June Harvest 3 The Prudent Homemaker

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I picked blackberries, apples, apricots, white strawberries, and figs. This is the most blackberries we have ever harvested in a year; it is about double what we have had in a good year in the past.  Already I am topping this year’s new canes at 4 feet, to encourage them to branch out for next year’s harvest.

I cut chives, green onions, lettuce, grapes, and basil from the garden. I picked a few small tomatoes.

I collected water from the showers, from rinsing produce, from the final rinse water from washing pans and bowls, and from the a/c unit (almost a gallon a day, as we saw a bit of humidity come our way; in a humid climate, you will have much more). I used this water to water our potted plants in the garden.

We bought the last sleeping bag we needed for our 72-hour kits. Big 5 usually has these on sale for $32.99 to $34.99. We have been slowly purchasing these over the last 6 months. (Amazon’s price is slightly higher, if you are nowhere near a Big 5. You could even use Swagbucks points for Amazon gift cards to buy these for your 72-hour kit).

On the way back we had time for a quick stop at the thrift store. I found a casual summer dress for myself for $6. My husband found some basket making materials for Cyrus for $4. These will be one of our birthday gifts to him.

I combined printable coupons, Target cartwheel, and sales at Target to get items I needed for less, and some had deals that gave gift cards back when you bought 2 of an item.  I now have $20 in gift cards for the next trip.

I mended a towel.

I went shopping at the fantastic sale at the fabric store (Joann’s). Prices were real close to Black Friday prices. The ad also included two 50% off coupons. I bought unbleached muslin (36″ wide) for .99 a yard, some super soft 45″ white muslin for $2.99 a yard (to be used for slips, handkerchiefs, and summer pajamas), and flannel for $2.49 a yard. I used my coupons to buy a package of heavy duty sewing machine needles (the package had two size 16, two size 18, and a leather needle) and to buy a beautiful length of kitchen toweling, which I plan on sewing this week. 

Tent Bag The Prudent Homemaker

The nylon tent bag and tent pole bag for a tent that my husband has had for many years tore through in several spots. Using waterproofed canvas, some webbing, and a drawstring  piece that my husband had, plus a closure that whe kept from something that had worn out, and a piece of velcro that I had, I sewed a new tent bag that has a pocket on the side for the poles and carrying straps on top. (I used the size 18 needle to sew this).

Two children went swimming at a friend’s house.

Two children did a backyard campout one night.

I requested several books from the library for Winter to read for school. Last week I read four of these books; I loved three of them so much I will look for used hardcover copies to add to our library. They were: My Brother Sam Is Dead, Give Me Liberty , and The Sign of the Beaver. Winter is currently reading (and enjoying) The Hound of the Baskervilles. I also picked up several of Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists and Musicians books for the children to read (they pretty much devoured these when I came in the door; Ezrom took them all to his room and Winter asked if he had taken them, for she was reading them. Liberty read all of them as well. I picked up entries into the children’s library reading program; for every 10 hours (or 20 books) read, the children can earn a used library book.

What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. You found really good deals on that fabric! It’s much more expensive in my area (New England) and I don’t sew anywhere near as much or as well as you do, so I don’t buy a lot.

    I’m staying frugal by shopping the deals and using coupons when I can. Last week, I got free Reach toothbrushes, nutrition shakes, Curad first aid tape, and Icy Hot back patches for $0.38 and more! I found a great deal on marked down Perdue chicken. Instead of paying $11.99 a package, I paid only $2.25. Talk about a huge savings on something that’s usually so expensive.

    All of my deal with full break down and pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-61315/

  2. I made a lot of bread. (This is an ongoing thing) I made lemon poppyseed muffins and raisin spice muffins for breakfasts. I also made an applesauce cake with home-canned applesauce that I need to use up. I made Chocolate Pudding Popsicles for a special snack. I made all of our dinners at home. Dinners last week were BBQ Chicken, Au Gratin Potatoes, Black Bean Enchiladas, Potato soup, Ham and Beans, Meatloaf (made from the last of my frozen ground beef for missionaries who were sharing dinner with us), Turkey Fajitas (made from leftover turkey) and Ham. I’m trying to use up some stuff in our pantry and freezer just in case we move. We are still waiting to hear whether or not dh got the job for which he interviewed last week. We should know hopefully next week. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    I’ve decided to start looking at cookbooks for recipes that call for ground beef and chicken and to see if I can successfully make them with lentils and white beans instead. I figure I can sub black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans for beefy recipes and navy beans, Great Northern beans, and chickpeas for poultry recipes. One thing of which we have plenty in our pantry is beans. I am so grateful!

  3. I enjoy seeing your harvest!

    We are back and forth everyday between the new house and our apartment to until the end of the month.. The house has gotten a whole lot of paint, caulking, deep cleaning etc. .. Luckily it is only 10 min drive, but still using more gas than we are used to. . Daddy is working through the weekend which will give us overtime money, but the kids miss him and I cannot move heavy stuff without him. It is a blessing and a curse to have a month to move, but things are finally coming together!

    We have saved at LEAST $ 1500, of on sale item for the hous (washer and dryer) we upgraded 2 kids from toddler to twin size beds and received two free pillows with our mattress purchase. I am receiving $130 in Lowes rebates from painting supply purchases we made. I saved over $40 in mulch purchase. .. We closed on our house memorial day weekend and was able to take advantage of many many of the sale.s. A real, blessing as we were able to stretch our house fund.

    We did not have to have a deposit on any of our utilities because of past history / and or / good credit.

    Looking at the positive side of our two bedroom apartment being so expensive is that our house and utilities we only have about $100 more in expenses per month.

    We bought a carpet cleaner instead of having the house professionally done, which actually costed less than having it done 1 time.

    I received 2 free hallmark cards at Walmart and (2) $1 coupons off.

    I bought 3, $4 each Hanes v-neck t-shirts for myself at Walmart.

    I heard big lots has discount groceries so I went to look this a week.. I stocked up on a few things.

    I have decided to get a Costco card next paycheck. It is not too far, and with the house I now have a bit more space to stock up. I am also going to try to get back into shopping only every other week.

  4. Hello everyone! All that produce sounds delicious!
    Last week: I did not grocery shop. I need to pick up milk but otherwise hope to last another week on what we have.
    Did not eat out at work or home.
    My mother had purchased dinner theater tickets last October. She and I went last night. I left part of the tip for the waitress and purchased two small gifts for my daughter and husband.
    We went to my son and daughter in law’s baby shower for my first grandbaby! Free food, games, pictures, and lots of fun.
    I harvested lettuce and green onions from the garden. i will harvest and dehydrate some basil today. I have several baby zucchini and yellow squash growing and hopefully some strawberries! We will have black raspberries and mulberries any day now.
    I found someone to sew a dress for my daughter. I have the pattern, fabric, elastic, etc., just can’t do it myself. I offered her money for her time but she laughed at me.
    I received some free canning lids/rings from my mother
    We did not do any unnecessary driving in the vehicles
    I took all meals to work with me and we cooked all meals from scratch. I did have to purchase egg noodles last week for a specific meal.
    watched free shows on Amazon, Netflix, and Youtube.
    printed free coloring pictures for my daughter
    We will be going to the library today to exchange books.
    Continue to not turn the A/C on and take Navy showers.

  5. I borrowed my sister in law’s sewing machine since mine is kaput. I made a long bench seat cushion for well under $10. Recycled a portion of a memory foam mattress pad for the insert. Used half of the king size mattress pad for my son’s twin size bed and the other half for the bench cushion. Fabric was 1/2 off at Joann’s plus I had another 20% off coupon. Will recover some old couch pillows before returning the sewing machine this week.

    Used 2 free movie tickets which were a gift for our anniversary.

    Took a long trip to Florida from Indiana for my nephew’s graduation. Stayed at a friend of a friend’s beach front condo for free. So trip only cost us gas. Food came from our regular food budget as we packed a cooler while traveling and condo had a microwave and fridge. Did free/cheap sight seeing and played in the ocean. We drove straight through both ways (16 hours each way) to avoid a hotel expense.

    Filled out a survey and received a free Dairy Queen Dilly Bar.

    Decluttering and am saving many items for a garage sale next weekend.

  6. You are such an inspiration! We finally started a garden this year and have been slowly harvesting lettuce. We have had salad every night and haven’t purchased lettuce in a month. This week, I also harvested green onions, Italian parsley, and cilantro. My first batch of carrots are almost ready. I am very excited!!

  7. That fruit is gorgeous. We are happily anticipating our blackberries.

    The best thing we did this week is due with much thanks, to you. You have mentioned how well you do with facebook yardsale groups. Our county group has 30 THOUSAND members, and I joined a few weeks ago. This past week we listed three air conditioners that we had to buy when our HVAC died. We sold them for five hundred dollars! YAY! We also made a bit over a hundred on ebay.
    I baked cookies. I have stayed at 70% of my food budget. I am very excited about it and am going to try lowering it another 5% next month. We are using the extra money for our move. We successfully got a billing error corrected. My husband saved two hundred dollars on s needed car repair by calling around. I got a free case of my sons favorite treat after having purchased it and finding we were shorted one, they gave us a second case for free.
    We had a frugal fail too. My husband went to Target to get drawing supplies on sale, with a cartwheel coupon AND gift cards. He was so distracted shopping with the children that he forgot to use them. lol. Well, at least we can use the gift cards next time.

  8. Love the tent bag! I made one years ago from the leg of a pair of worn out jeans, but it could use some updating. I need to top my blackberry canes this week, too.

    Dried whites & towels on the patio swing frame to utilize the sunlight as a stain remover.

    Filled the car with gas on Wednesday at the Chevron station using the card for the discount & the free car wash.

    Discussed the grocery budget with my husband. We are cutting back the amount we spend on groceries, since there are only the two of us, & it is the time of year when we can utilize things from the garden in meals.

    Received pine cone checks for 3 surveys.

    Harvested strawberries, pie cherries, red currants, lettuce, pea pods, Swiss chard, dandelion leaves, chives & dill weed. Froze the pie cherries in 1 & 2 cup containers with a TBSP of sugar per cup to keep the color. Continued to freeze the strawberries for future jam, since there are only a few every other day.

    Harvested the first ripe blueberry. This is a major achievement, since I have tried for 8 years now to grow blueberries, only last year & this year have I finally been able to keep them alive.

    Transplanted 2 strawberry plants that were growing outside the bed back into empty areas of the bed where they were needed.

    Reclaimed the water from washing the same for the garden. Used it, & some other reclaimed water, to hand-water the blackberries & the transplanted strawberries.

    Continued to pull weeds & grass from the back perimeter. I filled a minimum of one large tree pot per day, but some days I pulled up to 3 tree pots full.

    Looked up recipes for rhubarb oatmeal cookies that I might be able to adapt to be gluten-free. We still have quite a bit of rhubarb, & altho I can dehydrate some more of it, & make at least one more batch of jam, there is more that it will take to do those things.

    Found out from my new neighbor that the fern-like plant I keep trying to eradicate from the lawn is the herb common yarrow. He would like some of it for his herb garden, so he will dig some that I have not yet sprayed out, in front of the gate, which is a win/win for both of us. My oldest daughter also would like some, so I left a few plants unsprayed for her in another area.

    Our climbing roses are in bloom. I cut some for inside the house, but the red roses are in the front yard & the yellow are in the back yard, so I have lovelies to look at either place that I am working when outside.

    My granddaughter helped me sew some of the webbing straps onto the patio swing. The fabric base that held up the cushions had sun-rotted, so I ordered webbing & had enough prep work done to sew the long straps for the seat portion onto the swing while she was visiting. Since my daughter has a swing just like this one, & the fabric on hers has also sun rotted, having my granddaughter help me repair my swing taught her how to repair the one her family has, since this granddaughter loves to swing on the patio swings. We also potted up some yarrow & some grape hyacinth bulbs to send home for my daughter to plant.

  9. ~I picked 25 lbs. of sour cherries and have pitted and processed half of them. So far I’ve made 2 batches of cherry/ vanilla jam, 1 batch of cherry/ almond jam and a cherry pie. I was able to get these cherries for free as the tree is in the grass plot next to the gas station at the entrance of our community. Considering cherries were on sale for $2.99/lb. I am thrilled with the savings! Plus these are sour cherries which you don’t see in the grocery store. This week I hope to pick another 25 lbs. and can pie filling and freeze some for desserts and smoothies in the winter.
    ~Found a pair of jeans for me at the charity shop for $1.50. They are the brand I normally buy, look like they have never been worn and are petite which is what I need. Also found DH 2 pairs of shorts and DS#1 a pair of shorts for $1.50 each. All were much needed. I also picked up a container of fireplace matches for 25¢. My husband likes these for lighting the woodstove and asks me to be on the lookout for them when I am “treasure hunting”. I also got a Mid-Century wire telephone table for $1 which I am going to spray paint and then DS#2 can take to college as a night stand.
    ~ Picked a few handfuls of strawberries but our plants are now finished. Next weekends I will cut them back and add compost to the bed to encourage the plants to grow stronger and send out runners that I will than move to my front garden.
    ~ Finished painting DS#2’s room except for the vent needing 1 more coat! Rearranged his furniture and now we are hanging things back on the wall and continuing to purge and organize. I now have a pile of things to sell on the FB yardsale pages and 2 full boxes of books that will go to the used book store.
    ~ Got 16 yogurt and 4 pkgs of Dole squeeze fruit free with coupons. Also got 3 lbs. of butter( the limit) for $1.97/lb. and 4 pkgs. of Sargento Swiss cheese for $3 with sale, coupons and store promo for $3 off when you buy $10 of Sargento products. Went to Aldis and got 4 pkgs of mushrooms for 49¢/each and found thick sliced bacon on clearance for $2.49. Bacon will go into freezer and mushrooms are for soup and to use in a chicken dish.
    ~ Hung most laundry out to dry.

  10. Brandy, I was wondering if you could find sleeping bags at thrift stores? Ours always has lots of good quality bags.

  11. Your fruit looks so delicious. That’s great your blackberries are so abundant. Berries are my favorite.

    This week:
    – I shortened the sleeves on a bathrobe I had, so I could wear it on cool summer mornings. I hadn’t worn it for several years, and I was happy to put it to new use. I took the leftover sleeve lengths and cut them into rags.
    – I made more rags from an old towel.
    – I sewed another top for myself out of a piece of material I already had (purchased last year at the thrift store). The pattern was one I already had on hand.
    – Craftsy offers a free beginning quilting class, so I started to watch that. I know how to sew, but I have never learned how to quilt.
    – I received a settlement check for some class action lawsuit in the mail. The total settlement was $0.32. Not much, but I still deposited it in our bank account.
    – I found a clean canning ring when I was out and about.
    – A strange charge appeared on our credit card statement. I called the credit card company, and the charge was removed.
    – I saw Brandy’s facebook post about the Joann’s sale, and I also had the mailer. Since I was going to be over by the store, I stopped by and bought a few things. Everything I bought was 50% off – that’s quite a deal.
    – We celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary last Friday. My husband’s parents had given us each a restaurant gift card for our birthdays, so we used these to go out to dinner. The cards covered the meal and the tip, which was nice.
    – I made two Father’s Day cards from paper and cardstock I had on hand.
    – I did all the same things I normally do: made water kefir and kombucha, at most meals at home or took lunch with me when I was going to be out, cooked from the freezer and my CSA share, washed out plastic bags, etc.

    Hope everyone else had a good week! I love hearing about what everyone else is doing. 🙂

  12. Possibly. I actually sold one on a Facebook garage sale page because it wasn’t warm enough. We wanted to get some that are good in low temperatures. It may depend on the area you are in; we haven’t seen them at our thrift store.

  13. Looks like it’s going to be a fruitful year here, too. Except for blackberries and grapes, the last two winters have really stunted their growth. Too many frigid windy days. Here’s what we did this week:

    Harvested and ate lettuce, spinach, kale and beet greens from our garden.
    Foraged red clover and purslane.
    Dried garlic and made into garlic powder.
    Dried kale and spinach.
    Bought some t-shirts for wearing while gardening from a garage sale for 25 cents.
    Canned more strawberry nectarine jam.
    “Vacationed” at our little shed.
    Cleaned out the attic in preparation for holding a garage sale.
    Hung the laundry out on the line.
    Ate from the garden and pantry.

  14. Super job on the canvas tent bag!

    This past week, I found a container of plain Greek yogurt for 99 cents. Made muffins, coffee cake, naan, smoothies and marinades for meat using the remaining ingredients from my pantry no extra money spent at the grocery store.

    Picked 4 servings of sugar peas, lots of lettuce, spinach and herbs from my garden – had these for dinner. My one spinach plant went to seed. I pulled the plant to dry and collect the seeds. Originally these seeds were from the Dollar Tree, so I am not sure if they will produce more plants or not.

    Kmart gave us $5 in Shop your way rewards, I was hoping to use it towards a perennial, (they no longer sell perennials), so I used it towards a 4lb box of Epsom salts to feed plants. The store is on my way to my house sitting job I started again for the summer.

    I resisted a really good online sale offer. It was terribly tempting; instead I applied the cash for that purchase towards a small debt. I figure if I was willing to spend it at that moment, I should be just as willing to pay off this debt! Funny – a few days later at the pay by the pound Goodwill, I found what I almost purchased for $20 – for only 85 cents!

    A last minute search allowed me to save an additional $40 off what I thought was the best price for new leather boots. North east winters have made these a necessity.

    Went on a hike with a friend, she drove us. Along the hike we spied toads, a wild turkey and her babies; friend also identified a lot of native plants. It was the best free entertainment! My friend told me of the wiley ground hog who has taken residence in her garden. He ate her lettuces, peas and tomato plants down to nubs. I gave her a bunch of lettuce to help ease her frustration.

    This week, I plan on making your Rosemary olive oil bread and your Minestrone soup, using up pantry items.

    Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  15. We’ve gone from two weeks of solid rain and in the low to mid 50’s to suddenly having temps in the 80’s. The temperature change, especially for a gal who FINALLY acclimated to the Alaska climate, is boiling me *laugh*.

    The garden is starting to produce it’s bounty so I am finally able to harvest some things, which is awesome.

    My list of things can be found here…


  16. Hello all! I had many frugal accomplishments this week.
    1. Shopped sale items. I did spend about 25.00 over my usual grocery budget but it was all for pantry items I needed to stock up on and they were all on sale, so it was actually a frugal move in the long run.
    2. Shopped around to get some alterations done on my husband’s suit pants. I have started sewing, but I am not to a point where I can fix what needed to be fixed.
    3. My family threw me a wonderful surprise birthday party for my 40th birthday. Our local grocery store has a rewards card that adds points every time you shop. You can use these points for free groceries or for their promotional items. Right now, they have Blue Willow dishes, which I have always wanted a set of but would not purchase because of price. So, I have been slowly collecting pieces as I got enough points. For my birthday, my family and friends, using their points as well, finished out my collection except for the teapot. I was so happy, it couldn’t have been a more wonderful gift, and it didn’t cost any of them extra money. The party was a simple affair with cake, ice cream, and coffee, but it was a wonderful party.
    4. Cooked all meals at home. We did not eat out one time this week, which is a great accomplishment for us.
    5. Combined all errands into one day (Friday) and stayed home the rest of the week!
    6. Returned a baby carrier that my daughter in law had bought at a consignment shop for a store credit for her.
    7. Did not run AC units until after lunch every day last week.
    That’s all I can remember! Have a great week!

  17. Sandra,

    Praying for your family that the job works out- and your positive attitude while facing adversity is inspiring! Have a great week!

  18. I was moving slowly all last week due to a reaction to medication for a minor illness but still accomplished some things.
    1. As a Friends of the Library volunteer who helps sort donations I can pick what I want out of what comes in between sales. We had hundreds of CDs donated and I brought about 30 home to listen to before picking a few for our collection. I have so far found 3 I really like. I’m also listening to the ones we have and getting rid of ones I don’t like so I think right now our collection is down 1 but that is OK.
    2. My husband figured out a simple way to modify the outdoor steps we recently had replaced. They were too high for easy walking. The landscaper did the additional work for a very reasonable price and now that job is checked off.
    3. Had to complete AARPs driving course to keep our insurance discount and happened upon a half price deal.
    4. Washed our poodle at home for her between grooming visits bath.
    5. No food waste.

  19. Does your library have any of Mike Venezia’s Famous Artist DVD’s? My kids LOVED those and learned quite a bit about the artists as well.

    I repaired a pair of my son’s shoes (his only summer sandal pair) when the soles almost completely came detached. I was unhappy to see this happen, as we just purchased them two months ago at Target. But we got a $1.50 tube of Krazy Glue and they seem to be holding up well so far.

    I also got to harvest some of my first David Austin roses this week – I have Lady of Shalott, Teasing Georgia, and Abraham Darby. So far I am unimpressed with Abraham Darby, but I love Lady of Shalott :).

  20. I baked bread three times and three dozen oatmeal raisin cookies for snacks. I made pizza from scratch as well. I used a deal for two free Blue Apron meals that a friend sent and then cancelled immediately so I wouldn’t be charged for more. I paid grad school tuition in cash by check instead of credit card, as they now charge 2.5% extra for a credit card. I took a required nursing contact hour at work for free so I could renew my nursing license.

  21. Send your coupons to Target corporate and tell them the cashier never asked if you had any coupons they will ususally refund the money.

  22. It was a good week in the frugal department. Made all meals except one, which is my goal. One night when I really really didn’t feel like cooking at home, and was thinking very hard of an excuse why eating out would be a good idea…I read through this site, then read Annabel’s post (or blog) about some cooking she had done, and I got inspired to cook dinner that night at home for us. It was great, rather than feeling sullen or crabby that I had to cook another meal, I felt a sense of accomplishment. So thank you Brandy for this blog, and Annabel for your comments last week 🙂

    I also had made a comment last week about seeing a TV commercial for GoodRx.com, and that I was going to try it out to see if it was a scam. It worked and cut my monthly Rx cost from $42 to $30 a month. The website doesn’t require any sign in or personal information, just type in your Rx and see what their coupons can do for you in your area. So this might help anyone with prescriptions. It was much cheaper than using my medical insurance or Costco.

  23. I love that your library encourages reading by offering free books for hours of reading. Great idea! I too requested books from the library, which I’ll pick up when in town tomorrow. I thought of you when I got in my car earlier today, and the car thermometer read 114 until I drove a bit. I remember a true temp of 114 one time when I was in Las Vegas. We are definitely hotter than usual, in the upper 90’s and may reach 100 tomorrow, with some humidity, but not quite that hot. Your fruit harvest is impressive! I am always amazed at what you accomplish in a desert environment… the amount and how beautiful it all looks. Our one apricot has never fruited, and the 2 we ordered in the spring were cancelled, so I had to make do with picking some up at Trader Joe’s today. I thinned some more apples yesterday, and am hoping for some good sized apples this year. Joining in: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-story-of-quilt-squares.html

  24. I planted tomato plants and was able to return one bag of soil
    Made a few returns that have been waiting
    Enjoyed fresh fish yesterday and today for lunch, my husband and a friend caught them
    Bought milk at Walmart for 1.89 a gallon
    Thawed a found 10 pound tube of ground beef from the freezer and plan to make many meals today from that today
    Have been opening windows each day…have not yet had to put in the air conditioners
    Downloaded free songs and books on my kindle
    Printed free bible study materials and used a notebook from my stash instead of purchasing the journal
    Made french toast with some bread that was getting hard

  25. What an awesome week full of accomplishments!!

    I am finally feeling like I’m getting out of my funk where I don’t want to do anything! This last week scrounged up a free pair of sunglasses after mine finally bit the dust (after 10 years!). I also made a list of free summer activities for me and the kids to do, finished plans for our family road trip to the cabin, and ,made a bunch of rolls for sandwiches for the coming week. Overall I’m pretty proud that I got anything done with a teething baby!

  26. I so miss the Abraham Darby roses that I grew at my last house. I almost dug them up, but I figured I could buy more. It turns out that I couldn’t; they no longer carry them anymore.

    Our library only has a few dvds; I think they are even more fun than the books, but of course, they are the same information, so I am glad that we can read the books. In order to get more I will most likely have to try requesting them from other libraries in the district.

  27. Interview for a part-time job tomorrow! Wish me luck. I am so ready to return to the workforce. Part-time wasn’t my first choice, I was hoping for full-time but at this point I am ok with it. Just keeping my fingers crossed that it is a set schedule so that I can seek an additional part-time job for the other time available. Just wanting to get this student loan debt tackled as quickly as possible.

    Was able to get great deals at Joann’s for fabric. I try and check once a month or so for their red-tag fabric to be an additional 50% off. Stopped today on my way back from an appointment and was able to get almost 8 yards of fabric for less than $15! I love stocking up at that price. The lady cutting the fabric for me asked what my plans were and I told her it was “stock up” day. She laughed and kept getting excited at the prices that my fabric were ringing up as.

    Decided to not try and fly home over the 4th of July weekend. It would cost us almost $1000 to fly round trip and we would get 2.5 days back home with family. We will find some fun local things to do and save the money to hopefully go home for a longer time over Christmas.

    We successfully only ate out once last week. I made lost of grilled meals including marinated chicken breast, pork chops, veggies like sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, also made taco/nachos one night for dinner.

    Continue to make sun tea in my goodwill jar. It costs just pennies to make a large batch and I always pour it over a big glass of ice.

    I have been making fruit smoothies every morning with breakfast. Its funny, I haven’t made them in so long and now I crave them. Was able to score two pound bags of fruit from Walmart for $4 each. This is a great price considering the mixed fruits in them. One is strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I mix this with some of the $1 blueberries I have. The other bag is mango, pineapple, and papaya. I just mix them with plain Greek yogurt and either a little oj or soy milk. Loving this refreshing, healthy start to my day.

    Not a lot on the frugal front but every little bit adds up.

  28. Nice score on the cherries, Kim! I wonder how many other people have walked past that tree and never thought to ask if they could pick them. Good for you!;)

  29. Happy 40th birthday, Myra! That was a really nice gift your family gave you. Such a nice blessing.

  30. Busy week in the kitchen. I made 4 loaves of Cuban bread & 18 jars of strawberry and strawb/banana jam. Strawberries were on sale. We already had the jars & extras. After seeing those blackberries, I might have to hit the u-pick stand down the road later next month and make more jam!!

    Ate in every night, but Thursday. We were guests at a wonderful cookout. The hosts won a meat smoker from a charity raffle & treated us all to some amazing brisket. We all brought side dishes. I took a big veggie plate of baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, jicama, & cucumbers. I garnished it with my garden kale. Pretty AND tasty. The rest of the week we ate bean burritos, chicken enchiladas, taco salad, baked potatoes, ham & beans, & ham sandwiches.

    The only things I bought all week were sale strawberries for the jam, a gallon of milk, & my husband filled up his car for work. Oops! I also bought 2 ornamental pepper plants for 99 cents each at our nursery clearance. Everything was 50% off.

    I drip dried all 3 loads of laundry this week.

    I downloaded a Friday freebie coupon from my market (bottle of Snapple) & filled out their survey for 50 fuel points.

    Happily accepted a friend’s offer to take all her copies of her HGTV magazines from 2014. 🙂 Will pass these on when I’m done.

    God watered everything for free! I love when that happens just as I’m thinking it’s time to run the sprinklers. To water our property, it costs an average of $20- $25 per time. 1/3 acre, city water. We catch water to keep all the shrubs looking good.

    Good week.

  31. I am so envious of your blackberries and all your fruit harvest. It all looks so yummy!

    We have only had two days this past week with no rain. Not a light rain either. If it keep up much more, we may need to build an ark! Anyways, my frugal accomplishments this week are:
    *A co-worker brought in some forget-me-not flowers from her garden to use in a floral display in the historic building she works in. After the flowers dried out, she gave them to me for the seeds. I took them home and put them in a paper envelope to use another year. Forget-me-nots are known for reseeding themselves everywhere, so I need to first decide where I want them in the garden.

    *Received a free can of Rootbeer pop with a dented lid from my work. I tucked it away and hope to try making pulled pork or pulled chicken in the crock-pot with it some day soon.

    *I am back at embroidering handkerchiefs while at work (I work in a pioneer village). I embroider and sew them completely by hand, and then they are put up for sale in the General Store (the building I usually work in). They sell almost as fast as I make them! I just love how blissfully peaceful it is to embroider while sitting on the porch between visitors.

    *Homemade meals included beef stew, chicken Caesar wraps (using left over cooked chicken from the freezer), honey mustard ham steaks with homemade macaroni and cheese casserole, tacos and homemade pizza. Leftovers were used for lunch items. I took lunches to work every day, as always. I should also note that my lunch includes an insulated travel mug which I fill up with ice and water to drink. The ice lasts most of the day and I can refill the water as needed.

    *My husband took on extra hours at work to help out a co-worker. His manager has an 8 year old niece with an inoperable brain tumor. She was sent home from Toronto Sick Kids hospital to spend her last days surrounded by family. My husband offered to work for his manager on what would have been his day off, so his boss can spend more time with his niece and family. In total, my husband will have worked 60 plus hours in one week. It is a very sad way to get overtime.

    *Last minute (as in the night before the event) I was asked if I wanted to participate with a team in the Dragon Boat races (a fundraiser for breast cancer), which I accepted. I took a lunch and lots of snacks from home, but did spend some money for a nice t-shirt and I couldn’t resist buying some chocolate boobs for my poor husband who has been working so hard this week (he really appreciated it too). It was so much fun! The team of people I participated with were a really great bunch of characters. Our drummer was blind with a really sharp sense of humour. At one point our boat was hit by some waves made by another boat, to which our blind drummer stated “Wow, that wave really blindsided me. I didn’t see that one coming!” This was pretty typical of how the entire day went. We laughed and had a great time the whole day. Everyone was treated to a nice BBQ dinner at someone’s house afterwards as well.

    *Decided to do my major grocery shopping one week early as I will be very busy this coming week around the time that I typically do my shopping. I stuck closely to my list and kept everything within budget. Stocked up on some macaroni pasta for $0.77 a small bag (made sure to compare the price to larger bags and it still worked out to be cheaper). I was also able to stock up some more chicken breasts at Costco as they had a $5 off/package sale. I bought 2 of the cheapest packages I could find to get the best price (under $20/package) and will repackage them into smaller portions for the freezer using my Foodsaver.

    That’s all I can think of right now. Hope everyone has a wonderful and inspirational week!

  32. Happy Monday, friends. I managed to stay home almost the entire week last week, minus an afternoon get together at our Pastors house 5 miles down the road. That alone saved a lot of gas. We ate a lot of sandwiches from the chicken salad and egg salad I had made for lunch last Monday. We used stuff from the freezer and pantry and I spent less than $11 on groceries for the whole week.

    Unfortunately, the fiance has still not found work, and to further complicate things he hasn’t gotten any unemployment funds yet. We are coming up on 3 weeks without a paycheck and although he had a phone interview today, it was with a company 2+ hours from here. So, hard decisions are being made and I am preparing to move back to my hometown in SC. Although I absolutely love where we live, it is just not affordable at this stage in my life. Mortgage payments in my hometown can be $500/mo whereas we are paying $1200 just on rent here. Anyway, I am moving home soon and I am in the early stages of packing and preparing to rent a storage unit. In the meantime, boxes can go out back in the barn. I am looking forward to being back home for a while. The last 2 years have been very difficult and moving here was a mistake, even though I love it so, the circumstances were totally wrong.

  33. Thanks Kimberly. I seriously considered the heirloom roses site earlier this spring. I have ordered from David Austin directly before, but bare root roses really need a cooler climate at planting. The four I have in the backyard currently are both from their site (I get their catalog). Unfortunately, they are the only ones that made it; I had 6 others die on me. In my gardening classes here from the extension service, I learned that bareroot roses must be planted here in January, and David Austin usually ships out later than that–which is why mine did not make it. This is why I prefer potted plants–plus the local nursery had larger potted plants (another year older) than heirloom roses sells, and for a much lower price. However, they are not something they sell enough of, and so, they don’t carry them anymore. Every time I have tried ordering more bareroots, they have died. That’s a lot of money for nothing, and my husband hasn’t been supportive of me trying bareroots again because of it. I love them and if my husband agrees, I may try more again. I do wish they bloomed in the summer here, but the heat prevents me from getting many then.

  34. My biggest accomplishment this week, isn’t really frugal, unless you count not having to go to the doctor all the time as frugal (which I guess it is). Anyway, as of this week I am 5 years cancer free. My husband picked our first strawberry of the season on the day of my final doctor appt., and gave it to me to celebrate. I shared with him, though, as it was hard on both of us.

    I made taco meat with black beans, cilantro and salsa – all from the garden last year and frozen. Used a little ground beef too. We used lettuce from the garden and sour cream I got for 99¢ for 16 oz. from Fred Meyer a while back.

    Made homemade pizza one night. Thin crust. Lots of veggies, with just a little sausage on my share.

    Made salad to go with dinner every night with lettuce from the garden.

    Brought breakfast and lunch to work each day.

    Picked about 2 cups of strawberries on Saturday. We put our net over the strawberries to keep the birds out. These are plants that my neighbor gave me a year ago. She got the originals from her son the prior year, and gave me the “runners” The berry plants originally came from Montana, so they should be able to withstand our Eastern Washington winters.

    Planted 14 pots with flowers that I had accumulated. Put a couple in the garden to attract bees to the tomatoes. I can move them around to wherever I want.

    Put clothes on the clothesline to dry. I tell people I have a solar powered clothes dryer. I don’t think they realize I mean a clothesline. Oh, well.

    Made popcorn for a snack 2 times.

    All that fruit looks delicious. Blackberries are my favorite.

  35. Lori, I’m sure I join others in saying that I wish life hadn’t presented you with such tough choices. I hope those choices lead you to the kind of life you’re meant to have.

  36. I remember reading “My Brother Sam is Dead.” That’s a good book. I actually don’t remember much of the book itself; but I remember being blown away by it.

    I used booko.com.au to save $110 over the university bookstore on the texts I’ll need for this term of school. That took a dedicated week of checking the prices each day and then pouncing when they were near an historical low. Booko is an Australian site that scours the web looking for the lowest price on any book, including shipping. I usually find the lowest price, and then google for a coupon code for additional savings; I saved an additional 10% on two of the books I ordered doing that. Since these books are never very cheap I’m hoping I can resell them when I’m done with them and recoup a good portion of my money. (One book is generally listed for $200 on eBay; I got it for $40.)

    My husband needed a smart phone for his new business venture. He found a model that is normally $100 on sale for $39. Then he researched plans and found a great plan too. We’ve discovered the $39 phone will do everything our iPods will do so we’ve listed the iPods for sale. He also listed a couple of text books he no longer needs.

    We’ve needed some new dressers for our kids for a while, and have been hoping to get them second-hand, but can never find good second-hand dressers. The cheapest new dressers we can find are $200 each. Over the weekend I went through their clothes and edited. They had tons of clothes – some of it too small, some of it much too big – so I focused on only keeping their current size clothes. When I was done, both kids had a decent amount of clothes – enough to give them options, but not so much the drawers wouldn’t shut – and, voila, we no longer need new dressers, saving us $400. I put the too-small clothes in the back of my car to drop off at the op shop next time I’m in town and the too-big clothes in storage.

    My kids wear a school uniform 200 days of the year. It’s pretty casual, a white or navy blue polo and leggings for my daughter or sweatpants for my son, with a navy blue jumper or jacket in the winter. My son prefers the navy polo, my daughter prefers the white polo, but by this time of year all her shirts are pretty stained. So I bleached them, which made a huge difference. It’s not a big deal since every kid wears the same uniform, so by this time of year every kid has stains on their clothes; but I feel better about it.

    I picked up some cheap fruit from the seconds table at the fruit and veg shop, including a pineapple – we’ve planted the top of the pineapple just for fun. In some climates you can grow a new pineapple plant from the top; I suspect our climate is too cold for that; but we figured it’d be a fun experiment for the kids all the same. My MIL bought a big box of oranges for $3 and a big box of grapes for $2 and shared them with us.

  37. Hopefully I’m not too late to add my accomplishments this week. Not only do I learn so much from all your comments but it helps keep me on track. This week was super hot, but I still managed to be a little frugal. Here is what I accomplished.
    Returned a watermelon that was just too disgusting to eat. I used the money on a pair of scissors from the thrift store. These are the same scissors I had listed on my Amazon wish list and I paid less than half the price for them while supporting the hospital auxiliary.
    Despite the heat, I helped my mom paint miles of fencing. She gave me ½ dozen eggs from her hens that have finally started laying again.
    My mom and I took a break from painting to carpool to the grocery store to stock up on on-sale turkey (.99 cents a pound. Unheard of here!) and bacon.
    I cut the man’s hair.
    Finished sewing a new tote bag for myself using fabric from my stash. I managed to get paint from the fence on it because that’s just what I do.
    We arranged for firewood to be delivered at the end of this month for use next winter. We took advantage of this deal because we will save almost $100 a cord.
    The usual frugal activities occurred including hanging laundry on the line, eating at home, and using up leftovers.
    Have a great week everyone!

  38. Used a coupon to get free string cheese at the grocery store. The kids had it as snacks.

    My mom gave me a shirt she can’t wear anymore. I like it a lot and have gotten lots of compliments while wearing it.

    The boyfriend and I had date night in this week. I got to show off my culinary skills and saved us some money. I made chicken enchiladas and we watched borrowed movies.

    We ate at home for all meals except one my mom treated us to.

  39. This might be a little “out there” for you, but you might try stopping by your old house and letting the new owners know that you’re interested in the roses if they ever don’t want them. I’m always amazed at the plants that people dig out and toss.

  40. I actually have considered it–but the house is now a rental. The people who bought it lost it, and then it became a rental, and they took out everything I planted and just covered it all with rocks. The trees, daffodils, grass, bushes, roses, everything–are gone. It’s very sad.

  41. Free in the mail – samples of pantiliners.

    I had opened 2 accounts just to get the new account bonuses and was using them to put money aside for the holidays from side income from swagbucks, ebay, etc. I transferred all the money into one of the accounts and will close the other.

    My daughter was visiting for the weekend. We went to a used book store in the neighborhood. She found a few architecture books she wanted so I bought those for her to add to her library. I found some books I would like to read but decided to not spend the money and get them from the library instead.

    Other than that, it was just a week of continuing to do the usual – washing out baggies, brought leftover food home from work, being careful with water and electricity, taking care of the garden, following frugal blogs.

    I’m looking forward to checking back in and reading what everyone else has done – have a great week ladies!

  42. As always, I love everyone’s updates.
    Last week was frugal for me but I have noticed lately I am slipping a bit as far as cooking – it is just so hot in the kitchen.
    I skipped Costco last week and instead I went to a local grocery farm store, I was really pleased to see everything was literally half off (since being in season now). I stocked up for a week.
    My weekly update is here

    Have a great week everyone

  43. This week a local grocery store had a 10 lb bag of whole chicken legs for $4.99. I separated the thighs and drumstick, packaged and froze them. Enough for 5 dinners for us.

    I also did some Target shopping this week. They had my hair color on sale with a $5 gift card when you buy 2. I bought 2 and they gave me two gift cards. I questioned it, but the cashier told me it must be correct so I accepted it as a great gift.

    Had 2 grilled pork chops leftover. I ended up making a stir fry with peppers and snow peas from the garden. Nasty low cost meal.

    Bought razors from Amazon for my husband (the kind he uses are not sold locally). They were $26 but I only paid $1 due to using a Swafbucks gift card. I’m a prime member so shipping was free. They will last him 9 weeks.

    Getting lots of lettuce and snow peas from the garden now. Our local farm had pick your own berries. My daughter and I picked about 20 pounds I canned strawberry jam, 4 pints and 8 half pints and froze the remainder. I may go pick more this weekend and freeze them. They taste so much better than the ones you buy at the grocery store.

    Love that your children can use their love of reading to get new books. Hope you have a great week.

  44. I took the kids strawberry picking and brought home around $15 lbs at $1.59/lb, plus what my toddler ate while “picking.” Luckily this farm if very family friendly and does not mind the free sampling. We made 5 pints of no-cook, low sugar freezer jam using existing jars and pectin bought on sale, plus had plenty of berries for eating and sharing with friends and family.

    On the way home we stopped at a discount produce market and purchased 5 bags full of fruits and veggies, a pineapple, and a watermelon for $23. I did not intend to purchase quite so much but the kids picked out their favorites and we saw several deals that were too good to pass up. I’m very thankful that my kids get so excited over fruits and veggies!

    We ate most meals at home except for a dinner out with friends. I used up numerous leftovers and upcycled them into new meals without complaint.

    I stocked up on numerous clothes and shoes, most new with tags, in the next 2 sizes for my toddler at a local neighborhood garage sale.

    I minimized my hair washing to twice weekly to save on shampoo and hair products.

    I did my regular weekly grocery shopping at Aldi and took advantage of sales. I also hatched this errand.

    I fixed two sports bras with needle and thread. These aid me in daily running through my neighborhood and save me the cost of a gym membership.

    I filled up on discounted gas at Costco. I read numerous blogs for free. Wishing you all a frugal week!

  45. I love reading your weekly frugal accomplishments. I look forward to it each week. Prior to being a mom, I was a school teacher and I have multiple copies of many books. I have paperback copies of My Brother Sam Is Dead and of Sign of the Beaver, and would be happy to send them your way, if you are interested.

  46. I am almost jealous to see the wonderful produce in your garden. Mine is just starting to show signs of producing. We have thrown a ton of money at it. Most of which is one time costs. I am hoping to have a good yield. This is my first time growing things in a desert climate. So far we have three tomatoes with blooms, two zucchinis and some blueberries poking out. We have a ton more than that in the garden, but nothing else is looking particularly fruitful yet. I am the queen of sunflowers though. 12 and counting. I’m actually starting to thin them down now. Its amazing how quickly they grow!! I didn’t post last week so these are my frugal accomplishments for two weeks:

    -I walked to a yard sale in my neighborhood just to see what was available, and they had school supplies that they practically gave away. I am starting back at college in the fall and my hours are cut dramatically to do so. Getting such cheap school supplies was such a blessing
    -I used to get my hair cut into a pixie. One $15 cut every 6-8 weeks. I always figured that was cheaper than one expensive cut for long hair a year. Then I remembered not spending money is cheaper! So my husband has been trimming my end while I let my short hair grow.
    -I took two new jobs that will accommodate my new school schedule. My old job would not. Both jobs together only equal about 25 hours a week but the pay is good and they are very flexible
    -I sold an old kindle that I no longer use, a stereo from my old Honda, and a never worn dress that I bought on clearance on Ebay.
    – Our water bill went down $10 even though we used the sprinklers more this month than the last. I think it is because we switch the quick wash on our dishwasher, and we’ve been conserving water to water the garden.
    -Our electric bill went down $18; I would like for it to go down $12 more. We realized that our hot and cold lines were switched on our washer. I think that switch alone had a positive impact on our utilities
    -I mended two pairs of pants. Well technically 1-1/2. My needle broke half way through the second pair and it is a new machine that I’m still learning to change the needle on. That is my project for this week.

    Thanks for all of your inspiration as always!

  47. My frugals this week have been rather small. Last week we received a free sample of Depends Guards for dh.. with the prostrate cancer he’s been having accidents at work and because he’s a big guy we weren’t sure that they would fit so a cpl. samples were nice to try out. They also sent a cpn. for $3 off a pack. They are working out great for which we are very thankful. I have been making most meals at home, still battling the fast food when I work late nights. Fortunately only 2 a week the past cpl. weeks. My schedule is different each week so it’s hard to prepare like I’d like to. I’ve been off 3 days, have another 1 1/2 days of being off.. tomorrow I will be peeling and making 10 lbs. of mashed potatoes for the freezer for future meals. Cooking 2 lbs. of chicken burger for meals, making a meal for home tomorrow night. I bought 2 packs of reduced chicken strips and made a creative meal tonight. Fried them in a skillet with a little oil and a can of chunked pineaple with juice. Added some leftover fried rice and served it with the chicken on top, we made homemade coleslaw yesterday and had that as a side dish. I also plan to make 2 boxes of brownies tomorrow for desserts, one will go in the deep freezer so I’m utilizing my oven for more than one thing. I went to a thrift store Saturday and found a glass lid for 90 cents that fits my Corningware baking dish that I had broken the lid on.. I was leery of some I’d seen at $4 or more that might not of fit but for 90 cents I was willing to gamble.. it fit. This is a bigger corningware don’t see them often so I was very happy to find a lid. Bought another gift card at Krogers got 4X fuel points for it. Next week I plan to buy a Shell gas card since we buy gas anyways and they accept Krogers fuel points so a better buy for us. We’re getting hit with back to back weeks of having to give out money for celebrations.. had one kid graduate high school this weekend, next weekend a kid we know turns 18, then in 2 weeks my nephew has a birthday so more money than usual being spent. My tomatoes and habaneros are doing beautifully have tomatoes on the plants so won’t be long before we harvest yay! Can’t wait to try that first juicy tomato. Aldi’s has peaches on sale 99 cents a lb. this week so I hope to get some to make peach jam.

  48. Oh, this is just heartbreaking. Had to share it with my husband, as earlier this week we drove past the first house we ever rented. The shrubs and lawn are overgrown just terribly… like to the tune of two foot tall weeds! Jeff always kept the yard looking so nice that it made him so sad.

  49. Never underestimate a part time position. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting in the door with the part time job. Then when a full time job comes available, you can apply. If you have proven yourself a good worker, there will be a better chance of getting the full time over someone they don’t know. Best of luck with your interview.

  50. Being cancer free for 5 years is an amazing personal accomplishment and should be celebrated!:D Congrats!!!

  51. Thanks Rhonda and Anna! The funny thing is I have lived here 25 years and I have never noticed this tree having cherries before! I asked my neighbor, The Gardener, and she said she had never noticed it either and she’s lived here 17 years!

  52. Last week, I:

    1. Made and ate all meals from home. Since it’s getting hot and I crave lighter food anyway, I’ve been eating more raw veggies. Also saving on energy costs by not using the stove or oven as often.

    2. For the first time, I was conscious of how much driving I was doing. I bundled my errands, and didn’t go out needlessly.

    3. I went back to doing something I had gotten away from. We have a wide variety of grocery store options here (outside Chicago). I did my small grocery shopping for the week at an independent grocery store that started out as a produce market. I bought my fresh fruits and vegetables and a few other things I needed for including some deli and dairy items for $30 for the week.

    4. I gave a friend a birthday gift of a fresh flower bouquet from my garden, using a vase I purchased for 25 cents from a thrift shop. She loved it. I put a piece of ribbon around it that I had saved and it was very pretty.

    5. I spent a lot of time feverishly hunting for a job as my current contract assignment is ending this month (was just told that a week ago, so I am scrambling).

    6. I made a grocery list and stuck to it.

    7. I’ve been looking for a gentle option for washing my hair (which I now do only twice a week and it’s good). My hair is moderately curly and very coarse, and my humid summers don’t do it any good. I had some leftover head to to baby wash in my cupboard from visiting nieces and started using it on my hair. Works great!

    8. I’ve been using grapeseed oil as a facial moisturizer to combat my dry skin. It’s non irritating and works great!

    9. Hanging out clothes between our recent torrential downpours.

    10. Making cleaning products with the basics like vinegar.

    11. Shampooed my carpet with an older steam cleaner I own, using a vinegar water solution.

    That’s my week. Love all of yours!

  53. We were given a new to us cherry bedroom set. My sister-in-law’s father passed away and no one in her family wanted the set. It was for a full size bed but we converted it to queen size bed for very little money. I cooked at home and brought lunch to work. We had a family party for my daughter’s birthday on Saturday but we kept the food list simple and I froze some of the leftovers for lunches and the rest will be used tonight for bbq pork sandwiches.
    Last week I made 3 jars of sour cherry jam from the cherries in our back yard. We also have been using the library and trying to stay away from the store.

  54. Was able to hang several loads of laundry out to dry; the days it rained I hung in our basement it takes a bit longer but is much more frugal. I have been losing weight (21.4 pounds since March) and am in desperate need of clothes. With the heat lately I have been wanting a pair of shorts for the weekend but haven’t wanted to spend the money. Then I remembered I had an old pair of jeans that are a bit too big but good enough for around the house and made those into shorts with my new sew tape! I figure I saved $25.00 by repurposing something I had. While I was “sewing” I repaired a dining room curtain and living room curtain :0) I have been receiving lots of surprise rewards to use at Kmart or Sears and decided to treat myself and my hubby (usually its all about the kids) I bought myself an adorable pair of summer jammies that are a size smaller for only $3.00 out of pocket and I “bought” my husband 3 new colored t-shirts that retail for $30 for FREE!!!! Since returning to work full time we have been able to catch up on some bills and finally we have been blessed that this month the water, sewer, and electric are coming in with only the current month due. I am also making progress on our taxed and some repairs to our home. Thank you for all the inspiration and motivation when I hit a “rough” patch

  55. Brandy,

    Would the muslin you bought be similar to the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets? I need some more for my baby girl and am thinking that making them would be much cheaper. A 4 pack of those blankets is $25-$30.

  56. Those are beautiful blankets. Muslin is different, though. It is more like a sheet. I haven’t seen any fabric like that in the fabric store. However, you could try buying some of those blankets used, via a Facebook garage sale or a children’s resale shop.

  57. JoAnn’s sale prices are fairly consistent across the country, at least from what I’ve noticed from bloggers sharing deals. The tricky part for me is planning sewing projects ahead far enough to take advantage of the sales. You might check out the Fabric Place Basement in Natick (if you’re in the Boston area).

  58. It seems like most people don’t want the responsibility or expense of taking care of fussy landscaping, especially where you have to pay for water. We are currently expanding our front garden area in order to grow more food, but it won’t surprise me at all if we end up removing it all and replanting grass when we sell (many years from now).

  59. I used tto own a fabric store & found the brand “MODA” muslin to be a finer grade than others. You probably could find a sale online for it. Hope this helps. You might get lucky & find a higher thread count sheet at a thrift store or garage sale that is cotton. Good luck.

  60. Sandra, I’m still praying that your DH gets the job–God willing, and otherwise that He provide the direction needed for your dh’s next steps workwise. Heidi in Canada

  61. Rhonda, do you live near Toronto? We are in Guelph…and I’m hoping you are nearby because the Costco chicken deal sounds good!! I had a planned trip to Costco on this Thursday, so I will be looking to see if our Costco is running the same sale. That is exciting! And kudos on the Dragon Boat work. A lovely organization. Heidi in Ontario, Canada

  62. Hi Heidi. I’m in Peterborough, which is 2 hrs the north east of Toronto. I think that all the Costco’s in Ontario follow the same sales. The chicken sale wasn’t advertised though. I don’t know if each store has their own “manager’s specials” that vary or not, but it is definitely worth looking for!

    By the way, if you’re looking for an inexpensive trip this summer, you might want to consider coming to Peterborough. We have a zoo which is completely free to visit. It features a huge playground, a free splash pad and an optional small train ride that costs $2/person. Our claim to fame is the worlds tallest Lift Lock, so if you have a boat, or even a canoe, you could have a ride up it, though there may be fees involved. There is a boat cruise that goes up it, but you have to pay for that. If not you can still watch it work from the banks of the canal for free. There are a few free or inexpensive museums to visit in the area. We also have a free music festival that runs all summer every Wednesday and Saturday evening. It takes place in a park on the shores of a little lake (called Little Lake ironically) near the downtown core. You just bring a blanket or lawn chairs, find a spot on the grass and enjoy the music! We often go early with a picnic supper and snacks for later, so we can find a parking space. They usually have some pretty big names come, too. Here’s the link for the line up this year if your interested:

  63. I am so sorry Lori, I wish you could have stayed here in the mountains. I know what the job market is like here and it can be brutal. Even those of us who are employed are underemployed. I work in a hospital near you and we are constantly being flexed off or sent home in the middle of the shift and after awhile that really starts to hurt.
    I wish you the best and you and your fiancé will be in my prayers.

  64. Congrats on the weight loss! A friend was losing a significant amount of weight and had casually put the word out she needed smaller clothes to family and friends. That turned into her getting free pieces from closet cleans – even from friends of friends of friends. Not a new wardrobe, but a few pieces to get her through a season.

  65. Denise..

    Wow on the cherry wood furniture, cherry wood is so beautiful. How did you convert it from a full size to a Queen? We sold a antique full size bed with wrought iron back on it because we couldn’t find a mattress (the one on it was worn out). I have regretted that decision many times over the years, it belonged to dh’s mother and was beautiful.

    Dh sold it I think for about $15.00.


  66. Marivene, do you just make mini pies since you freeze your sour cherries in 1 or 2 cup
    portions? Or mini crisps etc. Or do you mix with other fruit later? I do a quart at a time for pie or crisp. If I don’t have a full quart will do a pint bag and then add apples or peaches or whatever else I have when I get ready to make it up.

  67. Jane, I am in love with you little cottage! You did a wonderful job. That diamond paned window is beautiful…what a special find. You succeeded for sure in getting the homey comfortable feeling.

  68. I absolutely loved reading your blog and it has motivated me to snap out of it and get on the ball again.

  69. I LOVE my job! I just wish it was all year and paid a bit more. Then it would be the most perfect job ever!;)

  70. Athanasia, most of the time there are only the 2 of us, so I use 2 cups in an 8×8 pan for crisps or cobblers. If I need a larger size, I add one of the one cup portions.

  71. * pitted and froze 12# of cherries
    * got my son signed up for a free summer online math program plus his teacher sent home some supplemental work for him to do over the summer (this will help him stay fresh in math!)
    * we made it to the top of the list for Paddington at the library so we watched the DVD as a family (very cute!)
    * made cookies and chex mix
    * our kitchen cabinets are being removed tomorrow and I have them sold via our Facebook garage sale site.
    * got a free bottled iced tea (store e coupon)

  72. Free rain barrel?! Awesome!! Is this an offer you could share with others? I’d LOVE a rain barrel, but they’ve so expensive! Trying to do everything we can with this drought!

  73. That is a lot of grapes! How many plants do you have an how old are they? I planted two Red Globe three years ago. They have grown very fast and produced some (very sour) grapes last year. Wondering if I should plant more, because I don’t know how much of a harvest to reasonably expect per plant.

  74. My in-laws here in TN have an abundance of blackberries and blueberries…mom said they have more blackberries this year than in previous years.
    This coming autumn she is going to give me some blackberry shoots that have sprung up from the roots of their bushes (free fruit bushes!). I’ll be planting those in our yard, along with other fruit plants.

  75. The bed rails long ways hooked on. And our queen size memory foam mattress did not look overly wide with the head board. So we bought a set of metal queen rails and some boards to lay over them. My husband had to build a prop to keep under one of the boards so everything was stable but it was cheaper than the actual full to queen metal converter bed rails I saw online. It works for us and our bed spread covers the metal rails so no one knows. I will keep the wooden bed rails safe in case we ever switch it back.

  76. Great job on the bag! Making gifts is always nice, but replacing something specialized like that camp bag is so rewarding! Put a feather in your cap, Brandy! Thanks for the book recommendations too, my kids will like that book series.


  77. That’s kind of what I was thinking, that there were just 2 of you normally at home. Is someone diabetic also?

  78. Joann fabrics has fabric called baby gauze (I think) that is similar to the swaddling blankets.

  79. Here it is, almost the end of the week again. I guess, once more, this is for a couple weeks.

    I wish I had access to apricots like that. No one grows them around here and the cheapest in the store they will go may be 1.99/lb. They are 2.99 now. Plums were .99/lb so I bought enough to make a batch of the plum sauce. I will get plums later on in the season from a relative. It is actually cheaper to buy canned apricots and apricot jam. I need apricot jam and seedless raspberry jelly for cookies we make every Christmas, so I always watch for the sale on those and the Smuckers coupons, doubled, then hide them a jar of each away with the cookie cutters.

    I notice HULU has changed and tells me no longer HULU plus. Is it all subscription now? I read 5 books in the last couple weeks, 4 of them cozy mysteries and one a memoir. I have made it half way in my goodreads reading challenge, so has my youngest. We have watched very little on the tv or computer as the longer it stays light out the more time we are outside.

    We have had plenty of rain, enough that we have had some flooding, but nothing major. The garden is producing well and we have had radishes, rhubarb, lettuce, chard, herbs, kohlrabi, carrot thinnings (carrots are sooo much easier to thin when they are grown in a barrel and you can sit in a chair next to them and they really are growing straighter), peas. We tried floating row cover on the broccoli and cauliflower this year and the kohlrabi and cabbages…they look very good. Our new peach trees survived the winter. We have a few strawberries from the bed started last year and should really be able to pick much more by next week.

    Over the last couple weeks we went to one wedding, no one we were related to at all in any way, just folks from church. The girl is a primary grade teacher in our school. We drove to the East side of the state to visit a 91 year old uncle and wish him happy birthday, one of my father’s brothers. We went to a 50th wedding anniversary at church. The last 2 were no presents required though we did bring my uncle a bag of sunflower seeds for his birdfeeder. Everything had food involved so I did less cooking, though we did a bit of driving.

    I did no grocery shopping except for milk, 4 large cottage cheese, a marked down bottle of Girl Scout thin mint flavored coffee creamer. Tasty. 250 tablet bottle of store brand tylenol for 8.19, 2 cucumbers, a green bell pepper and a red onion so I could make 4 bean salad. 7 lb ( I think it’s 7) can of crisco and a 25 pound box of rice (Sam’s Club, SIL picked it up), chow mein noodles, gallon of white vinegar and half gallon of cider vinegar. I like Heinz. I have all other supplies for canning. Pasta was .88/lb so I bought 5 boxes of mini shells for making tuna salads over the summer. Imitation crab meat chunk style was BOGO free so bought 2, got 2 free for making crab-macaroni salad. I use medium shells for that and have plenty of those. Black olives were BOGO also so got 10 cans total. Bought 1 doz farm eggs.

    Froze 16 quarts of rhubarb and 3 pints. Made one batch of rhubarb jam. Dried enough chives to almost fill a pint canning jar. Made another batch of struesel topping, enough for 5 pies, and put it in the freezer. Made zucchini nut bread and an impossible pie with the last of the shredded zuchinni from the freezer. Made brownies, vanilla pudding, the plum sauce, homemade eggrolls (oh, I bought a bag of fresh sprouts and the egg roll wrappers) , fried rice, broiled tofu (we’re out of hot pepper jelly…have to make that too later), cottage cheese enchiladas, Spanish rice, cooked pintos and made refried beans. Baked white bread and rye bread. Made 4 bean salad (using last years canned green and wax beans and frozen pre cooked kidney and garbanzo beans). Made a new batch of bisquit mix. Made a fruit crisp using up near to the last of the frozen fruit from last season…blueberry, raspberry and stretched it out with 2 chopped apples.

    We have not used A/C yet as it just into the 70s now. Plenty of breezes. Laundry has been drying nicely on the line, though eye has to be kept out due to rain. Everyone seems to be cleaning out closets…the take it or leave it table at church was piled high. I took 10 sheets of what must have been scrapbooking paper, I will use it for when we make cards. The lighter ones can be used for envelopes. Also a bag of ribbon and yarn that I can use for making reading club bookmarks, and a painted black and white plywood cut out of a cow, about 4 feet tall by 2 feet wide. I will find some way to use it to promote the library. My husband was in need of a new vest to wear to church for the summer months so my youngest and I have been making it. It is giving her good practice…we just have some hand sewing left. We will give it to him for Father’s day.

    Well that’s all I can remember. I always hope to get written on Monday right away, but before I know it the week or 2 has flown by.

  80. Hi, everyone, I checked the Joann website and the fabric is actually called cotton gauze. Hope that helps!

  81. This is very interesting. All four of my roses have “made it” so far in terms of surviving, but my Sweet Juliet has yet to bloom. I ordered all 4 from David Austin, and they didn’t ship to me until almost April – thankfully we had a cool spring! I know that roses can be fussy, and it’s my first time growing bareroot, but my issue with the Abraham Darby is that it doesn’t look exactly like the bloom in the catalog – there are not nearly as many petals as they show online. I don’t know if it’s my fault or the rose’s. I am hoping they settle in and do better. The colors are already warming up to a lovelier peachy pink than they started out with.

    I found Heirloom Roses after I purchased from David Austin, and may use them next year for a couple of other colors I wanted to add. I hope you can find a way to get another Abraham Darby!

  82. I live in rural MS and blackberries grow wild here. My frugality for new two weeks is house-pet sitting for friends in Memphis. When you lI’ve in a town with no red lights Memphis is a big city so I am pretending to be on vacation. The homeowners are very generous leaving me food and drinks plus Kroger gift card and tons of gifts cards for eating out and movies and some cash. I’ll only spend my money for gas and all of my shopping adventures. I’ll be here for such a long time that I’ll be able to spend time with several groups of friends that live nearby that I don’t see very often. Been here two days already and having great time. I get a really cheap two weeks in the city and they get a vacation free of worry about their home and dogs.

  83. Yes, please tell us about the rain barrel. I went to your page nut didn’t see anything about it.

  84. Years ago, I made a case from an old leg of a child’s pair of jeans. We still use it to carry and store all the roasting sticks that we have gathered over the years. I just clean/wash the used metal roasting sticks, dry, then put in the case and we store these in the camper or with our camping supplies. The case has a casing in the top and a cord drawstring to pull it shut. We are thinking about having the 4=H members make cases this coming year for any camping item, i.e. tents, roasting sticks, dishes, whatever needs corralling!

  85. We just returned this evening from being gone for 2 weeks. It was not inexpensive, but there were things we did to make it more frugal than it could have been. We took 2 of our children and 1 niece. My sister paid for her daughter’s Disneyland tickets and cost of the mission trip, which really helped. We did all food, gas, our tickets/fees, etc. and extra sights, etc.

    The first week was a mission trip to Gleanings for the Hungry in Southern California. Our van had a seal break on the back. It was such a blessing that we had run into the rest of the group at a rest area 2 hours from home. We had started out earlier to go to a graduation party, they had left later with 2 buses and vans. Some of the men noticed the problem. One young man jumped in with us and rode the rest of the way (over 13 hours) with us, adding fluid when necessary (after stopping at an NAPA to get a case, plus a new part for later). The next day, another man, a mechanic, fixed it for us and it got us the rest of the way!! We know it was a “God thing” because we were travelling seperately and never planned on seeing the rest of the group until we arrived.

    We paid to be at the mission trip, but the price was very reasonable. While there, we processed almost 1,000,000 servings of soup mix, processed many, many peaches for drying, and did many odd jobs. This group is the first in the season, so does a lot of cleaning. It made us feel really happy to think that so many people around the world will eat because of our efforts. Local missionaries distribute the food and also share God’s love with the people who get it. Win-win! It was VERY hot. 107 one day, then lower temps and rising for the rest of the week! Whew!!! I examined the gardens at the compound and noticed they are getting crispy, but are still producing. One day, many, many pounds of tomatoes were picked and were used in the kitchen to make food for all.

    Then, we drove to LA and did Disneyland for 3 days. To make it more affordable, we cooked in our hotel room for several meals. We went into the park early one day, then left, took a nap, cooked, and went back in for the evening. The ones we ate out were often fast food outside the park before or after. We had a hotel with full breakfast provided and ate it everyday. We had 2 coolers stuffed with things like Go-Gurts and cheese sticks which were given to children everytime they thought they were going to expire with hunger:) We did eat one expensive meal at Rain Forest Cafe on 1 daughter’s birthday, but no full meal at D-Land on any day–had a few snacks,though,here and there. I got some glow-sticks and flashy light-up wands at the Dollar Store before we left and the kids used them at the light parade instead of buying them there.

    The kids shopped with gift cards from the relatives and money from birthdays, etc.

    We went home through San Francisco and the Redwoods. We stopped briefly at Gharidelli Square and loaded up on chocolate. The Golden Gate Bridge was under construction and we loved it!!! We got to stay on much longer then usual. It was almost dark, but we still could see.

    We camped one night in the Redwoods in a tent. We brought it with us, plus minimal camping supplies. We stopped at several sights–some cost money, some were free, like a grove of huge redwood trees, for example.

    Last night, we came up into Oregon and camped near Bandon, OR at a state park, which was free to us because we have a park pass because we have foster/adopted children from Oregon. We got fresh food from stores along the way-marshmallows, etc. and cooked over the fire. It’s hard to pay for wood, since we have stacks and stacks at home, but we couldn’t bring everything!!!

    We got ice cream in Bandon. The servings were huge and very inexpensive. It’s even cheaper because, being diabetic, I just eat a few bites from my husbands. We stopped by and saw our oldest daugher where she was camping with her husband’s relatives in Florence, ate at Mo’s restaurant in Florence, dropped our niece off and came home.

    We have been saving for a long time for this. My husband put each day’s $ in an envelope. We stayed within budget and even came home with a bit. If meals cost more then expected, we just cut down the next day to make up for it. On the day travelling through the redwoods, we were able to have a picnic out of odds and ends in the cooler at a park we paid $5 to enter and see a drive-through tree. So, that meal was $ saved. Our van wouldn’t fit:), but we still stood by it!! It was so fun, and even more fun to know that we stayed within the amount we wanted to.

    Now, it’s weeding time in the garden. Thanks to many family members, it got watered. Everything grew a lot and my garden is extremely large.

  86. Laurie, your “mistake” was a blessing to read. I was in tears reading your post and your friend’s. You are a wonderful and gracious friend to “return” the project as you did. I’m sure that quilt will be a much loved and much talked about treasure to pass down thru the family. Blessings!

  87. Thanks Denise.. sorry it took so long to thank you for some reason I don’t get notices when someone responds? I think I can picture what you did. We have a bed frame we bought used several years ago Queen size but the rails that came with it were not long enough we think it might have come from a different bed? So my husband measured the width and went over to Lowes and had them saw some to the measurements we needed, got much heavier wood since my husband is a big guy.. they work perfectly.

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