Dahlias Zinnias Iceberg Roses The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from my garden.

I collected lettuce seeds from my garden.

I collected parsley seeds from the garden and then planted them in another section of the garden.

I cut basil from the white garden and hung it to dry.

I picked a few tomatoes and a few red noodle beans from the garden.

I canned rosemary fig jam with figs from my tree and rosemary from my garden.

My husband changed an air conditioner filter so that our air conditioner will work more efficiently.

I received two of large zucchinis from a friend, and then another friend brought us another large one! I have three plants that have not produced anything; they are not even making flowers, so I am very grateful for the shared produce!

My father-in-law gave us some unthinned peaches from his tree. They are tiny; my smallest children can eat 3 each in a sitting. They were also delicious! We still have some to eat this week.

We had a tiny bit of rain. I put out buckets and was able to collect just a bit of water, plus turn off the drip system for a few cycles.

I continued to use Duolingo to study French. I was talking with a friend in France, and she asked me if I knew of a free program to brush up on her English. I checked and you can choose the language that you speak, and then choose another language to learn, so even if English isn’t your first language, the site will work for you!

Via You Tube, I found a fun French learning blog called “Comme Une Française.” I watched almost all of her videos last week. Some things were great refreshers for me, and several things were new to me, including several French expressions. Then I practiced several of these expressions with a friend on Facebook. This was lots of fun, especially as some are quite funny!

Cyrus belt

Cyrus made a belt for himself, using an old leather belt that my husband had in his leather kit (the leather is about 40 years old), an old belt buckle, and my husband’s leather tools. When he was done, he dyed it black.

I grated and dehydrated some carrots that I had in the refrigerator.

What did you do to save money last week?


Similar Posts


  1. Your son did great work on the belt. What a wonderful use of items you already had on hand!

    Frugal accomplishments this week:
    – This was a week of abundance for my garden. I picked lots of Sun Gold tomatoes and the first of my pole beans (a Blue Lake variety)! Two pounds so far, and the vines are loaded with flowers. Provided that the weather cooperates, I am going to have tons of beans to can, freeze and share. We already ate them twice – so delicious! I also picked some patty pan squash. A mystery was solved for me last week when Brandy explained that squash plants produce mostly male flowers when it is very hot. That is exactly what had been going on with my plants. Now that the weather has cooled a bit, I am getting more squash.
    – At the garden, I also picked two pints of raspberries from the common area, and four pints of blackberries from the bushes that grow wild. I froze some of the berries and ate some fresh too. I traded another gardener patty pan squash for beets (and blanched and froze the beet greens). Someone picked the plums off of an Italian plum tree, and left a few unripe ones on the picnic table. I took those home to ripen.
    – I canned 7 pints of pickled banana peppers, and chopped 3 quart bags of poblanos for the freezer, to enjoy all winter.
    – Finally I cleaned out the freezer. I had purchased plastic bins from the dollar section at Target and used these to organize everything. Then I drew myself a diagram so I know where everything is in the freezer. This is going to reduce waste and frustration, as all the contents will be easier to find and use.
    – I need to have a dental procedure done (to correct a TMJ issue) that is normally difficult to get covered by insurance. I met with my dentist to discuss the situation, and then proceeded to do some research on my own. I found out that my medical insurance (and not my dental) will actually cover this procedure, provided that the right codes are used. After some investigating, I found the appropriate codes online and called my insurance, and they told me what my dentist would need to do to get preapproval so the work would be covered. I then reported this to my dentist, who will take care of the paperwork for me. (Normally the dentist’s office would do the initial research, but he had some staff turnover so things are rather disorganized there.) Luckily I know enough about the different kinds of medical codes so I was able to find the information I need. The potential savings is close to $2000.
    – We talked about Thanksgiving plans and decided to go see my sister and her family who live near Las Vegas. I try to see my sister once a year, and she was not able to come to Seattle this summer. I booked the plane tickets and got a low price for shopping early and being able to fly on non-peak days. I also found a condo to rent on the VBRO website (my sister’s house is quite small not really able to accommodate visitors). This is money out now for the holidays.

    We are taking a short vacation this week on an island in Puget Sound, south of Seattle. We will drive an hour and then take a short ferry ride, and stay in a cabin (which I also found on the VRBO website a couple months ago). There’s only one small store on the island, so I am doing grocery shopping before the trip. Should be fun…and it will be really nice to have some down time with my husband, who until recently has been super stressed at work.

    That was my week. I love reading about what everyone else is doing. Thanks so much, Brandy, for hosting this great forum!

  2. I am in absolute awe that Cyrus made the belt himself. Wow. It looks vintage and something that many people would pay a lot for too!

    I admire your consistency with learning French, I am sure you have plenty to do each day so being consistent in doing something just for yourself is so important (and also so hard to do sometimes).
    I had a good week frugality wise except literally ‘drowning’ money in coffee.

    My weekly update is here:

    Wishing everyone a great week

  3. I made banana muffins, shepherd’s pie, had salad with ingredients from our garden, read free books, shopped around for my stepmom’s birthday gift, redeeemed $20 at the grocery store. and encouraged my son in his potty training.

    It’s been a bit crazy while my husband continues to work on our floors. We have spent extra money on gas to get the children out of the house and extra on groceries as it is difficult and a bit dangerous cooking in the kitchen on a tarp, I imagine he will be working on them at least another week and then take a break. I am quite clumsy and afraid I will trip while cooking or moving from the stove to the sink, we have been trying to avoid cooking or to cook in bigger batches so we can just reheat.

    I am trying to plan our spring garden, I am not going to plant vegetables, only ornamentals so it looks attractive to buyers. I would find a vegetable garden a huge plus, but I don’t want anything that will get tall or crazy or straggly, etc. I was thinking of maybe just low impatiens or like that in the three raised beds. I’m not sure. I don’t know anything about flowers. I had considered vegetables that don’t get crazy, for example peppers stay quite tidy and so does lavender and thyme but I don’t really know.

  4. Hello! Last week to save money I:
    mended a pair of shorts for my husband
    I took all food and beverages to work with me last week
    we washed our car at home instead of at the car wash
    we continue to use family cloth, not have cable, not eat out.
    I continue to use a bucket in the shower to catch warm up water, dump leftover water in glasses at night in, veggie rinse water, etc to use to water the garden. We also used water from my daughters pool to water some plants on that side of the house. The pool is the size of a twin bed and gets dirty quickly. We have not had rain in a month.
    harvested basil, kale, peas, zucchini, yellow squash from my garden.
    used odds and ends from the fridge and cupboard to make last Thursday’s and Friday’s lunches for myself for work.
    I made white bread, banana bread, chili, peach pie popsicles from scratch using ingredients we already had.
    My employer provided lunch one day during a meeting.
    Drank free coffee and water at work
    saved lots of paper that is blank on one side to use for scrap paper at home when I cleaned out my office space.
    Resisted the urge to eat out twice and waited until we got home instead.
    My husband has STILL not gotten his paycheck. It’s been two weeks. His employer states they have not “released” it yet, but will not provide a reason why.
    I sat down with all of our bills/debts, organized them, and made a budget. I am going to use the Dave Ramsey way and pay off debt. I am in the process of reducing our auto insurance by half ( the company we have now is outrageous!) and look into homeowner’s insurance as well with another company. I will not be renewing my Amazon prime membership at the end of this year as well.
    Have a fabulously frugal week everyone!

  5. That belt is adorable, great job!

    We’ve had a fairly frugal week, although we did slip up once.

    I planned a day trip to the Oregon coast on Saturday with the family, (1 hour 45 minute drive) and brought all our own food. I packed brie and crackers, homemade cookies, cut up cantaloupe and some Laughing Cow cheese. (All from Grocery outlet, so cheap!) We also brought a large thermos of coffee and waters. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. Picture driving sideways rain that soaks your clothing and stings your skin.

    We had nowhere to picnic, so the four of us ate in the Prius. We stopped at a restaurant on the way home, and as much as I would have liked everyone to choose bowls of clam chowder, two of us picked pricier items from the menu. We ended up spending $48 with tip which kind of bummed me out since our older son has a massive college bill coming up.

    However, there were many frugal things that balanced everything out.

    – I worked two shifts at the hospital and brought my own lunch both days.
    – The charge nurse was throwing away unidentified food from a cupboard and I rescued a Rubbermaid food container from the trash.
    – I was taken to lunch as a thank you for watching over a neighbor’s house while she was out of town.
    – I put many, many loads of laundry on our clothesline.
    – I finished a library book.
    – I watched a free Redbox movie.
    – I brought home a couple of free curbside items which I have currently have for sale on Craigslist.
    – I cooked every dinner from scratch.

    And of course I blogged about my frugality as well!


  6. – I found a great deal on peanut butter: 99cents for a 16 ounce jar. I bought 5 jars.
    – I sold a book on the local facebook yard sale site. I posted more things on there and on craigslist. Fingers crossed that they sell.
    – I did a pinecone survey
    – We had a couple cooler days so I opened the windows and turned off the A/C.
    – I air dried a load of laundry on our wooden drying rack
    – We went swimming at a local pool for free
    – Husband brought home a dozen tomatoes that somebody gave him at church. I gave a few to the neighbours and used the rest in our lunches and dinners for the week.
    – It was tax free weekend in our State. I bought some batteries and clothes I’ve been needing. I figure I save maybe $3, but $3 saved is $3 saved!
    – I bought pork loin on sale for $1.88 a pound. The timing of the sale was great because I had just used the last of our pork loin for dinner earlier this week.

  7. A friend brought supper for us one night.
    I bought pillows from a garage sale for $2.00 apiece that sell for over $70.00 each new. They are down and feather filled. We bought them to recover and sell them, but they are so beautiful we are keeping them in the living rooms.
    We bought pork loin on sale and sliced it into boneless chops. We got 13 chops for $15.00. The chops are thick cut and very tasty.
    I’m keeping the A/C at 75 even though it is running in the 100s here this week.
    I bought a fabric that has been off the shelves for a few years in the secondary market for 5 dollars a yard. This is less than I paid for it all those years ago.
    I bought bias tape for under $6 (10 yards). In Walmart it is always almost 5 for three yards. I was thrilled.
    We were given 3 bags of small cucumbers.
    And last, but not least…I have been shopping in my own “materials” stash for the jobs I have coming up. This is saving me an endless amount of money at this time.
    I love the belt!

  8. Wow! Awesome work on the belt, Cyrus! My mom was into leather working when I was a child and I always wanted to learn. Really useful skill to know, for sure!

    This last week saw a small improvement in finances. We finally got our back pay from the last three weeks, so I was able to make the mortgage and the other bills. Course, after buying groceries, some underwear for the kids and picking up medicines that I’d been putting off for the husband and kids (because we were so broke…thank goodness we hadn’t run out yet), we are now broke again. But, at least we have a roof over our heads for another month.

    I also had a God send of a unexpected check coming in, which will help me to make a good portion of my shopping goals for the month.

    Thank you to everyone who had encouraging words or even a little prayer for us lately. I swear that it has been helping.

    My list for the week can be found here…


  9. The belt is really nice! I was letting my arugula go to seed but my frustration with the harlequin bugs won out and I pulled it for my chickens. They were all over it, and starting to nibble adjacent things. Maybe next year.

    My frugal accomplishments are shared here: http://quietcountrylife.blogspot.com/2015/08/back-to-school-week-savings-blessings.html

    I just tried out a carpet spot cleaner that I bought second-hand, and it doesn’t work. I’m glad I got the lady’s contact information, and that she said she’d refund me if it didn’t work. Hopefully that will go smoothly!

  10. Great looking belt!

    * garden is doing well and we are eating lots of cucumbers and tomatoes. We even have some tiny watermelons which I hope grow big enough to harvest.
    * dehydrated some basil leaves
    * my daughter starts dual enrollment this fall (college and high school). We got the list of books for the college and were able to find one of them for half the book store cost on amazon. I will also be using a gift card I got so no out of pocket. Now if we can have similar success with her other books!
    * I have been prepping salads in individual reusable containers. This seems to lessen food waste as they are easy to grab and eat.
    * took my daughters birthday pictures on our property with my own camera 🙂
    * stocking up where I can; 4 pounds of butter this week for $2 per pound

  11. Have you ever tried the tomatoes “Heatmaster” ive had major trouble in Virginia with tomatoes…and these are doing well..(Now i know Va is not NV…but might be worth a try??????

  12. The kids must love when grandpa brings them those sweet little treats! I can just imagine how novel and fun it must be for them to eat more than one in a sitting. I’ll echo that the belt looks fabulous– my husband would love something like that; perhaps I can suggest the hobby to him. Thank you, Brandy, for sharing your son’s resourcefulness and creativity.

    The kitchen was running low after many weeks without replenishment. I’d been out of many staples for more than a week (eggs, cheese, canola oil, all purpose flour, sugar). I made ricotta from powdered milk, dough from semolina, sauce from tomato paste (an aside for those who use canned sauce over paste– with the right amount of water and seasoning you will enjoy what paste yields). This made us our Friday pizza. I saved the whey from the ricotta and I will use it today in place of water when making bread.

    I used the last of my oats and some peanuts to make an unsweetened granola that I tossed with melted almond bark (there were two blocks I had been holding onto for a very long time) to make little “haystacks”. These ended up being less carbs than traditional cookies, muffins, etc. which is a great win for my husband– I’m making another (larger) batch today, and he will begin eating these with coffee as a breakfast (I can make them for around 10 cents each). He usually skips breakfast, so I’m glad to find something he will enjoy to start the day. Even when the cupboards aren’t full we can find new ways to use old things; perhaps they even become a favorite.

    We had several days of rain and a cool-down that allowed me to open the windows for a full day (rare!). Other days I collected water from the air conditioner and watered where needed. I mixed a batch of no-grate laundry detergent (1 T dish soap, 2 T borax, 2 T washing soda, 6 cups water). I hung laundry to dry in a spare room. I ironed clothes, mended a loose seam on pants, and have two shirts to add buttons back to this week (one fell off while I was ironing; at least the button didn’t get lost). I fluffed chair cushions in the dryer on a steam refresh setting and rotated them as I do each week.

    I did a lot of shopping on Saturday (four stores and a farm stand in the space of one mile and all two miles from my home). For those who don’t already know and can make use of this information: Kroger has an excellent sale going on right now that involves frozen vegetables. I stocked my freezer with broccoli, spinach, green beans, corn, okra, and lima beans. The bags were $1 each and 24-28 oz. What a find– I’ve been having a tough time finding good produce prices since moving, so I’m glad to find things in my price point. There were mushrooms on a manager special that were below my buy price, and I bought 4.5 lbs. I’ll freeze the excess today. I found an excellent price on sweet peppers and will freeze most of them today, as well. These are all important finds since we don’t have a garden yet (I’m planning the structure now and we’ll save this winter to get it started). The diversity of the sale items was most welcome and a great surprise to me!

  13. I normally only shop a couple of places. Sam’s Club, Aldi and Dollar Tree for a couple of things. I have added Kroger back to my list. I started shopping only the advertised loss leaders so that I can get points to save a few cents on gas too. (All these stores are within just a short distance of each other for me in our town.)

    A few weeks ago I stocked up on hotdogs. They had a name brand for 99c for 1lb…I bought enough for us to eat hotdogs once a week for almost the entire year. I stacked them up in organizing containers and put them in the deep freeze where I can pull them out as wee need them. We frequently eat 2-3 packages for a meal, especially if we have extra foster kids eating with us.

    THIS week (back to school here) they had Jif and Smuckers on sale for 99 cents! I have purchased (50) 16oz jars of Jif and (35) 18oz Smuckers so far. We have five kids and eat a lot of PB&J when we need to take a meal in the van to travel. (Play therapy is 45min away and so is our church/youth group.) I broke the price out. I usually buy PB either at Sam’s (JIF) $0.116/oz or Aldi (StoreBrand) $0.087. This sale was $0.062 for name brand! I am thinking about making one more trip to get just a bit more. I know what we have will not last a year. I will have to come up with some additional storage space if I’m going to try and round out a years worth. (Not to mention doing the math to figure out what that number would be!)

  14. Dehydrated carrots? What do you use them for? When we have too many I just blanch and freeze. Interested in a different alternative.

    This past week:
    I didn’t have as much money to put on groceries but I did go get some eggs: 1.27/dz, bananas: .39/lb and some peaches: $.99 lb. The deals this summer haven’t been as good as usual. I’m thinking we are going to have to adjust some of my price points. I did luck out and find some cubed steak marked down (and the date was a week out) for less than $2/lb. We enjoyed those last night. My husband doesn’t like dark meat so I’m always on the lookout for good meat deals.

    Made homemade ricotta. While not a cost savings from the store, it’s ten times better….actually doesn’t even taste like ricotta. My recipe makes 4 cups. We are actually still working on it. Going to make some pasta with it tonight to finish it up.

    Cut Zinnia’s from the garden. Picked tomatoes and pablano peppers. Pulled cucumbers…was diseased, put down new soil and planted some onion and spinach. Our garden hasn’t been great this year.

    Went to the pool, to the skate park with a friend (daughter had never done this before, nor myself), and played board games, and did puzzles around the house.

    Did orientation for my seasonal job. I make repairs/hand out costumes at a local amusement park for their Halloween festival during the fall. It’s three months of pure fun. I only worked 2 hours but it’s a start for the season.

    Have a great week!

  15. The weeks just seem to be going by so quickly…

    I did all the normal “frugal” things around the house this week including:

    *I gave myself a pedicure! I love going for one on occasion but it just wasn’t in the budget and probably will not be for many more months, so I decided to do it myself. Of course it was not “relaxing” but it looks great.
    *My food store was having a special, if you bought “10” items of certain products you were able to get a price of .75 per item. So I stocked up on some Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Chiles & Starkist Solid White Tuna. This was a great savings on both items.
    *I “decorated” my fireplace mantel with items I already had in the house. Pays to “save” things or just re-arrange what you already have.
    *I have been taking advantage of the nice weather we have been having and taking walks in our park for exercise and have also been able to sit outside with neighbors and socialize.
    *By keeping my blinds and curtains closed during the day it really has been helping to save on my electricity bill. I am on a monthly budget. This billing cycle they “lowered” my bill since I have been accumulating so much “credit”. It came down about $23 a month.
    I am going to put this savings toward paying down my credit card debit.
    *I decided to wash and organize my refrigerator this weekend…with just a little hot water and soap it looks amazing!

    Looking forward to another week of reading all the posts!

  16. – This week I had some great savings at Meijer. Spent $115 and saved $105! Had an mperks coupon for a free notebook and one for a free Saffron Road frozen meal (that was $5). A coupon for buy one get one free on Meijer sodas and they were on sale for 88 cents. I hadn’t had their soda before (we don’t buy a lot of soda but it wasn’t bad). Also had a coupon for $1 off a frozen burrito. It was only $1.09 so I only paid 9 cents and had it for lunch today. Jif peanut butter was on a crazy sale for 99 cents (normally $2.49, limit 6). Plus I had a coupon for $1 off of 2. Lean cuisines were on sale for 99 cents (normally $2.19). Boneless,skinless chicken breast on sale for $1.88 and 25% off ground turkey. I found really cute tea towels (set of 2) on clearance for $2. Got a pack for myself and a pack to add to a wedding present I’m putting together for my nephew. Also I had an mperks for 10% off if you used your Meijer credit card. Plus I had a $5 off next shopping trip coupon to use. And I got $2 off dairy and produce Catalina’s to use for next time. Sometimes Meijer has some pretty great savings!
    – looked at freestufftimes website and filled out form to get a free Sample of Cerave moisturizer and cleanser. I love this brand! Also filled out info to get a free 8×8 sample of sport Lycra fabric in the cutest polka dot pink, purple and turquoise hedgehogs. These are the colors in my daughter’s room and she loves hedgehogs so I’m going to frame and mat this for her room for her birthday next month!
    – made Jessica Alba’s turkey zucchini meatball recipe from the zucchini I shredded the other day and the ground turkey I got on sale. They were SO good, and I have leftovers too!
    – I try to do Christmas shopping throughout the year so it’s not a big expense all in December. I found some great clearance deals at Homegoods today (gorgeous salad bowls for $2 each, calphalon utensils for $2 each, etc).
    – had to get a recall fixed in my car and they washed my car for free afterwards.
    – filled out form for free sample of k-cups at Walmart. I don’t drink coffee but my husband does every morning.
    – took one of my son’s friends to the pool with us and when I brought him back his mom invited us to stay for burgers which was nice because my husband had a work dinner and I didn’t have anything planned for dinner!
    – husband had a work dinner and was able to bring home some leftovers
    – filled out form for two free Quest nutrition bars and a sample of Loreal shampoo and conditioner
    – we were invited to a bbq and had a nice dinner (brought a quinoa black bean salad) with friends. I had enough of my quinoa salad leftover that we were able to have it as a side dish with dinner the next night.
    – ate leftovers for lunch
    – found out through Amex that I get a complimentary membership to shop runner (free 2 day shipping for 95 different merchants). This was a $75 value.
    – downloaded a free copy of The Magic of Public Speaking. I’m going to have to introduce speakers this year at the monthly newcomers club and this may help.
    – sold two lots of jewelry I never wore on ebay for $35
    – relisted lots that didn’t sell in ebay, plus added new ones for a total of 26 listed
    – received three free magazines in the mail…weight watchers, family circle and family fun

  17. Cyrus made an awesome belt for himself! I picked our only 4 peaches last week. First, there were 6, then 5, so even though they were not quite ripe, I picked the last 4, of which 2 already had nibbles taken from them. Life in the woods! Started thanks to your inspiration, I planted the new zinnia and nasturtium seedlings last week. I few gaillardia too, but the roly polys promptly ate them. A friend will shortly be here to take some zucchini off my hands. I can’t keep up with it. Glad you had some shared with you. Joining in here: http://www.abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/08/a-bountiful-garden-and-frugal.html

  18. Did our normal frugal things. The heat here has just been so awful. It was 110 yesterday when I was coming home from afternoon church service. (our church has 4 different service times on Sunday) My arthritis knee has been so bad this week that I finally broke down and made the appointment with the special arthritis doctor. My family doctor thinks I need knee replacement, but I hope not to have to do that, but the pain is getting to be more than I can take. It is affecting my hands now too.
    I got 3 free books for my Kindle and got some eggs from our friend at church. I took her some of my plastic ware that we no longer use. (we have gone to almost 100% glass in this house now. She takes eggs to other nurses at the hospital where she works and she told me they never return her containers. (I always do) But I had 4 of these plastic bowls with lids that I was going to donate to the thrift store but I thought she could use them too.
    Got some things for the boy’s back to school year. This past weekend was TAX FREE weekend for us in TX if we got school supplies and clothes under $100.00 for each item. Each of the boys is growing so fast that I had to get them new underwear, socks, and shoes. I got a few school supplies too. While it was tax free I stocked up on some underwear and t-shirts for my husband too. This was all a planned expense, something I save for all year. I spent just over $250.00 but I saved almost $50.00 by not having to pay the sales tax. I also got some bonus dollars back from Kohl’s. I will use those at Christmas or birthdays.
    This month is a big birthday month in my family. I have 5 birthdays in this month. For my husband I am giving him something special. His truck is 9 years old. It is in good shape but it is kind of ‘rough’ on the inside. I am having his truck detailed and cleaned up. I saved my money for this too. I am sure this will be a good gift for him as he is very difficult to buy for.

    That belt looks wonderful. Very professional looking.

    So jealous that you got a bit of rain. We have not had a drop of rain in 45 days now. (heard that on the news this morning) My rain barrels are just about empty. It is so dry here the cracks in the dirt behind our garage are big enough that I sprained my ankle when I stepped in one on the way to the compost pile in the garden. It hurt like crazy too.

    We went to see a friends new house Friday night. So very pretty. Made me have house envy for a few minutes. (till I thought about their payments) I am blessed with a home that is MINE.

    I made a trip to Sam’s club. Got some of the boys clothes there. Toilet paper, flour, sugar, dishwasher soap, and flea medications for my dogs.

    I am working away at my hand made Christmas items. (another reason my arthritis hurts in my hands so much) Hope to give all of our family hand made items this year.

  19. I mended several of my husband’s under shirts instead of going to the store to buy him new ones when the seam around the collar started to come apart. We went to a local peach festival and parade on Saturday instead of paying for entertainment. While there we found a second hand store where we bought some toys for the kids much cheaper than we would have paid at the local toy store. I bought some cotton yarn half price and crocheted a new winter hat for my two youngest children. I have enough yarn left to make a scarf for each of them. I avoided the impulse again to buy a second vehicle for our family to replace my van which was totaled out almost 4 years ago.

  20. forgot a few:
    line dried all our clothing and linens
    I had some food waste but put it in the compost pile
    I made homemade cinnamon applesauce using my blender. No need to cook it down! I also threw in a pear that was turning.
    Took drinks and snacks on a trip to see the grandbaby, son and daughter in law. They live two cities over, takes about 40 minutes to get there.

  21. Thanks for the tip about using bins in the freezer! One of my goals this week is to organize my freezer and I just happen to have several shoe box-sized bins that I can put to use. I didn’t quite know what to do with them.

  22. This week we:

    Took the grandkids swimming at the lake (free activity as we only live a couple blocks from it)
    Canned 13 pints green beans, 20 1/4- pints jalapeno peppers. 8 1/2-pints of peach jam, and 8 quarts of peaches.
    Started a batch of sauerkraut.
    Knitted a scarf from a free pattern.
    Harvested, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and herbs from the garden.
    Collected branches after the storm for firewood and for a Colonial-style fence.
    Also collected free plums from a neighbor’s tree.
    Swapped some vegetables from our garden for some eggs.
    Collected seeds from hollyhocks, mustard greens and spinach.
    Washed our room sized rugs the old-fashioned way, rather than have them dry-cleaned.

  23. Once again I was able to bring home left over food from work events: cheese, bell peppers, cucumber, two dips, bananas, almonds, and grapes. I took the bell peppers, cucumbers and dips to a pot luck concert Saturday evening.

    I picked beets, tomatoes, herbs, a cucumber and some peaches from the garden. Thank you, Brandy, for the tip about thinning fruit. Our peaches are much bigger this year–regular size and more flavorful. I’ve wanted to thin the fruit for years but my husband didn’t want me to. I bargained with him earlier this spring to let me experiment this year to see what the harvest is like. I think he’s convinced that thinned fruit is better than small fruit.

    I found a case of half-pint canning jars at a yard sale for $3. I made eight half-pints of pear vanilla jam, and four pints of pickled beets. I also made granola.

    I collected the k-cups at work and scraped out the coffee grounds inside and used the grounds to fertilize my garden.

    Had a $5 off coupon at a resale store and found a great scarf for $5.99, so I spent just over a dollar, with tax, for the scarf.

    Donated three bags of clothing to a local thrift shop.

    It rained twice this week and the weather has been in the high 80s, so we haven’t turned on the air conditioning this week.

    Through work, I had two passes to a craft market (normally $10 to get in), plus entrance into the VIP area, where my husband I had dinner Friday night.

  24. Check out book renter and chegg.com to rent college textbooks. When my daughter was in college, we saved quite a bit with them.

  25. I love the belt that Cyrus made! A one of a kind and frugal too!

    My frugal accomplishments:
    SO went to Sams Club and bought cheese (a block of sliced American and a bag of shredded Mexican), dog food, baggies. The cheese and baggies will last 8 months or so, dog food for 3 months.

    SO did 3 mystery shopping assignments on his day off while I worked. All 3 were at grocery stores. He likes to splurge and get things we wouldn’t normally be able to buy. 🙂

    I did a mystery shop at a retail store on my day off while SO was at work and was able to get something we needed for the house.

    I used a $5 off $15 coupon at Ace Hardware and got weed block and spray foam.

    Brought home leftovers from catered lunches at work . Brought in coffee from home to drink at work. Ate the free snacks provided in the snack room. I made knish out of mashed potatoes leftover at work after a catered lunch and brought in a few to gift to co-workers.

    I pulled weeds and started cleaning up the yard after the 3 weeks of nonstop rain and flooding we had. I laid the weed block and spread river gravel to keep weeds from growing in our patio drainage area.

    Got a penny in some junk mail.

    Stayed within my weekly budget and paid cash for everything.

    I sold some things on ebay for $192 for the week. That goes into my gift and holiday fund to not only cover gifts but all the extras for the holidays, baking, etc.

    I drove my father to the store to do some shopping and he paid for the teabags and bananas that I needed.

    SO’s employer had an employee appreciation week. He brought home some bags of cotton candy, trail mix, and a travel coffee mug. They also treated for the employees and families to go to the zoo, including lunch!

    We went to CVS and got a free package of 10 pens.

    Have a great frugal and creative week ladies!

  26. This week, I went to the Amish produce auction and came home with 149 pounds of wonderful produce, including 24 pounds of blueberries for $8.50, 20 pounds of bananas for $3, 60 pounds of onions, 1/2 bushel of tomatoes and 3 pecks of tomatillos. I spent just over $60 for all of it!
    From these I canned 24 jars of salsa verde, 24 jars of picante salsa and froze 20 bags of blueberries so far!! As I’ve been canning, when I’ve run out of some ingredients- hot & sweet peppers, etc., I’ve been able to use up some of last season’s excess ones from my freezer! That gives me more freezer space plus rotates my freezer storage!!
    I got an unexpected check in the mail for about $20! Finished making a nice lap-size scrap quilt using only my fabric scraps at home! A friend had posted a photo of a quilt she made in this pattern, so I “decoded” the blocks and size and number of pieces needed and made my own! Just got our new monthly level pay for gas for the upcoming year starting in August and it is $10/ month less than last year!
    This week, my hubby has heart surgery and will be in the hospital for a few days, so I’ve put together some easy freezer meals and some “grab and go” meals just to make it easier! Certainly makes it easier when you’ve prepared!

    Filled the gas tank for $2.04/ gallon and the very next day, gas prices jumped to $2.45/ gallon! How blessed I feel!!
    All in all, a very good week!

  27. Wow, I ‘m very impressed with Cyrus’s belt!

    Last week, I: Received $3 in credit for the vending machines at work from participating in an exercise walk. Received an eBates payment of $5. Daughter and I watched a couple of TV shows (The Kicks and BizKids) via Amazon Instant Video. They are “free” as part of Amazon Prime. Also Attended a free movie in the park (Big Hero 6), sponsored by our city parks department.

    Sorted through 9-year-old daughter’s fall and winter clothes to see what she had/needed and was pleasantly surprised to find she will only need a couple of pairs of pants, socks/tights and shoes/boots. She has enough shirts, jeans, and skirts. Dresses are not too short yet (although they probably will be by the end of the season). This means I didn’t need to go to the consignment sale that spurred on this sorting.

    Made a coleslaw type recipe with shredded kohlrabi from our CSA in place of the cabbage, the last of the sour cream out of a container, and some apples we had purchased. Also made a watermelon-cucumber salad with a vinegar dressing (cucumber from CSA; purchased the watermelon separately). Neither salad was huge, but I brought both as our contribution to our neighborhood block party for National Night to Unite. We enjoyed others’ foods, hanging out with neighbors, and the police and firefighters both stopped by and let the kids examine their vehicles and play in the spray from a firehose. They also passed out free yo-yo’s and sidewalk chalk to the kids. Blanched and froze 4 cups of sweet corn from 6 ears. (Have also been eating corn on the cob.)

  28. Good luck with Dave Ramsey – It’s worked for me with a little tweaking for our personal situation. Isn’t the homemade applesauce so easy! I had never made it until 2 months ago and now it’s my standby to use up apples and pears before they go to waste.

  29. What an amazing list, Brandy! Your children are resourceful like you.

    Here is my list:

    * Joyfully had tea with friends at home instead of going out.
    * Carefully turned off and unplugged small appliances when they were not in use.
    * Gladly dried all our clothing on racks instead of using the dryer.
    * Thankfully have kept the A/C off all summer and used fans and opened windows instead.
    * Thoughtfully planned ahead for my friend’s birthday and bought her high quality presents at Trader Joe’s without spending a fortune.
    * Enthusiastically made two sales to two of my sweet friends.
    * Gratefully accepted free produce at the farmer’s market when I purchased some from a girl. I’ll be returning to her again. 🙂
    * Healthfully cooked all meals from scratch; we have been enjoying eating many salads!

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us, Brandy. Have a fabulous week!

  30. I’ve been slacking when it comes to the line drying. Though on the very hot days I did get it out there just to keep it cooler inside. It seems like the line dried clothes sometimes get a little mildew odor to them so I felt they needed a better drying in the machine.

    Something I forgot to mention on my blogged list was that I’d borrowed season 1 of Lark Rise to Candleford. I’ve seen it mentioned on here several times so figured to give it a go as we all are of a similar mind. It’s a great show!

  31. I am just starting the search for textbooks with my daughter tonight! Her new husband is finishing his last semester as an undergrad and is new to paying less for books 😉 Last year we bought an entire semesters worth of books for less than $50! Most of that was for expedited shipping because it took so long to get ISBN numbers. I am using Bookfinder.com this year…I *think* it is the same resource we used last year. As I tell my children/husband…”any fool can pay retail” 😉

  32. Remember that if you got a “free” magazine as a survey thank you, if you do not cancel within the designated time, they will bill you for a continued subscription. I work in credit card fraud and see disputes like this every day. 🙂

  33. i do LOVE that belt….he could make such WONDERFUL gifts like that….get some old leather coats for bookmarks…the possibilities are endless

  34. Kerry,

    I have received several free magazines from surveys and they didn’t take my credit card number. Sometimes it was just 2 issues, and other times it was a whole year, depending on what was offered. RecycleBank is a great way to get free magazines, and you never have to give them a credit card number. I can see where there would be problems when you give a number, but I’ve never had to give one there or at RewardsGold, and I’ve had no problems.

  35. Did the usual items last week, made our meals and homemade bread, avoided air conditioning during the hottest (and most expensive) time of the day, made some main meals large enough to freeze extra portions, made corn bread from scratch (for the first time ever) and it was great. Thanks to everyone on this blog for examples of how to live more frugally, it is getting easier every day…

    Frugal fail is that I continue to go to the grocery store too often. I think I like the excuse to get out of the house. I am going to add doing 30 minutes of yoga as a requirement to go to the grocery store ;). That either will make me fit or stop my shopping!

  36. Well, we were on our first ‘vacation’ in our 16+ years of marriage! Went to an Ohio state park and stayed in a pet friendly cabin, along Burr Oak Lake. SO not quite frugal but we did bring most of our own food to cook on the grill.

    I got several magazines free in the mail thru RecycleBank.

    Ran The Color Run (well, I walked) and won a free Truckers Style Ballcap.

    With the exception of our3 day mini-vacation, I pretty much stayed home, thereby using less gas and wear & tear on my car.

    hung laundry to dry in our basement.

    Watched a movie on Hulu.

    Rewatched an older movie, Napoleon Dynamite that I have on DVD (paid $2.50 for it on Black Friday last year).

    Returned my Mom’s blouse that I borrowed when I went to see Move Live on Tour in Cleveland OH last month. (Saved me at least $25-30 instead of buying a new blouse).

    Walked the Beach down by my house (I live less than 4 blocks away from Lake Erie).

    I can’t think of much of anything else that I did which was necessarily frugal. Now that Back-to-School time is upon us, I’ll be laying out more cash for supplies(not too many though as I have a nice stash 😉 ) New shoes for my 11yr old son (his Football cleats are a size mens 11.5) and a few new teeshirts, as that’s what he prefers to wear, has a decent stash already. I bought him 4 or 5 pairs of jeans from Old Navy last school year and he never wore them :/ He prefers the athletic warm-up type pants/jogging pants!

    School starts in 2 weeks!

  37. If there is a Goody’s store near you they currently have a $5 off $5 purchase going on. Just text GOODYS to 38228 and you will receive text back with instructions. I used mine one day and my mom’s the next and got two necklaces for less than $4 total. They were 70% off regular price and then I used $5 off code from the text. And they even give you jewelry gift boxes in case I decide not to keep these for myself but use them as gifts.

    I live 45 miles from nearest movie theater. I have a gift card and there are several movies I want to see. My friend is very generous about letting me use the condo she owns for football weekends at our college town so I am headed over there for a few days before students arrive back to go to some movies and use the pool. She won’t accept any money for the days I stay there so I usually try to take her some of our farm raised sausage or tshirt from our college. Lucky to have such a generous friend. And then next week I am house/pet sitting in Memphis (which is a big city to me) and will be able to take advantage of all the big city has to offer. I live in a town with no redlights so I always pretend I am on vacation whenever I house sit and enjoy things like live theater and tons of shopping and great restaurants.

  38. I think Cyrus could have a future in making hand made belts, that is excellent.
    My frugal accomplishments were making five dozen sausage rolls, banana muffins and a banana cake as I was given 9 bananas. Also making Christmas presents, doing some sewing and mending, I took on a big gardening job myself and achieved it over several days.
    Also I continue to add to my pantry every chance I get. Tomorrow my friend Glenda is writing for me a tutorial on lots of ways we can preserve food at home. I am continually learning. I will post this on http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/ in the morning. There are a lot of ways to reduce food costs and save money in this and also turn what could end up wasted into food storage.
    This has been a big learning year for me. One of my goals was to establish at least a few months food supply and I have pretty much achieved that.
    Many thanks to you. xxx

  39. I heard about using the bins from someone else on this site. I learn so much from reading everyone else’s posts.

  40. You should check out valuemags.com for free magazines. I have gotten several free subscriptions through them with no problems. Their offers change from time to time, and you do not have to give a credit card number.

  41. I have been canning nonstop. We have picked 70 pounds of cucumbers along with around 30 pounds of tomatoes. I have made a variety of pickles: dill, Kosher dill, spicy, bread and butter and zesty breading and butter. I have also made lots of salsa. I hope to start making tomato sauce this week. I have continued pick green beans, peppers, radishes, zucchini, and squash. We picked our first sweet corn. It has taken me four years to successfully grow sweet corn here. We also harvest our potatoes; we have wire worms so it was a small crop.

    I was also lucky enough to get some good meat specials. I picked up two whole chickens at 60 cents a pound. I was able to pick up 7 pounds of ground beef that were half off. I am very thankful for this sale since we have not had much beef due to the high prices.

    On the un-frugal front, my refrigerator has started leaking. My husband has tried to fix it without luck. We ordered a new part which cost $20. I hope that it will fix the problem. The refrigerator is not even two years old!

  42. Oh man I remember prepping green beans when I was a kid. I don’t grow them here as I don’t think they work with Alaska’s climate (at least until I get a greenhouse *laugh*). I can totally see how those beans will be so wonderful this winter, though. Nothing beats home canned goods (or frozen for that matter) in the middle of winter :).

    Sorry I put this here instead of on your blog, but the comment fields didn’t like me today for some reason.

  43. Dental surgeries. Ugh. I feel for you.

    And I totally get the “savings but not” . It happens to me all the time. I think I’ll skip shopping for a couple of weeks to get cash flow going for bills and then I end up having to spend 200.00 to get caught up on everything that has run out in the fridge and freezer while I wasn’t shopping. Not sure which is better, honestly *laugh*.

  44. I set myself a frugal task for today and succeeded! Last night my daughter called and said that my granddaughter had the day off and wanted to come see us before we go away for several days. We hadn’t seen her in at least a month. All three would come for dinner. We are leaving Wed morning, so have been eating down the fresh foods in the fridge, and I didn’t buy much last week. So my task was to make a coherent dinner with what I had in the house–no additional trips to the store. I came up with a menu: choice of beef or turkey meatloaf (granddaughter does not eat red meat), baked potatoes w/sour cream & chives from the garden, glazed carrots, cole slaw, and I made a Honey Bun cake (starts with a cake mix and adds other ingredients–from The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook–which I heartily endorse!) Very proud of myself for doing this with no extra spending.

    Also did a bit of sewing this week. Picked apart the worn out cover of a lumbar pillow I use in the car, and pressed the pieces for a pattern. Cut out two covers from an old full skirt that was in my fabric stash–didn’t get them finished yet, but they are more than half done, and I hope to finish them off tomorrow, although I will be busy!! I do have two pillows to cover, as we both use them in the car when driving on trips. Also mended a tee shirt of mine, a tee shirt of my son-in-law’s, and something of my daughter’s–can’t remember what it was, but she brought it over to be laundered and I sewed it first. Everyone brings me their mending because they don’t have sewing machines.

    Finally a couple tomatoes are turning red in the garden!! I’ve been waiting for that. And it has cooled off enough so I should get some green peppers setting fruit–lots of blossoms but it’s been too hot at night–not many peppers on the plants. My Romaine, beets, and swiss chard are finally growing well, though and when I get back, I should be getting some decent yields on those things. The sunflowers the birds drop are reproducing well –my daughter came and took photos of them one day because they look so good. The birds will eat the seeds before I even try to gather any.

    It feels good to be busier. My husband has been rebuilding the stone foundation of one of our barn walls, and has finished the inside portion of it. He will also be replacing some old mortar with new on the outside of the walls. It’s actually an old carriage house, and the part he was fixing came down from the big snow load last winter, leaving a hole in the outside wall. Glad to have it closed back up again. He also vacuumed the rugs downstairs while I was cooking today, put clean sheets on the bed after I stripped them and washed the dirty ones, and mowed the lawn before we get a couple days of rain. He is very handy around the house and keeps inventing new fixes for old problems. The only thing we didn’t get to was more weeding, which will still be here when we return!!

  45. One of my friends came to visit for a few days. I have enough beans, so we picked and canned them for her to take home. She livesin a very dry, hot part of Oregon, and does not have good success with beans. We got 21 quarts and 10 pints. I picked quite a bit of produce from the garden, like cucumbers, beets, lettuce, zucchini, beans, a few tomatoes, etc.

    I canned a few more jars pickles for myself. I have been helping the girls sew for the fair. I think we may be coming close to finishing. My 15 year old just picked something that was very, very hard for her–a silky animal print fabric that she is making into a dress with a zipper, set in sleeves, a lining, etc. So, we have been ripping and re-sewing all afternoon. I will rip for her, to encourage her, but she rips some and does all the sewing. I think the zipper is finally in. She will probably not win top prize, but I just kept telling her how proud I was of her for sticking it out–that’s the best lesson she could learn. (I think she has put in at least 15 hours on this dress alone). She has 2 projects going, and the other one had some hand work that needed to be done. It took her at least an hour, but it’s done nicely. Tomorrow, I hope we can finish at least one so she can feel like she’s getting somewhere.

    We got the prizes for summer reading today. They got free books and a free ticket to the state fair along with discount tickets to Oaks Park, a small amusement park in Portland. We are going there Thursday anyway for a little dance recital for their summer classes they have just finished, so I was super glad to see those tickets. We will go early and enjoy if our day cooperates with us. We have an appointment in the morning that we cannot change. We always have to buy state fair tickets if the older girl(s) win a cooking contest for 4H (happens quite often) and there were tickets for buy one adult ticket, get one free–so I’m excited. We took a picnic and ate at the park next to the library when I finished work, avoiding eating out.

    There are 18 new baby turkey chicks happily living in the barn now, and meat chickens are on order as well from our local farm store. I’m getting just enough eggs, but the young chickens should start laying soon.

  46. Hi Robyne,

    If you want to look at the Dave Ramsey Method of paying off debt, you can usually find a copy of his book, [u]The Total Money Make-Over[/u] at the library or used book store. Or, you could also look at the video series of Financial Peace University. My husband and I did both the book and the course. Although we have fallen off the wagon a time or two, purely from lack of discipline, we have recommitted to it and are well on our way to paying off our debt! Basically, you start with a small emergency fund, pay off debts from littlest to biggest while snowballing any additional available monies into the debt, and then work your way up to larger emergency fund, etc from there. It’s really not hard to organize but for me and my husband, it can be difficult to execute as have extremely irregular income. But overall, I have a really good opinion of the plan as I have quite a few friends who have paid off ALL of their debt, including their house! What an inspiration! Good luck. 🙂

  47. I haven’t really been keeping track of frugal accomplishments lately as I haven’t been very frugal up until last week. :p I struggle with burn-out in our finances and sometimes just don’t pay much attention, even though I know it’s extremely important. However, I am back to my “normal” self and ready to get back into the swing of things. 🙂

    This past week I:
    -Found a ton of Dr. Seuss-themed items from the Dollar Spot in Target. I was so excited about this since my two middle children have chosen a Cat in the Hat theme for the school year. We homeschool our children, so this really cut down on costs for us to find fun activities and organizational items for each child. SCORE!!!

    -My husband earned a sizable bonus last month so we used it to pay off our next debt and will use the amount we USED to pay toward it to roll over into our next debt. We are hoping to get the next debt paid off early Sept. Boy was it tempting to take my hubby on a little road trip for his b.day but alas, we will continue with the plan…

    -I teach a class at my children’s weekly homeschool co-op and had been waiting for a good sale on supplies. This past week they finally went on sale (most of them), so I was able to get more than enough supplies and still come in under budget.
    -My girls love Gymboree dresses and they are difficult to find around here at garage sales, so when I happened upon a sale at the Gymboree Outlet I was delighted. I got each of my daughters new dresses to give at birthdays and holidays for 75% off. If we buy new clothes, they are given as gifts. Unfortunately, the thrift stores around here are horrible so I get a little jealous (yes, I said it) when I hear about all of the wonderful thrift store finds from you ladies! 😉

    -I made an odd change in our refrigerator that has really helped me to prioritize which foods get eaten when. It drives my husband nuts, but I took out half of the shelves. I noticed that the foods that went on the top shelves always rotted and made a huge mess for me to clean up, so I got rid of them as well as the middle shelves. This way everything is in plain sight from the front AND above.

    Well, that’s it other than the standard keeping the house closed when it’s the hottest time of day, harvesting water, etc.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  48. I need to refresh on this but from what I recall you pay minimum in most items and pick one that is fast to knock out (or in some cases highest interest rate). Once you knock that out you take amount you were paying on it each month and add it to the payment of another bill until it’s gone and so on. It’s the “snowball effect” type pay down/payoff process. If anyone is more current in that and wants to tweak or correct me, please do, but that is what I recall at this hour (nearly 1AM my local time).

  49. I went through my son’s closet this last week. I found some outfits to sold on Facebook, I donated some clothes, and some I cut up for rags. We went to a you pick farm and picked raspberries, blackberries, and green beans. I frozen the green beans for this winter. A neighbor gave us some cucumbers.

  50. Hello from Australia one and all.

    This weeks frugal accomplishments are –
    -Picked peas, carrots, spinach beet and silverbeet from our gardens for our teas.

    -Cut and collected more wood from a wonderful farmer who said we could have all the dead wood on his property, so we have exclusive access, a true blessing since buying firewood is around $100 to $140 a 6 x 4 trailer load here. We managed to get a huge amount of timber and kindling as he had a few large trees cut down by contractors who left them on his driving tracks, which we cleared for him. We are aiming to collect all our timber for next year’s winter while it is cooler weather here.

    – Took back some commercial stain removers I had purchased previously and it didn’t work and got a refund. We used this money to stock up on oats, tinned mangoes, and cocoa powder. We now make our own and it costs far less and works better than the shop bought ones anyway.

    – Cleaned and organised our herb and spices container and put them on display near our stove on the belt rails of our little old workers cottage, saving more room for other things on the shelves we had them on.

    – Cleaned and organised the baking pantry and put all of our sugars, flours, nuts, and dried fruits in containers on top of the cupboard which made more room on a few shelves to store other items we are collecting for our 3 month food supply.

    – The last 2 fortnights we have reduced our grocery budget from around $200 to $140 a fortnight for the 2 of us while still adding to our food supplies and we have even managed to squeeze in all of my husbands back pain meds, gardening costs and prepping items into that budget now too, yeah :).

    – As our power bill went up $30 last bill we have been working on turning the lights on less, and cooking in bulk in the oven so we can cook multiple things at the same time. We shall let you know how this goes when we get our next bill in. Our average power bill is always lower than the amount they have recommended for a 2 person household anyway, but we are aiming to save for our first home so every cent counts.

    Have a great week all.

  51. Wow, nice job on the leather belt Cyrus!

    We visited Las Vegas this past week. I wish I could say that I loved it, but what Las Vegas has to offer (gambling and flashy lights) really isn’t my thing. At least I can say that I’ve been there and experienced it, but I don’t feel the need to go back. What I did gain was a better understanding of the heat you live in, Brandy. I don’t know how you can handle that every summer. Seriously, it was like being in an oven all the time! Even at 11:00 at night, the heat was overwhelming!!! At that temperature, nobody cares whether it is dry heat or humid…it’s just HOT!

    We’ve had some interesting personal issues happening over the past few weeks as well. Right before we were to leave on holidays, my car finally kicked the bucket. Around the same time, my sister-in-law (who was supposed to go on this vacation as well) and my brother-in-law separated. Still don’t know the details, but it sure made for an awkward vacation. And of course my MIL just had a toe amputated a couple weeks before we went. Really, when it rains, it pours!

    Anyways, the following is my frugal accomplishments for the past 2 weeks:
    *Gleaned some fresh dug potatoes from the gardens at work (I dug them up and brought a small portion home, the rest will be used to cook with in the buildings). I also gleaned some herbs and kale for the Guinea Pig, to add a bit variety to her diet.

    *Our plane to Vegas was delayed. We were supposed to leave at 9:15am and the plane didn’t leave until 12:30pm. All the passengers were all given a $20 credit to use for food at the airport for the inconvenience. My in-laws used theirs and only bought a small amount of food each with their $20 (salad or sandwich and drink which added up to $20 each person). My husband and I were able to buy 2 lunch meals (2 sandwiches, one soup, one bag of chips and 2 drinks) with one of our $20 credits and then used the second to buy another bottle of pop and 6 bags of chips to share with everyone for the flight! It pays to be well practices in looking for bargains.

    *Rented a car to take everyone to the Grand Canyon (with a quick stop at the Hoover Dam). The rental was much cheaper than buying tickets for a bus trip there. While we still had the car, we went shopping at an outlet mall. My husband bought a pair of jeans and I bought two beautiful tops at the Gap for less than $24! I normally do not buy clothes at the Gap as they are way too expensive for our budget. A huge treat for us!

    *I went grocery shopping after we got back. I have been inconsistent lately in doing the grocery shopping so we needed a few things. I bought a cucumber marked as 50% off (normal price $0.69 each) which had started to rot a bit on one end. I cut off the rotten part and used it to feed our Guinea Pig. I’ve worked hard over the past year or two to build up my food stock. I am now finding that the majority of my shopping is just restocking thing that are low and shopping the sales. I love this!

    *We took my daughter to camp this weekend for her first sleep away camping experience ever. The area where the camp is located has a lot of wild blueberries. We stopped at one of the stands and I bought a large container of wild blueberries for $21. OK not so frugal, but I assure you the taste of these berries are well worth the price! I washed and froze them as soon as I got home so none went bad.

    *Also picked up 4 bakers dozen of fresh corn cobs from a roadside farm stand ($5/bakers dozen). I made up six packages with 4 un-shucked cobs in each, using my Food Saver, and then froze the cobs for later use. It is a first time trying this, so I hope this works well. I’m looking forward to having corn on the cob in the middle of winter! This week I will blanch the rest, cut the nibblets from the cob and freeze them for winter.

    *We looked at a vehicle before we left for Vegas, but the person wasn’t willing to come down very far on the price. When we came back, my husband called to see if they would reconsider. He ended up talking to the owner, who was willing to come down further on the price. So, we are picking up our new to us 2008 Hyundai Tuscon today, which we paid $9,000 cash for. Yeah for no car payments!!! I am very proud of the fact that we paid cash. It shows how hard we have worked to put money away. It does come out of our saving for the down payment on a house, but I can live with that. We now have to work hard to replace this money.

    I’m sure there are more frugal accomplishment, but I have to head to work, so I will stop here for now. Looking forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments. Have a great week everyone!

  52. At the store i got peanut butter for 99 cents, They had my hubby favorite breakfast sausage (jimmy deans 1 lb) the sign said 2/$4 but when I got up to the register they rang up 99 cents. I wll not be grocery shopping for the next two weeks. This week we will eat out of the freezer, pantry and clean out the refrigerator. Will be leaving either this coming sunday or monday on vacation. Then it will be time to get ready for school.

  53. My son attended Cub Scout camp last week. While he was there during the day we did basis activities nearby, being that the camp is a hour from our house. One day we visited Heifer International’s Farm. It was free and we learned about many different cultures around the world at each mock homestead. Another day we visited an art museum, which is free for the whole month of August. We also swam at a free lake and cooked out near the shoreline. The library’s reading program hosted an animal guru that we attended as well.

  54. We have been tearing up lots of old interlocking brick from around our house – it was a mismatch of all brick and gravel when we bought it four years ago, we are finally getting rid of the last of it and replacing it with grass and stepping stones along the path. We put all the bricks on Kijiji for free for someone to pick up and it turns out a family who lives just a street away from us came to get it. They were very grateful and gave my husband a large bag of cucumbers and a large bag of beans (from other comments you might remember that I had no idea what kind they were but they were good!). It felt good knowing we were helping them and at the same time they were helping us to clean up.

    I also:
    *went fall clothes shopping at the kids thrift store for my son, I brought some of his old baby stuff along to sell so I was able to get 3 track pants, one pair of jeans, a fall wool jacket and two books which I’m saving for gifts for only $2.50 out of pocket
    *planted more seeds in the garden for fall veggies and having been enjoying tomatoes and herbs
    *my manager bought me lunch one day and all other days I’ve brought my lunch
    *and the usual fun things I do with my son which are free like the library and beach

  55. I love you gracious adverbs that describe what you did this week! You have inspired me to be more appreciative and thankful.

  56. Nice work on the belt, Cyrus!

    It’s been a hectic week but I can share a few accomplishments:

    I weeded the front flower bed. The clearance rack perennials that I purchased for $1 each are thriving and filling the bed nicely.
    I saved seeds from tomatoes that came up volunteer behind our church building.
    I harvested tomatoes and celery from our vegetable beds.
    We enjoyed BLT’s made from the home-grown tomatoes and some bacon I pulled from the freezer.
    I found sausage patties marked down and purchased several packages to restock the freezer.
    My husband and I chaperoned our daughter’s sports team outing to the lake and had the opportunity to enjoy some water sports during the trip.

    Some of my frugal accomplishments this week involved wise spending as well as saving. Our high-school daughter is taking dual enrollment university classes that will save tuition in the future, but this week we had to pay her fees and purchase her textbooks and replace her laptop that died over the summer. We did so with an eye to controlling the spending and took advantage of discounts, rewards, and cash back when we could. I wrote about it and about catching up after our days away from home.at AChatOverCoffee dot com.

  57. Celia,
    I know what you mean about sticking to primarily ornamental plants. I think you could probably plant an entire bed with perennial herbs — these would be beneficial to you and possibly something that would appeal to the buyer as well. You could also plant lettuce or kale as a border plant with impatiens and maybe marigolds as filler plants in the middle. This would keep most of your actual work on the borders of the beds, maybe making the prospect of garden maintenance a little easier during this busy time. These are all fairly inexpensive plants as well.

  58. I have thirteen grandchildren: 6 boys and 7 girls, ranging in age from 18 to 2. Last year, I encouraged two granddaughters (ages 8 and 9) to join 4-H and enter their handiwork in the county fair. The 8-year-old was awarded third in sewing and sold her handmade apron for $1200. The 9-year-old received honorable mention on her apron and honorable mention on her wild dewberry jelly. The best part of the whole experience was the privilege I had of teaching them the blessing of making things with their hands.

    Miss Becky, I appreciate your efforts to pass on skills such as sewing. I hope your girls do well in your state fair.

  59. I love the flower arrangement. I opt to plant color flowers due to all the shade, I like the pops of color – just as much as I enjoy your white arrangements.
    • I do no live near an AC Moore, and it is rare that I go by one , but this past week,I would be passing 3 on my way to other commitments. With 3 50% coupons in hand, 3 stops later I was able to get 3 Metalworks puzzles for my husbands birthday/Christmas gifts.I will give him one for his birthday with a jar of Jelly Bellies. The other 2 are Star Wars themed – so I will hold onto those for Christmas and take him to the movie for his gift. I love combining trips/stops while saving money – those make me down right giddy!
    • For his birthday we are hosting a cookout for 10 people. To use up more veggies that were home grown I opted to make kabobs – this makes me happy since we will be saving on meat costs while filling bellies.
    • I helped a friend set up/be there for a craft show. It was great time to catch up with an old friend without spending a dime.
    • Continue to shred news paper to make dirt faster. I am lasagna gardening areas in the yard that need good dirt replenishment.
    • I finally figured out how to make the “perfect for me” chai latte for pennies. I rarely buy one, but when I do – I sure do enjoy them. I know these are healthier for me too!
    Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  60. I love that belt. Your children are so artistic.

    I brought breakfast lunch and water to work each day.

    Was able to get a 10lb bag of potatoes for 99¢. The limit was one. I could have gone back, but there are only 2 of us now, so one seemed sufficient.

    Picked tomatoes every day. Picked 4 gallons of green beans. Froze some, some used for stir fry. Picked cucumbers and the last of the snow peas, then pulled the plants. A few days later, planted the last planting of snow peas. They have already started coming up after just 4 days.

    Made homemade herb bread twice during the week. Made BLTs with the homemade bread, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden several times for dinner on week nights and lunch on weekends.

    Had popcorn for snacks twice.

    Made two jars of dill pickles using cucumbers, dill garlic and hot peppers from the garden.

    Made chicken broth from the bones of a roasted chicken. Used some of my lovage in the broth.

    Trimmed the garlic that we picked a couple of weeks ago, and put it in our “fruit room” for winter storage.

    Picked and dried thyme.

    This was not last week, but yesterday I picked a gallon bucket of tomatoes. I think I will try drying them.

    Have a great week everyone.

  61. Thanks for this weekly inspiration Brandy and commenters — it’s been really helpful to stop here each week and find encouragement in my own journey toward more frugal habits. My frugal successes for this week included the following:

    Started a mini-freezer and pantry challenge. I haven’t cut off our grocery budget, but I am working diligently this month to eat down what we have stored, especially those items that have been opened and need to be used up, those items we’ve had on hand for a while and those items that reflect a “what was I thinking” moment of shopping. As I use things up and clean things out, I am getting a much better sense of what items we really do eat regularly, what items I forget about but we enjoy and carving out a plan for restoring those items that we are low on.

    I am not a super-coupon user by any means but have felt successful in using some recently to purchase toiletries and pasta. I am recommitting to submitting my receipts to some of the grocery apps I’ve installed on my phone although I so rarely buy featured items that it seems not quite worth it.

    Determined this week that once my currently supply of sparkling water is finished, I will not buy any more. I had switched to drinking this from drinking diet soda (and had switched to diet soda from regular long before that), but I realized that I don’t actually LOVE sparkling water all that much and that I am drinking it just for the fizz. Which is a lot less exciting without the sweetener. And I really like plain water with lemon or just ice, so this seems like a needless expense. And then I can indulge occasionally in a coke when we eat out and feel ok about that. 🙂

    Have worked hard to combine errands so as not to waste gas. I’m working four days a week and while two of them are very long days when I include my commute, the other two are only half days and good days to get errands in.

    I am striving to take better advantage of the gym membership my husband and I have (he is a bodybuilder and upholds his end of the bargain). I have been attending two yoga classes in addition to working out with my husband on the weekend and it’s been really great for my stress/pain, too (I suffer from chronic migraines). We are able to purchase the gym membership at a discount through my work and pay for the two of us only slightly more than we’d pay for one person if we didn’t have the discount. But it still felt pretty wasteful to not take more advantage of it!

    As part of the pantry challenge I mentioned above, my husband and I are not getting any takeout this month. I had been working a bit more frequently the last two months and started to get in the habit of picking up burritos or pizza on my way home. I really want to cut this habit, especially as I was starting to “forget” my packed lunch. We’ve done a really great job so far. I used a reward to pick up a free coffee and my husband supplemented his lunch one day (I didn’t include his lunch in this challenge, but he has been game to go with it…so I’m not going to put a stop to that!), but that has been it! We may use a BOGO coupon we have for a restaurant as part of a date night later this month, but that is really my only planned time to not eat food cooked at home.

    Made my own hamburger buns! And it was so easy. I consider myself a good cook but had never done this before. I am always annoyed with how quickly I forget that baking doesn’t have to be complicated. They were really great and I plan on making our own hamburger and hot dog buns from now on (especially after I did a cost comparison!). I’ve also been using my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook to make bread regularly to eat with dinner. We are not a big sandwich family, but we both love bread with soup and as grilled cheese. This bread is perfect for that.

    I used packets of soy sauce leftover from takeout to make a dressing for a pasta salad. It was really good.

    I have committed to making most of our family Christmas presents. I am getting a start now and want to use mostly the (massive amounts) of fabric and supplies I have on hand. I did, however, order a whole bolt of white fabric. This was definitely an expense, BUT it will make completing the projects I have in mind much easier (I want to make a quilt for each family) and by buying a whole bolt I was able to save 20% off the cost and qualify for free shipping. So, not entirely frugal maybe but a way to achieve frugal goals.

  62. Tell Cyrus I said “cool belt, dude!”. My daddy used to do a bit of leather work and they make such great gifts.
    This past week, *I have tried to find that “perfect” balance between watering our lawn just enough to keep it from dying and not giving my husband reason to pass out when we get the water bill next month, lol! *I’ve kept the blinds closed during the sunniest part of the day hoping to keep it cooler inside so our a/c won’t have to work so hard. (I think our Texas heat is trying to give your Vegas heat a run for it’s money Miss Brandy!) *I’ve been making a concerted effort to use up food rather than throw out uneaten portions. I make little pot luck plates of a little of this and a little of that when there’s tiny portions left over from meals (like a buffet on a plate, I tell ya!). *I added the wilty veggies that my crisper can’t keep crisp any longer to my “broth bag” in the freezer which, when I have enough, will get thrown in the slow cooker to make a delicious veggie broth. *Planted more veggie seeds in hopes they will take~I’m not the greenest thumb but I keep trying! *listed a couple of baby sized quilt battings in my Etsy shop in hopes of selling what I know I won’t use. *Newsflash~After many days of no rain, it has JUST STARTED RAINING so I wont have to water the lawn tomorrow! Happy rain dance!~TJ

  63. LOVE Memphis, we enjoyed the city for our 15th anniversary this year. If you get a chance, tour the Gibson guitar factory, and the rock and soul museum is right across the street.

  64. Holly B., we bought a refidgerator a few years back and it started leaking after 1 year. We went on line to see if the fridge had a recall and it did. When my husband called the company they sent out the email part to fix the problem for free. If would not hurt to check for a recall 9n your model.

  65. I live in Fairbanks and get tons of green beans every summer. Not sure why you think they won’t work in Alaska.

  66. I just commented to my son about the same thing! Makes everything sound happy and appreciated. Nice job, Luba.

  67. Ericka,
    I hope you are able to find some green beans that work in your area. We live in Michigan and the summers are short -not quite as short as yours though. We plant our beans on Memorial Weekend. We grow rattlesnake beans- 60 to 70 days and White half runner that mature in about 50 to 60 days. We picked the white half runner last week and the rattlesnake are being picked today so those estimates are just about right. Hope this helps
    Vickie’s Kitchen and Garden

  68. Thanks for the encouragement! Yesterday, my 15 year old and I worked ALL day, again. The dress is finally finished, except for a hook and eye at the top of the zipper. She got her jam done and practiced for her cooking contest. The younger one worked on one more sewing project and typing her recipes. She also cooked one item.

    I’m amazed that your 4H auction extends to sewing. That’s awesome!!! Around here, it’s only the kids with animals that can sell their project! We receive between $1-$2 as premium money:) Sometimes, one of the girls wins a special award. The highest one of those was $25. So, we spend far more than we get back for supplies and such, but I love the program. They learn so many practical, everyday skills. I know my daughter would not have the patience to sit and hand-sew the lining down for way over 2 hours (she’s still a beginner at hand sewing) without the “due date.”

    I am looking forward to taking this morning off while I work at my job and we have a fun day planned for tomorrow. So, we will hit it hard this afternoon, and Friday, and then turn stuff in on Saturday and Monday. So, the end is in sight!

  69. Good Morning Brandy,

    I have been enjoying a few things from my garden this month. My tomatoes however are still green. We have had such hot weather ( however,not as hot as you have experienced in LV) in the Puget Sound which is unusual. I wonder if this heat has halted the ripening process of my tomatoes. I picked lots of yellow squash and will grate and freeze for winter baking and casseroles this winter. I canned plum jam, will can apricot and peach jams this week starting today. I picked rosemary to dry and store for winter. moved a couple of containers to a cooler spot to plant Fall and Winter veggies. Will plant lettuce, cosmic purple carrots, turnips, more green onions ,chard, kale, and Pak Choi for stir fry. These will all be planted by Saturday.
    I am making all dinners from our pantry and storage for the next 2 weeks. My husband did buy us canned tomatoes and paste from Costco since our tomatoes have not ripened. I purchased a large package of gluten free corn tortilla’s also from Costo and will repackage and store in freezer. This should last a few months for us. I bought a couple of cases of vegetables and canned beans at 50 cents a can. I am preparing our pantry and storage for winter meals.
    I am mending a sheet that is torn for our bed and not buying one at the store. We have at least 3 pairs of sheets that are in good quality, and the mending of this pair will give in a longer life. We are working together as a team to be very frugal at this time which excites me! My husband is more frugal than I, and I admire how he is better at coupons and searching for best buys. So thankful to him. We keep cutting back on unnecessary bills which frees me of concerns at this time during my early forced retirement due to downsizing.
    We will be going to So. California in September for my children’s family reunion. We all have not been together in 2 years ! I miss them so. We plan to use frequent flyer miles for our plane trip, and stay with my daughter at her home. They will also provide car transportation so we will not need to rent a car. This will be a blessed time for us all.
    I found a wonderful you tube video on a woman named Clara ( from Clara’s kitchen) who teaches on how they survived the depression on eating for less money. I love to watch her and have made some of her meals for penny’s. I am fascinated on how people made do with what they had. They even made dandelion salad which I have never heard of.

    Have a wonderful day and week~
    Oh I finished watching Crimson Fields..it was so good ! Now to find another program to watch on line 🙂

    blessings, Patty from the Northwest

  70. Picked more elderberries. They went to freezer camp; I will dehydrate them later. Harvested green beans. Picked the remaining 20 peaches from our dwarf Red Haven tree in the front yard. This young tree has outdone itself, producing 82 peaches this year, in spite of thinning. The dwarf tree in the back yard produced only 7, with thinning. Harvested rhubarb & used some for the jam as below, but also dehydrated another quart jar full for the pantry.

    Continued to clear the fence line, & received the last bid on the fence.

    Used the frozen blackberries, frozen red currant juice & white currant juice with freshly picked rhubarb from the garden to make multiple batches of jam with my oldest granddaughter. We used the currant juice in place of the pectin, & I was pleased that the only item we did not grow was the sugar. We also made peach/apricot jam, from our own fruit, from the freezer. My granddaughter is quite the jam-maker now. When I picked her up, she brought empty jars with her, & she will take most of the jam back home to her family.

    Went shopping at Kmart with my granddaughter & found a nice top for her on clearance. I needed a pair of white shoes, which were on sale, & with one other item, we qualified for $10 worth of free points, which we used on the purchase, saving about one third.

    Potted up 3 starts of the common yarrow growing in my yard for my oldest daughter. Moved another good sized start into one of the flower beds, bordered by the driveway & the front sidewalk, to help contain spread. I did not know the fern-like plant was yarrow, & from one flower bed, it has spread to the bottom half of the front yard. Over the years, I have sprayed those areas with Weed B Gon (3 times) & with RoundUp (2 times) & yet the yarrow thrives. My husband does not like it in the lawn & neither do I, so this fall we are putting fertilizer with halts on the lawn, which should take care of it. However, I want to still have some of the yarrow, for an herbal antibiotic ointment, so I am moving it to the far side of the flower bed, where I think I can contain it. My daughter wants it because it is drought resistant, & they cannot keep grass alive. If the yarrow is kept mowed, it makes a low, leafy green “lawn” that can be walked on.

    Dried more dill weed, peppermint leaves, & some elderflower. My elderberry bushes just keep putting out flowers this year.

    I was sick in bed the last 3 days of the week, so that is all.

  71. I planted Bright Lights Swiss chard in our front flower bed, one year, along with the usual marigolds and other annuals and a neighbor lady wanted to know where I got “that beautiful plant” so she could get one for her front flower bed too! She was amazed to watch our kids eat the big leaves right out of the yard!

  72. Brandy, you have inspired me to do a lot more seed saving this year and have found an added bonus! I am discovering the most amazing and beautiful flowers that my garden produces when I let things keep growing and go to seed instead of pulling out the plants after I get the fruits and vegetable! I have also reseeded my garden for a fall garden and am looking forward to seeing what it produces including some Armenian Cucumber seeds. I live in northern Maryland and sometimes things grow in the garden until November and sometimes we get an early frost and have had snow before Halloween, so it’s touch and go! Your garden pictures are beautiful.

  73. I think my first comment may have wandered off into cyber space, so I’m trying again (writing these out is so helpful in keeping me accountable!). Hopefully this doesn’t end up going through twice. :-/

    This week/month (first time commenting in a while) we have:

    –committed to a pantry/freezer clean out. I’m still buying groceries but am really pushing myself to use what we have available FIRST and only shop for fresh fruit/dairy and what is a good stock up price otherwise. To that end, we’re also not eating takeout at all this month. I started working a few more hours and was getting a little too fond of stopping for burritos or pizza on my way home. We’ve been eating really tasty meals and I’m having fun getting creative with what we have on hand. This has also been helpful for me to understand what we do use regularly, what items fall into the ‘what was I thinking?!’ category, what we’re lacking and what needs to be replenished.

    –made hamburger buns for the first time! They were really yummy and I was again reminded that baking can be very simple and straightforward. And you really can’t beat the cost savings!

    –used coupons to get some really good deals on toiletries and pasta. I’m not a super coupon user by any means, but these worked for me.

    –Am giving up sparkling water once this case in the pantry is finished. I switched to sparkling water from diet soda, which had replace regular soda a long time ago–but really, I do enjoy just plain water with lemon and ice cubes. I don’t think the moderate enjoyment I get out of the fizzy stuff is quite worth what it costs. And now I can drink coke when we eat out and not feel too bad.

    –combined errands so as not to waste gas.

    –made better use of our gym membership. We get a discount on the cost through my work so that we pay for the both of us what it would normally cost just one person. But that discount doesn’t mean much if we don’t make use of it! (My husband is pretty serious about gym time…I have my moments.)

    Thanks again for your inspiring site Brandy! It’s been very encouraging for me as I try to curb my more spend-thrift habits.

  74. Becky Pratt, it sounds like you sew. Have you ever tried making your own bias tape? It’s easy enough to do.

  75. Hi everybody. I’m not sure how frugal this is but I quit my job yesterday. It was just to much hassle to try to work and take care of my family. So I quit. I think I’m actually going to win out in this decision because I was only working to save money for school. I’ve decided to apply for scholarships and grants instead. All I need is enough to pay for three semesters and then I will be done with my undergraduate degree. Hopefully this will work!

    Good news this week is that we have a credit on our gas bill so we won’t have to pay it for three months. Yay for that! I know that means we overpaid other months but it’s nice to not have to pay the bill for a few months.

    We canceled part of our Netflix service and just went to DVDs. We use Netflix and You tube for tv now. We get our news on the radio.

    Bad news this week is that our car insurance bill went up 10 dollars/month. Not sure why. We haven’t had any accidents, tickets, or claims. The good thing about not working now is that I can take this money out of our gas budget.

    You guys have a great weekend!

  76. Brandy, do you know how to use the competition feature in Duolingo? My daughter and I would like to use it, but I’ve googled and searched the FAQ on Duolingo and can’t figure it out.

  77. Luba, I have to add my appreciation to the others’ comments. Something about the way you chose to phrase your frugal “wins” for the week — joyfully, carefully, gladly, thankfully, thoughtfully, enthusiastically, gratefully, healthfully — reminds all of us of the gratitude we should feel for whatever we have been blessed with. Thank you so much.

  78. Marivene,
    Can I ask what you make with the dehydrated rhubarb? I just got a dehydrator and so far I have dried cilantor, mushrooms and celery. Thanks.

  79. You can also download the podcast for free either from Itunes or the Dave Ramsey site. On the site they also stream his radio show free. The show is 3 hours long and they run it continuously through a 24 hour period.

  80. The radio show you can listen to from his website, in addition the radio show can be watched live on the website and then it is run continuously for 24 hours ( repeating) until the next days live show.

    He also has a pastor that broadcasts a half hour show on money. Stewardship.com ? This is also available as a pod cast.

  81. You can rehydrate it & make cobbler or crisp, or just use it as stewed rhubarb. I dehydrate it because it takes less space than freezing it.

  82. Sandra, did you ever post about the results of your husband’s job interview a little while back? I was praying for you/him as you waited for an answer, and I wondered if I had missed your update. Hope all is well. : )

  83. Thank you so much for your prayers. I guess they haven’t hired yet. He called back and they said they’ve been too busy to discuss hiring. So he’s going to call back again. Thanks for asking. 🙂

Leave a Reply

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