Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Lettuce and Radishes The Prudent Homemaker

Our week did not go at all as planned, but I did manage to accomplish some money-saving activities, despite dealing with a family emergency.

W Pillow The Prudent Homemaker

I finished sewing a pillow for Winter’s room.

I picked snow peas and pulled radishes from the garden. I cut green onions and lettuce from the garden.

I used water collected from the shower warming to water potted plants.

I printed 10 free worksheets from Education.com (the monthly allotment that you can download for free).

I gave all 5 girls a haircut.

I cooked a large batch of beans in the crockpot which I froze in bags to have ready for when the baby comes.

I juiced lemons from the garden and froze the juice.

My mom gave me some leftover salmon. I ate the salmon and cut up the skin. I buried the skin in the garden as fertilizer for several fruit trees.

I watched “Call the Midwife” on Pbs.org. For those who watched, did you notice there was a little girl named Ivory in it? She was just there for a second, but she was called by name, and of course it stood out to me!

I read three borrowed books.

I made strawberry popsicles (twice), crepes (twice), and museum pasta salad (twice).

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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101 Comments

  1. Congrats to your family on the upcoming addition to your family Brandy!

    A friend gifted some guppies to my son for his fish tank.
    I’ve tried to use up what’s in the pantry and refrigerator instead of grocery shopping.
    I printed several worksheets for my preschooler.
    I sold some outgrown toys on Facebook pages and made $20.
    I traded a few unneeded things on a Facebook bartering page for some things I wanted. I only have to pay shipping which is cheap.
    I cook alot at home instead of going out and take my lunch to work 4 days a week.
    We bought two huge bags of sausages online. It’s cheaper than even Costco.
    I cooked up a pot of beans and froze what we didn’t eat that day.
    I cooked a double batch of curried lentils and froze the leftovers.
    I made bread.

  2. I hope the family emergency wasn’t anything too serious! Although “emergency” never seems to have good connotations to it :(. Hope all is well!

    Last week was depressing. I’ll be honest. We got a quote from the dentist on the rest of my husband’s teeth and the nearly 19,000.00 quote had me seeing black spots in front of my eyes. Here I am trying to figure out how to make the mortgage payment on time with two short weeks of not a lot of work and having that stare me in the face was like a punch to the gut. My husband is going in at the beginning of May to get the last two root canals done and is going to have a serious talk with the dentist on how much work left is medically necessary and we’re just doing that period. I have officially got more money invested in my husband’s mouth than a new car would cost to cash out and we just don’t want to sink deeper and deeper into the hole.

    The money saving things that went well this week can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2016/04/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap_22.html

  3. I moved some stones around to make new walk ways. My back is ‘telling’ me about too. I also added 5 more stones to my stone walk way under my clothes lines. These stones were brought with a gift card earned with points on my bank card.
    I made a double batch of muffins. Froze most of them for snacks. I also made cookies (peanut butter) for the kids. Froze most of them too. Made 2 loafs of bread. Made ‘standard’ baking mix for use later in pancakes, biscuits, or waffles. (this saves me time in the morning when feeding the kids)
    Planted more tomato plants. Two more squash plants.
    Made appointment with heart doctor. Now have 9 pages to fill out before my appointment. Will work on that tomorrow.
    Used seam ripper to take apart a premie onsie to use as a pattern for my doll clothes. There was a huge neighbor hood garage sale this last weekend and I got lots and lots of baby clothes for $2.00. These will be used for fabric to make doll clothes.
    Cut out shorts for my grandsons. They like the boxer type shorts. I can make them for less than a dollar when the new ones cost $4.00 each at Walmart. So I will get those sewed this week. Last week we had more than 10 inches of rain. Now it is very muggy here so the air conditioner is on. I am keeping it at 78 and using ceiling fans. The humidity is just awful here sometimes.
    I have hung 90% of our laundry on drying racks. The only thing in the dryer was husband’s work clothes.

  4. Hello Brandy and all from Australia :).

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Service –
    – Swapped a friend who recently lost a job some vegetables we had frozen from the garden for eggs they produce.

    House organisation & decluttering –
    – Started sorting though my stored winter clothing in the spare room and swapping them to the bedroom drawers and putting summer clothing in them instead. Found things I even forgot I had :p , so won’t need to purchase any more clothing for quite some time.

    In the garden –
    – Mulched around the herbs and tomato plants in the front gardens to get ready for winter.
    – Created more layers of compost from kitchen scraps, trimmings from herbs, fallen branches & spent canna lilies from the yard which we mulched up with our branch shredder and used to mulch the canna lily beds to get ready for winter.
    – Spread cow manure on all the driveway lawns to fertilise them and watered it in with grey water from saved shower water & bath water.
    – Used all saved shower and bath water to water the lawns during the week.
    – Weeded under the front veranda and back verandas and put excess dried grass clippings under there to prevent further weeds & weeded one herb bed in the front yard & mulched.
    – Trimmed back sweet potato vines growing across the front gate and on to the footpath and front lawns to neaten.

    Grocery & vitamin purchases –
    – Purchased 4 packets of fabric band aids to top up stocks on special saving $4.
    – Purchased 2 bottles of a different cheaper brand of magnesium tablets on special saving $5.32, reducing the cost of this mineral my husband takes for spasms over a month by $9.60.
    – Investigated and purchased a new brand of joint and muscle cream my husbands uses for back pain saving us $18.32 per month compared to the previous brand we used to buy.
    – Topped up cocoa, flour, tinned oysters, mince, sausages, mineral tablets, iron tablets band aids , cotton balls and tinned mangoes and took advantage of a $10 discount coupon on my rewards card to reduce costs.

    Internet hobby sewing and seed saving business –
    – Used envelopes given to us to package sold items in to post rather than buying some more.
    – Made another a5 notebook cover to replace ones sold.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week one and all :).

  5. By Wednesday this week I was on a plane to CA to help my daughter & her family as they welcomed a new addition! This was our 31st grandchild- a sweet little girl! I made 35 freezer meals since I came and have made doll clothes for the new baby’s 5 year old sister using patterns that I bought on sale and stash fabrics. Will organize their playroom and our daughter’s fabric storage tomorrow. I will fly back to Ohio on Wed.
    Hubby and our son have been enjoying the freezer meals I had in our freezer for dinners since I left!
    It’s amazing how much freezer meals and make ahead foods save!
    Hubby and son planted the 10 fruit trees I bought on Monday and we excited at the prospect of our own mini-orchard producing in about 3 years!!! They also finished putting up the new back wooden fence along the back of our side yard to replace our 20 year old chain link fence!
    We have continued selling our wooden planter boxes with bucket inserts online locally and have made another 2 additional principal payments on our mortgage! So far, in these first three months of regular payments + the little additional payments I make with our extra earnings, when payment #4 comes out on May 1st, it will actually be payment 8!!! If it continues like this, our 15 year note will be paid off in 7 years!!!
    Good times!!

  6. I learned how to clean and fillet fish by watching You Tube videos! I was able to clean and cook the fish my son caught on Saturday. The trout was delicious! I have been cooking primarily out of my fridge, freezer, and pantry to use up what we have and to reduce our food budge. I sold some things on Offer Up. My frugal neighbor gave me two glass pictures she gleaned from items another neighbor disguarded when they moved out. I froze our extra milk so it wouldn’t go bad before we got to it. My son repurposed a motor from a broken toy into one he can use with his Legos. I planned laundry day around the weather so I could line dry everything.

  7. I so enjoy reading your posts. Didn’t know you were expecting! Congratulations! I found red raspberry, b!ackberry, and blueberry starts, along with grape vines, hydrangeas, forsythia and bulb flowers all marked down on a clear rack for $1.50 each…regular prices varied from $6-$10/ea. (End of season sale, but they were still in great shape!) I was able to snatch up a good variety of them and get them planted promptly. I’m quite pleased with that! I aso had a great sewing day during which I was able to recover 7 pillows in our living room for less than $3/ea. Its been a long time coming, now everything matches and looks nice. My daughter told me she couldn’t pick a favorite! Baked home made bread, scones, cookies, and a large pot of beans. It was a very satisfying week! 🙂

  8. I made chicken strips and fried chicken livers for lunch instead of going to the local fried chicken source (savings: roughly $11.50), baked French bread, made a monster load of stuffed eggs, and started through the Tightwad Gazette series again, just to get “tuned-up”.

    I hope this reply works. I have tried before to leave comments on your gorgeous site and couldn’t seem to get it to work.

    Thanks for all of the inspiration, and I will be praying for a simple, safe delivery on your next blessing!

  9. Good morning Brandy,

    Last week I helped butcher our hog since our freezer was empty. Also, our local grocery store had 40lb boxes of chicken on sale for $9 each, so we bought two. We fished from our pond a few times. We clean and freeze everything we catch. Needless to say, our freezer is full. The fish is being collected for our 4th of July fish fry. We won’t need to buy meat for at least a year (other than the occasional pack of ground beef). I’m keeping the A/C off as much as possible, and it has really paid off. Our electric bill was $180 last month, which is cheap for our 5 bed 4 bath house. We run our pool overnight. I turn it on when I’m heading to bed, my husband turns it off on his way out every morning.
    I’ve been cooking everything from scratch which saves us from eating out.
    I plan meals a month ahead so I’m down to twice a month visits to the grocery store.
    We’re done planting our garden. Once that starts producing food it’ll cut our grocery bill down completely (minus having to buy milk). We’ve got a 2 acre field on the property. 1 acre of blackberries & 1 acre of blueberries. We also have various fruit trees. Everything is in bloom. All of these things help us save money on food. This evening my husband is putting our clothesline up outside. I done some calculating last night and found out that it cost .68 to dry a large load of laundry. I dry 10 loads each week. That adds up over the course of a month to nearly $30. I’d rather hang laundry and save that money. We’re also changing our cell phone plan to prepaid which will save us $100/mo. Every little bit adds up to big savings 🙂

  10. I hope that all is good with your family (relating to the emergency situation that you mentioned). I am sure, once the baby comes, you will be thankful that you thought ahead and prepped some food items, such as beans!
    I think I did well this week as far as saving money, again, the biggest savings come from not eating out for lunch during the week.
    My weekly recap is here:
    http://www.simpleisgoodforyou.com/frugal-accomplishments-ways-saved-money-25/

    Wishing everyone a great week.

  11. I hope the family emergency worked out and everyone involved is OK. I love the pillow you embroidered for Winter. Has she expressed any interest in learning how to embroider on her own?

    I’m gearing up to going back to work soon. In fact, today I’m off to a mandatory training session and I start work the following week. I woke up with an anxious feeling a few times this past week. Not sure if it is connected to going back to work (did I get everything done that needs to before I go back), my husbands current lack of job, or both. Hopefully it will work itself out soon. My frugal accomplishments for this week are:

    *Cut up the pineapple I bought on sale a few weeks ago and put it in the dehydrator. At the same time I made a batch of raspberry/mango/applesauce fruit leather for my daughter’s school lunches.

    *Meals cooked at home this week included hamburger helper with green beans, chicken souvlaki with rice and corn (introduced my daughter’s respite worker to chicken souvlaki for the 1st time), chicken fingers with potato wedges, meat balls with mashed potatoes and carrots, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with left over carrots and baked beans, chicken baked smothered in a cheddar cheese soup mix with broccoli and white rice.

    *I made bread pudding using up some ripe bananas, some freezer burned buns and a few bread ends I saved in the freezer. I also made cupcakes which lasted for 3 meals.

    *Made a double batch of butterscotch confetti bars (recipe link: http://www.lvoe.ca/index.php?q=node/202) for the treat trays we have been commissioned to make.

    *I came across an in-store sale on canned cranberry sauce for $0.50/can, so I picked up 2 cans for future holiday meals. Last Christmas I bought some canned cranberry sauce on sale for $0.88/can and thought that was an amazing deal. This was even better!

    *Collected some dandelion greens to feed our Guinea Pig. Free food for her and she enjoys the fresh greens!

    *I put my carrot peeling and broccoli stalks in the “veggie scrap” bag in the freezer, which I use when making broth. I saved bread ends in another bag in the freezer to use for making stuffing, bread crumbs, bread pudding, etc. I saved the elastics from the veggies and bread bag closure tabs for reuse.

    *After my husband quite his job of 14 years last week, he applied to 3 different places this week; 2 in the area we live (5-10 minute commute) and one in the same area as his former job (1 ½ hour commute away). It looks like all 3 are interested, though no confirmed start dates as of yet. One has asked him to come in for a trial run at the restaurant this week as they want to see how well he works. At least it looks like he won’t be out of a job for too long.

    Hope everyone has a lovely, frugal week!!

  12. Baby t a blessing.
    We had a mixed bag as my husband has been doing a special project for work, for weeks and last week he had to work all overnights and that made it difficult trying to get him the sleep he needed during the day. The children are loud even when they are quiet. :p.
    We did some thrift shopping for shorts and found three pairs. Made $150 on eBay. I did not have to pack lunch for my husband all week as work fed him as a perk.
    I tended the garden and am eying up a huge crop of blackberries.
    I volunteered time instead of donating money.
    He’s working a slightly less crazy shift this week and so it should not be as disruptive and we’ll be able to stay home more.
    I shared nasturtium seeds with my sons kindergarten teacher and am digging up some lemon balm for her as well.
    She loaned us a fossil for the boys to examine over the weekend.
    We all worked together making a dinosaur diarama ( diorama?) anyhow, out of a diaper box and paper and some toy dinosaurs, we’ll finish it up tonight, everything we used we had on hand. My son is enchanted and does NOT want to turn it in, lol.

  13. I’m sorry you had a hard week. Hopefully, the issue will resolve quickly.

    Your garden produce looks lovely, and the picture of the pillow is charming.

    I love having frozen, cooked beans. That will help so much when the baby comes. Of course, I am trying to use up as much of those kinds of things as I can in preparation for the upcoming move, but once we are re-settled, I will fill my supply right back up.

    We have been able to eat at home much more this past week. I had Rob barbecue 3 chickens on Saturday. We had some for dinner, took a bunch to the family Sunday dinner, and still have some for lunches today. My meals have been super simple and quite repetitive lately, but it works.

    I had an out-of-town friend visiting for the weekend. She stays in the camper when she comes, so it saves her the price of a hotel and I LOVE having the time with her. It’s much harder to get than before she moved 8 hours away, so I cherish every moment. One of the things we did was a Costco trip where I picked up my new glasses. I’m very pleased. They are working great for me. They were 1/2 the price of the last pair I bought.

    I made sun tea. I put a few more ways we saved money, as well as a moving update on my blog. It wasn’t a bad week at all, just hectic. I have a feeling it’s going to be that way until we get moved out. There’s so much to do when you move from a mini-farm!

    https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/saving-money-april-23-2016/

  14. Congratulations on the upcoming little one!

    Last week was a busy one. I made homemade bread with whey I set aside from making homemade yogurt.
    Then I used the whey again to make English muffins, which I froze for later (it made enough muffins for six months!).
    I made a batch of smoothies with bulk fruit we bought on sale.
    We purchased Mother’s Day gifts from Ulta using a coupon, which saved us $7 on our purchases.
    Mr. Picky Pincher was busy on Sunday and made bulk meatballs and marinara sauce for freezing and canning. Yum!
    Instead of purchasing store-bought all purpose cleaner, I made my own with vinegar, baking soda, water, and essential oil.

  15. Winter’s pillow is lovely. It’s been a few years since I’ve done embroidery, but you inspire me to pick it up again. I realized even something simple, which is my speed :o), makes something special. I was delighted to see your citrus vinaigrette had an option for orange extract, as I rarely have orange juice. I plan to give it a try soon. I had no luck with lettuce germinating in pots indoors or in the garden so far this year. Though it wasn’t terribly old (most from 2015), we’ve bought fresh seed, and I’ll try again. Joining in here: http://www.abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-rare-bird-frugal-accomplishments.html

  16. Do you have a dental school in your area that could do the work instead? I agree that a talk with the dentist is in order and I hope you can find a way to cut down that bill. That is indeed scary!

  17. I hope the family emergency turned out okay.
    The pillow is lovely!
    I cooked beans to freeze last week also. I also baked bread and made homemade pizza.
    We made a weekend trip to Denver to visit friends. instead of staying in a hotel (our original plan) we took our fifth wheel and stayed in an RV park. The RV park rent for three days was about the same as one night in the hotel. The park was in a good location, with hiking trails right out the back gate, which we utilized every day. I cooked all our meals for the trip (another plus of being in our camper). We took the light rail downtown and it was a free day on Saturday. Rather than going out to eat with friends Thursday evening, we invited them to our camper and sat outside and had snacks and drinks — really more enjoyable than going to a restaurant.

  18. Jamie, to increase the life of strawberries you might want to give them a vinegar bath. It really works. Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to 2 cups cold water. Soak whole berries for 8-10 minutes. No need to rinse, but do dry gently. I put them back into the same clamshell container after I had cleaned it with vinegar and dried it. Two weeks later I still have usable strawberries! No fuzzies anywhere!!

  19. Congrat on the new baby!
    I hope your family emergency resolved itself in a happy way.
    Here is how my week went:

    *I picked up extra shift at my new job.

    *We had a friend visit for a couple of days. He is so easy to have around. He brought his chainsaw and he and my man cut down a bunch of trees that were too close to the house. These will become firewood for 2017 and fence poles for my expanded garden. He left behind some food, which I put to good use.

    *I made poultry seasoning, pumpkin pie spice, and apple and raisin granola for my pantry using ingredients I had on hand.

    *I planted nasturtium seeds saved from last year and a package of free seeds I received in the mail.

    *I also received a couple of tea bags in the mail. I will save these to use as part of a Christmas gift.

    *I bought an ebook using points from doing surveys.

    *I used homemade laundry soap and fabric softener to wash my clothes and hung them on the line to dry.
    Have a great week everyone!
    https://hiproofbarn.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/frugal-endeavors-24/

  20. I checked out several ebooks from the library.

    I continue to slowly work my way decluttering my home one shelf, one drawer, etc at a time.

    I didn’t eat out this last week.

    I supplemented my food storage with some fresh produce for meals.

    I keep trying new low sodium foods in an attempt to find some good recipes. Still more winners than losers, but I have several good recipes now.

    I bought a dog clippers for less than the price of one dog grooming so next time he needs a trim I’m going to give it a try. Dogs don’t care and fur grows back right?

    I resisted buying a new bike (I saw a gorgeous …I mean practical, sensible and fit me one) because mine is too small. My Mom thinks hers is too big. We will arrange a swap and see if we can use each other’s bicycles.

    I planted some plants into pretty thrifted containers using potting soil bought at last years clearance prices.

    I dug up and gave away hostas and several other plants from a garden bed that I am redoing.

    I will come back later this week to read other folks’ good ideas and get inspiration.

    My heat is still turned off.

  21. Family emergencies are never fun; we have had a few of those ourselves this past month. Hope everything was resolved ok.

    Transplanted 2 more baby lettuces into the salad bed where they will receive water & a cloche every night. The spinach seedlings are also up; using 2 of the cloches for those. The larger leaves are nearly ready to harvest.

    Accepted grass clippings from a neighbor to help mulch the garden & the back perimeter. Our city just closed the green waste station, so people either have to make room in the trash can, order a second can, or pay to haul the clippings to the green waste in Springville. The city gives out 3 “free” passes to the green waste station (usually an $8 fee) for each household, but how many people mow their lawn only 3 times in the summer? None of the above for me. However, it makes it easier for me to get the extra clippings that I can use for mulch on, or to build dirt for, the “empty” incline in the back perimeter bed. I was able to mulch the lower garden tier, the corner of the upper tier around the grapevine & about 1/3 of the middle tier with the clippings from his mowing, which will help keep the moisture from the rains this past week in the soil rather than drying out in the spring winds we have now.

    Continued to fill at least one tree pot per day with weeds/grass from the growing beds. This week it was the garden, back perimeter & strawberry bed that got the most attention.

    Watched “Signing Time” & “Cheese Slices” on UEN.

    Thawed one of the packages of Canadian bacon I bought from the bargain basket for $1 months ago, & used it to make a “breakfast dinner” with eggs, etc. Cheap, good eats.

    Saved the free “trial” newspaper that Deseret News left at the bottom of the driveway on Sunday to use on the “slope”. My husband can get newspapers for free at work, so he brought me home 4 different papers to use.

    Sprayed the strip of grass between the new edge & the old edge of the back perimeter with straight white vinegar one more time to kill the last bits. After it was dry, I layered pieces of cardboard & newspapers, then added a thick layer of chopped leaves from the green Rubbermaid can & covered that with the dirt from the pieces of sod I cut out to lay the base stones. When the backfill reached the height of the 3rd Lodgestone, I topped the layers with mulch from the holding bed where I pile the extra grass clippings on their journey to becoming dirt. The mulch is heavy, & about half-way broken down, & will help keep everything else in place thru the spring winds. When the wall edge passes behind the fruit trees, I add a layer of coffee grounds as well, since that will help fertilize the “uphill” roots of the trees.

    As I work my way down the back perimeter, I am pulling out the small redwood timbers that were the “old” edge for the perimeter bed. I measure & cut them to size, to fit in the space beneath the fence rails, between the posts, to give a “finished edge” to the back edge of the bed.

    Continued to lay more of the base stones & uppers on the back perimeter bed wall after the soil dried out a bit from the storms. My goal was to set a minimum of 3 base stones each day, with the 6 uppers. Some days I was able to set 5, so I am close to done. I am past the “midpoint” between 2 existing fruit trees, where I want to plant the columnar peach, to get it out of the pot & into the ground. I am pleased with how it looks on the part that is finished, & excited to have more growing space to raise our own food.

    Completed another pine cone survey, which will pay for more Lodgestones.

    Worked on rebuilding our supply of laundry soap. The type we used to use was discontinued, so it has taken us a while to find another one to which we do not react. Now I purchase one every week to build up our supply again.

    Transplanted one of two comfrey plants that survived the back fence installation, & gave the other one to a neighbor.

  22. I had a dentist quote $12,000 for me and $10,000 for my young daughter. I went to a different dentist for a quote and hit was 1300 for me and nothing for her. After he quoted I had him read the quote. He was amazed and said none of the work quote needed to be done. Get a 2nd opinion on an amount that high. Crystal

  23. I’m also excited to learn the name of your newest addition… all of your children have such lovely names!

    Our frugal accomplishments this week include:

    Husband printed some things for us at school instead of at home… He’s allowed up to 15 pages per day as a registered student.

    He also finished putting together our new (heavily discounted patio furniture) for the porch he screened it. Having a place to relax at home will keep us from going out in the summer!

    We cooked with fresh herbs from our garden.

    Watched a movie on a free streaming website for date night.

  24. Erika, if you have a university near you that has a dentistry program, contact them to see if they take patients. When money was very, very tight for us a few years ago, I was able to send my youngest son (he was a teenager) to a program like that and his dental work was free. The trade off is that the “patient” has to be able to spend a bit more time in the dental chair as professors have to check the student’s work but you can’t beat free dental service.
    JJ

  25. Good Morning Brandy,
    Praying that all went well with your emergency. It can be a stressful situation. I hope all is better now. You have had a busy week ! Thankfully you can pick veggies out of your garden to enjoy.
    My husband and I worked hard on our garden this weekend. We planted flowers and nasturtiums that should bloom in a couple of months. I will plant seedlings of white Zinns’s,Baby blue Nemophila, Dahlia’s and white Lily of the Valley’s today. We bought a long stem white rose to plant by this next weekend, and will be potting the yellow blush English rose. Our veggie garden is loving our Spring here in the NW. We had warm 80 degree weather a week and a half ago, and it has been raining showers with intermittent sun breaks each day. They love it! I will be able to start picking our lettuce in about 2 weeks. Baby peas, bush beans, carrots, kale,onions and chard all look like they are thriving. I have one beef steak tomato starter I planted, and also planted 2 different organic heirloom tomato seeds about 2 weeks ago and have not seen them sprout yet. Not sure how long it takes them to germinate? We plan to buy another 4X4 raised box so I can plant my zucchini and cucumbers next weekend. This will give me 4 raised boxes for our small yard 🙂

    I cut my own hair, and tried to layer it.. and it turned out ok 🙂 I bought some hair color from Sally’s with a discount plus a senior discount also ( since I am 60 years young 🙂 ) So this saved me from spending a lot of money at the expensive hair dressers.
    I am making split pea soup today and will freeze leftovers for future meals this next month. We had bought bulk beans and peas from Winco 2 weeks ago. I was amazed on the low cost of bulk supplies. I also bought some spices for really cheap!
    I am searching for a gluten free sour dough recipe’s to try to make bread.. I cannot tolerate gluten unfortunately, so I must be careful when I make the breads and buy noodles. GF noodles are so expensive! So I will have to allow for this purchase or invest in a noodle maker and make my own. Decisions~~

    We were blessed this week to be able to pay off our credit cards. Now we are debt free except our mortgage and my husband’s student loans. He will be able to pay the student loans off by retirement in 6 years by the time he retires. He is finally graduating this June with his Master’s in Divinity. He plans to teach when he retires . He already has a PhD in Psychology and works as a Psychologist now. He loves to study and I admire how hard he works to achieve his calling as well as working full time. He will also go on a men’s mission trip in May to Mexico to help build houses and he also devotes himself to the community once a month to play classical guitar for the local organization that feeds the needy. Those evenings he receives a free dinner.

    This has been a good “no spending week” for groceries for me. I am using what I have in the home pantry. I plan tho to buy salad items this week since I cannot pick from our garden yet. My goal for this summer /fall is to have at least a 2 month of no grocery spending. I think we can do this as the garden should be in full production. The only thing I can think that we would need are eggs for those 2 months. Sometimes I wish we had more land to have our own chickens. I have never raised them, but would love to . This would bring us into November where we can buy turkey’s and potatoes at such a low cost.

    Have a wonderful day and week Brandy… I pray daily for you and your new little sweet gift from God that will be coming shortly. Rest well during this time.
    Bless you!
    Patty from the NW

  26. Hello everyone! Brandy and family – Congratulations again on the new addition 🙂 That is such a blessing!
    Last week:
    Spent $40 on food, down from $100 this past week. We ate out one time (last night) using a buy one get one free coupon. I spent less than $7 to feed all three of us dinner.

    The heat stays off and we will keep the air conditioning off as long as possible. I can use my clothes lines again!! The space heaters for the bedrooms are put away until next fall.

    I planted one of the raised beds with two kinds of lettuce, kale, parsley, chives, and something else that I am forgetting right now. I planted two flower pots with flower seeds. I rescued 7 Orchid plants from a dumpster and they are now providing beauty on my front porch and a bouquet of spring flowers that were perfectly fine that are now gracing my kitchen table.
    I am planting extra of most of my seeds in the hopes of sharing with my mom.

    We changed my husband’s gym membership from the $20 plan to the $10 plan. He told me he felt he didn’t need to use the extra “amenities”, which saves us $10 a month.

    I received a refund check from my old homeowner’s insurance provider. I cancelled our old policy and got a new one for the same coverage but saves me $20 a month. I used the company that has our car insurance and also received a discount on our car insurance which saves me $15 a month on our car insurance.

    We trimmed our golden retriever’s fur ourselves using our dog trimming sheers. Not a professional job but saved us $100 and she looks a lot better.

    Picked and dehydrated dandelion flowers to make salve in the future. I will be picking more to dehydrate this week.

    Have a great week everyone!

  27. Happy Monday from Indiana!
    I am gearing up/stressing about a family visit for my son’s first communion. They will be here Thursday night through Sunday. Having to switch meal plans since it looks to be storming most of the week.
    Here are my little frugal successes:
    [list]cub scout campout was this weekend. Scout leader told parents to take leftovers home. So we have five Krispy treats, oranges etc for school lunches; made “the best garlic bread in the world” from leftover hot dog buns.
    [/list]
    [list]Decluttering by having a “cleaning out the extra craft stuff” night at Girl Scouts tomorrow
    [/list]
    [list]kids are each owning a garden bedin our yard this year. Taking a shady lot at the church community garden for root vegetables
    [/list]
    [list]daughter is making her brother a “good deeds” carribener for 1st communion present, basically a boy spinoff of a bracelet. 😀
    [/list]

  28. Hope all is well again with the family emergency.

    Baked bread and cooked meals at home. I have never had great cooking skills so have worked hard this past year to learn more recipes and make more interesting and nutritious meals. Apparently I have succeeded because yesterday my husband asked me to stop cooking such great meals because he was eating too much 🙂 So now my plan is to keep cooking but serve up our two plates in the kitchen and immediately put the leftovers in freezer containers. That should solve the “eating too much problem”. I was very pleased with the compliment.

    After reading this blog earlier this morning, I started soaking some kidney beans to cook tomorrow, made strawberry jello as well as chocolate pudding, and made two batches of Chicken piccata to freeze! This is an inspiring blog for sure. Brandy, thank you!

  29. Oh I LOVE ‘Call the Midwife”! I think I enjoy it so much because the mothers/ women in the show are always in love with their children. Even if the circumstances are hard or seem impossible, the act of birth and children and motherhood and family are treated with respect, not something that is cheap or easily disguarded.

  30. I am amazed that you’re able to get so much done with a due date only weeks away! Don’t you ever get tired? Wow! Hope the emergency was resolved quickly and nothing serious.

    I’m staying frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons. Due to Passover, there were many items I had to buy at full-price which I hate, but it couldn’t be avoided. These nice deals were good, though: $0.99 toilet paper, clearance vitamins at CVS that cost $7.74 and produced a $10 ECB, $4.00 sleep shirts at Target, free Dulcolax with rebate, and more. All of my transactions with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-42316/

  31. Another week of beautiful weather allowed us to open the windows and let in some fresh air. It was in the low to mid 80’s which is unseasonably warm this time of year but still hot since we live in the South, so we avoided using the AC. Hoping we can avoid the Ac a few more weeks before the summer heat kicks in.

    I made a double batch of buttermilk pancake mix (from Make A Mix Revised cookbook). Used some of the mix to make homemade waffles using our cast iron waffle maker.

    Made a pint jar of taco seasoning (from the Make A Mix revised cookbook). I also made a few other seasoning blends that I was running low on.

    I turned 3 loaves of bread that was gifted to us into French Toast. After the children ate what they wanted for Breakfast, I froze the remaining slices. I was able to free 3 gallon bags of 16 pieces each for breakfasts in the future.

    Hubby and I saw a matinee movie with friends. We don’t often go out on a double date so it was nice treat.

    I accepted some clothing items from a friend for me and the girls.

    We ate from our freezers and pantries. We also eat leftover for lunch the next day or hubby takes them for lunch.

    I made a batch of Pioneer woman’s Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Basil and tomatoes. I put in too many chipoltle peppers in adobo sauce so it was a little spicier than usual but hubby loved it.

    I made two Sweet Potato Pies for church from scratch (recipe from Taste of Home) and inadvertantly cooked too many sweet potatoes for so I just turned them into mashed sweet potatoes and served those as a side dish to our evening meal.

    Used coupons to buy (4) 14oz bags of fully cooked Italian meatballs. The coupons made them $1.50 each which ends up being cheaper by the pound than the ground beef prices right now. I tossed two bags into the crockpot with homemade pasta sauce on low to heat. Served those as meatball subs using sub rolls I bought inexpensively at the discount bread store.

    If I am out for an errand or doctor appointment, I am still watching the ground for change. I picked up .57 in one day. Added that to our savings jar. It adds up.

  32. Gardenpat, congratulations on your new granddaughter and all your new little fruit trees.
    May they all grow strong and healthy.

  33. Oh I forgot to add I ordered a 40lb box of boneless skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon Fresh. I had $44 in credits to use towards the box and there was a coupon code making it $1.69/lb (code expired yesterday). After all was said and done, I ended up paying $28.76 for 40lbs making it .72/lb Hubby works in the area that the truck does a drop too so he will be able to swing by and pick it up after work thus saving me a trip to pick it up.

  34. Got LED lights for the kitchen. We expect to see our electric bill go down as we phase the lights out. They last for 45 years, so they will be here long after I am gone. I made school lunches from food storage, and will be finished with making a wedding present from my fabric stash. I have three mystery novels I want to read.

  35. When I was out of work, I took my children to the university dental office, all their routine cleaning and xray were free. My ex had his teeth done at the school and it was about half the price of regular dentist. Have a second opinion from another dentist. Hope thing will work out for you and your family.

  36. I can’t agree enough get a second opinion. My daughter is an R.D.A. and their is a lot of work done that isn’t necessary or an extremely expensive Ivory tower version is insisted upon. Another suggestion : Recent graduates have extensive students loans to pay for 😉

    Unfortunately, it isn’t limited to Dentistry. My 94 year old mother was given a ultimatum at the eye Dr. They told me she needed cataract surgery ASAP. They recommended Surgery that wasn’t covered by Medicare to the tune of $6000.00 for both eyes. I was suspicious and took her to get a second opinion. The Dr. Said it was unnecessary. Very sad indeed.

  37. Oh what I would give to live in an area with snow….with seasons. Here it is HOT or HOTTER than Hades. Really my air conditioner runs almost all year. The humidity makes me miserable. I like the cold. Not saying I would want to drive in it every day, but then I work from home. My dear husband does not though…

  38. I hope all’s well with your family emergency.

    My frugal accomplishments:

    I got 2 free issues of Saveur in the mail.

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    I went to CVS and got the free deodorant for my son and the cheap Zantac and Ajax dishwashing liquid.

    I need to lose some weight. I’m using the free version of myfitnesspal online and the app to count calories. Working out at home using an exercise bike SO won several years ago at a fitness fair where he works and hand weights SO’s parents no longer used and gifted to us a while back. I also have been going up and down the stairs a couple of times when I leave work for a little extra exercise.

    I had a horrible stressful day at work and really felt like picking up take out on the way home for dinner. Instead I came home and heated up bits of this and that from the freezer and put together a healthy, inexpensive meal (yellow rice, black beans and plantains) all leftovers from different meals.

    I found a nickel.

    We had a simple Passover dinner – matzo ball soup and gefilte fish with matzo and horseradish. Gefilte and matzo meal were bought on clearance months ago. Matzo was bought in a bulk Passover package. No dessert as we are both trying to lose weight.

    The judge signed the orders – my sister and I can sell my father’s house! We will not get a huge inheritance from it, but the stressful situation will be over and at least we will get a little something.

    Have a great week everyone!

  39. We had to turn the heat back on here in MN. 🙁 It doesn’t run much but still it was so nice to have it off and the windows open. I stopped in Aldi and found 2 flavors of greek yogurt on clearance for $.25 a cup. I picked up 24 of them and most of them went in the freezer. At another local grocery store, I recieived a box of microwave popcorn for free and a dozen eggs for $.25. Working on using up stuff that has been in freezer for awhile. We’ve a couple of expensive weeks around here; family emergency which involved out of state travel, hotel, etc. and some medical bills. Thinking about doing a spending freeze but have never done one before.

  40. I’m glad to hear your husband has some prospects!

    I always get a bit anxious when I start back to work after the summer, or when I try to get students in a new area, or do anything new. I think, like you, I always want to make sure my ducks are in a row before heading off for hours and hours every week. Changes are always hard for me. I’ll bet you settle right down once you get started.

  41. I made a dress for the bicentennial in 1976 with my sister. We shared it and took turns wearing it for quite a while. I can’t wait to see Winter’s costume.

  42. Patty – Did you plant your heirloom tomato seeds in the garden? You might not get tomatoes this year from these seeds if you did. What works best in our area (Pacific NW) is to start them inside on a warmed mat (in a sunny window or under grow lights) in February or March, then you can transfer the small plants to the garden when it warms up (usually May). Our season is short so it’s hard to start tomato seeds in the garden in the spring and have the plants mature enough to produce tomatoes before fall arrives.
    Anyway, good luck, and I hope you get tomatoes in any case! 🙂

  43. I went to a dentist who did SOME very good work with prices to match. I had some “temporary” fillings put in by him that look no worse for wear nearly a decade later. HOWEVER, I also had a tooth with a crown that had failed and his recommended solution was to extract that tooth and either do implants or a bridge. He also had me scheduled every 3 months for extensive and expensive cleaning because of previously treated periodontal disease. I wanted to save the tooth and decided to get a second opinion at a dental school about an hour away. I LOVED going to the dental school. Not one but as many as three very smart brains were focused on my mouth to develop a treatment plan. And those brains were not motivated by how much money they could extract from my wallet. My tooth was saved by student completing an advanced degree who redid the crown. I was his last patient before he graduated and set up his specialty practice on the East Coast. I also was told that I only needed a regular cleaning every six months. Hmm…. After a couple of years of being a regular patient at the dental school, I could no longer make the drive and stayed away from dentists for several years. I finally went back this year to a different local dentist and was extremely pleased to learn that I needed no treatment other than regular cleanings every six months. Definitely get a second opinion before major work is done. And don’t be afraid of student dentists. They have LOTS of supervision.

  44. Congratulations to your son on his First Communion. My son is making his this weekend as well so I know what you mean by getting stressed out about it. My entire family only comes over once or twice a year so I go crazy making sure everything is perfect even though I am sure no one is inspecting anything! lol

  45. We pray you and yours is well and the newest member is healthy.

    I asked my Hubby what frugal things w did this week….he said we didn’t have a baby coming, considering we are pushing 60 . I don’t think that counts any more LOL… we do have a great grandson due in August that I am shopping the yard sales for. His dad(my grandson) and mom asked me to look for close around 12-18 months and not baby stuff. They figure they will get swamped with new stuff as this baby makes the 5th generation on 4 sides.

    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2016/04/frugal-week-and-amish-produce-auction.html

  46. Unfortunately, this is the dentist with the lowest rates in our area (which our area means within a two hour drive from us). We’ve checked no less than five different dentists in our area and all of them were quoting 50,000.00 or up and that wasn’t even to cap all of his teeth. That was for a dental plate in the uppers and caps on the lowers. Even with the 18,000 on top of what we’ve already paid, we’re still below what others have quoted us and my husband still has his own teeth (well minus a few due to abscesses and such over the years before we could get his teeth done). We’re just going to see what is actually necessary vs. what the dentist wants and fight for as cheap as possible at this point. We can’t afford to do otherwise.

    Unfortunately, Alaska has high prices on dental care and medical care. I’ve heard with the dental is because all of the materials have to be barged up due to Canada’s hazardous materials law (a lot of the compounds and things used in dental work won’t cross through Canadian borders). If that is true or not, I’m not sure. All I know is that you end up paying about 400.00 to get a cavity filled and a root canal costs about 3 to 4000.00 a pop. It’s terrible.

    As for the dental school idea, we thought of that too. The dental school up here will only do cleanings for cheap and that’s it. Really stinks.

  47. Laurie, I keep a can of orange concentrate that comes in a frozen can just for this reason. I just scoop some out and mix with water when I need orange for a recipe.

  48. Hi Hilogene and congratulations on honing in you skills on making wonderful meals, your DH sounds like he is really enjoying it !.

  49. Hi Tadpole and great your husband and friend were able to prepare for 2017 for the firewood and work so well together.

    We are getting in to slightly cooler weather here in Australia, with winter just around the corner so my DH and I will be cutting and collecting more firewood for our winter wood collection too. Like you we like to have a supply in advance and even better for next to free !.

  50. Thank you Debbie and so great to hear that you have accomplished the mammoth task of getting your darling father’s home ready for sale.

    Congratulations on completing such a huge task and now having the benefit of being able to sell it, shall take a huge burden off your shoulders.

  51. Hi Roxie and don’t have snow here either and would just like to see it falling as I never have. I saw ice on the side of the road after the snow went through about an 45 minutes south of where we live when visiting a friend, darn missed it again.

    Here we have up to 45 oC in the summer and down to lowest -7 oC. We have no aircon in the house just ceiling fans and a slow combustion wood stove for winter heat.

  52. Hi, Lorna,
    I have chronic back pain and just started my second round of therapy. This time around, i was given a little machine to use. It ‘almost’ massages the muscles where you attach the electrodes. It’s called a Zynex NexWave. I found it to be wonderful! I’m hoping my insurance will pay for me to get one. You can choose from three different ‘programs.’ The therapist told me that a lot of Drs. don’t believe in its ability to help. Maybe it’s something your husband could check out, depending on his pain

  53. Patty from the NW,
    I just purchased Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day (used!); it has a section with several gluten-free bread and pastry recipes, just over 20 pages. Ideally, a local library would have a copy to borrow and try before investing, but from half.com, it was very reasonably priced.

  54. Hilogene- with our dinners, I also package up the leftovers as soon as we’ve had a nice serving, but I portion the leftovers out into individual reuse able containers for us to have for lunch! This way, even lunch is more evenly portioned and it saves us tons on lunch costs!

  55. Debbie- I totally understand the horrible /stressful work day and waning take out. I go into it thinking I really don’t want to deal with kitchen clean up on top of my foul mood. The past 2x this has happened I am thankful I stuck with making dinner and cleaning the kitchen – funny thing is I felt in a much better mood than stuffing my gullet with cheese fries. Lesson – cheese fries do not make things better, scrubbing a pot does 🙂
    Also, so glad the judge signed off and you can finish that chapter.

  56. Ms. Marivene,
    In the summer we collect our grass clippings and put them in a large heavy CLEAR trash bag that my husband get from work. We tie up the bag and let them sit in the sun for a couple of weeks. The grass breaks down into a “tea” that we then pour into the garden. This plants love it. Then the just refill the bag again. Because I’m in Louisiana we usually have two or three bags always going because the grass grows crazy here. Now I’m not gonna lie it does smell bad, but it doesn’t last long and it makes a huge difference in the garden we have noticed.

  57. Heather in LA, I use the grass clippings for mulch because I live in a desert, & they help the garden soil retain moisture. Without it, between the sun & the wind, the plants just wither & die. The grass does break down eventually, & it improves the soil as it does. Different climates call for different gardening techniques, I think.

  58. Hi Jenifer and so relate to taking your frustrations out on scrubbing a pot, strangely somehow it seems to come out cleaner than usual too :p , and gives you the end satisfaction of having a clean kitchen too.

  59. Hi momsav and so sorry to hear about your chronic back pain and know how hard it is to deal with that every day.

    Yes my husband has one here at home, they mostly called tens machines, the abbreviation anyway. They come with the pads you stick on your body around the pain area and stimulate the muscles in massaging them with electronic impulses. You can buy Chinese brand ones on the market quite cheaply and they are portable, just over $100 I think we paid.

    He uses it sometimes but not regularly and didn’t find for him that it didn’t help that much. He has however been a new man since his doctor recommended he take a high dose magnesium tablet supplement along with calcium tablets to help his body absorb them. So I am happy to say he is in far less pain and is far more mobile as well.

    As my husbands orthopaedic surgeon & specialist doctor said to him, do whatever offers and works and gives you pain relief.

    I am glad this therapy is helping you, so if effective run with it 🙂 .

  60. * Purchased more dog, puppy and cat litter using a $15 off card I was sent in the mail. And since the order was over $50, shipping was free.
    * Took advantage of a sale on Amazon for a pair of snippers – they are looking for reviews and supposedly, the regular price of these is near $40. I needed a new pair anyways so I purchased them for $2.99 and since we have Prime, shipping was free.
    * Used my FIL’s HBO GO account so we were able to watch Game of Thrones again and not pay the ridiculous price for HBO.
    * My FIL insisted on paying me for clipping their dogs nails so I used that to pay for the rest of the top soil I needed for my raspberry bed. Now I just have to put the trellis wires in to hold the canes up as they grow.
    * Finished planting all my spring crop seeds. Although I may have to replant my carrots since I have a hen that keeps getting in the garden and scratching everything up!! She is now up for sale!
    * Found a couple storage things for “The Bus” for .50 cents at a garage sale and found a cute scotty dog shaped silicon ice cube tray that i plan on using to make dog treats for gifts at Christmas time. that was also 50 cents.
    * On a NOT frugal front – Our son’s little Volkswagon Golf had to go in for repair and since it is a “foreign” car – the costs are significantly more – $1,200!!! Luckily, he had an emergency fund with the money set aside. Our “Bus” is also in for some very costly repairs – the brake lines went out and when we were carefully driving it to the repair shop, it over heated. There was NO fluid in it and the mechanic could not find a leak which means, it may be leaking into the oil which may mean a blown head gasket……..So much for the money from the new jobs hubby has picked up :/
    I hope the emergency resolved itself and pray for an easy delivery and recovery for you and a healthy little one!

  61. A great trick to help you eat less is to use smaller plates. If you use a large plate and put what is considered a serving on it, half the plate is empty and you feel deprived. If you use a smaller plate, the serving will fill the plate and you don’t notice your eating less! It’s a trick I learned when I went through the process of having gastric bypass surgery and I am still doing this. It really does work!!!

  62. Brandy, this pregnancy of yours has just flown by for us! Seems like just last week! 🙂 I hope it has gone quickly for you too, though, especially with the added pains from the fall.

    Spring has arrived here, cool, rainy, but lots of sun. The tulips and daffodils and scilla and forsythia are all blooming. The trees are budded. Peas have been planted. The cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are transplanted but still under hoops. It is so nice having my daughter (oldest Eliana) doing all the gardens now for our two families the last 2 years, this will be 3rd year.

    Did the usual recycling, composting, re-using, used up leftovers, hung some of the laundry, mended. Finished switching over all the storm windows to screens on the house and the breezeway and the entry doors. Cooked all from scratch. Packed and took lunches and snacks to work/school.

    Been busy with wedding preparations still, only one month. We’re all hoping for a warm dry June…the wedding is in the church, reception too, but there will be a lot of out of town guests that will come for the whole weekend and camp out in tents or RVs, so no rain would be nice at that time. Plus Susie’s other siblings and families will be here the day before to start the food. For table decoration my oldest daughter has started trays of annuals in white, lavender and purple, plus dusty miller. She will make up a pot for every table and we found quite a pile of table cloths in the storage cupboard at church that we can re-use. We just want to find some lavender ones to add in. My youngest daughter borrowed craft punches and has been making up a pile of confetti from pages of scrapbook paper I picked off the “take it or leave it” table at church…she has butterflies, hearts, flowers, bells. She has had her babysitting children help her and they are getting a bagfull ready to sprinkle on the tables. There will be a white paper doily under each pot. The doilies are also from the cupboard, napkins too. We pay a user fee for the use of church facilities but it is nominal compared to renting a hall and having food catered. All the dishes, glassware and flatware are also available to borrow plus industrial size kitchen appliances and cooking pans.

    Made baked oatmeal off the MGCC site, replaced the oil with banana and it worked fine. Made thin crust pizzas again using the crust recipe from Budget Bytes. Baked 2 loaves white bread. Made apple and nut filled cinnamon rolls topped with powder sugar drizzle. Made Chex mix for the college age youth gathering at church. Made beef shish kababs…husband grilled them. I cooked vegetables under broiler inside…red peppers, mushrooms, parboiled potato chunks, red onions and yellow onions. Served with parsleyed rice pilaf and plain yogurt. Broiled tofu for the vegetarians. Baked meatloaf (premade in freezer) and potatoes and roasted carrots. I bought a 5 lb bag of carrots and had many really long thin ones, so after I peeled them mixed with butter, br sugar and nutmeg and pan roasted them. Threw in about 10 asparagus spears also and sprinkled them with our fresh chives. Made multi bean chile (from dry) with corn, diced zuchinni and carrots (from freezer). Served with cornbread (some one gave me a container of blue corn meal they brought back from SW states. It was a little different, but made nice cornbread). Topped chili with pepper cheese. Husband made blueberry pancakes last Monday and we have been micro-ing them all week for breakfasts. With the leftover bits of meat and vegetables from the kababs I diced them and and cheese and made grilled quesadillas. thawed out refried beans and added salsa to the left over rice for another dinner.

  63. Rhonda A, you are right. I, too, had gastric bypass surgery and I use a condiment cup for servings of potato salad, mac salad, ice cream and other “goodies”. This way my cup is full and my head thinks “plenty”. For some reason a tablespoon full of ice cream just doesn’t do it in a cereal bowl. Looks so lonely!!

  64. We are having a busy stretch in our family right now. Two of our sons and their families are Army and moving to new assignments, unfortunately half way across the country and neither near eachother or us. We are having goodbyes for them and it is sad. One of my DIL after years of miscarriages is pregnant with triplets and very sick. We know that is a good sign but tough when you are moving so far away from all help and so incapacitated. So lots of dinners for goodbyes and helping them to get their stuff ready for moving.

    The blessings that have come in addition to the pregnancy, have been accidental. My expensive blender broke but it was under warranty and the pervious one had broken too, so they are replacing both for free. Then, I got a recall on my car that the rear seat belts could break in an accident and with carrying my grandkids daily in car seats I knew that would not fly. I called the corporate headquarters for my car and they are giving us a loaner that may be for up to three months, One of my SIL’s works at our church cleaning and he had rented the carpet shampooer to clean there, he let me use it for our house, clean it and return it.

    Our garden seems to be having a rough start, none of my kale sprouted, and my lettuce and sugar peas are spotty. The beets were the only things that have done well. My pear trees are loaded which is marvelous and we have blueberries set on our bushes. With the hot, dry weather currently in the SE we are having to do a lot of extra watering

    Brandy, so sorry to hear about the family emergency. That is tough when the hormones are so high and emotions can run away.. Pray all is well and that you are able to rest before the baby arrives, though I know that is not likely.

  65. Wow, what a wonderful thing to have so many family members on all sides. I cannot imagine as even my grandparents dies when I was young. What a blessing to have so many family still alive. Enjoy!

  66. The wedding seems to be shaping up nicely. It sound like it will be a lovely color scheme. It also sounds like you have been up to your usual cooking of all those goodies! Blue cornbread does sound a little different, but I’ll bet it was pretty.

  67. I know a man who went to Costa Rico for his extensive dental work. The trip costs were nothing compared to how much he saved on the dental work, and he was quite happy with it.

  68. Gardenpat, would you please adopt me??? You are a whirlwind! What a blessing to your family. You are an example of a wonderful homemaker.

  69. Hello Brandy!
    I recently discovered your blog and love it!
    Could you please share if you used a pattern for the stitching on the pillow for your daughter? It is lovely!
    Thank you for such an inspiring place to visit! Dana

  70. For the W, I just printed a fancy W from the computer and traced that. If you don’t have a font you like, check out dafont.com for free fonts.

    For the wreath, I traced a pattern from an old book on archive.org. Here is the link to the book (it’s the one on page 39 with a letter “B” inside): https://archive.org/stream/embroideryhintsf00newy#page/38/mode/2up

    https://archive.org/stream/embroideryhintsf00newy#page/38/mode/2up

    I have several embroidery links and images on my embroidery board on Pinterest, which you can find here: https://www.pinterest.com/prudent/embroidery/

  71. Dear Brandy,
    Wishing you all the best for the birth of the new baby.
    I would like to make a comment regarding expensive local dentists. I believe that dental care is much cheaper in East Europe, in places like Romania and Poland. The same goes for Thailand. I live in Australia and many people I know go to these places for procedures which are very pricey locally. Of course one needs to research carefully and read reviews of these places and dentists before committing. It may well be that overall, it is an economical solution by comparison to going local.
    Thank you and Best Wishes for a lovely site.

  72. Erika, it might be cheaper to fly down to the lower 48, maybe visit a relative, & get the work done there. We kept our dentist in Idaho when we moved to Utah. It costs about $50 in gas round trip for me to see him, but crowns are half as much. Well worth a 4 hour drive for me.

  73. Congratulations on the newest edition-to-be to your family. What a blessing!

    FYI, I went to look at your new Start Here section and could not open the ‘grocery shopping and garden harvest’ portion.

    I continue to just keep on doing the work of living frugally. I’ve been shopping at the discount bread store. At $0.10 a loaf of bread, I can’t make it myself for that price. And the price extends to all bread products including English muffins, tortillas, and many other choices. Some days the store has limits, other days there are no limits. They also stock dairy (milk, yogurt, etc.) and veggies. It really is the grocery store version of thrift shopping. I never know what I will find when I shop there.

    I’ve also been working in my garden. I’ve planted onion from sets that were free for the taking at the community garden. I’ve also planted carrot, radish and lettuce from seed. I have asparagus growing but will let that grow as it is only in its second year. Also growing are strawberries, garlic and winter peas. I’ve harvested rhubarb from my 5-gallon bucket at my apartment.

    I continue to make all my meals and avoid fast food. I’ve turned the heat off for the year and am working at turning off lights when I leave the room. I’ve also been collecting bottles and cans that my neighbors leave by the trash bin and returning them for the deposit. It all adds up. I’m looking forward to warmer weather and the chance to hang dry some laundry outside. Cheers to all.

  74. Congrats Brandy on the upcoming arrival. I am just seeing that you are pregnant in this weeks posts somehow I’ve missed it. I’ve been so busy with work that I don’t get to read through your whole postings each week. Best wishes.

  75. Exactly what I was thinking. Two people can fly to central America for under 2k if you pick a cheap airline like Spirit. The only catch is that you’ve got to find a dentist that speaks English! Or take someone with you who knows Spanish.

  76. Brandy, great job updating the website and adding all the categories on the right side. Looks really good.

  77. Hi TGW,
    The store is a non-profit called Quest. There is a location in Vancouver city proper and one in Burnaby at the New Westminster border. There may be other locations as well. Remember this is Vancouver BC Canada and not Vancouver WA.
    You need to be referred in order to be a client/customer. But there is no cost for the referral. A minister, social worker or just about any other non-profit service provider could do it. Mine came through the NewWestminster Senior Services Society. I just had to call them, ask for a referral and then I went in to pickup the completed referral and take it to my nearest Quest location. I didn’t have to supply any documentation, I only had to make the request. The Society could also FAX in the form to Quest but in their experience, it was more efficient for me to walk the form over. The referral is good for three years.
    I can’t say enough good things about Quest. They also have a volunteer program so that you can volunteer there and then receive a $15 voucher for purchases there. I’m not sure how many hours you’re required to volunteer.
    Also, if you’re looking for free food, the warehouse for the Vancouver Food Bank would let you hand-pick a banana-box worth of canned goods when you had completed 10 hours of work in their warehouse. You have to attend an orientation meeting and then you’re able to volunteer any day the warehouse is open. I was only able to do that once, but, ohmy, you can get a lot of canned goods into one of those boxes. They also would give two bags of food to you for 5 hours worked in a week. Their warehouse used to be in East Vancouver and it’s probably still there.

  78. Robert I have seen that idea in use. They did it at Easter breakfast with the basic white tablecloths. They cut those “throwaway” plastic cloths in pastel colors into panels and criss crossed them down and across the tables. We have a wedding/event planner (volunteer position) and she offers all kinds of help and ideas.

  79. Yep, we’re Polish and my parents always fly to Poland (also about 2K for tickets) when they need major dental work. It’s a tiny fraction of what you’d pay here. I say it’s time for a vacation in Costa Rica!

  80. Erika, after a lifetime of cavities, root canals, and tooth loss, I am to the point where I need full mouth implants. (I am too young and will not consider dentures). This would cost 45,000.00 here in NE ohio, but we are currently saving to have it done across the border in Mexico for approx. 23,000. Even if you spend all that money on your husband’s teeth, it will still only be temporary because bridges, crowns, and root canals don’t last forever. I share your frustration…I hate feeling like I am in constant “future debt.”

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