Apple Branches

I sewed a new cover for Winter’s bicycle seat using leather scraps we had. We’re going to make some covers for her handles as well as repaint her bike in the next couple of weeks.

From the garden, we harvested grapes, a few tomatoes, figs, a pear, 2 Armenian cucumbers, a zucchini, basil, and green onions. 

I mended a dress.

My husband and I had a date night at home. We ate ice cream and played several games of Sequence.

I ordered some homeschool math and science books while they were on sale, and used a free shipping code.

My boys had fun doing some community service. They found a local project through

My husband took the children swimming at his sister’s house. 

We had a storm pass over us (no rain, though) which lowered the temperature for 2 days, and brought a great deal of humidity. I collected water from the drip off the air conditioner pipes  (these are on the opposite side of the house from my air conditioning units) and used it to water potted plants. I had between 2-3 gallons a day (our humidity was at 41%; normal here is around 10%).  I also collected water from the shower in a bucket while waiting for the water to warm up and used it to water potted plants.

The day of the passing storm, the temperature in the early morning dropped down to 78º. I set our a/c at 79º, so I opened up the house for a few hours and turned off the air conditioning. According to the power company, my usage was $8 less last week. Temperatures went back up two days later, but it was nice to have a bit of fresh air and save money with the cooler weather. It was cool enough that the children could play outside for a few hours.


What did you to save money last week?


Check back this week for some homeschool updates and my secret to getting things done!

Similar Posts


  1. To harvest what you have in the heat you’ve been having is impressive. I’ve missed being able to open up the house the past few weeks. Even when the temperature gets down to the low 70’s in the early mornings, when you open the door the air feels “thick as pea soup”. I kind of think the a/c would use just as much electricity catching up to get rid of all that humidity (ie: 86% right now). There are a few signs of fall showing up, and I know cooler days will be here before we know it. Joining in here:

  2. We had some significant savings in two unexpected places…as we have a VA mortgage, we are always (and I mean daily) getting refinance offers. We bought our home three years ago and finally decided after much research to refinance our home. We spent a lot of time finding the best lender for our fixed mortgage and as we are VA (and they set the rates) went with a new lender. Our payments dropped over $300.00 per month which equals to over $75,000 over 20 years. There is no penalty for early payoff which was important to us.
    We don’t have cable tv but our internet rate went up substantially. In researching providers, my husband was able to get them to upgrade our speed, add another router drop (we already own the router) and add cable for the next two years for less than what we were previously paying. He used a college student special and as our oldest is in college and lives at home, were able to take advantage of that deal. My 5 kids are excited but as for me, I’ll stick with my favorite channels; YouTube and PBS.
    Still a good week in savings overall 🙂

  3. All of your prayers musta been heard 🙂 Hubby is home and healing although tired of just sitting on the couch with his foot up and he cannot believe how much stamina he lost by being down for 2 weeks! I have an interview Wednesday for a part-time kennel job so I would still be working with animals AND I got a custom cushion job for a trailer that I hope to have completed today. Things are definitely looking up and bills are getting paid and everyone is fed! For now, I am helping hubby with his audit jobs – we have 4 this week alone which means lugging his heavy gear around and setting it up plus getting room measurements and attic insulation levels for him – the less he is up on that foot even with the boot and cane he uses, the better. We did a bunch of errands and he did a bit more walking with the cane and he had a small split in the new skin so we need to be very, very careful there is no setbacks!
    * Went to the discount grocers and found CASES of the Rev nut, cheese, meat snacks for $1.99 a case of 10 making them .20 cents each compared to the sale price at the regular store of $1.50 each!! These are on my safe list of things I can eat right now so we bought 4 cases and put them in the freezer. I also found gluten free waffles for .99 cents for a box of 8 (normal price is 2.99-3.99 a box) and I bought 6 boxes. I found gluten free bread and rolls on discount as well as pancake mix and crackers. I have discovered that cutting out gluten helps my acid reflux and brain fog tremendously. I am following the Fodmaps diet right now to find out what other trigger foods are upsetting my gut so badly. In the meantime, I am drinking lots of peppermint tea and eating very little so I can make it thru the audits with hubby and the interview without another bad flare-up.
    * Made all meals at home but I am having a hard time without being able to use regular onions and no garlic – i am subbing in the green parts of green onions at this point but have not made the garlic infused oil yet that is okay for the diet (It is outrageously expensive at the stores so I need to make my own)
    *Frugal fail – almost forgot to get the young Danes stitches out after her spay surgery and while at the vet, I decided to pick up more of her yeast medicine for her ears – she loves water but is prone to yeast infections in her floppy ears – med was $27!!!!! I left it on the counter to remind myself to keep putting it in her ears and while I was busy in another room – SHE ATE THE WHOLE DARN BOTTLE FULL $%#($&@#) She left the entire box of treats and the loaf of bread alone but ate her ear med…….NOT happy!
    * Found more RV parts for very cheap to finish the trailer we are flipping – I still have not found curtain fabric yet – no one seems to have CHEAP yellow sheets so I think I am going to have to go with an off white although I have been toying with buying white sheets at Goodwill or SA and dyeing them the color I need.
    * Picked armloads of pickles, 2 tomatoes and cilantro and bunches of carrots – the first ones I have ever been able to grow that are long and straight 🙂 And so far the maggots have not gotten to them! I also picked basil, cilantro, lovage and oregano and catnip to dry in the dehydrator. My newest raspberry bushes are actually given me a few berries this year as well! I picked off all of their spring blossoms but let them set some for the later harvest. I think I will harvest the potatoes this week as well since it appears most of them are done blossoming and have fallen over and started dying back. I also moved more perennials around to “pretty” up the poultry side of the yard which also keeps the dogs from ruining them and replanted grass/clover in the bare spots in that side of the yard as well (I covered them with chicken wire panels so the hens can’t scratch all the new growth out). Over the years, the ducks mucking up areas around their water pools killed the grass.
    * I am looking forward to visiting the 4-H fair this week (cheap entertainment) – I am really missing the yearly involvement with the club but my kids have aged out and hubby doesn’t think I need to volunteer……so I just get to visit with everyone and see all the projects once a year now 🙁

    Otherwise, I am just doing the usual – keeping the AC off as much as possible, shutting down stuff when not in use, re-using what I can and staying home as much as possible to save on gas – which has not been easy with his hospital stay and doc appointments but when I am out, I try and combine any other errands I need to do into the trips.

    Again, that you all for the prayers!

  4. I continued to update my price list.

    I planted my everglades tomatoes that I started in peat pots into larger pots to get a little bigger before planting in the ground. I potted the swiss chard I started in peat pots into their permanent containers (if I plant in the ground the slugs eat them). I spent time each day pulling weeds.

    Free in the mail – a protein bar (I put away for my son’s stocking).

    I completed a Pinecone survey.

    I did all my errands in one day to save gas: Blood work, oil change and tire rotation to make sure I keep my warranty active, my bank and my fathers bank (we finally got the VA check for his death benefit – I am waiting on one more deposit then I can close the account and split the funds with my sister). It was tax free shopping weekend so I did some planned spending. I stopped at Sketchers outlet and got a pair of memory foam dress flats for work for $28. At the mall I went to Charming Charlie to spend a $10 coupon. I got a pill case TOTALLY FREE which I desperately needed. I had 2 JCP $10 coupons to use so I split my order. I got a white blouse for work for $4.99 (original price $30). My second order I got a shirt dress $17 (originally $60) and a blue cowl neck for work $10 (original retail $22) for $17. I had a gift card to use to pay for both orders and still have a few dollars left on the gift card for next time. Then at Aldi I spent $35 for a weeks groceries and pantry/food storage. At CVS I got 2 free sports drinks.

    Have a great week everyone!

  5. We were on a family vacation last week. We really just traveled north to Cleveland and stayed with my in-laws and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Our major expenses were gas and three stops for food. We don’t really eat out fast food so a stop to eat inside Wendy’s is a special treat for our kids. We had three days to plan with activities and spent one day at a beach on Lake Erie, which was free, a fun day at the Science Center (we paid for the family about $100), and one day chopping wood for a campfire, blowing bubbles, hiking in the woods, and camping in the backyard. My MIL sent us home with tons of food.

  6. Happy Monday to all,

    Colored my hair at home. Baked bread. Cooked all but two meals, and had two fantastic new recipe successes! Defrosted and cut up a whole ham, bought months ago on sale, into ham steaks and ham pieces, and refroze in small packages. Price per pound was $0.79, and although there was waste of bone and fat, I am sure it still is less costly than $5.99/lb. Updated the freezer inventory and prioritized meals to keep moving towards an empty freezer in Oct/Nov (in time for the sales again).

    Had our dog’s annual physical done at the Humane Society, and bought a year’s worth of flea and tick and heart worm medicine. She should be good for another year. The vet center at the Humane Society is usually a bit cheaper than other vets and I would rather help them with any profit they can make on their services.

    There were huge storms in Phoenix last week, we got 1.5 inches of rain one night in our neighborhood (we only get 8 inches a year, so it was a big deal). Glad to report no roof leaks and no other disasters. All the storm damage (broken tree limbs and debris) was easily cleaned up. Yeah!

  7. * got my 2 gifted zucchini plants into the garden
    * seeing some cucumbers on the vines
    * have lots of tomatoes but they are still green
    * had some rain showers so no need to water the garden
    * picked up 2 rain barrels (been wanting theses for a while)
    * sold a couple items on eBay
    * sold a bag of clothes my daughter no longer wears for $50
    * won a pair of concert tix
    * dropped some items off at goodwill

  8. I’ve been in humidity like yours. It’s quite a shock getting off an airplane from the desert to that kind of humidity.

    I heard a description of summers here that actually feels quite accurate. It said that Las Vegas in the summer is like you’re making cookies and when you open the oven door you burn your face–except there are no cookies, and you can’t escape!

  9. 1. stayed home
    2. shopped with cash only
    3. took lunch to work.
    4. drank water. (BIG ONE FOR ME!)
    5. dropped some insurance we no longer needed. Will save us about 50 dollars a month.

  10. After living in Phoenix for 24 years, I had forgotten what humidity feels like. My husband and I were driving in Florida in July on our motorcycle, a storm had just finished and the sun came out and heated everything up. I was panting, thinking it was so humid I couldn’t breathe. Then I looked at a car next to us on the road, and the owner had his windows down and seemed perfectly fine. I decided I wasn’t going to die from humidity and calmed down. ;).

  11. It’s wonderful to hear that things are looking up for you.
    And I sympathize with your puppy eating her meds. I have an 8-month old hound pup who is cutting teeth at the moment and she is chewing everything! We are giving her raw bones and chew treats, but she has managed to gnaw holes in two pillows and bite through her harness. I bought a new harness today — the pillows I can mend. I tell myself this too, shall pass.

  12. 1. Cleaned the car. The floor mats were so dirty I considered spending $100 for new ones. Read online about treating them with stain remover, then washing them in the washing machine. They now look much better – not new, but clean enough I can live with them.
    2. Had company all week. We took them to the free concert in town and packed a picnic dinner. Took them to the hot springs, using free passes we got from our neighbors – packed a lunch that day, too. Cooked dinner at home two nights. We did pay for one dinner out and tickets for a boat tour – but took our own lunch on the boat. We had a great time and didn’t break the budget.
    3. Dried oregano, sage and thyme from the garden. I am thinking of putting together bottles of dried herbs as gifts for Christmas.
    4. Harvested lettuce, tomatoes, green beans and onions from the garden. Turned off the irrigation since we’ve had lots of rain.
    5. Got 3 6-ounce packages of blueberries for 25 cents each, using coupons. Also bought 30 ears of corn for 6 ears for a dollar. Cut the corn off the cob and froze 4 quart bags full of corn – I hope that will be a year’s supply.
    7. Picked apricots from the side of the road. Made a batch of Brandy’s apricot vanilla jam, froze 4 quarts and dried 2 trays in the dehydrator.
    8. Bought a box of peaches for $28. Made 5 jars of peach-amaretto-pecan jam, 2 peach cobblers, and canned 8 pints of sliced peaches and had a bunch of sliced peaches to eat fresh.
    9. Neighbors cleaned out their refrigerator before they left town and gave us fresh cherries, mushrooms and lemons, a quart of organic milk, feta cheeses and some tabouli.
    10. Froze 5 quart bags of tomatoes for processing later.
    11. Made nasturtium “capers” by pickling nasturtium seeds.
    12. Hung laundry to dry, watered plants with water collected from the roof, baked homemade bread and granola and made a big pot of dried beans. Cooked a chicken carcass for broth and made chicken soup.
    13. My sewing machine broke. My husband was able to fix it for the cost of a $20 repair manual. Hoping the repair holds.
    14. Called Century Link and received a $5 bill credit.

  13. I know it wasn’t funny for you, but I couldn’t help but chuckle over your dog eating the medicine bottle. No accounting for taste for some, I guess. You think that big nose would have sniffed out the real food!:D

    Glad your husband is doing better.

  14. I can’t even imagine 10% humidity. It’s all we can do to get ours down to 40% in the house WITH the A/C on. One of our doctors told us 40% humidity was ideal — we have dry skin, dry eyes, allergies, etc. In winter we have to run a couple vaporizers to get it up to 40% but in summer, it’s the opposite problem.

    My granddaughter brought us a sample of her cooking—curried potatoes and vegetables (three kinds of potatoes)–and it was good, although a bit spicy. She also “winged it” for a loaf of banana bread which she made herself also. She is just experimenting with cooking at age 24 because she hasn’t been interested before, except when helping Grandma in the kitchen a few times. Now she needs to learn to cook more things because she can’t afford to eat out so often. She is proud of herself. She has chili in the crockpot for tonight, bubbling away while she’s here to clean storage areas she and her mother use at our house. I hope she continues on this track until she has a bigger repertoire!

    This past week was not hugely frugal or productive but it was because I spent money on planned replacements-it takes time to hunt down what we want! A new couch is ordered and now I have to shop for a refrigerator. My husband and I also had a weekend date at the local Corn Fest, where we did a lot of walking and looking but only paid for parking and a couple delicious soft shell tacos! I needed the close $6 parking due to arthritis and a sore foot (can’t get in to see podiatrist for two more weeks) and we parked right behind the midway, which was great. I meant to buy some local maple syrup on the way back out of the vendor booths and then forgot. They only wanted $28 a half gallon, which is a bit better than my best price. I’m mad at myself for forgetting it!

  15. So nice to read about some of the things your children have been doing. I’m sure they enjoyed the swim at their aunts house!

    Well we had a bit of reprieve from the hot temperatures, but it’s coming back with a vengeance. We’re supposed to have temps with humidity that will equal 44C (111F) this week. So not looking forward to working in that! My frugal accomplishments for this week include:
    *Meals made at home include burritos with choice of filling, homemade pepperoni, bacon and feta cheese pizza (pizza dough made in bread maker), BBQ hamburgers with fresh corn on the cob, chicken fingers with white rice and carrots, grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches with pickles and potato chips, and BBQ chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and corn (made extra chicken to use in wraps for lunch next week).
    *This was grocery week. Deals I found included buying 6kg of sugar (just over 13lb) for $2.90, a bag with 2 very ripe pineapples in it on clearance for $2 for the bag (that $1/pineapple!), then bought 6 more pineapples for $1.49 each at another store, 1 package each of Genoa salami and cooked, seasoned roast beef “end pieces” (sliced sandwich meat) for $3/1 kg pack, 2 packages of hot crossed buns on 50% discount making them $1.25/pack of 8, 1 pack of hamburger buns for $1, 3 packages of sliced Swiss cheese for $2/100g pack and 2 bags of potato wedge fries for $6/1.8 kg bag.
    *I cut up the 2 very ripe pineapples into chunks. I put half of one pineapple in the fridge to eat fresh and the rest I froze. I plan on canning the other 6 pineapples next week on my day off to add some variety in the pantry for winter.
    *Groceries were under my normal allotted amount, so I used some of the extra money to buy 3 new pairs of pants for my daughter for school.
    *Harvested heirloom spinach seeds from the garden to use next year. Also harvested a couple vine ripened tomatoes.
    *Made $4.25 in tips while working in the hotel at the pioneer village I work at.
    *Attended another free Musicfest concert featuring “the Spoons”. This band had a few really big hits in the 80’s, in case you don’t remember them. Good concert, but I was tired so it felt long.
    *My mother was so proud of herself one day. When I got home from work, she excitedly told me how she saved a baby bird from the window well, while she was cleaning my daughter’s play room. Pour thing couldn’t fly well enough to get up over the edge and momma bird could only stand on the edge and watch her baby try over and over again. My mom adorned some gloves and caught the desperate little bird, lifting it out onto the grass. Mamma took over, feeding her exhausted baby, before they finally disappeared. Not frugal, but a sweet blessing.
    *Another “not so frugal” but a blessing: Picked up my daughter from camp. She had a great time, but managed to pick up a cold. I think she was ready to come home. We took her out to dinner to celebrate her return.

    As always, I look forward to reading everyone’s frugal accomplishments. Hope everyone has an aspiring, productive and fun week!

  16. I’m always in awe of what you manage to accomplish. We’ve had a crazy two weeks filled with medical appointments, but the end is in sight. I have one left next week. We are doing a lot of regrouping here because of those issues, but I am trying to do it in the most frugal way possible.

    My tidbits for this week are here.

    We have horrible humidity most of the summer and I use a bucket to catch the a/c water, too. I only have a few potted plants, but I try to use what I can of it.

  17. *got my hair cut and colored by my Mom for free
    *got my son’s hair cut also at my Mom’s for free
    *saved gas buying school supplies on Amazon & making use of Prime shipping.
    *turned off our AC at night when the temps dropped below 70 degrees outside
    *shopped at Aldi’s for a few items as milk is $1.69/gal there and eggs 0.69/doz
    *12yr old son went camping with his uncle and Uncle’s GF + her nephews and brought home
    a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos

    It’s been very humid here in NE Ohio, I’m about an hour East of Cleveland along the shores of Lake Erie and the humidity is something else! Not gonna be any warmer this week either :/

  18. I’m about an hour East of Cleveland. Not been to the Science center but did get to go to the R&R HOF a few years back when the Cleveland Foundation offered FREE admission to everyone on a chilly February Day. It was WELL worth the 45 min wait to get inside. Lake Erie is 4 blocks away from our home.
    This month is our town’s Annual D-Day Re-enactment where over 2000 re-enactors and 20,000 visitors flock to our shores to see the Normandy Beach invasion and this year, they’re bringing tanks down for the beach battle 🙂

  19. Last week I picked some strawberries from my garden. I learned from Whole Foods to grind the hulls (but not the stems) Into my smoothies along with the berries for maximum nutrition. The Whole Foods concept is that we should eat the whole food, and not just the innermost refined parts. Whenever I buy fruits and vegetables deemed high in pesticides, I rinse them using 3 parts water to 1 part distilled vinegar.
    I always wondered how much egg white is left behind when cracking a raw egg. I carefully scraped the insides with a spoon and got 1/8 tsp from a large egg and 1/4 tsp from a jumbo size. This is not much, but can make a difference over a few years. ( Enter Amy Dacyczyn’s calculations!) This scraping process is helpful to me because I dry the egg shells for a day or two. I then grind them in my mortar and pestle. Then I sprinkle the powder around my tomato plants to prevent blossom end rot. I used to buy calcium at the garden store, but I’ve not had to buy any this year.
    I cannot thank Brandy enough for making it possible for kindred frugal folks to share at this site. Most of all, I look forward to reading what Brandy shares!

  20. I have been keeping busy this week. We have been doing our best to eat at home. We have been picking cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, and some lettuce from our small container gardens as well as watering them with the water from our 2 rain barrels. I have made 2 loaves of homemade bread, bought a lot of 29 cent per pound bananas from Aldi and froze them for smoothies, made several crockpot meals including BBQ shredded chicken (and froze the rest that we did not use for a future supper), made a large batch of instant oatmeal for my husband, made 2 batches of iced tea as well as ice coffee, a large batch of sausage/egg/cheese breakfast burritos, and purchased needed clothing with the no sales tax weekend last weekend, etc.

    My husband makes awesome pickles with our cucumbers. I was thinking about trying to make pickled beets, but didn’t know if you can use the same process to do so. I love beets and started to enjoy pickled beets as I have gotten older 🙂 I would love to hear any recommendations.

  21. It’s not hard. This is the recipe I learned from a friend, in her words:

    Boil beets until skins can be removed easily. Peel and cut into desired size pieces cover and boil until tender. Pack in bottles and heat bottles. Pour syrup over beets and can 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

    Syrup: 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water (use the water you boiled your beats in), 1/2 teaspoon salt

    I don’t know how official this recipe is for safety, but it is my understanding that because of the vinegar, they can be water-bathed (like other pickles). Without vinegar, beets have to canned in a pressure canner.

    I’ve used her recipe and I liked it.

  22. Hello Brandy and everyone 🙂 .

    This week we have been busy in the gardens and lawns weeding and amending soils getting ready for spring as well as harvesting and doing service projects for close elderly friends on their farm to cut firewood and supply manure for them to start their gardens with.

    In the kitchen we –

    – Blanched and froze 2.158 kg of sweet potatoes & 2.48 kg of spring onions and leaves picked from our organic gardens.
    – Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Made a quadruple batch of Brandy’s lovely granola with pantry storage to save buying commercial breakfast cereals.
    – Cooked a large family whole chicken which fed the two of us for 1 meal and had sweet potatoes with it harvested from our gardens. We had enough meat leftover to portion 4 more bags for another 4 meals for the 2 of us.

    In the garden we –

    – Picked spring onions, parsley and strawberries.
    – Amended soil in a 5 x 2 metre patch of garden and DH planted 50 spring onion bulbs cuttings we saved from our harvest.
    – Topped the mulch on the strawberry, herb and turnip beds in the front yard using mulched dried grass clippings and excess parsley picked from the gardens rather than buying hay. We will however have to buy some hay for mulch now that we are coming into spring as we will be planting a lot more crops and it gets rather hot here.

    Extra earnings & finances –
    – DH picked up some paid gardening work and we shall use that money to buy some hay and urea for the gardens for spring.
    – Found $86,000 dollars odd in tax deductions to give to the accountant later this week for a property settlement. This should increase DH’s tax refund cheque dramatically.

    Fuel –
    – Topped up on all fuels used and filled all the empty jerry cans in the garage on low fuel price cycle saving $2.80 on normal prices.

    Have a fantastic week everyone 🙂 .

  23. I can’t imagine how hot it must be in Vegas! I wonder how people survived there before A/C?

    Nice as always to read everyone’s accomplishments! Here are mine:
    – Made apple scrap jelly
    – Laundry detergent samples from mom (a whole bunch)
    – Used starbucks gift card from swagbucks
    – The usual: packed lunches, walked places
    – Got some clothes ready to donate
    – Made yoghurt
    – Walked instead of taking transit to run errands
    – Used leftover wine to make red wine and pea risotto
    – Made croutons from homemade bread in the freezer that was getting a bit freezer burned
    – Made iced tea from tea given to me by a client (I make several pitchers a week)
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for Starbucks gift card
    – Grated and froze some zucchini given to me by a colleague
    – Redeemed a Pinecone Research reward for cash direct to my paypal account
    – Created a free hello bar for my blog to build my email list as well as to direct readers to my social media sites
    – Used some leftover pesto that I had frozen to made pesto focaccia
    – Figured out how to increase my Swagbucks rewards in searches – search, and then specify further. Definitely had an increase in search rewards after doing this.
    – Was given some mint and basil from my parent’s garden, yum!

    And I think that’s it for the week! Happy Monday, everyone! 🙂

  24. I haven’t made them lately but my Mom’s recipe has at least a little cinnamon and possibly another spice or two as well. I’d have to look up the recipe, but I tasted some at the fair the other day and would really like to make a batch this year. Beets are a popular vegetable here. I don’t think I will have too many from my garden but I do have access to buying them in quantities from our local produce store. That would be in September here. I don’t do the amount of canning that I used to, but I enjoy having a few special items. Last year I made hot pepper relish and will have enough for the coming year also–my husband doesn’t care for it but I sure do! Pickles beets would be a great thing for this year.

  25. Hi, Everyone.

    It didn’t [u]feel[/u] like an especially frugal week, but we did manage to do quite a few things.

    * Used a 60% off coupon at Jo-Ann to pick up some supplies to do some mending. (The mending still needs to be done, but at least now I can do it.)

    * Tried to make grape jelly (I cooked it down way too much and ended up with a very sticky 1/4 pt., but it tasted ok. It was the first time using low/no-sugar pectin and the liquid never “sheeted” so I just kept it boiling away! Oh well, I’ll know better next time. :p)

    * Shredded and froze 2 quarts of zucchini.

    * Made 2 quarts of yogurt.

    * Harvested tomatoes.

    * Dried the cherry tomatoes (about a quart once they dehydrated).

    * Canned 4 pints of the beefsteak tomatoes and the romas.

    * Made granola, trail mix, and bread.

    * Put water into an “empty” shampoo bottle and have gotten several shampoos out of it.

    * Made homemade “foaming” soap (just put a small amount of liquid soap into a foaming soap container and filled the rest with water).

    * Made a second trip to Jo-Ann’s and got remnants to make my son’s Scout patrol flag, quilt blocks, and pillow covers. They were all 50% off the marked price.

    * Signed up for the rewards program at Michael’s and received 40% off on felt letters for the patrol flag.

    * Kept the AC at 80F and opened up in the a.m. and at night. (The weather has been in the low 90s, so we have had to run the AC for only a few hours in the late afternoon. We’re due to warm up to the high 90s by mid-month.)

    I always enjoy reading everyone’s posts. Have a great week, all.

  26. Happy to hear you got a break from the heat for a few days. A shame you didn’t get any rain from it though.

    I remember my sister-in-laws went down to visit their grandfather in Phoenix one summer and were out with their cousin on the back patio at his house for a bit their first day there and they asked their cousin to move the BBQ over to the other side of the patio as it was burning them being so close. Then they found out the BBQ wasn’t really on. Being from Alaska, after that they stayed inside in FRONT of the AC for the next week until they left. They said the greatest lesson they learned down there was that Hell was hot, but the desert was intolerable *laugh*.

    My list of frugal accomplishments can be found here…

  27. Every week I look forward to hearing about what every one got up to. My crazy temporary work schedule hasn’t left much time for anything other than eating or sleeping. We did manage to save some money this week.

    I found a one liter glass bottle in some weeds by one of my flower beds. I brought it home, to reduce the fire hazard and because I can reuse it.

    I pickled 5 pints of beets and canned 7 pints of peach pie filling. This might not sound like a lot, but it will last the two of us for the entire year.

    I crocheted a couple of wash clothes during my lunch hours. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep them for myself or give them away.

    The gardening lady brought in some more gardening excess from her garden and I took home a couple of zucchinis and some beets. I also took home another loaf of “defective” bread for free from our bakery.

    In addition to gathering firewood, The Man has been in charge of meal planning and cooking. He made me some rice pudding for my snacks at work using pantry supplies and left over rice.

    Have a great week everyone!

  28. I had a dog with allergies and chronic fungal ear infections. I found putting the antifungal cream in his ears on a daily basis helped to keep them down. He still got them of course and required a trip to the vet but they were lessened.

  29. My 4 year old son has been on school holidays so we have stayed in mostly. It has also been very hot and humid so we just go out to the playground everyday.
    We went to a local public pool and paid $5 for my son and I to swim.
    We took a short trip to an island for a getaway and didn’t rent a car for the entire trip. It is high season and the price had doubled. We also ate the free hotel breakfast and at nearby restaurants. Mostly we stayed on the beach but my son wanted to go horseback riding and we were able to get a reduced price of $10 for 30 minutes.
    We finally got notification of my son’s US immigration interview. I (american citizen) and my husband (non-american citizen) live overseas but my son is adopted and has been traveling on his birth country passport. We had enough frequent flyer miles from our credit card to get 2 business class round trip tickets and 1 economy round trip ticket for $150. We also picked the Homeland Security office closest to some relatives so we are staying with them. And, we get a short vacation in a very popular tourist area. We are very happy this all worked out.
    Since we will be in the US I’ve emptied the refrigerator and froze everything I could to keep from wasting food.
    The neighbor has graciously taken care of our guinea pigs while we travel so I don’t have to pay for a kennel or sitter.
    I became suddenly ill and used the hospital where i get an employee discount. Thankfully everything look normal but they are wanting to do further testing.

  30. I’m glad things are looking up!

    One thing I’ve found that helps with the worms/or whatever on carrots is to put coffee grounds in the row when you plant them. We’ve had a much better time once we started that. I may have even read it on a comment here somewhere a year or two ago. I got the coffee grounds from Starbucks and another coffee shop for free.

  31. I think it is a major accomplishment for her to go to camp for 2 weeks (if I’m remembering correctly.) That’s a long time for any kid, but especially one on the spectrum:) Good for her!

  32. We have eaten somewhere else for 3 meals in the past 2 days! (Friend’s, relatives) Now, we need to stay home and use up what’s in my fridge.

    I went grocery shopping tonight and got everything I needed, including a package of needed underthings for one of the children for under $40. I’m using so much garden produce that I’ve really only needed to buy specific items to take along when we go to meals at people’s houses and dairy, and a few things as I run out of them.

    My sister gave me a huge box of Lucky Charms. Her husband bought about 10 of them at Costco. We are not sure if they were a good deal, or what, but she shared!

    We are getting our house for sure. We were told we were signing Wednesday at 11, but got an unexpected call to come sign today at 3. So, we jumped all over that one. The money is wired, and now we are waiting for the title to be recorded, at which point, we will get the key. In the end, we could not do it without a little help from family, but we will get that paid back quickly. It became apparent that we simply did not have quite enough to buy a livable house, even in town, for what we had.

    We were given some gifts, for which we are very grateful. They range from cash, food, a used car if we want it, clothing (as in designer jeans for J) and furniture (which I got to choose myself and will come the first week in September.) I’m overwhelmed and amazed at what people are telling us God has told them to give us. We have not asked for any of it. We have prayed when we had a need, but did not share those needs in specific ways with anyone, except the need for Rob to get a job and me to get my insurance so I could get my meds. That is a story for another day, but I can only say I have what I need. In more than one case, when I’ve asked baffled, Why are you giving us this?, the person has said sheepishly, “Well, God kind of told us to.” What can I say to that except “Thank you,” to both them and God? Rob has quite a few applications out there, we are just waiting to see if anything comes of this batch. I don’t see any reason to doubt that the job will come at the right time, either.

    The rest is on my blog

  33. Hi All,
    Brandy, l am so pleased you got a little break in the weather! We, too, have gone from 108-degree days down to 85 degree days here in California. What a treat. Our hens have started to lay again with the cooler weather.

    This week l sold some eggs for $5.

    A friend offered me a chance to pick apples from her tree. They are a softer variety, but have good flavor. Her gift enabled my husband and me to make and can 10 quarts and 18 pints of applesauce for just the cost of lids, lemon juice and a bit of sugar!

    Another friend offered plums from her tree, so l made and canned 12 half pints of vanilla plum jam. I like to give gifts of jam and other homemade items, so l’m slowly putting things by for Christmas.

    I helped a friend make peach jam with two boxes of peaches someone gifted her. In exchange, she sent me home with a whole bunch of peaches we blanched and peeled and l was able to make and can 14 half-pints of peach jam from them.

    I took some gifted squash and froze it in portions to add to soups or stews.

    My husband fixed a broken light on his car instead of taking it in to a shop.

    We stayed home a lot to save money. We were able to get creative and reuse many elements from a previous costume to fashion a new costume for a party my daughter is attending. We finished the new costume off with a couple of finds from a thrift store.

    Have a great week everyone!

  34. How do you deal with 10% humidity??? Serious question. We’re in Quebec and heat with a woodstove, and in winter the house humidity is usually around 25%, which is when I start getting nosebleeds and my skin cracks and bleeds if I forget to put cream on. How on earth do you deal?

  35. I have dry skin and if I don’t put lotion on within 2 minutes of getting out of the shower, my skin starts to sting.

    Chapped lips are a problem; I have a container of vaseline and I apply some to my lips throughout the day, and always before going to bed, or my lips are chapped in the morning.

    Also, I’m always thirsty. I can easily drink 2 gallons (7.57 liters) of water a day in the summer. After reading recently that in our heat, a person can lose a gallon of water in perspiration in an hour, I am thinking that I should increase that amount.

    In the winter it is drier and we do have trouble with our hands cracking. We just keep putting lotion on.

    My husband has the complete opposite type of skin, so he never needs lotion, but he does drink lots of water.

  36. I cut my son’s hair- still need some more practice, he looks like I went at his head with a weed wacker! Luckily, he’s only 3 and it doesn’t faze him at all.
    My mom was able to get boxes of peaches for $15 each, so I bought 3. I made 6 pints of peach jam, a dozen pints and 4 quarts of bottled peaches, froze 3 gallon bags of peach slices, and have a bag of peach puree ready to make another 3 pints of jam.
    I took my daughter and her friends to a local nature park where they waded in the stream, then we all picked wild blackberries. I’m saving them in the freezer until we have enough to make jam or syrup.
    My husband took me on a date to see Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor in the park. It was a free event, but we donated $2.
    It’s been a very cool summer here. Even on the ‘hot’ days (I don’t think we’ve broken 90) I make sure to open the windows to keep the house cool and let in fresh air. Sometimes it’s too easy to just let the AC take over.

  37. I saved enough bank rewards points (I only use a debit card) and gas loyalty points to get (combined) $50 GC to Lowes. 2 Juniper shrubs died in my front bed, so the replacements will hopefully be $0 OOP.
    I cross stitched a Doctor Who tardis bookmark for my SIL. For my nephews, I printed and laminated with packaging tape a bookmark for each.
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  38. peppermint tea might be causing harm …I have gut issues (Crohn’s) and that was the first thing my specialist told me to stop. It relaxes that area and allows it to “open” when it shouldn’t. Just keep that in mind…oh an sodas and coffee too.

  39. I hung laundry on the line to dry. I ordered a couple things online that didn’t work for me and returned it. I usually just pass it along to someone else or my youngest to put in her yard sale. I’ve been battling ants(fire and regular) and spiders (cellar and garden but they are in my bushes not my gardens) horribly this year. I use Ortho Whole House defense and blue Dawn.
    Everyone in this area is battling them. My gardens are dying, not just the heat and drought but the bugs have realized that’s the only place for moisture for them. I’ve watched the bats the other morning “eat bfast” and the birds eat “brunch”. They need to eat MORE. LOL.

  40. Since we’ve had rain for two solid days, our humidity is 100%. The heat makes me sweat, but the sweat doesn’t evaporate, so it doesn’t help at all for cooling the skin.
    So, this week I’ve:
    Made soup from leftover this and that, which turned out quite well and fed us for two meals.
    Hung clothes on the drying rack instead of outdoors.
    Picked herbs and some summer greens from the container garden. I dried the herbs and we ate the greens.
    Broadcast some seed from our wildflower bed to create a wildflower patch elsewhere (we hope).
    Refilled the hummingbird feeder with my homemade sugar solution.
    Made some dryer balls from a skein of wool yarn bought with a coupon. I just have to “felt” them in the washer and they’ll be given as small gifts for the holidays.
    Did some cleaning out and reorganizing. This led to planning a yard sale with my daughter, once the weather cools some.
    I’ve worn my 10 year old raincoat in all this rain. It still looks nice and it has a big hood, so I can do without an umbrella except in the hardest rains.

  41. Not Brandi, but I learned about super dry weather the hard way! I went to visit my brother after he moved to the Mojave desert. It was July and about 110. I got out of my truck and wasn’t halfway to the door and WHOOSH!, nosebleed! I ruined my clothes and had to run to the store for something else to wear. The clerk asked me what happened. I told her and she said to get a little bottle of saline spray and soak my nose regularly. I never went there again without it. I also use it quite a lot here during the winter.

  42. I feel like I’m always posting the same thing!
    * Caught water for flushing toilets and emptied the rain barrels just in time for a good rain to fill them up.
    * God watered for us, which is about an $8 savings.
    * Sold a garage sale item early for $6.
    * Bought eggs for .79¢.
    * Kept AC at 78.
    * Got a free shelf-stable meal for DH to keep in his desk at work for an emergency meal. Love those free downloads!
    * Did the market survey for 50 fuel points.
    * Cooked all week- no meals out.
    * Dinner tonight was a blueberry/banana smoothie. The banana was almost too ripe, so I sliced and froze it this morning. Into the blender with a handful of frozen blueberries, a cup of cold milk and it was dinner for me. DH had a loaded baked potato. I baked a few early this morning.

    That’s about it. Have a good week!

  43. Yep – I switched over to regular black tea and cut out all coffee ( 🙁 ) and sodas as well as any red drink of any kind even if it’s made with real sugar rather than corn syrup. I don’t drink the peppermint tea all day or anything – maybe a cup at night if I feel I need it. I did find it doesn’t seem to help the acid reflux! Thank You for the heads up on that – I will cut that out too and see if there is improvement. And grape juice is on the “safe” list of things but oh does it bring on the heartburn but all fruit juices seem to affect me that way whether it’s on the safe list or not. Not eating much but bland food is getting old fast and it is not helping that I detest cooking and enjoy baking which is a pita when you need to bake with gluten free flours due to the learning curve – I am used to pretty much winging it with baking with wheat flour……right now I am not getting any decent results from my attempts which is frustrating.

  44. This is my first time posting. I have been reading your blog for some time but decided today I was going to post. I live close to the coast in SC and this has been a very hot and humid summer. Today was cooler than normal with the high being around 90 and at this moment our humidity is lower than it has been at 76 precent. My frugal accomplishments this week: Fixed all our meals at home, packed lunches for me and my husband everyday. Hung my dark clothes inside instead of using my dryer. Canned 10 quarts of pears and canned 4 pints of pear relish. The pears were given to my husband from a friend from work. Froze 6 quarts of peaches. Made a crockpot of Greek yogurt. Made a pear cobbler with pantry items I had on hand. Gathered rain in rain barrels to water plants. Downloaded free books on my kindle using book bud. Husband and son worked on garden spot for fall garden. Walked the dog a mile each morning before work to get some much needed exercise for me and my dog. Think that was it for me. Hope everyone has a great week.

  45. So, so happy for you….blessings!!! I admit, I have prayed and worried over your situation….I was in a similar situation a few short years ago….so I understood the dismay and hurt after the initial shock about the job loss….

  46. Another wonderful remedy that I use with my husband when he has reflux flare ups is called Swedish Bitters. It smells and tastes absolutely horrible but it completely cured my husband of his reflux. He hasn’t had a single episode in months after taking the bitters for a couple of weeks, every day this past spring. Poor guy…it really does smell like turpentine. But hey! When you have horrible health insurance and are prescription averse it’s definitely worth a try!
    You can get it on Amazon. We bought the smallest bottle available to see if it would work.
    Good luck!

  47. I understand that climatological shift shock! We were in the desert in June. We drove cross-country with the kids and camped in beautiful Utah, among other places. I actually thought I might die from the heat. My heart was racing and I felt like I was having an out of body experience. Once I realized that you can’t just live on coffee and run around like a nutter when it’s 104 and brilliantly sunny I got over it and I really, REALLY love the lack of humidity out there! I love the desert. I’d love to spend several months living in, say, Canyonlands National Park, and then, say, Northern New York. Perfect balance. 🙂

  48. Stayed home!
    Made bread. Made granola. Cooked from the pantry. Harvested cucumbers from the garden for cucumber salad. Renewed library books online so I wouldn’t get a fine. Used a .20 off/per gallon of gas deal, bought bushels of beets, cucumbers, beans and dill from the Amish near me and canned them for the pantry, (so inexpensive I have to pinch myself), harvested our elderberries to make syrup and tincture and jam, harvested some medicinal herbs and plants so I could make herbal medicines, Fire Cider and other remedies for winter and picked some beautiful flowers from the gardens for my tables. A happy week. 🙂

  49. I’ve lived in both New England and Nevada. We all drank a lot more water when we lived in the desert, but mostly, our bodies adjusted. Some of us regularly use lotion no matter where we live, and I always keep coconut oil on hand for chapped lips. My daughter with eczema does better with higher humidity, but that’s not true for all eczema sufferers. We heat with wood part of the time, and I do notice that I need to drink more water on days when the fire is going.

    I’d gladly take 110 F and dry over the 95 F with 90 percent humidity that we have this week!

  50. Hi all! I did the typical things to save money last week. Eating at home, line drying clothing, watering the potted plants with corn-on-the-cob boil water. I drive an old car that has no A/C ( broken) and I shop the Goodwill first, to see if what I need might be available there. it’s a simple life, and I enjoy it. Sadly, I had a frugal fail, really a moment of envy… I was at the Goodwill, early in the morning. I have been looking for a dehydrator. Checking the shelves, I didn’t see one, so I moved on. But surprise! When I got to the check out, a nice woman in front of me had found exactly what I was looking for, new with instructions! It was sitting on the shelf, I was in too much of a hurry and overlooked it. It took quite a bit of my “good sportsmanship” to congratulate her on her fantastic find!

  51. Hi momsav and a property I owned for 26 yrs that greedy family now have, don’t ask 🙁 , we are allowed under tax laws here in Australia once a property settles to claim for all renovations, rates, water and all expenses to do with the house over that period of time as a tax deduction.

    Thank you momsav for your kind words and it was a good of deductions I found. Fortunately I had put most reno things on my credit card so had to track back through statements for years and print things out and copious amounts of filed reno receipts, what a punishment I have to say.

  52. This is a frugal story from turkey bought last year. I thought that buying a couple of turkeys when it was at holiday prices would be the best thing to do so that I could make all the different turkey this and that and turkey soup (I eat a lot of soup) and, of course, the holiday turkey meal. Well, sometimes, what you think is a frugal buy is not a frugal buy. I love turkey in my holiday turkey meal with all the fixins. Huny likes a turkey sandwich or two for leftovers, I like a leftover turkey meal with the fixins and I send home enough turkey and fixins for a couple of leftover plates for each family member. And then that is it. From that point we are usually good until the next year. This time, I bought an extra turkey, I saved the turkey stock, saved the leftover turkey meat from the main meal and put it all in the freezer. Then I made turkey soup. Not my fave. I know that it isn’t, I know that huny doesn’t like turkey after the leftover sandwiches that he does like to eat and I know my family doesn’t like leftovers after the leftovers. So buying that extra large turkey, cooking, eating, sending off and then saving all that extra meat and then the extra frozen turkey was a waste of money for my household even though the actual price of the turkey was a frugal buy. I just pulled out the last of the turkey meat and made another soup and just finished the last bowl. It’s not absolutely yucky, it’s just not my fave. Next year it’s more ham and more chicken and I’ve been slowly stocking up. Know what I did with all that extra turkey stock? yup. down the drain. Being frugal isn’t just about buying at a good price point, it’s about buying what my family will eat and enjoy. Sure I can buy turkey and we can eat turkey and be fed but it wouldn’t be any fun. Having turkey for the holiday meal, having the family around, eating, talking, laughing and then everyone fixing their leftover plates, bowls, with everyone reaching across each other, etc. is what having turkey in my house is all about.

  53. I read a Depression era book last winter, and that was one of the main ways the women determined if a woman was a good housekeeper or a spendthrift. If she swiped a finger along the inside of each eggshell so as not to waste any, she was a good housekeeper :o).

  54. Teresa,

    It is definitely important to buy what your family will eat!

    As I type this, there is a turkey in my oven . . .

    We use it for enchiladas, in curry (over rice), in cacciatore, turkey devan, and other things where there is a good sauce over it. I will use it in soups sometimes, and also slice it for sandwiches, but we vary it up a lot. A lot of people will buy turkey from the deli for sandwiches throughout the year; perhaps a slicer would make it different for you from regular Thanksgiving leftover type of sandwiches.

    But not everyone likes turkey, and I do get that. My dad doesn’t like turkey, which is why we never had it at Thanksgiving when I was a child.

  55. Margie, I live In SC on the coast as well. I pray my fall garden is more productive than my summer garden has been. Congrats on getting those Pears and Peaches put away!

  56. Becky and so glad you have got a house to live in, we were on the same journey together trying to find a house, and you beat me 🙂 , you were ahead on your savings way more than us though. I am so happy for you and your family 😀 .

    God certainly does provide, and a lot of time through others, I have to say as your friends who gifted to testified of.

    We are now just over 20% of our initial target of saving for our home with only borrowing a little from the banks 🙂 , will need a background cheer squad from you all to spur us on and to keep us on the right track and saving our little hearts out.

  57. My son and I went to the Center of Science and Industry- which is like a giant childrens museum with interactive exhibits this week. Definitely not frugal, but he enjoyed it and might have even managed to unintentionally learn a few things.

    I stocked up on socks and underwear for everyone at one of the back to school sales- there were catalina coupons on selected brands, so by breaking the items into 3 different transactions, I was able to get $35.00 worth of groceries for free using the catalinas. I used these on sale items, including buy two get one free smoked sausage, canned tuna, and peanut butter.

    We have had either rain or thundershowers nearly everyday this week, so I haven’t had to water the garden at all. I picked more zucchini and yellow squash and canned them, along with freezing some corn and strawberries. I’ve also been trying out some muffin and quick bread recipes using white beans and oat flour. The boy is not a big breakfast eater, so I’m trying to find healthier versions of things he likes for school breakfasts.

  58. We’re not heavy turkey eaters at our house either, Teresa. Two years ago, I bought a few turkey’s while they were on super cheap during the holidays. We pulled them out, one at a time, for the traditional “turkey meal” holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter), but not any other time. We used the last one last Christmas, which was a blessing as the turkey’s never did go very cheap last year.

    What we do with the leftovers is make a bunch of turkey pot pies for the freezer. I boil the turkey carcass with veggies scraps (carrot peeling, broccoli stocks, onion skins, celery ends, etc.) I collect in a bag in the freezer to make the broth. My husband (he’s a cook) then makes up a big pot of the turkey pie filling using the turkey broth as the base for the “gravy”. Leftover veggies can be thrown in to use them up too, but we usually need to add more since it is a big pot. My mom and I make the pastry and prepare the pies in aluminum pie plates (regular or individual sized, bought from dollar store or reused from store bought pies), then wrap the tops with aluminum foil. We freeze them uncooked. They make a nice freezer meal which we only have every so often (maybe once a month). My MIL LOVES when we give her some individual pies as she doesn’t like to cook and she lives alone, so this is a really hearty meal for her to enjoy. We don’t mind sharing, as they are extremely frugal to make!

  59. Check out the blog Gluten Free Girl & the Chef. A number of years ago, she discovered she has Celiac, and set out to learn how to cook and bake delicious food that was gluten free. Also, the folks that wrote the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes published one that’s fully GF a year or two ago. If you are avoiding any of the common allergens, one of the best cookbooks is Cybele Pascal’s Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. I use it all the time since my kids have multiple food allergies, and one is allergic to all the same grains that have gluten. The only change I make is that we don’t like the gums, especially xanthan gum so we don’t use it any more. My rule of thumb used to be 1 tsp xanthan gum for every 2 cups of GF flour. Now I used 1 Tbs potato FLOUR for every 2 cups GF flour. You can buy good GF flour blends, but they can be expensive. We make up our own using Bob’s Red Mill products. The regular bags are 22-24oz each. We mix 1 bag each of brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch), and potato starch (NOT potato flour). The consistency is similar to all-purpose wheat flour and we sub it cup for cup for wheat flour. You have to add in things in your recipes to make up for the lack of gluten (hence the potato flour, which makes it stickier). If you can eat eggs, then you’re in business since they act as both a sticky agent and help your baked goods to rise. If you have to avoid eggs, there are still good substitutes (check out the Cybele Pascal book). The other thing that I’ve found helpful is the magazine Living Without. I’m not sure if it’s still in publication, but I’m sure you can find it online. Excellent recipes, plus in the back there’s always a substitution list. So, if (for instance) you can’t use corn starch, it’ll suggest other things you can sub for it. The basic GF flour blend isn’t as healthy as other whole grain flours, but lots of people include a percentage of almond flour or bean flours or buckwheat, etc. The other thing to keep in mind is that GF doughs will be wetter than those with gluten, and kneading GF dough just makes it tough. One last thought: If you eat meat, you might want to check out paleo recipes since they don’t include grains at all. Hang in there! It does get easier!

  60. I started to drink an apple cider vinegar concoction for my severe leg cramps(it works) and found that it has greatly reduced the acid reflux I was experiencing, a nice surprise.

Leave a Reply

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