidalia onions. I will also eat cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches during the summer. Also,…..watermelon…I love watermelon.

  6. I shop Sprouts almost exclusively for produce. I have only had once where their prices could not be beat. My swiss chard is producing wonderfully, and I have green tomatoes on the vines. I have lots of blooms on my squash plants, so hopefully, we will have fresh squash too.

  7. I am hoping to get cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, green peppers and lots of herbs out of my garden to can/dehydrate. Plan on canning pickles, salad cubes, salsa and spaghetti sauce. I am going to can extra to put away for Christmas gifts. I see the Sprouts ad but the nearest one is over 20 miles away. That is a good price on cherries!
    Neighbors have promised to give us some of their crop this year so hopefully I can put some of that up.
    Watching the sales for milk, butter, eggs and other things I can stock up for free for upcoming months.

  8. Brandy, I spray of oil in a bowl and brush it on with a brush or paper towel on my waffle iron.

    I miss my gardens. We went to the produce auction and got candy onions that will last us about 2-3 months, zucchini I shredded for the freezer, pickle cucumbers I use a grape leaf in with Mrs Wages Dill pickle mix,Regular green beans I canned and Roma(wide Italian) green beans I canned.

    My girlfriend gave us a couple zucchini that I haven’t done anything with yet. Our landlord here and the neighbor at 209 told us to come get sweet corn that will be ready in about a week. Both planted too much and was okay if I got some for daughter 4 (rest of kids prefer canned corn). Hubby just called and told me neighbor at 209 just gave him a dozen red beets and 11 zucchini. I will make refrigerator pickles at of some of the zucchini along with the mock pineapple I didn’t have enough to do. Friend told me about making zucchini with pizza toppings so we will be trying that.

    I have processed all that I bought at store (http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/07/july-groceriesplease-sit-down.html) bagging everything into 2 servings instead of 3-4 that is normal to me. Hubby is trying to lose more weight and if I fix more than what we need he is grazing through it after I go to bed.

    I still have berries in the freezer so I won’t be getting any more.

  9. Funds are very tight this month so not sure if there will be the opportunity to stock up on much – although I always check out the flyers just in case. I find the best buys tend to be in August & September as our growing season is a bit later. If I can find Ontario strawberries at a good price I may try freezing a few but they are still too pricy to make it worthwhile – but worth the price to have fresh – so delicious!
    Purchases this month will be mainly dairy and lots of produce as I try to eat as many vegetables as possible! Low carb means lots & lots of veggies! I will also try to use up some of my canned sardines, tuna and salmon instead of buying more proteins this month. I went through the freezer this morning and took out a few things to use up over the next few days.
    The only non-food items I’m hoping to find on sale are TP and dish liquid – otherwise I’m OK for now.

  10. Brandy, I don’t know if your Walmart ad matches, but if you have a store in your area called Rural King, they have the Mrs Wages for $1.97. Worth a shot

  11. Wonderful prices Brandy! It is also wonderful that your friend is letting you and your son take care of her greenhouse and chickens while she is gone. You will make good use of the things you harvest and the eggs.
    I told my son and the lady watching my cats to pick the strawberries ripening in the garden while we were in California. They didn’t so my plants quit producing earlier than normal. I only got one gallon bag that I froze and will use in baking and for shortcake. We started with 12 plants 2 years ago and they have almost filled a 4×4 foot area. I have been clipping the runners to keep them contained. We have been harvesting yellow squash, zucchini, green onions, and green beans. There are lots of green tomatoes, squash and cucumber blossoms out there. My pepper plants are taking there sweet time growing this year. I took a yellow squash and mixed it with the one apple I had with some water and cinnamon and cooked it till soft and stretched the apple. We will eat it for dessert. I also grated some and will be slicing and cubing it to add to soups, roasted veggies and potato dishes. The zucchini I will slice for veggies and grate for breads and muffins.
    I have already done my stock up shopping at Sam’s for July. I bought applesauce cups(lasts about 2 months), minced garlic(lasts 6 months or more), a 2 pack of Vidalia dressing for the month, a 3 pack of ketchup(3 months or more), 16 chicken apple sausages for the month and 5 lbs of cheddar cheese(lasts 3months).
    I have already spent $119.08 but will only need fresh produce and fruit for the rest of the month. I might run out of flour as well. I didn’t check it before I went to Sam’s. Insert sad face!!

  12. I have a question about my fig tree. I purchased one that is zoned for our area – SLC, Utah. It produced fruit the first year I planted it. For the winter I did wrap the trunk with burlap just in case it got too cold. In the spring the tree appeared to be dead – no green underneath the bark. Limbs snapped off easily. I dug it up and set it aside. The nursery gave me another one since it had been less than a year and I purchased the stuff to plant it. Anyway, the new tree produced beautifully the first year I planted it (last year). In the meantime, about a month later, the older tree that I had dug up and set aside started producing leaves at the base of the tree. I planted it in a pot and it continues to produce from the base – no fruit, however. And my newer tree did the same thing! This year the trunk is dry and dead, but leafing at the base! Did you have this issue with your fig tree?

  13. We stock up on peaches in july- I recently got a half peck from a local orchard for $15. On another note, I stopped in to Walmart today for milk and noticed they had 10lb rolls of hamburger for $20.96!!! I wish I could have got them all (there were 4) but my budget didn’t allow. I purchased 1 roll though! Woohoo! I have never seen hamburger for that cheap!

  14. Brandy, you will LOVE Sprouts — but be sure to shop on a Wednesday. That way, you can get sale prices for the past week, as well as the next. Saves time, money and energy.
    They generally have some incredible price loss leaders…but then will not be that reasonably-priced on other produce and fruit. So you still have to compare. Their cucumbers and peppers (a color at a time) are generally well-priced; so are their mushrooms-by-the-pound. (I only buy 4 or 5, but they make a real difference in cooking. Get the fancier type; they’re usually the same price as white mushrooms, but have more flavor.)
    Our best cherry price was also Sprouts — but $1.28/lb. That is a STEAL here. I got four large bags, and have been storing them in the fridge to keep them fresh. Husband finds that eating cherries helps keep his gout at bay. (He makes do with a little cherry juice the rest of the time.)
    You haven’t mentioned hotdogs, but Oscar Mayer (more meaty taste) has been at $1.25/lb here. I make a short roll dough, then wrap and bake each ‘dog’ for pigs in the blanket. (Serve with barbecue sauce, veggies.) I would think your kids would love these. (Let me know if you’d like the dough recipe.)
    I also make Spaghetti Carbonara a lot: while the spaghetti is cooking, brown 1/4 pound bacon, chopped fine. (Ham works, too, or any kind of spicy sausage — but bacon is best.) Add sliced mushrooms (I only use 1 or 2), chopped onion, zucchini, squash, beans, tomatoes…or any other garden vegetable. (Garlic is excellent here, too — plus add a few teaspoons of Italian seasoning.) By the time the spaghetti is done, this mixture is usually browned and hissing, too. Quickly stir in one or two eggs into the meat mixture; then drain the spaghetti, mix all together, and add a tablespoon or two of parmesan. (Cubed or shredded mozzarella can also be added, but isn’t critical.) Serve steaming — one pound of spaghetti covers four hungry people, or 6-8 as an entree.

  15. I’ve just picked my first cucumber this season, getting lots of squash and zucchini, green tomatoes I’m waiting to ripen and herbs. Lots more in the garden but I started late, so it will be a bit. Tempted to go back to the blueberry farm, as they are still full and $2.30/lb. locally the fruit has not been cheap, so my canning supply is low. Hoping apples will be priced well in September!

  16. That’s an unheard of price for cherries! I’d drive for them at that price.
    My garden is not doing so well — my husband promised to keep it tilled to keep weeds down, but he hasn’t been up to it, and I’m not strong enough for this tiller, plus I work with a long commute — I’m gone from the house over 11 hours each day and weekends are full of household tasks, leaving me little time for hoeing. The high heat and humidity haven’t helped.
    Still, we are getting tomatoes and now some figs. I can still use my longevity spinach and the thornless blackberries surprised me with a handful of new berries after already producing what should have been the complete crop.
    I’m doing home repairs that I can do, which includes a long project of cleaning and re-lining the kitchen cabinets as I go through and pull out the old plastic supports and put metal ones in their places.
    I was happily surprised to find that a survey on Swagbucks made me eligible to do one at home, testing two kinds of cat litter. I’ll get paid for this, plus, free litter!
    I definitely prefer lighter meals in summer. One of my favorites is one I grew up eating — frying a little bacon in a skillet, crumbling the bacon and setting it aside, sauteeing fresh corn off the cob quickly in the bacon grease, remove from heat, add fresh chopped garden bell peppers, fresh chopped garden tomatoes, and the crumbled bacon. My husband became an instant fan when I cooked it for him.
    We sometimes just eat finger foods for a meal: chunks of melon, hard-boiled eggs, slices or cubes of cheese or cottage cheese, fresh cut up fruit, celery and carrot sticks, pickles, and sometimes, crackers.
    Chicken salad, egg salad, or tuna salad are good on a cut up tomato and lettuce.
    And yes, to Cindy in the South — tomato sandwiches!

  17. With my home being empty of children, I plan on buying a few luxury type items for myself.
    A jar of salsa and a lb of small brown sugar sausages for breakfast.
    A bar of Dark chocolate to bake with.
    A couple small packs of cheese for egg dishes and snacks.
    A package of scallops from Aldi’s.
    I will check vegtable prices in each ad. If I see something great , and I am nearby, I might pick it up.
    I have 2 high dollar coupons for digorno pizzas and will be getting six of them for the freezer. I think it is 14.00 total and sugar cookie will be thrilled.
    I envy all of the fresh fruits and vegetables you are able to grow. Ga red clay isn’t too good for growing here.
    My sons best friend 10 houses down has 3 pear trees in his front yard. The trees must have thousands of pears and the trees look like they are going to split in half from the weight. They are not picked by anyone. Need to see what we might be able to do. Fruits raise my sugar to massive levels instantly. Maybe pear butter?

  18. Dear Brandy..I always look forward to reading your post.
    It’s chocked full of good things. Last month I was able to make a beautiful gallery wall like yours of my grands.
    I was also able to make your pretty Pavola for dessert.
    This summer has been full of company. I love it but always calls for extra budget.
    . Garden started slow but now herbs and tomatoes
    Chives ..lettuce..are filling up.
    . Have used spray paint to paint benches..chairs..
    Desk to spruce up our home.
    . Hard work and detailing..viniger.soap and water have washed walls..cleaned floors..grout
    . Pillows have a fresh look with extra fabric
    . Free sofa n rug was found online . Washed up covers ..sun dried. Swept n clean. Fresh n new.
    . Was given another free sofa n desk. Already in perfect condition.
    . Meals at-home.
    . Use library for summer reading.
    . Took free flower course brandy recommend. Very good.
    . Free items at local grocery every other week. 1 per customer.
    . Strawberries .98 LG ..bought several froze
    . Enjoyed summer sunrises and sunsets.
    . Hope to enjoy free orchestra concert in park in August

  19. Lilli, I’ve made pear butter and it’s wonderful! Since pears are watery, you need a lot of pears to get a decent amount of butter. Check for crockpot recipes so you don’t have to stand at a hot stove all day. What a nice friend your son has!

  20. I have been eating frozen mini cucumbers (my fridge accidentally froze them). It’s almost like a popsicle! Certainly cooling in this heat. I am trying to write a talk on local history that I am to give. I am amazed at how many primary sources are now online. I have saved money by not going to the archives but by doing everything online.

    About what to do with pears, if they’re thin skinned, I would cut them in half, leave the skins on, take seeds out and then put them in freezer bags. So good in the winter. We made pear sauce, just like apple sauce but with no sugar. Can use it instead of oil in baking. Am just enjoying each plant as it blooms in the garden. I’ve eaten down all of the food in my freezer. I bought mason jars to replace those that the person looking after my house when I was in the hospital threw out (or sent to recycling). I bought replacements (from my quarter collection) and they were on sale. Now all I have to do is buy a case of peaches and blueberries and start restocking my little freezer for the winter. I am trying to enjoy summer as it is all too short here!

  21. Hi Brandy and so happy you are able to increase your grocery budget this month and be able to stock up on a few things. I too have found that sometimes travelling a little further brings rewards and blessings if you are buying in bulk quantities as you are 🙂 .

    We only shop once every 3 months now for the two of us as we wait until we get e-vouchers that give us 16.66% off all our groceries that we can order online and just pick up. For us this is a huge saving in Australia and we then couple that saving with as many 50% off specials we can get on items we use too.

    We are doing a little fresh produce shopping as we saw specials on strawberries $5 per 500g and then coupled that with another 5% off using our roadside assist club discount bringing them down to $4.75 per 500g which is the cheapest I have seen them in some time here. Currently we are making our years supply of strawberry jam in our bread making machine for the 2 of us in small batches.

    The other thing we picked up was almonds that we were low on to make granola with and 1/2 price tins of spam and long life tinned vegetables and meat and we coupled this again with our 5% discount giving us 55% off usual prices. We are building up our food storage to closer to a 12 month level and are almost there 🙂 .

    In the gardens we expect to pick –
    – Cherry tomatoes.
    – Snow peas and shelling peas.
    – Beetroot.
    – Carrots.
    – French and English lavender to dry for sale on the internet, trading and home use.
    – More thyme which we will again dry for sale, trading and home use.
    – More rosemary to dry to sell, trade and for home use.

    Being winter here we are enjoying hearty stir fries and soups made with a lot of our harvested garden vegetables at the moment with desserts of magic mix chocolate pudding (made from food storage) and tinned fruits.

    Have a great month everyone 🙂 .

  22. I have Saskatoon berries, rhubarb and raspberries coming in the yard. Waiting on beans, tomatoes, beets etc. Last week I bought corn for 40 cents per can which is unheard of-also tomato paste for the same price. The summer has been quite dry here but some rain is expected today-we have company so more food shopping than usual.

  23. I’m glad you are getting a bunch of chicken for a great price. That will help stock your freezer. I was just wondering how much flour you must use, making all that bread. How long will 100 lbs last for you?

    Our budget for food was lower than usual, so I had to plan well. I shopped at 3 places this past weekend, gathering the best sales. Now, the money has been used, so we are agreed that we will substitute if we run out of anything. So far, I’ve only ran out of tartar sauce and I know how to make that if the need arises. We plan to fill our grocery envelopes from the next paychecks in 2 weeks again, once again with the lower amount. I am trying to strike the balance between continuing to stock the pantry and lowering our bill. I can’t lower the bill as much as some of you do, because of dietary restrictions, but I can lower it a bunch. My to-do list today includes making a menu plan for the next 2 weeks to make sure I’m utilizing my food in the best way to make the good stuff stretch and so that we are continuing to use up some of the very inexpensive items and the garden produce. Even though it’s summer, I plan to make some soup, for one example of how I’m going to do that.

    In the garden, zucchini is just starting to come on. The first planting of snow peas are finishing, but I see tiny ones on the second planting. Each planting is very small–only a few feet of row or a few plants, but it’s nice to have a succession. I put in a few more seeds last week, and will continue filling every space in my garden as the current crop finishes. Lettuce is in abundance, so we are eating a lot of salads. The green onions are in great shape, so I’m added them to everything I can. We’ve had a very few tomatoes, and I’m concerned because my bushes don’t look good. Other plants are just growing along nicely and I’ll have beans, cucumbers and other items in the next month. I pulled the beets that had any size, and some were eaten and 2 pints of pickled beets were canned. I had purchased 2 pineapples for 99c each during shopping, but they got super ripe super fast, so I canned them. I got 8 little 1/2 pints, perfect for sprinkling on a pizza or adding to some fried rice.

    I’ve been devoting more time to cooking from scratch. I usually do cook from scratch, but tend to make more quick meals using pre-made items such as jars of spaghetti sauce, purchased gluten-free buns and bread, etc. Now that my schedule is a little less busy, since it is summer, I have more time to make things. I plan to look up an old recipe for gluten-free hamburger buns and make them if I have the ingredients. I’m pretty sure I do. I checked out a gluten-free cookbook as well as one for my Instant Pot from the library. I will continue to buy those wheat-filled items for my family, especially since I got bread for 50c/loaf for 100 % whole wheat, but it will save me a bunch if I can make acceptable substitutions for myself. I don’t eat much loaf bread at all–maybe a loaf in 2 months–but do use buns a little more frequently. Most of the time, I just leave the bread off my burgers, etc. and eat the patty alone. I was going to buy buns on this shopping trip, but they were $5.99 for 4 buns. Too pricy for my current food budget.

    It is likely that my food budget will decrease again in 2 months. We expect October especially to be very lean all around. So, I want my pantry/freezers well stocked in anticipation, while spending less each month. Good thing I like a challenge!

    I plan to can tomatoes and tomato products, a very few green beans as I have lots left over, more jam, peaches, pears and applesauce. I plan to freeze beans, peaches, blueberries, black berries, strawberries and raspberries. I will make dill pickles, sweet pickles, relish, salsa verde, and regular salsa and can them. I plan to serve all veggies that I can grow or get from my sister in meals, saving the canned and frozen for winter, and also stretching the purchased food. I am hoping to finish saving enough for 1/4 beef in the late fall.

  24. Ruthie
    It sounds like your fig trees are freezing back to the ground and sprouting from the roots when the weather warms. Fig trees “sucker” very readily from the roots, anyway. I live in Florida, so freezing to the ground is not a problem here, but even here, we tend to plant figs in sheltered areas, for some cold and frost protection. I’d say you need more cold protection — your nursery could maybe assist you with that.
    That’s my idea, anyway. Others certainly may have better ones.

  25. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe that price for cherries. One of our groceries has them this week for $1.99 a pound, which is the cheapest I’ve ever seen in my 18 years in Maine. Usually the lowest it goes is $2.99 a pound.

    My favorite frugal summer meal is a Pampered Chef recipe I learned when hosting a party 20 years ago. Basically, cook pasta noodles. Saute onion and garlic in a skillet with a little oil, add a cup or so each, depending on how many you’re feeding, of chopped tomato and zucchini. Put the veggies on top of the pasta and pass Parmesan for serving. Really delicious if you’re using farm fresh veggies and very frugal. I’ve been making it every summer since that party.

  26. It’s a southern thing= it’s just sweet relish but the cukes are cute into tiny cubes. Many ladies from the south use it in potato salad and stuff.

  27. Good luck with the restocking! I hope that your arm is almost fully healed so that the extra work doesn’t put too much strain on it.
    I’m still flabbergasted about the things that your friend decided to throw out! I have eaten down most of my freezer as well so will start to see if there are any sales for restocking.

  28. Brandy, I don’t like to spray our waffle maker. It doesn’t work well. I use a basting brush with vegetable oil and that works better for me.

    That is such a blessing that you are able to watch your friends garden and chickens. Everything will be eaten for sure. When we go away, my friend watches our house. I always encourage her to take all of the ripe veggies. That is wonderful news that you were able to raise your grocery budget for the month. I hope you are able to stock up.

    My garden is doing great. We are getting tons of lettuce. I started giving some away. Peas are still going strong. Peppers have started so I have gotten some. I am hoping towards the end of the month to have a few cucumbers, tomatoes, and string beans. My herbs are doing great and we have been enjoying them. I have to start drying them too.

    I got chicken legs and thighs on sale for 69¢. I bought 12 pounds. Other then dairy and fresh fruit I don’t have any needs. I will stock up with whatever items have great sales.

  29. Or if it is a good fig grafted onto a different root stock, it might be the root plant is coming up and the top tree died. Good food producers that have weak roots are often grafted onto trees that have strong roots but not such good fruit.
    I don’t know if figs are often grafted? You can tell if there is a sort of sideways big bump near the base of the trunk, a few inches above ground level where the two trees were put together.

  30. I was able to stock up on ground beef, ground chicken and ground pork all at 99 cents per pound. I got 5 lbs of each and will make meatballs (spicy pork, sriracha chicken…) to serve with a plate full of veggies for dinner. Veggies are coming from my garden or the other discount grocery that sells at dirt cheap prices. I bought more flour to continue making breads, English muffins and waffles for breakfasts.
    Fresh cherries are my favorite fruit. Cheapest I have found them was $5 for a lb and half. Best 5 bucks spent this month. I’d be a cat in a sunbeam if I could find them for that price – so happy for you!

  31. Yes, Sprouts can have great loss leaders, especially on produce! Many of the other items in the store are more expensive, though. They sell a lot of organic and all natural products.
    My Sprouts tips:
    Wednesdays are double-ad days, where two weeks’ worth of ads are valid.
    Our Sprouts gives a .05/bag discount for reusable bags; you may have to remind the cashier.
    You can get rainchecks easily, which never expire. Even when they were getting low on an item, they happily wrote me a raincheck for another time.
    You can order bulk items. The oats are Bob’s Red Mill brand, which go down to .50/# a few times per year for the old-fashioned, instant, and steel cut varieties. They will order you a 50# bag if you want.
    Our store keeps free bags of ice that customers can take if they’re not going home right away.
    Our Sprouts sometimes has good meat markdowns first thing in the morning.

  32. I’ll be making lots of cheap meals, using the car frugally and staying at home.
    It’s mid winter in Australia and I just received an electricity bill for $1306 ($1045 if I pay before the due date) – this must be paid by the due date or it will be even more expensive for me.
    Do the US electricity companies do this too ?
    Winter is always costly for heating but this is the biggest bill yet
    It snows in winter where I live and it’s generally just very cold and we haven’t got to the coldest part of winter yet.
    I’ll pick up an extra shift at work if I can.
    The price for electricity just keeps going up and up.
    A friend had a heated throw as she can’t afford heating. I help her with buying food each week.
    It’s going to be a frugal month. I’ll be using up my freezer goods and other cupboard goods.

  33. I agree with what Jo said. Fig trees are grown from cuttings (they are not grafted like apples or stone fruits). Your tree is definitely freezing to the ground. The roots are making it but then you are not going to get fruit unless you have a Mission fig and you get fruit from what would have been the second crop of the year.

    I live in a zone 9a and I don’t worry about my fig freezing. I don’t have any trouble with it freezing back like that. Mine will drop leaves and go dormant in winter. Fig trees are the last tree to leaf out in the garden; the Bible says that when the fig tree begins to produce leaves, you know that summer is near. Mine doesn’t usually produce leaves until April, when it’s in the 80’s and 90’s. This year and last year it surprised me and produced leaves in March, which it has never done before, and I have had the tree for 14 years (it used to be a potted tree at my old house). It was warm in March! My other fruit trees leaf out in February (our last frost date is mid-February).

    I think you may have to keep your fig as a potted tree that you bring indoors in winter. That said, it will be too small to get much fruit from it. I don’t know if there are fig varieties that are more frost-hardy that would work better in your zone.

  34. Oh my goodness-that is staggering. Is that just for one month? We have very cold winters-as low as -35 C on some days and our bills are nowhere near as high as that-we heat with natural gas. I don’t know how Aussies can afford so much.

  35. Here, you have a bill price, but then an additional penalty if it is not paid by the due date. So is your bill actually $1045, but $1306 if paid late? If you are not paying your bills by the due date every month then it is really important that you change your budgeting in order to always pay them by the due date so as to not incur late fees. I realize this is a huge bill but I would still do everything possible to pay it on time to not pay so much in penalty–eat from the pantry, sell items, pick up as many extra shifts as possible at work, put off other purchases, etc.

    There are cold areas in the U.S. with electric-only households that can have bills that high in winter.

    Where I live, the houses are electric and natural gas. My heater, stove/oven, water heater and dryer are all natural gas, which is much cheaper than electric. Our winters are very mild and that is when my electric bills are low, and even heating is not very much as we keep the heater set at 65°F/18°C. It is warm enough here, especially the last two years, that our heater rarely has come on in winter, even at night. Summer is when our electric bills are high. We keep the air conditioner set at 79°F/26°C and as it is hotter than that outside at night, it will run all night too. Daytime it can get up to 46°C in the summer, and we have 6 months where we need to run the air conditioner here. I know people who have $800 bills and $1200 bills who live just down the street from me. They set their temperature just a couple of degrees lower and they leave lights on all over the house. I am diligent about turning off lights and ceiling fans if no one is in the room, and I take any chance I get to turn off the air conditioner.

    Knowing it will be even colder next month, change what you can now to keep next month’s bill lower. Set the thermostat lower. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, look into buying one as soon as you can budget for it. Setting a thermostat for a temperature versus a programmable one made an immediate and huge difference in our bill (several hundred dollars in summer) at our previous home, even though I was setting the thermostat to the exact same temperature. There is no need for it to connect to the internet–just a programmable one. Set it to be colder when you are gone from home at work and at night when you are asleep.

    Put extra blankets on your beds. I know when I didn’t have enough blankets in the house that were the right size but I had extra baby blankets, I used those on beds. If you have extra sheets but not blankets you could make the beds with a second top sheet to provide extra warmth.

    Dress warmer. Wear wool socks at night while sleeping. Wear thermals under your clothes all day and night so that you can keep the temperature down in the house.

    See how you can combine cooking things in the oven to best make use of your oven time. Baking potatoes? Fill the whole oven with potatoes and eat the rest as leftovers. Cook multiple items at once in the oven. Turn off rice and steamed vegetables before they are finished cooking and let them finish cooking with the lid on. Use things that take less power, such as a crockpot, the microwave, or a pressure cooker or instapot.

    Increase your insulation in the house and seal drafts. Roll up old towels and place them in windowsills and along doors to the outside to block drafts.

    Unplug everything you can each night.

    Look for every way you can to save on electricity to keep your bill lower each month.

    It is quite likely with some effort, you can lower your bill by several hundred dollars.

    Electric rates keep rising here (every quarter for the last 15 years, approximately) but I have lowered my bill by several hundred dollars despite rising rates. You can do it!

  36. Wow great price on the cherries!!! I thought for 99¢ lb, I’d take a drive to sprouts too……..but I checked and they are $1.77 a lb and 91.5 miles away. In a bit I’m going to call my mom and see if she wants to take a ride to Lucky’s markets, they are only 48 miles away. I’ve been so disgusted with the quality/price of fresh produce in my area. Aldi’s stonefruits are either too tiny or when they are bigger they have no taste. I can’t afford Publix’s prices on fresh food, so I look elsewhere. I found frozen fruit and veggies at dollar tree and was on cloud 9…..untill I read its a product of china. Uhhh, I think not. I will keep looking!!!

  37. It’s incredible your garden produces so well in the heat of Summer. Mine is done here in S. FL, except for tropicals. I wonder if it’s the greater humidity here. Good for you, though.

  38. We have a fig tree and it does freeze here, but not for long, and not hard. Our tree does wonderfully. We have citrus trees and when we have prolonged freezes, we run an extension cord out to the tree and plug in a regular table lamp that we set on the ground by the trunk. That bit of heat keeps the tree from freezing. I have also heard of people putting Christmas lights in a tree to prevent it from freezing. They have to be regular Christmas lights, not LED which don’t give off as much heat.

  39. Brandy, are those your fig tarts? They look very tasty. I am still debating getting a fig tree, one that I can keep in the 4 season room during the cold months.

    The garden is producing well. Peas have all been pulled and replaced with another planting of beans. We did get about half gallon of sad looking edible pod peas and gave up on those also. The unusual heat (for us) is not helping combined with the 2 April snow storms of 7″ and then 20″. That set everything back late.

    We are picking now broccoli (smaller than usual), zucchini, cucumbers, scallions, green and wax beans, green bell peppers, hot peppers, raspberries, currants, blueberries and gooseberries. Everything came at once. The strawberries are done and we picked 77 1/2 quarts. This is the 4th year for the patch now. I still pulled rhubarb. Our cauliflower is looking good, well it was before we tied it up in its leaves to blanch. We also have ongoing cilantro, mint, parsley, rosemary and basil. Our tomato crop looks really really good barring blossom end rot. We normally do not have a problem with that as we normally have daily rain in the summer. But the hot spell combined with some lack of rain, up to a week at a time. My daughter has been doing some spot watering but it is 48 plants so that’s a job.

    As far as groceries needed for July, not really much on the list. Just the usual of milk, ice cream, butter, cottage cheese, whipping cream as needed. I do need to now buy some vanilla beans so I can make extract. I have never done this before but with all the talk about extracts I was bemoaning the fact I would not be able to as I could not go to the store and buy vodka. My mother returned from her trip visiting relatives with a bottle in her luggage. She convinced my brother to go to the store (they were driving through the capital at the time delivering her to another brother) and to go in and get it for me. So, I am going to try all the ones mentioned.

  40. The electricity bills are sent out every 3 months. Same with natural gas and water bills. To clarify. The electricity bill is $1306 but the electricity company offers a pay-on-time-discount (pay $1045) if paid in full by the due date. After the due date, if not paid, the bill reverts to the non-discounted price $1306 and a late fee ($12.73) is also added to the bill……. electricity prices cause much grief in Australia and only keep going up and up and up and I think they are amongst the highest in the world, if not the highest.

  41. A couple of frugal fails: Some critters invited themselves and devoured all of my prolific potato fingerlings. They ate all of the tubers but left the taproots intact. Need to plant my potato peels in the caged garden from now on. We also battled with the squirrels for 80 apricots on our backyard tree. Squirrels won. We netted the whole tree, but they poke holes through the net. They ate or poke holes in the green apricots.

    I accidentally dropped my eyebrow pencil, and the lead shattered. What to do? I researched black grease China markers, and found they were nontoxic. They worked! Beautifully, infact. I am using it until I can find my favorite eyebrow pencil on sale for 40 percent off.

    My neighbor kindly gave me half a pint of organic heavy whipped cream which she couldn’t use all of. I didn’t want any to spoil, so I shook it into butter right in the carton. That took 25 minutes. I dusted furniture with my other hand while shaking thr cream. Now I have some organic butter to savor on toast. I saved the whey to uae in cheesy potato soup.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Brandy, for this wonderful place to share! Good day!

  42. As Margie from Toronto said, funds are tight, might even be nonexistent; however the college kids have great jobs and contribute to the household. We are a team and they hand over grocery money with ideas and just love home cooked food. I’m delighted at how they are maturing and awed at how they are stepping up to the plate this summer. My husband is working more and more. We are blessed!

    We would eat, but not as well as we with all the veggies have without the local program that collects dated foods and put it out to be taken. There isn’t a salary limit or anything…just take the food and use it. I’m so grateful for my upbringing that allows me to be able to use up foods on the verge of spoiling. Thanks mom! I was raised on a farm and we lived by the old adage, “Waste not, want not.”

  43. Hi Jane! I miss reading HOPE AND THRIFT. You live in a good cherry area, I think, or at least not too far away. We get our cherries over here from Door County.

  44. Cindy, I am so looking forward to summer tomatoes. Tomato sandwiches are so good. Ours won’t be ready for a bit so I bought a cluster of hydroponic tomatoes from Canada. We had 2 so far. Store tomatoes just do not ripen right and they are missing out on flavor, that is for sure

  45. I looked it up and is same ingredients as my sweet pickle relish except you dice the vegetables a bit larger. I like to add relish to tuna salad and tuna melts. Sometimes I add to get salad or deviled eggs, but not every time

  46. I’m always afraid to use the spray on my waffle iron as I worry about getting a gummy residue build up. I brush vegetable oil on with a paper towel.

  47. In addition to Brandy’s very wise ideas, here are my experiences.

    Is there anyway you can shut off part of the house for the winter to only heat a couple rooms? When I grew up the bedrooms were not heated and we would have frost on the inside of our windows all winter. We slept under heavy quilts that my Great Aunt made for us. We also slept in long flannel nightgowns my mother made (warmer than pajamas) with wool socks and old fashioned hot water bottles. I have thick hair, but others in the family used a nightcap (a hat works). We always sat under lap blankets and had hot chocolate or tea to warm us and our hands. I have learned that a small electric heater strategically placed is very effective.

    I also lived on the Arctic Circle and found that at 50 degrees below zero and colder it pays to have an electric bed warmer to turn on and warm the bed while getting the woodstove going. I’d jump into the heated bed coat and all and read until the cabin was warm enough.

    Praying for you and your friend.

  48. We’re planning to harvest a bunch of bananas and mangoes this month. I live in a tropical country. And oh, coconuts, so I can also make some freshly made coconut milk. I’ll have to find some recipes that incorporate all those three. If not, I’ll prolly just sell ’em.

  49. Hi Brandy! I have been reading your blog for little over a year and decided it’s time to finally leave a comment. Your blog has been a blessing for me to read. It’s so nice knowing that there are other people who are try to live frugal and enjoy their life. I have to live a gluten & dairy free lifestyle ( food & non food). It can be so hard to be frugal, but I manage the best I can. The best savings I got this month for my grocery budget was finding my preferred brand of popcorn on sale at a local independent grocery chain for $1.69 for 6 package a box. I got 12 boxes. This is much better than the 3.98 I pay at Wal-Mart for the same thing. So happy! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  50. That is supposed to be egg salad. It autocorrected on the kindle, I corrected it, I thought, and I guess it went right back to get. Do not like autocorrect. Is there a way to turn it off on a kindle, does anyone know?

  51. I really love this post each month – very encouraging.

    This month I will pick lettuce, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green onions, chard, maybe a few cucumbers and tomatoes, green beans, and a few new potatoes if we want to. I will also pick basil, oregano, thyme, chives, and rosemary, as needed.

    We will also harvest our garlic. We have a lot, so I am hoping to dry some and make homemade garlic powder.

    As far as shopping goes, we shouldn’t need much. I have a friend that exchanges fresh eggs for produce, so I will probably get fresh eggs that way. May need a gallon or two of milk. We have enough meat, and just got pineapples for 99¢ each and cherries last week. Strawberries are 99¢ a pound this Friday at a local store, so I might get some of those. That should be about it, unless some really great sales come along.

  52. How do you cook your pork sirloin chops? Last time I tried pork chops they were SO TOUGH I couldn’t eat them, much less the kids.

  53. Something I used to see on menus and haven’t lately was a tomato cut in about 6ths, but not all the way through the bottom, filled with tuna salad or chicken salad, served on a bed of lettuce with crackers. It was a favorite summer lunch for me, but I just don’t see it anywhere any more. I have already had fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob here in Western New York state. Those are the best parts of summer–at least until peaches come in here, which will be soon for the early varieties. They had Georgia peaches in the store today but they were so underripe I had my doubts about them! I will wait until local ones come in.

  54. We are blessed to have level payment options with our gas and electric. My payment for electric is $104 and my gas is $94/mo. I live in a 1300 sq ft home split level. We live upstairs and close off the basement. Our A/c is set at 70 when we are home and 75 when gone. Our prices here midwest are very reasonable. Living where I live things are very cheap. Housing, grocery prices, gas, car insr, and good jobs. We also have top notch grade schools and high schools. I make about $45,000/yr as a single mom with 2 kids. We always are able to pay our bills on time and put a little away. Our food stores are very close together and my job is 2 minutes from my front door. I have 6-7 yrs left on my mortgage to be paid off by the time I am 53. Being debt free will be amazing.

  55. We use all three of those in smoothies made extra thick like icecream (made with stevia) but without the dairy, additives or calories! So excited that you can harvest them in your backyard!

  56. My shopping plans are to spend as little as possible this month. We have been lucky to get lunch at a friends house today. For the next 2 days we will get lunch from friends also. Lasagne for lunch tomorrow and tacos/burritos followed by cheesecake the following day.

    I have lots of food in my pantry so have written a menu plan to use it up this month. This means I will only need to purchase milk, bread, fruit, vegetables, eggs, 2 pounds of mince meat, 3 chicken breasts and ham.

    Meals on our menu are:

    BREAKFAST
    oats, toast or wheat biscuits

    MORNING TEA
    smoothies, fruit, homemade cookies, boiled eggs, homemade mango and coconut popsicles, nuts, homemade chia pudding

    LUNCH
    sandwiches, homemade simple soups-using homemade chicken stock as the base, homemade quiche, rice and vegetables

    DINNER
    pizza, pasta/grains, scrambled eggs and toast, toasted sandwiches, chicken/tuna/salmon and vegetables, pea and ham soup

    SWEETS
    all homemade: chocolate and banana muffins, cookies, popsicles, abcd muffins

  57. Laurie – I agree you are Blessed, but I also suspect that you live intentionally in order to make the most of where you are located and what is available. Congratulations on your soon-to-be mortgage payoff ! I am sure you are an inspiration to your two children.

  58. I love to see how you are using all of your produce. And Brandy I must say those figs never cease to amaze me! I just went out and picked mine and I got six and they all fit in my palm! Of course they are a different variety but still! Awesome!

    It’s so nice to see you having more of a “give” in your budget this month. The cherries price floors me! I was in sams the other day and they were $9 for what looked like a 3lb pack. It was tempting because they had samples to taste—->so delicious but that was a crazy price.
    I haven’t made out my grocery list yet but I know our local grocery store has leg quarters for 39 cents a pound this week so I plan to stock up on those!

  59. I make tuna salad stuffed tomatoes in the summer into fall for a easy meal. I don’t know about restaurants though, if they did or do serve them.

  60. Oh I forgot we have kohlrabi also and lettuce though the lettuce didn’t like the heat. It is only 80 today with 73% humidity. We just had about 15 min of rain, but we really need more like an hour to start to catch up.

    Brandy, that is an interesting picture of the hummingbird nest in size relationship to the concord grape. They really are tiny.

  61. Since I have a hydroponic garden, I have had salad all week, Swiss chard and bokchoy. I harvested raspberries and added them to a pound of store bought strawberries and made my first refrigerator jam.
    I harvested cilantro and made salsa with tomatoes I had stored in the freezer from my garden.
    I made my first yogurt at home in the crock pot and I will never buy store bought again. I see why you are a fan Brandy, it is amazing. I saved the whey and used some in buttered chicken. I also made my own Naan which is an Indian bread but I made it thinner so I was able to freeze some and it wasn’t as filling as bread. I love reading what everyone is saving on. Next week I want to try my hands on making pretzels. I’m dying to make bread but too hot in Florida to turn the oven on.

  62. Our bedrooms are cold and I always use electric blanket under my sheet. I plug it on before and unplug while in bed. I sleep on it. May sound weird but it´s a lifesaver for me.

  63. Betsy, I hear you on the heat. I’m using the oven as little as possible.
    Limited shopping this month as I’m trying to empty the standing freezer before our normal Hurricane season here (we usually get hit in August through the first 2 weeks of September). I did give into a craving (and a sale) and bought some ice cream sandwiches as a treat. I ordered a set of precooked meals from an online service for the beginning of the school year. Not essentially frugal, but it will keep me from dining out as much, especially with the back to school business. A bit of pico de gallo, salad mix, radishes, heavy cream. sour cream, and yogurt should round out the month’s groceries.

  64. I will be watching for when the fresh local produce to come into season and will buy large quantities to blanch and freeze for winter. I have not been buying as much at the grocery store, to save my grocery money for these purchases and so we can eat down some of the things in the freezer to make room for all the frozen produce I will be puting in there for next winter. Since I stock my pantry year round with sale items I find, we have plenty of options to choose from for dinners.

    So far I have added 4 large freezer bags of local strawberries to the freezer, most of which will be made into jam in the fall. This weekend I bought a large basket of wild blueberries (very expensive but well worth it for the taste!) and a dozen bunches of broccoli that was on sale at the grocery store, to add to the freezer. Next weekend, I hope to get a bushel of green and yellow/waxed beans. I am trying my best to grow produce as well, but have run into some difficulty as the deer in the area are feasting on what I am growing! I will have to figure out something next year to deter them (too late this year, damage is already done!)

  65. Lilli, you could make pear sauce, exactly the same as you would apple sauce and can or freeze it. This can be used in baking which gives the baked goods a little more nutritional substance to them. Just find recipes that call for apple sauce and use the pear suace instead! Also, you could freeze or can pear slices, to eat during the winter when fresh produce prices are high. I understand that fruit can spike your blood sugar, and is a valid reason to consume in moderation. However, if you are struggling with getting fruits and veggies due to money restraints, preserving free fruit will become be very valuable duing those times (not to mention a great option if you loose hydro and can’t cook easily). I would encourage you to preserve as much as you can!

  66. I love summer and all the fresh produce!

    Went to a you pick strawberry farm. Made 18 1/2 pints of strawberry jam and froze 24 bags (pints) of strawberries. We have a small patch of ever bearing and have been eating them fresh. Setting second crop now.

    Got 10# cherries from Meadow Farm Foods. Pitted and froze those as well.

    Picking kolarabi, Swiss chard, cucumbers, zucchini, few tomatoes, and few peppers from the garden. Picked 1/2 bushel green beans last night. Got those snapped and will pressure can after church. Also will harvest the chard and balance and freeze before it bolts.

    Bought some broccoli from farm market and made cheesy broccoli soup. Used potato flour to make it gluten free. Left out a couple meals for the week and froze the rest for quick meals. Also bought some small red potatoes. Want to make potato salad this week. The other thing I bought at farm market was some bright green cauliflower, it looks so cool. We are eating that fresh with ranch dip.

    Bought this week at Cosco-butter, milk, case of organic mushrooms, case of organic tomato sauce (I am out from canning), large bag organic tortilla chips, brown sugar, organic avocado spray, romaine lettuce, a watermelon, and some blueberries-$70.00.

    Cherry Grove (Mennonite bulk store)- bought organic oatmeal, German lactose free cheese, chili powder, canning lids, arrow root powder, tapioca, and sea salt. Spent $25.00

    Grocery store- will need cream, red wine vinegar, bananas, bread.

    Meals-cheesy broccoli soup with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches; ham, potato salad, and vinegar cukes; garden skillet casserole; grilled burgers, Kansas cukes, and caprisi salad; Fried zucchini, tomatoes, onions with Parmesan cheese-paired with grilled pork chops; scrambled eggs with bits of cheese, zucchini, and onions plus bacon.

    Trying to keep grocery spending to $150.00 a month or less for the two of us plus stock up foods not already paid for in July and August. With the purchase of the strawberries and cherries in June and 2 cases Michigan blueberries coming this month-already paid and a bushel of small cucumbers (for pickles) coming in August-already paid there has been money spent so need to rein it in. All this food is purchased in season and preserved for the months we can’t grow it and purchasing it would be unthinkable in price. This is the way to save money in the food area!

    Have a great week!

  67. Where did you get the corn and tomato paste? That is a great price!
    re you going to any of the Historic Calgary events? Most of them are free!
    Ann

  68. Sounds delicious! I used to have native Saskatoons in my woods but they died out and I haven’t had much luck growing them. Will you make pies, muffins, jam or just freeze them?

  69. So it’s the bill for 3 months so about $348 per month. That is high. Here, we can tie in to a special per kilowatt hour rate if we sign up for 3 years. I have a tied in rate but it isn’t the lowest since I have a deal on my natural gas transaction fee (usually $1 per gigajoule but I pay $0.49). I would lose this special on the transaction fee and would end up paying more than I would save on electricity. Also I get points which means I get almost a month’s gas and electricity free which, in the dead of winter, is very nice!

  70. Thanks Margie! It apparently will be 6 months to a year before the arm is fully healed. I think that dates back to about 8 weeks ago so there is still some time to go. I sat outside and sorted through some of my boxes that came home from my storage locker. (this is so I don’t have to pay exorbitant storage charges anymore and I was about to unpack these just before I broke the arm). The weather was really hot but the shade was nice and no mosquitoes were around. I think I can manage the blueberries and the peaches. I will need help getting the cases into the house. Yesterday I saw the hummingbird but it only checked to see if the feeder was up; alas, I had the feeder for cleaning in the house. It wasn’t around at all. My freezer, although bigger than most, is still just only above the fridge. I hope your weather has cooled down; ours is heating up!

    P.S. Someone on youTube invited me to stay with her near Montreal so I would have a place to stay if I go to the Andrea Bocelli concert in October. Between the concert ticket and the price of airfare, I could go to Italy return. I don’t have the money for either but I was touched by the offer!

  71. Bobbie might I ask how many peaches you got in a half peck. I picked up a basket that they said was a half peck at our local orchard (it did not look like a half peck but my grandson loves to count and when I got them home he counted 13 peaches) not very many if you ask me.

  72. Athanasia I am about an hour south of Perham. I tell people stick your finger in the middle of a Minnesota map and that’s where I live. I have a daughter that lives out in your neck of the woods in WI.Headed out there soon to visit.

  73. That is a long time to heal – you really hurt yourself badly – just be careful and don’t overdo things.
    We had a bit of a break in the weather but it’s back up to feeling like 40C again. We had a thunderstorm this evening so I’m hoping that cools things down a bit as it has been very hot & humid – everyone is feeling very lethargic and grumpy!
    That was very nice of the person in Montreal – but I know what you mean, never mind the price of concert tickets, travelling within our own country is often more expensive than going to Europe. One of the disadvantages in living in such a huge country!

  74. Hello,

    I would love to get some more strawberries this summer from somewhere. I try to get them for a dollar a pound or less. I want to freeze them for smoothies and make some in jam. After a couple bouts of hail, our garden is coming along nicely now. I have swiss chard, herbs, peppers, lettuce and spinach that I need to harvest. I am looking forward to my tomatoes turning from green to red. I have some huge zucchini plants and lots of flowers, so I am hoping for zucchini soon. I was able to get a huge box with about 70 chicken patties for $10.00 from a food co-op. So, we will be eating a lot of chicken patties! I also received a lot of ripe bananas which I froze and made into banana bread. What a blessing! If you have a co-op in your area you should check it out!

    Blessings,
    Liz

  75. Am trying not to overdo things but it is hard. Today I stripped the bed to wash sheets, etc. (and to put mattress protector on the new bed which I wasn’t able to do when I was right out of the hospital). Well, it is almost impossible to put fitted sheets back on with one hand. I’m hoping home care shower lady tomorrow will put the fitted sheets back on. The most minor things stress the arm. I am grateful that the bone is healing in a good position but the tendons are very painful. I am over the shock of everything that was thrown out but I still feel displaced and traumatized.

    It was a blazing hot day. I found a little packet of negatives of my grandparents’ rose garden that I used to visit years ago when I was a child. It was in one of the storage locker boxes. I am so glad to find it!!!!

  76. Jonna,
    Did you know you can pop plain popcorn in the microwave in a paper lunch sack? Much cheaper that microwave popcorn and delicious!

  77. Rachel, the trick for moist pork chops (including sirloin) is to add moisture when you cook them. This is how I do mine: I preheat the frying pan (prefer cast iron) and add a little oil. Then I flour the chops and start frying them on medium heat. When they are light to medium brown, I turn them over, put a lid on the pan and lower the heat a bit. I usually add a tablespoon or so of water to let them steam a little. When they are brown, you’re done. If the chops are thick (I prefer the thin cut, about 5/8 of an inch thick) you can turn them over again and fry a little longer. (The thicker chops do often come out like shoe leather). I usually salt and pepper the chops after I turn them over the first time.

  78. I avoid using either oil or non-stick spray on my waffle iron. The non-stick surface stays nicer longer without any oil or spray.

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