Lilies in Metal Vase The Prudent Homemaker

I cut lilies and herbs from the garden for my entry table.

My husband and son cut up a mesquite tree for someone, and we got to keep the wood.

Ezrom with hummingbird The Prudent Homemaker 

Monday was cooler as a storm went by. I opened up the house during the day and turned off the air conditioner.  

A hummingbird flew into the house and tried to go through our window. Ezrom caught it and it sat and rested on his finger!

Hummingbird The Prudent Homemaker


The children went swimming four days in a row (all in free locations).

I watched Crimson Field and Poldark on

I used Duolingo again this week as part of my French study.

I picked several baskets of figs from the garden. I sliced and dried most of them in the dehydrator.

Mint The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut mint, Genovese basil, Thai basil, thyme, chives, and tarragon from the garden.

Zinnias and edibles The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut flowers and herbs from the garden for my dining table.

I canned 6 quarts of applesauce from my apples.

I cut grapes from the garden.

Pioneer Day Dunking her brother

This throw dunked her brother.

We attended a fun free Pioneer Day activity at church on Saturday evening. There was food, including pulled-pork sandwiches, corn, watermelon, nachos,  pie, cotton candy, root beet, and cupcakes. There were all sorts of activites, including  water games, a photo booth, dunk tanks, blow up slides with water, and carnival-type games.

Pioneer Day Wren

Pioneer Day Ivory slide 1


Pioneer Day Ivory Slide 2

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Is this freckled, beautiful girl Liberty or Wren? I think it has been a while since you posted their photos and they grow so fast!
    Your new camera is really doing a great job (well, really, it is you doing a great job and the camera is just helping 😉
    It has been so hot around here lately but we had a few slightly cooler days, it was so nice to breathe on those days. We did so much complaining last winter (it was too cold) but this heat seemed almost worse than the cold weather.
    Last week I was able to freeze more strawberries, blueberries and peaches due to fruit clearance (my local stores were just trying to sell instead of letting the fruit go to waste). It makes me so happy to see all the ziplock baggies full of fruit in my small freezer 🙂
    Full list of my accomplishments is here:

    Keep it up Ladies!

  2. We also went to our church’s Pioneer Day Celebration! It was not as large but still a good day. I bought peaches and pears at Sprouts for 2lbs /1.00 and Cantaloupes for .33 ea. I also found bags of frozen fruit and veggies at the dollar store as we do not eat meat, I stocked up Iabout 10 bags. (there are only 2 of us) I make lots of smoothies in the blender and brown rice with veggies for dinners.

  3. That is so exciting about the Hummingbird, wow! It also looks like Pioneer Day was enjoyed by all. I love free, fun activities for the whole family.

    I continue to shop the sales and use coupons. Last week, I found many good deals like free pistachio nuts, $0.69 paper plates, $0.50 pop tarts and fruit loops, marked down potatoes and green peppers, 6 free packs of dog treats and much more! All of my shopping trips with pics can be found here:

  4. I received my final bill from the cable company, saw something that shouldn’t have been on it, called to ask who authorized the charge and when. They couldn’t give me that information so I politely advised them that I would be expecting a credit and it was granted. We composted anything that wasn’t used up. Dehydrated any herbs or veggies left from out weekly farm share before picking up the next share. I discover I adore dehydrated onion. So much healthier than breaded, fried onion rings and just as tasty. Was almost out of bird suet and since our birds will knock on the window if the feeder is empty figured we’d best head right out to pick some up. It rang up $1 less than the shelf tag so that made me extra happy. Watching the birds provides us (and our cats) with so much pleasure. The suet cakes may not make it free entertainment but it sure is close. Everyone took their lunches to work with them every day this week. That is a small victory for me, getting everyone on board every day. So excited and hope to continue the trend. Air dried whatever laundry I could. Renewed a warehouse club membership through my corporate program, saving a few dollars and getting an extra three months. Although we only purchase groceries there in the winter, their gas is the one I get the best mileage with and is the best price in the area so it is worth the cost to us. Used up leftover paint to paint a closet interior. Thinned out the coats and jackets collected in there while I was at it. Gave a gorgeous coat that is not too big for my to my niece who is doing wonderfully losing weight. Don’t want to rush the summer away but can’t wait to see her in it, I know she will look like a princess and she deserves so many good things in her life. Passed along some things we no longer use to others who can use them through an app and got some credits that I used to get an underbed organizer, top for work and a supportive undergarment, plus still have some credits left over that I will use when I see other things I need listed. Used fans instead of a/c. Drove as little as possible, carpooled with family on errands. Used coupons for some specialty items I can’t find any substitutes for and which rarely have coupons so I was very excited to save a few dollars off things I have to purchase anyway. Mailed out medical bills for insurance processing and reimbursement. Requested a free sample of a stevia product. My daughter brought home some sweet goodies from a baby shower as a surprise for her Dad.

  5. How lovely that Ezrom got the special experience of holding a hummingbird while it recovered. I’ve always been grateful to be able to care for and see a bird up close when they’ve flown into the windows here. Your bouquets are always so pretty, and I’m sure they add to the beauty of your home. I don’t know why I don’t cut more of them here. Pioneer Day looked like a very fun day for the kids. Joining in here:

  6. Paid the second half of our property taxes via a bank generated check saving us the hassle and cost of mailing the payment.
    Ate cabbage, green beans, peas, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and raspberries from the garden.
    Only grocery item purchased was milk for making yogurt.
    Went out of town one day to visit son and his girlfriend. Brought beverages and snack with us in the car. Also brought green beans, onions, and potatoes from the garden for them.
    Did not turn the air conditioning on in the house all week even though is was warm and humid.

  7. i have been drying mint and this morning again picked garden and i canned 8 1/2 pints pizza sauce, i will want to do this again before doing salsa, did the great bread experiment can see here working also on Christmas gifts these happen to be scrubbies cotton yarn crocheted on dollar tree scrubbies that look like flowers back half is dish cloth front is scrubbie as center of flower. I have been doing dishcloths will replace mine will give the old ones to my husband for rags he is an oil painter he is pretty good also collected pea seed for next yr also composting for next yr and continue eating storage which seams strange to say that as we use our storage as a large pantry so have always used it with a sixteen dollar a month budget for groceries we are using it mainly now. I did redeem pop cans from when kids have visited over a couple yrs of saving cans i was able to get pasta 99 cents lb so i do add to storage when i can using creative means i am still teaching myself to tatt and to weave my sis has given me some looms an taught me a little type gifts from my sister when you go to the frugal measures site and you can see the looms i also am now up and doing rugs on the rug loom i got marked down then for half off it was seventy then took me a couple yrs to restore it it is a weaver’s delight this all takes much learning on my own plus i have a toyota knitting machine again from a yrd sale yrs ago she used it twice and i am trying to learn more on it i am a hand knitter then got a bond for a gift and ran into another for six dollars at goodwill i have that one figured out but the toyota another animal bond does heavier yarns toyota the thinner yarn i am 59 and it takes a lot to teach me too many things one has to learn like with the weaving i thought how hard could it be i am a basket weaver after all now i am saying how did they ever know what to do i believe they passed the how to down to their kids and somewhere along the way they quit doing that so be sure to pass these things down to your kids what you are learning and doing i think they will need it to move on in their lives.. back to frugal things our youngest daughter gave me some black and some white wool and she doesn’t know i am spinning it and she will get the yarn for Christmas she knits and crochets and will love it she is wanting to learn skills when they were here a few weeks ago i taught her to make jam at her request. we keep pushing on.

  8. I love the picture Ezrom with the hummingbird. It looks like your kids had a blast at the Pioneer Day activity. Fun!

    The good news of the week is that our area finally got some rain. It has been so dry here, and this was such a blessing. Over the past few weeks, I have been helping water the many rhododendrons on our condo property. These 30+ year old plants were showing serious signs of heat stress. I think most of them will survive – there were a couple bushes that looked pretty bad. This recent rain will certainly help the situation.

    This week:
    – I found some good deals on Craigslist. I bought a box of various types of fabric dye for $10. There were several bottles of the professional type of dye plus fixer that my husband uses for his annual summer tie dye project. Even with the $6.10 in bridge tolls I had to pay to go pick up the box, it was still a good deal. I also got a pair of new Keen sandals for $20 (these sell for $100). My current pair is not looking so good. When I got home, I thought about it, and wondered if this price wasn’t too good….the person had several pairs for sale, and he told me that he gets them at a good price and likes to pass that on to customers. I met him in a public place and he looked respectable. I just hope the merchandise wasn’t stolen.

    – I worked in my garden plot and picked tomatoes, onions, patty pan squash, calendula flowers, blueberries and kale. I collected seeds from my pea plants for next year. From the park, I gathered blackberries, apples and plantain leaf. I didn’t get stung by nettles this time, thankfully.

    – The apples I collect from the park are usually bruised or damaged in some way, so I have to cut away the bad parts. Several weeks ago, someone posted a link about how to make your own apple cider vinegar. So, at that time, I started a batch using the good parts of the damaged apples. I checked on it last week, and the vinegar turned out great! I started a new half gallon batch with more of the apples.

    – I added to our food storage. I ordered 25lbs each of rolled oats and bulk rice and several five gallon buckets from Azure Standard, in addition to the 25lbs of lentils I got a few weeks ago. I put the bulk items in the buckets and cleared a spot in our back closet for this. My husband thinks it’s a little odd, since it’s just the two of us. But it feels like the right thing to do.

    – After Brandy’s popsicle post, I had the biggest craving for fudgesicles. I found some inexpensive popsicle molds at Fred Meyer, and found a recipe online for coconut milk fudgesicles using pantry items. I only have four molds, so I put the extra mix into silicone muffin liners and froze them too. I tried one last night. Yum! The summer heat is due to return, and this is going to be my cool treat of choice.

    I’m not sure how this coming week is going to shape up. My dad is coming to the area to attend an anniversary party and for a short visit, and will be staying with a friend of his. My husband and my father don’t get along, and my dad’s previous visit was very stressful for me. So, in the interest of not getting stressed out this time, I will be spending time with my father alone (without my husband). This isn’t the perfect solution, but hopefully it will be better than last time. Family dynamics can be quite challenging sometimes….

    Hope everyone else had a great week.

  9. Wow! The hummingbird is amazing! I’d probably freak out and run around in circles if one flew into our house!

    Here are some things I did this week:
    Picked tons of Cherokee Purple, Better Boy, and Cherry tomatoes from the garden. Cut basil and made a huge batch of pesto. It was pantry week (s) here…still going on… which always stresses me out but I am always amazed by the meals that come out of it. I had one stick of butter left so I combined that with stocked cream cheese and pulled off the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. We had homemade pizza, I cooked a turkey, and we had what we call hodgepodge meals. They sometimes don’t make mental or nutritional sense but we eat!
    Did spend a bit of money and got some school supplies for my daughter that were at rock bottom prices. I also got her a new lunchbox using Swagbucks to take to school. I had sewed her old one up for the last time. She was outgrowing it anyway. We ending up finding her a beautiful one for 5 dollars. I also got some much needed lunch organizers for her.
    That’s about it! We really just stayed at home, enjoyed our pool, watched some shows, and hung out!

  10. This has been a terrific week for saving! I picked green beans from my garden and was able to can 7 more quarts. Canned a dozen pints of pickle relish using fresh cukesfrom the garden and peppers from the freezer from last season! Harvested a club size zucchini and shredded it up. It became a 9 x 13 double chocolate zucchini cake that I frosted with chocolate peppermint frosting. Cut it into small squares, packed them into sandwich size bags, popped them into the freezer for grab and go lunchbox treats! Did the same thing with more of the shredded zucchini and baked it into a coconut lemon zucchini lunchbox cake! It is SO much easier to save on brown bag lunches when I’ve prepackaged different things to put in!! I’ll also be making some zucchini bread.

    Got some amazing meat markdowns at Sam’s club and so I spent some time making and freezing 2 meat loaves (uncooked), some sloppy joe mix, several packages of precooked ground beef in dinner size amounts for FAST dinners! Got 3 boneless pork half loins, made up 7 different freezer meals for crockpot and grill. Less than $20 for the pork and each of the 7 meals will actually be over double that number with the leftovers and extra meals these will become!!
    Made sure I made up my menu plan for the week- life is just SO much easier and more frugal when I do! Used ingredients already in my pantry to make all of the meals!

    Went to Krogers and using Catalina ($ off on your next offer deals), I was able to buy $70 worth of body wash (hubby had announced that we were running out!), blueberry pie filling, semisweet chocolate chips (in markdown for 50 cents), soap and chili verde salsa for $13!! I am pleased because they were all things that we will use and that will build our storage back up so we never have to buy them at full price!!
    I did a trade-in sale of books on Amazon but they didn’t credit my account for over a week after it was confirmed that it had been received. When I contacted them, they gave me a credit for the full amount! They also gave me a 2nd credit for the full amount after they finally processed it! So, we have been enjoying free movies for our date night and some other things. I’ve been opting for their $5 promo credit for no rush shipping too! Saw a deal on Amazon today for a 20 pack of assorted snack bags of chips for about $5 after their ecoupon. When I was checking out, my amount owed went to zero because of previous credits and since I opted for no rush shipping (which means it will arrive by Monday) I am getting ANOTHER $5 credit!! So here are more things to put in their packed lunches!

    Our debts have been reduced by almost $900 this month!
    Life has been so full of blessings this week!

  11. Thank to all your lovely people. I had cherries and grapes that need to be used so I was going to dehydrate them. But kept putting it off and last week I was reading some of your frugal accomplishment. I went into the kitchen and with 30 minutes of preping I made a batch of each because I didn’t want them to go to waste. We have some unexpected high bills coming in and so I trying to money saved. We will also be changing insurance company when I get back from vocation and usually they want 6 monthes up front.

  12. Becky, the pioneer village I work at has a weaver’s shop, and I just learned to weave this past winter. To become a master weaver in the 1800s, a man would apprentice for 3-5 years. Since it was considered a trade, only men were professional weavers. Some women may have had a barn loom at home, but the majority did not. They, instead, would commission the local weaver to make their hand sewn rag strip yarn into rag rugs or weave their hand spun wool into warm woolen blankets. Weaving looks easy, but it is far more complicated that one realizes. I am currently involved with a project at work where we have a restored Jacquard loom that we have finally assembled all the working threads and are now learning how to run. Now there is a complicated loom!

    Here’s a link to a picture of our Jacquard loom before all the threads were put on:

    And here is a picture which sort of shows the threads set up on our loom:

    And just for fun, here is a picture of me all dressed up in my costume at work (this was at a Christmas by Candlelight event on year):

  13. well, since I got fined for my car accident on 7/12 and was facing a $250 fine, appearing in court saved me $105. The Judge reduced the fees from $250 to $145…I plead no contest and that was that.

    Been staying home on my days off…since I work night shift, that’s a pretty easy task.

    Got free magazines in the mail thanks to Recyclebank–Cosmo, Allure, Oprah, Real Simple, Southern Living, Family Circle to name a few.

    My mother is gifting me the $250 deductible to repair my Jeep, which sustained $7412 in damages from the accident

    We shut our A/C off at night when no one is here. Our son stays with his uncle during the night that DH and I are at work.

    We went to camp, where we made our own foods–hot dogs, hamburgs and homemade potato salad.

    Hung clothes on the downstairs clothesline to dry–DH prefers that his teeshirts be hung to dry rather than dried in the washer.

    I eat free at work–I can have them make me eggs, cooked to order. So I usually have a fried egg and cheese sandwich. Or I’ll switch it up and get a cheese omelet.

    Nothing else comes to mind so have a great frugal week everyone!

  14. Although the pictures of your children having fun are wonderful, Brandy, my absolute favourite pictures this time are of your son holding a hummingbird. I’ve had lots of experience with holding many animals, but that is one I have never had the privilege to be close and personal with. What a wonderful experience you captured!

    I want to thank everyone for your supportive messages and comments last week when I expressed my frustrations about dinner time. Sometimes, it is just so nice to know that you are not the only one who is fighting this battle! Your comments meant a lot to me. So again, thank you for your kindness.

    As for this week, I had a few unexpected surprises, both good and bad. So without further adieu, here are my frugal accomplishments and failures for this week:
    *We’re going to be going on a trip to Las Vegas in less than a week. Of course our Canadian money has dropped in value, so the exchange is rather expensive right now. We received some American money at work this week (we will accept it at par). My work graciously allowed me to buy the money from them at par. Certainly saves us some cash and it saves them the hassle of making out a separate special deposit for the bank. Win, win!

    *I wanted to buy a new pair of sandals before going on our upcoming trip, as the ones I have are a bit shabby looking. I figured I would be able to find an inexpensive pair right now as the summer stock is all on clearance. I happened to mention this while out with my MIL. When we took her home after our outing, she offered me some shoes she had that she bought but didn’t like. I found two pair that fit perfectly, including a nearly new pair of nice leather sandals and a brand new pair of black flats (price tags still attached), which she gave me for free!

    *Our city has a free music festival which has various performances every Wednesday and Saturday night. My mother, daughter and I attended two concerts this week. The first concert was the Canadian band, the Northern Pikes. I remember them very well from my high school years. It was wonderful to hear them live in concert! The second was a Beatles tribute band called Day Trippers. My mother was a big Beatles fan when she was younger. Their concert was excellent as well.

    *Brought home some turnip greens, carrot tops and other leafy scraps from work to feed to our Guinea Pig that would have been headed for landfill. Free food for her and it added some variety to her diet.

    *I have collected about 2 cups worth of green and wax beans so far from the heirloom seeds I planted in pots. I’m hoping to get lots more, so I can blanch and freeze some for winter. I pulled the heirloom spinach plants and will finish drying them inside to collect the seeds. I also collected some dried heirloom pea pods. Heirloom plants are new to me this year, but I’m enjoying the experience of collecting the seeds for next year’s crop.

    *My husband finally cooked us a wonderful BBQ steak dinner! He’s a cook so our steaks were grilled to perfection. To accompany the steaks, he sautéed up some mushrooms, onions and garlic in margarine. We also made baked potatoes in the crock pot for the first time which we topped with cheese and sour cream. It was so delicious…just like a restaurant meal without the expensive price tag! And I didn’t have to cook…Yeah!

    *Frugal fail: my car finally bit the dust…yeah! Ops, did I say that out loud? Sorry, but I hated that car and I’m so glad I can now bury it. But of course, we now have to find another second vehicle, so I have to list this as a frugal fail. We hope to pay the majority of the cost for a “new to us” vehicle in cash. But first we will wait until we come back from our Las Vegas trip, so we can take the time we need to find the right vehicle at the right price.

    This week is supposed to be super humid. I’m trying to be optimistic and hope this is just preparing us for the heat we will be exposed to in Vegas. I’ll let you know which is worse, dry heat or the unbearably humid weather we often get here in the summer. This will be a really good test. Have a wonderful week everyone!

  15. Beautiful pictures Brandy! I adore the floral arrangement in front of the navy wall.

    I was given 10 lbs of cucumbers – I pickled until I ran out of vinegar. The rest are being used fresh.
    A customer who makes chocolate gave us huge bags of peanut clusters.
    These food items couldn’t have come at a better time, since this months budget is much leaner than lasts.

    I have a brief case full of beads (reclaimed), broken jewelry, jewelry supplies. I was tired of looking at it, but didnt want to give up my collection. The last 2 weeks I have been beading; making necklaces, bracelets and earrings. It has renewed my enjoyment of the colors and shapes. It amuses me when I have no money to spend the more creative I feel, and the happiness from making something.

    Our water bill came down another $2 – thanks to conserving.

    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  16. Great photos! I especially like the ones involving dunking 🙂

    Great week in the frugal department. Ate out zero times! That is a big deal for us. Had a few cooking failures, well not complete failures but not great successes either, yet still managed to avoid starvation.

    Didn’t add anything to the pantry this week. Have been working up the enthusiasm to reorganize the pantry to better store (and be able to find) supplies. Hope for a burst of enthusiasm this week. It is so hot and dreary here in Phoenix that indoor work is much more appealing.

  17. Ye olde pioneer dunk tank! :p

    My son and I just got back from a two week trip to NYC, where we stayed with my sister. We took public transportation, enjoyed “suggested donation” museums, played on the beach near my sister’s house, mostly ate in, splurged on a MLS soccer game at Yankee stadium, walked [i]a lot,[/i] ate cheap slices of pizza, went sailing on my brother-in-law’s boat, read library books, brought our own food on airplanes, enjoyed low key meet-ups with friends and took advantage of a few free opportunities. (An old friend from college had a free pass for the normally expensive Whitney Museum.)

    NYC can actually be extremely cheap once you’re there.

  18. Oh my goodness, the little hummingbird is too cute. What a neat experience. Here is how my frugal week went.

    Monday – leftovers for lunch and a load of laundry hung out to dry. Watched the water bombers put out a forest fire burning on an uncomfortably close mountaintop. Very grateful the wind was blowing away from us.

    Tuesday and Wednesday – the usual frugal activities such as using leftovers for lunch. Both were no spend days.

    Thursday – my weekend begins! Cleaned the house, harvested some herbs from my garden, hung the laundry, and rendered some beeswax. I am hoping to get enough that I can make some candles for Christmas presents. Friday was grocery shopping where I got chicken thighs for a $1.30 or so a pound and gluten free snacks for 30% off for a road trip coming up next week. I also got over 20 pounds of peaches for $0.99 a pound. That is a pretty good price for here.

    Over the weekend, made first aid ointment, harvested some more comfrey and discovered that I have black currant and wild raspberries growing in that field. Gratefully accepted a zucchini from my neighbor and used it to make zucchini bread for lunches, baked parmesan zucchini sticks for dinner and still shredded two servings of 2 cups each for the freezer. I even managed to save some seeds. Canned 17 pints of peaches. This is enough to last me through the winter, unless my boys show up for a visit. Then they might last for a couple of hours.

  19. Great pictures! I love the hummingbird especially!

    My frugal accomplishments:

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    Worked 2 hours overtime.

    Stopped at McAllister’s on the way home from work on free tea day and got a free 32 oz unsweet tea and a free cookie for signing up for their deli gram emails.

    Continued decluttering. Listed some things for sale on the FB garage sale page and on Ebay. I gifted some things to a friend to sell in her garage sale and keep the money (she had some medical expenses she is trying to cover). Cleaned and organized as I decluttered. It makes the house seem so much nicer without spending any money – and hopefully will make some money!

    We rented a small moving van to take some furniture out to my son’s apartment so we can eventually downsize our storage unit and helped him get set up.

    Free in the mail – Better Homes and Gardens and Self magazines and an Inkos tea coupon.

    Thank you Brandy for hosting this and thank you to everyone that contributes. It’s always a great resource for ideas and also for motivation!

  20. Your pictures are always wonderful! You have a great eye!
    Although i continue to do what i can, this whole month has been spendy. Dr. bills and appointments have kept me hustling. I did manage to pay all bills as they came in and received 10%/15% off for the ‘privilege’. I guess that counts. I put them on a C.C. to give me a month extra to pay off. Taxes were paid, as well. And, car repairs were needed. (Heavy sigh…) This is why we have savings, no?
    I bought organic strawberries and bananas on sale; i froze some, dried some and put the rest over ice cream. So good!
    I ordered canned tomatoes from the co-op; two cases. These were on sale and will see us through the Winter. My tomato plants are still in their infancy; i expect no tomatoes this year. A sad state of affairs!
    I don’t eat much boxed cereal. But, one brand that i do like was found at Big Lots for 1.25 a box. I bought four boxes. If there’s any left the next time i go, i’ll buy a few more. The co-op sells this same brand for over 4.00!
    Sold a few items on ebay; our travel fund.
    Skyped with my son and grandsons. I’m so thankful my son does this! We’re missing so much!
    Our daughter skyped with us this week and announced her engagement! Exciting times ahead!
    Most meals were made at home. My husband and i continue to make our own work meals.
    As always, i use cold wash water, hang laundry when possible, shop sales, wash baggies, etc…
    Wishing you all a frugal, productive week!

  21. I mentioned in a post last week that my sister’s mil was getting rid of all her kitchenware items and my sister gave them to me yesterday. I completely filled up my SUV so many wonderful wonderful items.. I can hardly bear to put them away for the yard sale. A lot of rubbermaid, Corningware baking dishes, dishes which don’t sell well here I gifted to my new next door neighbors who have just moved in and are struggling financially.. had him go through a few boxes I had on the porch for things they might be able to use. Went over our monthly budget with a fine tooth comb today.. we are buying a (leasing) new car this weekend, test drove it today. Honda Civic LX great gas milage. I’ll be trading in my 15 year old truck for the down payment which will reduce our monthly payments from $221 to $149. I hate giving up old blue but she has seen better days and needs a lot of work done on her.. new brakes, new muffler, window won’t roll but half way down then fingers crossed that it goes back up, transmission is showing signs it may give up the ghost, rusted out bumper. It’s 4Wheel Drive which I will miss. The new car gets 32 mpg. I did my research called our insurance company to make sure it didn’t drastically change our rates up $10 a month. I under budgeted my paycheck since some weeks rarely but some weeks I only work 18 hours instead of 24. The upside is no more stress about unexpected repairs to the truck windshield wipers work weird too.. if you spray to clear the window off it won’t turn off for over a half hour, they said about $300 or more to fix it. Whew!

    I found a lot of clearance meat at Krogers Friday 3 pork loins which I cooked all at one time on Sunday so lots of sandwich meat. They were $4 or less for each one. Got a pack of chicken leg quarters for less than $4 which I plan to cook tomorrow and freeze for later meals. I’m thinking of deboning it after cooking. Pack of center cut pork chops were also around $3.50 and may cook those tomorrow too and freeze. I try to cook ahead when I have time so we have food ready to thaw and eat on days when I am working.

    While at my sisters last weekend saw a nut tree on their property, found out yesterday it’s a hickory nut tree so will be gleaning as much as I can of that and using those this winter (will freeze after cracking the nuts). Another group said they are great for making substitute pecan pie and fudge with. Also saw my sisters neighbor has a tree loaded with apples and she is going to ask if I can have them, so will take all I can and can them up. With the added expense of a new car payment free is a good thing. I am truly blessed that my sister has this wonderful property in the country with free produce for me that she is more than generous in giving me.

    More frugals on my blog.


  22. Looks like you’re putting your new camera to good use. Beautiful pictures. The one with Ezrom and the hummingbird is especially dear.

    Frugal accomplishments for the week:
    Harvested the last of the cauliflower and froze it.
    Harvested summer squash and broccoli.
    Picked blueberries from our garden.
    Froze 5 lbs. of blueberries that we purchased at $3/lb.
    Harvested some onions and the garlic.
    Canned 13 quarts of cranberry-blueberry juice.
    Parked the car and didn’t drive it for the last couple of days.
    Attended three estate sales for amusement. Bought some neat toasting forks for the campfire for a quarter.
    Bought several items of clothing from garage sales for the winter months.
    Collected rainwater and used it to water the plants.
    Hung the laundry on the line several times.
    Ate from the pantry and the garden.
    Slept in our shed/guest cottage to stay cool. Nights are always cool here.

  23. Harvested more blackberries & added them to the freezer stash. Picked some Red Haven peaches from one of our trees. Cut more dill weed to dry. Made red raspberry/red currant jam.

    When I made a mandarin orange/cottage cheese/gelatin salad, I used the syrup from the mandarin oranges to freeze as popsicles in the Ice Tups. I found them refreshing, especially when I came inside from weeding in the hot sun.

    Bought a few more of the cans of cocoa on clearance. Looked up the price on the Auguson Farms website: $5.31/can, & they are discontinuing the Mint, Orange & Raspberry flavors, which are on clearance at the site for around $3 a can. $2 looks like even more of a steal when armed with that little bit of knowledge.

    Continued to trim out the weed trees preparatory to getting a bid to install a vinyl fence across the back yard. Pulled more weeds in the garden. Pruned the branches of one of the peach trees that were growing through the field fencing that is currently across the back yard. Trimmed the leaves into the garbage can, but saved the small limbs themselves to cut into 5-6” lengths for “emergency/camping” stove wood. Tossed these into a tub trug we own, that developed a small split in the bottom. It no longer holds water, but it holds these small sticks just fine while they dry into excellent camping stove wood for our scout grandsons.

    Began to experiment with a sourdough starter made with cornmeal. I found an article about it on a blog named “Thoughts from Frank & Fern”. Since we cannot use wheat due to celiac issues, I thought this would be worth a try.

  24. Love the pictures. Ivory looks adorable.

    Took lunch to work each day last week. DH did too.

    Cut DH’s hair. Trimmed my bangs.

    Picked cucumbers, zucchini, snow peas, a few tomatoes, lettuce, chard, and a few herbs from the garden.

    Blanched and froze snow peas.

    Purchased 60 rolls of TP from Staples. Used my ink rewards and a 25% “break room supplies” coupon and paid only $4.68 for them. Most of the time I use my ink rewards for things like TP, Kleenex, and paper towels. I buy the ink for my son and mother as gifts.

    Thinned the carrots in the garden. My mother made the comment that it is her least favorite thing to do in a garden.

    Made a big batch of pork fried rice. Had it for lunches and dinners. Used some of the 99¢ a dozen eggs from Albertson’s last week.

    Turned in 10 more ink cartridges to Staples to get a $20 credit. The credit will be available August 15th.

    Did a survey.

    Hung laundry on line.

    Made zucchini muffins to take for either breakfast of lunches to work.

    I think that is it. I love reading everyone’s accomplishments. Thanks for hosting, Brandy.

  25. Such lovely photos Brandy. Your new camera is doing a great job.

    Here’s what we got up to this week –

    * Made a big batch of pita chips for snacks.

    * Baked six loaves of bread. Four were wholemeal bread with extra goodness and two were white with chia seeds ( for the girls ).

    * Picked some silverbeet to eat ( hide ) in a meal

    * Bought lots of beef mince and a large tray of sausages from Tasman Meats. I portioned the sausages into meal sizes of six. The mince was divided into 300g lots of 400g lots.

    * Made chicken stock using the skin from the fillets and all the bits and pieces trimmed off. I used my slow cooker to make the stock. Megan made chunky chicken noodle soup the next night with the stock and one chicken fillet. I lived on this soup for two days after more dental work. I froze two serves of the soup.

    * Kept the curtains open on the windows where the sun was shining through.

    * Stayed away from the shops for most of the week. I sent Darren out to get milk..

    * Bought a bag of cut out card sentiments from Savers for $1.90. It looks like someone had been cutting up old cards. From now on I’ll be doing the same with discarded greeting cards.

    * Made a batch of blueberry and white choc muffins for Darren. I used blueberries bought last Summer for $1 a punnet and frozen. I also made a double batch of raspberry and white choc muffins.

    * Juiced some lemons and froze the juice. I also picked another bowlful to juice later.

    * Sold two dozen eggs.

    * Gratefully received two metal planter boxes from my Dad. He didn’t need them any more and knew we could use them. Darren has replanted our strawberries in them.

    * Refilled the foaming hand wash pump in the girl’s bathroom with diluted shower gel.

    * Refilled the dish washing liquid bottle and diluted it.

    * Redeemed an almost 12 month old rain check for Dove soap. It was for packs of 4 bars for $3.60. I got 10 boxes. I think we’ll be right for soap for the next few years.

    * Froze two single serves of left over main meals.

    * Made a mince pasta bake with 300g of mince. There was so much left over it fed us for two meals.

    * Saved the washing machine water and dried most of the clothes on clothes horses.

    There are some photos on my blog of some of these tasks

  26. Brandy your pictures are so sweet! We don’t have celebrations like that here. We only have things like Carnivals that are outrageously expensive. We skip them 🙂
    Last week:
    -We cooked all meals from scratch and ate at home.
    -harvested more zucchini, yellow squash, basil, a handful of blackberries from the garden. Our pumpkin vines completely took over the garden. You can’t even tell I only planted three! We are going to have LOTS of pumpkins! We had to pull our onions early because of the pumpkins but since I am the only one that eats them it’s ok. They are hanging up.
    -My husband’s friend treated him to a round (?) of golf.
    -Used saved water to water the raised beds
    -line dried all clothing
    -my daughter colored on the back of scrap paper
    -My husband found a cute end table on a curb. There is nothing wrong with it. It is sitting outside just in case of any bugs and will be brought in today.
    -The central air unit for our house is to small so it constantly runs to keep the house cool. Even after the house IS cool. We manually shut it off and turn it back on again when needed to save electricity. We need to have someone come look at it and the furnace but we don’t have the money right now.
    -put money into savings
    -The big one: I bought a Prius. I am spending money to save it. Both of our cars need repairs and have been breaking down constantly over the last year. I purchased a used Prius which saved over $10,000 and was able to get an awesome interest rate. It’s a 2014 so it has several years of warranty left. I plan on paying the car off early. My car payment is exactly what my mortgage payment used to be (I paid the house off 3 months ago). Not frugal right now but the gas saved plus no maintenance money needed to be spent will be put towards paying off the car early. I traded in our oldest car. I am very happy with this purchase, although a car payment makes me nervous lol. We have no public transportation here and I work too far away to walk or bike. Everything is to far away to walk or bike.
    -My daughter got into preschool here! She was on the waiting list. I take her to register Thursday morning. It’s public school, but we live in a small town so they have a waiting list when the class gets full.
    I took all my meals to work, drank water and free coffee at work, washed and reused zip top baggies and glass jars, used plastic grocery bags for garbage bags. I purchased dog food at Dollar General which saved several dollars vs. the grocery store.
    That’s all I can think of, have a great week everyone!

  27. LOVE the photo of Ezrom and the hummingbird! We have a bird’s nest on the backside of our house where we’ve had 5 babies hatch so far. I think they are Nuthatches and it’s so fun to watch them. Yesterday the nest was empty again so mama bird must’ve insisted they move out. 🙂

    Last week I bought two whole chickens that were 89¢ lb and I plan on going back to get more as I haven’t seen that price in forever. I also bought 8 jars of peanut butter for $1.49 each, ice cream cones for 79¢, body wash for 77¢, and 36 rolls of toilet paper for $4.27. I also picked up some school supplies like notebooks for 16¢ each and binders for $1.14.

    In the garden I picked 5 zucchini that I shredded and froze, lots of dragon’s egg cucumbers, a few pickling cucumbers, an eggplant, and a few cherry tomatoes. I pulled out two rows of beets that didn’t seem to be getting any bigger despite having sown them at the start of April–I think I may have grown them too close together but I did get some beets and a ton of greens. I like to saute the greens up just like spinach or chard and they are delicious. I planted more beet seeds in one row and cauliflower in the other. I also put in some kale, cabbage, and zinnia seeds. We are growing “peppermint” zinnias this year and they are so pretty!

    My youngest daughter and I have been harvesting wineberries in our backyard and plan on making jam. There are so many bushes but they aren’t easy to get to. Not to mention it’s a mosquitoes heaven back there. It was timely that after coming in from picking I found a post from another blogger for an anti-itch salve recipe using jewelweed that we just so happen to have growing too, so I went back out and pulled four plants. You simply break up the plants-flowers, stems, and leaves-rinse in cold water and pat dry, put in a saucepan and pour 1-1 1/2 cups of oil (I used coconut oil) over the top. Turn the burner on the lowest setting and let simmer for an hour. The oil turns a yellow/orange. Strain the oil into a mason jar, add 5 tablespoons of beeswax shavings or pellets and mix to melt. I put the jar into a pot of simmering water to melt it faster. Once melted, I poured it into 2 smaller pint jars and let it harden. It is intended for poison ivy or bug bites and it is way more effective than any other cream or spray I’ve ever used!

    I earned a $5 amazon gift card through swagbucks.

    I found an old gift card in my desk drawer that had a $21 balance. I used it to buy printer ink at Staples where I had a $5 off ink purchase coupon and ended up getting one cartridge for a little over $11. I’ll use the remaining to buy school supplies when they go on sale.

    I finally finished splitting the eight truckloads of free wood we picked up a few months ago from my husband’s coworker, who had two very large trees cut down. We borrowed a wood splitter from a neighbor and it looks like we will have enough wood to heat our house for this coming winter and even some of next years! My children have been helping to stack the wood and we’re almost done!

    On the home remodeling front, we finally finished laying the floors in the living room and hallway and only have the dining room to go to finish the downstairs. We were originally going to lay the floors in the kitchen too but taking up the existing ceramic tile has been a nightmare, so we opted to only take it up in the hallway and leave the kitchen as tile. We used some leftover grout from another project to regrout the kitchen and it looks like a brand new floor. I just need to seal the grout this week so I don’t end up with dingy brown grout again.

    I purchased some school clothes online through ebates for my girls and will get back almost $15. Lands End and Old Navy both had some good clearance sales and combined with coupon codes they made for some great deals.

  28. Marivene, have you ever tried Einkorn flour? It is the original wheat grown in Italy that has not been modified like our other wheat flours. I don’t have celiac but do have some kind of intolerance to wheat and I find that the einkorn flour does not bother me. It is expensive but I buy it straight from with a 10% off coupon and free shipping.

  29. Anna, I have some hickory trees on my property and the nuts are incredibly hard to crack. You literally have to run them over! I never thought to use them for pies though and may have to rethink the effort. I’ve heard you can also grind up acorns to make flour, though I’ve never tried, but I’ve got enough acorns in my yard in the fall to feed an army!

  30. Well our hot weather finally came, we don’t have AC so every summer I can count that as savings. We live close to a lake and when the sun comes down the house cools down enough for it to be comfortable to sleep. We found some free ways to cool off over the weekend: free splash pad, played with the water table and water guns etc.

    My neighbor showed me where there is a large amount of black raspberries on public land just minutes from our house. After 5 years of living here I guess I’m finally in the loop. There’s a lot but he said it sort of an unsaid rule that everyone just takes a little bit to leave some to share. So now when I take my son for a walk we just stop off for a few handfuls as a treat.

    Working the late shift all this week but I’m making dinners in the morning so my husband won’t be taken to get take-out for dinner and bringing mine with me to work (in my backpack since I’m riding to work all week). We only share one vehicle so whoever is picking my son up from daycare gets the truck and the other person rides their bike.

    Otherwise just the usual week, got herbs, peas and green beans from the garden. We got a few red cherry tomatoes already but my son’s eating them before I can get them in the house. Lettuce has bolted, I’ve left a few for seeds but pulled some and planted more seeds for September lettuce.

    Have a great week everyone

  31. Good job Katy, sounds like an amazing trip and you found some creative and fun inexpensive ways to enjoy NY. Being away from home always makes it so hard to not spend too much.

  32. Hi from Australia one and all.

    Just a short note to Brandy that I love your photos and this site, such wonderful ideas, recipes and more.

    This weeks frugal accomplishments are –

    -A friend gave me some eggs and I swapped vegetables in my garden with them as they have 3 children and are unable to grow a lot of vegetables due to the frosts where they live.

    – Another friend who is in the building business said we could have the offcuts of black plastic to use. We will now have enough plastic to plant our strawberries through, and get our bulk manure from the gardening centre and use this as our base and top cover to protect it from the rain and weather and prepare our spring garden vegetables. Fantastic and no need to buy expensive tarps or plastic from the hardware store.

    – Made your wonderful granola, it is truly yummy. We used sultanas and toasted it with the sultanas in it instead of adding later, and 1/3 cup desiccated coconut in it and added just a tad more oil, turned out wonderfully and my husband just adores it with milk over it as a cereal.

    – We went to half and half milk, mixed 50% powdered milk with 50% whole milk and are now saving quite a bit of our grocery budget.

    – Picked turnips, silver beet (chard), spinach, peas and carrots from the garden.

    – Made your wonderful tomato soup using our home grown carrots and tinned tomatoes and it also was delicious.

    We are a forcibly retired couple, with my husband an ex military man with injuries and I his carer. So every cent we save is a true blessing to us as we are saving for our first home.

  33. This past week I finally sat down and mended a pair of pants and my son’s back rest pillow. I also made another batch of homemade loose face powder. I was given a large zucchini, so I will be making several things out of that. I made out a meal plan for dinners going until the end of August. Sometimes we swap days, but we pretty much follow it. My husband made enough extra money to pay off a medical bill which was a Godsend. I have been working some overtime at work while my boss is on vacation, so that will definitely help things. We have zero money for entertainment other than TV, so it was nice that I was given some money by an uncle to take the kids to enjoy our church festival since the money goes back to the church anyway. I have been working on a few crochet projects to use for Christmas gifts to get a jump on things this year. I made a new updated food storage list so I know now what I need to save up for to add to it.

  34. I am amazed by the Hummingbird. We do not have them in Australia. I would love to see two things… hummingbirds and Fireflies. The size of Hummingbirds, their nests and eggs fascinates me. But then I love birds arnd we do have beautiful blue wrens and fairy wrens that are lovely too.
    My savings included being given a lot of lemons and making lemon butter and using lemon in my household cleaning.
    Each week I add to my pantry and follow your advice.
    I am sewing a little each day working in presents and crochet in the evening working on more presents. This is toward Christmas and some birthdays between now and then. I am also potting up succulents in interesting containers as I have many in the garden and so does a friend and my Mum.
    I have been pruning roses and generally getting on with things at home. I post my list of frugal achievements on Fridays
    Have a wonderful week. xxx

  35. I worked on the garden some more this week. I was totally surprised when I went down to pick a few green beans and ended up canning 13 quarts. Things are coming on much more quickly than usual around here, probably due to the unusually hot weather we keep having. I also have been able to can 8 pints and 2 quarts of dill pickles so far. I harvested strawberries 3 times, raspberries and blackberries, a few artichokes, snow peas, green onions, dill, a few tomatoes, and lots of lettuce. I am going to go cut more this morning because the heat will finish this row, making it bitter. I have been sending bags of lettuce and even a huge salad to friends because there was so much and it was so nice. I will put another big ziplock bag in the fridge and it will last a few days more that way. I have a small amount coming along that is about 2 inches high, so I’ve got a ways to go before it’s ready.

    I planted a few more green onions. The raised bed I planted is starting to come up. I’m excited because most things came up, even the carrots–that was hard to get them to come up when it’s so dry and hot. I had to water daily, at least a little to keep them moist.

    I finished freezing peaches. I froze about 40 pounds total.

    I went to Grocery Outlet and got groceries. I usually scan the store, looking for gluten-free products, and I was not disappointed. I bought 8 bags of gluten free oatmeal for 99c each, and several other bargains. We got yogurt, lunchmeat, and some other items. I do that store differently because I never know what’s going to be there–I set a budget, and look to see if they have things I can use. Then we eat that. Often we get pantry items there. My husband and I used it for a date night–we both enjoy bargain hunting.

    I’ve been doing a bunch of sewing. I’m in the mood to make skirts for the girls, so am working on that. I have lots of fabric and patterns. I went and got some zippers as needed. I’d like to make 3 each (9 total) and am about 1/2 way there. I’m doing a mixture of simple elastic-waisted skirts (super easy and fast) and waistband-topped skirts (more time-consuming).

    The youngest is away at a special camp for foster children this week. It is such a blessing. It is sponsered by a church, but you have to have DHS approval to get in, and only costs us $20 for the week. Even better than that, the experience is extremely positive, and the supervision level is very high. She was able to attend last year and will “graduate” this year. Getting to go back meant a lot to her, so, as well as the frugality for us, I’m delighted for her to have this experience.

  36. Last week was a busy week. Our neighbor let us pick his green beans and I canned 14 quarts. Our corn was ready to pick last week and I put 16 doz. in the freezer. Tomatoes are coming in and so are the peppers. I would like to ask the readers if they have or know of anyone who has a Food Saver. I have been considering buying one. Ziplock has one but the reviews were not that great. This week I will be making grape jelly. Was gifted 3 five gal. buckets full from our neighbor. That’s it for me. Gotta get busy. Everyone have a great week.

  37. I love the pictures of the children. They are so cute and look like they are having so much fun.

    This week I cut my husband’s and son’s hair. I used two coupons in the store circular, one of them brought the price of grapes down to $0.98/lb. I also stocked up on $0.69/lb pasta, which is the lowest it goes in my area. I also got a rain check for a sale item that was out of stock. We’ve been eating pasta 2-3 nights per week as that is one of our least expensive meals. I brought my son to a free children’s concert at the library; we walked to the library to save gas money. My husband rode his bike to work everyday this week and had an interview for a new, better paying job. I’m praying he gets it; he is seriously underemployed. I applied for a couple of babysitting jobs through that will still allow me to be a SAHM. That way I can earn some income to help my family without having to pay for daycare. I signed up for a couple of free online courses through the library. We checked out all our books, movies, and TV shows from the library so we don’t pay for entertainment at all. Through a Facebook group I subscribe to, I was notified there were two free nightstands on the side of the road. We picked them up and now have new nightstands that match our bedroom decor much better. Plus, I will try to sell the old nightstands on Craigslist to earn a little money.

  38. I would not worry about them being stolen, he probably has a relative that buys them. My sister hates to try on clothes in the store and I get nice bags of rejects,some with the tags still on them.

  39. I have had a Foodsaver for years- one of the best investments ever!! I keep it on my kitchen counter so that it is always ready to use! I freeze vacuum sealed bags of produce and meat, I seal mason jars of dehydrated fruits, veggies as well as nuts, chocolate chips, etc! I resel bags of chips, crackers, etc after they are opened so they don’t lose their crispness!

    So you can see, my roughly $100 investment has paid off many times over with it’s usefulness!!!

  40. Just got back from vacation. We spent some time in the Ouachita Mts., while still hot, the cool spring that was damned up to a swimming hole kept us quite cool. I had a few fails before we left and I needed the checkout time.

    First up, the garden had to be heavily sprayed with pesticide, although I HATE to use Sevin dust, the organic remedies just seemed to make the squash bugs and tomato worms stronger. So before we left, we picked what we could, my husband dosed the garden heavily and we left on the automatic timer. Now after returning, the bugs seem to be gone and there is new growth on the plants.

    Next, right before we were scheduled to leave I checked all the freezers and was about to lock my upright when I noticed water on the floor, sure enough we lost EVERYTHING in that freezer. We had to toss four huge bags, all the ground deer, leg quarters, fish,..gone. My MIL happened to call at that moment to tell us bye and I told her to come by as I had a partially thawed ham and turkey she could cook. She baked the ham that evening and cooked and froze the turkey for gumbo. At least that was saved. We cleaned everything, pulled the freezer out and had to bleach down the floors. I am just thankful we found this before we left. Could not imagine pulling up to the house and facing a gone freezer and all this grossness after 5 days. It is still not cooling properly, DH thinks it is the seal. The freezer is not very old. Thank fully someone gifted us a freezer a few weeks ago. Hmmmm, The Lord and his providence, he really does know best doesn’t he?

    I am leaving for work at the end of this week for a conference and I am getting everything ready, washing camping stuff, re packing gear, packing the boys clothes as they will stay with grandparents while I am gone and DH is working. But at least I’ll be on the

    I will take stock when get back next week. Come up with a plan for restocking the freezers. I am also going to try an experiment with my boys. They will each get half of the weekly grocery budget and I will bring them to the store. They will be given tips and advice to see how they will manage the $. I want to give them a perspective of what a budget means and if we live on ramen and coco puffs then oh well it will only be a week.

    Have a great week everyone.

  41. Most of my frugal goals this week have been focused on water use. Unfortunately this summer I have no vegetable garden due to living in the desert of So. Cal. and the drought. Water restrictions are in effect. Our cut has to be 35%. Fines are very high if we exceed our limit. I miss my garden terribly. If I find that we have cut water enough, I’m going to plant a fall garden.

    I found very good prices on cucumbers, peaches, tomatoes and strawberries. With the cucumbers I made an old family recipe, German cucumber salad. I canned 6 1/2 pints of peach jam using a recipe I found online. It’s called Grand Champion Peach Jam and it’s delicious! I canned 4 pints of whole strawberries in vanilla syrup, 4 1/2 pints of strawberry syrup. And last but not least (and my favorite) I canned 8 1/2 pints of tomato jam. It’s a sweet/spicy jam that is divine paired with cheese or over roasted meats.

    I spent time decluttering around the house and donated usable items to the Vietnam Vets organization.

    I spent time working on a baby quilt for my niece (baby due soon!)

    I cooked a ham purchased during the last Christmas sale (I only have one left). This year I plan to buy one more each, ham and turkey during the sales. I used the ham bone to make spit pea soup and froze it in batches.

    I took my meals to work (I only work 2 days a week) and we ate at home for all other meals.

    Thank you Brandy and all who post. I love reading this thread!

  42. The pictures of your children enjoying the water attractions are so sweet. I envy Ezrom getting to hold the hummingbird!

    Green peppers were still marked down to $.49 per 2-pack so I bought several more packages, prepped and froze the pepper halves. I should have enough to last for close to a year.
    I’ve been making iced coffee at home, trying to save my coffee shop gift cards for travel or other “emergencies” that arise.
    I saved coffee grounds and put them around my tomato plants.
    I saved banana peels, dehydrated them, and ground them up for fertilizer.
    I used up leftover bread before it went bad. The French toast casserole recipe I tried is relatively inexpensive and very tasty.
    My aunt let me pick green beans from her garden after she’d canned all she wanted. It was a long drive but I had a nice visit with several other family members I hadn’t seen in months or years while I was there. My aunt and uncle both came out to the garden and helped me pick, which was awfully sweet of them, and we had a good, long chat while we worked. I ended up canning 19 quarts, 5 pints, and a half pint of green beans.
    I purchased sweet corn from my sister’s nephews (on her husband’s side). The price was not necessarily frugal but I think it’s important to encourage young people who are trying to start small businesses to raise their own money for projects or schooling.
    I bottled my most recent batch of homemade vanilla. I’ll use some but also like to have it for gifts. I took the last bottle from my previous batch of vanilla to my aunt when I went to pick beans. Now I need to get everything to start a new batch!

    I wrote about the French Toast Casserole, the vanilla, and how to do a No Spend Weekend Challenge at

  43. I’ve had a Foodsaver the last two years. Worth every penny just using it to repackage family packs of meat. I also repackage large bags of frozen vegetables into smaller quart size bags. The bags go on sale 20% off on a regular basis. My only negative is I wish I had spent the money on the more deluxe model that will also work on jars. I bought mine new but have seen them in the thrift store since.

  44. Susan,
    If you can afford to purchase the GameSaver FoodSaver, I highly recommend it over a regular FoodSaver. It has a more powerful motor and works a lot better with ‘wet’ foods. Mine died and I was gifted a regular one by my MIL and it is not nearly as good to me.

  45. I have to join in with others who loved your pictures. What fun your family was having at the carnival!

    I haven’t posted in a while but read every week-
    I happened to mention to a friend I was looking for cinder blocks for a garden project. She called the next day with some “free on the curb” cinder blocks near her house. I immediately went over and picked the ones I needed. Yea for putting the word out!
    I’ve been busy in my community gardens harvesting beets, strawberries, cucumbers, zucchini, radish and green beans. At my apartment, I harvested blueberries for the first time. The berry plants are growing in 5-gallon buckets. It took two years for them to get established but the bush had a nice harvest.
    I had so many cucumbers that I canned 6 – 1/2 pints of relish, ate them as salad and on sandwiches, and found a recipe for cold cucumber soup. The soup is made in the blender and uses either yogurt or buttermilk as the base. Yum.
    I took part in a jam fest at church where I met some new people and came home with 9 – 1/2 pints of various strawberry-based jams ( full sugar, no sugar, with orange, and with blueberry).
    I ate at home for all meals except my Wednesday night group with the seniors. We went to Italian this week for $10 plus $1 for the bus ride. The price of the meal included an entrée, beverage, desert, tax and tip. It’s money well spent to have an evening out with a very fun and lively group. Took my water bottle with me when I went to my gardens and while running errands.
    Watered the potted plants for one of my neighbors while they were out of town. They gifted me with a $20 card for coffee.
    Worked on eating through some things in my freezer – made ribs; also made a pasta dish that used up several freezer containers of sauce and diced tomatoes.
    When I went to the store for milk, I found 50% off packages of lunch meat. Picked up two and put them in the freezer. Both packages were still 10 days before the ‘best buy’ date. I also walked through the spice section for special markdowns but didn’t find any this time.

  46. Lisa, thank you for thinking of us. For a celiac, it is the gluten that is the problem, not the RoundUp Ready resistance, one of the genetic modifications that can cause problems, which would not be in the Einkorn.. Gluten is found in all forms of wheat, & would be present in Einkorn as well as barley & rye. Some individuals can tolerate oats, if they are not contaminated in the field, since oats generally follow wheat in a crop rotation & it only takes a tiny bit of wheat to glutenize a celiac. We buy from a company in Wyoming run by a family with celiac – they do not grow wheat, ever, in their rotations. My husband tolerates corn fairly well, so cornbread works. Unfortunately, most corn is GMO modified now, so that is another concern. I can grind my own dent corn to avoid it, or use blue corn flour, but that is pricey.

  47. What do you put lemon butter on? Biscuits? Or do you use it in cooking like making a pasta dish? I’m curious since I haven’t heard of lemon butter before.

  48. My husband bought me one for mothers day. I happen to like it. It’s very easy and simple to use. I think the only thing will be the cost of the bags but I remember googling about it once. They named a few resources where to buy large plastic rolls for much cheaper than what’s in the store. You can make your own size bag as it seals the plastic closed. I haven’t used it much since we are moving soon, but I’m really intrigued by the idea of using it for nuts.

  49. Your son is so brave! A week ago 2 birds flew in the house and I freaked out and went into my bedroom. One went back outside but the other I had to encourage.

    This week I/we:
    -hung laundry to dry
    -hubs has been great about eating leftovers
    -wrote out a menu plan and shopped for items on list
    -worked on our emergency backpacks, I’m pretty proud of what I got done so far, but I forgot bottled water when I was at the store (I literally stick to my list) but I’ll get that next week plus snacks for hubs backpack
    -made lemonade with the lemons I bought before they went bad
    -using up jam that I made and some freezer foods before our move in the next couple months
    -working on tea towels as a Christmas gift, not sure how many I’ll get done before baby is born tho

  50. I make smoothies and freeze them, a weeks worth at a time. I love doing this as it is one clean up per week. I freeze them in canning jars with a fold top plastic bag over the top and then a ring screwed on. Let them thaw for a couple of hours and then use a spoon to mash what isn’t thawed. It works great for me. I use lots of fruit and also add greens such as spinach.

  51. Had mine a little over 7 months and I love it! I mostly use the vacuum seal attachment to seal mason jars but have used it for packaging items as well. Easy to use. LOVE IT!

  52. I also have had a Foodsaver for years and find it very useful. Just the amount of cheese I don’t waste is worth the price of the machine. We are only 2 people but I like to keep several kinds of cheese on hand. I also buy meat in larger quantities at Sam’s Club, and re-package it at home in smaller packages. I am trying to be very frugal but there are not so many places left to cut back. I do buy mostly items when they are “on sale” and that saves quite a bit. I also use what coupons I can, which is not a whole lot because I cook mostly from scratch. We did spend some money from our entertainment “budget” last weekend on a Pierce Arrow car museum–after first seeing all the cars (free) brought to the National Meet in Buffalo. We last saw them in 2001. It was too sunny for me, but we enjoyed it despite turning a little pink. My husband was rushing me out of the house and I forgot to grab my hat!! I’ve been fair skinned my whole life, so am adept at standing in what little shade I can find. We spent several hours on the cars–it’s my husband’s hobby—and then stopped for lunch on the way back home. A fine outing and very enjoyable. We don’t go out every week, but we do budget for some entertainment.
    Looking ahead, it has become apparent to us that we need to buy a new TV for the living room, a new mattress for our bed, and a new living room couch. These are not immediate needs, although our TV could definitely die at any moment. Husband has been online shopping for TVs. I am attempting to save in as many places as possible to keep these expenses as low as we can make them. And I’m getting impatient listening to all your harvesting and canning adventures!! While my second planting of vegetables is doing well, I still don’t have a tomato or green pepper which is ready to eat. It won’t be a lot longer, though, and this will be a hot and dry week so they can grow well! My garden is smaller every year due to my age and arthrits, but I’m still planting some things.

    Loved the pictures of the kids dunking tank—they look like they had so much fun. I enjoy ALL your photos, but especially when you share the children. Mine are way grown up!! Thanks so much.

  53. Don’t you find the bags to be expensive? I borrowed my mom’s Food Saver when I purchased a box of Zycon chicken, and felt like I spent a fortune on the bags, even on sale.

  54. Had my best meat buy ever this week at Aldi’s. Chicken thighs were on sale for 89 cents a lb., which is s good price, but the day before the sell by date they were marked down $4 off each package. I got 7 packs with 8 chicken thighs in each pack for a total spent of $2.61. When I open my freezer, it clucks! Lesson here – always check their meat displays even if I don’t need meat. 100 percent whole wheat bread was 59 cents this week, too, as well as a pint of blueberries for 99 cents. Both at Aldi’s. Made 2 table runners from a $1 tablecloth from a yard sale. Great to read everyone’s comments.

  55. Hi Susan from Australia.

    I totally relate to the drought we also have severe water restrictions in place here where I live too. We have been fortunate enough to be a two person family and with the use of our grey water from our showers and using the grey water from our washing machine on our lawns we have been fortunate enough to have enough water for our vegetable gardens, but only by careful water conservation though.

    Have to agree once you are a gardener to have to stop due to unforseen circumstances would be hard. I wish rain to fall for you shortly so the restrictions are lifted for you.


  56. Hi Annabel, yes another Australian here too.

    Do agree the hummingbird photo is just adorable and I too am amazed at just how beautiful tiny and fragile they are, seeing them up close in the photo. They do remind me of the tiny little sparrows we have in our country area where we live, but the hummingbirds are far more colourful.

  57. I am so sorry you were not able to plant a garden this year. Hopefully, you will be able to plant one in the fall!

  58. This week I picked zucchini, tomatoes, radishes, strawberries, 12.5 pounds of cucumbers, 5 pounds of green beans, and lots of swiss chard. I froze swiss chard, zucchini, radishes and beans. I canned cucumbers. I am extremely happy and grateful with how productive our garden has already been this year.

    I was able to get ground beef and sausage 1/2 off! This was a wonderful addition to our freezer.

  59. I have not posted here in a while but am trying to keep myself motivated to stay on the frugal pathway, even in times of discouragement. My husband has now passed the one-year mark of being unemployed, especially frustrating because one set of interviews led to what we were given all indications of being a job offer — until it kept getting strung out and strung out, with more and more hoops to jump through, and then fizzled away.

    So. Onward and upward. In the past week, DH and daughter picked blueberries (at a u-pick farm); we had blueberry pancakes for dinner one night and froze many of them for use throughout the year. We are participating in a CSA (half share for our family of 3) which is delivered to my work weekly this year. From last week’s produce delivery, I blanched and froze the remaining broccoli we didn’t eat fresh, for use in soups or casseroles this winter. (Thanks to whoever posted on one of Brandy’s posts this month about broccoli cheese soup; it inspired me.) I also made creamy cucumber salad from the cucumber that was in the CSA (no one else is a big fan, but it was good for a couple of lunches I pack and take to work), and made spiced zucchini bars with cream cheese frosting from the zucchini. They have been breakfast a few times. Bratwurst was on sale at our local grocery; we had a dinner with brats cut into smaller pieces, and grilled outdoors in foil packets with chopped summer squash and onions from the CSA. I put a bit of oil in the packets, as well as some seasoning — oregano in some, just salt and pepper in others. Also used foil packets on the grill to make s’mores: the marshmallows are still coming out of a bag purchased to go in hot chocolate this past winter. My daughter and I made cherry popsicles, using a jello pack and a Kool-Aid pack from our pantry, and pouring them into popsicle molds my mother gave me that she used to use to make the same type of popsicles for my sister and I when we were children.

    We attended our city’s free summer concert series in the park and enjoyed a Johnny Cash tribute band. Also attended the “first splash” grand opening event for our community center’s renovated pool; it was a free open swim for everyone.

    I have been soaking up the beautiful Minnesota summer with walks around the lake. We met my mother partway between our homes over the weekend and she gave me a pair of pants she had shortened for me and a slip she had shortened for my daughter, who is staying with my parents this week. I had built up enough points to request $10 in Amazon credit from the ReceiptHog app.

  60. Laura, thanks for fixing the link! I was trying to guess what it should be — I try to click through and read links when people share their frugal doings there, since I often find inspiration from various things posted on this forum.

  61. Lorna and Holly B,
    Thank you for your kind thoughts. We are supposed to be entering an El Nino which usually brings rain so it might help. I may look into a grey water set up for lawns and trees. I’m also looking into xeriscape, that way I would have water for my edibles. 🙂

  62. Rhonda, thanks so much for the picture links. That does look like a complicated loom. What year is your village set in?

  63. Mandy, congratulations on the new car. Both my oldest girl and my daughter in law have a Prius. I think you will be happy with it.

  64. Susie- I buy my bags on a roll, so I cut them to the size I need. That saves compared to buying individual bags. Also, I reuse my bags- each time they are a little smaller of course, but they are getting several uses per bag before they are tossed away.

    I invested in several Food Saver canisters that I use on my shelves and in my fridge that are wonderful too! I have a gallon size canister that I fill with cut up chunks of melon or lettuce from the garden and it keeps it fresh much longer than normal!

    I even have a Foodsaver lid that vacuum seals on a regular can that has been opened so it can last in fridge longer too!

    I use the regular and wide mouth jar lid attachments to reuse jar lids on mason jars to store my dehydrated foods!

    The multiple ways I use it are the reason I keep it on my kitchen counter permanently- because it is so versatile! I think I spent $55 for mine at Kohls (they frequently have them on sale 40% off or more) and have used it almost every day for many years now!

  65. The village spans from 1825 to 1899. Canada was settled much later than the states. In fact, the war of 1812 spurred on a huge push to more establish the British colony of Upper and Lower Canada. In our area, the majority of the settlers came in the early to mid-1820s. It was just wild, untamed bush at that time. The impresses me the most is that only 75 years later, at the turn of the century, we have a train line established across Canada, lots of industry and have pretty much caught us up to the U.S. and Europe. Pretty amazing how fast we were able to become established and are well on our way to becoming our own country!

    Just a note, in 1867 we had Confederation which established us as a “Country” with our own Government making decisions. However, our government still had to get the British Monarchy to sign off before things could pass. We still continue to be connected to Britain as we have a Governor General in our government who is supposed to be a representative for the Queen. Now they only officiate the decision making process, not the person with the final decision as they used to be. We didn’t have our own Canadian Flag until 1965. My mother remembers learning about the British flag when she was in school.

  66. Lisa, if you are looking for a more local source of wheat that is not genetically modified, you could consider trying Red Fife flour. Red Fife wheat was developed in Peterborough County, Ontario in the 1800s by David Fife. We talk about him in our Pioneer Village, as we have is original 1825 first settlers cabin. Pure stains of Red Fife wheat are not genetically modified, but it is often one of the wheat strains used in the genetically modified wheat, due to many of its highly desirable qualities.

  67. Hi Kelly and just in answer to your question on how to use lemon butter.

    You can use it on scones, noticed from pictures your biscuits look a little like our scones so can use it on them, on toast in replacement of normal butter.

    I hope this helps.

  68. We too have a food saver. Love that thing.
    Food tastes great for about a year after saving/freezing.
    When defrosting, I have been noticing pin point holes (maybe one/two per bag) in the saver bag. The meat/vegetables are still good, but it was a little leaky.

  69. I had a lot of costly “celebrations” this past week (3 birthday/1 baptism party). Fortunately I was able to fit them into my budget with careful planning for the past month and not have to “charge” anything. I am trying very hard to climb out of old credit card debt and have been pretty successful at this point. I wish I could get it down much faster than it is going but I am grateful that it continues to go down instead of up!

    Since money was going to be tight I buckled down even more than usual to make up some of the difference.

    *Since the temperature was a lot cooler in our area I was able to drive with the window open in the car instead of having the air conditioner on for the 45 minute drive it takes me to get to work each morning….this saved gas $$$

    *I was able to eat from my garden/pantry & freezer so I only spent $18 dollars at the food store. I would not have even spent that much money if it hadn’t been for a sale they had on canned tomatoes that I use to make sauce. This “stash” of 12 cans will last me several months! Keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to do it once again this coming week with little to no money spent at the food store.

    *Breakfast/lunch/snacks were brought to work everyday. I bring tea with me each morning in a thermo-cup and also keep tea bags in my desk and I drink water throughout the day which is free. We have a water cooler at work.

    *Continue to keep blinds and curtains closed throughout the day to keep the house cooler so the air conditioner does not work so hard and I have also been keeping the thermostat a little higher.

    *All bills were paid online so no cost for mailings.

    *Since my daughter was going on vacation she gave me several coupons that she was not going to be able to use. One was for $10 off any purchase. I was able to get a pair of earrings for FREE. This was something I would not normally buy for myself so it was a real treat.

    Looking forward to reading all the other posts for more ideas…

  70. i too keep the food saver on my counter i use so much. this i got for ten dollars down the road at a yrd sale the lady used once said it took much room on the counter ironic right?

    i mostly use it with canister the canister is taller then a qt jar i put dry product like choc chip in jar dust wipe the rim and add a used canning jar lid so don’t throw out those lids you can’t use again for reg canning but are perfect for vac sealing put the lid on and the screw band not as tight as for canning i just back the ring up a bit put jar in canister put lid on canister you can either just use hose but i usually just have a jar attachment at one end of my hose all the time so hook up the hose and set the jar attachment over the top of the lid of canister centering over the center then vac seal till done remove jar attachment and press canister then take out the sealed jar…now did you know you can use any jar with lid for this like jam jars spaghetti jars keep their lids the only ones i cannot do is baby food jars but the rest work wonderfully just remember if using powdered product you need to cut a coffee filter the size of the lid and lay it inside jar on product not on rim. powder will kill fsavers this prevents that this has been wonderful for me as I need my canning jars usually for canning this time of yr. I dry a lot of food apples other fruits celery and other veggies and so it is just another tool i still have jar attachments as some times i use a jar too large for canister

  71. Lisa, my father taught us to use the vise in his basement workshop to crack nuts. It works really well.

  72. Bleargh, my whole thing got eaten.

    It feels like we are spending money like we are printing our own. I made banana bread as a gift( I don’t think it’s much of a gift since it is so easy but my sister hates to cook and loves banana bread),We had “Christmas in July” and I made a small ham, and cornbread, tomatoes and cucumbers from our garden, and carrots from our garden. My sister brought dessert. I baked brownies for a famiy bbq. I sold our pack n play, FINALLY. I was just about to give up and donate it and someone bought it. I was really happy, and we used the money to treat ourselves to Chinese food. My eczmea is finally on the mend, thanks to the dr and a steroid and a fancy cream. If anyone is interested in the name of the products he suggested that are OTC, he told me to get CeraVe hand cream( in the tub, not the pump) and Gold Bond hand sanitizer. I have tried a lot of creams and I have to say the CeraVe is amazing and works well enough that I only have to use 1/2 the dose of the steroid. It’s a very cheap price, considering what I have spent trying to manage the eczema on my own as well as all the premade food we were buying because I could not cook.

    I used leftover ham and some fresh pineapple to make hawaiian pizza for dinner with company, I made tomato sauce from our tomatoes.

  73. I have added them to gifts in the ribbon knot, so that when it is untied, there is a nice smell. It looks pretty too.

  74. Actually, I had to google to find your blog. It ended with “.ca” not “.com.” Interesting site. Thank you for mentioning it.

  75. Hi, Celia! Banana bread sounds like a tasty gift. 🙂 So glad to hear your eczema is doing better. If you are interested, I can share some info about natural things that can help your skin. Steroids can be dangerous.

  76. Sold (2) 18 month old hens and the canvass sides rom a pop up camper we scrapped out. We got it for free off craigslist and used what we needed for our bus conversion and sold off the rest. The money will be used for our mini vacation to Mackinac this weekend.
    Used the coupon for .30 cents off a gallon of gas (up to 15 gallons) to fill up the bus. We used gasbuddy to find the cheapest gas in the area to get the best deal.
    I made up all of our food ahead of time so there is less raw stuff to deal with at the campsite. My husband stopped at the Daily Deals store (kind of a scratch and dent) to check the lunch meat prices and he was able to pick up the no nitrite/nitrate stuff for 3.39 a pound. It was 7.99 at the regular store. We used a $5 coupon to buy the frozen treats for our trip. This will be the first time I have had a working freezer while camping. I also picked up a like new air popcorn popper to put in the camper at Salvation Army and will pack popcorn to have around the fire. We opted not to put in a microwave but we do have both 110 and solar power to run some of the small appliances.
    Reseeded some more coneflower and blanket flowers and started saving marigold seeds.
    Used frozen pop bottles to keep our bunnies cool in the heatwave we’be been having and then only ran the big fan a couple hours when it was hottest.
    Used the leftover dog food from dogs who have gone home from the kennel I work at to supplement my chickens food. We have to throw it away so this way it isn’t going to waste.
    Made myself a short leash to better control our Dane pup during walks. I already had the swivel snap in my sewing stash and the webbing cost me 77 cents at the fabric stores sidewalk sale.
    fixed the waistband on 2 pairs of shorts. I have a small waist for my weight apparently and need to put elastic in almost every pair of pants I find.
    Used an empty cat litter bucket and made a raised feeder that can double as dog food storage in the bus. It even happened to be in our color scheme lol. Goof Off took the label right off with minimal scrubbing.

  77. It is 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 1/8 tsp each of sage, ginger, cloves and cocoa (to suit your coloring). I usually double it and keep it in a plastic container that I repurposed. I use a brush from the dollar store and dab it in the powder and tap it on the container to get off the excess. I have been using this all year, and it does not bother my skin at all. A HUGE savings over buying compacts.

  78. I have a question. Last week I tried to make peach jelly from peach skins. It didn’t set up so I put them in popcicle molds but am having one heck of a time getting them out of the molds. How can I get them out of the molds easily? I ran a lot of hot water to get the first ones I made out.

  79. Hi CG,
    What a fantastic idea! I think the once a week clean up and prep work is brilliant!


  80. *For the second week in a row, I’ve made a point to go to Aldi to do most of my grocery shopping. Then I went to Walmart for the things I needed that I couldn’t get at Aldi.
    *Planted more seeds in my container garden to replace things that have died out.
    *Made one trip to accomplish several errands when I had to get out.
    *Making more meatless meals. (I don’t eat meat at all).
    *Continued baking homemade bread.
    I can’t think of anymore right now.
    It looks like your kids are enjoying the summer! I am staying INSIDE and out of our oppressive heat and humidity (“feels like” temps of 101 to 110)!
    Have a great week everyone!~TJ

  81. I taught myself how to embroider last summer using picture diagrams (You Tube would be easier to learn from but they didn’t have computers in the 1800s). I don’t usually follow patterns, I just make up my own as I go. This one started with just the outline sketch of a tree with a few branches, then I started stitching and let my inspiration lead the way. Much of my inspiration comes from embroidery ideas I find on Pinterest.

    I have been told I have a talent for embroidery. But please don’t ask me to knit or crochet…I can do very basic stuff but I can’t follow a pattern to save my life. Just goes to show you that everyone has different talents!

  82. Anna, you could try boiling some water in a kettle, pour it into a pan then set the Popsicle molds in the pan for a minute or two. It will save you running so much water. You could experiment with spraying the insides with Pam (or lightly coat with oil) for next time. It might help with the sticking. Of course, these are just suggestions to try. Not sure if they will work for sure.

  83. I somehow forgot a really BIG thing that helped us out financially this past week: my grown son asked if he could move back in for a while while he finished his schooling. He offered to contribute a set amount financially each month which will help us out soooo much! Since my husbands stroke almost three years ago we have been on a very limited income as he had to quit working and needs me to be home full time to assist him (that’s how I found your site! Thank you for all you put into it.). His offer was a major blessing and I can’t believe I didn’t think to add it to my “frugal accomplishments”. Every little bit helps. ;D

  84. made another batch of pizza sauce this morning, we did get a ten dollar gift card from a store that opened in the town three miles away they had butter and toilet paper on sale that is what i got. I picked more seed for peas next yr.

    We cleaned the central air condenser to help it to run cheaper did this by using air compressor.

    I carried down canned that i did earlier to the basement

    we had two cooler mornings i ground wheat and made two loaves of bread and pan of cinn rolls.

    I have been tatting around one of two hankies for gifts

    we can’t afford to eat out but we have fri nite as our pizza nite yrs ago found the best pizza dough recipe i looked for yrs till i found this one there are only two of us and so i make two one each the size of a sm pie tin…..this morning was make the dough day….

    pizza dough
    5 c flour
    1 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp yeast

    i mix the dry ingred the night before only for ease in the morning

    then add 2 c water
    2tbsp olive oil

    stir tog i do this by hand then divide into thirds spray two baggies and put a third in ea baggie throw those in the freezer spray the third still in the bowl cover with plastic set on counter till ready to make pizzas for supper divide that between the two pans i spray and use a hand roller roll the dough out on the pans i put in preheating oven while i gather the toppings then take out the pizzas top and put in oven which is 500 degrees bake 8-10 min or till you like it then slide on to wooden cutting board and cut and plate wooden cutting board keeps it from getting soggie….. but this is the best part the next time you make pizza you take out the baggie from the freezer in the morning and put it on the counter it will be ready for supper and we think it tastes better then any pizza we ever had at a pizza place

    i am enjoying this site and all of you we are all in this together and i love what great ideas thanks to all

  85. I don’t know much about them but we do have a nut cracker. I think my bil had some left from last year may give one of those a try. Our ancestors used them a lot I wonder what they used in the old days? I’ve heard you can make coffee from them too.

  86. Hi Becky, thanks for sharing your pizza dough recipe..It sounds easy, and I love that you mix up enough for more meals,and can freeze it.. I will try it.. Have a blessed day.Judy

  87. No, I need the steroids, but thank you. I have had eczema for years and normally can manage it myself. It’s almost gone and hopefully it will be another decade before it gets that bad again.

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