Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Garden Grapes The Prudent Homemaker

Last week did not go at all as I had planned.

The garden has a myriad of fruit ripe all at once, which is normally ripe over a three month period, leaving me scrambling to harvest and preserve it. Normally we would just eat most of it fresh and preserve some of it, but the change means I need to preserve more of it than usual. I try to have something ripe in the garden each month, but our 110º temperatures in June have prompted the grapes and peaches to be ready a month earlier than usual. 

We picked apricots, peaches, apples, and grapes from the garden.

I cut basil, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden.

I pulled carrots and red onions from the garden.

I canned apricot vanilla jam and grapes. I sliced and froze peaches and made peach pie popsicles.

I sowed a few more seeds in the garden in the hopes of having some produce and flowers in late summer and fall.

My husband cut my hair, his hair, and Cyrus’ hair, and gave Ezrom’s hair a quick trim around the ears and back. 

 Rainbow over the garden The Prudent Homemaker

A couple of readers asked me if we were affected by the floding in Las Vegas that was on the news. Thank you for asking; we are fine!

 July is considered “monsoon season” in the desert southwest, but it is not like a true monsoon like they have in Asia. “Flooding” is a relative term here. I’m not sure why a flooded interesection here (and if you watch the news, it’s usually just one intersection in town) makes national news; this type of flooding isn’t considered newsworthy in other places. Of course, if we get rain here, people in town get so excited that they call people in other parts of the valley to see if it is raining there (it usually isn’t!)

Most cities have the offical rain measurement for the city taken at the airport, and Las Vegas is no exception. The offical rainfall here is 4 inches  (10.16 cm) a year. The rain that fell on the other side of town (about 18 miles from my place) was 1.5 inches, and apparently they received hail too. At my house during the same time, we had no rain. We did, however, have some beautiful clouds (and a rainbow!) which brought the evening temperture down a bit (it was 111º here that day). That’s pretty standard for where I live–we can see the clouds and smell the rain, but most of the rain falls elsewhere in the valley. 

The clouds brought the humidity with them (40%, which is high for here), and I put a bucket out to catch the humidity that comes out of the pipes from the air conditioning.

Sometime during the night, we did receive some rain, and some the next night, too. It was a lot for here: 0.44 inches this week in my part of town. (Our total for the year in this part of town is 2.73 inches; we’ve had a lot more rain than normal this year).

I turned off the water to the garden for a couple of days. I also collected 2 buckets of water from the corner runoff from the roof. (It rains so little here that houses do not have rain gutters). I will use this to water my potted plants for several days (in this heat they need to be watered every day). I also collected water from the shower to water potted plants.

Temperatures dropped down below 100º for two days. I took advantage of the opportunity to open the house up and let in some fresh air for a couple of hours each morning. I always find fresh air more pleasant than any “air freshener” or scented candle, and all I have to do is open the windows and doors.

I transplanted vinca seedlings that came up in bunches in some places to places where no seedlings came up. In a month, I’ll have flowers that will last until December, for a lot less than it costs to buy them from the nursery.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

This Post Has 104 Comments

  1. Jennifer Henderson

    Good evening, Brandy.

    We’ve been eating from the garden since May. I’ve bought a few staple foods from the grocery store, but everything else comes from our 5k sq ft garden. We’re not only feeding ourselves, but our elders as well (this helps them greatly because they’re all on fixed incomes).

    Our freezer is full of our hogs meat and 80lbs of chicken, all stocked in our freezer in April.

    Our air conditioner is working extra hard in this hot (100°+) and humid weather. When my husband leaves for work I turn it to 77° and run fans if needed. We have a large house, and an inground pool that requires the pumps to run 24/7. I’m trying hard to get our electric bill down some more. Our last one was $245. Since then we’ve bought a new washer and dryer, both energy star & three tier on electrical savings (average $14 per year @ 6 loads per week). I can wash/dry more clothes in less time using less water and energy. Yay! They cost a lot but I figure they’ll save us a lot of money in the end.
    I also had my husband turn our hot water heater WAY down. We also put curtains in all the rooms that didn’t have them. They’ve helped keep the heat out. Blinds alone weren’t cutting it.
    So while we’ve spent a lot of money in the past month on items to help us save money, the end result will be much better than the current.

  2. Becky

    Brandy,
    I was delighted to receive an email notification that you had made a new post. I have signed up more than once, and received only a very few over the years. Maybe my new email caused something to “click” when I signed up again recently! I so enjoy reading your posts.

    We continue to house hunt. We put in a full-priced offer for a house and were outbid by $15,000 this past week. It was on 1/3 acre in town. We are starting to think a lot in town is what we are going to be able to afford, or a total junker house. So, we continue to live frugally in our camper while we search. I find that some things cost more, such as paper products and coin-operated laundry, but so many more things are less expensive that it more than makes up for those things.

    I am currently parked at my sister’s house, on a peach and cherry farm. The cherries were almost month early, and were gone in less than a week. We alternate between here and state parks, as they do not have full hook-ups here.

    The peaches are starting to ripen, several weeks early. They are going to be almost done by the time they start on an usual year!

    I put some more things on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

  3. So glad to hear the flooding didn’t cause you any problems. Floods can be so scary! We only deal with that occasionally in New England during the spring time, but once you’ve been through it, you never forget.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons/rebates whenever possible. Last week I got $0.99 nail polish, free drink mix, a case of bottled water to keep in the car for $2.22 and a huge moneymaker on 6 nail polish removers. The only deals that didn’t work were at Walgreens. I’m finding them to be too much of a hassle lately, with coupons not scanning and e-coupons never working. All of my deals with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-7216/

  4. Lorna

    Hello Brandy and all 🙂 from Australia .

    Like yourself we have had everything ripening in the garden at the one time and are processing our little hearts out in the kitchen to blanch and freeze everything before it spoils. We shall being doing some each second day with 30 odd kg’s of sweet potato and some 30 odd pumpkins to process too. What a blessing though to have plenty of food !.

    Groceries –

    – Stocked up on a whole rump saving $23.80 on buying it per kg at supermarket prices.

    – Stocked up on 6 lge family frozen chickens on special saving $28.80 on usual prices.

    – Purchased 2 pkts of 4 aa batteries as we were out of them saving $4 on usual prices.

    – Stocked up on 7 tins of pie apples saving $3.42 on regular supermarket prices.

    – Purchased 2 packets of macadamia nuts saving $5.98 compared to supermarket prices.

    – Bought 2 packets of almonds saving $6.52 compared to supermarket prices.

    General household frugalities –

    – Washed & reused baggies for re-use from other blanched frozen vegetables.

    – Washed all laundry in off peak electricity times at night to save money on electricity.

    – Watered household lawns with saved grey water from both showers and the washing machine.

    – Took advantage of a free listing promotion on the internet to list lots of my handmade and sewn items saving $115.50 listing fees.

    In the kitchen –

    – Cooked all bread from grocery storage ingredients in our bread maker.

    – Blanched, pureed and froze 3kg of pumpkins for the freezer for later use in soups and cooking.

    – Made a premix to make scones, pancakes and muffins.

    In the garden –

    – Harvested strawberries and cherry tomatoes.

    – Fertilised all the vegetables, herbs and berries with Seasol.

    – Supplement watered all new seeds and seedlings planted in the gardens with rain water saving on town water use.

    – Today saved 135 lts of town water by missing a scheduled garden watering cycle due to rain.

    – Planted climbing beans and broad bean seeds in the garden.

  5. Fiona Chain

    Hi Brandy, what a blessing all that fruit is, and thanks for going into detail about your rain fall, we live in Brisbane , Queensland, Australia. We have just finished the El Nino weather cycle, which is very dry, and heartbreaking for our farmers and are going into La Niña, which means better rainfall, hopefully. I am always amazed at how much you grow with limited water, simply wonderful. On the frugal achievements front- this past week I line dried all the washing, blitzed all the fruit and veg scraps and feed them to our worm farms, ate at home every night, and was very frugal with my time, time is a terrible thing to waste.
    Have a lovely week.
    Fi

  6. Andrea

    This week we:
    * harvested some lettuce and greens from the garden (we’re zone 3 in Northern Canada)
    * ate all meals at home
    * began our “spend freeze” month July 1st. We will spend only $20 a week on groceries – mostly milk and fresh fruit/veg – and put the money we save towards our property loan.
    * saved warm-up water from the shower in a bucket. Used it to water the garden.
    * line-dried all clothes
    * washed clothes at night when electricity is cheapest in our area
    * attended free Canada Day celebrations. The children received free candy and temporary tatoos at the parade.

    I watched a program on YouTube that original aired on PBS called “The 1940s house”. It is about a current-day family that volunteer to live for 10 weeks as if it were the 40s in Britain. Interestingly this is when world war two started (and ended) but that meant Britain was subject to extreme rationing due to German u-boats bombing any food imports. Witnessing the family do without week after week was fascinating! I highly recommend watching it. I learned so much! You can find it here if you’d like to watch it yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdOkTeXREa8

  7. Gardenpat

    This week we had an extra 13 people staying with us! 3 daughters and their families came as a mini-reunion and our pantry got a work-out! I was grateful to have things already prepared as freezer meals to be able to save some money!
    When the 7 older kids got louder and bouncier than we wanted, I had them all come out to our yard that we have been renovating. We had spray painted a circle on the ground where we planned to dig our fire pit so I gave 3 kids shovels to start digging the 18″ pit. I gave the other 4 gloves and had them gather bricks from the back of the side yard to the middle of the yard where we have the new patio marked off. They grumbled and murmured at first but within 10 minutes, they were really working well and so, as a reward, we were able to get the gravel and fire bricks put into place and that night we all roasted marshmallows over the new fire pit and made s’mores as the “fruit of their labors”! Next morning, they were asking what they could help with so we had them weed around the fruit tree beds and spread more mulch!

    Our one daughter, her hubby and 2 little ones moved from our house (where they have been living for the past 8 months to save money) into their first home that they purchased! Happy to be able to help them out but oh, how wonderful it feels to have our whole house back!!! This will be an easy way to economize now- lower utility bills, more space, more time to streamline and organize things!

    My grapes have set on with lots of bunches and I’m just waiting as they get bigger to see when they turn from green to their beautiful purple ( mine are Concord grapes)! Other things in the garden are coming along- lots of tomatoes forming, cucumbers, peppers,etc!
    All in all, a good week with a more frugal one to come!!

  8. Rhonda A.

    Our harvests this year have been off a bit as well, Brandy. Strawberries were a bit later than usual, my peas are just finally producing (no harvest yet), and I may be harvesting my green and waxed beans at the same time as the peas! We keep having hot humid weather for a few days, then cooler temps for another few days, which seems to be throwing everything off kilter. At least the gardens are producing!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:

    *Kitchen is still ripped apart as my mom had a tile backsplash installed. Meals at home included a tuna sandwich with dill pickles (fast meal grab between coming home from work, showering then going to help at the grade 8 graduation ceremony), chicken burgers with green beans and cold salads, hamburger helper with green beans, chicken shepherd’s pie (freezer meal), baked chicken smothered in cheese soup with white rice and corn, and BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with Caesar salad.

    *Daughter finally finished school this week. I don’t have to pay for any school trips, milk orders, pizza and pita lunches, school fundraisers etc. until September. Whoohooo!!!

    *Collected chive seeds from the plants at work to add to my garden seeds for next year.

    *I found out there are a whole bunch of wild raspberry or blackberry bushes at work that are loaded with unripe berries. I had no idea they were even there. I intend to harvest as much as I can from them when they ripen. Last year it cost $50 for a flat of raspberries, so this will be a huge savings if I can collect enough! I also found wild grapes growing, but I’m not sure that I will be able to harvest them as the birds and wildlife often eat them before they are ripe. I will keep an eye on them as well, though, just in case!

    *Bought 2 more flats of strawberries for $25/flat and Ontario cherries for $16/large basket. I washed the berries and cherries in water with vinegar as soon as I got home. My mother helped me haul the strawberries and pit the cherries. Most were frozen, a tray of each were put in the dehydrator (first time trying, so didn’t do too many in case it didn’t work out), and some were put in the fridge for fresh eating. As soon as I get a day off when I’m not busy and it’s a cool day, I will be making jam.

    *On Canada Day, it rained most of the day. So, we decided to go to the movie theatre as a family outing. We had enough Scene points, combined with my daughters Access to Entertainment card (allows one support person in for free), that we only paid for my daughter’s ticket (child admission). My mother also used a gift card to buy the popcorn and drinks, so paid under $3 OOP for treats. We saw “The BFG” which was amazing! Oh, and one of the actors from Downton Abby was in the movie.

    *Frugal things I/we do regularly I don’t normally mention: Dry our clothes on the clothes line all spring/summer/fall as weather allows, wash and reuse baggies, wash and reuse bread bags for homemade bread, collect and reuse elastics from store produce, wash all dishes by hand (no dish washer), save bread crust ends in freezer to use for stuffing, bread pudding or bread crumbs, save veggie trimming in freezer for making stock, our shampoo and conditioner are in pump bottles which helps to control amounts used, collect grocery store loyalty points for free groceries, we keep reusable bottles of tap water in the fridge for drinking every single day (my daughter and I almost exclusively drink water, with the exception of some milk), I enjoy learning and developing useful craft and cooking skills that help save money, use Pinterest regularly to research new frugal ideas, crafts and recipes to try (it’s my favourite “reference library” to visit and no late fees), use an android box with Kodi Exodus to stream all TV shows and movies for free including current shows (Kodi can be downloaded onto any computer for free, just Google for instructions), and we find free/cheap events to attend (local and/or through Autism Ontario) or places to visit (I have a reciprocating program card through my work that offers free/cheap rates to various museums/attractions in Ontario, plus most places offer free/discounted entry for 1 support person if they accompany some disabled) for frugal family entertainment throughout the year (especially during summer vacation).

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  9. Mandy

    Happy Fourth of July and Frugal Accomplishments Day! 🙂 I hope everyone has a safe holiday here in the U.S.!
    Last week:
    I took my meals to work all week, drank water and coffee.

    I bought a bunch of bananas and a gallon of milk. I combined coupons and a sale and purchased a bottle of Tide laundry soap, 2 packs of hot dogs, and a 4 pk of butter sticks. I spent $5 total.

    One of the legs broke off on the bottom of our tall oscilating fan in our room. We tried just propping it up on the end of the bed but I move around to much and kept kicking it over in my sleep and then would get woken up. We purchased a new fan for our room but I was able to find a spot to use the old fan in the kitchen. It is propped up between our chest freezer and a counter. Now I have a fan in the kitchen! I also purchased some more Parlsey seeds, a Hosta that my husband loved that was on clearance for $3 for a HUGE plant, some organic bug spray for the yard, trees, and garden. We went to Menards, which is the closest store to us, and made sure to get their 11% back rebate form. I also purchased some clearance boneless chicken breasts that were at my price point that I found when I purchased the bananas.

    I used money from a rebate I received to purchase one of my daughter’s birthday gifts. I follow a couple of “deal” sites, and found a Frozen Elsa plush doll ( not sure of size) for $5 with free shipping for store pickup. 🙂 She LOVES Elsa.

    I only filled the sink of up halfway when washing dishes, used a dish pan to rinse, used the clean rinse water to wash the kitchen floor once, then dumped the rinse water on plants outside. My daughter and I shared a bath once and I took navy showers the rest of the time. I used water leftover in drinking glasses to water indoor plants.

    My hubby found a lady online on a giveaway FB site that was giving away plants: hostas, ornamental grasses, and yellow lilies. We planted them yesterday in bare spots around the yard. He took them all and had a car full.

    I have a repair man coming Thursday to look at why the AC and furnace don’t work properly. I am hoping it is something like the blower motor that my hubby could, potentially, replace himself OR I wouldn’t be charged an arm and a leg for the repair man to fix. I also have to get someone out here to look at our stove because the oven won’t work. I am sure it’s just not hooked up properly but we cannot figure it out (after hours of online manual searching, youtube videos, and phone calls). It is less than a year old and bought from my mother. It worked fine when we picked it up. It’s weird. The stovetop works perfectly but the oven doesn’t work at all.

    Used up leftovers in the fridge to avoid food waste, took leftovers or random fridge finds to work with me for my lunch and snack.
    That’s all I can think of this morning. Have a great week everyone!

  10. We’ve been getting some nice rain here, & are having a little shower now. I’d prefer it stops long enough for us to have a cookout today, but if not, the gardens will love it. I so agree with being able to open up the house for fresh air. I do appreciate conditioned air in the heat, but it just isn’t the same. Our swiss chard has been doing beautifully. I need to try some new recipes. Will review yours & see if there are any besides the soup, which was good, but too hot for now. The only fruit we’re getting now is berries (mostly blue & black), but I’ve bought some beautiful strawberries and peaches to enjoy. Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/07/summer-fruits-frugal-accomplishments.html

  11. Myra

    Happy Independence Day! Here is my list:
    1. Stayed home as much as possible. That means no gas and no spending!
    2. Purchased chicken for .48 a pound and boneless turkey breast for 1.29 per pound. My freezer is becoming well stocked.
    3. Worked on my price book and discovered that one of the local dollar stores carries sugar cheaper than the grocery store sell price.
    4. Cooked all meals but one, including a meal for a church member recovering from surgery and our pastor’s family who had a death in the family this past week and did not have to purchase any food to prepare so no out of pocket expense.
    5. Was given a coupon from a friend for one large pizza from the local pizza place.
    6. Turned off lights, fans, etc. as much as possible and kept air conditioners off as long as possible tonhelpnwith electric bill. Also washed and dried clothes early in the morning to keep from having to turn air on in that part of the house. ( we have several window units so we only use them when we are in that area of the house.)

    I think that’s it. Have a great week!

  12. Debby in KS

    Andrea, if you enjoyed that program, look for the others set in different places and times. There’s a 1600 in New England, 1800 log cabin in Montana, and one on a Texas ranch. Don’t hold me to the details lol, but I really enjoyed all of them. Even if most of the participants were a bit whiny and wimpy lol.

  13. That’s really interesting. I can’t imagine living where you receive so little rain. It’s such a different way of life. Meanwhile, we’ve had a ton of rain here lately, and all of our 4th of July activities have been cancelled because of it.

    My last week didn’t go as expected either, but mine was because we’ve gotten a bit lazy about our money saving ways. So I’ve examined what went wrong and how we can get back on track for a new week! Here it is: http://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-blown-money-week/

  14. Ashley

    Happy 4th of July!!!
    My husband and I own a dairy farm, which means vacations are hard to come by, as a family. He hasn’t had a night away with the kids in 5 years. Wednesday afternoon, we took off for nearby Laramie, WY. I packed thermoses of taco fillings for supper Wednesday night, along with all the fixings. We had a taco buffet in our room. We then swam until the pool closed for the evening. The next morning, we ate the hotel breakfast, then went up in to the mountains. I cooked lunch we had brought over a grill at the picnic area. For our afternoon treat, I had brought ice cream base and rock salt. We used the snow pack at 10,000 feet to make Ziploc bag ice cream. We drove home that evening and didn’t have supper, just snacks of homemade trail mix, fruit and cheese. Our only out of pocket was the hotel room, admission to the Territorial prison, gas (and because we fished at one spot for several hours and didn’t drive around, we didn’t use much) and my and my husband’s out of state fishing licenses.

  15. Linda

    Happy Independence Day! Today is also my birthday and my oldest granddaughter’s birthday, and we are happy to be celebrating together today. My son’s family of six is staying with us all summer while he trains to fly a different airplane. So the idea of living frugally as a couple is thrown out the window! Yet it has been fun to find lots of free activities to do, and a lot of home cooking. Also it has been great to have four grandchildren, ages 11 t 18, to help get a long list of tasks done, even while paying them for many jobs (slave wages :-). A win win situation. I now have a gardener, window washer, photo scanner, etc. They love to work. Have been home schooled all their lives, and their work ethic shows it.

  16. Becky, the problem is with my program. I don’t know why it isn’t working properly; it says it mails out emails of every post, but it doesn’t 🙁 I wish I could fix it, but I don’t know how. I hope to find a solution!

  17. Happy Independence Day! May we never forget the sacrifices our predecessors made.

    I love reading all of your tips each week. Gives me inspiration even when I cannot make it all work.

    This week,
    I blessed a neighbor with outgrown school uniforms.
    We went camping at a girl scout camp. They open it to families for the 4th of July weekend. For $25 for the weekend we had a site and access to archery, canoeing, swimming, zipline and more. I went with a friend and we split the cost of food.
    Bought onion sets for 40 cents each at Walmart. Will plant it next weekend so they don’t rot with the extra rains they are calling for.
    Harvested our first peas of the season. Learned that my dill plants make for a great climbing pole. 🙂

  18. One cannot count on rainfall here to water the garden. I use drip irrigation in the garden and have a timer for everything. The drip really saves on water usage, and also cuts down on weeds!

  19. I have Concords too; this is the first year that I will get more than 6 individual grapes! They are ripening already! I will have to cover them to keep the birds off.

  20. Laurie, I’ve used Swiss chard in wrap sandwiches before in place of lettuce.

    Even though it was 110º, we had soup last week for lunch, using chard, white beans, shell pasta, chicken bullion, and pesto (three ice cubes that I froze last summer from our basil). It was delicious!

  21. I ended up working all week and my nieces spent the night one day, after coming to help watch my kids for two days. We watched a lot of movies, and we used Netflix, Amazon credits, and the library for them. We are grateful for my upcoming big paycheck, since we will have to still cover some of the repairs to our roof from’s last week’s terrible storms.

  22. Darlene Douglas

    We had a family picnic on Saturday. All week I froze ice in containers to cool food and drinks so as to not have to buy ice. It is 4.99 here for a big bag so I saved around 15.00. I got 2 small cucumbers from my garden. Was so excited. The plants are loaded with small cucumbers and zucchinni. If they keep going good I will have lots to make pickles and zucchinni to grate and freeze for breads.

    I washed down the siding and windows on the front and partial one side of the house. I will continue to finish the job this week. It is so refreshing to look out of clean windows. I used dawn dish soap and warm water and they are sparkling! I save the paper towels from the windows to do quick floor clean-ups in our laundry room where we come in from the garden. We got a small amount of rain on Friday but just enough to wet the surface of the garden. We need rain badly here in northwest PA! Where my garden is I have composted deeply so my garden is thriving. Others with gravel ground not so good. Have a wonderful day!

  23. Florrie

    Your varieties of grapes harvest look so delicious, Brand!y!

    This week we have had to cover our grapes, pears and apples with many saved turkey and ham nettings. We secure the bags with twist ties, wires and old clothes pins. We also hung C D discs in the fruit trees this week. So far, the discs and mini nets have kept the squirrels and birds away during the day and the rats and opossums away at night. Will post later how long it took for the animals to get used to the lightning flashes from the discs.

    This week I chopped and added some of my frozen stash of blanched, very tender grape leaves to my spaghetti sauce. They add a wonderful flavor to the sauce. I harvested only the tender olive- colored leaves when hubby pruned the grapevines. Some of my friends wrap the leaves around meatballs and simmer in red sauce, but I have just been stirring everything together due to time constraints.

    Have a wonderful Fourth of July, everyone. Thank you for all of your very helpful hints and ideas. Most of all, thank you to Brandy for making this exchange happen!

  24. Angela Carpenter in Ky.

    Becky, I just check the website each day to see if there is new postings. Always on Monday as that is when Brandy usually posts also. I also get a notification from facebook when there is a new blog post. I try to never miss a posting or comment. I learn and share so much from everyone on this site, especially Brandy.

  25. tadpole

    Happy 4th of July!
    I never realized that there were so many fellow Canadians here. Happy belated Canada Day!

    There are so many different plants growing on our property. I gathered comfrey and St. John’s Wort to include in a liniment for sore joints and muscles. I used some of the St. John’s wort in a tincture. I also gathered more lavender and hung it to dry.

    I made half a batch of Rhubarb and Saskatoon Chutney using rhubarb and chutney growing wild on our property. I am so glad canning season is starting! It means I can add more good stuff to my pantry without having to set foot into a store.

    We also harvested some more potatoes and an onion from the garden. We had a week of blistering hot weather followed by a week of heavy, heavy rain and I think it affected our poor potatoes in a bad way. We will see if we get much of a crop this year, but I am not feeling very confident.

    While I was out picking comfrey, I discovered a bush full of black currents. I will be coming back for these.

    Finished up one part-time temp job and was offered another to take its place. This will limit the amount of free time I have this summer, but it should make things easier when we lose another source of income late this summer.

    The Man made a screen door to help cool down our house. We do not have air conditioning and our house can be unbearable when the summer gets hot. We also have way too many bugs in our neighborhood to keep the doors and windows open without screens. This one door has already made a big difference and we are looking at ways to pay for the materials to make another door so that we can have a cross breeze.

    Have a great week everyone!

  26. Cindi

    Thank you for the link to the program! I watched some of the others when they originally aired — the Victorian one and the Pioneer America one — but I didn’t know about this one.

  27. Cindi

    I think flexibility is required to be a gardener — even when you’ve been doing it for years, it can be unpredictable. My peas are finally making — a month later than last year. We are enjoying peas, chard, lettuce and herbs from the garden, and last night we had the first parsnips and carrots. This was the first time I have grown parsnips — I planted the seeds last August and kept them under mulch all winter. They were delicious. (I am in zone 4 in Colorado.)

    Do you ever freeze grapes, Brandi? I think they make a yummy snack that way.

    We spent 4 days camping in the National Forest. We did a lot of hiking, roasted marshmallows over the campfire, and attended some free ranger presentations. I did purchase some fried chicken from the grocery store deli to take with us, but the rest of the food was from home. A great practically free vacation.

    On the way home we stopped at an orchard stand and bought cherries — a couple of pounds to eat, but they also had sour cherries for 50 cents a pound if you bought 10 lbs. (They were apparently too small to sell to the stores — they looked fine to me!) I made a cherry pie, put up 3 1/2 quarts of cherry pie filling, and made a pint of vodka cherries.

    I did an inventory of my freezer and pantry and made a list of meals to use up the items I have on hand. This helps me avoid food waste, saves money on groceries, and makes it easier at mealtime – I simply check the list in the morning, decide what I want to eat that day, and assemble the ingredients.

    I made flower arrangements using flowers from my yard, as well as some of the abundant wildflowers blooming right now.

    My neighbor whose husband died received several beautiful plants for his memorial service. She is preparing to move and can’t take the plants with her, so gave them to me. They are doing well and I think of her every time I see them.

    I hope everyone has a lovely week — I will keep reading about your frugal accomplishments. They always inspire me.

  28. Darcy

    I made a very good beans and rice dish that will be made again and again.

    I stayed home except to go to work. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home on Friday.

    We did some gardening and yard work. I planted some kale and lettuce. It’s in a semi-shaded area so I’m hoping the heat isn’t too intense.

    I cut my husband’s hair. My daughter cut my hair. We have saved so much money over the last 8 years of doing this!

    I bought a watermelon that wasn’t very good but I found a recipe for watermelon sorbet and it is delicious. I am so happy I could salvage food that wouldn’t have gotten eaten.

    This past week was my 5-year anniversary at work and my supervisor ordered lunch from Olive Garden and a cake from a local grocery store. She sent all of the leftovers home with me so we had some yummy food for a couple of meals at home.

  29. Darcy

    Hi Gardenpat,

    Three years ago our daughter, son-in-law, and 2 granddaughters lived with us for about 8 months, too. They were able to buy their own house because they saved so much by living with us. We loved having them and as a result have a very close relationship with them but it was a bit of a relief to have the utility and grocery bills go down. So I know exactly how you feel right now. 🙂

  30. Roberta in So. Cal.

    I love the picture of the double rainbow. When I was a child growing up in Phoenix, my mom would always call me outside to enjoy the rainbows (and she, too, took pictures of the double ones). I think that perhaps rainbows are appreciated more in the desert. Mom passed four years ago today . . . thanks for bringing back a sweet memory of her.

    We had a good week on the frugal front. Among other things we:

    * Made bread.

    * Made honey-mustard dressing.

    * Made Italian dressing.

    * Made grapesicles (grape puree frozen in popsicle molds).

    * Harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and green onions (which went into a salad).

    * Set the AC for 79F, and we were able to turn it off completely at night and in the early mornings.

    * Ate at home all but one meal (yay!).

    * Ate mostly vegetarian meals. (This included a new recipe for Cheesy-Mexi Lentil Macaroni that was a hit with the family.)

    * Paid bills online.

    * Used lemons that were dropping from our tree to make lemonade to take to a friends’ party.

    * Son used materials we already had for a Scout project.

    * Based on the comments of others, I checked out [u]The Complete Tightwad Gazette[/u] from the library. I’ve already gleaned several ideas I’d like to try.

    For everyone in the U.S., have a wonderful, safe 4th of July!

  31. Stephanie in Utah

    My husband recently got a raise, so we increased our automatic savings to put at least half of the raise towards retirement/emergency fund savings. This also prompted me to look more closely at our 401k allocation. I spent an hour analyzing the funds and dropped some and added others to reduce our overall fees and and optimize our returns.

    My husband fixed our oven. He only had to order an inexpensive part online and took an evening to figure out how to install it. I ground wheat and baked 4 loaves of bread. While I had the oven on I also baked cookies. I made pizza dough and pizza sauce (froze half). Grilled the pizza outside to avoid warming up the house. I cooked chickpeas and froze most, made hummus with the rest. I have been trying to cook more breakfasts, not rely on cold cereal so much. This week I cooked pancakes, crepes, and smoothies. We also did smoothies for lunch a couple times. I used kale from our garden and fruit from our freezer in the smoothies. A couple weeks ago we were about to go out of town and had a bunch of watermelon still in the fridge, so I diced it up and froze it for smoothies.

    From the garden I harvested carrots, kale, lettuce, parsley, and raspberries. We’ve had more raspberries this year than any other, though still not a lot. I haven’t needed to use the bird netting this year either. I think I’ve already picked a year supply of parsley, I need to finish drying the rest. I pulled the lettuce and spinach that had bolted and fed it to my chickens. I decided to try the three sisters planting with my garden box of corn. Some of the squash that I planted has come up, but the beans still haven’t poked through the soil yet. I’m trying a new variety of beans, Tigers Eye. I got them, as well as some of the squash seeds, for free from my sister who works in a nursery. They were getting rid of their seed packets that were a few seasons old.

    I bought some peaches and nectarines for $.50/lb. I bought almost 20 lbs. of pasta from Sam’s Club, it was on sale for about $.70/lb. I gave my boys short summer haircuts. My clippers are still going strong, but the pair of scissors that came with the set broke, so I’m ordering a new pair.

  32. TerriC

    Garden Pat, I so understand about ‘having our house back’. My son moved here about 10 weeks ago when he changed positions with his company. His family moved in 8 weeks ago. They left yesterday to move into their new home. I so enjoyed that time with them. And boy has it been nice to have the whole house to ourselves once more!

  33. Erika

    Our weather this summer has been kind of goofy, so I relate to your produce problems. Swiss Chard, which I can normally count on to make huge plants that produce all summer and into late fall, isn’t coping with the hot and humid weather and then sudden dips in temperature and rain for two to three days at a time. The result is that my chard is still tiny, but some of it is already bolting. Not encouraging.

    My peas are growing by leaps and bounds and have a bunch of flowers on them, but no peas yet. Hoping to see some of those soon.

    My entire list for the week can be found here…

    https://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2016/07/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap.html

  34. Paige

    I was able to sell two items that I no longer used on a local fb group. Total=$185

    I cashed in reward points to get a gift card from Disney for $279. Hoping to use this for a frugal trip to Disney. This gc will cover the cost of our admission plus $54 out of pocket.

    Made another batch of homemade salsa. This is the 2nd batch this season, as the first has already been eaten.

    Husband will run errands for me in town so that I can stay home saving gas/extra purchases.

    Received several gift cards as presents for my daughter’s adoption. Those will be saved to use for purchases for her at another time.

  35. TerriC

    My family moved into their own home yesterday. I confess, I truly relished the quiet of the house for a bit there. It was my first time alone in weeks and I needed that! Missed my grandson saying good night last night though. There’s always a bit of sad mixed in with a bit of happiness in things like that. On the other hand, I’ve begun what I call Frugal Boot Camp. That means I’m reading books on thrift and frugalness that are on my bookshelves, practicing those things I know save money, analyzing why some things are not working well for me, repurposing things, slimming down our grocery budget at least temporarily, etc. I shared my week’s accomplishments here:
    http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/07/frugal-friday-attending-frugal-bootcamp.html

  36. Tina in the NW

    We have been having the typical Seattle weather I remember from my childhood – cool summers with some gray and some sun, with intermittent rain. Quite a contrast to the last few years of hot summers (or at least hot for our area). I’m actually enjoying the cooler weather. Not sure my tomatoes and peppers in the garden are, though.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    – I picked all my garlic in the garden, two months early. So odd. But it was a great crop. I’m curing it on the patio.
    – I picked hydrangea blossoms from my plant to enjoy inside. This is a supermarket plant I bought about seven years ago and have in a big pot. It’s under a bush and gets partial sun, and has around 50 blooms this year. Amazing.
    – The lid on my thrifted Cuisinart food processor broke. I found a replacement one on eBay. It wasn’t cheap, but this food processor works great and I hope to use it as long as I can.
    – When I was foraging for berries, I found a hazelnut tree. I will go back later in the season to pick some nuts.
    – Last week when I visited a farmer’s market, I found two cardboard berry flat boxes sitting next to the garbage that someone had discarded. I buy berries from this vendor, and they credit you a dollar for each flat box you return. So I took them home and used them toward my berry purchase this week for $2 off.
    – I bought two half flats of raspberries and made 12 half pints of raspberry jam. I am almost done with jam making for the year.
    – Our local Kroger store (QFC) had two-pound bricks of Tillamook cheese (several varieties) for $5.99 each, which is the cheapest I’ve seen it lately. I bought two bricks of cheddar.
    – I rode my bike to the gym and the grocery store. It was the first time I have ridden this new bike (purchased on Christmas clearance earlier this year, to replace my prior bike that was stolen). It made me so happy to ride my bike. I have a knee issue that has made it difficult to impossible the last few years, but my knee has healed sufficiently so I should be able to ride whenever I want. Yay!
    – We usually go to a party on the 4th of July, but we have to stay home because my husband is on call for work. I suppose that’s frugal….bummer, though, the party is always a lot of fun.
    – I cleaned out some books and sold them to the used bookstore. We are still cleaning out the back bedroom/office so we can temporarily move some large items back there while the condo repair and window replacement project is taking place (later this month). Looking forward to the new windows.

    Have a great week, everyone. 🙂

  37. SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

    For most stoves, you need two breakers ‘on’ from your fuse box. Check to make sure that both are on and that one hasn’t tripped.

  38. Becky

    I never miss a post anyway. I check it frequently. I truly get so much encouragement from your blog and the comments from all the readers that it is always worth the effort to see if there is anything new. It was just a pleasant surprise to get a notification.

  39. momsav

    I’ve signed up twice; i used to get notifications but only once or twice. Like angela, i check back, sometimes several times a day. I don’t want to miss a thing!

  40. Brenda

    I grow rainbow chard and use it in place of or just like spinach

  41. Marivene

    This post covers 2 weeks, since we were out of town last week. When our granddaughter from Alabama went home, we drove to see our daughter in Washington, which cost us $120 round trip, for a 12 hour drive one way, instead of multiple hundreds for her father & I to fly in to visit. The drive is long, but it is scenic, & driving allows us to take things like jam & fresh berries back & forth, which we could not do on a plane.

    Spent time playing with our 4 year old granddaughter, & reading her books. She helped me water the new maple tree every other day, & helped me pick, pit & freeze everything I put up.

    Picked more pie cherries & froze them. Picked more strawberries & the first of the apricots. The birds were getting into them, so I picked those with the most color, & brought them inside to put in two of the ripening bowls, well away from the birds, to finish ripening. Before we had our own apricot tree, I used to pick from trees offered on freecycle & craigslist. Since the owners of those trees decide when the fruit is “ripe”, over the years I learned about how early fruit could be picked, & still ripen in buckets or bowls on my counter when I took it home. That has been very useful knowledge in years where the birds are badly “in the trees”. Most of the time, if the fruit is close enough to ripe for the birds to be bothering it, it is ripe enough to finish off inside. Before we left, I picked all the apricots to save them from the birds. Bottled apricots from the ripening bowls the day after we returned from visiting our daughter in Washington. They ripened well in the bowls over 6 days, & were perfect for canning when we got back. However, the ones I thought might get too ripe, & put in the fridge in 2 large Ziploc bags, were not ripe enough to can. Put those into the ripening bowls for 2 more days after I emptied the bowls into the jars. I have put up 18 quart from our tree, & have probably enough left in the bowls to make a batch of jam, so I am pleased with that as a decent yield for an 8 year old tree.

    Dehydrated more elderflower while it is in bloom. The bushes have set very heavily. Placed the elderflower that I left drying on the counter while we were gone into a quart jar when we got back.

    Worked on staying cool. We had our first day over 100 degrees this week, & had a brief power outage, as that is an unusually high temperature for this early in the season.

    Weeded in the garden & perimeter to catch up from being gone to visit our daughter.

    Picked, washed, stemmed & froze red currants & white currants to juice later for the pectin, to make jellies & jams.

    Picked a handful of ripe blackberries & froze them until I have enough for jam.

    While we were in Washington, we picked blueberries from our daughter’s huge patch (over 36 bushes) & made 2 batches of blueberry jam to bring back with us for her older sister, who loves blueberries. I also brought back a container of fresh berries to send with the youngest daughter & oldest daughter, with her 2 girls, for their “girl’s weekend” in Montana. Middle daughter was unable to go on the weekend, but send the berries in her place, so she had a “presence” there.

    Continued to fill in the void in the back perimeter bed with newspaper, cardboard, thinnings from the peach trees, coffee grounds, dirt knocked off the pieces of sod from digging the trench where the base stone is laid, & dried grass clippings as a mulch over top.

    Accepted grass clippings again from a neighbor to use as mulch.

  42. Christina Black

    Look at all those grapes! I’d like to learn to plant some in the future.

    I have been so busy with schoolwork and my toddler that I haven’t updated my blog until now, and I was only now able to catch up on the last few Frugal Accomplishment posts. It’s a highlight of my week to read them, and they inspire me to always look to save.

    Some of my highlights these past few weeks are:

    *getting some required reading for my classes from the library.
    *we attended a free local event to celebrate Independence Day.
    *I donated a lot of my son’s old clothes.
    *we visited a local u-pic farm. got two clam shells of fresh, huge raspberries for $.50 each. The other berries weren’t ready yet.

    My other frugal efforts are listed here:
    http://2minimize.blogspot.com/2016/07/recent-frugal-efforts.html

  43. Hilogene in Az

    The good news about the very hot weather is that we stayed home more than usual and therefore spent less. I made all our meals at home but one, and made an effort to cook three new meals for dinner. All three turned out well and made enough to freeze extra for other times. Made bread as well. I am so pleased to be cooking more from scratch, I don’t calculate the savings for each task but know that we are saving a lot. My average food costs are down 48 percent from the same time period last year. Besides cooking from scratch, the other big help is having our small freezer and our pantry , so I can buy as items go on sale. As everyone here has commented, it really does make a huge difference. We are eating better for less!

    I so enjoy reading this blog, when I am feeling uninspired I re-read sections of the website like living on 40 cents a day. Even though I don’t achieve it, I keep learning new things to do, and feel really pleased at my progress. My only wish is that others of my friends would enjoy this as much as I do…but they don’t seem to care about saving, at least not yet ;).

    Happy belated Canada day and happy 4th of July. Not sure if there are any recent Australia holidays. 😉

  44. Roxie

    We have stayed in the house most of the time. It is so hot here. Hit 100+ every day. With heat index it is 110 or so. The humidity is just awful. Our garden is TOAST right now. Just green peppers so going right now. I moved a few tomato plants that are in pots to our patio shade. No blooms on them, too hot, but I want to keep them alive to maybe get a few fall tomatoes. Even my lavender plants have died on me. I water everyday. Just too hot.
    I made a good head way on my doll clothes plans. Got 2 more free patterns from the internet. Cut them out, but have not sewed them yet.
    We have dried clothes on the lines. (I go out at first light and hang a load and bring them in about noon.) Use the water from my washer on the back yard to keep it alive. With our family and my daycare I do 1-2 loads a day. I have an HE machine so it is only a few gallons of water and it does help keep the yard alive. I move the hose everyday.
    I got some free all meat hot dogs with coupons this week. My boys enjoy hot dogs for lunch. Got some almost free cereal too. Had good coupon for the new cereal called TOAST. We will see if the boys like it.
    Got my infusion done, one more to go then surgery. Hope that goes well and I can start enjoying the summer. Wish me luck.

  45. Donna

    There’s one showing a family eating for each year and how things changed. It starts in 1950 and goes into the 1990’s. Very interesting. It is called Back in Time for Dinner on YouTube

  46. Lorna

    Hi Annabel and great to have another Australian on here I see there are a few more too who comment on here as well 🙂 .

    Thank you for your encouragement and here is where you can find my handmade items on etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/dragonslair64?ref=hdr_shop_menu

    And I also go by the nick of sewingcreations15 on Ebay too so you can search by seller from the home page there.

    Something to do at the moment is to catch up on sewing a lot more of the items I have sold on there as well, we have just been so busy with the gardens at the moment. So hopefully this week some time I will put some time aside to do these as well 🙂 .

  47. Laura

    It”s predicted that we will be seeing temps of 100 and over this weekend here in my part of Tennesseee. ugh!

    Here are some of the frugal things I did this past week:

    * utlized the clothes lines on days it didn’t rain
    * mended a couple of clothing items
    * sewed buttons on two of my husband’s shirts
    * cut off and made a new hem on a pair of jeans for me that I bought from the thrift store.
    * picked 1/2 gallon of blackberries and 1 pint
    * picked 2 pints of raspberries
    * picked 1 pint of blueberries
    * organized and decluttered some school books – will either take to used bookstore or hold them till the used curriculum sale in June and take them there.
    * made a batch of homemade muffin mix (recipe from Make A Mix cookbook)
    * bought bunches of bananas on markdown for .25/lb
    * made 36 banana muffins from scratch
    * made 4 12″ loaves of banana bread
    * made a gallon of sweet tea each day. There’s 8 of us so we can go through the tea as well as the water, milk, etc.
    * hubby made a gallon of green tea every day to take to work with him. He works construction and needs to stay hydrated.
    * made vegetables fajitas one evening using homemade fajita seasoning mix
    * Made and froze 2 gallons of lemonade to take with us on our camping trip this past weekend. Gave us something really cold plus helped keep the cooler items cold.
    * Rode our bikes about 3 miles a few times this past week for exercise
    * made a pan of cornbread from scratch (recipe from Make a Mix book for the crnbread mix)
    * made a big crockpot of pinto beans for supper but also so I’d have extra to make refried beans with
    * Used items from our pantry and freezers to take camping. I had to buy very few things… mainly ice, a huge watermelon, and buns
    * earned a couple of $5 coupons aka reading rewards from thriftbooks to use on future orders
    * hubby and our oldest son took leftovers to work for their lunches
    * the rest of the children and I ate leftovers for our lunches
    * I made a pound of extended butter …. 1/2 pound of butter + 1 cup of oil…. let butter soften and then whip in the oil, pour into a butter dish and refrigerate.
    * shopped a local ethnic store for produce. I paid $9 for that huge watermelon I mentioned, 30 apples, and 5 large heirloom tomatoes.
    * shopped markdowns in the grocery store and got a extra large pizza for less than $5 and the children and I ate it for lunch on Friday while we were packing the trailer with our camping gear, bikes, etc. We pack the trailer so when hubby and oldest son get home from work, they just have to get in and we can leave.
    * bought ears of corn for .10 ea. I only bought enough for our meal but I want to go back to get more at that price to blanch and freeze.
    * redeemed points for a free movie ticket and small popcorn and took oldest son to see a movie.
    * redeemed points for two 52 oz slushie (freezie or whatever you call it) from a local convenience store. We will stop here for a drink like that as they have a promo that you buy 6 and your 7th is free. Plus you earn points with their card. Well with 8 of us, we can get free drinks often and they are only .69 otherwise. Not bad for a nice cool drink.
    * shopped a local used book store and found some of the curriculum books we needed. This saved us tremendously as one of the books was $3.00 and online new it is over $30.
    * while we were camping, we took advantage of the bike trails and got in some exercise
    * also got discounted pool admission for $2 each since we had camping reservations

  48. Good to hear y’all are okay! We’re getting the 110 degree heat in Texas as well, and man, it’s such a scorcher. It makes it hard to spend time outside.

    This week:

    -We visited family from Friday through Sunday. When we got home Sunday evening, we were pretty tired after traveling. Instead of grabbing fast food, I defrosted three bags of frozen spaghetti squash I made a few weeks back. We made spaghetti squash lo mein with a soft boiled egg on top. It was just the light dinner we needed–and it was cheap and vegetarian, to boot!

    -I baked bread for family dinner on Sunday. While it was definitely bread, it didn’t turn out quite as flaky as I would have liked. Just gotta keep experimenting!

    -We stocked up on blueberries at the store this week, since they were 97 cents a carton. I made a big batch of blueberry pound cake with some of them. We’ll have the pound cake as a snack as well as a quick breakfast–I love it with butter, but it’s sure not healthy!

    -On Monday morning I made a batch of homemade tortillas. We cooked a few for breakfast and had bean and cheese tacos; the rest were frozen for later use.

    -My in-laws gave us a free dozen of eggs from their yard chickens, so we didn’t have to buy eggs this week.

    -We made stock from a chicken we barbecued on Saturday. We threw in a bag of frozen veggie scraps, which really gave the stock a great flavor. We took the excess meat from this meal and will make buffalo chicken wraps for dinner tonight.

    -I made croutons from our bread bag. We save the ends and bits of uneaten bread in a freezer bag. Once it’s full, we either make bread crumbs or croutons.

    -On Monday night we made pizza with a homemade crust and homemade marinara sauce. It was out of this world–I can’t wait to eat some for lunch today!

    -Mr. Picky Pincher made a batch of sauerkraut.

    -We cooked a few dinners ahead of time. This is mostly to save my weeknight sanity. We made a corn and poblano soup for Wednesday dinner and it tastes DIVINE! I also made cornbread for Thursday’s dinner of pulled pork, corn bread, and cauliflower puree. If you can’t tell, corn was on sale this week. 😉

  49. Sue in NJ

    Glad to hear you all are okay !

  50. Patty from the NW

    Good Morning Brandy,

    I hope you and your family had a lovely 4th of July. My husband and I met up with another couple and drove to Poulsbo Wa to see fireworks over the harbor on the 3rd. We go there each year. It felt like an old fashion town celebration where families and children were celebrating with food and small fireworks on lawns of many homes. The harbor had many sailboats as well and people can watch the town fireworks from the barge on the water. It was beautiful to watch the sunset over the tree lined hills on the pretty harbor~ so picturesque ~ So fun! Yesterday, the 4th we went to a couple of fruit stands and then to the beach for a walk with our little dog and played skipping stones together in the water. I can only skip 2 times, and my husband can skip about 5 🙂 ~ We later watched the special shows and fireworks on TV and stayed home for our own BBQ dinner.

    After having my husband’s family here to stay with us a week from Boston, we now have had the opportunity to relax. It had been a week long of entertaining his family, a grad / family reunion party for my husband’s Masters in Div, his graduation ceremony and dinner out with family (where his brother in law picked up the tab for us), and visiting local towns for site seeing. On another day, we all went to a wonderful historical museum and art museum ( free) and had lunch at a restaurant on the water in Bainbridge Island Wa . My sister in law is a water color artist who has won many awards so she enjoys going to many art galleries as I do so we visited some on the Is and local towns. My aunt had also been an artist so I love to visit art galleries . My aunt had painted and won awards with acrylics, pastels and watercolor as well as graphite drawings. My sister in law later that evening spent time teaching me some water color painting techniques. We had gone to Michaels store to purchase some water color tools for me. Now I have a new hobby to learn 🙂 I am excited to begin this hobby as I am retiring from nursing finally this summer. My husband and I went to the 1/2 priced book store in Tacoma to find a couple of beginner water color books for me to study. We get our books of interest there at such a great price.. usually $2-$5 dollars /book. Once I learn the concept of painting, I will plan to take a water color class.

    Yesterday we went to a couple of fruit stands in a nearby town and I found apricots at 99 cents/lb and bought a case for canning and making your Vanilla Apricot jam this week. I also found loganberries.These 2 fruits only have a couple of weeks where they are available at fruit stands for a good price in our area so I am so happy I could find them. In my garden I harvested beans, beets, onions, and LOTS of kale. I used a bunch of kale to make a soup, and will use more for another soup and salads. My lettuce has bolted from our heat during our busy time last week, and now I will gather the seeds to use later. I plan to sow more lettuce seeds this week. You should see my nystertions, they are huge!! and beautiful along with our 2 year old lavender plants. So many of our flowers have bloomed so nicely and just in time for the family to enjoy the beauty.

    About 2 weeks ago while my husband and I were working in the backyard garden, an eagle flew and landed on a large evergreen tree just outside our fence . He was beautiful and so we just stopped working, took a break and enjoyed watching him for about an hour. I am amazed at the large wing span of this eagle. They are really majestic. Up north of Seattle there is an Eagle Sanctuary in the Skagit County. I have hiked into an area there before and sat to see 14 eagles in one spot.. amazing! This was in January and is a good time for eagle watching. We hope to go up there again this next year.

    Today I will be making loganberry jam and a pie. Loganberries are my favorite berry which is a cross between a black berry and raspberry. My grandparents lived on Bainbridge Is and had several vines. As a child, I loved picking them and eating~ they are so yummy.

    Since we spent more money than I had intended in June for my husband’s family and party, the rest of this month of July will be a very limited spend month. I have a good supply of pantry items and meat and food in the freezer. I plan to make our meals from your 2 weeks panty menu ( so grateful for this!) I made 2 loaves of your olive oil rosemary bread last week and also decided to ad sliced green olives to the dough since I like olive bread. It turned out very good .

    I just love the work Winter has done on her pioneer dress… and all of the under clothing as well. She is so talented as you are. I am fascinated with the patterns and detail of her work. So nice to have read about her project.

    I am also thankful for you that you did not get flooded from the storm that came your way. I had been watching the weather and prayed you would not be affected and that your garden would not get the hail. So happy to hear you were all ok from this.

    Have a wonderful week~blessings to you
    Patty from the NW

    Last week we had spent above our budget for the grad party family BBQ. I made a Mexican theme of chicken burritos, corn salad, 7 layer bean dip and other family members brought more salads to enjoy. It was a huge success! but a little costly .

  51. Andrea

    Thank you. Yes I’ve seen them as well. I love watching current-day people attempt to live as people in the past. So Fascinating!

  52. Jenifer

    Hilogene, totally agree on the re-reading and the friends comment. I love them dearly, but the strange looks I get because I bring a fruit tray I cut up instead of a pre made grocery store fruit tray or because I wore the same party dress twice in a year (and I look good in that dress!! :p). Some days I feel quite alone. Thankfully, there is this website.

  53. Jenifer

    Brandy, I was thinking of you this weekend. We were invited to a cook out and the host had the most beautiful landscaping – majority of annuals. Knowing I could/would spend but a tenth of what he probably spent, and then remembering you and your seed sowing/growing plants prudently posts fired up that “Yes, I can” attitude instead of being jealous of his yard. Thank you.
    I was able to pluck a few radishes and sugar peas from our garden. The peas are really stunted this year. I am going to see if they can fair the summer heat and bloom in the early fall.
    A rabbit has made my beets and swiss chard her dinner choice. I collected cat hair (from brushing the cats I house sit – part of my job) and placed that around the plants. So far it seems to be working.
    There was a recipe that called for drained can(s) of salsa, corn and black beans to make another salsa. I saved those liquids and added them to a hodge-podge taco soup for extra flavor/liquid. The “new” salsa made a delicious salsa, side salad and filling for wraps. Several severing/meals for under a dollar.
    I continue to collect Bing points for Amazon GC and was able to “purchase” a book for for my nephews holiday gift. Right now they are enjoying Chuck Norris and his karate skills. So I bought a book on Chuck Norris, will get a Chuck Norris movie, put those together with a few bags of microwave popcorn and box of Swedish fish. The movie box gift idea was given here a little while ago – THANK YOU!
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  54. Erika

    Believe it or not it could be your heating element in your oven. I had the same problem and my husband was baffled as he figured it had to be a switch or something that wasn’t coming on. He went and talked to a local appliance repair outfit and they told him to replace the heating element. He kept telling them that the oven wasn’t even firing and he doubted that was the problem. They told him basically to just do it, so he shrugged and did like they told him. It worked! I guess a lot of ovens have a safety thing built into them that if the heating element isn’t working within certain tolerances it’ll just stop working…at least that’s what I could glean from the mechanical “talk” that my husband and the appliance repair guys were having.

    Good luck!

  55. Debbie in Florida

    I am continuing to use free version on MyFitnessPal as a food diary and getting lots of free exercise by going up and down the stairs at work, small free weights which were gifted to us, and an exercise bike which my SO won at his health fair at work.

    Free in the mail – Family Circle, K-cups, a coupon for a protein shake, Weight watchers magazine.

    We closed on the sale of my father’s house. I was able to repay my emergency fund and paid off a chunk of debt and the fridge. I made a gift to my children. I made a list of what I need to buy to restock the pantry and medicines, what I want to add to the garden, and some supplies I need at Home Depot for minor home repairs we’ve been putting off.

    We went out to eat with a gift card my significant other won at work.

    I got a free bakery item at Panera for my birthday. At CVS, I used a $5 reward for filling prescriptions and $10 bucks from a previous purchase to get CVS brand dramamine, a 4 pack of paint brushes (saved me a trip to Home Depot) so I can touch-up paint around the house, and Benadryl cream. I paid $2.57 OOP. I made both stops on my way home from work.

    Have a great week!

  56. Debbie in Florida

    Thank you for the watermelon sorbet idea. Every once in a while I get one that doesn’t have much flavor, so this gives me a good idea instead of wasting it.

  57. KB

    I thought I was doing quite well this week, until someone in my family left our garage refrigerator door cracked open and we had to throw away some perishable food. 2 gallons of milk, some yogurt, and a package of sausage. Thankfully it wasn’t too much since we haven’t been grocery shopping in awhile and most of our food is in our main inside fridge.

    I had to work on July 4th, and will receive holiday pay for that day. We did good eating most meals at home and eating leftovers for lunches. I’ve been trying to use up food from my pantry and freezer to keep grocery costs down this month. I picked more wild raspberries and froze some to make jam when I have more time. They were also delicious fresh. I’ve been trying to pay close attention to turning lights and fans off when we leave rooms. Also turning the AC up a bit during the day to help save on the electric bill.

    I misplaced my twine so when I needed to stake my tomato plants earlier this week, I used some fabric ribbon that I had saved the week before to tie the tomato plants to the stake. Hopefully, I can find my twine for future use so I won’t have to buy more.

  58. Lisa

    I just wanted to say “Thank you” to everyone by their examples of how they try to lead a frugal lifestyle! Since I went back to work full time 2 years ago after 12 years as a stay at home mom I have fallen off the tracks. I have become reactive rather than proactive with my finances and thrifty lifestyle. I have been reading your weekly posts Brandy plus all the helpful comments and feel so encouraged. Like many of your readers, I too, find this blog to be a community of frugal friends.
    I have decided to start back with the basics and move up from there. I do many frugal activities now but need to build up from there. I am located in Northern Maine in zone 3. Weather has been odd all year. My garden is just visible and it was planted on Memorial day. Only 1 pumpkin, 1 zuchinni, and 1 cucumber plant showed. My root vegetables (beets, carrots, onions) are doing fine-ground is sandy. & green beans rotted due to the heavy rain after planting, spinich is very sparse. Peas ok, but usually never get as far as the house with the kids.. I should start harvesting the loose leaf lettuce next week.
    My college age daughter gave me a tip about buying watermelon. She worked in the produce department of a grocery store for awhile. She said before buying a watermelon, check the sliced watermelon that the store has for sale. They are usually used from the whole watermelons on stock. You can see if the color is a nice dark pink (sweet) and if it is mushy or not.

  59. Julia

    I am trying to finish a Bachelor’s degree by starting at a community college taking whatever classes would transfer while also discovering CLEP. Apparently I can CLEP out of 5 of my core business courses (wish I had discovered this a little sooner because there were several generals I could have CLEP’d out of as well…oh well). I paid for the Business Law course, costing $80, the study guide I purchased for $25, but, it contains study guides for every CLEP test so I will be able to use it on the other 4 courses I am planning. I purchased a VERY used textbook for $1.99 ($5.98 after shipping). The testing center fee=$20. Total cost $130.98 (and don’t forget I get to reuse that study guide)….the same course at my community college would have cost $484.00 plus at least $77.05 if I were lucky enough to get a used copy…total savings $430.07!!

    I tried out a few different beans and rice recipes…they were really good especially the Indian Beans and rice. We are trying to drastically reduce meat consumption in order to help pay off our massive debt (we have not always been frugal and we did some REALLY stupid things with money in our 20’s, before we woke up in our late 20’s/early 30’s). Here’s a link for those recipes if anyone is interested: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/rice-and-beans
    This week we will be trying out the asian recipe and the mediterranean recipe.

  60. Mandy

    Thank you both for the suggestions and I will tell my husband about the heating element and to check the breaker. I called the store my mom got the appliances from (good local reputation) and was told it would be $69 just for a person to come to our house and diagnose the problem!

  61. Julia

    Thanks for that watermelon tip. We LOVE watermelon and this will be helpful. Hopefully our garden yields several melons. We planted red watermelon and yellow watermelon, along with honeydew and cantaloupe. The watermelon vines are absolutely HUGE with lots of flowers…I’m crossing my fingers.

  62. Rhonda A.

    Andrea, have you watched “Pioneer Quest”? It features Canadians attempting to live like the pioneers. I did a quick google search and saw a listing for episode 1, but didn’t check to see if the link worked. There were 2 other similar Canadian shows, one about the gold rush and one about the Hudson Bay fur traders, I believe. Can’t remember the exact names of those shows but had “quest” in the title.

  63. Kelly

    My husband picked 4 more quarts of Wild Blackberries in the field across the street from our house.

    I got eggs for 0.69/doz at the local convenience store–picked up 4 more dozen.

    We stayed home on July 4th as we weren’t invited to any picnics and our local fireworks were Sunday night which we watched ad we walked down to the park and back home–4 blocks total.

    I had my mother (a licensed beautician) cut my hair. All it cost was a trip to their house and my son got to visit with his cousins and take a swim in my parents pool.

  64. Me too! This is one of my absolute favorite blogs and the only one where I probably read every single post. It’s nice to see that there are other ladies like myself who are working hard to make a beautiful home on less. I’m always inspired to start new homemaking projects after reading the blog.

  65. I think my biggest savings last week was NOT visiting the grocery. I’m trying so hard to switch to shopping only ever other week but I’m still struggling just a little bit. I am fairly determined so hopefully by August I can report that I am successfully only shopping 2x a month. This week we also enjoyed VBS at our church which was SO much fun. More frugal things and a picture of our garden on my blog here: http://lifeasmrsemerson.blogspot.com/2016/07/frugal-things-i-did-last-week.html

  66. Debbie in Florida

    Thanks for the link to the rice and beans. We don’t eat meat, so rice and beans are a staple for us and I’m always looking for new recipes.

  67. Melissa V

    * I picked a huge bowl (Tupperware Thatsa bowl although we call it the popcorn bowl LOL) of raspberries from my Mom and Dad’s patch and froze them for jam making in the fall – my patch was just started this year so I have awhile yet before mine is ready.
    * Picked pea pods, cilantro and lovage from the garden. Something is eating my bean plants and basil and snipped off half my sweet corn plants so those may be a total loss this year. I also have my first actual heads of cabbage this year YEAH!
    * I discovered wild blackberries growing on the south side of the house (which never gets looked at since no doors or windows are in that area) so now I don’t have to spend the money on plants! I plan on transplanting them later in the summer when there is less heat so less stress on the plants.
    * We picked up 2 more travel trailers to “flip” – a 1968 which needs minimal exterior work and new upholstery and curtains and a 1966 which is a complete gut job due to water damage on the walls and ceiling – thankfully ALL of the appliances are in great shape as well as all of the cabinet fronts – I will just need to sand them all and refinish them.
    * We picked up somewhere around 15 rolls of upholstery fabric and vinyl for free off Craigslist which will be used to re-upholster all of the trailer cushions.
    * Not frugal but was necessary – I quit my job at the boarding kennel and am now searching for something else that will be very part-time and keep all our dogs and cats vetted and fed (the main reason I work)
    * I re-purposed the foam from our old soft sided water bed into cushions for one of the trailers – foam is rather expensive!
    * I sold 5 of my hens to cut down on feed costs and because they were the NOISIEST hens I have EVER owned – they were worse than a rooster! And I’ve owned chickens since I was 11 so I have no idea what these girls problem was – I was very disappointed since these were breeds I have wanted again for a long time and they are supposed to be very quiet breeds. Ah well – the money I sold them for paid for groceries.
    I think that was it for the past week other than the usual 🙂 Hope everyone has a frugal week!

  68. Athanasia

    Mandy, 3.00 for a hosta sounds a very good price. I see them for 12.99 a small pot at the garden store here, though they may be marked down more now. Remember to divide them and you will keep getting more.

  69. Athanasia

    I cook extra greens with garlic and a little broth and then freeze in 1 cup blocks. Later when it is fall and I start cooking soup again I will add to soups or chili or spaghetti sauce or curry. I cannot eat soups when it is above 70 F.

  70. Athanasia

    Happy Birthday Linda!

  71. Athanasia

    Florrie, my oldest girl runs a free range chicken farm and they have very high fencing with a grid of wires over head. They thread old CDs on these so that sunlight flashes off them and upwards. They keep the hawks away. The farm also has a chicken guard dog that lives with the chickens, is not a pet and takes care of pawed predators.

  72. Athanasia

    Patty NW, congratulations to your husband on finishing his Master’s degree. What are his plans for it? So nice your families could join you in the celebration.

  73. Athanasia

    We had a nice week. The weather here has been perfect, other than one hot too humid day. We’ve had plentiful rain and sunshine. We do not go to the July 4 things…we had family fire works on the 3rd after a cook out.

    We did all the usual of composting, recycling, cooking at home, gardening, hanging clothes to dry, using up leftovers.

    I went to the public library used book sale and bought over 60 books at .25 each for our church/school library. Most were children books. I carry lists of series books so I do not buy duplicates–I have marked off what we already own such as Boxcar Children, Hardy Boy, Encyclopedia Brown, etc. I found 20+ easy readers. Many are hardcovers and with library bindings so they are better than the paperbacks. They take cleaning up though to get all the extra stickers, labels and markings off them before I put our labels and marks on them 😀 . I went into work Monday anyways as it was my usual day to have the library open in the summer. My husband, daughter and brother in law came in at noon and brought lunch and we ate it outside under the trees at picnic table. There is a park across the street from there and we watched festivities going on and could hear some band music. While we were there an uncle stopped in to do some maintenance and he said his corn has tassled already!

    Garden is producing well. Picked kohlrabi, lettuce, kale, string beans, beginning of the raspberries, end of the strawberries, edible pod peas, parsley, radishes, mint, basil, cherry tomatoes, gooseberries. zucchini, cucumbers. Dug red new potatoes.

    Received word there will be 2 mid to late Fall weddings on my husband’s side so added those to the calendar. I am seriously thinking of ordering that fabric, though my husband said he likes the green. I will need a more winter dress than the one I had for the summer wedding and will have my niece make that one too and I will be set for a couple years or more. Attended a skype baby shower at church. The mother to be moved to California due to calling of husband to a church there. The IT folks at church set it up and we did all the usual stuff…her mother opened her gifts from us. Her new church ladies attended on her side and they had refreshments and gifts also. Her parents are on their way out there now with everything in their mini van and plan on staying a month. He is a retired shop teacher and will make himself useful with repairs and remodels to their house and church while there.

    At the grocer bought some 75% discounted/discontinued items due to new store owners. Bought 7 jars of mincemeat pie filling for 2.25 each. A strip of Fleischman rapid rise yeast for .30. I normally buy yeast in bulk but everyonce in awhile I see a recipe I want to try that calls for the rapid rise. Got a hand lotion, body wash, contac solution, sweet and sour sauce, antibiotic ointment…all in the store brand they are getting rid of. Bought a paper bag full of the over ripe bananas for .23/lb. Put the bananas into the freezer to hold them. We’ll have time to bake tonight. I don’t freeze the mashed banana like some do…I prefer to make the muffins or bread and freeze those and have a prepared product ready to take out. The unripe were .59/lb. Bought a watermelon for 3.99 and nectarines for .88/lb, bought 5 pounds. Red bell peppers were .99/lb so I picked out 5 nice ones. The large mushroom pack was 2/4.00 so bought two. Bought a head of cauliflower.

    Cooked mostly from scratch or took out of freezer. Made deviled eggs from a dozen eggs I had been saving aside. The older ones I find easier to peel. Made tuna macaroni salad, cucumbers in yogurt, 4 bean salad from home canned beans, made a relish tray with peppers, cauliflower, mushroom, cucumbers, radishes and cherry tomatoes. Used rest of cauliflower, more of the cooked garbanzos, the nubbin sized red potatoes and 2 jars of stewed tomatoes and seasonings and made a curry. Served with rice and yogurt. Made naan. Scrubbed and trimmed the carrot thinnings and chopped and added to coleslaw. Made nectarine kuchen to take to 1st Sunday church meal potluck. Made a pie from farm magazine that sounded good. I used our rhubarb, 2 cups of frozen raspberries from last season and apple pie slices. Pour into one crust then top with stars cut out of pie dough, sprinkle with sugar and bake. It was pretty and tasted good too. Made vanilla pudding and served over sliced nectarines and raspberries. Youngest daughter made jello poke cake topped with whipped cream. Made iced coffee and iced tea. We drink them unsweetened. Husband grilled fish, grilled corn, grilled skewers of baby potatoes, peppers, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms; grilled hamburgers and boca burgers. He cut up 3 chickens from oldest girl and grilled them. I took the leftover white meat off and made a batch of chicken salad sandwich filling. I also thawed a chunk of ham and ground it with pickles added mayo and made more sandwich filling. Ate lot of lettuce on the sandwiches and in salads. Bags of store bakery hamburger buns were BOGO for the holiday sale so got 4. Used them for a lot of the sandwiches after bread ran out…feeding 3 extra men 2 x a day is a lot of food. But the big shop job is done.

  74. BeckyH

    There is also a Back in Time Christmas one! I watched it on youtube. LOVE!

  75. I like the wrap idea, Brandy, & will see what recipes I can find. I’ve eaten wraps a couple of times out, but have never tried to make them at home. Your soup does sound delicious, but like Athanasia, soup loses its appeal to me during the hot days of summer. I like the idea of freezing it for cool weather soups though. Thanks to all of you for your suggestions!

  76. Athanasia

    I watched the London 1940s house. I remember them drawing a line in the bathtub so they didn’t fill it any higher. I also saw The Edwardian house. Kind of like an Upstairs/Downstairs as the cast member’s were divided into servants and masters.

  77. Athanasia

    Marivene, sounds like you had lovely family time. 36 blueberry plants! Wow! We have to order our blueberries from Michigan.

  78. Athanasia

    That’s funny and true…I used to reread the Tightwad Gazette books…now I reread Brandy.!!

  79. Athanasia

    Roxie I’m glad your peppers are thriving. We don’t do well with bell peppers. I don’t think it’s hot enough. But hot peppers do great.

  80. AnnaInOhio

    I hardly post now days just too busy but this week has been good. I have been on vacation as well as my husband. We chose to stay home and get a lot of work done to our house that we haven’t had time to get to with our work schedules. We cleaned our front room, rearranged all the furniture, put up new to us curtains (my boss gave me some really expensive curtains as she recently remodeled her house). The old ones I will clean and give to a neighbor who has sheets hanging at her windows because she can’t afford curtains of she wants them. I went to Krogers yesterday to pick up a couple items and found a meat clearance sale. I bought 10 lb. bags of chicken leg and thighs $3.99 a bag. I bought 2 packs of spare ribs marked down to 99 cents a lb. 2 whole chickens for $3.60 each. Bottled juice 100% juice $1 a bottle. I use these to make jelly with to supplement my jams and preserves so that we aren’t forced as we have been lately to buy store bought Ugh! the difference is huge. I did find strawberries 4 lbs. for $5 so I bought those, cut them up and froze to make jams with when I have more time. Found a pkg. of Johnsonville brats marked down $1.99 for a pkg. of 5. Cheap meal for us. I always look in the meat area when I’m at the stores to see if something is marked down. My freezers are getting very full. I also found ears of corn marked down at Aldi’s (overstocked) on Saturday 5 cents a ear. My time was limited so I only went through and bought 25 ears. I took them home, cleaned them, cooked, cut up and put them in freezer bags in the freezer for later use. I hope to find more good deals like that this week and freeze as much as I can. We make a lot of vegetable soups in the winter. I went back to Aldi’s on Sunday they had raised the price to 20 cents a ear. For 2 months now we have stayed away from fast food (maybe once a week $10) but for the most part we are cooking and eating at home. We have been incredibly blessed the past month or so with finding mark downs and I have been busy stocking and eating from home.

  81. cathy

    Mexican squash Tatume has been doing good in zone 8 Texas area. You may already know though:)

  82. Athanasia

    Forgot we also picked cilantro and used that in the curry. Also lots of dill. Had made a dill dip for that relish tray. We got some beets…beets are always the crop that “tests” us. Though my daughter is determined to get a decent crop this year. She put them in a raised bed with, hopefully, rabbit proof fencing. Why they are such a draw to the rabbits, I don’t know.

    Also I put the bananas in the refrigerator, not the freezer. I did get the banana bread made last night, 6 loaves…one is already eaten, another is probably almost gone and the other 4 are wrapped and 3 are in the freezer. Last one goes next door to daughter’s family. My thought is you can put the mashed bananas in the freezer but you are no farther ahead. You just have frozen mashed bananas. I notice a lot of folks like to put their fruit in the freezer and make jam later when it’s cool…but making jams not like processing tomatoes or corn with lots of boiling water baths etc. Just mash the fruit, cook quickly and process 10 min or so and done. My grandma, then mother, always said “don’t put off til tomorrow what you can do today” and now I am them telling my children that!

  83. Rhonda A.

    I agree with the mashed bananas…I prefer to make the banana bread or muffins and freeze those. We even make unbaked pies or crisps with other fruit (like apples) and freeze those.

    As for making jam, if I wasn’t working full time during the summer, I would definitely be making jam as I bought the fruit in season. In fact in previous years I did make the jam on my days off, which was exhausting. However, I am struggling this year to make the jam, especially when we keep having such hot, humid temperatures. When I have to deal with the heat waves at work constantly, I really appreciate the break from it when I get a day off in an air-conditioned building.:p The list of “need to do” like shopping for groceries, etc., always seems to take up my time whenever I do have a day off. So this year I’m freezing the fruit and will process it into jam once I have a day where I don’t have a bunch of errands to run and we have cooler temperatures. I’m going to see how this works, and decide which I prefer for next year.

  84. Jan

    How do you survive on so little rain? I thought our average yearly rainfall here in South Australia of 21.7 inches, most of which falls in winter, was low. How do you manage to keep your gardens so productive with so little rainfall?

  85. Marivene

    Athanasia, she does have a lovely berry patch. We were not able to pick as much as we had planned to do. My daughter got sick while we were there. She spent one day in bed while I took care of the grand baby, but did not feel like picking berries the next day, & understandably so. Nevertheless, I fit in some picking time when the baby napped, & we were able to make the jam for her sister that we had planned to make.

  86. Marivene

    Jan, when you live in a desert area, you have to either hand water or irrigate. Most people have sprinkler systems of some kind. If not, you use a hose & a sprinkler head that screws onto the hose end.

    Irrigation water adds up on the utility bill, so that is why Brandy posts about turning off the sprinklers if it rains, or catching the warm-up water from the showers to use on potted plants. When you have to pay for every drop of water you use, it is quite a savings to utilize the “warm-up” water in the bath & kitchen, & to allow the cooking/canning water to cool off, & reuse it on the plants.

  87. It would be impossible to count on the rainfall to water anything here. Even those who plant cactus have to water them. If you look at my post of Winter’s pioneer outfit, you can see what our desert looks like–rocks and sagebrush. Those pictures were taken not far from here.

    In the 1930’s, a dam was built here to form a lake (Lake Mead). The lake holds the water that runs down from the Rocky Mountains.

    When the dam was built, there wasn’t much of a population here. The water was mostly allocated for two neighboring states: California and Arizona. Also, at the time the dam was built, rainfall was much higher than it is now. Population in all of these states has grown by millions since the dam was built.

    Our area only uses 5% of the water used from Lake Mead each year. Of that 5%, 95% is reclaimed, cleaned and treated, and reused.

    Because our state gets the water last, major conservation efforts were put forth about 30 years ago. Most of the city has been built in the last 30 years. There are lots of water rules here. Low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets are mandatory. Grass in front yards was outlawed in new homes about 12 years ago, and the water district offers rebates for those who change their grass into desert landscaping. Most homes have rocks with a few plants, but there are also people who garden.

    Everything in the garden is watered with drip irrigation. Because of the lack of rain, it is rare to get weeds in areas that aren’t getting water 🙂 The drip irrigation is a tiny hose that has emitters every 6 inches, so it delivers water right to the roots. Drip irrigation uses less than half the amount used by a sprinkler. Everything is set to be watered with a timer, and I water super early in the morning to reduce evaporation. I water for a few minutes at 3:30, then at 5:30, and again another time a little later in the morning (these all vary depending on the seasons). I vary the length of time (and number of waterings) depending on the weather. When it gets cooler I only water 3 days a week; in the winter we can water once a week. The number of days and times of day we are allowed to water is decided by the water district.

    In my front yard I only have to water for 2 minutes at a time, three times a day. That is summer watering. When it gets cooler it is even less frequently. It uses an amazingly small amount of water–and I get back so much in food and flowers!

    I read recently that drip irrigation was developed in Israel. One of the things they learned is that a drip irrigated fruit tree will produce 4 times the amount of fruit than that of a tree watered with traditional irrigation! That was very interesting.

  88. Melissa V

    It still heats up my home terribly even with the shorter processing times. We have NO shade on our home and the South and West sides of our house just bake even with all the blinds closed, the temperature in the house climbs to a level that my hubby just can’t take. He is very heat sensitive and with the high humidity we’ve been having, our air conditioner is running constantly even at night. So I freeze the berries – I also freeze the whole tomatoes as they ripen (which makes getting the skins off VERY easy – just dunk in warm water and the skins slip right off) and process them in the fall when the temps come down. It is what works best for us 🙂 I also have to work outside the home and have a sewing business from home as well + we renovate vintage travel trailers so I don’t have alot of extra time right now to dedicate to canning. Things always slow down in the fall for us.

  89. Melissa,

    I like canning in the fall; it is nice to have it so much cooler. Most of my canning is done in summer, but fall canning is wonderful and even inviting.

    I had to giggle at your comment about the air conditioner running “even at night.” Here, it is normal for everyone to run the air conditioner all day and night for 5-6 months. In addition, ceiling fans are very common here; we sleep with the a/c running, a ceiling fan over our bed, and no blankets. I keep a top sheet on the bed, but we only need that from about 2-5 a.m.

    Our lows recently have gotten down to 83º, which is amazing; we have had lows only down to 104º at night in years past. Either way, it is still too hot not to run the a/c at night, as it is still hotter outside.

  90. Athanasia

    Rhonda, I like to freeze pies too, though I have never tried freezing a crisp. I have taken to making crisp topping in bulk and freezing in portions after reading that tip in Martha Stewart .

    I hope your trial runs will help you find out what works best for you.

  91. Athanasia

    Melissa I’ve heard of others that freeze the whole tomatoes that way. I have a lot more cupboard space than freezer space so I can more than freeze. My canning season has barely begun…here it is mid August through October, when I’m back to school. Now I’m mostly freezing berries and rhubarb or making jam…still growing all the stuff.

    Were you the one going to visit EAA? I had thought of trying to meet up with you but we’re not visiting our friends this year . He had a heart attack 1 1/2 weeks ago and is recuperating then moving up to his lake cabin and already rented out his house for the convention. They want to be well away from all the noise, and there is a lot! and all the congestion ….over 500,000 visitors! We’ll go over to see them at their cabin, fish and visit, and his doctors gave him OK to go as he’ll be minutes away from what is I think the largest medical clinic/hospital complex here in the state. I hope you have a great time.

  92. Athanasia

    Brandy and all, I got so warm reading on your temps I had to put the fan on next to my chair! At night the attic fan pulls in the cool air from outside. We’ll still use a light weight quilt or flannel sheets for a cover on most nights. Time to read a little more. Hope you have a blessed, restful Sunday tomorrow.

  93. Melissa V

    Yes, we were – tickets and camping were paid for and everything…..and then we tried to upgrade the camping to electric the first day it was available and found out their policy is to make you pay from the day you call in to reserve until the end of the show which would have been $1200 NON REFUNDABLE!! Since hubby is so darn heat sensitive, there is no way he could be w/o at least a decent fan to sleep at night (and you can’t run a generator at night). Thinking this had to be a glitch in the reservation system, he called them directly and found out it isn’t. We were told most people wait until closer to the show to reserve the electric sites but then we would run the risk of not getting a site. Even reserving a week in advance makes it too much for us to be able to go since we’d have to pay for a week at the electric site rate even though we were only staying 2 nights and it made it unaffordable (we saved up for this trip and have limited extra funds and we don’t do credit cards)! He even talked to the VP and told him that it appears EAA is only for the 1%. Hubby was very disappointed and canceled everything including his membership with EAA. 🙁
    So, we are making a trip up to see our daughter at the camp she is working at for the summer instead.

  94. Athanasia

    Oh, that is too bad, after all your plans! But yes, it is a very pricey thing to attend, and it is not just the price of admission, there is so much more beyond that.

  95. AnnaInOhio

    Thank you for sharing I started watching the first one the other day but haven’t finished it with my work schedule.. glad I saw this again and it reminded me to watch to finish watching it.

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