Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Berries in Colander The Prudent Homemaker

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I picked the last of the blackberries and the alpine strawberries. The rest of both of these are burning on the vine now in our 112º (44º) heat. The alpine strawberries will start flowering again in October when the temperatures cool down again (in a cooler climate, they would produce all summer). My garden also yielded just a few regular strawberries again.

I cut the few roses that weren’t burnt by the sun and brought them in to enjoy. They lasted a day before fading, but were very pretty for that day. 

I cut some apple branches from the garden and put them in a vase on my entry table.

I cut the last of the larkspur flowers  that were lingering in the backyard and brought them in. Most of the plants were brown and had gone to seed. I collected seeds and then tore out all of the plants.

Working right after the sun went down, I transplanted some vinca seedlings from one place in the garden to another. These are great landscape flowers in the heat. I have to wait a bit to grow them from seed, versus buying them as seedlings from the nursery, but they grow throughout our intense heat, in full sun, until our first frost in December. The cost of seeds is lower than buying seedlings, so it is worth the wait.

I also planted zinnia seeds again in the front yard. Only a few have come up and I’ve planted 5 or 6 times, but these seeds are old, so the lower germination rate is to be expected. I planted larger quantities in the missing spots and I hope to see seedlings growing there soon. I gave them some extra water in the heat of the day from water I had saved in the kitchen (I have a small bucket that I put in the sink and I rinse produce over it, wash my hands over it, and put in the last of the rinse water from pots, pans, and large bowls, and then use it out in the garden).

I cut green onions, basil, and oregano from the garden.

We picked apples and green gage plums from the garden.

I turned a pair of Wren’s torn in the knees jeans into shorts.

I canned 10 pints and 3 half-pints of apricot jam from our apricots.

I collected lettuce seeds from the garden.

I read several great books from the library, as a preview for Winter for school. She read them just as soon as I finished them. I loved them all! I read Calico Captive, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Murder on the Orient Express (my first Agatha Christie book, and now I will have to request more of her books from the library), and The Lacemaker and the Princess.

I had an at-home date with my husband after the children were in bed. We played Ticket To Ride – Europe.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

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84 Comments

  1. I love Agatha Christie! When I was younger, I made a list of her books and read every single one. I was so sad when I got to the end of the list!

  2. This week, my poppies bloomed! They are my favorite flower. I collected seeds from the purple ones I grew last year, and started them inside in March. This purple variety is an edible seed type. Last year, I also collected seeds from some beautiful orange oriental poppies that come back every year in front of a building in the town where I grew up. That building is going to be torn down soon (so the poppies will be gone as well), so I am trying to grow them myself this year. The plants are still quite small, but I have hope that they will bloom too.

    This week:
    – I collected seeds from my green onions that I planted last year. I was amazed that they overwintered here.
    – I gave away two items I no longer needed on Freecycle.
    – Our library offers donated books and magazines for sale. I found an old needlework book and a book of sewing techniques for a grand total of 75 cents.
    – One of my community gardener friends is gone for a week, so she asked me to water her garden, and said I could harvest anything that was ripe. So I got quite a few pea pods, and there still will be plenty for her when she returns. From my plot, I also harvested peas, green onions, strawberries and one cherry tomato (so early for this area). I cut peppermint and oregano from the herb garden.
    – I returned eight concrete pavers to Home Depot. The project I was going to use them for didn’t work out.
    – I made ‘cool ties’ (cooling neck wraps made out of fabric with water-absorbing crystals inside) that keep you cool on hot days. I get overheated easily, so I wear these when working outside. I am making a few for gifts as well. I bought the smallest bag of crystals available online, enough for 100 of the neck wraps, for $20. Similar cool ties sell for $12 each at REI. You only need a small amount of fabric to make these.
    – I collected the water from washing vegetables to water my plants.
    – I bought a half flat of tayberries and a half flat of gooseberries at the farmer’s market. I have a weakness for local berries, and I made many jars of jam last summer that we enjoyed all winter. We ate some of the tayberries fresh, and I froze the rest (they are a delicate berry that is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry). I also made six half pints of gooseberry jam, using low-sugar pectin I bought in bulk two years ago.
    – I have been looking for a navy cotton skirt at the thrift store for months now. I finally found one, but it was actually a Land’s End brand skort. Skorts never fit me right, so, after a thorough inspection before I bought the item, I determined that I should be able to cut out the shorts without any problem. This worked fine, and I now have a nice navy summer skirt.
    Now I’m going to read about what everyone else is doing. My favorite part of the week!

  3. I love to read about what’s growing in your garden, so impressive!

    I continue to save money by using coupons and shopping the deals. Last week, I got free adkins bars, free cover girl nail polish, $0.19 turkey bacon, $0.38 salad dressing and a Rachael Ray pan from Sears for only $0.86! On Friday, I was able to get a free Tropical Smoothie Café drink and a free Chill Zone at Cumberland Farms. This is an annual promotion I always look forward to.

    Full breakdown of all my shopping trips with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-620/

    Stay frugal, Ladies!

  4. I accidently posted this under last week’s posts! Let’s try it again!
    ~ Picked 12 more lbs. of cherries and got them all pitted. $ quart bags to the freezer and the rest will be processed tonight. I believe my fingers will be stained until the fall after hand pitting all those cherries!
    ~ Made a batch of cherry muffins from a recipe I found online. The flavor was good but cooking them the minimum time they still seemed a little dry. I shared some with my neighbor and she agreed.
    ~ DS#2 wanted a small table for his room since we are getting rid of an extra dresser and mirror. Picked up a student desk from a fellow freecycler, that after it gets a coat of paint, will work great.
    ~ Made a batch of cold brewed ice coffee concentrate. Time for afternoon iced coffee lattes!
    ~ Bought ground chuck on Tuesday at Fresh Market when they have it for $2.99/lb. Had to wait as they were out in the case and had to freshly grind it. I love that it comes from 1 cow unlike most grocery store ground beef. My only other purchase was a seedless watermelon for $3.99. When I cut it over the weekend I found it had a soft rotten spot so I had to cut and throw away half of the melon. I will let them know when I am in there this week.
    ~ I went back to Fresh Market after work on Friday to take advantage that they were having a 3 day special on Eastern peaches for 99¢/lb. Bought 12 lbs.
    ~Went to Kohl’s to use a $10 off $10 postcard I received in the mail. Bought DH 5 pairs of much needed socks for $6.
    ~Transplanted a giant ornamental grass that had grown too large for its spot. Moved it to by the pool ladder where it will screen the filter and pump. Also divided a fern that had some smaller ferns growing in the pot and planted some basil seeds since first planting didn’t grow.

  5. We sold our last a/c unit and some other unneeded things and made just over $100. My husband researched a car repair that could save us $1000. I hope it works, I don’t want to put any more money in this car as we only need to be a two car family one more year. We listed our iMac for sale. We harvested the first blackberries. I baked cookies and muffins. I am elated to have kept our budget to 70% of our former grocery budget. I am fine til the weekend and our new month starts Saturday so I am calling it a win. My goal for next month is to bring it down another 5%. I think that’s my final goal. 65% is excellent and I would never have thought it possible. I got workbooks for our son for the summer with a sale/coupon.

  6. I baked vegan chocolate-chip cookies and whole-wheat bread. I also made four sticks of vegan, coconut-based butter. I used a portion of the butter for chocolate/expresso/walnut brownies. In addition to other meals, we had Portobello sloppy joes for a meal, and I froze the extras for another meal. I made another batch of homemade orange-vinegar cleanser. My brother treated my husband and I to lunch at a nearby restaurant, a rare treat for us, and I was able to bring home enough of my vegan pizza for lunch another day. A neighbor gifted us with a small basket of peaches from her tree. We’ll do the same with figs from our trees when they’re ready, as one of our fig varieties ripens sooner than her figs.

    With daily highs now in the mid-90’s and mornings already muggy with humidity, we are using the air conditioner. We keep heat-blocking drapes closed on the east side of the house in the mornings and the west in the afternoons. We are keeping the thermostat set at 80, a degree above last summer. One feature of my auto-immune disease is that I move much better when the temperatures inside don’t get either too hot or too cold.
    We have had more rain than is typical, a mixed blessing in this part of the country. Although we have been safe, many of our fellow townspeople have endured their houses and roads being flooded. However, the rains, coupled with our own efforts to conserve water, have brought us lower water bills. My brother, on a much smaller lot but on the same expensive water co-op and not inclined to be frugal with water usage, is experiencing monthly water bills more than $100 more than we are.

    Our local library gave away copies of a newly released book by a former county judge. It discusses his family’s experience with the wildfires that tore through our area in 2011, killing two and destroying almost 1,700 homes. Although I have trouble holding up a hardcover book, I wasn’t going to turn one down! This one seems well written. I’ll share it with family members, too, as we’re all readers. I watched “Words and Pictures” on Amazon Prime. I chose it because I like Juliette Binoche. I didn’t know anything else about the movie and was surprised to find that, in the film, she suffers from the same auto-immune disease I do. Watching that was almost like a free therapy session! LOL. This disease can be misunderstood and can be isolating to those struck with it! Someone understands!

    We have continued other typical efforts to conserve on both expenditures and the earth’s resources, including my new recent favorite savings: squashing the toilet-paper rolls before they’re put on the roller. Although we are empty-nesting seniors, we are overjoyed to experience frequent visits from our five grandchildren. I am excited to see the difference this makes. I’m sure we’ll reap benefits from easier maintenance of our septic system, too.

    I’ve mentioned previously that our circumstances may be different than others’. We’re seniors. We own our home and our car, debt free. We have savings, although several circumstances had combined to make those savings far less than we had hoped they would be. Those circumstances included a need to contribute to the care of a medically fragile extended family member. Those circumstances also included a years-earlier-than planned retirement for my husband. Because of that medically fragile family member, he had expected to work much longer. However, the company for which he worked was acquired by another and immediately began letting execs of the former company go, right at the beginning of the economic downturn. In addition, there was my diagnosis with an auto-immune illness and the extra bills and my own lower earning capacity. Although I feel fortunate, we were still going through savings at what we considered an alarming rate. Last August we decided we had to do something. Our efforts have resulted in stopping any withdrawals from our 401K’s, living entirely on our fixed income. We have even managed to save about $2,500. Actually, we’ve saved more than that, but the additional savings came from selling my beloved 1997 Acura. That’s an effort that obviously can’t be repeated every year, so I’m not including them in this particular recount of the changes. In the same period of time in the previous two years, we had taken out an average of $23,595 for each year. Big difference! Thank you, Brandy, for your blog, and thank all of you who contribute ideas that we could incorporate. We lived frugal lives before, when I was putting my husband through law school early in our marriage, so we could return to our scrimping ways easily enough. I’d watched my parents’ and grandparents’ economies, too, but we picked up additional ideas here, and I’m grateful for those tips.

  7. I did a lot to save money this past week. I spent just under $194 of my $200 budget. I can’t believe how much $200 buys compared to $100! I felt like a millionaire spending so much money! 🙂 I watched a free show on you tube about Anne Frank and it made me grateful to have so much food. Truly we are so blessed!

    I made several loaves of bread. I made play dough for the girls. They have spent a lot of time playing with it. I made applesauce spice muffins and lemon blueberry muffins. I made lemon cranberry granola. Breakfasts were oatmeal, toast, muffins, granola, or pancakes. I make a big batch of everything and let the kids choose what they want for breakfast. We ran out of peanut butter at the beginning of last week so lunches were creative and homemade. Lunches were pancakes with homemade orange syrup, homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles, egg salad sandwiches, apple butter sandwiches, baked potatoes, and leftovers. Dinners were Tuscan tomato bread soup, lentil loaf, roasted sausage and potatoes, pasta e fagioli, turkey fajitas, and lasagna. The lasagna was a special treat for my dh for Father’s Day. I also made homemade cherry blender cheesecake. Another of dh’s faves. The Tuscan tomato bread soup is awesome! We totally loved it! Snacks were peach pie popsicles, apple wedges, popcorn, chocolate marshmallow popcorn treats (liked rice krispies only with popcorn instead) with homemade marshmallows, and applesauce candy.

    We used the library several times this week. I am reading books from Thomas Jefferson’s reading list. Fortunately my small, local library has most of them. They have enough to keep me busy until school starts again anyway.

    We are having thermostat wars here at home. I try really hard to keep the air at 80. Dh prefers it at around 76. But I’m standing firm on 80!

    I had a job interview this morning and it went well. I’m hoping to hear something soon. We should hear whether dh got the job with the company he interviewed with this week. Still keeping my fingers crossed.

  8. Those berries look so delicious! We are in the 90s and 100s, here, too, and I don’t have central air conditioning; only fans. So, to keep the house cool, I open the windows early in the morning to catch the cooler morning air and then, again, in the evening. Other frugal activities: I took some cuttings from plants in the garden instead of buying new plants; hung the laundry to dry; a friend treated me to lunch on Saturday for driving her to the fabric store; I didn’t buy anything for myself at the fabric store; instead, I sewed myself a nightdress from fabric I had bought on sale, earlier.

  9. The main thing I did was to hold a garage sale this Saturday. Our village holds a very popular farmer’s market just a few blocks away, so we don’t have to advertise the sale, just put a few signs out by the road. We also harvested some spinach, lettuce, strawberries, beet greens and cauliflower from our garden. We’ve been eating out of the pantry a lot this year, so I need to look for a sale on chicken and can some more. We’re basically just staying close to home and that always saves a lot of money on gas and dining out.

  10. I forgot to mention that I found some great vegan and vegetarian blogs with recipes. I was looking for good bean recipes and found several that I’m going to try. If you are looking for ways to cut down on meat, I highly recommend looking at these blogs. 🙂

  11. May I ask at which website did you get the crystals for the “cool ties” that you made? My husband has mentioned wanting some of his own as he tried them at his parents’ house. Thank you!

  12. I don’t remember everything I did, but I did make another batch of your homemade laundry detergent. I made a batch a while back because my little girl has eczema all over her body and despite our efforts to to get it under control, she still had a rash and lots of itching. Since we use a very mild body soap for her, only bathe her once a week (she’s only 1 year old, so we can get away with that) and moisturize regularly, my husband and I thought the culprit might be our laundry detergent, so I decided to try your homemade version. Within a couple weeks (enough time for most of her clothes, towels, and sheets to get cycled through the new detergent) the itching pretty much disappeared. It might be coincidence, since the weather is warmer now and the doctor said it would get better in the summer, but the homemade detergent is cheaper anyway, so we’ll keep using it.

  13. The last couple of months have been very difficult. At the end of April, the motor in my husband’s dump truck blew up (he’s a self employed owner operator and this is our only source of income). It is now finally back on the road. He had worked 6 days doing temp work before he started back to regular work at the end of last week, but we essentially had 7 weeks without any income and it will take another three weeks or so until we actually start receiving payment for the work he is doing now. Even before this, work had been slow since December. We just used the last of our savings and we have accrued debt. While we know that we will be able to pay it off, it’s discouraging to say the least. I have sort of just been in survival mode, but now that my husband is working again, I’m feeling a bit more optimistic.

    I didn’t keep track of last week’s frugal accomplishments, so I’m sure I’m missing some, but this is what I remember…

    ~Ate all meals at home
    ~Accepted yard sale finds for my youngest daughter from my SIL
    ~Bought 10 lbs of grapes for $0.69/lb
    ~For cooking, used much of the food that was donated to us from our church (I cannot even express how thankful we are for faithful friends who helped out with SO MUCH food during this time! As well as cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.)
    ~Used fuel points from the grocery store that had been building to fill the gas tank in my 12 passenger maxi van for only $26

  14. Hello Everyone! Your berries look yummy. My strawberry plants have yet to grow any. Last week:
    -harvested basil, lettuce, LOTS of green onions, mulberries, and black capped raspberries
    -I treated my husband to dinner on Father’s Day. We had enough food for two meals. All other meals were cooked from scratch at home.
    I took all my food to work. My employer treated us to lunch one day.
    -My mom and I traded books to read.
    -My mom gave us three planters that she could no longer use. I also gave her several green onions
    -We did no unnecessary driving.
    – I printed some free coloring sheets from my daughter.
    -I went through the grocery ads and circled the bottom price deals and worthwhile sales using coupons I had. To get these deals I will have to go to the store tonight after work because sales end tomorrow. I did not see any good meat prices.
    -I will also be returning library books and getting new books
    -washed and saved/reused glass jars and zip top bags.
    -watered the garden several times with saved veggie rinse water, water from glasses, etc.
    -hung laundry to dry
    -took Navy showers.

  15. Terri,

    That is why I originally started making it. I am allergic to most laundry soaps. I had one I could buy that worked for me, and then they added a ton of fragrance to it, so I started making my own. It’s been 11 years now. I am happy for your daughter. I used to go to bed and scratch in my sleep until I bled as a child. Changing soaps was a big deal.

  16. Thank you for sharing the books you’re reading. I’ve found at least one I’d like to read. This morning, I began the process of planting apricot seeds from bought fruit. The first 24 hours, they soak in water after being removed from the outer pit. I hope to someday have a companion to our one tree that has never fruited, and be harvesting apricots. I hadn’t thought of planting more zinnia seeds, but I only have 7 or 8 plants, so that sounds like a good idea. We’ve had temps in the upper 90’s the past couple of weeks, but it looks as though the hotter than usual temps will break and be cooler after Friday. I picked our first tomato and a couple of cucumbers an hour ago. Happy Summer! http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/06/garlic-potato-harvest-and-frugal.html

  17. Used dandelion greens from my two “salad” dandelion plants in the garden, mixed with two types of lettuce & some baby Swiss chard leaves in a sweet spring salad. One of the plants has flowered, & the leaves are slightly bitter, so I use that plant for “spinach” cuttings to go in the potato or omelet dishes. The other plant has also flowered, but I cut the entire plant & when it resprouted, the leaves were “young” leaves again, without the bitterness. The dandelions are one of my garden experiments this year, to see how many ways we can incorporate them into our diet, since they are extremely nutritious & grow so easily here. I was surprised how large the leaves get when the plant is actually watered & cultivated.

    Harvested chives, green onions, Swiss chard, dandelions greens, lettuce, pea pods, pie cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & red currants. I picked the last of the pie cherries, then removed the netting from the tree, folded it over itself in thirds, then in half & rolled it up to use it again next year. Took the bowl of cherries inside to pit them. While I was at the kitchen sink, I could see the cherry tree out the kitchen window. Not 10 minutes after I went inside, two robins were at the tree, looking for any cherries I missed! I am so thankful for the netting that keeps them out while the cherries ripen, or we wouldn’t get any at all.

    Topped the new blackberry canes. Stripped the leaves from those section, washed them & patted them dry on a towel, then cut them into thin strips (chiffonaded) to dry on plates.

    Used the patio swing structure as a drying rack for towels & blankets. Sun is a great sanitizer.

    Picked up grounds for gardeners from Starbucks.

    Used my points in the local grocery program on groceries. Used our cashback bonus from Discover Card to reduce the balance before I paid the bill. Filled the car with gas on Wednesday at the Chevron station with the card for the discount & the free car wash coupon.

    Bought 4 packages of Canadian bacon from the bargain basket on steep discount. These went into the freezer for now.

  18. I didn’t realize what a big difference it would make! I was starting to get worried about the scratches getting infected now that she’s a little older and starting to get interested in playing with dirt, etc. I’m so glad it’s working. I will say that I made one small change, the first batch I made with Fells Naphtha because that’s what I had on hand. The second batch I wanted to be totally fragrance free, so I bought Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Unscented Castile Soap. It made the cost a little higher, but even so, it’s still cheaper than our regular soap.

  19. I enjoyed reading a book from the library while the kids rode bikes in the driveway.

    I borrowed a knife from a neighbor to cut watermelon and when I returned it I gave her and her husband a container full. She returned the container with nutter butter cookies. She laughed that I cut the fruit so small (we have three small kids). I am enjoying our neighbors.

    We sprayed insect barrier repellent around the house we bought from Lowes.

    I gave my mom a few things that I was decluttering.

    Listed a few items on eBay that didn’t sell on FB.

    Got a Costco card and made my first trip! I am going back to grocery shopping every other week..

    Enjoyed some popsicle with the kids.

    Had movie night with a movie we had at home and popped some popcorn.

    Paid bills online, saved on stamps.

    Paid a little extra on our first house payment. I have budgeted around 30 extra a month, but hoping to make a bigger payment the months that we get an extra paycheck.

    Trying to start meal plan for next month to help NOT go over food budget next month with the extra paycheck week.

    I’m. Trying to stay positive but we think our sellers lied about a water problem in our basement. And I have contacted our realtor to see what we can do. We specifically asked about the basement and they signed a disclosure about it so, … :/ thankfully it didn’t actually flood the basement.

  20. If you like Agatha Christie, you might enjoy the Amelia Peabody series written by Elizabeth Peters. Set in the Victoria Era, Amelia is an anthropologist. A sweet series, especially after she marries a straight laced fellow anthropologist.

  21. I’ve never heard of it so I just looked it up on Amazon. It sort of reminds me a game we have called Rail Baron. This one might be on Santa’s list this year!

  22. We had a large payment to make to a contractor for some outside home repairs so that was 2 months of income gone in 20 seconds.
    The good thing was that we had to rebuild a subfloor inside the home and DH’s friend knew how to do it. The two of them spent NINE HOURS working on it Sat. I happily set the thermostat to 72 for them to work. Our out of pocket cost for that was about $40 plus the $25 gift card we are mailing him this week because he wouldn’t even accept gas money for a bit of a drive. Bless his heart!

    I had a $10 Kohl’s card and bought a nice summer shirt & a bottle of kitchen hand soap for a grand sum of $1.26.

    I drip dried all 4 loads of laundry this week.

    I found gallons of vinegar on sale at the farm store for $1.99 each so I bought 4 gals. Normal price is closer to $2.50.

    I sanded & spray painted our outside light fixtures. They looked awful and now they look brand new. For only $2.50!

    I returned a set of books to my friend. She loaned them to me. My next book to read is a freebie from my MIL.

    Keeping the thermostat at 80 during the day and 76 at night.

    Had 3 freebie digital coupons from my market so I got a box of pasta, a Snapple iced tea, & a box of mints for nothing. Plus 50 fuel points for filling out the survey. Those accumulated points gave DH 30 cents off per gallon of gas.

    On the expensive side……EGGS!!! I paid $3.18 for a dozen & nearly choked!

  23. It seems like I didn’t do a lot last week, but then I also didn’t spend a lot. I found a new set of Goldie Blox on clearance for $13 – normally they’re $40 around here, if we can even find them. Those are tucked away as a Christmas present from my mom to my kids. (She gave me money for Christmas presents when we met up in March. I’m making it stretch quite far.) What I’m most excited about however is finding vintage sheet music for Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. I believe this is the first Australian edition and it has gorgeous cover art. I plan to frame it and use it as a Christmas decoration.

  24. Brandy, those berries make my mouth water! I checked on the website and the berry farm we get strawberries from finally has crops ready. We will be going to get some this coming weekend to make jam…the first of the season! Yummy!!!:D

    My frugal accomplishments for this week are:
    *My mother and I have done quite a bit of volunteer work with my daughter’s school this year. We were both invited to a talent show at the school as a thank you. I was not able to attend due to work, but encouraged my mother to go. She came home with 2 carnations (one for each of us) and an envelope for each of us that contained a nice thank you letter and a gift package containing a pen and a pretty sticky note pad that has a beach scene on the background and says “One Person Can Make A Difference”. I thought it was very nice of them to send one home for me even though I could not attend.

    *Went with my daughter on an overnight class trip. For $150 each, we enjoyed a boat tour, visits to two historic sites, watched “Jurassic World” at the movie theatre (complete with kids popcorn combo) and all meals were included. I spent very little money while on the trip and my daughter took her own money to spend. We stayed overnight at a college residence, which offers inexpensive accommodations during the summer when students are not at school. Our rooms were very nice. Each “room” included a kitchenette area (with full sized fridge, microwave and sink, plus a kitchen table with 2 chairs), two separate bedrooms attached (each with a double bed, TV, desk and large closet space), and a full bathroom with shower. I asked how much it was to stay there and was told it was only $70 per night (continental breakfast included)! I think in the future, I may look into staying at a college or university residence if we’re traveling in the summer.

    *Frugal fail: Ate out a little more than normal this week (father’s day, and rewarded daughter for good behaviour at school one night). However, restaurant leftovers were used for another meal (usually in lunches) which I figure makes the meal cost significantly lower since it was actually used for 2 meals.

    *Home cooked meals this week included BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with homemade herbed potato cubes, sloppy joes, and spaghetti.

    *Found cheese slices on sale for $1.99/24 slice pack. Normally these are $2.99 on sale. I stocked up and bought 8 packages to put in the freezer for future use. We use cheese slices a lot for grilled cheese sandwiches and on hamburgers in the summer.

    *When my husband received his pay check after doing 60+ hours last week, he noticed that they did not pay him overtime. When he agreed to work the extra hours, he said he would do it with the understanding he would be paid overtime. So he inquired about it. They apologised for the mistake and said they would include the overtime money they owed him on his next pay check. I’m glad he caught the mistake!:p

    *We ordered some free movie tickets through our Autism Ontario membership a while ago. They were for 2 adults along with my daughter to go see the Disney movie “Inside Out” this past Sunday (father’s day). The theatre opened up early to accommodate the families of children on the autism spectrum, and the sound was also reduced to accommodate sensory issues. It’s always nice to know that if your autistic child is acting up or loudly talking during the movie, the other families understand. My husband and I both had to work, so Grandma and Nana went with my daughter. I wish I could have gone, though. They had a wonderful time, though.

    I have a gardening question I hope someone can answer. My spinach has now bolted and starting to form seed heads. Do I need to wait until these seed heads dry up naturally before harvesting or can I cut the heads and dry them indoors? I would like to rip out the spinach plants and put in some carrot seeds but I’m not sure how long I need to wait to do this.

    Have a great week everyone!:D

  25. Hi Brandy. A small emergency put us on a spending freeze this week. Jackson had to go to the vet for an ear infection. I tried to treat it with a homeopathic remedy, which has worked in the past, but he was miserable so we had to break down and go to the vet. We used to have sinking funds for certain expenses, such as these, but it seemed silly to hold money for months when we could make debt payments with it. So we have been cash-flowing such situations. Once the debt is paid off we will start our sinking funds again.

    -Hung all of our clothes on the clothesline. The hubby was very impressed with how much the electric bill went down when we started doing it last month.
    -Walked anywhere we needed to go that was under 2 miles away. I walked to the grocery store twice, and the bank. We live in a city so a lot of things were closer than what I realized. I’m trying to make my 1/2 tank of gas last until the 1st and I still have to go to work 4 times across town. Anytime I have something to do I plug the directions in my GPS. If its under 2 miles I start walking.
    -I switched some of our normal groceries to non-name brand. Somethings are the same, and some aren’t we are slowly figuring out what the better buys are.
    -I made saltines from scratch. My new rule is that we don’t go to the store for just one thing (especially since I’m walking). My husband wanted crackers to go with his chili, and we were out so I made some using your recipe! They came out really good. You should have seen his surprise when I whipped up a batch in 20 minutes. He had no idea you could make crackers. Sometimes I think he doesnt realize there was life before technology.
    -I used scraps in my fabric collection to make a new throw pillow for the couch. Hubby has wanted new fluffy throw pillow for a while. We had some cheap Walmart pillows in our guest room that got used maybe twice a year. I made them smaller by squishing down the filling and cutting off the excess fabric then sewing them shut. I then used a piece of soft grey fabric and sewed an envelope style pillow cover. It is the perfect throw pillow style, and its still big enough to be used in the guest room if necessary.
    -I have several plants in the garden flowering or about the flower. This is my first “real” garden and I’m praying every day over it for a good harvest.

    Also there are things that we normally do, that I would have once never considered doing and now is a part of our routine such as: washing and reusing zip-lock bags, collecting our shower water as it warms up, eating all meals at home, combining our errand trips-when I do drive, etc.

  26. I forgot 2 things and 1 is particularly frugal!
    ~ Paid off my car! No more car payment for me!
    ~ Picked up some organic seed potatoes from a Freecycle buddy! I had not gotten any and they aren’t available now so I was thrilled to get them. Got some planted and will get the rest in by tomorrow. I am trying the Gardeners Supply grow bags I picked up at a church sale awhile back. I was surprised to see what the “real” price for the bags are on their website. I think I paid $1 for 2 and they are around $20 each on the website!

  27. Let them finish forming seed heads while they are in the garden. Otherwise, like fruit that is picked too early, they will not have finished growing all the way, and nothing will grow from them next year. It makes for a wild looking garden for a while but it is important if you wish to harvest seeds.

  28. We have Rail Baron and Ticket to Ride (and some expansions). Ticket to Ride is MUCH shorter than Rail Baron. Both are good games.

  29. I absolutely love reading about everyone’s frugal week. Here’s what I did today (because I can’t seem to keep up with a whole week at a time!) I scored fresh peaches for $.50 per pound and found a way to get the kid to some summer movies for even cheaper than the deal days! http://wp.me/p5x1gX-5S

  30. I had 2 mystery shopping assignments after work. I only purchased what I will get reimbursed. That was the only grocery shopping I did for the week.

    Entered a code in Kellogg’s Family rewards from MoneySavingMom.com and added my shopper’s cards to earn more points.

    I made grapefruit sorbet popsicles using 3 grapefruit from the CSA that needed to be used up.

    Free in the mail – Real Simple magazine.

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    Found 2 pennies on the sidewalk – added them to my coin jar for holiday fund. Found a like new hair band on the steps behind work – threw it into my drawer for a hair emergency.

    I placed an order on Schoola using a $15 credit posted on Money Saving Mom. I happened to catch a free shipping special they were having, so I was able to order 4 blouses for work for myself for only $1.14 OOP!

    I did Swagbucks as much as I could. I cashed in Swagbucks for $25 Paypal (my goal is $25 a month).

    Plus all the usual – washing out baggies, wearing clothes more than once before washing them, being careful with electricity and water, working on zero food waste, taking leftovers home from catered lunches at work.

    Have a great week ladies!

  31. The berry mixture looks just beautiful.
    Last week we saved in lots of ways, it was a really good week. It was so good I was sorry to see it end! But it has continued! This week I have already found a way I never knew of to save about $600 a year. I am over the moon about it and my husband was so impressed too when I told him. I love moments like that.
    During the week… I made stock in my crock pot, made soup twice, picked mint for mint sauce, was given some large storage jars, started on Christmas gifts, added to our emergency fund, took baby photos for my daughter as opposed to paying for professional ones (many people here get professional newborn photos at a great expense) line dried everything and cooked all meals from scratch. It was a lovely week! Right now I am working on a series about how to use your crock pot more and let it be a huge help, also building up my pantry and preparedness. I am loving it and it is really motivating. Have a wonderful week. http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/

  32. Hi Everyone
    We enjoyed a mini trip. My SIL was camping with her kids only 20 minutes from our house so we joined them for the weekend only having to pay $12 to be a second car on their campsite. I brought food with us and we all shared so the only other cost was a little gas. Besides the weekend we ate all meals at home and I brought all my lunches to work.
    My neighbor who is cleaning up her house to put it up for sale gave me about 20 rolls of Christmas paper each with just a little bit used from it and a large bags of bows. I haven’t let myself buy wrap for a few years unless absolutely necessary so this will be appreciated.
    Tomorrow my son and will go to the library which we do about twice a month and then I’m hoping to try a new craft with him melting old crayons in candy molds to make fun shaped new crayons… we’ll see how it goes.
    And my lettuce has gotten so out of control I can’t keep up so I’ve given two heads away that I had potted cause I don’t want them to bolt before I can use them.

  33. -Made a menu plan, and was able to spend less than $60 at the grocery store. Was able to use 2 coupons.
    Trying to get back into this after being lazy for awhile.
    -Air dry clothes (not much choice when we don’t have a dryer).
    -Bought cloth diapers to use for my son. He’s sort of potty training but it’s been nice enough to let him go without and he uses his potty. Win Win! Will be able to use these diapers for the next baby.
    -My husband is getting out of the navy and has applied for a job. It’s “under consideration” and hopefully he will get a call soon for an interview. I’m sure he’s going to get the job, he’s more than qualified for it. So for us that means no more apartment living and hopefully will be able to get a VA home loan. Thankfully I know what our budget can and can’t afford.
    -Saving sons clothes to pass down to little one, although I gave away most of his 0-6 month clothes. Considering there is a 3 month birth difference I’m not sure I would have been able to use those clothes anyhow.
    -we are in preschool and while it’s not cheap or free. its really been great for my active toddler. he’s so busy! basically it saves this mom’s sanity
    -The navy will pay for 80% of our move and it’s a good thing for us. They calculate it from your home of record. we will probably break even but won’t have to pay out of pocket for this expense.
    -My cilantro plant is growing, from seed, so thrilled! my basil seed died while trying to grow.
    -sewed up some reusable breast pads for leakage with material i have on hand.
    -not so much frugal but i bought a watch, the most i have spent on one anyways ($20) but i’m wearing it often now cause I love the colors and floral print face. A fun splurge on my part. I forgot jcp has so many cute things. I also had my son with me and that right there curbed much of impulse to spend.
    -made a good fathers day meal at home. and bought him some much needed good quality socks. I’m happy he loved his gift and it wasn’t useless. I used paper my son painted on from preschool to wrap his present in.

    Looking forward to settling down and starting a garden. I’m excited we won’t have to move anymore. We will visit 3 of my friends plus my grandparents along the way. We will be able to stay at 2 friends homes which will save in hotel costs.

  34. -DH fixed youngest bike by installing a new tube.

    -COmbined a trip to get a free redbox movie with a trip to Walmart. I don’t like walmart but I had a gc from a cc reward lingering in my purse. I made a list of things we could use and kept an approx tally while shopping. Everything came to 75c after my gc was used up.

    -Decided to pop into the thrift store in the same plaza and found a pair of barely worn (maybe once) converse high top sneakers in DD6’s next size for fall. She also picked out a summer dress plus a pair of shorts and shirt for her older sis. The sneakers were $4 and the clothes brought the grand total to $6.50!

    -Spent an hour on the phone getting acclimated with our new insurance plan. Earlier in the week I took both girls to their dentist only to find that the new plan doesn’t allow them to see a ped dentist as a primary dentist without a referral. So, their visit wasn’t covered at all. Luckily, since they didn’t figure this all out until after they had treatment they charged us the same as we would have paid under the old insurance. Anyway, after this morning I feel confident about navigating the plan. We took both kids to the eye doctor today and paid just $90 for both of their glasses. $30 of that was to rush the order so we have them to travel for the next month and $40 was to add protection coverage which we thought was smart since they are kids after all.

    – While at the mall for the eye appt I used a $10off$10 at JCP t get each girl a clearance shirt plus one pair of clearance undies for my older one.

    -Scored some great deals at the 99c store today, too! 99c organic grape tomatoes, 99c Nair wax strips that retail for $8-$9 normally, a 16 pk of Stonyfield organic tube yogurts, and a 2pk of good raisin bread!

    -Did more eating from the freezer/pantry and we’re close to being able to shut off the deep freeze. Using some pantry/freezer items to make a salad for the father’s day bbq we’re going to.

    -I’m pregnant and we’re trying to stay pretty minimalist with the baby gear. (We had already given away or sold most of the gear before we sold the house back east, but we did keep the cloth diaper stash for which I am very thankful.) Since we live in a community with a pool and a longer pool season I want to switch to cloth swim diapers. I started doing a little research then a quick ebay search. i scored 2 great swim dipes for $4 each!!! I’ve also been keeping an eye out for a shorty/summer wetsuit for DD6. (I found one for DD9 at Sals for $3!) While on ebay for the diapers I did a quick search for the wetsuit and found one in DD6’s size for $15 including shipping. Not as good as $3, but still a pretty great deal!

    -Called Apple Support and got help over the phone instead of a trip to the store which would have cost time and gas money.

  35. That’s the book, Athanasia, by Randy Fritz! I was already reading something else, so I’ve read only the beginning so far, but it seems well written. It’s next on my list. Are you in the Bastrop Complex Fire area, too? I don’t know if the Bastrop library is still giving out free copies as they appeared to have less than ten copies left, but I was lucky enough that they were still giving them out on the night of the book club meeting I was attending.

  36. Best wishes on getting everything done this week Brandy!
    I picked enough sugar peas for dinner. They are now getting to plump too fast from the heat, I am letting some get super huge to collect for seeds and shelling the rest for peas. I am snipping herbs as they grow (clipping them to 5” high) curious if this will produce a higher yield. We are using them fresh in our cooking or drying. Previous years I would wait until the end of season to harvest.
    My father wanted to visit an industrial museum for Father’s Day. Tickets are normally $15/pp, but out of pure luck it was Family Day the Saturday we went – admission was free. It wasn’t advertised. Due to the event we were able to use a letter press and plant mini succulents. I saved the pressed paper, we took a lot of pictures and the succulents are transplanted into a tiny planter. I took the $60 and placed that into savings.
    Free metal shelving was picked up to put towards our scrap pile. We collect anything free or tossed alongside the road from our walks (soda cans, nuts, random pieces of wire). My cut is usually $25 a quarter.
    My office shares our food samples with our neighbor. She brought us 2lbs of cherries as a thank you for all the food over the years.
    I found a stainless steel water bottle that will fit in my purse. This has been a blessing in savings and staving off heat headaches. I carry it everywhere and fill up at water fountains if needed. Thanks to the commenter who wrote about it.
    Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  37. 2 more interviews this week. Last weeks interview went ok. I am still waiting to hear if I will get a second interview or not. Meanwhile, I continue to apply for jobs and am preparing for the two interviews this week.

    Hubby had to make a trip back to our home state for a funeral and I had 24 hours to research and book him a flight. I opted to stay here with the our fur-baby. Being new to the area and not knowing anyone would mean we would have to board him at a kennel(which we have never had to do). They are so expensive!!! Not to mention the cost of my plane ticket. I found the best deal that I could but either way, tickets are expensive.

    I made the best of driving him to the airport and found a way to keep it frugal. It is 2.5 hours one-way so I packed snacks for myself and plenty of iced tea. Fur-baby and I stopped on the way back at a rest stop to stretch our legs. There were some gorgeous wild flowers on the stretch of highway so i picked a big bunch of them for a bouquet at home. While driving back, I came up with a way to use the flowers as a gift for my mother for Christmas. She loves flowers. Fresh, wild, gifted, home-grow…you name it she loves them. I dried the flowers and removed the seeds. This is something she used to do a lot of when I was little. I will put them in a silk satchel with a picture of the flower attached. I am hoping to find several different kinds so she can fill some of her flower garden with them. Being 1600 miles away from your family is hard. Hopefully this way she will feel a little closer to me.

    Had a no-spend weekend while hubby was gone. Only spent $35 on some items that were needed for some fixes around the house. Other than that, I ate from the fridge and pantry, caught up on Netflix, and went for long walks with the fur-baby.

    Did not purchase anything at Goodwill on the past two trips. This is a frugal win for me because I am prone to buy something because “it is only a dollar” or “it is so cute” even if I don’t actually need it. I have a garage sale list and those are the items that I look for. My husband goes through work jeans so quickly so I do check every time I go in to see if there are any in his size with the half off color tag. It is not rare for him to blow out a pair of jeans every week or two. That combined with the fact that he comes home covered in mud and iron…there is no way it is economical to buy his work pants new.

    Searched for good prices on frozen fruit for my smoothies. Decided that the fresh fruit sale prices were a lot better. So when I got home from grocery shopping, I took some over ripe bananas and some strawberries that I purchased for 1.50 a pound and cut them into blend-able size pieces. Froze them on a cutting board and then put them in a Ziploc bag (which I had purchased on clearance).

    Started making greeting cards again. I received a stack of multi colored plain greeting cards from my sister for Christmas a few years back when I was really into homemade greeting cards. Hubby came home sick early from work yesterday so after a nap and some chicken noodle soup, he went to bed pretty early. I got out all of my scrap booking and card making stuff and spread my stuff out on the living room floor. Before I knew it it was 11:30!! I totally lost track of time. Now I have a good stack of cards for birthdays, weddings, Christmas, Mothers day, fathers day, baby showers, and thank you cards.

    Your blog and the fellow comment’s are such an inspiration to me. When I have the urge to go shopping or window shopping, I just pull up the blog and read through your material or other readers accomplishments. It helps me keep focused, occupy my time, and learn something new.

  38. Only worked 3 days last week, but did take breakfast and lunch to work each day.

    Drank water while at work.

    Paid all bills online, other than dental COBRA which had to be mailed.

    Made a big batch of homemade taco seasoning mix.

    Picked up my order of Zaycon chicken on Thursday. Processed all 40 pounds. Made 3 different marinades, and put chunks in one, strips in another and butterflied whole breasts in a third. They are in the freezer and will continue to marinate while they thaw. Made taco chicken, chicken cacciatore, baked some with grill seasoning, lemon, limes and garlic, and did six packages of plain butterflied chicken breasts. It was a lot of work, but the main work is done now. I will use the baked chicken on salads or chicken quesadillas, or anything else that needs already cooked chicken.

    Shopped for SIL. While not frugal for me, it helps her. However, I did end up getting an 80¢ discount on gas, so filled up for $2.23/gallon.

    Picked lettuce 3 time, snow peas twice and strawberries twice. Had stirfrys and salads.

    Cooked pinto beans in crockpot and then made refried beans the next day.

    Had popcorn twice for snacks.

    Weeded the raised beds.

    Planted basil, parsley and thyme in pots. Planted lettuce in pots in the shade, to transplant later. Planted green onions in pots. Replanted the carrots for the third time. Hope they take this time.

    That is about it, but I was exhausted, so think it was quite enough.

  39. I have never thought to use old,flat bed pillows to make throw pillows! That is brilliant. I hate our couch but not much I can do about it. I have thought about some throw pillows but don’t want to spend a lot on the stuffing. I have some fabric already that I bought on clearance so I will use that. My bed pillows needs to be replaced so I think I can get 2 or 3 throw pillows between the 2 of them. WOW! Thanks for the idea.

    This is why I love this blog post every week. So inspiring!

  40. One thing I have done in the past when I got desperate on gas park about two blocks shy of work and walk to and from the parking each day. I lived to far to walk but I could walk the last bit. In this case I was able to park on a side street in front of a home. Not sure if that would work but it can save if you really need it. We were paying off debt and I had to make the budget work until it was paid in full.

  41. Congrats on your new little one! We also took our own newborn photos earlier this month. I had looked into professional ones through a friend’s brother but $200 + printing was far more than we ever wanted to spend. Also, we had taken our own for our daughter and felt like we should keep the same tradition for our son. I am glad to know that someone else out there will not have professional baby pictures either.

  42. Linda , we’re in Wisconsin, but I saw a notice of it in one of my library newsletters. He is having a book signing in Sheboygan (WI) ( his hometown) at the Mead Public Library. Your description of the book sounded just like what I had read and I thought there can’t be two books out at the same time about the same topic!

  43. That’s a really good idea. Unfortunately my work is on the edge of the unsafe part of town so I wouldn’t do it for work, but I could definitely do it for other things! I’m trying to pick up a few extra shifts at work so that I can buy a bike. That way my non-driving miles could be upped to 5-7 miles away. That would pretty much just leave driving to/from work for me.

  44. Took the kids to the library to check out books and movies. They asked to go to the museum to play while we were in town, and since I had a coupon that their dad had given me,
    I said yes and saved a couple of dollars. I try to let go of guilt for spending money on experiences in the summer.

    Discovered Schoola. I ordered a few things for DD for next school year. She’s hard to fit and I’m trying to shop ethically for clothes, so hopefully this works out.

    Baked cookies to share with my small group instead of running out to buy something.

    Scored big at our library book sale. I spent $26 total for a HUGE tote full to overflowing with books. I always buy the kids each a treasury for Christmas, and I managed to find one of Thomas the Tank and one of Madeline to put away for Christmas. The kids also each got a movie ($1 apiece) and a book or two they could enjoy now. I got one book as a gift for the BF, and a few books for myself as well. I try to only buy books that I want to have forever as I have very limited space and would rather use the library.

    Made play-doh with the kids.

    Printed Father’s Day interviews for the kids’ dad and my dad. The kids’ answers were adorable.

    I feel like I’m blowing through money, but I had planned for the lack of savings over the summer. Looking back over my list I guess I did do a few frugal things.

  45. If you like series books, like mysteries, go to fictfact.com and you can make yourself an account. It’s a good way to keep track of your series reading. For example, it will order the various Agatha Christie series for you. Then you can read them in sequence(if that is important to you)

  46. After very high electric/water bill in April, I changed a few of our family’s consumption habits (including unplugging electronics when not in use, starting to use the clothesline again, various water conservation measures) and was able to see noticeable savings in the most recent bill 🙂 Good thing since we temporarily own two houses (frugal fail!) but that should come to an end with a firm offer set to close on the old house early next month. We had hoped to avoid being in this position but it’s been a great imperitus to put our discretionary spending on a diet, which will hopefully have lasting effect even after the house sale is completed.

    Did our weekly grocery shop at a local ethnic supermarket near our new house and was shocked at the great produce prices ($1/3 cucumbers, big gala apples at 78 cents/pound, yellow peppers at 99 cents/pound). It won’t be our every week store since the dairy and bread sections are sparce but aiming to go there for at least every other shop.

    Sold quite a few pieces of furniture on kijiji we did not have the space or a need for in the new house. Was a bit sad to see some of them go but hope the new owners enjoy the deals they got!

    Picked a large basket of u-pick strawberries this morning at a local farm to make jam, shortcake, and eat fresh … It was a nice activity to do with my 3yo and at $2.25/pound, a much better deal than store prices for local berries.

  47. This is my first frugal accomplishments contribution, so let’s see how it goes…
    – I cooked ham bought for .88# for my Father’s Day. My husband worked at 12 hr. shift Sunday so lunch was not the goal, dinner was. I also served chard from the garden, corn from some local farmers and butter peas that were on sale. Dessert was peach cobbler, I did splurge on ice cream though.
    – turned leftover chard, ham, and peas into pot licker soup, only adding a can of tomatoes and a few seasonings.
    – harvested chard, zucchini, yellow squash, green tomatoes( I have to plant extra plants just for frying green ones), mint, oregano, basil, parsley, and rosemary.
    – Brandy, I would like to thank you for passing the knowledge of Armenian cucumbers…here in Louisiana, cucumbers grow easily but are bitter at times. Those Armenian’s are awesome, by kids and my mother also…lol can’t seem to get enough of them. The vines are over 7 ft now and aren’t slowing down and are full of yellow blooms. All from a few seeds, thanks again for that advice, oh and my red noodle bean vines are taking off also.
    — use cane from a friends yard to create a trellis for the cucumbers and a teepee for the noodle beans and tomato stakes, they are over run with it.. So it was a win win.
    — cooked a family pack of chicken thighs in the crockpot, they were .87#, I usually use an #8 bag of leg quarters(I stockpile when they are .39#), but I was feeling lazy and only wanted to mess with one bone in each leg. Makes the best broth, which I used I the butter peas.
    — used above chicken along with a bag of slow cooked pintos, and a pack of sausage for the weeks meals, adding garden veggies to supplement.
    — I have a couple of friends that trade me fresh eggs for produce from the garden and my zucchini pickles
    – culling and reorganizing a drawer or cabinet each day, sometimes two. We are in the process of downsizing and simplifying this summer. The highlight will be a huge family garage sale with the proceeds going towards a family Christmas trip.
    — I’m sure there is more, but I think I should make a list during the week so I can keep up better.

  48. Congrats mom’s on taking your own baby pictures! I read that Princess Kate took the pictures of their baby daughter and her father took the pictures of their son. Apparently the press was aghast at the thought of actual people taking pictures of their children – instead of having a high priced celebrity photographer take them. And she dresses her kiddos in ‘common’ clothes like crocs and they wear the same clothes many times. Something to be said for the ‘real’ life values… The horror of it all ;). How do I know this – by reading magazines while standing in line at the grocery store!

  49. Oh,Congratulations in paying off your car note! Isn’t that the best feeling in the world? When we paid off our van a couple years back we went through the bank’s drive thru and even the teller was SO excited for us!

  50. * we currently have no kitchen so cooking meals has been interesting to say the least. We are getting by with our BBQ and rice cooker
    * pitted and froze another 10# of cherries
    * free package of mints with store coupon
    * got mango 5 for $3.00 and pineapples for $1.50
    * won a cookbook and 3 wooden spoons
    * my 15 year old has been making some bracelets she hopes to sell
    * my 11 year old is signed up for fall soccer and can use last years uniform

  51. Good luck on your interviews! Your comment reminds me I need to find time to get out my scrapbooking supplies and make a few cards.

  52. The warranty on my sons glasses more then pays for itself!! They are active and always outside. The first week one son scratched his lens climbing a tree! The warranty is even cheaper then Zeni for me since one of my sons is extremely far sighted and the special lens themselves are $40!!

  53. “life before technology” is a key statement. I think that way when I am looking at a new small appliance or what have you. I think “what did people do for years before this thing was invented”? You see some really dumb things in stores. I don’t need a sandwich maker or things like that. I do it things the easy and old fashioned way.

  54. Don’t know if you have a slow cooker but they are a life saver. Almost anything can be made in a slow cooker…If you can dream it there is probably a tutorial somewhere online that explains how to do it. I was craving apple crisp the other day and in southern Texas, you avoid turning on your oven if at all possible. So I googled slow cooker apple crisp and found the info. It turned out great!!

  55. It was fun to make some cards and replenish my stock-pile. I have been just making them as I need them but sometimes you need a last minute card and I hate to buy greeting cards so I figured to save myself money in the long run, to make a few of each that I may need to keep on hand.

  56. Trying to be frugal, especially since off for the summer. We made Fathers Day lunch here on Sunday after church. Complete meal came from pantry and freezer. We were last minute deciding what to do, it’s hard to get the entire family together now that most of the kids are married, and none live at home anymore. We just let it be a “whoever can come—come” kind of thing and that works. In-laws enjoy seeing whatever grandkids can make it. I made meatloaf and ham., and several sides. Hubby and I ate leftovers for a few days and I repurposed the ham into a ham & potato dish, very good. I repurposed the meatloaf into stuffed zucchini instead of using up plain hamburger meat. It just added to the flavor. I’ve only been to the grocery store once this month, and that was 2 weeks ago. I only spent $83 of my $100 that I was gonna allow myself for groceries and supplies this month. I did finally run in to the store as I was passing by yesterday, and get tea bags, dozen eggs, and gallon of milk. I spent $6, so I’m still under budget. I really get tempted when they have all the big bins piled high with items that I could use on sale, as you walk into the store up front. But I was proud that I stuck to my 3 things that I intended to get and got out fast. My pantry s going down a bit as far as canned goods, but we are still just fine. I just have a pantry with tiered shelving for my canned goods so it shows when something is missing. I just keep moving everything closer to the front. We have been harvesting yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, okra, and lettuce from the garden. Today was the first broccoli, so I’m excited.
    We planted tons of tomatoes this year. I am finally into gardening this year after resisting for many years. We had a small one last year. We have so many friends and loved ones that garden, we were never at a loss for fresh produce. Usually everyone is begging for somebody to take it off their hands. If there was anything we lacked we went to the Amish and bought it. This is the third year that I’ve been canning since my children were very small , but then I only made jellies. My aunt brought me 5 boxes of jars that she doesn’t want anymore as she’s in her 80’s and doesn’t plan to can anymore. A friend gave me a dozen quart jars that she bought for $1 at a yard sale. I’m planning on sharing tomatoes with her. Another best friend ended up with lots and lots of jars that a relative had that passed away. She was begging me to come get all I wanted. I got 4 walmart sacks full, and she wanted me to come back and get more as she was supposed to be receiving more from the same source. Nobody else wanted them in the family.

    Other frugal things was I made homemade bread. The recipe makes two loaves. Honestly we don’t even need one. My husband could go without bread, and I could too, but it’s soooo good. I’ve tried to stay home more this week. I do have to run errands for my husbands business. I can’t always control making a special trip to do this as he is servicing his customers and he may need parts right then to get them going again. But when it’s my errands, I try to combine things. Not that this is frugal, but I got all the mowing done early this week. I usually mow on Fridays, but didn’t get finished due to getting rained out last week. I did my husbands part of the mowing also to keep him from having to do it when he gets home hot & dead tired. I mowed about 5 1/2 hrs yesterday and another hour and half today to finally finish. I do the part around the house area, and he usually does around all the shop and barns, etc. we mow a lot here on the farm. He uses the zero-turn mower which I don’t like to use, I use a tractor type lawnmower. I also have tried to catch up on spraying grass & weeds around all the barns, buildings, and fence rows. We have had more rain showers last week, and previous weeks than we usually do in Ky. Right now the Johnson grass is taking over. Got to get that under control, because we don’t need that to go to seed and get in the fields.

    I haven’t commented in a while, but read every week. Love to hear what everyone else is doing. It’s very inspiring. One more thing, I made zucchini brownies. Husband raved about them (he doesn’t love zucchini). He even took some to the employees this morning. I never said a word. I may tell him when they’re all gone. Lol. Hope everyone has a great weekend and stays cool.

  57. Sarah, that’s too bad it took so long for the repairs, but hopefully things will be back to normal as quickly as possible.

  58. I use Dr. Bronner’s baby soap, too and it’s great. I order it in bulk with friends through Frontier Co-op. In my most recent order, it was $2.39 per bar. At regular stores, it is almost $5 per bar.

  59. I have been able to harvest lettuce 2 times this week. We have had salad a lot, and shared a salad with friends. I picked a small handful of snow peas, a lot of boc choi, strawberries, boisenberries and raspberries (only a few cups of each berry). I have been weeding and weeding, but still have a lot left to do since our garden is very large. I planted another planting of lettuce, a few carrots and a few green beans in spaces I had free for a late summer/fall crop.

    I did not have a kitchen to work with from Tuesday until Thursday night, but we have lovely quartz countertops now. Last year, we purposed our tax return for these countertops since we had a leakage of water between the old backsplash and the wall and were worried about permanant damage to wall besides the warped walls we had. We never got it done, we were so busy. So, this year, we did it, and it’s done. I’m thrilled that we were able to save that money all year and use it for what we needed done and that it didn’t get spent on an emergency! We did barbeque one day and ate that for a while, and grabbed some burgers out part of the time as well. They took my sink and stove with them to use to fit it perfectly—

    I saw a new specialist. She significantly lowered one of my medications. That will save me quite a bit of money each month.

  60. Jenifer – Nice of you to inquire, but I am just making them for a few family members. I know people sell neck wraps on Etsy and Ebay. If you sew at all, they are very easy and quick to make, once you have the crystals. I found several patterns and tutorials online.

  61. I also love Ticket To Ride- Europe! Great game!!

    This week I make dinner purely out of left over scraps (and it was delicious)
    I make graham crackers for our upcoming trip to Minnesota
    I dehydrated some strawberries I got for $1.20 a clamshell!
    I picked some pretty flowers from a bush on the road on my bike ride 🙂

  62. This is my favorite part of your site. Thank you for writing this. I am wondering if anyone here is interested in pen pals, online or snail mail. I am a grandmother and love to write! Thanks!

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