This last week I struggled everyday with waking around 3 each morning (and 2:30 one morning), and finding myself unable to go back to  sleep. The lack of sleep led to lots of fatigue and headaches, and I didn’t accomplish much at all this last week. (I did, however, reread the first 6 Harry Potter books!) Consequently, my goals for next week will be mostly the same as last week.

I made a batch of laundry soap.

I cut green onions, beet greens, basil and thyme from the garden. What I had thought was Swiss chard that had self-seeded appears to be beets, so I will transplant these into rows in the garden once it is cooler than 100ºF (this next week temperatures will drop just below 100º by Thursday).

I planted more bean seeds in the garden.

I collected parlsey seeds from the garden.

I talked with my aunt for free through Facebook messenger’s phone service. She used her phone and I used my computer for a regular voice-only phone call.  (For those of you who don’t know, I don’t have a cell phone. My aunt lives in another state and I don’t have long distance on my landline. This was nice to be able to talk to her for free).

It was more humid than normal. I was able to collect water from the air conditioner to water my potted plants, in addition to the water I saved from the showers.

I had an at-home date with my husband one evening where we played a board game together after the children were in bed.

The children put on a circus performance one night, using costumes we had from the dress-up box.

Cyrus went camping and kayaking with his Boy Scout troop. He also went on a 10-mile bike ride earlier in the week with a family friend (this counts towards his cycling merit badge).

I attended a church women’s group meeting which included dinner, and where we had a CPR lesson.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  1. Waking up early and not being to get back to sleep is no fun, especially for someone as busy as you, Brandy. Hope this week is better. At least you got some enjoyable reading in. 🙂

    The good news in my area is that we are having several days of rain, which we need desperately. However, on one day this was accompanied by a terrible windstorm, the first of the season and very early for the Pacific Northwest. Usually we get these in October and November. A lot of people suffered damage from fallen tree branches and uprooted trees, and this also led to widespread power outages. We lost our power for about five hours. Several years ago we lost power for four days after a bad storm …thankfully we learned from that and are much more prepared now.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    – My garden plot is still producing. I picked more beans – the total so far this year is 20 pounds. I picked the last few squash and took out the plants because powdery mildew had arrived, as it does every August. I also harvested tomatoes, jalapenos, and strawberries. I collected several different kinds of seeds, including beans and lettuce.
    – I bought some Swiss chard and green onion starts, and planted them in the big planter on my patio. I hope the local critters won’t eat the chard…we shall see. I do have seeds but I didn’t get them planted early enough for our area.
    – On Saturday, I went to the farmer’s market and bought a bunch of produce that I was planning to freeze and can. Unfortunately, my plans were thwarted by the abovementioned power outage. The power came back on in early evening, but it was too late to do much until the next day.
    – I sliced and froze strawberries. I made fermented a half gallon of jalapenos, pressure canned 7 pints of beans, and canned 7 pints of corn relish. I still have a big bag of peppers to chop and freeze. I need to reorganize my above-fridge freezer to accommodate everything. I organized my chest freezer a few weeks ago, and it has been much easier to find things.
    – We ended up getting a free oil change and car wash and vacuum from our mechanic. I had made an appointment for my husband’s car to be serviced, and the evening before that I dropped the car off at the shop and put the keys in the key drop. When I went to pick up the car, it hadn’t been serviced yet (there was a scheduling mixup). Our mechanic apologized, and I left the car there an extra day and we got the service done for free. Luckily, my husband takes the bus to work, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
    – I started my new job at the physical therapist office. I will be working two to three days a week. The first week went well, and they seem happy with me so far. I brought my lunch with me and walked to work on both days. The office is a mile away from our condo, so I can get my exercise in too.

    Hope everyone else had a good week. I look forward to reading everyone else’s posts.

  2. That’s great that you learned CPR, such an important skill. I’m an RN and my husband is a paramedic who teaches CPR.

    Good for you!

    I had a great frugal week, hosting my sister and her daughter from NYC. I helped her go through endless boxes of stuff she’d left in our father’s basement. Her tremendous belongings strengthened my resolve to not buy anything that’s not 100% necessary.

    My older son is off to college next month, and we’ve been able to put together enough cash to pay for his first quarter without any loans. All from bits of cash here and lots of savings there.

    And of course, I blogged about my frugal endeavors here:

  3. Hello Brandy from Australia and sorry to hear you couldn’t sleep, I get bouts of that too and it usually lasts 2 – 3 days about once every six months. It just makes you feel so lethargic. I hope you sleep well this week :).

    My husbands and my frugal accomplishments are –

    – Saved some pea seeds for replanting from one lot of peas that had finished that are drying on the vines on our outdoor table so I can replant some more.

    – Had rain here first time in a long while so we used some of our tank water to water half our garden beds with. Should save around 180 lts of water use from our town water use, as we are on water restrictions due to drought here.

    – Cut some more free timber from our friends farm who gave us exclusive access to his property to clear all the dead trees and take all the wood. This will begin to set us up for next winter and maybe have enough to help some elderly church friends with.

    – Cleared stoned from our front yard garden beds so we could put in herbs and things. Worked out that my husband and I now strongly dislike the trend of putting decorative rocks in garden beds :(.

    – Another blessing is one of our friends at church loaned us his rock screener , which made the job so much easier.

    – Planted some sage, chives, basil, parsley, and lavender seeds in some of the front yard garden beds & ordered more cheap seeds.

    – We were blessed to have a huge crop of lettuce, too much for us, so we took a huge box into church to give to people struggling.

    Have a great week one and all and hope this week brings you all great accomplishments.

  4. I love the at home date night. Just spending quality time with each is what matters.
    I’m sorry to hear about your no sleep nights. I have them frequently -many times I go back to sleep in the guest room so I don’t wake my husband. They say to get up and do something but I’m afraid i would wake everyone. I think the computer keeps me more awake so I do have a problem! I usually take a nap to make up for lack of sleep.

    We took a one day vacation up north and I printed out some hidden pictures. Thank you for telling everyone about them. Here is a list of my frugal ways this week

  5. Brandy, I hope you are sleeping better! I struggle with that same problem sometimes, it’s no fun at all.
    Last week:
    -I made powdered coffee creamer, power balls, granola, yogurt. All meals were cooked from scratch and eaten at home. I took all my food to work with me.
    -We were all sick this past week with colds. Our daughter still has something going on with her stomach and I might have to take her to the Doctor.
    -I am out of luck with Safelite Auto replacing the windshield they failed to properly repair. I now have to save $400 to replace it. I will never use or recommend their service again. What kind of company does not stand behind their work? One of their representatives actually said that, “we don’t stand behind our work”. I spoke to many.
    -Due to being sick we didn’t go anywhere last week. And the insurance company we have had for years is no help either.
    -Harvested Kale and basil. I have more basil to harvest. We have 10 pumpkins! They are orange already and getting bigger 🙂 We will be giving my mom a couple and the neighbors across the street one (wonderful older couple). I want to plant some lettuce seeds this week in one of the raised beds.
    -I did use the dryer this week due to being sick. No energy to hang the clothes up.
    -My mom gave me 2 books and a lamp my daughter a small stuffed bear and small toy.
    -Did the usual: washed and reused bags and jars, composted food scraps, took all meals to work, navy showers.
    Have a great week everyone!

  6. I realized that I hadn’t tended my garden for about 2 weeks and I could see some red tomatoes when I looked at it from my window. went out and started picking. There ended up being over a bushel of tomatoes, peppers and even a whole new crop of green beans! I was able to can 7 jars of green beans, 6 jars of diced tomatoes and I froze 4 quart bags of hot peppers- jalapenos, serranos, poblanos and bell peppers! It looks like my garden will keep producing for several more weeks, so I’ll try to keep on top of it the rest of the time!

    Got an unexpected check for $15.87 from our insurance company for an overpayment we made. so I rounded it up to $16 and took $8 from it and added it to our savings account and $8 to pay down the debt that we are paying down using the snowball method. They may seem like little amounts, but every month I notice larger and larger totals that are added to our savings and reducing our debt!

    Was able to pull freezer meals out during the week when life got really crazy busy!

    I sorted through almost all of the boxes of fabric and sewing supplies that I inherited from a friend and realized that there are some things that I don’t need or have an interest in that I can actually sell.

    We’ve been really blessed!

  7. I sold some of my son’s clothes that don’t fit him anymore at a consignment shop. I made some apple butter in my crock pot for this winter. I made a double batch of homemade uncrustables for the freezer. We love to grab one as a quick snack.

  8. Last thing I did last night before going to sleep was check for your new post.
    This past week I did not purchase any meat. I have cut up chicken, pork roast and chops, and a small beef roast in the freezer. I bought fresh fruit and veggies, sandwich meat, whole wheat tortillas, and chips for lunches.
    Most things I did are the same old every day things.
    Husband needed new boots for work. Bass Pro had a trade in on boots. If you brought in an old pair they would give you $15 off your purchase. We went to Kroger and purchased a gift card for 4X points. It is about 30 miles to go buy the boots. So we waited until we got back to town to fill my truck with diesel. I had accumulated enough points with small purchases, survey point, and a bonus point card I received in the mail, and the gift card to get $1.00 off my fuel.
    Not so frugal, we purchased a new mattress. Our old one was about 12 years old. We have needed one for some time. Mattresses are expensive. Oh my! It was delivered this week and I wish we had done this a couple of years ago. I have had the best sleep I have had in quite some time. Well worth the money we spent.
    Hope everyone has a blessed week. Be safe

  9. I got some reduced meat from the supermarket and made lots of different dishes with it using veg from the garden. I boxed them up and put them in the freezer to thaw out and reheat as needed.
    It’s been a very wet summer in the UK so my fruits haven’t done very well this year. Lots of spuds and green tomato for chutney though 🙂

  10. Last week was a tough one for me. I was sick and my mother was visiting (which meant spending extra money on dinner out and a few activities. I did, however manage to get a few things done.

    1) I finally updated our savings spreadsheet!
    2) I made hamburger buns and froze the left over dough to use next week.
    3) I bought a few dozen pounds of peaches super cheap for canning.
    4) I didn’t buy a gold encrusted deck of cards.

  11. I love Harry Potter! I do find I get really hungry and make grandiose plans for dessert. You have probably already read the Fablehaven series, but if not it is great.

    After the great news ( exhausting news?) of finding out my husband can work all three days of the upcoming big money overtime weekend, we debated and decided we will have to pull our floor up again. We have been working for a month and in this instance trying more frugal methods to level our floor did not work. My husband researched for weeks before starting and first tried roofing felt, then sand, then self leveling concrete and now is using a combination of felt below and plywood on top. Our home is 70 years old and the floor is quite..idependently minded. We ended up laying plywood which was a couple hundred dollars on top of the money we spent on the three other methods we tried. If we ever do this again ( I sincerely hope not), we will go right to plywood. We had to pay to get word done on my car as my husband could not lay floor and do my rotors, we did have a coupon for that so it was not as bad as it could have been. I combined needing to do back to school shopping with a trip to grandmas for extra hands at the store and she paid for almost everything, which was very nice. We took the children to the pool as well. They have been really good sports about getting hauled around the tri state area so we could keep them away from all the work and mess. We are trying to look at is as still far less money than hiring someone. So…comparatively frugal? We got a good deal on LEDs for our new kitchen light. We are going to sell the halogen bulbs that came with it.
    I am continuing to pray that we will get a buyer for our home in the spring( and that we finish our project list ).

  12. I forgot, our friend that has a pear tree came to help with the floor and brought us pounds and pounds of pears. I am very excited to let them ripen. I have been saving some almond paste and am going to make a frangipane tart, my absolute favorite thing ever. And I guess pear butter? Everyone raves about it.

  13. Wow 3 am! I hope this week is better for you with the fatigue and headaches. I’ve been battling a flare of my autoimmune problems for the last month so I sympathize.

    I worked in the yard. I pulled weeds in 2 of the beds. I spread compost. I moved some volunteers around to make room for fall veggies. I planted zucchini and watermelon seeds.

    I scheduled a couple more auctions to start on ebay. I had a few close last week totaling $46.00. I paid ebay fees and transferred the rest of the money in my Paypal account to my gift/holiday fund.

    I straightened out a health insurance issue and got some claims re-processed and paid.

    Free in the mail – Home and Garden and Self magazines.

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    I combined errands on my day off. I went to CVS and combined a rain check, sales, and coupons. I split orders to minimize OOP. I got Colgate mouth rinse, shaving gel, and cold medicine. I spent $4.86 OOP and have a $4 buck to use next time. Went to WAWA next door to get cash out from their fee-free ATM instead of driving to the bank. I used some coupons in last weeks paper to get a free bag of chips, candy bar and donut. I went to Kmart to use $10 surprise points and got 3 hand towels for $2.05 OOP. I walked next door to Publix and got a rain check for 4 body wash.

    I shredded a big basket of newspapers to add to the compost.

    I cut open my face wash when no more would squeeze out and got almost another week’s worth.

    I made hibiscus tea with calyx I froze last fall.

    I’m still working on taking the clothes out of the dryer on the first buzz every time.

    Have a great frugal week!

  14. Brandy, you mentioned before that you wanted to start getting up earlier. Was the 2:30/3:00 wake up by choice or you just couldn’t sleep? Although you didn’t get as much accomplished as you normally do, sometimes it is good to take a little hiatus and rest up a bit. By the way, love the cute picture you chose this week!;)

    This week was my birthday, so there was some celebrating one day. I also had 2 full days of shopping this week, which is unusual but was necessary as you will read below. My frugal accomplishments for this week are:
    *I was treated to a birthday dinner out by my MIL this week. My husband, daughter and mom also went with us and were treated as well.

    *My husband surprised me with a gift and a card (I hinted that he should at least make the effort to get me a card). Originally he said my present was my “new to us” vehicle, which I was ok with. But when he gave me the card, he had also bought me the DVD movie “Insurgent”. I loved the books and the first movie “Divergent”, so I’m looking forward to watching the second movie instalment of this series!

    *My mother baked up one of the cake mixes we keep in the pantry for birthdays and special occasions (I buy them when they are on sale for $1 or less). My daughter decorated it with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows and sprinkles, all of which were already in the pantry. The cake has stretched over a few desserts this week.

    *I did a huge grocery shopping this week, as we were quite low on a number of items I normally don’t buy often. Finally had a chance to look through some of the coupon flyers that have been stacking up. Combining coupons and sales I was able to get a big box of Kellogg’s Cornflakes cereal for $1.50, a bottle of dish soap for $1 and two bottles of dark ginger ale both for free! We don’t drink this kind of pop normally, but it will be perfect to serve around the holidays. Also found some ranch dressing mix packets discounted to $0.59/pack (so I bought 4 to try), cans of raspberry pie filling discounted at 50% off which worked out to $2.10/can (I bought 2 for Christmas baked goods) and some chocolate also discounted at 50% off which I bought for Christmas presents and stocking stuffers.

    *Went to Costco to get gas and was pleasantly surprised to find the price was below $1/litre. Haven’t seen that low of price since before I started back to work in April!

    *Was treated to a nice BBQ steak dinner again this week, perfectly cooked by husband (he is a restaurant cook, and really good at grilling steak!). Other home cooked meals included chicken and broccoli Low Mein, chicken souvlaki with Greek feta salad, shepherds pie, and tacos. I took all my lunches to work, as usual, which includes an insulated mug filled with ice water. The ice lasts nearly the whole day in an insulated mug and I usually refill the mug with the water cooler at lunch.

    *Collected more dried pea seeds from my garden and a few more bachelor button seed heads from the garden at work. Also gleaned more beans from the gardens at work (it seems that nobody but me uses them so they would go to waste if I didn’t glean them).

    *Frugal Fail of the week: I took my daughter school clothes shopping this week. She is very difficult to shop for (body shape wise) and she hates trying on clothes (Autism spectrum), so this is always a hell trip for me. With some frustrations, arguing and a bit of bribery (but better than previous years thankfully), I was able to buy her several pairs of pants, a shirt, a dress and a skirt for school. Unfortunately, most were full price because I can’t convince her to go shopping when the sales are on, nor frequently to thrift stores to find the good deals. At least the worst part is done. I may have to buy a few more shirts, but they are easier to buy for her and I can often find those at thrift stores or on sale.:p

    I didn’t do as good of a job writing everything down this week, so there could be more that I forgot. Oh well. Hope everyone has had a good week and I hope you have an even better one this week!:D

  15. My kids get invited to birthday parties and I have decided we don’t have $20 or even $10 dollars to spare on these gifts anymore. Sometimes I cave and don’t have time to think of anything, but I am trying to build a stockpile (without going overboard) of clearance or homemade gifts in case I don’t have time to make anything.

    I’m not a crocheter, more of a knitter, but I know a few basics and watched a couple you tube videos and made this this crochet owl purse using yarn I had on hand. I am going to do a beaded strap with beads I already have. Because I’m only learning crochet it took me awhile and I think I made each side twice, but if I make another one it will take much less time.

    I also made a bow bracelet with a pocket and put a gold dollar coin in it.

    In another case I remembered my 6 year old had received two giant Frozen coloring pages pack for Christmas and I had taken care to make sure one didn’t get opened. I could actually FIND it and wrapped it up.

    For a party my 11 year old son went to, I made a secret hollow book from one of my husband’s college textbooks we were going to throw out. This takes a long time, but we had little money and knew of the party over a month ahead of time.

    I keep picking a handful of raspberries every day and freezing, I have a gallon freezer bag over half full now. Also picking green beans twice per week and have started on my second gallon bag of frozen beans. I have a small garden but am trying to make the best of it.

  16. I had two lovely freebies last week that were frugal by default as we were going to pay for them but ended up not having to do so. The clerk at Trader Joe’s decided the flowers I was buying were past their prime so gave them to me for free and then insisted I get a 2nd bunch for free too! In addition we went out for my birthday and shot pool after dinner. They forgot to start the timer for the table so said it was free.
    Other things were
    – Washed and did a bit of trimming on our mini poodle to extend the time between grooming appointments.
    – Made chicken broth and chicken noodle soup. Froze the remainder of the broth.
    – Found a penny in my own yard. Not one of ours as it is quite corroded.
    – Continued to work on pruning the bushes in our yard. I am behind schedule due to having so much rain in August but am determined to get it done before leaf raking starts in earnest. Also sprayed kudzu in our wooded area.
    – We figured out how many times we will have to replace the furnace filter before we sell our house in the spring of 2017. Was able to find a reasonable deal online and purchased them. One more last thing to do be done in this house!

  17. Several frugal fails and success this week:
    — I paid for my surgery, my deductible has been met and my out of pocket limit has been reached, so now I’m thinking” what else do I need done? Any other tests?”.. At least I have a few months to schedule anything else. Lol
    — I am still cooking and planning meals for my downtime after surgery.
    — my youngest sons birthday was yesterday and today is my oldest sons. They are one day from being exactly two years apart, so they have parties together. Last year and this year I borrowed a page from you Brandy. The boys chose their breakfast and dinner for their special day. I cannot believe how well this goes over. They look forward to it each year and plan for weeks in advance. We did go to a minor league ball game with a couple of their friends and families, but it was discount tickets and hot dog and drink specials and clearance on souvenirs like $5 ball caps. They boys got autographs from the players and my oldest not only won a ball cap but was chosen to run on the field after the game for a dash for cash. He grabbed $52 and shared it with his little brother. We will enjoy cookies at the park when it cools off on a Sunday afternoon with family and friends who were not able to attend the game. We gifted them discounted headphones to go with their ” big” gift. My husband and I changed our phone carrier last year. We had to purchase different phones and while the purchases paid for themselves in three months we were left with two iPhone 4 phones that we changed into iPod touches and will gift them $10 iTunes gift cards. We also have the chargers and cases. Headphones $4.. Cards $10. Add a couple of dollar tree books and done.
    — had to purchase a new dishwasher so we purchased one that looked brand new at Lowe’s but had to have a part changed out. It is stainless, works wonderful and we saved $400. My husband and father installed it.
    — we are planning a weekend away for my husband and myself. I purchased him concert tickets for Valentines’s Day for one of his favorite bands from high school they are on their farewell tour. It is a few months late but it also gave us something to look forward to. He has also been savings Bass pro gifts cards that he receives from work as incentives. He has been saving them for a couple of years and now has enough for a gun he has wanted for years and Labor Day weekend is also tax free shopping on hunting gear so he will purchase that this weekend as well. It will be nice to get away before surgery and the hectic holidays. When I get back from surgery I will be in the middle of holiday decorating for the flower shop.
    — we are harvesting from the garden more now that it has cooled off some. Those triple digits do put a damper on the garden.

    Praying everyone has a great week!!

  18. Headaches are the worst. I get them from a lack of sleep, too. My son suffers from terrible migraines. You really accomplished a lot for someone working on so little sleep this week!

    I’m trying to do a better job of saving money on breakfast this week. I got into the habit of having cereal every morning when baby number 5 was born. He will turn 2 this fall, so it’s way past time for me to get out of that habit! I wrote about what else I did this week here:

  19. Our home is about as old as yours. We thought we were just going to put on a new storm door, but that turned into gutting the entire door and rebuilding the entire door frame from scratch (we don’t need a new heavy door, so no sense in buying one). Old houses turn small projects into big ones sometimes. It can really be frustrating!

  20. So sorry you haven’t been sleeping well, Brandy. That makes the days long and tougher than they need to be. I hope you find your way back to good rest soon.

    I did lots of baking and quite a bit of blanching and freezing vegetables this last week. Our garden is going gangbusters with tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. The winter squash isn’t quite ready to pick yet but should be soon – we have lots of butternut and acorn squash this year! We’ve also been in back to school prep mode – can’t believe that summer is almost done already! I included what I spent my birthday money on in my post – I spent it a few weeks ago but totally forgot to write about it!

    Have a wonderful week everyone,

  21. I’m sorry to hear about your insomnia, Brandy. It’s hard to do all you want to do when your eyelids are heavy.

    Here’s my list:

    -We picked more tomatoes and celery from the veggie beds and finally picked our first fall cucumber.
    -I’m saving more coffee grounds to put on the tomato bed.
    -I was gifted some sweet corn, zucchini, green beans and a watermelon. I froze most of the corn but we enjoyed a few ears and a “mess” of green beans with a ham bone from the freezer. I’m starting to feel autumn in the air early in the morning and late in the evening and I’m mourning the end of summer and its yummy fresh produce.
    -I cooked chicken in the crock pot. I used the broth and a little of the meat to make chicken noodle soup. I used more of the meat to make quick & easy chicken salad. The rest of the chicken I portioned into freezer containers so I’ll have meat ready for busy evenings.
    -I used bacon from the freezer and homemade ranch dressing to make bacon-cheddar-ranch pasta salad as a quick supper.
    -I saved the peelings and leaves from the garden celery and the carrots I used for the soup and stashed them in the freezer so I can make a batch of junk stock at some point.
    -I packed car picnics for my daughter’s cross country meets. They’re usually on Saturday mornings but we had an unusual weekday evening meet. My husband and I laughed that we must be trendsetters because we tail gate for cross country meets instead of football games!
    -I’m trying to drink more water and take more walks and am keeping a record of my progress to hold myself accountable. This doesn’t cost anything up front and I’m hoping it will keep me out of the doctor’s office in the future!
    -We did another No Spend Weekend Challenge. I took some interesting notes that I’ll be turning into articles or lessons soon.

    I posted the quick & easy chicken salad recipe and the bacon-cheddar-ranch pasta salad recipe and wrote about the No Spend Weekend Challenge at

  22. I am terrible if I dont get enough sleep so I hope you have been better the last few days and sleeping well again. I feel like I am in a fog and get a headache too.
    Here we start spring tomorrow! It was already a glorious day today. The change of seasons is a busy time.
    I finished sewing Christmas presents. I dried and packaged up packets of Bay Leaves from my Mums tree. My gifts this year are all pantry related so these will fit in well. Now I am going on to card making. I added to my pantry and even did an extra shop with some money I earned just to add to my supplies. I was very pleased about that.
    Have a wonderful week. xxx

  23. Heather, I had major emergency surgery last summer that blew my deductible and out of pocket expense out of the water. With 4 months left in the year and my deductible met, I was wishing and hoping to get sick just so I could go the doctor and not pay anything! I always joked to my husband “If I so much as sneeze, I’m making an appointment!”. Fortunately (or unfortunately!), I was healthy the rest of the year. 🙂

  24. I continue to pick almost ripe and ripe tomatoes from the garden and at this time, am just freezing them whole til l get enough to really make a day of processing them all.
    I started harvesting the pea seeds from the pods that have been drying.
    My daughter and I attended a free clothing event a local church hosts every year – they have thousands of pounds of clothing to give away and they encourage you to take as much as you want. Both of us came away with several pairs of jeans, skirts and dress pants, shorts and many shirts and sweaters. This has helped us out tremendously as I work in a kennel where we use bleach as a disinfectant which ruins many shirts. It has also allowed my daughter to have a huge wardrobe to pull from so she feels like she “fits in” with current fashion (teen girls……sigh) Unfortunately they did not have as much in the way of mens clothing in the sizes I needed for my brother and husband and son. We also received free water and granola bars which I saved for lunches.
    Was given a kiddie pool that has a couple holes in it – if I can repair them, I will use it for my ducks until it begins to freeze. If the repair doesn’t work, I will use it as a raised bed in the garden.
    Was given some alfalfa cubes a friend couldn’t use for her horses. Our rabbits have loved them.
    Hubby asked me when we returned from the clothing event if I wanted to head out to a “hoarder’s” garage sale cause they had fabric and old sewing machines. I was only interested in one machine – A very heavy duty Morse. My hubby offered the lady $100 for all the machines there, the various feet and the few notions I had found (scissors, pins, binding) – I now have 15 machines to clean up, oil and sell 🙂 He already re-wired the Morse and she runs nice and smooth.
    I was given a pound of lunch meat from my boss at work – it was bought to tempt a sick dog into eating (looong story – stupid owners!) – she didn’t want it to go to waste but she couldn’t eat all of what was there.
    We sold another bus seat from our conversion.
    We were given some items to sell on Craigslist by my inlaws – The love to gift us the things they no longer want – I have learned to stop off at Goodwill with anything we don’t think we can sell or use so I don’t have any more clutter coming into the house.
    I was able to find 2 lids for to a couple of my Tupperware containers that are missing theirs (.25 cents) The same Troll who takes the pens/pencils seems to like plastic lids as well.
    I know there was more but I forgot to keep track this past week :/

  25. Sounds like it was a rough week for sleep for a number of people. I had the same issues! Thankfully, I’m still on summer holidays so I can take naps during the day!

    Here’s what I did to save money this week:
    -I made tomato sauce (for the first time) from tomatoes someone gave us. I don’t can (yet) so I divided the sauce into 1 cup portions and froze it.
    -We were also given some green peppers. I diced those up and froze them.
    -I did a pinecone research survey.
    -Used coupons to get 2 free curex nail gel from Walmart (they are $14.95 each so the savings were significant)
    -Since I am not back at work yet, I am not driving as much. I think the last time I bought gas was over 3 weeks ago. I usually have to buy it once a week.
    -I continue to open the windows in the morning if it is cool enough and not humid.
    -We ate all our meals at home except one. When we ate out, we used a coupon.
    -I received a free sample of shampoo and conditioner in the mail. These went into our travel container to be used on trips.

  26. It’s been busy around here. I relate about not great sleep cycles, though. I wake up at three am and anxiety is just keeping me awake, making me exhausted during the day and killing my appetite. Not fun :(.

    My list for the week can be found here. My to do list this morning is to go and harvest my tomatoes as it hit 35 degrees last night. I need to get them picked before they freeze on the vine.

  27. Sorry it wasn’t the best week for you. I hope your body gets back on track!
    My husband and I were advised by our doctors to make the same/pretty close to the same diet changes – yet for different reasons – so we did. We are looking at new recipes, snack and such together. At first I was going through shock of our budget changing – but after the weekend of pouring over recipes we found 20 that sound delicious and are still frugal/things we already have that will get us started. I am already noticing a difference, which I am so thankful for. I would love to avoid prescription meds if possible.
    I was gifted free stone peaches. I assumed it would be enough for 3 pints – when I actually saw the bag – It will be enough to can at least a dozen pints.
    Canned tomato soup and diced tomatoes from picking from my garden and what was gifted to me last week.
    We decorated a cubicle of someone who was on an extended leave of absence (a coworker of my husband) by making a banner with paper and paint. We used balloons we already had.
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  28. – I’ve been reading blogs about Project Use It Up (using up your inventory of whatever…makeup, lotions, candles, food, etc) and have been really paying attention to using things that I have just sitting around. I’ve got candles and body lotions and perfumes that I rarely use so I’ve been making an effort to use them. Why have them otherwise when it ends up just being money you spent sitting around in your cabinets?! This week I used up: Colonial Candle Company Eucalyptus Clove candle,
    Garnier hair spray, Glade Strawberries and cream candle and Comfort Zone spa ritual lotion (Loews)
    – really wanted to go out to lunch but fought the urge and just made lunch at home
    – clipped a coupon for a free mayonnaise at Meijer (and got it during next shopping trip)
    – received a free sample of Kotex liners in the mail and a free Better Homes and Gardens
    – sold my daughter’s dresser on Craigslist for $115 and about $60 worth of stuff on ebay
    – took the money from the sale of the dresser and bought used skis and poles for the same amount that are just my size and in great condition (I just restarted skiing last year and renting equipment is so expensive! Now I just have to find some used skis and snowboards for the rest of my family!)
    – listed a bunch more stuff on eBay
    – listed some books on paperbackswap and have four requests so after I mail the books and they receive them I’ll get credits I can use to request books
    – received a beautiful pair of Swarovski zirconia earrings in the mail just got signing up for the liquidation channel on-line. They came in a beautiful box that I can use again for gift giving. I’ve already worn the earrings a number of times.
    – Meijer’s mperks is celebrating its fifth anniversary with different free items. With this I also got a free greeting card and propel water.
    – went out to dinner Friday for my anniversary with my Husband and used a buy one entree, get one free coupon plus a check from my parents to help pay for the meal. Afterwards we attended a free festival going on downtown and walked all around downtown checking out the architecture.
    – requested some more freebies from freebie websites
    – continued to do the things I normally do…use half of a napkin and half of a makeup remover sheet so each one is “worth” two, eat leftovers, cook from what’s in the house, etc.

  29. Last week, my son started middle school–6th-8th grades. He LOVES it so far. Happy to be in several classes with his friends. We didn’t go out to eat at all that I can recall so that saved money there. In fact, we pretty much stayed home this past weekend save for my son’s football game Saturday afternoon.

    *I hung laundry out to dry on the clothesline

    *got several magazines in the mail free via Recyclebank

    *didn’t need to buy single subject notebooks as I bought 3 CASES of them several years ago when WalMart advertised them for 10cents apiece!

    *Hit up Staples for their back-to school supplies where they’ll price match ads from competitors (WalMart Office Max, etc)

    Nothing much sticks out this week.

  30. On the losing sleep issue, I have also struggled with waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep. My doctor suggested taking melatonin. I now take 5mg of melatonin each night and most nights fall back to sleep until a more reasonable hour. It took a couple of weeks for this to kick in, but once it did, it seemed to work well. It would be some thing to look into, as sleep is so important for being able to function well!

  31. Brandy, good luck catching up with your sleep from last week. I sometimes forget how nice a long night of sleep is…only to be reminded on the nights when I can’t sleep.

    It was a good week last week, I am working to break a bad habit of going grocery shopping too much “looking for deals”. My goal is to not shop for 8 days-until this upcoming weds when the new sales start again. Then only shop once a week. Once I have myself under control, I will stretch to every two week. At least that is the plan. I am also working my way for us to eat everything in our freezer by late October, to give me time to defrost it and be ready for the November sales. I went to get my car oil changed (my husband is about to have back surgery and can’t do it as he usually does). They gave me a list of $1000 worth of things to do. He reviewed the list and consulted my owners manual. $500 were items just to make the dealer money and not even recommended by Mazda, my car only has 40,000 miles on it. The other items he can do himself, with my help with heavy stuff, and it will cost $125. A real blessing to have his skills!

    Hope everyone has a good week.

  32. I am always looking forward to getting everyone’s updates on a Monday morning. 🙂
    Just like you, Brandy, I had some sleepless night, for me it is that sometimes I just lose track of time watching a show or reading a book I like. Whenever I go to bed past midnight, instead of being able to sleep till 7am (which is when I usually wake up) I wake up at 3am and then struggle to go back to sleep :/
    My frugal accomplishments for the last 2 weeks are here:

    Have a great week everyone

  33. Harvested grapes, peaches, elderberries, red raspberries, Golden Delicious apples, Scarlet Spire apples, pears, Early Girl tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, a Boston marrow squash & the rest of our prune plums. Dehydrated sliced pears & started on the previously frozen grapes. Bottled the Elberta peaches that were ripe enough, along with some of the plums & some grape juice.

    Made pear clafoutis several times to use up some of the pears. Since the pears were quite ripe, I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup instead of 1 cup & it was still quite sweet, so the next time, I cut the sugar to ½ cup. It was still sweet enough. I also made peach clafoutis, to use some of the ripening peaches.

    Pruned the blackberry canes on Tuesday morning before the garbage pickup.

    Made another batch of tomato jam & cut the amount of pepper flakes to ½ teaspoon from 2 teaspoons. I would still describe the heat as “medium” on this batch. Made a 3rd batch of tomato jam & left out the pepper flakes entirely. I also changed the lemon juice to apple cider vinegar, & the taste was exactly as we wanted it, so this will be our new homemade “ketchup”.

    Transplanted 2 small patches of yarrow into a barked bed bordered by the driveway & the sidewalk to help contain it. It grows well under the forsythia that is in that bed, with a columnar crab apple & 2 dwarf apple trees.

    Completed a pine cone survey.

  34. I canned 6 quarts black beans. I made bread, lemon granola, lemon poppyseed muffins, and pumpkin bread.

    I spent 142.50 of my 150.00 food budget. I bought a lot of things for my food storage: all-purpose flour, potato flakes, salt, taco seasoning, italian seasoning, dried onions, oil and yeast. I also bought whole milk, cheese, and cranberries. These last few things were a splurge and hopefully will last us awhile.

    I’m trying to stay home as much as possible. Gas is getting out of hand. I have several kids in after-school activities. But I think I can do better. So I’m going to work on it.

    My husband has been blessed with a lot of extra work lately. He does construction remodeling on the side (in addition to his regular job) and has two extra remodeling jobs in addition to his mowing business. We are mostly using this extra money to pay for his wisdom teeth being removed in a couple of weeks. So glad we can pay for it. Whatever we don’t spend of that is going into savings.

    I signed up for levelized billing with my electric company and gas company today. I’m tired of the fluctuations so this should help us budget more effectively. Next week is supposed to cool down into the 80’s and I’m going to turn off the AC. Yay!

    I’ve been reading “The Grapes of Wrath.” It’s definitely shown me that I take too much for granted. I am so grateful for what we have!

    You ladies have a great week!

  35. We got back from vocation and stay out of the store to thursday. I had to make a complete meal for a family of 8. I made lasagna, garlic bread, fruit, cupcakes, and salad. Sunday we had potluck at church. I found pork roast for 1.19 lb made in th crockpot saturday and froze the rest. got three meals out out of it. Was gifted veggie from a garden. chicken legs and thighs .89lb. I have them in the freezer. Had to make a trip to orthodist which is four hours round trip.

  36. • Processed the last of my 40# of peaches ~ froze some and dehydrated some.
    • Harvested a lot of tomatoes from the garden ~ bad windstorm came in over the weekend so I picked all I could to prevent damage
    • My husband had some friends over and there was much food brought and cooked for breakfast. We ended up with lots of leftovers ~ ½ carton chocolate milk, a little bit of OJ, used the eggs, sausage, shredded cheddar and tortillas to make 9 huge breakfast burritos for the freezer, 2 bags of bagels and cream cheese plus some misc cinnamon rolls. What a huge blessing!
    • My son turned 12 on Saturday so he had some friends over. We grilled hot dogs and served with chips and juice. Homemade cake and bought ice cream. Entertainment was created by the boys!!! All in all a frugal party and he had a great time
    • My son got a new cousin on his birthday… since I am not crafty we bought 2 pairs of soft PJ’s using sale plus coupon
    * took my son out for a birthday meal ~ he got his for free for his birthday and used a gift card for the remainder… he also got his free birthday sundae 🙂

  37. I had 2 major surgeries in 2013 and 1 in 2014, and both times I did a bunch of routine tests afterward for free–mammogram, colonoscopy, full blood panel to check for diabetes, high cholesterol and everything else, etc. Plus paying the maximum out of pocket means a tax deduction for medical expenses (my employer pays the entire monthly premiums–health, dental, vision–for the whole family so I don’t usually have enough to deduct).

  38. We prepurchased state fair tickets for $3 off each at Safeway. I pack my breakfast and lunch for work every day. My office gives staff Starbucks cards for miscellaneous celebrations; I combined half of them on my phone for $50 towards emergency lunches and gave some to my son for emergency lunches on the days he works (i.e., when he forgets his packed lunch). We saved up Safeway points to get $1 per gallon off filling the car this week. Needed a gift for a coworker, so I used one of the 3 starts from my spider plant at work. Traded basil from my balcony pot for pickled beets made by another coworker. I’ve done 4 swagbucks surveys this week after dinner, saving toward a $25 Amazon gift card.

  39. Yes, we have lived here almost seven years and it is forever something. Just this week when my husband tried to swap out the kitchen light he found there was no junction box. And so a quick project turned into an all day monster, two trips to the store, tenting the area so dust did not fly everywhere, cutting out part of the ceiling. The house is a disaster today and we have watched tv for most of it to keep the children out of the plywood.

  40. I just read somewhere that using any electronics like the computer or Kindle etc, right before going to bed interferes with sleep. I don’t remember the why of it, or where I read the article, but for the last several weeks I have been making sure I’m not reading email on Kindle right before bed. Just reading a book or magazine. I have even taking to setting the alarm on my phone earlier so I am not looking at that last thing before going to bed.

  41. Brandy, what are you doing about higher prices? I kept watching all summer for peaches or pears to be below $1 a pound but they never went below 1.49. I know you did a post about this in 2014 but I was wondering if you’ve adjusted your price points or if you are just doing without.

    What are you doing about eggs? I just spent $21 for eggs (7.5 dozen) and that’s a lot. Do you just bake without eggs or do you use a substitute?

  42. Project Use It Up sounds like a good thing. I was doing something similar to this but got out of the habit. I need to make this a focus for September.

  43. This is my first time commenting and listing my frugal accomplishments for the week, although I’ve been reading Brandy’s blog for a long time. I always get inspired when I come here!

    Made all our meals from scratch, used my crock several times this week making chicken stock, yogurt, and a quadrupled batch of spaghetti sauce that I froze in quart size containers for later meals.
    Made homemade pizza with pizza dough from the freezer that I made a few weeks ago and used vegetables that needed to be used up in the fridge for toppings .
    Soaked and cooked white beans that I overcooked and got mushy so I just added some bacon grease that we keep in the fridge from cooking bacon along with some salt, onion powder, and garlic powder and we now have bacon bean soup in the freezer.
    Made homemade bread-there’s nothing better!
    Washed our clothes using homemade liquid laundry soap and vinegar for softening them.
    Made my daughter a blizzard fleece blanket for her birthday using fleece from JoAnn’s that I got half price with a 20% off coupon.
    Took my lunch to work everyday this week
    Was gifted with tomatoes and green beans from a co-worker. My husband and I immediately made tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches!
    Downloaded Gas Buddy app onto my I phone so that I always know where the cheapest gas is in my area.

  44. I love checking your blog every week when you post the link here. You get some great freebies and yay for taking home the leftovers from work. I do the same and I’m just about the only one that does!

  45. i hve fibromyalgia and as part of it i have break thru pain at night to the point of what i call crybaby pain so am up a lot in the nite i fig i hurt no matter what i do so get up and work bad side is i can not sleep during day i have to be so sick that might go to hosp type sick.

    our house was built in 1879 ina town one mile from here the rail road went thru slater our town back then moving houses be horse and logs that is the way they they did in 1910 when they moved the houses here

    we added on twelve yr or more ago we did work our selves yes every bit i never wanted to be a construction worker but in the end we learned alo

    a friend called this week to offer food she could not move i said yes and let me help you pack that was today

    it is hot and humid here in central iowa so i have cooler meals at the ready

    treated myself to a loaf of bread to not hear kitchen not even close as good as i can make it

    we have a recycle it place i stopped in on saturday got a flag display case so we put husband stepdads flag in it

    got some shirts for both of os also picked up three pkg hot dog buns had them on groc list hot dogs buns so that saved free is the price i can afford

    we use majic jack for our phone we can call free we got rid of home phone

    we also use roko instead of cable
    making food from scratch
    finished working on

  46. That same Troll has a brother at my house and he also likes socks!! Since he only takes one I would figure that it would be easy to catch one legged troll with an arm full of pen caps and plastic lid containers, but I would be wrong.

  47. Dear Miss Brandy and readers,

    First let me say, I hope your sleep improves. Like most moms, we need balance, sleep/wake, work/play and without some balance in ours lives we don’t function as well. Hope next week’s posting brings news of restful sleep.

    Last week was the official start of school in this area. My chickadees were off to school. I personally, spent most of the summer not blogging about much. I was either with family or doing work at home. I had a list of goals which probably went to the way side. I am going to evaluate them this weekend as that is the end of my summer goals time frame. I know we had fun as a family and had a few emergencies and as a consequence the summer was gone in a flash. My oldest went off to school last weekend and will return home for a short visit Labor Day weekend. She is greatly missed by her family.:(

    With all that said. I am ready (forced ;)) to get back to a school routine. My frugality probably was not the best this last month but I know I did a couple things right. I stocked up for the school year on some needed pantry items to make this time of year easier to prepare meals. Last week was not the most frugal week that I have had but I am off to a good start this week.

    My list:
    Made salads, baked veggies, and fruit for the week from “leftovers”
    Made lunch supplies for the week roughly $2.50/person for 5 lunches
    Bought paper plates and napkins for 10 cents/pack (22 packs-see my posting)
    Bought enough fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market for the week $6
    Bought sandwich thins 6 packs of 8 for $1/item
    Found pennies almost every day
    Had all the ingredients on hand for baking
    Crocheted a fall scarf for myself
    Bought 3 tops from Kohl’s for $1 each for the kiddos

    I did some blogging about my weekend baking and food preparations. Nothing fancy but in the long haul, the hard work makes my week easier and saves money. I was most pleased at how preparing lunches really keeps our costs down. While not the most creative lunches I hope they are healthier than what the kiddos might get else where.

    Best wishes to everyone for a great back to school season! 🙂


  48. Hi everyone- I haven’t posted in awhile but I have been reading. Last week, we took my Dad and his wife to brunch for a belated birthday celebration. Lunch was less expensive than dinner and I brought cupcakes for dessert. I made him homemade cookies, purchased an inexpensive print from an artist at the Saturday market, and went to the college store and got him a new binder and pen for his birthday gift. My dad brought us a box of pears, a box of peaches, 20 ears of corn, 2 watermelons, and several cantaloupes so we have been eating from these goodies for over a week now. We had to clean out our rental this past weekend to prepare for a new renter- I [u]wanted[/u] to pay to have the carpets cleaned but instead we rented a commercial rug cleaner from Lowes and cleaned our rental and then the high traffic areas of our own house- it was a lot of work but I am glad we did it. The previous renter spilled a large amount of pepto bismol pink nail polish in the master bedroom- my teenage daughter said she could get it out with hairspray, rubbing alcohol, windex, white cleaning cloths and a brush- it took her over an hour but she got every bit of it out- I was amazed! I filled out a Fred Meyer customer service survey for 50 fuel points. I have kept my grocery shopping to a minimum- we did go to Costco to get the items that were going off ad yesterday and I went to Albertsons for items that were on sale there. Our dishwasher has been broken for a few weeks- we were sure it was out of warranty so we were waiting to get it repaired. I was out of town on business a couple of weeks ago so since my husband had to do dishes, he looked into the warranty and fortunately it is still under warranty! The repairman was here last week and had to order parts but it should be working later this week or early next week!
    I think that is it- have a good week everyone!

  49. Brandy, I second the suggestion for Melatonin. I have some serious insomnia issues but taking Melatonin lets me sleep. I buy mine at Costco, so I would think Sams would have it as well.

    I had a very promising job interview last week and I really want the job. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will come through.

    For my frugal accomplishments:
    [*] Made dinner for surprise houseguests using ingredients on hand
    [*] Ate meals at home from items in the pantry limiting grocery shopping to just milk and cream last week
    [*] Harvested tomatoes from the garden and had tomato salad three days from them
    [*] Hung out all my laundry to dry
    [*] We had a nice cool week, so I was able to turn off the AC and open the windows
    [*] Took my surprise houseguest (an eight YO) to the local botanic garden for entertainment. I have a membership because we like to attend their holiday light show as a family, and the membership covers that cost at a discount, plus gives me options for free admission any other days I choose.
    [*] Colored my own hair from store bought product purchased a month ago when on sale
    [*] I’ve been working on taking better care of my clothing, including washing pieces less by making sure to hang up things that an be worn more than once. Also makes a big difference in how much laundry I do
    [*] Prepared more vegetarian meals that cost less


    Have a great week everyone! Any prayers for landing this job are greatly appreciated!

  50. Our frugal accomplishments for last week:
    ~I can’t remember if I posted this before but it’s a recent change for us. My husband is set on having a Sunday morning tradition that on the way to church, we stop off and get coffee and a snack for the entire family. I don’t really think it’s necessary, especially since the children get snacks in Sunday school, but it gets the kids excited to leave on time and makes for a fun treat. That being said, we decided to change coffee shops and cut the typical total in half.
    ~I am in charge of planning baby showers for the expecting ladies in our fellowship group. This is the third shower in the last two months and I was having a difficult time coming up with frugal ideas for party favors and centerpieces. Off to the craft closet I went. I found supplies for seed packets for the party favors and vases for baby’s breath center pieces. All I have to do is buy seeds and a bunch of baby’s breath and they’ll be all set. I thought these were such cute ideas considering that her theme is vintage Peter Rabbit…and it’ll only cost a few dollars.
    ~My older son (18 yrs) was out of town for four days last week so that helped stretch the food quite a bit.
    ~Accomplishment turned FAIL last week is that I attended a breakfast that our church held for volunteers…free breakfast…SCORE! But by the time I was finished helping train all of the youngsters on procedures, I was so tired out that I went through the drive thru and ordered a whole bunch of fries. Hmm…must have stronger will power next time. :p
    ~We got our beater truck up and running again for very little cost. The gas gauge is broken and we didn’t know it, so all it took was filling it up with gas!! :p
    ~My husband carpooled with a co-worker twice last week.
    ~I rearranged my grocery schedule so that I can make one weekly trip to Costco and one weekly trip to the farmer’s market…without children!! Unfortunately, for now I have to ration our groceries weekly…unless I get a padlock for the pantry, fridge/freezer, and food storage. Nothing seems to be safe at this stage in my children’s life. 😉
    ~I am so excited for this next one: it’s not a frugal accomplishment YET but I am looking further in to it! I have a bunch of frozen fruit that was given to me and I wanted to make preserves, jam, or syrup. I was searching on YouTube and found that it’s possible to make preserves or jam using a bread machine! Go figure! Has anyone out there tried this before? Apparently, it’s not a new thing because some breadmakers have a section in the manual on how to do this. I’m going to work on that this weekend. 😀
    ~And finally, hubby and I were able to pay off another debt! It wasn’t a very big one, but we were throwing a substantial amount at it every paycheck so we can now roll that over. I hadn’t told him that I sent in the last payment so I could surprise him over a celebratory pizza. His face was priceless. 🙂

    Have a safe week everyone!

  51. I look forward to your lovely entries every week. I appreciate your positive can do attitude.
    Regarding insomnia, may I suggest considering the possibility of a dietary culprit — dairy. My husband of 30 years quit his habit of eating grilled cheese sandwiches a couple of times a week at the suggestion of a new doctor. The doctor said that eating dairy can cause, among many things, insomnia which my sweet man has suffered from as long as I’ve known him. It worked! After about a week dairy-free, he sleeps very well. It is wonderful to see him refreshed mornings. Interestingly, we grated cheese on salads last night and although he is sleeping right now, he is snoring up a storm, so I’m awake 🙂

  52. I have pears in the garden, and I canned peaches from our tree in July. (Both peaches and pears were $1 a pound here on sale but I did not have the strength or time to do any canning of them). I am not buying eggs right now. I’m not baking things that require eggs; I’m not really baking at all right now. It’s been 104-107º and too hot to bake.

  53. I am so sorry that you are having sleep troubles and hope that whatever is causing this is over ASAP. I thank you for sharing the fact that you weren’t up to full speed because of how you felt. I have numerous health issues and frequently have to do less than I want/need to do; I know there are other homemakers in my situation but sometimes it helps to be reminded that needing to rest because of pain/fatigue does not make someone lazy.

  54. my daughter (also aspergers/autism) needed a whole new wardrobe…she finally is a good weight , instead of too skinny and gaunt…anyhow…she HATED the fashions in the store…so i went hunting at good will using their half price all tickets a certain colour…(exchanges within 7 days) got her to try on a bunch of clothes..pants were 2.50 shirts 2.00 ….so i got lots of cute outfits…and she is pleased with the coverage..and that it’s not the same as everyone else

  55. ive bought special cookie cutters..that my kids would love on etsy…ex. super mario or Halo…so one cookie cutter, make sugar cookies for 3 bday parties so decorated my son’s bday cake…so a small 6$ purchase went a LONG LONG way…( they are made with the 3D printers…try to chose the simpler designs…they’ve been received SO WELL and it’s a non clutter gift

  56. Clara, a great time to buy up some cheap birthday gifts is after Christmas (boxing day/week sales). I currently have a small stash of lotion/body wash gift sets, some make-up kits and a flash light set that were on clearance last year. I’ve also bought cute hair sets, jewelry sets and even watches for very cheap in previous years (less than $10, often under $5). I know it won’t help you now, but worth putting some money aside for in anticipation of this coming season. Right now you might find some summer toys on clearance (bubbles, skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk, etc.) which might be options depending on the age.

    Another idea of something you can make is games. I’ve seen some pretty cute tic-tac-toe or checkers games made from painted rocks and a painted wooden board. Just recently I stumbled across a dice game with printable instructions on Pinterest. The person had bought a bunch of dice super cheap, put the number of dice needed to play the game in a cute container (dollar store) with the printable instructions as a Christmas gift for multiple people in her family/friends circle. Worth doing a Pinterest search to see what other DIY games you might find!

    Love the ideas you posted in your comments, by the way. They are super cute! Thanks for the ideas.

  57. if you can get soy flour at a decent price, you can sub that for eggs in recipes …one heaping table spoon and a tablespoon of water (and in most recipes i’ve found (imho) that if it calls for 3, i CAN DO 2). In canada i could go to the Bulk Barn (chain store that i loved) and get it cheap and could get just a little to try it out the first time

  58. Sorry to hear about your sleepless nights…I too struggle with that from time to time.

    The week started off on a bad note….I had purchased a package of chop meat to make a batch of meatballs and when I took the package out of the refrigerator there was a hole in it. Not wanting to take a chance with contamination I threw the package out.

    My engine light came on in the car so off the the mechanic I went…they told me what was wrong and I was also told I needed brakes (front & rear) of the car.

    The good news is my future son in law is able to do all the repairs on my car! I had to put out money for parts but that is nothing compared to the price of labor if I had to bring it to a mechanic.

    The rest of the week was much better:

    *I was able to fill my gas tank @ Costco for a much cheaper price and realized I hadn’t filled my tank in over a week.
    *Received a 30% off coupon & a $4 off a soap purchase @ CVS so I bought my makeup and some bar soap.
    *Was invited to sit outside one night @ my friends house and I brought over a delicious cantaloupe that I chunked was only 97 cents.
    *Found South Beach To Go Bars for $1.99 so I purchased those for breakfasts this week.
    *Changed the air filter on my air conditioning unit.
    *My garden is starting to dwindle down but I was able to pick some string beans and a nice size zucchinni and I grilled them along with some onions for a side dish for dinner one night.
    *I saved a seed from a butternut squash last year and I planted it this year and to my surprise it is growing really well. Can’t wait to be able to harvest some. We love butternut squash and it can get pretty pricey so this will be a great savings. Will do this yearly now.
    *My neighbor was “cleaning out” and I was able to get a free beach chair. This will come in handy since I had not replaced mine and a beach day is planned for next weekend (we go after Labor Day so there is no fee to get onto the beach) She was also getting rid of a nice size planter so I took that also. I will use that next year to grow some parsley in so the rabbits won’t be able to get at it.

    I am kind of looking forward to the cooler weather. Looking forward to our “Firepit Friday’s”…now I just have to keep an eye out for firewood and kindling.

  59. by any chance are you in the richmond area..i loved their lightshow at xmas…and when you buy your passes then, you get that visit free and the following year’s one…so we did every other year…

  60. Celina, it is so nice to meet someone else with an Asperger’s daughter! So many on the spectrum are boys.

    You are so lucky your child is thin. My daughter is actually the opposite. Due to medications and bad genetics, she is quite heavy. It is very hard to find outfits that are youthful looking in her size. Her legs are quite thick, so we have to have her try pants on to make sure they fit her comfortably…even the stretchy pants sometimes fit tight. I was really pleased to find 10 different pairs of pants this year. Typically I end up buying several pairs in the same style which makes for a pretty boring wardrobe. Buying 10 pairs may also seem excessive, but she sometimes has accidents still and tends to crawl around on the ground a lot on the playground, thus wearing out or destroying them much faster than an average 12 year old girl. Most of the shirts I buy are from thrift stores, as these are much easier to find the right fit. We’ve now entered the “teen attitude” stage as well, so everything has to be approved through her on look and style. If she doesn’t like it, she will not wear it. Sometimes I really miss those younger years!

  61. Tiffany,

    I think you could decorate with some vegetables instead of flowers (and then you could eat the vegetables later!) Just for fun, I searched Pinterest for “Peter Rabbit Baby Shower” and there were lots of great decorating ideas there (with a lot of vegetable decorations!)

  62. Not the cheapest week by any means for us. Unplanned dr appointment for my daughter, but at least no prescriptions were needed, only time.
    Bought uniform pants for both kids since shorts time is almost over at school. Got most on sale and only one pair wound up being full price.
    Switched cable Internet providers but am praying my husband doesn’t switch again. He’s mad he wasn’t told about a modem rental fee which I understand but it still save’s us 50 a month. …
    Trying to best evaluate how/if I should monetize the blog I started out of love for my volunteering. I need to thinkpay on that more.

  63. Your opening picture makes me think of “The Land of Counterpane”. I hope your sleep issues resolve soon. I have ongoing sleep issues due to painful joints, but fortunately my husband sleeps sound and seldom hears me if I get up or move around.

    We fortunately have some hot weather back. It has been low 80’s and the garden really needs it. We had 3 days and nights of 40’s and now the trees have started changing and dropping leaves.

    We continue to harvest and preserve…last week I listed all our produce, and it is the same. I do something with tomatoes every night…either salsa, or sauce or diced or corn…frozen creamed or corn relish. Thursday I don’t work so we are doing a corn canning day, not as much as our pickle day, but will have 2 daughters and a cousin in law for help. My husband will do a lot of the shucking.

    Sunday after church we had a family get together farewell party for 2 nieces, one nephew and my middle girl at one of my brother’s houses. My daughter starts her new job, one niece and the nephew and their families are also moving for new jobs. The last niece starts grad school. I did desserts and brought 3 pies and 4 doz cupcakes. No one is moving too far, but we like a party.

  64. Yes, since I’ve been focusing on this I find that I am using things that I’ve had sitting around for years. I get kind of excited when I “finish” something and feel like I didn’t waste money just having it sit around!

  65. Erika – I can’t figure out how to comment on your blog so I hope you find this message!

    I think you are remarkable – in the same vein as Brandy. You are both so incredibly creative with limited resources. I often think of you both as modern day pioneer women.

    Keep the faith and I’m praying that this really bad patch will end quickly in a positive way.

  66. I’ve used the soy flour as a substitute for eggs in baked goods and it has worked well.

    Eggs can also be frozen. I crack them open – one egg per ice cube tray section and when frozen pop them into a plastic bag. When thawed they work well in baked goods.

  67. Most internet provider have a list of compatible modems that you can purchase on places like amazon, best buy etc. install yourself and return there’s. … which takes away the monthly rental fee. Our monthly rental fee was going to be $8/month so $96 for the year. We got our modem for $60 – saving us $36 the first year. No rental fee ♥

  68. I hate the fashions in the stores now, too!! Good thing I’m not in need of clothes right now. I’ve been shopping for gifts.

  69. Traveled over the weekend to my parents’ small town festival and their anniversary celebration. We took water bottles in the car and timed our trip to eat at home and then at my parents’, rather than at restaurants. Kids acquired free candy, plus fabric backpacks, from the parade. Town serves a free meal of burgers, beans and chips in the evening, and there is a free will donation ice cream and pie social put on by one of the churches in the afternoon.

    Since I wasn’t home over the weekend, didn’t do anything “extra” with CSA produce, but have been making BTC sandwiches for my lunches (bacon, tomato and cilantro — tomatoes and cilantro came from the CSA). I also did a grocery store run last week and intentionally purchased some canned juices (V8 types) to drink with my lunches. I find that I need to drink something besides water with lunch, but the beverage prices in our vending machines at work seem high to me, and the purchases were adding up ($2.13 for a bottle of iced tea). Should be significant savings on a weekly basis if I can keep this up.

    We had a work meeting at which we were served ice cream sundaes — a choice of toppings were available.

  70. I’m so sorry to hear of your sleeplessness, and hope it resolves soon!

    Last week, aside from working a lot to earn money, we started working our way through a giant bag of potatoes. Potatoes for dinner a few nights last week! I hung our laundry to dry, and in our hot garage, it dries almost as fast as it would in the dryer!

    The electric company finally came out to inspect all the weatherization we had done this summer (repaired and replaced some of the air conditioning ducts to make it more efficient, moved some of the vents, and installed solar screens on all the windows). We got a good-sized rebate, for making energy-saving improvements we would have made anyway. We collected some rainwater to water our potted plants.

    We arranged to have a friend come care for our cats while we are camping this coming holiday weekend, so we won’t have to pay for a pet-sitter. And we planned a camping trip about an hour away, so we’ll get five days of vacation, spending less than a tank of gas and $45 for the campsite. Not a bad getaway!

  71. I LOVE the idea of veggies for decorations! And “repurposing” them into my menu plan. 😀

    Pinterest has been my best friend while planning the baby showers. That’s where I got the seed packet party favors. 🙂

  72. Do you have a link for the dice game? I looked on Pinterest and didn’t see it. Sounds like a wonderful gift!

  73. I cannot tell you how many times over the years, with my special needs children, that I’ve been willing to pay any price to get something to fit, or that felt comfortable to a child so they would wear it! A lot of the time, mine would be stuck with 1-2 pairs of pants until I could find some more. How nice that you found so many!

    And, my niece, who is autistic, well, she sat and basically cried while my daughter modeled the animal print dress she sewed because I would not promise to help her sew one and there was no where to buy one. They like what they like! And very little else!

  74. Last weekend, my daughter was able to participate in the 4H state fair fashion revue. She had to qualify at county level, wearing a dress she sewed. She was given free tickets for both days and we had the tickets the kids earned during summer reading. However, we never had to use any of them. She had to be there early, and our whole family was let into a special, locked gate with the other participants. Between all the coupons/tickets we had, it only saved us $4, but still….

    While there, my sister joined us and decided to treat the kids to rides after J’s judging on Saturday. That was so kind of her, because we never, ever do rides at the fair, due to cost.

    On Sunday, my husband worked during the morning, and then we were supposed to go camping. Because J had to be back at the state fair, my husband took the other 2 girls camping, got set up, and we followed when she was done. So, we did pay for extra gas to have 2 vehicles there, plus the extra car fee, but the camping was free with our foster/adoptive parents state park pass.

    I’m not a good sleeper, either. I haven’t been for a few years. So, the nice thing was…while at camping when I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, I actually went back to sleep for a few hours and I feel really caught up for once.

    We visited Ft. Clatsop (Lewis and Clark’s winter camp during their famous journey), a cranberry museum, and did simple things like that. We took a walk. There were no fires allowed because it has been so dry, although it rained quite a bit while we were there so we did not sit around the campfire and roast anything. I cooked the meals in the camper, and we went out 1 time. I taught my youngest how to embroider. I went to JoAnn’s and used the coupon app on my phone to get 30 percent off of some dish towels, which I worked on embroidering for an upcoming wedding shower this weekend.

    Our garden produced a lot right before we went, and I picked things to take. I also gave away quite a bit to the people who were watching our animals and called our oldest daughter and asked her to come get as much as she wanted while we were gone. There is a lot down there, I noticed last night when we got home, so I’ll pay some attention to that the next couple of evenings.

    Some friends talked us into going dry camping with them in a couple of weekends. We debated taking the camper, but made the decision over these last few days that we will use a tent. It will save quite a bit of money because it is a distance, and there is no electricity, hook-ups, etc. so the camper will probably be too warm anyway. So, this week, I will be packing up those kind of items. We have a gas grill and have a propane Coleman cookstove (older than the hills, but still works) that we will take in case the fire ban is still in effect–otherwise, my husband is really good at cast iron fire cooking. So, that’s my project for this week.

  75. I have been swamped at work, but when produce is ready in the garden you tend to it.

    We picked 5 dozen ears of corn. Ate what we wanted and froze the rest. I use it in soups in the fall and winter, or just to eat. Got 35 cups. We have been having problems the last two years with skunks eating our corn. We feel lucky to get it. May stop planting for a year or two, to see if they will go away. That is what happens when you live in the country, I guess.

    Picked cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, zucchini, green onions, candy onions and herbs as needed from the garden.

    Dried 4 trays of grape tomatoes.

    Brought my lunch to work each day.

    Turned in my ink cartridges at Staples. Purchased 24 giant rolls of Bounty paper towels at Staples with my ink cartridge certificate due to expire Aug. 31, and a $5.00 off $20 coupon. ended up paying $3.24 including taxes for the paper towels. That is at least a one year supply

    Got 25¢ off a gallon of gas using my Fred Meyer gas points.

    Got 3 lbs. of pasta for a net of 46¢ a pound at Fred Meyer. It was on sale of 79¢ and then a catalina coupon printed for $1.00 when you bought 3.

    Made 6 quarts of dill pickles with cucumbers, dill, hot peppers and garlic from the garden.

    Shredded zucchini and made muffins.

    Made salsa with tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro from the garden. Just had to buy lime juice and vinegar.

    Had popcorn for snacks.

  76. Camping w/o ANY amenities (which includes: No electric, no bathrooms/showers (not even pit toilets) and NO water available anywhere. Most times this type of camping is free 🙂

  77. Brandy – I just wanted to tell you about a solution that I found for a sleep problem that sounds exactly like the one you are experiencing.
    My neighbors, who were waking up in the middle of the night, said that they heard about drinking tart cherry juice before bedtime as a sleep inducer. They tried it with great success. I purchased some from Trader Joe’s – they have pure tart cherry juice at a fairly good price. I don’t know if you have any Trader Joe’s near you but other stores would have it. To make a long story short – it worked really well! I just take an ounce or two a little before bedtime when I get in that cycle of sleep disruption. If you do an internet search about the benefits of tart cherry juice for sleep you can find the science behind it’s effectiveness. There’s quite a bit on it.
    As far as great frugal stuff goes – I found a twenty dollar bill on a hiking path – no people or buildings in sight so I couldn’t find the owner.
    A generic drug that my new health insurance company made me switch to, from the name brand I was taking, didn’t work. 99% of the time I wouldn’t mind a generic but I felt terrible with this particular one. It would be $200 per month to pay for the name brand on my own (yikes!). My kind doctor suggested a Canadian pharmacy to me that many of her patients use. I am now getting my medication for $186 for six months supply! I am feeling much better, although sort of sad that it was impossible for me to reasonably purchase here.
    I picked a lovely bouquet of wild flowers for my table from a vacant lot.

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